2011 Sucked!!!
I mean it, it really really sucked…
It sucked in the way that I’d like to take it back to the store with receipt and yell at the innocent customer service person who’s job it is to simply ask what was wrong with it before refunding money back to my card.  Just yesterday the Grandmother that I grew up with passed away and in the same day I had to make the decision to put a very beloved pet to sleep.  This year I’ve had two close friends betray me, one of them I’ve been friends with for nearly two decades and I’ve sacrificed quite a bit to help him out over the last year.  To top it off, the hard drive in my laptop is probably a couple days from failing and I don’t have a screwdriver that will fit so I can replace it.  Believe me, there’s more, as most of this list is just from the last 6 weeks, but I’ve worked pretty hard to block out the rest.

I’m a bit angry.  Well, after the last 6 weeks, that probably isn’t surprising…but I just read yesterday that fuel was the top export from the US this year despite the fact that they are going to make about $200 billion this year and based on taxes from last year only paid about $5.7 billion thanks to countless tax breaks that Congress won’t repeal…wouldn’t you like to pay only 2.5% – 3% tax on your income?  In other news, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) somehow still has traction regardless of several protests and boycotts.  Again, I could continue listing more abuses and absurdities, without even going a full week into the past…Yes, I’m a bit angry.

How is it that the people responsible for the financial collapse are all still indescribably rich and none of them have gone to prison, been fined or even seriously questioned? How do we have the smallest middle class in the history of this country while we watch CEOs who can’t even keep a company running are receiving massive yearly bonuses that exceed what most of us will make in our lives?  Why is it that our elected officials are now openly flaunting that they want to put laws into effect that have absolutely zero support from the people, yet they are confident they will be re-elected?  Twenty years ago we were trying to stop the atrocities taking place in foreign countries, ten years ago we experienced an atrocity on our own land and today I feel like we are being enslaved in our own country, where are we going to be in another ten or twenty years?

I’ve never been big on pushing for social movements, but it’s becoming clear that things aren’t getting better.  The population of this country is being goaded into thinking that we should not talk about politics with friends and family because the conversations might be uncomfortable, that there are politicians looking out for our best interests and that we have a voice.  None of those things are true, but most people believe all of those things.  With the recent opposition to SOPA and the rather profound anti-GoDaddy efforts, it’s clear that we can start to fix one of the biggest problems facing us, that we have no voice. I’m not calling for pitchforks and torches, but any form of mob justice is hard to ignore.

I haven’t spent enough time thinking about how I see solving the problem, but there are other people who have already started down this road.  I believe part of the solution is to reduce the noise and make it easier for people to organize, much in the way that the Anti-SOPA/PIPA movement worked; they helped people by giving them the names, phone numbers and email addresses of their state senators and district representative.  There’s also a lot of issues to cover and trying to fix too many things at once ensures they all fail.  Our lives are complicated and we don’t have time to become active and vocal on the subjects that matter to us, but that shouldn’t prevent us from being counted.  Given that we’re coming into a major election year, it’s definitely time that We The People recover the rights we’ve afforded ourselves.  In the mean time start by taking to heart the motto used in New York after the September 11th attacks, “See Something, Say Something”.  Become more vocal about the things that need to be fixed and let those who are making things worse fear for their loss of power.  Go on twitter and use #letsfixthis to talk about bigger issues that are broken.  Start getting people together to fix the gross abuses of power and corruption in this country, and call out the guilty.

2011 sucked and the powers that be are on pace to make 2012 worse.  Let’s change that direction.