Death by 1,000 Cuts

As I watch the current political season unfold in the US, I am both ashamed and shocked.  I am ashamed that the current class of wannabes who are seeking our votes is by far the bottom of the class.  I am shocked that we, as the electorate, seem to be both accepting this and supporting these dangerous uninformed puppets!

I have just two questions.  First, why is there more money, and in a lot of cases from secret sources, spending more on this mid-term election than in any election in the history of this wonderful country? Secondly, why do none of the candidates, and I mean none of the candidates, tell us what their plans are?  All I see is a lot of negative campaigning, filled with lies and distortions.

As social safety net programs have been drained of reserves, many US citizens have also been burning through their personal savings. Over the past few years the percentage of Americans living paycheck to paycheck has dramatically increased. In 2007, 43 percent of Americans were living paycheck to paycheck.

In 2008, the percentage increased to 49 percent. In 2009, the number skyrocketed up to 61 percent. The most recent number for 2010 has exploded to a shocking 77 percent. This means in our nation of 310 million citizens, 239 million Americans are one setback away from economic ruin and millions more are in danger of having to rely on government assistance for survival.

In fact, almost four of every five employees say they live paycheck-to-paycheck, and 20 percent have missed payments on bills during the past year. It’s a sobering reminder that a bad economy is miserable, even for those with full-time jobs.

So, how are cash-strapped employees surviving? Well, they are making some of the lifestyle changes you would sort of expect:

• Cut back on leisure activities (eating out, movies, weekend getaways) — 54 percent.

• Used coupons or started/more shopping at discount stores (such as Target, Walmart) — 48 percent

• Drove less to save gas — 37 percent

• Canceled cable or other subscriptions — 12 percent

• Used public transportation (buses, light rail, etc.) — 5 percent

A few facts that grabbed my attention are the percentage of people who are saving less or passing on contributing to their employer 401(k) (I will avoid the lecture how it’s free money with a company match and great for retirement planning).

About one in five employees have lowered their 401(k) contributions, and one in three employees don’t have a 401(k) or put away money in a traditional savings account. And more than 40 percent of employees who put aside money, save very little every month — 28 percent less than $100, and 14 percent less than $50.

52 million Americans are currently surviving in “anti-poverty” programs and are gradually  being cut off from life-sustaining government assistance (for example, no cost of living increase for those on social security for two years now)- and as the 239 million people now living paycheck to paycheck, buried in debt, stressing out and working their asses off just to make ends meet realize that things are not going to be getting any better — and are only going to get worse — social unrest and outbursts of violence will eventually start to bubble up to the surface and the ruling elite will no longer be able to maintain power by simply deceiving the masses via mainstream media propaganda.

Outbreaks of civil unrest are something that the US government and Pentagon have been expecting, and preparing for.  It has already started in Europe.  Former US Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee stating that the greatest threat facing the US is not terrorism, it’s the current economic crisis: “The primary near-term security concern of the United States is the global economic crisis and its geopolitical implications. The crisis has been ongoing…. Of course, all of us recall the dramatic political consequences wrought by the economic turmoil of the 1920s and 1930s in Europe, the instability, and high levels of violent extremism.”

Intelligence Committee Vice-Chair Christopher Bond said the economic crisis is now “the primary focus of the intelligence community.” As the Army War College has warned, the response to this coming phase of the economic crisis “might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. “ Further, DoD [the Department of Defense] would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.”

Journalist Chris Hedges summed up this report:  “The specter of social unrest was raised at the US Army War College in November of last year in a monograph titled ‘Known Unknowns: Unconventional ‘Strategic Shocks’ in Defense Strategy Development.’ … The ‘widespread civil violence,’ the document said, ‘would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security.’ ‘An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home,’ it went on…. “In plain English, something bureaucrats and the military seem incapable of employing, this translates into the imposition of martial law and a de facto government being run out of the Department of Defense.”  They are considering it. So should you.

All of this is being cast in the mainstream media as we are powerless to do anything about these realities because it is the bankers and financial institutions and their lobbyists that are in charge.  We, as the general public, are without remedy.  We are uninformed and ignorant.  We don’t cast informed votes and we are lazy or uneducated, so these folks know best.  Trust them! I ask you, do you believe this?  I think not.

I don’t know about you, but I do not want to see my children living in abject poverty or worse yet, taking up pitch forks and torches against the most elite and technically sophisticated army in the world and dying for these reasons.  Again I will say, the big secret that those who are perpetrating this on us don’t want you to perceive is “One Man, One Vote”.  If we, as Americans, really understand this, the gig is up for these boys.  We really are out of time.  Get informed and vote. The most recent poll I saw said that half of the people who voted in the last election are not going to bother to show up for this election.  If you don’t vote in this election (and I don’t care of which political persuasion you are), it may be the last opportunity to do so.  I do not think that is an exaggeration, do you?