Inhumane Humanity

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

Thursday, February 19, 2015

I Wish You Ill Will

Hoarding it all
I revere stark poverty; I admire squalid living conditions; I envy never-ending hopelessness; I relish rampant crime.  I support extremely high infant mortality rates, ghastly poor health amongst children and adults alike.

For, I enjoy my piece of the pie and I not only don’t care about you missing your just desert, I fervently hope you never have one.

Seem a bit harsh?  Perhaps, even colossally insane?  How about precisely what it is - extraordinarily short-sighted and inhumanely self-centered.

The comments in support of all these claims are plastered all over the Net, on Facebook, Google +, Twitter, etc.  People enjoying the fact that they are at least comfortable, if not well off.
These hoarders worked hard for what they have and, if by the luck of birth, they are fortunate enough to advance through life with minimal resistance to success, they don’t see why anyone else should have a piece of that success.  Even if it costs them little or nothing.

Hell, even wild animals aren't that selfish; they hover over only their kill to ward off others, not the entire herd of gazelle.

Minimum Wage in the United States has been a topic of contention for more than a century, with change finally succeeding as early as 1912 with Massachusetts passing the first wage law, followed by thirteen more states and the District of Columbia.

With the help of organized labor and federal wage laws, the wealth gap in the US began to decrease for six decades.  The standard of living in began an upward movement as housing, health, and even simple creature comforts became accessible to the average American.  Everyone was generating success, happily sharing the pie.

Then along came the new poor mans folly, championed by a very wealthy, successful politician with little regard for the plight of the poor.  Welcome to “Trickle Down Economics,” an economic idea which states “that decreasing marginal and capital gains tax rates - especially for corporations, investors and entrepreneurs - can stimulate production in the overall economy.”

While this is as full of holes as a down-range artillery target, it is only a theory, all be it a very faulty one.  However, due to it’s main progenitor, it grew in popularity, along with his attacks on organized labor and the common man.

Worshiping at the alter of ignorance, the nation’s workers turned their backs on organized labor and began dismantling the very thing that gave them an edge in the battle for wealth equality.
The US worker began bulldozing virtually every gain they made prior to the 1970s; every inch of progress erased.  All on the whim of a silver screen icon; our hard-working laborers are stuck in Horror House on Highway Five.

"Unions were necessary at one time, but no longer."

Kind of like having a pacemaker and feeling better, you order it removed; isn't it?

And now, the work of tens of thousands who tried to decrease the wealth gap in the US, is disappearing.
Union and equality comparison
The really weird thing about this?  The same folks who complain about wage inequality are the very same who say they no longer need unions.  Whaaaaat?  Forget the dying heart, use that damned defibrillator on their heads, perhaps it'll revive some of their dead brain cells.

And of course, they want the entire herd of gazelle, not just their own kill.

They” don’t need raises (I already have mine)!  “They” are comfortable enough (I already have my comfort)!  “They” don’t need expensive health care (I already get mine through work)!  “They” don’t need equal opportunity (I already had mine when I was born)!

Yet, when “they” must rely upon entitlement programs simply to survive; “they” don’t need assistance using my tax dollars?





Those of you wishing others ill won't take even a moment to analyze what you’re arguing against; so I've done it for you:  With a raise of $3.25/hr in the federal minimum wage and using the BLS numbers as recipients, we’re talking an increase to ALL industries combined within the US paying minimum wages of $11.7 billion.

Now; if we apply this cost to McDonald’s ALONE, we would see an increase of $2.02 per hamburger (JUST HAMBURGERS, no other food stuff from McD’s included).

And; if we spread that out over the top burger sellers; McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Dairy Queen, Arby’s, Sonic, Jack in the Box, Hardees, Carl’s Jr., and the 7 remaining major burger chains (total of 16 considered) the average impact on burgers alone would be a paltry $0.32 per burger. And that, as indicated, is for BURGERS ONLY; this doesn't include the plethora of other food things sold by these 16 fast food businesses.

Nor does it include any of the other fast food businesses such as pizza chains, sandwich chains, Mexican food, Chinese food, etc. which would share the burden.

