Freedom is intended as a challenge…

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves” -Abraham Lincoln

The American promise (our Constitution) is not a greeting card. It is not a poster to be autographed with ink. Americans must, and are meant to, sign our contract with American liberty in a sort of existential blood. We are inclined to imagine that our American birthright promises liberty and the pursuit of happiness – no questions asked. Well, the Founder’s works did not promise freedom without the common expectation that you and I would risk ourselves to preserve it. Therefore we aren’t promised happiness or the purely self-regarding right to run after it.

The language of the Declaration of Independence, though beautiful, is rather complex; it is the formal language of a very formal century far removed from our own. Many of us focus our attention upon the introduction, the opening shot, and most think of the Declaration as being no more disquieting or personally demanding than a nicely lit HBO special about 1776. We tend to think that the Declaration is something agreeable and benevolent: people like to chase their individual pleasures and God wants it so. Out of context, that phrase evokes a smiley-faced, non-combative, self absorbed version of what it means to be American. That attitude is just what our Government hopes its citizens will swallow.

The Declaration of Independence does not say “Congratulations, you are born liberated: enjoy your yard sales and yoga.” The “Pursuit of Happiness” is not an innate right for the people to follow their appetites for catalog shopping or an extravagant personal lifestyle: whether it is a gun convention or drag show. Rather, the document says something darker and more personally challenging: you have a sacred obligation, a consecrated debt to human existence, to take the most serious possible steps and endure the most serious kinds of personal danger in defense of this freedom that is your natural right and you must rise up against those who seek to restrain you – wherever and whenever they emerge. We have an ingrained duty, a sacrosanct obligation, to rebel and all of us need to become mutineers against continuous injustice and oppression.

Thomas Paine risked being hung for sedition in England when he published Common Sense. John Hancock, when signing the Declaration of Independence, literally signed his death warrant if the Colonies had lost the Revolutionary War. To be fair, all of the signers of the Declaration would have been hung if caught by the Crown. Living in America means that we must be willing to sustain risk on behalf of liberty. Ralph Waldo Emerson stripped it to bare bones when he said, “God offers to everyone his choice between truth and repose. Take what you please – you can never have both.”

According to Andrew Jackson, “One man with courage makes a majority.” What are we supposed to do with courage? Protest! The Revolutionary-era protesters were far more unruly than we are and our right to protest is now under attack. This nation could not have been founded without ordinary citizens engaging in raucous, even violent, mass protest (yes, even protests without permits!). During the 1760’s, colonists erupted and hung stamp distributors in effigy, as well as held mock funerals for them, built gallows to hang their effigies and even beheaded them, stocked bonfires and wreaked mayhem.

The Boston Tea Party is typically taught in school as if it were an isolated incident – daring, to be sure – but not connected with years of massive eruptions of street protests. In December of 1773, hundreds of American colonists wearing face paint and Indian headdresses boarded a British ship and tossed ten thousand pounds sterling worth of the East India Company’s goods overboard. But in fact, the Tea Party was a culmination of dozens of outbursts, protests and confrontational street dramas that colonial people from all walks of life had learned to use as a powerful tool for speaking up against the Crown.

Today, those colonists would never have the chance for such provocative acts of civil defiance. They would likely be kept 500 feet away from the British ship, across a main road from it, penned into barricades, their protest against the Stamp Act barely audible…and they would be expected to tolerate that.

Today, we are very far from experiencing a connection to our source of liberty. Many of us feel ourselves clouded within, cramped, baffled obscurely from without, not in alignment with the electric force of the Declaration of Independence. Many citizens, like you and me, feel more hopeless than other citizens in the poorest and youngest democracies on the planet. Others are just angry. I feel that all of us – the hopeless and the hopeful – need to reconnect to our mentors, the founders, and to remind ourselves of the blueprint for freedom they meant us to inherit. Americans need to take personal ownership of the Constitution and the Bill of the Rights and in doing so, push back the darkness.

Today, our rights are still codified on paper – but these documents are indeed “only paper” if we no longer experience them viscerally, if their violation no longer infuriates us. We can be citizens of a republic, we can have a Constitution and a Congress, but if we have fallen asleep to the meaning of the Constitution and to the radical implications of representative and direct democracy, then we aren’t really Americans anymore.

Our “America,” our Constitution, our dream, when properly felt within us, does more than “defend freedom.” It clears space to build a society that allows for the highest possible development of who we ourselves personally were meant to be.

