Sometimes I try different types of meditation. I have quite a few books about it, including one by the Dalai Lama himself, "How to Practice - The Way to a Meaningful Life." Those who practice meditation will be familiar with the different types. The Dalai Lama tells us that there are many ways to meditate. He talks about analytical meditation, and about subjective and objective meditation, among other types. One type of meditation he describes in the book is meditation in the manner of wishing. One example he offers is: "[Y]ou may wish to be filled with the compassion and wisdom of a Buddha."
Sometimes I follow the suggestions, and sometimes I deviate a little, but either way I find the practice of meditation very useful. One type of meditation I've found fulfilling goes like this: I close my eyes and try to imagine I'm watching a 55 years old man sitting at his kitchen table at 2:00 A.M. in the morning, unable to sleep. He's weighted down by an incredible amount of stress after having done everything in his power to keep his family afloat. He's thinking about how his kids had to quit college because they could not afford to attend any longer after having run out of financial options. He is thinking about the foreclosure notice he got that day and about the fear in his wife's eyes when she tried to reassure him telling him that "everything is going to be Okay." And then I try to condense all the chains of events that lead to that moment, into one second of "awareness." And then I try to imagine another family going through the same thing, and others who have been forced to seek aid at food banks after years of thinking they were secured in their middle class status. And I think about the seemingly invisible families in Palo Alto trying to find places to park their cars or vans without attracting the attention of the police, because their vehicles have now become their home as well.
And as I continue that most worthy of meditations, I try to imagine the deepest sorrow, terror, stress, apprehension, fear, of the millions and millions and millions of people who were and are being brutalized as the direct result of unimaginable crimes perpetrated by the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel. And then I try to imagine all that pain and suffering reflecting back to the source like a laser beam, with the rage and power of a thousand suns.
“The globalization of the exchange of services, capital and patents has led over the past ten years to establish a world dictatorship of finance capital. The small transcontinental oligarchies that hold the financial capital dominate the planet… The lords of financial capital wield over billions of human beings a power of life and death. Through their investment strategies, their stock market speculations, their alliances, they decide day to day who has the right to live on this planet and who is doomed to die.”To help me with that meditation I like to read articles like a recent one by David Cay Johnston, for Newsweek: "JPMorgan Doesn’t Want to Talk About Bernie Madoff"
-- Archbishop of Tegucigalpa Cardinal Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga (confidant of Pope Francis)
[The emphasis is mine]
The Treasury Inspector General still wants Justice to seek a court order enforcing the civil subpoena, IG general counsel Richard Delmar told Newsweek Monday. Congress does not give the inspector general independent authority to enforce the law, Delmar noted, so “if the Justice Department does not go to court then we are not in court.”Also, articles like this (published by Salon) are very helpful with my meditation: "If memory swerves: The 1 percent laughs last, as Wall Street wins again - Five years after wrecking our economy, the big banks are back. Here's why we need real government regulations"
Last March Attorney General Eric Holder told a Senate hearing he was afraid to prosecute the Too Big to Fail Banks, as it could do even more economic damage, in effect declaring them Too Big to Prosecute.
“The size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy -- perhaps even the world economy," Holder testified.
The memos Justice is helping JPMorgan conceal might also shed light on how the Securities and Exchange Commission failed to uncover the decades-long scam, despite audits and warnings from Harry Markopolos, the Boston fraud investigator who tried in vain to get an official investigation.
[the emphasis is mine]
But a society that believes good government to be an impossibility is unlikely to do what is necessary to keep industry honest. Instead, its regulators will come to see the regulated, rather than the public, as their main clients. They will imagine that industry can police itself. They will party with their private-sector pals and spin happily through the revolving door. And the rest of us will resign ourselves to scandal after scandal, as a new generation of looters rises up to claim positions at the trough when the old looters retire. Indeed — to repurpose an immortal statement by a certain Bush Administration economist — given what we now think we know about the system, it would be irrational for them not to loot.I understand why Thomas Frank, the author of the Salon article, feels that way: that we have been corrupted, that we have "our powerlessness" in the face of the depravity of the Wall Street/Washington cabal. It seems that way, but it is not true.
There is one way, however, in which the changes brought about by 2008 have been permanent — one way in which the center will probably never hold again. We are a society that watched as those who obeyed the rules got played by Wall Street and Washington. And it has not only hardened us, made us more blasé about corruption; it has corrupted us. We beheld our powerlessness at the hands of the mighty, and we decided that the thing to do was to make Wall Street even stronger. We accepted our powerlessness and then magnified it. Today we all know that another bubble will soon inflate and burst, but we have chosen to live with that — five years from the last, five years to the next! Just grab your cash and hang on.
