May – 2012

It appears that our country has about tapped out it resources in qualified members to participate in the political process, where the “Americans Elect” 3rd Party Movement is closing its doors being unable to attract anyone to run against the two parties in power today. All of the personalities that were approached, like Mike Bloomberg (not someone I’d approach), Colin Powell (who I would imagine has spent enough time fighting wars), or even Chris Christie, said they do not have the strength or will to deflect the negative campaigning now associated with our system. Can’t really fault them for this, can you. Down to a person, all of us over the age of fifty, sort of remember when someone running for a political position touted his or her qualifications as their primary mantra, today we see a candidate touting the lack of qualifications of their opponent, and all the miss deeds that they might or might not have done. It has reached such a point that a person or the organization behind them make statements that are not true, and if brought up short (get called on it) tell the public that they misinterpreted their remarks, and march on as if nothing had happened. So it is no surprise that we can’t find an honest hardworking personality that is willing to step into that quagmire of national or state politics, what for? When we look back into even the late 50s, we see that the largest influence over our national politics is the corporate community, the huge multinational corporations, banks, investment firms and the sprawling agri-business entities all lump together representing a force that the man-in-the-street finds hard if not impossible to fight. Their structural economic power is far beyond the assets that most grassroots organization can do battle with, what is even more discouraging is the

fact that if anyone of these entities experience a misstep (as today) that causes the failure of our economic system, the law of the land protects the stakeholders in the business, especially its board members from being called the carpet. In other words they run willy-nilly across the economic landscape and if the big-bad-wolf of failure wanders across the field they run and hide leaving it up to the man-in-the-street to suffer the consequences of their actions. Some maintain that it is those who have the money are the ones that rule, a fact that has been bumping around in the USA since 1776, whereas they cite facts such as the “father of our country, I cannot tell a lie” George Washington was one of the biggest landowners of his day, and the Presidents in the late 19th Century were close to the railroad barons, the Bush family in bed with oil interests – I say it was not these rich and powerful who guided the country, but “money” or the worship of “money” that drives this land of the “free”. Now we see the owners of the huge multinational corporations bowing and scraping the ground in its worship, while they rape and pillage the land around them, pushing aside human lives as if they were discarded peanut shells. In their march towards the setting sun they pour buckets of money into the political machine to crush unions, dodge their rightful contribution to keep the country operating, while forcing trade agreements down the throats of leaders across the civilized world. Those who will not accept their conditions are termed “evil”, which allows them to march into the halls of governments and convince them that it is time once again to raise an army and take out the “evil doers”. As one who bounces around in historical text, I found that because of our present day make up of diverse individuals the running of the nation by the big money interests has become very simple, take the fact that we have no concentrated patterns of worship, which you might think is to our benefit – albeit I’m not a member of any sect of organized religion I can see the advantage these behind the scenes manipulators of our society enjoy. Granted our society was brought into existence with a set of rules that state that our government cannot meddle in the affairs of the church, in other words as a population we are free to chose our own method of worship – the government could not dictate to whom or how you and yours worshiped God. In this we do

not have a one-step governmental church, making it easier to go against, in whatever form. Can you imagine the power that 313.5 million members of one church would have, phew even scares me! This not being a controlling factor, along with the money bags leaders controlling the government, and it armies, the next step would be to control the economic engine behind the land of the “free”, need I say democratic! Their economic power, which you and I label the “free enterprise” system or “capitalism” is their real whip, whereas the nature of the beast has created a business-owning class and a working class, along with small-business owners and a set of skilled craft workers where some are self-employed, in addition you’ll find a number of highly trained professionals like architects, lawyers, physician, with a few scientists thrown in for good measure. From the beginning of the United States it was and is the business owners who hire workers that rule – and since our beginning the people who work in the factories and field (so to speak) have been divided into free and slave, white and black, and as time moved forward into myriad of immigrant ethnic groups, making it difficult for the workers to “unite” politically in any sort of movement for higher wages and better social benefit…our strength as an ethnically diverse country when it comes to a balanced fair and equal system became “the weaknesses of the working class”. You that know me, as I trip through my years, being fortunate enough to have survived this far I find the Internet (in particular) to be the working man’s salvation, where through a somewhat silent turn of events I see a situation emerging that reminds me of what Leo Tolstoy. Tolstoy rejected the idea of a violent revolution where he said, “Anarchy…it will be instituted only by there being more and more people who do not require the protection of governmental power…There can be only one permanent revolution – a moral one: the regeneration of the inner man.” But it is not enough to say money rules, where domination by a few does not necessarily translate into complete control, only the ability to set the terms under which other groups must exist. Through out our history we have learned that some highly trained professionals with interests in environmental and consumer issues in bucking the trend of profits, have been able to meld their technical expertise into a complex understanding of our legislative process and