We have to rise up in self-defense and legitimate rebellion. We need more drastic action than e-mails to Congress or tuning into CNN with our cup of tea.

We need the next American Revolution.

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The Sky is Warming! The Sky is Warming!

For all my lefty liberal friends, who dared me to write this!

 

 

There are two separate, but related issues to consider when discussing global warming: Is global warming a reality, and is global warming a result of human activity? Answering these questions has proven to be very difficult. “Experts” have lined up on both sides of the issue, and have accused their opponents of using junk science to support their position.

The evidence is mounting that says, yes, global warming is occurring. Conversely, there is evidence that is contraindicative to global warming. There has been evidence that the oceans are warming and evidence the oceans are cooling. There is also evidence that glaciers are melting, and that air temperatures are increasing and there is evidence converse to this. It is tempting to make a premature leap from “warming is a reality; a naturally occurring phenomena” to “humans are causing global warming.” (Lerner et al, 2006).

As research continues, there is mounting evidence that man’s contribution to the problem is minimal. Significant increases in geothermal activity at the oceans floor is a contributing factor to the increase in ocean temperatures. As the water temperature increases, ice caps and glaciers, which are a cooling mechanism for the oceans, melt. Warming oceans would also account for increased air temperatures and changes in the weather patterns over the oceans. The warming oceans also give off many gasses that are classified as “greenhouse gasses” that are attributed to man’s activity (Lerner, 2006).

It has been quite some time since the biodegradable craze infected us with countless forms of recycling campaigns. As we with lightning speed merge into the “technocratic society” that is soon to dominate the globe, it is becoming more commonplace to take care of most paper transactions with our computers (Abrams, 2006). Most of us modern techies have switched to online banking as well as online bill-pay practices by now. In addition, many people are pushing hybrid cars and ethanol-as-fuel, as the answer for our climate crisis. All of this activity is taking place as some aspect of our “Save the Planet” campaign kicks into full gear. But is the planet really an endangered place? And are humans really an endangered species? Doomsayers have occupied their “Cassandra-like” forebodings in our world in every age, since time immemorial anyway. While those doomsayers of yesterday are no longer here, the planet, much doomed as they have all once predicted, continues to twirl quite consistently in orbit (Abrams, 2006; Lerner, 2006).

Top Ten Misconceptions Concerning Global Warming…

1.    Contrary to the popular belief that glaciers all over the world are melting, in some places they are actually growing. In both Iceland and Greenland, the first half of the twentieth century was warmer than the second half. In Iceland, most glaciers lost mass after 1930 because temperatures temporarily rose by .6 degrees Celsius. But since then the climate has gotten colder, and since 1970 the glaciers have been growing, including eleven glaciers which are surging in size (Chylek, et al., 2004)

2.    Opposing mainstream supposition, Antarctica is not melting. Only the Antarctic Peninsula (a relatively small portion of the continent) is melting, but the continent as a whole is getting colder and the ice is growing thicker…in fact:
a.    From 1986 to 2000 central Antarctic valleys cooled .7 degrees Celsius per decade with serious ecosystem damage from the cold (Doran, et al, 2002).
b.    Side-looking radar measurements show West Antarctica ice is increasing at 26.8 gigatons/year, thus reversing the melting trend of the last 6,000 years (Joughlin et al, 2002).
c.    Antarctic sea ice has been readily increasing since 1979 (Lui et al, 2004).
d.    The greater part of Antarctica experiences a longer sea-ice season, lasting 21 days longer than it did in 1979 (Parkinso, 2002).

3.    In 1988 James Hansen, a prominent climatologist, radically announced his postulation of global warming. He predicted temperatures would rise by .35 degrees Celsius over the next ten years. The actual increase was .11 degrees Celsius (less than 1/10 of a degree). After ten years, Hansen claimed that the forces which administrate climate changes are so inadequately understood that long-term prediction is almost unfeasible, “The forces that drive long-term climate change are not known with accuracy sufficient to define future climate change.” His prediction was off by nearly 300%, indicating that scientists remain to speculate their predictions concerning global warming (Hansen, 1998).

4.    An abundance of CO2 in the atmosphere actually stimulates plant growth (Pearce, 2002).

5.    Deserts in Africa are factually shrinking (Pearce, 2002).

6.    A presumed effect of global warming is an influx in the introduction of new diseases; along with exacerbating present diseases such as Malaria, Ebola and Influenza. Conversely, the rate of emerging diseases has not increased since 1960 (Reiter, 2004).

