Category Archives: Social Media Democracy

Complementary Critical Issues to America’s Survival Requires Simultaneous Duel Movements

Amorphous political movements typically begin with or acquire organizers and financial backers that attempt to gain power and profit from them. Sometimes they are successful like the Bolsheviks, and can turn an entire nation on a destructive path. The Koch Brothers certainly aligned their principles when funding the Tea party movement, and in fact through their organization they included in the Tea Party’s agenda free market and low tax principles that advanced global capitalism, further jeopardizing the very people they organized. This bizarre result is a true testimony to the power of political strategists and organizers.

Similarly, the beginning of Occupy Wall Street was started by Marxist-Leninist groups including A.N.S.W.E.R. who hope to gain from this amorphous movement to advance their agenda as well. If they are successful, they will place proponents of their extreme views into the political process. However, the vast majority of people who support the idea of Occupy Wall Street are in no way Marxist-Leninists just as the vast majority of Tea Partiers are in no way global capitalists.

The threat is that these groups can be manipulated by their organizers. The opportunity is that these groups can advance agenda that is extremely helpful to America. The Tea Party has brought America’s bloated and unsustainable budget to the forefront of American debate. I expect that Occupy Wall Street will bring the financial kidnapping of America’s Constitutional Republic by Global Capitalists to the forefront of the debate as well.

Both movements will pursue complementary critical issues to America’s survival, critical enough to warrant mass protests. Their duel movements will share America’s attention until their vital issues are resolved. When they are, America will return to sobriety and will right our course with elitist global capitalists and communists in check.

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King Baroque Is There No One Who Will Slay the Dragon?”

Once upon a time in the vast lands of Americus lived a dragon they called Jabberwocky. It was a ferocious beast that showed no mercy to the villagers. Every night the Jabberwocky descended upon the towns across the land breathing fire onto the thatched homes and markets, burning away the villager’s livelihoods and dreams. Each day, terrified shop owners and mothers would wait in front of the castle to beseech King Baroque to send his fiercest knights to fight the dragon, but none was brave enough in all the kingdom.

Fearing that the Jabberwocky would ultimately destroy the entire Commonwealth, King Baroque assembled his Knights around the Great Rectangular Table in the Hall of Victories. On the small left side of the table were assembled the Knights of the Leftist provinces. On the similar sized right side of the table sat the Knights of the Rightist Provinces. In the great length of the center table sat no knights, for the Middle Kingdom had long ago given its defenses over to the knights from the farthest right and left lands.

King Baroque stood in front of his assembled knights and asked who would rise to defeat this menace. As murmurs echoed in the hall, the Provincial Master Knight of the Leftist Realm, Lord Reidrid, rose slowly to address the council. “Brothers, we all know this Jabberwocky is too great and that it will be with us always. It is best that we comfort the villagers with bread and wine and be done with this talk of fighting the dragon!” With that he sat as the knights of the Leftist Realm cheered his wisdom.

The King, having come from the Leftist provinces, thought it a historically sound plan and sent a proclamation throughout the lands that help would soon arrive. As villages smoldered, carts of bread and wine were wheeled throughout the towns. Villagers meandered up to the carts, asking what word was heard about the knights’ attempts to slay the dragon. The Town Crier all but hushed the villagers aside fearing that he might incite a riot against the King. With word of the kingdom’s growing unrest, King Baroque once again called upon his knights to assemble in the Hall of Victories. This time he turned to the Knights of the Rightist Realm and asked for their bravest to defeat the Jabberwocky.

As Knights rumbled their fists on the Great Rectangular Table, the Grand Knight of the Rightists, Sir Boehnerlot, stood his ground firmly in front of the assembly and pronounced with solemn vigor, “This dragon should not have been allowed to grow as powerful as it has. It will now destroy the villages. This is our fate. But the knights of the Right must stand against these appeasements of wine and bread handed out by the Leftists. For when the dragon has had its fill, it will surely fly away to a far off kingdom. When we are finally free of the Jabberwocky’s destruction, we must only then use the gold in our coffers to rebuild our kingdom.”

The hall erupted, first with cheers from the right and jeers from the left. Then as tempers flared, voices reared and knights mounted challenges to each other’s bravery. But there would be no victories coming from this great hall. Word quickly spread throughout the villages that no knight would come forth to slay the Jabberwocky and that the kingdom was preparing for a siege of austerity. Villagers lost hope. In their frustration, bands of youth from across the land descended upon the Jabberwocky’s lair with pitch forks and axes in hand. They encamped in front of its lair singing songs each night to mock the beast.

Yet, night after night, as they beat their drums, the Jabberwocky descended on this brave band of troubadours, picking them off one by one. Its silhouette swooped in front of the full moon to grasp a peasant each night and fly them back into his lair to engorge his belly on the tasty morsels of these brave young souls. Finally, in desperation, realizing that they could not defeat the dragon with mere pitchforks and folklore, the crowd marched onward toward the castle in riotous protest. Amidst the fevered pitch of the terrified villagers outside, the king once again assembled his knights.

