All For The Love Of Money

I have been very saddened these last few days following the massacre in Newtown Connecticut as have many the world over.  Yet another senseless killing, and this time involving not only innocent people, but little defenseless children by yet another mentally unstable person who just happened to have free access to high-powered war intended weaponry.

As I have shared in a previous post “Guard Your Mind”, I believe that it is the person who pulls the trigger that does the  killing and not the gun.  However, I will state here and now that I am in no way in favor of having high-powered assault weaponry readily available on the market. It has NOTHING to do WHATSOEVER with the 2nd amendment and everything to do with those who make a living off of this ignorance and who do NOT have your best interest in consideration but rather their own.

There is a LOT of money changing hands with the sales of arms and for that reason the NRA and Gun Owners Of America lead by Larry Pratt who are very well-financed to launch their campaigns.  Their argument is that you should stand up for your 2nd amendment rights in the lame attempt to convince you that you will lose that right if ANY type of arms are banned.  this is a total lie, and the only ones that will be hurt by this are their employers. All for the love of money, they are willing to lay down your life for it!

It is a sad fact that many of the decisions that are made, much of the action that is either taken, or not taken is thanks to that love of money and not for your best interests that some would like to have you believe.  Take planned obsolescence for example:  There are a great majority of products that are purposely built to NOT last, so that you will have to re-buy them once they have been consumed which otherwise could be built to last. The argument with this is to create and maintain jobs, where are they? The FDA closes their eyes to harmful Genetically Modified Foods that are to blame in large part to the problem of obesity and other health related illnesses in the United States, but since they are paid well to pass these foods, they do so, again not with your best interest in mind.  All for the love of money! The list could go on and on!

Larry Pratt made a point on Piers Morgan last night, it was evil that killed these children and not the gun.  I believe he is right and therefore I retain that he is equally to blame for being evil by seeking his own interest group’s interests rather than that of the overall population.  and once again……All for the love of money!

Guard Your Mind!

The recent tragedy at the Cinema 16 in Aurora Colorado brings us back to the ever so controversial and questionable policies in regards to gun control in the United States.  It truly breaks my heart to read of such tragedy… lives devastated, hopes and dreams broken, families having to endure something that they never dreamed or thought possible.

I would like to state here that I am not an arms advocate or lobbyist by any means.  I am torn by the issue and I could say that I am in the middle road when it comes to the right to bare arms.  I live in Italy where there does exist a pretty rigid control on arms and laws that do not allow the citizens to protect themselves to the point that should you attempt to do so, you would most likely be charged yourself with a crime.  The law of the land goes on to protect the aggressor rather than the actual victim, and I am most certainly not in agreement with this. It is so much so here that Italy has become known as “the garden of delinquency” and people come from other states to engage in lawless activities, and sad to say they get away with it most of the time with little more than a “slap on the hand”.

I am however in total disagreement to the fact that assault rifles are legally obtainable as they most certainly do not fall into the category of a hunting rifle or a hand gun for self-defense. But at the end of the day, when all has been said and done, it was not the gun that shot these innocent people, it was a person who used the gun to kill.  People kill people, persons who have allowed themselves to be emotionally influenced be it by drugs, by jealousies, by hatred, by not being able to cope with their own reality.

We have so very many things that we could debate and say are the culprit to this type of incident, and of course the issue that comes out each and every time is “where was God in all of this”.  As I have stated in a previous post, God is not here to make decisions for us, He has given us the majesty of choice, and it is totally up to us to do good, bad, or to be indifferent and then we will find ourselves living with the circumstances.

What comes to me once again is the importance of guarding my mind and keeping myself in subjection.  We are so self-righteous when we pride ourselves in the fact that we live in the “free-world”.  Well, the free world has its down side too.  The free world is full of people, people who are all vulnerable to falling to temptation, to hate, to jealousy, to bitterness, to violence and yes sad to say to total insanity which is capable to causing grief to an entire community such as Aurora, Colorado.

