I was catching up with some of my friends this past weekend, and the subject of the oil leak came up, and I was surprised by the direness of their prognostications. They are what I would call "Mainstream California Conservative" in the sense they do not buy Fox news, but are counter-culturally aware, a group of cross-cultural sports fans who like to bash conspiracy theory but hate Rush Limbaugh. They are plugged directly into mainstream media 'only,' and they were saying stuff along the lines of: "The end of the world;" "The cause of a world-wide depression and collapse and war and totalitarianism, etc."

On the one side I am happy to see that they begin to understand the danger of the potential tyranny before us all, but I am also concerned for them because their hearts really are heavy and they really are afraid. As if a lightning bolt hit them, I could not believe I heard them say how the corporate model they formerly swore by is out of control, and how our entire system is FUBAR and we are totally screwed by the selfish rich, they've been working on their plan for 50 years etc., creating a faceless corporate clan to hide behind. (Oh, in this case the choice of what word to fill in for the R in FUBAR for them was 'repair,' not 'recognition.')

For them to step out on that precipice a year ago would have been like the parting of the Pacific Ocean, but I guess that's how quickly things can change. "BP does not want to seal the leak," was a big theme, as has been echoed here. Anyway I say all this because I am beginning to think that this oil leak is changing mainstream perspectives radically and BP's behavior is feeding that fire. (Perhaps we should get the name "TARP 2" floating around to describe what's happening?)

These particular friends of mine have always talked about the infallibility of the American system with its checks and balances and incisive liberal media, and its armchair experts. But now they have publicly negated their faith in the American form of government. And what has replaced it? Fear of the greedy rich.

But of course this could be by design. I was once on a blocked commuter train in the dark for two hours with no announcements as to what was happening, and I saw how regular commuter folk fell into pandemonium so quickly, breaking glass, screaming hysterically, strangling, kicking, shoving. The veneer is thin to start with - and becoming thinner. "Once they have got you violent, they know how to handle you." (Lennon/POP). If my conversations this past weekend are any indication, the tea party crowd, heck the rabble in general, will be broaching new frontiers as the Summer rolls on.

How do we know that the comics - er, politicians - in DC are aware of how angry people are becoming? Because we can see it in the insensitive actions of those such as Sarah Palin etc., who are selfishly trying to spin that anger onto the usual suspects for political gain. Effective leadership in a crisis ministers to the affected and their state of mind - regardless of political party affiliation! There is absolutely zero of this here which concerns me greatly, as Obama has not publicly referenced the Katrina disaster, and has said nothing along the lines of 'we have to learn from Katrina and do it better this time.' He has done very little to reduce fear and speak to the people. He is apparently stayed by Cameron, and perhaps higher forces, as they claim that the failure of BP would allegedly wipe out the pensions of many in both Britain and the US.

And the administration in DC certainly knows how volatile things have become, and will continue to become, as long as this dance of denial with BP continues. They are probably war-gaming the expected urban violence already and ... wait a second.... hasn't the American Army been re-inventing itself for Urban warfare for two decades, and now this little fuse in the Gulf - likely an event that will outstrip man landing on the moon in its historical importance - is rapidly becoming a breaking point?

I have found strong agreement across former boundaries between Republican, Democrat, Christian, Environmentalist, etc., on this topic. And I remember not too long ago that Ralph Reed was kicked out of the Clinton Administration's confidences because he started Christians on the road to loving and caring for the Earth. This was not in keeping with the political boundaries prescribed by the PTB (Powers That Be) - but now that very change has come with a vengeance, and is arguably beyond the control of the PTB.

Perhaps PTB discussions have encircled the idea the masses are wising up, and that the only way to maintain hegemony is big war, and stripping us of our money, and taking our freedoms away overtly instead of covertly? My friends echoed this hullabaloo in many urgent ways: "They have raped us of a better standard of living!" "They have poisoned our food!" "They have laid waste our Earth!" "They have profited from making us fat, drunk, and stupid and dumping pharmies in our children's blood!" "They have turned our land from cooperative spirit to infighting at every level of possible gain." My formerly "conservative" friends are now of the mind that we-the-people have had enough, and that the PTB must now kill and enslave us so they can stay in power and prevent the light of the truth from shining on their mis-deeds! This is anger folks, and that ancient perspective, coming from right-wingers here, is a major shift in the bedrock of the American political landscape if it is widespread. I really want to know how widespread such thinking is becoming.

Couple that with the fact that these same friends were expounding what they called the "real reason" behind the ruin of America. To them, Henry Kissinger's treaty in the 1960's created the vehicle of the petro-dollar, which created artificially high demand for the dollar, and is the real reason the US is priced out of the labor market. Hmm, formerly they spouted off about it being the Unions' fault, and illegal immigration. Now they say that a bunch of oily cowboys have tricked us, and used the strong dollar to shove every corporation in America starting with Coca Cola, down the rest of the world's throats, and killed our Gulf of Mexico. Thank you petro-dollar! Did I hear them say that 'everyone' knows John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? I did.

What was once considered crazy conspiracy theory by this group of friends has now become their heart?!? If this is not a signal that there are major changes around us right now, I can't think of what would be. What are you listening to? Amazingly, "It's the end of the world as we know it," by R.E.M. started playing on the radio a minute ago.