Posts Tagged ‘USA’

This post has been long in the making: it has resided in my brain since the time I started this blog and it has certainly made itself apparent throughout this part of history that will surely become known as the Great Manic Depression (you heard it here first, ladies and gentlemen). This will be the last post, officially, of the 59 Second Minute in its current, utter useless form, but it will also begin an era of new, more fresh, political commentary by me, as well as another project that will ultimately end up taking more of my time and is totally different from anything I’ve done here in my blogspace in the cybersphere. This post carries a message of imperative importance to everyone who considers themselves politically informed, or is involved in any way in the politics of the United States.

The message is this: both the Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same, wretched coin. Together, they compose an entity that is against the liberty of all American citizens. There is not a party that is for freedom – no mistake about that.

Consider that most people dislike the Republicans for their over-reliance on evangelicals; for their restrictions on the decisions of women via their “pro-life” stance; and for their traditionally anti-gay views. This is infringing upon peoples’ social liberty because it restricts their freedom based on sexuality, gender, or, in some religious extremists’ cases, religion.

Consider that some people dislike the Democrats for trying to increase taxes and increase the role of government in all sectors of life, especially now in the economy. This is infringing upon people’s economic liberty because they seek to restrict the way that people trade goods and conduct their business. Having freedom of any kind naturally carries risk – the risk of failure. The government, in essence, seeks to remove the risk of failure by taking over the banks, etc., etc.

When you put these parties together (have a compromise between the two), what do you get? General authoritarianism, where the government dictates what you do, both socially and economically. Is this the type of system the “land of the free” deserves? NO!

I’d argue, that since the founding of this country, political thought has become increasingly homogenized, especially in the past 60 years, due to the two-party system. Again, ask, “What makes two people in the Democratic party any different from one another?” Not much; and I’d wager that that fact is a cause (or is it an effect?) of the lack of diversity in political thought from our people, and, thusly, the representatives they elect. And if there is no diversity in political thought (along party lines, of course: Republicans vote Republican and Democrats vote Democratic), then, one can argue that no one’s really thinking at all. Think about it: if your political views mesh with the typical Democratic robot, then you don’t have to think, for they think for you! You hear them talk, you nod in agreement, and life goes on. Then you hear a left-leaning journalist spit fire at the Republicans, you, again, nod in agreement (for Republicans are The Enemy), and life goes on. Whenever you talk politics, you just vomit back what you heard on TV or read in the newspaper, and life goes on, without any analyzation of your beliefs.

This type of system benefits nobody but the ruling class. We’ve become programmed like Pavlov’s dogs: the majority of the populace has been conditioned to think highly of a person that has that capitalized “D” next to the state they represent when they’re interviewed on the major news networks (note: substitute “D” for “R” when appropriate). And when the “R” shows up – well, he’s just another Bush and shouldn’t be listened to.

(As a side note: when there is infighting among parties – witness the fears of Hillary “ripping apart” the Democratic Party during the Conventions last year- people hope they all “get along” and keep going with the party line. Back then, I said I hoped she would concede to Obama but now I realize there was no correct choice, and I imagine that it would’ve been preferable for the party to be torn apart if Hillary pulled a stunt during the Conventions. My reason? I don’t want parties)

Is this the kind of divisiveness we need in our country?

As I said before, if we all think along the party line(s), who do we elect? The same people, or, at the very least, people who follow the party line(s) – the sad thing being that there is no tangible difference between the two options. And so, we elect the same people, and they continue to get nothing done or they decide to do the worse alternative: make bad laws.

We wonder why the country is going downhill, and then you look at Congress’s approval rating, which has hovered around 30% for what seems to be time immemorial. If we really dislike who is in Congress that much wouldn’t it make sense to vote them out of office by replacing them with someone more competent and has a political ideology that would better represent us?

But, the problem is, we’re given two choices in most races, and are forced to pick one of the two party lines that fits ours the best. And, most often, we elect people of the same party – people who closely share political ideologies… Who are likely going to repeat the failings of their predecessor. So we vote in what seems to be a revolving door of people who follow a certain party line, but, somehow, 70% of us more or less disapprove of Congress as a whole.

The issue lies in the homogeneity of the parties and of the populace. It has become evident that the two-party system is worthless and is destroying the quality and quantity of political thought in this country. It gives no choice to those who disagree with the dominant parties and force their hand into voting for the lesser of two evils. I say that we abolish the party system and vote for people based on the quality of their thought and their policies, not the name of the party they’re a part of. I say we stop casting our votes for both parties, since they are against our liberty. I say we open our minds and encourage those with alternative viewpoints and vote for them instead. I say we pick up a book on political theory or economics instead of turning on our televisions.