7.    There are approximately 160,000 glaciers occupying the Earth’s oceans. Roughly 67,000 have been actually inventoried, recorded, and categorized. Only a handful has been studied. There is mass balance data extending approximately five years for merely 79 of the inventoried glaciers. Therefore, whether or not they are all melting is simply hypothetical (Kieffer, 2005).

8.    The belief that Mt. Kilimanjaro is thawing because of global warming is false, based only in erroneous speculation. It has been melting since the 1800s, long before “global warming.” Furthermore, there is no recorded warming trend at the altitude of the Kilimanjaro glacier. It is melting because of deforestation at the base of the mountain which diminishes the moist air blowing upward (Kaser, 2004).

9.    Stop building your ark, sea levels are not rising faster due to global warming. For the past 6,000 years the sea level has been steadily rising at a rate of 10 to 20 centimeters (4 to 8 inches) every one hundred years. There is no recorded, corroborated evidence that sea levels have been rising more rapidly because of global warming. In fact, the North Pacific has been calculated as rising, but the South Pacific has ebbed several millimeters in recent years (Parkinso, 2002).

10.    The theory of global warming surmises that the Earth’s temperature has been rising steadily for the past one hundred years owed to rising CO2 and other emissions. The reality is that at the beginning of 1880 (the beginning of the hypothesized temperature rise) was the end of what many scientists referred to as the “mini ice-age.” Where, for nearly four hundred years, the Earth had steadily cooled. The theory also presupposes that the greatest change in temperature occurred during the height of global industrialization (generally the 1940s through the 1970s). Nevertheless, temperature graphs show that:
a.    From 1940 through 1970, CO2 rose moderately, yet the Earth’s overall temperature essentially cooled.
b.    The temperature in the United States peaked in the mid-1930s, cooled for about 60 years, and now has risen, slightly, although still not at the record heights of the 1930s.
c.    More of these graphs show that while large urban areas have placid increases in temperature, an abundance of rural areas have cooled within the past 150-200 years. This is also true worldwide. In specifics is New York City, which has increased in temperature about four degrees Fahrenheit since 1822, yet Albany, which is immediately north of New York City (in terms of geography), has marginally cooled a degree in the past 180 years. This indicates no radical fluctuation in climate, as the gradient is to a certain extent insignificant (these graphs are available at http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp).

Today, we are urged to believe that within the next few decades the globe will become insufferably warmer. The world as we know it will be radically distorted unless we (the People?) act now to reverse our errant lifestyles, especially our inefficient energy practices.
But wait! Aren’t we all just fundamentally being pressured to trust in a long-range climate forecast? And isn’t this pressure, for the most part, being applied by politicians and political organizations? Who today would bet serious money on a weather prediction made a month in advance…let alone decades into the future? Yet, developed nations across the globe are investing hundreds of billions of dollars on a climate “prophecy” when worldwide financial stability flounders (Sadar et al, 2009).

So then, how do we get to know the real truth about global warming? Do we trust the views of scientists? Or of politicians? Or of industrialists? Al Gore? Michael Moore?

Who do we trust? Perhaps the Founder of the Weather Channel?

 

References

Abrams, Harry, 2006. “World Changing: A User’s Guide to the 21stCentury.” New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc.
Doran, P.T., Priscu, J.C. Lyons, W.B. Walsh, J.E., Fountain, A.G. McKnight, D.M. Moorhead, D.L. Virginia, R.A. Wall, D.H. Clow, G.D. Fritsen, C.H. Mckay, C.P. and Parson, A.N. 2002. “Antarctic Climate Cooling and Terrestrial Ecosystem Response.” Nature: Vol. 415: 517-20

Hansen, James and Sato, Makiko 1998. “Climate Forces in the Industrial Era.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Vol. 95

Joughlin, I., and Tulaczyk, S. 2002. “Positive Mass Balance of the Ross Ice Streams, West Antarctica.” Science Vol. 295: 476-80

Kaser, Jason 2004 “Modern Glacier Retreat on Kilimanjaro as Evidence of Climate Change: Observations and Facts.” International Journal of Climatology Vol. 24, 329-39

Kieffer, H. 2000, “New Eyes in the Sky Measure Glaciers and Ice Sheets,” American Geo-physical Union Vol. 81: pg 265, 270-71. Also Braithwaite, R.J. and Zhang, Y. 2000. “Relationships Between Inter-annual Variability of Glacier Mass Balance and Climate,” Journal of Glaciology Vol. 45, pg 456-62.

