29 “As Your Majesty was lying there, your mind turned to things to come, and the revealer of mysteries showed you what is going to happen.
30 As for me, this mystery has been revealed to me, not because I have greater wisdom than anyone else alive, but so that Your Majesty may know the interpretation and that you may understand what went through your mind.
31 “Your Majesty looked, and there before you stood a large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance.
32 The head of the statue was made of pure gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze,
33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of baked clay.
34 While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them.
35 Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.
Greed and Impunity
The decay of our society as we speak it’s terrifying, you may think its business as usual, I agree that it is, I do not believe time past were better, however the difference is in the scale, and scope of it, never before so much was at a stake, as it is now, we seem to be at the edge of a precipice were our fall it is almost inevitable and we will be sucked up by an enormous sink hole, a hole made by ourselves, and our greedy capitalistic entrepreneurs, abetted, and shoved down our throats by our elected politicians that myopically and greedy are selling our future for any chump change they can get in to their pockets, it’s a crisis of values of Babylon’s proportions were and end like in the style of Sodom and Gomorrah is foreseeable, brought not by Angels, but Ecological disasters, floods, draughts, global warming, contamination, financial ruin, famine, sickness, crime, anarchy, and all the evils you can think about brought by a World society falling apart at the seams by selfishness and the law of the jungle brought by greed, and impunity.
in September 22, 2013 in the New York Times, Opinion there is an article by William D. Cohan titled: Was This Whistle-Blower Muzzled?
Here are some extracts of it, you can find the whole article on line.
Mr. Bowen, who was featured in a piercing “60 Minutes” segment in December 2011, had discovered that for years before the crisis, Citigroup, like many other Wall Street firms, had been purchasing tens of billions of dollars’ worth of risky home mortgages and then packaging and selling them as investments. “When I started screaming,” he told me, “I was just trying to do my job. Silly me.” At wits’ end, on Nov. 3, 2007, Mr. Bowen sent an e-mail to a small group of Citigroup executives, including Robert E. Rubin, a former Goldman Sachs executive and former Treasury secretary who was then chairman of the bank’s executive committee (and who received $126 million during his decade at Citigroup). “The reason for this urgent e-mail concerns breakdowns of internal controls and resulting significant but possibly unrecognized financial losses existing within our organization,” Mr. Bowen wrote.
Mr. Bowen told me that the following Tuesday, a Citigroup lawyer told him of his e-mail: We’re taking it seriously. Don’t call us. We’ll call you. He sent more e-mails to the lawyer, but heard nothing. “I mean, silence,” he said. (Months later, the two men did talk about Mr. Bowen’s e-mail to Mr. Rubin.)
Mr. Bowen, who is now 66 and teaches accounting at the University of Texas, Dallas, was fired in January 2009. (After signing a separation and confidentiality agreement, he received a severance package of less than $1 million.) And Citigroup went on to receive a $45 billion bailout from the taxpayers, plus guarantees on nearly $300 billion of securities, some of which were most likely crammed with the very low-quality mortgages Mr. Bowen had warned about.
America became inured to the sight of one extremely wealthy former Goldman Sachs senior partner turned Treasury secretary (Mr. Rubin) asking another (Mr. Paulson) for a favor. But what Mr. Bowen believes happened to him after Citigroup fired him still has the power to shock anyone who cares about accountability and justice. He feels he was muzzled; others involved are adamant that he was not.
In 2008, after his note to Mr. Rubin and after his responsibilities were vastly reduced at Citigroup, but before he was fired, Mr. Bowen decided to become a whistle-blower. That April, he filed a complaint, under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration claiming he had been retaliated against after writing his e-mail to Mr. Rubin. (The complaint was settled as part of his separation agreement with Citigroup.) Then, in July, Mr. Bowen went to the Securities and Exchange Commission. “I testified before the S.E.C.,” he told an audience in Texas earlier this year. “I told them what had happened.” He gave the S.E.C. more than 1,000 pages of documents. “Mr. Bowen, we are going to pursue this,” the agency told him. He never heard back. “Not only did they bury my testimony, they locked it up,” he said in his speech. (The S.E.C. has denied my numerous requests under the Freedom of Information Act for access to Mr. Bowen’s file, even though he has given his permission, claiming that the material was “confidential” and included Citigroup “trade secrets.” On Sept. 11, the S.E.C. denied my administrative appeal of its decision.)
