Yellow Vest Protests- Could We?

The Yellow Vest protests in France and spreading to other parts of Europe have garnered very little attention in US corporate media. The only mention I have seen of them has been to make it seem as though the protesters are hooligans bent on destruction. Or trying to blame Russia for civil unrest. Never examining what the protests are about or who is involved. Not daring to mention that 70% of French citizens support the movement, including many police.

There is also the narrative that Socialists want “free stuff”, not mentioning the high taxes French citizens pay to support their social system. Not mentioning that taxes have been lowered for the rich, while attempts to increase fuel taxes on the poor were attempted.

Yes, the protests began as a protest against an additional fuel tax. However, it grew from there to include many other issues.

At this point, our media is attempting to make it seem like 70% of France are just unruly thugs wanting to remove the neoliberal Macron from office, while he is the “good guy”, defending himself. By having police fire tear gas at French citizens.

Of course, this must be Russia behind all of this. France has never had a popular uprising where they overthrew an overbearing power structure. Right?!

Many people in America are suggesting that we need just such an uprising in this country, with many of the same demands. Problem is, such an uprising is not going to happen here in the near future. It may happen but not yet.

For one thing, Americans are still sold on the idea that we are “free”. That any problems we have are the result of being victims of outside forces.

BLM was not a real movement, it was Russian propaganda. That’s why they were banned from Hillary’s rallies. Black men are not shot down in the streets or even their own back yards. In France, if one person is shot down or beaten, they face mass protests. Color doesn’t matter. Wonder what will happen with hundreds arrested and thousands tear gassed? Here, we just pass it off as “the price of freedumb”. The police were threatened. That wallet looked like a gun. That 6 year old was a threat to be dealt with by lethal force.

We are so “free” that we can sacrifice some of our freedom. We can censor our media, silence voices. It’s not the government doing it, it’s just the corporations that own the government doing it. That makes it all okay. If you do not agree with a particular voice, don’t turn the channel. Petition to have that voice removed entirely. Other voices that you have never heard of? Just trust the corporations to pass judgment and you’ll go along with it.

Americans listen to corporate media, neoliberals and right wing voices (same thing, really) telling us how great the economy is doing. That any suffering or lack is all because of Russian trolls, Chinese trade practices or immigrants. The numbers and evidence don’t add up.

We hear all the time that the US is the richest country on earth. Does it feel like that to you? Does it look like it when you hear of people dying because they cannot afford diabetes or heart medications? For proof, the media offers the stock market. Problem is, only a fraction of Americans actually have money in the stock market. Or a savings account. It’s hard to invest when you can barely pay rent and feed your family.

As a nurse, I have personally seen people die from dental infections. They could not afford a dentist. Most Americans have no clue of the relationship between dental disease and heart disease. I’ve witnessed people beg doctors for the least expensive medication because they could not afford the most effective medication for their condition. I have tried to comfort patients who would not be able to afford their medications after they were discharged from the hospital I worked in. All I could do was refer to the social worker, cross my fingers and offer what I knew were likely empty platitudes.

We are so wealthy that millions of Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills. That causes businesses to lose money and prices to rise. It causes people to lose homes and vehicles. Aside from the stress, health issues and shame which goes with it, as though it was a failing on their part.

I’ve written before that illegal immigrants account for only 0.25% of your entire income, at most. That’s a generous number. Of course, that number does not include the much higher expense of tracking them down, rounding them up, incarcerating them, feeding them, paying ever-increasing numbers of border patrol agents, more militarization of the border, building a wall which will be tunneled under, lawyers, legal challenges and lost labor or failed crops. Those numbers completely dwarf any social support they may have received at any point.

We are so wealthy that we go further in debt daily paying student loans, while French citizens can attend university without additional cost.

We are so wealthy that the majority of divorces in this country are due to financial issues.

We are so wealthy that many roads and bridges in this countries are tragedies in waiting.

We are so wealthy we cannot afford to fight forest fires which destroy hundreds of homes and tens of thousands of acres of forest every single year.

We are so wealthy our teachers must work multiple jobs to pay their own bills while parents must provide school supplies on top of paying property taxes, sales tax and income tax. It is the ultimate insult to pay sales tax on school supplies after paying all the other taxes that are supposed to provide our children with an education. Then stand by and watch as schools beg for donations of computer equipment from corporations who get tax breaks for sending jobs to other countries.

We are so wealthy that our government conducts trade at the end of a missile. We can afford to bomb countries that are no threat to us but cannot provide shelter to millions of our own people.

But you should be scared to death because maybe some Russian troll posted memes. Or because China may sell something at Dollar Tree you want to buy. Because those are our biggest problems.

No, protests on the scale of the Yellow Vest protests will not happen here yet. Eventually they will. When the oligarchy has sucked the last penny dry. When the dollar collapses to negative worth. When you can no longer afford to even watch network propaganda. When gun nuts are faced with the choice of using their guns to rob people or sell their guns to eat.

Because we value our “freedoms” so much, our country has chosen collapse over calling the rich and powerful to account.

