Sunday, December 25, 2011

End-of-Year Musings

« What do you want ? »
« Who are you? »
« Do you have anything worth living for? »

The shadow in the mirror smiles as it asks its ritual questions. I smile also, being its faithful relfection. The order in the questions is wrong. You cannot say what you want unless you know who you are. And you cannot begin to pretend to know who you are if you don't have any idea why the hell you're living this strange life you were born to without asking for it in the first place.

Today is Christmas day for christians. For me, it's a focal point of beliefs and symbols. It's a day when the echoes of our multiple pasts reach out to embrace us, whether we realize it, or not. We have Christmas trees. We have gifts. We have fire in the hearth, we have the traditional « Bûche de Noël » - the Yule log. We celebrate the return of the light, of the sun rising from the heart of winter, the deep of night and darkness, without which it loses all meaning. Like life, which is meaningless without death, no matter how hard grief and loss are to bear for those who remain.

As always, the end of year period belongs to questions. It belongs to doubts and reflections and stubborn hopes, to indignation and the elusive promise of revolutions to come – pehraps even more so this time than ever before. So why not indulge this shadow in the mirror and its relentless questions and challenges ?

Why not, indeed ? But we'll do it my way.

« Do you have anything worth living for ? » the shadow asks from within its mirror. Well, the first answer to that should be obvious : I have this life, you dolt. And it's in me to make the most of it. To kindle it and make it burn high and bright, to fuel its flames with my heart and send it soaring high, until it touches the sky. And then there are all the other answers. All the people I love. All the places that resonate inside my heart. All the lives I touch, all the lives who touch mine. All the world. All the universe, boundless. « Big words, » the shadow snorts in the mirror. « Big, but rather empty. »

Really ?

I think not, dearest reflection. Reach out, touch all that surrounds you, if you dare. Let all that surrounds you touch you, if you dare. Break the shell. Shed the armor. Watch. Listen. Feel. The world, the people, they are so many onions stinging your eyes as you peel off the layers isolating you from it all. They make you cry. They make you angry. They make you smile. They make you proud. They make you sad. They enrage you. They disgust you. They enflame you. So many emotions. So many thoughts. So many things to say and feel and express. Too many to put into words : joy, revolt, grief, hope, despair, anger, fury, contempt, spite, happiness, pride, shame, hatred, love, sparks, fire, cold, ice, determination, stubbornness, fight, refusal, solidarity, indignation, revolution.... So you see, there are too many things, overflowing, spilling from this mind of mine, to put into words. The only way to express it all, is to encompass the whole chaotic mess with big words. Big, but not empty if you know how to read them.

So, next question, please. « Who are you ? »

Again, the answer seems obvious. I am who and what I am. I am a human being, full of flaws, torn between the dark and the light. Standing between dusk and dawn. Flickering gray, I am one funambulist among billions of others. I am a sum of contradictions. I also happen to be a woman, but don't be afraid, women are simple human beings like everyone else, regardless of religions' misogyny and bigotry. « Yeah, right, » the shadow in the mirror smirks. « That says nothing at all about who you are. Big words again, and avoidance of the real answer. » Is that so ? But who could give a definite answer to that question ? We are always building ourselves. We grow and change and become who we are and will be with each moment that passes, with each encounter we make, with each and every event we experience. Any definite answer would become false in the moment I'd write it. The present is a heartbeat, over and done, and then renewed, repeated again and again, different each time, everlasting and inexistent. « Sophistry, » the shadow in the mirror spits. « You gorge yourself with words and sentences that have no meaning. » Do I ? Or are you just miffed and frustrated because those words and sentences are just more questions which ask for answers nobody can give, ô dearest shadow in the mirror ? But then it's true I do love babbling, the more so when I write in English. And, yeah, that's also part of who I am, so there !

All right, last but not least, « What do you want ? »

In Babylon 5, the single best ever aired SF TV series, answering that question is damning yourself. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true, is the lesson B5 teaches in the most cruel and definite fashion...or is that the real message ? Lately I tend to see it as more of a warning : stop depending on others to make your wishes come true. Take your destiny in your own hands. Move your fucking ass, because if you wait for someone else to do it for you, you may not like the result – and then it's usually too late to take it back and do something else. But let's get back to what I want. The answer to that shouldn't be very hard to find. You only need to read the posts I've written on this blog along the years, but if that task sounds too daunting, I can probably summarize it for you here :

I want us to grow up.

I want us to stop bowing our heads before the dictates of the powers-that-be.

