In the midst of the daily cray-cray

In the midst of the daily cray-cray (srsly), I sometimes like to pause and look on the bright side. We are having national conversations about many important issues: race and discrimination, police violence and militarized policing, LGBTQ rights, health care for all, free education, wealth and income inequality, dysfunctional government, human rights, immigration, socialism vs. capitalism, political corruption and deception, the failure of the only two political parties, climate change...and, trailing behind, war and peace. These conversations are long over due and (arguably) more robust than ever.

There's nothing like the current shit show to illustrate the glaring and undeniable need for serious and major reform – if not outright revolution. All this carnival barker nonsense and bullshit distraction is to keep us from doing the right things as a nation. We are sailing into a bizarre and uncertain future if we don't get our shit together. That's why I have never shied away from the term 'radical.' I've always believed that radical problems require radical solutions. It's time to get radical, y'all.

resistance-becoes-duty

We can afford to bomb brown people all over the world but we can't educate our children, feed or clothe our veterans, repair our rotting infrastructure or provide healthcare to the masses. We can subsidize Big Oil and mega-corporations, give tax cut after tax cut to the hideously rich, but we can't afford to feed the hungry, house the homeless or do anything about climate change. We can't be bothered to help poor immigrants who turn to us for help – even after we have destabilized their countries and created the very hell they flee. We can't afford to properly care for our planet, its animals or ourselves. We can't afford to be intelligent, wise or humane. It's ridiculous.

over-armed

Our government sics the CIA on any foreign government they think might be 'socialist,' (like they are doing in Venezuela right now) because nothing scares capitalists like socialism. Share the wealth? Help the needy and suffering? Use the wealth of the nation for the common good? Do something real about climate change?

camus

Won't anyone think of the poor billionaires? Dare we ask the pampered class to give up their gold-plated yachts? Must we really give all this thought to the future?

We can't put up with this evil nonsense from our government any longer. All the American people have to do to get the government's attention is to declare a strike and back it up. That would not solve all the problems, of course, but it could sure jump start the process. We need to get serious about major change, and about doing the right thing as a people. We need to listen to Cher (never thought I'd say that). It's time to shake the foundations and rattle the walls.

MLK-democratic-socialism-II-bw-Peace-Out
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Who's up for a peaceful revolution?

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smiley7's picture

@OPOL

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@smiley7 Thanks much. Good to see you.

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@OPOL always a pleasure reading you OPOL.
Preventing a popular strike is why they keep us in poverty. It is why, as 15 minimum wage is delayed, rents are being jacked up.
The masses must never be allowed the financial ability to mass strike.

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QMS's picture

@OPOL
We are up for a (peaceful) revolution, though peaceful is not the term I would use in this context. It is going to take some shedding of the comfortable shells we have been warped into for any meaningful change. Not grenades and fire bombs. Rebellion is taking the form of stepping outside the comfort zone we have been led to believe our 'way of life' depends upon. Thousands are waking up to the truth beyond the propaganda every day. The government will give us nothing but a choice between jail and coercion. Corporate interests give the choice of less than a living wage or nothing. People are beginning to see the light. The power to make a better future is on our hands. Strength in truth and numbers.
Thanks OPOL

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@QMS Thank you. Well said.

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JekyllnHyde's picture

@QMS

We are up for a (peaceful) revolution, though peaceful is not the term I would use in this context.

The term OPOL used is definitely not an oxymoron. Proof below from history!

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A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma

@JekyllnHyde Right on. Thank you. Always good to see you.

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Anja Geitz's picture

For the revolution. Also, I think our vests should be psychedelic green.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

@Anja Geitz I'd vote for that. Biggrin

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Anja Geitz Well, that's what the gilets jaunes did...

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

earthling1's picture

@Anja Geitz
are the cheapest I've found.
https://www.webstaurantstore.com/lime-high-visibility-safety-vest-25-x-1...
And there is no such thing as a peaceful revolution. TPTB will find a way to make it violent, just to legitimize sending in the goons.
A national general strike would not work either, as TPTB would just sit on their asses as the entire economy collapsed. What the eff do they care.
They have more than enough wealth to fund the military for a decade at least.
We are headed for martial law.
It's a feature, not a bug.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

That's a steal.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

earthling1's picture

@Anja Geitz
And free shipping.
Wow. I'd buy ten of 'em just to give away.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

I'm open to color suggestions for that.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

earthling1's picture

@Anja Geitz
Bike helmets for $6.95 on ebay.
https://www.ebay.com/p/21-Vents-Ultralight-Sports-Cycling-Helmet-With-Li...
Not the best protection but not as expensive as a "Stormtrooper" get-up.

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

I'm in!

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

Been waiting for murika to wake up!

I'll take zoebear's suggestion further on the vests - psychedelic tie-dye!
Pleasantry

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

@Raggedy Ann Tie-dye may be the way to go. Smile

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Anja Geitz's picture

@Raggedy Ann

But Earthling found lime green vests online at only $2.79 each, large quantities available, and that would leave room in our budgets for the crash helmets I think we should also have.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

earthling1's picture

@Anja Geitz
a lime green vest and make our own tie-dye. Using some yellow, green, and blue. Like we used to in the old days, in a bucket.
And still be in league with the "Yellow Vests".