With no consensus around the table and in the heat of argument, no one saw a little boy enter the roaring hall and crawl upon a chair to place himself on top the Great Rectangular Table in front of the King. Distracted, the knights one by one turned to look at the curious spectacle until a hush fell in the hall. The little boy, covered in smoldering soot, then quietly spoke, “King Baroque is there no one here who will slay the dragon?”

The King looked sympathetically down at the child and then slowly peered across the room at the knights that had turned their heads away in shame. “Son, do not lose hope, for there will be change in this kingdom.” With knobbily shaking knees, King Baroque summoned his courage to call his draper and squire to the hall. “Fetch me my armor, shield and lance, for I ride tonight to face the Jabberwocky!”

The Marshall brought King Baroque his trusted steed into the Hall. While mounted, King Baroque addressed the assembly, “Is there no one who will ride out with me to face the Jabberwocky?”

Pausing at length, he then announced his royal decree, “If no others will band together to use the powers of knighthood to defeat this beast, then I warn you this day that I will use whatever powers I may have as King to thwart it! I go to fight the Jabberwocky alone. This foe that has consumed our nation’s houses, that has burned our businesses to the ground, and that has devoured the futures of our young people one by one, must not now be allowed to fly even one more night over this kingdom.”

Amid the clamorous cheers of his royal servants, the drawbridge lowered and King Baroque firmly cantered his armored steed out into the night.

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory

Tea Partiers and Wall Street Occupiers are America’s “Odd Couple”

In 1968 at the height of the Viet Nam War, the idiosyncrasies of the left and the right were highlighted in a bromance movie, The Odd Couple, about two divorced men who learned to live together after divorces. Felix, the prim, compulsive cleaner, who invested Oscar’s money and who wrote the song “Let’s Hit Hitler Where He Lives” while in the army, was suicidal after his wife left him. He was saved by his prior schoolboy chum, Oscar, a gruff but fun loving slob of a beer drinking, poker playing sportswriter, who convinced him not to take his life but to share his apartment until life got better.

After America embraced the movie, these two characters moved onto television where for five years, they taught us how to tolerate each other as we watched Felix and Oscar humorously survive each other’s weekly differences. The Odd Couple soothed America’s mistrust of each other’s views. If Felix could clean up after Oscar’s carelessness and Oscar could live with Felix’s uptight attitudes, perhaps America could get back to living in peace and tolerance.

By 1975 however, America began to tire of the Odd Couple as we moved past Viet Nam and buried our feelings underground. Hippies and war heroes entered the baby boomer workforce and uncomfortably coexisted. As the left built the Great Society and the right escalated the Cold War, both seemed oblivious to the impact of their refusal to work together on America’s careening federal budget. America had failed to apply the tolerance of Felix and Oscar to our growing mess.

As the decades rolled past, our hippies and heroes grew old, sending their representative fisticuffs to Washington to stalemate each other’s view of the world. Neither backed down from their simultaneous wars against poverty and Marxist-Leninist economies. Yet glaringly obvious looking back, neither rose up to defend America from escalating government debt or globalization. Blinded by their competing ideologies, they fought each other instead of fighting together on behalf of all Americans.

Today, America’s right and left are once again facing off, this time in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan, New York, as a band of demonstrators has taken up residency in the park to draw attention to their malaise. Gone are the feel good “Odd Couple” days of tolerance. Rather than embrace our democracy’s freedom of assembly, America’s financial and political elite instead have publicly knee jerked their indignant dismay at a rebellious and ungrateful new generation.

Majority Leader Eric Cantor denounced the mobs. Presidential candidate Cain called them Un-American. Media elite Ann Coulter compared their message to the Nazis. Michael Bloomberg, the 13th richest person in America with $18 billion dollars, as mayor of New York, attempted to enforce a peaceful disbandment of what he hoped was Occupy Wall Street’s leaderless disarray by declaring Zuccotti Park off limits for a thorough, Felix-like cleaning.

Yet, the growing band of anti-Wall Streeters drew strength from each display of intolerance. As their chants grew louder and their infantile attempts at pure democracy were broadcast on TV sets across America, some political wizard, unnerved by their foreign culture, must have directed a yet unnamed law enforcement authority to deal with this growing menace by mounting an overbearing New York Police display of intolerance against the demonstrators. In that first police action, NYPD allowed their bravery of 9/11 to be cashed in for the glass Manhattan beads of institutional elite puppetry.

