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Archive for December, 2011

Since the powers that be want us to all become serfs, perhaps we need to go back to a more primitive and essentially more effective government. City States. No more First Past the Post elections. Use the Alternative method. You would get one vote but it would elect the Alderman of your village or neighborhood. That Alderman, along with all the other Aldermen in your city would elect a Mayor, the Mayors would elect the County Commissioner. Commissioners would elect State Representatives. The Representatives would elect the National Senators and the Senators would elect the President. There would be no term limits because at any point in time the people or the voting body could hold a “vote of no confidence” and demote the person who was perceived as doing their job badly. There would be no campaigning thereby insuring that the most qualified person gets elected because, of course, experienced and effective people garner the most recognition among their peers. On the local level, the elders who volunteer as mediators and organizers, being more civic minded, would most likely be the ones elected as Alderman.

The average guy is relieved of the burden of knowing anything about state or world politics but is encouraged by minor bureaucratic penalties to vote in every local election. (Argentina issues little booklets that get stamped every time you vote. If your booklet is not up to snuff you have a hard time getting passports, driver’s licenses, library cards, etc. ) The only people meeting face to face would be the people in the local town halls. Town hall meetings would be regular and frequent in order to be proactive about issues before they become problems.

There would be no laws but those agreed to by consensus on the village level. If the village has internal  issues that cannot be resolved locally, such as a local thug wanting to become Alderman, they appeal to the other villages around them for support to get rid of the bad guys. This will be the same for county and state governments as well. No prisons are necessary. Villages deal with their scofflaws by putting them to work for the public good just as they would deal with their own unemployed, homeless, and health care. The insane sociopaths are summarily executed after a village wide vote.

There are no standing armies except in times of war but every adult, male or female, is part of the local militia and is a trained soldier who is issued weapons, (along the same lines as Switzerland). If there is a call for soldiers for local emergencies or national disasters or national defense (but the need for national defense would be eliminated once every continent adopts this framework), the county, state or federal governments will call up their citizens after a vote (again not FPTP but Alternative voting.) The villages will be the only ones who will be able to choose who of their citizens will go to war or respond to emergencies. (Scofflaws, by their very nature, make very good soldiers after a little bit of training. A resource that everyone can exploit.)

In an electronic age, there would be no capitol buildings. Voting would take place by conference call and require minimum debate because, of course, the positions in government are unpaid and these people need to get back to their day jobs.

What little taxes collected would go to local infrastructure. For state or federal project, the costs would be divided equally among all the states who would turn around and divide the burden among all the counties until the bill eventually worked its way down to the village level and the village would ask that those who can most afford it, to pay into the fund. Since the average worker would get to keep all his wages, this will not be a problem.

Insurance companies would cease to exist. You would have no need for insurance because your village is your safety net.

Debt would disappear as each village took up the burden of maintaining all their citizens. Land ownership would be limited to the inhabitants of the villages. Uninhabitable and unarable land would become part of the open space held in common ownership by the cities and counties. Multinational corporations would pay for the privilege of doing business in each county, these profits distributed to the people.

The ultimate goal would be that the vast majority of the wealth of the people would stay with the people, so that they might bestow it in a generous spirit on those they loved best. Charity works best when it begins at home.

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Twisted Children

ah

is it not the stuff of legend

the twisted, malformed child

allowed to live

through a perhaps misplaced sense of compassion

instead of allowing the midwife to take it away and drown it

grows as twisted in the mind as in the body

hating the thing that gave it birth

because of its own self loathing

but being weak, it cannot kill itself so must kill the source instead

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Imagine that you are a wolf.

There are two kinds of wolf memories. The everyday kind, like the smell of the alpha bitch wolf telling where she is in her estrus cycle and how healthy she is. The sight of a flight of geese high overhead. The scent of the mule deer on the early morning breeze. The trail marker of the alpha male of the neighboring pack. Everyday memories fade with time. The brain produces a chemical not unlike the active ingredient in marijuana, that erases the old and clears the way for new short-term memories. The scent of the trails are different every day and the receptivity of the alpha female is a story set on replay, running past your mind over and over again.

