This is the end … maybe
Sadly, this might likely be the final installment of the debate series. You all are surely reading this from some smoking bunker while you get pissed on looted booze. Perhaps you’ve managed to fleece some cigarettes from a shattered convenience store as well. So it seems the Mayans were right. Doomsday would eventually come. And why shouldn’t they know as well as anyone? Didn’t they hunt for captives and rip their guts out in the name of ritual sacrifice? Really, when you get to that point, it’s a clear sign that it can’t be too long before the whole party will soon implode and burn itself out. And man, what an end.
But this was not just a shining day for the Mayan prognosticators and soothsayers. Evidence of Rapture is to be seen everywhere. Abandoned automobiles seem scattered willy-nilly with hardly any evidence of violent collision or impact from falling meteors. Clothing, undisturbed and undamaged, lay strewn in the streets as though carefully discarded by sudden nudists. The carnage, however, is something to behold. Centuries and millennia of humanity’s greatest structures, endeavors and symbols of dominance crumble in ruins across the globe: The Pyramids‚ reduced to rectangles; the Eiffel Tower‚ a tangle of tinsel; the Louvre‚ a tacky gift shop. Wanton violence, menace and atrocity stampede through streets, alleys and barren fields. Dread, despair and terror peer from shadows and darkened doorways and hordes of people wander ragged, dazed and displaced.
Curiously, though, signs abound that belie the state of ruin and utter devastation: Fewer and fewer people have been spotted in public wearing sweat pants. Straight men have been seen hugging openly and without irony. A major Hollywood producer has conceived an original idea for a movie that is not a blatant rip off of an earlier film. Even the Dayton music scene suggests a sense of cohesion and community. These and other unexplained curiosities slowly seep from a devastated worldwide culture that has been brutally humbled by galactic forces, trampled under the hooves of the Four Horsemen. Could such changes signal the last death twitch of Earth’s people, or might it be something else altogether? Perhaps from this crash and subsequent decay a great Phoenix will arise, re-feathered and reborn. Shall the meek finally inherit the Earth?
Indeed, the mayhem is worldwide, and the carnage appears complete. Corpses pile up, monuments topple and anarchy wins the day. The hobos are kings and kings are hobos. Reports about dwindling water and food supplies have surpassed those about the Duchess of Cambridge and the smugness on Alex Trebek’s face has been washed away like a straw house before a tsunami. All predictions have come true: the planets have realigned, stars no longer twinkle and clocks run backward. Judgment Day has come, but what is the verdict?
Debate Forum Question of the Week:
“ Does this day of apocalypse in 2012 mark the end of the material existence of humanity, or is this truly the beginning of a transitional phase from which we rise again with a new collective consciousness? ”
Debate Left: It’s not the end of the world,it’s the end of an era
We’ve all heard the dire predictions about Dec. 21, 2012. The world ends on that day as the final day of the ancient Mayan calendar. BUT! … chances are that you’re reading this on Dec. 26, which means that, once again, the predictions for our demise were, in the words of Mark Twain upon reading his own obituary, “greatly exaggerated.”
The sun rose again this morning. Some may be astonished to still be here. Others may actually be disappointed. But all of us should be different today if we’ve been paying close attention to all that’s unfolding around us and the odd and disquieting feelings rising, unbidden, within us.
Those of us living on Planet Earth today have been born into a very special time that asks each and every one of us to discover who we truly are and why we were born. These times are clanging loudly enough to wake the dead. Surely, most of the people on the planet feel an internal “something,” a stirring, an energy, a restlessness and dissatisfaction or anxiety that’s taken hold within us. We are experiencing an evolutionary leap – a shift, an awakening to truth and to ourselves as the spiritual beings we are.
Those of us who recognize that this is an historic time of crisis proportions are here to do one of two things: to either hospice the dying old world or to birth the new one that’s trying to be born. What old world? The old world of discord, of seeing “otherness” rather than connection and commonality, of believing in the acceptability of wars and judgment, of hatred and punishment, of revenge and greed. We are here now as witnesses in a time that is pivotal to the continuation of all life on this planet. People all over the world are making clear their desire for an end to violence, for peace.
And, deep within, we instinctively know that it all comes down to each of us and the decisions and choices we are making every moment. We are feeling an uneasiness, a sense that things are not right, a confusion and a dissatisfaction with so much in our lives. Rather than trying to banish those feelings with food or friends or noise or activity, we need to find a quiet place where we can hear the gentle urgings of our souls. Pretense and posturing are beginning to feel odd. We are now called to be our most authentic, honest, best selves. We have something unique to give back to life. Our job is to discover just what that is.
Life has a plan for each of us and it goes far beyond the American cultural norm. It reaches to the heights of who we can be and into our deepest knowing, our deepest selves. We are more. We are important. We matter. We can make a difference. We must make a difference. Time has run out on us … just not in the way the doomsayers and doomsdayers would have us believe. Time has run out on us as passive onlookers. Consumerism is unsustainable. A fossil-fuel-fed society is unsustainable. Nuclear armament is unsustainable.
Future generations are in peril because the old paradigm called for taking rather than giving. We have been like a cancer, eagerly gobbling up everything we could, oblivious to the fact that in killing our host, we inevitably kill ourselves. Only concerted, convivial, compassionate and cooperative effort on the part of each and every one of us will stop us from going over a cliff far more dangerous and real than the much talked about, but fictitious, “fiscal cliff.”
