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2011 – A Hard Year Ahead

By James Donahue

Nineteenth Century novelist Charles Dickens might have been describing the current state when he penned his famous lines: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us. . .”

This appears to be a perfect description of the state of the world as we plunge forward into the year 2011. As people all over the planet prepare to gather for champagne and fireworks in the air of mass jubilation that has traditionally marked the start of each New Year, many of us gaze over the looming months with dread, knowing that for most it threatens to truly be a “season of Darkness” and a “winter of despair.”

Humanity stands at a precipice of disaster and possible extinction yet most people are going about their daily lives as if nothing is wrong. Those still enjoying the benefits of employment, wealth and comfort tend to ignore the plight of the growing number of their fellow men and women, caught up in a global financial calamity brought on by greed and corruption in high places. They wish to believe the lies perpetrated by the corporate media that war is necessary, the government is keeping everybody safe from terrorism, the Republicans will do what is right to save America from economic and social collapse, and global warming is a myth.

Humanity stands at a precipice of disaster and possible extinction at a time when science is making great strides toward saving us from ourselves. We are on the verge of discovering the secret of long life without pain and disease. We are also discovering new tools of mass control and destruction. We have the capability of destroying the world at the push of a button.

People all over the world must be looking on in horror as they watch the United States, once the hope and beacon of freedom and opportunity, falls into decay and ruin. Banks are failing, factories are closing, and millions of workers are unemployed and losing their homes. The homeless cluster in blankets in vacant buildings, tents and shadowed places in nearly every city and town.

Warnings of climate change that have been sounded for more than a decade are still being mocked by big business interests and the government leaders they finance because they resist paying the cost of repairing the problem of carbon emissions. Media Mogul Rupert Murdock has instructed his staff at Fox News and his many newspapers to always question climate change and treat it as a theory. Yet the world is being ravaged by the most destructive storms, the most severe winters and the hottest summers in recorded history. Early winter storms brought holiday travel to a standstill in the United States, Europe and Russia.

Drought is spreading desertification in places that once were fertile and where farmers produced the food to feed the world’s estimated 7 billion people.

Voters in America mistakenly released the hounds of big corporations and the wealthy elite on Washington. It was obviously not their intention. They were blinded by slick and well-financed attack advertising and a secret takeover of what they believed was a rebellious grass roots Tea Party movement.

When the new Congress convenes on Wednesday, everything will be set up for a disaster in the making. More borrowed money will be poured into the nation’s massive military complex, the banks and the pockets of the organized criminals who have seized the wealth and power. We can expect the government aid long enjoyed by the poor, sick and elderly to be reduced if not stripped altogether. Programs designed to assist the mentally and physically injured war veterans are at risk of pilfering.

From the viewpoint of the struggling masses the year 2011 appears bleak and foreboding. Yet we are glad to say that all is not lost. We still have a bright and thinking president in power that holds the power of persuasion and veto. He is in a position to do the right thing, if he is willing. We have honorable elected legislators in both houses who clearly understand the battle that lies before them. And we have Julius Assange and his amazing WikiLeaks web site that is systematically exposing corruption in high places. As long as true investigative journalism like this continues to exist and do its job, and the misdeeds of the high and mighty can be exposed, there continues to be hope for change. There is a need for a house cleaning the likes of which this world has never seen. The lizards must be driven from power.

There is another old proverb that goes: “The night is always darkest just before the dawn.” Perhaps this will prove to be true during 2011. We foresee a time of great suffering, strife and discord ahead. While dark clouds loom, the sunshine cannot be far beyond. If we stand and fight, we do not have to fall over the precipice to our destruction.