In essence; how would the increase in the minimum wages impact the businesses which would carry the bulk of the burden? How would it impact you? So little it wouldn't even be worth your time to calculate the change.  In fact; it only works out to $0.46 per shopping trip at Walmart to give them a raise to $10.00/hr.

With the poverty level for an average family size of 3.14 according to the 2010 census (and yes, many families are depending upon minimum wage earnings now), the proposed raise to $10.10/hr would barely lift the average family above poverty level and that’s IF they work a full time job = 2080 hours per year.

"They deserve a break today," so, rather than wishing them ill-will, stop pissing and moaning about $0.46 and give it to them?

Friday, February 13, 2015

The True Axis of Evil
No instance; no motivational factors are tenable in the willful mistreatment of other human beings. Fear can never be the determining force of our behavior; it simply cannot be.

If we succumb to such reactionary impulses, we’re turning the entire human race into nothing more than a despicable species; the lowest form of life on the planet.

Through such abhorrent barbarism, we’re fully approving congenerous behavior, by those we consider our enemies, to be exacted upon us and our own.

There simply are no perversions of law, or manipulation of language, as the Bush Administration so ardently sought, that constitutes righteous acceptance of torture, or indeterminate incarceration.

The legacy of the Bush Administration is now and will forever be seen as nothing more than a heinous blight on the history of humanity.

Though, they will likely never be prosecuted, they have so much for which to be proud!

We owe a huge debt of gratitude for the few in power who stood up to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo, and David Addington.

They are the voice of reason among despots.  History will be generous to them.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Mohamedou Ould Slahi; Collateral Damage in The War on Morality in Government

Liberty Weeps
terrorism [ter-uh-riz-uh-m]   noun   “the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.”
Terror and helplessness are the favored tools of evil.  Together, they destroy any semblance of sanity you may think you have; they wreak havoc upon your ability to reason, while taking you to unimaginable realms of depression and confusion.

When people, so devoid of basic humanity they no longer resemble a human being themselves, learn to use these tools, the entire human race should tremble and piss in our shoes in fear.

We’ve seen them before; Hitler, Stalin, Khan, etc….  More creature than human, wielding tremendous power and using that power for pernicious, profoundly immoral objectives; men of nightmares without end; ethos from hell, manifest from a world beyond comprehension.

Characters whose legacy chills and reviles in the realm of terror.

Thankfully, we have the United States; where the rule of law, decency and humanity are strong; a nation which reveres human rights so strongly, we send our children to war in far away nations to fight and die for those basic rights; to defend the banners of freedom, democracy, and equality.

The sword of truth, the banner of righteousness:  The US government is there for us; a safety net designed to shelter us all from aggression, both external and internal.

It is!  Isn’t it?  Isn’t that the US government’s focus; to reign in terror?

A voracious reader, I’ve read many stories.  Some have been invigorating, sad, and inspiring.  But, never have I read a more profound story than that of Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

An account, at the hands of terror, so vivid it penetrates one’s soul, and the perpetrators deserve as many adjectives one can conjure – despicable, shameful, inhumane.

And if it wasn’t for the work of those helping Mr. Slahi tell his story, it would still be hidden from us; tucked away in some dark, dank, fowl sewer by the cowards living in that sewer and who executed the plan to defile Mr. Slahi’s spirit.

Yes; the plan!

A de facto, verifiable document outlining the manner in which another human being was to be beaten, tortured, raped, and terrorized.  To destroy the human being that is Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

The fact that these people had a written plan should speak volumes of their contempt for human rights.

The plan of the government of the United States to “reign in terror.”

Guantanamo Diary.” is the horrific account of Mr. Slahi’s experience with our nation of righteousness, of ringing the sound of liberty and equality; the United States.

And, although it matters not, for such behavior defies all that the United States represents, be they guilty or innocent (I’m right about that; aren’t I?), Mr. Slahi is not only utterly innocent, he has yet to be charged by the government holding him captive in his dungeon of terror; denied all due process every human being deserves.

He has been kidnapped, has suffered “extraordinary rendition,” tortured by foreign governments, and “disappeared” to GTMO where he has suffered unspeakable crimes, at the hand of the US government.

