Sunday, March 23, 2008

What Is To Be Done?

I love Earth. It's such a precious jewel of a planet, spinning along in the vast emptiness of space. Up close and personal, it's just as beautiful, with oceans, mountains and forests,waterfalls, ocelots, tropical fish, eagles, coral reefs, redwoods. There's really no end to its beauty. It supports boundless life, yet the powers of its volcanoes, hurricanes and rivers are awesome also.

Humans are pretty amazing also. Beautiful bags of mostly water, we are capable of love and kindness and great engineering feats. We evolved on this planet to be able to survive on what it gives us, but then we learned to take the raw materials of Earth and create more.

And now we come to this. Our love of shiny objects and clever gadgets is about to destroy all that has evolved with us. Of course, the history of Earth involves previous mass extinctions, and some amazing creatures are no longer with us, and new forms of life will evolve that can eat plastic and survive high temperatures, but I still fell it's wrong to destroy our fellow beings out of greed.

Before we learned to farm, it seems that humans got along better. There may have been territory fights, but with nothing to steal, and no point in having slaves, they were just skirmishes. Once some learned to farm and save food, others learned to raid and loot. Once we learned to make stuff, money was invented to help trade. And those willing to cheat, lie, steal and kill became rulers of those who just wanted to get along.

Now we have evolved to a point where we no longer remember that humans used to be able to fend for themselves on this planet. Most of us have jobs that give us money that we exchange for food, goods and services. This seems normal to us. We no longer remember that we labor to create value that is sold by the owners of the corporations we work for.

Americans now believe that corporations exist to bless us with jobs, if we're good, obedient and educated. Americans believe that the unemployed are unworthy. Americans believe that we must placate the corporate gods with sacrifices of taxes and wage givebacks. Americans believe that corporations must be allowed to loot our natural resources, pollute our air, soil and water, make weapons of mass destruction, and use the US military to open new markets. If we don't gladly allow Earth to be raped and looted, and our fellow humans in other countries murdered, the corporate gods will be angry, and take away jobs, and we will be unable to feed ourselves. There is now no crime for which the corporations will be held accountable, for they give us jobs and money, and we believe that they keep us alive.

But we are able to survive without corporations. They are artificial beings, originally invented to allow people with ideas and no money to produce new products, by allowing those with money and no ideas to invest, and those with no money and no ideas to work in the production line. They could be dissolved if they didn't serve the public interest. But now Americans consider the corporate interest to be the public interest. There is no virtue that exists that is considered to be more important than profits.

The artificial item of value that is money now has overtaken the American economy. We no longer produce items for use. 20% of our GNP (according to Kevin Phillips in American Theocracy) is now in the FIRE sector. Finance, insurance and real estate. In other words, speculating with land and money. Nothing of value is produced. Other Americans work in retail,selling stuff; in prisons, guarding the unemployed who ran afoul of the law; and in making weapons of mass destruction.

So what happens when the vast artifice of our economy that is being held together with fake money comes crashing down? Do we turn on each other, fighting for scraps? Or do we band together, and learn again to cooperate with each other and the Earth to provide ourselves with the basics, food, water, shelter, and companionship? Can we learn again that labor means that we make something of value, and that when it's made, we can stop and congratulate ourselves? Work isn't something you do for 8 hours, whether it takes that long or not. It isn't producing more than anyone needs, because your 8 hours isn't up. Work isn't something just for the privileged, it is to be shared among all. Many hands make light work. Why is it that we have people working 12 hour jobs, and others unemployed? Check out the side of my blog. "As long as one working man seeks employment, and is unable to obtain it, the hours of labor are too long". That was written when people still remembered what work was for.

Let's remember again.
Read more!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Media Blackout of Winter Soldier Hearings

This weekend principled veterans of the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan testified
to war crimes and atrocities they had witnessed or participated in. The hearings
were held outside of the nation's capitol, Washington, DC. The corporate media
ignored the hearings. Apparently, on their moral scale, Eliot Spitzer's moral
shortcomings are more important than the US military's, and the demented rulers
who sent them.

This is the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. There are over one million
Iraqis dead, with three million refugees, and the rest of the population has been
forcibly ethnically cleansed. US soldiers kick down doors and terrorize the families
inside, hauling men to prisons on dubious grounds. Iraqis are subjected to concrete
barriers and checkpoints, with a chance of being shot for driving down their streets.
The Red Cross has called the occupation a continuing human rights disaster, with
Iraqis still without food, water, electricity or sewage treatment.

