Okay, so S&P downgraded the U.S. credit rating. (Who in hell is the S&P? Who cares? Aren’t they part of the same global, labyrinthine, ponzi pisspot?) And Israel now has a joyous tent city occupation (amazing! the Arab Spring spreads to Israel!). And wikileaks just released cables on U.S. behind the scenes machinations re: the Libya revolt (not surprising). And global stock markets are wildly gyrating (well yeah, about time). And Italy’s next to go under, after Greece (and then Spain). And Wisconsin’s leading the way out of hell in the U.S.. And Obama, Obama, Obama — is he the devil incarnate, or has he not yet showed his clever, magnanimous, angel of mercy hand (more and more I can’t help but say, “fat chance”!). And those galactic messengers, they just keep on saying things are about to turn, about to turn, about to turn . . . just hold on a bit longer . . .” (really?!? I wish I could “believe”). And on and on.
BTW: my friend Claudia thinks those who think we’re going to be saved by ETs are probably recovering Catholics and others who simply can’t get it out of their heads that something “on high” is in charge and will save us. True? I do find that tendency in myself (yes, a recovering Catholic), and I strive for balance, which for me, means, letting go of belief and remaining in the equipoise of “not knowing,” and not having to know; rather, simply being, breathing, loving all and everyone, full of awe and wonder and vibrant aliveness during these most remarkable times.
So. What to “cover” in this exopermaculture blog that aims to connect (bridge, fuse, blend) above and below? I find myself going more and more for “the big picture,” and/or little nuggets of good news, trends that we need to nourish so that we may regenerate a real future for all of us equally, not just the privileged few, like me.
Here’s another “big picture” view, this time historical. Michael Moore, true to his populist, midwestern roots, points to a single event as the one that started the plutocratic ball rolling. Thanks to opednews.com.
August 5th, 2011
From time to time, someone under 30 will ask me, “When did this all begin, America’s downward slide?” They say they’ve heard of a time when working people could raise a family and send the kids to college on just one parent’s income (and that college in states like California and New York was almost free). That anyone who wanted a decent paying job could get one. That people only worked five days a week, eight hours a day, got the whole weekend off and had a paid vacation every summer. That many jobs were union jobs, from baggers at the grocery store to the guy painting your house, and this meant that no matter how “lowly” your job was you had guarantees of a pension, occasional raises, health insurance and someone to stick up for you if you were unfairly treated.
Young people have heard of this mythical time — but it was no myth, it was real. And when they ask, “When did this all end?”, I say, “It ended on this day: August 5th, 1981.”
Beginning on this date, 30 years ago, Big Business and the Right Wing decided to “go for it” — to see if they could actually destroy the middle class so that they could become richer themselves.
And they’ve succeeded.
On August 5, 1981, President Ronald Reagan fired every member of the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) who’d defied his order to return to work and declared their union illegal. They had been on strike for just two days.
It was a bold and brash move. No one had ever tried it. What made it even bolder was that PATCO was one of only three unions that had endorsed Reagan for president! It sent a shock wave through workers across the country. If he would do this to the people who were with him, what would he do to us?
Reagan had been backed by Wall Street in his run for the White House and they, along with right-wing Christians, wanted to restructure America and turn back the tide that President Franklin D. Roosevelt started — a tide that was intended to make life better for the average working person. The rich hated paying better wages and providing benefits. They hated paying taxes even more. And they despised unions. The right-wing Christians hated anything that sounded like socialism or holding out a helping hand to minorities or women.
Reagan promised to end all that. So when the air traffic controllers went on strike, he seized the moment. In getting rid of every single last one of them and outlawing their union, he sent a clear and strong message: The days of everyone having a comfortable middle class life were over. America, from now on, would be run this way:
* The super-rich will make more, much much more, and the rest of you will scramble for the crumbs that are left.
* Everyone must work! Mom, Dad, the teenagers in the house! Dad, you work a second job! Kids, here’s your latch-key! Your parents might be home in time to put you to bed.
* 50 million of you must go without health insurance! And health insurance companies: you go ahead and decide who you want to help — or not.
* Unions are evil! You will not belong to a union! You do not need an advocate! Shut up and get back to work! No, you can’t leave now, we’re not done. Your kids can make their own dinner.
* You want to go to college? No problem — just sign here and be in hock to a bank for the next 20 years!
* What’s “a raise”? Get back to work and shut up!