Monday, August 31, 2015

Citizenship Should be Earned, but it Should Also be an Open Franchise

"If a man is to survive, he will have learned to take a delight in the essential differences between men and between cultures. He will learn that differences in ideas and attitudes is a delight, part of life's exciting variety, not something to fear." - Gene Roddenberry

        This is a complicated topic, and there are a great many people who are very passionate about the topic on both sides of the political spectrum in this country. The problem is that people take certain aspects of Citizenship and treat them as separate entities, like immigration. For anyone that comes into this country, immigration to the country is just a part of a much longer process, whether they come through official channels or they are undocumented, most will have a very long period, even after they are granted a visa, of waiting, paperwork, heartache, and frustration before they get a chance to swear in. Unfortunately, even then, some are still under the threat of having that citizenship taken from them if they are so much as suspected of being anything other than squeaky clean, cooperative, and well spoken. However, the people that do earn that citizenship, having spent years fighting and working for it, actually tend to be some of the most loyal citizens known. It's people that are not required to earn their citizenship, but are granted it is as a right of birth that are more likely to take their citizenship for granted. 
         Now, here is the kicker, everything else about what we do is part of being a citizen, as well. The taxes that we pay are our contribution to the maintenance of our infrastructure, a Citizen's duty. When people sign up for the Draft, putting their name on the rolls of able bodied citizens, they are offering to defend their country from all threats, both foreign and domestic, a Citizen's duty. When we choose our leadership, we are doing our duty as Citizens. When go to work and fulfill the needs of the market, we  are doing our duty as Citizen's because we are helping to keep the economy on the move. The social benefits that exist for the poor, disabled, and the elderly in this country, are funded by additional taxes that we pay to ensure that those people are able to maintain a certain basic level of economic security, housing, food, and healthcare, etc. If people want a stable social climate to exist in, helping to fund these programs is essential to that end. It is, therefore, their duty as citizens to do their part to ensure that everyone in this country is able to be happy and productive, and if not, provided for so that they do not resort to other means to support themselves, i.e., crime and the like.
         Here is the problem that I see. Immigrants pay taxes that help maintain our infrastructure, immigrants pay taxes that help to fund social programs, and many immigrants, throughout this country's history, have signed up for  military service. This was their way of earning the respect of their new homeland, at least, conceptually. The reality was that feeding themselves and their families was the most important thing for them, and a soldiers salary was able to do that. Whereas, a paperless job in the fields or the factory almost guaranteed that they would be stuck in poverty. Veteran's status gave them a foot in the door economically, and when their service was over, they were granted the full rights of citizenship, something that they exercised with great pride because they had earned it with their own blood, sweat, and tears. Now, this nation has made that option unavailable to immigrants. Why is that? It is, very simply, because of where the immigrants are coming from, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and South and East Asia. As it turns out, discrimination against such immigrants has existed throughout this nation's history. It was immigrants from Europe that were most often given this opportunity, an option that somehow made them instantly more important than African Americans. African Americans are still fighting for the full rights of citizenship, as are many others.
        This is followed by a second problem. For some reason, white culture fails to recognize, or tries to forget entirely, the fact that the only people in this entire country that are not born of immigrant stock are Native Americans. The conditions under which many of them reached the country are more than questionable, in fact, they are completely unacceptable, but the point remains that a person with the last name O'Brien is not native to the Western Plains region of North America. He may have been born there, but his ancestors came from across the ocean. Further, someone with the completion of a West African is not native to Alabama. They may have been born there, but some years back, their ancestors were brought here, both against their will and in conditions not fit for a rat. The point still remains that they are not native to this country. A great deal of Mexicans, the Brown ones whose ancient ancestral lands are what we now call the American West, are from a region of this country that encompass the south ends of Colorado, Nevada, California, Utah, and everything southward. They refer to their ancient homeland as Aztlan, and some have an oral history connecting them to the land. There is also, of course, a great deal of scientific evidence that supports their claim, as well. The plight of Native Americans is well known. They are prisoners in their own homeland. Legally, when it comes to first deed laws, they have more right to the land than we do.

         The third problem is that no matter where anyone has come from, we are still here, and we cannot seem to find a way for everyone to get along. We need to learn how to get along before shit breaks down, and we end up finding ourselves witnesses to battles in the streets of American cities. The idea that I have for the solution, I argue, should eliminate nearly all forms of discrimination in this country, from sexism to racism. It will create another, though. This will not eliminate economic disparities on its own, it will require additional social legislation. Having admitted this, the following idea is simply an effort to offer a solution to a very broad problem that is making this country look worse the longer it goes on.
         First, make the sole requirement for citizenship, service to the state. Further, make this available to literately everyone that enters the country, no matter where they are coming from, to include people with disabilities. The interesting thing about this plan is that service does not necessarily have to be military service. They could do anything from travel the harvest circuits in California and Florida, to doing office work at a steel mill, to suiting up and going off to war in defense of the nation, to working as public relations officer for the government. After a guaranteed term of service is completed, these people would be full citizens of the United States. Admittedly, such a system could be taken advantage of. However, another guarantee would serve to reduce this threat to a bare minimum. Remove the right of citizenship granted to those born here. This does not mean taking citizenship from people. Understand that. A specific date would be chosen to implement the plan. Everyone born before that date would be a citizen. Everyone born after that date would be a civilian, with citizenship now existing as a right that all must earn equally. This goes for women too. If you want the benefits of citizenship, you have to serve, ts that simple. If you refuse to serve, you sacrifice access to the rights of citizenship.
         So, how would such a society properly function without fostering discrimination or depravity. First, a few things would need to be in place, like universal healthcare delivered to everyone who needs it, basic living quarters provided for everyone that needs it, access to nutritional food to everyone that needs it, access to all government services on an equal basis, access to entertainment, access to education, and access to civilian work. This means that anyone who does not become a citizen still has access to the basic necessities of life. What would citizenship mean, then? It would mean this; if you want to vote, if you want to hold public office, if you want to be a judge, or if, among other things, you want to be a police officer, you must be a citizen, and the only thing keeping you from that reality is your decision to serve or not to serve. 
         You were born in the slums of Djibouti. Your family came to the United States to get away from war, starvation, poverty. Your parents remained civilians, but you joined the Federal Service and received your citizenship. You now have access to all of the rights of citizenship, all the way to the Presidency of the United States. To you, your citizenship holds it's weight in gold. It is something that you earned with your own hard work, sweat, and determination, and you stand next to other people, no matter where they come from, who have earned their citizenship the same way you have. To you, race, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual preference and other minutia do not matter. All that matters is that the people you are standing with put themselves on the line the same way as you have and take pride in what they fought for, American citizenship. This will create a class system, no doubt, but it will be a class system with only one discrimination versus the many we have now. Economic discrimination will even be eliminated because there will be zero options extended to the wealthy to opt out of service. If those wealthy people want to hold public office, they will have to serve like everyone else. There will be no exceptions provided, minus those already provided to everyone, such as physical or mental incapacitation. Further, anyone caught attempting to avoid service through fraudulent means will risk permanent civilian status, especially, given the fact that service would remain voluntary.
        Our people have a genuine lack of interest in the fact that what they earned by birthright, the ability to govern themselves, is something that people throughout history have fought and died for. Very few people in this country can say that they have done that, and those that have are considered violent criminals when they rebel against a system that discriminates against them on such petty levels as race, gender, or religion, among others.It also tends to treat the fact they defended this country with their life as nothing more than a side note to the fact that they are African American or Latino, male or female, straight or gay, or from one religious sect or another.  They ignore their military service because it makes turning them into a criminal a much more complicated process. They do this instead of giving them the tools that they need to successfully reintegrate into society, otherwise known as rehabilitation. Criminalizing them is not the answer. The right thinks that people do not respect this country like they should, and they are right. The left thinks that people are too caught up in a system with racism built into the very fiber of its existence, and they too, are right. So, here's an idea to help both sides. Make citizenship in this country something to be earned and cherished, and make it an open franchise, so that all people can come here and enjoy the rights that we should hold more near and dear to hearts than we do our own lives.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Civil War, 2016: Is the United States Headed for Another Split?