Just don’t protest. Because that’s unAmerican.

Math Of Rich Versus Poor

Too many people in this country defend the profits of the rich. They claim it would not be right to limit their profits. Really?

This is an indication that they truly have no concept of numbers. Just what it really means to be a billionaire and how far removed billionaires are from real life.

So here it is in real terms.

$1 million is noted as $1,000,000.

Hence, if you make $50,000 a year you would have to work 20 years to make $1 million.

By contrast, $1 billion is noted as $1,000,000,000. Because $1 billion is $1 million times one thousand.

Hence, if you make $50,000 a year then you would have to work 20,000 years to make $1 billion. This is not a typo. You would have to work twenty thousand years to make $1 billion.

Jeff Bezos has $150 billion. So, if you make $50,000 a year, to make the same amount of money that he has at this moment, you would have to work 3,000,000 years. Yes, that is three million years.

I feel pretty secure in my statement that he could part with some of his wealth and not feel any pain.

Just as I feel secure in stating that he is not creating any jobs. I’m serious. He does not create a single job at all. Neither does Walmart. Because retail jobs existed before Amazon or Walmart. Production, warehousing and shipping jobs existed before these companies and would continue to exist if these companies (or those like them) did not exist at all. Because people have to eat, have to buy clothes, household goods, etc.

These companies diverted jobs to their own companies. They drove much of their competition out of business.

They did not innovate or create online shopping. It was already there. Online payment systems were developed and perfected by the porn industry. In other words, porn has actually created more jobs than Amazon and Walmart combined.

Recently, Amazon made announcements to build headquarters in NY and VA. However, those locations are not creating new jobs. They merely displace jobs that are being moved from WA state. Net job creation? Zero. If you want more of the controversy surrounding that, it’s all over. It’s a tragedy, not a triumph.

It is an illusion to claim that rich people create jobs. This is the story shoved down your throat by corporate media. Who pays for advertising on corporate media? Take a wild guess. C’mon, give it a try. Before these mega-corporations came along, we had small and local businesses that served our needs. There were chains but they were not nearly as large. Grocery, clothing, furniture, lighting, auto parts and many other stores. They employed morepeople and had more owners. They were part of our communities. If we lost, they lost. If we won, they won.

Was there corruption? Of course there was. Where there is business and politics you will find corruption. Yet it was easier to expose and fight against. They did not have entire buildings full of the highest paid lawyers in the country to fight their battles and pay off all the politicians in our communities and states.

Back then we had choices, options. Local businesses carried products made by local producers. Carried produce from local farms, meat from local ranches and milk from local dairies. Now if local producers exist they are basically forced to contract with major corporations or cease to exist. Those contracts are written entirely by the corporations. While much of what we buy comes from other countries.

I admit, prices have come down in total dollars over the years. However, when compared to wages, prices have increased dramatically. That’s because these corporations have the power to limit wage growth on much larger scales. If we protested a local business and shopped the their competition, they felt it. Now there is little competition.

The scale of the issue has changed. The scale of wealth, the scale of legal power, the scale of production, the scale of corruption.

We once had a Justice Department that broke up companies that were too large. Some of us remember the breakup of the Bells. The browser wars. None of that happens now. Because the scales have tipped against we, the people.

It’s time for that balance to shift back. It’s time for us to shift it back. It’s time to stop defending the rich and recognize the scale of the problem.

Nobody is too big to fail. Nobody.

Lost Social Skills

This is related to one of my most recent posts, regarding anger and fear as addictions.

In recent years, this country has seen a severe degradation of basic social skills. That has led me to occasionally refer to “America, Trailer Park Version”.

Many people have remarked on this for years but much of the time they refer to more superficial aspects, such as the use of “sir” or “ma’am”, which are too often used as a means of power manipulation. What I refer to is more basic. The lack of respect illustrated by a large percentage of people in everyday life.

One huge illustration of this is people interrupting one another. Even as I write this, I can barely think of a single time I have been speaking in the past several weeks where I was not interrupted by either the person I was speaking with or someone interjecting themselves with no invitation.

What is worse is that much of the time, the person interrupting does so with something completely unrelated to the subject at hand. The same is true with comments on social media. It has become like a national case of Tourette Syndrome.

This is not new. I have been watching this develop over decades. Watch TV news panels with multiple talking heads and they interrupt each other. Political debaters interrupt one another and go mostly unregulated by the alleged moderators. Comedies think it’s funny, dramas think it’s dramatic.

Some believe the loudest voice is the one heard. I do not agree. The loudest voice is the most obnoxious, least intelligent, to be heard last and least.

I know many will try and find someone to blame for this. Drug companies, minorities, women, schools, you name it. However, if you engage in this behavior you need look no further for blame than yourself. You cannot decry negative behavior when you personally propagate that exact same behavior. Blame fixes nothing.

