The Best Kind of Fools – or – Knowing Your Place

The Fool Card

The Fool Card: Courtesy of http://john1135jesuswept.blogspot.com

The best kind of fools are the ones that are in a king’s court. I’m talking about the ones who are willing to act foolish to teach the controllers a lesson by downing themselves so the powerful think the fool’s thoughts are from their own egos.

The presidents, the prime ministers, the rulers, the kings, the élite, the puppet masters, and/or the controllers, of course, are dependent on our “foolish” understanding. Astoundingly, and even worse – often necessarily, they think our ideas are their great ideas once we impart these thoughts to them properly, simply because their massive egos won’t allow them to accept that good ideas came from other people, only from themselves. That is, unless they live in fear or love of those above or below them, in which case they obey or consider. The better way is obvious, give it, don’t take it.

Of course, the reality is there is no station and there is no train. We’re all peers in this tragic comedy called life. That’s why the “powerful” are the real fools in the end.

P.S. Thanks Lasse for asking me the good questions!

 

Is Terrorism a Joke?

Don’t think that I think terrorism is a joke.

That’s the farthest thing from the truth.

I am in fact hyper-vigilant for all of our sakes.

Errorist!

Errorist!

I eyeball every neighbor,

I suspect every co-worker,

I analyze accents for clues to true origins,

I check in the car,

In the guest house,

In the pantry,

In the closet,

Even under the bed.

One never can be too sure.

Lowkey – Terrorist?

I’m pretty sure Lowkey would be OK with me sharing this:

Police Officer Candidate Denied Job Due to High IQ

This is but one face of what acceptable bigotry looks like in the United States: you can discriminate against a person for having too high of an IQ and deny them a job as a police officer. It’s law as of 2000 in Connecticut at least. I wonder if it is a more widespread practice now?

IQ Chart: http://www.realfarmacy.com/man-denied-job-as-police-officer-due-to-above-average-iq/#!prettyPhoto

IQ Chart, courtesy: http://www.realfarmacy.com

This is bigotry against intelligence. I thought our country was all about equality of opportunity (not equality of outcome as those with money like to remind us – in our capitalist society) and didn’t practice bigotry in law? Oh wait, that’s right, we’re still practicing bigotry against homosexual couples.

What reason could they have beyond not wanting officers to not get bored and quit? Smarter officers would make better decisions right? Do we not want our officers to make better decisions? No, that’s just crazy talk. You’re all going to hell for reading this. Hell I tell you! Be afraid! Buy more! Be happy!

Yep, that’s right, this is a story about Robert Jordan, the man who’s too smart to be a cop. His IQ of 125 is too high.

Read about it from an ‘original source’ here:
Court OKs Barring High IQ Cops
P.S. Look at the date on this article: 2000 CE. That’s Current Era for all of you AD lovin folks.

Or here:
Connecticut Police Department Says Applicant is ‘Too Smart’ to be a Cop

Reason.com tried to bring it back recently:
Court OKs Barring Smart People From Becoming Cops (Really)

There is No Bad Experience for a Writer: The Reality of the Times

I must credit the title of this short essay to a friend of mine whose health I am currently deeply concerned about. In fact, he is a man who is not unlike a mentor to me. I should also explain clearly that he cannot be accused of implanting any of the thoughts beyond the title in my grey matter. This is me just grabbing a ball that was thrown my way and running with it; or perhaps it is more akin to sauntering vaguely Westward like an owl with a broken wing and a dead mouse in one claw. Perhaps I should be skipping happily Eastward instead, merely being happy to be alive. But that could be explored in the future, assuming my mortal coil and the remains of the dead rodent I bear retain enough nutrients and calories to repair my broken wing. Yeah, the wing will likely heal.

As you may have guessed by now, the meat of the subject at hand is politics, economics, life, death, pain, suffering, and finally hope. It is surely the job of a gifted wordsmith to describe their understanding of their perceptions of the times as well as they are able for the posterity of history and progression of human thought and action; or at the very least to assess the current health of society at large. Unfortunately, I could not find a gifted wordsmith, so I feel compelled to write this rather trivial piece of literature myself instead.

We are currently living in an illusory global financial emergency and an actual, yet not fully acknowledged global environmental melt-down. Even first world countries are currently being cannibalized by regional and world powers through finance or war. There is general material instability among the vast majority of the world’s populace and total lawlessness in some places; Somalia is a good example of this. Then there is also the ever-present vexation of actual starvation for far too many.

Probably more importantly, there is a proliferation of conventional and nuclear weapons; which may actually make our species susceptible to near catastrophic global annihilation. The threat of nearly global nuclear destruction has surely been perceived to be more likely in the past. Yet this threat remains, and has become a part of everyday life that is nearly a joke for the simple reason that there is nothing anyone thinks they can do about it. A wise man once said to me: “Sometimes [Impartial Juror], you’ve got the choice of either laughing or crying.” He always laughed after repeating this anti-platitude. So perhaps it is healthy that we can laugh about it; but it doesn’t mean we should merely brush off the danger as if it doesn’t exist. Nonetheless, I will always be grateful for this wisdom that was passed on to me, and laughing.

