Our Invisible Revolution?

by lizard

What do you do when you can’t eat? What do you do when the food banks and the churches and the soup kitchens can’t fill the void left by slashing 5 billion dollars from the SNAP program?

One of every seven Americans will take a hit on Friday when a $5 billion cut in food stamps, the first across-the-board reduction in the history of the decades-old federal program, takes effect.

But if conservative Republicans in Congress get their way, this week’s pullback may be just a taste of what’s to come for some of the almost 48 million Americans who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

What do you do when the combination of Republican obstruction of medicaid expansion merges with up to 20,000 Montana policy holders receiving notice their coverage has been discontinued by Obamacare?

What do you do when Congress refuses to do anything save wait for the next manufactured crisis and the president plays dumb about spying on world leaders?

I could keep going, but you get the point.

Chris Hedges also gets the point, and though I cringe when I read or hear the word revolution, Hedges’ latest piece—Our Invisible Revolution—is a must read. Because this:

It appears that political ferment is dormant in the United States. This is incorrect. The ideas that sustain the corporate state are swiftly losing their efficacy across the political spectrum. The ideas that are rising to take their place, however, are inchoate. The right has retreated into Christian fascism and a celebration of the gun culture. The left, knocked off balance by decades of fierce state repression in the name of anti-communism, is struggling to rebuild and define itself. Popular revulsion for the ruling elite, however, is nearly universal. It is a question of which ideas will capture the public’s imagination.

Revolution usually erupts over events that would, in normal circumstances, be considered meaningless or minor acts of injustice by the state. But once the tinder of revolt has piled up, as it has in the United States, an insignificant spark easily ignites popular rebellion. No person or movement can ignite this tinder. No one knows where or when the eruption will take place. No one knows the form it will take. But it is certain now that a popular revolt is coming. The refusal by the corporate state to address even the minimal grievances of the citizenry, along with the abject failure to remedy the mounting state repression, the chronic unemployment and underemployment, the massive debt peonage that is crippling more than half of Americans, and the loss of hope and widespread despair, means that blowback is inevitable.

The house of cards recovery is past teetering. The Fed is in a liquidity trap. And the rest of the world is slowly side-stepping away from the dollar.

There is some good news, America just surpassed Saudi Arabia in oil production:

While the White House spied on Frau Merkel and Obamacare developed into a slow-moving train wreck, while Syria was saved from all-out war by the Russian bell and the Republicrats fought bitterly about the debt ceiling… something monumental happened that went unnoticed by most of the globe.

The US quietly surpassed Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer in the world.

You read that correctly: “The jump in output from shale plays has led to the second biggest oil boom in history,” stated Reuters on October 15. “U.S. output, which includes natural gas liquids and biofuels, has swelled 3.2 million barrels per day (bpd) since 2009, the fastest expansion in production over a four-year period since a surge in Saudi Arabia’s output from 1970-1974.”

Instead of asking some rhetorical question like will that mean a break at the pump and immediate abandonment of the Keystone pipeline? I’d like to offer a poem about one of my most favorite petroleum products, Legos.  Happy Halloween!


I tell my son
the insects aren’t necessarily
the bad guys

I suggest joint missions
between Lego Galaxy Squad
and the insects

we have a dialogue
about territory
and colonization

I don’t say anything
about refugees
as we launch plastic projectiles

at each other

I don’t say Galaxy Squad
will enact genocide
against the insects

for whatever precious spice
hides beneath
plastic surfaces

—William Skink

  1. Big Swede

    Read Chris’s piece. All I could think of was this comment from WRSA.

    Amazing the entrenched ideological stupidity that is
    displayed everyday from the whole liberal spectrum.
    While the water rises above their ankles they still
    cling to the socialist nirvana dream.
    This nationally induced narcosis is truly destructive in
    somehow subduing the survivor response, like the
    whole nation is staring into the eye of a cobra.
    Waiting to die?
    Amazing ! -Smith, commenter.

    • JC

      Amazing the entrenched ideological stupidity that is
      displayed everyday from the whole conservative spectrum.
      While the water rises above their ankles they still
      cling to the capitalist nirvana dream.
      This nationally induced narcosis is truly destructive in
      somehow subduing the survivor response, like the
      whole nation is staring into the eye of a cobra.
      Waiting to die?
      Amazing !

      C’mon Swede, you can do better than that. Change two words and you discover the rest is just a simulacrum.

  2. JC

    Here’s some virtual legos to share with your kid!

  3. Turner

    I doubt that those 20,000 Montanans who have crap insurance policies that don’t cover much of anything will be disadvantaged by having to buy a different, better policy on the exchange. The new policy might cost a little more, but it’ll be far better for policy-holders and others who have to pay for expensive emergency room services for the virtually uninsured.

    I’m very suspicious, by the way, of the horror stories being told by people claiming they’re being victimized by Obamacare. Most of these stories are fabrications, lies made up by Obama’s political enemies.

    Example, the three families that recently appeared on Hannity to complain about their experiences with the ACA. All three couples, it turns out, were lying their asses off.

    Having said this, I’m unhappy that Obamacare isn’t way better. For-profit insurance companies are still in charge and demanding that their parasitic relationship with health care users be protected by the politicians they own.

    Medicare for everyone!

    • Why would I pay for insurance, as an otherwise healthy young adult, when my 2014 fine will be a helluva lot cheaper. What’s my incentive? There’s less than 30 days to explain this to me, and you know what, I’m not convinced. Sell it to me.

      • Turner

        So you’re not one of the 20,000 with sub-par health insurance, right? It sounds like you have no insurance at all.

