Archive for the ‘Gun Control’ Category

FIXING AMERICA IN 500 WORDS OR LESS: a free online book with interactive songs and videos

March 2, 2010

LINK HERE TO READ BOOK

LINK HERE TO READ BOOK

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WHAT IF YOU WERE IN CHARGE?

March 2, 2010

It is much easier to criticize political leaders than to truly have a better idea.   Regardless of political party or agenda, what would you do if you were in charge, to help regain public confidence in our long since vanished, dream of a democratic process?

Since a political leader should know what he or she is talking about without referring to notes, would you announce there will be no teleprompter allowed when you make speeches and hold press conferences?   Would you declare every speech you give will be drafted by you personally?

Would you take questions from press conference reporters impartially by drawing numbers from a hat, regardless of how recognizable their name is or what media they represent?

Would you hold publicly televised townhall events monthly in different cities, where ten members of the public with no press or organizational credentials, were selected by lot and allowed to ask direct unscreened questions?   Would you answer them while the cameras roll without cue cards and if necessary, conduct research and include anything not answered at the next event?

Would you clearly detail your current agenda for the nation at these townhall meetings, demonstrating that regardless of political fallout, there will be no secrecy, vagueness or uncertainty about the specific goals of your administration?

Would you cancel White House social events, annual Christmas and New Year festivities, elite “black-tie” gatherings and similar, until every American willing and able to work has a job that pays enough to afford basic necessities?   Would you promise you and your staff won’t eat better food on the taxpayer’s dime than average working-class families can afford?  Would you forbid your staff to fly on corporate jets and indulge in dinners, events and vacations paid for by someone else?

Although you could not control what members of Congress chose to do, would you put public pressure on all congressional leaders to set the same standards for themselves and their staff?

Would you prevent all lobbyists from being allowed access to either you or your staff, other than those representing individual taxpayers with specific individual needs not related to corporate interests?   Would you especially put intense and unrelenting public pressure on all Congressional leaders to do the same?

Would you require members of your cabinet to hold at least two scholarly degrees in their area of expertise, while insuring none of them are former lobbyists or, a member or former member of any financial institution?

To remain impartial, would you refuse to appear on media programs primarily devoted to politics and rather if invited, appear on popular shows like Oprah, Leno and Letterman, where you could freely communicate to the American people your concerns and goals, without being rudely interrupted by talking-point pundits with a private agenda not in the best interests of our nation?

Would you insist that neither you nor any member of your staff earn a wage higher than the median American wage?

If you were in charge, what would you do?   You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

ARE PEOPLE REALLY SHEEP?

November 29, 2009

Most men may not complain when young women these days wear their pants lower than where their mother’s pockets used to be, but it can be somewhat nauseating to see older females trying to keep up with their daughter and even granddaughter’s peer group. It reminds one of the sixties, when in order to be cool, boys had to wear Levi’s brand jeans, even though JC Penny sold a perfectly functional pair for half the price.

A Bob Dylan song back then touched on this “Mr. Jones” mentality of modern society and, what with large gas-guzzling SUV’s being purchased by American middle-class “McMansion” families in the midst of Middle East wars, oil shortages and looming planetary disaster, certainly nothing much has changed.

Liberal authors tend to blame corporate branding, but such a “keeping up with the Joneses” reality has existed since ancient Babylon and, traces back into the mists of prehistoric time. Tribal cultures on a global basis display culturally dictated rings, beads, feathers and other ornaments, paint faces and bodies in peer-pressure proscribed ways and, mimic each other in dress, speech and custom.

Ancient warriors often trimmed beards and hair in certain proscribed fashion and displayed specific tattoos and other body markings. Cultures throughout history display their own unique concepts of beauty, manliness and femininity, often directly contradicting what other cultures dictate. Heterosexual men in many societies have worn clothing that even the most overt homosexual male wouldn’t wear in our own.

Today, tattoos and body piercings are all the modern rage and women deliberately reveal bra straps they worked diligently to keep hidden not long ago. And, we are inundated with harmful food and “must have” gizmos and gadgets that no one in their right mind would consider purchasing for logical survival or any other purpose.

Are designs carved on ancient pottery and inlaid jewels on swords functionally necessary at all? And, was expensive architecture, art and sculpture purchased by kings and popes in the midst of massive poverty and famine during the Middle Ages, any less moral than modern Wall Street paper-shufflers earning 10,000 and more times as much as those who pick their fruit, cook their food, cut their lawns and pick up their garbage?

Does a wise society reward athletes with enormous sums to play games in the midst of rising poverty, homelessness and human suffering? Do wise people stand in long lines to see the latest film or to meet celebrities who really haven’t accomplished much of anything at all? How many Americans blindly believe we represent the greatest society in history, without even bothering to actually study much of human civilization, if any?

Culturally induced conformity might appear harmless, but it extends into endorsing the amassing of private wealth and consequent enslavement of the masses, supporting wars in a guise of false patriotism’ and, endorsing racism and classicism in order to “belong”.

Is it really true that “all we like sheep have gone astray”? You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for this article

IS AMERICAN MEDIA REALLY LEGITIMATE?

October 20, 2009

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that American media habitually fails to address issues at a fundamental core level that would actually serve to achieve legitimate reform? Instead, we are treated to a giant merry-go-round shell game of opposing pundit charades; both “sides” belittling and whining about the other and neither offering any coherent plan for actually achieving reform.