Americans live in a society where a nearly half of the population simply lives from one paycheck to another, and a third are near bankrupt. Under such circumstances there is surely going to be some inordinately common and serious social turmoil in essentially all of our lives. Only the most well-to-do are able to avert such serious situations as possible evictions, divorces, addictions, physical illness, mental illness, or even actual starvation.

It is during these times of turmoil that many of our elected officials find the audacity, excuses, and audience that will support their policies of regressive tax policies and cuts in social welfare programs despite the clear evidence that such policies are actually counterproductive. How do they do it? The short answer is that they divide and conquer through manipulation using fear and intimidation. The long answer is a different article entirely.

Should it be any surprise that it seems like everyone knows somebody who is absolutely in complete crisis? Somebody  who has had or is having part if not all of their world shaken so violently that the magma at the center of their planet is in danger of exploding out of the globe and destroying an overwhelming amount of their health, security, and happiness? And who is benefiting from all this misery? Is the answer not most assuredly that the global elite are the only ones profiting from this suffering?

With that in mind, I admit that I too am a part of this shared, sustained, national trauma.  It has become an accepted part of life in our society that, not out of callousness, but out of sheer necessity, nearly everyone is jumping from crisis to crisis trying to manage situations that are often inevitably unmanageable, forcing us to leave some behind.

This sort of lifestyle takes a toll on people. The effects have become evident in every community in this nation. We must bring this to an end. We have to make this rock bottom and rise again. If we don’t take action soon, I fear we will not have the resources or freedom to act at all. In fact, we need to take action yesterday ladies and gentlemen. I have some ideas, and they will be forthcoming in future posts.

All that said, I must admit that it’s good to have something to write about. There is no bad experience for a writer, just material. I think my pal is right about that. Though I wish the material at hand was more positive.

So, let’s inject some positivity into this post in the form of a song about a woman, a single brave woman who made a difference. Let us not forget that we all can. Furthermore, alone we can make waves, and together we can move oceans.

This woman had the determination we have lacked, the passion we should be adhering to, and the kind of courage we need, Mary Harris Jones, Mother Jones. Her story always gives me strength and resolve, and Ani Difranco has paired up with Utah Phillips to write an inspiring song about her. It encourages me and gives me a sense of hope for humanity whenever I listen to it. It reminds me that if she alone could make so much of a difference, together, we can make all the difference in the world. So, without further ado, let’s listen to a song about the most dangerous woman in the world! May Day is coming!

Immortal Technique Speaks with Alex Jones – They Seek Middle Ground Between Far Left and Far Right.

My usual readers will know already that I have great respect for the artist named Immortal Technique. He has recently been interviewed on the Alex Jones show. Why would he do such a thing you might ask. I would answer that question this way:

Is this not what we need, the left and right are coming together? We must integrate, not separate. United we stand, and divided we fall correct?

The reality is that if we can stop agreeing to disagree: we will often find that always agreed to begin with. Very often when we argue or disagree it is a result of using different words, different definitions for words, being manipulated, and being in pain (which is the primary emotion that leads to the secondary emotion – anger).

Instead I suggest, that when we reach an impasse in conversation, we should stop disagreeing for the moment, give each other space and time, come back when desired and desirable, and then share instead of trying to convince each other of things.

Don’t be intimidated by the length of this video. However long you can listen to it, please do. I assert that you will get out what you put into listening to this. For those of you that know me already I think you will agree and already know what I am saying.

As always, your thoughts and feedback will be appreciated (wanted and needed too).

Peace and love brothers and sisters!

Thoughts on Obamacare, AKA The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Obamacare, also known as The “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, while a small step forward, is based upon a Heritage Foundation health care legislation recommendation for the Republican Party/conservative agenda.

Obamacare

Huh?

Obamacare serves the people a small amount of good at the cost of a permanent requirement to earn and pay enough for health care based upon their probability of getting ill (with the costs skewed towards the young). The problem with that is that nobody’s earnings are based upon the work one does but instead is based upon the amount of capital one already has, their economic class, their social class, their skills, their talents, and the work one does. The obvious assumption here is that everyone deserves the same quality of healthcare.

Obamacare was probably the best we could have reasonably expected without the man getting JFK’d. (assuming he’d vetoed the bill when it was finally passed so he could use the leverage that the American Public had/have over congress to get more favorable legislation for the lower 98%/lower classes)

Obamacare is largely a corporate giveaway because it requires every American to purchase PRIVATE insurance instead of having PUBLIC insurance, hence giving the insurance companies more leverage for the PROFIT motive instead of REDUCING COSTS overall to both the American PUBLIC and American GOVERNMENT.

