Friday, December 2, 2011

America the Progressive

For a long while, America has been a progressive country; we are the ones credited, famously or infamously, as being rabble-rousers, we shook things up. Our soldiers, our war fighters, are depicted as psyching-up to rock music as they prepare to engage in warfare; the killing of fellow humans, ideally (and I use the word lightly) against soldiers fighting for their country just as our men and women fight for ours.

Somewhere along the lines, when social change began to be the majority demand, progress began to slow; women wanted to vote, blacks wanted to be fully equal with no separations. These changes took unfortunate amounts of time to adopt and some areas forget them to this day. Now it's homosexuals who seek marriage rights and 'the masses' are responding with opposition; Muslims are still fighting discrimination as well and probably will for many more years.

Now we have a Senate that mires itself, as a rule, with nonsense filibuster votes that go against the very principles of a majority vote and, by association, our republic. Our representatives vote against environmental protections, our campaigning presidents vow to close protection agencies; they say this is for jobs but where are the jobs and what of the people you've left jobless from those agencies?

Of course, when it comes to indefinite detention of US citizens on US soil, the Senate finds a way to agree; 97 - 3 in favor of indefinite detention of US citizens, on US soil with no trial, no Miranda rights, until Congress declares an end to the war on terror. Welcome to the war-zone at home.

Aren't we above child labor; aren't we a little more enlightened than that? Nope, Gingrich wants to reinstitute child labor into our workforce and start teaching kids, at an early age, the cold, dirty facts of life and money when they should be creating, exploring, and expanding their minds, not worrying about "showing up on Monday." Kid's need to be isolated away from the concern of cash; their minds don't need to be dirtied by that. If only Gringrich meant showing up to school and not to a thankless job and a pittance. If kids are doing any 'work' around the school it should just be for fun and for pride in their school, which is their community and home for their developing minds for several hours, five days a week.

Why does America want to be associated with archaic thinking? We are supposed to be ahead of such backwards practices; ahead of countries that think being gay is an unforgivable sin and that women are inferior to men. America is supposed to be ahead of all this; better than all this but we are falling behind too. Few countries are willing to come up to bat in this time of great social change; why wouldn't we, as the rebellious Americans, gladly take the reins for the next great movement? No, instead we've chosen to prepare ourselves for another secessionist war.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

America Unraveled

As the holidays approach, it should be time for unity and community; getting together with those you appreciate, those you love, those you don't see so often. The holidays are a time to purge all the bad of the year and come together to enjoy the cold season with loved ones, family, and friends.

Unfortunately, this years black friday sales were anything but loving (but then when are they?); consumerism eats this holiday in a single bite as many even skip Thanksgiving to sit for a day or two in the cold to buy an inexpensive big TV or laptop or whatever. The deals are good but your time is more precious; what good is being out there verses being with your family, enjoying the time with them? You buy two big TVs so you can spend quality time with your kids? Of course not, you buy them to get away; you encourage your own distraction away from them.

What's worse, if you don't give a crap about your holiday, fine but employees were forced to come in for some stores' insane, midnight openings; these employees were made to miss Thanksgiving because they had to work that night. It's unfair but people just hark on that it's lucky they have a job; sure it is, unfortunately we are getting close to the analogy of the men and women in single color overalls on the factory line doing some meaningless task everyday of their life, toiling away for those with money to afford cheap toilers. We all have families, we all deserve to be with them regardless of our economic strata. I know a father that works all the time; he's a work-a-holic but his kids have zero regard for him because he doesn't feel like a father to them, they have no respect for him; he's a stranger in his own home because he chooses work. Those employees were not given a choice unless that choice was work or be fired. Scrooge has come home and Crotchet is going to be working this Christmas; fuck that cripple Tiny Tim. That's the message of America today.

The holidays aren't the only onslaught of peace and good-will towards man; a personhood amendment in Mississippi that sought to, eventually, fight abortion rights, a racist town in Montana collecting more racists and weaponry, statements from politicians like "gay marriage would make our country fall," the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops wants the right for religiously affiliated hospitals, charities, elementary and secondary schools, as well as colleges and universities to refuse women birth control, plus let's not forget all the police violence as Occupies around the country were brutally broken up. These are all examples of our willingness to do atrocious harm to each other; few give any care or regard to anyone outside their household and that's not what society is; that's not what it means. We ought to be closer than ever but we are more divisive now than ever before; lines are drawn deep and thick, separating us from those who spread their butter-side down.

Newt Gingrich recently declared that "child labor laws are stupid," and said that schools should have a master janitor (getting rid of all unionized janitors) and the kids could do the work and get a little money for their efforts. It sounds like an okay plan (crappy for those who are employed as janitors) but why do we want to instill that mindset in our kids? The world is already cold and revolves around money, there is no reason to taint our children by saying, "Here, you work, you get money...that's America." Kids should help (not work) around their school because they have a pride in it and for it; because the teachers are good and make the lessons informative but also fun so you encourage socialization and participation along with learning, because the class sizes are small and you get the help you need, and other such idealistic thoughts about the educational system. Kids shouldn't be working for money; what of the lesson that sometimes you just do good things to be good, maybe to feel a little warmer, feel connected to people and the community; be apart of something bigger than yourself that isn't the Almighty God but people, beautiful community; neighbors working together. It's a dead dream but hold it; I know I will.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Atlas Shrugged: Part 1 - Film Analysis

I've been intrigued by the name John Galt since I first read it in progressive news articles discussing the Tea Party, specifically supportive protestors who had the phrase adorned on posters at rallies. This interest was exacerbated by the awesome privilege of living in an area where Who is John Galt? license plate frames are worn with pride and Tea Party stickers tastefully litter rear windows of SUVs. It got me thinking; who is John Galt?

I want to say, first, how stupid of a phrase that is to represent such power; it's clunky, it's awkward yet it's touted as perfect poetry every time it's uttered. It parades as philosophical and thought provoking but it's anything but clever and it always serves to halt questioning and leave mystery. It is touted in the same vein as "because God says so," a classic favorite for the religious right.

I started with Ayn Rand's nearly 900 page novel but it was difficult to commit to something I didn't particularly care for the first few pages in. The book, very early on, provides a forum for character Eddie Willers' consumerist gush; I wasn't in line with his thinking but then I was biased going into this adventure.

When I read that the Koch Brothers were showing the film at a recent gala protested by the 99%, I decided I would see if the film could keep my interest better than the book; the odds were far better.

Hell Comes to Santa Clarita

I thought I'd note that the overpopulatedoverdevelopedethically puresuburban hell that is Santa Clarita, played host to some of the films homier slices of country life along two lane roads such as the Cafe Inn. Why mention it? Anytime taken to rag on Los Angeles County's Most Business Friendly City is time well utilized.

Where is Everybody?

In the opening of the film, facts and news snippets come at you quicker than you can effectively process and think about any of them as Taggart Transcontinental's Rio Norte Line is about to go off track. The film effectively had no time to explore Eddie's consumer idealism; understandable.