[the emphasis is mine]
The ones that have been corrupted, the ones that in the face of massive criminality by Wall Street have decided that the thing to do was to make them stronger, are the politicians, not the people. To the contrary, as I reported yesterday in "The Urgency of a Middle Class Revolt," the people are gearing up to rise up against these monumental abuses of power, graft, corruption, racketeering, profiteering, and outright criminality by the ruling class. Here are some findings from a new report by Initiative for Policy Dialogue and Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung New York on world protests from 2006 to 2013:
Here's my take on all this... As the corporate state implodes, fails, it continues to frantically spread massive amounts of propaganda, sometimes veering into Banana Republic-type misinformation spectacles.
- Failure of Political Representation and Political Systems: 376 protests on lack of real democracy; corporate influence, deregulation and privatization; corruption; failure to receive justice from the legal system; transparency and accountability; surveillance of citizens; and anti-war/military industrial complex.
- We are in the midst of a major global upheaval comparable to 1848, 1917 or 1968.
- The most sobering finding: the overwhelming demand is not for economic justice per se, but for “real democracy” which would allow national governments to address core economic issues.
And that's why on the surface (of consciousness) it may still look like we have accepted the depravities and abuses of the Wall Street criminal racketeering cartel and their debased puppets in government. But we haven't. Well, some have; there are still die hard close-minded system apologists who carry water, as it were, for the corrupt system. Nevertheless, neither the propaganda being peddled by the corporate state, nor the increasingly desperate attempts by its apologists to stem the tide, will be able to stop the fast-spreading revolt against it.
To me, it has been clear for quite some time now that we are in the middle of what I call a global awakening, as I wrote back in February: "Reaching a Higher Ground: Something Big is About to Happen"
Either way, for those who may be disinclined to take my word for it, perhaps they would consider the opinion of one of the top technology research firms: "Gartner Top Predictions 2014: Plan for a Disruptive, but Constructive Future"
Near-Term Flag: A larger-scale version of an Occupy Wall Street-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate.Here's how the staff at PopularResistance.org interprets the findings of the report:
Note: At Popular Resistance we see many signs of a growing movement for social justice and resistance to the corrupt economy which dominates government. We see it among workers, students, environmental and climate justice activists, new economy advocates who oppose the excesses of big business and globalization as well as in opposition to wars and militarism — on these fronts and others we see signs of growing activity. We also see the government making preparations for the expansion of popular revolts so that they can better suppress them. (Suppression will not work, the only way to suppress the revolt is to recognize the corruption and unfairness of the status quo and really transform the culture, economy and government — but that solution will be resisted until the people are better organized.) The popular revolt is occurring not only throughout the United States but around the world against transnational neo-liberal capitalism. We cannot predict whether this popular movement will take the form of another occupation of public spaces or a new tactic, but we have no doubt that the social justice movement is growing on many fronts. The report below for businesses engaged in information technology sees this in the future as well. Our job as activists is to keep building the movement, educating ourselves about the issues and mobilizing people toward the most effective strategies and tactics that will lead to success.This is happening; it is underway, and it is global in scope. The only way the tiny ruling elite has been able to manipulate, subjugate, oppress and exploit entire populations is because they had mastered the art of deception: they made us (somehow) believe their lies, their false narratives. It has all along been a domination of the mind. They made us believe we were weak, that we were incapable of understanding their machinations, and because of it they got over-confident, and kept pushing their luck, until they started to believe their own hubris.
[the emphasis is mine]
Well, game over! Now people are rising up and will set things straight. All along I will continue to remind folks that once democracy and the rule of law are re-established, let's remember the banksters and their accomplices in crime.
Those who committed crimes, those who were accomplices, and those who covered for those crimes, shall one day be held to account, to the fullest extent of the law--once the rule of law is re-established.
Finally, I'm sure we all want real democracy, we all want our government institutions to serve the interests of the public instead of of the narrow interests of the rich and powerful. We all want our political system to work. I (and others) argue that there is no better way to make sure our votes count for something, than to speak truth to (illegitimate) power; to rise in opposition and resistance against corruption and oppression. Being an apologist of corruption and malfeasance, nor acquiescing to the imposition of the tyranny of the few, will do anything to move the cause of democracy and freedom forward.
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning.
They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both.
The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal...
- Frederick Douglass
[the emphasis is mine]
We live in the world that your propaganda made, but when you think you are strong, you are weak. Your lies tell us the truth we will use against you. Your secrecy shows us where we will strike. Your weapons reveal your fear for all to see. From Cairo to Quito a new order is forming. The power of people armed with the truth.
-- Julian Assange / Calle 13 multi-viral
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Sockpuppets & Trolls Watch: Their aim is to disrupt, to annoy, to introduce "noise" in order to prevent meaningful discussions of issues. Their tactics include casting aspersions (attack on the reputation or integrity), and ad hominems, where instead of addressing issues, they attack the character of people. They also engage in mockery, and logical fallacies. A good source of information about the tactics used by sockpuppets, trolls and hacks is "The 15 Rules of Web Disruption." Once you familiarize yourself with those tactics, it is pretty easy to spot the potential troll. Once spotted, the best thing is to ignore them. [Image credit: Jacob Bøtter from Copenhagen, Denmark]