Archive for November 30, 2009

Can We Start Again

I was talking with one of my politically active friends about the current state of the country the other day. He and I are almost polar opposites in terms of what we believe. He, at least it seems to me, is more of a leftist and I’m more of an anti-government type of guy. Either way as the debate went on, he made one of those snobby comments about being enlightened and I made my bullish retort which is all so common in our current political debate.

Most people, that I know at least, are sick and tired of political debate because nothing is really ever accomplished and opinions largely remain the same. The main problem is that people see politics as more of an us vs. them or a left vs. right debate instead of approaching each other’s arguments with mutual respect. It isn’t surprising that the debate is this way, just turn on one of the news stations and you’ll see the exact same template with every story. No matter which station you turn on, all you’ll see is the same talking points without any introspective social commentary.

With the mainstream media, isolation is the goal. The media tells you what to think by repetition of half truths which are all the more believable because there is that little spec of reality in there. All of the truths and concepts in the mainstream media are absolutes that are etched in stone. Even with such strong truths, those truths still vary from station to station so, for example, that a person who watches Fox News will have a truth different than someone who watches MSNBC. By separating people into opposing groups, it becomes much easier to focus debate into a simple small box instead of the complexities that exist outside of it. Control is exerted by turning the debates into complete opposite extremes of each other making it difficult for people to identify with one another’s opinions, especially when both people only have bits and pieces of the information, and often ends leaving both groups extremely frustrated.

Is it any wonder that the more people watch network news, the less informed and opinioned they seem to become? Now days most people get their news from one corporate source, which as we all know are the pawns of advertising and numbers, instead of many different places. Luckily that is changing with the internet which, if used correctly, gives people the option to read more than one viewpoint and explore thousands of different news sources free and easily that they wouldn’t have seen on network television.

After a few minutes of bickering about each other’s creditability, which had gotten us nowhere, I asked him what his solutions were to the current mess that is the way our country is being run. His ideas were to work on building the local community, supporting local businesses, make healthcare cheaper (his job was outsourced to Canada) so that jobs come back home instead of overseas. Finally, something we could agree on. My solution was very similar to his. I believe we should stop fixing the rest of the world’s problems and focus on fixing ours. To do this, I proposed that we stop involving ourselves in military conflicts around the world, lowering taxes(punishing businesses that outsource and use slave labor by adding tariffs was part of that plan) and reforming health care systems by forcing them to compete with each other so businesses will be brought to the United States and we begin to go back to manufacturing our own goods. This is just the extremely short version of some our ideas on how to save the country. Either way, even though we came from completely different sides and viewpoints we both had extremely similar ideas on what the solution should be. We even agreed on holding those people who got us in the latest financial meltdown accountable. Once we both stepped away from the mindless bickering; we were able to have a real debate and find out that we’re not as different as we thought. Personally I believe that most people in our nation, if not the entire world, are the same. We all want to earn a living, be able to take care of our families and be secure in our environment. A small group of people on television have made us forget that we have more things in common than what keeps us apart.

Where Labels Are Sin: The New Yellow Stars

“The fact that anti-Semitic attitudes have reached their lowest point to date is good news, the product of many years of constant and intense efforts by ADL and others to make America a more accepting society. At the same time there continues to be violence targeting Jews and an increasing use of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. We can’t dismiss … that there are still over 30 million Americans that hold anti-Semitic views.” —Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, discussing the findings of a new survey of anti-Semitic attitudes, October 29, 2009

There has been a lot of talk in the media about racism and anti-Semitism in the past few months after President Obama was elected. It’s hard to escape, almost every mainstream media outlet has become a champion of the tolerance bandwagon to the point where racism and intolerance have become the sole reasons why people are questioning the actions taken by the government. There’s nothing new about the media trying to find scapegoats to demonize critics of government actions; take the talking heads under President Bush for example who claimed that not supporting broad expansion of government powers supports terrorism. Groups like the Anti Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Center have the role of propagating disinformation and labeling political opponents of the status quo with a yellow star of racism while ignoring real racism when it is politically incorrect to do so.

