Justice department has confirmed the 17 largest banks in the US and Europe have successfully stolen $2,100,000,000.00 in pennies, the largest single heist in the annals of mankind. The question most of America has not yet ask, despite fines already in the Billions assessed by the DOJ is, ‘Does anyone care?’
Many urban and sub-urban Americans are not mindful of the relationship between animal feces, the food they produce and the products we eat. Manure and Milk
It is almost counter-intuitive to think that the waste of an animal is, with sun, rain and good earth, one of the most critical elements in the food chain to ensure the satisfactory and well husbanded production of the foodstuff or by-product we wish to consume.
In the current controversy regarding Syria and their use of chemical weapons, there is much sentiment pressing for another intervention or, said in the words of real-politic, another war.
To another, the Military Industrial Complex, it is nearly a state of Nirvana when we can mass produce the weapons of war, keep humming our manufacturers, keep employed the masses so to inhibit riot strike or civil insurrection; and at the same time come upon the production, purposefully or fortuitously, which, with its’ consequent destruction, will become the manure of the dairy farmer whose very waste and disablement will provide the next set of feedstock foodstuffs.
There are certainly those among us who may say, ‘what price peace ‘ and admonish the ‘price of war’ as incalculable. However, it is the driver of the engine which produces jobs and revenues and the wherewithal to enable consumption which makes for the daily wage which buys the daily bread and cow-manure produced milk. Despite the hardship on a few million in Syria or Iraq, Rwanda or North Korea, is there not a greater good in this production of waste for the culture which needs revenues and incomes to prosper, despite the defilement and hardship of those whose lives are the very target and collateral damage of these monstrosities and machines of waste?
There is a case to be made, though not politically correct to be stated, that every drone attack, like each manure spread every spring of the farmers fields, does, despite the reek of manure or the stench of dying, have a silver lining which will caress someone’s pocket, make jobs or benefit the commonwealth, if only a small strata of those involved.
Suicides rate in the US are more than double Homicide. As a simple statistic, this cannot help but inform us poignantly of a profound illness which often accompanies modern life,
Equally significant and startling, white males are more than ten times more likely to kill themselves than their female, African American counterparts.
One example of the other side of this coin, equally extraordinary, is behavior exhibited by the State of Florida proposing a bill replacing the long cherished tradition of local control for tax collection, school budget, fire, police and all municipal services giving absolute power to the governor and state legislature; yet another iteration of immanent collapse of the individual and the culture as a whole.
Though once one of the greatest cities in the United States, Detroit’s bankruptcy is a comprehensible, though unintended, outcome of recession. High American labor rates, poor quality control, dysfunctional union rules and the engineering excellence displayed again and again by Asian and Middle European countries are some of the recognizable proximate and external causes contributing to the city’s failure.
Notwithstanding the collapse of the economy, that a United States city would allow a state or court appointed bankruptcy lawyer to take control of civic government, terminate the peoples right to elect their own representatives, make decisions about if and whether to pay for schools, firemen, teachers or garbage collection is a disenfranchisement of natural rights of self control of such magnitude and consequence as those put upon black slaves by the pre-Civil War White man or Women and minorities, to this day, denied healthcare or the right to vote.
What must be one of the sociological consequences of such emasculation, depriving the poorest and hardest suffering of even a right to vote, will clearly lead to the disintegration of the individuals who inhabit this now fragmented community.
And the ensuing helplessness inevitably leads to a higher degree unnatural self destructive behavior; manifest in the extreme by suicide.
Suicide largely believed to arise only as a behavioral adaptation of a species preparing for or being in the midst of a scarce allocation of life supporting food or resource; lemmings with a shortage of flies and mosquitoes and small critters running of cliffs, en masse, to leave enough food for the birthing young is, at best, unnatural. Alternatively, how, if the absolute and unambiguous imperative of life is to procreate, persevere, populate and propagate is suicide anything but one of, if not the most, dysfunctional and metastasized pathological behaviors any organism may undertake or exhibit and execute? Withal, when the whole the Congress of the United States can mobilize the resources of the whole of the populous for the various interests in the ‘gun control’ debate, to further the interests of the gun manufacturers or diminish the unintended deaths of 30,000 annually, how, if the homicide rate is a small fraction of suicide, does the extensive and burgeoning rate of suicide go so unnoticed for so long by so many?
And at the end of the day, how clearly, albeit frighteningly, does it speak of our priorities as a country and culture and community of the commonwealth of man and the degree of our thoughtful preparation for the future?
Western civilization has been chiefly described by the essential notion of a social contract. From France and its’ overthrow of the Absolute Monarchy and a reign of terror replaced by the nascent seed of democracy with fraternity, equality and liberty; England’s overthrow of the feudal life and class society of Kings, Lords and common folk replaced by a parliament to European countries similarly killing, hanging or otherwise disposing of their dictators, Monarchs, Czars and Kings. Most fundamental to the historic metamorphoses of plutocrats, city states, dictatorships and monarchs has been the recognition of the basic rights of all peoples to, what we call, the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Gerrymanders and Salamanders
Elemental in the division and distinction of the old feudal, monarchistic or dictatorial cultures has been the essential recognition of and adherence to the basic belief or lack thereof in the equality of rights and liberties for all as distinguished from the privileged, the few or one distinct group or sect of culture separate and unequal from others.