All while reigning in terror?

And to make it perfectly clear; these crimes, while they have been committed against one man,  Mohamedou Ould Slahi, they are crimes against all humanity by those in our government consumed with hate and revenge; actions disguised in a phrase – “the war on terror.”

And that is precisely what Mr. Slahi’s story is about – hate, revenge, and collateral damage.

However, Mohamedou Ould Slahi isn’t just collateral damage in some “war on terror,” as some would have you believe.  Rather, he is the epitome of the war being waged against the very concept of equality and rights of all human beings.

He is indeed a martyr, fighting for us as much as himself.

The moment I began reading Guantanamo Diary, I knew precisely why Mr. Slahi was still being held in a box at GTMO; he has been consumed by the mother of all catch 22 scenarios, a catch 22 conceived and executed in hate.  The men who hold him will not release him, simply because he is there, and he is there because; well because!  He is a prisoner of terror who cannot be released for fear he will divulge the terror that has taken his life.

Mohamedou Ould Slahi is the ultimate “I can’t let you go because you’ve seen the real me.”
The ease with which the military and intelligence machine in this country can consume a human being the way Mr. Slahi has been consumed frightens the hell out me.  And it should terrify you.

Make no mistake!!! We have been served!  And, Mohamedou Ould Slahi is the process server.

The unbridled power given these “American” establishments through the verbiage of the Patriot Act and the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorism has delivered to humanity pure evil.

The US government is obligated under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights. Each Guantanamo detainee must either be charged and fairly tried in federal court, or be released to countries that will respect their human rights.

Yet, the cowards hide behind semantics created with twisted logic dismantle US and international law and spit on international treaties.  They trample even the most basic human rights and have executed behavior that all but the most contemptible “human being” would consider repugnant.

Guantanamo is not about justice for the September 11 attacks; Guantanamo is about revenge, torture, indefinite detention – terror.

This nation wasn’t built around military might, riches, land, businesses, or even religion; it is principles that define who we were supposed to be; about standing up for something we hold dearly.

And, if we no longer wish to live by those standards; why in hell are our children still dying in foreign wars?

What is left to defend?
Mohamedou Ould Slahi 

As-salāmu ʿalayka Mr. Slahi

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

The Front Porch


I was reminded, while reading “Life on a Colorado Farm” a couple days ago, just how much the country has changed in a few decades.   Conspicuous in its absence, the front porch; once the center piece of communities, it is becoming a rare sight as the older homes disappear behind time’s unforgiving hands.

The era is post World War II.  The economy is growing; the US dollar value is strong.  Jobs, paying good wages earned in the newly acquired union manufacturing sector, the rapidly expanding railways, and burgeoning government bureaucracies are increasing middle class wealth as never before in the nation.

Life is good; mom and dad no longer have to work sun-up to sun-down just to keep the family fed; they now have time for something very rare prior to this era – leisurely activities.
New technology is appearing daily.  New family traditions are being forged; the large dining rooms and tables where family members gather (always a required gathering) to eat their evening meals (be it supper or dinner) and interact, sometimes in reverence, most often raucous.

With five siblings, reverence is not typically on the evening menu in my family.  But, if it gets out of hand, we are often promised a different hand - one to the backside; a promise never broken.  The trick is always knowing precisely what “out of hand” is on any given evening.  Gauging moods is primary to survival.

On freezing winter nights, with bowls of popcorn in hand, we gather, enjoying the warm glow of the latest in high-tech heaters.
Humphrey
The nightly news with David Brinkley and Chet Huntley is just ending and (still keenly aware of the promises made at the supper table) we jockey for viewing positions in front of the new form of entertainment; the television.
RCA
[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLnBgUH77oA&list=PL33BAA33D96D5AE6E&index=7[/embed]
Yet, as important to new family life all this is, the front porch reigns king; a place for mom and dad to sit, sleepily watching the children and pets play in the yard.