"I hold, that in contemplation of universal law, and of the Constitution, the Union of these States is perpetual. Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments." - Abraham Lincoln

        First of all, before anyone mistakes me for something I am not, be assured that I am a Union man. If some crazy ass jackwagon decides that it seems like a good idea to secede from the Union, I will make it my life's mission to ensure that they eat every single word that they spew against the Union. I know that this country has been hijacked. However, I also know that it is possible to see the change we seek happen, but only, if we stick together. Passions are high, and that is fine, but there is a lot more at stake here than just our own personal problems. The future depends on us being able to surpass the sum of our programming.
         In 1860, the political scene was a chaotic mess. Compromise after compromise over slavery and its expansion or containment had been made, but still the issue loomed darkly over the political scene. It was the central topic in every discussion in every public hall in the country. The South had their version of what should happen, and the North had its own. They are both, naturally, completely contradictory to one another, but at the same time the issues used to mask the problem were contradictory to one another, as well. First, the South argued that they were fighting for their states' right to govern all matters within their own borders. Second, that was a complete crock! The primary affair that they were worried about was slavery. They were fighting to maintain their lifestyle and the lucrative trade that they had with Britain, who owed part of their Industrial Revolution to Southern cotton. 
        The North claimed in the beginning that its sole motivation for war was to simply limit the expansion of slavery. This, too, was a crock! Northern capitalists knew that they were competing with Britain for Southern cotton. This did not sit well with them. The British were making it hard for Northern capitalists to keep factories open because of how much cotton they bought from the South, and the South was raking in the proverbial cash flow because their primary labor force worked for free. The North wanted to control that profit, and they did not want Britain meddling in US affairs. Interestingly enough, the British later considered doing so because the war was hurting their industries. The point is that the Abolitionist Movement was funded by Northern industrialists in search of more profit and greater market share, who were willing go to war to get it. The Abolitionists ended a very terrible thing, no doubt, and many of them had no interest in the business side of the issue; they simply wanted to end the evil of slavery. However, their funding came from a group of rich men simply looking to get richer. In the end, neither side was actually fighting for a cause. They were fighting for economic supremacy. 
         As for the political side of the issue, by 1860 the slavery issue was coming to a head, and there were four candidates who stood for the Presidency. There were two Northern candidates, Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln. The two Southern candidates were John Breckenridge and John Bell. Interestingly enough, all four of the candidates were Democrats or former Democrats. The last election had witnessed the death of the Whig Party, and now, the Democratic Party was splitting four ways. Southern Democrats put up Breckenridge, and Northern Democrats put up Douglas. The two former Democrats were Lincoln and Bell. Lincoln went Republican, and Bell, a Southerner in favor of preserving the Union, went Constitutional Unionist. The most controversial of the candidates was Lincoln, because while he himself never indicated that he would ever end slavery during the campaign, his party was stuffed full of abolitionists and money from Northern capitalists. For, many, especially those in the South that were to suffer the most, saw his election as a promise that slavery would end, despite Lincoln claiming that he only sought to curb the spread of slavery. Breckenridge, in open air, along with many others, cried secession if he was elected, and they followed through when he was, to the sounds of the seizure of a federal military installation, Fort Sumter.
        Fast forward to the present. The political situation is similarly divided. The Democrats and the Republicans have their establishment candidates, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, respectively. Then each party has their own upstart that is threatening to unsettle the status quo, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, respectively. Bernie Sanders is not a straight Democrat. His Socialist tendencies are well known. If Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, despite Sanders' surge, expect him to run as an Independent because he is hitting a cord with a lot of people from both sides of the aisle. This could possible give him the potential to make it all they way. If the Republicans nominate Bush, expect Trump to do the same thing. His campaign is running on his own fortune, and he does not need the backing of the Republican Party in order to keep his campaign afloat. Additionally, he won't be regulated by the Republican platform, which will give him the license to say and do whatever he wants to do to get elected. All of this will split the vote four ways, and one of the 'fringe' candidates is going to fool around and take the election by a hair. If Sanders get elected, there are people that will want to secede. If Trump gets elected, there are just as many people that will be thinking the same thing. The present political situation is about as rocky as it has been since the sixties. One vote could send this country into another devastating Civil War.
         So, what is the issue of the day that is bringing about this massive show down? Is it big banking? Is it the tech bubble? Is it the housing bubble? Is it all of the bailouts? Is it about the near failure of the auto market? Is it because of oil, racism, religious persecution, social injustice, sexism, economics, consumerism, or any of the many other complaints, justified or not that people have against this country? Treated by themselves, none of these problems has the potential to bring down the house by themselves. Treated as a whole, they are still not what will bring down the house. Each of these problems is merely a symptom of the root cause of the unrest in this country, the super concentration of wealth, in that a few have lots of it, and a great many have none of it. This imbalance will not stand. Either everyone is able to benefit from the system, or someone will be left out, and they will resent it and resist it. Compromise after compromise, from bailouts, to deregulation, to tax subsidies, and many other similar stopgap measures, has failed to deliver a permanent remedy to the dramatically increasing wealth gap in this country. 
         Going back to the election, there is another issue that makes these two situations appear eerily similar. Each election had two candidates that had interest in maintaining the status quo. If they had worked together, a military conflagration could have been prevented. In 1860, both Douglas and Bell sought to maintain the status quo, more compromise, in order to preserve the Union. This can't be said about Lincoln, for those who might attempt to do so, because his party, packed with abolitionists, was pushing for exactly what they knew would make the South leave the Union, the abolition of slavery. This was just the excuse that their financiers needed to seize Southern markets. The present day sees a similar conundrum. If all of the candidates go their own way, the potential for a political upset is higher. However, the two establishment candidates in this election, basically the Centrists, Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, could possibly keep the status quo, the wealth gap, in good shape if they joined together. Hell, if they really wanted to throw everyone for a loop, Bush should offer to be Hillary's Vice-President. Their new little union would turn into the next political powerhouse. However, it is not likely that this is going to happen, and years from now, many people will ask what would have happened if they had. Instead, there could very possibly be a split election that could have the potential to see a candidate elected that pushes one side or the other off the edge, to the point that they secede and a Civil War breaks over the future of what has been the United States of America for the past two-hundred and thirty plus years. One final note, if there is a split, don't be surprised if there are more than two factions. The Midwest, the South, the Northeast, and the West Coast all have strong political and economic centers, with access to international trade-ways led by people that would benefit from such a split. Here's to the hope that we can solve the problem peacefully.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It's all Propaganda, and None of it's Real

