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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 12/22/17

What We Can Do Now

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Message lila york
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Where is the revolution? Where is the outrage and disgust with what the United States has become and what domestic and global horrors are being legislated in our names and inflicted upon us daily ? What can we do about it that will not land us in prison?

Here are a few thoughts:

1 - A tax revolt. Difficult if you are salaried and subject to withholding. As a self-employed person, I have more latitude. The very thought of subsidizing not just war and planet destruction but also some billionaire's private jet - or some CEO's 200 million dollar bonus check after he has used the tax cut to purchase millions more shares of his own company 's stock - with my tax money - makes me wretch. I won't do it. The joke among stock traders is "go long yachts and castles". I prefer to say no.

2- Stop buying stuff. Their hubris is founded on a missile launched stock market. We can deprive them of at least some of their revenue. Shop locally, and only buy what you need. Never buy from a multi-national company, never buy anything online. Remove Amazon from your bookmarks and never visit the site again. If you scan the reviews you would conclude that much of their merchandise is counterfeit anyway - and substandard. Start putting your democratic rights before convenience. National organizations could organize a buyer's strike. e.g., buy nothing on Tuesdays ? Just a thought.

3 - Ditch your smart phone. Facebook is listening to your conversations so that they can sell you more stuff you don't need. And Lord knows who else is listening or what they plan to do with the information. See my article on this here : Flip phones without internet access are still available and cheap. Check out Consumer Cellular.

4 - A General Strike. They have not replaced all of our jobs with robots. yet. We do not have much time before such a strike would be moot, and in any case it would take organization on a national scale, so not easy to effect. But it remains the primary form of revolt for impact on corporate profits. And it gets their attention.

5 - Protest. We all do. We have done since the 1960's. That protesting is now being labeled an "act of terror", a "threat to national security", and a "danger to the public" by police, the spooks and voices in the government makes it dangerous to hit the streets. They have all of the money and all of the weapons. I read that mercenaries are now being hired to replace city police because they have no compunction about firing bullets at unarmed civilians. Yes, this is what America has come to. The mainstream media has done a crack job of dividing us and setting Americans against other Americans. Half of the country mis-identifies the enemy. It is us against them. Not us against some other us. You could call it the 99.9 against the .1. More precisely it is the population of the US against the most corrupt government in human history. Evita had nothing on Mitch McConnell. She was a piker by comparison.

So - protests will only be effective if the numbers are in the millions. My napkin estimate is that one third or 100 million would have to feel enough anger to actually scream "NO" and mean it. I am not an organizer and haven't a clue how to unite a mass of citizens. But surely the national organizations for peace and justice know how to do this.

6 - Leave. Vote with your feet. The US of A is in terminal decay on all fronts.When a nation reaches the point where the wealthiest 600 people are stealing from the poor, the sick, and the aged, we are in a classic banana republic agenda. We are counting days before the Congress of Greed destroys the last shreds of the safety net and eliminates medicare, medicaid and social security - and millions of us starve. Medicare premiums have been raised 50% over the last four years, reducing the meager income of seniors. We have to assume the next cuts will be much more draconian. There are other countries that still value the lives of their citizens over the greed of a reigning 600, unlike the US of A. After one year you can apply for citizenship in many countries. The American Versailles class "buys" second passports by investing a million or more in the foreign economy, but there are still means to accomplish a citizenship change even for us serfs. Most economical are Ecuador and Bolivia (you will need strong lungs to handle the altitudes) - Portugal just behind them. Learn Spanish or Portuguese. Costa Rica and Uruguay were cheap a few years back, but less so now. They both have universal healthcare, and it is of high quality in the cities. As for Europe, Italy is trying hard to leave the EU. That would make it a much better candidate for residence. France is still at least better than here, thanks to a politically engaged population - England only marginally so - but you will need some bucks to live there. Scandinavian countries much better, but immigrating is not easy. The Czech Republic is open and the cost of living lower than in most of Europe. For many countries you need to be very young and proficient in skills they are in need of, so it requires some homework. Medical professionals waltz into New Zealand, but the rest of us are not at all welcome. Australia is too expensive to even consider. Canada. while overall more like the US used to be, is frightfully expensive due to a crashed currency, and is also following in the right wing footsteps of the US. Expat information is available online, research it there.

The bottom line is this - we can leave, or we can stay and fight. The latter is a much harder choice and may require that we put our lives on the line. But to be effective a fight requires careful planning and organization - and a cool head. Demands need to be determined and well articulated, and must be capable of uniting Americans across ethnic and political divides. Organizers need to be experienced and trained and have the means to put forward a united front. I am not a candidate for this. Kevin Zeese is. So is Chris Hedges. I will ask them. As for demands that unite us, here is my list: Universal healthcare, outlaw gerrymandering, no money permitted in the electoral process on federal, state and local levels, with all candidates equally funded and given equal and free media access, all parties to participate in debates, a huuuuuge income tax on billionaires, remove the cap on social security taxation, which will protect it forever, outlaw spying on American citizens without a warrant from a federal and local (not fisa) court, all elections conducted on paper ballots counted in the open with representatives of all candidates present. That is a list that would clean up government and allow the people to actually be represented by candidates that we chose. I can't imagine that even the most right wing Republican would not support that list of demands.

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"If wars can be started by lies, peace can be started by truth." Julian Assange "The Central Intelligence Agency owns everyone of any significance in the major media." -- William Colby (Former CIA Director) "We'll know our disinformation (more...)

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