Americans Trust The Military More Than Any Other Institution – A Portent of Things to Come?

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Many of you may be familiar with the recent news story about 1-4 Americans not knowing that the Earth revolves around the sun. (To be fair, most people around the world actually answered this question more incorrectly than America did, except for South Korea). These results come from a report that measured American Public attitudes about Science and Technology: Read the Report Here (pdf)

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Yet what the media did not highlight, is the astounding fact that Americans have more confidence in the institutional leadership of their military than any other institution – including religion, education – and way low on the list – the executive government. This is surprising, given the military’s involvement in countless wars that most Americans are frankly sick of. But I’m willing to guess that most Americans blame the wars on choices made by our currently unpopular executive government, rather than the military itself.

This makes sense in a way when you think about it. What is one of the few institutions in America that can guarantee you a job, health care and place to live? The military of course.  What are the three things that most Americans want? I’ll let you fill in the blanks.

A while ago I made a post about “What Revolution Would Look Like in the United States.” In the post I made the point that revolutions are a hard-lining of the majority against either a leader or a minority. As things hit the shitter, an American revolution could be similar to the French Revolution: a revolution in which the majority fight back against a corrupt wealthy authority.

Things aren’t that bad yet. But it’s hard to tell if the economy is actually getting better, or if it is being propped up by the funny money printed out by the federal reserve, and artificially low inflation rates.

LARGE AMOUNTS OF ANGER ARE BUBBLING BENEATH THE SURFACE

America’s youth are graduating college with an average of $35,000 in debt that they can’t default on, and facing an economy that only has “McJobs” available – that is even if you can get a “McJob.” You might need to have 4 years of McDonaldsing experience with this economic climate. As you can imagine, this is going to generate a huge amount of anger at the system.

If you study world revolutions, a common theme is a disenfranchised, angry middle class lashing out at those on top.

REALISTIC SCENARIOS THAT WILL TRANSITION AMERICA FROM A DEMOCRACY

TO MARTIAL LAW

So where does this all go and why did I bring up the military? Well let me give you a hypothetical situation. Let’s say that the Federal Reserve’s “Monopoly Money” can no longer keep the system going. Like a car engine without oil, the whole system begins to overheat and collapse. When this happens, people aren’t going to care about how legitimate their Democracy is. The terrorist attack of 9/11 already has scared the public into accepting previously unthinkable policies such as The Patriot Act and the TSA at airports. 9/11 killed around 2-3000 people. How would the U.S. react to a disaster that killed more than 10,000?

What would the United States be willing to accept if we had a massive famine due to the death of the bees and our mono-cultural agriculture? What would the U.S. be willing to accept if one of the many country’s we’re pissing on actually fought back? What would people be willing to accept if the economic melt down unleashed a tidal wave of rioting, chaos and robberies?

In times of mass uncertainty, people flock to an authority figure to save the day.

As the Roman Republic fell apart, there was a charismatic military leader who marched into the capital and took over the whole system. This man was Julius Caesar. He tossed the Roman Republic into the trash and many Roman citizens said Good Riddance.

Today, it is not all that inconceivable that a popular and charismatic military leader would gain America’s trust in the face of overwhelming disaster – especially given the fact that Americans trust military leadership more than any other institution! Let’s say this military leader overthrows a widely unpopular politician and imposes Martial Law. Of course, this leader would insist that the Martial Law would be a “temporary arrangement” until the threat at hand is neutralized – and then once the threat is averted Democracy would “certainly” be restored.

This leader would gain popularity by giving their supporters jobs, food, shelter and a purpose within their mass military machine. They would also intimidate their opponents by throwing them into prison, having them tortured or simply having them killed altogether: after all, they would have the technology of the impressive U.S. military machine at their disposal.

This military leader would become so popular with their supporters that they would end up having the “presidency” for life – and that’s just the beginning of how a U.S. Dictatorship could emerge.

HUMAN RIGHTS CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT HUMAN RESPONSIBILITIES

IF DEMOCRACY CANNOT ENFORCE RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR

MARTIAL LAW WILL DO THE JOB

People in America like to talk about “Human Rights.” Yet human rights cannot exist without human responsibilities. If our current leaders can’t make the drastic reforms necessary to truly improve the system, then the scenarios I outlined above could be unleashed and a brutal authority figure may take the reins of a fading Democratic Order.

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The Free Market Isn’t On Its Death Bed – It Already Died Long Ago

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Here’s some truth about the “Free-Market.” First of all, the Free Market isn’t really free at all. From what we’ve been told about the Free Market, you would think that it is an invisible cobweb of prosperity that rains milk and honey (or cell phones and ipads) from the heavens.

Think again. The American Neo-Liberal Economic machine is a highly militant empire that enforces its policies at gunpoint and employs the labor of one of the world’s least free super powers – China.

If the Free Market was this wonderful system that everyone in the world wanted, why does America need a military base in almost every country around the world? Why are we launching drone attacks in Central Asia and Africa? Why are we using the long arm of the IMF and the World Bank to shake down countries like Jamaica that we’ve thrown into crushing debt via exploitative economic policies? The Story of how Free Trade is destroying Jamaica.