Noam Chomsky and Michel Foucault Debate on ‘Human Nature and the Ideal Society’ (with English subtitles)

This debate is required viewing for anyone who appreciates the work of either of these two great minds.  It takes place in 1971 as the war in Vietnam rages on.  They discuss their respective specialties, human nature, the direction of society, society’s institutions, class warfare, capitalism, Marxism, anarcho-syndicalism, and much more.

This article from Roar Magazine (which claims a share of the credit for translation) about the debate adds some interesting background information and contains a full transcript of the discussion.

There is also another complete version that doesn’t appear to omit anything except the additional commentary; though most would probably benefit from the clarifications of the commentator included in the first video.

Is the war on drugs coming to an end?

Could it be true?  Is the war on drugs finally coming to an end?  We’ve heard similar statements from our Dear Leader while on the campaign trail before his first term.  Only time will tell.

Focusing On Prevention And Neuroscience, President Ends Reagan’s War On Drugs

We can dance if we want to

Video

Adam Kokesh & 4 other “protestors” dance at the Jefferson Memorial and are brutally arrested for doing so.

The charges were later dismissed, but as far as I know the law remains in place stating that you cannot “flashmob” at a Memorial in Washington DC (as if 5 people constitute a flashmob) as it is a form of protest.  Freedom of expression – not here!

WELCOME TO THE POLICE STATE.

An explanation of CISPA and some links to petitions against it

Stop CISPA

Stop CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a bill going through the US Congress right now.  The goal of CISPA is to allow the US government to more effectively police the internet. Legislators have been trying to get a bill of this nature signed into law for many years, and in fact did try to pass a previous version of this same bill in 2011.  It has been reintroduced by Representative Mike Rogers of Michigan’s 8th district.  North Korean hackers, Wikileaks, and even the Boston bombing have already been used to justify the reintroduction of this draconian bill.

The problem with this bill is that it would allow the U.S. government to collect personal information about online users from companies without having to issue a warrant.  In other words, they don’t need to have any proof or a valid reason to investigate you to get information about your browsing habits, what websites you visit, how often, what you say, and who you interact with.  There is even a provision in the bill would allow US companies to require employees to give them the passwords for their social networking accounts (for websites like Facebook) according to the Huffington Post. That is my understanding of the proposed law.

President Obama has vowed to veto the bill unless better privacy rights are not incorporated into the bill. I wonder what President Obama considers acceptable protection of privacy and if his requirements would actually be adequate. This sounds to me like posturing to satisfy his political base. I would wager that if congress makes some largely superficial changes to the bill to make it sound better our dear leader will sign it into law.

In my experience, a good indicator that something is wrong with a bill is that the ACLU opposes it. They have extensive information about the bill.  Wired has also written a good article about the issue.

Anonymous has asked the internet community to blackout their websites.  Almost 400 websites have joined in their protests; but sadly none of the big movers and shakers like Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, or Facebook have taken part (clearly WordPress.com hasn’t).

If you would like to protest this bill here is a petition to the whitehouse and a petition from the ACLU to strike down the bill.

I find the truth everywhere, even occasionally on Fox News. In fact, opening your mind to all ‘sides’ is the only way to see the truth.

Video

What if the only way to see the truth is to watch the right, the left, the center, the “radicals” on all “sides,” disregard most of what they all say, and then figure out the truth on your own based on a broad view instead of a narrow one? What if Denis Kucinich is the left’s version of Ron Paul and was just as valuable?  What if that’s the reason both of them were ignored and deemed radicals who were unelectable   What if we can agree on this? Wouldn’t that be nice.

I do not agree with everything Napolitano says, but there is a whole lot of truth to what he says.  I do not agree all his stances such as his views on abortion (pro-life) or on gay marriage.  That doesn’t mean he doesn’t see the big picture.  Don’t let the details deter you from seeing the broad strokes.

This Kid’s Story Has to Go Viral NOW! The American People Need to Know.

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This article, “FBI shows up at teenager’s home to ask about his Ron Paul school report” explains what happened in response to this video.  In brief, a teenager, Justin Hallman, made a video for his American government class and the FBI showed up as his house.  They accosted him about his ideas and tried to turn him into an asset against Anonymous.  I am pretty certain that it is not legal to try to turn a minor into an FBI asset.  This is not acceptable on any level.  It is unconstitutional.  Like all Americans, this young man has his right to freedom of speech.  Nobody should be accosted by the FBI for their school projects even if the government doesn’t like them.  He did not advocate overthrowing the government.  The FBI had no legitimate basis for their actions.

Also check out his follow-up video.

On a personal note, I do not support Ron Paul, but I see the wisdom in many of his stances on civil liberties and constitutionality.  It is a great loss that he is no longer a US congressman.

This is not about getting traffic for my blog.  I am not one of those people.  This is about the welfare of our country.  My opinion is that this information should be shared in whatever capacity you choose, but it should be shared quickly and effectively.