"Propaganda is amazing. People can be led to believe anything." - Alice Walker
        Let us start from the beginning. Around fifty thousand years or ago, the first Homo-sapiens emerged from Africa. It is understood in archaeology and anthropology that at this point, the human body had evolved into its present state. Since then, some say, the evolution of the human species has taken place in the mind. Civilization has developed. There are complex social, spiritual, and political entities the world over, and they are all actively competing with one another. The tools that have been developed to manipulate the environment have gradually expanded over the millennia, to the point now, where technology is improving daily. The evolutionary trait that has eluded the human species, however, is the ability to produce offspring that can fend for themselves as soon as just a few minutes after birth. The human infant begins developing and adapting to its environment long before it is ever born. Is food plentiful? Is water abundant? Is the mother living in a stable environment? These, and other factors, determine how the child will come out at birth. However, even then, mental development is still not complete. Infants require constant attention. Babies that are not picked up have been known to die.
         The human species does not generally reach full mental capacity until the mid to late twenties, before that the environment that a person lives in, the lessons they learn from their family, or how they interact with law enforcement, for example, effects the development of their brain. The species is a product of its environment. The way we are raised depends entirely upon circumstances that are usually completely outside of our control. We have to be taught how to safely interact with other members of our society. Here is the point of this all; it is all made up, fake, and highly subjective. Ultimately, it is all propaganda designed to integrate you into the society and life role into which you were born. Who is your family? What does your family do? Is your family rich or poor? Does your family have any special privileges accorded their particular social status? Does your family attest to any particular religious philosophy that governs their daily lives? Is your society saturated with capitalist style adds pushing a certain image of society, in order to sell a product? Is there a political structure that determines your economic path for you before you are ever even born? All of this comes from the minds of human beings seeking to press for a way of life that more suits their own needs. It is all fake. The only reason it seems real is because we have developed written, physical, and social institutions that write about, tout to be experts about it, and punish those that deviate from the accepted norm that every school child should know. Furthermore, it almost always has to do with the maintenance of an economic position held by an elite portion of society, shoring up vital resources, most of which they use as leverage to control the population and prop up their lifestyle.
         The story of this imagined chaos in which we exist has perpetually been told and retold by the winners. If one were to compare the human brain to anything in the world, it would be a computer. Compare a human infant's brain to a basic computer program. A programmer builds up the program, layer by layer, giving it more functions the more layers he adds, until something like Windows X comes out. The story about the human infant is a little bit more complicated than that but the concept is basically the same. From birth to puberty to adulthood, we are exposed to new stimuli that progressively shape our minds and our perceptions of how the world works.  By the time we are adults, the person we are is a conglomerate of all the input that we have received in our lives, and we each process that which we have  learned from whoever was responsible for the deliverance of our proper 'education,' using the same information that now seems so contradictory to us. The problem with this scenario is the fact that just like a computer or computer program can be infected by malware delivered by a remote hacker, a human being's mind can be influenced by more than one source. This, of course, creates deviance.
         The result is that society then makes that deviance look bad and makes those that engage in it look bad, not because they are genuinely worried about the consequences for those that are doing it, but rather because they are more invested in maintaining the comfort of their own position. So, they will make up any souped up bullshit story they need to, to get the response from the people that they are looking for. In the case of the United States, in order to obtain success a person must cop to the white game, at least that is the cover that is used, and if they don't like it, they run the risk of being ostracized from society and losing everything they ever earned in that life. This is especially so for those that have benefited the most off the system. Those that betray or turn against the system that made them rich, what is really the capitalist system of economics, will either die poor and destitute, having been long discarded by history, or they will die long before they ever had a chance to know any better.
         What this ultimately means is that everything that we believe, the way perceive our place in the world, the lifestyle we have become accustomed to living, none of it is real. It's all completely subjective, preplanned, and rehearsed. It is a culture that has developed over thousands of years, and if all at once tomorrow everyone in the world just stopped cooperating and started over, this system would no longer have meaning. We could erase it from history and begin the story again in our own image. This comes off as cold, for sure, but it also comes off as naive, and I understand that. I am fully aware that it is not that simple. The possibility of acting on a such a wide scale, with the whole world in sync, would be next to impossible. What we have going on right now in our world is a battle over who is more right. We spend all of this time collecting the data, running the focus groups, doing the field studies, taking everything that we have ever learned in this life, and expending every last bit of our energy we possess getting out the word that we did a thing that helped us. You can do it too, they say. Your story can become whatever you make it! This is, of course, the sunshine that they blow up the back end to keep you from seeing the injustice embedded in the system.
        No one is ultimately right or wrong, but the last person left standing is the one that will live to recount events for the rest of us, and that gives them incredible license in the use of more and more invasive tactics to make sure that we never forget it. What happens to those people who never got the program? Why would that happen? Almost exclusively, the license on the 'good life' is granted to only a very few at the top, who are trusted and warned to play along to get along. The people at the bottom are expected to do what they are told and very little is invested into bringing them into the club; so, eventually a criminal class develops that resists the 'way of things.' They are labeled as criminals because they have chosen to deviate from the societal norm to challenge the strength of their boundaries. These people end up having very little faith in the tale, and soon, they either cop to it, out of need, or they give in to the idea of living life with the constant risk of being locked up, or even killed, so long as they can live their lives on their own terms.
         Now, what of the people that bought into the whole program; hook, line, and sinker, all the way to the very core of their being, not knowing what was really waiting for them when the propaganda machine they grew up in suddenly broke down around them? What happens to them when they wake up one day and the cool aide no longer works? This normally happens when a person goes out on their own, with only themselves to remember the words of the old sages. They turn when they find out that everything that they were ever taught is nothing more than one of many different ways of looking at the world. They are opened to the fact that no matter what you believe or subscribe too, you do so because you heard from a reliable source or researched a reliable source that delivered the information to you in a way that made sense to you at the time. Further, almost always, if you research deeply enough, there is a plethora of other sources that say your sources are not sound.
          Well, things change, and many people have been exposed to many different things. All of us were programmed by the family we grew up in, the economic conditions we endured, and the way that we got along or failed to get along with the established social order. If it is all fake, what should be done then? The first thing that I can suggest is to start by ending the search for the person whose to blame for your problems, and spend more time working on how you intend to solve your problems. Continuing on, when you find the plan that works for you, stick to that plan; make that plan your new propaganda, and never deviate from your party line, unless you really believe that what you are seeing, hearing, or doing is a guaranteed game changer. This even, in the end, isn't even physically real because it was only made real because you found the knowledge, interpreted it, and then spread your version of the story to a waiting audience. It was never a tangible object.
         It's all fake! The greatest danger that this presents to society is that fact that it is intangible. Plenty of people are ready and waiting to tell their version of reality to the whole world, and they will spare no expense in their constant effort to convince people that they have the monopoly on the truth. Just look at religions and the severity of the punishments that they have been dulled out to non-believers, or worse, to betrayers of the faith. If they are no longer killed, they are definitely pushed out to the outer edges of their society, where they are offered the perfect opportunity to fume in their disgust for the system as they waiting for the day that they will have a chance to help change things enough to, at least, make their own life reasonably comfortable. Finally, it should be understood that not everyone in such a situation is looking for a debate. or is interested in seeking out assistance, or in working out their problems. All they know is that they are lacking in something that everyone else around them in all of the propaganda seems to have that they seem to be without. They are not always going to turn and walk away, and sometimes they will make their presence known with more than just their words. Their actions will be the first sign indicator of right where they stand on the issues.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Capitalism, Communism, and Fascism: All Born of Corruption

