Friday, April 15, 2016

We Live in a Rigged Society that We are Not Designed to Succeed In

"No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, you're screwed because it's all fixed and rigged. There is a club, and you ain't in it." - George Carlin

        I must admit that it took me a great deal of time to come around to Brother Carlin's point of view. I think that was a matter of my social programming. However, I can assure all who ask that I am on the same page as Mr. Carlin. In the picture above, an American Citizen holds a sign arguing that the American Dream is over. In spirit with Mr. Carlin, I would argue that the American Dream, in fact, never existed in the first place, at least not as a physical object. It was actually nothing more than the most successful propaganda campaign in modern human history. The purpose of this campaign was, post World War II, to keep the American people working while the leadership of this country, who were industry and politicians formed into a tight knit little group, ran home to the banks with every penny they could get their hands on. As a part of this campaign, a system of social control mechanisms was established to keep the American people ignorant of what was really going on. The leadership of this country established this system in the hopes that it would run forever, and they devised a five point plan in their efforts to ensure that it did. They would distract us, they would deceive us, they would divide us, the would demobilize us, and then they would disarm us. If one looks back closely on the last near eighty years, it is all too easy to see that their plan has worked almost flawlessly. However, the cracks are starting to grow.

        How have they distracted us? There is religion, of course, but by far, their biggest tool in this effort has been been visual media. The first stage was the television, and now they have moved to computers, the internet, and smartphones, while keeping audio media in a close fourth behind the first three. The list of things that we have been exposed to on these mediums is insanely long. Serial television shows, sporting events, the news of the day, shows covering the lifestyles of celebrities, and much much more. The internet's biggest diversion has been pornography, and that industry has definitely had its own fare share of problems. Smart phones are littered with apps designed to keep our attention, and the radio plays the hottest music from the latest music groups. There are, of course, many other distractions that require us to leave the house. Since the 1950s, the movie industry has grown dramatically, and so has the lengths to which they will go to entertain us. Another industry that has exploded since the end of the last real war this country ever fought, is the professional sporting industry. I previously indicated sports increased presence on television, but this has been accompanied by the proliferation of massive sporting venues, many of which receive funding from the federal government, million dollar contracts for people who play children's games, and a paraphernalia industry that rakes in millions every year. There is also, of course, work. Since the 1950s, the US economy has shifted to consumerism, requiring people to get ever higher paying jobs to afford the new homes, vehicles, and other gadgets that come on the market every year. This all, of course, only scratches the surface, but it does show the massive effort that has been put into keeping the American people's eyes, hands, ad ears focused on everything but the highway robbery going on behind the scenes.

        How have they deceived us? This question could not be more loaded if it was carrying a pallet full of gold bars. The same media that they have used to distract us, is the same media that they have used to deceive us. I could go countless directions with this, but I would like to focus on war. There are two particular moments where government lies led to countless needless deaths on both sides of the war that the lies produced. The first is the Gulf of Tonkin Incident. The Gulf of Tonkin incident, also known as the USS Maddox incident, involved what were originally claimed to be two separate confrontations involving North Vietnam and the United States in the waters of the Gulf of Tonkin. The original American report blamed North Vietnam for both incidents, but eventually became very controversial with widespread claims that either one or both incidents were false, and possibly purposefully so. On August 2, 1964, the destroyer USS Maddox, while performing a signals intelligence patrol as part of DESOTO operations, reported being attacked by three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats of the 135th Torpedo Squadron. Congress, in the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, then gave President Lyndon Baines Johnson discretionary power in determining whether or not there was a cause to go to war with Vietnam. Ten years later, as President Nixon pulled the last American soldiers out of  Vietnam, nearly 60,000 American soldiers had lost their lives. Additionally, half a million Vietnamese troops and guerrillas had lost their lives, with an innumerable number of civilians following them to the grave. This does not account for the countless psychological injuries sustained on both sides of the war, and the suicides resulting from undiagnosed cases of PTSD. Meanwhile, American military technology entered the modern age, and several new billionaires had made their way to the top of American society.

