Monday, November 23, 2009

Taxes are Bullshit!

Taxes are Bullshit!

Don't get me wrong, I understand taxes are necessary. In fact, I believe current income taxes should be a bit higher for people like myself and those who make more money. But it isn't federal income taxes that are bullshit, though there is a good argument against them as well. Despite the insane rantings of Teabaggers who some how believe their federal taxes, which are lower than they were during Reagan and Bush W, are some how to high, it isn't federal taxes that we need reprieve from. Its every thing else, all the other little taxes that conspire to fuck us over.

I get taxed when I buy a car. I get taxed every year on that same car. And I lose it if I don't. In other words, I pay to buy, own, and keep a car. If I don't, I don't get one. That tax restricts my freedom. I pay for the privilege of buying stuff. I pay for the privilege of buying food. I pay for the privilege of winning a drawing, contest, or lottery. I pay if I win in gambling. I pay taxes to buy gas. I pay taxes to use electricity, natural gas, phone service, cable services, cell phone services, internet services. In fact, there isn't a single thing in my house that I didn't either pay taxes to buy, pay taxes to use, or pay taxes to continue to own. It is complete bullshit.

Yet, most of these taxes are state, city, and county taxes, not federal taxes. All these damn taxes and for what? Every year, some tax goes up. Yet every year, in all three states I have lived in, they complain of not having enough money. Now, I haven't the time or desire to study the economies of these states, but I'm going to go out on a limb and say there is a good amount of crap that the states are spending money on that doesn't have to do with education, keeping up the infrastructure, or helping those falling on hard times. Why aren't people up in arms about the taxes levied by the states? Nearly all the taxes I pay are paid at the state, local, and county leve, not at the federal level. Whats worse, while I end up paying all these other taxes to the state/local/county, I still get state/local/county taxes taken out of my pay checks. Which means I'm getting doubled taxed. My money is taxed on four levels (fed, state, local, county)and yet, the last three of those levels continue to tax me on everything else I buy and own, which I have no choice but to pay for with money that has already been taxed by them. In fact, if you consider car purchase, you get double, triple, and quadruple wammied on taxes! Paycheck pays state and local and county taxes, then I pay state taxes on the purchase, then I pay county taxes on the property tax every year and the licensing taxes. Taxes upon taxes upon taxes, and Indiana happens to have very low taxes compared to other states!

Yet, the stupid teabaggers STILL protest FEDERAL taxes! Either these people are stupid or they are ignorant! Either way, you should consider knowing what you are talking about before you protest it. Why aren't we demanding less spending on the state level? Why aren't we demanding less taxes at the state level? I will tell you why. Because federal taxes are an easy target. You can easily see how many taxes you pay on your federal taxes. Now, there are more taxes than your income tax that goes federal. However, having tracked this for several months now, I can see that most of my money in taxes doesn't go to the federal government, it goes to everyone else in between. And that is why taxes are bullshit!

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Bible - What's in a story?

Today I was reading the Book of Matthew, and an interesting revelation was revealed to me from the education in High School English. I don't want to give it away so I'll just give some examples FIRST before explaining the point I'm getting at.

Legend tells us that Matthew was written by the disciple called Matthew. So lets see how his version of Jesus life unfolds.

Matthew 1
Joseph's dream about Jesus are quoted word for word.
Matthew 2
Prophecies told to herod by magi word for word.
Another dream of Joseph word for word.
Matthew 3
Words of John the Baptist word for word
Matthew 4
Jesus led into desert alone, conversation word for word with devil.
Words of jesus preaching and calling of first disciples.
Matthew 5-9
Continues to quote entire speeches word for word, specific events in different downs, even quotes others responses.
Matthew 9
Matthew finally called. Not traveling with him, but sitting at tax collector booth.
Matthew 17
Quotes word for word event in which only Peter, James, and John were with Jesus.
Matthew 26
Judas and the priests quoted word for word.
Jesus in Gethsemane, Jesus goes away with Peter James john, but they fall asleep, but Jesus prayer gets quoted word for word.
Jesus speaks with Sanhedrin and quoted word for word.
Matthew 27
Judas conversation with priests and priests words amongst themselves.
Jesus comments with Pilot quoted word for word.
Pilots discussion with priests after crucifixion.

Now, I sited some very specific examples that all have something in common. Have you already figured it out? Thats right, all these stories are told in the third person. But not just in the third person, an all knowing all seeing third person. In English and Literature this is called "narrative mode". That is when you tell the story as an omniscient call knowing narrator of a story. It is used to convey the plot to an audience. In narrative mode, the author can move the story along and fill in every point and close the gap to anyone reading the story. This is a much easier way to fill in the reader without complex plots that slowly show the reader whats going on.

This, however, is not the way people convey real events that they experienced. But there are some other problems here. Matthew details conversations that he himself admits he couldn't know. How could he possibly know the words used in Josephs dream? How could he know of any of the events before he was called to be a disciple, never mind know the conversations word for word. How would he know, word for word, the conversation between Jesus and the Devil? He quotes word for word what happened between only three other disciples and Jesus. He quotes conversations between jesus and pilot, Jesus and the Sanhedrin, and Jesus and the priests when Jesus is the only one there. Matthew quotes the conversation Judas has with the priests, on two different occasions!

Perhaps the most ridiculous part of the book is when Matthew describes Jesus prayer in the garden. He goes to great lengths to let us know that only three disciples were invited, and they fell asleep. So no one is with Jesus, yet Matthew quotes his prayer? This type of story telling happens in all three gospels. Not a one escapes the ridiculous proposition of the all seeing omniscient narrator.

But we know this type of story. The type of story in which every single word spoken, every dream, every silent prayer, thought, and conversation is known to the narrator. It is called a fairy tale. A work of fiction in which the entire plot is laid out line by line, with every dark corner of thought and dream are known and laid bare.

Matthew is laid out like any good piece of fiction, complete with good guys, bad guys, negative plot turn, and finally, the happy ending. We know this format, we call it fiction, or fairy tale. Because there is absolutely no way Matthew could have known most of the events I listed above. The very fact that events where recorded that no one could have known about, and done word for word, should tip us off to the fact that this is nothing more than a good story. Whether a real Jesus figure ever existed is made moot by the fact that this story that describes his life is clearly a work of fiction.

Any one familiar with fiction should be able to spot this work of fiction. In fact, all of the gospels are written in the same fashion, all of them claiming an all knowing third person who is able to see peoples dreams and hear words spoken when no one is around. But then, thats what happens when you take stories handed down orally, grandly embellished over many decades, then try to make a cohesive story. And there is nothing wrong with that if you just like to read great stories, like that of Odessius. But this is what people are living their life by. You might as well take the moral teachings from a Strawberry Shortcake book as read the new testament for guidance!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cursing, Swearing, using Bad Words, NO BIG DEAL! REALY!

Cursing, Swearing, using Bad words, no big deal! Really!

I have always held that there are no such things as bad words. As such, I will use many of them in this post. If you get offended by such words, then please, stay, because this is for you. I will address the use of swear words in as many forms as I can remember and show why they are no big deal.

There are three ways in which swears words are considered bad.

1. Words are socially unacceptable
2. Words are hijacked from original meanings to mean something deragatory
3. And most commonly, they are "bad" words because of ones faith or religion

All three purposes are simply not valid and I will show why. And for number three, I will show why it is not valid to say one particular word is bad, biblically. Oh yes, I can argue from the bible as well.

1. Some words are bad because they are socially acceptable.

I have to admit, this is possibly the worst argument I have ever heard. When I was a christian, I still had a major problem with this. Why? Because words have meaning, and meaning is what is important, no particular word. If I were to call you a mother fucker, you would likely be highly offended. But what if I said "you enjoy intimate relations with your mom"? Now, you would likely think about it for a moment then be upset, but it doesn't have the same power as "mother fucker" because you believe that some how "mother fucker" is a bad word.

If I say "fuck you", you will inherently get more upset than if I were to say "screw you" or "violate you" or "do you in the rear". The last two are likely to illicit a law instead of anger. But why? They mean the same thing, and have the same linguistic value as "fuck you" does. When you give words more power based on the sound it makes coming out of someones mouth, you denigrad the meaning and value of words by making one word better or worse than another. You wouldn't the term "they" is better than "them" would you? They mean virtually the same thing. We should apply the same logic to all words. Instead of specific sounds being offensive, we need to look at the meaning of a word. I assure you I can say much more offensive things without the so called "bad words". There is nothing more ridiculous than completely insulting someone without one cuss word then having them get upset at "fuck you". We get upset at these particular words and not others because we UNDERSTAND what they mean. Other language is often not fully understood and doesn't convey the feelings to people any more, like cuss words do.

Thus, in society, we decided that, since we don't like these feelings being conveyed, that we can demonize the words that convey them. Whats worse, words in a society, and in meaning, change over time. If you went back 200 years ago and told King George "Fuck You" he wouldn't have the slightest idea what you were talking about. Phrases that have to universal meaning cannot be held as bad. In 100 years, we won't know what the phrase means either. So what you are doing is picking one set of words that convey a specific meaning in any given society time table, and deciding they are bad. That simply is not acceptable. Meaning is important. Meaning and the feelings conveyed are more important than the actual words used. Which leads me to point number 2.