        So if you’re injured you do what? Have someone take you to the Emergency Room at St. Pats?

        Will you pay the tens of thousands of dollars it will cost to save your life?

        Or do you expect the rest of us to pay for your health care through higher insurance rates?

        If the latter, you’re a deadbeat.

        • I’m self-employed so I don’t have employer health insurance.

          Why wouldn’t I go to the hospital and have the emergency room take care of me? This is what we’ve been saying for years is acceptable through our actions. Until we start kicking people to the street this will continue to happen. When the gov’t pays your fees, why wouldn’t you do it?

          So you make people buy insurance or give them a fine. When they don’t get insurance you kick them to the street and let them die. Let them die right on the street, or even better, in front of the schools. I don’t care, I don’t want to pay for it.

          I saw this a lot in China. We had a good class of beggars there – no arms, burned to hell, no legs. I didn’t give them money, and few others did. Fuck ’em. I don’t care, and the sooner others get this attitude the better off they’ll be.

          Isn’t that what we tell people in this country? Take care of yourself of your shit out of luck, pal. But that’s not true, is it?

        • mike

          Yo, stupid, the market has set rates that price insurance based on actuariall information. Progtards like you liking pixie dust and unicorns are really stupid and clueless, you don’t what the fuck you are are talking about.

          • Pal, that’s two spelling mistakes in as many hours. I can understand that it might take you that long to read these posts, but I urge you to slow down and think, or maybe type out your stuff in Word.

      • mike

        If you were a moron you would join up. ACA means you will pay for subsidies that you have nothing to do with for people you don’t know.

        if you have a Gandhiesque selflessness I bow down to your sainthood but you remain an idiot.

        There is no incentive bro, it kills me that my younger relatives (nieces and nephews) are hosed by the fuckstains in congress, on both teams….Fuck them all,

    • mike

      This is so stupid in so many ways, that dolts like you like you think the federal government can deliver services in a cost effective manner can only make me think you believe in unicorns and pixie dust, kind of like the ACA rollout. FAIL, dude, wishes in one hand and turds in the other, which one are you picking.

    • mike

      You are a moron if you think the fed gov can mete out anything in an efficient manner.

  4. 1/7 is 14%. And I’m not too worried about these people because I know most of them have adequate fat stores to see them through the winter.

    You can get a lot of boxed shit when you use foodstamps. You can also get fruits and vegetables. Really though, do you see a lot of those purchases? You see processed food, and you see fat waistlines and asses on these people.

    Cutting foodstamps is a huge mistake for corporate America. If we can continue to have people eating unhealthily, which food stamps push, then we can keep them dependent on those huge food processors in the Midwest that put out crap. Remember, these are critical for our economy, not the least of which because they primarily run on illegal immigrant labor.

    So not only are we getting the food made cheaply, and with few payroll taxes paid on it, but we’re also getting the government to pay for it. This is what makes this country so great. There are lots of ways to not only cheat the government, but poor people at the same time.

    I guess my question is, what will we use that 14% on? Oh yeah, we’ll give it to China.

  5. Billings Dad

    Welcome to the middle of the Obama Economy – 47.8 million people on food stamps, and the government broke, and BORROWING $140,000,000 dollars per hour to stay operating.
    A no-win situation.

    • mike

      Stuff happens, eh Dad, sad that young people don’t know what is coming, the statist motherfuckers in both parties have screwed the next generation and they haven’t a clue.

  6. lizard19

    mike, if you are incapable of commenting without calling people stupid morons, then you will not be commenting here.

  7. Mark Anderlik

    Let’s get back to the Hedges article. It is clear that our political and economic systems are at best dysfunctional for the vast numbers of citizens. I agree with him that some form of revolt is likely given the dysfunction (aided by some of the ignorant ideology expressed above) unless the system is able to somehow begin to fix the gross inequalities.

    I believe with Hedges that it is far preferable to solve our society’s problems through the existing system, if possible. This is what Obamacare is trying to do for health care insurance finance, for example. And given that Obamacare is only a first step toward a solution, and how contentious and inept even this first step has been, it does not bode well for the system.

    There are those on the knee-jerk right who ideologically oppose any attempt by the system to correct problems. And they do offer an alternative – rule by corporations. The corporations, their argument goes, will surely make the proverbial trains run on time.

    The problem is that fascism has been tried and found very wanting. And so has the highly centralized system form of state capitalism known as communism.

    If the system will not be willing or able to solve real problems, then we must look to forming other systems. Let’s discuss this by looking into the future and articulating how we can solve social problems rather than beating dead ideological horses.

    Couple this with organizing and we will have what is the only way humans have to make substantial changes in how we organize our societies.

    • Big Swede

      To quote the frontrunner, what difference does it make?

      You westies are all toast anyway.


    • Finally, a breath of fresh air – someone who can leave a comment with valid points and not a lot of finger pointing or schoolyard language. Thank you!

    • lizard19

      great comment Mark.

      as the political/economic/environmental crisis worsens, I’m hoping those within the failing systems will become agents of change. there are good people who work within the department of corrections, law enforcement, hospitals, and social services who know directly how broken these systems are when it comes to issues like addiction and mental illness.

      what fucks up a true assessment of systemic failure is the corporate capture of our two party political system, tied up with nice media ribbons colored red and blue, democrat and republican. if we can’t fix that, nothing else will follow.

  8. lizard19

    must read article today at Counterpunch by Andrew Levine, A Plague on Both Parties!

  9. Doug63

    You stop getting smoothies from the Good Food Store, get up off yer butt, and get a job. That’s what you do. Granted, the Obama economy has made that far more difficult than it’s ever been.

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