The Summer's Solstice Signals The Beginning of Dark Dreams

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DDDigger deeper means looking around the edges, going within, and focusing on the obvious denials and lies that inform politics, searching out why and its meanings for all. But more, Digging Deeper, the blog, speaks to our national character, its trends and fractions, its morality and distributions, while looking at relationships of ideas and acts that are paths of domination and resistance. Digging Deeper delves into the details of their entangled justifications and finds patterns and shifts.

Even a cursory look shows that tension has increased as trust has diminished–not over emails, but over people who would make emails a long term issue of leadership, without identifying a single digital missive as a violation of state secrets–nothing close to the Wikileaks leaks of thousands of documents, embarrassing governments around the world, widely applauded by many progressives; nothing like Trailblazer, the NSA program that swept up micro-private communications from citizens who had broken no laws and were under no suspicion of unlawful activities; nothing like the data drop by Edward Snowden, now living in Russia, a contract employee for a private firm that clearly had no firewalls or procedures for digital security despite its big, out-sourced contracts; nothing like the Panama papers, 11.5 million documents of financial fraud and deception that represent a greater threat to US security and stability that anything identified in Hillary’s emails!

Yet those Milt Romney termed the “47 percent” appear consumed with the lack of a “there” when it comes to Hillary’s emails, seeing the absence as a more ominous threat than what actually exists in well known breaches that are rapidly being forgotten. It seems the country needs bigger scandals, even imaginary ones; greater dangers, larger fears, and our cultural machinery slogs these out by high capacity demand without reference to the facts. Our biggest non-profit industry (and a major profit center!) is fantasy fulfillment. Our single collective desire is to make our nightmares come true!

What are your darkest dreams? For the first time in American politics, they are real. They are possible. Right or left, black or white, rich and poor, victims and oppressors, men/women, gay/straight, immigrants and native born have found their rights impelled by the mob and the powerful.

So here are a few of the things that scare me. When Bangladesh, one of the first countries to have a cyber threat committed against its central bank that actually resulted in the loss of cash, tried frantically to contact the New York Federal Reserve, the repository of its funds, through emails and messages, because it was the weekend, no one at the Fed was available. In a global cyber system of finance, the Federal Reserve has no 24 hour hotline. The attempted billion dollar hack which resulted in $81 million disappearing into Filipino casinos, was committed after hours Thursday, the start of Bangladesh’s weekend, but once discovered, its officials were not able to reach the New York Fed until Monday.

This is reckless disregard; it is the equivalent of putting a Master Lock (bullet proof!) on Fort Knox or the New York Fed’s gold room on the weekend and calling off all security, assuming the lock will provide sufficient security for the wealth on the other side. This is stupidity! Apparently, in all of its threat scenarios, planning assets, security reviews, no one at the Fed ever thought about or planned for a cyber crime on the Fed’s days off, during holidays and weekends. Except for the missing money, the criminals left no trace. And the global sentries of the international money system are left pointing fingers at each other.

A second abiding foundation of Digging Deeper is the idea of proportion, that dialogue should involve careful comparisons of cause and response; that time and space and content are important along with size and impact. Democracy can only create balance if its differences and called for solutions to incidents and issues, if problems and systemic failures are viewed through a prism of proportion. Proportion provides perspective. It ensures all sides  are able to make their best case on issues that effect them. It should ensure weaker positions are eliminated, rather than being repeated.

In my nightmare, we have become a country without proportion. We amplify the same faults, thinking they will improve if we make them bigger. Trump’s “Wall” is a perfect example: it replicates the failure of barriers by saying they just need to be bigger/taller/deeper/longer/more expensive. It is a symbolic idol of his nativism. It would be a shrine to hate and fear.

Every society is a mix of legal and illegal activities, human activity runs the whole continuum. Is it proportional? How can it be improved? Trump who used Jamaicans with special work visas in his resort properties would turn back Latin America workers without documents, putting the focus on documents rather than productivity and contributions socially and economically.

So in Texas, a Mexican student who graduated valedictorian was booed and criticized on social media when she announced she was here without papers. She was seen as having taken advantage of the system (a Texas public high school!) despite what she had achieved and was clearly capable of contributing! Proportion is required to approach a middle ground, to weigh facts and priorities, short and long term. Take her away, deny her the chance to study, place her else where, and what have we lost? Has the country been injured by her success?

Proportion fails often in the one place it is supposed to work. Witness the sexual assault case involving an unconscious female found semi-nude, her underwear removed, her skirt around her shoulders, her breast exposed whose journey through America’s insanity was chronicled in her incredible insightful, sensitive letter about her inner journey after the attack and trial. She prepared the letter for the sentencing phrase of her perpetrator’s trial. (View an enacted reading by Congressional women here. Read the letter here.)

Found guilty on three counts, the judge set a sentence which will imprison the convicted perpetrator for only three months in a county jail, a penalty his father thought was still too high for “twenty minutes of action.”

It is a national irony and outrage that our justice system has many and massive failures, criminal and civil. Cleveland police fire 167 shots in a high speed chase of an unarmed couple and an officer leaps on the car hood to fire 49 rounds through the car’s front windshield–and is found not guilty by a judge. In Ferguson, Missouri, a town passed, civil statue allowed police to arrest persons (principally, young black men) for “manner of walking” without an objective standard or any relationship to community peace and safety. Its enactment and enforcement was purely as a money maker, a revenue producer for the town’s coffers.

Lastly, to show how proportion has changed, no community was profiled and no one in the crowded was interviewed or arrested after this act took place.

lynched

America must not forget the terror of its own violence. Or lose sight of how it was proportioned, if it is to be a voice and pillar of peace.