2. Some words are bad even though they have valid definitions of use.

Bitch, bastard, ass hole. All these types of words have valid meanings associated with them. A bitch is a female dog. A bastard is a son born whose father is not known, and ass is an animal. But they have been hijacked, once again, for the feelings they convey, and by consequence, making them "bad words". Not long ago, I did a random test on some people I knew. I didn't tell them at first, but I did after words. I told one of the women she was a bitch. She immediately got upset at me. Didn't slap me, but she wanted to. I told another woman separately that she was acting like a female dog. She laughed and said she supposed she was. (she happens to be one that thinks swearing is wrong). I did the same with some male co-workers with "bastard". The one called bastard felt hurt and got upset, the one who I used the definition on, said he had no father, didn't even blink. And finally, I called one of my friends an ass hole in anger, and the other a butt hole in anger. You guessed it, the one who I called butt hole just apologize (he didn't need to, I set him up) and the one I called ass hole immediately got defensive and angry.

Words have meaning. That meaning is why we get upset. But in place of discerning what someone is saying, we have put in a set of words that are considered "bad words" so that we know what feelings are being conveyed and know when to properly get upset or offended. The problem is that now the words themself are offensive separate from their meanings. If I call you a donkeys butt, or a butt hole, or an ass hole, all three should illicit the same response, but that simply doesn't happen. The demonizing of specific words has, in a way dumbed down our society. Or perhaps, it is just a symtom of that dumbing down. Either way, in the case of these type of words, they cannot be bad words because they are still valid in use of very real things. If I say bitch, why should that get someone more angry than a female dog? They are the same thing, and bitch is still used in dog shows and by dog trainers today. Another word, hell, is sometimes demonize, like when someone says "what the hell" or "go to hell". How can a word be a "bad word" when that word is in the bible? The bible is the most widely read book among those of faith in our country today. Yet most who read it would list "hell" as a bad word. That doesn't even make sense. It is the feelings conveyed, the idea conveyed, that should be what gets to people, not specific words, and especially not words that have actual common uses.

3. Swear words are bad because the bible says so.

Now, this one is one of my favorites because it is simply a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge that causes this belief. Now, I could go into the myriad of ways in which "using gods name in vain" is specifically bad in the bible. I could go on about how "in vain" doesn't mean the same thing it does now, and that "in vain" is not as good a translation as "in a falsehood" according to the direct hebrew translation bible. This would mean that swearing in gods name, that is, making an oath in gods name, is what it is prohibiting. But thats not nearly as relevant. Why? Because, GOD is a generic term not used in the bible. God and Lord are not the names of God. In the Old Testament, God is given the name El half of the time, and Yahweh the other half of the time. Those of the Yahweh persuasion deemed his name so holy that it couldn't be written or spoken. Thus, in the original OT text, YHWH is written, not Yahweh. These are the names of god, and those are what you should not say in falsehood. God damn it, could mean any god or gods. God is a generic term used for any and every other deity. In english, we capitalize the word to mean THE god, by which we mean the christian god. This capitalization in no way indicates that this is the name of god. It is ignorant to say so! Thus god damn it cannot be taking "the name of the lord your god in vain" because you aren't using "the name of the lord your god in vain".

Moving to the new testament, christians like to quote Ephesians 4:29 "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.".
Now, to many, this means, no swearing. However, we have already discussed the problem with that. I can say something so foul and insulting that you should be left embarassed with out ever saying a "swear" word. So, is it okay to say something nasty as long as I don't swear? I have met many christians who seem to think so. They never swear but they sure say some mean things about people and too them. Surely you can't think that the christian god is so lame and shallow as to think that only words deemed socially bad are things you can't say? No, that is a ridiculous premise. And until christians stop saying bad things about people in a nice or non-swear word laden way, they cannot claim this scripture for anything, especially swear words. The simple reality about this is this. If I say you are the best damn piano player in the whole fuckin world, that is a nice thing I just said about you. Nothing unwholesome was said of you. Yet if you are a christian, you are likely going to be offended. But I clearly didn't violate any religious principles in the bible. What I violated was your self installed, socially generated sense of what particular words are acceptable. And that is not enough to decide that one particular word, rather than what the words mean, is bad or offensive.

Conclusion:

In the conclusion I want to address one further complaint about swearing. It is usually given by people who consider them selves intellectuals or intelligent. They like to say swear words are only used by those who aren't smart enough to articulate their feelings. That intelligent people don't need to use swear words. Well, I call them like I see them. And that is bull shit. As long as society views specific words as "bad" then they will continue to have a bigger impact on people than spelling out the actually feeling or action you wish to convey. If I say "I am very angry and am not going to do what you say no matter what you tell me so just leave me alone" it doesn't have the power that "kiss my ass!" does. As well, it shortens the discourse considerably when using swear words to convey feelings either in anger or in jest. Simply using one word over another, as long as it is in proper usage, does not make on inferior or less intelligent. Fact is, if I don't use swear words, many people simply don't understand what I just said. So in some ways, it is easier to communicate with people using swear words.

If we want to advance in our society, we must learn to get past such pettying labeling as "bad words". Words are just words. What I am MEANING is much more important than the actual words used. Words are a tool that, in and of themselves, cannot be inherently bad or good, they simply are. They are there to use when we need them to convey actions, requests, feelings, desires, pain, pleasure and so much more. The sooner we learn thes, the sooner we can move on to actually discussing issues that really matter, and give a big FUCK YOU to people whose only recourse in a discussion is to demonize the actual words you use, in place of real discussion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

God in the Garden: The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

This is a new series I'm starting that will examine curious parts about the book of Genesis, specifically the beginnings of mankind before, during, and shortly after the Garden of Eden.

For the first post in this series I would like to discuss the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Lets read the verse referring to this to begin with.

Genesis 2 15 The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."


Lets ignore the last part for this moment as I'm sure that "surely die" can be interpreted different ways. But rather, lets take a look at the actual command and circumstances around that command. What do we know from previous verses about the situation?

1. Adam was newly created.
2. Adam was just put in the garden.
3. Eve was not yet created. She was created in verse 18.

Taking the first bit of knowledge listed. Adam was newly created. Now assuming he was created as an adult, which the bible doesn't say, but for the sake of argument, lets say he was an adult out right. He was still a child of mind. He had not experienced anything at all up to this point. The bible is clear. He was created, but into the garden god created, and told not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He would have been completely naive. Some things we take for granted would be foreign to him. Death, disobedience, right and wrong, sin, suffering. As a child, these terms would have no meaning to someone who has not experienced them. A child is not born knowing he must obey his parents, he learns it.

Being just put in the Garden, he would likely have been curious. Having never seen trees, or animals or anything before. Like a child, he would not have a concept of punishment or discipline. Curiosity would likely over come commands to not do something, as often is the case in children. If you have children then you understand that when you tell a child to NOT do something or NOT touch something for their own good, you can't just leave them to their own devices. If you tell them NOT to touch something, they will likely feel the need to touch it. You must constantly supervise them. There is no reason to believe that Adam would have been any different as his situation was just a like a childs newly brought into the world.

Eve was in an even worse situation. She was created AFTER this command, and thus was given the command second hand. She would also have been naive and unaware of the concept of right and wrong. As we move to Chapter 3, we can see that Eve is not just naive, but, likely any gullible child, easily confused.

1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"

2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.' "

4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."


Now, Eve, being child like, would not have been able to defend against this argument. Why? Because god gave no reason, and her information was second hand any way. So like any child, when the fruit was dangled before her, with the promise of being good and that she would learn and know more, she fell for the trick. A child falling for a trick? Today, we call that child exploitation, because we understand that children are not adults, they don't have the capacity or experience to sort through such things on their own. For Eve it was even worse as she would not have any concept of good and evil, right or wrong.

She ate the fruit, gave it to Adam, and he ate as well. Now their eyes were opened. It is only now that we see them realize they did something wrong, AFTER they ate the fruit. We see not hesitation on their part BEFORE eating it. Why? Because they didn't know it was wrong, because they had no knowledge of right and wrong. But after eating the fruit, they did. They grew up essentially.

So, like any good parent, god took them aside, chastised them and made sure this was a learning moment in which they learned a valuable lesson and they moved on right? After all, they are just children. Right? Wrong.

God punishes them by putting them out of the garden, introducing them to pain, suffering, death, and turmoil. I'm sure they learned a valuable lesson that way.

God put two children in a garden, put temptation right in front of them, allowed the "father of lies" (satan by most christians beliefs) to go into the garden to tempt them, then punished them vilely for falling for it. What? In the real world, we call this setting someone up to fail. God is supposedly all knowing. So he put them in the garden, and put temptation in the garden, and allow the master deceiver in the gardern, when he absolutely knew the outcome. What kind of parent would put a bowl of pudding on a table, tell the kids not to eat it, leave the room, send someone in that room to coax them into eating the pudding, then storm in and punish them for eating it?

Sound cruel and awful? It is. But that is exactly what god did. He set them up to fail. How can someone claim love of another when they set them up to fail, KNOWING they will fail, then punish them? Can you name another human being you would love or respect if they did such a thing?

The lesson we can learn from this is a hard one. If god exists, he is not a nice being. He is cruel, spiteful, and will punish even the most naive of persons for just about anything. He will set you up to fail marvelously because he knows exactly what it takes to make you fail.