Honestly, this is one thing which drove me to start creating content. Trying to discuss issues became nearly impossible with people trying to scream over each other, divert subjects or be obnoxious enough to mute any opposing views. Of course, my block list on social media is extensive. By creating content, I am able to cover individual topics thoroughly. Even then, I get comments which clearly indicate the person did not read the post, which I call out.

It does not end with speech by any means. People cut each other off in traffic. Even block entire aisles in grocery stores or needlessly stand in doorways or walkways, refusing to give walking space to others

There is an old saying, “If you want respect you must give respect.” This is true. When you think of people you personally encounter, do you respect those who treat you without respect? By extension, if you do not respect a person will you respect the ideas that person represents? This is literally a tactic used by paid trolls. They will portray themselves as indicative of the kind of people who promote certain ideas while being insulting and abusive. The intent is to discredit a movement by invalidating those who promote that movement.

As much as young people are spoken of poorly by older people, I see more hope with younger people than Gen X or Baby Boomers, who focus entirely on themselves. Millennials and younger seem to show more respect across racial, religious, sexual identity and gender lines than their older counterparts. Are they perfect? No, they are young and have to work past the indoctrination they have had forced upon them.

It’s not easy rejecting deeply ingrained societal norms. Yet that is precisely what we must do if we want to change the way our society works for the better. Meaning better for all of us, not just for those already privileged. Maybe that is why I see hope in younger people. They have not grown up with the privileges that previous generations have. They see the system for what it is, tilted in favor of existing wealth at the expense of those without.

If we want positive change, respect is mandatory. Speech is truly the most important indicator of that respect. When you interrupt others, you are literally saying that you don’t care what they are talking about and do not respect them as a human being. If that is how you feel, then have the guts to say that directly and say nothing else. Give them the option to end the conversation entirely or block you. Anything else you say is wasted air. Then ask yourself why anyone should respect your words.

“Historic” Opiate Bill?

News media is raging about Trump’s opiate control bill, calling it “historic in it’s breadth”. Interesting how media that attack him on a daily basis support him on something like this. From what information has been released on this bill, I will agree. It is historic. Not in the way they describe, though.

What this bill is designed to do will expand the number of providers who can prescribe opiates. Yet at the same time place additional restrictions and monitoring of those prescriptions. It increases penalties for infractions at the provider level and for offenders.

Of course, it does not include investigation or penalty for pharmaceutical companies for blatant offenses which have made the opiate crisis so much worse than it is.

This bill will spend additional money and resources by many hundreds of millions a year for law enforcement. Meaning more arrests, more convictions, longer sentences. Paid for by you and I.

What this bill does not do or encourage is legalization of non-addictive pain medication alternatives, such as cannabis or Kratom. Both of which are low risk, low cost alternatives to opiate use for acute and chronic pain. Of course, that is the point, isn’t it?

This bill does not offer a single penny toward addiction treatment programs, which could prevent legal charges and long term complications of addiction. Of course, that is the point, isn’t it?

This bill has chilling potential. The potential to intimidate doctors treating legitimate chronic and even acute pain conditions using the most effective legal medications available to them at this time. Which will likely leave millions of patients suffering with daily pain and no place to turn, legally.

This bill will further stigmatize addiction as a crime, while ignoring all science and medical data which proves beyond doubt that addiction is an illness. Many millions of Americans are born with a genetic and possibly social predisposition to addiction. Many studies and practical illustrations in other countries have proven that treating addiction as an illness is more successful and costs far less than criminalization, while preserving families and lives far better. It even decreases property crime, as addicts are less likely to commit crimes because of withdrawal symptoms.

Make no mistake that this bill is fully intended as a further attack on minority populations, who tend to already be convicted on drug offenses in disproportionate numbers. Even when on an equal economic plane than white offenders, they are four times more likely to be convicted on drug offenses. This is compounded by well known economic conditions, leaving them less likely to afford both medical care and legal medications as opposed to turning to illegal choices. Choices which are dangerous enough to begin with. Now they face even greater punishment for making those choices.

It is no surprise that corporate media praises this bill. Look who advertises on corporate media channels. Drug companies. The drug companies who stand to lose no money at all on this bill. Their profits will remain intact. Chances are highest this bill will result in even higher prices for legal opiate medications for legitimate uses.

Drug companies will profit. Law enforcement agencies will profit. Corporate jail and prison contractors will profit. Our lives will be placed under greater restrictions, greater scrutiny. While we get to pay for all of it in many different ways.

I agree. This bill is historic. Mark it on your calendars because in a few years we will be looking back on the day it was signed into law. With horror.

Social Evolution Is Happening, Like It Or Not

Let me start this by admitting that I had a rather religious upbringing. I dived into it really young and by the age of 3 had the desire to become a Christian minister. I maintained that goal until my late teens. Even if I considered other careers, I intended to be a minister as well. I did not see the ministry as being exclusive.

Religion was my own security blanket, I could say. Yet it did not provide answers that I sought, so I left Christianity behind. I did still study philosophy and other religions extensively for years.

I will also admit that my religion held me back in some ways. Not nearly as many as some people because I could never accept the concept of not asking questions, as Christianity mandates.

