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The Angry Liberal White Guy

Words to think about…or not.

War-torn and Woeful Wastefulness

“The liar’s punishment is not in the least that he is not believed, but that he cannot believe anyone else.” George Bernard Shaw

Listening to our President speak on the issue of guns and the regulation thereof, it is particularly egregious to know or believe that his emotion is, yet again, the fodder of racist Republican reprobates. Moved to tears not at the long list of atrocities committed by mass shooters but by the memory of “first graders” being killed in what should be the safest of environments. It is not the first time a politician has wept on live television, but this time it is being perverted into yet another avenue for the ill-mannered and traitorous right wing of America in order to denigrate the duly elected President of the United States.

In his speech he cited numerous other government and business leaders, quite a few Republican who have for over the last thirty years cried for the reasonable regulation of guns, and the fact that most gun owners also favor regulations. His belief, based in experience and not partisanship, is that in spite of what the American people wish, Republicans are going to deny them this simple right to feel safe. He listed the constitutional rights that have been violated by the mass shooters and the list encompassed all of society. The worst, an possibly the vilest part of this issue, is that these Constitutional Rights will be denied based on lies, innuendo, and outright criminal treason on the parts of his detractors.

So whose fault is it? We are all guilty. We have become numb to the situation and have accepted that we live in the most violent nation on earth. We have the capability and the technology to greatly reduce this problem and refuse to by our inaction. We have the ability to police ourselves on a personal basis but we choose not to, leaving the responsibility to those who vilify the situation on national television. And we believe it all because it is on television.

It would be simple to place the blame on the black guy on the television or the fat guy on the radio, but that is just wrong. We live in a world that we must occupy with other people and it is our duty to see to the well-being of our fellow man. A premise of every major religion in the world whether there is a deity associated with it or not. We have to do something about this! We must!

That action is where we differ and also the address of import. There are real concerns for safety and the politicizing of the issue because of an upcoming election is horrific and abominable. Why not just try to come together and accept that we do, in fact, have first the responsibility and then the ability to make changes. A hunter knows when deer season is going to happen and acts accordingly. He/she prepares for the hunt with a plan on how it is going to occur and what equipment and supplies are needed to make the outcome a successful one. This includes what weapon is to be used and the ensuring that the chosen firearm is legal and within there purview to own and use. Hunting is not an “all of a sudden” activity.

Home protection is also not a happenstance deed. If a citizen feels need of the protective qualities of a firearm then the reasonable method is to investigate what type of weapon is best, obtain that weapon, and ensure that all in the home who might have occasion to use said gun know how to use it safely. Additional time should be spent to learn when it is appropriate to use that instrument in the defense of their loved ones or home.

That takes care of the “rational” and legal rights, regulations, and reasons for owning a weapon. Now let us talk about the cries of the unreasonable. Those individuals who, barring any sense of sanity who think there is an invasion about to be perpetrated by the duly appointed government, a large religion, or a bunch of Mexicans swimming the Rio Grande river. Those “enlightened” creatures who interpret the Second Amendment to mean that by virtue of the fact that they scored 987,912,576,281,384,877,465 on “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” they are entitled and compelled to own a machine gun. Well, to be truthful that would properly be called an “Assault Weapon.” These weapons, actually war weapons converted to fire only semi-automatically, are really just machine guns for the “enlightened creatures” who wish to display them while they are purchasing a breakfast sandwich alongside a First Grader in search of a Happy Meal. Another truth is that most semi-automatic assault weapons are frighteningly simple to convert back to full auto with a little knowledge and a heavy duty diamond strength file. Many don’t because having to continually pull the trigger gives them that “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” feel to the whole process.

Mass shooters do not use revolvers or single shot rifles. They mostly use semi-automatic weapons with large capacity magazines. Just like the brave soldiers who fight our wars. The difference is that soldiers are bound by an oath of allegiance and the shooter might only be following the user agreement of “Black Ops – Aren’t I a Badass” or some equally irrational and inane misinterpreted scriptural reference of some holy book. Or they might be out of medication. Or they might not even have medication and are disturbed and no one knows it. Or any number of reasons that would be less dangerous if semi-automatic weapons were much more difficult to obtain. Taking them off the market and leaving them in the hands of those appointed to wage war for us is a start. A reasonable mind knows that it will never be completely stopped. Not in a democratic nation. But we might just not have one every freaking day.

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Venal Vacuousness

“If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.”
Abraham Maslow

So speaking on the state of affairs with the state we are having an affair with a disturbing reality has reared its ugly head. There is a corruption in America that is permeating everything we know, think, say, or do. It is the process by which we know, think, say, or do anything that is imperative to the continuance of this great nation which has turned out to be not so great. Simply put, our system of government is displaying the early onset of the end of an age. We have been fortunate in that somewhere around two hundred and forty years ago there were some enlightened, or what passed as enlightened, gentleman who devised a system of government which appeared to solve the issue with being ruled by a large empire whose main focus was the propagation of a ruling class who could care less for those less fortunate then themselves. We triumphed in spite of the shortsightedness of those selfsame honorable men who, also, conveniently found it necessary to ignore and negate most of society from their purpose driven utopia.