When we see our brother sister, son, daughter, friend or anyone for that matter goes through something that could cause them to go off the deep end in their lives, and we do nothing to help, and by help I include  seeking professional help, and even in some cases legal action, we too are then just as guilty as the one who pulls the trigger!  There is a saying that goes, evil abounds when good men do nothing!  Once something happens such as did with of James Holmes, everyone is out to try to play the blame-game.  James Holmes most sadly made some very bad choices.  James Holmes personally allowed himself to be influenced in one way or the other by an illness or harboring hatred or some things that led to him losing his mind.

I’ll end this by saying that my heart goes out to each and everyone who was hurt by his actions, by his decision and I pray that justice will be swift and will not drag on and cause further pain.  And I will urge you who read this to guard your mind! We are all susceptible to evil, it is your choice to give in, or resist!

SOPA Causing No Small Stir!

Today we are waking up to a major protest to the SOPA and PIPA bill proposals that are being considered to become law.  While I can understand the reasoning behind these proposals to help protect copyrighted materials, I do believe that it is taking power a bit too far and could result and a huge backlash and repercussions that would cause more damage than good.

When I first heard of this I was reminded of when Google, for very similar reasons left the PRC due to over-censorship.  It got to be way out of hand and caused no end of a waste on time, personnel and became necessary to pull out all together.  I can see how this could happen within a country like China that has an all controlling one party government and has a zero tolerance level to anything that might suggest an opposing view.  In fact, it is the only country that I have ever been to that you can pick up a newspaper and only read good news, mostly news about how wonderful the government is.  I remember being in a hotel room and while watching BBC the station would often experience “down time” or be swiftly changed to a commercial to avoid broadcasting something critical of its government! Is this what you want?

Now, while I understand that the idea behind SOPA is not to avoid our talking negatively about our government, I still do not see how in the USA we would have agencies of any kind making sweeping Gestapo type controls over the INTERNET.  It is almost as silly as having the police show up at your door and take your car away because it had been reported that you had run a red light.  It is already actually easy enough to find anyone who is working illegally through the digital tracks that are left behind, it will eventually catch up with you, but to start censoring everything because there is illegal activity online.  It is almost as silly as closing down a discotheque  because there are some people who have sold drugs there.

I’m afraid that law enforcement needs to just realize that they will just have to work harder in order to stop the bad guys without punishing the rest of the world.  Let’s try to stay “the free world” and not succumb to a all controlling, manipulative nation! What do you think?

Freedom of Speech?

If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.–George Washington

I am greatly saddened and somewhat embarrassed of late to read the news with how heavy-handed the authorities have gotten with protesters, who are simply attempted to enjoy their right of “freedom of Speech” which seems to have gone the way of all things that once made our nation great.  In America last year and even again today when we sit comfortably in our living rooms and watch our TV at the huge protests taking place in Egypt, Libya, Syria the commentary that is largely heard by most is: “good for them, they are standing up for their rights!”  Then once the authorities of these countries crack down on the protesters the reaction is, “oh how terrible, too bad they are in such a suppressed country, they need a change of government!” People do you even hear yourselves?

The fact is, there are serious problems with government in our country, serious corruption that begs to be addressed, and must be addressed.  Problems with the way things have been structured to protect those responsible for the economic debacle and it is not being addressed, it is only being applied an occasional band-aid to keep them afloat.  If the issues for which the occupy movement were to be seriously addressed, and something studied to correct the problem, I am sure that everyone would just go home and back to school or even back to work (when there are finally jobs to go to) without hitting them with batons, spraying them with pepper spray and using tear gas.

Freedom of speech yes, as long as it goes along with the status quo you can say all that you want, but if you take to the streets with your “freedom” and are met with violence, then what difference is there between Cairo and New York?  Things get hazy! Yes, I am free to write this article, that is fantastic, and chances are those who don’t agree with me will just let me know.  I am hopefully going to be able to go outside of my door and not get arrested or clobbered, but how on God’s earth are we going to see change if the government continues to ignore, and do nothing about the serious problems that a rather large number of the population are not happy with?