Lerner, K. Lee; Lerner, K. Lee; Wilmoth, Brenda 2006. “Environmental Issues: Essential Primary Sources.” Thomson Gale Press.

Liu, J., Curry, J.A., and Martinson, D.G. 2004. “Interpretation of Recent Antarctic Sea Ice Variability.” Geophysical Research Letters 31: 10.1029/2003 GLO18732

Parkinso C.L. 2002 “Trends in the Length of the Southern Ocean Sea-Ice Season, 1979-99.” Annals of Glaciology: Webpage: http://www.smithsophian.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticleComments&ustory_id=913e4c44-7fb2-4b1c-990b-783e4eb3e66d April 26th, 2010

Pearce, Fredrick 2002. “Africans  Go Back to the Land as Plants Reclaim the Desert.” The New Scientist Vol. 175, Issue 21, pg 4-5

Petr Chylek, M.K. Dubey, and G. Lesins 2004. “Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet.” Webpage: http://meteo.lcd.lu/globalwarming/Chylek/greenland_warming.html April 26th, 2010

Reiter, Paul 2004. “Global Warming and Malaria: a Call for Accuracy.” The Lancet: Webpage:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/laninf/issue/vol4no6/PIIS1473-3099%2800%29X0035-7

Sader, Anthony and Cammarata, Susan 2009. “Sadar/Cammarate: In Global Warming We Trust” The Washington Times. Webpage: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/feb/23/in-global-warming-we-trust/ April 27th, 2010

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Right of Revolution

“But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”



The Right to revolt against one’s government is an absolute right, and some would even go as far as to say it is a duty. The Right to revolt is variously stated throughout history, of the subjects of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests. Belief in this right extends back to ancient China, and it has been used throughout history to justify various rebellions, including the American Revolution and the French Revolution. How boring would History be without it?

Hyper focusing on our Republic, the sinew of Revolution is ingrained, not only in the Declaration of Indenpendence, but in several of the State’s Constitutions. Revolution is an American ideal. Without it, we’d …well, you get the idea. 250 some odd years later and Jefferson’s words still resound, ” I like a little revolution (rebellion) from now and then…”

New Hampshire’s constitution guarantees its citizens the right to reform government, in Article 10 of the New Hampshire constitution’s Bill of Rights:

Whenever the ends of government are perverted, and public liberty manifestly endangered, and all other means of redress are ineffectual, the people may, and of right ought to reform the old, or establish a new government. The doctrine of nonresistance against arbitrary power, and oppression, is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.


The Kentucky constitution also guarantees a right to alter, reform or abolish their government in the Kentucky Bill of Rights:

All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety, happiness and the protection of property. For the advancement of these ends, they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may deem proper.


Similar wording is used in Pennsylvania’s constitution, under Article 1, Section 2 of the Declaration of Rights.

All power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority and instituted for their peace, safety and happiness. For the advancement of these ends they have at all times an inalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think proper.


Article I, §2 of the Tennessee constitution states:

That government being instituted for the common benefit, the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind.


North Carolina’s constitution of November 21, 1789 also contains in its Declaration of Rights:

3d. That Government ought to be instituted for the common benefit, protection and security of the people; and that the doctrine of non-resistance against arbitrary power and oppression is absurd, slavish, and destructive to the good and happiness of mankind.


The Constitution of Texas also contains similar wording in Article 1, Sect 2:

All political power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their benefit. The faith of the people of Texas stands pledged to the preservation of a republican form of government, and, subject to this limitation only, they have at all times the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their government in such manner as they may think expedient.

Although, in our times, it can be argued that democratic governments can be overthrown by popular vote, the right of the people to remove the government has become embedded into the political system. However, replacing representatives falls short of changing the actual form of government by altering or rewriting its constitution. The ease of peoples to democratically implement such fundamental changes varies widely across nations and is generally quite onerous, if not impossible, within existing legal and media frameworks.

However, if our Republic is to survive, the people had to understand that the government was now their government.

Ideas have consequences. But the insurrectionist idea extends beyond debates about guns and the Second Amendment. It reinforces the image of the government and the people being at odds.