Of course, it’s the old story on Wall Street: One man’s aggressive lobbying is another man’s undue influence. Mr. Kardell believes that “there’s no question that Richard was censored.”
Mr. Bowen told me that, despite the denials from Mr. Karp and Mr. Bondi, he continues to believe he was censored and bullied into changing his testimony. The experience has shaken his faith in the country’s institutions.
“It was devastating,” he said. “It truly was. From my standpoint, the corruption extends to the highest levels of government. I feel absolutely, completely violated. Every principle that I grew up with, and even when I did a brief stint in the R.O.T.C. and the Air Force, it’s just completely violated.”
He plans to keep talking about what happened to him. “By God, I’ve got to leave this country better off than the way I found it.”
Just as the world was beginning to take in the almost unimaginable devastation wrought by typhoon Haiyan, a young Filipino diplomat, Naderev Sano, was getting ready to lead his country’s negotiations in the UN climate talks in Warsaw, Poland. Yeb, as he is known, is a scientist and head of his country’s national climate commission and had flown out of Manila just hours before the vastness of Haiyan had become apparent.
By Monday morning, Sano knew that the Philippines had been struck by possibly the strongest storm ever measured, killing many thousands of people and making millions homeless. He took the floor and, in some trepidation in front of the delegates of 190 countries, gave an extraordinary, passionate speech in which he clearly linked super typhoon Haiyan to manmade climate change and urged the world to wake up to the reality of what he said was happening from Latin America to south east Asia and the US. He lambasted the rich countries, and dared climate change deniers to go to his country to see for themselves what was happening.
When he sat down, sobbing, he was given a standing ovation.
This was not just diplomatic theatricals or righteous grandstanding by a developing-country diplomat about the snail-like speed of the climate talks, which have dragged on for years and are not likely to conclude until 2015. What few people in Warsaw knew until Sano had nearly finished his speech was that even as he was addressing the UN, his brother was digging people out of the rubble of the ruined city of Tacloban and he and his family still did not know the fate of other relatives.
Normally stone-hearted diplomats broke down, and Sano, who calls himself a “revolutionary” and a “philosopher” on Twitter [@yebsano], said later he would go on hunger strike for the whole of the two-week meeting. In the last 24 hours he has been joined by 30 activists.
When it comes to connecting the dots between climate change, extreme weather and health, the lines are clear. The earth is saying something with record heat, drought, storms and fire. Scientists are telling us this is what global warming looks like.It’s time to listen – and take action. There’s plenty we can do. Carbon pollution is the main reason our planet is getting hotter, increasing the chances of weather disasters, drought and flood and hurting our health. There are solutions. For starters, we can cut carbon pollution by reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and increasing our use of clean, renewable energy. And we can implement policies that help us prepare for flooding, drought, storms and other consequences of climate change. But first, we need national leadership that will stop ignoring what the earth and scientists are telling us about climate change, and instead start ignoring those who continue to deny it is happening.
“If the movie had ended in Hollywood fashion, the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 would have marked the culmination of the global fight to slow a changing climate. The world’s nations had gathered in the December gloom of the Danish capital for what a leading climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern of Britain, called the “most important gathering since the Second World War, given what is at stake.” As Danish energy minister Connie Hedegaard, who presided over the conference, declared at the time: “This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we get a new and better one. If ever.”
