The Fringe Far Left

The Fringe Far Left
by
David Schlecht

Our news media is failing us in so many ways, so let’s take a small example and try to set the record straight. What is the “Far Left”?

Due to the gross failure of our corporate news, most people think that anyone who supports the concept of helping our neighbors is a fringe far leftie, a true socialist or maybe even a Fascist.

In other words, the media has us thinking that anything other than conservative agenda items must be fringe left, not moderate or left, but fringe far left.

Let me reset the balance for you to something a little more fair and balanced. At the extremes, the fringe far left could be (and used to be) interpreted as government where everything is shared amongst the people. That would be Communism. The opposite of this would be the fringe far right which would be a government where the people own nothing and everything is owned by aristocrats or big businesses (yes, they are one in the same). The name for the fringe far right is Fascism, the take-over of the government by big businesses and the ultra-wealthy.

Try as you might, you will not be able to find a true Communist in the Democratic party. In other words, we do not see the fringe far left in this country. There just isn’t one.

On the other side of the scale, many on the right are pursuing a truly Fascist agenda, trying to remove all restrictions on the rich corporations and redistributing the wealth from the middle class to the ultra-rich. They are owned by big business. This agenda is truly and purely Fascism.

You may question if the right is really as fringe far right as it seems. Ask yourself, what could the Republican politicans possibly do that is any further right. The only thing they could do is say, let’s give all the money to the rich. Obviously they can’t say that out loud so they must just pursue the change in the laws that make it happen while telling us it’s for our own good, like tax cuts for the wealthy. “That’s good for us too, because some day we would like to be wealthy.”

So how about the people on the left, could they be more left? Could they actually be passing laws to split the corporations up into communes? Of course they could if they were far left. Are they passing laws that take over non-commons industries?

They obviously could but nobody is. Regardless of what the conservative media is saying, no businesses have been converted to community control. However, there certainly should be some. Anything related to our commons is too important to leave in the hands of predatory capitalism. America’s founding fathers agreed with that so, I guess that makes them more left wing that the current conservatives.

What the corporate media is describing as far wing left is really not as far left as America’s founding fathers.

Ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Who would be lying to us about what’s far left and why?
  2. Why would anyone believe the liars?
  3. Since the top 1% of the richest Americans own 90% of America’s wealth (and most of the government), aren’t we already Fascist? Can it really get any further fringe right than this and not collapse? (Oh, wait, it is collapsing.)

Compartmentalized Thinking

Compartmentalized Thinking
by
Captain Jack

Extrapolating some on David’s earlier post regarding deficiencies in logic and reasoning, I’ll cover a specific shortfall in human thought.

To begin with, humans have a natural curiosity and a natural tendency to group our thoughts and learnings into compartments and to link these compartments together. In other words, once you learn that one stovetop hurts when it’s hot, you don’t have to learn the same for every other stovetop but rather can believe that everything in the compartment is the same.That’s compartments.

The next step is to link these compartments so since you know stovetops are hot and ovens are like stovetops, they just might be hot, too. That’s linking.

When a child learns too many things that can’t be reasonably linked, they learn to skip the linking part. As a simple example, a child may learn repeatedly that Jesus loves us and Jesus is Lord. He also learns, repeatedly, conflicting data, such as examples where God is hateful and destructive. [This isn’t about religion, so don’t get too excited.]

In order to believe the two conflicting compartments, the child learns not to try to link, or to give up easily on the task of linking. This condition makes it easier for the child to learn falsehoods and outright lies because there is no need to link and to reconcile the differences.

This is a mental deficency that is often a learned behavior.

This condition also arises when a child believes that he cannot question the authority figure that is lying to him or unknowingly misguiding him.

So you should be asking, “what does this mean to an adult?”

Let’s take a look at another example. Ask yourself, are you pro-life? [No, this isn’t a rant on abortion rights.]

If you said yes to this question, then it is most likely (statistically speaking) that you also endorse capital punishment. Capital punishment is not pro-life so why do you say you’re pro-life? Okay, maybe you’ll argue that I’m pro-life for everything except for that.

Is that really true? Are you pro-life? Do you think all American, better yet, all people should have free health care? If you’re pro-life, I’ll bet you are saying absolutely no to that question. Now we have three different compartments and you have no way to link them. How can you be pro-life and be against the majority of things that reflect a respect for life?

It’s natural for humans to interpret new data in the context of his understanding of the world around him. Things that don’t fit into this model of the world are rejected or forgotten. When there are too many things to reject, he finally stops and re-evaluates his model of the world.

If he has become an expert at not linking the categories then he can have any number of conflicting beliefs and never lose a night’s sleep.

Obviously this is not only bad for our hypothetical thinker, but for the world around him as well since he is constantly making decisions that are not only wrong but often dangerous.

If you find yourself wondering how to get out of this ditch, it’s easier than you might think. Just start trying to link your compartments. Start slowly and work from what you see to be true around you. For example, are you a kind person? Do you consistently make decisions that demonstrate that you are kind? When you catch yourself demonstrating otherwise, then stop and ask yourself if you’re really a kind person. Every day is full of opportunities to learn and grow.

