Common Sense, National Pride, and a Pinch of Compassion: Isn’t it that simple?

This entry is part 14 of 21 in the series: Bert's Eye View

Six months ago I moved back to the U.S. after living in Central America for three years.

I had limited exposure to the media and the events occurring in the U.S. and the rest of the world.  When I did take the time to read about political, social, and economic issues, I would scratch my head and ask myself:  “What are these people thinking of?”  I had the luxury of a certain degree of detachment. I really had no plans of living in the States again.

Now, being a part of ‘those people’ again, I’m asking myself:  “How and when did this happen?”  Being separated from day-to-day life in the U.S. for just a short period of time gave me the opportunity to be more objective—looking at things from a distance.  Sort of like watching a football game as a spectator, rather than a player and realizing that playing Monday Morning Quarterback is a hell of a lot easier than strategizing in real time. I wondered what would future historians and anthropologists say looking back at how we are living today?  “WTF??” should about cover it.

Now, I have some concerns and a lot of questions I would like to throw out there, and I realize that these are just my observations.  I’m trying to present this in a non-inflammatory, non-political manner. These points should maybe be looked at as societal—the human condition. No Republicans. No Democrats.  No Conservatives.  No Liberals. These two groups are so focused on bitch-slapping each other that they have basically managed to cancel out anything constructive that could have, or can be accomplished.  They go sooooo overboard in either direction that, for me, it’s like watching a ping-pong game where nobody ever wins.  We have become a laughingstock to the rest of the world.

Common sense should be the main ingredient, with a dash of national pride, and a pinch of compassion.  If we can manage this, all of the other stuff will fall into place.  This is not meant to inflame or start a discussion.  These are just things I have noticed.  You may agree, or you may not.

So–Here are some ideas for a more enlightened and constructive society:

RELIGION:  Organized religion was developed as a means to guide a populace toward a common goal—oddly enough, usually the goal of the guy ultimately holding the purse strings.  It is a means of garnering power, control, and money in a society.  People all over the world die, because they each have their own book written by guys with different opinions and different goals.  So they fight over whose book, prophet or god is better.  This has been going on for a millennia, and you would think that we would have figured this out by now.

Spirituality, morality, compassion and religion are very different things. Religious leaders refer to their followers as a flock, for very good reason.  Baaaaaah!! Use your head.  We have all, I hope, been instilled with a moral compass.

Now, if some people insist on getting together a few times a week to play with snakes and speak in tongues—that’s okay.  Just mind your own business and keep it to yourself.  It’s embarrassing.  Don’t scream quotes from a book and convince yourselves that you need to foment changes in other people’s lives according to your interpretation of something that was written a long time before people had the knowledge base to explain things.  And, if you must, please find a place to relocate so that you can all be together.  Please keep this and other nonsense out of our government and educational systems.

People used to be tortured and then executed for saying what I just said, by … guess who?? That’s right! The Church of Whoever’s Power Base Was Being Threatened.

Maybe we should remove this from our thought processes, in how we deal with our everyday lives in a modern world and decide to not be sheep?

It seems that people are trying to explain different phenomena in different ways.  Instead of anything scientific being considered “heresy”, maybe people should shut the hell up and read.  Re-evaluate your position based on new information.

Henry P. Stapp is a theoretical physicist at the University of California Berkeley. He worked with some of the founding fathers of quantum mechanics. He does not seek to prove that the soul exists, but he does say that the existence of the soul fits within the laws of physics. A great deal of what the old dudes wrote about can be explained scientifically, now that we “get it.”

POLITICS: Wow, where do we start on this one?  The political process isn’t even a process anymore. It’s embarrassing.  The corruption has always been there, but at least in the old days they had the good taste to be sneaky about it.  In the last two administrations, legal and moral abominations have been so blatant and in-your-face, it amazes me. And it’s not like people don’t “get it.”  I do.  The problem is that our power to do anything about it has gradually been eroded to the point of nada.

Really, who are we going to run and tell?  Congress?  The Senate?  The Supreme Court?  Think about it.  Oddly enough, most of the members of these austere institutions are corporately “sponsored” to the point where they’ll soon be displaying logos on their cars, boats, houses, clothing—even on their kids.