In the event, of course, we missed it. Copenhagen failed spectacularly. Neither China nor the United States, which between them are responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions, was prepared to offer dramatic concessions, and so the conference drifted aimlessly for two weeks until world leaders jetted in for the final day. Amid considerable chaos, President Obama took the lead in drafting a face-saving “Copenhagen Accord” that fooled very few. Its purely voluntary agreements committed no one to anything, and even if countries signaled their intentions to cut carbon emissions, there was no enforcement mechanism. “Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight,” an angry Greenpeace official declared, “with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport.” Headline writers were equally brutal: COPENHAGEN: THE MUNICH OF OUR TIMES? asked one. “ (Rolling Stones By Bill McKibben)
Government VS Free Market Economy
Government clotted with the bureaucracy and ossification that have piled up over two centuries of the industrial age, government today is among the forces in society most resistant to change, it doesn’t adapt and innovate in order to work successfully, government seems to grow more bloated and ineffective as its leaders claim they are making it leaner and meaner.
Meanwhile, in the private sector, the forces of free-market competition who provided society’s most powerful spur for change and innovation in the last half of the Twenty Century, and that supposedly would make Government obsolete, proved themselves to be a an idol with clay feet. In contrast to Washington’s dismal performance in recent decades, not to mention the sorry history of the former socialist states which somehow managed throughout their 70-year history to remain wholly incapable of providing so much as a decent kitchen appliance to their citizens, the free market in contrast has shown itself to be the most effective force in society for creating new wealth and the infamous 1% spreading that wealth unequally thin among the rest of the population, who is growing dissatisfied with both Government, and the shameless Wall street speculators, bankers, insurance companies and financial mavericks who selfishly bought Government to change the rules of the game in their dream of maximizing profits, at the expense of Nature, and society at large who suffer Ecological disasters, lack of proper services, healthcare, social services, education, jobs, and proper wages, have turned many citizen in to cynics, impotent to see and end to so much corruption, and a lack of empathy to resolve the common problems who affect the most to the less privileged masses of individuals who join not the new market forces, but the homeless and the disfranchised, who wander in droves around our cities as an spectacle of shame, and hopelessness of a better future.
A Brave New World
So what is the future? I do not want to be an alarmist, but I am neither an optimist about the situation we face in a world obvious too big, and complex to be able to predict a future, but I am certain that if the change that it’s coming soon, it will be not so much about the exploitations of resources, or the creation of more wealth, with better infrastructures, and a more just and inclusive distribution of goods and services, maybe this no doubt can be better, but I foresee more a switch in a radical change in goals, aspirations and objectives in our way we live, see and understand ourselves within our environment, and Nature, the dream of the winner takes all, the maverick in pursuit of money success, luxury, and the fine things in life will have to change and become a dream of downsizing to live in an ecological balance with Mother Earth, were wealth would not mean how much you can own for yourself, but as to adapt ourselves to live better with less, an to loose interest in amazing money for the sake of it, but to exchange it for peace of mind, and community interaction, abandoning the idea of consumerism to create an economy, but of embracing quality craftsmanship of goods made not by fabrics, but by individuals, for local consumption, simpler lifestyles rather than expensive ones, recycling of everything, sewing buttons, mending clothes, like our grandmothers did, the abandonment of plastic, chemicals, and synthetic materials in favor of natural ones, the abandonment of big cities in favor of small rural, organic self sustain communities, the total renunciation of the car as an individual mode of transportation in favor of community transportation, the demise of the big chain markets for the farmer markets, the elimination of the big agribusiness complex, pharmaceutical complex, oil complex, and any other enterprise that require the automated, and the mass produced goods, along with the factories, that need a large pool of people concentrated in small areas we call now days cities.
I could go on and on, but with this you get the idea, downsize and go green, I am sure a lot of you will smile, and dismiss this as naïve, utopian, impossible, etc. However one thing I can tell you, if we don’t, there will be no future for mankind, the model that we live right now, it is no longer sustainable and its condemn to fail, and fall apart as it is clear to see it happening as we speak, how long we will be able to go on like this, I ignore it but it may not take long, unless we reestablish harmony between Man and Nature.