Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It's US against THEM!

Hey, it's nothing personal, but...

 Remember the ad campaigns for 'Miller lite' beer…"less filling! tastes great!" or the campaign for Kellogg's 'Mini Wheats' cereal, "crunchy wheat! nicely sweet!" Two examples of ad campaigns designed to pit one side against the other, in order to excite the consumers allegiances to 'decide for themselves'.  There is big money in playing both sides of the coin, whether it be in the whimsical world of advertising or in the geopolitical theatre.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this 'rant-o-mine pantomime', but please bare with me, I promise to order it in as coherent a manner as possible, Have a good laugh at my expense or share my frustrations as I touch on many subjects which I believe are all symptomatic of a holistic problem.

 Of course we have BIG troubles in our world, I once read that we would need something like 28 planet Earths to provide the energy and resources necessary for all nations to live at the same economic standard as the United States. With this in mind, it's easy to see see how geopolitical problems are bound to reach a climax in the not too distant future.

 Daniel Quinn wrote it so clearly in his book 'Ishmael', about how the ravenous appetite of expanding agrarian based cultures are decimating, displacing and disposing the world's indigenous populations. Similar to a package of flour full of mites, massive western economies and their bitch satellite nations consume resources to the point where they too will one day begin to suffocate in their own metaphorical and literal excrement.  This process began many years ago, and the first 'shit across the bow' might have been the terror attacks of 9/11.

 I'm not one who believes our elected officials are out to get us, but when you look at 'laws passed' which 'we the people ' never voted on nor were ever campaigned on behalf of, it's important to remember that our politicians are set before us by private interests, on the agreement that these elected officials will in turn appoint 'non elected officials' to positions of extreme political power, and it is the power of these 'non-elected officials' which disturbs me the most.

 Meanwhile, the corporate media continue to CREATE the news, instead by focusing on non-relevant 'wing-nuts' like this 'rapture dude' Harold Camping. It would be preferable to see our media pay more attention to the virtues of edge thinkers, wilst castigating the misdeeds of banking criminals… oh, and also tell this Camping guy to "take a hike!"

Here in Montreal, a recent revelation has come to light, that the much loved and loathed 'bixi' rent-a-bike program is swimming in a debt of unsustainability. 

 Considered by many to be the 'jewel of Montreal' due to the exporting of this program to cities like London, Toronto and New York, 'bixi' bikes were able to fly under the political radar of accountability due to the pride and prestige it supposedly brought to the city. The program was hastily ushered in three years ago in an idealistic attempt to create the facade that Montreal, and other major megalopolis', could somehow be 'Green' by massively increasing the presence of affordable, non-carbon emitting 'rent-a-bikes'.

 Big cities are the worst offenders of environmental decay, and are beyond hope of ever becoming sustainably 'Green'. If people want to live on a 'Green' earth, they better disavow their love affair with the internal combustion engine, go electric, or pedal power, instead of  some spoon fed eco-bike program.
  I don't wish to get into that now, but my main bone of contention concerns the idealism of some politicians, the voters who believe their lies, and the attempt to maintain this charade at any cost; an illusion which is often not at all consistent with reality. These kinds of scams are perpetuated to beef up contracts and line the pockets of private companies and municipal unions, under the seemingly benign assertion that 'bixi' itself, is a non-profit organization. The local taxpayer then foots the bill. This corrupt microcosm should demonstrate how eventually, the curtain must always get pulled back on the wizard.

 Our world is holographic, and the metaphor of running a 'Green' 'bicycle-for-hire' program, whose cost overruns make it more feasible to buy everyone in the city a brand new bike, is akin to the greater world of financial and geo-political governance, and it's determination to sustain the unsustainable.

                                                                      ***End of Intermission***

 Now, due to the unravelling of our 'Ponzi scheme' economic order, food and commodity prices are continuing to rise in the wake of diminished currencies (diminished due to schemes designed to sustain the unsustainable). For the rich western nations, this contraction will result in high unemployment, a major slowing of economic growth (already world trade is down one third from 2008), and a carnival combination of inflation and deflation, as sellers and buyers will be forced to renegotiate the true value of consumer products and other necessities during the second decade of the 21st century. 
Expect essential goods and services to skyrocket relative to incomes (food,building materials,bicycle parts,gasoline) and non-essentials should be expected to plummet (pedicures, jacuzzi hot-tubs, cable TV packages, prostitution). 

The consequences of this new reality, for people living in economically developing nations, will continue to be one of inner turmoil, as the bight of global recession will sink it's teeth directly into their means of survival, the price of food.

 When people can't afford to feed themselves, they get really irritable, and tolerance for 'western friendly' dictatorial regimes within 'developing nations' will continue to wane, as they will certainly inherit all the ugly political consequences of this painful transition, and will be henceforth known as 'devolving nations'.