This is one of the first lessons we learn about God in Genesis. If he exists, watch out, because he is looking for ways to trip you up, and he has the upper hand.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keith Olbermann - Special Comment on Health Care



Naming names and kicking ass! Way to go KO!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Chris Mattews flays 'Birther' G. Gordon Liddy - Chew on that evidence Birther idiots!



Okay okay okay, so I originally just wanted to have the video up. But this is to much. This guy is a complete fool. He REPRESENTS what is wrong with the entire birther movement. Ignorance. Plan and simple. This evidence was easily researchable, and many people have gotten it just by asking. Yet some how, the birthers don't ever seem to get to the relevant data. They lie and say that the records are sealed, that they aren't allowed to see it, what ever. Its clearly NOT TRUE as the media has all the evidence they seem to be asking for! Its ignorance and deception, and its a hallmark of the far right wing nut establishment! These looney bins are the same ones that gave up the "Tea Parties". What a crock! How can you be taken seriously when you lie about stuff and get caught on national television lying about it?

Liddy said that you can't use the BC that Obama showed to get a passport. It was a straight up made up lie. Its not true. In fact, that is EXACTLY what you use to get your passport! Is he a liar or just ignorant?

In fact, if you are a birther, answer me that question. Are you a liar or just a ignorant fuck? The evidence you asked for and claim has been denied you was presented in this video. All the evidence and people like you birthers simply revert back to some old kenyan ladies comment? Really? So tell me, are you stupid or a liar? The evidence you asked for is there, in plain view, so which is it? Are you just to stupid to get it, or are you a lying sack of crap trying to destroy someone?

Which is?

Stupid or Liar?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Taking Freedom to the World

Taking freedom to the world. What a grand claim. What a grand desire. What a ridiculous premise.

We have heard over and over that it is our job to spread freedom and democracy to the world. To bring an end to tyranny. To free the oppressed. But I have come to realize that it is simply not possible to do.

Freedom is not a gift. It cannot be given. It cannot be gained FOR you. It is a right. A right that must be seized and held by the strength of your resolve. Freedom must be purchased in blood if necessary. If it is just given to you, with no sacrifice, you will never appreciate it, never value it, never jealously protect it. If freedom is not taken, it will not be worth dying to keep. Unless you are willing to die to taken it, it means nothing to you, you will take it for granted.

In the dark depths of our history, in the waning day light in Philadelphia over 200 years ago, our forefathers committed the people of this land to war. The desire for freedom and independence burst from is shell and lashed out violently at the oppressive british empire. It the fire and blood of the revolution, freedom was born, strengthened, and taken by the force of our collective will! Thousands were willing to die to earn the freedom they so desperately desired. And because of that genesis in blood, because that freedom was taken, demanded, not given, we have remained a free people.

Freedom cannot be given. If people are not willing to die to gain freedom, if the light of freedom doesn't burn so brightly that it burns away the chaff, then there can be no freedom. Tyranny only exists because the people allow it to exist. Take Iraq as an example. Why did they live under tyranny so long? Why didn't the people rise up and annihilate tyranny? Because it wasn't so important to them as it is to us. They didn't desire freedom so much as to rise up and fight the tyranny. They don't desire freedom so much that it burns in their hearts and struggles to break free!

Spreading democracy and freedom is a pipe dream! Freedom only comes to those willing to have it at any cost. Freedom is the right of all human beings. Yet, it only belongs to those willing to seize it in a death grip and claim their right! What will be the ultimate out come of the nations we "bring democracy and freedom too" when we leave? Are we naive enough to believe that we can "enforce" freedom and democracy on a people unwilling to hold onto it themselves?

No. We must no longer partake in "spreading democracy and freedom". We can no longer hold on to childish idealistic views that we even have the power to "bring freedom" to any one. Rather, stoke the fires of freedom through our actions in the world. Stoke the desire to be free, and stand ready to hold out a hand when the peoples of the world throw themselves into the fire and purchase their freedom with their own blood. Until that happens, our soldiers will die for the "freedom and democracy" of absolutely nothing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Essence of Christianity

I had allot of time to think while unplugged for several days. I got to thinking about what was really at the center of my former belief, my former religion, christianity. The conclusion that I came to was a revelation to me. The extreme simplicity of it all left me contemplating it over and over. Surely it was more than this. Surely it was more complex in its core meaning. The finality of what I thought of was this. No, its not. It is very simple.

The essence of christianity is this. You worship a tribal god that requires human and animal blood sacrifice to appease him. Period. Now, I'll expound on that opinion.

The essence of christianity can be made very simple. But its more fun to draw it out. See, in the beginning, god specifically said that he is jealous, and like wise by his actions upon that jealousy, petty and insolent. He has no problem killing anyone for nearly any reason. And then killing all their family and friends and anyone who stood next to them. The christian/jewish god is a jealous petty god. But he is just a tribal god. The bible talks clearly about there being other gods, or else he would have nothing to be jealous about. It goes through great lengths to make sure his tribal followers make him the top god, not the only god, just the top god. Notice the command "thou shalt have no other gods before me". See, you could have other gods, just make him the top god. So god is a petty jealous god, wanting to be king of the gods. Got it. That is fairly typical of tribal gods.

My second claim is that he craves animal blood to satisfy him. Yes, he is a god of animal sacrifice. There are strict laws in the old testament on how to sacorifice many different animals for different things. This all powerful tribal petty jealous god not only is not powerful enough at this point to forgive sins, but he requires others living creatures to die for those perceived wrongs that he makes up in his jealous state of mind. So he REQUIRES animals to die to get over himself. Any all powerful god could forgive or just make people ask to be forgiven. The only reason animal sacrifice was required, was because he made it so. His own living creatures mean nothing. His own creation nothing better than fodder to satisfy his petty jealously and anger. The slaughter of innocent animals to appease the tribal god.

But in the New Testament and the advent of christianity, this petty, jealous, tribal, animal sacrificing god takes it up a notch. While he has shown the propensity for this type of sadistic cruelty in the past, it has never reached this heights more than the one time it is recorded in Judges 11:1-11, 29-33. Jephthah promises to sacrifice what ever comes out of his house if god lets him win a battle. Of course, ole J slaughters the enemy (gods hallmark) and his daughter comes out of his house. So he sacrifices his daughter and god accepts it as good. But that was just a prelude to insanity.

The christian god steps up the insanity by REQUIRING a HUMAN sacrifice to not burn you in hell for ever. Take that in for a minute, think about it, the christian god is a god of human sacrifice. An all powerful god could surely simply forgive sins, just ask right? Nope. He wants blood. Innocent blood at that. Not just anyone. Someone who doesn't deserve it needs to die a torturous death. The tribal blood god steps it up a notch and requires human sacrifice, Jesus. Now sure, christians believe he is god, but who cares right? We are talking about the requirement of blood, human blood, just to be forgiven of what? Some perceived sin? No, you are BORN sinful by nature. Your very birth requires human sacrifice to avoid hell. What a nice blood god he turned out to be.

For the very crime of being born with a sinful nature, the christian god REQUIRES a HUMAN sacrifice. This is tribal to the extreme, not at all what a loving caring god would be like. After all, wouldn't he just make it easier to get to heaven, just ask for forgiveness and you get it? But no, he MADE the requirement of blood. Didn't have to, but chose to make blood necessary. A petty, jealous, tribal blood god, that is ultimately powerless. So powerless and so sadistic, that he has to require humans and animals to bleed for his pleasure. That is the essence of the christian god. If you are a christian, the essence of your faith is that you worship a sadistic tribal blood god obssessed with making his creatures bleed and die for his pleasure. This is the god you serve. One that isn't powerful enough to just forgive your sins, or one that just likes to see people bleed. Sick.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Prop 8 Redux

It has been but a couple days since the California Supreme Court put forth their verdict that Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment to strip Gay couples of their right to be married, was in fact an amendment, and not a fundamental change to the constitution. In other words, prop 8 stands.

After unleashing a string of vitriolic posts on twitter, I needed to take a day or so to really contemplate this issue. I needed to calm down before blogging on it. I have calmed enough to give a redux on the issue.

There are several reasons why republicans and right wing nuts come out as the nasty idiotic hypocrites of this debate.

1. Most of them claim to be small government, saying the government should just stay out of their lives. Yet, they have no problems believing the government should interfere with someone elses lives that they disagree with.

2. Most of them are right wing christians. Perhaps they should listen to their own nonsense once in a while. When you try to talk to them about the ridiculous old testament laws, like stoning your rebellious son, they claim Jesus got rid of the old law. Yet, it is that very same Old Testament law that these hypocrites use to condem gays! Maybe "What Would Jesus Do?" should be more of a way to live than just a bracelet!

I have more, but don't want to dwell on that. I would rather just blast people on a moral basis. Because the idea that gay marriage is some how your problem or can effect your personal life is stupid and wrong. It is nothing more that the desire to control someone else who doesn't believe as you do. To shackle the one who would dare do something that goes against what you personally believe. It is only sheer arrogance that allows these half wits to continue to believe they have the right to dictate the laws governing someones marriage between another consenting adult! The sheer nerve is infuriating!

