Saturday, November 24, 2012

Secret Police, Drone Strikes, now Robotic Police. Is America becoming a Police State?

It is no longer extreme to say that America is rapidly degenerating into a fascist state. Why not? While many Americans loosely throw the term around when describing other countries, let's take a look at the definition. Facism is a movement that places the nation above the individual, has a centralized, absolute government, oppressive economic and social regimentation and suppresses political opposition with the use of force.

Instead of rejecting the notion that we are becoming a fascist state based on the stigmata that surrounds the issue, why not compare the practices of the American government to the actual definition.

                     Definition                                                                   Policy

 Places the nation above the individual        Drone Strikes kill U.S. citizens that never stood trial     
                                                                 in the name of national security.                   

                                                                 The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, which                  
                                                                 allows the military to detain without a trial any
                                                                 American citizen accused of being a terrorist or   
                                                                 “suspected” of supporting terrorist activity. Many people would 
                                                                 be surprised to know that many "terrorist" organizations are 
                                                                 institutions based right here in America. American journalists, 
                                                                 people who store up lots of food, those who participate in social 
                                                                 networks, young people and many regular citizens are now 
                                                                 "terrorist suspects". 

Centralized, absolute government               The Military Commissions Act of 2006, which (in the
                                                                 event of crisis) would grant the President absolute 
                                                                 dictatorial power over government and the people with  
                                                                 no checks and balances. While many would  argue these extreme   
                                                                 measures are for our protection, measures like these enabled 
                                                                 Hitler to create fascist Germany.

Economic and social regimentation               As of 2007, the top one percent owned 42 percent of
                                                                   the country’s financial wealth. The bottom 80 percent
                                                                   owned only seven percent of America's wealth. Looks
                                                                   like economic regimentation has become pretty severe.

Suppresses opposition with force                 The most recent examples of forceful suppression  
                                                                   are the instances in which protesters in the occupy movements     
                                                                   were brutalized for exercising their right of assembly.  
84 year-old woman at Occupy Seattle after being sprayed with pepper spray.

Although you won't find America listed as one of the countries that has maintained a department of secret police in Wikipedia, the federal agency COINTELPRO fits the definition to the tee. We never learned of their existence until 1971, and they were responsible for discrediting and disrupting political agendas that didn't align with their ideologies, planted false media stories, published inaccurate and inflammatory propaganda, gave perjured testimonies and violated almost every American liberty that one can imagine, including murder.

A successful COINTELPRO operation to murder Fred Hampton.

I'm sure that although the existence of America's secret police has become declassified, there is another "classified" agency that has taken its place. 

Mussolini once said, "Fascism should be more accurately called corporatism, because it is a merger of state and corporate power.

The Citizens United ruling, made by the Supreme Court in 2010, is America's way of saying that from this point forward, all government offices are up for sale. For instance, in the recent presidential election, billionaire Sheldon Adelson set a new record by donating a whopping 70 million dollars to help Mitt Romney win. Though 70 million dollars may seem like a lot of money to gamble on a candidate that may or may not win, under Romney's tax plan, Adelson would have saved 2.3 billion. Since Adelson has a net worth of over 20 billion dollars, the 70 million he dropped on the Romney campaign was a mere "drop in the bucket" that could have brought him a 3000 percent return on investment. When wealthy corporate interests dominate government, you then have the epitome of a fascist system. To say that America is "free" while nearly all of our freedoms have been eliminated with the aid of a corporate-owned government is inaccurate and illogical.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The REAL Reason Why BarackObama Won the Election

Barack Obama, the post-partisan candidate who recently won the election of 2012, defeated Mitt Romney so badly that Republicans across America want to know just how he did it. Despite Republican claims that Obama was a foreigner, assaults on his personal character and multilevel attempts of voter suppression across the country, President Obama seemed to effortlessly stride to victory. The truth of the matter is that Mitt Romney was never a worthy opponent for BarackObama in the first place.
Americans, it seems, have learned the lesson from President Bush that you can’t trust a double talking liar to lead the country effectively. For instance, Romney claimed to be against abortion, but  invested heavily in a company that disposed of aborted fetuses. 

As Mitt Romney flip-flopped his way down the campaign trail, the Obama campaign took carefully planned steps to ensure his second term. Everything from Mitt Romney’s stance on immigration to his renowned statement: “Let Detroit go bankrupt”, only added to his nefarious reputation.

While Romney built his campaign foundation on slander and negativity, BarackObama continued to build more campaign headquarters, until he had far more than Romney. In Ohio alone, BarackObama had 122 campaign headquarters, compared to Romney’s 40.
Every Republican that has ever become President has won Ohio; therefore, it would seem like Romney would have allocated some of that money he was using to run negative ads to building campaign headquarters in Ohio and other battleground states. Not so. It seems that Romney was counting on the immense sums of money given to his campaign by Super PAC donors like Sheldon Adelson—billionaire casino developer and nuclear power plant owner—to impact “low-information voters” through television ads. In the years of yore, before catastrophic Bush Years, when the white voting bloc reigned supreme, these tactics may have worked.
But the demographics of America are changing, and where white voters formerly held the electoral majority, the “minority” vote has become the majority, and white voter numbers are in rapid decline. This means that while the Republican Party has made it their business to cater to the ideologies of the white voting bloc, they will now be forced to change their strategy.
The effect that demographics had on seven key battleground states was immense. Shifting demographics turned what could have equated to a victory for Romney, into a landslide for Obama in Ohio, Virginia, Iowa, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Nevada and Colorado.