Siting on their respective front porches, drawn outdoors by fresh spring air, everyone watches with trepidation as spring storms gather on the not so distant horizon.  In the now hidden line between earth and sky, lightening flashes momentarily illuminate the clouds, amplifying the anger within the mammoth, gray-black monsters, and distant thunder slowly makes its way to the spectators; muffled explosions warning us not to take lightly, the power and whims of Mother Nature in the plains states.

More than just an architectural element of appearance, the front porch is an extension of the home which has existed since early Colonialism in the Americas.  Certainly not entirely new, but they became a standard by which all homes were modeled in post American Civil War.  In the mid-19th Century, it was likely considered sheer insanity to build a house without one and it remained so for over one-hundred years after the War.

After all; who would want a house without a front porch?

Too hot indoors, the entire neighborhood lingers on and around their front porches, quietly pleading for a soft summer breeze to cool them in the stifling hot, humid afternoons.  As blue jays scream, and woodpeckers hammer the trees in the milder warmth of late summer evenings, all the fun begins experiencing brief moments of pain; thoughts of school tries to interrupt what’s truly important and they are pushed back into the perfect location within all childhood minds – the realm of now; only this moment is forever.

In the August heat, the front porch becomes even more of a focal point for family and neighbors as they seek the relative coolness of outdoors.  Relaxing while enjoying an ice tea, Dr. Pepper, or lemonade, the neighborhood is hypnotized by the deafening buzz of cicadas.

Those front porches served many roles; an open invitation into the lives of the home’s occupants; a place to welcome the mailman, paperboy and milkman delivering their goods, and even a place for the somewhat less welcome – Hoover, Jewel T, Encyclopedia Britannica, and Fuller Brush salesmen peddling their wares.

The front porch played a vital role in forming our communities.  Lives revolved around them; families still maintained their connection to the outdoors as in the days of farming, and they did so with the neighbors.  And, the neighborhood seemed to extend to corner grocery stores like my father’s, where I would, on most days, be found before and after school.

Winters are brutally cold in Oklahoma; bitter-cold wind constantly howls, blowing a chill through the body like an icy knife rattling the bones.  And, as if that isn’t enough to remind one it’s winter, invisible flying needles sting your skin the second you leave the protection of indoors.  Ice forms on everything; icicles hang from the Moon, the basement window sills, and virtually all that lies between.

Grocery deliveries to the customers in small, sleepy, Shawnee, Oklahoma were a losing battle with those brutal winters, but the embattled was quickly warmed away by siting on the open grates of yet another high-tech heater.
Parlor Heater
The hot seat was never to feel so good again.

Things were happening in this little grocery store; things only semi-related to selling groceries, but they were indeed magical. Intangible, maybe even approaching transcendental things, they were profoundly vital to the health of the community; of the nation.

Warming themselves using the same life-giving force I frequented, the mailman; bread, meat, and milk delivery men; truck drivers delivering canned goods and most enjoyable, the customers all gathered around the heater to talk, conduct business, and even to gossip.  Our front porch had extended itself to the corner grocery and beyond, to the neighborhoods from which each participant came.

I had no way of knowing it at the time, but I was witnessing a dying social phenomenon that would have, inarguably, a profound affect on not just families, but the entire nation.

Perhaps it’s inevitable; perhaps traditions are nothing more than temporary perceptions, changing with time.  Whatever they were, they're all but gone now; the large required gatherings around the supper table; front-porch days when families gathered and the corner grocery where all communed; all but vanished.

Large corporations soon steam-rolled all small mom and pop businesses; the corner grocery stores died, leaving shells of dilapidated buildings falling around their foundations; children began leaving, venturing to the cities to find work in those large corporations, leaving the neighborhoods to crumble to a likewise dwindling collection of antiques.

Old heaters, old communities; old people, slowly rusting into memories.

As families disperse and communities disappear, new technologies appear daily, and new family traditions are forged.

Houses no longer have front porches; moms, dads and children have migrated to the back yard, or into the house to stay.  Away from view and out of touch with even those in houses less than thirty feet away, we are strangers to our neighbors.  And to ourselves!

We no longer share ideas and discuss events; we no longer share life as a community.  Rather, with our new-found technology and isolationist sarcasm we “post” comments to one another’s writings on line, acidly attacking everyone who isn’t the preferred flavor of the day, all while maintaining anonymity behind an avatar and a pseudonym.

