Monday, July 30, 2007

Going postal

There comes a time when the space between the rock and the hard place final just squishes together. There is no way out and nowhere to turn to relieve the pressure. There is no help to be found. Anywhere.

When that happens, one of two things occurs. Either one gives up entirely or they explode. The giving up is when the energy expended keeping that space open is finally exhausted and the last spark of spirit is snuffed out. If one is not suicidal then one enters despair and becomes utterly depressed and incapable of handling anything much beyond breathing.

The other thing that can happen is the nuclear reaction. The one where all of one's remaining energy is compressed into a critical mass of anger that is turned on those who are seen as the reason for one's suffering.

I know these are all generalities, but these are the essential features of the pervasive pathology of American society today. The canaries in our society are dropping like flies. And no one seems to care. What they don't realize is that when the canaries start dropping it won't be long before everyone else does too.

What drives me nuts about when a "going postal" event occurs is that people always ask if anyone could "read the signs." And there are often signs. But some reason, and for peoplel like me who can see it coming inside myself, there is nothing anyone can do. Even if you tell people they just pat your head and say "I'm sorry." It isn't until the end of the rope is reach and you can't hold on anymore and something happens that is considered a crime that the whole weight of the state machinery grinds into motion. But that motion is not about addressing your inability to cope, but rather the crime you committed because of the inability to cope. And so, even tho you told people you needed help, there was nothing they could do. And thus, abandoning a elderly parent in your care is a crime of elder abuse even tho the first abuse was of the care-giver with no room between the rock and hard place. And then you go squish whereupon the state then steam rolls you in addition to already being a crushed grape. Feh.

Thomas Paine and OUR crisis

At the top of one of last week's Information Clearing House newsletter is this quote from Thomas Paine's "Common Sense."

Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour; a long habit of not thinking a thing WRONG, gives it a superficial appearance of being RIGHT, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. As a long and violent abuse of power, is generally the Means of calling the right of it in question (and in Matters too which might never have been thought of, had not the Sufferers been aggravated into the inquiry) and as the King of England hath undertaken in his OWN RIGHT, to support the Parliament in what he calls THEIRS, and as the good people of this country are grievously oppressed by the combination, they have an undoubted privilege to inquire into the pretensions of both, and equally to reject the usurpation of either.

If there was ever a time to dust off the reasons for the Declaration of Independence it is now.

The greatest voice of the American Revolution was Thomas Paine. He spoke plainly in the universal language of all humanity. There is no question that what we face today is no less than the offenses of an empire against a colony, and considerably more than a mere bad bump in our Constitutional existence as a nation of free and self-governing people.

There can be no doubt that there has been a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same object of reducing the people under absolute despotism. This is what led the forefathers to declare their independence from England. This is what led the French to turn their streets into rivers flowing with the blood of the aristocracy. The suffering of the French peasants (as it was 100 years ago in America and as it is now) was such that living was dying and it mattered not which one they did. And so they gave their lives to establish liberty, equality, and fraternity.

Of these words, liberty, equality, and fraternity, the last is the most important. It is the root of what touches off all movements against oppression. For it is only in our fellowship with others that our own survival depends and that where there is "an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."

It is in fraternity that equality is derived. For when we are all thought of as brother and sisters of the human family, then, when anyone deems themselves superior to another and is indifferent to the suffering they cause, they have abdicated their own humanity. How much worse if such indifference is in the pursuit of personal gain or glory, and most particularly, if it is pursued with the lives and deaths of others.

Liberty is the desire of all people to live unmolested by the pettinesses and superficial morality of those with tiny minds and even tinier hearts. It is the desire to not be under constant assault by the whims of others or their rapacious greed to take from you all that you have or will ever have and ensure that your living and dying will have served no purpose except to make them rich.

The arbitrariness of a heartless government and the crushing despair it engenders is creating horrific suffering not only in the lives of Americans, but around the world. Policies kill as surely as bullets and bombs. I have yet to discover the reason why such policies are pursued, and yet I cannot nor shall I ever know, for I am not one of their kind.

As Thomas Paine expressed in all his writings and as the forefathers attested to in the Declaration of Independence, everyone has the desire and the right to be free from enslaved bondage to another, for their lives never to be forfeit for the petty pleasures of the powerful, to be treated as a sovereign equal to all others, and to find what modest happinesses life allows us to enjoy between our birth and death.

We the People are sovereign. We have not only the right, but the duty to assert that sovereignty when in the course of human events not only our country, but our very lives depend on it. Do not be fooled into, or be foolish about, thinking we are not at risk. We stand at the very edge of oblivion. We have stood at this edge since that day Oppenheimer saw the first nuclear explosion in the history of humankind and uttered the words, "I am become death."

But unlike John F. Kennedy who, having a healthy respect for the opinions of mankind and cared about the lives of everyday people and therefore stood down from nuclear annihilation, we have people running our country today who exhibit the height of arrogance and an absolute indifference to the sentiments proper to human beings. The illegitimacy of this administration and the illegality by which it rules is matched only by the depth of ignorance gripping our congress and the general public as to the crisis we face.

This ignorance extends also to ignorance of their own sovereignty and their duty to put a stop to the despotism and tyranny that spreads like a cancer across the nation and around the world.

By the time enough people realize the true danger we are in it will be far too late to do anything about it. By that time the only thing that will matter is whether death comes today or tomorrow. Do not think this too far fetched. History is rife with despotism, tryranny, war, holocaust, and genocide. Do NOT forget there was a time when underground shelters were built in the hope of surviving what might come. We thought we had backed off from that precipice. But those who were prevented from crossing that line during the 1960s are now in possession of the greatest annihilative arsenal the world has ever known.