“The Network,” the Inevitable Destruction of Us, and Our World Unless We Change Our Ways

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As Jürgen Habermas explained, the ‘lifeworld’ of everyday social and moral action and interaction has now been long subdued by the ‘systems world’ of the free market and money.  It was true in the 1970’s when “the Network” was first written and it is more true each day that we allow money and power to dictate our actions instead of our mutual interest in each other, morality, and preservation of our world.  Am I getting through to anyone?  Trees are real.  Rocks are real.  Thoughts are real.  Emotions are real.  You are real.  Power isn’t real.  Money isn’t real.  Money and power are figments of your imagination, they exist only insofar as you think they do.

The fiat currency system and the focus on percentage-based economic growth foisted upon us by those devils we call companies, governments, economists, advertisers, and capitalists is destroying our world, our cultures, our societies, and it will eventually destroy us.  The cycle of endless consumption to continue economic growth cannot continue forever.  Planned obsolescence is a great example of this.

If you don’t think corporations are that evil then ask yourself how long your next computer will last.  Two to four years if you are lucky.  Ask yourself how long your next operating system will last.  Two to four years if you are lucky.  Ask yourself how long each part on your car will last.  Ask yourself how long your next cellphone will last.  Ask yourself how long your next video game console will last.  Ask yourself how long your next TV will last.  Ask yourself how long tapes, CD’s, DVD’s, and mini-discs lasted; and how long will Blu-Ray discs last.  Why is it cheaper to buy a new printer than to buy a new ink cartridge?  Why is it nearly impossible to refill an ink cartridge rather than replace it?  Why do we continue to use fossil fuels when solar power, wind power, and ocean currents could easily supply us with all the energy we need for the rest of eternity if properly researched and managed.

Profit and greed are the primary motivations of our individualistic, adolescent, greedy society.  Why do you think George W. Bush told us to not worry, suggesting we instead that we go out and shop after 9-11.  Well, he did want us to worry, (or it wouldn’t have happened) but he also wanted us to continue to consume.  The masses couldn’t figure it out in the 1970’s.  We can only hope that they will be able to figure it out before it is too late.  Perhaps the continued degradation of the chain of life is more easily recognizable now.  I will keep trying to point it out.

Stop worrying about yourselves and your money.  It is all an illusion.  There is only us, the one interconnected system of life called Gaia, and we are being killed by the systems world with our willing participation after being brainwashed by a group of short-sighted, greedy, capitalist elites who want to be served like kings for eternity by the rest of the population.

We live in an age where, because of our advanced technology, we could all live in comfort and easily only work 2-4 hours each day.  But our endless desire for more stuff, largely generated by advertisers, is necessary to prop up an unsustainable economic model and is requiring two people to work 40 hours each week to just barely scrape by in each household.  Unemployment isn’t the problem.  The idea that everyone should be employed and working 40 hours a week is the problem.  The fact that we allow the capitalist class to take 90% of the profit from the work we do is the problem.

We live in an age of technological progress and increased production that could allow us to use the vast majority of our time to sit and think, make art, enjoy the company of our loved ones, explore space, explore consciousness, and work on even better technology that would allow us to work even less while producing even more efficiently; yet we live in perpetual fear that a machine will take our job away instead of make it (and our lives) easier.  Wake up America.  If we don’t change our ways soon the dream will surely be dead.

3 Step Plan for World Domination

For each state do the following:

Step 1:  Sign free trade agreements and open foreign corporate ownership.
***If step one fails then***
Step 2:  Back an opposition group or the military in a coup d’état.
***If step two fails then***
Step 3:  Military intervention.
***If step three fails then return to step one***

Sometimes the Most Important Thing to Remember

Politics is the illusion.  Don’t get completely caught in the web.  It is a starting point that will lead you down many rabbit holes.  Use your best judgement.  Republican or DemocratMore perspectives lead towards the truth, but ultimately it is inside all of us.  Every hole is another reality tunnel.  Every filter in your brain will determine your reality tunnel.  Don’t let your right or left brain win.  You are one.  We are one.  Politics is the art of divide and conquer.  Never forget.  Always forgive, learn, and then teach.

The Trap: What Happened to Our Dream of Freedom?

Video

This is a broad reaching 3 part BBC documentary about inequality, class, privilege, game theory, human nature, freedom, democracy, authoritarianism, and terrorism, in Britain and the United States.  The documentary examines economic theories, the psychiatric community, the financial industry, the revolution of statistical analysis as a means of increasing efficiency, and even capitalism itself.  I can’t tell you how much this documentary made me think.  No matter which lens you look through our world at, you’ll have a greater understanding of our societies after watching this.  It’s well worth the time.