I want us to deserve the name of « human beings ».

I want justice to prevail for everyone. Social justice. Economic justice.

I want us to be free of religions, of bigotry and obscurantism, be it Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hinduist, Buddhist, Animist or other.

I want us to think for ourselves, and stop swallowing the garbage flung down our throats by the mass media.

I want people to involve themselves in unions, in politics.

I want people to do more than whine and then slump down in the sofa to watch sports or some other TV junk like reality shows.

I want us to stop allowing ourselves to be blinded, to be driven like plough horses during the course of our lives.

I want us to stop nodding our heads when frauds come on TV, on the radio or in the newspaper to tell us that « There Is No Alternative » or that « we've lived above our means until now, and so it follows that now we must take care of our debt ».

I want us to think outside the box.

I want us to stand up for ourselves and turn the tables on the powers-that-be, on the Ron Pauls and Rick Perrys and Newt Gingrich, on the Koch brothers and the Albert Freres and Vincent Bollorés, on the Etienne Davignons and Jean-Luc Dehaenes, the Goldman Sachs and JP Morgans and UBS. I want us to turn this oligarchy upside down, to depose those ploutocrats and their faithful dogs : Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Angela Merkel, Lucas Papademos, Mario Monti, Mario Draghi, the IMF, the ECB and all the other zealots in the media everywhere.

I want us to do the revolution.

I want us to be happy, to be balanced and to live in peace.

I want to see, feel, touch and hear the beauty of this world we live in.

I many things I could fill a thousand lifetimes with them, but that's all right. Like the weeds and the moss in my garden, I'll endure. I'll grow even though it rains. I'll keep standing up. I'll keep on fighting, no matter whether I stand a chance to reach the lofty goals I set for myself.

Because that's who I am.

Because that's what I want.

Because that's what makes this life worth living.

And that's it for grand philosophy moments from me...well, that's it for this time, anyway. As to the future, I make no promises ! =)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Lessons from Greece

This week was a week of revelations. A week of lessons. Terrible lessons.

Backed in a corner by the dictates of powers outside his country, a man called for a referendum. This man, George Papandreou, prime minister of Greece, made a decision that was his prerogative as the democratically elected leader of his country. It was a dangerous decision, to be sure, and one which came years too late. It's highly likely it was a very selfish decision, one made in order to manipulate and retain power. Still, in a breathtaking moment, he relinquished power to the people.

Convenient or not, dangerous or not, manipulation or not, selfish or not, deception or not, power to the people is what democracy is all about.

And as this declaration was made, as the unthinkable perspective of power shifting back to the people threatened to become reality, the world of capitalism shook upon its foundations. Almost, it fell.


At once, all the powers that be gathered and united. At once, threats and blackmail and humiliation were thrown upon George Papandreou, the man who had dared betray the system – be it for his own selfish purposes and ambitions. And so, in a move as callous and brutal as it is anti-democratic – and sincere – the puppets of the true powers-that-be, Nicolas Sarkozy, Angela Merkel, Barack Obama, Hu Jintao, Hermann Van Rompuy, and all the rest, they all crushed democracy beneath their heels. They dictated what Papandreou should do and how he should do it, or otherwise his country would be dumped down the trash can, his population would be subjected to a misery even worse than the one forced down its throat now, and he would lose everything.

And he gave in. His tail between his legs, Papandreou returned to Greece, to face more humiliation, and to accept more punishment from his own colleagues and the media in general.

And all the while, the powers-that-be continued dictating their conditions, and what Greece should do, what its population should sacrifice.

All of it, so that the illusion of a thriving capitalism can continue to exist. All of it, so that the 1% of richest can keep on growing richer, can keep on devouring everything the 99% produce, and can keep on stealing legally all the richness we produce.

What this means, is that to keep their privileges, to keep this warped order of things, the powers-that-be are ready to do whatever it takes. They're ready to break even the taboos they had nurtured in order to keep us in line. They're ready to tear down the illusion of democracy. Why go so far ? Why resort to such extreme measures ?

Because democracy is a terrifying thing. Because giving back the power to the people could have unraveled the whole tapestry of capitalism. Because the Greeks had the opportunity of choosing default, which would have revealed the whole fraud around the so-called « public debt crisis ». There is no public debt crisis, there is only the result of shifting the richness we all produce toward a single fringe of population, legally or not emptying the states' treasuries and social security everywhere.