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After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

Anja Geitz's picture

@earthling1

Had a boyfriend once who remembers overhearing his Mother on the telephone talk about doing his laundry and having a dickens of a time cleaning one of his shirts.

"I don't know what he was doing up there but it look like he rolled around in paint"

It was the tie dye shirt he'd made at summer camp.

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There is always Music amongst the trees in the Garden, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it. ~ Minnie Aumonier

Raggedy Ann's picture

@earthling1
Let's do this! Pleasantry

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"The “jumpers” reminded us that one day we will all face only one choice and that is how we will die, not how we will live." Chris Hedges on 9/11

Cassiodorus's picture

to the USA!

RIP Leonard Cohen

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

@Cassiodorus I love that guy.

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I want to bookmark your essay to show anyone and everyone who cares about where we are. Peace.

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@Linda Wood Thank you. Kind words indeed.

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Lookout's picture

for at least a week though a month would be better. Asa retiree I know it is easier for me than it would be the working poor, however, rather than hitting the streets I think hitting their pocketbooks would be more effective. I remember Standing Rock, and barely remember the bus boycott in Montgomery (though I've heard the stories many times). Which was more effective?

The fracked oil wells are operating in debt and not profitable at current gas prices. It would be a good time to put the pressure on them. In fact I wonder if XR (extinction rebellion) has any plans to target refineries. Sure seems a ripe target.

Always good to see you OPOL hope you're doing well and feeling good! Thanks for the essay.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

magiamma's picture

@Lookout agree hit their pocketbooks.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

@Lookout I agree all around. Thank you and good to see you.

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The question is, how do you even get a population to even conceive of anything socialist in any form that's not negative? That's worth fighting for? A population enslaved to a religion based on arithmetic and currency, everything a transaction? How do you get them to see who benefits from the way the world runs? Is it fear?

There is something fundamentally wrong when video is shown, articles written, over and over that point out the unfairness, and people shrug and go back to what they were doing. Or worse, cry blasphemy and turn away.

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@Snode I actually think we've come a long way in recent years thanks to Bernie (and some others too). It's hard to fight the level of propaganda aimed at socialism, but we now have a number of open socialists in congress. And polls suggest that socialism is plenty popular with younger voters. Your point is well taken, and we clearly have a long way to go - but I think we're getting somewhere. More and more people are for some form of universal healthcare, etc. Socialism is very much in the national conversation and people are starting to consider it (in some form) as a possible solution. I think this trend toward seeing socialism for what it is, as opposed to what it's been painted to be by capitalist propaganda is likely to continue. I hope so anyway.

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@OPOL I really really hope so. The backlash from both sides of the capitalist party was so swift it created sonic booms. They've been preparing for this.

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@Snode Res ipsa loquitur. Let the sonic boom reaction speak for itself. They're scared, not all powerful.

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ggersh's picture

@OPOL Bill Gates Bashes "Extreme" Proposals Of AOC, Mocks MMT "Crazy Talk"

"Well, that’s crazy... it will come back and bite you."

80
14352
FEB 15, 2019 8:27 AM

https://www.zerohedge.com/

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“Those who choose the lesser evil forget very quickly that they chose evil.”
— Hannah Arendt

@Snode @Snode

in countries more socialist than ours. Although Finland is Nordic and not technically Scandinavian as described here, the list shows some of the qualities of life recognized as successful:

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/these-countries-have-the-highest-...

01 Jul 2016
Matthew Nitch Smith
Finance Writer, Business Insider

The countries with the highest quality of life have been announced by the not-for-profit organisation Social Progress Imperative.

… The "Social Progress Index" collates the scores of three main indexes:

Basic Human Needs, which includes medical care, sanitation, and shelter.
Foundations of Wellbeing, which covers education, access to technology, and life expectancy.
Opportunity, which looks at personal rights, freedom of choice, and general tolerance.

The index then adds the three different factors together, before giving each nation a score out of 100. You can see the 10 countries with the highest quality of life below.

1. Finland — 90.09.

Everyone says Scandinavian nations have the highest standard of living, and now Finland has made it official. It scores highly on almost every index on the report, from basic needs, foundations of wellbeing and personal freedoms. If you move there just make sure to bring warm coat — temperatures can reach minus 50 celsius​ in the winter!

2. Canada — 89.49.

For such a huge nation, Canada only has 35 million citizens, and they are some of the best looked after in the world. Canada's healthcare is what stands it above the rest. Education and opportunity in the country are also impressively strong.

3. Denmark — 89.39.

Denmark has one of the best social mobility and income equality rates in the world, so no surprise it makes it into the top three on this list. "Basic human needs" is where the country scores particularly highly, though its "health and wellness" stats such as life expectancy could be higher.

4. Australia — 89.13.

There is a good reason so many people want to start a new life "down under." Austrailia has fantastic education, job opportunities and a strong sense of personal freedom. Its "tolerance and inclusion" score could be higher though.

5. Switzerland — 88.87.

Switzerland may have some of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, but its citizens get value for money. According to the Social Progress Report, "medical", "nutritional" and "access to basic knowledge" is where the country shines.