Further, the California Supreme Court really dropped the ball. How is taking away an existing right NOT a fundamental change to the constitution? No, they balked because they were threatened by the church with and impeachment campaign. God fearing ass holes dictating the terms of someone elses life. Fuck you christians who side with this! You are foul creatures with the morals of a demon! Your hate and disgust for those different than you will no longer be tolerated! We will rise up in this country and strike you down! We will have equality in this nation whether your bigoted backwards faith allows for it or not!

To my gay brothers and sisters, atheists and believers alike, I tell you that you are not alone! I and others like me stand with you in this fight! We will see justice served on the bigots of this country, I promise you that!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

How To Talk Like a Republican

Alright, I ganked this from Daily Kos, but I'm giving them props and a link to the story, this one is classic!

Daily Kos - Cheers and Jeers: Thursday


Cheers and Jeers: Thursday Hotlist
by Bill in Portland Maine
Digg this! Share this on Twitter - Cheers and Jeers: ThursdayTweet this submit to reddit Share This
Thu May 14, 2009 at 08:03:25 AM EST

From the GREAT STATE OF MAINE...

Republican Mad Libs

No doubt about it---the GOP knows how to scream "Danger!!!" better than anyone. But how do they do it so effectively? It's simple, really, and you, too, can convince people they should be scared of their own shadow. Just pick a phrase from List A, another from List B, and one from List C. Here...try it:
List A
A public option in health care reform
Curbing CO2 emissions
Gay marriage
Public funding of stem cell research
Immigration reform that doesn’t include mass deportations
Talking with our adversaries
Releasing the report/study/memo/photos
Restoring Clinton-era tax rates on multi-millionaires
Enacting tighter regulations in the financial sector
Investigating "enhanced interrogation techniques"
Closing down offshore tax loopholes
Actually listening to ordinary Americans
Anything President Obama does

will...
List B
Tear at the fabric of
Have a chilling effect on
Ignite a firestorm of woe upon
Erode the foundation of
Wreak incalculable havoc on
Lead us down a dark and dangerous path toward destroying
Lead us down a slippery slope on the way to bankrupting
Plunge a dagger into the very heart of
Unleash destruction on
Tear a giant hole in
Break the back of
Have devastating consequences on
Forever doom


List C
Our society
This great nation
The family structure
Small businesses
Democracy as we know it
Our children!
Our children's children!
Our children's children's children! (etc.)
The Judeo Christian values on which this country was founded
The Homeland/Fatherland/Motherland
Everything we hold sacred
Our ability to prevent the socialists from taking over
Our vital institutions
My chances of getting re-elected

And, if you're feeling frisky, you can add a rhetorical flourish:
List D
Just wait---you'll see! And then you'll come crawling back to me!
I weep for my country!
My people don't want to secede from the U.S., but...we may have no choice.
This is the worst thing that's happened in the history of the world!
It's time to start stocking up on food and water. And gunnnnns.
Gosh darn it!

See? It's easy! And with a little practice you, too, can put yourself on a dark and dangerous slippery slope of woe as a Republican doomsayer. Not sure why you'd want to, but it's always nice to have options.

Cheers and Jeers starts in There's Moreville... [Swoosh!!] RIGHTNOW! [Gong!!]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Atheist Hell

This is very funny!
http://www.centerforinquiry.net/blog/the_9_circles_of_atheist_hell/

Underdown’s Hell for Atheists

Circle #1

An American Buddhist temple overlooking the ocean somewhere. "American" means there are Saabs in the parking lot and you won’t find anyone inside who’s prostrated himself 300 miles to get there. You can show up when you like, but you are sentenced to meditate, and do some kind of whacked out yoga that only a car crash could twist me into. But you can still make happy hour if you let go of wanting to…

Circle #2

A Unitarian Universalist Church on Sunday morning. It’s not a hard-core service with a lot of pushy beliefs, but your Sunday’s still ruined and you still had to get up, shower and shave. Here you’re sentenced to drinking see-through coffee and manning the syrup and butter table at a never-ending pancake breakfast meant to raise money to fix the leaky roof.

Circle #3

A small synagogue somewhere in the bible-belt. You are sentenced to attend a Passover meal which the local Rabbi insists on being a full-blown traditional Seder. (You have to sneak to over to it for fear of being seen by one of your redneck customers.) A late afternoon argument about whether God prefers doctors or lawyers ends when the pre-dinner singing begins. (Huh? I thought we were going to eat?)You’re starving, and when the food finally comes, you are served pickled herring and a big gelatinous slab of Gefilte fish. Oy vey!

Circle #4

A run-down mosque in Detroit. You are sentenced to come here 5 times a day to face Mecca and pray on mostly musty, paper-thin prayer mats that never quite dried out after the last rain. The only dry mats are from a craft project from the neighboring madrasah and are made from old pencils. The vocals coming over the tinny sound system sounds like a goat being run over by a snowmobile. You are overweight and have bad knees.

Circle #5

Any Catholic church in August in Chicago. You are sentenced to a perpetual wedding mass which includes taking communion, doing all the Stations of the Cross, and having gone to confession beforehand. You were at the groom’s bachelor party last night where you timed each other drinking juice glasses full of warm Southern Comfort. In church you notice grass stains on your suit. You don’t know whether to puke or pass out.

Circle #6

The L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibit on Hollywood Blvd. You are sentenced to an eternity of talking tourists from Des Moines into forsaking the religion they grew up with by trying to convince them that aliens landed on earth 75 million years ago on modified DC 9 airplanes. When Tom Cruise arrives to inspire the workers, you are punished for laughing at his height.

Circle #7

An Evangelical mega-church in Colorado Springs. Your punishment is for all eternity to procure methamphetamine and gay sex for Ted Haggard. He grabs your neck and gives you two creepy squeezes to thank you.

Circle #8

A Pentecostal revival tent just outside of Tulsa. You just left a Drinking Skeptically gathering and you have to piss like an incontinent at a kegger. You keep asking where the bathroom is, but the whole goddamn church is speaking in tongues and you can’t understand a word they’re saying. You finally figure out where the can is only to find it guarded by one of the rattlesnakes they used in the service. You decide to piss on the rattlesnake and it bites your penis.

Circle #9

The real Hell. Shit! Lake of fire, guys in hoofs,gnashing of teeth - the whole shot. God’s there with (red, horned) Satan and they’re both shaking their heads with raised eyebrows saying, "We tried to warn you…"

What a nightmare…

Monday, May 11, 2009

Something Wrong with the White House Correspondance Dinner

Markos once again hits it head on. Something is not right about this dinner. For 8 years we watches as the media essentially disintegrated and failed to report the tough stories on Bush. Sure, there were lots of commentaries, but where were the hard hitting stories? There were few. Largely because reporters were being spied on and feared for their job or their safety or both. They went to these dinners and yucked it up with the White House making no attempt to cover the fact that they were kissing up to the President.

But now, the same thing is still happening. How can you be a check on the government when the White House is your best friend? Sure, its all fun and games when they are making fun of Rush and Steele and Palin. But what about when Obama doesn't fly straight on an issue? What about the prosecution of torture issue? Can they truly be the government check at this stage in the game?


http://snipr.com/hstqk [www_dailykos_com]

Obama was brilliant on Saturday. No denying that.

But there was something unseemly about the White House press corps yucking it up with George Bush and Karl Rove, and it's still unseemly seeing them yucking it up with Obama and his crew.

For an industry that has spent the last few months whining about its poor lot in life, and how it's essential to our democracy as a check on government, all I saw on Saturday was those media types trying to be cool by sucking up to the government, just like they had during the Bush years.

Here's a thought -- if you hold yourself out to be a check on government, then don't pretend they are your best friends and party together into the night. At its best, that relationship should be antagonistic, not friendly.

But the media clearly hasn't learned its lesson from the Bush years, as it continues to make the same stupid mistakes today.

As a partisan, sure, I liked that they were laughing at jokes about Republicans, Michael Steele, and Rush Limbaugh. As a media critic, I cringed.


Markos is right. They haven't learned a damn thing. And sure, we liberals love watching the republicans get theirs, but this street runs two ways. What about when the republicans are in power, or a third party? Do we really want to see them yucking it up with a Bush or someone else in the future? But that is what will happen. We, as the party in power will relish this moment and say little. But we will scream when its the other party. The republicans are doing it now. Saying Obama is the darling and they hated Bush. But thats simply not the case. Each party has their "Fox News", and that, is what is wrong with the Media. Decidedly, Fox News is one of the worst when it comes to over all bias. Even their regular news is seething with disgust for Obama. But what about the afternoon line up on MSNBC? It is every bit as bias as the Fox News afternoon/nightly line up. The Ed Show, Hardball, Countdown, and The Rachel Maddow Show are the liberal equivelant of the Glenn Beck Show, The Factor, Hannity, and the other show whose name I cannot remember.

Now again, Hannity gets caught lying very frequently and making claims he won't back up. And O'Reilly tends to not get all his facts straight when stalking people. But the premise is the same. News from a slant.

A democracy cannot survive without a non-biased media source. If Obama knows he has a safer haven with MSNBC than with Fox, then he can be allowed to get away with things as much as Fox allowed Bush to get away with things.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The Sovereignty of the State

Most of us who took civics class understand that the governments power to make laws regarding banks and, well, anything that has to do with commerce in general from jobs to regulations to bailouts falls under the Federal Governments power from the Commerce Clause (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3) in the Constitution. It gives the government power "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;"

Since the time of John Marshall, the Supreme Court has continually backed the power of the Federal Government to do such activities that are being done today.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commerce_Clause

This site lists and links to some land mark cases which back up that claim.

