Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | News Flashes | Scoop Features | Scoop Video | Strange & Bizarre | Search

 


Top Citizen Achievements of 2013 | Michael Collins

Top Citizen Achievements of 2013
By Michael Collins, on December 31st, 2013

Major changes in history don’t respect arbitrary transitions like the New Year. However, the end of 2013 provides an opportunity to say something positive about the citizens of the United States and their achievements over the past year. I’m not talking about celebrities, politicians, and other high profile figures. For this review, citizens refers to everyday people or, as the elite call us, “the little people.” So here goes:

Common decency – people everywhere are helping family, friends, others. All across the country people are opening their homes and extending a helping hand to family, friends, and strangers. Adult children struggling to get started are welcomed home to live with mom and/or dad. Adult children are also taking in their parents and relatives who are in need of a living arrangement just to get by. People reach out to friends with extra assistance to find jobs, get health care, move, etc. There is no mandate from government to do this. The deliberate generosity is found among those of all political persuasions, ethnic groups, and religions. It’s called common decency and since things got tough in 2008, it’s everywhere.

Common sense – the people stop a needless war. When the president did what every other president since Truman has done – announced that he was going to attack Syria, a country that hadn’t attacked us – something unique happened. The people rose up and sent a message – totally unacceptable. Then, the right and left in the House of Representatives bonded for a few days in unison and made it clear that the House would vote down the president’s request for war. Something like this happened when the first bailout bill was defeated in 2008. That was reversed in days. This time, it was clear that there was no way citizens would tolerate the continued madness. It stopped a new war and set a precedent that the current president and his successors will remember.

A fine young man decided to blow the whistle on massive domestic spying. Edward Snowden didn’t seem destined for greatness. An exceptionally talented individual, he dropped out of school(s) and was working below his potential. But, he saw what we’ve suspected – massive government surveillance by the NSA and others. He released the files to the press (which is sitting on most of his materials to this day) and did the smart thing – he vanished. The rest of the story is amazing. The grand voyeurs in positions of power around the world were exposed. Snowden did us all a favor. You don’t need to go to Harvard to know right from wrong and act on it.

An unknown whistle blower released a landmark climate change report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the coming perils of climate change. This startling report was ignored by the news but not by those who get their news on the net. The report has yet to be completed and will certainly be toned down. However, another whistleblower did us all a great favor.

People working harder, longer, doing what they need to do to survive. It is not uncommon to find people working two jobs, a full time position and supplementary work. Why? Because they have to! The economy is in dreadful shape. The so-called recovery doesn’t include good replacement or new jobs. Real unemployment is a nightmare. Read all about it from someone who knows.

The country continues to produce people who speak truth to power very loudly and effectively, people who do this not to get promoted to a Mandarin position in the ruling class but, rather, because they’re outraged at the injustices and lies by our inept and greedy rulers. Here’s an excellent examples:

James Howard Kunstler – December 30, 2013

The End of Pretend

If being wealthy was the same as pretending to be wealthy then people who care about reality would have a little less to complain about. But pretending is a poor way for a society to negotiate its way through history. It makes for accumulating distortions which eventually undermine the society’s ability to function, especially when the pretending is about money, which is society’s operating system.

In addition to Kunstler, we have Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge, Andrew Kreig at the Justice Integrity Project, who routinely pull the curtain back on the absurdities and lies of the odd wizards, Roger Schuler who was beaten by police after an Alabama judge issued a gag order to stop blogging, ..

…and, of course, Numerian, who will speak truth to power in his economic review soon on The Agonist

We live in a society populated by decent, hard working, sometimes innovative, but almost always positive people who struggle against all odds in a rigged system that barely gives them a chance; all in the hope that their hard work will be rewarded. May those good people demand and receive equity and a level playing field very soon.

Please add to the list and have a Happy New Year!!!

ENDS

Creative Commons 3.0

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

David Swanson: Torture Is Mainstream Now

As Rebecca Gordon notes in her new book, Mainstreaming Torture, polls find greater support in the United States for torture now than when Bush was president. And it's not hard to see why that would be the case. More>>

Uri Avnery: In One Word: Poof!

Poor John Kerry. This week he emitted a sound that was more expressive than pages of diplomatic babble. In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee he explained how the actions of the Israeli government had torpedoed the “peace ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: The Poverty Incentive: Making The Poor Carry The Refugee Can

The poorer you are, the more likely you need to shoulder more. This axiomatic rule of social intercourse, engagement and daily living is simple and brutal enough: the poor shall hold, conserve, preserve. More>>

Nureddin Sabir: BBC Misreports John Kerry On Talks Failure

For once, US Secretary of State John Kerry was not mincing his words when he blamed Israel for the breakdown of talks with the Palestinians. But you would not have known this if you were following the story from the BBC News website. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Narendra Modi, And The Elections In India

On the upside, the gigantic election process that began yesterday in India is the largest exercise in democracy on the planet. Reportedly, a staggering five million people are employed, directly or indirectly, in the election process. The likely outcome is not quite so welcome... More>>

ALSO:

Ramzy Baroud: Kerry’s Looming Deadline And The Peace Process Industry

As the US-imposed April 29 deadline for a ‘framework’ agreement between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority looms, time is also running out for the American administration itself. More>>

Harvey Wasserman: Fighting Our Fossil-Nuke Extinction

The 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez disaster has brought critical new evidence that petro-pollution is destroying our global ecosystem. The third anniversary of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear meltdown in Japan confirms that radioactive reactor ... More>>

Shobha Shukla: Rise In Global Health Financing, But Funding Priorities Shift

A new research done by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, indicates that globally the total development assistance for health (DAH) hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013 (a year-over-year ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
TEDxAuckland
 
 
 
 
Top Scoops
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news