I am not thrilled to see protests, I do not necessarily enjoy having disruptions in the streets, dirty parks and all that these gatherings cause!  But I also do not agree with how the so-called solution to the problem is being administered.  I do not agree with the hypocrisy of certain individuals who are so upset at the protesters and calling for something to be done to “get them off the streets”!  These are the same ones that cheered on the protesters in Cairo to take down Mubarak (and they are the same ones that supported him for years!) These are the same ones that supported the invasion of Iraq, the killing of Saddam Husein and they are the very same ones that placed him in power to begin with!

In the constitution it states “freedom and justice for ALL” not for those who are privileged, nor only for those who own banks, nor only for those who are in government!  Would you rather we be lead to the slaughter like sheep?  I say, address the issues NOW, initiate the needed changes NOW, stop skirting the issues, placing ridiculous band-aids on the banking industry and beating and spraying your citizens!  What say you?

Who’s Fool Are You?

Opinions are formed in a process of open discussion and public debate, and where no opportunity for the forming of opinions exists, there may be moods /moods of the masses and moods of individuals, the latter no less fickle and unreliable than the former /but no opinion.”–Hannah Arendt

We live in a world where the majority of the people do not have an opinion that is there’s alone. We tend to get so caught up with what is happening around us at the moment,  rarely taking the time to pause and seek to fully understand an issue before we reach our own conclusion!  It is far easier to latch on to an already existing mindset and jump on to the band wagon without a full understanding of what it represents. You can get too dogmatic towards a “cause” that you just follow blindly wherever it may lead you! In politics we too easily latch onto the “conservative” or “liberal”  sides and then forget to take a look at where either of the two may be going.  Young people (and some older alike) tend to follow a fad, trend or the latest celebrity.

Particularly in America, I dare say, we are a fad driven population that is way too influenced by who really should be the very last to influence us given the fact that the only thing going for them may be popularity, but all other roads lead to a dandy bad example.  Too many people are so gullible and suckers for the shallow fame of celebrities that they spend the larger part of their waken hours following every step of news or gossip that unfolds in the lives of these people.  This is one very big reason why we have fallen into the mess we are in today!  So many are distracted by the less important details of what “so-in-so” is wearing to the party rather than the growing economic problems that are being faced by a large population of the country.   Scary!

Those who have been awakened to the serious state of the economy and have been raising their voice about it seeking change are counted as fools from the others who may, for them moment, not be suffering all that much and who have been highly distracted by this fact.  But really at the end of the day..who’s fool are you?  We are all influenced in one way or the other, but we do not have to use this as reason to follow blindly others without stopping for a while to fully understand where we are headed.  You can’t just jump on a bandwagon just because “everyone else is” and it is the popular thing to do.

Situations change, conditions change, all things change and you have to keep your eyes open in order to make the necessary turns to stay on the road!  Close your eyes for a few minutes and you will soon find yourself in a ditch, or worse yet, over the edge of a steep mountain! Don’t be a fool and follow blindly anyone else or you just might find yourself following a blind man who will lead you over the edge! Entertainment is great, but then there is a time to put the pop corn away, shut off the TV and get down to real business!

Are you being led around by the nose by others, or are you keeping your eyes on the road?

Does Being Politically Correct Make Things Right?

“In this era of political correctness, some people seem unaware that being squeamish about words can mean being blind to realities.”  Thomas Sowell

Words are real things, they bless or they curse, they lift up or they knock down and they can just plain hurt.  When I was a kid we used to always quote the line, “sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me”.  Kids are always out to put each other down in their formative years and we used this little “untruth” to save ourselves from being hurt, it didn’t always do the job.  I agree with the importance of being careful with our words in order to avoid unnecessary hurt, but I believe that this whole idea of being “politically correct” has been abused and misused to justify what should otherwise most certainly be condemned.

Let’s look at crime for example, we naturally feel that it is only right by law to not condemn anyone without following the “due process of the law” so,  although we may have on film an individual such as Jared Lee Loughner who committed multiple murders in the town meeting that Sen. Giffords had held in Arizona, it is stated “correctly” that he “allegedly” shot and killed that day.  We had to wait until he went through the whole process of expensive court hearings to condemn him.  But it all depends of course where the crime was committed and by whom to then find it perfectly within our right to “execute” the likes of Osama Bin Laden, or Gaddafi without holding a trial.

