We, the people, are the problem. It's up to us to create solutions
It's mind numbing just to try and actually do something to truly change the way we're living. The problem isn't just the politicians or the filthy-rich who own them. It isn't just institutional inertia or a bureaucratic maze of Catch-22s. It's also we the people. We the overwhelmed, confused, befuddled people, too busy to think, too tired to study, too conflicted to care. We're also part of the problem.
For example, take this no-brainer: The filthy-rich are going to rape the land of Montana, seizing vast coal deposits, put the coal on an open-air train (because if you enclose the coal you might get fiery explosions) and ship that coal, with its arsenic-laced residue up through Ballard into Bellingham and sell it to China. In return, China will fart the coal stench into the atmosphere.
This will create jobs for those struggling for crumbs and megaprofits for the too-fat-to-move wealthy. Meanwhile the rest of us, babies and all, will get a dose of coal dust to happily speed pre-death sufferings and sorrows into our daily lives.
There's nothing to be done about it. Go ahead and try. You think the 99 percent have more money and clout than the 1 percent? Do you really think that caring for the earth and caring for each other trumps a buck to be made by corpulent corporations? Do you really think the rulers care at all about a nation once known as free? We might have escaped King George, but we are still enslaved by the corporate control behind his throne.
Those powers only care about the price of lunch, and you and me are buying it. The only way they ever will care is if you and I do to them what needs to be done to all bullies and blowhards.
A Seattle-based ordinance, Initiative 103 is one place to start. It's a grassroots effort that aims to end corporate personhood and limit corporate rights, ban corporate spending on elections and ban corporate lobbying except in public forums.
Wisdom teaches us that if we give our responsibilities away we also give away our ability to influence the direction of our lives. It won't be easy, but we the people need to take advantage of one of our remaining freedoms: the freedom of an initiative to bind our values into law.
The coal train is merely one symptom of a larger epidemic. We need to stop the coal train, but we also need to reclaim the authority that comes from the heritage of our freedom.