NYPD’s actions, appearing excessive to many Americans, have unwittingly cast them as agents of plutocracy in sometimes scripted and terribly acted plays of demonstrators but at other times real, raw, emotionally charged moments of impropriety. Certainly, many Americans’ sensibilities of the laws of our nation are impinged by the demonstrators’ “lawless” assembly. However, misjudgments of the city’s law enforcement harshly reacting to “minor infractions” is igniting an unlikely martyrdom of a grungy, hippy movement throwback to the 1970s as Americans from all walks of life secretly root on these youthful, yet untrodden, defiants. As this generation of flower children beat their drums, chant down politicians, and defecate on police cars, Wall Streeters haughtily look down from their terraces to witness demonstrators being dragged from their idealistic demonstrations handcuffed in plastic riot cuffs with an occasional whip of a baton for good measure handed out by New York’s finest.

Tea partiers are separating themselves from the Occupy Wall Street movement, much as Felix would look apologetically around as if to say he wasn’t with Oscar after Oscar tossed a half eaten sandwich onto a polished lobby floor. During the past weeks, as others have painted similarities between the two groups, Tea Partiers have insisted that they have little in common, pointing to the Occupiers’ disrespect for law as well as to their unclear ideas influenced by fringe elements of Marxism and Anarchists. Occupy Wall Streeters, having found the Tea Party an equally odd coupling to their views of the world, are just as insistent that the two movements are “different”, pointing to media sensationalized representations of racist overtones some have claimed of the Tea Party as well as claims they are puppets of the financial elite.

Yet whether the uptight, law-abiding Felixes of the right, or the unkempt, law challenging Oscars of the left, both groups are really just the Odd Couple. Both were victimized by an America that divorced and walked out on them. Both found themselves jobless, homeless, swamped in debt, and facing bleak futures. One group lashed out at Republican and Democrat lawmakers who were willing to borrow America’s future to cover tax short falls of a swelling government. The other is lashing out at Wall Street that schemed to manipulate lawmakers into legislating a Rube Goldberg machine to extract America’s wealth, jobs, intellectual capital, and future to China. Both are fixated on broken parts of the same collective mess.

Yet unlike Felix and Oscar, who somehow managed to patch their differences by the end of each weekly sitcom, the two movements have yet to understand each other’s differences and sincere similarities. My guess is that they may never, choosing instead to fight the dragon from their separate camps. The proverbial dragon is so close to them that neither can see that they are clinging to different parts of the same beast.

So the Tea Partiers will continue to grab the dragon’s snout, galvanizing the right toward fiscally conservative lower taxes, lower spending and less regulation, while the Wall Streeters will hang onto its tail of mismanaged debt, credit, banking deregulation, and fair trade, to swell the left toward a populist job creation uprising. However, just as the humanity of Felix and Oscar prevailed over their differences, the cause of both of these two movements will swarm a collective army of social democracy to the gates of financial and political power in America.

How will this latest experiment in democracy end? In the Odd Couple’s last episode that aired in 1975, Felix’s wife took him back! Leaving Oscar’s apartment for the last time, Felix thanked Oscar for saving his life, picked up a soiled trash can and dumped its contents onto the middle of the floor to celebrate letting go. To show his growth, Oscar said that he would clean up the trash after Felix left. They hugged goodbye.

After Felix departed, Oscar looked down at the trash, stepped on it and walked out. Moments later, Felix snuck back in the door saying, “I knew he wouldn’t clean it up”. He neatly tidied up the mess he had deposited on the floor, placing it in the proper receptacle. Looking back on an orderly apartment, he sighed, smiled and exited for his return to a restored marriage and future.

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Filed under American Media, American Politics, Economic Crisis, pre-social media norms, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory

Washington and America’s Media Elite Would be Wise not to Dismiss “Occupy Wall Street”

Washington’s elitism was palpable this week. Political pundits smugly interviewed “Occupy Wall Street” participants, trapping them in contradictions to demonstrate their lack of knowledge and organization surrounding the issues, while Washington’s political leaders either dodged association or overtly condemned their sit-ins and disruptiveness. Our media elites’ condescension suggested an inept disconnect with Middle America, baring its biased attraction to Washington’s’ political power for all to see. While America doesn’t yet know what to think of this awkward beginning of a political movement, 30 million underemployed citizens are not as ready as Washington’s elite to dismiss its credibility.

During the Egyptian revolution, cardboard signs touting the words “A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition” were held by some demonstrators. A.N.S.W.E.R. is a U.S. based, blanket group of anti war organizations, mostly anti-imperialist, Muslim, Arab and Latin America focused, initiated by the activist group, International Action Center (IAC), and founded by former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark that opposes all U.S. military interventions, and by the Workers World Party (WWP), a U.S. based Marxist-Leninist organization closely associated with IAC that strongly supports communist states. It is this same group that organized the Occupy Wall Street rally that has continued as a sit-in for the past two weeks.

Notwithstanding the fact that this rally was envisioned by Marxists, and is now attempting to be co-opted by union organizers and some in the Democratic Party for their own purposes, this nascent movement is beginning to gain strength and a voice of concern over the connection between Wall Street, Washington, and our citizens’ resulting lack of representation to fix America.