Also, if the Free Market was this great system that brought wealth and prosperity to all, then why is the world experiencing the greatest economic inequality that history has ever seen? Even the Roman Emperors and Egyptian Pharaohs received a smaller percentage of the overall public wealth than today’s corporate billionaires. Today, less than 1 percent of the population controls over 50% of the public wealth. A handful of Walmart Heirs controls more wealth than the bottom 40% of the U.S. population (Think Progress).

However, don’t think of the Free Market as this entity that was once healthy and got sick randomly. Don’t think of today’s recession as a minor hiccup in a gleaming machine. Think of today’s system as a rotting corpse on life support – a corpse that we should have buried long ago.

The 19th century was the era of history in which Capitalism and the Free Market encroached the world on a massive scale. For the first time in history, more of the workforce was in factories than farms. Wealthy industrialists did more or less as they pleased and the government stayed out of the way. Basic standards such as factory safety, food standards, health benefits, retirement, holidays and working hour limits were non-existent. If a factory worker lost a finger in a meat grinder, they were simply fired and replaced with someone who would work twice their hours for half the price.

Yet this system didn’t last for long before cracks began to erode the surface. Many major socialist and communist movements began to emerge in the late 19th century. There were massive strikes against the system and angry workers ready to revolt. However, this was all interrupted by World War I.

After World War I there was a brief period of prosperity in the 1920’s before the whole Capitalist System crashed and burned in the Great Depression of the 1930’s. As capitalist America failed to pull itself out of the Depression, National Socialist Germany by contrast was doing quite well. By 1937, unemployment in National Socialist Germany lowered from six million to one million. Many people even began to consider National Socialism as an alternative economic model.

In  no way is this endorsing the genocidal policies of Nazi Germany. Rather, this is merely highlighting the fact that National Socialist Germany had successful economic policies. 

But then World War II happened and Germany was devastated by a war on two fronts. Since many of the European Industrial centers had been left in a heap of rubble, America had a clear economic advantage at the end of World War II. Between the 1950’s and 1970’s America experienced a surge of prosperity.

Many conservatives like to have wet dreams about this time in history – calling it a time of good solid American values. However, one thing they would not like to admit is that this was a time period in American History with intensive government intervention. Unions enforced the 8 hour work day, the 40 hour work week, retirement, benefits and a living wage. This was also a time of SKY HIGH TAXES. If you care to look at this chart on the Tax Foundation’s website, America’s wealthiest citizens were paying tax rates at 90%! Compare that to today where the highest tax rate is 40%.

Much of this prosperity began to change with the Neo-Conservative economics ushered in by the Reagan era of the 1980’s. What were the results? A recession and the destruction of America’s commitment to environmental safety.

Yet once again, it was war that saved our dying system. When the Soviet Union collapsed in the 1990’s via the death of another toxic system – Communism –  America was allowed a respite of prosperity. However, this would not last long before the economy took a nose dive in the financial crisis of 2007.

Now the politicians tell us that we are going through a “recovery” – that the free market is doing “just fine.” But if this were true, why is the federal reserve pumping 80 billion a month into the economy? Why is the government continuing to give corporate welfare to Wall Street and Big Banks? This isn’t a free market at all, it’s welfare for the rich and austerity for the poor.

The truth is that the Free Market isn’t in recovery, we’re in denial. If we look at the nations around the world today that are successful, like Norway, Singapore, South Korea, Canada, etc… they have a healthy hybrid of socialism and government controlled capitalism in their own economies.

It’s time to bury the dead corpse of “The Free Market” and contemplate radical new systems.

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8 Reasons Democracy Doesn’t Work

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READ THE ARTICLE HERE

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Examining Occupy: Why Didn’t It Work and Can It Start Again?

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WATCH OCCUPY DOCUMENTARY HERE

A resistance movement to “business as usual” began to form in 2011. This movement called itself “Occupy” and indeed occupied Zuccotti Park located in New York City’s Wall Street Financial district.

The key issues of Occupy were social and economic inequality, greed, corruption and the power corporations exert over the government. The Occupy slogan was “We are the 99%.”

The original Occupy Movement was initiated by Kalle Lasn and Micah White of Adbusters, a Canadian anti-consumerist publication. See the magazine here. 

What were the main goals?

  • A reduction in the influence of corporations
  • A more balanced redistribution of income
  • More jobs, and better jobs
  • Bank reform
  • Forgiveness of debt, such as student loan debt

Eventually the protesters were forced out of Zuccotti  Park on November 15th 2011. The protest continued on college campuses for a while, but eventually fizzled out.

While Occupy didn’t achieve their goals, they did bring the idea of the 99% to national consciousness as well as the corruption of the banks and corporations. Perhaps Occupy merely planted the seeds for future revolutionary activity?

What did Occupy need to work? 

