Posts Tagged ‘middle’

Why Aren’t Americans Ending War?

Sunday, January 20th, 2013

Americans spend trillions of dollars on warfare every single year. This is an absurd amount of money to spend on anything, let alone using it to blow up your fellow humans on an industrialized scale. With that kind of cash, you could end extreme poverty the world over, give every person a home and an education, and dramatically lift the tide which raises all ships.

Ask the average person in America, and they would tell you they want the fighting to stop. The barely-adult people sent overseas to kill or be killed would sure as shit rather be home with their families and friends. And the people in Yemen and Pakistan? I imagine they could stand fewer innocents being killed by drone assassination.

The financial costs are an incredible burden, and the emotional scars would take generations to heal even if war ended this very second. The longer these large scale conflicts get prolonged, the worse off our entire world is.

So why aren’t Americans ending war? If the US people, much like the rest of us, just want to live and prosper in peace, why don’t their politicians listen to them and give them what they want?

The sad truth is that they can’t.

The entire American system has, to the detriment of the world, fallen victim to what can only be described as a parasitic entity, a beast that has been around in one form or another for thousands of years.

Whether through anesthetizing concepts like pride and security, the unfettered power of wealth, or, when all else fails, brute force, the war machine of which I speak has been able to keep countless populations within their grasp – and right now their prey is the American public.

In the United States, mainstream newsanchors all dance around the issue ending war, and ‘radical’ concepts like bringing home the troops rarely arise. Politicians are no better, for they too are in the pockets of the military industry, as made evident by a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate who intentionally escalates wars around the world.

So even when the vast majority of Americans want peace, a political system which is mostly theatre combined with a deliberate lack of guidance from the media makes it hard for the anti-war movement to gain the momentum needed to make a significant impact.

But peace-loving Americans won’t stay down for much longer. They simply cannot. Fueled by a crumbling economy, driven by global awareness, and united by social media, a multi-million person strong movement will prove more powerful than the entire military industrial complex. Or so we shall hope.

The world is changing faster than even those who sit atop can control. Unprecedented technology is causing new concepts like transparency and global solidarity to crash down on our world. As the old guard falls away, a newfound democracy is sure to bring to fruition the civilization our species has been cultivating for eons.

Quebec People Respond to Government Encroachment

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

(The police demand prior knowledge of rally routes. This is what they get!)

Quebec Premiere Jean Charest is in hot water. A few days ago he passed some short-sighted, heavy-handed emergency laws. These laws, when applied to their full extent, could easily cripple free speech. This misstep has only aggravated Quebec’s youth rebellion. Now, instead of just having to deal with pissed-off students, Charest now has to contend with most of the province being mad at him.

Seeing their precious freedom being infringed upon, Quebeckers sprung into action by the hundreds of thousands. They do not like what Charest has done, and they seem intent on banging pots in the streets until their voice gets heard.

The problem with the contested legislation – Bill 78 – is that it puts the right to protest directly under the control of the police. Anyone demonstrating without prior approval from a police department will face stiff fines or worse, like some entitled security thug punishing offenders with impunity. Yes, I’m talking about you, Canadian Pepper Spray Cop!.

Another problem with Bill 78 is that special provisions target coordinators of so-called ‘unlawful’ protests, who can also be punished whether they partake in the actual demonstration or not. So now anyone who spreads reasons to be disgruntled with government and dares to call for action could end up fined or arrested.

As much as it sucks to see heads of Canadian office trying to force ridiculous laws, witnessing the people’s response more than makes up for it. Clearly, they are as mad as hell and they aren’t going to take it anymore.

Right on! Hopefully Charest buckles sooner than later, and every single Canadian politician gets a reminder as to the power of the people.

Israel Losing Popularity Contest

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Israel has, for quite some time, been one of the world’s most negatively viewed countries, ranking on par with North Korea. And now in 2012 the Zionist nation has dropped even further in the eyes of humankind, according to an annual BBC survey. (more…)

Flipping the Script

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

The world is improving faster than ever before, speeding us all towards a brighter future. Yet, for us to go from here to there, enough of us will have to abandon certain perspectives and internalize new ones. That being said, here’s 3 key scripts that need to be flipped: (more…)

Afghan War a Failure – US Lt. Colonel

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Earlier this month, a leaked military report revealed just how ineffectual the invasion in Afghanistan has been.

