Why Cecil the Lion Matters

This week a storm of outrage erupted from social media after news spread that suburban Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed Cecil the lion July 1st. Despite the 1% spin machine of corporate media, providing cover for wealthy white American men, and repeated denials from Palmer, he knew exactly what he was doing. Palmer claimed that he had all the appropriate permits for big game hunting in Zimbabwe. In truth they purposely lured the lion out of the protected Hwange National Park, baiting the lion with a dead carcass. Palmer wounded the animal with a bow and arrow and made sport of stalking the distinctive black-mane lion for 40 agonizing and torturous hours-for the lion. Romney_Cecil_The_Hill

Palmer hunted Cecil for a trophy, not for food or survival. After killing the animal he cut off the head and skinned it, ostensibly to be used as a rug or display piece; proof of Palmer’s heroism and masculine virility. It should be a crime. The US Fish and Wildlife Service lists African lions as endangered. The African Wildlife Foundation calls them “vulnerable.” National Geographic noted an estimated 200,000 existed at the start of the 20th Century. There are fewer than 30,000 today, and those numbers are dropping. Beware of the spin here, as conservation efforts in several countries, including Zimbabwe have helped a few prides grow in numbers. Overall, across the continent however, lions are reaching a tipping point to no return.

Why the killing of Cecil the lion matters is because humanity is and must be undergoing a transition. As we come to terms with realities of our changing environment, we are learning just how dramatic is our footprint and impact on the planet. The killing of this lion and so many of these creatures, killed for sport predominantly by the wealthy or for the wealthy illustrates the hubris and waste of our species. Clinging to that piggish, self-serving, hedonistic ignorance will prove our own undoing and predict our own destruction.

Palmer, who not surprisingly contributed $5000 to Mitt Romney’s crash and burn campaign in 2012, represents that cruel and ignorant past. He represents the people who gun their engines on earth day, who carry combat rifles into Walmarts, who see racial differences as a threat to hegemony and power as opposed to an opportunity to better define justice. Palmer represents the global warming deniers, the hedge fund traders, the bankers, ISIS, the Taliban, the Western militarists, AIG and Goldman Sachs, the Iranian Mullahs, the Israeli nationalists, Fracking and oil companies, weapons manufacturers and anyone else who keeps us mired in our primitive and ignorant past.

What are we doing as a species? Are we forever to be trapped in the unchanging, stagnate or regressive self-infatuation of consumption and materialism, of rampant and celebratory ignorance masked by the twisted hierarchy o spiritual and religious pretense? Do we wake up day after day after day after day embittered in resisting the change inherent in the universe around us?

That is why the loss of Cecil the lion, and every other lion, giraffes, elephants, spotted owls, sea turtles, whales, hippos, Rhinos and more that are destroyed for profit or for ego. It is a waste without purpose. There was no sustenance for a hungry village from Cecil’s remains. He wasn’t a rogue monster terrorizing a populace; there wasn’t even the culling rationale for the greater good of the pride. It was a waste by a member of a species that is coming to be defined not by its progress and wisdom but by its waste. Enough already! Let Cecil, as tragic and pointless as it is, by a guidepost to a past we must extricate ourselves from and hopefully leave behind.

Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
CAM00236WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. His new book “A Tragic Fate: is an unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com

The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.[4] Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.

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Reset the Debt, a strategy to save the world

Luke 3:11 ESV / 135 helpful votes
And he answered them, “Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.”

This time the losses won’t be passed along to the tax payer. When the next derivatives bubble bursts, and it will sooner rather than later there isn’t enough money on the planet to bail us out of this one. Here is the funny part, the global derivatives market is roughly about $1.2 Quadrillion. The output of the entire world economy is less than $100 trillion. Under the current more or less integrated global economic system in the event of a global economic collapse somebody owes somebody about $1.1 quadrillion, which would require every man, woman, child and nation on Earth 11 years to pay back, if 100% of the global economic output went only to that effort. Here is the really funny part; derivatives essentially represent nothing but emotion.

But this isn’t about derivatives. It is about debt and the absurdity and perversity with which our global economy has and is being managed. It is a measure that much of the world’s economy now is built on debt rather than output and production. The production of and profit from debt has replaced true innovation and creation, or even simple repair and sustainability. In America mounting and choking debt inhibits repair of a critically crumbling infrastructure. It impedes and restricts efforts that would restore communities and is even used as a weapon against profitable companies, such as Bain capital’s dismantling and selling off of the Sensata factory in Freeport Illinois back in 2012.Freeport_Romney_protest

Ironic, since Bain was owned in part by then presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who had made the nation’s debt a campaign issue. Not a single corporate news outlet, and painfully few so-called liberal or progressive sources mentioned at the time that much of Romney’s fortune came from buying companies, borrowing money against those companies, saddling them with his monstrous debt liabilities, while he walked away with the cash. The closing devastated Freeport. Such is the basic philosophy now at the heart of modern economics. Supply and demand? What century were you born in?

It is hardly a secret that far too many college and university graduates emerge from school crushed by debt. It is of course their choice to incur that debt. Their hand signs the contract. Then again had they decided to forego school, well, Starbucks wants a degree these days. Try finding a job without a degree, and now without the “right” degree. Communities are likewise sapped and stymied by voluminous debt, preventing the repair of bridges and roads and necessitating the closing of schools, hospitals and public institutions. Programs critical to feed or help the poor, elderly and disabled are cut, and our federal government has remained at a virtual political stand still over fights about the national debt.

Internationally the debt crisis feeds poverty, extremism, starvation, war and global instability. It sets nations up to be abused, and for their workforce to be abused by international corporations. Debt is a tactic used frequently in human trafficking and child pornography. Debt has not served humanity well at all, and indications are growing loudly and starkly that debt may soon lead the global economy off a cliff that will dwarf the 2008 crisis and plunge it over a cliff to a historic crash from which it might not recover. American-Dollar-Toilet-Paper

What is needed is a Reset the Debt effort, in which global debt on the international, national, local and personal is reset to zero. The planet must choose a date and cancel out all debt on the planet. Wealth at that moment would be based entirely upon possession. If you live in a home, drive a car those things would be the basis for your personal wealth. On day two the debt clock would begin again, stimulating a whole new era in humanity. Poverty would all but disappear. Starvation would be eliminated, and the root causes and environment feeding extremism would be catastrophically undermined or eliminated. Trade between nations would rise to historic levels. Essentially the world’s economy would stop on day one and begin new and fresh on day two, with investments, leveraging and borrowing bringing a new economic renaissance based upon true vision and innovation.

I understand the criticism of ending debt only to create new debt. The difference here is that debt would be based upon reality, where now it is based upon pure abstracts and fraud, which essentially, if you remove the element of trust, is what derivatives represent. And a new system of laws and oversight would guide this new economy. The world would instill and enforce an international minimum wage based upon the nation’s trade output and GDP. A debt to GDP ratio would protect nations from over leveraging and penalize corporations, predatory interests or belligerent government.

What is the alternative? Clearly the system we have is not working. The root cause of that breakdown is debt. The current system is not part of our DNA, nor a necessity like water or food. It is an invention of accommodation and agreement. It can be changed, and those who refuse to accept that it can be changed, scrapped or re-envisioned are holding the rest of the species back from a fundamental aspect of our humanity; the mandate for survival by predicting the calamities threatening us. That we are the architects of the coming global debt implosion but refuse to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves points to a fundamental flaw that must be corrected if we are to survive and progress.

It is time. Reset the debt!

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