Defaulting would have torn down the illusion. Those who stole the richness would have been made to pay. Banks would have fallen. Hedge funds would have fallen. Some would have triggered the armageddon of Credit Default Swaps. Then further insurance companies and banks would have fallen, in particular in the US. Then the Chinese would have been in trouble.

It would have all been tumbling down.

The 1% would have fallen.

It could not happen. No matter what. No matter why.

And so, the powers-that-be blew the whistle and signalled the end of the game, and they slapped democracy aside.

The pundits all explain that it was to help Greece against itself, or they say that it was folly on Papandreou's part, and his move would have hurt the Greeks, and everybody else. Let them. It doesn't matter. Only one thing matters:

What's been hurting Greece for two years, what's going to keep on hurting it for a long, long time, is blind, insane austerity programs which kill the middle-class. Which kill the economy and drag people into misery and poverty. Which kill any hope the Greek people might have. Because those programs always attack the same layers of population. And all the while, the richest, the Orthodox Church – supremely rich – the great shipowners, the real estate developers, all those who reap the richness produced by the Greek population and send it abroad – more than two times Greece's annual GDP is sleeping in Swiss banks, exported by the 1% who, legally or not, do not pay taxes.

Ain't that nice ?

Shouldn't that wonderful system continue on destroying our lives, again and again, for no other purpose than maintaining the privileges of the powers-that-be ?


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

When the US of A insists on choosing the Path of Shame

Yesterday, UNESCO voted the entry of Palestine into its institution by a large majority of votes. This should have been a moment of joy and celebration : even though the state of Palestine doesn't yet enjoy a full recognition by the UNO, its entry into one of the most respected and valued international organisations is another chance for peace. Yet, not everyone sees the event in this light. The US of A, in yet another demonstration of their usual grandeur, not only voted against the motion, but also decided to immediately cut funding UNESCO.

This will have repercussions, it will hurt people who have done nothing wrong, and do not deserve to be cast off with a mere flip of the hand, but let's focus first on the absolute stupidity of such a move.

It's been way too many years since a peaceful settlement was sought between Israel and the dispossessed people who have been pushed back to Cisjordania and the West Bank of Gaza. In theory, everyone agrees that there needs to be two viable states side by side, each with guarantees of security – be it the économical, social or otherwise – and good living standards. Yet, even though everyone agrees, nobody can reach a final conclusion on this protracted, and often halted, process. In the meantime, both populations – Israelis and Palestinians – must trudge on with their lives. And as the years pass, the Palestinian population gets poorer and more desperate, the rightwing and hawkish Israeli government allows furter settlements in the Palestinian territory, chasing people from their land. The Israeli government builds the Wall of Shame, at least as shameful as the Berlin Wall in its time – and even worse sinc here it's a democratic state which is building it, rather than sitting at a negociations table to find a lasting solution to this heartrending dispute.

Of course, the poorer the Palestinian population gets, the more vulnerable and prone to the influence and manipulation of extremists and terrorists like the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad they become. The more Israeli settlements steal land from the Palestinians, the more incursions and retaliations take lives, the more desperate the Palestinian population gets. The less alternative they have. One day, all this will boil down to cornering the whole Palestinian population and leaving it with only one option : hatred, and all out violence. Yet, nobody seems to care...but that's only appearances. Nobody can believe that the Israeli government would be so blind. Nobody can believe that the US of A government could be so blind.

But the US of A government keeps entangling itself further and binding itself tighter to the Israeli government, no matter what it does and decides. And the Israeli government is not only rightwinged and hawksih, its majority is also so fragile that it depends on the continued goodwill of religious extremist parties and far-right parties. Once you know this, you understand why the game unfolds in such a crazy board : extremism is extremism's best friend. Blood calls out for blood. Extremists on both sides do not want peace. They want the anihilation of the other. They want to « purify » a poor, beleaguered piece of land they claim is their very own god-given right.

Beyond the fact that this demonstrates yet again how inherently evil religions are (I'm not talking about faith here) and how they've been pushing humanity down the path of war and tragedy, destruction and horror all along history, there is another lesson to consider : it's not in the interest of extremists on both the Palestinian and the Israeli side to find a peaceful solution. It's in their interest that the situation keep festering until nothing can save peace.

When you want to settle terrible, enduring disputes which have fostered hatred, incomprehension and wariness for generations, the only way is to go through proxies, to go through institutions that both sides recognize. The UNO, and UNESCO, are such organisations. To be a part of them brings the Palestinian into the international community. It gives more chance for opening dialogue – which can sometimes start in an oblique fashion. It gives more chance for peace. It weakens the hold of extremists. It shows the Palestinian population they can be embraced by the world, and that there is a chance other than extremism and terrorism to one day win peace.

