From The RampartsJunious Ricardo StantonKeep Things In Perspective, Be Thankful“An analysis of national, regional, and local news reports from 2008-2009 indicates a largely silent, nationwide epidemic of drastic measures and extreme acts for which the economy seems to have been a catalyst. News of such deeds linked to economic woes -- from armed robberies to pay the rent to financially-motivated suicides to familicides (murder/suicides in which both parents and their children die) in the face of financial ruin -- has filtered out of cities and towns in most U.S. states. Since only a fraction of these acts ever receive media coverage, what is being reported -- most of it in local newspapers -- is startling. And while it's impossible to know the myriad factors, including deeply personal ones, that contribute to people resorting to drastic measures, violent or otherwise, many press reports suggest that the global economic crisis has played no small part in a wide range of extreme acts.” Economic Crisis Is Getting Bloody Violent Deaths Are Now Following Evictions, Foreclosures and Job Losses By Nick Turse Fort Hood shooting made the national news and people are wondering how and why an Army psychiatrist could snap and do what he allegedly did. The whole country is on edge due to the economy. People are losing it literally. Working and middle class folks are losing their jobs, their incomes are shrinking, they are losing their homes, their retirement savings and a sense of security. They see the Wall Street money changers getting bailed out after knowingly and deliberately causing this financial crisis but no one helps the suffering poor folks. They hear about the widening income and wealth gaps between the rich and the rest of us and wonder where is the justice? When the US economy imploded last year people flocked to the polls in November seeking relief from eight years of Bu$h’s horrid Neo-Con economics, corruption, fear and warmongering.During the 2008 election campaign, I was suspicious of candidate Obama and wondered if he wasn’t being set up to be the twenty-first century version of Herbert Hoover. Hoover was in office in 1929 when the Stock Market crashed and the Great Depression started. Wall Street insiders maliciously caused the crash and the Great Depression due to their rampant speculation, and manipulation of the stock market and the credit supply; yet Hoover has been vilified and forever linked to that time of deprivation and misery in US. history. Unfairly, Hoover was blamed for the Depression, that's his legacy as far as the history books go. It looks like the same thing is happening to Obama.After Obama was elected, his PR people characterized him as a Franklin Delano Roosevelt or an Abraham Lincoln; two men who took office inheriting national crises yet restored confidence in the system and saved the country. So far that has been all hype and no substance. Unfortunately for us, Obama has sided with the people who donated the most money to his election campaign: Wall Street, the hedge fund managers, the insurance companies, trial lawyers, defense contractors and big pharma. This becomes more obvious every day and the people see it more and more. If things don’t improve soon, I predict Obama will be even more reviled than George W. Bu$h and will probably be a one term office holder.Obama won using the slogan, “Change You Can Believe In.” The people fell for it hoping he would halt the wars, restore the economy and stop the corruption. Instead he has moved full speed ahead executing the same agenda as his predecessor, money for wars and Wall Street at the expense of working folks. Obama’s policies are exacerbating a class war that was already raging in the US. Honest economists (as opposed to the prostitutes on Fox, CNBC and Bloomberg) see the situation worsening before it gets better saying it will not get better any time soon. As a result people are angry and fearful. Gun sales and transactions are at an all time high in the US and stores can't keep enough ammunition on the selves. Over one hundred new militia have been formed since Obama took office in January.As we approach the Thanksgiving Holiday, let us pause, take a deep breath, relax and count our blessings. Yes times are tough and tight but there are blessings all around us. Have compassion for those less fortunate than you. If you have a roof over your head, be thankful; millions are homeless. If you have enough to eat, be thankful. If you have a job and can at least pay some if not all of your bills, be thankful. If you as the old folks used to say, “woke up this morning clothed in your right mind with a reasonable portion of health”, be thankful. If you can wake up, look up and get up, count your blessings. You can only think about one thing at a time. When you focus on your blessings you can't focus on the economy or your life challenges. Focus on the good in your life.The Thanksgiving holiday, like most things in this materialistic and hedonistic culture has been commodified and commercialized. This commercialization has placed undue emphasis on shopping, food, meals and consumption rather than introspection and mindfulness of the good in our lives. Stop and examine your life. You will have to admit there is good in your life despite the economy, politics or the size of your bank account. Take a moment to meditate on what it means to be thankful, then reflect on the many things in your life you have to be thankful for.Think about the source of your blessings and how that source, no matter what you call it, offers greater potential for good than any man made economic system. Thinking on your blessings and their source alters your perspective on life and helps you see a new way of being in the world. Hopefully it will alter your values and motivation so you are not outer directed, caught up in material things and keeping up with the Joneses. No matter what your circumstances are or what you are doing, take time to reflect on all the good in your life and be thankful for it.-30-

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