Occupy Wall Street’s awkward missteps and disarray have been correctly assessed by our political and media elite as an early snap shot of a group that has no leadership and little clarity of message. When interviewed, its participants have seemed inarticulate with skewed and contradictory messages. Yet, there they sit camped out and building the articulation and clarity that will slowly incite others to join them.

It would do well for those so inclined to publicly disparage Wall Street’s occupation to revisit the humble beginnings of the Arab Spring, a movement that was directly tied to the same worldwide economic calamity. Some say the Arab Spring was influenced by local political dissident groups while others have gone as far as to claim that it was inspired and manipulated by America’s national security forces to disrupt the region. Most believe that decades of impoverishment spurred by the West’s economic collapse caused unbearable economic conditions that finally reacted to the spark of a single street vendor lighting himself on fire as the kindling of a disorganized, organic, and leaderless movement that erupted into a flame, ending in the overthrow of multiple oppressive governments.

On December 19, 2010, Moahamed Bouazizi, one of the 30 percent of jobless college graduates in Tunisia, was attempting to feed his family by selling vegetables in the street when Police seized his cart. In desperation, he set himself on fire and later died. At this point in the Arab Spring, only a few hundred completely disorganized young Tunisians took to the streets to protest police actions. Some voiced an opaque anger over unemployment and a few others smashed some windows and cars. The protest, however, was generally peaceful.

However, ten days later on December 29th, the bit slow to react Tunisian President, Zine el Abidine Ben Ali addressed his nation promising more jobs but vowing to crack down on the protesters, who by this time had grown to about the size of the 1,000 Occupy Wall Streeters. Still disorganized, a few protesters reacted by chanting for the President not to seek re-election in 2014. A multitude of social ills being voiced began to coalesce around the unemployment that plagued young Tunisians.

On January 2nd, a different catalyst sparked demonstrations in Egypt when a terrorist bomb blew up outside of a Coptic Christian church killing 21. In Algiers, 5 days later, protesters took to the streets over a completely different issue, high food prices. Looking back at how these disparate bands of protestors merged into the Arab Spring to overthrow them, these country’s leaders most surely would have subdued their arrogant dismissals and defiance that spread the movement to other cities. On January 9th, police killed 11 people in Tunisia and 3 in Algeria. In the frenzy, American media could only note the demonstrators’ disorganized voices speaking out against a lack of jobs and a host of other social ills, but had yet to fully comprehend the accelerating revolution.

On January 14th, similarly to Eric Canter’s seemingly ignorant grasp of world events that fed his derisive comments this weekend condemning “Occupy Wall Streeters” and their supporters, Libyan President Muammar Gaddaffi issued his first defiant condemnation of the protesters in Tunisia and Algeria, signaling the ill fated stances he would later take rather than addressing his country’s ills as a statesman. That same day, the Tunisian president fled his country for Saudi Arabia.

On January 13th in Algeria and on January 17th in Egypt, men copied Tunisia’s now martyred street vendor and set themselves on fire prompting Egypt’s Nobel Peace prize winner El Baradei to call on his nation’s leaders to take prompt action to avert a catastrophe. While being careful not to lend his political support to the movement, he nonetheless beseeched his nation’s politically elite to implement urgent reforms, claiming that Egypt was “yearning desperately for economic and social change” and that without drastic measures, Egypt would experience a “Tunisia-style explosion”. Grassroots activists surpassed El Baradei saying “This is not just about creating a clean parliament and a fair Presidency, it’s about the daily bread and butter of the Egyptian people.”

On January 25th, opposition groups organized protests similar to “Occupy Wall Street”. Certainly because of regime change in Tunisia on January 14th, they now had the surge of realization that they too might replace their own corrupt regimes, yet they still had no realization of their efforts. “We hope it will be big, very big” said Ahmed Salah, one of the demonstration organizers. “The people move for democracy – not for religion, not for elite interests, not for private loyalties.” He denounced the politically elite’s spin of the movement as a choice between Mubarak’s oppression or religious fundamentalism, claiming theirs was a “false choice”

The American people instinctively know that Wall Street organized and implemented a historic transfer of wealth to the East that now holds most of America hostage in the grip of punishing debt. Americans’ collective wisdom also knows that our politicians bent to the will of the financially powerful and created legislative loop holes for their corporate and banking contributors. While the occupiers of Wall Street are not yet able to articulate it, their gut feels inspired enough to camp out leaderlessly as they search for a coherent voice.

America will not experience a regime change such as the Arab Spring. But given the Obama ground swell in 2008 and the Tea Party revolution of 2012, is it really beyond belief that with 30 million disaffected, underemployed Americans desperate for direction out of our morass that this social media movement could also swell into a 2012 election tsunami? Those that would arrogantly dismiss Occupy Wall Street based on a current snap shot of its disorganization should look again to the timeline of the Arab Spring and wisely recalibrate their thinking.