Women, children, people of color, the poor, the slave, differing religions, and the homeless were just fodder for the cannons of those who felt it was their God given right to rule and reign. Fast forward to present day and we find the same paradigm has not changed while the demographics have altered enormously. There are the same types of disenfranchised as in 1776; women, children, people of color, the poor, and the homeless with the added difficulties encountered by alternative lifestyle such as gays, Native Americans, and yes…slaves. All of which are living in the same country where the population has increased by 12,800%.

Not a particularly alarming set of realities for the normal citizen for the most part. The amount of uninformed or misinformed voting citizens has increased super-double exponentially. Not that this means anything to the average Joe who watches the television in order to keep up with the latest in news, sports, or whatever or whoever is in the lead on the reality show that rules there Tuesday or Wednesday prime time television viewing. The difficulty is that we have a system that is failing its citizens and we have no real clue that the organism is on its last legs.

Take the political process for instance. We have rampant graft and corruption throughout the system. We have allowed our leaders to not only become fraudulent, dishonest, unethical, and immoral but we have watched quietly or silently while they voted to make all that fraudulence, dishonesty, unethicality, and immorality legal! We have what we allow!

We face another election later in this year and the sad part of it is that those who vote are making decisions for those who do not. Or so we think. The entire practice of electing people to govern has bred the very activities which are, as stated earlier, fraudulent, dishonest, unethical, and immoral. This cannot be said too many times. When are we going to wake up and learn that exploitation, venality, and depravity is and cannot be the function of the first Tuesday of every eleventh month, and certainly not in even years every four. What must occur to change the way we do business! Let the FBI do its job and shut down the Federal Government as it did the Italian Mafia? Perhaps it might help if we changed our view of things away from money and returned to the noble words of the Founding Fathers. Not necessarily the real truth about those famous men but the spirit of the words they used to make their point

We need to stop worshiping money and stop electing people who value money over the health and well-being of the citizens they represent. Why should we wage war so that some corporation can make a profit? Corporations pay politicians to make it easier for them to make money in foreign countries, check out Halliburton’s profit/loss statements from the last fifteen years if you do not believe it. They get politicians to wave a flag and send brave soldiers to faraway places to get killed or maimed for some corporation’s bottom line. Our governmental leaders send our brave men and women off to commit atrocities, or have barbarities committed on them so that they can add another couple of zero’s to their checking accounts. Waving a flag is an easy convenient way to manipulate the citizenry who then have their sons and daughters coming home damaged, maimed, or worse…not coming home at all. All to ensure some CEO gets his multi-million bonus every Christmas.

We might start by changing one fundamental principle in our “Great” country. That might the so-called “right” to free speech given us in the First amendment;

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Abridgement by definition is to “diminish, lessen, or curtail.” Is it not a diminishment of truth occurring when we receive false information? The news media has been allowed to report whatever they wish in any way they wish forever without regard to the truth. Are we not lessened by the dishonesty of fact bending politicians on the stump in elections years. Is not our health and well-being curtailed by corporate America when we suffer the vicious disregard they commit when they ship jobs overseas instead of paying a living wage to an American?

We already allow abridgements of speech in every facet of society. Why not make freedom of speech mean that we are free to tell the truth and not diminish, lessen, or curtail ourselves by believing the lies we hear every single day?

Unctuous Umbrage

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” Isaac Asimov

There is a terrible tragedy occurring where it comes to mass shootings, and the struggle to regulate the issuance, sale, or ownership of guns. We have a founding document that mentions the right to bear arms and a population too ignorant, uncaring, selfish, or bigoted to take the time to read the document and see what the factual meaning of that amendment might just be. Yes, there is a right to bear arms in America, and it is also a right to own guns. The function of the Second Amendment was originally written to guarantee, and should nevertheless assure the defense of our country. At the time of its issuance and ratification, the Constitution of the United States of America had just recently defeated the military forces of the “Sun doesn’t set…” country/empire through the well-directed use of regional militia’s. The disarray that was the Continental Army at the time created the situation where the only path to success was through copious use of citizen soldiers fighting in their home regions.

Today “militia” denotes something completely different. This term, in 2015, conjures up visions of groups of bearded guys with American Flags waving over their “compounds” while they drink beer and shoot illegally obtained automatic weapons. Some of them are jokes, some of them are dangerous, and all of them are anything but “well regulated.” Their proliferation in America can be traced to the ineffectiveness and inane governance of the U.S. and state governments it pertains to protecting our citizenry.