For example, amidst growing public outrage over corporate bailouts and other corrupt political shenanigans, why aren’t political pundits on either the so-called “liberal” or “conservative” side calling for a national cap on interest rates at a reasonable 5%? This would do far more to stimulate the economy, insure the long-term health of the banking industry and actually help the average citizen, than all of the trillions tossed down the historical sewer and all of the nonsensical cosmetic “reforms” offered up by both “sides” combined.

In the debate over universal verses private health care, why is there no discussion regarding the obvious immediate and long-term ramifications of contagious diseases? If conservative mothers actually knew how severely in danger their own children are, even if insured, we would have had universal health care long ago, like any reasonable and sane government today should and does provide.

Amidst much feigned “outrage” over political corruption, why is nobody on either side calling for a constitutional amendment banning all political contributions of any and every kind except by private individuals and, limiting individual donations to 1% of the median income? Given the historical track record of the Supreme Court siding with business interests against any and all legitimate political reform legislation, it should be obvious even to someone without fancy degrees attached to their name, that the only way to achieve true political reform is by constitutional amendment.

And, when obviously crooked and entirely corrupt leaders in White House and congressional halls decide to engage in foreign wars of aggression, obviously designed to consolidate political power and enhance corporate bottom lines, why is the American media in total lock-step mentality, found proudly “embedded” in flag-waving “patriotic” support of such atrocities? CBS featured the oft-maligned supposedly “liberal” Dan Rather embedded right on cue in real time during Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq, whispering in hushed, reverent tones, describing in detail how adept our military is at invading and bombing a completely out-gunned city full of civilians into “democratic” submission?

American media has long focused on the so-called “health” of the stock market as the leading indicator for whether our not the economy is doing well. This in spite of the well known historical facts that often during a prolonged bull market, the majority of Americans continue to lose economic ground. Whether or not the market is doing well in the short term Wall Street reality has little to zero bearing on the economic lot of the majority of American citizens.

Media would be informing us far better if it focused on rising energy, food and housing costs relative to the median wage and better yet, the minimum wage, as leading economic health indicators. What good is it to average Americans, if a few more billionaires are created, when less than zero percentage of growing market prosperity “trickles down” on the vast majority of our citizens?

What is the real agenda behind the carefully controlled piece-meal information dolled out by the New York Times and Wall Street Journal? Is CNN, Fox News and MSNBC giving us the information we really need? Why aren’t mainstream media outlets informing us correctly and adequately regarding various major issues of the 21st Century?

Is American media really legitimate, or is it just a big waste of everybody’s valuable time? Would we be better off burying our radios and televisions in our backyards, that is, those of us who still have a backyard to bury them in?

You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for above article

WHAT IS THE REAL RIGHT-WING AGENDA?

October 17, 2009

Right-wing extremists are the first to wave flags and pretend how much they believe in the Constitution and yet, they constantly whine and complain we can’t trust the government.  Apparently, they were asleep at the wheel during civics class, when the rest of us learned we the people are the government.

How many times must we endure Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh blather on and on about how we can’t trust our own selves, the government?  We can’t trust ourselves with tax dollars, we can’t trust ourselves with health care and we most certainly can’t trust us the government, to decide a convicted felon shouldn’t be armed to the teeth with every bazooka-type weapon imaginable.

Apparently, the so-called conservative “right” can’t even get our own Constitution right.  The idea of democracy isn’t to openly condemn ourselves by claiming we can’t trust the government.  Rather, the idea is to elect leaders to represent us and, to replace them when they instead, become right-wing corporate stooges and vote against our best interests.

Besides pretending to care about the unborn while totally screwing the already born, what the right-wing agenda really amounts to is, “we don’t believe in spending tax dollars to actually help taxpayers”. Rather, their goal is to use tax dollars for enhancing the bottom-line of the military industrial complex and otherwise, enriching corporations at the expense of us the taxpayers.

Any and every use of taxpayer dollars that will actually benefit taxpaying citizens is branded as “socialism” over and over again, the new all-purpose “red scare” bait-and-switch term of the 21st Century. The now entirely discredited Joe McCarthy appears “fair and balanced” alongside these Savage Nation and Coulter forty-five toting, hate-mongering meglomaniacs.

Education is supposedly high on the right-wing “safe issue” list, but conservative legislators consistently vote against increased spending for education.  Whatever they can’t eliminate because of political popularity, such as Medicare and Social Security, they try to “reform” into oblivion, creating huge funding black holes designed to funnel trillions of taxpayer dollars into big pharma and other deep corporate pockets.

Otherwise, the right-wing agenda is to convince average Joe Americans that all regulation of any kind is evil.  When in fact, wise regulation is what keeps tainted meat from ending up in all-American hamburgers, Joe American construction workers safe on their jobs and American Air Lines planes from falling out of American skies.

Wise regulation is the reason banks were relatively sound under Eisenhower.  While deregulation is obviously why they began their substantially crooked turn for the worse under Reagan, controlled by bloated greedy bastards of mass deception by the time Bush Junior was finished cutting a final slice out of the deregulation corporate mega-pie.

Is branding human beings “illegal” and blaming them for job losses and contagious diseases any different than what gave rise to Adolf Hitler and Auschwitz?  What is the real agenda of slave masters? What is the agenda of pure evil?

What is the real right-wing agenda?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article