And, if you don’t believe me, I think you’ll take George Washington’s word that the party system does not work. From his farewell address in 1796:

They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.

However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion…

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally…

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

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Normally, I’d be obliged to write my own material concerning the auto industry’s bailout (well, that’s for tomorrow!), but this piece (that was on the Delicious popular page) was way too good to pass up.

Linked from here.

…The lesson here: Unlike their counterparts GM and Ford, Toyota has always taken a long-term strategic view about their employees. Toyota understands that laying off thousands of employees for slowdowns or plant retooling is counter productive. They wisely utilize the time to redistribute their workforce to understaffed plants, provide additional training for the new products, and leverage their workforce to speed the transition for newer products. Their philosophy has avoided labor disputes and staffing shortages. It has kept the company as a leader in quality and profitability over its shortsighted competitors….

Check it out!

Well, it’s official: according the MSNBC, all US forces will be out of Iraq by the time 2012 rolls around.

(from the BBC)

Under the deal, US troops will withdraw from the streets of Iraqi towns next year, leaving Iraq by the end of 2011.

The decision will need to go before Iraq’s parliament for a final vote.

America’s National Security Council welcomed the cabinet’s vote, saying it was “an important and positive step” towards stability and security.

The pact is necessary to determine the role of US military forces in Iraq after their UN mandate expires on 31 December 2008.

In October, Iraq sent a new round of suggested changes to the draft Status of Forces Agreement (Sofa), to which the US responded.

Washington had previously said the pact was “final” and could not be amended.

The UK government, which has 4,100 troops in Iraq, is waiting for the US-Iraqi pact to be approved so they can use it as a template for their own bi-lateral deal.

Well, we had to take out our troops sometime, and 2012 seems reasonable, though I’d prefer that we pulled them out earlier. Still, I think this gives the Iraqi government more than enough time to clean up its act and prepare its troops to actually defend against terrorism.

At the same time, I’m not so sure I like this, considering that we have been using Iraq as a launching pad for attacks against Syria, in addition to using our bases in Afghanistan to conduct strikes in Pakistan. Keeping troops in Iraq for any longer amount of time means that it’s possible that we can conduct cross-border strikes into Syria again, and possibly Iran.

There’s no question that we need our troops out, but it looks like Iraq is an eternal damned-if-we-do, damned-if-we-don’t situation. The truth is, we really don’t know what kind of hell we’ll unleash once all of our troops leave the country, and we won’t know for sure until January 1st, 2012.


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In the wake of the financial crisis that’s engulfing the world right now, there have been many on the Left that proclaim that capitalism will cease to exist, since it alone (in their deluded eyes) has caused this collapse.

I’m astonished at their ignorance and lack of gratitude for the monetary system that has, singlehandedly (well, along with the establishment of the United States), lifted much of the world out of poverty and into a culture of freedom, free from the monarchs and Communists.

These Leftists spout useless drivel about how it’s capitalism’s fault that people are losing their jobs, that it’s capitalism’s fault that the banks did ill-advised lending, that it’s capitalism’s fault that people are in poverty in undeveloped countries, that it’s capitalism’s fault for somehow putting a gun to the head of our legislators and “making” them institute a $700 billion bailout for these banks. It’s not capitalism’s fault, and I can guarantee that those people who lost jobs wouldn’t have had them in the first place without it, that the banks would commit more fraud without it, and there would be more government intervention without it.

And then they say that capitalism is not moral; that it doesn’t give people living wages and it makes them poor. Except, naturally, they forget that capitalism has lifted hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and into work, that it allowed people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs to make millions with a vision for the future and the drive needed to make that dream a reality. Capitalism has let people make money with their work and their skill. It allows the individual to pursue the course that they want (economically), and they are rewarded for their competence – nothing more, nothing less.

It is these hypocrites that do not know what they’re saying when they say, “Capitalism must go!”, because they, truly, don’t have an idea of what capitalism is. They scream that the capitalist system must go, but they have no idea what economic system to put in its place; it is this fact that makes these people ignorant and nothing more than sheep. They don’t understand that, in eliminating capitalism, you must erect something with the structure of socialism (perhaps even Communism) in its place, which would surely destroy the framework of this country and all the worlds’ economies. Surely, if we’re going to remove capitalism, where capital is held and moved primarily by the private sector, we must consolidate it within the public sector – giving more control of the economy to the state.