Is all really “fair in love and war“, as the old adage goes, which I thought was just yet another little line we used to playfully excuse our personal lacks in certain circumstances, or is it actually a crime being committed legally? Let us talk about other politically correct statements that we read about on a daily basis.  We pick up our paper and read, “35 (to give a number that was reported when in reality the number is more in the hundreds) people were killed today by “collateral damage“.  Oh gee wiz, gosh sorry about that, we were aiming at that dirty rotten terror enemy, and happened to have taken out a neighborhood of innocent men, women and children, but we didn’t mean it, they were just “collateral damage”.  Certainly to you, the reader, “collateral damage” sounds fine, it doesn’t make you toss and turn in the night with the thought of your troops having “accidentally” taken out hundreds of innocent people.

How about the unfortunate “friendly fire“?  Oh, darn!  Two men were taken out by a mistaken shot, but it was unintentional, and all was erased and forgotten in the minds of the everyday reader in the comfort of their home thanks to these two partially easy to swallow politically correct cliché’ “friendly fire”, but is it really right? And when does the “freedom fighter” become a “terrorist”,  well that just depends you see, which paper are you reading and where you live on the planet.

Folks, words are truly still hurtful, no matter how “politically correct” you try to be, because remember, political is an imaginary line drawn to separate states, or better said people.  By being “politically correct” you are only being “correct” towards a given populace, you are not being “correct” but rather, you are simply attempting to justify what you perceive to be right and attempting to convince the world that your cause is justified. But is it?  Which should we have done or not done?  Taken Jared Loughner out back instantly and shot him right in the dead,  or possibly assured that Osama and Gaddafi were taken safely into custody and tried in an international court?  Both perhaps, or neither?  It all depends on what side of the street you live on, it all boils down to an opinion, but who’s?  So which is “correct”.  History reads differently as you travel the globe, you may attempt to justify murder, but it will always be just that, simply murder.

Are you really righteous or just being politically correct?

United We Stand Divided We Fall

“In this decisive hour of our national history, union means life and division means death“.–Bao Dai (Vietnamese Statesman)

On the topic of the current Occupy Wall Street movement and along the lines of the 99% vs. 1%, I wanted to expound on the topic that I had begun the other day.  In particular I would like to share one important point and that is, I do not seek to find fault in either the Democrats, or the Republicans, in one President or the other, but rather I would like to highlight corrupt politics in general.  Today’s partisan environment has been one of the main culprits along with what I have already shared about greed and gain and this has been a problem on each side of the aisle.  As I touched on in a previous post entitled “The Pot and The Kettle are Both Black“.

I brought out previously the fact that  particular interest groups have been in control of the economy now spanning each and every administration from the time De-regulation had begun as a practice.  These folk have been appointed and not elected by “we the people”. These are the ones who tend to capitalize on the growing economical demise that the 99% face, and therefore are not so interested in finding a fast solution.  They are also the ones that tend to control who gets elected, if they will be re-elected, and what the general foreign policy will be as long as it will go along with their continued financial gain.  In the end, they have been buying your Government, bringing corruption through lobbying and offering their support in exchange of continued bad financial practices.

In war, psychology is used to in order to steer public sentiment to either support or stand against the opposition.  In politics it works much the same. In every war there will be an attempt to sow division amongst a population in order to help topple a regime, or a Government that the aggressive nation is trying to defeat.  Just after the tragedy of 9/11 there was naturally a tremendous amount of emotion and hatred stirred up against the enemy heralding a much-needed unity within our country. Not only because it lacked unity within the States, but the Government also needed that unity in order to get a stamp of approval to make the necessary moves in order to go to war against “the enemy”.  The only problem was, who was the enemy? Al Queda claimed responsibility, but was not a nation and so it became tough to find out just where Al Queda was.