In a democracy, however, the government is the people’s government. Of course, we did not all vote for whomever now sits in the White House and Congress. We are a large and vital democracy — not a village of Stepford wives — and there is much about which we disagree. The majority, moreover, can be wrong. Sometimes we are boiling mad, and with good reason. But we have liberty…for now.

And yet, if we are to preserve our Republic, we cannot see our own government as an enemy, nor neither should we be ill-prepared and placid sheep.

 

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Limbo

Oh, not because happiness exists,
that too-hasty profit snatched from approaching loss. But because truly being here is so much; because everything here apparently needs us, this fleeting world, which in some strange way keeps calling to us. Us, the most fleeting of all.

 

…Ah, but what can we take along
into that other realm? Not the art of looking, which is learned so slowly, and nothing that happened here.

 

Nothing.

 

The sufferings, then. And, above all, the heaviness, and the long experience of love – just what is wholly unsayable…

 

…from The Ninth Duino Elegy,
Rainer Maria Rilke

 

 

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How Communism Was Supposed to Happen and Why It Did Not

I make no pretenses: I detest communism. It is a noble concept, but it is one that cannot work without a radical change in human consciousness, and I don’t want to be lobotomized.

Communism was destined to fail even before it was implemented, because it was based on a fundamentally defective postulation about human nature. The assumption was that human beings would behave “unselfishly,” as defined by Marxist-Leninists, if only political leaders with determination held guns to peoples’ heads and forced them to act “unselfishly.” Communism failed because human beings cannot and will not be psychologically subjugated or physically coerced into behaving “unselfishly.” Leaders, who coerce others into behaving “unselfishly”, will behave according to their basic human nature. They will impose their own selfish values of “unselfishness” upon others, and call it a “selfless service.”

All philosophers are products of their time and place and Karl Marx was no different. His communist theory was created by what his perceptions and understanding of his environment. The Communist Manifesto is not so much a how to book on the functioning of communism, but an explanation of why communism will happen. Marx’s design is essentially quite simple, but its application has never been realized.

Karl Marx lived in Germany during the pinnacle of its industrial revolution. As with many countries in Europe during the industrial era, Germany had poverty, labor abuse and exploitation. Marx understood that all of human history was defined by the separation of the classes. Although in different time periods; classes have always existed: patricians and plebeians, lords and serfs, but the basic relationship always existed, oppressor and oppressed, owner and slave.

The industrial period was unique considering the nature of the work. For the first time in human history, the social classes were not dependent on an agriculturally based market. The new oppressors were the bourgeoisie, or the middle managers of the factories. The oppressed were the proletariat, or the working class. The proletariat had a power none of the other oppressed peoples or the before eras possessed, they controlled the production of the goods. If the proletariat stopped producing, the bourgeoisie could do nothing except hand over control. In previous eras if the oppressed stopped farming, they would die. The revolution of the proletariat was the first step in Marx’s theory. By taking control of the means of production the proletariat would control the economy.

The second step of Marx’s theory was the dictatorship of the proletariat. Since the bourgeoisie would not be simple to eradicate, the proletariat needed to assure they could never regain power. Since the bourgeoisie did not have the numbers or the means of manufacturing needed to effectively retake power they would need to use the one skill they had, manipulation. Marx believed the proletariat needed to establish a totalitarian government so the bourgeoisie could not manipulate and usurp back into power.

Once all bourgeoisie were purged, a process that would take a few generations, step three could occur. In step three the proletariat dictatorship would voluntarily abdicate and a classless, stateless communist system would be fashioned. This was seen by Marx as the final evolution of human society.

There are a number of arguments as to why communism, as Marx described it, has never been achieved. Most focus on human nature and the fact that people are not essentially altruistic or sharing at their core. But there are many more practical reasons. For one, the proletariat revolution would have to be global. In order to eliminate the threat of a bourgeoisie counter revolution, all bourgeoisie would have to be washed out and not just in one country. Observably, this mass uprising did not occur. How could it when the poor and impoverished, if given food and shelter by the bourgeoisie would fight against the uprising? Give them shelter, food, things to blow-up…college tuition and a nifty uniform combined with the blind idealism of undying patriotism, and you could snuff out a revolution OF the poor BY the poor.

Another reason Marx’s theory has never culminated is because it has never been followed. All of the countries that have ever been called communist or still claim to be communist never met Marx’s standards. Russia was far from an industrialized economy in 1917. The Bolshevik Revolution was lead by a small group of largely middle class intellectuals, not industrialized labor. China, in 1949, was even farther behind in industrialization than Russia. The Chinese communist leader Mao Zedong adapted Marx’s theories for an agrarian peasantry, not an industrialized labor force.