In our newly enlightened society, its abhorrent that a man who said “I admired Hitler,” vacations with Nazi war criminals, wears Nazi symbols during photo shoots and whose father was a Nazi would completely escape the gaze of the ADL and SPLC but that’s exactly what happened in 2003 when Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected to be the governor of California. While some of the alternative media dug into Schwarzenegger’s past, the groups who the nation looks leadership on issues of racism and discrimination turned a blind eye and to this day continue to completely avoid the issue.

In 2008 the radical white nationalist Hal Turner, who advocated lone wolf attacks, was arrested for telling his listeners to “take up arms” against federal judges on his radio show. His arrest was seen as a victory for policy of tolerance in our enlightened society but in reality, it did little to combat racism. Since his arrest it has come out that Hal Turner was working for the FBI in an effort to flush out radicals who may use violence and terrorism to achieve their goals. The involvement of the federal government to train and promote leaders in the radical segments of the population can’t be ignored. Why has the ADL and SPLC stayed quiet on the government support of racist propaganda? The answer’s simple: without racism in the news, real or propaganda, these organizations wouldn’t seem legit and their power base would cease to exist.

Even while these institutes ignore the real issues that they have sworn to fight, they have been busy attacking radical right wing fringe groups. On November 16th the ADL released an article detailing who the radical groups are and what they believe. The groups are using the overwhelming anger at government policies to lure people towards racist ideals.

One of the first racist movements on the list is the pro-gun movement who fear that the government will move “to confiscate firearms from American citizens.” It’s surely insane to believe that the government would want to disarm the American public through legislation and international treaties. It doesn’t matter that Obama is working on a treaty with Mexico to prevent gun trafficking which will affect how firearms are sold here; nor does it matter his chief of staff Rahm Emanuel giving speeches stating that if you’re on the massive terrorist watch list your right to own guns shouldn’t exist. In fact, if one really wants to dig into the issue, the NRA supported a bill under the Bush administration stating that people who have had some form of mental problem will not be able to own firearms.

Another group or racists were those people confronting their representatives at town hall meetings which had “some individuals angrily launching verbal attacks against the president and other office holders.” While it is true that some protesters held signs comparing the new health care system that is being proposed to Nazi Germany, to label the protesters who don’t want the controversial health care system as racists and anti-Semites is an extremely uneducated argument designed to stifle a legit debate. The idea that it is wrong to confront your elected representatives about policies that you don’t agree with is asinine in itself.

The next group they have warned the world about are the “Government Resisters” naming specifically the Oath Keepers, and the Three Percenters. The Oath Keepers according to their website is a “is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, veterans, Peace Officers, and Fire Fighters who will fulfill the Oath we swore, with the support of like minded citizens who take an Oath to stand with us, to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, so help us God. Our Oath is to the Constitution.” The charter of the group states that member have sworn not to confiscate guns, will not participate in warrantless searches, will not support enacting martial laws or removing states sovereignty. The Three Percenters are a non-violent group which believes in the right to keep and bear arms, supports the Constitution and individual liberties. Well all know that the concepts that these groups are based on are extremely dangerous and anti-American.

If you went to one of those Tea Parties, you too are a racist. Once again, questioning official government policy is wrong and god help you if you’re down right angry about it.

The last ones on the list are media figures like Glenn Beck, keep in mind that Glenn Beck is only a form of controlled opposition to pacify a conservative audience. The ADL has no problem promoting Beck since his coverage of the more controversial issues has been the same propaganda that the mainstream news has been promoting for years, however if someone doesn’t follow the mainstream line, these groups work quietly behind the scenes to remove people who expose unpopular issues. Lou Dobbs for instance, has been in the crosshairs of the SPLC and ADL for quite awhile because of his coverage of the North American Union and illegal immigration debate. A week or two ago Dobbs resigned from CNN without warning, under suspicious circumstances but what we do know is that these groups are admitting to pressuring CNN to remove him from the air.

I’ve learned something throughout the years of watching do-gooders who claim to have societies best interest in mind; that they’re always full of, well you know. These groups are more about an image of what they’re supposed to be than actually standing up for what they claim to believe. Let’s all make a commitment together, a commitment that we won’t be afraid of being labeled a racist and we’ll step up to the plate and have a real debate about issues. An intelligent and logical debate is the only way that opinions can be changed and to deprive people of that only short changes the integrity of society.