In addition, I grew up in Texas and come from a family of veterans running in an unbroken line for centuries. So I had no shortage of Conservative views in my repertoire. Never a right-winger, though.

So, when I speak of personal evolution and the challenges involved, I do not come from a perspective of someone has never personally experienced those challenges in a direct manner. I have known the ethical and social dissonance, fear of rejection, and general doubt that comes from radical change to your entire world view.

People have strange views of evolution. Even Christians have to realize that we have evolved as a society over centuries and millennia. We find it unacceptable to nail people to crosses, burn them at stakes, feed them to lions, stretch them on racks, seal them in dungeons. Yes, some still believe in these things, always thinking it is they who will be in charge, not the victims. Once again, I am talking about our evolution as a society, not the random few who have never evolved past single syllable words.

Evolution can be curious. Physically, we evolve over centuries and millennia. We can adapt to different environments in shorter periods, either as individuals or communities but that is not evolution. It is not a permanent change to our biology. We can move to colder or warmer climates, drier or more humid, higher or lower elevation. We can develop a taste for different foods. Our digestion does not always keep up, as we can see from rising instances of food allergies, much of which comes from exposure to foods not in our genetic history. No, I am not getting into the GMO or glyphosate debate here. Take it somewhere else. I am sticking to the subject.

What I am focusing on is social/behavioral/ethical/cultural evolution. People seem to have some belief that social evolution is an organic process that just magically happens. Or that it occurs on a sudden mass scale. None of this could be further from the truth.

Social evolution begins with one person or a small group. That person or people have the bravery to talk to others, often sparking an initial awareness of some form of injustice, inequality or needed improvement to society. That can be behavior, economic process, unhealthy condition, repetitive legal injustice, prejudicial condition and on and on.

From the small group, that issue expands to gain the awareness of some part of the academic community. From there it continues to greater social awareness, gaining a foothold in the media. Today that is most often alternative media owing to the fact that some powerful lobby associated with mainstream media profits from the inequalities in our system. Once it gains footing in the media, it progresses to greater social awareness.

It is from this point that we often see failures or stasis of social evolution. Ideally, at this point it should progress to legislation and social change. However, this is also the point where the powerful forces who profit from existing conditions become involved on a large scale. They have the resources to fight against change, developing propaganda to convince one group that they will be disadvantaged by any change in the status quo. Most often, that is not true at all and even those convinced to oppose change already suffer from the existing condition but they have lived with the condition too long to understand their own struggle which can be alleviated. They fear change and are not willing to hear an opposing view.

The good part is that once awareness has spread, change is always inevitable. It may take years, even generations but change will always happen. Questions do not abate. Knowledge is not forgotten, nor is it static. It spreads, it gains power. For some it may be insidious but that knowledge will continue to gain strength. It causes doubt, examination, debate.

So, social evolution is inevitable. Once begun, it will happen. Society moves forward, not backward. Once ideas and systems have been rejected, we may see some level of retraction and return of old systems but they will not last. In fact, at that point they gain more adamant opposition from those seeking to move forward. Think of racism and gender bias as examples. It is far too late in our social evolution to try and contain awareness, to continue old prejudices on an effective large scale without violence. As of now, so many of us oppose those prejudices that attempts to reinstate them meet with large scale opposition.

Right now, as many cry out in angst, we should all be aware that bigotry is dying. What we are witnessing is the death throes of an already dead contingency. Those trying to perpetuate it prove themselves more mindless and heartless than we had even given them credit for. They show themselves incapable of evolution.

In evolution, only the strong survive. Only the greater numbers survive. Those that attack the society itself are winnowed out, isolated, exiled, possibly popularly denied the chance to reproduce. Even when they do reproduce, their own children are likely to evolve beyond them.

Evolution is here right now. The death throes have only gained the attention of the predators, the scavengers coming to feed on the carcasses. When the predators come, the greater society will do nothing to save those already exiled. They are rejects, weak links that serve no benefit in their continuation. They weaken and infect the herd with illness.

This is what evolution looks like. It is not a glamorous process but necessary. It comes with struggle but will happen nonetheless.

Let’s just hope we did not wait too late to evolve.

“You cannot kill an idea.”- V For Vendetta

Hate And Fear As Addictions

I’ve written about this before but re-doing it once again because it is an important concept. I am approaching this in a rather clinical manner, seeing my history of nursing.

I find this especially important at this time. Right now, the midterms are over. Yet by and large people are more likely to be acting out emotionally, not thinking rationally. And that’s the goal of the parties and media machines. React, don’t think. Feel, don’t question. Get angry, even when you don’t know why.

When you focus your mind on emotional outrage, offense or fear you are not trying to find solutions to problems. You are seeking to satisfy your emotional state. The biggest problem with this is how people keep going from one outrage to another to another. When was the last time you personally were notin one of these states?

The biggest reason you are always in some heightened emotional state is because of the media. Fear, anger and offense sell. It’s profitable. So they make it continuous. Day after day, each media source trying to come out with the next outrageous headline to put you in one of these states. What stories are you most likely to share, forward to your friends and family, blast on loudspeakers, etc?