"It's all bullshit, and it's bad for you..." - Rickey Wilson        

         Now, if you would please, let us open our history texts to the truth. Capitalism, Communism, and Fascism are all Corrupt! Each of these systems has been responsible for the deaths of millions of innocent men, women, and children, each in their own right. The first mistake that most everyone makes is to believe that these systems are actually three different systems. They most definitely are not. They are actually the bastard children of a bastard child much older than any one of them could imagine. This was a system born of a Roman mother and a German father. In 476 A.D., the Western Roman Empire fell to a mixed invasion force of Germanic tribes that coordinated their attacks between different parts of the empire. Germanic incursions had been going on for years, and Rome had been sacked multiple times.
         With the final Emperor in exile, new kingdoms were established amongst the ruins and remains of the Western Roman Empire. The mixture of the former bounty and imperialism of the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribal/clan system created a hybrid form of government, Feudalism. Rome was a carefully administered empire, at least at its best, and the Germanic tribes were clannish and reliant on champions. The Roman Catholic Church also played a big role in post-Rome, Western Europe. The end result was that Feudalism ultimately upheld the wealth disparities that had helped to bring down Rome, but now it was less likely to break down because the Catholic Church used its monopoly on salvation, and for some time, the written word, to manipulate king and peasant alike into maintaining whichever system they preferred. Just look at the Crusades! Murder, blackmail, extortion, writs of salvation, war, excommunication, taxation, and many other criminal acts are all signs that the system that was established was corrupt. Capitalism, Communism, and Fascism were ultimately born from this corruption.
         To move on to the next step in their evolution, fast forward to the middle of the fifteenth century. Around 1450, towns throughout Europe were beginning earn their economic independence from their noble lords. The towns were founded by free peasants, merchants, and lesser nobles, who sought to build their own wealth in a system that worked to stifle economic exchange amongst the lower classes of society. These towns and people pooled their wealth, and created so much revenue that many towns became their own little territories, which many even expanded. There were people that were wealthy enough to buy in the nobility, and some simply married into the nobility. Not too long after, a one hundred year long religious war between the Church and catholic kings, and protestants and protestant kings broke out. Many of these newly wealthy people saw this an opportunity to gain even greater wealth, and many of the world's most famous can trace their origins to this era. It became a money making business because kings and princes continued to need more and more money to maintain the massive armies that they were to build for war.
          This created some of the most wealthy people in Europe, and got these pseudo-capitalists to the point that many governments were beholden to them for such large sums of money that they were able to begin wielding political power. This era also saw the rise of Nationalism and the Divine Right of Kings philosophy. These pseudo-capitalists came together with the nationalists and divine righters and created a system that could develop great amounts of wealth but was directed by the state or the king. This was Mercantilism, and it both put limits like tariffs and other taxes on the men that wanted to keep expanding. It also did not fail to contribute to the ever increasing wealth disparity in Europe, as people were freed from bondage to their lords, in order to make them available for low wage jobs in factories. The corruption continued.
         Eventually, these men came together, sometimes from across international borderlines and pooled their wealth to create the basis for what, after 1776 and the publication of Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations, was to be known as Capitalism. Around the early part of the nineteenth century scholars and even some industrialists began to notice that capitalism was exponentially increasing the wealth disparity. Revolutions across Europe were signs of this. Most of these scholars, attribute the French Revolution, as the first of the  proletariat revolutions against the wealth gap, which would then give rise to Marx, Engels, and others and the publication of The Communist Manifesto in 1848. The argument in the Manifesto was, ultimately that the capitalists in each country were not going to give in without a fight. They called for workers and farmers to strike, take up arms, and destroy the privately owned interests controlling their economies. They were then to place the means of production under the ownership of the state until society could be rearranged to eliminate the wealth disparity. The government would then be dissolved, as people would be able govern themselves.
        First, the Revolutions of 1848 were not what Marx had hoped they would be, and only minor reforms were obtained at the time. Further, in practice, Communism was found to be impossible to maintain in its pure form. The governments that took over after the few successful revolutions, Tzarist Russia, or the USSR, the Republic of China, or the PRC, North Korea, or the DPRK, Vietnam, Cuba, and a few others, never devolved; in fact, most of them turned into dictatorships that maintained the wealth gap and used many of the same tactics mentioned earlier, like murder, starvation, propaganda, war, and the like, to keep it that way. The Soviet Union has collapsed, while Vietnam, Cuba, China, and the DPRK remain as the strongest surviving communist regimes. China is, by far, the strongest, but even they still have a wide wealth gap, social discrimination, and civil rights violations that bring them criticism daily. The DPRK is by far the most dictatorial and anti-American, and the most aggressive of the survivors. Corruption continues to run rampant.
