US Institutional Cracklings August 6, 2010

I was overwhelmed by the news read on the bus on my way home from work showing signs of how our once-cherished institutions are crackling.

Methinks the option of going back to normal just doesn’t exist anymore.  Agree?

I’m wondering what this is about, what we’re saying good-bye to, and wonder what potentials are presenting themselves as trumpet calls for moving forward? New ideas and new decisions – we need them to create exciting new futures.

These are only a few of the headlines – I’m sure you’ve noticed others…

Institution of marriage being redefined.

Supreme ‘Double Rainbow’: Two Marriage Equality Rulings Head Toward High Court
U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker’s decision to overturn California’s ban on same-sex marriages, and U.S. District Judge Joseph Tauro’s ruling that the federal ban on same-sex marriage, more commonly known as the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), was unconstitutional makes it look like there’s support for legally sanctioned gay and lesbian unions.  Two cases are on their way to the Supreme Court.
‘WedLock’: Startup Now Selling ‘Divorce Insurance’.
SafeGuard Guaranty Corporation, a North Carolina-based insurance startup is selling a divorce insurance product called WedLock. Each unit of WedLock costs $16 a month and provides $1,250 to cover expenses like divorce legal proceedings. Insureds can buy multiple units, and for every year their policy lasts, SafeGuard will throw in another $250 of coverage for each unit they own. Once a married couple un-ties the knot, policyholders simply send in their divorce papers and SafeGuard sends them cash. (To prevent spouses already planning a divorce from cashing in, SafeGuard requires at least 36 months from the effective date until spouses can claim the coverage.)

Trust in Corporate Leaders Questioned – again

Mark Hurd RESIGNS From HP CEO Position After Harassment Probe.
Mark Hurd has resigned from as Hewlett-Packard (HP) CEO, effectively immediately, following an allegation of sexual harassment which found him in violation of other company policy – submitting false expense account reports to hide his dalliance. Hurd said in a statement “there were instances in which I did not live up to the standards and principles of trust, respect and integrity that I have espoused at HP.” He added that he thought it would be “difficult to continue as an effective leader at HP.”
Former HP CEO Mark Hurd rewarded with a $40m severance after being forced to resign over fraudulent expense reports — Engadget.
Hurd is getting a $12,224,693 severance payment in exchange for agreeing not to sue HP. Yep, Mark Hurd just got $12 million in cash for fraudulently filing expense reports to conceal his mistress. CNBC has sources claiming the total value of Hurd’s severance including stocks is closer to $40-50 million. What’s up with that?
The Dark Side of Vitaminwater
Coca-cola insists consumers should not believe it’s marketing claim of this being a healthy drink even though they say it is and advertise it that way. Vitaminwater is has as much sugar to classify it as a soft-drink with only only trace amounts of chemical vitamins. Consumers somehow are being duped into believing its good for them. Coke says they shouldn’t really trust all their promotion. Huh?

Trust in Government Jeopardized (again) and Actions Taken

The Harshest State Budget Cuts – 8 States That Are Slashing Services
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports 46 states have issued cuts that are expected to harm vulnerable residents and ultimately drag down economic growth. Take a look at the article for details on the specific 8 states mentioned.  Ouch.
‘Birther’ colonel’s attorney wants charges dismissed – CNN.com.
Lt. Col. Terrence Lakin went before a military judge — and a standing-room-only courtroom — in Virginia on Friday to face three charges of disobeying a lawful order, one count of missing movement (not deploying with his unit) and one count of dereliction of duty because he does not believe Governor of Hawaii’s proof that President Obama was truly born in the United States.  He refused deployment to Afghanistan because he says President Barack Obama doesn’t have the authority to send him, Obama being foreign-born as all. Did you know it’s against the US constitution for the President to be foreign-born?
Soldier suspected of Wiki leak: ‘I’ve been isolated’ – CNN.com.
Didn’t obey rule to keep secrets secret. Wired reported that in 2008, 22 year-old Bradley Manning had been caught for uploading videos on YouTube in which he talked about classified buildings when he was in training to become an intelligence analyst. He was later sent to Iraq with top-secret security clearance. Manning was arrested in June 2010 in connection with the release of a classified U.S. military combat video, which showed the shooting deaths of Iraqi civilians and two journalists in 2007 by a helicopter gunship. He has invoked the Fifth Amendment and is refusing to answer questions about it, a Pentagon official said. Manning is currently under suspicion for leaking the Afghanistan classified intelligence to Wiki leaks.

And yes, this is happening in the States. It’s a big country, has lots of influence. Any guesses on how the cracklings there will impact other people from around the world as well as the Americans?

the_scream
Edvard Munch

As your local/virtual creativity professional, allow me to ask: Imagine that there is no going back, that the institutions you have become accustomed to relying upon are no longer trustworthy.

What are some strategies, involving, compelling and exciting ones, that you can adopt to help you remain resilient moving forward. Yes, it’s possible.

In the chaos rests the potential. Make good use of it once you recover from the shock, and remember, do no harm.

Potentials in the Air
This clip from Saul Bass’ Academy Award Winning animation – Why Man Creates – will remind you that moving forward is in our genes. Thank goodness we continue to conduct research to advance our intelligence to pursue paths for progress that encompass people’s welfare, planetary sustainability along with, instead of only considering, profit.