NSFW (a few f words)

Robert Reich inadvertently explains why the Democrats no longer represent liberals

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Class_Warfare“Prominent Democrats — including the President and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — are openly suggesting that Medicare be means-tested and Social Security payments be reduced by applying a lower adjustment for inflation.  This is even before they’ve started budget negotiations with Republicans”
An excerpt from his blog post.

There is another thing Mr Reich is wrong about.  WE NEED CLASS WARFARE, and he’s an appeaser because he doesn’t recognize the Democratic Party as the bunch of plutocratic lapdogs they are.

Comparing the Elite to a Mafia Boss

To illustrate the power the economic thugs in control wield over us I’ve written (perhaps traced) a comparison of the power dynamics in the leadership of a fictional "Tony Soprano"mafia boss (Tony Soprano) in his community with the leadership of the elite, the bankers (banksters), the capitalists, and/or the old rich in the international community.

I used this page as my template.  You may want to read it first or after.  It is a description of the role of a “Crime Boss” in the TV show “The Sopranos” on the sopranos.wikia.com page.  My changes are in bold.

The Elite Capitalists

The elite capitalists are at the top position in the pyramidal organization of the central banks, world corporations, states, and citizens. They are occasionally referred to as the elite, the bourgeoisie, the old rich, or the elite families. The elite capitalists have the job of keeping their banks and corporations running at maximum profitability for the elite. The extremely complex duties of elite capitalists include influencing elections within states, settling disputes by rigging elections and buying off or pressuring politicians, dealing with outside interests (adding unsubdued states into the their financial free trade, privatization, foreign ownership, and banking paradigm), initiating new business ventures (increasing elite wealth via bank, state, and corporate wealth mechanisms such as the recent reckless banking behaviors resulting in bailouts from citizens of various states, which socialized debt onto citizens), and developing schemes via the media to avoid interference from the public. It is also the elite capitalists’ job to sanction executions of regressive tax systems and other wealth generating mechanisms at the cost of the citizens of aligned states and perform hits on other unaligned states (killing anyone anti-regime after denouncing them as terrorists or dominating unaligned states diplomatically, economically, or militarily). For their troubles, the elite are rewarded with a percentage of the earnings of every state and company under them. To quote Tony Soprano, “Money flows uphill, shit flows downhill.”

Maintaining a banking neocolonialism can be tricky: the submission of states and citizens is ideally maintained through propaganda and economic warfare between the lower and middle classes among the competing states, even through war if necessary, by using the state(s) with the most powerThe elite always include a sponsor state (empire).  The United States moved into the top position when the old empire (The United Kingdom) retired (lost hegemony).

Ideal situations, are frequent and there is almost always an amount of disharmony allowing the elite to continue making money following the manufactured or natural disasters in a state or of a corporation. In the case of the current ruling elite families’, Great Britain lost its hegemony and shortly arrangements were set in stone for a succession (the United States), resulting in a 45 year struggle for power between the United States and the USSR (very profitable). The rest of the states assumed the roles of pawns as the elite made/make money through wars, labor cost imbalances, and resource (actual value) extraction.  In the end the elite support the United Sates in its hegemony, albeit mostly to provide them with a “lightning rod” to take the major hits from the people while states and corporations make most of the day-to-day business decisions. The plan has worked brilliantly, as the United States has become a thriving plutocracy and military state (to say the least) allowing the elite to continue to run things as they see fit even if the citizens United States do not benefit.

Let the banks die. “Cyprus Head Tries to Rally Support” (WSG)

More fear-mongering from the wall-street journal:
“Cyprus is in a very difficult position right now, both the government and the financial sector,” said John Dimakis, at STR, a political consultancy in Athens. “I can’t even imagine the consequences if parliament doesn’t back the bailout.”

The politicians want a bailout of the banks.  Big surprise.  From 6-10 % of the money each person (foreigners too) holds in any bank in Cyprus will be taxed to prevent their banks from going insolvent.  Furthermore, they are considering deals with the IMF in the near term.  Great, more debt and more austerity measures for the people and the bankers get away scott free or with golden parachutes.

I recommend courses similar to those taken by Iceland and Argentina.  They are doing significantly better than most (if not all) of the countries that accepted IMF loans, World Bank loans, forced privatization, free trade requirements, and austerity measures that came with the loans.  Heck, maybe Cyprus could start a new national banking system that is based on a 1 to 5 ratio of fiat currency instead of a 1 to 10 ratio.  Nah, we don’t want to introduce any added stability to the “business cycle.”  The boom and bust (and the size thereof) are what makes the real money, not for the people, but for the elite; and we all know who really matters here.

Good luck to the resistors.

Immortal Technique – The Martyr – Not Safe For Work

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This is Immortal Technique’s latest album.  He sells his own CD’s so he can have full creative control.  He uses this freedom to say things that the establishment would rather you not hear.  This album is also free.  The man really wants to open minds and affect positive change.
“You can only get ’em off your back when you stand up!” -Immortal Technique

Why is concision so important in the American media?