         Fascism also arose out of frustrations towards Capitalism. World War I did not end well for some of the combatants. Germany and Austria took a great deal damage, physically, politically, socially, geographically, and economically. Italy also suffered from these issues, as the post-Versailles economic system did not leave them with very much to work with. It also arose as a response to Communism. Germany faced the USSR in the east, and to their west, and in the far east, the Japanese faced China. To their east, they targeted the United States. Fascist regimes also tended to be militaristic in nature, which led to the use of murder, propaganda, war, and other common means to keep the common people down and maintain the wealth gap. The economic arrangement in Fascism was a little unique, though, in that most of the companies in these countries remained in private ownership. This, however, was not necessarily good for them either. They had to produce what the government told them to produce. Men like Hitler, Mussolini, and Hideki Tojo played on the fears of the common working people and built states that were both nationalist and militaristic. However, they still propped up the wealth disparities. Their main concerns were war and the maintenance of social order. They had the social order down pretty harshly. As for war, they lost.
        These few examples of Fascism all definitely failed. Corruption and the cult of personality brought down one of the biggest threats to Capitalism ever seen. Communism has never been the deadly threat that fascism was and is. Interestingly enough, it is fascism that has a better chance of surviving the day. The United States, since the end of World War II, has become a virtual police state, where the poor get poorer and the rich get richer. Worse, there is so much propaganda pushing the message that most people think nothing of it, other than to accept the disparity as a natural way of life. Furthermore, anyone that speaks out against it is under the threat of being socially ostracized, or worse, being imprisoned or silenced as an enemy of the state. The Patriot Act has made sure of that. As of recently, the US Government has been dumping surplus military equipment on federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies across the country. The police are supposed to be here to protect us from crime, not face us in the streets as combatants. Yet, police departments have AR-15 assault rifles, armored personnel carriers, high powered mountable machine guns, armed helicopters, grenades, and drones, among a bounty of other nifty hi-tech trinkets. This all, of course, compliments the many rights taking laws and policies that have been enacted at every level of government in the United States.
        This government and the corporations that run it are doing this on purpose to control us, keep our minds off the crappy jobs we work, and keep our eyes and our vengeance away from the corruption that they are committing on a daily basis, right under most people's eyes. They need an ignorant, divided, and compliant workforce to do their bidding, and they have the most efficient propaganda machine in the world making it happen.  Anyone who resists or does business outside of their control is considered a criminal and a deviant, good for nothing but to lock away as an example to the rest of the people that might get some sort of bright idea about attempting to take control away from the present Capitalist/pseudo-Fascist regime, which stinks just as much of religious manipulation as Feudalism did in the Middle Ages. Thus, the point stands, Capitalism, Communism, and Fascism are all corrupt and have done very little to help and much more to damage the position of the working classes in different nations throughout the world.
         This really does have to go. I, for one, am tired of seeing people starve death, not just in third world countries, but also in the streets of the United States. It is monumentally worse that many of the people starving in American streets are children. What can we do to change this? First of all, if it is anything, if it is going to work, it has to find a way to break the cycle of corruption. Perhaps, a more centrally planned world economy, a Resource based economy, would be the best bet for creating equitable and stable resource exchanges with no worries about violence, as everyone has equal access to all goods and services. However, even this can be corrupted, because it is yet again a response to the disparities of Capitalism, along with, now, a slightly modified, and honestly, expertly hidden form of Fascism.
         Some people argue that a complete reset is needed. They say that humanity has failed itself and needs to completely abandon modern technology and return to a life more closely connected to nature. I only hope that the situation never comes to that. The loss to the human civilization would be incomprehensible, if human civilization even managed to survive at all because such a drastic change will not come about peacefully. What this should ultimately illuminate, fairly clearly, is the fact that all three systems have maintained the same thing over time, the gap between the rich and the poor, and they have all actually made it progressively worse. All they are, then, is a series of bullshit lies designed by the wealthy to dupe the poor, and are all thus, one in the same. They are nothing more than intellectual tools designed to justify the subjugation of the poor by the wealthy. The same goes for the economic philosophies that gave birth to them. To use the tool symbol one more time, and to end rather bluntly, tools break.....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