It is this that reveals the true hypocrisy of these fools. These are probably the same people who (correctly) say that our government has grossly mishandled and misled us into two wars, the government that is putting most of its money into feeding the military-industrial complex in doing so, and is corrupt to the core. But, in destroying capitalism, these people are advocating letting the very same government run our economy, giving out handouts as they wish. How does that make any sense? Our main legislative body has a single-digit approval rating, and these imbeciles think that we should give them more control over the country?

This is why capitalism cannot and will not fall: the citizenry will wake up and realize that more (bad) government isn’t the remedy to the situation. In fact, it’s more poison.


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A week or so ago, thebeadden posted a comment on MusEditions’s blog, lamenting the corruption in charity and “every social structure” in the world. This post is intended to be a response to that comment.

I’ll tackle bead’s argument point for point, doing the best I can (you can read the full comment/post here!). The first part:

The only problem I have is that when we start donating aid and money, it doesn’t always go to helping the people it is meant for. Believe me when I say that a lot of money goes to the wrong hands. I work around people from many different countries and some of them tell me about the scams, some of them have opened businesses here with that money. And I have been told how I can get in on it too. I just about choked try to keep my mouth shut but inside I was seething.

Totally agreed, and this points to a lack of morality on the scammer’s part, and a lack of discretion on the donator’s. While it seems like whoever is donating to these NGOs and charitable organizations is getting scammed when the funds do indeed get scammed (and they are!), a chunk of the responsibility is the donor’s, no ifs, ands, or buts. It is the donor’s responsibility to exercise serious discretion when selecting a charity to donate to, just for this reason – one should check exactly where the funds go and who sponsors the charity for the sake of security. If the charity doesn’t seem legitimate, nobody should donate to it; no one’s holding a gun to the head of the donor and saying they have to donate to any charity at all.

Another reason is that there are people out there just dying for a one world government. I wish with all my heart that it could happen and be a good thing. Small movements are started, and everyone on the lower level thinks they are doing this for all the right reasons. In truth many of these efforts are only stepping stones to pave the way for people to give in to the bigger plan.

One world government would end the world, or at least set the stage for a dictatorship of the majority, whatever that happens to be. There are simply too many voices on this earth for a single, unified government to work — think of how many political parties there would be. With that many parties, all the voices would be drowned out in the white noise.

You allude to some movements losing their integrity after they assume control. Yes, while there are cases of corruption destroying a leader/movement, more often is the fact that what works in theory doesn’t necessarily work in practice. As things start to go wrong with their agenda, it appears that the movement is self-destructing, and, as that happens, leaders turn dictatorial.

And the ones running the show don’t have the goodness in their heart that all these people have. All that has to happen is one of them getting to be the one running the show. We elect people who don’t know anything put power, corruption and greed.

Not necessarily – there are some who are indeed good people. In fact, I’d wager that most of the elected officials are good people. But, the System has constraints, and these people have to keep their jobs by being in bed with corporate interests and especially the military-industrial complex. The people at the tops of those ladders are the ones who need replacing with able-minded and pure people, not those in government. It’s the corrupt lobbyists and corporate infrastructure that corrupts the legislative process with their “gifts” to the legislative bodies (also known as bribes).

Part 2 is coming tomorrow. Stay tuned.

The BBC reports that in Damascus, a mass of thousands marched in protest of the American attack on a Syrian village on Sunday, which killed 8.

Many at the government-backed demonstration carried banners, shouted anti-US slogans and waved pictures of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Riot police surrounded the US embassy in Damascus, which American officials closed blaming security fears.

The Syrian government has demanded that Washington apologise for the incident.

The US state department and the White House have refused to confirm the alleged attack.

Slogans

The protesters, including many civil servants and students, converged on the central Youssef al-Azmi square.

Closing the Damascus embassy on Thursday, American officials cited “violence and significant damage to US facilities and other embassies” in past demonstrations.

Officials warned US citizens to avoid the area and an American school was also shut temporarily.

Is it any wonder how terrorist organizations manage to recruit young men to do their bidding against the evil West and especially America, when we kill innocent people and don’t even admit our crimes? These people feel a need to fight back against the Americans, who, as far as they know, have only killed their innocent friends, family, and countrymen while clearly violating international laws. The only way they can even dream of taking the fight to a much stronger opponent (that would be us) is to use terrorism’s tactics (in this case) of IEDs and suicide bombings.