To sum it up, Palestine's entry in the UNESCO should have been a moment for hope and celebration. For joy. And yet, the US of A, not content to have vetoed Palestine's entry into the UNO, decided to cut funding to the UNESCO at once, since they couldn't blackmail UNESCO into backing down and denying the Palestinians.

Why ?

The US of A will likely use the same excuse they pulled out of a much used hat when they vetoed Palestine's entry at the UNO : such a move wouldn't help brokering a peaceful settlement. This paltry excuse isn't only laughable, it's most of all absurd : the US of A has been failing again and again at really pushing toward a fair solution to the Israeli-Palestinian dispute for generations. Some might even say that this state of constant threat and warfare serves the military industry in the US of A right – or that this state of affairs puts Israel in a dependant position toward the US of A, thus giving them a stable foothold in the middle east... Still, beyond the conjectures, what matters is that the more time passes, the more it ties itself with the Israeli government and embraces its views, no matter how extreme and counterproductive.

The US of A's decision simply hurts further the chances to find peace. They're doing the exact opposite of what they should be doing, were their desire to broker an agreement real and honest.

More, the US of A's unfair and hurtful decision to cut funding to the UNESCO will jeopardize programs all around the world that the US of A should be encouraging : schools for girls in Afghanistan, help to education and teaching, help to bring writing and reading to the children of Africa, regardless of their gender. Development of culture and understanding between people. This is what UNESCO is about : sharing cultures and understanding, building bridges between people, helping people to grow and walk out of violence and war.

The US of A brought war to Afghanistan with the pretext of wanting to bring freedom and democracy there, to free girls from the living hell their existence was under Taliban rule. And now, they're cutting funding to the one organisation which is trying, really trying to help girls win free of the madness of those foaming-at-the-mouth fanatics.

Tell me, how does that add up ?

What purpose does it serve, other than abandoning people to their sorry fates, and giving a hand to terrorists and slavers – a more than fitting name for all those Islam fundamentalists worldwide methinks – to warmongers and fanatics everywhere ?

What consequence will this absurd decision of the US of A have, other than rekindling the possibilities for war and pain and grief, for destruction and death and hatred between peoples ?

So, the US of A is again choosing its path. That path has a name.


PS : watch the declaration of the UNESCO CEO after Palestine's entry, and listen to her explaining the consequences of the US of A's decision to cut funding. Then, try telling me again we should try to understand the US of A's position.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

The Clockwork Meachnism of a Coup

Economy should be a simple domain, based on the down to earth reality of human lives as a collective of individuals. It's not. We produce wealth through our work, be it paid or not. This wealth is then divided in parts : one for our direct use, and one that goes back to the community, upon which we draw when we go to the doctor, to school, when we drive upon the roads the state built, etc. In this system, finance is banks which store the wealth we can spare, and which redistribute it in loans to those who want to create businesses, hence create activity and jobs which in turns help us get a living.

But then, that simple view doesn't take into account human greed. It doesn't take into account human genius when it comes to imagine systems that go around reality in order to further the interests of a very few individuals. So finance developped, grew and thrived around this unending greed for more money, more power, all for the same select few. Finance hired PHDs in mathematics, paid them lavishly so they'd put their brains to good use, which, in their view, they did. So, they invented financial products, and drew upon a limited well of real wealth to shape a virtual universe of limitless riches. They made bubbles. These bubbles burst, but it didn't matter, because then they came up with other bubbles, even more shiny and aluring.

In the years 2000, the Internet bubble burst with lots of noise and sound. The panic was short-lived. There were yet many other ways to magick wealth out of the very thin air of poverty. The educated and brilliant minds of the finance specialists immediately focused on the task ahead. Thus, the subprimes were born and bred, and bred, and bred again. Until that bubble burst too, because you really can't produce wealth out of debt and poverty : one day the debtor must pay you back, and if you built everything on a system in which the population's income and social rights keep shrinking and they can only resort to more loans, well, it ends up crumbling into dust at your feet. Of course, the great minds of finance had thought of that, which is why they invented the derivatives. They created bonds so complex that nobody could unravel and decipher – otherwise the fraud would have been apparent : they were litterally selling empty air at high prices. But then, Reagan and Thatcher, and Milton Friedman, had seen to it that all regulation was banned from interfering with the perfection of almighty finance. Worse, they also invented insurance against the default of a debtor. They invented the Credit Default Swaps, which rest upon a very simple and completely insane principle : « Please, do buy our extremely risky products : they give you a very high interest rate, and if the debtor can't pay, which is more and more likely, you can activate this nice CDS, and insurance companies will compensate you. It's a win-win proposition! »

So nobody saw the plunge coming, except a few economists shunned and ridiculed by so called gurus, and of course all the forces of the left, that uneducated and ignorant fools equate with the scarecrow of the old USSR. It took its time, this plunge, it unfolded within a year, from Summer 2007 to Autumn 2008. And then it hit us all, big time.