But for a few antiques, the front porch has vanished.  Gone with it are the parents and children socializing out in the open for all to enjoy and with which to grow.  Gone too, are the corner grocery stores; no more magical heaters benefiting from the extended front porch.

In an inescapable irony, mom and dad must now work longer hours, even multiple jobs, working sun-up to sun-down just to keep the family fed; a once treasured event has turned into something now very rare – leisurely activities.

Perhaps it’s inevitable.  But, then perhaps not.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

IMAGINE A BETTER EDUCATION PROCESS

Social Contribution
All change requires, to use a worn out phrase a “paradigm shift.”  In order for America to rise again we need a change in focus at the very foundation and what better place to start than with the educational process in the U.S?

As for me, I think there’s far more to Shaw’s message than what we get on the first pass; “Youth is wasted on the young.”  I am completely convinced that the same is true for education, it is wasted on the young, not because they don’t want it or because they’re lazy, in the U.S. education is NOT education of the individual, rather a mass communal attempt to teach conformity in preparation for production and contribution to the GDP.

For those of us who have had an opportunity to carry on conversations with a person who has been educated in a country other than the US, the difference is not only noticeable, it’s stark.

And it’s not a simple matter of being better in the sciences, math, etc., it’s knowledge, literally of global proportions.  People in other countries understand the roles they play in the massive community of Earth and they understand it far beyond the warped perspectives we’re taught in our schools.

The United States IS NOT “the most important,” “the best,” “God’s chosen,” “the shining light of democracy."

Rather, we’re part of a picture much larger than “ME,” and until we educate our citizens for the sake of knowledge rather than production, we’ll remain isolationists and exceptionalists by design.

Firstly:  The extreme nationalism shoved down our throats should never enter the picture in our education, yet it permeates the very air we breathe from day one of our education. This is indoctrination of epic proportions NOT education.  Our history lessons are a comic book of fantasies, blinding us with hegemonic lenses so dark, we can't see beyond the noses that hold them to our eyes; our schools are bastions of political indoctrination absorbed through surreptitious, perhaps even sinister efforts.

Secondly, consider this:  Our educational system, as we see it today, was developed in conjunction with the Industrial Revolution.  Coincidence?  I think not!

Our system was designed to mass create producers to fill the frenzied development of factories.  It was the new tool for the corporate elite; mass amounts of human capital at their disposal.  People who were once very independent and self-sufficient, a type of people that DO NOT work well in factories, offices or production lines were available, almost free o charge.  Corporate American had a never-ending ocean of Orwellian robots, mass-produced to in turn mass-produce.

In the late 19th century when our current “system” of education was being developed, many very well educated people were adamantly opposed to the direction the system was being designed. 

Ralph Waldo Emerson, for example: “We learn nothing rightly until we learn the symbolical character of life….I believe that our own experience instructs us that the secret of Education lies in respecting the pupil. It is not for you to choose what he shall know, what he shall do. It is chosen and foreordained, and he only holds the key to his own secret. By your tampering and thwarting and too much governing he may be hindered from his end and kept out of his own. Respect the child. Wait and see the new product of Nature. Nature loves analogies, but not repetitions. Respect the child. Be not too much his parent. Trespass not on his solitude.”

Emerson understood the connection between successful, effective education and individual interests.  He feared, rightfully so, that we were heading down a path of mass production; an assembly line mass-producing Model Ts
model t 

rather than turning out Bugattis.
Bugatti-Veyron-Grand-Sport-Roadster-Vitesse-hdwallpapers (9) 

In the U.S., our propensity towards mediocrity is a harsh representation of our failed education (and it has NOTHING to do with failing teachers, but entirely a result of our system); our wide-spread intolerance, social stratification and the indifference as a result of that stratification are results of missing pieces of the knowledge puzzle, because we’re guided towards conformity and confusion rather than individualism and confidence.

Who truly enjoys “education” at a young age and why do we not enjoy it?

From day one, we are force-fed disconnected groups of “stuff.” We’re expected to digest that stuff from what the education bureaucracy assembles and in turn, we assemble what the bureaucracy wants, in factories, offices and assembly lines.