Pretty much anything that has to do with commerce is and has been the domain of the Federal Government. The Supreme Court has upheld more and more power under this clause for many years. It is constitutional.

yet, many states including Texas and Oklahoma want to declare themselves Sovereign over the Federal Government. This is not new, its happened before, you remember the Civil War right? But the fact is that time and time again the states "right" to remain sovereign and separate from the federal government has been struck down. Jefferson was a grand states rights advocate, but he was continually dogged in the supreme court over this issue. Continually the largely Federalist Supreme Court held the power of the Federal Government over the states in matters of commerce. Such things like descrimination of pay based on race and sex were also deemed states rights until they got to the Supreme Court.

But I have an idea. Instead of arguing with some of these ridiculously far right states who are basically throwing a hissy fit because their party is not in power now, we should give them what they want. Let the Federal Government say "you are right, you are sovereign, now chose if you want federal money or not, yes or no". And make it a whole deal package. Either you want our help or you don't.

That would include but is not limited too:

Assistance for unemployment insurance
Assistance for medicare and medicaid
Disaster relief funding
Road and Bridge construction money
Federal IRS buildings including employees and city taxes paid
Education assistance for schools
Pell Grants and Student Loans for state colleges
Federal dollars for the national guard controlled by the states
Federal money for prisons and prison rehabilitation
Federal loans for small business's
Federal grants to cities for important projects
Federal grants to states for projects

These are just a few areas in which, according to the definitions and reasons given by republicans in these "sovereign" states, that they would no longer get funding for. After all, funding for disaster clean up isn't in the constitution according to them either. Texas and Louisiana are particularly big recipients of disaster money. Oklahoma as well during tornado season.

But, if they don't want federal money, then don't give them any. And on a side note, lets not include their unemployment rates in with the federal ones either, after all, if they get no federal money due to their own choice, then its their problem, not the feds.

What they are doing now is nothing more than posturing and hypocrisy at its worst. If they really cared about federal spending, most states could stop all federal dollars coming to their state in all the above areas. Sure, it would put people out of work, but hey, at least they would have no government "interference". They could just do it all on their own without government help at all. Manage and pay for their entire medicaid and medicare programs and unemployment insurance programs instead of taking anything to help make sure people are covered. They could have no part of the "federal governments" welfare program or SS programs, put those people out of work, and watch poverty soar and the elderly get kicked to the street. Unless they want to pay for it themselves. But that would require big tax increases, which is also bad.

The option is clear, so stop dicking around Texas and Oklahoma. Either put your money where your mouth is and reject all Federal money of any kind, or shut up and stop posturing and using PEOPLE as a shill to run for reelection. These are peoples lives we are talking about. Either put up or shut up, but stop trying to hold it over the President head.

Friday, April 24, 2009

We Are a Nation of Laws

I have been recently very disturbed at the tone in which the debate on torture has become more political. It has been made political purposefully by the republicans in this case. It is the idea that prosecuting people responsible for creating torture policy and responsible for enforcing torture policy would some how be only political and set a "dangerous precedent". Why?

Lets review. Torture is illegal. Why is it illegal? Because it was made illegal by the Geneva Convention. So let us review the Geneva Convention.

The adoption of the first convention followed the foundation of the International Red Cross, the agency charged and authorized to determine if torture has been used, in 1863. The conventions are as followed.
1. for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field - adopted 1864
2. for the Amelioration of the Condition of Wounded, Sick and Shipwrecked Members of Armed Forces at Sea - adopted 1906
3. relative to the Treatment of Prisoners of War - adopted 1929
4. relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War - adopted 1949

The United States ratified the first convention in 1882. By 1977 the United States had ratified all four of the Geneva Conventions with the exception of two protocols regarding the use of riot control agents and herbicide use.

By ratification, the US made the Geneva Convention a part of United States Law.

So, the question now becomes not whether US law prohibits torture, it does, under US ratified and signed Geneva Convention. So, was the law broken? This is fairly easy to determine as we know from memos what was done.

We know of waterboarding, sleep deprivation, confinement in a small box with insects in it, beatings, swinging people around by their necks into walls, hanging from the ceiling for extended periods of time, lengthy exposure to extreme cold, starvation and use of dogs to bite and scare inmates. So, since the memos authorize such things, are they torture? Well, what does the geneva convention say about it?

Article 13 under the Third Convention regarding the treatment of prisoners of war.
Article 13

Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.

Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.

Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.


Acts of violence, intimidation, insults, and public curiosity (humiliation).

Article 14
Article 14

Prisoners of war are entitled in all circumstances to respect for their persons and their honour. Women shall be treated with all the regard due to their sex and shall in all cases benefit by treatment as favourable as that granted to men. Prisoners of war shall retain the full civil capacity which they enjoyed at the time of their capture. The Detaining Power may not restrict the exercise, either within or without its own territory, of the rights such capacity confers except in so far as the captivity requires.


Article 16
Article 16

Taking into consideration the provisions of the present Convention relating to rank and sex, and subject to any privileged treatment which may be accorded to them by reason of their state of health, age or professional qualifications, all prisoners of war shall be treated alike by the Detaining Power, without any adverse distinction based on race, nationality, religious belief or political opinions, or any other distinction founded on similar criteria.


Article 17
Article 17

Every prisoner of war, when questioned on the subject, is bound to give only his surname, first names and rank, date of birth, and army, regimental, personal or serial number, or failing this, equivalent information. If he wilfully infringes this rule, he may render himself liable to a restriction of the privileges accorded to his rank or status.

Each Party to a conflict is required to furnish the persons under its jurisdiction who are liable to become prisoners of war, with an identity card showing the owner's surname, first names, rank, army, regimental, personal or serial number or equivalent information, and date of birth. The identity card may, furthermore, bear the signature or the fingerprints, or both, of the owner, and may bear, as well, any other information the Party to the conflict may wish to add concerning persons belonging to its armed forces. As far as possible the card shall measure 6.5 x 10 cm. and shall be issued in duplicate. The identity card shall be shown by the prisoner of war upon demand, but may in no case be taken away from him.

No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.


Prisoners of war who, owing to their physical or mental condition, are unable to state their identity, shall be handed over to the medical service. The identity of such prisoners shall be established by all possible means, subject to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.

The questioning of prisoners of war shall be carried out in a language which they understand.


Article 26
Article 26

The basic daily food rations shall be sufficient in quantity, quality and variety to keep prisoners of war in good health and to prevent loss of weight or the development of nutritional deficiencies. Account shall also be taken of the habitual diet of the prisoners.

The Detaining Power shall supply prisoners of war who work with such additional rations as are necessary for the labour on which they are employed.

Sufficient drinking water shall be supplied to prisoners of war. The use of tobacco shall be permitted.

Prisoners of war shall, as far as possible, be associated with the preparation of their meals; they may be employed for that purpose in the kitchens. Furthermore, they shall be given the means of preparing, themselves, the additional food in their possession.

Adequate premises shall be provided for messing.

Collective disciplinary measures affecting food are prohibited.


Article 27
Article 27

Clothing, underwear and footwear shall be supplied to prisoners of war in sufficient quantities by the Detaining Power, which shall make allowance for the climate of the region where the prisoners are detained. Uniforms of enemy armed forces captured by the Detaining Power should, if suitable for the climate, be made available to clothe prisoners of war.

The regular replacement and repair of the above articles shall be assured by the Detaining Power. In addition, prisoners of war who work shall receive appropriate clothing, wherever the nature of the work demands.


Article 34
Article 34

Prisoners of war shall enjoy complete latitude in the exercise of their religious duties, including attendance at the service of their faith, on condition that they comply with the disciplinary routine prescribed by the military authorities.

Adequate premises shall be provided where religious services may be held.


Other interesting articles in the convention that relate to people detained with out any contact with the outside world.

Article 71
Article 71

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to send and receive letters and cards. If the Detaining Power deems it necessary to limit the number of letters and cards sent by each prisoner of war, the said number shall not be less than two letters and four cards monthly, exclusive of the capture cards provided for in Article 70, and conforming as closely as possible to the models annexed to the present Convention. Further limitations may be imposed only if the Protecting Power is satisfied that it would be in the interests of the prisoners of war concerned to do so owing to difficulties of translation caused by the Detaining Power's inability to find sufficient qualified linguists to carry out the necessary censorship. If limitations must be placed on the correspondence addressed to prisoners of war, they may be ordered only by the Power on which the prisoners depend, possibly at the request of the Detaining Power. Such letters and cards must be conveyed by the most rapid method at the disposal of the Detaining Power; they may not be delayed or retained for disciplinary reasons.

Prisoners of war who have been without news for a long period, or who are unable to receive news from their next of kin or to give them news by the ordinary postal route, as well as those who are at a great distance from their homes, shall be permitted to send telegrams, the fees being charged against the prisoners of war's accounts with the Detaining Power or paid in the currency at their disposal. They shall likewise benefit by this measure in cases of urgency.

As a general rule, the correspondence of prisoners of war shall be written in their native language. The Parties to the conflict may allow correspondence in other languages.

Sacks containing prisoner of war mail must be securely sealed and labelled so as clearly to indicate their contents, and must be addressed to offices of destination.