Additionally, the misconstruing being perpetrated on the American public by these “they are going to take away our guns” cretins has allowed the development of a culture of fear where it comes to the issue of gun ownership. A famous saying of the gun lobby/idiot states “The only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”

This is nothing but inane gibberish. There is no evidence that “good guys with guns” have consistently prevented evildoers from doing the dastardly deeds being committed on nearly a daily basis. The FBI keeps records on shootings and has never reported on random armed citizen gunmen/women being an effective deterrent of anything criminally based. There are many incidences of armed citizens stopping shooting on the internet and there is always going to be controversy about the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of arming people to solve a problem such as mass shootings but a few facts might help.

Untrained civilians often end up shooting the wrong person. The foremost authority in our country, the FBI, clearly states and instructs that people with guns should be better trained then what is required by most concealed gun carry courses given prior to the issuance of said permit. Many, if not most, mass shootings occur in places that do not permit the carrying of guns on their premises (schools, human services agencies, churches, etc.) and thereby are not subject to being defended by anyone other then the police or, in some cases, the security personnel of the facility. Brandishing a gun in a movie theater in response to an active or allegedly active gunman is paramount to yelling “fire” in a dark room filled with people who are already not able to see well.

All of these issues are not realistically addressed by people being able to open fire at will on real or perceived threat. The true issue is the proliferation of these events in the first place and how that can be prevented. Twenty people in a movie theater being able to pull a gun and start shooting is not a citizen’s right to bear arms, it is the recipe for a massacre. The amount of disturbed people who are able to get their hands on weapons of the assault family of guns is the issue and it is incomprehensible that there is no way to prevent or reduce this.

It is not a function of anyone “coming to get my gun” as much as it is why are you so convinced that you are the best person to prevent a shooting unless you have had police or armed forces training? Wayne La Pierre does not have your well-being at heart, and the denial of your constitutional rights is not in jeopardy if you submit to a background check that will prove you a reasonable law abiding citizen instead of a mentally ill zealot with psychotic predispositions. Wayne LaPierre wants to keep his 1,000,000 a year salary and will falsify and confuse the issue with sound bites and abstract aphorisms all day long.

A moment, if you please, about the other side of the coin which is the victims of these shootings that might deny us our right to bear arms just because they occurred. The children in the schools, or the teachers who throw themselves in the path of bullets fired. The families of those who die in these atrocities and have to live with the loss of treasured love ones. What about the general public who now is too afraid of even walking out of their houses for fear of being shot and killed by someone who is upset, unbalanced, unhinged, and unreasonably unsettled but exercising their right to bear arms?

It is the fault of the news media, the misrepresentations of people like Wayne LaPierre, and the misinterpretation of our society’s founding document that has created this horror. It is not a launching pad for some bleeding heart liberal agenda. It is the battered and bloody bodies of shot or dead citizens of the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. It is the denial of this society to deal with an attack on our land because they are afraid that if something reasonable is done then they will lose the right to take another human life whenever the bloody hell they please!

Tumultuous Temerity

“You know, sometimes, when they say you’re ahead of your time, it’s just a polite way of saying you have a real bad sense of timing.” George McGovern

Taking a look at the state of events, actions, and atrocities occurring in the world today it is an apparent necessity that people should not rest lightly on their corpulent derriere’s and perform some basic deeds of daring do. Discussions around dinner tables and conversations while at coffee abound and, perhaps, many solutions are gleaned on the state of the union/state/country/continent/world/cosmos that never see the light of fruition. This begs the question: why?

Perchance this is a function of ego and esteem. “I am nobody so why cause trouble?” Maybe it is simply sloth. Apathy comes to mind. Languor and its ensuing lethargy might be the cause. Do we suffer at the hands of governmental inactivity? Does the dormancy of ideas grow in the face of torpidity? Inertia and indolence appear twins in the collective consciousness of the average citizen. Do we just not care past the identification phase of the question?

Not if one spends any time watching Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or an Americans average local nightly news. There is action abounding. It is not a land, this news media, of laziness, listlessness, or lassitude, but of impudence, impertinence, or absolute audacity. There are certainly events that require reporting and must be known. The issue is the manner in which these items get narrated. It is not enough to simply inform the public because…a modest re-counting of facts does not allow for the agenda an individual news agency has seen fit to attach to the business of the news.

We are forever at the mercy of opinions and punditry absent ideals of veracity, validity, authenticity, candor, or reliability. We gather opinions, views, and standpoints by what we see and hear without the first thought of consequence, or corollary. The news is bereft of truth and corpulent with falsehood, and fiction. It is akin to the outrageously irrelevant statistics a baseball announcer will spout while waiting for the next batter to come to the plate in a baseball game. “And this hit sets a record for singles hit on a Tuesday after the All Star Break in cities ending in the letter S.”

Now that the identification phase of this piece has been attained, the question to be asked is: what do I do about this Horse Hockey? Well, quite simply, it is to reach back into your primal, racial memories and remember that America is populated by some 300 odd million souls who have the right to announce, articulate and amend things based upon the collective decision of its citizenry. The answer is to get off its collectively corpulent derriere’s and make a difference by expounding on the ideas and ideals gleaned at those discussions around dinner tables and conversations while at coffee.