Everyone knows what ensued : the same gurus who had spat and howled against the states then begged them to intervene, to save the almighty system from disintegrating. And the states did. As they did so, and dumped trillions of Euros into the black hole finance had created for the benefit of the same select few – who, by the way, got even richer in the process, coveing potential losses by hoarding the money given by the states, our taxpayers money, to save a system rotten to its core. And of course, as they saved the financial system, the states purchased debt. A lot of debt, which it had never been in their intention to do. The result was that states' treasury got bad. State debt soared, all thanks to the financial system and private interests – not because of bad management.

That's when the little world of finance thought of a very efficient way to dump the blame from their shoulders on someone else's, while making big money in the same time. That's when the new powers-that-be, aka Rating Agencies, came into the spotlight. That's when the global attack against the states, and their « bad management » of their debt began : to be able ot make money of state debt, you need three things:
  • to make sure that everyone knows it's bad debt, so the interest rates soar,
  • to make sure that the country in difficulty can get help from outside of the financial system – that is the Federal Reserve for the US, or the European Central Bank,
  • and of course, to have your own trusty CDS at hand, in the case when countries you loaned money to would default.

In the US, the FED can create US dollars out of thin air, and has done so for decades, thus completely cheating the system. It's only Tea Party and Republican stupidity which threaten the US. In Europe, it's not the same. The Germans, followed by some others, have sought to impose their own misguided view of how the world should be. The European Central Bank exists only to serve Germany's crazy goals, not to help growth or job creation. It's there to control inflation, to sound the alarm on debt and generally demand austerity of all.

When the financial sharks started attacking Greece – a very tricky bag of bones in its own right – Portugal – which had no debt problems until it had to save the private banking sector and has already undergone austerity programs time and again – Ireland – former champion of The One Way of Almighty Economy – well, the tapestry unraveled pretty fast. To meet the private interests' demands – the banks and the financial system they had just bled themselves dry to save – the states were ordered to cut their spending and empoverish their populations, to destroy people's rights, to raise taxes, and to lay off civil servants – which really meant simply to send them further the endless line of the jobless people. It didn't matter that those countries' governments had been elected by people to do things that had nothing to do with those demands. In an incredible denial of the most basic democratic process, the financial markets started dictating what countries policy shoudl be, and to govern the empoverishment of whole populations, to whom they were not, and are in no way accountable.

It would have been easy to put a stop to that, to call that bluff. All it would have taken, all it would take even now, would be a single word :


But then, if those threatened countries ever were to say « no », what would happen ? The private interests which first gobbled up taxpayer money to save themselves and then gambled on state debt to make even more money would lose...well, they would, unless they activated their nice, shiny CDS. And then, chaos would rush to center stage. Because, then, the insurance companies would have to pay up – when nobody in his right mind ever imagine they'd ever have to pay (that's called no-risk insurance, except that in this case, well....). And, guess where those insurance companies are? Yes! You got it! The US of A, and the UK!

Lo or, perhaps, allelujiah!

Of course, this would mean the definitive end of the financial system. It would crumble, and nothing could save it this time. And the very few, those same select few who rule the world while the rest of us good, nice sheep play make believe in democracy, would see their wealth and power destroyed. And that, of course, won't do. It won't do at all.

Which is why we're seeing now, for the first time, the truth behind the deception we call our democracies. We elect governments to do things, but it doesn't matter. When their interests are threatened, the powers-that-be ring the end of the party. Those governments we elected snap to attention, and then they obey. They enact austerity plans which will solve nothing (you can't make growth out of poverty, you need people to have money and a minimuml of security so they can buy good and make your economy work – to take all the safety nets away simply accelerates the plunge into recession and toward default), not to save themselves, their countries or their populations. Oh, no. The only goal is to save the system, to allow it to hang on, even if by the thinnest of threads.