From Bloodbath to Genocidal Bloodbath

"There's Nothing Like a Good Ole' War!" - Theodore Roosevelt

        Here is one topic that I sincerely hope will ignite a healthy little debate. Most people will see that I am making play on the line, "...From sea to shining see..." Rest assured that is exactly what I am doing, and I am in no way sorry about it. This phrase recalls another similar phrase, "...The sun never sets on the British Empire..." I will say it plainly, these are the things that Empires say to justify the subjugation and conquest of entire peoples and civilizations. They follow it up with a debasing of the indigenous populations, placing them at the bottom of a rigid social strata that either enslaves them or pays them a pauper's wages. They finish their conquest by doing all that is possible to destroy all indigenous cultural practices and then replace them with their own Cliff Note version of the way things have always been, the way things are, in that the subjects are where they belong, and the way that the ruling elite will expect it to remain, well into the future, to the point of erasing 'deviant' cultural practices all together.
         There is not one single acre of land in the whole of the United States that was obtained from its original owner that is anywhere near to being legal. Every single land deal that is ever made in this country is instantly invalidated. What exactly am I saying? Well, in nearly two-hundred and forty years, the United States has been responsible for so many conquests and genocidal acts against the original owners that they rank among the top in innocent deaths. From the Revolutionary War, to the Pontiac Rebellion, to Wounded Knee, to the slaughter of innocent workers simply asking for enough money to eat, to the unlawful sterilization of Native American men, the United States has routinely shown that the depths of depravity to which their ruling elite is willing to go knows very few boundaries.
          The British touted that they were bringing real Civilization to the world. In the United States, the term 'Manifest Destiny,' was coined to justify conquest after conquest as the Untied States sought to stretch the breadth of North America, not to mention the acquisition of overseas territories, like Puerto Rico, Hawaii, the Philippines, and many others. They have an especially bad spot on their record in the Philippines. They spent fourteen plus years fighting to subdue an insurgent that had helped them to defeat the Spanish at Manila Bay. The tribes of old New England were just about subdued when the United States approved the present Constitution, but United States' damage to the tribes was far from over. Pontiac's Rebellion was put down with deadly force. The Southern tribes were broken by Andrew Jackson. He is responsible for one of the most written about genocides in American history. It's watered down name is the 'Trail of Tears.' This was triggered by a presidential order. Andrew Jackson was ordering everyone left after his rampage during, 'The Creek Wars,' out of US territory. They were sent to what is now Oklahoma, but was formerly Indian Territory. 
         On, goes the story. The late 19th century saw another deplorable sight. After the Civil War, the United States, with the help of William Tecumseh Sherman, systematically eliminated the primary food supply of the plains tribes, the American Bison. They watched as people were starved, once enormous herds were killed in a matter of years, entire villages were razed to the ground as the whole population was shot down in cold blood, and natives were pushed out of their ancestral homelands and put onto reservations. They were, then, intentionally held in poverty by the United States government. There were many tribes that fought bravely for a very long the time, the Comanche and the Apache; for example, but even they were eventually subdued by the US military. Natives faced a federal raid for a protest in the Dakotas in the mid seventies, and they are still facing trouble when it comes to simply attempting to practice their native way of life to this very day.
         African Americans are still struggling to be treated fairly in this country. Their ancestors were taken from Africa in chains. They were then sold on public blocks as chattel, and their children were born into slavery. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children born, raised, and passed on in bondage, in a cycle of generational genocide. It took the Civil War for them to be released from bondage, but they still did not live as equal citizens. Jim Crow laws and domestic terrorism, i.e., the KKK, kept African Americans in second class status until the passage of Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. Now we are watching as police brutality against African Americans has hit the international news. The video phone is an amazing thing. The crap that the US government and conservative groups have been trying to peddle since the 1980s, 'Racism is Dead!', is completely ridiculous. Many Americans have known all along, but now the entire world knows, and they have been watching this country screwing up for the past seventy years. What can one imagine that they think of the United States? Rest assured, the words that they sometimes use would make your ears hurt.
         The American Revolution was not fought for the freedom of the American people. It was fought under criminal pretenses. The social elites of the American colonies did not enjoy paying taxes to the crown, they did not appreciate the Proclamation of 1763, and they did not believe that they should have to pay higher fares on shipping goods just because they were unfortunate enough to have settled some three thousand  miles from their homeland, across an entire ocean. The 'Founding Fathers' are guilty of Tax Evasion, Real Estate Fraud, and Treason. They took the land by force, the refused to pay due taxes for the maintenance of the territories, and they fired on the King's soldiers, which in English Common Law makes them as guilty as if they had shot down King George III himself. The Louisiana Purchase is another case of Real Estate Fraud. The French got the land from the Spanish, and they then sold it to the United States in 1803, for a price equivalent to fifteen million dollars in their day. The land never belonged to the Spanish to begin with. Native American tribes were the original owners. They never got a dime. The Mexican American War was another massive land grab. Americans were intentionally sent into the Mexican state of Tejas to start a war with Mexico. When it was all over the Mexican government was forced to sign over an entire half of their country. The Civil War was ultimately fought over slavery, no matter what anyone says, but not for the reason that most people will give. Slavery was stifling the northern capitalists invested in the textile industry because slaves were not paid for their labor, and many textiles producers were considering moving south. The Civil War proletarianized African Americans.
         World War II began the slow proletarianization of women, and proved to be the only point in human history when a country, the United States of America, dropped a nuclear grade explosive on a civilian population. They flattened Hiroshima and Nagasaki to the ground and ensured that any survivors would suffer long lives of pain, from sever radiation burns and cancer. Korea and Vietnam were live, in theater, field tests for the latest in American military technology, as they went from bolt action rifles to automatic assault rifles, from raw diesel tanks to the MI-AI Abrams Assault Tank, and from diesel planes and subsonic fighters and helicopters to Ariel Fortresses, F-16 fighter jets, and Apache Assault Helicopters. They also knowingly dropped Agent Orange on innocent Vietnamese civilians. The the most recent Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts served the same purpose. Drones have become a major component of the United States' military arsenal. There are insulated and air conditioned suits with the ability to mask a soldier's physical body, and there are super bombers that can circle the planet, make a massive and destructive bomb run, and then make it back to their home base in the same day.
         This, of course, makes no mention of all of the other crimes against humanity that have been committed by the United States. The Chinese were persecuted and reduced to  nearly nothing more than slave labor. Tejanos in South Texas lost their lands to incoming whites, who felt it was their duty to put the people that had lived in the region for over two-hundred and fifty years a lesson on what it means to be a minority in the United States. This could continue into the far ever after; the list is that long. The United States has conquered, murdered, and stolen its way to the top, and now, if one looks very closely, it will be quite clear that the United States is, now, nothing more than a massive and out of control super poncey scheme.
         This country has absolutely zero moral authority to command any nation in the world on human rights violations, and the legal authority they posses is now suspect worldwide. The LA Riots, the Oakland Riots, the DC riots, the Chicago Riots, the Baltimore Riots, and many others, along with the atrocities already mention, are known the world round. What gives this country the gumption to turn around and tell anyone how to run their government or how to handle their people? This country can't handle its own people, and soon enough, I would guesstimate, they will have many more opportunities to show what they are capable of. They will also, once again, be able to prove the axiom that the rich never need really worry for anything because they can simply hire one part of the working class to kill the other half. Yeah, this crazy crap has got to go. I don't feel like fighting in the Battle of Dallas in 2026 because some piss poor excuse for a human being like Donald Trump did something so completely and utterly stupid that the Chinese were honor bound to give the United States an obligatory ass whooping. And, for Gaia's sake, let's start calling this country out for what it really is.....The American Empire! You know it's true......