“They must often change, who would be constant in happiness or wisdom.” Confucius

The length to which a point, posture, or politician must be changed is directly proportionate to the amount of dissatisfaction or harm that is being perpetrated on the American people. Recent debate has arisen on the incidence of voter fraud or the perception of such an outrage and occurrence on the second Tuesday of every eleventh month. There seems to be a differing response to this situation. Some would say that it is a critical event while others do not. The truth of this issue is that it is not prevalent in our elections and is not the problem purported by those who tend to endorse RIGHT leaning ideologies. The actual percentage of manifestation has been termed as infinitesimal at best.

What does that speak to by way of veracity and validity in politics? Is it that there are certain citizens who other citizens wish to be absent or denied a place at the polls on that same second Tuesday? Is it that there are no longer well placed individuals in power that can influence or decide the result of an election as in days gone by? Like how a candidate can win the popular vote and not become President due to judicial interference as in the 2000 election in a state whose governor is the sibling of the ultimate winner?

This appears a simple and seldom used example of the point to be made about voter fraud. The current promoters of the so-called voter fraud scandal give the impression that individual cases, regardless of diminutive deceptiveness are a National worry while systematized smoke filled back room deals that result in administrations as corrupt and criminal as in the years 2000-2008 are quite all right.

What is the answer to those who hold discussions around dinner tables and conversations while at coffee. Might be to recognize how they have been lied to and take the action of participating in more discussions around dinner tables and conversations while at coffee and take the results of those conversations to the polls. Perhaps the exercise of reducing those corpulent derrieres by education and engagement in the affairs of the world might help to reduce the risk that major issues we, as a species, face such as political punditry and outright perjuries through the use of fabrications and falsehoods will not be given credence. Would it not be a kinder and gentler world to live in if the electorate were more concerned with veracity than viciousness?

The world we live in that requires participation and energy and not apathy and lethargy. We cannot accept the crimes and corruptions of the news media or the political punditry that infects our very livelihood. We must take the action. Be what is promised us in America. We must be citizens and caretakers of our own destiny.

“…O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

Salacious Statesmanship

“The difference between death and taxes is death doesn’t get worse every time Congress meets.”  Will Rogers

There is a phenomenon occurring in modern society that mirrors the discontent of days gone by.  Cultural memories abound of kinder, easier times where the doors to your house went unlocked, and the neighbor kid was always welcome at the dinner table.  The phenomenon presented is the urging of certain factions within the population to push forward values and principles that sound relevant but have little in the way of real time serviceable significance in the Twenty First Century.  The issues of freedom of choice and the equality of James Madison’s guiding words dim in the harsh reality that we, as a nation, are ill informed and hypocritically driven to speak or act on the misinformation given us.

Much of the confusion derives origin in the individuals we accept as leaders and the apathy towards those who do not lead as we believe they should.  The cry of family values and the attack of such have brought much disparity and depression.  There is a cry for a reinvigoration of “Christian values” which some contend is the nature of our national character.  That same rectitude has decided that we would be better served by following the teaching of the Bible as a replacement for the ideals put forth within our Constitution.  In all of that fervor is the convenient misremembering of the fact that the country and the guiding lessons given us within the Bill of Rights, specifically call for the complete separation of church and state.

This zeal for the reemergence of puritanical practices were the cause of the intense exodus that originally instigated people to bolt from their hearth and homes to a find different, less intolerant, way of life in the New World.  To be fair, not all people came to America for religious reasons, but many did and their struggle is being cheapened through the convenient and intentional misinterpretation of values that, by law, have no place in a modern dialogue on societal issues.  Those who are most guilty are the very people who are chosen to act in a totally different manner.  Many of our politicians have pulled the religion card to engage in deprecation, denunciation, and denigration of those within our society who do not live the norm as it best serves the cause of reelecting the duplicitous denizens of government.

The continual denial of the rights of people to make their own decisions on their lives by way of marriage, or health issues is repulsive at least and criminal at best.  The active condemnation of those who are vigorously attempting to maintain the freedoms we are supposed to be guaranteed is a fight that should not be fought.  Why must the conservative faction in this country continually denounce and disparage the duly (twice) elected President of the United States?  What is the advantage to the average citizen of a legislature that hurls away billions of dollars of revenue to give tax cuts for the richest members of society while rebuking any effort by the administration to come to the aid of the middle and lower income citizens of our country?  Could the advantage be founded solely in the personal contributions of those selfsame wealthy individuals to the reelection war chests of like-minded legislators?  Would not that be bribery, which is illegal?  Amazingly, this form of graft is not illegal because it has been renamed “contributions” and voted into law.  Go figure.

Now some of the blame must be assigned to the everyday man.  We allow these wolves in sheep’s clothing to continue raping and pillaging society because we have convinced ourselves that we are doing everything we can.  We watch the news on CNN or Fox, or read about it on some uber-liberal website and think that we have done our jobs as citizens.  This is not so.