The reason? Simply because our army is far better in conventional warfare than they are; they would be much less successful than they are if they fought like an actual army. By employing terrorism, they gain a little advantage: they make sure they can kill some Americans before they die.

We talk about how these terrorists are killing in the name of God. For some, that may be true, but for most, I’d expect that they’re killing in the name of their loved ones that our soldiers took away from them.

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After expressing distaste with the major news networks (CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc.) and newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post, I set out to find some better news sources that had better, let’s say, “journalistic integrity”. Let’s start with two better known sources:

The BBC

The BBC is massive, and, to my eyes, provides a much more balanced view of coverage around the world. I use it primarily for my general news source for everyday news coverage, and it does that very well. I highly suggest that people ditch their CNN or Fox or MSNBC feed and subscribe to the BBC’s: it doesn’t just focus on “American” issues and presents unbiased accounts of global news.

The New Yorker

Though it came under fire for their cover a few weeks ago, time and time again I’ve turned to the New Yorker for good, quality commentary and reporting. If it’s in doubt, check out these two articles: Boundary Issues | Preparing the Battlefield.

Now for three less well known sources…

Dandelion Salad
Dandelion Salad hosts a lot of excellent treatises and reports from various writers around the world wide web, and hosts posts from the Termi-Nader, Ralph Nader. The reporting is NOT what you’d find on the previously mentioned websites; these are original ideas/commentary that’s very, very in depth and enlightening. Check it out.

Information Clearinghouse
Information Clearinghouse became one of my favorite news sites for “underground” information after the good folks at Dandelion Salad linked it. Call it conspiracy theorizing, call it propaganda, it is very true. Don’t be fooled by the kind of ugly front page: all the reporting and analysis is top notch. Calls out the failings of politicians from both parties with equal gusto, which is very appreciated.

The Real News
I came across this on my own about 4 months ago, and was pretty skeptical of its reporting and its ability to accomplish its mission: totally member funded news with no government interference. Let’s just I’m not a skeptic anymore, and I particularly like their interviews alongside their reporting. Again, this is, in fact, as its name implies, real news. There is no concern for ratings and the like, and that really shows in the reporting, which is clear, concise, and, above all, the truth.

Original articles

Poland will host the missiles as part of a defence shield the US says it needs against “rogue states” like Iran.

Under the deal signed on Thursday, the US will install 10 interceptor missiles at a base on the Baltic coast in return for help strengthening Polish air defences.

Mr Rogozin [Russia’s envoy to NATO] told Reuters news agency the timing showed “the missile defence system will be deployed not against Iran but against the strategic potential of Russia”.
* * *
“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st Century,” Mr Bush said.

“Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation.”

Washington – which says the timing is not linked to the Georgian crisis – has always assured Moscow that the shield is to protect against long-range attacks from “rogue states” such as Iran, rather than Russia.

I am stunned at our government’s inability to do anything diplomatic. You’re trying to engage in peace talks with Russia, but you blame them for “bullying” and “intimidation”, Mr. Bush? To further piss off the Russians, you place missiles in Poland to “defend against Iran”? I think everyone knows that the missile program placed in Poland was to defend against a Russian nuclear strike, which you are helping along quite well by creating gross double standards and being a hypocrite when it comes to invading other nations. We’ve invaded two countries, and are planning to invade Iran just because the news put a spin on what Ahmedinejad said. Is this what America’s all about? Hypocrisy? Oh, and did everyone forget that last year, Russia offered to put a missile shield in Russian controlled areas in Azerbaijan, which borders Iran, in the event that Iran launched a nuke? We turned that down… For Poland. Why pass up a place right next to Iran for a shield in the middle of Europe? Because they want to antagonize the Russians, unfortunately.

Still worse is how US officials say the placement of a battery in Poland isn’t at all related to the Georgia situation. Of course it is! How could it not be? Poland let the U.S. install the batteries because they are scared of Russia after what the media portrays as a sign of “Russian aggression”. No, they (the Russians) just don’t like seeing Ossetian citizens get killed by their own government, that’s what. Our media has done a bang-up job of getting out their confetti, putting their party hats on, and saying, “THE BEAR’S BACK, BABY!”

The “Bear” is not back unless we threaten the Russians with military intervention — or worse, a nuclear strike. Unfortunately, with the way our media is spinning (read: lying about) this conflict, that might be very soon. And the consequences for a war in Russia will be much larger than anything we’ve seen before.

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