  • Leadership: In this aspect, the movement was its own worst enemy. It used a type of consensus system to make decisions. However, a dynamic and charismatic leader would’ve done more to give the movement staying power and direction. For example, the reason why the Civil Rights movement had some success in America was because of Martin Luther King. Also, I hate to mention the Tea Party, they did give themselves some political power by rallying behind key conservative candidates. Perhaps what the Occupy movement should have done was to identify populist candidates and work on elevating these people to key positions of power.
  • Agenda: It was good to see the underbelly of America’s anger at the system, but this anger needed to transform into something greater than the protest of an evil system – a bunch of people with signs saying “I’m mad, and you’re mean!” Occupy needed a manifesto, a sort of agenda of social change to pass out to its followers.

So, in a sense, Occupy was like a dragon without a head or talons. The fire was there. The body of people were present. But without a head the movement lacked direction, and without political power or an agenda, the movement lacked the ability to actually create a lasting change.

If I could write an agenda for Occupy, here’s what it would look like:

  • The implementation of a Financial Transaction Tax for transactions on Wall Street. This tax would only take a very small percentage out of each and every trade, but it would add restrictions to the risks that Wall Street traders take in gambling with American lives with the addition of adding much needed revenue to the budget.
  • Steep tax penalties for corporations that move jobs overseas. Many corporations enjoy the benefits of American taxes that give them roads to transport their goods and educated people to sell these goods. Yet the corporations do not return the favor by providing jobs to America. If they are going to outsource workers, they should pay a price for hurting America
  • A repeal of all the Bush Era tax cuts. As Van Jones once said, the wealth of the Middle Class didn’t just vanish, it was stolen. At a time when Americans are suffering financially, the GDP is still booming and the rich are paying record low taxes. When Obama came into office, he actually kept a majority of the Bush tax cuts. These absolutely need to be repealed. We need to take income taxes back to where they were in 2000.
  • A Carbon tax. Most countries around the world have already implemented measures to deal with global warming and the growing environmental disasters. Yet America remains the world’s number 1 climate offender. Our environmental and economic woes are interwoven together.
  • Major Debt Forgiveness Programs: It’s apparently “okay” to use tax dollars to bail out failing banks, but not to bail out a dying middle class. I’ll note that it was these same big banks that created the economic mess of 2007 to begin with, and we’re giving them a “get out of jail free card” while middle class Americans lose their homes and become debt slaves as a result of college debt. A major program of debt forgiveness would actually rejuvenate the anemic economic recovery by giving people more buying power. 
  • National Broadband: A major program to connect all Americans with broadband access would help to deal with the issue of poverty and education. We really would be killing two birds with one stone here. This program would help give America the competitive edge that its losing to its losing to countries like China.
  • A Green Jobs New Deal: In the presidential campaign of 2012, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate proposed an idea to create 25 million new jobs via the creation of “Green Jobs” around America. Barack Obama’s “Natural Gas” solution for the next “100 years” is actually what it sounds like, a bunch of hot air. Fracking doesn’t actually provide that many new jobs, aside from a temporary boom and bust cycle in the towns on which the Natural Gas companies prey. The massive undertaking of implementing green energy technology in the infrastructure of American Life would offer job opportunities to millions in addition to improving the environmental solution.

These are just a few ideas for what America could do to get its act together. However, the current political systems are throwing peanuts at a coming typhoon. If the Left cannot summon the virility to put these needed changes in place, we need to consider the possibility of political alternatives.

What the successors of the Occupy movement really need to do is create a clear cut economic agenda, and then back the right candidates who will make this agenda a reality.

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Turisas – Stand up and Fight

When you lose the will to keep going, play this song and blast the volume.

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The Horrifying Reality of What We’ll Lose, When We Become Immune to Antibiotics

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Read The Full Article Here on Wired

What happens when you get sick and go to the doctor? They automatically give you an antibiotic. Antibiotics have become the magical solution to all our problems: acne, a skin infection, the common cold, and even the way we keep our livestock healthy.

Yet because of how widespread antibiotic use is, eventually we’re going to start becoming immune to the effects of these magic pills. There are already strains of super bacteria developing, such as UTI’s, that can no longer be cured by the common antibiotic.

We need to look at the full implications of what we’ll lose, which is much of the modern world.

What would we lose?

  • The ability to treat cancer
  • The ability to transplant organs
  • The ability to perform major surgeries
  • The ability to treat traumatic accidents
  • The safety of modern child-birth
  • A good portion of our cheap, modern food supply

In many ways, we would go back to a more primitive era. A time where 5 out of 1000 women died from childbirth and 1 out of 9 skin infections could kill you.

Doctors need to stop over prescribing antibiotics for the common cold. How about vitamins, rest, and herbal remedies instead? Farmers should also treat their livestock better, instead of pumping them full of antibiotics and leaving most cows to stand knee-high in shit. Only serious health problems should be treated with antibiotics. Or else, we’re going the route of Doctor Frankenstein – creating a monster that will be our own undoing.

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Chris Hedges “Brace Yourself! The American Empire Is Over & The Descent Is Going To Be Horrifying!”

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