The fact is that most citizens suffer for a malady where it comes to our responsibilities in this democracy.  That malady is called narcotizing dysfunction.  The expression denotes a common consequence of overindulgence with mass media.

The theory posits the idea that when news of an issue besieges the public, people become dispirited with it, replacing engagement on the issue for just simply grasping the apparent nuances of the problem.  It might be suggested that the enormity and amount of communications Americans receive may produce only a cursory concern for the difficulties of humanity.  The significance of taking actual action is abandoned, while shallowness shrouds the true culprit, indifference.  The result of this is a population that is civically unconcerned and unmoving.

The hidden devastation comes from a point of self-deception.  The simple act of having knowledge of a subject and can, at some level, engage in discourse about the action or event might give rise to the belief that something is actually being done to alleviate the negative consequences of the issue.  Unfortunately, having been being informed and grown affected is not a substitute for the achievement of a resolution.  Even worse is the impression that one can have a clear conscience about anything of import by simply discussing it.

In the end there is a responsibility suggested that the knowing is not as important as the doing.  Many politicians, on both sides of the aisle, prey on this pandemic of ennui by spouting religious rhetoric, or yammer against such things as simple charity or human decency.  They put the blame on the blameless while ignoring the true culprit…ignorance and deceit.  They deceive the population by focusing on unsubstantiated destructive behaviors within our society while discounting the real time needs within our society.  Democracy is a system of action, and not a soap box for pretentious prattle that can never truly addresses the wants and needs of the citizenry.

Quite simply, we do not have to accept anything but honest and compassionate actions from our leaders.  We simply need to exercise our inalienable rights to change our world for the better.  We need to be citizens instead of being an audience and vote.

“It’s not enough that we do our best; sometimes, we have to do what’s required” Winston Churchill

Repu…gnant Rancor

The man who never alters his opinion is like standing water, and breeds reptiles of the mind.”  William Blake

With the “aversion” of the default the government has been threatening America with for the last several weeks it might be sagacious to peer in the looking-glass that is government and bellow at the top of ones lungs in dissent.  There has been a revolution approaching in this country for some time and it is stalled by the actions of a few, and the indolence of the majority. 

That an all-encompassing change in the system of government is apparent in the fact that the congress and the president have staged either a multi-act comedy/tragedy theatrical production, or flagrantly committed a crime.  There is a reasonable expectation, based on history that an unreasonable amount of debate will ensue over any issue brought before government for consideration in the lawmaking realm.  This expectancy has grown over the last twenty years to the point that it is totally believable that lawmaking is inexorably tied to the whims of the extremely wealthy, or the Nielsen ratings war waged by the news media.

And it will never get any better…without help

While a defeatist attitude does not lend itself to the spirit of America, with its lofty ideals and flag-waving rhetoric, there is little empirical evidence to dispel the idea of an impending total system failure.  It seems almost treasonous or ill advised at the least.  Unless, one actually reads the Bill of Rights or Declaration of Independence.

Until, that is, one actually reads the law of the land.  In the law of the land, there is relief.  Unfortunately, what has actually occurred over the last five years has culminated in a government not of the people, but of the criminal.  Perhaps, it might be sounder stratagems to allow the organized crime element in America take over.  In those criminal organizations, rules are rule, and every member knows when the answer is no, and the consequences for ignoring directives derived from the rules of said enterprises.

Oh if it were but true of our government today.

We have a system that supposedly sanctions our duly elected officials to exercise some deviation from specific desires of a political paradigm if it would be for the greater good.  We live in a country that is said to hold the rule of majority as sacred, yet we continually bow, and scrape to the ranting’s of the minority.  A minority whose membership ignores legal mandates on their actions in order to further agendas that have been either purchased by the top 1%, or driven by radical right wing misconceptions of what this country should be, all the while displaying a total disregard for the needs of the majority. 

But we’re America!

So say the culprits holding our society hostage.  Yes, it has been held hostage but not in the last couple of weeks.  We have allowed the lofty ideal that is America, to be hijacked by those who wish to pick and choose what laws to follow justifying the behavior by voting to exempt themselves from compliance to edicts that prevent them from acting in their own interest and against that which the people of the United States have elected them for.

And it has been happening for as long as anyone reading this piece can remember.

The need for revolution just might be legitimate.  That has been proven this last week with the proliferation of rallies and protests in Washington these last days.  The “polls” that everyone in government seems to listen to instead of the citizenry has aided in averting the latest “Emergency.”  Quite simply, they discovered they might not get re-elected and continue to reap the rewards of access to podiums with television cameras aimed at them, and rich people stuffing their back pockets with money, which is, thanks to the Supreme Court, totally lawful.

It makes little difference where a person’s political horizons are pointed.  It makes no difference what someone believes unless they have had a chance to gain access to accurate information in the place of that which the news media regurgitates.  Why has it come to be a reality that there are so many former political worker-bees getting rich flopping around all over our television screens like fish in a bucket waiting to be cleaned?  Each with competing opinions that never really address the problems we face.

