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Crossing One Thin Line After Another

History shows us there is a thin line between outrage and unrest, between unrest and riot, and between riot and revolution. And it seems lately that we are constantly crossing these lines, that we are constantly on the edge and on the verge of being pushed to the limit, that every day, somewhere in the world, individuals, families, communities, countries, and regions are fluctuating and transitioning from one point of frustration to the next, even more frustrating point.

From the economy, to the environment, to intractable politics, to intolerance, to technology, to terrorism, to any number of other issues, who knows what will trigger the next outrage, unrest, riot, or revolution.

While there will always be multiple known and unknowable factors behind any tumultuous event, historians and analysts have come to a consensus that it was increasingly rising food prices, and, more specifically, the high cost of bread that pushed a region over the line and triggered the Arab Awakening.

And there is evidence showing that throughout the ages it has been the rising costs of basic food staples that pushes even the most civil minded citizens into becoming violent revolutionaries for change.

As the most cursory of searches reveal, the cumulative effect of the world’s many crises, coupled with the continuance of extreme weather patterns and resultant droughts, flooding, and other climate change unknowns, 2015 may be a year of severely rising food costs.

If so, it may prove to be quite the year, indeed.



Hercules Gone Mad

Hercules Gone Mad – Part One
Rebels for Love

Read an Excerpt


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The Power of Money, the Money of Power

Chinese Currency
By: Paul. B

There is much ado in the news about China’s Wen Jiabao, the supposed People’s Premier, accumulating a massive fortune, for both himself and his extended family, while serving within the highest ranks of China’s government.

According to New York Times reporting:

Many relatives of Wen Jiabao, including his son, daughter, younger brother and brother-in-law, have become extraordinarily wealthy during his leadership, an investigation by The New York Times shows. A review of corporate and regulatory records indicates that the prime minister’s relatives — some of whom, including his wife, have a knack for aggressive deal making — have controlled assets worth at least $2.7 billion.

No one is surprised by this, right? I mean, when in history has there ever been an authoritarian, non-transparent government where its leaders — and often…well, usually…okay, you’re right, always…those close to the leaders — did not become fabulously wealthy as a result of their position within the government?

We all know the quote, Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, so it is not news that Jiabao, or any other Chinese government senior leader, and their families and friends, have profited because of their positions.

And you know what else isn’t news? The fact that China has blocked all internet access to the New York Times, as well as to other major news outlets, such as the BBC, that are reporting on the story.

Without a doubt, Western-style democracies are far from perfect; and, without a doubt, many politicians and government officials within these supposed transparent governments have amassed huge, unknowable, amounts of cash because of their positions. Still, at least we who live in countries governed by democracies, with our right to vote and with our freedom of speech, have a semblance of a notion that we can contain the corruption. Whether it’s true or not is debatable, but having a semblance of a notion is better than having none at all.

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Rise Up!

It’s the bottom of the ninth.

We’re down and in desperate need of a two-out rally.

So what are we waiting for? Should we go
for the win and swing for the fence?

Or should we just drop our bats,
grab our crotches,
and wait?

Just wait for someone else to come along and bat clean up?

Just wait for them to come along and clean up all of the shit
our silence has created?

Should we wait?

Just wait for the president and the congress and the
governors and every other sleazy politician to knock
the dirt out of their spikes and lead the rally?

Or should we, instead, wait for Wall Street and the
chambers of commerce and the boards of directors
and the unions and even the goddamn Junior Achievers
to stop sucking each other off and let them lead the rally?


I’m tired from waiting,
and I’m sick from feeding on bullshit
and shallow metaphors.

It’s time for movement.

It’s time to say to hell with our condoning silence
and rise up.

Hey you!

Yeah, you in the corner with the pencil.

You, the unassuming bard whose verse speaks in whispers.
It’s time for you to rise up and write the words that need
to be written.

It’s time for you to sharpen your pencil and to tear
and thrash at the page till it bleeds and screams out
in desperate fury.

And when your words are read the readers are shocked
and angered and filled with such passion and rage
that nipples harden and balls retract in their sacks.

So rise up!

Check your zippers and march.

Listen for the rhythm ‘cause no one is leading
and no one is following.

There’s just us.

You Me Her Him We, Each confused and disoriented but
Each coming together and marching in one
Throbbing Mass of Poetic Fervor.

So rise up!

Rub the crap from your eyes and focus.

Breathe deeply then grab hold of today and straddle it.
Dig in deep with your knees and spur the bitch till it bucks.

But be ready ‘cause when it bucks it’s gonna buck good.
And when you fall and taste the dirt don’t spit it out.

Taste it!

Chew on it and swallow.

Because that’s why we are here:
to taste the flavor of today
and determine what ingredients are missing.

So, if your heart’s not pounding
and your hand’s aren’t shaking
and you’re still just sitting on your ass
waiting for someone else to do your work,
then close your notebook and break your pencil
because you are dead.

But if You feel the Passion
and if You feel the Rhythm,
then know that it is You who will do.

You who must do.

Yes, You.

But first You must Rise the fuck Up!