Take the poll:

[poll id=”18″]

What are the Commons and why should we care?

What are the Commons and why should we care?
by
David Schlecht

We’ve discussed the concerns over our Commons in previous posts, specifically on Reinventing Capitalism.

The Commons were originally defined as the parts of the property of a society that all or most of the people shared. As an example, a small tribe may need nearby grazing lands where they can allow their horses to graze.

As long as the tribe is small and as long as none of the tribe members decides to make a profit off the commons, everything works perfectly. But sooner or later someone will find a way to make money off allowing his cattle to graze and the more cattle he can use to exploit the free commons, the more money he can make at the expense of the rest of the tribe.

This situation typically leads to an agreement (law) that the commons are for everyone equally and nobody should make a profit at the expense of anyone else.

When humans weren’t over-populating the earth, many argued that the commons were limitless and we could always move to a new land once we’ve exhausted the current commons. Back when America was young, we could dump all our waste in the rivers and it would just mysteriously disappear, or so we thought.

This misconception that the commons were limitless caused America’s forefathers to overlook the immense need to protect the commons. They didn’t say we shouldn’t protect the commons but they didn’t explicitly protect them to the level we need today with our over population problems.

Today we are beginning to realize that everything provided by the earth should reasonably be considered the commons and protected as such. Automobile manufacturers are making profits by building cars that spew their waste into our limited atmosphere and not paying to clean it up. Eventually there won’t be any clean air left unless we protect our commons.

Many industries are making a profit while they dump their poisonous waste into our rivers and streams. Eventually there will be no more clean water unless we start protecting our commons.

Many more industries are treating our earth as a dumping ground for their toxic waste, and then moving on to new land when the run out of room. Eventually we will run out of land unless we start protecting our commons.

In present times, we consider our commons to include things like our airwaves. Also, utilities that have a right-of-way across our properties are also reasonably society’s commons.

Another kind of common is that which is required for a successful society. This includes education, the press (or specifically newspapers as defined by America’s founding fathers). Some argue that reasonable medical services are required for a successful society and should also be treated as our commons. That is a whole other topic for a post of another day.

America felt that phones where required for a functioning society so American tax dollars were spent to ensure that everyone could get phone service. The same applied to the supply of energy. These are also commons. That’s not to say that nobody can make money off them, but that no one can have such a strangle hold on them that people die so big business can make more money. Sounds like America’s medical system, doesn’t it?

Protecting the commons is the only way, I repeat, the only way that society can survive.

As we’ve seen, commons can change over time. What is required for a society to flourish today is not the same as what will be needed in the future.

Dirty Little Lies Corporate America Doesn’t Want You to Know

Dirty Little Lies Corporate America Doesn’t Want You to Know
by
David Schlecht

How many dirty little lies do you know that corporate America wishes you didn’t? Here are a few to get you thinking. I’m sure you know many that most do not.

Lie #1: America spends money on important things.

Wrong! Half of our federal budget goes to the military. Now, ask yourself, is the military really worth as much as everything else combined? But, don’t forget, we can’t afford a couple billion for national health care. So where does all this money go? Well, it goes into building bigger and better weapons, of course. Remember the planes that the military doesn’t want but Congress is voting for anyway?

Lie #2: America exports lots of things.

Wrong! War is America’s largest export. Of all the things that we could be exporting, you know, like Cuba is exporting doctors, of all the things we could be exporting, death is our number one. Death, war, military might. The military industrial complex is raking in billions of dollars while the rest of the economy crumbles.

Lie #3: Conserve, reuse, recycle to save the planet.

Wrong again! If every home in America immediately swapped all their light bulbs out for the more toxic florescent bulbs, it wouldn’t reduce our energy consumption more than 1%. If every household in America recycled all their metal, plastic, paper, and glass, it wouldn’t amount to more than a 1% reduction. So, where is all the waste? It’s coming from corporate America.

Do you realize how much it costs to produce, package, ship, market, and sell all the stuff you recycle? It takes more than the little bit you see when you throw out the box.

Lie #4: America’s forefathers fought for a free and unregulated market.

What a lie! Our forefathers feared businesses and families getting so rich and strong that they corrupt government. That is why for most of America’s history, the tax on the very rich ranged between 72% and 91%. Up until the Reagan era, corporate America paid more than a third of the country’s taxes. Now it’s 7% and some, like Goldman Sachs, are only paying 1% in taxes. How much do you pay? Are you tired of letting the corporations and the ultra-wealthy plunder our country for free?

Shouldn’t there be some restrictions? Shouldn’t they be paying their fair share?

Okay, your turn, what dirty little secrets have I overlooked?

The Ozone Depletion Emergency, Then and Now

The Ozone Depletion Emergency, Then and Now
by
David Schlecht

Do you remember how successful America was at helping prevent the disaster of the CFCs destroying our ozone layer? If you don’t, you should look it up. If we hadn’t acted promptly, we would, today, be suffering huge cancer rates, and the destruction of huge numbers of species, many which we rely on. We averted a disaster.