Now here is the biggest problem. Anger, hate, fear and offense are addictions. I mean that in the literal sense of the word. Most Americans, if they look at themselves honestly and objectively, can see the pattern of addiction in their own behavior.

Anger, hate and fear cause the same chemical responses in the brain as drug use. Especially resembling methamphetamine use, they cause a chemical response of increased adrenaline production coupled with heightened endorphin production, especially norepinephrine, serotonin and dopamine.

What is worse is that addictions keep getting worse as time goes on. Drug addicts develop what is known as tolerance. That is to say, the same dose becomes less effective over time, so they seek more and more, higher and higher doses of the same substance. Or they seek new substances that will give them the same euphoria, then continue on with the pattern, often mixing substances until they are taking a cocktail of chemicals which slowly damage and poison their bodies.

One of the most damaging long term effects of chronic stress and anxiety is increased stress hormone production, which leads to high blood pressure, digestive disorders and weight gain. So keeping yourself in a state of chronic stress willingly truly is damaging and even potentially lethal, shortening your life span while decreasing your quality of life.

I know some people will claim that comparing these emotions to addiction is ludicrous. However, look at how much pleasure people derive from watching horror movies. Violent sports like football. War movies. Cop shows. All of these portray events which in real life are atrocities, tragedies. However, when we are dealing with the news, atrocities are being played out in real life, not dramatized.

So, what are some of the behavioral signs of addiction?

First, the addict cannot control the behavior. They consciously or subconsciously seek the object of addiction on a frequent basis. This continues even after they have identified the addiction. Remember, alcoholics and ex-smokers often refer to themselves as “recovering”, indicating they have not beaten the addiction even years after giving it up. Instead, they keep the addiction under control.

If addiction is not controlled (such as an addict in denial), the addiction gets worse. They develop tolerance. They seek out more and more of the object of their addiction. In this case, they will actively seek out things which cause the stressful state they desire. Check the comment sections on Progressive pages or RT and you will find many whose sole purpose on that page is to express anger and seek conflict. Many who dislike Trump subscribe to his Twitter feed. Others seek out story after story attacking Trump, Russia or whomever else offends them by mere mention of the name.

That tolerance may have begun as having some reaction to stories that came up in the media but over time they began to seek those stories more and more frequently. Eventually, they could not go even a few hours without genuinely needing that stress. They actively seek out things that provide that stress multiple times a day. That can include news by TV, internet or discussion, sports, movies, TV shows, computer games and other influences.

That stress spills over into their everyday lives, causing more problems. Like an addict, they will seek out those who share the addiction in the form of similar viewpoints, rejecting opposing anyone with opposing views. Express a dissenting view and they commonly become abusive. That includes to their family and friends.

The only way to deal with this problem is to deal with it on a personal level. The first step is admitting a problem exists. Be honest with yourself, look in your mental mirror and see if the description fits. Then take action accordingly.

We all need to be engaging in interventions with family and those in our social circles.

Addicts always make excuses and divert responsibility. There are no excuses. The social and political environment is not an excuse. The food you eat is not an excuse. Chemtrails are not an excuse. The responsibility is on the addict and should not be allowed to be cast elsewhere. Don’t be an enabler.

Some readers may want clinical documentation of this comparison. Is that really needed? Behavioral evidence should really be sufficient. If you really want the clinical documentation, there is a lot of it available online but separately addressing amphetamine use and anger. I’m just giving a cross reference. I’ve read the clinical information which merely confirmed my theory.

Side note: The example I originally used in this theory remains valid. That example was racism. If a person is racist against (for example) black people, it does not remain against only black people. A racist continues expanding their bigotry and hate to include Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, Atheists, etc until it becomes hatred of anyone that is different. However, that is far from the only example, as noted above. So, this is not directed at one political or social leaning. It applies universally.

Julian Assange

I’ve been considering writing something about Julian Assange and Wikileaks for quite some time now. For brevity, I’ll just refer to Assange because basically he is Wikileaks. Because I stand so much for freedom of speech and the press, it may seem strange I have not written anything about him until now. However, so much has been presented by larger voices than my own, spoken with clarity, validity and passion. Lee Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Caitlin Johnstone, Jimmy Dore have all spoken out about Assange, sometimes multiple times.

I highly respect to work of the people I mention. So the challenge for me was to find a different take on the issue which has not been covered. I hate repeating the same talking points, seeming to parrot what others have said, no matter how valid. Between the points that have been covered and having written extensively about censorship in the past.

There is one aspect which has been barely mentioned and it is something I tend to focus on a lot. What would Assange’s motive be, what profit would be in it for him?

If you ask this question openly to Russiagaters and Julian haters, you can never get a clear answer. It is always some vague nonsense about “sowing chaos”, “causing division” or some similar claptrap. I expect the reason they think there is any validity to their view is because these are people who can think no more clearly than the drama queens they are. These are people who are addicted to Jerry Springer, the Kardashians, Big Brother and other trailer trash, mindless shows that portray people of their own mindset, that causing problems is a valid profit motive in and of itself.