Barren streets of New York in 2016?
Very quickly the viewer begins to learn a little about the universe of the film. It seems as if this universe exists in a vacuum of which only inhabitants seem to be crooked politicians, union representatives, lobbyists, executives, CEOs, retired CEOs, a handful of labor workers, a handful of middle-class Americans at the welfare truck, and a handful of destitute. New York's streets appear impossibly barren but there's no answers as to where literally millions of people are; the store fronts are closed, there is a scattering of a bum or two but where is the bustling population of New York in these exterior shots?

I had to halt the film and think about that; what was the movie indicating by having so few people? Perhaps Rand went into detail about how America became so empty, however, the film doesn't seem to. Maybe America's majority population has been outsourced by this time; or maybe the film wishes to deny the idea of overpopulation by making streets and sidewalks appear empty, a stark contrast to the truth. And even in the gas crisis of the film, there are no indications of large groups of the population loading up onto these trains or waiting at stations yet it's declared the only affordable way to get freight and passengers around. There's little mention of any employment crisis but I guess that's because the population is so minimal; no family business or small business types seem to exist, no artists or designers, only top executives and the destitute...a new dream for America.

The film and it's lack of populace indicates how inconsequential people are viewed in terms of business and politics; the public has no bearing and is unaffected by the policies of business and government so we'll just remove them from the equation. It's as if this universe existed in a bubble of just politics and business but, we know our country is far more than that; Atlas Shrugged, however, can't be bothered to tackle populace problems.

This Could Change the World

The only issues this film is prepared to tackle is those of big business and evil, regulatory government that pushes everyone to work and distribute at the same rate and according to need.

I find it hard to imagine our government pushing heavy regulation on any corporation in a time of great strife but I can let this go; it's a movie, let them have their reality. The film, however, seems to indicate that corporate money is dirtying politics but not in favor of corporations over people, as in our reality, but instead corporations pitting against each other to achieve some sort of Communist symbiosis but this is where things get far-fetched. I doubt any corporation would make moves that would push government policy towards corporate equality; that would only hurt them if conditions were ever right for them to run with their success. This goes against the integral ideas of business of working hard and moving up.

The film is liberal as it paints the picture for too much corporate control of politics but pollutes this with the idea that the government should, instead, have a hands off approach to business; zero accountability to anybody and only using 'the market' to regulate it. The market, in this case, being the corporations they work with; not consumers because, remember, they are all but non-existent in this universe.

"Dagny, this could change [our] world." 
In one scene, Dagny Taggart and Henry Rearden discover the ingenious engine in the abandoned 20th Century Motor Company office; Rearden declares that "...[the engine] could change the world." In reality, it would really only change Taggart and Rearden's world but, despite their disinterest in people, they like to feel like part of the solution. They surely would have no desires to share the engine with the other companies so other rail lines would become obsolete and Rearden and Taggart would rule the rails until such time as they betrayed each other for a little extra scratch; the accumulation of wealth indicating their supreme success. And why wouldn't they; neither of them have any concept of help or loyalty, if one of them falls behind, so be it. Or maybe they respect each other far more, however, they cannot be bothered to extend that respect to anyone else; not that anyone else in this film was portrayed as respectable, only slimy and as equally as motivated by money as everyone else...and EVERYONE is motivated by money according to this film.

Tread Heavily and Carry a Big Cock

One of the early scenes of the film shows Rearden's enamored secretary delivering him messages from two science organizations, in regards to his new metal no doubt, and one from a labor union. Rearden asks for them all to be filed which means thrown away. This short scene becomes a glowing illustration of Rearden's large-cock business ethics; his oppressive loafer on the the head of his labor employees though few are ever seen and his rail production appears completely automated. It seems Rearden Steel offers very few jobs.

The scene illustrates how much disregard corporate executives have towards their workers; labor unions would improve the lives and conditions of his workers but he has no care for this, it will only impede his success. This is nice thinking for a bubble, however, it doesn't work in a real world setting because people are affected by it and they don't stay as quiet about oppression as this film would prefer.

An Artist at Heart

There is a scene in which Rearden gives to his pompous wife a bracelet made from the first pour of Rearden Metal. This effectively paints Rearden in a positive light; an 'artist' at heart, someone with a sentimental side. His wife, however, is extremely dismissive of the gesture and barely tries to hide it; her friends support her dismissal.

"Who are you wearing?" asks Lillian Rearden.
That scene can serve to highlight some of Rearden's lack of compassion for people, however, unlike most movies, it would lead to an eventual divorce and marriage to someone who made you happy; it would lead to Rearden becoming less a businessman and more a man of the people. This film takes the, perhaps, more realistic approach of affair and oppression in response to inadequacies at home.

The film seems more focused on removal of worthy figures from the general population to Atlantis, John Galt's unseen haven. Instead of people working to better the nation for everyone, these people choose to retreat and start over; basically leaving us to destroy ourselves. It's this lack of connection or compassion that makes corporations so toxic to the general public; no feeling whatsoever to the people who make your product, buy your product, create the roads, run the websites, etc. No connection to the pawns of this world.

An Altruistic Horror Story

It's easier for consumable media, such as this film, to take a stand rather than meander and philosophize on both sides of the issue; this movie takes a stand for individual achievement and success, however, it's unlikely that an all-encompassing collective movement would ever stand in the way of individual achievement being rewarded fairly. The film implies that ingenious inventions will only exist in an entirely for-profit society and with that ideology; the movement of open-source software is in direct contrast to this line of thinking.

The film asserts negative implications of allowing individual achievements going unrewarded and forcing all innovation be made available to all for the sake of equal competition. Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park discussed the notion of a cancer cure in the same vein; suggesting pharmaceutical scientists could have long ago released a vaccine for the currently incurable disease but would not because they would be unable to profit from it, instead being forced to charge a nominal fee, at most, to allow wide access to those afflicted. I don't believe anyone desires to penalize individual success but the public does tend to believe that individual success should not be at the expense of society. The film implies withholding is good for everybody but there's no logic in existence to make that idea a correct assertion.

In the real world, the arguments are not against the success of an individual but against hoarding of the elites to the point where it's harming those who aren't part of the elite. A certain degree is expected or else why would anyone work for the elites, however, a certain degree of altruism is expected from those who achieve yearly salaries many of us could not fathom or imagine needing in our lifetime. Executives' success is built upon the labor of others, this can never be forgotten but that's where we are today where the only praise is given to more money.

Recently, Sarah Palin asserted that the 99% just seek a bailout of their own; this is untrue, they desire an entire government structure change and a alteration of social priorities away from money. The last thing they want is endless amounts of money to form the new elite.

The Only Regulation is Unfair Regulation

More oppressive regulation on business?! How could they?
There are a few scenes in the film which portray Orren Boyle and James Taggart working with the government to impede and equalize the progress and success of Rearden Steel; the idea of jealous competition pushing to even the playing field. Perhaps if corporations were entirely excluded from political proceedings they would be unable to influence policy against each other in their dog-eat-dog, money-focused culture.

Henry Rearden and Dagny Taggart prefer the notion of self-governance and governance by the invisible hand of the market but this idea implies corporations will always act in the best interest of the public because corporations are people too. This corporate humanity begins to get convoluted, however, when executives begin to lose feeling for their own home country and people. With that kind of disloyalty, dare I say treason, it's hard to imagine corporations could EVER have any care for what happens in America when they can easily and without much heart-break pack up and move somewhere else; maybe even space soon enough.