Yet Dick Cheney and John McCain have proclaimed the occupation a success. What
kind of sick human could look at the misery and death that Iraqis have been through
the last five years and call it a success, just because American oil companies have
now signed contracts?

These veterans have braved the scorn of the ruling class and the brainwashed
Americans who support it. Almost four thousand American soldiers have died in Iraq,
with many more wounded. There are an unknown number who have killed themselves
in despair after returning home, but the US ruling class is no more interested in
counting those numbers than they are in counting Iraqi deaths.

You'd think that US veterans generally would get a clue as to their worth
post use by seeing that the Bush administration has cut the VA budget, veteran's
benefits and Impact Aid. But only the vets who continue to blindly support US
imperialism get media time. If you're really a psycho supporter, you may get
to sit next to the Chief Deserter at a Republican convention!

Conscience stricken Iraqi veterans should band together in Iraq Veterans Against
the War, where they can comfort and support each other. The US ruling class apparently
prefers that each vet suffer alone. Suicide saves them money in mental health cost
and future benefits. So the media blackout of the IVAW could be seen as a way
to support the criminal ruling class in their abuse of the US military.
Read more!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Winter Soldier Hearings

I am watching the Winter Soldier Hearings on FSTV, DISH network 9415. They are incredibly powerful. I recommend that everyone watch them. If you don't have FSTV, go to www.IVAW.org for video streaming.

The testimony this morning left me in tears, especially the testimony from parents of one veteran who killed himself in despair after he came home. They were left to deal with him alone. They tried to get help from the VA, but were unable to, due to underfunding leading to understaffing of the VA.

When I worked at a bookstore, I had a man call me to ask for a book on PSTD. He wanted a book to tell him how long the nightmares would last. I knew that there was no book that could tell him such a thing, but he was so desperate that I tried to find him something. I know that he was hoping that it was like the chickenpox or something, 21 days and it's over. Then he could hang on and try to deal with his child. It was heartbreaking. He was a good 'ol boy, and not one to confess his troubles to a stranger. He made it a business transaction, but I knew that he was hurting.

I have to admit that it is eye-opening to me to see veterans who have a conscience and regret what they did in the atrocity producing situation that is the occupation. All I know are vets who have no regrets and no shame (except for one IVAW vet I know, who is a great guy). Wednesday, at work, while I was speaking out against the war, one vet started venting, "Kill them all and let God sort them out. I like to stomp on babies heads, because they have grenades". Then, after, he said he was just kidding, and he loved me, and he was going to take me to Iraq next time he went. The baby-grenade equation was one he used before, and was also one that Vietnam vets that I knew made. They justify killing babies and children because they said that the parents used the children as weapons carriers.

So, fresh from Wednesday's confrontation, I am so moved by the bravery and decency of the soldiers testifying in Maryland. Please try to make time to watch these hearings. And remember that the US government doesn't want to take care of the veterans. It will be cheaper for them to allow suicides. If we want the veterans to get the help they need, we have to be aware of PTSD and pressure our congressman to take the money they are spending to make Iraqis lives a living hell, and spend it on the men and women who fell for the lies and participated in atrocities, and now are back and unable to deal with their guilt and misery.
Read more!

Monday, March 3, 2008

How Will Clinton Win In Ohio and Texas?

The horse race continues. I've pointed out before that our ruling overlords (as the Onion calls them), have to keep our attention focused on the meaningless race between the Democrats. It's my opinion that Clinton is the anointed one, but it wouldn't do to announce that in February or March. People might lose interest and start looking at the economy, the war or the environment.

So Obama won, then Clinton won, then Obama won a whole bunch!! Now Clinton has to win, but how to make it seem real, then Obama is on such a roll?

It's not like they can have her almost cry again. They already attributed the New Hampshire win to that one, improbable as it seems. Americans surely wouldn't fall for that story again.

Today it was announced that Obama's economic advisor told a Canadian official not to worry about Obama's rhetoric about NAFTA, that it was safe with him.

This is how they will explain Clinton's wins tomorrow in Ohio and Texas, two of the most anti-NAFTA states in the USA. She doesn't have to shed a tear this time.
Read more!