Anyone of even the slightest intellectual capacity does not think in those terms. The fact that those shows are popular in the US says a lot about this country and it is nothing positive.

If charges against a person are prosecuted in a court of law, to genuinely prove guilt three things must at minimum be proven- Means, motive and opportunity. In this case, means and opportunity are there. Motive is the aspect in question and yet MSM and influences in our own government attempt to divert all attention or make up the most insane, flimsy, unbelievable motive imaginable. Yet to reality show addicts it sounds completely reasonable. Though even on reality shows, the instigator is never satisfied with the initial drama. They continually attempt to add to that drama. Something Assange has not done.

The narrative of Russiagaters and Assange haters consistently make vague claims that Wikileaks and Russia are tied together, yet cannot offer any evidence to that effect. They claim Wikileaks has never published anything critical of Russia. Which is an indication they have never looked at the Wikileaks website, with tens of thousands of pages of Russian documents implication corruption in that country. Yet they ask you to believe. Never type in www.wikileaks.org and see for yourself.

They ask you to believe Assange promoted Trump by omission of leaked documents against Trump. They never mention that Wikileaks does not hack anyone, they publish documents which are provided to them and carefully verified. Which is why Wikileaks has never had to retract a single document in 12 years.

They ask you to believe that no person or organization could have altruistic ethics and standards in the pursuit of truth. Even as they claim to have those ethics while taking money from war profiteers. Money in steady streams which they stand to lose if enough people believe what Wikileaks publishes just enough to ask questions and demand answers. Their income sources have been known to lie, cheat, steal, cause the failure of nations, enslavement and outright murder of millions of innocent people globally. For the goal of enslaving and murdering millions more, as long as there is profit in it. Yet those war profiteers and their paid media, their owned elected officials are allegedly “the good guys”.

They ask you to believe that Wikileaks posted falsified images of DNC emails after they or Russia hacked the DNC servers. Yet they cannot explain why the DNC servers have never been subpoenaed or examined by the FBI. They cannot explain exactly what was inaccurate. They cannot explain why anyone would bother creating tens of thousands of false documents if they had gone to the trouble of hacking the DNC. They cannot explain why the DNC fired 5 people in July 2016 because of those emails. They cannot explain Seth Rich’s murder. They cannot explain why the DNC never released the original emails to illustrate any difference between the leaked and original documents.

They ask you to believe that Assange fears rape charges which were dropped in 2012. Or he fears going to court for not showing up for a court hearing related to the same dropped charges.

They ask you to believe he fears imprisonment so much that he has remained imprisoned for 8 years without medical or dental care.

They ask you to believe he wants to get rich while remaining incarcerated and unable to spend the money.

Where do you find any profit motive for Assange and Wikileaks in any of the above? They have been targeted and threatened, fought entire governments to remain online and continue publishing the truth.

Assange and Wikileaks are rare today but for so many of us are completely trustworthy, honorable and respectable. The absolute opposite of their detractors. They fight for truth.They fight for freedom of the press. They already belong in all modern history books and in future history books for generations as heroes. We should all strive to have that level of dedication to the truth.

The ones who all belong in prison are those whose guilt is revealed on the Wikileaks platform, who seek to silence and punish those who reveal the truth.

Yes, White Shooters ARE Terrorists

Over the past few years we have heard rhetoric about Islamic terrorists and Mexican/South American criminals. We have political actions, police actions and intelligence actions being taken against anyone from Islamic or South American countries to “protect us” from them.

Yet, when we hear of mass shootings, school shootings, even the majority of bomb threats, the guilty party is almost invariably a white male. Much of the time they are members of white supremacy groups as well.

The same white supremacy groups have been revealed over and over to make open threats against minorities and Jewish people. Threats of violence and fantasies of genocide.

So the question arises over and over, why do we not declare these white shooters terrorists? Why do we not consider white supremacy groups to be terrorist organizations?

The answer goes further than most really consider. The first and best answer is that if this happened, the government and police would be obligated to take action against these people and groups. The media would have to actively and openly admit that the greatest terror threat in this country comes from people who are commonly in their own ranks.

It has been well documented and well known that American politics have had numerous white supremacists in elected office. This is not distant past history. It includes Senator Robert Byrd, who served in the Senate for 51 years until his death in 2010. In recent elections we have had alleged and admitted white supremacists run for office and even get elected. It is unquestionable and in some cases proven that we have lawyers, judges, prosecutors, wardens and forensic examiners who are white supremacists.

It is also well documented that many police officers are white supremacists, some having been photographed in full KKK robes or sporting tattoos to include Nazi symbolism.

While not all NRA members are white supremacists, nearly all white supremacists have ties to the NRA. My own guess is that at least some executives of the NRA and major weapons manufacturers are white supremacists.