Well, we knew that it’s leader was hiding out in the mountainous area of Afghanistan, and we didn’t really like the Taliban either, so it made perfect sense to invade Afghanistan and get rid of the Taliban.  But, then things got a bit foggy when news started being disseminated that there were “arms of mass destruction” in Iraq, so a campaign was made that we needed to intervene on Iraq, depose of that awful dictator Saddam Hussein (who previously was placed in power with the help of the USA). But this all went forward thanks to the fact that we were able to capitalize on the spirit of unity at the time.

In order to win any warfare, any election, any game, anything at all you must have unity! And one way to beat the enemy is to create as much confusion as possible within their ranks to cause a spirit of disunity.  Once this is accomplished, the victory is almost certain! Today, as in 2001 we need to have unity.  Today the enemy is not a terrorist group, a nation, a certain political party!  Today our enemy is the current economical problem that we all face and the only solution to win the war is to recognize who the enemy is, and then to unite and fight!

As long as everyone is trying to blame a certain person, party or group we will never win the war! It is time now to expose the real enemy, unite and agree to stop the leaks, the greed, the agenda of who is really draining the system, taking advantage of the chaos that has arisen through partisanship and childlike bickering and squabbling, and roll up our sleeves and eradicate the real problem! Corruption in general in our politics for personal financial and or political gain! Whosoever is seeking, at the hurt of the nation and it’s unity, and is trying to gain for themselves is the enemy, division is a tool of the enemy, don’t be a part of it!  United we will stand as a nation, divided we will become a second-rate, weak and broke nation!  You choose!

I spoke my peace, what thinks you?

My Take on 99% Vs. 1%

Well, there is so much in the news today about the 99%ers and the #Occupy Wall Street so I thought I would add my 2 cents on the subject.  It is a fact and has been for quite some time that the middle class is growing more and more a thing of the past and has almost become extinct.  It has actually amazed me at how long it has taken the general population to stand up and say something, but then again as long as there is some food on the table and some form of entertainment, the masses will remain distracted. How sad.

One simple fact that I am not sure if the 1%ers realize is, once there is no longer a middle class, who is going to be able to even afford to buy anything anymore which is the only way that anyone can be on top in the first place?  I am in no way shape or form in favor of communism and socialism, in fact, although China is a “communist” government they are more capitalist than the capitalist and have been going in that direction since Deng Xiao Ping.  Communism simply does not work, in that, the great majority of people will never be motivated enough to produce unless they are gaining greater benefits from their labor for themselves.  The ridiculously scary thing about the current economic climate is, as it stands today, what the 1%ers are doing is they are forcing the masses into a socialist mindset because the American dream is disappearing!

I am all for capitalist gain, earn your fair share, but when it  comes to the point at which it begins hurting the overall economy, penalizing the rest of the population pushing them to extremes such as we have today where a large number of people are unable to find work due to the continual failing of middle size businesses, then that is like shooting ourselves in the foot. This all started back with the deregulation era when Reagan was president which seemed so great at the time and was heralded as genius and dubbed “Reaganomics”. Unfortunately, the same group of financiers are still steering the ship!  We talk about how bad dictatorships are, but then by allowing this type of economy to go on unregulated, before you know it we are creating a dictatorship of our own, not through violent means, but through voluntarily giving up our financial independents by wrecking the overall economy!

I don’t really like civil unrest, protests and mudslinging, and the blame game scenario of today.  However, I do feel that change must come and come soon, otherwise the 1%ers will have no kingdom left to rule over and the 99%ers will all be on street without home or food!  And not all of the wealthy are to blame either, there are so many of them who are wonderful and have gained their honest share.  Wealth is good, wealth is what you deserve when you have worked hard for it, made sacrifices to build your dream, but when it then becomes greed  to the hurt of your neighbors, community and nation then it is no longer a continuation of the “American dream”, it can only become an American nightmare!

Those are my thoughts for what they  are worth!  What are yours?