Now, another classified document – this time an 80 page report penned by US Lt. Colonel Daniel L. Davis – has surfaced to confirm the Afghan military excursion shows an “absence of success” on almost all levels. In other words, it is another senseless and tragic waste of lives and treasure.

So does that mean that all those brave men and women sacrificed their lives in vain? Yes, although it will offer no comfort to the loved ones left behind, that’s pretty much what is being said.

Then why even say it, one may ask. Simple: to learn from the mistake.

Major armed conflicts have no place in today’s world. For one, they don’t serve any purpose, other than destabilizing entire regions and lining the pockets of the war-profiteers. Second, there’s no one left to fight – no one that can be fought with armies and tanks and bombs, anyway.

If we want to live in a safer world, we must exercise alternatives to war, since the armed invasion route clearly does not work.

Poverty in the World’s Richest Country

Sunday, December 25th, 2011

The Grinch is alive and well in America. Only instead of stealing presents from under the tree, modern day Scrooges have been pilfering the pockets of entire populations.

In his latest article, Les Leopold unveils 6 sneaky ways corporate elites function as reverse Robin Hoods, stealing from the poor to give to the rich:

1 in 2, have fallen into poverty or are scraping by on earnings that classify them as low income. 1 in 5 American children live in poverty. What’s going on here? You would think we were a poor country.  But we’re not. We’re filthy rich, but the money is hidden away by the 1 percent while poverty rises all around.

Just how are the richest of the rich getting away with the greatest robbery of all time? Leopold breaks it down for us:

1. Productivity continues to rise but the 99 percent doesn’t share in the benefits. The productivity lines and wage lines have pulled apart so that trillions of dollars that once went to the average American are now going almost entirely to the super-rich.

2. Large corporations pay next to nothing in state and local taxes. A recent joint report reveals that 265 large corporations avoided $42.7 billion in taxes from 2008 to 2010.

3. Money that should go toward the common good pours into the pockets of the 1 percent. The overall tax rate for the super-rich has plummeted from 70% to less than what the average secretary pays.

4. The biggest corporations are sitting on a mountain of cash, yet they refuse to invest more than $1 trillion in cash because of the lack of consumer demand.

5. Hedge funds have over $1.917 trillion in misused investment capital. Most of this speculative capital serves no broader economic or social purpose, jumping in and out of the markets in nanoseconds using high-speed automatic trading techniques that extract hidden taxes from the rest of us.

6. Many of the 1 percent cheat on their taxes. The tax revenues lost in the U.S. are estimated to be $337 billion a year according to a November report by the Tax Justice Network.

So there you have it. While the rest of us are sipping our egg nog and enjoying the company of our friends and family, behemoth businesses are tirelessly enriching the wealthy few while systematically crushing the middle and lower classes.

Santa might be tempted to give these corporate fatcats a well-deserved lump of coal in their stockings, but they’d probably just use it as a tax write off.

Palestinians Riding to Freedom

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Washington, DC, May 4, 1961 – 13 men and women embarked on a bus tour across America’s east coast. And by doing so, each of them instantly became criminals.

See, the passengers – half of them black, the other half white – were on the bus to actively defy unjust segregation legislation. Back then, black people were treated like second-class citizens – a notion fraught with fallacies.

But, thanks to many massive movements and popular uprisings, the institutionalized injustices were corrected and civilization advanced.

Seeking to reenact this pinnacle moment in the American civil rights movement, Palestinian activists will be protesting segregation by defiantly boarding ‘Israeli-Only’ buses, starting November 15.

Journalist Noam Sheizaf highlights some of the plights faced by the Palestinian people:

Palestinians in the West Bank have lived under Israeli military control since 1967. Among other restrictions, they can only vote in elections to the Palestinian Authority, which has very limited power on the ground. They cannot travel out of the West Bank or receive visitors without Israeli permits, and they are tried in military courts, which curtail the rights of defendants. Jews living in the West Bank enjoy full citizenship rights.