Article 72
Article 72

Prisoners of war shall be allowed to receive by post or by any other means individual parcels or collective shipments containing, in particular, foodstuffs, clothing, medical supplies and articles of a religious, educational or recreational character which may meet their needs, including books, devotional articles, scientific equipment, examination papers, musical instruments, sports outfits and materials allowing prisoners of war to pursue their studies or their cultural activities.

Such shipments shall in no way free the Detaining Power from the obligations imposed upon it by virtue of the present Convention.

The only limits which may be placed on these shipments shall be those proposed by the Protecting Power in the interest of the prisoners themselves, or by the International Committee of the Red Cross or any other organization giving assistance to the prisoners, in respect of their own shipments only, on account of exceptional strain on transport or communications.

The conditions for the sending of individual parcels and collective relief shall, if necessary, be the subject of special agreements between the Powers concerned, which may in no case delay the receipt by the prisoners of relief supplies. Books may not be included in parcels of clothing and foodstuffs. Medical supplies shall, as a rule, be sent in collective parcels.


Article 78
Article 78

Prisoners of war shall have the right to make known to the military authorities in whose power they are, their requests regarding the conditions of captivity to which they are subjected.

They shall also have the unrestricted right to apply to the representatives of the Protecting Powers either through their prisoners' representative or, if they consider it necessary, direct, in order to draw their attention to any points on which they may have complaints to make regarding their conditions of captivity.

These requests and complaints shall not be limited nor considered to be a part of the correspondence quota referred to in Article 71. They must be transmitted immediately. Even if they are recognized to be unfounded, they may not give rise to any punishment.

Prisoners' representatives may send periodic reports on the situation in the camps and the needs of the prisoners of war to the representatives of the Protecting Powers.


Article 84
Article 84

A prisoner of war shall be tried only by a military court, unless the existing laws of the Detaining Power expressly permit the civil courts to try a member of the armed forces of the Detaining Power in respect of the particular offence alleged to have been committed by the prisoner of war.

In no circumstances whatever shall a prisoner of war be tried by a court of any kind which does not offer the essential guarantees of independence and impartiality as generally recognized, and, in particular, the procedure of which does not afford the accused the rights and means of defence provided for in Article 105.


Wait, a provided defense? Hmm.

Article 87
Article 87

Prisoners of war may not be sentenced by the military authorities and courts of the Detaining Power to any penalties except those provided for in respect of members of the armed forces of the said Power who have committed the same acts.

When fixing the penalty, the courts or authorities of the Detaining Power shall take into consideration, to the widest extent possible, the fact that the accused, not being a national of the Detaining Power, is not bound to it by any duty of allegiance, and that he is in its power as the result of circumstances independent of his own will. The said courts or authorities shall be at liberty to reduce the penalty provided for the violation of which the prisoner of war is accused, and shall therefore not be bound to apply the minimum penalty prescribed.

Collective punishment for individual acts, corporal punishments, imprisonment in premises without daylight and, in general, any form of torture or cruelty, are forbidden.

No prisoner of war may be deprived of his rank by the Detaining Power, or prevented from wearing his badges.


Article 89
Article 89

The disciplinary punishments applicable to prisoners of war are the following:

1. A fine which shall not exceed 50 per cent of the advances of pay and working pay which the prisoner of war would otherwise receive under the provisions of Articles 60 and 62 during a period of not more than thirty days.

2. Discontinuance of privileges granted over and above the treatment provided for by the present Convention.

3. Fatigue duties not exceeding two hours daily.

4. Confinement.

The punishment referred to under (3) shall not be applied to officers.

In no case shall disciplinary punishments be inhuman, brutal or dangerous to the health of prisoners of war.


Article 90
Article 90

The duration of any single punishment shall in no case exceed thirty days. Any period of confinement awaiting the hearing of a disciplinary offence or the award of disciplinary punishment shall be deducted from an award pronounced against a prisoner of war.

The maximum of thirty days provided above may not be exceeded, even if the prisoner of war is answerable for several acts at the same time when he is awarded punishment, whether such acts are related or not.

The period between the pronouncing of an award of disciplinary punishment and its execution shall not exceed one month.

When a prisoner of war is awarded a further disciplinary punishment, a period of at least three days shall elapse between the execution of any two of the punishments, if the duration of one of these is ten days or more.


Article 99
Article 99

No prisoner of war may be tried or sentenced for an act which is not forbidden by the law of the Detaining Power or by international law, in force at the time the said act was committed.

No moral or physical coercion may be exerted on a prisoner of war in order to induce him to admit himself guilty of the act of which he is accused.

No prisoner of war may be convicted without having had an opportunity to present his defense and the assistance of a qualified advocate or counsel.


All of the Articles can be read here: http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/91.htm

As you can see, most of what was listed in the memo's clearly qualify as torture and are clearly against the law. AGAINST THE LAW. In other words, President George W. Bush authorized something that was clearly against the law.

Now, to water boarding specifically. Have we ever prosecuted someone for water boarding? Do we consider it torture as a matter of precedence? Well, lets take a look at what water boarding is, then the effects it has on people. Then lets look at the US reaction to other people water boarding.

This is how the CIA described it in a 2002 memo.
In this procedure, the individual is bound securely to an inclined bench, which is approximately four feet by seven feet. The individual's feet are generally elevated. A cloth is placed over the forehead and eyes. Water is then applied to the cloth in a controlled manner. As this is done, the cloth is lowered until it covers both the nose and mouth. Once the cloth is saturated and completely covers the mouth and nose, air flow is slightly restricted for 20 to 40 seconds due to the presence of the cloth… During those 20 to 40 seconds, water is continuously applied from a height of twelve to twenty-four inches. After this period, the cloth is lifted, and the individual is allowed to breathe unimpeded for three or four full breaths… The procedure may then be repeated. The water is usually applied from a canteen cup or small watering can with a spout

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bybee_memo

Water boarding creates the feeling of drowning according to human rights watch, and several other people including Christopher Hitchens who allowed himself to be water boarderd.
He later told the BBC: "There is a common misconception that water boarding simulates the sensation of drowning, but you are to all intents and purposes actually drowning". He said that although he was somewhat prepared for his ordeal, he had not been prepared for what came later: "I have been waking up with sensations of being smothered". Hitchens concluded, "if water boarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture. Believe me. It's torture".

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/video/2008/hitchens_video200808
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BBC_Radio_3

Historical use of water boarding include but is not limited to:

The Spanish Inquisition - toca

The Dutch East India Company - during the Amboyna massacre of 1623

Sing Sing Prison - Henry Hagan - When it came out, it was called torture -
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9A06E0DE1531E13BBC4951DFB2668389649FDE
http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9802E3D71331E234BC4E53DFB2668389649FDE

Spanish American War - 1898 - Major Edwin F. Glenn argued that it was a necessary use of force. He was court marshaled, tried, and found guilty of torture.

German and Japanese soldiers after WWII were tried for torture for water boarding.
Chase J. Nielsen, one of the U.S. airmen who flew in the Doolittle raid following the attack on Pearl Harbor, was subjected to water boarding by his Japanese captors. At their trial for war crimes following the war, he testified "Well, I was put on my back on the floor with my arms and legs stretched out, one guard holding each limb. The towel was wrapped around my face and put across my face and water poured on. They poured water on this towel until I was almost unconscious from strangulation, then they would let up until I'd get my breath, then they'd start over again… I felt more or less like I was drowning, just gasping between life and death."


Algerian War - 1954 - High incidence of prisoners dying from waterboarding.

Chili - Dictator Pinochet water boarded over 35,000 people based on testimony.
Khmer Rouge - 1975 - Common torture method used on military and civilians.

Texas - 1983 - Texas sheriff James Parker and three of his deputies were convicted for conspiring to force confession via water boarding.


So lets recap. Per US law, torture is outlawed and well defined. Water boarding has always been considered torture. It has usually been down by outlaw regimes and horrible dictators during reigns of terror and inquisitions. When it has been done by US citizens, they have been prosecuted and sentenced to jail for torture. History shows us water boarding is torture. KSM was water boarded 183 times in one month.

We are a nation of laws. There is nothing political about the law being enforced. If we are a nation that respects law, then the Bush administration and those involved in pursuing these policies must be prosecuted under our laws and made accountable for their crimes. If a president is not accountable under the law, then we are not a nation of laws and the president is above the law.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fairy Tales in the Bible: Unicorns

The bible is full of fairy tales that simply cannot be true. Some of them are more incredulous than others. But perhaps one of the most silly and ridiculous ones is that of the unicorn. After all, unicorns are just pagan mythology right? Or are they? If we are to believe the bible, they were/are real despite the fact that we have never found a single shred of evidence than anything like a unicorn ever existed. Take these verses.

Job 39:9-12 (King James Version)

9.Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?
10.Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?
11.Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
12.Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?


Yep, god is talking to Job about a unicorn.

Isaiah 34:7 (King James Version)

7.And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.


See, according to the superstitious hebrews of the day, unicorns were every bit as real as a bull.

Psalm 29:6 (King James Version)

6.He maketh them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.


They were real enough to the superstitious tribal people that they could compare a calf to a unicorn.

In context, it is clear that these references are not in some mythical non-existing fashion, but that they really believed this singled horned magic creature of legend was real. Not something made up, but real and really existed. For the bible to be real and perfect, that means that we have to accept that unicorns are real and exist.