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Filed under American Media, American Politics, Economic Crisis, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory

Advice to President Obama from a Middle American That Cares More About Jobs Than Politics…

President Obama has to be convinced through his allegiant social media supporters that he has a much better alternative to win re-election than his current strategy of pushing a weak jobs bill onto an embattled Congress just to have it fail to amass enough votes to pass so that he can then campaign against “do nothing Republicans”.

His current strategy will be heavily countered by Republicans that may partially pass some of his provisions to show that they are working with him. The effect of his bill however, even if Congress passed all the provisions, would be a negligible increase in jobs and might even trap him just as his stimulus package did before, because he might have to explain why it didn’t have any appreciable difference due to being implemented just as the economy was entering into a second dip recession. No, his current strategy will be doggedly dragged through the dumpster of politics before the elections so following it will surely cause him, and his not so merry band of Democrats, to lose in 2012.

If, on the other hand, President Obama tries to go around Congress with executive orders and proclamations as I have suggested, but with left of center policies that attempt to create Keynesian gains through an additional tax burden, Congress will simply refuse to fund his orders and the Republicans will gain fodder to defeat him in the 2012 elections.

Instead, President Obama must issue bold, sweeping executive orders and proclamations that change history, yet that can be claimed to be taxpayer neutral and that therefore cannot be claimed by Congress to be beyond the President’s fiscal authority. My job voucher plan is revenue neutral. Forcing banks to accept equity in exchange for marking down housing debt is revenue neutral. Forcing rating agencies to provide credit amnesty is revenue neutral.

These three bold policies are grand opportunities to create simultaneous, revenue neutral , but implementable dynamos to quickly turn our ailing economy. Yet they are totally defendable against Congress’s whine, and they will quickly bring hope to the American people, swinging momentum of the 2012 election in favor of the Democrats, and giving President Obama four more years to change the course of history.

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Social Media Gives a Mob a “Brain” That Speeds its Impulsive Actions

In my air ambulance profession, I speak to 20 people per day who are in the midst of crisis. Perhaps their spouse is dying of cancer and they are urgently seeking treatment. Perhaps their parent has suffered a stroke and they want to return them home. In most cases, there is a side story to the tragedy that involves the family’s history. I see it playing out in most transports.

Three stereotypical daughters deal with their family crisis from different perspectives. One daughter is the executor to the will and diligently works to balance the medical needs of the patient with the needs of the surviving spouse’s financial well being. Another daughter wants to bring mom and dad home so that she can return all the love they provided her. Yet another daughter is estranged from the family and is cynical about spending anything that would lessen the value of her future estate.

The historical interactions of the family up to the crisis point can lead to a spectrum of outcomes, from loving family nurturing, to pragmatic situational ethics, even to cold calculations. Similarly to a family dealing with a medical transport crisis, the history of how each community has met its social needs prior to its crisis influences the reactions of factions in the community during the crisis and affects the potential outcomes of the crisis itself.

Americans continue to be inspired by the stories of communities coming together during great tragedies, reaching out to help each other. We are comforted that most people do not seek to prey on victims but to comfort their neighbors. People that join our industry connect with these principles of servitude. However, we also witness in our daily media individuals who have lashed out because of feelings of desperation, and we see the efforts of law enforcement to contain those that opportunistically prey on others.

Massive demonstrations such as those on the mall in Washington can be conducted peacefully and can affect national dialogue. However, in the face of emotional catalysts like a police shooting or a even significant piece of social legislation such as austerity measures, demonstrations can impulsively well up. In the midst of demonstrations, citizens with differing histories, some having felt hopelessly oppressed by their community, can turn to mobbery as an expression and an outlet for their fears and angers.

Looting has a core element of anger for some as well. We saw in New Orleans, in a city with a history of socioeconomic disaffected communities, that even when political actions miscommunicated and mishandled emergency response, most victims continued to do what they could to help rescue their families and neighbors. However, the reaction of many erupted into survivalist looting for food and water. Others righteously rationalized their opportunistic looting for electronics. Some even reacted by violently attacking would be rescuers and by shooting at rescue helicopters and boats.

A new wave of mobbery and looting has already been demonstrated in multiple cities in America including Milwaukee and now Philadelphia, its mayor reacting by implementing citywide curfews. Social media has added the element of a collective mob brain. It caught England off guard with its quick execution and retreat of hundreds of participants. Its evolution is a “logical” next step for electronically assisted, virtually assimilated, pseudo gang communication.

Just as social media brought thousands of young people together to demonstrate in North Africa who before sat in isolation without a collective voice, it can now bring hundreds of our youth together who beforehand sat in quiet desperation of their socioeconomically diminished futures. A proactive engaging for better youth outlets and of preparing for spontaneous social media driven violent reactions is now warranted based on worldwide trends.