Complacency Kills

“The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” –Albert Eisnstein

We live in a very complex world, so much injustice that goes on around us that we tend to grow callous to it all that we grow to accept it as “natural”! It is a sense of impotence, we feel as though we are powerless and can do nothing to change anything anyway so we do absolutely nothing. With the social media revolution however, it is growing more and more a power to be reckoned with as has been proven now in the middle east with the “Arab Spring”, which in effect is nothing more than “people power”.  The voice of the people becomes hard to ignore and therefore change becomes inevitable!

Evil can be overcome if just enough people grow conscientious enough to do something about it.  Sad to say we have been lulled to sleep for the most part through the luxuries of life to the point that, we are just happy to be able to have all our nice little trinkets. By and large many of today’s atrocities go right past us with hardly a second glance due to the insensitivity that we grow accustomed to through complacency.  This is true, until  finally a problems strikes right at our front door, and then only we realize how much we have been hood-winked and lulled to sleep by the people who have been just a bit more aware of just what has been going on around us in order to take full advantage and prosper at our expense!

Complacency is like a drug that puts you to sleep to the point that you are past feeling!  Nothing seems to matter just as long as you are left to yourself and have what to you seems to be a “normal” existence!  With the current economic crisis that is unfolding around the world, finally some people are waking up to the fact that they have been taken for a ride and have believed that their best interest had been taken into consideration, when in fact the best interest of a small interest group was taking full advantage of the masses.

Don’t ever be satisfied with how things are, always look for how things can change in order to grow and make progress! Do what you can do today, and tomorrow we can think about what is needed, but whatever you choose to do, do not allow yourself to fall prey to dreadful complacency!  Act now, tomorrow will already be too late, lest you fall victim the fruits of inactivity!

Are you aware of what is happening around you and ready to act when necessary?  Or are you foolish enough to believe that others have your full interest at heart?

Who Wins a War?–Nobody!

I have a scheme for stopping war. It’s this – no nation is allowed to enter a war till they have paid for the last one. –Will Rogers

There is a lot of talk of late, and understandably so, about the world economic crisis, political instability in the Arab world, and of course the ongoing threat of terrorism.  The economic situation in the United States has not been so serious since the days of the “Great Depression”, and sad to say, instead of getting better it seems to be growing worse. First  started with the blame game, the “who dunnit”, we found out where it originated, slapped a few hands of the greedy guys on Wall street, and handed the helm back into their hands to carry on as they had been doing! But hey, they own the White House so there is not much you can say!..Or is there?

But one of the culprits that has not been touched on all that much as being an economical drain, is the military budget, which has grown in disproportional levels thanks to our “war on terrorism” and military presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and the many other serious situations that have developed in a number of Arab nations.  This money drain is a significant sum of money that the American tax payers are paying to foot the bill for playing “policeman” to the world!  Here is the estimate of total spending requested for 2012 taken from Wikipedia: 1030-1415 trillion dollars!  Wow, if we could cut back on even half of that, we may even be able to balance the budget!

The United States and allies after WWII did a great favor for both Japan and Germany.  General McArthur helped draw up a new constitution for Japan which did not allow them to create an army of aggression but rather one limited to self-defense.  Germany was split into two different nations, one occupied by the communists and the other by NATO, thus Germany was not so militarily active besides protecting themselves from the threat they posed each other.  Since that time, both nations began to prosper and had become financial powers in their own right.

Granted defense is necessary, and in the case of counter-terrorism, America needs to be prepared, but to go beyond borders and to police the world, continually pouring trillions of dollar into wars, money that we do not have, is totally superfluous in my opinion and a great waste. So in the end, who wins a war? I believe that in a war, everyone loses.  Lives are lost, money is wasted, and not all that much is changed, in fact more people are getting stressed and the hate and anger level is on the rise, not decline which only heightens security concerns!

Now lets take a look around you, China who has a rather large military budget, has not used their military to invade or participate in the international policing, has been prospering! Not only, did you know that they are slowly buying the United States and that without firing a shot are economically taking over?  If things continue as they are now going, China is set to become the worlds greatest super power!

You may not agree, or maybe you do, let me know down below.