Or, we can acknowledge that unicorns didn't exist and are fairy tales. Just like the whole of the bible itself. Fairy tale myths born from a superstitious people in a time of superstition before science existed.

For your pleasure, here are some other scriptures that mention unicorns.

Numbers 23:22 (King James Version)

22.God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn.


Deuteronomy 33:17 (King James Version)

17.His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.


Psalm 22:21 (King James Version)

21.Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.


Psalm 92:10 (King James Version)

10.But my horn shalt thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.


As we can see, the tribal peoples were very much believers in these mythical creatures. And apparently, so was god.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Glenn Beck, - Maximum Dumbshittery

Alright, in this video, Glenn "Blissful Idiot" Beck trys to say that Rome invented fascism and that its symbol has wiggled into our society. Of course he ignores that fact that the symbol was created by Rome, the LATER used by the fascists. In other words, its a roman symbol not a fascists symbol. You know what, ever mind, just watch yourself. This foo is a moron.



Maximum Dumbshittery!

Now, the person who put this up might be putting more up, so I may have to make this a standing series!

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for standing against fascism. But Glenn Beck doesn't know the first damn thing about fascism. If he did, he would have noticed that everything that Bush did leaned towards fascism. He isn't a person warning about real fascism, he is an idiot spreading idiocy like a virus.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ten Steps to Fascist America

Ten Steps to Fascist America

This blog is based on an article I read on alternet but really wanted to put my own comments in. So if you want to read the whole article without my input, visit alternet.

http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/51150/

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After 9/11, we were told that we were under attack by a terrible terrorist enemy bent on destroying civilization. It is the first step, but not a new one.
Hitler told of the coming dangerous communist infiltrators.
Stalin warned of Sleeper Cells of capitalist bent on over throwing the government.
Pinochet warned of the armed insurgents and hyped it up with fake documents showing the link between real insurgents and made up danger.

2. Create a gulag

Guantanamo Bay was created by President Bush whom was quoted as saying he wanted it to exist in "legal outer space". This is the second step, create a secret prison in which you can torture people, out side the law. It was already deemed that GB did not fall under the laws of the US.

At first, the public sees these secret sites and extra-legal sites as necessary for taking out the trash that is part of the threat.

But soon, these gulags get used for political dissidents and any number of other people who may speak out against the country. Torture is deemed necessary and the morality of torture is blurred as to allow it smooth transition into normal us. Torture is deemed necessary to protect its citizens. However it always eventually gets used on the people.

Here is a challenge question:
Name a single nation who used secret prisons and gulags, and/or a country that tortured people who didn't ultimately end up using it on its own people.

This moral acceptance of torture and gulags as necessary is a big step towards fascism without violence.

3. Develop a thug caste

Hitler had the Brown Shirts. Mussonlini had the Black Shirts. Stalin had the KGB.

currently, the paramilitary mercenary group Blackwater has a contract with our government and can be deployed during a national emergency like a natural disaster. AS well, they are not subject to US laws when serving the government. Even their grounds in the US is not subject to local law enforcement.

In florida, during the 2000 recount, groups of young men dressed exactly alike stormed into the recounting area on several events, past security, and caused a problem until the recount had to stop for the day.

As of four years ago, the president can now control the state national guard despite objections of the governor. Troops were deployed across this country right before the last presidential elections "just in case". Troops are not supposed to be deployed on US soil.

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

Cast in the mold of national security, the people are told that they are being spied on for their own good. Encourage neighbors to watch each other to keep us safe. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and China all employed a secret police.

The FBI and CIA have both been exposed as groups who have been spying on average citizens. They have secret watch lists in which you cannot be taken off of and they have the ability to search your place without warrant or ever telling you about it.

5. Harass citizens' groups

The ACLU reports thousands of environmental groups, anti-war groups, and other groups have been infiltrated by government agents from the CIA and FBI. They have successfully sued under the freedom of information act, the information on a database that holds data on hundreds of activist groups, and data collected on meetings and plans for the group. All being documented and watched by your government.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

Thousands of activists have been subject to being detained and searched for being on supposed "terrorist watch lists" especially at airports. Professor at Princeton Walter F Murphy was one such detained persons. After being detained twice, he asked how he could get on that list. He was asked if he was an anti-war marcher. Well, not exactly, he has given a lecture on the unconstitutionality of the Iraq war. It was enough to get him on the list. He was told there is no way to get your name off the list. All for protesting the war.

Regularly detaining people for no real crime, you create fear.

7. Target key individuals

This is a direct attempt to silence dissidents. Take out the vocal opposition to stop the rally against the crimes of government. They are threatened and fired and made to regret speaking out. Both a military Lawyer and a CIA worker who spoke out that water boarding is torture were fired for their talk.

In the famous US Attorney scandal, all of the US Attorneys who were fired were fired for not being sufficiently politically loyal. Each of them worked in swing states, and each would not file charges against activists and liberals who the administration saw as a danger to them.

8. Control the press

All powerful dictatorships must control the press. They have all managed to control the news to keep it favorable about the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US Journalist are at an all time high. A blogger in San Francisco was put in jail over a year for not turning over an anti-war video. Journalist Greg Palast had a criminal complaint launched against him for "threatening critical infrastructure". This was after he wrote a best seller critical of the Bush administration.

When Joe Wilson broke the story in the NYTimes that the Bush administration knew that the Yellow cake uranium purchase in Niger by Saddam Hussien was completely false, they outed his wife as a CIA agent. She was home on sabbatical, but in a nasty twist of irony, was an undercover spy investigating and tracking underground nuclear materials.

Once the press can be contained, the rest is elementary.

9. Dissent equals treason

When Bill keller, publisher of the NYTimes ran the Lichtblau/Risen Stories, the republicans in congress called for him to be charged with treason. Commentator Conason noted that the penalty for treason was death. Amazingly, many people agree that this reporting that didn't back up what Bush was saying, deserved death! In closed societies, political dissidents are the enemy.

In 2006, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave the president to call any US citizen an enemy combatant. He even has the ability to define what an enemy combatant is, or even change the very terms used to define said enemy combatants. He may also delegate anyone he chooses to have the right to name enemy combatants.

We should remember that it has already been decided that enemy combatants do not have any rights. Even the right of habeus corpus. Courts already proved that enemy combatants do not have the right of habeus corpus. That was before 2006 and was a ground laying ruling. Once the courts deemed that "enemy combatants" don't have any rights, all they had to do is make sure they could call anyone an enemy combatant. By simply speaking out, the president can call you an enemy combatant, and you can now be held without charge in a secret prison, without any communication as to why or your family even knowing. You can be tortured and never released. All at the presidents whim.

10. Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gives the president power over the national guard instead of the states. He can take control over local militia's or mercenary groups to enforce law in the state of emergency. It gave the president the power to use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or "other conditions". This is a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that prevents the use of our military on our soil. Yet, the law stands.

In this country, we have watched the rule of law and the foundation of our republic be eroded away in the name of patriotism and safety. This is the exact thing that our fore fathers feared. When Benjamin Franklin said that a nation that is willing to trade a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither liberty or safety, surely had something like this in mind. When Samuel Johnson said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, surely this is what he meant. The usage of patriotism so quickly becomes a tool to manipulate the public!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Whats Wrong With America Today: Part 3: Contradictions

There is something deeply wrong with our country today. As I have said twice before, I think I know what it is. In part 3 of this series, I examine what I call, Contradictions. Lets take each imbalance on its own.

1. Healthcare
A national health care system would lower business costs dramatically, improve the health of the nation, and allow for its restructure to be more efficient and bring it into the new century technology wise.

Instead, we spend our time arguing on small petty and yes, quaint antiquated arguments on whether or not it is socialism. Lets face it, socialism as it was envisioned is dead. Just like capitalism as it was envisioned. Its time to move on to just "what works". And every industrialized nation besides the US says national healthcare works.

What we have is a contradiction in needs. We all agree we need healthcare reform. It is a contradiction to say that this reform can come within the system we have now. Private health care exists to make a profit. Relying on these same private insurance groups to change health care for our betterment is ridiculous. They will always make changes to benefit themselves. Thus, we need to cease this endless contradiction and say and do what needs to be done. National health care. Health care reform must be different from what it is today. Not the same.

So why aren't we putting this at top priority?

2. Energy.
We should be pushing for clean energy like there is no tomorrow. Because there might not be a tomorrow if we don't. We have the technology, the know how, and the space to make clean energy be the sole power in this country everywhere. We have enough desert to put up solar panels to power the country. We have enough grass land to power it through wind. And enough ocean and empty oil wells for wave power and thermo power.

Instead, we focus on where else we can drill oil in this country. Despite the known fact that even in a best case scenario, we won't have enough to power ourselves for even ten years, and that won't be in effect for nearly ten years, people still obsess over oil on our soil. We constantly here talk and see commercials about how great it will to drill off shore. It is a lame argument at best. So when we say we need to be energy independent, it is a complete contradiction to then say we need to drill more at home, because the two don't mix. Drilling at home can't make us energy independent.

3. Blue Collar Vs. Wall Street
This one really pisses me off. Over the last several weeks we have heard the Obama administration talk about how it doesn't have the power to tear up contracts or force a company to tear up contracts. I'm speaking of course about the AIG bailouts. The government didn't have the power to tear up the contracts of these bonuses.