Just as our forefathers knew that those with unfettered power are not to be trusted, this administration has shown itself to exercise its power cruelly, recklessly, with egregious malice aforethought, and a truly depraved indifference to the suffering and death they cause. As for congress doing business as usual as if we are only dealing with a minor inconvenience that will soon blow over, they show themselves as abdicators of their solemn oath to protect the people, to protect our country, and to protect the very principles that brought forth this nation. A pox on them all.

Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to "bind me in all cases whatsoever" to his absolute will, am I to suffer it? What signifies it to me, whether he who does it is a king or a common man; my countryman or not my countryman; whether it be done by an individual villain, or an army of them? If we reason to the root of things we shall find no difference; neither can any just cause be assigned why we should punish in the one case and pardon in the other. Let them call me rebel and welcome, I feel no concern from it; but I should suffer the misery of devils, were I to make a whore of my soul by swearing allegiance to one whose character is that of a sottish, stupid, stubborn, worthless, brutish man. I conceive likewise a horrid idea in receiving mercy from a being, who at the last day shall be shrieking to the rocks and mountains to cover him, and fleeing with terror from the orphan, the widow, and the slain of America.

There are cases which cannot be overdone by language, and this is one. There are persons, too, who see not the full extent of the evil which threatens them; they solace themselves with hopes that the enemy, if he succeed, will be merciful. It is the madness of folly, to expect mercy from those who have refused to do justice; and even mercy, where conquest is the object, is only a trick of war; the cunning of the fox is as murderous as the violence of the wolf, and we ought to guard equally against both. (The Crisis, Thomas Paine)

The line is drawn where it has always been drawn. Thomas Paine re-drew it over 200 years ago as did the authors of the Declaration of Independence and Constitution. Forget about party or ideology or any of the petty issues of the day. This is about whether people stand on the side of humanity and fellowship and mutual survival, or, if they would sell their soul for a few dollars more. It is time to choose.

PS: to see how Paine's words have been twisted to support a failed policy, read
Airmen should stand proud and be ready

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Health care and taxes

In my previous post I said I didn't know what specifically bugged me about the judgement to take my daughter off the state's low income health care program and put her on her dad's medical "insurance" plan.

I finally figured out what bugs me about it. According to the magistrate's own statement, it is NOT ok to have people pay taxes that will benefit the general population, but it IS ok to mandate that they pay money to a profit-making share-holder business.

Whether money leaves the wallet in terms of taxes or premiums makes no difference to the wallet. What DOES make a difference is how much and what the person gets for it.

In the movie SiCKO the taxes people pay in other countries actually goes to benefit them directly with universal health care. They have already paid for the system with their taxes and so they don't have a bill to pay when they see a doctor, get medicine, have surgery, etc. So for them, they don't see taxes as evil.

In America however, private profit and personal accumulation is God and anything that promotes the general welfare is evil. What is not understood is that this puts our government in breach of contract with We the People.

There is NOTHING in the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution, or the Bill of Rights that says profit-making is a right. In fact, the rhetoric of the "free market" is that businesses must compete for their profit and if a business fails, well, that's the market at work.

On the other hand, the Declaration of Independence, the Preamble of the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights all specify that EVERYONE has a right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness AND that NO ONE may abrogate those rights.

So, for this magistrate to function as an "activist judge" for private profit is to violate his oath as a civil servant and puts him in breach of contract with We the People.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Some mornings

I woke up this morning with a profound feeling of something being wrong in America. I've woken up with this feeling before, but it was most powerful this morning. The likely reason is that last Monday my child is to be placed on her dad's medical insurance plan at work which means she will no longer have dental or vision as she had with the state's medical assistance HMO program UCare. [Update: she'll get dental but of course this will add yet another expense on top of adding her onto his medical plan.]

The only thing the judge cared about was that she was receiving the benefit of taxpayer funded medical care instead of her dad paying directly into the insurance provided by his work, which is already too expensive for himself and now he will have even less to take home.

There is nothing specific that I can point to that makes what this "activist judge" did wrong, except that his ruling has nothing to do with promoting a "culture of life" let alone any sense of fairness or justice. It especially has nothing to do with what is in fact best for the child. Her teeth and her eyes are as important for her well-being as is medical care for when she is sick. Other than the occasional cold that sometimes leads to an ear infection, her greatest needs are being able to the see the blackboard and keeping her teeth healthy--which are under constant assault by the high fructose corn syrup used in practically everything we consume, not to mention all the candy that is strewn in the streets during summer parades.

I know that what galls me most is the doctrine of social Darwninism that is inherent in the view that anyone not rich enough to be financially self-sufficient is less worthy of respect and dignity. It doesn't matter that the rich are enormously bloated parasites on the backs of every working person.

I think what bothers me is the reversal of roles where this judge treats people who are at the complete mercy of the system as parasites and yet it is him and his ilk who are the real parasites. He has no clue that what he has done is wholly immoral in a spiritual way. He only knows that business has some sort of entitlement or even a right to profit. He does not realize that this is done at the expense of the people's inherent rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

I think what keeps me thinking about this is the desire to find a checkmate move to this line of thinking, one that will trap them in the inherent inconsistency of their ideology and make them realize that an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. The problem is that they see themselves as special, as superior to others, when in fact they are simply another member of the human family whose ultimate fate is tied to the fate of all others.

I do not know the antidote to greed and selfishness. I only know that people without empathy who have no feelings of commiseration are not fully human for it opens the door to indifference and allows the commission of cruelty and atrocity.