This is an Excellent question, right? We always want to know who, but never stop to really investigate. We are very comfortable accepting someone’s interpretation and credential. Do you stop to think through the things you hear and read? Do you ever look deeper into the story?
Do you remember Paul Harvey? He was a very popular radio personality many years ago. He had a program called The Rest of the story. During his few minutes he would tell a story, and then he gave you the background. It was usually touching and always thought provoking. He and his staff took the time to investigate these stories and tell us the truth. Who does this for us now? Unfortunately, very few people take the time to tell us whats really going on, you know the truth. Only a few take the time to really investigate and share their results. Some programs from PBS and NPR attempt to disclose truth, but fall short to avoid stepping over the Politically Correct fence. 60 Minutes used to provide excellent investigative coverage, but being produced and broadcast by a media giant, they now dance to that pipers tune. The rest we call crack pots, conspiracy theorists and bloggers. Right-wing Nut Jobs After all, these people have no credential for this type of work. Do they? But, in each expose or posts, there is a modicum of truth and from these puzzle pieces, the picture emerges.
There are serious divisions in this country. Camps are forming just like in the Civil War. Do you remember your history about this rift in our new country? We divided along North / South borders splitting this country in two. Brothers fought brothers and fathers fought son over issues that are almost forgotten. Men and women gave their lives for these issues yet none of this is really gone or settled. We decided there had been enough killing so we signed a peace treaty and ended this part of the war; but it goes on today. Was the real issue slavery or was it something else? Was Slavery just a popularized obfuscation? (1)
We divide along more lines than anyone can name, but did you ever stop to think who & why?
Here are a few of my top dividing issues and what I think.
Our Financial Situation:
We are broke. We are almost bankrupt. We are losing financial ground every second of every minute of every hour of every day. Our country borrows money to make the interest payments on our debts. I know you understand debt because we all have them. You borrow money to purchase a car, or home, or to send your children to a good university. You have credit cards that allow you to buy now and pay later. You have bills for utilities and food and clothes for the kid and maintenance on the car and home. Sometimes we are surprised by medical bills, even if you are fortunate enough to have Health Insurance there are incidental costs and things they dont cover. This requires you to budget carefully so that you do not over spend your income. If you do overspend you need to find that extra money somewhere. What do you do? You BORROW! When you borrow too much, you go bankrupt! Many cities are now bankrupt. What recourse do they have? Where do they turn?
The point is our government is not free. They have expenses just like the rest of us, but their expenses have significantly overrun their income. Like us, they borrow money to cover this shortfall. Its easy to fall into this trap. Ask any American with a credit card. Ask them how hard it is to pay off the borrowed amount? Look closely at your most recent credit card statement. There is a detail showing how much you owe (you know this line) and data about how your payment is divided between the principal amount and the interest you pay. If you look closely youll see that your payment covers mostly interest and very little of the original amount. You are paying someone to use their money. Our government does the same thing. But, they, We have more expenses than income.
Our national debt as of 23 February, 2013 at 03:35:23 PM GMT is $16,614,994,585,829.17: Almost $17 TRILLION. The estimated population in this country is 314,476, 619 people so each citizens share is $52,833.80. We increase this debt by $3.85 Billion per day. (2) It increased while I was writing this post!
Our US national debt ranges in the $16.5 trillion area. The revenue from Federal income tax is $1.2 trillion, payroll tax income is $860 billion, and the corporate tax income is $243 billion, the total is around $2.5 trillion in tax collections. This means that we spend 6.6 times more than our income. (2)
The largest budget payments of the US include: Medicare/Medicaid $809 billion, Social Security Insurance (SSI) $774 billion, Defense/Wars $667 billion, Income Security $353 billion, Net Interest on debt $223 billion and Federal pensions of $213 billion, the total is $3 trillion.
Our US GDP equals $15.6 trillion which is very close to our national debt. One year of GDP income could eliminate our debt. Basically, if we spent nothing of our collected GDP income, we could pay off the national debt. But thats just impossible. Our federal, state, and local governments spend $6.5 trillion annually.
The total debt in 2013 of the US equals $52 trillion. The interest on the US debt is $3 trillion. The total debt per citizen is over $184,000. The total debt per US family is over $732,000. My research shows that only 0.013% of Americans earn this amount or more.
The total personal debt of the US includes: Student loans $1 trillion, mortgage debt $13 trillion, credit card debt $843 trillion of which $15.8 is personal debt. The average debt per citizen is $50,000.
When it comes to trade, the US debt held by foreign countries is $5.6 trillion. The US trade deficit $728 billion, US trade deficit to China $317 billion, US imported oil $429 billion, imported oil from OPEC $173 billion. (3)
We, our government must borrow money to make the interest payments on this debt. No, we are NOT paying down the borrowed amount, we are adding to it by borrowing more to make these interest payments!
Now you know what, the next question is who. Who is responsible for this mounting debt? Who put us here? We did. We allowed our government to spend, spend, spend, and spend. They created programs to provide for our welfare and our safety and our infrastructure and our support. We insisted on more assistance from them and being a good government interested in serving their people, they gave it to us. They showed us the government teat and started to suck. Now of course there are a few things they did for themselves in the process, but we allowed it. We didnt care because we had what WE wanted never thinking through the process or where this money originated. It comes from our neighbors and friends, and from people we dont even know. It comes out of YOUR pocket, too.
