Tag Archives: Democracy

Charity & Changing the World.

As I was driving home from work yesterday, I heard someone come on the radio and advertise a school supply drive where you could bring school supplies to this particular location and they would then be donated to people in need.  I sat there and began thinking: yes, donating school supplies to people in need might help a child a little bit in school, or at least help out the parents so they don’t have to spend the money, but to what end?   The people doing this don’t actually care about changing the systems that put people in need of school supplies in the first place.  All they’re doing is giving companies like Walmart and Crayola some extra money that they wouldn’t have otherwise gotten.

I don’t believe we should stop giving people things they need like food, clothes, medicine, and school supplies.  However, we should realize that if that is all we are going to do, all we’re doing is creating a situation where generations after us will still be giving school supplies to each other years down the road, with no actual problems being solved.  We’re just going to end up with more and more people who need school supplies, clothes, medicine, food, etc.

I think that our concept of “charity” here in America, however well-intentioned it may be, is not solution-oriented enough.  We think we can just throw people money every now and then and maybe it will fix the world’s problems.  NEWS FLASH! That isn’t going to work!  To solve the problems that we see in the world today, we need a lot less charity and a lot more working on innovative ideas that will really change things.  Does our economic system allow for people to make absurd profits off the proliferation of complex societal problems like mental disease, poverty, drug use and abuse, the cancer and obesity epidemics, and terrorism?  Absolutely.  Capitalism definitely has its pros, but it also has some major cons.  Does our current governmental system allow people with large amounts of money to have a much larger political influence than those without the same?  Yes.  We may have a “democracy,” but it is corrupt, and it is not serving the people.  It needs a renovation.

To reiterate, my point is that charity, however helpful it may be for some people at some times, will not change the world in any meaningful way.  We need to – and I say this all the time – think bigger.  As in we need to see a bigger picture.  When we see problems – for example, cancer – we need to focus not just on ways to “cure” them or to put a metaphorical band-aid on them, but on ways to prevent them from ever happening in the first place.

So, I say let’s get out there and do some real work to change the world.  Not just sit around throwing people a few things here and there while perpetuating the very system that got them there in the first place.  God* knows we need some new and fresh ideas for this crazy 21st-century world.

(;

—————————————
*or Allah, or Buddha, or Vishnu, or The Universe

It’s Not Obama.

So, it is now that time where I’m going to get a little political.  Don’t worry, though, this shouldn’t be anything like what you’ll hear when turning on the TV. (;

 I don’t identify as either a democrat or republican, because I feel like both – yes, both – parties have a lot of issues that I simply can’t and won’t be associated with.  But, even more so is the fact that they both actually take the same stance on a lot of issues that I deeply care about, and feel like are far more important than many of the ones that apparently distinguish democrat from republican.   That’s a post all its own.

What I wanted to talk about is the hoards of people who likely (but not necessarily) identify as republican, and whose number-one complaint right now is this: Obama.  Yup! Nothing else!  Literally, just Obama.  They might say “Obama and his evil liberal minions” or “Obama and all his Muslim Terrorist Friends from Islamistan (joke, kind of),” but they talk about Obama like he’s the all-powerful leader of this elaborate scheme to take over the American government and turn us into the New North Korea. 

I understand that our American government is becoming ever-more like a dictatorship, and we do seem to be losing many of our rights.  I agree on that!  But they act like Obama is literally the cause of Everything Wrong with America, like he sits up at night plotting what his next move is going to be to take away some more American rights!

In this way of thinking, they’re missing an essential piece of the puzzle.  At least 80% of the decisions that are blamed on Obama, Obama didn’t make!  Most of the problems that are attributed to him, he had nothing (or almost nothing) to do with.  He – as well as most of those well-known public faces holding some government office – is just a puppet for big oil, big weapons, big banks, big agribusiness, big pharma and big media.  Of course, it suits these Big Interests to have Obama as a scapegoat to focus all the republicans’ very legitimate anger and frustration on, letting them think that at the next election they can just vote in one of their kind and things are going to magically fix themselves.

But replacing Obama with anybody – even you! – won’t fix any of our big problems.  It’s completely pointless when the government itself has so many issues, and that’s not to mention the revolving-door relationship between the government and big business.  Mitt Romney’s top donors during the past election were the biggest banks and investment firms in America.  “Party” is obviously irrelevant; the government as is has far too many tie-ins with Big Business.  I mean, it’s like we’re all in a sinking boat with a giant hole in it and everyone’s arguing about what method to use to get the water out while completely ignoring that giant gaping hole in the side!