We are seeing the face of Armageddon in the climate change we ourselves have created. Rather than turning our backs on the obvious, we need to rise en masse to insist on a green economy with its attendant explosion of good jobs. We see the ugly face of Armageddon in our absurd arsenal of 9,000 nuclear weapons that could destroy the world hundreds of times over. We need to demand the abolition of all nuclear weapons. We watch Armageddon unfold in the instigation and participation in needless “wars.” We need to refuse to participate in the killing of other beings.
So, find that quiet corner. Turn out the lights. Shut off the noise from the TV, the radio, the iPod. Sit in the initial fear and discomfort of that nothingness for a while, in that silence until it becomes a friendly and comfortable place where that still, small voice can be heard. The louder that voice becomes, the more it quiets our anxieties, our fears, our confusion and unhappiness. We will come home to ourselves and to recognition of the way the world can and should be and, most importantly, to our specific role it.
The Armageddon so many discuss isn’t “out there” at all. It is within each of us – in our war between our culturally formed selves and our deepest, wisest selves. The only thing that threatens our existence is us. We need to embrace our personal power and call for a new way of being in this world. Respect, rather than dominance, characterizes the new world struggling to be born.
In truth, we are one. When we really “get” that, Armageddon, and the threat of it, will disappear forever. It all comes down to choice. Time is running out. Choose!
Marianne Stanley is an attorney, college professor and former journalist who believes many of our nation’s ills could be cured if our children were taught critical thinking skills beginning at the elementary level and continuing through middle and high school. She can be reached at MarianneStanley@DaytonCityPaper.com.
Debate Right: Keep dancing ‘til the world ends
By Rob Scott
The Mayan’s calendar made thousands of years ago ends in 2012. Scholars and doom-sayers believed the Mayans thought 2012 was the end of universal existence with a galactic shift. Obviously, they predicted the re-election of President Obama … just kidding.
Ultimately, my response is if the Mayans could predict when the end of the world was, then why did they not predict their own demise? However, the Mayans may have been right in some areas, specifically a drastic warning to the United States. Certain transitions in 2012 have become more prevalent than ever from this conservative’s viewpoint:
World economy: The American economy still remains the top in the world. However, the economic rise of the Chinese economy and deficit spending in the U.S. starts an economic strength shift. Despite the controlling Chinese government, the Communist country’s economy has been growing on average by 9.5 percent. China will have continued success due to low manufacturing costs from low cost labor, good infrastructure, very high productivity, better government policy and an undervalued currency exchange rate. The American trade deficit between China and the United States will grow from the $281 billion in 2011.
Other rising economies will begin to develop even more in Central and South America. After more governmental stability, the African economies will develop past third world status. Europe continues to decline due to high governmental spending and refusal of entitlement reform.
American political leadership: After the vigorous and nasty campaign season, the Democrats and Republicans continue to drift apart and gridlock from Washington to statehouses throughout the nation worsens. Despite the electorates expressed wishes, each political party will continue to put politics before governing and principled decision making. Problems like raising the national debt limit, fiscal cliffs, collective bargaining reform and more will be seen as gridlock between the two parties.
Democrats will increase government intervention into the free market causing more job losses and less economic growth. Also, Democrats will push for even more entitlements and class warfare agenda items. After the recent devastating losses, the Republican Party will be reborn during the next decade using the pillars of fiscal responsibility, support of free market principles, a real reform of tax policy and strong support of individual liberty leading to an electorate shift. Fiscal issues will remain in the forefront of major policy discussions. The upcoming stars in the Grand Old Party will be the likes of Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, hard nose and blunt New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, numbers-wonk Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan and new South Carolina U.S. Senator Tim Scott. A new birth of conservative leaders will grow and the problem solving conservative agenda will be demanded by the electorate.
Entitlement reform: The 2012 election established that the American electorate still does not realize the gravity of the fiscal tsunami approaching as a result of social security and medicare benefit mandates. Medicare and Social Security will require growing amounts of federal income tax revenue. Today, 6.9 percent of federal income taxes go towards the two programs and this will expand. There is an estimated $37 trillion deficit on promised benefits to senior citizens and disabled. Unless Washington begins to work now to fix America’s most important programs for senior citizens, the younger generation will face the choice of paying for programs for their parents or paying for education for their children. Delay will only make that dilemma worse.
U.S. debt crisis: Shockingly, the U.S. government spends more than it takes in, refusing to live within a budget. Deficits will continue to be in the trillions until hard decisions are made regarding the universal role of government. Also, getting more people working will assist. Regardless, the national debt stands at more than $16 trillion and climbing by the second. This amounts to over $52,000 per person living in the U.S. Government spending to the U.S. gross domestic product is at 40 percent and rising yearly. These numbers must be reversed or the American economy will collapse, causing the collapse of the world economy.
Affordable Care Act: The final preparations continue on President Obama’s largest achievement, despite rising costs. Businesses and government will make the decision to pay the tax penalty to unload their employees onto Obamacare. Medical doctors and other health care professionals will drop out of the field in record numbers. The new estimated cost of the Affordable Care Act is $2.6 trillion in the first decade of operation from the prior estimate of $1.7 trillion will cause massive tax increases. The domestic program will be reformed due to rising costs, inability to fund mandates and the overall unpopularity of major tax hikes.
Education: American education will continue to slide due to union and government controls. More parents will enlist in homeschooling and charter school options.
The world will not end and you will be reading my column again in the next weeks. Regardless, if changes are not made in the U.S. beginning in the coming years, I fear it will be worse than the world ending. A popular 2012 Britney Spears song lyrics come to mind: “See the sunlight, we ain’t stopping/Keep on dancing till the world ends/If you feel it let it happen.”
Rob Scott is a practicing attorney at Oldham & Deitering, LLC. Scott is the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Party and the founder of the Dayton Tea Party. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.gemcitylaw.com