So, if we admitted that white shooters are terrorists, that would eventually lead to the necessity of making direct correlations between the individuals and their organizations. From there, actions would have to be taken. Those actions would have to begin with examination of the investigators. From the FBI to the police to forensic specialists to lawyers and judges.

That would still not be enough. When enough members of an organization or corporation were found to have ties to white supremacy, they would have to be investigated further, censured and members placed on terror watch lists. In some cases, this could result in the full dissolution of some groups.

Make no mistake, white supremacists are fascists in the most real sense of the word. They seek to oppress certain groups based on skin color, sexual orientation and religion. They use threats and violence to instill fear and have been known to murder people. Less obviously, they use legal actions, deny housing and employment to those they deem “unacceptable”.

Notice that our media and some elected officials have ignored the threat of these organizations while promoting fear of the only major group opposing them, Antifa? The name Antifa means anti-fascism. In promoting fear of Antifa, they use vague and misleading claims. To date, no major violent acts have been attributed to Antifa in this country. If there have been acts of violence or property destruction, that is typically not Antifa but Black Bloc Anarchists, who are not the same. A few months ago, some members of CONgress proposed a bill making membership in Antifa illegal. However, Antifa is not actually an organization, it is a political and social ideology. They specifically oppose fascists. So, what is the goal of such legislation? To discourage acceptance and support for Antifa. To prevent Antifa from openly forming an organization.

If Antifa actually did organize so that anyone opposed to fascism could join, what would that mean for groups like the KKK and Nazis? White supremacist tactics seek to divide and attack individuals. Imagine if they faced a group with public funding and the power of lobbying behind them. Such a group could well bridge any gaps between numerous minority organizations while possibly organizing mass physical opposition against the violent fascists groups in this country. Yet the more of us that get involved, demanding police protection, legislation and prosecution, the less likely any physical opposition becomes. Honestly, such an organization is needed badly. If not Antifa, then some other group should take on that role. Bring together all races, genders, sexual orientations, religions formally to oppose groups like the Proud Boys, who continue organizing and growing with no formal opposition and no laws to limit them. Yet how much do you hear of that from MSM?

This issue is going to keep evolving. More and more people are speaking out, asking why this is being labeled as anything but terrorism.

Yet certain things in this battle are absolute:

1- We cannot march in step with or bow down to gun-toting, jack-booted, white robed, Brown Shirted fascists who want to talk about “freedumb” and “Constitutionality” while attempting to oppress others by force.

2- We cannot fight fascism with fascism. Censorship, whether government or corporate, has backfired on us and will continue to do so. The corporate fascists own and run the media.

3- We cannot claim to oppose fascism or be afraid of violent fascists and then be more afraid of the opposition to them when the police refuse to stand up. Someone must step in.

4- We cannot oppose fascists and then vote fascists into office.

Passivity is not an option. Choose your side. There is no middle ground. You either oppose fascism or you are a fascist. What do we today call Germans who did not oppose the Nazi party in 1930’s Germany? We call them Nazis. History will remember us in the same way.

Peace Of Mind

When I was younger, my greatest goal in life was peace of mind. Really, that was it. I wanted stability, peace, personal security. One of my favorite songs was and remains “Peace Of Mind” By Boston.

At a young age, I understood that peace of mind was unlikely to happen while being part of society as it exists. I had dreams of moving out in the woods and living as a mountain man, like Grizzly Adams, sans the bear. I had dreams of a society based on education, knowledge, wisdom. Obviously, I fantasized a lot. Later those dreams turned to more mundane ideas of a stable job, stable income, stable relationship, owning a home while still pursuing knowledge throughout my life.

Boring? Fine, I can do boring. The most exciting things I’ve done in my life like driving explosives, going through live shooter events, bomb threats and so forth were never goals. I definitely learned from them but they just happened.

Of course, when I was young, for the most part my thoughts focused on myself. I was aware, cared and was active about social issues but mostly only regarding my own actions and being a positive example for others. I did take part in protests and stood in the face of violence more than once for those weaker than myself. Put myself on the line personally and professionally but never as a comprehensive pattern or part of a movement. Along the way I have stood for women’s rights, racial rights, gay rights, disabled rights, against war and on and on.

However, while specific aspects of my own awareness came ahead of the curve, I think much of my story is common. My realization of the systemic nature and effects of our system have exploded in recent years. Most of this has happened primarily because of the rise of the internet, social media and independent media. Many people give credit to Bernie Sanders yet the issues he raised in his campaign were already being discussed. Social and independent media had given us exposure to alternatives to the corporate propaganda. Social media gave us the chance to discuss issues with vast numbers across vast distances. It allowed us to know that we were not, are not alone in our concerns for things larger than ourselves.

Yet while the internet, social and independent media have enabled our discussions, these discussions began long ago. What do you think led to the Suffrage Movement for women’s right to vote? The implementation of Social Security, the minimum wage, Medicare, Medicaid, OSHA, the EPA, FDA, USDA, Voting Rights Act, Civil Rights Act, wage protection laws, consumer protection laws, public education, child labor laws..?