Many children are not predisposed to be assembly line workers, accountants, finance advisers, etc. yet they’re forced into a world of mass of producers, much in the way George Orwell envisioned in his novel 1984.  We have become exactly what he wrote of, an oligarchical, collectivist society with two interests in mind – produce and consume.

And the sad thing is, the vast majority of Americans don’t even realize that we are now his vision come to life.

I was a product of our “wonderful” educational system.  I learned absolutely nothing from school; until I was ready, in my mid 40s.  It was then that I understood the correlation between life and education and that education is not a means to an end or for production, but a means to a better world on the whole.

Connecting life’s experiences and an understanding of the purpose of education comes early for some and later for others, but in our system, we ignore the individual’s propensities and give him/her what we want them to have.  And how convenient it is that it fits so well into the game of the powered elite and the corporations in which we produce the wealth for them!

We don’t enjoy education because it is forced upon us in a manner that many, many children are not predisposed to learn or accept.  More on that subject in a bit.

Post-traumatic Stress Syndrome Disorder (PTSD)

We all know what that is by now; we all know that many combat veterans suffer from it; we know that people who have been subjected to horrific incidents suffer from it: 9-11, airliner crashes, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc., but there’s another cause of PTSD.

Posttraumatic stress disorder is far more prevalent than previously believed, and is often persistent. Progress in estimating age-at-onset distributions, cohort effects, and the conditional probabilities of PTSD from different types of trauma will require future epidemiological studies to assess PTSD for all lifetime traumas rather than for only a small number of retrospectively reported "most serious" traumas."

PTSD is not simply a symptom of “major trauma.”  Very often, people experience PTSD who are placed into situations for which they are not psychologically "wired' and that can include situations as seemingly benign as an artist forced into a highly structured, repetitive environment, i.e. processing the millions upon millions of parts for machines sold in mass across the world, or processing mail.

Getting the connection here?  Some people “go postal” because they cannot handle the stress of a highly structured and monotonous process when their propensity is towards a free-flow life.  And, we’ve all been down that road, mostly unknowingly so; school!

Soldiers are forced to act against the most basic human level of decency there is, to preserve life, by killing others and most often doing so without apparent reason in the individual’s mind and sadly, PTSD is often manifest as a result.

People are finding themselves trapped.  They're living "Groundhog Day," performing the routine of turning the alarm off at 6:30 AM, taking a piss, brushing our teeth, shaving, showering, dressing, grabbing a doughnut on the way to work, and punching the clock.

We perform repetitious, tedious, and mundane tasks for 8 to 10 hours; returning home to make an attempt towards some semblance of normalcy.

We have, possibly, a couple hours in the day left, all for us; two hours a day to try to be who we are.  If nothing else prevents that moment of freedom; only to restart the process over and over - experience the same routine day after day.

“Going postal” is simply PTSD manifest in violence.  It is almost always generated by the routines in which those who are not predisposed  for such, must participate in order to survive in a society built around mass production and consumption.

Gun violence, for example, is not just about guns, it’s about a serious social illness that is so prevalent in our culture that our culture is on the verge of destruction.

Why do sot many of us fail in and detest the educational system?

Regardless of who we are, or how we think and see the world, we’re forced into a highly structured, monotonous situation designed for one thing and one thing only – production.

An artist is forced to grasp algebra when all he/she wants to learn is how to be a better painter, sketcher or sculptor.  A philosopher is forced to learn how chemicals interact and a scientist is forced into literature, etc…..

I firmly believe that our very educational system is the root cause of our expanding social disorder, just as in Orwell’s 1984, we are rebelling against a society in which we no longer matter, against an unseen force - the oligarchy of the elite corporatist who needs producers; not individuals.

In John Taylor Gatto’s “The Seven Lesson School Teacher” he enumerates exactly what teachers do today:
  1. Teach confusion
  2. Reinforce class position
  3. Promote indifference
  4. Create emotional dependency
  5. Force intellectual dependency
  6. Instill provisional self-esteem
  7. Create paranoia
Everyone who reads this blog should read Gatto’s essay on this matter and you too will see the reason as clear as the air you wish you could breathe; our society is imploding upon itself and it’s not because we’re born to be violent, we’re taught to be violent through total disregard for our conscious selves, our metaphysical lives and it begins taking place the moment we walk through the hallowed doors of our educational institutions.