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London Riots and America’s Credit Downgrade are a Forewarning

London is once again experiencing ongoing riots following protests in November ,2010, over tripling of school tuition and again in March, 2011, when demonstrations of over a half million people erupted in riots to protest 81 billion pounds in public spending cuts. This time, the riot was triggered in Tottenham, the poorest section of London, when Mark Duggan, a black youth who had shot a police officer was allegedly dragged from his taxi and killed gang style by other police officers.

Protests turned into three days of violent riots and looting as cars and buses were hijacked and left burning in the streets and fires broke out in different parts of the city. Dozens of police officers were targeted and injured and dozens of rioters were bloodied. Police cars were quickly smashed and fire brigades and emergency medical services were targeted as well when they attempted to enter the scene of the destruction.

While on the surface, this weekend’s riots in London resembled the 1992 Rodney King riots over police brutality in Los Angeles, several differences in both motives and tactics are noticeable. While the trigger was a perceived grossly excessive police action, the anger that has built up due to social cuts that are felt the most in the poorest of neighborhoods is an underlying cause. A sense of hopelessness is setting in as young black males are experiencing the highest unemployment in the UK due to the downturn. Most recently, their neighborhoods have been impacted by the closing of youth centers due to budget cuts. Interviewees in the midst of the riots are expressing that violence is the only real way to get their message to community leadership.

More ominous for our time is the method used by the rioters and looters. Unlike earlier American riots where demonstrating crowds mulled into disruptive forces that overflowed into sporadic rioting and looting, in Britain, hundreds of youths participated in social media flash mobs using text and twitter to quickly gather in diverse locations for rapid guerilla smashing and looting. At each flashpoint, quickly moving gangs of up to several hundred would assemble, sometimes targeting just one large store for looting and destruction, and just as quickly they would disperse as police arrived, only to reappear elsewhere as their social media dictated.

Britain was temporarily spared a downgrading of her credit rating because of the quick action taken by Parliament to enact austerity measures. These actions have spilled out into the streets of London multiple times now. One outcome of America’s credit downgrade is that we will most likely now be forced to follow suit and enact our own austerity measures. Can we learn how to mitigate the impact of austerity measures on our poorest and most likely affected before simply instituting social cuts that will endanger their communities?

Are we prepared for the newest flash mob use of social media? Do our law enforcement and safety infrastructure agencies have the right tools and training to effectively counteract these social guerrillas? Are our police proactively building community relations and preparing their communities for America’s coming frictions? We have seen in England what will be coming to America, and our most recent Congressionally triggered credit rating decrease is a wakeup call for us to use this brief time to prepare.

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Filed under American Governance, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, U.S. Monetary Policy, U.S. Tax Policy, World Sustainability

Give the House Back to the Commoners and Get on With Solving America’s Issues….

I surely write the following piece with a substantial amount of provocation, perhaps beyond the realm of responsible punditry. However, with slight deafness toward the gnarls of the offended, I proceed beyond my normal restraint.

Ancient Rome had a bicameral legislative body, similar to that of the United States. Rome’s Senate of approximately 300 men was appointed by the Consuls, their answer for our President. However, as opposed to America’s wealthiest 300 citizens, who supposedly own more wealth than our bottom 100 million and who use their considerable wealth to control our Senate, Rome’s Senate actually consisted of her top 300 wealthiest citizens. Picture Warren Buffet in a toga.

No laws were passed without the acceptance of the Senate. Therefore, the rights of the property owners and capitalists of their day were protected. However, no laws were proposed unless they came from the Tribal Assembly. By law, the Assembly was composed of a cross section of 35 regions and 10 different wealth classes in each region so that all manners of working people would be equally represented. Perhaps the Romans were more enlightened in creating five layers each of “Republicans and Democrats”. Whether or not this financial distinction of who could hold each assembly seat was truly a representative manner in which to differentiate the social, fiscal, and monetary demands of different factions, it was, however, what held the Republic together for centuries.

Understanding the desires of the wealthy in America to protect their assets while giving the common man the right to participate in governance, our founders adopted a similar legislative strategy to Rome. Originally intended to be chosen by the state’s representatives, typically wealthy land owners, our Senate was to be the body that would represent our gentry. Our House of Representatives would represent the other strata of society. By this means, the wealthy of our country could not dictate solely to the masses yet the masses could not confiscate from the wealthy.

While it may seem odd that one percent of the population would be given the super authority of one half of the legislative power of the United States, this was in fact the manner in which property rights could be sustained, castes could be preserved, and the American Republic could move forward. Yet its forward movement was not without fits and spurts, with capitalist business cycles and banking debacles creating depressions and recessions along America’s path of progression.

The spectrum of wealth stayed within realms of relative comfort until the second half of the great industrial expansion, the corralling of hydrocarbon, and the creation of the Fed all combined to produce America’s super elite, our captains of industry, or more affectionately called by those represented in America’s lower House as Robber Barons. With this newfound wealth came the desire for more power, the seed of much corruption and the flaw of mankind, and also the ability to reach out and grab the power through the regaining of control of all branches of government that had been so craftily separated by America’s founders of our constitution.