Why has the health and well-being of America been relegated to those who look at government as a game and not as a call to service?

There is an all-out war being waged by this minority that is targeting those who need our government the most.  “We have to curtail spending” is the battle cry and the curtailing all seems aimed at social services and education.  The education part is easy to understand.  An ignorant electorate will elect based on contrived chaos, and resounding rhetoric absent validity.  What did the elderly do to them that they hate the aged so?

Are entitlement programs really the pariah of society?  Might the over two trillion dollars spent waging wars with the Moslem world have been better used to educate our children, care for the elderly, aid those incapable of aiding themselves.  Why do we not see the gaunt faces of American children with not enough to eat on the television instead of simply allowing the congress to viciously cut spending for SNAP?

So many questions without answers…

Perhaps it is time to really “take back our country.”  Instead of grandiloquence why doesn’t somebody try to intelligently address what needs change?  The taking up of arms was justified in 1776, or at least the country thought.  Today is it not evident that there is too much desire for arms and not enough for reason and intelligence. 

The revolution possibly needed is not one that requires firearms, but one which might necessitate a burning in the hearts of those who actually should wield the instrument of true change…we the people.

The Quixotic Quagmire of Querulousness

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder—and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” Miss Piggy

There is a tradition in this great country of its citizens coming together and voicing their opinions in the cause of some issue or subject which has created situations that are seemed to be detrimental to the population. It is an inherent tradition reaching back to the Founding Fathers beginning with the courageous and costly decision to publish and deliver the Declaration of Independence. In one brief moment of unity our country both created itself while metaphorically throwing down the gauntlet before the largest empire in the world. It has served the American public to protest in many cases, and it has humiliated that same public when words and actions of derision fail to secure the desired result.

In the real time that is 2013 we have recently viewed both the success and failure once again of grass roots protest paradigms. Certainly the “Yes We Can” movement has succeeded and enjoyed this success through two terms for the President. The Tea Party is an example of, arguably, dismal failure and the sadness of that failure has created much pain and near treasonous disparity in the government and the public. The original ideals of the Tea Party sounded and seemed noble and probably would have been…if the movement had not been suborned into the submission that big money demands of all. A system of carefully crafted rhetoric making accusations, mostly out of context, has brought many to the belief in the insidious message of the 1%. Even sadder is the reality that many listen and adhere to the rhetoric without question. We need only to go as far as the Twelve Step paradigm to realize the enormous frailty of this kind of thinking currently rampant in many;

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation.” – Herbert Spencer

It is our right to have access to the information needed to make decisions about how our country is run. Unfortunately, it is also our right to be provided with an equal and sometime excessive amount of disinformation. So where does that leave us?

Our efforts at protest have always been a mishmash of loud verbal demonstrations and violent disputes. Few are vastly successful such as the Civil Rights March on Washington that the “I have a dream” message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Others sadly do little to solve any difficulties. We allowed overbearing and overtly Un-American laws to be enacted and have suffered the consequences. We allowed for the implementation of the Patriot Act as a defense against the monsters that perpetrated the 911 attacks without taking into account that that same law we thought would protect us has heralded in the denial of constitutional rights. We have accepted the horror of the heinous while permitting the desecration of Democracy.

One example of a failed protest that could have been something of benefit was the Occupy Wall Street movement born on September 17, 2011, in Zuccotti Park, located in New York City’s Wall Street financial district. Patterned after other protests around the globe such as British student protests of 2010, 2009-2010 Iranian election protests, and the Arab Spring protests and, more closely related, protests in Greece and Spain. These predecessors have in common with the Occupy movement a dependence on social media and electronic messaging, along with the conviction that financial institutions, corporations, and the political elite have been unscrupulous in their comportment youth and the middle class. A stand against the financial folly perpetrated by the administration of the larger institutions responsible for the management of the American public’s monies and reserves. The government had gone through the debacle of the bailout in order to lessen the blow to the economy that might be created with the fall of some of these corporations. They also called for a constitutional amendment addressing corruption in government.

They championed such things as a decrease in the pressure corporations exert on politics, rational dispersal of income, more and better jobs, fiscal reform by banks, the forgiveness of student loan debt, or other relief for indebted students, along with mitigation of the foreclosure crisis.

Three hundred people showed up in answer to a call for 20,000 and the incident had little or no lasting effect. Over the next several months 700 people were arrested and thousands of dollars expended with the only real benefit being the addition to the Politically Correct Dictionary of the Universe terms such as “the 1%” and the 99%.” While these supplements to the English language have become flashcard rhetoric targeted at the social media and its main avenues of dissemination such as Facebook, Twitter, and the myriad of sites in that genre, lasting realization of stated goals and aspirations have been than desired. Not to worry, the movement did achieved one dubious goal. PRNews noted “The results, obviously, have been spectacular. There’s hardly a newspaper, Internet or broadcast media outlet that hasn’t covered OWS.”