        There is, then, of course, George W. Bush's completely lame excuse for sending troops into an open ended war in Iraq. President George W. Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office on March 19, 2003 to announce the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom. "The people of the United States and our friends and allies will not live at the mercy of an outlaw regime that threatens the peace with weapons of mass murder." The Senate committee that investigated the lead up to war later found that many of the administration's pre-war statements about Iraqi WMD were not supported by the underlying intelligence. In late 2002, Saddam Hussein, in a letter to Hans Blix, invited UN weapons inspectors back into the country. Subsequently the Security Council issued Resolution 1441 authorizing new inspections in Iraq. The carefully worded UN resolution put the burden on Iraq, not UN inspectors, to prove that they no longer had weapons of mass destruction. In January 2003, United Nations weapons inspectors reported that they had found no indication that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons or an active program. Interestingly enough, US military technology made yet another dramatic leap forward as a result of the Iraq War, and yet more new billionaires found their way into the upper crust of American society. This was, of course, while five thousand American soldiers lost their lives, and over half a million Iraqi's followed them. Again, this does not account for the psychological injuries and subsequent suicides attributed to PTSD. So, not only have we been deceived, we have witnessed as millions of our fellow humans lost their lives in service to these heinous lies.

        How have they divided us? By far, the biggest divide in American society is race. Here are some of the ways that it has been perpetuated. Education is supposed to be the great equalizer. The world may not be fair, but it’s supposed to be a lot fairer within the four walls of a classroom. But the numbers tell a different story. African Americans are twice as likely as whites not to finish high school. If white America were a country, its high school graduation rates would rank with the likes of the U.K. and Finland; black America would be on par with Chile and Poland. Black students are suspended and expelled at roughly three times the rate of their white counterparts. Of students who receive multiple suspensions, 42 percent are black; and 34 percent of students expelled are black. And the world they are sent out to isn’t much kinder. What happens after high school? 21% of whites end up successfully completing a college degree, compared to only 13% of blacks. But even if they achieve that milestone, the payoff is nowhere near the same. A white family at the median sees a return of approximately $56,000 after completing a four-year degree; a black family sees a return of around $4,900. In fact, “black household wealth is just over the median wealth of an adult” in the Palestinian territories, which is not a comparison you want to see made about any group living in America in 2015. Looking at GDP per capita, blacks make $23,000 compared to the U.S. national average of $53,000. If black America really were its own country, it would be ranked 44th globally on that figure, between crisis-hit Portugal and post-Communist Lithuania. The most damning statistic? The median black household has just 6 percent of the total wealth,$7,113, that the median white household has, $111,146.
        No surprise, a less wealthy lifetime means a less healthy lifetime, and it starts from the beginning. Infant mortality for blacks in America is 11.5 for every 1,000 births; the figure for whites is 5.2. Black Americans’ rates put them with the likes of Mexico, 12.58, and Thailand, 9.86, whereas white Americans are much closer to Switzerland, 3.73, and Japan, 2.13. That’s how the racial disparity starts, but how does it end? Black Americans can expect to live a full four years less on average than whites, who on average make it to 79. A life expectancy of 75 years places black Americans below Tunisia, Panama, Costa Rica and Cuba. They have also used incarceration, and it goes from bad to worse: 1 in 3 black males will go to prison at some point in their life if current trends continue, compared to 1 in 17 white males. Women fare better; but not much, black women are incarcerated at, only, twice the rate that white women are across the country. Overall, blacks only make up some 14 percent of the national population, but are 38 percent of the total prison population. If black America were its own country, it would rank No. 3 on the world list of absolute prison incarceration, ahead of Russia, Brazil, India and Thailand. And once in prison, it gets worse; 60 percent of all prisoners sent to solitary confinement are black.
        They have used violence. America’s homicide rate is a national tragedy, but it’s much worse if you’re black. White America’s rate of 2.5 deaths per 100,000 is just somewhat higher than Finland, 2.0, Belgium, 1.7, and Greece, 1.7. But at 19.4 deaths per 100,000 people, black America’s homicide rate puts it above Burma, 15.2, and just below Nigeria, 20.0. But it’s fatal police shootings where the figures become truly tragic. If you are a young black male in America today, you are 21 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than if you are a young white male. If you’re black, you’re also more than twice as likely to be shot and killed by a police officer while unarmed. Over the past year, 41 percent of all unarmed people killed by police were black.

