This past month, the announcement of Felicity Huffman’s 14 day prison sentence for her role in the college admission scandal sent social media ablaze with comments of righteous indignation. She used her power, influence, money, and connections to cheat her daughter’s way into college with an inflated standardized test score. This sits in stark contrast to numerous legal cases over the past decade in which mothers…usually poor and of color….were handed down sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years in jail for registering their child with a false address to give them the opportunity to attend a better public school. The irony and injustice of these cases spurred a brief outcry from the public that received media attention. And then silence.
Don’t even get me started on the Jeffrey Epstein scandal; the poster child case of a broken system that heavily favors the rich and powerfully connected. The heinous crimes he was accused and convicted of; the laughable first sentence he received; the bizarre circumstance surrounding his most recent incarceration and exit from this world; should make every citizen outraged and embarrassed of our supposed justice system. Why has the mockingbird media suddenly gone virtually silent over this scandal?
Closer to home in Pennsylvania and on a much smaller scale, let me tell you about two separate cases involving individuals charged with a DUI. The first young man was convicted of his Third DUI offense and sentenced to 3-6 months county jail time. He appealed his conviction to the state Supreme Court, where it was upheld. The entire case has taken almost 3 years to wind its way through the system and during that time, this young man has been free on bail pending the receipt of all the Supreme Court case documents back to the original sentencing county. During this time, this young man has been charged with several other offenses including a gun charge in another county and a Fourth DUI just a few months ago. However, he is still driving around illegally and living free on bail while the wheels grind slowly forward. The contrasting case involves a young man charged with his Second DUI offense in the same county. This particular young man had several things working against him from the start. For one, he lives off a fixed social security disability income because he has diagnosed severe mental illness. Due to his multiple mental health challenges, he does not always get the treatment he needs and self medicates with illegal substances. In a moment of clarity, he realized that he needed help to stabilize and found inpatient long term treatment at a dual diagnosis facility. While there, he found out that he had missed a court appearance. Well, maybe missed is not accurate. He told his public defender and social worker that he was self admitting into this long term treatment facility and assumed that they would inform the judge and prosecutor. He found out that didn’t happen when a warrant with his picture was posted on social media and brought to his attention while he was receiving treatment. He panicked and immediately left the facility and turned himself in. His case was heard very quickly by the courts and he officially received a sentence of “Other”. He didn’t understand and couldn’t explain to family members exactly what his sentence meant. He rather quickly then was transferred to two different state prisons and has been incarcerated for close to a year now with no end date in sight, or at least none that he can effectively communicate to his family. A deeper look at these two cases reveals how a person who arguably could be classified as a menace to society with resources at his disposal can receive a different kind of justice than a poor person with documented disabilities.
Change to our current world paradigm is never going to happen from the top down…only from the bottom up. We the people need to be the change we want to see; we need to keep shining light in all the dark places. As our own understanding and consciousness begins to increase, we need to gather together to find our collective power. As the quote from Benjamin Franklin states: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
The pharmaceutical industry along with the oil and gas industry are two of the most powerful sectors of our economy. The titans of these industries and other similar have a vested interest in keeping their wealth and power and growing it further, even if that means society suffers as a result. They use their economic power, lobbying and marketing, and manipulation of the media to discredit alternative research. They influence governments to maintain or expand the sales and distribution of their oft times deadly products. The power and control tactics used mirror the ones deployed by abusive spouses, only the general public are the victims in this case. It’s strategic, tactical, and premeditated.
Now let’s take a look at the flip side….. the amazing technological advances that have been made in the last century. New technology has utterly transformed communication and information. Children born in the last decade will be hard pressed to even imagine what their elders are talking about when describing the old days. Typewriters? Rotary phones? Paper maps? You get the picture. We now have refrigerators that are part of the internet of things that monitor our contents, reorder automatically when our food stock gets low, and have our delivery shipped by drone to our front door so that we can follow along with the recipe displayed on your virtual screen to whip up dinner!
So then why are we driving vehicles based on century old technology? Why are we slaves to prescription medication that we have to take for the rest of our lives in order to be “healthy”? Anyone with access to the internet can easily find examples of proposed technology for harnessing free energy and using the body’s own electromagnetic field to cure ailments going back decades. So why haven’t any of these proposed ideas been brought to mainstream reality in the last 100 years? Power and control. If the average person had access to free energy and cures that are natural as opposed to chemical, then the vast empire of wealth that ultimately dictates our reality would be out of business. And just like tyrant dictators of millennia past, they are going to do everything in their power to make sure that doesn’t happen.
Let me ask you dear readers, if this scenario happened to you do you think you could pull off the bailout? Or do you think, as I do, that you would be pounced on by every law enforcement and alphabet agency in our country? Hmm.
Now let’s look at PG&E. California public officials have blamed them for the recent deadliest wildfire in state history. Of course, the corporation recently filed bankruptcy along with forecasting higher customer rates. And they have been bailed out in the past, like in 2003 when 17 executives received a combined $83 million in bonuses courtesy of taxpayers. PG&E is lobbying for a bailout yet again. I guess it’s because the Rothschild owned utility really needs the money.
There has been so much buzz around the Green New Deal initiative presented by Democratic Representative Ocazio-Cortez recently. This initiative was proposed to simultaneously tackle climate change and economic inequality.. It’s goals are lofty, and ones that most Americans would love to see happen, but more of a pipe dream than a realistic endeavor right now.
The plan calls for greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles to be at zero within ten years. It calls for the end of using fossil fuels across the board, including manufacturing and transportation, and a transition to alternative energy and fuel. Also included is a massive goal of repairing and improving our infrastructure and net zero energy building, which includes upgrading all existing structures. On the economic side, not only does it call for guaranteed living wage employment for everyone, but also reparations and protections for those who have been disadvantaged by industry in the past. Basic utility prices are mandated to be affordable and available to all. Sounds wonderful! But is it realistic or just utopian musings?
With the caveat that the best indicator for future behavior is recent past behavior, critics of this plan are right to be skeptical. Historically, our country has an abysmal track record of bringing bright shiny ideas like this into concrete reality. Just look at the Obama stimulus package. Or the new rail project in California that just got permanently cancelled. Great ideas that offer both economic equality and protection against climate change have broad support in their proposal but almost utter failure in their implementation. The biggest reason, in my opinion, is that the powerful corporations and elite of this world have a big stake in maintaining their wealth and influence and as a whole do not act in ways that would foster equality and access for all. Until this changes, all these ideas are just a dream. One only needs to realize that with all the amazing technological advances we have seen this century alone, we still drive vehicles that are operating with 100 year old technology while patents that would revolutionize this remain suppressed for national security reasons.
I’m not saying we should stop dreaming and wishing for a healthier, cleaner, more just and equal society. I’m saying that in order for this type of change to happen, we all need to clear away the distracting chatter and get serious about how we can address the fundamental blocks to achieving this goal. Until we get real about that…. this is all a beautiful fantasy.