|Re-animate America – Anthony Freda Art|
George Ure and Gaye Levy, Contributors
We put our collective heads together for a while this week and tried to think – with the moment of annual resolutions at hand – what could rational, patriotic Americans do to help the nation and world cope with the difficulties in the year ahead which are already coming into scary focus.
We had lots of ideas but boiled them down to the top nine.
Here is the Strategic Living bucket list for 2012.
#1 Buy a Vote
We did some recent checking at www.opensecrets.org and were horrified to learn that in 2010, more than $3½ billion was spent by lobbyists “buying” legislation in Washington. While it appears that there has been a huge drop this year ($2.45 billion at press time) the sad reality is that 1) all of 2011’s strong-arm money won’t be reported until well into the New Year and 2) it wasn’t a presidential year. 2012 seems destined to hit the record once again.
A moment or two with a calculator will help explain 80% of what goes on in American politics: The lobbying industry (it is an industry) spent more than $6 ½ million for each member of the House and Senate. With that kind of money being thrown around, is it surprising that genetically-modified foods are allowed which could forever damage the environment, or that no-bid sweetheart deals are cut to “plan” for a series of national detention centers?
Of course not.
Cash talks. Or, more correctly, it screams, rants, and raves — and absent a caring constituency at home that picks up the phone at least twice a month to weigh in, and seldom shows up at district meetings, why shouldn’t it?
Is there a way for “We The People” to reclaim ownership from the advance of heartless, tax-dodging transnational corporations that pay no tax while job-jacking our futures?
$11.22 for each man, woman and child in America would do the trick. Call it $50 for a family…that would be a huge step if invested in the causes we believe in, not those which will fatten the key contributors back in the home district.
Your wallet has more power than a gun.
#2 Read or Watch the Foreign Press
The US media view of the world is corporate-centric. In other words, US Mainstream Media (the MSM) does not present all sides of all news. That’s because they know which side their bread is buttered on. It is buttered by those same folks who write the checks to DC law firms to help “explain” an industry position, and those who also who enjoy interlocking directorships; that’s the “good old boy” network that maintains and defends the status quo.
For “Acts of God” news, such as floods, fires, and so forth, they generally do a good job. But on issues like “Why did we go into Iraq in the first place?” and “Other than opium money and pipeline rights, what justifies the war in Afghanistan?” they don’t fare very well.
Where there’s a war, there is a line of Fortunate 500 companies. And not all, but many of them, will directly profit from solving international problems with a stick instead of a carrot.
Foreign web sites, Free to Air TV including the book on Amazon “Build your own Free-To-Air Satellite TV System” put non-corporate information within everyone’s reach.
#3 Promise to be in Better Shape Next Year
Not everyone needs to lose weight. But, almost everyone can eat better, exercise more and get a check-up. Even if you can’t afford it, most fire stations will put on a blood pressure cuff and tell you how you’re doing on that score, even if you’re homeless.
We hold to the idea that in order to help others, we need to first help ourselves. So with these first three resolutions for the New Year we figure there will be some physical, intellectual and political health beyond where things are this year.
This one – being in better shape – isn’t a matter of money in most cases, just a matter of commitment.
#4 Grow Something – Anything
Oxygen levels worldwide are declining. Almost six years ago Peter Douglas Ward came out with his book “Out of Thin Air: Dinosaurs, Birds, and Earth’s Ancient Atmosphere” In Chapter 2, he notes, in part, that “…not so far back in Earth’s history, perhaps only 5 million years ago, oxygen levels were significantly higher than now, while less than 100 million years ago, oxygen levels were significantly lower than today…”
We’re looking down the barrel of a centuries-long gun on environmental issues, whether we like it, or not. Peak Oil will occur at some point and it’s likely to set off global war over remaining resources.
And what’s continuing around the world today is the wholesale conversion of a sustainable future into today’s marketable products.
Whether it’s growing food or planting trees, or perhaps even going to meetings on open spaces or public agriculture such as “pea patch” plots, please grow something this year. It’s cheap, too.
Remember: Forests and almost all the varieties of food we eat managed to perpetuate themselves without corporate assistance for millions of years.
#5 Turn Your Time Into Money
You may not think about this one very often, but the fact is, most people have three states of being: Making money, spending money, or sleep. We resolve to sleep more soundly and to turn down the spending money time to increase the making money time. Check out Kill Your TV for some ideas.
#6 Take Action Against Patenting Life
When the day finally arrives that a scientist can walk into a closed lab, make their own air, and armed with only pure ingredients whip up a batch of a life form, then we might be inclined to reconsider.
But until then, corporations are taking the world down the path to a new kind of food-enforced neocolonialism by patenting life.
That all existing forms of Life are in the public domain should be obvious. So are any and all possible combinations. Consider if you will the Minotaur imagery of ancient Greece. From those fanciful moments forward, any combination of once “live” elements is in the public domain.
The rest, sadly, is greed-driven exploitation of the financial system for corporate gain. We would not mix poisons and jellyfish into our plants unless there was an economic incentive to do so. Nature spent millions of years optimizing the planet, and to think the lab coat clowns can improve things may be true in the very short term.
We’d offer their track record on fighting cancer — actively fighting innovations like those from the Burzynski Clinic — or in the the lab coat boy’s “peaceful use” of atomic energy as experienced in Japan. (Be thankful you’re not a seal.)
Your action doesn’t have to be expensive: Support of organic farmers, saying “No!” to Gestapo-like raids on fresh food dealers. Or, if you’re on a jury in the coming year, listening with your heart instead of being guided solely by laws which were bought and paid for by Franken-food lobbyists. Tell your Home Owners Association it’s OK to keep a couple of chickens in the back yard, too.
Vote with your wallet.
#7 Resist the Police State
The War on Terror is a massive employment scheme. We get that. We know that a few radicals somewhere else in the world could be a problem here in America. But does it make sense to strip-search people in their 80s and 90s who are no more terrorists than the Man in the Moon?
Americans were sold a bill of goods with a side order of political correctness. All 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia. None from Afghanistan and not one from Iraq.
This coming year, as ever more intrusive and unreasonable searches are propagated by a power-thirsty TSA which is now reaching into bus and railroad stations, cooperate only to the degree required by law – no more – and then vote in November according to your experiences.
#8 Demand Just Courts
The most recent appointees to the US Supreme Court have been characterized as believing in a “Living Constitution” – code words for runaway Justices who can’t seem to comprehend the simple language of the Founders.
Those who seek a new interpretation of the Founders should first study English and should get off the bench. They don’t belong there.
# 9 Believe in Something Greater than Yourself
If we could just get this one right, the rest of our issues would take care of themselves. Decide to distance from groups that define members by how “others” are different and migrate to those which are organized around “how we’re all the same…”
Near as we can tell, all souls weigh the same regardless of race, creed, gender, persuasion, or national origin. Off-planet reptiles excluded, unless they have birth certificates.
If collectively we can get these simple resolutions enacted widely in the coming year, maybe 2013 will be a lot brighter than 2012 looks from here.
Introducing Strategic-Living: a practical and useful online magazine providing inspiration and guidance as we make our way through the maze of changes that are coming our way. In collaboration with my friend and colleague, George Ure, Strategic-Living will offer a synthesis of Urban Survival and Backdoor Survival with much more detailed tips, tools and strategies for creating a vibrant and sustainable lifestyle wherever your path may take you. Think of Urban Survival and Backdoor Survival as your roadmap and Strategic-Living as your detailed guidebook. Here you will find articles and photos, diagrams and how-to’s, and a healthy dose get-out-there and do it with kick-in-the-ass inspiration.