Awareness did not begin in 2016. We were discussing universal healthcare in the early 90’s before we were sold out. Jackson Browne was singing about corporate war profiteers in the 80’s. There were protests here against our wars in Korea in the 50’s and Vietnam in the 60’s and 70’s. About election integrity in 1968 at the Democratic Convention.

Our problems did not begin in 2017. Hillary is not a martyr and Bernie is not a saint. Maybe you just became aware in the last 2–3 years but that just means you have kept your eyes closed or have a really short attention span.

Let me refer you to the Mind Control speech in the movie “Network” from 1976, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQAzpV7GC0U or the Business Is God speech from the same movie, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jIw22XXSso

Let me refer you to one of the most powerful speeches you will ever hear, no matter how staged it is. From 2012, Jeff Daniel’s speech in The East Wing on why we are not the greatest country in the world any more. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MYjyLg8bbo

How many speeches can I refer you to by JFK or MLK or Malcolm X?

Any periods we have had of peace and prosperity we have had the the history of this country have been fleeting and relative. Nor has peace and prosperity been equally distributed to all citizens. In effect, such things have been nothing short of an illusion forced upon us through government/media propaganda and our own willing conscious deception. There has always been an unease and outright suffering in this country, even at the best of times.

So, while I say I sought peace of mind at a young age, there was always part of me aware that I would never attain that as long as others continued to suffer. If any major parts of our society suffer, we all do. I had major problems with depression for many years. Not any more. The more involved I became, the more I do to help right what is wrong, no matter how small my effort may seem, the more empowered I feel. Because I cannot look around me and do nothing.

My own peace of mind comes from action. Awareness. Sharing information with others. Standing up, speaking out, lending purpose. If you have problems with depression, maybe being more involved will help you as well. At worst, you may make some friends along the way. Even if you don’t have problems with depression, there are far worse ways to spend your time.

Happy Thanksgiving!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

I’m going to start off with a list of things I am thankful for. None of this indicates a religious leaning, just an appreciation for what I have. I’ve been through times in my life that were far less secure than this moment.

I am thankful for my wonderful daughter. She is intelligent, beautiful, talented, well behaved and has a huge heart. I am thankful she is healthy and appears to be happy. She has a sense of humor which is sometimes dark and sometimes silly but smiles a lot, which is rare for a teenager.

I am thankful for my girlfriend, who is also intelligent, beautiful, sexy, talented in many ways, has a huge heart and a strong spirit. She is the first and only woman I have ever felt I can truly be myself with. I feel like I have waited my entire life for her and it was well worth the wait. I know what else is out there and what she is worth, so I’ll never take her for granted.

I am thankful for my health. I’m not doing badly at all for my age of 56 years. I still run circles often around people much younger than myself. My blood pressure is good without medication. I do have some minor health issues I will not go into but compared to many with the same condition, which I had my whole life before learning of it a few short years ago. So I am thankful for my own condition.

I am thankful for being employed and know my position is far more secure than most jobs these days. It may have ups and downs but that’s no different from other jobs.

I am thankful for a car, roof over my head, heat, water and food in my house. I am as safe from harm as I can expect to be.

That list can go on and on. I realize I have things better than many. I empathize for the sick, the homeless, the abused, the oppressed, those living in war zones, the lonely, depressed…

I find it ironic and ridiculous that so many Americans take what they have for granted. Thanksgiving is no longer about being thankful. It is a sign of excess.

Too many people will spend today eating large amounts of food, having time off from their jobs to spend with their families. Then they will go shopping either today or on Black Friday or Cyber Monday. Claiming to be thankful for what they have but having an emotional need for more, more, more. Victims of marketing and the American ideal to never be happy with what you have, you must have more.

These people will blind themselves to the fact that so many other Americans, their own neighbors, will be forced to work for the alleged “holiday”. In the last few days I have seen ads for places that will be open on Thanksgiving Day. McDonald’s open 24 hours. Hardee’s, Burger King. And Dollar Tree. Is Dollar Tree having a sale on Thanksgiving? Will they have specials which charge customers less than $1? Will McDonald’s be serving turkey dinners?

Is it really so worth it to keep businesses open on a day which was once reserved for family gatherings? To sell cheap burgers and plastic crap? To keep parents from their children?

I work in a field where I work most Thanksgivings. The medical field. If I have to work, there is a reason. I have no qualms with it and everyone that has ever been in my life has had to accept this for decades. They understand my presence is needed and this is who I am. Though I am not selling cheap shit for the profit of some CEO or shareholders who care about nothing but money, stock dividends, share prices. Give no thought to what this does to this country over time.

I tend to urge people to not shop on Thanksgiving or Black Friday if they can avoid it. If you must, then just the basics or necessities. It is we, the consumers, who cause and perpetuate this system which victimizes and deprives our own neighbors.

If you have today off, when you drive past these open businesses, keep driving. Maybe next year your neighbors and even family members will have Thanksgiving off as well. Maybe it is only tradition but tradition does count for something. It counts for far more than corporate profits.