There's also the notion of those employed to check and enforce business regulations; should further unemployment be tolerated to allow corporations to self-regulate? Should those practices continue if it's found to not be in the best interest of the general population? The corporate CEOs would assert a need for zero accountability on the basis that the people will always be against corporate practices because they lack the appropriate insight to understand the harmlessness of corporate ways.

A Bureaucratic Nightmare

At one point in the film, a union representative visits Dagny Taggart at the office for her John Galt Line insisting workers would not be riding on the line's untested, unapproved Rearden Metal rails. Dagny fires back at the representative insisting they cannot have it both ways, that is, demanding employment and forcing workers to halt their work. Unions are painted as villains of industry when the relationship between unions and employers should always be a symbiotic tug-of-war for company productivity and employee rights and safety.

In our world, if executives shared any bit of the burden, then perhaps they could open themselves to some altruism by maintaining employees in times of economic hardship.

What's Wrong with the World?

What person has never asked this question; the corporate elite ponder on it as well but they never once seem to think that the issues stem from everyone's focus being money. It's clear every character in the film is, at least somewhat, motivated by money (or sport in the case of Francisco D'Anconia); the film touts the idea that there is not a person on this earth unmotivated by money. This is an obvious falsehood especially in a nation of liberal pot-smoking, free-thinkers. We have passionate artists, programmers, designers, photographers, filmmakers all hoping to make money but are not motivated by it; people who'd rather, do as the businessmen do, and reinvest it into their work and eventual success. Not everyone wants to be a millionaire because of the responsibility it carries (or should carry); substantially less want to be billionaires.

A butler to every household; the new American dream.
In the universe of this film, Henry Rearden, hardly a selfless man, is a protagonist, or hero. This is entirely acceptable, Rearden is somewhat decent and honorable, however, this film depicts a world where the 'good guy' has no friends. A man with his principles, apparently, will stand alone in contrast to the majority and their ideals. Hollywood tends to favor a hero character being the one surrounded by friends; the villain brooding alone with, perhaps, a loyal subordinate or two. Atlas Shrugged is definitely in contrast to 'liberal' Hollywood but its message could be poisonous to the upcoming generation longing to be that lone wolf CEO with little care for anyone but themselves. Unfortunately, a lack of care has a way of manifesting itself in a way that's equally as bad as a hatred for mankind.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Case for File Sharing

It can be difficult to be an advocate of file sharing just as some find issues in supporting illegal immigration but, for supporters, it becomes a matter of principle versus conventional thinking. I recently pondered an idea which I wished to share and, as usual, for free (only worth mentioning in instances such as this).

The further oppression towards file sharing implied that those without the means to afford music, films, books, etc. must go without them; our capitalistic nature has made information and culture a commodity to only be had by those able to pay for them. This would create an entire segment of the population ignorant to aspects of society that should be available to all without a nominal or astronomical fee.

Then there's software piracy; it seems like it should be different but, ask yourself this: why is it only those who can afford it be allowed to utilize software that will allow them to startup their own company in commerce or the creative industry? Resources must be widely available across all economic strata to allow flux, to allow an evolution of new ideas, improved business ethics, new rights for consumers; the people must always be empowered to challenge those in power, be it government or corporate.

But where's the solution? Artists, producers, programmers, designers, writers; these people all need to be paid for their efforts. Perhaps free versions of programs could become substantially more prominent, versions that allow users basic but complete usability and those wishing for more can pay for the privilege and customer service. In many ways, this is already occurring in many software areas as part of the open-source movement. For intangibles, like music and films, it's likely just going to come as a compromise somewhere; books (especially eBooks) should never carry a cost.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fat Tax is Undue Social Control

Liberals are not known for social oppression, however, they do not remain so hands off when it comes to unhealthy foods. A fat tax is a good idea if it does, in fact, promise to fund fitness and education programs geared towards getting kids (and adults) to eat healthier. The issue is in the comparison; supporters assert that a sin tax on food would be similar to that of taxes levied on cigarettes and alcohol, however, regardless of the health value of food, all food is sustenance whereas tobacco and alcohol are not.

The proposed tax on caloric sweetened drinks is, debatably, valid as non-diet soda1, energy and sports drinks are a luxury to the human need for water, however, the L.A. Times writer suggests expanding the tax to fast food.

That is not to say obesity is not a problem; a fat tax, if implemented, should subsidize gym memberships and get healthier food in schools but taxing unhealthy food items, such as fast food, is undue social control. A person could make a burger at home or buy one at a fast food chain, the former is obviously healthier but both burgers are life-sustaining food. People have the right to choose what they consume and it should be without taxation to urge them another way. This is dissimilar to tobacco and alcohol because they are unnecessary to life; one can choose to go a full lifetime without one or both.

The issue of obesity is more a problem of calorie control rather than the issue of consuming unhealthy foods; a person can lose weight and still consume unhealthy fast food if they carefully watch their daily caloric intake. This is not to say such practice is a good idea but it is a choice people can make.

What is a problem is unhealthy and fast food marketing which instills, into children, a strong sense of desire and longing that makes proper parenting difficult when it seems so menial and even cruel an issue as what a child would prefer to eat but this is, of course, where the issues of obesity begin. Fat tax proponents argue they are already up against corporate social control; this is fair, however, taxation is a more physical control whereas corporate advertising still allows people to choose.

If healthy foods are uncompetitive in our low-priced, fast food world, then a fat tax could be seen as more valid as an attempt to even the playing field between healthy and unhealthy foods.

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Additional Note:
1 The article makes no mention of non-caloric, or diet, drinks; it sounds as if they would be exempted from such a tax.
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Additional Reading: (while I stand by my opinions, evidence and articles are stacked up against opponents, however, there are murmurings against such social control, amongst the tobacco/alcohol similarity assertions)
Taxes and Inelastic Goods
Denmark Introduces 'Fat Tax' on Foods High in Saturated Fat
'Fat tax is the best way to cut obesity:' Treat junk food like cigarettes, argues OECD
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Corporations Need to Learn the Love

Our nation's economic problems, the reason many of us are unemployed and occupying cities is due to the greed and lack of feeling from corporations. A non-physical entity can not be made to love but we are told, time1 and time again2, that corporations are people; there is no evidence of this. There is, however, plentiful documentation that could argue the lack of humanization within corporations who seem to run on money like human vending machines; put in a hundred dollars and get a foreclosed home or get thirty year company veterans laid off with little help finding other jobs.

There's no way to teach people to love; if they are, at this point, so far gone there is little hope but, unfortunately, that also leaves us with little hope as our democracy goes up for sale and politicians joke about voter suppression. Do not be naive, these are unfortunate times we are living; it is difficult to find anyone in politics still championing for the people, that is to say, humans like you and me.

The people of corporations do know love, however, the only love they know is of the dollar; that is their incentive regardless of the financial difficulties of the people right outside their window. Big banks are implementing fees for debit card usage (as well as massive layoffs) when they are posting financial profits; what reason, other than greed, could account for such fees in a time when the working American is most strapped for cash?

