United States: No More Guns!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The time  is over for excuses, elaborate arguments, and traditions that talk of personal security. Time and again, these collective murders. Time and again, children and adults sacrificed while, as is also the case with drugs, no one dares to challenge the status quo.

The immense business behind these habits, which moreover is the jurisdiction of each State, cannot continue to maintain itself with additional sacrifices on the altar of those “vested constitutional rights”. The United States cannot continue to offer such a bad example (as it likewise does with capital punishment) claiming that this isn’t the federal government’s jurisdiction.

No more guns! In large collectives there will always be people who are mentally deranged. But to the extent possible, it is the task of the government to ensure the safety of its citizens.

I trust that the horrendous massacre at the school in Newtown, Connecticut will prompt reconsideration among the authorities and representatives of that great people who, due to unspeakable interests, are subjected to these anachronistic “customs”. Some of them, under pressure from the National Rifle Association, are incapable of reacting even in the face of so many dead children, due to the immense benefits that they obtain. Others, unable to express their opposition, walk the tightropes of close congressional votes. But what is certain is that the United States cannot continue to set these too frequent examples for the world that they should be leading.

As underscored in the press “the killer followed a terrible pattern set in other similar massacres. He carried four weapons and was wearing a bullet-proof vest”.

According to “El País”, “this year to-date the national system that monitors the weapons trade has detected 16,300,000 sales” (but an unlimited number of firearms may be sold in each “sale”). Last year, of the 14,000 murders committed in the United States, 10,000 of them were due to firearms. In 2009 there were almost 600 accidental deaths attributed to firearms and some 19,000 suicides committed by the same method.

President Obama “with a father’s gaze” and tears in his eyes called for taking “significant action”. Take that action, Mr. President, without so much as a second thought for those who observe these events with dollar signs in their eyes and continue to defend the indefensible and inadmissible. Amend the Second Amendment behind which the accomplices of this tragedy hide.

And then fix your gaze, with firmness and determination, on the children who die each day anonymously from neglect, the thousands of children who die of hunger each day… while our satiated society looks the other way.

Take advantage of this tragic occasion to confront this disgrace, this collective shame.

Eurovegas: if what they are saying is true... unlimited citizen opposition

On top of the Autonomous Community’s very debatable decision to allow Eurvegas to be built in Madrid, there is the absolutely intolerable absurdity, the “legal humiliation” of unlimited permissiveness, the “lawless state” of supposedly authorizing these acknowledged international predators to engage in activities and actions that all other enterprises and citizens are generally and sensibly prohibited from doing.

How can we brag about the “rule of law” if laws are changed to accommodate this huge international gaming conglomerate?

I can’t believe that what they say the regional and national authorities are willing to tolerate is true... although only a few months ago I didn’t believe that they would respond to pressure from the markets with budget cuts in healthcare, education and science... and not only have they made cuts, but they are also jeopardizing achievements in social welfare and democratic principles.

Messieurs Presidents of the Government and Community of Madrid: proceed with caution, because bowing before those potential profits may prove so embarrassing to a majority of the people that it could trigger a genuine citizen rebellion.

We are already puzzled. And outraged, too. But we are still restraining ourselves.

Don’t play with fire. Don’t change the rules of peaceful coexistence. In the end, those who contravene the rules of democracy always get burned.

The Market’s Coup d’État

The worst coups d’état are those that are imperceptible, those that at the onset are difficult to identify, that don’t permit us to take the right measures at the right time. The ambushes are so disguised (risk premiums, rating agencies, opaque investments, unpunished “black-hole banking"...) that it’s very hard to recognize them until the situation is practically irreversible. And not only do they debilitate the State and create hard-to-compensate social inequalities, but they have also dared to install governments in power without holding elections, under the gaze of our passive and perplexed citizens. 

With great skill they are able to achieve their objective of “less government and more market". Politicians and parliamentarians discredit themselves, especially when there are no corrective mechanisms to counteract majority governments that are constantly passing “rolling pin” laws. And the market’s “coup d’état” achieves its goal to privatize everything... including political parties. 