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Whenever I start to feel like something I’m writing is getting too long I think about this and it cheers me up.

Time for another edition of let’s ask Noam!

Cenk gets bested on gun control

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Normally I agree with Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks political stances.  I agree with Ana Kasparian even more often (but that’s beside the point).  On this issue though, I thought this guy on Youtube tore Cenk’s argument for gun control apart; and I consider Cenk to normally be on the side of reason.  The bottom line is that Lee Doren proves to have researched his facts better than Cenk.

Why is America the greatest country in the world? It isn’t.

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This is a clip from the HBO series “The Newsroom.”  If only I was able to rant like this whenever a jingoistic Republican started getting in my face about how America is the greatest country in the world.

What have liberals done for us, where are they now, and who is speaking for them?

I ran across this clip from “The West Wing” the other day.  It really made me think (and convinced me that I have to watch this show).  How could it be stated more succinctly?  This is what liberals have done for us:

This make me wonder: where are the liberals now?  Why aren’t they stopping the constant attacks on our social safety net?  Ostensibly they are in the Democratic Party; but the Democratic Party is not the liberal party anymore.  There is no party for the liberals.  Don’t feed me that bull about the Libertarian Party being the party of liberals either.  Most Libertarians would like nothing more than to completely remove the social safety net in lieu of what can only be called social Darwinism.  If anything the Libertarian Party is the party of yes small government and austerity (you know what the Republicans claim to be).  But I digress, there is no place for liberals in any political party today.  There is just a huge ugly mess to clean up after the two ‘parties’ just trashed the house; and there are no parents to come back and scold them for the damage they have done.  Well, not unless the American people can start acting like responsible parents instead of spoiled selfish brats.

Why can’t you call the Democratic Party liberal?  Often the reason is subtle, like their perceived inability to act.  The main problem though is that you can’t call the Democratic Party liberal just simply because it opposes a slightly more conservative party.  We need to face the fact that the Democratic and Republican parties have moved steadily to the right for the last twenty to thirty years.  Sadly, liberals, by in large, have not noticed that the Democrats no longer represent their interests; instead they represent banks, lawyers, and the corporatocracy, not in word, but in deed.

Let me illustrate how far to the right the Democratic Party has slid by reviewing some of what the Obama Administration and the Democratic Party have done or allowed to be done since President Obama took Office:

I could go on but you get the point.

So who is speaking for the liberals now?  With the exception of Bernie Sanders and Keith Ellison I honestly have no idea.  We lost Denis Kucinich.  We lost Barnie Frank.  We lost Anthony Weiner .  Who else is left (pun intended)?

We could try for a new liberal political party.  One problem with this approach is that the Supreme Court has sanctioned the two-party system by allowing laws in various states that make third parties more difficult to form (I will address this in the future).  Another problem is splitting the ‘liberal vote’ which could mean a series of Republican wins and majorities for a long time to come.

So I guess it’s up to us guys.  We have to protest.  We have to push our politicians to represent our interests.  We have to make calls and write letters to our congressmen.  We have to get the money out of politics (or legalized bribery as I like to call it).  We have to push for run-off voting.  We have to push for an end to the two-party system.  We have to elect officials that will stand up for our rights.  If they don’t represent our interests we need to promptly attempt recall elections when possible, or at least vote them out after their term is done.  I wish I had better suggestions.  I welcome your ideas.  Seriously, help.

That’s gangster

That’s gangster.
Jeff Nguyen is a whirlwind of truth artfully demolishing the lies that hold the elite in power.  Check out this article of his at the very least.

Obama’s 2013 State of the Union Speech

There were many things liberals enjoyed hearing said in President Obama’s 2013 State of the Union speech.  There were even more things that liberals should have noticed that weren’t in the President’s speech.

I can’t help but notice that he didn’t try to justify his administration’s continued support of warrant-less wiretapping, indefinite detention of Americans suspected of being terrorists, extrajudicial killings of Americans abroad, the use of torture, extraordinary rendition, or the continued use of the Guantanamo Bay prison.  I did not hear him say that he would end the failed war on drugs.  I did not hear him mention the prison-industrial complex and the need to break its back.  I did not hear him mention the two new wars the United States became involved in (Libya and Mali).  I did not hear him defend the torturous treatment of Bradley Manning.  I did not hear him explain why more whistleblowers have been prosecuted under his administration than under any other.  I did not hear him explain why he resigned the Patriot Act.  I did not hear him explain that Social Security and Medicare are self-sustaining and do not contribute to the national debt.  I did not hear him explain how Social Security could be made solvent through the baby boom merely by removing the income cap on Social Security payments.

One thing I did notice in that liberals should be outraged about is the increased rate of oil drilling and the reduction in regulations – especially after the gulf oil spill; but the public seems to have conveniently forgotten about this tragedy and focused more attention on the daily fluctuations of gas prices.  The memory hole is always so close at hand here in America.