Do we really wish to be a society educated, shepherded, or defined by what we read on some website? Does modern technology define our beliefs? Are we truly a country of “unalienable rights” as given us by the words of our founding document? Does the electronic mini-verse genuinely allow us life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? If so, than perhaps our protests need to fail. If all we can get out of diligent discernment to the principles of a true democracy is a sound bite, or a Viral Video, then perhaps it is not the protests that have failed, but the American people. We are in the dire need of open dissent and thoughtful debate. We must reinstate that which has been yielded through ignorance.

Paradoxical Papacy

“The paradoxical – and tragic – situation of man is that his conscience is weakest when he needs it most.”  Erich Fromm

The recent selection of a new pope has many in the world feeling a renewed sense of what the essence of Christianity as defined by the “One true, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church.”  A simple man, at least on the face of things, Francis has broken with tradition and performed a number of acts that have the College of Cardinals with the distinct feeling that, perhaps, the ballots were miscounted.

He has been a man of modest means, electing to eschew the trappings of splendor and pomposity the world has previously ascribed to the reigning successor of St. Peter.  In his home country he took public transportation to work, lived in a small apartment, and cooked for himself.  In the Vatican, he has left the papal apartment empty and placed himself in a rather austere residence that he shares with other members of the clergy in Rome.  Ha moved from a single room to a suite to allow more room for the meetings and such that are a part of a Pontiff’s everyday routine.

Coming from South America it is easy to see the how and why of these actions by the first pope who is not a European since the year 741 AD can be found attractive to the majority of the Catholic world.  The majority of the Catholic world comes from a either a place of poverty and servitude, or a place with a common lineage with the new pope.

Perhaps it is the harbinger of a resurgence of the true principles of the man the religion is based upon.  Or is it…

There is a universal condemnation by the Catholic Church, which Pope Francis vehemently supports, of either gay marriage or gay relations.

There is a strong stance that contraception is a sin, under any circumstance.

Abortion also is grouped with these issues and receives comprehensive clerical challenge and condemnation.

None of the judgments hostile to these issues hold any justifications from Jesus.  For a religion that bases itself on a document that has never been proven to be accurate of even divine, and who employs thousands of theologians, they are seemingly dimwitted about what Jesus has directed.

There might be much differing opinions about this idea which is certainly grist for the mill on the belief and existence of a deity, but this is not the place for it.  There is no relevance in arguing on the existence of God as it is not a denial of God, but a true interpretation of His/Her will where it comes to Gayness, contraception, or abortion.  In the world of the “One true, holy, Catholic, and Apostolic church” there is no one who has an open view of the problem.  How can a priest or church official counsel about contraception when they are, by oath, denied the act that is central to the idea of the prevention or propagation of the world’s population.  The same can be used as an argument about abortion.  While there is conflict throughout the world as to the definition life and when it becomes life, it is difficult to believe that the bible as a spiritual guide for life which is suspect in authorship and meaning, can possibly delineate the moment in time when a human becomes sentient.

As to the shunning of gay issues, it seems quite hypocritical for any church to fight against an activity that they have been condoning for centuries.  The systematic protection and dismissal of pedophilia in the Catholic Church absolutely must deny them the right to have any say on the subject of homosexuality.  They never addressed the problem, which they were aware of, until the church started to lose lawsuits and experience parishes and dioceses going bankrupt.  The story of Jesus attacking the moneylenders comes to mind.

Yet still their church and its new pope condemn these actions and those fighting for equality, compassion, and mercy.  They are not wrong, in their minds, and this is where the hypocrisy and indignation against them has its roots.  Where is the word of God in that idea?  Where is, Matthew 8:7, “So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”?

It is unfeasible to think that because the Pontiff has demonstrated some of the actions of his maker, that he will, in fact, be any different than those who, in the past, spread hate and revulsion throughout the world based on the teachings of a messiah that never said a single word telling them to act this way in his name.  Therein emanates the paradox announced in the title of this essay.  The inconsistency, absurdity, irony, contradiction, illogicality, and oxymoronic behavior of the administration of the largest church in the world must be made evident.  There is talk in theological seminars of the idea of an intelligent designer to the world.  Well if there is, would that designer entrust his beliefs to those who would destroy the very essence of what was to be accomplished?  The church believes that the bible is factual, and uses it to deny humanity at every turn.  What if it is really just a fiction?  If it is, then perhaps fiction is where the truth can be found;

“From the Crusades to the Inquisition, to American Politics-the name Jesus had been hijacked as an ally in all kinds of power struggles.  Since the beginning of time, the ignorant have always screamed the loudest, herding the unsuspecting masses and forcing them to do their bidding.  They defended their worldly desires by citing Scripture they did not understand.  They celebrated their intolerance as proof of their convictions.  Now, after all these years, mankind had finally managed to utterly erode everything that had once been so beautiful about Jesus.”

Dan Brown in “The Lost Symbol.”

