Top Citizen Achievements of 2013 | Michael Collins
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
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!!!