He is indeed a great compromiser.  He has compromised the values he was elected to uphold.  He has compromised the liberty of his citizens for the promise of more security.  He has compromised with the far right to pass mediocre center-right legislation left and right (pun intended).  He quotes Reagan constantly and I think there is a reason.  He behaves a lot like Reagan.  Ladies and gentlemen our president is equivalent of a Republican from the 1980’s.  That is how far our country has drifted in the last 30 years.

Republicans should think of a new word to describe their party and the far-right position on the political spectrum it holds because their previous position has been usurped by the Democrats and their President.  Perhaps the lesser of two evils was in fact the greater of two evils.  Would the Democrats in Congress would have allowed all this to happen if a Republican had been in office?  Wouldn’t they have filibustered the Patriot Act?  Wouldn’t they be demanding that American citizens be given due process by the courts rather than allow them to be killed abroad with little more than an executive committee masquerading as their constitutional right to ‘due process?’  Since ‘their guy’ won the Democrats in congress and the Democrats in the public are more than happy to endorse almost anything ‘their guy’ says is in their interests.

Divide and conquer has worked again America.  The liberals have been thrown a few bones.  The push for a higher minimum wage (which over the long-term does not fix structural economic problems and ends with the same levels of poverty).  The push for woman’s rights.  Gay rights in the military.  A health care law that was authored by the Heritage Foundation and is as much a corporate giveaway as it is means of giving the public insurance.

Yet overall the warmongers, the bankers, the military-industrial complex, the prison-industrial complex, pharmaceutical industry, the insurance industry, the international corporations, the lobbyists, and the moneyed elite have won again.  For allowing this to happen I can do nothing more than voice my opinion, disperse relevant facts, and admonish the American public for its inaction.  In other words, for shame America.  Wake up.  The two-party system is a joke.  At the very least we need a third-party that represents the interests of the actual left.  We need a more engaged citizenry.  We need a better educated public (and by this I don’t necessarily mean by educational institutions – read a book dummies).  We nearly need a miracle.  This is the downward spiral.

Who and what will lead our nation back from the brink?  We must risk something now while we still have the resources to risk or soon we will end up penniless and landless sharecroppers on the land of our forefathers (and the American Indians before them).  Speak out!  Protest!  Contribute in whatever way you can!  The longer we wait to act, the less power we have, and the easier we are to subdue.  I’d rather we took action now.  It will only get harder to reverse these trends as time goes on.

Hermann Göring at the Nuremberg Trials

“Of course the people don’t want war.  But after all, it’s the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it’s always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it’s a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship.  Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  That is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger.”

Edit:  Essentially accurate.  Some ellipses should have been included.
http://www.snopes.com/quotes/goering.asp

Abortion Restrictions

Full-abortion-restriction-viz-w_-table-1Here’s a thoroughly depressing though informative graphic.  See the original article for an interactive graphic and more information.

Republican dominated state legislatures have run roughshod over Roe v. Wade in the last two years with their knee-jerk, post Obama elected, teapublican majorities (also, can we get this gerrymandering under control please?).  I sincerely hope that someone can bring a lawsuit to the Supreme Court to counter these laws as it should recognize that according to Planned Parenthood v. Casey:

“To protect the central right recognized by Roe while at the same time accommodating the State’s profound interest in potential life, see, id., at 162, the undue burden standard should be employed. An undue burden exists, and therefore a provision of law is invalid, if its purpose or effect is to place substantial obstacles in the path of a woman seeking an abortion before the fetus attains viability.”

Clearly, most of these laws cause an “undue burden” and place “substantial obstacles” in the way of women by delaying abortions unnecessarily, reducing care availability, causing financial hardship, and/or causing emotional hardship.  So go get em ACLU!  If only I had donated more. 😦

The War in Mali

As of January 11th, the French are leading a campaign to liberate the people of Mali from an oppressive rebel regime in the north of the country.  The United States, Canada, Britain, Belgium, Germany, and Denmark have joined in, mostly in support roles.  The common enemy is an Islamic rebel group of ethnic Tuaregs that has been imposing Sharia law and attacking anything and anyone that offends their sensibilities (monuments, manuscripts, businesses, people, etc). The group was making progress further south until the last month when France intervened.

I do not doubt or disagree that the atrocities being perpetrated by the Islamic Tuareg rebels in the north are heinous and should be stopped.  I do wonder if this is another example of western governments capitalizing on Islamophobia and the fear of Al-Qaeda, which supposedly has had its back broken, but seems to crop up wherever resources do.  I wonder what kind of government will eventually replace the rebel government of the north.  Will the current government of Mali, which was installed by a military coup overthrowing a democratically elected president in early 2012, be reinstalled.  Will the Western powers hand the reigns back to this military leadership; or will they attempt to reinstall the democratic government that existed before the coup?  Both the United States and France publicly condemned the military coup that installed the current Mali government in early 2012, but maybe it will prove to be more useful than a democratically elected government.