In another analogy, our entire government really is like a rickety three-hundred-year-old house we just keep trying to patch up, when it would be much more effective and worthwhile to just demolish the thing and build a brand-new, beautiful, maybe even energy-efficient one!  

I’m not saying that that would be an easy task, or one that doesn’t require lots of planning and cooperation by everyone involved on so many different levels.  I’m also not saying we might not have to seek out and utilize some of the world’s best and most modern technology in order for everyone to have a meaningful say in how things turn out.  But what I am saying is that, when all is said and done, we’ll be the ones with that awesome house on the street that everyone slows down to marvel at as they’re driving on by.  We can be that Capital of Democracy once again, if we so choose. (;

There is no reason to fear governmental reform simply because the task is too daunting or it seems like too much work.  That’s what we call being lazy.  One of the number one steps to achieving any kind of great success is doing the hard work.  It’s spending that extra time on something, and not giving up when things get really, really tough.

It’s time to stop putting the blame for the Way Things Are on anybody but ourselves.  We, together, have all of the power in the world to change the things that we don’t like.  The key word there is together, though, and that’s why there are psychopathically power-hungry People who have a vested interest in keeping us divided smack down the middle, as in, republicans and democrats.

It’s time to set aside all the petty differences and realize that all of us, as far as I know, still value things like freedom, justice, love, peace and liberty.  It’s time to admit that there are corrupt people currently involved in our government, in big business, and in both at once that are extremely money- and power-hungry, and who wouldn’t mind taking those Valued Things from us, if to them, it means making an extra buck.

The problem here is not with Obama. 
The problem is with us.
It’s time to stop complaining unless we’re going to Do Something about it.

Love & Light

Illusory Freedom.

Americans like to tout their supposed “Freedom” as a reason why America is the “greatest country in the world” and why some people supposedly “hate us.” (Hataz!). I mean, we have the freedom of Speech, freedom of Religion, and freedom of the Press! What more could we possibly want?

Let me start off by saying that we do not have any of the above freedoms, or at least not in the way that we think we do.  The only real freedom we have in this country is the freedom to choose the work we do for a living, and even that isn’t true for all people, or at all times. As for the aforementioned “Freedoms” that make America so great…

What use is “freedom of speech” when the people who try to expose the sadistic things our government/military does are thrown in solitary confinement, regularly forced to strip naked, harassed and otherwise silenced?  What use is freedom of the Press when a mere Five Mega-Corporations control over 90% of the media you will see or hear in the U.S.?  What use is the freedom to choose a religion when nearly 80% of Americans identify as “Christian” and 75% of people are known to stick with the religion their parents raised them as? 

While we’re on Religion: it would be one thing if people were educated on all religions up until they reached a mature age where they were able to choose one for themselves – encouraged to follow their heart, guaranteed to be free from persecution (true Freedom).  However, most American Christians take their kids to church with them from the day they’re born, and they expect said children to Follow in their own footsteps.  Many kids who choose to go against this conditioning are ostracized by their family, or at least have to live with knowing their parents think they’re going to Hell.  Christians regularly try to impose their faith on others, and will tell you that anyone who doesn’t believe Like They Do is going to be tortured and burned alive for eternity (freedom of religion! Yeah!)

”But of course, these are isolated examples,” you might say.  “At least we don’t live under a dystopian dictatorial government that controls every aspect of our lives… we have a democracy!”  Yeah, you get one measly little vote for every four years of your life after you’re eighteen (which totals to about 15 for your Entire Life), and that’s about the scope of your say in the government unless you want to get into politics (which most people don’t).

Let me put it another way:  You did not help to create our government. You don’t get to pick what billboards you see on your way to work. You don’t choose what airs on TV or what the local Hit Music Station plays on the radio.  You had no say in what classes would be fed to you for the first twelve years of your life, eight hours a day, for five days a week, as soon as you were able to speak.  You don’t set the fashion trends, or choose what artists get picked up by a label.  You don’t make the laws, choose what magazines are in your face at the cash register, or decide what chemicals are dumped in your drinking water.  You don’t get to decide who you’ll marry, what you can put in your body (drug laws), or what is safe for you and what isn’t (seat-belt laws).  The amount of control we actually get over our day-to-day lives is little to none, because on top of all this, we are also controlled by Money, and, of course, Debt.

So, the next time you’re talking to me about Soldiers dying for our Freedom in some far-away-lands, don’t mind me when I look at you like you’re a bit delusional.  I just haven’t the slightest idea what freedoms it is that you’re talking about.