6. Sweden — 88.80.

"Water and sanitation" may be taken for granted in developed economies, but it is not enjoyed everywhere. Luckily it is an area Sweden nails, scoring 99.77. The country also picks up high scores in "nutrition" and "personal rights."

7. Norway — 88.70.

Get used to seeing Scandinavian nations in the top ten. Norway is big on "nutrition and basic medical care," and its "access to basic knowledge" is strong too. Many have said the Norway model is one to follow for a non-EU UK.

8. Netherlands — 88.65.

The Netherlands is famously one of the most tolerant countries in the world, so its position in the top ten should be no surprise. It is one of the highest-scoring countries on "personal freedom and choice."

9. United Kingdom — 88.58.

The NHS is big part of the UK's high placing, with "basic medical care" scoring almost 100% on the report. Education scores almost as highly, with free access to quality schools.

T-10. Iceland — 88.45.

Speaking of beautiful countries, Iceland scores very well in social progress, particularly in the "basic human needs" index and GDP per capita. Its football team has proven itself a force to be reckoned with too.

T-10. New Zealand — 88.45.

New Zealand's tourist board calls it "the youngest country in the world," and it is certainly one of the most beautiful. "Opportunity" is where it scores really high, as a low population means jobs are in abundance.

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@Linda Wood Thanks, cool info.

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@Linda Wood I'm never going to any of those places. Vacations became a thing of the past for me after NAFTA kicked in. That leaves me pointing to typed words. So it's my typed words against somebody else's typed words. Words that say people in Canada are coming to the US in droves for medical care because they have to wait in line 10 years to get a band-aid.

I think Rupert Murdoch and New Gingrich rank up with Stalin and Hitler as enemies of the US. They destroyed so much.

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OzoneTom's picture

@Linda Wood
... VENUZUELA!

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WindDancer13's picture

And Now This Message From Some Very Rich People: 'Please Raise Our Taxes'

"We millionaires and multi-millionaires of New York can easily invest more in the Empire State, and lawmakers like you have a moral and a fiduciary duty to make sure we do so," wrote the Patriotic Millionaires, including former Blackrock executive Morris Pearl and filmmaker and entertainment heir Abigail Disney.

"Raising taxes on high-income New Yorkers like us in order to invest in our people and our communities is not just the right moral choice, it also happens to be in the long-term economic best interest of everyone, including millionaires like us," they added.

...

Furthermore, the millionaires wrote, "Most of us will literally not notice the difference" in their tax bills if their rate is raised.

"The taxes we're talking about will not affect people's quality of life," Disney told the New York Times on Tuesday. "They will not have any fewer private airplanes or boats because of this tax."

One wonders why these millionaires did not write this letter to the federal government. Could it be they do not want their tax dollars going toward a wall or expanding US imperialism?

Could this happen and be effective on a state-by-state basis? Can state legislatures be more responsible than the federal government in applying new taxes where it is actually needed?

Cynic: Maybe they are buying insurance for when the pitchforks come out.

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We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.--Aristotle
If there is no struggle there is no progress.--Frederick Douglass

@WindDancer13 I'm with the cynic. But I'll take it.

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detroitmechworks's picture

Much harder than I expect. Surprising how much money people want you to pay for the means of production. I don't want to produce a Lot, but even little backyard creations draw government fire and the capitalist insistence that you are devaluing other workers if you give away your work.

I'm at the point where I realized that argument only really makes sense if you assume the end goal is money. If you goal is Eudaimonia, you're absolutely going to face resistance because the quest for self-improvement means that the capitalists can't try to sell it to you.

BTW, never bring Eudaimonia up to a fundamentalist Christian. They will immediately claim you are a victim of Demonic Possession. Course they also say that about every other philosophical approach, so take that with a bit of salt.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cassiodorus's picture

@detroitmechworks Write on!

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

@detroitmechworks Love the new word (for me). Gracias.

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Big Al's picture

Ya, that would be nice. But, there's another election coming up and people are already picking sides.
That's probably not a good way to start one.
I've found the problem with radical is the definition. Everybody's got their own.

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WaterLily's picture

Protest can occasionally yield fruit.

Amazon Pulls out of Planned NYC Headquarters

Amazon on Thursday canceled its plans to build an expansive corporate campus in New York City after facing an unexpectedly fierce backlash from some lawmakers and union leaders, who contended that a tech giant did not deserve nearly $3 billion in government incentives.

Emphases mine.

Great to see you, OPOL -- don't be a stranger!

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@WaterLily Yep, some teacher's unions have been winning lately too. I think we may be turning a page.

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Cassiodorus's picture

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"The future is inside us/ It's not somewhere else." -- Radiohead

@Cassiodorus Great graphic, sad reality. One more thing to be fed up about.

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Thanks for reading, everybody. Always a pleasure to post here.

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enhydra lutris's picture

Have a good one.

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That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris @enhydra lutris You too e-l. Great to see you.

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Local cops are arming up, but the county judge came to my office to drink a beer, talk theory.
The current system just might collapse with subtle effort on our part.
Maybe.

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