A few years ago I wrote about the Federal Reserve and their role in the condition of our country. (4) Today I have more information and it was not just the FED, but banking system in general. President Regan, encouraged and led by the banking industry, began its deregulation: Through his influence as our leader he removed the laws that required banks to act responsibly and in our interest. His economic advisers convinced him to remove these laws so they could create more personal wealth. Who were these advisers: The very people that ran the banks that wanted the deregulation! The process is extensive and complex, but not so complex that you and I cannot understand it. The succeeding presidents followed suite with the guidance of these Financial & Economic advisers. Who were these advisers? They were the managers and CEOs of the Investment Banks: the architects of our financial disaster!
In his Academy Award winning documentary, Inside Job (5), Charles Ferguson explains how we got here. I highly recommend this film if you want to understand the process of Selling / Handing America to the banks. The recurring theme in this film is that our Congress, and our President, is being advised by the same people that ruined the lives of millions of people, costing us; yes us the tax payer, trillions of dollars: Dollar that made these people fabulously wealthy, your dollars. This industry is the most powerful lobby on the planet. The banking industry has the power and the money to force the appointment of these criminals to positions of influence. Mr. Ferguson calls the The Biggest Ponzi Scheme (6) in history. Who was prosecuted for this failure? Guess! No One! Why, because; it was all legal our government saw to that. Its all about the golden rule: He that has the Gold, make the rules.
The WHO of this situation is you and I; through negligence, apathy, and ignorance. The banks pulled it off by creating delusions of wealth and grandeur playing on our greed and by promising solutions to our emerging fiscal problems.
Our solution is to become educated and to become involved: Actively!
Gun Control Regulation:
This is a very hot topic. This one issue obfuscates all others; at least for the moment. This one issue now trumps all others: all of which are much more important, but being downplayed by the media puppets. I have been following this issue with great interest: not because I am a gun nut or gun owner, but because it is another opportunity for our government to gain more control over America. According to Secret Service Agent Dan Bongino, all of the gun crimes he investigated were committed using unlicensed and unregistered guns. Thats one mans opinion. I searched for some relevant facts and gave up after discovering that all the statistics were conjecture. No one is tracking this, at least as far as I can find. I did discover the crime statistics involving guns were much lower in countries that did not abolish or severely regulate gun ownership versus those with strict ownership or regulatory controls. Some statistics from our penal system indicate that criminals are much less likely to invade a home while occupied for fear of being shot by the occupant.
Does this really matter? I dont think so. Having a weapon for protection, especially a gun, means that you intend to use it. You plan to protect yourself using deadly force. Would I do it? I dont know; I have never been in this situation. Do I know how to do it: YES! Am I willing to surrender my weapons: I dont know? We are not there yet. I can tell you that even people with registered weapons will resist. Many of the gun owners I know have a few unregistered weapons so if the government does demand their surrender they will still have a private stash. How will the government cope with this when the time comes?
I recently heard that law enforcement favors gun registration so when they come to your home they know you own guns. Why would that be of any value if I am a law abiding citizen? Why would they want this information for a visit to my home? Is this classic paranoia or is everyone out to get them? Is everyone now considered a criminal? This rationale is pretty thin
The old adage If guns are outlawed, then only outlaws will have guns: is a truism. Sure there will always be criminals with guns. They can get them anywhere. Do you think that the criminal element in this country will surrender their weapons? Even if you abolish gun ownership, our government will sell them to criminals. Just look at the Fast and Furious debacle in Mexico where the government sold guns to the drug cartels who subsequently kills US Agents. OK, so they made a mistake.
We dont need gun control, we need people control, and not control of the people by the government, but self control. Unfortunately I doubt this will never happen. We cant even control our rage on the highway or in our own homes. How could we ever hope to manage this amount of self control unless we are willing to change our selves?
What about crazy people having guns? First, define crazy Then think, at any moment in a crisis, you could be considered crazy. Anger, passion, hatred, and rage all classify as Being Crazy to some extent. The defining line is how you deal with the situation. Do you react violently or rationally? Can you say Self Control boys and girls? Can you distinguish right from wrong? What if its not a gun, but a club, or a hammer, or a knife? Will our government go after these next?
I believe the problem is what we teach our children and how we are socialized. Look at the most popular pastimes of video games, some sports, and movies. What is the one common theme in most of them: Violence! We are a violent society and we use this as our first response to any issue. If youd like to read more on this topic please read my blog post Guns and Noses. (7)
Why does the government want gun control: probably because they dont what us to respond with force. Who would want their opponent well armed? If your goal is total control, why would you allow those that you would control the ability to resist? The obvious direction in our government is to remove most of our liberties and freedoms so they can tell us what and when. They want a compliant and pliable group of sheeple (People that can be led like sheep). The government knows what is best for us and we should, as we have over the past several decades, follow along: unquestioning and misinformed.