 BarackObama is a President the American people can trust, not someone who says one thing in the eyes of the public and something else in a private conference room.

 Mitt Romney, on the other hand, wouldn’t even release his taxes for the American people to see. Obama accomplished many good things in his first four years as President: growing job growth, reducing healthcare costs and killing Bin Laden, just to name a few.

 But besides running a superior campaign, Obama is likeable, trustworthy and honest. Even Romney's fellow Republicans can't stand him. After losing, these words spoken by political analyst Larry Sabato ring true: ""I just don't think Romney ever established an emotional connection with much of anybody in the party. He was essentially a cyborg designed to win the presidency, and when he failed he was placed in the disposal bin." Good riddance Mitt Romney!

mitt romney pumping gas
Mitt Romney pumping gas

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Culture and Tradition of The Geechee-Gullah People, and How It's Coming to an End.

Geechee-Gullah islanders have created some of the most profitable plantations in the American industry in the coastal regions of Southeast America with their rice fields, from as far south as Florida and as far north as North Carolina. They have also inserted and established themselves as vital fixtures in United States history, while continually practicing ethnic traditions from West Africa since they arrived in the mid-1700s.

Today, the culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people is beginning to fade away, due to modern encroachments on land and vital resources. But their cultural traditions still live strong for the time being, and teach that every life lesson is essential to learning, even while having fun.
William S. Pollitzer writes, "Readers will learn of the indigo and rice growing skills that slaves taught to their masters, the echoes of an African past that are hand-wrought into baskets and made known through family quilts, the forms and phrasings that identify characteristics of Gullah speech."

Building a culture requires values; the culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people are reflected in their daily lives and activities. Weaving is a way for children to hone their skills for society and integrate themselves into the culture and tradition of Geechee-Gullah life.
Folklore and storytelling are used, effectively, to convey life lessons to impressionable children. In Joel Chandler Harris's book "Brer Rabbit and the Tar-Baby", young readers are taught a valuable lesson about life choices, risks and decisions. In the well-known tale, Brer Rabbit will approach the Tar Baby, try to socialize with the inanimate figure and then respond violently by striking the Tar Baby. By doing so, Brer Rabbit falls right into the trap set by Brer Fox.

The culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people also incorporate song and dance as a way to provide fun, recreation,spiritual development and moral advancement to children. In the movie, "Tales From The Land Of Gullah For Kids", by Clark Santee and Anita Singleton-Prather and the Gullah Kinfolk--a contemporary work--lyrics from well known songs are recited and passed down from generation to generation, like Kumbayah and many others. These songs reflect the spiritual values and expectations of community whilst fostering a reverence for God.

Festivals and events reinforce many popular African traditions, and provide the type of exuberant events that kids love. Festivals are held in at least five states across the southeastern seaboard, such as the Winyah Bay Festival in South Carolina and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Remembrance in Georgia. These fun-filled festivals serve as valuable reinforcements of the culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people, and are  centered around positive recreation as well as music, dance, folklore and more.

Unfortunately, the culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people may soon come to an end. On
June 8, 2001, Dahleen Glanton, of the Chicago Tribune, reported that federal officials conceded to their "inabilty" to protect theses cultures from the ensuing land encroachment.

Since the government already owns approximately 97 percent of the land where the islanders reside, it seems like they may be satisfied, and tolerate the inhabitants of tiny islands, like the residents of Sapelo Island Ga., but apparently not. As of late this year, the government says that it will increase taxes on the 50 or so residents of Sapelo Island by 540 percent. 

The feds have already warned us that we should expect to see such increases in the remaining three percent of areas that are inhabited by the Geechee and Gullah people. It seems that three or four hundred dollars a year isn't enough; taxes will be raised to two or three thousand dollars per year for the small houses on the island with tin roofs, and the government's insatiable quest for land and resources will drive the culture and tradition of the Geechee-Gullah people into oblivion.

In Geechee-Gullah culture, folklore heavily influences their sense of moral responsibility. Song and dance are intertwined with religious traditions reaching back to ancient African roots,so if song, dance, storytelling, spirituality and prose are the cornerstones of successful Geechee and Gullah cultures, then the dominance, indignation and greed perpetrated on the world by America  is the equivalent of  Brer Rabbit's ambition to beat up the Tar Baby. It seems like imperialist America stands to gain nothing more from the Geechee-Gullah people, so it's time for them to leave the land that they have cultivated for hundreds of years.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

What Was so Revolutionary About the American Revolution?