The House of Representatives, in its capped and gerrymandered form, has since been bought and purchased by America’s wealthy elite. The balance of representation of the strata of American society has shifted precipitously to the very top. This imbalance has permitted our elites to pursue all means of capitalistic extremism to the detriment of our country. In their drive to pursue self interests, the top has been blinded to the consequences that were borne from such abandonment.

It has created a rising clan of social media democrats that are intent on gaining all branches of government and of potentially obliterating our elite’s capital that would destroy all social stratums, my comfortable entrepreneurial one included. How much elite capital would be destroyed if not for the protection garnered by the Fed? How much capital would be destroyed from a revolutionary legislative choice to default on our debt (Remember Pat Robertson in 1988)? How much capital would be destroyed from taxation shifting its focus to physical assets in America? How much capital could survive the concentrated efforts to hunt down offshore accounts?

When the bicameral structure was proposed for our federal government in 1787, Benjamin Franklin opposed it, considering that a carving out of power for the elite would be to the detriment of every single inhabitant of America who occupied the same human space, whether poor or rich. Instead, he favored one body that did not succumb to the whims of the wealthy. Ironically, we now have in essence one mirrored body of two houses that heavily favor those keeping our Congress in power.

During our most recent debate on the debt ceiling, Democrat politicking echoed sentiment across America as many commoners perhaps ignorantly favored castigating the wealthy with higher tax rates as a “solution” to our dilemma. This time, once again the voices of millions were drowned by the voices of a few as favors were called on the body politic. However, as austerity is being thrust upon America first by the world’s credit agencies, and soon by our creditors, those voices clamoring for a return of the House of Representatives to the commoners will once again gain shrieking decibels. Have we forgotten the wave of Socialist Democrats who revolutionized America in the 1930s? How much more so will a forced solution of austerity without the hope of America’s middle class recovery transform our elected bodies?

The electoral tools of rebalance are now in place, having been exercised in 2008 and 2010, and are being honed by the social media democrats of the internet era as we speak. The warriors of this newest generation of commoner democracy are gathering at the front. When the smoke clears from the Tea Party assault on the debt ceiling, drums will call out the clans of mediacrats to confront those holding the House in an epic class battle.

Rather than attempt to hold onto the vestiges of power in an unceremonious unveiling of raw class warfare with escape routes of flights to offshore havens that are hunted down like Rommel’s panzers in Northern Africa, it is truly in America’s wealthiest citizens interest to do the hard work of putting capital to work in America, to bringing jobs back to the commoners, and to rebalancing the prosperity potential of America’s future. Certainly, using the bicameral Federal legislature to confront and compromise on laws, regulations, and social norms that influenced flight of capital from America will be reformed and opportunities for domestic commerce optimized if the two houses of Congress will only revert to their intended purpose.

Peering across the Atlantic to Greece as America’s near future queues behind her, it is obvious that my provocative prognostication has the truthful kernels of potential proliferation. Not to be outdone by a dwindling empire of the past, we know that America has a much grander potential of austerity revolt. This Orwellian rant is not without hope that the people’s House can revert once again to the lower strata and that America can set a course to get on with what can make America great.

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Media’s Buffoonified Spin of America’s Credit Downgrade Simply Continues Our Systemic Ailment of Polarized Government

Within hours of S&P’s downgrading of America’s credit rating, some in American media cried foul of the Tea Party’s extortionist politics, claiming that the S&P downgraded America’s credit rating because of the Tea Party’s resorting to political brinkmanship. Unfortunately, this media spin was an example of the very reason we have brinkmanship in America. Suggesting that the Tea Party (to which I am in no way affiliated) is at fault for bringing down America is simply an example of the media buffoonery that makes up the forth branch of America’s dysfunctional political system. Pointing to a symptom of a political disease and calling it the disease is the same bit of quackery that allowed 19th century snake oil salesmen to roam our great country passing bottles of sugar flavored alcohol off as medicinal solutions to fix all ails.

For 80 years, America’s two party dynamics have allowed a continued trend toward gerrymandering and toward a concentration of extremist views that support a minority of Americans’ concentrated elitist power base. When the American two party system was allowed to drift from its origins as a representative body that earnestly searched for incremental compromise within the bounds of the great middle of America toward its current dysfunctional politicking of purveyors of polarizing opposition, America slowly denigrated into the acceptance of long-lived, unsettled, demoralizing, and financially degrading systemic problems as the norm.

The Great Middle was bamboozled into believing that these issues were fully outside the realm of achievable compromise. They were unaware that the two party system aligned as one regarding issues such as globalization, issues that were best left in a state of disrepair if they were to support the economic needs of the party elites. The Great Middle of Americans have known that our two party system has been up to no good for quite some time. Especially in the last two decades, Americans have consistently registered our complaint that Congress is dysfunctional, with disapproval of their performance over 80 percent. But the cloud cover that our fourth branch has provided through smoke and mirror journalism for the elites, their owners, has kept us from putting our finger on the problem.