You Are The Terrorist

Even before the attacks on the World Trade Center the federal government was worried about something: the American people. Throughout history dictators and corrupt governments have known that the biggest threat to their power came from the people they ruled over. In order to solidify their rule, they have used propaganda, fear and even brute force to keep the public in line. The tactics of population control are used just as much and are easy to see in modern day America to anyone who observes and asks questions about the world around them; even if one doesn’t observe their surroundings there’s still a lingering feeling in the pit of most people’s stomach telling us that something is wrong. The government and corporations that run the country have good reasons to be afraid; the sleeping giant that is America is slowly waking up as more people realize that they’re being sold out and wake up to the fact that the police state which has been created to fight terrorism; is in reality, meant for American citizens.

In July 2001 FEMA held a training meeting for Missouri fire fighters and police officers where the trainer explained that the founding fathers terrorists (transcript below). The trainer linked the founding of the United States to terrorists stating that the founding fathers targeted British officials for assassination in their fight to win their independence from the British crown. What the instructor left out was they history, were the reasons why the thirteen colonies had rebelled and of course that without them, the United States wouldn’t exist.

Transcript
Instructor: “They are as committed to their cause and their way of like as we are and they see YOU as being wrong. When people are passionate about what they believe in, they become a very difficult entity to beat. Who was the first terrorist organization of the United States?
Class answers: “The Founding Fathers.”
Instructor: “Who you mean Thomas Jefferson? You mean George Washington? Paul Revere? These guys right here. Let me ask you something did they try to scare people? They tried to intimidate the British. Did they use acts of violence? Your founding fathers, my founding fathers were involved in acts of terrorism against British officials because they systematically had British Officials Assassinated. Assassinated! The guys who we call our founding fathers, George Washington, Mr. Honest, who cut down the cherry tree and admitted it is the same guy who signed death orders, if you will, on members of the British government and British crown who they wanted to eliminate because they had political influence in certain pockets of the United States at that time the 13 colonies and they wanted to divide and conquer.”
Tape Cuts
Instructor: ”If they killed 10000 civilians tomorrow with a biological agent, that’s too bad for them.“

The terrorist attacks of September 11th were a godsend to those who wanted to expand the federal government’s power. The Patriot Act was signed into law on October 26th, 2001 but it was anything but patriotic. The Patriot Act gave the federal government broad powers to use “Enhanced Surveillance Procedures” in order to monitor terrorists who could be anyone who committed ANY crime, even minor ones, under the new definition of what a terrorist was which was also included in the bill. The Patriot Act was billed as a way to protect America from Muslim terrorists but in practice it has been used against drug dealers, toy stores and strip clubs who all pose a immediate threat to national security. Out of the 763 warrants granted to law enforcement under the Patriot Act in 2008 there were only 3 cases where it was used for terrorism. Of course when keeping fighting terrorism in mind, it’s important to remember the FBI’s Terrorist Watch List which has over 1.1 million Americans on it(70000 people admitted in 2008 with reports of 40000 people more added this year). With so many “terrorists” on American soil, you’d think that there would be more than 3 requests under the Patriot Act.

It’s no secret that governments love terrorists, they’re the perfect enemy and as long as the threat is there; expanding control is simple. For instance, say something blows up, the government can say they weren’t funded and that’s why the attack took place. On the other hand we can also look at how there hasn’t been an attack on our soil for 8 years which, as government will tell you, is because they’re doing such a good job and therefore need more money and powers to keep doing that job. Terrorism is one of the only businesses where officials can be rewarded for not doing their job just as much as they can be for doing it. With the definition of terrorism being so lax, it’s almost a guarantee that the funding to combat it will increase.

On February 20th 2009, Missouri released the MIAC report to law enforcement which defined large groups of people as domestic terrorists. The list included political opponents of current government policies, gun owners, tax resistors, anti-immigration groups, people against the North American Union, people against the private Federal Reserve, against a draft, people who don’t trust the police, people voted for Ron Paul or the Libertarian Party; even watching certain movies can make you a criminal. Basically, if you disagree with the direction the country is going, you’re a terrorist.

The government and corporations are so intimidated by the American people waking up to their scam that they have begun to take control of people’s anger by placing people in the media who claim to have the same ideals as the public do. Where there used to be only characters like Rush Limbaugh and Keith Olbermann to pacify people, there are now many more shows changing their mantra to reflect the growing anger on both the right and left side without actually addressing the issues. One of the most striking changes has been with Fox News host Glenn Beck who once called supporters of presidential candidate Ron Paul domestic terrorists but now has embraced him and his ideals which he condemned just a mere few months before.