Ontological Obtusity

“If God would concede me His omnipotence for 24 hours, you would see how many changes I would make in the world. But if He gave me His wisdom too, I would leave things as they are. J.M.L. Monsabre

In this day and age there appears to be a universal conspiracy to attach culpability for the actions of mankind to a specific deed done by some deity deemed to exist by large segments of modern society.  Whenever an inexplicable event occurs there is always discussion bandied about where the deity is exalted for he/she/it’s omnipotence, or, questions of why the deity did not step in to intervene for the good of mankind.  Practically, this phenomenon evolves into two paradigms: there is no God, or God is good.

Discussions about or on the existence of a deity have been comprehensively investigated throughout the intellectual, religious or atheistic factions of the world.  Large religious institutions seem enamored of proving their point in spite of being the recipients of mass membership.  Here is one example from the Catholic Church:

“Saint Anselm’s Ontological Argument

(1) God is that than which no greater can be conceived.

(2) If God is that than which no greater can be conceived then there is nothing greater than God that can be imagined.

Therefore:

(3) There is nothing greater than God that can be imagined.

(4) If God does not exist then there is something greater than God that can be imagined.

Therefore:

(5) God exists.”

http://tinyurl.com/bv88vdt

On the opposite side of the ontological coins are atheists.  Here is one argument offered as proof of their principles:

The Anti-creation Argument (D1, D6):

(a)    If X creates Y, then X must exist temporally prior to Y.
(b) But nothing could possibly exist temporally prior to time itself (for that would involve existing at a time when there was no time, which is a contradiction).
(c) Thus, it is impossible for time to have been created.
(d) Time is an essential component of the universe.
(e) Therefore, it is impossible for the universe to have been created.
(f) It follows that God, as defined by D1 and D6, cannot exist

http://tinyurl.com/cx9xtrm

As with any discussion and argument offered on ontological queries there is ambiguity and perplexity dished out in healthy portions.  It is most disconcerting to begin such a noble quest as attesting to or refuting the veracity of a being that has (if he/she/it even exists) made a near industry out of being physically absent.

Both factions seem pretty confident in maintaining their archetypes by creating as many proselyte’s as possible.  There are differing proofs, as shown, but there is a question that supports the non-belief.  How can there be a loving God when there is do much pain and misery in the world?  One large faction maintains, in defense that the behavior of mankind has brought the horrific circumstances we suffer through as a direct result of negating the conviction that a deity does, in fact, exist.  Credence for this manner of thinking is usually cited from ancient tomes written in languages that are no longer spoken, written, or even…exist.

One issue with either side of the conversation on existence of or denial of a deity must certainly be the tenets each side adheres to and hoe those canons are or will be relevant in today’s society.  The largest religion, Christianity (http://tinyurl.com/ex6w4) has at its foundation a set of rules popularly referred to as the Ten Commandments.  Sent down from on high and given to Moses in the form of two stone tablets for dispersal to the masses.  Originally there were three tablets.  What did God exclude once he got a look at the way people acted?  Perhaps it was an amendment tablet that went something like this:

“Thou shalt always be honest and faithful to the provider of thy nookie.

Thou shalt try real hard not to kill anyone, unless of course they pray to a different invisible man than you.

Two is all you need; Moses could have carried them down the hill in his fuckin’ pocket. I wouldn’t mind those folks in Alabama posting them on the courthouse wall, as long as they provided one additional commandment:

Thou shalt keep thy religion to thyself.”

 http://tinyurl.com/6rd9x2j

Albeit these were offered to us in modern time by a stand-up comic, doesn’t it seem, perhaps, a little more useful in the world of school massacres, antidepressants, Teas Party Traitors, and multiracial politicians who are the target of hate and scorn?

On the other side of the coin there is this to be said for nonbelievers. What exactly do atheist hold sacred?  Check this out:

An Atheist’s World View: 15 Principles of Atheism

I. The Material World

A. Fundamental Principle of Atheism: There are no spiritual forces in the universe (1)

B. Atheists do not worship the devil. (2)

C. Life is physical matter in a biological configuration (3)

D. There are deep properties of matter (4)

E. Death is real (5)

II. Determining Truth

A. There are no good illusions: Atheism requires courage (6)

B. Principle of Rationality: Truth is determined by logic and evidence (7)

C. A mystery is not a miracle (8)

III. Ethics

A. Ethics derives from human nature and social discourse (9)

B. Religion does not promote ethical behavior. (10)

C. Atheists cannot avoid responsibility for their actions. (11)

D. Atheism promotes a respect for nature and humanity. (12)

E. Atheism promotes social action for a better world (13)

IV. Being an Atheist

A. Atheism is a powerful liberating experience (14)

B. Atheism is fun. (15)

http://tinyurl.com/8kq7pxj

 

So it is easy to say that the issue of belief is a complex and convoluted issue.  While delving into but two of the belief systems, for the sake of expediency, the entire issue has not been truly addressed.  Perhaps it might be best to try what the famous philosopher, Fr. Tom Jackson once cited in his musings.  Quite simply, why don’t we all believe in the “The-Church-Of-What’s-Happening-Now?”

 

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