Oh really? Was it not just five months ago when the government ordered union workers to tear up their contracts, which were lawful and binding, and make new contracts more beneficial to the companies? And did the Obama administration not just force GM CEO Wagoner to step down despite his contract of hire? This is complete contradictory bullshit!

Either you can or you can't ask someone to tear up a contract. Plain and simple. It is a contradiction to say you can't then turn around and force someone to tear up their contract. Not to mention a lie. The Obama administration is supposed to be on the side of labor. So what gives? MORE strong arming of the blue collar companies? Its complete bullshit hypocrisy!

4. Voting in your own best insterest.
This country is badly lacking in people who understand and know how to vote in their own best interest. There isn't a single working class person who should vote republican. Seriously. Nothing in the republican stance and history of the last three decades indicates they should vote republican. Republicans consistently leave office with higher deficits, higher national debt, and higher unemployment than democrats. Reagan to W, all higher unemployment rates than Carter and Clinton. Yet repubs keep voting for them.

Taxes? Nonsense, middle classes taxes have gone down less than 7% total in 3 decades while upper class taxes have gone down nearly 40%. There is a glaring contradiction between the party the blue collars vote for and what is in their own best interest. It simply cannot be reconciled. They have been convinced that some how republicans stand for family values like, well, the family, anti-abortion, and anti-gay rights. Yet, since reagan, Republicans have rolled back restrictions on companies that benefitted the family. W even restricted the ability of working folks to take leave on the FMLA by saying employers could force the person to work unpaid even when they have vacation time to use! They haven't rolled back or made one serious restriction on abortion. The one major rule change was done by Clinton who banned partial birth abortion. They haven't done a thing on gay marriage. Clinton did the biggest law changes with his defense of marriage act and don't ask don't tell, both horrible to any thinking libertarian. Yet, these are laws you would expect out of a republican.

Thus, not even the family issues are in most working class republicans benefit. They have been brainwashed to accept this false hood and accept this contradiction.

It is perhaps the biggest lie and contradiction in politics today. Name any issue, any issue at all, then look at the actual laws and rule made by each party in the last 3 decades. Almost none of them benefit any working class group. Not a one. Because the republican party doesn't work for the middle class. It works for the upper class. And that is the nasty lie, the nasty contradiction they have nearly half of american believing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Single Payer Universal Health Care

Sorry everyone, I have been sick off and on the last week, so I haven't continued my series about what is wrong with America. Instead, today, I have great news. Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont, has introduced the first Single Payer Universal Health care plan to the senate!

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/3/26/713517/-Single-payer-health-reform-bill-introduced-in-Senate

Some highlights include:
Highlights of the bill include the following:

1. Patients go to any doctor or hospital of their choice.

2. The program is paid for by combining current sources of government health spending into a single fund with modest new taxes amounting to less than what people now pay for insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses.

3. Comprehensive benefits, including coverage for dental, mental health, and prescription drugs.

4. While federally funded, the program is to be administered by the states.

5. By eliminating the high overhead and profits of the private, investor-owned insurance industry, along with the burdensome paperwork imposed on physicians, hospitals and other providers, the plan saves at least $400 billion annually - enough money to provide comprehensive, quality care to all.

6. Community health centers are fully funded, giving the 60 million Americans now living in rural and underserved areas access to care.

7. To address the critical shortage of primary care physicians and dentists, the bill provides resources for the National Health Service Corps to train an additional 24,000 health professionals.


Wow. Our time has come for national health care fellow dems, left leaning independents and moders, and national health care supporting republicans. We need to really push our representatives and senators to vote for this! The time is now, the choice is clear, lets get it done people!!!!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Whats Wrong With America Today: Part 2 - The Commodity of Need

Part 2 of this series covers the problem of privatizing ones needs. So we should start off by citing what are our basic needs.

1. Food
2. Water
3. Shelter
4. Heat (in the winter)
5. Cold (in the summer)
6. Clothing
7. Energy
8. Health care

What covers these needs? Farming covers most of your food. Livestock and vegetables and fruits are all functions of farms. Water companies cover the purification of your water that you must have to live. Shelter, well, thats covered by who ever you rent or buy from. Heat and cold and energy all come from private companies mostly. And clothing is covered by stores. Of course health care is mostly covered by private enterprise.

People die from lack of food, lack of water, lack of shelter, of over heating, of freezing to death, lack of clothing, and no energy. It is hard to argue that these are not needs in todays modern world. Its hard to argue that one doesn't need electricity to have their basic needs met. Its hard to argue that you can live a healthy productive life without good health care.

These things are basic needs. I would contend that all needs are in fact rights! In todays modern world, in the richest country in the world, built on the backs of our fore fathers and ancestors, has the obligation to provide for the needs of its population. We have a right to live in such a way. Our fathers and grandfathers broke their backs to make the top 1% in this country extremely wealthy with almost nothing to show for it. Entitlement? Hell yes!

It is the right of the people to benefit from the fruits of their labor. But what do we get? What do we get as a result of our labor? The "right" to pay for what we NEED, what we MUST have, to the great profit of someone else. Our country has effectively made our NEEDS, what we MUST have have, a commodity, an industry for making profit off the people.

They can and do raise their prices for what we needed based on that very need! They raise prices on food because they know we MUST have it. They raise energy prices every single year simply because they know we must have it. Health insurance goes up every year, and we must pay it or we will remain sick and even die! And if we don't have money for it, they we are out of luck. Sure, we have to be treated at the emergency room, but then they can indebt you for life, and even force you to go somewhere else after stabilization, and you don't have to be hospitalized if they can stabilize you.

There is something fundamentally wrong with a system that allowed rampant profit off of what you must have to live. There is something fundamentally wrong with a country that glorifies the man who finds a way to charge you for the gas to heat your house, then demonizes the man who gets upset because he can't afford his gas bill and gets his heat shut off. The people on the right are fond of blaming the victim for such things!

When you make the needs of the people a commodity, you necessarily set up a system that WILL drive the majority into the ground. You will necessarily create a poverty class that will always be behind, that will always be just to poor to pay for all their basic needs. These people are not people who are simply lazy or simply won't pull themselves up by their boot straps. They are people that have been charged into a permanent poverty class by spending all their money on their basic needs until they have nothing left, then they are constantly using every last bit of money to catch up with their bills to keep water or heat or electricity or food on the table until they finally collapse.

Making the provision of basic needs a profit industry, we have created a permanent poverty class, a permanent lower middle class and poor class. Having been poor and known many poor people, I can say that the ability to get out of the poverty situation is extremely difficult and most definitely not promised by hard work. Its not like the majority of those impoverished can get out of their situation by hard work. Why? Because we aren't guaranteed higher education. We aren't even guaranteed our basic needs in life. With basic needs and education guaranteed, the average person would be able to pull themselves out of the gutter and make a decent living for themselves.

But instead, we have created a situation in which people simply cannot work their way up. And all the while, people are forced to continue to work under near slave conditions simply so they can provide SOME of their basic needs. The money they get from slaving away all day goes to fund the fat cats making themselves extremely wealthy by charging you exorbitant prices for what you must have to survive! Do these blue collar poor worker less hard than you? Are they less important than anyone else? Is their value or even the value of their work any less? If you cannot do without them in your business, then the answer is no, its not worthless than you. If your business cannot survive without a specific position, then they are much more valuable than you likely pay them.

The striving goal of the wealthy is not to benefit society but to take advantage of it. By under paying people, paying them less than the value to the over all company. They make sure to transfer wealth from the lower classes to themselves. Example. The value of a worker is the value of the product he makes. But that is not what happens. A worker makes 15 20 even 30 dollars per hour making a good. A good that he will likely buy. So he is paid his wages, buys the product, thus putting his wages back into the company. So while he is making wages per hour dollars, someone else, or many someone elses, are making the equivalent of thousands per hour. The real value of the labor is chronically and deliberately understated as to make the wage worker believe he is getting paid well when in reality, in relation to the wealth received for the product, he is well under paid to the benefit of a few upper classmen.

For those unfortunate to make even less money, they are taken advantage of even worse. Consider the example of McDonalds. You say someone flipping burgers gets the pay they deserve. Do they? The value of ones labor is the value of the product they produce or the service they give. If a store makes 5,000 dollars in sales during one lunch period, not uncommon for McDonalds, then you must consider that the value of the wage associates during that period must be worth 5,000 dollars. Yet, during that lunch hour, that one hour pay comes out to likely less than 50 total dollars in labor for the store. Their value has thus been reduced, in total, to 1% of the value of the product they produce or the service they provide.

Which brings me to closing. Where ever the wages or pay of a person do not equal in total, the value of the product or the service they provide, then that person is under paid. Combine this with charging them to much for the product they produce, and charging them for basic things they need to survive, you create a class of people that cannot and will not ever get to the point where they can move up in live or class. This is by design to prevent any threat of wealth distribution from those who horde it to those who produce it!

What is wrong with this country? Needs being made into an industry for profit. Your basic needs be sold off to you at what ever price they can squeeze out of you. And there isn't a thing you can do about it. To make things worse, they convince you that you some how have a grand deal while your labor earns a few millions, and you barely enough to buy back the products you made from them. Thus giving them even more of your earnings. Until this problem can be addressed, life will never resemble the equality it should in this country.