President Obama also used the anger felt across America during his presidential election making promises to change the way government worked. Obama made promises that most people could agree that they wanted. Who doesn’t want government transparency, getting the lobbyists out of the White House, to stop domestic wiretapping, stopping the torture of terrorists(especially considering almost anyone can be considered one), and of course ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as soon as he got in office? Since Obama was elected in January his ratings have plummeted because almost all of the major promises he made where indeed lies much to the disappointment of the people who wanted change. Obama instead has taken up the same policies as the Bush administration and worked to expand them. The change he said he would bring didn’t exist the only change was the figurehead in charge of the government.

Thomas Jefferson was right when he said: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.” The government is afraid and rightly so. Congress’ approval ratings are at an old time low and people are voicing their discontent with their votes in every election. No matter which party is in power, the public votes them out of office. Even though both sides work for the same interests, it’s only a matter of time before people recognize the fact that both the Republican and Democrat parties serve the same master. If they aren’t afraid of being kicked out of office now, they will be soon and once that fear is in place we will have a government for and by the people.

Victim Disarmament in Action

Fifteen people have been killed and thirty five wounded in two separate shootings just a day apart from each other this week. While the media latches onto stories about the shooters and the victims trying to find a motive in each of the cases one common factor comes to light: all of the victims were unarmed. In all of the mass shootings that have taken place in the past few years, gun control has been the determining factor as to why so many people were killed. Virtually every school, small business and office building have rules in place to stop people from bringing guns to work but the one thing they don’t account for is that criminals don’t follow the rules. Gun control has taken away responsible people’s ability to defend themselves and that has directly lead to the high lethality seen in these mass shootings.

In almost every school or workplace there’s a clause in the contract you sign saying that you can’t possess a firearm on the property making that area a “gun free zone.” Gun free zones are something based on the honor system combined with the intimidation that if you are caught with a firearm, you’re fired or expelled from the school. There are many flaws with this system, the most prevalent being that there usually isn’t the security in place to enforce those rules. The lack of security combined with the hordes of disarmed people makes schools and offices a perfect place for any disgruntled person to walk in and kill as many people as they can.

The media is always quick to demonize guns as the cause of violence and call for new laws to be passed to restrict law abiding citizens right to own firearms after almost every shooting. After the Virginia Tech shooting where a single gunman killed 32 people, in a gun free zone, politicians and the media demanded action. Gun grabbers like the Carolyn McCarthy and the NRA, who has a long history of supporting gun control, teamed up to pass bill requiring background checks into a potential gun buyer’s mental history. On the surface it all sounded logical but upon further inspection it had the effect of banning anyone from owning a firearm based on a diagnosis of almost any mental illness including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or ADHD which is the something that any child can be diagnosed with.

You would think that with all of these laws and rules in place that businesses and the state would be obligated to protect you but you’d be wrong. The Supreme Court ruled in 2005 that the police don’t have the duty to protect people. Any good police officer will tell you that when something happens, their job is more of cleaning up the mess instead of preventing crime from happening. The average response time by law enforcement to an emergency call is 8 minutes; which is an extremely long time when seconds count. To prove the point even further, you can take a look at the newscasts from the Columbine and Virginia Tech shootings where the police stand outside for hours until the gunmen eventually kill themselves. Still trust the police to protect you?

In England the right to self defense doesn’t exist; a person can not own a gun and will also be arrested for any form of self defense. England also has another startling statistic; it has one of the highest crime rates in any of the developed nations according to a United Nations study. The UK telegraph went so far as to say the UK was the crime capitol of Europe which comes as no surprise since the laws against self defense protect criminals. There are many cases where a home owner is arrested for attacking a burglar or rapist in their home and thrown in jail because they decided to protect themselves and their property. England, as we all know, is where we get a lot of our laws from so it’s not of a far leap to analyze the laws there to predict what will happen in the United States.