In the US, we have recognized women wanting enfranchisement, African Americans, Hispanics, Irish and Asian Americans expecting equal treatment under the law, and in every ‘Western civilization’ or modern industrial country there has been, until recently, an implacable march toward a recognition and affirmation of freedom for all.
Fundamental to this has been the consequential recognition of the attendant responsibilities arising from such universal enfranchisement including, but not limited to, the care and feeding of those, who for whatever reason, are unable to care for themselves.
So like the Salamander and the Gerrymander, the crux of the question of their existence is the balance between their personal interests and those of the greater society.
The Gerrymander, defined as ‘the division of (a territorial unit) into election districts to give one political party an electoral majority in a large number of districts while concentrating the voting strength of the opposition in as few districts as possible,’ was designed to give concentrated power to a social or economic group so to get some bill or piece of legislation in force, a way of taking local control for local interests, presumably serving the local populace.
The Salamander, a mythical creature has been recognized by men of ages to be able to endure the wilting power of fire, while still possessing the soft moist tender skin of a child or infant with all the apparent, obvious and physical contradiction.
The Gerrymander, built to benefit a small group and espouse their interest has, like the Salamander, metastasized and turned into a lethal poison pill for society at large as the representatives of these Gerrymandered districts or neighborhood have unintentionally become so insulated from the culture and country at large, that they are immune to the wishes of their constituents and beholden only to the special interests of business or plutocrats who, with money and gratuity, have taken control. With this unnatural and feudal relationship with the Gerrymandered citizenry, they [Plutocrats] can thereby insure their election and re-election regardless of the will of the constituents. A simple example on point is the vote against gun control, favored by 90% of the American public yet voted down summarily by the personal interests of a Gerrymandering few.
The Salamander, originally born in an ecosystem with all of the natural defenses like those of free and fairly elected officials, in the time of their progeny, the very strength and inviolability they had acquired from their millennia of evolution with fire, taught them a cowardly remorselessness which like the Gerrymanderer, evolved in them the similarly perverted and plutocratic notion that there is only delight, and in fact no harm, to be gained in the peculiar pastime of eating their young.
How, in the calculus of the life of the child, unable to fend for themselves and dependent on society, does the future of most, portend a certain death? How, in an ecosystem of balance, might there be such an innocuous critter as the Salamander giving birth to young whose loss to the population is predetermined? How, if poverty is the leading indicator of educational success or failure and education is the leading indicator of success or failure of our young and more than half our children live in poverty do we not, like the Salamander consign our most valuable treasure to the meal of an elder, willful, wanton and heedless of the impact on society writ small or large?
Cheap Sneakers Four US Senators in April of 2013 attended Senate hearings on long term unemployment. The rallying cry for the whole of the 2012 election, jobs and unemployment. Ninety-six Senators, with their notable absence, expressed indifference.
When flight delays occasioned by the sequester tripped up business and middle class travelers, congress and 100 senators took three days to craft a fix and release the FAA to speed up the flights and limit delays to normal times.
The reason for each, manifestly dichotomous behaviors, tells the whole story of the dysfunction of the United States government and in turn our culture and its’ likely demise.
Senators don’t really care if they pay $100 or $200 for sneakers, and though those built by sweatshop labor and imported for half the price as those made in US are attractive – everyone likes a deal – the senators real interest in cheap sweatshop sneakers, like on time air travel, is simply convenience.
Nobody wants to be late or hang out in airports, and no congressman or senator wants to work any more than they need. The contributions by big business, which thrives in a non union environment with high unemployment underlying all, is a guarantee that workers will work harder, not complain and not make complaints to OSHA, so to prevent the explosion in West Texas, which killed and injured more than the Boston Marathon bombing all together.
The extraordinary and dirty little secret of long term unemployment, in part a natural result of the exponential growth of technology by allowing one person today to do the jobs of thirty people thirty years ago, is that though less costly to retrain and subsidize and fix, long term unemployment is an absolute disincentive and prophylactic for the growth or safety of Labor Unions, and labor unions are the single greatest protection of both a middle class, a collective body of workers representing their own rights and some internal controls of a reckless plutocracy whose wealth, in a single decade, has closed out the future of over a hundred million middle class and poor, whose future and social mobility was protected as recently as ten years ago. So what is the relationship between sweat shops, cheap sneakers and on time flights?
Though congress chose on time flights rather than head start, cancer treatment and food subsidy for families, of whom tens of millions live below the poverty line, they did it for a reason. There are no mistakes and the purpose in all is self service.
Long term unemployment guarantees cheap sneakers and cheap sneakers guarantee unnatural competition for jobs and unnatural competition for jobs weakens labor unions and workers rights and guarantees rich corporate profits and rich corporate profits guarantee well funded lobbyists whose corporate sponsored bank accounts in turn subsidize the re-election of the 96 senators who, rather than work too hard, their average working days one hundred thirty one in 2012, can take their tithe and re-election funds from huge corporate sponsors. At the end of the day, one might ask how are ‘on time’ travel and ‘cheap sneakers’ related? They are both the outcomes of convenience, the unintended outcomes of which may be poverty, unsafe working conditions, Ammonia nitrate explosions in West Texas and collapsed textile factories in Bangladesh. Most extraordinary, such diffidence and absolute indifference to the rights of the general populace, insures the perpetuation of the very system which now and in the foreseeable future serves the self interest of the ninety six.