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The GOP Needs to Tag This Jackwagon

"You're Fired!" - Donald Trump

        First of all, I am not a Republican. Not that I have problems with people that prefer small government and deregulation because I don't. What I have a problem with is the GOP's inability to control the wackjobs in their own party. I'll sit down anywhere, anytime, with anyone who wishes to have an engaging debate over policy and philosophy. However, I am not at all interested in having a debate with someone that will end up asking me if I have ever known the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ, or someone that will end up insulting every single race of people except his precious white people, or who will ignore the main premise of any question that I ask and instead focus on broad, and extremely shaky ideas like family values, American pride, how we are the most power nation on Earth, good old fashion American values, or any of the other completely irrelevant efforts to change the subject from the real substance of any particular topic.
        It is not that I do not respect someone that spends their entire lives working to do good for as many people as they are able to. I respect them, and I will gladly help them in their cause in any way that I can. I just don't wish to be told by someone that is running for political office on national television that I need to get my life right with God or something. Government is supposed to be secular, it was designed that way on purpose, and it needs to stay that way. Further, this country was not founded by Christians. If one takes the time to properly read their history, they will find that our country was founded by Deists. These are people that believe that God created the Universe on a basic set of core scientific principles and then caught the next train to the coast. Further, these men intentionally established a nation based on secularism because it was their opinion that if religion were allowed to rule in this nation, the old ways of Europe would simple follow them here. Interestingly enough, despite being parlayed for a short time, this has come to pass. People are ostracized because they speak out, many are jailed for simply expressing an opinion, and some people find themselves either dead or completely destitute. Religious rule is akin to Fascism, and while that word did not yet exist, they were well aware of the dangers of a theocratic state.
        As for Donald Trump, I have no sympathy for this jackass, whatsoever. He has alienated the Mexican-American population, he was dumped by NBC, and he was dumped by UniVision. He has been snubbed by conservative activist Erick Erickson. He told Megyn Kelley to quit her bleeding when she challenged him on important issues, and worst of all, he has insulted the fighting men and women of the United States armed forces. This trust fund baby, who likes to announce that he is a self-made billionaire, is full of thirteen types of feces. How, then, is he still running for office? Most people in his position would have been drummed out of their parties by now. He is able to do it because he is funding the campaign himself. This guy has really got to go. He is making a mockery of the American electoral system to the entire world. Though it is true that he is not the first do so, he is the most recent and the loudest.
         Who needs to handle this guy? Who needs to step up and tell him that he is a complete fool and needs to step out of the race, if he wants to avoid the big guys in his party? Who will have the 'proverbial' balls to tell this guy to put down the mic and go the hell home? I will admit that there a very few other greater joys than being able to tell Donald Trump that he is an ego maniacal sociopath wit no heart, and even fewer brains. The problem with that is that he would probably just wave me off and make some rude asshole remark about my mixed heritage. Furthermore, the opportunity to respond to his comments would give me so much joy that I would probably burst. It just can't be me. For the first reason, as I said, he would look at me as small potatoes. What he needs is a proper ass whooping from the GOP itself. They need to drag this guys off stage, take him into one of their smoke filled backrooms, take off his crappy looking hair piece, peel his eyelids back, and whip his sorry ass all the way back to New York.
        Now that scenario is a little extreme, I know, but these guys know that Trump is screwing up, they know that he making a fool of their party, and they know that he is doing it, not for any real purpose, other than, more than likely, to simply make a mockery of the system on purpose. This might be considered noble if he wasn't crapping all over anyone that can't afford the lifestyle that he 'made for himself.' This is their problem. They need to be the ones to take him out of the race, but for now, they are content with letting him spread his horse dung all over the media. It is to the point now, that he has even passed Jeb Bush in the ratings. They need to stop him now, before he screws around and gets the GOP nomination, or runs as an independent, and splits the election. Admittedly, this would be good for my type. Trump would split the vote across the country enough to get my candidate elected, Bernie Sanders, I-VT. It could also work against me, in that the person that finally shuts Trump up will make international news, and likely, sore to the heights of popularity in the press and probably the White House.
         What exactly can the GOP do then? To be honest, the ass whooping scenario is nothing more than me venting a little; however, if the GOP were smart, they would focus on Trump's financial history. No one can tell me that after forty years and billions of dollars that Trump has never been involved in any shady deals. There are any number of things that they could charge him with, as I am convinced that this guy is a crook. I am also convinced that he is the biggest scammer the world has ever seen. As I commented earlier, he shows all the symptoms of a sociopath. He uses women with no regard for their feelings. He dumps other businessmen out the back hatch, with no consideration for their needs, he changes the rules on deals, even after contracts have been signed, and he saying things now that are making our nation look like a load of dry dog shit, with no regard to the damage that he is doing to our nation's already tarnished international image.
         The GOP many not want to stop Trump just yet because of his ratings, but if they don't put this guy out of the race, like yesterday, he is likely to really show his colors when he gets into the White House. With his lack of regard for the American people, I am thoroughly convinced that he would go on a cost cutting spree, putting millions out of work. He would take away people's ability to survive by cutting disability, health insurance, and anything else that smelled of anything other than good ole' capitalism. I, for one, do not want to see my grandmother in a bread line. I'm just saying.........