Some say that the French and even the Canadians are involved in the conflict merely to take control of the strategically important reserves of gold, uranium, and oil in the country.  The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Russia Today are good examples that are clearly not connected by similar goals.  Considering that about 78% of France’s electricity comes from nuclear power plants, it is a definite possibility.  It stands to reason that humanitarian intervention is at least a goal and a pretext, if not merely a pretext.  This situation reminds me of the U.S. military policy elucidated by Bill Clinton (I’d love to find a source on this if anyone can provide me with one) that stated future wars would be fought when there is a convergence of human suffering that should be eradicated and the strategic interests of the U.S. (I am paraphrasing for lack of a source).  It seems obvious to me that this is exactly what the French are doing.

It would be easier to dismiss the possibility that this is a resource grab if France had not “launched 37 major military operations in Francophone sub-Saharan Africa” between 1960 and 2006.  It would also be easier to endorse this war if the French president Francois Hollande had not said “The military operations will last ‘as long as necessary,” and then the French defense minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian had not promptly asserted that French troops would soon withdraw.

A consideration that should be on the minds of U.S. foreign policy makers is the influence the war in Libya had on this conflict.  The successes of the rebel forces have been largely due to an influx of arms that were smuggled into the north from Tuareg warriors who fled after the conflict in Libya.  In other words, America is not exempt from blame for the current conflict.

What would happen if I had my way?  I would see the international community, sanctioned by the Mali government (as at least France has been), take their leave after stabilizing the country.  What I instead foresee is the Western powers, especially France and Canada, sticking around and making sure that their companies have first dibs on any resources in the country.  My inclination is to say that a military dictatorship or a democratic puppet government would be much more pliable when it comes to granting foreign powers access to Mali’s resources (and the profits thereof) instead of a democratically elected government that actually represented the interests of the people of Mali.

Noam Chomsky Discusses the Drift to the Right, Obama, Unions, and More

Video

Noam explains how Barack Obama would be considered a moderate Republican twenty to thirty years ago.  He discusses the extrajudicial killings of American citizens abroad.  Cenk and Noam examine the decline of unions in America.  Noam provides ideas and possible strategies to reverse these trends and much more.

It would be accurate to say that Mr. Chomsky is one of my heroes.  I hope that one day my voice can have even a fraction of the influence his does.  I am already mourning the day we lose him.  Without high-profile dissidents like Noam Chomsky around who will take up the people’s torch?  Well, let’s be honest, he didn’t ever achieve the high-profile in the United States media that he should have. That said, my statement stands.  If there is a political speaker who can liberate your mind from the programming and platitudes of politics in America it is him.

Additionally, I would like applaud the Young Turks for being open-minded enough to have speakers as “extreme” as both Noam Chomsky and Alex Jones on their show.  Please give them a listen.  Even if you don’t agree with their opinions they will get your mental juices flowing.

Foreign Aid Ignorance

Foreign_AidI am sick of seeing these sentiments on Facebook and hearing similar statements coming out of people’s mouths. If we want to save some tax dollars why don’t we try cutting, oh I don’t know, DEFENSE SPENDING!  Read any or all of these articles. Also, note that I am 100% in favor of cutting foreign aid to Israel and tying it to halting new settlements in Palestinian territory. Furthermore, in many cases I could easily agree with anyone who says we should cut foreign military aid, but let’s be reasonable about it. It depends on who the aid is going to and what they are doing with it.

The best reason to give foreign aid (for example food aid) is because all humans have the same value and we have compassion for each other. Who was that guy that advocated compassion for your fellow man? Oh yeah, it was Jesus (whether you believe he existed or not). Really people, basically all religions, belief systems, and worldviews hold compassion for each other as the foundation of a moral life. Get with the program. Stop letting nationalism triumph over compassion and reason.

FederalSpending_piechart5 Myths About Foreign Aid

5 More Myths About International Aid

Foreign Assistance & the U.S. Budget

Understanding the Data

Liberty & the Supreme Court

“Our obligation is to define the liberty of all, not to mandate our own moral code.”  -Justice O’Connor, Justice Kennedy, and Justice Souter (Planned Parenthood of Southeastern PA. V. Casey)
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/getcase.pl?vol=505&invol=833&court=US

Whistleblower Sentenced to Prison

The Washington Post is generally considered right of center in political circles.  I don’t disagree.  I find that bias to lend a bit less weight to their criticism of the Obama administration in general.  That said, this article correctly characterizes the administration as having a track record of being especially hostile to insiders who become whistleblowers.  Among other things, I was hoping for greater transparency and protection for whistleblowers under this administration.  I, as many others, have been severely disappointed with the Obama administration in these respects.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/former-cia-officer-john-kiriakou-sentenced-to-30-months-in-prison-for-leaks/2013/01/25/49ea0cc0-6704-11e2-9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html