Can America rise again?

Certainly, but we must start at the very foundation and rebuild.  Simply placing Band-aids over the sore spots do nothing but hide them from view, they will remain sore regardless of how many Band-aids we apply.

Starting over is going to be a necessity and one very basic block of laying that new foundation is education.

Teaching children to contribute to the world in a manner that is best suited for them will ensure success, reduce violence and will surely make them better world citizens through understanding beyond our own borders.  Teaching one to be a human being of their natural choice is far simpler and much more valuable to society than forcing a human being to be an object of absolute obedience and conformity, blind to all but the needs of the "machine."

Education; REAL education teaches one how to contribute to the benefit of society using the natural talents possessed by the individual. 

IMAGINE!  What we could do if all our educational efforts went towards a better world rather than a fatter wallet.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DVg2EJvvlF8

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

THE KILLING MACHINE

Fear, with its icy claws, rakes your sweat-drenched body leaving in their wake raw, exposed nerves.

The cold, merciless, gaze pierces your mind; every breath feels utterly futile as your body consumes oxygen faster than your lungs can replace it.

The body that was once yours no longer obeys your commands; is this what it's like to die?

Fifteen centimeters from your face, cold steel imprisons you; the childhood monster in the closet has suddenly returned, grasping your legs with fists of iron and pinning your body to the table with its weight.

No escape; no room to move!  Only you can hear the screams of terror raging in your head.

As the cold, heartless machine envelopes you with its walls closing mercilessly around you, the horrendous sound of its metallic heartbeat increases in pace and power as it consumes you, choking the very life from your body, now frozen in absolute fear.

Two days ago you were admitted to the hospital with pneumonia and the MRI was ordered by your doctor.

You’ve had enough and finally find the power to scream out; "get me the hell out of this damned place, I can’t breath."

After what seems like a week, the radiology technician finally stops the machine and activates the table.

As your head clears the gray-black metal prison, your lungs inhale deeply, seeking relief; you suddenly realize, rather than the icy fear you felt inside the machine, you’re now burning hot; the fresh air cools and calms you.

Exhumation from the steel tomb!  A wave of relief you’ll never forget.



Fear, with its icy claws, rakes their sweat-drenched bodies leaving in their wake raw, exposed nerves.

The cold, merciless gaze pierces their minds; every breath feels utterly futile as their bodies consume oxygen faster than their lungs can replace it.

The bodies that were once theirs no longer obey their commands; is this what it's like to die?

Four square meters of cold steel imprisons them.  The childhood monster in the closet has suddenly returned, grasping their legs with fists of iron and pinning their bodies to the table with its weight.

No escape; no room to move!  Only they can hear the screams of terror raging in their heads.

As the cold, heartless machine envelopes them with its walls closing mercilessly around them, the horrendous sound of its metallic heartbeat increases in pace and power as it consumes them, choking the very life from their bodies, now frozen in absolute fear.

Arrests came months ago, for the crime of being black while walking through the neighborhood.

"Enough!"  Finally finding the power to scream out; "get me the hell out of this damned place, I can’t breath."

Months of humiliation and raw anxiety; the jailor finally stops the machine and activates the door.

As their heads clear the gray-black metal prison, their lungs inhale deeply, seeking relief; they suddenly realize, rather than the icy fear they felt inside the machine, they’re now burning hot; the fresh air does nothing to cool or calm them.

Panic rises like a well from within, choking them, killing them.

Exhumed from the grave, but relief will never arrive;  ever!

Rather, in a terrifying, endless nightmare; their oppression continues as the fear, with its icy claws, rakes their sweat-drenched bodies leaving in their wake raw, exposed nerves.

The cold, merciless gaze pierces their minds, every breath feeling utterly futile as their bodies consume oxygen faster than their lungs can replace it.

Relief for you!  Ever present horror for them!