This Nation Needs the Truth

"If your success is defined as being well-adjusted to injustice and well-adapted to indifference, then we don't want successful leaders. We want great leaders, who love the people enough and respect the people enough to be unbought, unbound, unafraid, and unintimidated to tell the truth." 
- Dr. Cornell West

        Recently, Dr. Cornell West endorsed Bernie Sanders for President. He is not the first, and he will not be the last, but I have no doubt that he will be one of the loudest. Dr. West and Senator Sanders are both the type of men that are not afraid to tell the American people, right up front that they are being scammed, bamboozled, done over, robbed, cheated, and lied to in some of the worst ways imaginable every single day of their lives. I have spent spent my entire life working to be such a man. 
        What I am worried about, though, is that such a leader will not be appreciated. I am worried that they will be the ones that end up with the short end of the stick. Men such as this have a tendency of disappearing, and they disappear when they are needed the most, right at the most critical moments. I am not the only one that believes this. Just listen to the song Cult of Personality by Living Colour. The line, "When a leader speaks that leader dies...." How many people could we identify that suffered this fate?
         It would be next to impossible to name them all; however, in the last 60+ years several high profile assassinations have made it very clear what the rulers of this country do to people that 'lose their minds," and start telling the truth. John F. Kennedy was assassinated after making it clear that he had no intentions of engaging in a full scale military campaign in Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X were both shot after they announced talks that were rumored to be preparing for a merger of their movements. Robert F. Kennedy was shot when he started speaking up and entered the presidential race in 1968. These are just a couple of the examples, but it sets a dangerous precedent. I have to admit that I was terrified of an accident befalling Barack Obama. I am very glad that nothing has happened, as I am sure the social repercussions would have been drastic.
         Despite the dangerous conditions of the life of someone that does not lie to the people, I believe that such men need to continue to not only keep telling the truth, but they need to do so from the top of the highest mountain they can find, so that everyone can hear them. They need to show the world the meaning of moral courage. They must have the strength to say the hard stuff, even though many people will find it next to impossible to do what they ask. They have to be able to show these people that moral courage has not disappeared from the world. I chose the picture of Dr. West during the Ferguson protests because that is a shining example of the type of man that should be running this country. He is willing to get down in the streets with his people and risk the same beating that they are getting, and I believe that Bernie Sanders is also willing to do whatever it takes to get to the truth, no matter what he is doing. He is beholden to no one but the American people. He has refused to take corporate money, and he runs clean campaigns, and I have yet to hear him tell a lie.
         Our country is losing all of its credibility in the international community, not to mention the lack of trust that its own citizens have for the government that rules their lives every single day with nothing but deflections and lies. Men like Dr. West and Senator Sanders need to keep talking, and they need help. The future for them in the 'Land of Liberty,' is not certain. There people in government and business that would profit from their deaths. Who, then, is going to help them? It has to be us, the American people. We are not perfect, in fact, we are far less than perfect, but our children's education is a risk, our physical security gets more worrisome each day, the world is getting very tired of the United States' abuses, and if we were to look at what the government uses against us to keep our minds off that; while many would not be able to believe it, there are those of us that know full well what is happening. Do we have the moral courage for stand up for these new prophets? Are we willing to take the beatings and the jail time that is doled out to us, and then still get up and give the lying government the middle finger salute. These are men that will risk life and limb to ensure we receive justice so, when they need us most, are we going to be locked away playing a video game, or are we going to be in the streets with them?

What Should We Do?

"An Eye for Eye Only Creates an Entire World Full of Blind People." - Mohandis Gandhi

         I am sitting here in my home, a little after midnight, watching Gandhi. I have not seen the movie in years, but the movie still moves me. An entire nation of, at the time, nearly three-hundred and fifty million people, followed the voice of one man. As a result, new nations were born. What has the result? India gained complete independence. Despite being split into to separate nations for Muslims and Hindus, independence was gained.
         Gandhi made something like this possible with a very simple strategy. With it, he commanded an entire nation, and helped to take India out from under the centuries long rule of a foreign power, the British Empire. He used Civil Resistance. He used general strikes, marches, boycotts, faith, the media of the day, and non-violence. When the British corned the market on needed day to day goods, he refused to use the products and encouraged people to wear homemade products. When the British refused to leave the people with the basic needs for survival, he let the world know what was happening. When the British showed up with guns, he showed them love. When they beat the people with clubs, violent reprisals were rare, but the people just kept coming. He refused to let injustice continue. He had the courage to face a gun, at point blank range, and tell an Empire that they were no longer welcome.
        I could go on and on, but I am sure that I do not need to. This movie pushed home the point to me that violence is not the answer, if we as a nation are to build a world free of danger for our children. I believe that this is the only option for freedom and peace in this country. We have to make every single injustice, no matter how minor, known worldwide, but we cannot use violence. We can never fail to resist these injustices, but we cannot use violence. We have to take away our government's ability to control us with fear away from them, but we cannot use violence. We have to show the world the fury and depravity that our government engages in on a daily basis, but we cannot use violence. We have to expose the people running this country for what they are, barbarous, heartless, and soulless criminals, who's sole mission is have it all, while the rest of us rot in the streets, but we cannot use violence. We have to show the world, in clear images, the powers that be destroying their own country and harming their own people, but we cannot respond with violence.
        Remaining non-violent is the only way for the American people to obtain the one thing that will force our oppressors to concede: Moral Authority. This is our key to victory, to a more egalitarian society that sees equality and opportunity available for everyone. We cannot be in the eye of the world giving our government the license to respond with beatings, killings, and arrests. We have to reveal to the world, in the plainest terms possible, the Mafia style criminal syndicate that is running unchecked in this country, and we have to do it with the weight of the largest mountain pressing down on our shoulders. We cannot alter our course, and we cannot slow down. We must be persistent, unwavering, and as immovable as that mountain. We have to have the courage to stand in front of tank and hang a garland on the cannon.....