Can the solution to most crime be letting people arm and protect themselves? In a single word: yes. Criminals generally aren’t brave and will target the most vulnerable people who can’t defend themselves. Death is a strong deterrent for a criminal and a solution to those disturbed people who don’t fear it. A gunman opened fire at the New Life Church in 2007 but something was different; armed security was there and quickly killed the gunman. The gunman still killed one person and wounded four others but that is a big difference from the 32 people at Virginia Tech. In the wrong hands, which is what the news likes to focus on, guns can be extremely dangerous but all it takes is a gun in the right hands to prevent the carnage that we see on the daily news. The question you need to ask yourself is: am I responsible enough to protect myself and do I want to live in a world where it’s still an option to do so?

Will Environmentalists Save The World

The world is going to end and we’re all going to die. I know, it’s bad news but rest assured it’s true. It’s all downhill from here and there’s no hope unless drastic action is taken. The ice caps are melting, our cities will flood, hurricanes are getting stronger and even the crime rate will rise since we all know criminals are more productive in warm weather. How do I know all of this is happening? I watch the daily news and as we all know, corporate newscasters are the embodiment of integrity and truth. The fact is that even if you believe the whole mantra about global warming movement; all of the solutions that are presented to combat it will only degrade the quality of life for most Americans and increase the overall pollution throughout the world. The price of saving the world will bring the destruction of the environment, businesses and innovation in exchange for the personal gain of a small group of people and businesses.

In a little bit over a month world leaders will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a new climate change treaty. The treaty will be a game plan for how the nations of the world will combat the warming of the planet by introducing carbon taxes and penalties based on the emissions that the first world nations produce. As we all know, developed industrialized nations produce most of the worlds carbon dioxide which in theory warms the planet and knowing that; the developed nations owe the world compensation for their wasteful ways. The climate change treaty is full of new taxes, money transfers from productive nations to the third world, and tax schemes which will be levied against successful businesses. Not only will industrialized nations pay taxes on what they produce, developing nations such as China and India will be exempt from the new taxes since it will hinder their development.

Under the new proposed rules, American taxpayers will foot the bill for the advancement of the rest of the world by being taxed for almost every action that produces carbon dioxide. Since every part of life, even breathing, produces carbon dioxide, the cost of all of the goods that are produced in America would increase. The new taxes will make American services and goods less completive in the global economy and only hasten the torrent of jobs to overseas nations who are not subject to the same environmental regulations. Since the developing nations will be exempt from strict environmental regulations that first world nations are bound by they will be free to use older, cheaper and dirtier methods for the products they produce.

Al Gore, one of the most influential voices in the global warming debate, teamed up with the former Goldman Sachs executive, David Blood and created Generation Investment Management which deals with investing related to carbon credits. Luckily for Al, he’s able to buy carbon offsets to justify his massive carbon footprint which he produces promoting his message of conservation from his own company. The mainstream media has virtually ignored the money he will be making from the passing of global warming taxes and treaties as well as the conflict of interest that his business brings to the debate.

While the world focuses on global warming (which has conveniently been changed to climate change, since some of the arguments have been debunked) the environmental community has ignored other and more significant issues. For instance take depleted uranium weapons that are being used in Iraq and Afghanistan leaving large cities radioactive leading to increases of birth defects in newly born babies. Other issues that are being completely ignored are the overfishing of the oceans, chemicals from farming pouring into the oceans and creating massive dead zones, the island of plastic between California and Hawaii which is twice the size of Texas, the pollution of 75% of the lakes and rivers in China; the list goes on and on. Of course none of these issues get much press since it would require some action other than shuffling money around.

The world is indeed in an environmental crisis which is something we all need to recognize as we proceed forward into the future. With the right research and initiatives, many of the problems which plague humanity can be solved within our lifetimes. For instance, our space program could be key in solving the world’s energy needs by developing technologies to mine the moon and refine helium 3. With advancements in technology clean, cheap energy could be move from the realm science fiction movies to science fact.

People are starting to wake up to the snake oil sales men who are claiming that they’ll save the world for the charlatans that they are and forcing them to change their rhetoric. Once the politicians and corporate interests that run our government have been exposed, real environmental change can be achieved. As more time passes, rays of hope can be seen forcing themselves through the clouds of political corruption that encompass our society. People are sick and tired of our overbearing government, as polls have shown, and are ready to step away from the era of oppressive leadership so they can embrace the real enlightenment that freedom can bring.

  • Tender Sentiments