  Why do I say all this?  Well, given the depletion rates of the major oil fields, combined with the lack of any major new and INEXPENSIVE finds (in other words not 'shale-fracking', tar sands, or deep water drilling) the demand for energy globally will most certainly outstrip supply, and coupled with the reality that we have yet to find an adequate substitute to match oil's energy output, the spin off effects of this new imperative will wreak havoc on the lifestyle we've been living since the end of WWII.

 These idea's are not mine, I'm only echoing the thoughts of those 'peak oil' proponents, whose arguments against, I have yet to hear an adequate rebuttal to. As it stands now, there is no adequate substitute waiting in the wings to take Oil's place

 The world will inherit all the problems that go hand in hand with this new 'unreality', as once passive people, like me and you, will have to figure out a way to curb the zeal of idealists, who will most certainly be anxious to propose their solutions by socially engineering societies in both hemispheres of our planet, with the same dysfunctional corporate template they've always been using.

 My major concerns are these: 
1.The ravenous desire for profit in order to maintain the required investment expansion rate necessary to keep the 'bubble' of toxic financial instruments (derivatives and the like) from bursting.
2. The endless conveyor belt of consumer wants and needs, and to what extent it's pressure on the environment will damage our chances for survival within our ecosystem. 
3.The philosophies of the corporate 'bottom line', which I believe, wouldn't hesitate to lay waste to our lives and those of our brothers and sisters across this globe, in order to maintain it's own survival.  Uncontested, we could be rendered by these multinationals, as little more than 'collateral damage', in their attempt to maintain global-economic stability.

 It will be essential for the wealthiest and influential of our human family, to surrender some 'creature comforts' in order to resist this bottom line. Right now, a precedent is being set where the opposite is happening, where those at the base of our economic pyramid are being forced to 'tighten their belts' in order to save 'the system'. The idea of taxing the incomes of those who make less than the average income is absurd. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont recently explained to congress how the top one percent of wage earners in the U.S. now have more wealth than the totality of the bottom fifty percent, so the way I see it, taxing the incomes of the finically less-fortunate is akin to forcing a rocky-turd out of an anorexic.

 When I hear wealthy people in our society boasting 'how much tax they pay' and how people like them are 'carrying the load', it really pisses me off!   Especially when you consider how many tax shelters are available to the rich, not to mention expense account business lunches, golfing with 'clients', per-diems and other write-offs. There's plenty of people who have become wealthy due to their hard work, commitment, and perseverance… and I salute them, but increasingly, wealth is being garnered by those who do not work very hard. You see these 'lattes sipping wankers', and 'texting plankers', basking in luxuries provided by a life of 'borrowed wealth'. This business of borrowing money from whoever to make investments that will provide a greater yield than the interest on debt borrowed IS this insidious activity of which I speak.

 We all know that it takes money to make money, and I don't deny anyones right to acquire wealth, but based on this truism, if you chose that path, please climb down from your ivory tower. Yes, our capitalist system technically allows anyone to seek their fortune, but there's only a limited number of spaces in the upper strata available, and very little room at the top. Yes you may have the right, but is it right?  Our laws are merely rules, they are not effective unless backed up by some force. The suffering created by turning ones back on 'what's right' has it's consequences as well.

 Meanwhile the hard working masses take on the shitty jobs that are essential to our survival but that no one else seems to want, often working long hours for insecure bosses, in order to make enough money to keep the 'creditor wolves', and taxman, at bay. This frustration experienced by low-income hard-working people is only exacerbated by an ineffective and system draining underclass, and the heavy costs of financially supporting powerful unions and their mafia-like hegemony over major government contracts.

 In Europe, countries such as Ireland, Greece, Portugal, and soon to be others, are being forced to accept 'austerity measures' which WILL cause problems, and is the main reason why the wise people of Iceland recently voted "NO" to repaying loans given to service debt, which was primarily acquired due to fraudulent banking practices.

 Over in the U.S.of A, a similar scam is ravaging the people's treasury, in the form of corporate wars, bailouts, and reckless banking schemes. The U.S. had a surplus when 'Bush junior'  took office in January 2001. Two terms, and a 'hopeful corporate puppet' later, and the 'Idealists' of their culture are now running that great nation into the ground, to the tune of 14.3 trillions dollars in debt, and climbing! (and now a 'quick skinny-dip' into pension funds)

 Those at the helms of power in western economies are a 'club' and have been very skilled at convincing us how 'they know what they are doing', probably due to the recent (20th century) 'trickle down prosperity' of their economic policies. My view is, they're nothing more than 'confidence men' (and women) who are trying desperately to mitigate the nasty byproducts of this 'f**k sandwich' they've created for us, and by extension themselves.
 And now, through the veils of 'official secrecy' and 'media spin', they'll probably make situations much much worse. 

 So, keeping with the spirit of the advertisers of lousy beer and genetically modified cereal products, look for the 'leaders of our society' to encourage us to play both ends of their fiddle, in another 'song and dance' to the tune of that timeless battle hymn: "It's US against them!"

Dirty CT  June 2011

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