        How have they demobilized us? This question takes us back to the television, the internet, and the myriad of other devices that have been invented for our amusement and distraction. An entire generation of Americans was raised by the television, and now, another entire generation is being raised by the internet. We can't possibly go out on Monday night, the Raiders are playing the Chiefs. We are not able to do anything on Tuesday, the new episode of Hawaii Five-O is on. There is no time to go anywhere on Wednesday because the big Ranger's game is on. Thursday night is out too because Bones is on. Friday night is booked because of the Call of Duty tournament. Saturday's no good because of the need to recover from Friday night; and of course, Sunday is definitely out because everyone is hoping that their favorite players don't let them down for the fantasy football league ratings. There are no potluck dinners at the community center, it has not been open for years. There are no game nights at the neighbors house, what were their names again? You might meet someone at a sporting event, but who actually gets in touch with them afterwards? The only option that someone is really left with if they want their family to have active after school, work, and weekend social lives, is to join a church. That, of course, to many is not a pleasurable option, and thus people are stuck at home developing stunted social skills and a lazy personality. 

        The real demobilizer, however, is fear, and it ties in closely with the American ruling classes fifth point in their plan to keep the general population oblivious, disarmament of the populace. A number of things happen to make both of these things happen. First, the nightly news will greatly over exaggerate violence in the streets. This will keep people in the house for fear of being a victim of said violence, and it may give the city, state, or even the federal government the justification it needs to pass stricter gun laws in the name of public safety to keep the weapons out of the hands of criminals. The biggest thing that the government will do is over exaggerate existential threats from outside the borders of the United States. Since 2001, this threat has been Terrorism. There is never any clear definition of what a terrorist is or what constitutes terrorism, all you are expected to do is to report it when you see it. This will cause people to spend less time traveling and more time mulling at home about whether or not their home or town is safe from a potential attack. This would also be an opportunity to pass more strict gun laws to make it harder for terrorists to get the weapons they need to cause trouble, as if an international terrorist is going to give a damn about US gun laws, not that a domestic terrorist would either. The real goal, of course, is to disarm the populace, so as to ensure that they are unable to fight back with guns when they realize something is wrong. When they do pass such laws, and this includes drug and policing laws as well, they keep them vague and full of loop holes so as to make it difficult to know what is okay and what it not. That way they can take every opportunity available to to criminalize the American people, which is another method of demobilizing and disarming the population.

        Up to this point, the discussion has centered around this all being done so that the American people are not aware of the highway robbery that is going on behind the scenes. Well, what happens when people begin to notice the little inconsistencies, the stories that don't make any sense, and the smoke screens that are meant to keep them from seeing what is really going on? If the propaganda machine is still functioning, nothing happens. The government makes up some crappy hair brained story or throws some new distraction at the people and society rolls on. If the propaganda machine has begun to break down like it has here in the early parts of the twenty first century, then civil unrest occurs. All over the country, there are people are protesting against income inequality, police brutality, racial bigotry, gender discrimination, and many many more things. When this begins, the propaganda machine turns against the people and the behind the scenes stuff gets more aggressive. Edward Snowden showed us all that. The government begins to collect not just phone records pertaining to illegal activities, but all phone records. Your smart phone is now an intelligence gathering device. They also collect data from social media outlets. Now your computer and your Facebook account are intelligence gathering devices. They also track the searches that you enter into your web browser. They also collect your emails, text messages, and recordings of private phone calls. You can't even talk dirty with your girlfriend over the phone for fear the government will somehow use it against you.

        There is, then, one lasting question that looms over the heads of every American that has awoken to the fact that not only has our government lied to its people about the glories of the American Dream, but it has also, essentially, declared war on its own people. What are you going to do about it? Most people, unfortunately, as a result of the fear that has been put in their heads, will do nothing, but there are those of us scattered around out there, who cannot find it within ourselves to sit back and do nothing, while this war wages on in front of our very eyes. We have to do something. The question is what to do. I would recommend, first, to just get angry. Get upset that your government has determined that are a potential combatant that needs to be monitored. Get upset that you are essentially a prisoner in your own land. Get mad that no matter what you do, good or bad, there is always someone questioning your identity, your motives, or your loyalty. Then, tell somebody about it. Spread the word to people that you know are still stuck in the fear of the system that once held you down. Then, when the time is right, make use of your own authority. Reject the power that has been forced upon you, and with your compatriots at your side, make the government listen to you. Show them that you are not to be trifled with. Show them that you are willing to fight to preserve the liberty that was granted to you by the mere fact that you were born a human being. Show them that you will succeed where success has been denied to you. Show them that all of the laws, distractions, crimes, and travesties that they can commit against you will not keep you from taking possession of that which is the right of all beings, the right to be free!

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