Archive for the ‘President Obama’ Category

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 OBAMA SMARTER THAN BUSH?

November 5, 2009

According to George W. Bush, we are fighting in Iraq to “secure the peace” and, to “secure freedom and democracy”.  Is there any historical or other rational reason to believe this?  If war can secure peace then why, after 10,000 years of war, isn’t there peace on earth by now?

War didn’t begin with the American Revolution, nor did it end there; many soldiers who fought against the British rose up in “Shay’s Rebellion” against wealthy colonists who were taking their land and throwing them into debtors prison.  Soon after, another war against the British erupted.

Then came the Mexican-American War, Civil War, Spanish-American War and War in the Philippines.  And then, the so-called “war to end all wars”, WWI, soon followed by WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Gulf War and now, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Spaced among this long sad bloody list of war after war after war, were several slave uprisings, a long drawn-out war against Native populations and many smaller wars and battles.  There have also been many “uprisings” within the U.S. population, including mob murder of African-Americans, Irish, Jews, Mormons, Chinese, Latinos, adult and even, child workers on strike.

Yet today, after all this bloodshed, we find ourselves at war, yet again.  In spite of the overwhelming historical evidence, a morally bankrupt American population remains quick on the trigger and very slow to understand, that war will never “secure the peace”.  Is President Obama acting any wiser than Bush by continuing to stay the course in Iraq and increase troop levels in Afghanistan?

Some people claim Gandhi was wrong because he ended up a martyr.  Yet, Martin Luther King, Jr., Cesar Chavez and a great many others claim to have been inspired by him.  Did Gandhi lose in the great historical war between pro and anti-human rights forces, the only war that really matters?

According to Jesus, the solution to war is to put down our swords.  A small child can easily grasp this crystal clear logic of Jesus, yet we find people today pretending to follow him, who still promote war as the solution to somehow secure the peace.  The life of Jesus has inspired millions of people to promote peace and goodwill.  Thus, he won a far, far, far greater victory than all of the military generals in history combined.

It is entirely logical, that if I promote peace and goodwill, I will help humanity and leave a positive legacy for others to emulate.  It is likewise, entirely logical that if I promote war as a solution, I will hurt humanity and extend the trail of tears for others to emulate.

We as individuals have little choice what our leaders or other people do.  However, we each have a personal choice to make, to either stand up for peace and goodwill or, to bow to peer pressure and promote war and other violence.

It takes courage to stand up against one’s own society, which is why Isaiah and Jesus continue to be revered by millions.  It takes only a victim of societal pressure to promote war.  It is mature to promote peace and goodwill; it is childish, historically and patently absurd to promote anything else.

Is Obama any smarter than Bush?  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

WHY ARE VETERANS HOMELESS IN AMERICA?

October 17, 2009

United States homeless veterans include a significant growing number from the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Many suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and severe sleep deprivation.  Often those who have never suffered from the inability to sleep are unaware of how great of a toll such a problem has, in preventing those who do from being able to function well enough to hold down a steady job.

Many veterans have lost their civilian jobs due to extended tours in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere and upon returning home, find it very difficult to support themselves and their families.  Many who are not currently homeless are in danger of becoming so, especially in growing economic hard times.

In 2006, approximately 196,000 veterans were homeless on any given night, up from an estimated 194,000 in 2005.  Estimates of the total number of homeless veterans in the United States currently exceed 500,000; this figure doesn’t include spouses and children, who may also be homeless or severely impoverished.

An additional half million more pay over 50% of their income to cover their rent or mortgage.  In the United States, 26% of the homeless population are veterans, while they represent only 11% of the adult population.  In Tennessee alone, there were approximately 2800 veterans homeless on any given night in 2006 and, numbers have steadily increased due to the worsening economy since then.

According to many social service providers, while lack of income, disabilities, physical sickness, mental health issues and substance abuse all contribute to homelessness, the primary reason veterans are homeless is the lack of affordable housing.  And, this problem keeps getting worse, rather than better.

Regardless of religious, political or other persuasion, there is no excuse for the citizens of the United States to allow even one veteran or one veteran’s spouse or child to be homeless.  Politicians who refuse to help them should be voted out of office and candidates who don’t place helping them at the top of their agenda should not be voted for in the first place, regardless of party or position on any other issue.

Americans who sit idly by and make no attempt to address and alleviate problems of poverty in general and the plight of homeless veterans and children in particular, demonstrate a severe lack of patriotism.  And, they display a severe lack of historical and moral understanding and absence of personal ethics, responsibility, respect and dignity.

Do Americans who ignore the plight of homeless veterans really support the troops?  Can we march in parades waving flags pretending to be patriotic while continuing to ignore our growing homeless population, regardless of the reasons why they are homeless?

What manner of nation claims to be the greatest nation on earth and to be a beacon for freedom and democracy to the rest of the world and yet, her citizens continue to look the other way while growing numbers of homeless veterans and children struggle in plain sight to somehow survive?

Why are there homeless veterans in America?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article

SHOULD EVERY AMERICAN CARE IF EVERYONE HAS HEALTH CARE?

October 17, 2009

Some historians claim disease has wiped out more people than all wars combined.  Yet, in spite of the known historical record, Americans continue to ignore the inevitable consequences of contagious disease; consequences including significant preventable illness even for those with health coverage, large productivity losses and national leading to global plague.

Some plead we should care about the less fortunate while others pretend private care is preferable, in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.  Today, U.S. citizens pay much more for coverage than citizens of any other nation, yet we are ranked 37th in health care quality and even lower in availability.

Several former Soviet block and Southeast Asian nations offer better coverage; even Cuba has a lower infant mortality rate.  Over 45 million U.S. residents have zero health care; at least 80 million more have highly inadequate coverage.  More and more citizens with expensive plans are being refused coverage for expensive problems.

Every week, more citizens lose employer-paid care and retirement benefits, including long-term coverage for less healthy retirement years.  Depending on provider, 10-30% of every dollar spent on private coverage goes to overhead not related to care, while less than 8% for government-sponsored Medicare does, even though Medicare helps the oldest and sickest among us.  Very plainly, private health care as we currently have, is not the solution.

Politicians on both sides of the political charade continue to pretend they care about America’s security, while continuing to ignore our immediate health care reality.  Whether or not we care about our neighbor is only part of a larger equation, because disease knows no boundaries.  Children of the poor can, have and will, infect children of the wealthy.  Medical facts clearly demonstrate that private coverage is no guarantee against contagious diseases.

In reality, less than 1% of U.S citizens can afford to pay for their own catastrophic needs.  All forms of private health insurance are “shared responsibility” programs,dependent on the majority of those covered to remain healthy, while majority pay-outs go to the sickest minority.

Yet, right-wing media pretends coverage is not a “shared responsibility”, that we should all take care of our own selves.  People who claim this have never faced $250,000 per year cancer treatments on a working class income.  And they clearly don’t understand their own immediate financial jeopardy if they were to lose coverage.  Or, what can and will happen to their own children, if their neighbor’s children remain uncovered.

Scientists claim our planet is overdue for a major disease epidemic, while history clearly dictates that all of our politics, education, science and weapons won’t protect us against the onslaught of disease.  And the media is clearly failing American citizens by not instructing us accordingly.

Is it fair to say that citizens who do not push for immediate affordable and adequate health coverage for all persons residing permanently or temporarily within our borders, are decidedly unpatriotic?  Is it fair to say they don’t even care about their own children?  You decide.

Link to footnotes and documentation for the above article