In order to increase executive salaries and bonuses, corporations decided to cut costs wherever they could; this was usually to low-level employees in benefits and layoffs. This is because labor costs in other countries are significantly lower than costs in the United States. Often left unmentioned is that management pay is also significantly less in other countries as well which would, also, be a way to cut significant costs; it's either the jobs and benefits of a few or of many.

All these cuts to and against the common man and corporate CEOs still want people to sing cultish-like praises for them.

Educate yourself and keep that knowledge with you; apathy and lethargy have always come at too high a cost, this is never more true than now.

This article reminds us of what's to come for the occupiers and, consequently, all of us. The OWS movement is, in essence, an anarchist movement (or at least a movement calling for the TOTAL reformation of politics and politicians) and, as such, it will face heavy opposition from all sides in an attempt to maintain this corrupt nostalgic way of life. Many are afraid of what will replace this system, what will be reformed but it's becoming increasingly hard for the majority to just continually push on being entertained by political theater. You should already know the ending to the play; the rich, undeterred, will inherent the Earth.

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Additional Comments:
1 Romney fails to address that the money is NOT coming back to the people. It is coming to people, in the literal sense of the word, but it's staying in the executives' pockets. Jobs and higher wages are not 'trickling-down' because the wealthy stay wealthy because they know how to save their money (in addition to knowing how to reinvest and then save it some more). Cain's 9-9-9 tax plan ridiculousness is a return of classic trickle-down economics.

2 David French, writer of this article, suggests that a person can have faith in a company with cash reserves and that hoarding helps real people, again, in the literal sense of the word. It's true, hoarding benefits a few but it does so at the cost of many; if a kid in a classroom takes all the crayons then no one else can color but that child certainly does benefit from having all the crayons...but no one else does and the many can't be expected to just accept the one child's hoarding. And they aren't, the American public is speaking out against this hoarding. The idea of hoarding basically suggests that if a corporation can get money it is allowed to keep it, which, it is, however, we expect our companies to give back to this country in the way of jobs and fair contributions to government revenues that stimulate the consumer population. Due to globalization, many corporations lack any sense of connection or duty to give back which leaves our people, non-executive humans, penniless as rich executives invest in the inexpensive overseas; in places where extreme poverty and starvation foreshadow our own future.

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Additional Reading:
How Can We Rouse Police and Other Protectors of the Corporatocracy -- "Guards" of the Status Quo -- to Join the OWS
Lakoff: How Occupy Wall Street's Moral Vision Can Beat the Disastrous Conservative Worldview
Activists in New York Target 'Governor 1 Percent:' Cumuo Under Fire for Refusing to Extend Millionaire's Tax
Corporate Greed Alert: Wal-Mart Cutting Healthcare Benefits for its Workers
We Have a First Amendment Right to Protest -- So Why All Theses Arrests Around Occupy Wall Street
GOP 'Jokes' About Killing Immigrants, Voter Suppression, Shootings
Tea Party to Businesses: "Stop Hiring!"
Officials from Texas Spark Revolt After Perry Appointees Doctor Environmental Report
The Shocking, Graphic Data That Shows Exactly What Motivates the Occupy Movement

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Question EVERYTHING! Get Involved! Care!

I think only now are people beginning to realize you can't just leave politics to the politicians because they (like any person acting without an active, responsible base) will vote for what they want and what best suits them, especially if the people represented by them appear to not really care. But maybe it's just me, maybe I'm getting more active so it seems like the world is with me when, most likely, it isn't.

We are still too comfortable holding up our news anchors and politicians up as experts when really they both look after their own interests more than appeal to the people and provide facts. If you do not seek them out, there will be stories you aren't hearing because you think mainstream media will cover you. Mainstream media and politics have become a theater performance and many people are just now starting to walk out of it. But still many people watch and are engaged in watching highly paid television personalities disparage the concept of higher taxes on the wealthy.

This is not the America we know and love anymore; the great majority think you can still work your way to success but there exists now too many factors to keep the working class from achieving this and even if they do, the middle class is not really comfortable right now either. Our country is now divided into two on the basis of having money and not having money. The only other group, but perhaps the largest, is people who think politics, as it stands right now, is still relevant and fair. Government and politics need a complete overhaul before they can actually take credit for doing anything useful today.

We are not questioning enough; we are not looking at the people who give us information and thinking about their lives as hypocritical to what they spew out their mouths. So many of us just take their words and apply it down our now non-existent concept of party lines. Republican, Democrat; all of that is irrelevant in our lives because the two have merged into a corporate interest decider and, if the American public, continues to stand idly by, they will take it from us.

If we remained unemployed long enough maybe they will convince us or we will accept having to take what were considered migrant jobs for unchanged migrant wages; the working class (with the non-existent middle-class) will live the 1984 or Visioneers reality of toiling away for Big Government (but really Big Corporations) for the betterment of 'all' even though worker advancement is a concept of the past and not for us peons. And government will get on our screens and scream at us to buy this new item, from our favorite government-sponsoring corporation, because it is the path to happiness.

Tea Party politicians, like Michele Bachmann who recently claimed HPV vaccines may cause mental retardation, are lying to gain support because they believe God will forgive sins used to gain influence which is then used to spread God's will to a heathen population. Not only does she, or politicians like her, not care about what anyone outside her faith wants but she also will do anything to attain power (for God) and, in her mind, her version of Him will forgive her for that. Just as radical Muslims and radical Israelis; radical Christians are just as dangerous.

You don't have to vote for or agree with Tea Party politicians but people are out there right now who ARE listening to them, believing their falsehoods, and will vote for them. That's scary! We have to be as engaged and enraged as they are!

The media; we watch the news and take what they say but what of the current occupation of Wall Street by protestors aimed to hold bankers accountable? Why has that not graced the outlets with any force; that's big news and yet they treat it like a footnote or, worse, non-existent. The media gets to pick and chose what we hear and what we don't; the networks chose the anchors you see on TV. Nothing of what exists as it does now, had to be this way, it was all choice; someone picked this anchor over that and that shapes history; shapes what we know but we must always question that. We cannot continue to just be pawns of our government and our media; we are the people, we have the control if we choose to flex it but we must flex it collectively, as a unit; as a nation.

What of Jose Padilla; never charged of being a 'Dirty Bomber' yet crucified by media outlets as such? It was a choice by the media; such statements are not consistent with the facts. To say he was convicted as such is misleading to a generally gullible public who now forms an opinion on Padilla based upon that. It's not the people's fault we are gullible; we hold our news media and our politicians to a high regard and expect them to do what's best, what's right, and what's fair; we believe they can hold themselves accountable but they can't. In today's society, it's hard to find anyone doing any of those things let alone all three.

College campuses, and the general American opinion, usually have a positive opinion of alcohol, a substance with known dangers to self and others but pot impassions people into a frenzy of anti-drug buzz words. But why is alcohol okay; why did it get the green light? Choice; alcohol, through lobbies or public interest, has become our acceptable, or 'right,' drug for 'partying' and pot something we refrain from, now, in the interest of productivity (but people who smoke pot are neither inherently stupid nor lazy). We hold alcohol up as okay, despite its dangers, but pot we can easily vilify and the government has that side defended. Why can't those who drink have have their drink and those who smoke have their pot? I don't drink usually but I'd never vote for anything like a return to prohibition because other's drinking does not effect me; why do they seek to prohibit us and our drug of choice?

