Where do we go from here?

—Bumper sticker of the week: Equality causes no war.

—Quote of the week: “Justice is the only worship. Love the only priest. Ignorance is the only slave. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make other people happy.”  R.G. Ingersoll

—The Inauguration — A New Beginning: How refreshing, to listen to someone who can put together more than two sentences without murdering the English language. Now the fun begins, straightening up the mess George left us with. The good thing is no one on earth could possibly do a worse job. Can Obama move America back to its place as a world leader, rather than a world fool? I hope. Will he be able to make us more just, less racist, more compassionate? Maybe. Can he help us to have fewer doubts? Possibly. Can he at least talk to us, and we, at the very least, be able to understand what it is he’s saying? Most definitely. We, the people, have chosen our course, and started the revolution. We have gone to the polls in record numbers and elected, rather than allow the Supreme Court to choose, who is to lead us. We are a country born by revolution, and we have successfully started the second. Almost to the day of Martin Luther Kings birthday, we stepped inside his dream and duly ordained an African-American to lead us. A black man who was brave enough to stand up and say to society, judge me not by my color, but my character. That, in the 21st century, is surely not asking too much? Now he is the 44th President of the United States. A truly revolutionary act. But as with any revolution, the exchange of power is only the beginning. Now we must begin to rebuild the country that we envision, the country that we deserve, the dream that we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren.

• Who in their right mind can continue to believe that war can bring us peace and prosperity?

How will killing and destruction and torture win us admiration around the world? The evilness of war is as evident as the goodness of watching a sunrise in the morning. That huge, fiery ball rising up out of the horizon for the zillionth time, giving each of us one more shot at a fresh start. War does not make us that promise. It is old school, dark age, neanderthal thinking that leads us to kill our enemies. Now is the time to declare that war is washed up, that it has served its time and is spent. That it is no longer relevant to the 21st century.

• Our addiction to oil has to end. The money that we spend on our addiction goes straight into the coffers of the terrorist cause. Addictions are not easy to end. It is painful. If we don’t beat this addiction, it will take us down as surely as crack eventually takes down the crack user, or meth  the meth user. Any economic stimulus package that is offered has to include the building of a green economy, producing jobs in the production of solar, wind, energy efficient transportation, inventing things still unheard of. The warming of the Earth is not a left-wing fantasy. You’re a fool to think so. The acceleration of temperature is real. Ignoring it could end civilization as we know it. The dream will not only fade.  It will end.

• The poor cannot continue to get poorer and the rich richer. That is not a viable economic system. We will not be able to maintain a nonviolent revolution if that trend continues. You can only stomp on people for so long before they rise up and fight back. Misery, hopelessness, and anger are a lethal combination, as terrorism is demonstrating. This is a practical matter, as well as a political, social, and psychological one. It should only take half of a brain to understand this cannot continue. Milton Friedman’s free-market, non-regulated economy must be reigned in and put on the bookshelf. It is an affront to every person on Earth. As Friedman stated, his system needs the poor to supply the labor. Get your hands on “The Shock Doctrine,” by Naomi Klein. This book should become the revolution’s Bible. Even now, in the first stages of our economic recovery, you can see Friedman’s economic theories rearing their ugly heads. Who is getting the bailout money, our money? The very persons who caused the problems to begin with.

• In revolutionary times, many sacrifices have to be made. Those sacrifices cannot be one-sided. The lower and middle classes are pressed enough. Sure, we need to scale back where we can, drive more fuel efficient cars, build smaller homes, insulate better, recycle. Renters cannot afford high rents on top of high utility bills.  Renters of properties  who refuse to make their buildings more energy efficient needs to be relived of their properties. As the revolution moves forward, the rich need to make sacrifices in proportion to their wealth. No one needs to live in a $50 million dollar home. No person is worth a $20 million dollar salary per year, whether a corporate CEO or a baseball player. You see.  Revolutions act as equalizers. The haves need to give up some of their riches in order for the have-nots to enter the playing field. How this will play out remains to be seen, but must happen. A revolution is not complete without it. If you are a praying person, pray that it is done nonviolently, compassionately, and with great humility. If you’re not one, you may want to become one, particularly if you got some money. The economic system has to change, or the revolution is for naught.