But there are some memories that should never be forgotten. These are the memories that serve a purpose. They keep you alive. Watching a pack member die, convulsing and frothing at the mouth from eating poison bait. The sound of the steel trap snapping closed, the feel of the rush of adrenaline as you leap away, loosing only a few hairs or the pad on one toe to its cold jaws. The feel of the hoof of the bison as its foot kicks out and barely misses breaking your jaw or a few ribs or a leg, all of which might have been fatal. The empty lost feeling as you realize you were playing instead of paying attention and now you just might die. The crazy euphoria when by luck or fate, you manage not to. The smell of humans and the sound of helicopters and the zing of a ricocheting bullet long before the sound of the report reaches your ears.

Humans have wolf memories, though we try, quite unsuccessful, to build a world that keeps the cold jaws of death at a distance. We all have some sort of memory that has been indelibly laid down in that place in our brain that holds such things, far from that pesky chemical that wants to erase it all. The agony of that first burn when you decided to test to see if Mom was right about the bright flickering flame. The feel of the breeze on the back of your head as you barely avoid getting hit by a car when you are five. The rush of adrenaline when you first experience acrophobia hanging off the side of a building or a tree or a cliff. The panic in your heart when your kid decides to play hide and seek in the department store and you can’t find him for ten excruciating minutes. The sickening crunch of steel as a couple of tons of steel going sixty miles per hour tries to turn you into meat pudding in a can. The gun of the guy who mugged you. The knife of the guy who raped you. Those are First World terrors of First World problems. Like the wolf, these are memories that keep you and your descendants alive and safe.

The Second World has acquired a different set of terrors. The terror in your mothers eyes as she watches her friends disappear one by one, never to return. The real fear you feel when your father tells you to straighten up and not make waves otherwise the secret police might notice you and take you away. The despair when your uncle or your aunt go off to work and never return. The grief when that one teacher who liked to talk about politics stopped showing up at school. The empty placeholders you leave in your lives because the oppressors have left no body to bury and no obvious death to morn. The constant self questioning of a survivor, asking what did they do that I did not? Why was I spared when so many were taken? Doing what it takes to survive no matter how dirty you felt afterwards. Living in a society that survived thirty years of oppression by criminals and thugs yet having no one to prosecute because everyone had blood on their hands by the time it was over. Clinging to the a group, thinking there is safety in numbers long after the goon squads have faded away.

These are the wolf memories that haunt you like ghosts long after the things that caused them have disappeared. You break free and think you have lost them but all it takes is a smell or a sound to bring them back as strong and as powerful as they day you made them. Do you wonder then, that someone has invented a drug to erase them?

Stand still long enough and you will see it. The clues are in the minute details and not in the appearances, for appearances are false in a society sculpted by old fears. You can tell the wounds have not healed. They are just scabbed over. All it takes is a thought or a word or an uncomfortable situation and the scab breaks, to bleed anew. You can see it in the style of dress and haircuts 10 or 15 years out of style, the social norms frozen and rigid, the very act of social evolution stunted by a fear of acting the rebel, a plus in the First World but a deadly flaw in the Second. You can tell things are not going well by the tacit acceptance of corruption and thuggery in their public officials who have more power and more wealth than is healthy for any society. You can tell because they have all the trappings of a First World society but with none of the sense of permanence or the ability to trust in its existence that is implicit in the First World.

You can tell by the hitch in the breath and the distant looks and the worried frowns of the children of that war, now in their thirties, as they try to break free of those old memories and build a better world for their own children but who still cling to the need to be a faceless cog in the invisible machine yet who are jaded enough to believe that the only way to the top is to be a bigger thug than the thugs in power.

Look around. This is what you see. It is the self-induced schizophrenia of an entire country caught in the throes of PTSD trying to purge themselves of wolf memories that have long since ceased to serve a purpose and yet, because we are human, we unconsciously create the world we fear most, so the wolf memories linger, just in case. Just in case.

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