The drug war, itself, started as a matter of choice, someone said do it and they did for thirty years but that doesn't mean it was the right thing. Even the fact that it's been in effect for thirty years does not justify it or make it 'good policy' for Americans. We arrested many Japanese-Americans during World War II and held them in prison camps; I don't think anyone agrees that was right, but it's our history and we do make mistakes. Question policy, question authority because it doesn't always know all; in fact, it rarely does nor does it employ reason or compassion, only a perverted concept of justice and self-righteousness.

If 100% of people are in agreement, then something has been missed; we should not have such a majority lest we've lost our sense of individual thought and personal experience. We all come into this world and experience things differently than our peers; we need to be open and accepting of those differences that shape us rather then condemning or interfering with them if personally unaffected. To fight for freedom, to fight for the rights of others (that is no real benefit or gain to you) is truly a show of love and compassion to your fellow man (as the Bible dictates to those who so often forget); to condemn the freedom of others can only been seen on the opposing side as odious discontent and hatred of those who are different and do things against what they think is 'right.'

But 'right' is subjective; there is no 'right,' there is no 'wrong.' All that exists is our founding Constitution which is used to settle issues of 'right' and 'wrong' fairly, justly, and with equal representation of every person in this great nation. But it is skirted and changed as convenient; 'right' and 'wrong' becomes further convoluted.

We need to get personally involved or, at the very least, inform yourself beyond the scope of what the TV spits out at you. We are at a point of strength; we are so low as a nation that we now have the unique opportunity to build our country back up in a different way, a progressive way, but it will only be through pressure from the people that it will happen.

Friday, September 16, 2011

No to Environmental Regression

Recently, on Fox News, I had heard one of their analysts denouncing a bill to end the use and prominence of Styrofoam packing (which has been a known environmental issue for some time) in the name of jobs. I believe this to be false.

UPDATE: An article challenges the Republican view that regulations are high percentage job killers.

If ceasing the manufacture of Styrofoam packaging, would not the jobs go to a manufacturer who is making 'safe' packaging? With the increase in demand, corporations making more environmentally friendly packaging will need more employees to handle the surge. The only one's perhaps displaced by such a policy would be manufacturers that do not embrace change and progressive ideas, they are forced to go by the wayside for not staying with the demands of a growing nation; this is the way of business, it has always been a gamble.

Additionally, how can we justify regressive steps? We know Styrofoam and other packaging materials are unsafe; it would be irresponsible to allow ourselves to get caught up in an employment and economic hysteria only to cause an environmental crisis years down the line. We must find a way to fix our problems but also not move backwards in our policies and protections.

India is a country that has allowed their land and air to be polluted beyond repair; if we do not believe  environmental protections are as important or do not take them as seriously as our economy and employment then Americans will face a bleak and unhealthy future.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Make it Personal

Our society today is too complacent with fitting into neat little categories and boxes; people may follow predictable and graph-able patterns but, at their core, they are still people with individual needs and life experiences. I'm tired of the generic services offered to us; the impersonal help.

While personal training is a laughable topic in the political or social realm, I feel it is important enough to be addressed. People who sign up for personal training pay a lot of money to get what should be training on a more personal or custom made level. What I find, more often then not, is trainers wanting to throw you into a program that seems to work for people like you. But that's not personal service, that's not a tailored program to you; how is that personal training?

By the same vein, I have similar quarrels with the field of psychology. Psychologists are too quick to push pills on the depressed before they even fully talk to a patient; no one is willing to go that extra mile and actually give a crap about anyone under their charge. Psychologists don't have the time to delve into each patient individually and I understand it would mentally kill them if they did but there has to be a balance between cold, callous, and uncaring and totally involved in a patient's life. Especially in psychology, people do not fit into boxes; it's not so simple as stamping someone's forehead DEPRESSED and calling it a day. There has to be more to it than that!

Religion, while not on the same token, I feel has become very categorized. Perhaps I wish to believe in a God that resides in the trees, the plants, and all the living things; that this God connects us all through the natural world and we can commune with him in nature. Maybe I like to commune with a little marijuana; what currently documented God would support that? We need to break away from boxes, from categories, and start forging our own path.

It is only with out-of-the-box thinking that we will be able to thrive. We must challenge what we know, we must force ourselves to think away from what we have become accustomed. The world is changing all around us; embrace it, fight for your change!
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On a side note: Watch Visioneers and realize we are on the brink of that being our reality; don't think we aren't because you do so at your own expense. Socially, politically, that film has documented our present and predicted our inevitable future.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Technology Divides Us

I remember the earlier days of social communication getting big; I was in there on MySpace and Facebook because that's what everyone did, that's where the world was going. It wasn't until more recently that I see technology sought to divide us much more than it desired to connect us.

You have 8,000 friends across the globe but when did the dynamic of friendship change from someone you talk and pal around with, out about in the real world to idle chit-chat and nonsense to people thousands of miles away? When did friendship change from meeting people, shaking their hand to clicking 'Add as Friend?'

Technology has made it possible to connect and keep in touch with those across long distances which is an incredible benefit but, it has also closed us off to new relationships. People funnel all their time and energy into the computer and they stop shaking those hands or giving those hugs in favor of cute emoticons which have no meaning or value. Most of us are not making new friends but we do stay well connected with the friends we do have; as numerous or as few as we collected before technology became the new word of friendship.

Technology can provide a venue for which the world population can become more aware if you care to immerse yourself but, as always, the majority has bastardized a good concept for something cheap and gimmicky.

More people are watching movies on smaller and smaller formats as a standard; real filmmakers consider this a poor way to view their efforts. What is also associated with that is the destruction of sitting down, in one room, together, and watching a larger screen. The family or your friends aren't going to all huddle around the iPad to watch Cars 2; instead, each person will sit in front of their personal device and watch their own program. But, of course, you can instant message each other when the best part comes so it's all good.

The smaller format technologies are made to destroy the concept of togetherness; they seek to keep people singular, away from others. This is because, with others, it's hard to make sure everyone stays motionless and brainlessly watching colorful, smutty images and endless advertising.

One of the worst offenders are video games; since the inception of online play, developers have allowed split screen gaming to falter. These days you can have a cooperate or versus play game but a person in your room cannot play with you; they'd need to be playing from their own system at home. This further encourages behavior of togetherness over a distance and the decay of a personal society.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

My Plea to the World Court

Your honor, I stand here today as merely a messenger of change; I use words to incite change. Do you honestly believe this country will ACTUALLY fall to anarchy? Look at us, we all got our iPhones and computers; we are dumbed down by corporations and their technology; even I have one, I am apart of the hypocrisy. I wish merely to show the world the terrible existence we've cultivated; we live in our computers and not in real life; girls and boys play stupid games with each other instead of just admitting their natural feelings. I didn't have a girlfriend until I was 24 and we broke up a few months later because I realized, after being blinded for so long, that it wasn't a girl I sought; I sought to show people their impersonal ways.