When the reality of the situation is not even close to the criteria of the theory, the end result cannot be what the theory describes. In fact, not a single country that has ever called itself “communist” has ever advanced to true communism as according to Marx.

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PhDs @ Micky Ds

The Need for “Birth Control” within America’s Socioeconomic System

The modern American economy is sick, ill and diseased…or is it? The divide between the Haves and the Have Nots is a reoccurring issue in most discussions involving America’s socioeconomic demise. But, is American society in fact ailing, and if so, what (or who) is culpable? If only America had a “troubleshoot” option or the ability to “scan for viruses.”

A discussion concerning the Haves versus the Have Nots is essential to troubleshooting the American economy. Although these two classifications are real and distinct, they are merely symptoms of a greater disease and not the disease itself. In fact, there are also the Can Dos versus the Can’t Dos, the Ables versus the Unables and the Want to Dos versus the Don’t Want to Dos.

In discussing the Haves, consideration must be given to why there is a class of people who have plenty and a class which has less. Also, why are the Have Nots increasing? Could it have something (or a lot) to do with the Cans and Can’ts of American society?

There will always be individuals who are more valuable to a society than others. While legislators feel that they can increase a person’s value to society through welfare payments and minimum wage laws, this is an erroneous belief. Only society can determine the worth and value of functions and professions, then levy an individual’s worth by them. If a job or vocation is a result of or becomes more valuable because of legislation, it will only end in failure if that society no longer appreciates that particular job. These jobs will inevitably evaporate. How many typewriter repairmen or chimney sweepers are there today? How many lawn cutters do we actually need? How many window washers? Only society, working through the economy, can make these decisions – not the government. Society judges through its choices what it finds valuable and what it does not.

Most people assume that they get paid for putting in the hours for their labor. Only 100 years ago, there was a mass of farm laborers in the United States; this is no longer the case. In actuality, individuals draw a salary from a combination of four basic principles: labor, creativity, knowledge/skill, and risk-taking. However, the introduction of the machine age has replaced much of the need for human labor, which has propagated an increase in the need for knowledge and creativity. Of course, this creates a predicament: what do we do with people in a society who aren’t creative, don’t have any specialized knowledge and are only capable of physical labor and, to a lesser degree, people who cannot contribute any of these principals at all? While technology has changed the relationships between labor, creativity, knowledge and risk, it has done little to change the capabilities of the general population.

Some say the answer is more education, thus making the population more knowledgeable. The PhDs who are flipping burgers at Mickey D’s will tell you that there is a limited demand for knowledge, and simply possessing a degree will not guarantee that the beneficiary of such education will have any more actual value to society. In fact, more education will create a dichotomy: the more education you have in a specific area, the fewer chances of actually being employed in that area. A simple glance at Monster.com will satisfy the case-in-point: how many job openings are there for psychiatrists, philosophers, or chemists compared to the size of the population?  Not very many.

Suppose everyone in America earned a bachelor’s degree. Would this create additional jobs, or even increase the value of those jobs to society? Doubtful. It would only engender disappointment in undergraduates, since this paradigm shift will cause an increase in the need for advanced education. A bachelor’s degree will be less desired within the job market versus post graduate study. Then of course, there is a significant amount of the population who are simply incapable of higher education endeavors even if required of them. The majority of the United States population reads and writes at the eighth grade level.

This leaves creativity. Can an individual learn to be creative? Possibly, with the right techniques being developed and utilized; an individual may be able to learn how to be innovative.

The American government has attempted to oblige the segment of the population who believe they are entitled to unwarranted (or warranted) assistance, by mandating welfare and minimum wage standards. This has resulted in the Can Do class of people who are capable of and engaged in supplying the wealth of the country becoming potentially disheartened and angry. The Doers of society rightly feel that they should not be required to support everyone else. In fact, they have become a somewhat unwilling ‘foster parent’ to the Can’t Dos and Don’t Want to Dos. What often happens is that the Doers just decide not to DO as much as they potentially could, as they see little point in doing it. Consequently, the Doers use their creativity to find alternative ways to avoid having to support the Can’t Dos and Don’t Want to Dos. Creative citizens are quite adept at discovering unique ways to foil the system.