Many are disillusioned by our two party system, but few have registered their support for third parties, instead continuing to hope for a different outcome each time they cast votes for the extremist representation we continue to receive. 2008 was a milestone shift of extremism. 2010 knee jerked in another direction as America’s debt rose as a critical issue. Debt is one of the issues that we have accepted as the dysfunctional norm for a long time. The Tea Party was not wrong to want to stand against this glaring elitist stagnation.

However, the Congress’s methods have become ingrained through trillions of dollars of political commerce that is obstinately resistant to change. S&P was correct in identifying brinkmanship not as the problem of American politics but as a symptom of our much greater dysfunctionality. This systemic problem of American politics has no easy fix within the timeframe that it would take for S&P to conscientiously keep our credit rating at AAA.

Unfortunately, it will take a bit of a revolution to change Washington. The Tea Party, and its counter constituents in the social democratized branch of the Democratic party, are the nascent beginnings of that movement. Yes, the young movement has mistakenly allowed itself to be influenced by the same powerful elite that has controlled the mainstream parties into thinking that low taxes for the elite helps America and that unfettered capitalism is good for us as well. Yet, as the Great Middle grows legs and stamina to compete in this indoctrinated political structure, it will rise up to meet the issues that have long since been the accepted norm.

Unfortunately for our economy, the spectacle we witnessed over the debt ceiling uncovered the tentacles that our elites have in holding onto the status quo in spite of what has been obvious to the entire world as a blatant need for America’s reversal of direction. We will all suffer financially as a result. Fortunately, however, for the future of our nation, this nascent band of revolutionaries that boarded the mercantilist ships of our elitist power base in Washington and threw overboard the crates of business as usual were able to withstand the fires of redcoat opposition.

They held up to the elite and drove a stake into the ground for change, real change, that has to have shaken the foundations of all in Washington and that signaled a sustainable and real chance at recovery. Through the power of the Constitution of the United States, the movement has signaled to the two party system, one that has long corralled the Great Middle into accepting a slow walk into the mediocrity of a diminished future, that a bit of a revolution has occurred.

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From 30,000 Feet, We Cannot see the Devastation to Lives of Dresden Much Less the Humanity Harmed by Our Financial Crisis

Of the levers that are shifting world economies, the inability of the United States to deal effectively and equitably with it’s housing debt has placed ot squarely beside Japan as two of the 99 bottles of beer on the world’s economic wall that have been taken down and passed around toward obscurity. In the process, countless lives are being recklessly ruined so permit me an emotional outburst in the lull…

At 30,000 feet for those that could (which part of humanity could?) the bombing of Dresden must have appeared a fantastic spectacle of firey light. For most of the men who dropped 700,000 phosphorous bombs on this refugee city, however, they recognized on a deep guttural level the horror of the firestorm below. Official allied estimates put the deaths at 20,000 but some say the number of civilians who perished were as high as a half a million.

The shifting economies of Europe that precipitated WWI, war reparations, the Weimar Republic’s hyperinflation, Germany’s clinging to their answer in a swell of grotesque human behavior and the Allies equally inhumane defense, eventually led to the decision to place thousands of innocents in fourteen hours of 1,600 degrees Fahrenheit of hell. Humans are indeed capable of the greatest of grievances.

By comparison, our country’s inhumane, imprudent, and rash whitewashing of a banking scheme to engorge America through her addiction for debt that placed ten million homes in foreclosure, six million individuals in bankruptcy, countless homeless, mentally and emotionally scarred, and millions more innocents impacted by the destruction of their loved one’s self worth, well from 30,000 feet to the casual observer, it may not have even appeared as a smoldering ember.

Yet, the damage that is being done at ground level from this foolish foray of financial protectionism will harm the psyches of our children and grandchildren for generations. The children of the depression were entrepreneurially and socially scarred. The children of the Great Recession of 2008 are scarring now. We can look at each one of the millions currently being affected and dissect her personal situation as to whether she should or should not lose her home, but in the firestorm, hers is but one small voice in the roar that call for us to rise up as a people and recognize that economic tsunamis must inspire the better nature of humanity.

We can approach this time much differently than the financial cannabalism before us. Millions needn’t lose their homes because of artificially high valuations. Banks that are needed in our communities shouldn’t be gutted leaving us without the necessary financial tools of a free society. False profits that we thought were real shouldn’t keep our economy from recovery for want of equitable unwinding.

Roll the excessive debt into shared equity, give affected parties an option on a low probability potential at housing price recovery and let our nation move on. Our choices, our brothers, our nation…

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Filed under Job Voucher Plan, Social Media Democracy, social trajectory, War