We are all wearing masks, all the time; who are you really, judge; outside this court room? It's a rhetorical question so please don't object; why do we have to put on these faces? We need to be ourselves all the time and forget what anyone thinks about it. You want to be loved for you; not the front you put up; not what you have or pretend to have. We need to get real with each other; be real, show our true colors, our true selves. Children are the ones that need desperately to 'fit in' but adults, they should be appreciated for the differences they possess; each difference making that person special.

I don't really seek anarchy, your honor. I seek to change us; make us realize that it's okay to be you. Pick your nose, fart in public if it's who you are; show yourselves and allow the world to show themselves to you. We need to always remember that each of us is human. The woman who truly loves a man does not need fancy jewelry but only the love and affection of her mate. A man does not need a blow job from a woman who he truly loves if it is not something she can do. Just the time together and any intimacy should suffice for real people. And switch that around; a woman doesn't need to be eaten out and a man doesn't need fancy, expensive toys from their real love. It's about feeling it, inside; the love for each other. It took my one and only break up to realize what real love is; unconditional love. I found it in my family; maybe some day a girl and I will find it in each other but that's irrelevant.

This is about you; it's about all of us, finding what makes us special and going with it. Why must we be someone else when who we are is more awesome than anything we could ever pretend to be? So you may find me on charges of treason for I've said my piece; if the world agrees then let it be so but I care not what happens to me.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Rant on a Perfect Society

I realize that much of this is not feasible in modern society and that most people (those wearing 24 hour masks) are too stupid to live without government and too short sided to build a personal, respectful idea of God and religion. That being said, I just wish to stir the pot of political and social change in my direction; it's probably what all radical minded people want but I can only speak for me.

I dream government-free. That is to say, no monetary system, no roads; progress would be at a relative standstill as industrialized countries have progress. It's not a perfect idea but neither is capitalism, neither is communism; it's not one idea, it's a blend of all of them. Governments and leaders, their main goal is maintain control; whatever they do after that is entirely extraneous. To them, our lives are just gravy in their political gravy yacht.

Religion is on us. If you wanna dance to a mantra or hymn, do it because your heart knows and God knows it comes from a place of respect. No idols as unremarkable and 'un-divine' as the next. No more coconuts or tikkas for the diverse group under the category of Hinduism; no ancient books by various 'sages.' Look to the ideals of Buddha who insisted we shouldn't just accept tradition because it's become habitual; question, think for yourself and draw your own conclusions. That's a gross simplification of a brilliant mind but the idea is there; find your own notion of truth.

I am not seeking followers; I just want to live my life as happily as I can and I believe these principles are the basis for that. If this jives with you, read it, change it, apply it to you. If not, move along.

I mean to discuss all religions; I talk about Hinduism because of my day job and because I see the rampant consumerism related to the Hindu faith; perhaps encouraged to stimulate a poor economy. I also see rudeness to service employees and I, unlike Hinduism, do not believe you can 'build up' or 'bank' good karma doing things like pooja. Be kind, first, to the people you see on earth, everyday, then worry about appeasing someone on the next level. Honestly, I cannot think of anything that would appease God more than kindness to your fellow man. I refuse to believe that any iteration of God would not want us to, first, be kind to one another. Your pooja can not and will not save you from your wicked heart.

My idea of God is simple; he is the creator, he is my father and I his son; you are all my brothers, my sisters; animals and people alike. He watches and looks on us; if your heart is pure, if you know you are doing what is just and fair to others and to yourself, then God is with you. Look into the eyes of a baby and smile, if the baby smiles back you may be pure of heart, God may be with you. It's not fool proof, it's not scientific, it's just us...getting back to basics. No books to tell us what is wrong and right, just our conscious; our heart.

I don't like organized religion. I think it is often used to enforce social control, encourages consumerism in the name of religion, and I think our presumed differences of opinion on religion are the cause for at least 90% of the worlds problems. We need to learn to love, learn to live an let live. I read a Scientology pamphlet recently; it claims you are within your rights, as a consumer, to ask an employee to clean themselves. That is not within your rights. Your right is to leave, your right is to complain to a higher authority but you are in no position to make demands of the staff, you are not their employer. Scientology does teach a lot of good morals but so does the other religions; take all their lessons, take what you know and what you learn and make your religion, your personal concept of God.

Religion is personal. It's not something to impose on others; people look to it when they need it, when life brings them to the point where they find acceptance in something more existing. They say we have a spiritual need in us, we may but we can't let it get out of hand. Religion is just for you; follow yours and I'll follow mine. Just don't let yours Jihad, Inquisition, Cleanse, or otherwise bring harm or ill will to my religion.

My religion may be free to do things yours is not; respect this for it is my prerogative as long as I bring no harm upon you. Remember your rights, you can leave the area but you may not impose any ideals upon another. You cannot make them stop doing something you do not agree with as long as they are free to do so. The law is not in your hands, you are not a vigilante; laws are merely constructs of humans, they are not all correct and good citizens always should challenge social control and the removal of rights, ESPECIALLY those which conflict with your own views as those are most important. If you allow the government to take 'their' rights, they will surely come for 'yours.' They chase pot smokers but cigarette smokers are being criminilized now too; the government wants what it wants and, if you don't stand up, it'll take it.

I believe our government, in an attempt to compete with the highly controlled and unquestioning Chinese population, is pushing for clean living free from 'our' drugs in favor of ones they will manufacture.

Things will happen; you can get on a plane and it could crash but that's not God, maybe it's destiny but that's people and that's timing. Factors had to come together so perfectly to ensure it was your flight. I think that does give some merit to destiny but don't forget human error, terrorism, anything...life happens. All you can do is live as happily as possible and follow your heart; if an afterlife exists, trust you've earned your place there. Worry not on the sins or perceived sins of others, live only with a close eye on yourself and what you do, what you are all about. Do not try to change others; you must take responsibility for all in your life and change only yourself for no one else has to change themselves for you. In turn, you will not change for them. You are people, living lives differently and we must respect that.

All God has created is for us; the animals live off us as we die and feed the grasses so we, in turn, can respectfully live off the animals. Kill for yourself or trade something you worked hard for just as the hunter worked hard to attain the meat. Grow your own foods or provide the land for others to grow, help with manual labor, and, at harvest time, ask for only what you need for yourself and your family.

Life has become far too much about getting ahead; this comes from monetary ambitions but why? What is money but paper for the artists? What are things? We all have things; I wrote most of this on my iPhone, an expensive phoning device which I even spelled as the mighty corporations would prefer. We are all to blame for this. We are all to blame for this monetary ruled, superficial society. We are all now charged with fixing it.

If you work or own a business and you close at 9:30 and a person comes in at 9:29 with the presumed intention of hanging out for a bit; they deserve your service and time. If you the customer arriving at 9:29, realize the very human-natured hate that looms upon you without one word uttered. Realize you are on borrowed time and that the employees only stay as a courtesy to you and/or they are being forced to do so. Be aware of perception; yours and others.