The large financial consortia that are responsible for this crisis are constantly hounding those who, at a given moment in history, agreed to replace democratic principles with the laws of the markets, and international institutions for the groups of plutocrats that have done so much damage, particularly in the western world. This is a systemic crisis that requires solid leaders, capable of explaining to the citizens what happens, and designing clear strategies for the future. 

What’s certain is that as soon as they were “rescued”, bankruptcies began to emerge with no explanation of the reasons for these incredible accumulated deficits. Where did the rescue funds go? What is really our present status? Who were those who were incapable of perceiving what was happening while there was still time to prevent or at least mitigate the serious consequences? 

As Ignacio Ramonet has observed, public services are silently being privatized, despite the fact that the outrages committed have largely been alleviated with public funds and much sacrifice on the part of the majority of citizens. 

The “great domain” rules a great part of the West, while none other than Latin America, India... are skillfully escaping the last throes of the globalizers. 

The solution lies in genuine democracy that will rapidly prompt a re-founding of the United Nations System and the immediate disbanding of the G8 and G20; genuine democracy that will immediately amend the Treaties of the European Union, so that a political, economic and fiscal federation coupled with autonomy in security matters may enable the Union to function properly, so that 27 countries don’t necessarily have to march to the drum of just one; and on the local level, in all of those countries in which the parliaments are discredited for following out-dated rules of popular representation, and in which the governments don’t keep the campaign promises that prompted their election, genuine democracy that will be strengthened by returning to the ethical values that were replaced by commercial ones, to enable them, with the necessary indispensable national consensus, to face our present challenges, putting those responsible for the coup d’état, once unmasked, in their proper place. 

Only then will we be able to counteract these “coups d’état” on the part of the markets at the international, European and national levels...

A moderate general strike and massive demonstrations: Listen, Rectify, Compromise

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The bad thing about their distorting situations is that in the end they actually believe it, adopting measures that confirm the lies that they fabricated. Much was said of the “right to strike"... and then they did everything possible to prevent many workers from exercising that right. Examples: salary deductions that many citizens with economic hardships can’t absorb, especially when faced with veiled threats that their employment contracts might not be renewed; making all employees sign that they agree to provide the “minimum required services” during the strike...

As a scientist I reject biased descriptions of reality... because they are eventually harmful to everyone. And whether they like to recognize it or not (and as was to be expected and has often been predicted by those qualified to do so) the reality is that present policies will lead not only to genuine economic disaster, but to social disaster as well. Look at what is happening in Greece and Portugal. Please stop haughtily repeating that you are in possession of the truth, that there are no alternatives, and that your roadmap is the best and only one!

Perhaps they still have time to abandon their bulldozer tactics and reach agreements, offering incentives to SMEs and the self-employed... and to offer a plan with clear objectives and bold and effective measures to implement it, including and foremost, the very structure of the state. The Constitution should be the solution, not the problem...

Don’t act upon figures that you yourselves have distorted. Listen to the people. Rectify.

Iberia… is also in crisis

What do the fanatical “privatizers” have to say now”? Those who have weakened our States’ provision of public services “in view of the proven efficiency of the private sector”, should now reconsider and propose solutions that benefit from responsible business achievements both in the public and private sectors, with the requisite regulatory intervention and mechanisms to constantly ensure transparency and, in the case of public services, the ultimate control of the State.

Iberia, one of the most prestigious components of “Brand Spain,” is now in a difficult situation.

Use is good. Abuse is not.

Look at those who are now the major shareholders of our former large public enterprises… and you will see that on too many occasions there has been a simple transfer of the State’s economic power to large multinational corporations.

And when disaster strikes… we anxiously look toward the State to graciously come to the rescue.

These are lessons we must not forget.

Stopping evictions, an achievement of the 15-M movement, DRY…

Congratulations. We should all take note of the benefits reaped by this achievement of “citizen power” expressed in person and virtually by those who with their protests and specific actions, such as preventing so many evictions, have provoked a rapid “domino effect” that has embedded it self in the popular consciousness and has prompted intervention from social networks, political parties and, in the end and as was to be expected, from the government itself.

Now, start working toward new achievements! Social networks should soon turn to transforming some of their (our) dreams into realities.