These are pretty exclusive clubs, and the only way to have your membership taken away is by pissing off your sponsors to the point where they’ll take their campaign money elsewhere and elect their next employee.

The reason membership is so valued and treasured? … These entities create their own reality, pretty much without limits. They decide how much to pay themselves including retirement and health benefits, and effectively set themselves up as a ruling class. The only oversight is provided by their peers.  Probably, the most addictive aspect of membership is power.

All of this is controlled by the cat-daddies of finance.  They are the stockholders of The Federal Reserve, the banks, and the major corporations. They decide on their agendas, and they go out and buy the politicians to make it happen.

“Some people think that the Federal Reserve Banks are United States Government institutions. They are private monopolies, which prey upon the people of these United States for the benefit of themselves and their foreign customers; foreign and domestic speculators and swindlers; and rich and predatory money lenders.” – The Honorable Louis McFadden, Chairman of the House Banking and Currency Committee in the 1930s .

Do you think we should maybe stop allowing corporations to buy our government and eliminate the Fed?  Oh wait—the only way that could happen is by changing the laws that allow it, and the only people who can do that are the ones sucking the corporate titty …

How about we impose term limits, and stop allowing these monkeys to govern themselves?

Maybe form a united front to oust the current politicians at the polls?  Oh wait—then the corporations will finance the next campaign for their next employee.  Media time is king.  Deep pockets footing the bill for airtime—and of course, if it’s on TV or we read it, we believe it.

Why has this happened?  Because we are sheep.  We believe anything we are told.  This to me is the singlemost unnerving issue we are faced with because I don’t see a way to fix it from within.  Dealing with any of these issues is totally counterproductive for club members, therefore, it won’t happen. We do have the advantage of the incredible ability to disseminate information.  It looks like Grassroots Initiative will be the only way to ensure that people have the right to oversee what their government is doing.  Enough signatures collected will put solutions to problems on a ballot.

ECONOMICS: I am a dyed-in-the-wool capitalist. There. I said it.  I believe that hard work should be rewarded.  I think that redistribution of wealth is horse shit.  It does nothing but create mediocrity and drags down the system as a whole.

BUT … What if corporate America took a little nick out of record-breaking profits and,

  1. Had fewer tax breaks on profits,
  2. Paid a fair minimum wage to their employees?

Success is a wonderful thing, but you gotta be reasonable.  If we can’t play nice, there may come a time where we can’t play at all.  History shows us that people will eventually get pissed off if they work hard and still don’t have a decent quality of life.

Upping the minimum wage should infuse the entire economy.  The more money people make, the more they have to spend.  Pretty simple.  There would be less need for financial government assistance if people could work full time and actually make more money than the government gives them.  They pump that cash back into the flow. These kind of adjustments should occur organically, but greed has not allowed this to happen.  Play fair.  If, for nothing else, do it for your own self-preservation so that you don’t kill the ol’golden goose. Time to wise up before everything goes to shit.

By tightening up the tax and subsidy situation a little, we could fund education, address our problems with homelessness, and health care. If we weren’t spending all of our money on wars and foreign aid, we would probably notice a marked increase in our quality of life. Hell, maybe we could take care of our veterans. We could invest in our infrastructure, create jobs, I dunno.

If there is a reason for war, other than profit, okay.  I gotta say though, nothing I’ve seen in recent history qualifies.  We’re not going to agree with everyone in the world.  In most cases, people have been fighting for many, many years. Sometimes, you just have to mind your own business.  At the end of the day, these people will still hate each other and the U.S. All that we will have accomplished is the sacrifice of our people’s lives and bled our country of trillions of dollars, most of which is flowing right into the corporate pockets who own the politicians creating the wars. We are being lied to. Time to wake up????

I’m not a big conspiracy guy, as a rule. I have friends who would spin a conspiracy out of my dog pissing on a mailbox.  So—that’s the one extreme.  The other one would be the masses who believe everything being shoveled at them, blindly.  No question, no doubt.  Somewhere between the two, lies truth.