The organizers of the protest – the Popular Struggle Committee – describe how Palestinians are always being subjugated, stating:

Israelis suffer almost no limitations on their freedom of movement in the occupied Palestinian territory, and are even allowed to settle in it, contrary to international law. Palestinians, in contrast, are not allowed to enter Israel without procuring a special permit from Israeli authorities.

While the demonstration itself won’t directly impact the unjust laws, the Palestinian activists’ daring campaign will, at least, help to raise awareness. And with more awareness, especially from within the international community, will come the deserved end of Apartheid in Israel.

 

America is Arming Brutal Dictators

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

Glenn Greenwald wrote a concise exposé into the hypocrisy surrounding Bahrain and the United States. As Greenwald details, the gap between President Obama’s words and the actions of his administration is quite substantial.

Here’s the abbreviated version:

President Obama, March 19, 2011:

We cannot stand idly by when a tyrant tells his people there will be no mercy.

Reuters, March 16, 2011:

At least five protesters have been killed and hundreds wounded in a crackdown by Bahraini forces on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch, yesterday:

Leading [Bahraini] political opposition figures have been sentenced to long prison terms, in some cases for life, solely for their role in organizing the large street protests.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, September 14, 2011:

[America's] DSCA notified Congress today of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Bahrain for Armored High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles, TOW Missiles and associated equipment, parts, training and logistical support worth an estimated $53 million.

So, why on earth would the American government sell weapons to merciless thugs who will, most certainly, use them on the civilian population? Well, the answer is in the DSCA’s press release itself:

This proposed sale will … improve the security of a major non-NATO ally that has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.

In other words, Bahrain is loyal to America and it’s largest corporations. As long as the tiny country’s corrupt regime keeps playing the game, any butt-kickings issued by Bahrain’s security forces are free to be stamped with MADE IN THE USA.

Canada Ramps Up Sanctions on Syria

Saturday, August 13th, 2011

The Canadian government announced today it will be expanding existing sanctions on Syria. Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird said that Canada will freeze the assets of more people and entities associated with the Syrian government, including the Commercial Bank of Syria.

“The Assad regime has lost all legitimacy by killing Syrian men, women and children to stay in power.” said Baird, “This campaign of terror must stop.”

I couldn’t agree more. Unfortunately Assad and his band of thugs have been panting themselves into a corner with blood.

Facing down the choice between an angry mob demanding their heads and an international community who will likely charge them for crimes against humanity, it is no wonder Syria’s regime chooses to continue the massacre.

But the bloodbath won’t continue forever.

There’s been talks of Turkey issuing ultimatums for Assad to end the uprising within two weeks. Analysts also predict NATO is preparing for attacks on Syria, because their intervention has been going swimmingly well in Libya.

So if sanctions and interventions are ineffectual, then what’s the solution? Where’s the hope and optimism that I’m supposed to be espousing here?

Well, for one, the Syrian people will persevere until they get the reform they deserve, giving us another testament to the indomitable human spirit and lending inspiration to other repressed peoples of the world.

As well, the proliferation of portable technology and social media will make future uprisings more prevalent and effective.

But the most important thing to take away from the Syrian situation is a lesson: never allow too much power to concentrate into too few hands, because it will likely cost many lives for the people to take the power back.

Endgame for Syria’s Brutal Regime

Monday, August 8th, 2011

For many months the Syrian government has been mercilessly slaughtering its own people in a futile bid to quiet them down.

But now it seems the jig is up. The world is finally speaking out against the atrocities.

Three Arab countries recalled their ambassadors to Syria, including Saudi Arabia, whose king also demanded “the stoppage of the killing machine and bloodshed, and the use of reason before it is too late.”

These gulf state withdrawals follow that of Italy, which was the first country in the European Union to recall their Syrian ambassador last week.

Perhaps even more telling is that Syria’s crooked establishment has provoked the ire of cyber-activist group Anonymous, who hacked the Syrian Ministry of Defense website in support of the people’s struggle for greater equality.

When Anonymous is pissed at you, you know you done goofed.

If anything positive comes out of the Syrian revolution (besides government reform) hopefully it will be a message to the rest of the world’s tyrants: killing us won’t shut us up anymore.

We know who has the power now – WE DO!

We’re holding the chips, and if those who are fortunate to be allowed to lead should ever dare to disappoint us, heads might literally roll.