Pursue your passions. Don't chase money; chase happiness. We need freedom; only the rich are really free to pursue their desires to the point where they have to create new ones. We need change. Artists must be allowed to create regardless of their caste or their class or their financial situation. Their minds are too valuable to waste toiling for a system that has no appreciation for them.

People, we all own Jerusalem and we all own Mecca, we all own Kashmir; we are the people. The land is for us but the only real lien holder is God and he's leasing it to us, all people's of all colors and ideals. We own nothing; our titles and deeds are human creations, they are meaningless.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Monotony of the Educational System

All children should go to (and be enthusiastic about) school as it encourages worldliness and social interaction but it's unfortunately just become a monotonous, odious ritual which kids struggle through each day. School is about learning and growing but how can such things happen when kids are falling asleep or mouthing off because they don't see the point in monotone, dull lectures and readings from unnecessarily crisp new books while last year's version sits in a landfill.

School should never stop being fun; every day should be an experience in learning and growing; talking to your classmates, to your teachers; an exchange of ideas. Students should be exploring their own creativity, finding their passions, forming hopes and dreams, things they want to achieve. The knowledge of history, math, science, all these things are needed but they shouldn't just be facts presented by a teacher with no passion for living, let alone the teaching of blossoming young minds.

Today's educational system is about callous and careless evaluation; students aren't people, they are statistics and numbers which tell you only how the school does overall but, with something as important as school, overall doesn't cut it. Students today are merely prepared for the monotony and suicidal nature of being a cog. Those who are deemed worthy (Somethings) are lifted up and shown they can do anything; those unworthy (Nothings) are show that they exist for the Somethings, that they play a part to them; Somethings do, and Nothings watch them. They'll convince the Nothings that as minuscule and as shitty as their task in life might be, it's for the benefit of all of us. 

Just another replaceable cog in the machine.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No Room for Love in America

As I write, I realize I am a throw-back to the 60's; a stereotypical hippy who basically wants the world to love one another. The retreat from Vietnam changed America; suddenly, cogism and conformity was in, for the greater good. The yuppies, with their business degrees and monetary intent, took over and hippies, with their 'love all' mentality, died out. Today, the hippy influence seems next to none; everyone has accepted money as their first Lord (as our lives are ruled by nothing else).

So why can't we all love each other? Because capitalist business can't run if you actually love all your customers; you'd ruin yourself. Business requires rules and regulations, it requires structure and facelessness to avoid any preferential treatment to any one customer.

This attitude of coveted love carries to other aspects; we make our relationships hard on each other, we make our friendships more difficult. We find letting ourselves go to another person to be too invasive yet all we want to do is physically invade and that practice is much more widely accepted than sharing ourselves, our thoughts and feelings.

We don't philosophize anymore; we don't sit and think for two seconds about the world beyond our reach. When we vote, we vote purely for ourselves; we care for ourselves, we love only ourselves. And money.


This is what America, and the world, has created for today; for our future.

Friday, January 28, 2011

When All We Chase is Money

When we chase money, attitudes like anger, irritability, and anxiousness follow. We pass these fears and attitudes, unknowingly, to our kids and we show them anger when we are really just frustrated at life's, money related, goings on. We worry about getting to our crappy job on time so we don't get fired even though it continually destroys us.

Chasing money makes us rude to service employees and, in turn, makes our customers rude to us. No, it's not everyone but it's a large number and we all fall victim to it sooner or later as well; we get this idea of entitlement, that we are owed more than we are getting.

Chase survival; maybe hunt to eat or grow your own food but, whatever we do, we need to stop chasing after money because that will kill us more than anything.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

40 Pages of Non-Civility

There used to be a day when things were decided on just a handshake and that was good enough; so why is it today we don't even blink at forty page legal documents? We just accept them as a necessary object of the business world but what they truly represent is a complete downfall of people's integrity. No one cares about personal responsibility or integrity if you have a contract locking you into what you can and can't do.

When there's a problem, instead of talking to each other, we look for loopholes in our hundred page documents and exploit them until our goals are met. We aren't civil to each other anymore, we don't treat each other like human beings; every person is just a potential paycheck, each one of us nameless beings as expendable as the next.

Why do we need lawyers as middle men? Why can't agreements between people be simple and we can actually trust each other; take one another at our word? Now, instead of trust, we put bindings on each other and march each other around in a contract based slavery.

I don't like it, I don't want to live in such a cold, faceless world filled with fine print and no feeling for another human being. I could see humanity, one day, reaching a point where we will kill each other with no feeling; maybe the homeless, maybe other so called miscreants but society will probably accept that killing each other, with no feeling towards it, is just business as usual.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Prop 19: When Stoners Stop Being Seen as Deviants

The last California Gubernatorial election showed me a few things; one, no matter how much people hate the Democratic AND Republican nominee, almost all the votes still go to only those two parties. And two, pot is still a bane of society.

I remember, a few weeks before the vote, some stoner friends were saying they weren't going to vote; fearing legalization would only hurt their medicinal status and that marijuana would be outrageously taxed. This confusion is one thing that led to the failure to pass Proposition 19.

It's not just confused stoners (and some anti-pot sandbagging) though; reading though articles online, you see comments like "I don't recognize the right to get high," and similar sentiments. The fact of the matter is, whether or not you recognize the right to get high (or drunk for that matter), it's still a right (or should be, in the case of the former).

Somehow, we need to change people's perception; stoners are still seen as degenerates and hippy deviants. You could show them the cancer patients who smoke cannabis or the elderly with arthritis but it's not just them who matter in this; it's them and the twenty-three year old smoking for his old sports injuries and the forty-eight year old guy working in retail, getting chewed out everyday by the scum of the consumer world.

We need to remember that each one of us is human, and each of us humans have different needs; you have different needs than your daughter; your wife and son, each, have different needs too. Maybe you like the drink but your wife has always been a smoker; you compromise or you split but neither indirectly pass legislation, in the home, making it so the other can not do what it is they'd like to do. You talk to one another, like humans; like people.

We need real change in this country and we need it now! Sure for pot but also for people, for equality. We need to see each other as brothers, sisters, as one people. We have different lifestyles but why can't we live and let live? Is it possible that we are so cold to each other that, if asked, we could tell every person, eye to eye, person to person, that we say they can not do what they'd like to do; be it marry another man or, more relevant to the post, have a little weed?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Weaken the Dollar

While riding around in Los Angeles trying to find an un-metered curb, it quickly becomes apparent that, today, nothing is free. We are charged and we charge others for every little thing we do and have done, everyone is just money, money, money; every American is turned to money grubbing to survive. Without money, our society stops but money shouldn't be the be all, end all of the world.

I remember, in the not too distant past, when something needed to be done in the neighborhood, one or two or more people would come help out. At the end of the job, maybe money would be offered but it was usually declined and instead the helping parties received a dinner invitation or some other small token of gratitude. Today, when favors are done, money is not only expected but it's a great likelihood that it will be accepted; albeit graciously.

In this day and age, no one is willing to provide any services without money first (which, in advertising sources and talent agencies, for example, seems backwards) and almost everyone wants to lock you into something for at least one year, thus ensuring 12 months of your money...GUARANTEED!

Money is a great incentive to do things but it's become our number one, it's become pretty much ALL we work towards. Life shouldn't be about money or stuff or where you get in your career; it should be about people, your family, and the simple things.