Who is responsible for this: We are. Not because we are lazy or apathetic, but because we are so violent. If we really want to change the world, our world, we must be introspective. We must change how we view our solutions and our approach. We must seek first to understand, then to be understood. We must look at why things are, then how to change them. We all agree that change comes from within. We must change our entertainment appetites and our penchant for violent solutions to those of negotiation and non-interference. Once we accept the responsibility for our choices, we can change this country. Once we recognize our role as the leaders of this country, we can take control. When we have control, we can change the world through example, not though force. As long as we continue to blame someone else for this situation we will never affect change.
No, not the toys with strings or made from socks, Im talking about people. President Obama is the target for every problem in this country. Is he really the architect of these policies and programs or is he, like all our other leaders, a puppet. Every puppet has a master: The Puppet Master. This is the person that pulls the strings. The other colloquial terms for a puppet are: dummy, pawn, flunky, lackey, patsy, and tool. Having the figurehead of the country as a puppet makes you a very powerful person: Yes powerful! If you can control the leaders of the free world you are quite powerful. But why is this important? Do I really need to draw that picture? OK If I can force to leaders to abandon reason and deregulate the financial industry, I can make trillions of dollars for my industry and profit from everyones loss: Even the governments!
If I can convince the leadership that getting the guns from the people is a good idea, I can take control. If I can prevent legislation against violent games and prevent censorship of overly violent movies, I can indoctrinate citizens to accept violence. If people accept violence, they will embrace war as a good sociopolitical solution. War is great business: it makes trillions of dollars in investment dividend profit and direct profit, which creates tax revenue. WAR is good for everyone, except the combatants; or so were told.
Think about the policies in recent years. How many favored businesses in the guise of stimulation? With all this stimulation, where are all the jobs that should result? When proposed legislation sought to curtail off-shoring jobs, the business (their lobbyists) worked diligently to stop it. They did and the jobs left by the millions. We have unemployment that exceeds 25%. No, the National Bureau of Labor Statistics (8) says that we only have 7.9% of Americans out of work. Unfortunately they dont count people that no longer receive state or federal support like Unemployment Insurance, or Welfare, or Farm Workers, or causal / part-time workers, etc. Who is in favor of these policies, and who advised and supported them? Banks! Yes, Investment Banks who own the business, or invest in them heavily, or control them economically, or want to control them. They want the off-shore jobs because it allows for untaxed revenues and tax exempt profits from these investments. It means that they have control over the labor market! By the way Guess who controls these major corporations and businesses? Its the Board of Directors populated by the Investment Bankers that invest heavily in these companies. These Investment Banks also exert pressure through their investments. Money is Power!
Manipulating the public is easy if you entertain them and play to common sensibilities and decencies. The media tells us that the financial situation in this country is terrible. We respond by insisting that our government takes action. They do by appointing the very people that created these problems to adviser or other positions of influence within the government. OH BOY! Nice job Mr. President. You appointed a real financial wizard to help us through our times of fiscal difficulty. Did anyone ever look at the credentials of these people? NO! We took the medias endorsement. Who owns these media empires: Investment Bankers! Who was just appointed to that position: Someone from the Investment Banking Industry!
Educating our youth is imperative. We need well educated and well informed future leaders. But guess who is educating and molding these young minds? YEP! The very same people that created this mess hold position of massive influence and prestige within the biggest and best universities in our country. Where do many of our future leaders originate: From these same Universities! These criminals are passing along the knowledge necessary to propagate and promote the demise of our economic system for personal gain. They teach these Rape, Pillage, and Plunder techniques to our future financial leaders. Talk about self perpetuation!
The fox now guards the hen-house! Or The inmates run the asylum!
You can choose your own metaphor.
I hope you are starting to see the pattern. We are screwed unless we make some serious changes. Unfortunately the people in power right now are not likely to relinquish control. Why would they? If you can make personal fortunes though legalized theft, why not? YOUR government gives them the tools to ruin you financially, why would they stop?
Do you understand our REAL system of government? You had better learn!
Do you understand our REAL financial system and process? You had better learn, quickly!
It is obvious that we can no longer look to our leadership for the real answers to our problems. It is obvious that a public or rudimentary private education is insufficient for our modern times. You must learn to self educate. You must become an auto-didactic polymath (9 & 10). (Look it up!)
In fact, start investigating everything. Start looking for yourself and become aware. Read, Listen, Watch, and Question everything. Find out for yourself what this is all about. When you begin this process you will be amazed at what you dont know, but soon will. I know this takes time and effort and you cannot possibly be bothered.
As I see it we have three basic choices:
We can wait for someone else to do it: Be complacent not caring.
We can acknowledge the problem and blame someone else: Be part of the problem.
We can become actively involved in the change process: Be part of the solution.
The deciding factor is bound by your level of GIVE-A-SHIT or how much to your really care. Is this important to you or like hundreds of millions of other people: not knowing removes all responsibility?
This is my opinion and should not be construed as anything else. Personally, I am committed to understanding all of this and much more. Now that I am over 60 years old, I recognize the Wolf in the Fold and will work for the rest of my life to share my knowledge, beliefs, and understanding of these subject to those interested enough to read these posts, and intelligent enough to look for more information.