The great superpower that we know today as America started off with humble beginnings. Initially, the newly established settlements were known as the Thirteen Colonies of British America. But the fact that denizens of these colonies were considered to be subjects of the British Empire without having a voice in the policies and legislation that affected them caused tension between colonists and the British authorities for more than a decade before the outbreak of the American Revolution in 1775.

American colonists demanded the same rights as other British subjects, but British authorities gave them no consideration despite their qualms, viewing them as outcasts of high society, incapable of self-determination and undeserving of respect. Instead, Britain flaunted its might and imposed its will on the colonies through a series of direct taxes (later known as the "Stamp Act"). Not only did Great Britain increase taxes on the American colonists, it restricted trade to other countries through the Navigation Acts, stymied the economic development of the colonies through the Molasses Act and blocked the expansion of American settlers with the Royal Proclamation of 1763. 

The American colonies enjoyed a certain degree of freedom and autonomy during the initial period of their establishment, but now British authorities seemed bent on putting the colonies in their place and asserting British dominance. After the French and Indian Wars were won, Great Britain expected Americans to contribute to the defense of the empire, and the colonies would be taxed a yearly sum of £78,000. Americans rejected the notion that it owed Britain anything, based on the fact that they had no representation in the Parliament.

Parliament would not entertain such foolish notions, and subsequently declared that it had the right to levy any tax without colonial approval. Furthermore, in 1764 and 1765, Parliament enacted several more restrictive laws such as the  Sugar Act, the Currency Act and the Quartering Acts, all of which Americans deeply resented.

Sugar Act Inflames Indignance About the American Revolution

Tensions finally boiled over and American resistance to imperialism culminated in violence on one fateful day in 1770, when British soldiers opened fire on a mob of colonists. This day will forever be known as the Boston Massacre. But the feature about the American Revolution that makes it so special is not the fact that Americans took up arms against an oppressive force, it is the fact that the ideals behind the revolution solidified a divided nation and reinforced the determination of the colonists in order to make their efforts successful.

Benjamin Franklin spreads propaganda about the American Revolution

Another aspect about the American revolution that makes it groundbreaking is the fact that it broke the mold of history by seeking to bring republicanism and liberalism together in a way that had never before been witnessed on the face of the Earth. Americans would be the first to establish a new order that was radically different from any preceding orders. This new order was founded on the following principles:

  •  Rights come from God, not government
  •  Every aspect of political power must come from the people
  •  Limited representative republic
  •  Written Constitution
  •  Private Property Rights

Immanuel Kant, one of the greatest philosophers of all time, insists that revolution is a “natural” step in the realization of a higher ethical foundation for society. In fact, according to historians, Kant's ideas helped serve as a basis for the American revolution. However, one can't help but to wonder: If we have established a "higher ethical foundation for society" through revolution, then why does corruption, civil oppression and moral degradation still run rampant in American society? The definition of a revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Considering this definition, it stands to reason that one may also be curious to know just what type of social change the "revolution" instigated, and just what was so revolutionary about the American Revolution?

Modern scholars lay claim to the widely accepted belief that the American Revolution was a unique and radical event that produced deep changes and had a deep-rooted impact on the world, centered around an increasing belief in the principles of the Enlightenment. While interpretations about the American Revolution vary, I think it safe to say that the universal ideals of The Enlightenment, such as the equality of all men, has not been practiced by America in the past or the present, nor is it likely to be practiced by this country in the future.

The simple fact about the American Revolution is that it was not revolutionary at all. The reason why it was not is because it did not transform colonial society in any radical way. The only thing the colonists did was replace a distant government with a local one. Furthermore, until the Supreme Court ruling in 2012, America was the only country in the world that sentenced teenagers and pre-teens to life sentences without the possibility of parole. We have also usurped sovereign nations, such as Hawaii, in the interest of big business, supported corruption and terrorism abroad and destroyed healthy, domestic political movements through clandestine subterfuge, right here in America. This type of behavior does not exemplify a system of lofty moral values, does it?

Today, the right to free speech has been all but abolished with the implementation of "free speech zones", which were first used by President Bush as a means to suppress the negative publicity surrounding the Iraq War. The Fourth Amendment has been taken under siege by policies implemented under the Bush Administration and the stop and frisk policy of New York. Additionally, America asserted the right imprison any American citizen "suspected" of being a terrorist indefinitely when it passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, not to mention recent drone strikes, which killed American citizens "suspected" of terrorism without trial.

 How would the founding fathers have looked upon the current state of affairs in America today. A saying from Benjamin Franklin comes to mind when I think about these recent "anti-terrorism" policies. He said that people who are willing to trade in their liberty for a little bit of temporary security don't deserve to have either.
As the level of freedom in America decreases, the middle class continues to be eliminated and the vast aperture between the rich and the poor continues to grow, it seems that America is in need of a "real" revolution. And while the American Revolution freed the colonists from the oppression of Great Britain, what will it take to make sure modern Americans are safe from their own government? My prediction: A revolution.