In its proper role, the point of economy is to assist the continued existence of its participants by allowing them to contribute to others in their own way and, in so doing, earn their rite of passage. Hunters hunt, gatherers gather, farmers farm, and each trades a portion of their work for what they cannot do for themselves. It allows for an economy where contribution to the whole is conducive through specialization. But what do we do with people who have nothing valuable to contribute? This is the real Have Not and Can’t Do crisis. Moreover, technology has increased the productivity of the Doers so efficiently that fewer of them are required to supply what is essential.

Fundamentally, a large portion of Americans are inadequate and deficient to meet the demand(s) of the current American workforce. How do we retrofit tens of millions of our citizenry that have become miscarried?

In order to build a stronger socioeconomic platform in America this problem must be solved, not by mandate and most certainly not by legislation. This disease cannot be cured by ignoring the main symptom: a class of abortive Americans.

Our society must be inoculated before it becomes sterile.

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When a Majority Votes on the Rights of a Minority

If 5 wolves and a sheep got together and voted on dinner…

What is going to happen with the voter-induced California Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage…



A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit heard oral argument Monday in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the challenge brought by gay and lesbian couples to Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that amended the state’s constitution to only recognize marriage between opposite-sex couples only. After a lengthy argument that went on for more than two hours, at least one thing seems apparent: Prop. 8 will likely not survive its voyage through the federal courts.
The most important question after Monday’s argument is how broad or narrow the appeals court’s inevitable ruling will be. Will the judges decide that it is unconstitutional for state voters to take away same-sex couples’ rights to marry in a state where homosexuals previously enjoyed the right to marry the person they loved? Or perhaps, maybe, the judges will go further and rule that the U.S. Constitution protects a fundamental right to marriage, which applies equally to gays, lesbians, and heterosexuals, and thus that every state in the Nation must afford all of its citizens the equal right to marry? Or will the judges never even reach the merits of the case, deciding instead that the official backers of Prop. 8 do not have the legal authority to appeal the lower court ruling that struck the law down?

There are a lot of questions to be answered, and it looks like we’re just going to have to wait…

For up to date and current news related to Proposition 8, please visit prop8trialtracker.com.

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Is “In A Relationship With” Activism

“I am not interested in picking up crumbs of compassion thrown from the table of someone who considers himself my master. I want the full menu of rights.” -Bishop Desmond Tutu

[ak-tuh-viz-uhm] -noun
(1) The doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.

Such a simple definition for such a complex term. Over the holiday season, I think it’s important for all activists involved in any kind of activism to truly reflect and think “why is activism important?
I have thought about this question long and hard, and many of us will have different and personal reasons as to why activism is so important, and what we hope to accomplish through it. What I hope to do is to offer you a little food for thought, something to reflect over and talk about. Something that can, hopefully, help you answer the question “why is activism important?”

There’s a new book out about government corruption in Kenya called It’s Our Turn to Eat, by Michela Wrong. The title refers to the appeal of each elected government to its own clannish supporters that they have to seize power and be gluttonous quickly because after the next election some other clan will seize power and they, as well, will look after ‘their own’. The twist is that the ‘elite’ within Kenya, across all clans or groups, exploits this tribal animosity and fear to distract the electorate from actual fact that whomever is in power leaves only the elite to pull the strings, pay off the politicians, and hoard the resulting wealth. The objective is to overpower and dishearten the people of Kenya, because that allows the elite to continue to rule unobstructed. Then it all becomes a game of enabling power and wealth – stealing elections, ever-increasing inequality, police state laws, bribes, pork, subsidies and payoffs, propaganda, intimidation, media control, divide and conquer, and massive corruption. US 2000, Kenya or Iran 2009, it does not matter. To think that this is a struggling-nation problem only is pure vanity. Thanks to distance, size, and scale, the benign inclinations of human nature are perverted and corrupted. Everything that works at a community level fails at the level of corporation and nation. We have shown, all over the world, again and again, that once we reach a certain size we become dissolute, decadent and ungovernable.

The role of the activist is to act as an offset, like a counterbalance per se, to this caricature of “government”. The activist needs to speak truth to the established order, to bridge the distance between the haves and have nots, to hold those who are irresponsible and unaccountable, responsible and accountable. Activism is the intervention our government so severely needs. To break down what is already broken. To enable what the people really want to be realized, despite everything. Activists step forward for every step the government takes back.

Activism, simply, is the rent we pay for living on this planet.

All of us must be activists, if we are to give this world a fighting chance.

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