This is what it must be like to die; being black in a sea of merciless white!  No escape; only they hear their screams of terror as the cold, indifferent, white killing machine removes their life’s blood.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

YOU DIDN'T VOTE? KEEP YOUR COMPLAINTS TO YOURSELF!

Didn't Vote?  Keep your hands complaints to yourself!



In the latest congressional flip, fourteen incumbent Democrats lost their seats to GOP challengers.

While it was not quite the clean-out I personally expected, it’s certainly a statement once again, that the electorate is dissatisfied with a seriously dysfunctional Congress.  After congressional approval ratings reached all-time lows; as low as 9 percent in Nov 2013 and a dismally low average of 15 percent over the past forty three months, I’m a bit surprised more incumbents weren't  rousted from their warm, cushy seats.


Trend: Do you approve or disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job?

These statistics don’t tell the entire story however.  Hidden in those numbers is a picture of electorate apathy and disenfranchisement that has haunted the US for decades.

These two numbers tell the rest; the rapidly increasing and now substantial majority of voters who refuse to be pigeon-holed into partisan dogma, the “independents” at 42 percent (compared to 25 percent GOP and 31 percent Democrats), and those who have simply given up on the process entirely. 

Some 59.7 million eligible voters in the country aren’t even registered to vote.

While 42 percent of the electorate now refuse to be pigeon-holed by partisanship, almost 30 percent of the eligible voter population have withdrawn entirely from our critically ill election process.

An excellent example of voter apathy lies in the story of Saira Blair, a very sharp 18-year-old GOP member who now holds a seat in the traditionally Democrat West Virginia House of Delegates.
Campaigning on a very conservative platform:
"It's time we stopped treating our citizens like terrorists and our terrorists like citizens," she says on her online issues statement. "I believe that life begins at conception ... I find it extremely hard to believe that given the choice any child would chose death over life, I know I certainly wouldn't."
A stellar example for the newest generation in the US, Ms. Blair has become the youngest politician in West Virginia history, and regardless of which side of the political aisle one resides, generous amounts of applause should be heaped upon Saira for her commitment, eagerness, aspirations, and most of all, her achievement.

Sadly, however, the rest of the nation doesn’t measure up, and her story exemplifies the election numbers of the entire nation.

The Sydney Morning Herald produced an interesting article about Ms. Blair, lauding her victory with 63 percent of the district’s vote.

Her victory is indeed impressive, especially considering her age and the fact that this is her first venture into the tough world of politics.  But, the impression is distorted, as are almost all election figures in the US.

In Australia, where voter participation rates hover around 81 percent, the author at the Herald may not understand the true significance of her 63 percent margin, a significance which stands out in a comparison of voter participation rates by country in 2012 wherein the US ranked last in a list of 58 countries.

Meanwhile, many in the US ignorantly boast; "we have the best democracy in the world.” Yet, 30 percent of the nation’s eligible voters aren’t even registered to vote, and of those who are registered, only 36.6 percent voted in the 2014 mid-term election.

An embarrassing 74 million out of the more than 206 million eligible voters, or 3 out of every 10, bothered to participate.

A dismal story indeed!

The district in which Ms. Blair was elected as a delegate to the West Virginia House, voter participation rates look very similar to those of the nation as a whole.  The district has a total of 18,000 registered voters and while no data on registered VS eligible voters by district are available, it’s likely the district will closely represent numbers similar to those of the state, or 37 percent of those eligible are registered.  An extrapolation gives us 48,649 eligible voters in Ms. Blair’s 59th District.

As awesome as her achievements are, Ms. Blair is now faced with governing her district from which 4994 votes of 48,649 eligible voters cast their votes, or 10 percent of her district’s constituents.

This is very concerning to me, for as much as we deride politicians, the job, if taken seriously and performed with integrity, isn’t an easy nine to five at Mc D’s.  I ask; just how difficult is that job going to be for such a hopeful youngster?  How disenchanted is she going to become if her first step is met with disillusioned and dissatisfied voters?  For, while 90 percent of them didn’t bother to vote, all will surely complain about her efforts.

The best of luck to Ms. Blair.