It's not a goal of the mainstream public; perhaps it's a goal of no one...but it's my goal. We need to get the importance off money and onto things that really matter.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Dream Government-Free

Anarchy is no dream for anyone anymore; there is no appeal of a lawless, unstructured society to the masses (I know this because Oprah has a network now). Americans' have embraced Capitalism and a Representative Democracy with open arms and most seem to be content. Still, I dream of something more; I dream government-free.

Imagine it; no paper money, no law system, simplicity at it's finest. It's not perfect but neither is how we are living; you just accept necessary evils whether it be to be ruled by your representatives or have to fend for yourself.

I think about sitting in nature, a little cabin; I flick the lighter and set ablaze a bowl of homegrown and watch the trees sway in the wind. There's no mail, no government asking for a piece of what you're earning, growing, or trading. You grow what you need, maybe you hunt when you must but overall you live in tranquility with nature, animals, and with your fellow man.

The problem: Anarchy is only as good as it's people; for that matter, any government is only as good as it's people.

It's not hopeless, an area in Anarchy could still be a friendly and successful society but America just has too many people for it to work; the masses clamoring to hear the word of the Good Reverend Dr. Phil.

It's a beautiful dream though and perhaps one day, I/we can find somewhere to make it a reality.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Make Him in Your Image

As before, I have no issues with anyone's beliefs; people need to follow what they think and I will always respect that. I was approached by a God embracing customer who informed me, in my agnostic ways, that if I don't talk to God, I'd be screwed. I'd like to show him, and everyone, that I've reinvented God for myself and I encourage you to do the same for yourself if you feel as if no religion fits your ideas or your thoughts. Let me tell you a little about MY God.

My God is a simple God, a creator. He doesn't ask anything of me; My God is like a gardener, I am his plant and he is watching me grow, watching me fight times weakness and frost and embrace strength and sunlight. He watches my the fatal moments when it's almost too much and he sees, with great wonder, the times it works out.

My God doesn't care about philosophies or paths to him, his greatest interest is watching his creation and what it does; what I do. When I grow plants in my garden, I too watch them sprout and grow; strengthen. It rejuvenates me for I see I can create just as my creator. He'd smile, proud of his creation's new found knowledge.

Your God can be just as simple; if you need God and seek 'religion' that makes sense to you...create it. God is for you and no one else; make him in your image.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Resimplify God

I am as unsure as the next guy when it comes to what else is out there; I have no real answers. For a long time I identified more with Atheism but I've grown somewhat more open to the possibility of a higher being existing, a creator. To be honest, to think affirmatively of such a thought would be more in-tune with psychedelic thinking I imagine. 

Religion is always a sticky subject, no one likes to say too much and I won't either. I don't seek to question anyone's practices, what each religion does; it makes no matter to me, all I seek to do is point out is this idea of God doesn't have to be so stringent and so structured. 

I watch my dad and his family perform puja at their new home, their new business, more or less anything; they have small prayer sessions where they sit on the floor and give offerings to copper and gold plated deities. Would God require that of you to be blessed? Would he not just care that you were running an honest business and providing well for your family? 

I watch my mom beat herself up over not going to church every Sunday. Do you have to go every Sunday to church to be 'worthy;' do you think God really cares how many times you went to church or temple or mandir?

The God I believe in is a simple one, not tied with any religious philosophy or belief system. My God looks only into your heart and your intention and, if there is a Heaven after death, then those factors will determine your placement.

And, if there, in the end, is no God, does that make personal morality any less important? I would think, without something more, morality on Earth would be most important being that these are the only people for whom you are to be seen and judged.

In the end, I just wish for everyone to be safe; live and let live for religion should not divide us. It should not even be something we concern ourselves with; leave religion to God and his world. If you believe God loves you, then you must be open to the fact that he may show you what His religion really is when you join him.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Try Different, Try 3rd Party

NOTE: While I still believe our two main political parties are basically irrelevant, I must insistent upon liberal collectivism. The conservative base rally behind their Republican side, there are few or no third parties to take votes away from Republicans. Liberals, with growing discontent for our two party system, may prefer to vote for a more radical liberal of the third party but unfortunately this only serves to divide the liberal base and allow Republicans to take elections (if you believe the popular vote means anything; I still hold that our representatives can essentially vote however they want; that's something I recall from school). Only once our world is a little more progressive, if our world is a little more progressive, can we more freely vote for a third party in a political arena in which they can take relevant percentages.
So here we are, it's 2011 and the world is the same old place. Just yesterday I saw one of those stickers with Obama's likeness upon it and the word 'Hope' underneath; apparently that hope was to ensure the stranglehold on this country is maintained by the two majority parties.

The signs, by now, should show that it doesn't really matter whether you vote Republican or Democrat; they are more or less the same thing. Both those parties do absolutely nothing and keep America, and Americans, under their thumb. The two parties are only out to maintain control of this country, they don't seek to 'be there' for the people; they are there for themselves.

A good parody of what's going on can probably be found in The Simpsons when the two aliens come to Springfield and assume position of the Democratic and Republican candidates, one alien on either side. The episode is truly not about which alien rules but it's about 'them' ruling versus us; aliens ruling is not in the best interest of the people; neither for Simpsons, nor for us.

One Springfield citizen, in that episode, stood up and said, "Well perhaps I'll vote for a third party," to which the aliens replied, "Go ahead, throw your vote away."

And, what's worse, it's true. Americans don't go for the third party; in the most recent California Gubernatorial Election (2010), despite what seemed like dislike, and even hate, for BOTH two party candidates, the third party candidates received about 1% of the vote each. Why do we just accept what we don't like if other options are available? Because that's the way it's been; because that's how it's done? We need to rise and show them we want REAL CHANGE! We need to show the two party politicians that they are not just the incumbents anymore; they stand against all the parties. Being elected should be a point of earned pride and idealism for the future of this country; it shouldn't be a job and a paycheck.

Politicians are supposed to be there for US! Let's make sure we remind them of that.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Don't Have to Go to College

College makes sense, in fact, it's almost stupid not to go; in today's society, college is almost required to do anything worthwhile (that you don't start yourself; i.e. business). We are at the point where a Bachelor's is like a high school diploma and maybe that's progress; we are more educated so perhaps more education is needed for those who want to go higher.

Now here's the problem; why is it thousands of dollars a semester? If school is so important than why have we only made it accessible to those with money lying around or those gutsy enough to take out a loan and risk having that debt hang over their head for years.

We all need money to operate, no one can deny that in today's America but there has to be some way to make college a more affordable option, especially if it is so important.

I am lucky, my father, an uneducated, once immigrant to this country, founded a business chain which continues to grow and go on strong; not going to college is an acceptable option because I have a fall back waiting there for my Americanized mind (in a world of immigrants and improper English), but what about those who don't have it so lucky? Are they just out of luck?

Those who don't have money merely have to watch those with money gain success as they sit and recalculate their finances a third time trying to scrounge enough money to take a class at a community college. God forbid they feel suicidal but don't really want to die; hospital will take that remainder money and then you won't even be able to afford to kill yourself.