They obey, those we elected.

They obey to the commands given by outside interests, by private interests which despise us and suck the marrow from our bones so they can keep their extravagtant and outrageous privileges. They obey, our governments, and they tell us they have no choice. They tell us that the rating agencies are as infaillible as gods, the way economists used to tell us that markets are perfect and infaillible.

What is happening now, in Greece, in Portugal, in Spain and which will happen to us all sooner or later has a name. It's war. A war waged by the powers-that-be, the ploutocrats, to preserve their dominion at all costs. It's a war without rules of engagements, without limits, without morals or ethics. Without scruples or the smallest thought of humanity, of what will happen tomorrow and why.

It's a war. No rules. No honor. Ugly. Merciless. Bloody. And they're fighting it with all they have. If we don't fight back, well, it's simple, they'll chew us, they'll swallow us, they'll suck us dry, and then they'll shit us down the sewers and sigh with contentment while doing so.

I don't know where you stand, but I know where I do.

And my answer to the ploutocrats is a very simple one: go to hell, all of you. When your eyes turn to my country, well, let it default. Oh, yeah, let's default, by all means. Then I'll watch you all squirm and portest and panic and then fall.

With glee.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

And now, for a core dump

I’m late for my usual end-of-year message, musing about everything that felt important to me or might feel important to me in the future. Maybe I’m simply tired with repeating the same things, over and over again. Maybe I’m fed up with the stupidity I see all around, and the imbecility of what I read, day after day – the continued unfairness, injustice, all supported by the very people it hurts, people who lack the necessary education to decode, to analyze, to criticize all the garbage sent their way, and who invariably go for what’s simple, what doesn’t require effort or thought.

Sometimes, I wonder whether I’m not fed up with people, period. With humanity as a whole. But then, those are old thoughts, old haunts which cling to the dusty corner of my mind, born when I was a would-be revolutionary teen, who was going to change the world and make it a good place for everyone. And then, I stumble on a story or other, where I hear or read about wonderful people who do incredible things, without any hope of gain of any kind, like this Haitian who came back to a devastated country, poisoned by sickness and poverty nothing can seem to stop or change. And I read how this man uses the money he inherited and won to build a school so that kids abandoned in the streets can have a chance at education. I hear how he’s building a plant to recycle waste and help clear the garbage filling the streets of Haiti. I watch documentaries about those distant communities living in the remotest areas of earth, where people still know solidarity, generosity and being there for one another.

And then I see people, close to me, responding to calls that we make – that I make in some cases – to resist and defend themselves, to refuse to bow down and accept the dictates of the powers-that-be, those who can never have enough, and never have to answer for the mistakes they keep doing, no matter how grave.

And I remember that, yes, it’s worth it to keep on fighting, to keep on defending the ideals you believe in, no matter the odds, no matter the difficulty. I remember that, and I soldier on, even if there are moments when I think it’s really getting hard. I intend to continue soldiering on, and weirdly enough, it makes me happy. It makes me happy to contemplate struggle, conflict and strife. Because, painful and exhausting as those may be, they are the unmistakable, undeniable proof that I am alive, that we are alive. And that’s definitely a good thing – well, this may not be logical, but then who cares, right?

After that, well, I wonder what 2011 will bring. My beloved little country is on the verge of explosion, all thanks to a bunch of radical nationalists, selfish and bigotish, who like nothing more than to rewrite history and victimize themselves – a trait they share with right and far-right political parties such as the Tea Party, which we can thank, along with Fox News, Glenn Beck and other gardeners of hate, for the tragedy that struck Tucson. Europe is slowly, quietly on the verge of collapsing, under the relentless blows of financial capitalism, this blind bane which knows only one thing: I want it all, I want it now, and I want more, more, more, more! All these things, we have either engineered, or allowed to happen. We are the ones who let the monster be born, we are the ones who fed it. And even now, we are the ones who are allowing it, begging it to dictate the way we should live. Even now, we’re getting ready to accept austerity measures to placate “the financial markets”, these strange, dangerous and all-powerful entities…give me a fucking break!

This, all of this, the so-called retirement problem, everything: we can change it. We can live the way we want. We do not have to bow down to any “arithmetical argument”, there is no such thing. What there is, is what there always is: choices. Political choices. Society choices.

And there, lies our responsibility.

If we are educated enough to truly, fully understand all that’s being thrown our way.


All right. Enough rambling for one day.

Bring 2011 and its cortege of challenges and battles. Bring them all on!