in doing so have been able to achieve some governmental restrictions on “some” corporate practices. On the other side of the workers fence we see where wage and salary workers, when organized have been able to gain concessions of wage, hours, and working conditions – these gains were not made by a few marching down the highway with the rich and powerful bending a bit to satisfy the few – they were made by organized labor (who most of today’s labor market shuns like HIV) – really believing that because of their education will step into the workplace making big-bucks (around 15000 times less than the CEO) because the passed English 101 with a GPA of 3.85 – GET A GRIP! The biggest plus we still have is our right to “free speech” and the “right to vote”, where “free speech” is still running strong and straight, the “right to vote” is once again taking a hammering from the big boys upstairs. Eliminate the voters who understand the history of their struggle, leaving the voters who don’t know the difference tears of joy and tears of denial. Riding this wave of “right-to-vote” the nation is experiencing a political ploy to eliminate the poor and minorities from voting, strictly a Republican attack – whereas in the states that account for 70% (I repeat 70%) of the necessary votes needed for a candidate to win the electoral votes (270-total) have passed (or in the motion of doing so before the 2012 election) restrictive voting laws. The Republicans “argue” that they are pushing this because of “voter fraud”, although out of the voting public across the nation “only” 100 cases of voter fraud have come to light in the past five years, hmmmm - where were these “voter fraud hawks” when GWB waltzed into his 2nd term by the mess in Florida. We all know that voting doesn’t necessarily translate into the government responding to the “will” of the voters, although there have been a “few” instances where the electorate has been able to initiate certain restraints on the actions of the wealthy population, but they are soon thrown out in this court of that one, sometimes the issue making its way all the way up the chain to the highest court in the land, and then thrown out, that is unless there are some disagreements among the section of our society that controls the wealth. The concept that a “relatively fixed group” of privileged people dominate the economy and our government goes against the grain of all of us, not to

mention the founding principles of the country. “Class” and “power” are terms that make all of us more than a little uneasy, along with the concept of “upper class” and the “power elite”, utterance or a written word or two that speaks to this not only puts the citizenship on guard, there are more than a few that will deny the concept all the way to the voting booth and onto their grave – can’t be helped. Nothing wrong with their belief, that the foundation of this land has drifted this far from our birth. It is their belief that there are such a diverse selection of various social levels and income levels, while “some” may have more influence than others, it is beyond their makeup to really believe there is a “fixed power group” when the law of the land continues to speak to the real power belonging to the people. This they maintain is the power of our democratic republic, whereas the power elite are held in check by the constitution, and the will of the people – this coupled with our social mobility and our constitutional right of “free speech”. One can hope that today with the advent of our increasingly use of the Internet, and the social media network such as “Facebook” this will become a real fact, whereas over the past (and today) it has been the lobbyists and their fat wallets that dictate the congressional mandates – devil to the people. In this belief they (who refused to believe that big money runs the country) point at organizations such as the environmental lobby, organized labor, the consumer in general and maintain the concept that our society has an equal distribution of power, lets say as compared to when the railroad barons were skimming off the top and the working class. But are we as democratic as we believe, in this consider other than a few siblings who break the chain, children of the wealthy are shuttled into a society where they are socialized into an “upper-class” worldview, thereby slipping into their role as the new wealthy people, in this they become the staunch members of the corporate elite learning and controlling those around them – especially members of our government. If they are not morphed into the corporation many find their way into a network of non-profit organizations consisting of members of the upper-class that shape policy and ramrod the debates in the United States, in a sense having more upfront control over the running of the government than most realize, while the corporations from which the slipped from claim that the

leaders of the multinational corporation side-step the limelight projecting the image that they have no power – as their off-spring from this non-profit network ride the rails in the halls of our democracy. At the end-of-the day most realize that the working class “middle class” have less power than in many “other” democratic nations. When one uses the word “power” he or she understands it basic meaning, but in reality if is a word that is hard to related its precise meaning – most understand that it can be translated into “clout”, “muscle”, or the “ability to make things happen”, or the “capacity of some persons to produce intended and foreseen effects on others.” And we all know that “power” can be pushed about in a very quiet and indirect manner – whereas just the presence of a person or corporation known to be of substantial worth showing up in the location not saying a word or asking a favor or two is still acknowledged as a request. Power is the “dragging word” in some instances as in “economic power”, “political power”, “military power”, “ideological power”, and “intellectual power”, in this the inference is left open, in other words it is not necessary to exhibit any moves to create the impression that lurking somewhere in the background it is there. In all this you can see the difficulty in nailing down the concept of “power”, whereas a formal definition does not began to touch the ability to measure its effect, but in most of our lives we have not been trained or educated enough to observe the interactions that are revealed even in a “small group”, much less in the capacity it is manifested in our government – in other words it is “huge”. Off to the side, the person-in-the-street, sometimes understand that “power” is the underlying trait or property of a social group or social class – which he or she measures using a series of indicators that somehow bear a somewhat relationship (although it is often blurred) to its use and effectiveness. When you break though all the manifestations of power it amount to three things: 1) Who benefits 2) Who governs 3) Who wins Today we look about and see that our society measures and make a determination based on experiences and their accumulation of material

objects, in this we place a label on the rich and powerful, and the poor and helpless – yes, yes I know our society resting between the Atlantic and the Pacific has the “middle class” or at least a fragment of what it used to be. But when you look about you see that the “American Dream” where the distribution of wealth and well-being, such as owning property, earning highincomes, having an interesting job coupled with it being secure, along with living long and healthy lives is slowly taking wing off into the sunset – in this we can safely state that the wealth of the nation is no longer evenly distributed – and the gap between the have’s and the have-nots has widened to such a point that is forcing those who sit on their power-base are hard at work making sure that the disenfranchised have to leap through hoops to even cast their vote – if all that were sorely dissatisfied with their present condition and really understood what has happened since 9-11 the nation would go long and hard before it voted once again for the rich and powerful.

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