The banking industry is beyond ridiculous, but it always has been and probably always will be.  There again—how about kicking in a little?  How about maybe not making a huge profit center out of educating our kids?  Assholes.  I’m really disturbed by the number of college-aged kids I talk to who have no intention of furthering their education. They don’t want to spend half of their lives paying off student loan debt.  They are not knuckleheads either—they are kids who should be in school. The rest of the world realizes the value of educating their people. They must be getting a real kick out of watching us self-destruct.

For the most part, I’m supportive of a laissez-faire economic model.  Loosely translated—Let it be. This is a good basis, I think. Below is a simple definition. The only one that has gone south is #4.  Without going into a rant, this is the basis for our problems and why we don’t own our government.

Fundamentals of laissez-faire
As a system of thought, laissez-faire rests on the following axioms:

  1. The individual is the basic unit in society.
  2. The individual has a natural right to freedom.
  3. The physical order of nature is a harmonious and self-regulating system.
  4. Corporations are creatures of the State, and therefore must be watched closely by the citizenry due to their propensity to disrupt the Smithian spontaneous order.

There will always be the Rothschild, Koch, and Bush types dictating world economy.  But, I don’t have to like it and pretend that it doesn’t exist.

So, here are a few specific things I’ve noticed that really chap my ass:

“The War on Drugs”

I get nervous any time I see our government declare a “war” on anything.  I read something kind of funny a few days ago.  Someone suggested that we declare a “war on jobs.”

Several issues come to mind here, all inter-related and all involving powerful businesses with powerful and incredibly well-funded lobbyists throwing money at our dedicated servants in Washington D.C.

Marijuana/Hemp—This one is a real hotbed.  Here are the businesses owning this issue with their lobbyists picking up the tab for some hellacious parties and perks for our politicians:

  • Privatized Prisons—Maybe half of these prisoners are non-violent offenders and a huge percentage of those for marijuana.  Wow, if weed became legal—there goes the revenue stream…  It has come out recently that there are actual quotas that states need to fill by contract with these companies.  If their occupancy rates are not maintained it costs them money.
  • Petroleum Companies—Hemp oil is a threat to the plastics industry as a biodegradable plastic component.  It’s also a real threat to synthetic petroleum-based fabric producers and textile producers. Hemp fibers also have applications in the paper industry and hemp grows very quickly.
  • Pharmaceutical Companies—What happens to the sales of addictive painkillers when weed is legal?  Pot has been shown to have incredible pain management and appetite stimulus qualities and the cannabinoids have been shown to kill cancer cells without harming healthy cells.  Damn—there goes chemotherapy, drug sales too …
  • Law Enforcement Agencies—A lot of jobs revolve around policing weed.  Labor unions do not want to see the gravy train go away.

Maybe we should legalize marijuana and create a huge tax base?  Duh.  Look at what has happened in Colorado.  Read

Monsanto—Come on. What the hell? This law isn’t going anywhere soon.  Supreme Court Judge, Clarence Thomas was Monsanto’s attorney.  Call me crazy, but I don’t see anything good coming of this company working toward a monopoly of our food sources.

Once again, a good part of the rest of the world is paying attention and has banned GMO’s and the poisons they produce.

“The War on Terror”

Has anybody noticed who has made astronomical amounts of money on this?  Has anybody noticed what has happened to our rights and the almost unlimited powers the government has given itself since 9/11?

What’s the answer?  Shit. I don’t know. What I do know is that the only real, honest discourse available to all of us is online, communicating as we are right now, without the censoring of media giants.

We had better be damn vigilant about keeping the internet open—unregulated, and uncensored.

Later,
Bert

Photo: ©Julie Anderson All Rights Reserved








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Bert Woodson

Bert Woodson currently lives on Florida’s Gulf Coast in Cortez, with his Rhodesian Ridgeback, Colt, and Colt’s kitty Woof. (Yes, he named him.)

2 thoughts on “Common Sense, National Pride, and a Pinch of Compassion: Isn’t it that simple?

  1. Shareen Mansfield Reply

    My question is who is supporting all this stupidity?? Is there a chance for society if the polls are right? I haven’t taken a single poll supporting anything close to what is being reported. Yet, looking at my newsfeed on FB I see the supporters. Fear. All I know right now is fear.

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