How is this different from our current disaster, carbon dioxide poisoning? Why wasn’t the CFC industry successful at lying to us about the problem? Why weren’t they able to get huge percentages of otherwise intelligent Americans to defend their destructive ways?

One thing!

The CFC industry didn’t invest billions of dollars in mis-information campaigns and so the Republicans didn’t have a cause to defend.

Today’s emergency is no less an emergency but America is dragging her feet to address it. Why? It’s obviously because two of the richest industries , the oil and the gas industries have united to pump billions of dollars into lies spewed in all manners, on your TV by way of ads, on your TV by way of so-called experts, on your radio, in your news paper, and more than anything you can see this mis-information campaign controlling our elected representatives.

One political party rushes to the defense of this destruction and one opposes it. I bet you can’t guess which party is which. And, as a side note, what does that say about the gullibility of that party? I guess some people were just born to follow along, mindlessly defending the destruction of their own world.

Diversions and Deception

Diversions and Deception
by
Captain Jack

America has two major political parties and one is trying to address issues that pertain to all Americans and the other is trying hard to distract us from the important issues that affect all of us and lure us away with issues that divide us. Can you tell which party is which? Tell me, what is important to you and and your fellow Americans and what is your party’s position on the issue?

[poll id=”16″]

Obama’s Vietnam

Obama’s Vietnam
by
David Schlecht

What are we doing still mired down in Afghanistan?

This misbegotten war must be wearing like a stone around Obama’s neck. How can he possibly get us out with all the Republicans voting to keep us there and keep our young men and women dying in the dusty fields of Afghanistan? He has to be so careful about what Limbaugh or Beck will say that his options are limited. Thank you Republicans. When will you start to constrain your kooks?

Sure, you may say Bush got is into this mess. Of course, you should also be wondering why. It wasn’t Afghanistan that attacked us on 9/11. The criminals were mostly from Saudi Arabia. The master mind was not Bin Laden. They weren’t trained in Afghanistan, but in flight schools in Florida. In fact, almost any country would have made more sense to invade than does Afghanistan. But, still, Bush got us in here and Obama hasn’t gotten us out yet.

Here, it has been almost nine months in office, and Obama still has no clue how he’s going to get us out. And, surprise, our military industrial complex is clambering form more money and more troops. For Pete’s sake, what else would you ever expect them to say? I mean really! What else would you ever expect them to say? But, still, after almost a full year, Obama has no clue.

In four years, they’ll still be asking for more troops and more money, and Obama will fully own this mess. There is no military solution to this war any more than there was a military solution to Vietnam or any more than there is a military solution to Iraq. The surge didn’t help, regardless of what the always-been-wrong conservative pundits say. And that country is on the brink of collapse.

The only solution to middle east hatred of America is to stop exporting wars and war material in the middle east and stop propping up corrupt puppet governments, like Iraq and Afghanistan, Pakistan, and more. We consider that region to be strategically important. Why? Because they have oil that we want. We are paying with our dollars and the lives of our loved ones to protect the oil industry and their sources and shipping lines.

Ask yourself how you would feel if the roles were reversed? If a foreign power was constantly starting wars in our part of the world, and constantly selling weapons to our neighbors and constantly propping up authoritarian governments all around us. We would be fighting mad. You know it.

So what’s the solution? Shut down our military industrial complex, start supporting and encouraging free elections, even if we don’t get our favorite candidate, and start contributing as much to the reconstruction of the underprivileged countries as the rest of the world does. Do you realize that America donates the lowest per capita of all the major countries in the world. Fully last place. Is there really any wonder why so many people hate us?

US Soldier Afghanistan

Obama’s Peace Prize

Obama’s Peace Prize
by
David Schlecht

So, what do you think about Obama’s Peace Prize?

Here are my thoughts…

Watching all the Right-Wing nuts’ heads explode… priceless.

A note to the right: quit with the 100% everything Obama is bad and when something really does seem wrong to you, then someone, just maybe somone will listen to your rant.

Too bad for you.

Priceless!

Ensign Supports Halliburton vs Rape Victim

Ensign Supports Halliburton vs Rape Victim
by
David Schlecht

No wonder Nevada is so disgusted with Ensign. He’s a true blemish on Nevada.

Today he decided that it was more important for a multi-billion dollar defence contractor to be immune from prosecution than it was for a female employee to be safe working for them.

Today, Ensign voted to allow Halliburton to continue to harass and threaten a victim of gang rape perpetrated by Halliburton employees and continue to get billions of dollars in contracts from our government.

This man has no morals, but he obviously has no shame either.

Ensign, be gone!

And, on tonight’s TV Ensign had ads defending his siding with the health insurance industry and againsgt Nevadans as being good because he’s protecting Medicare. What a liar. What a sleaze. What a typical Republican.

Be gone!

Hannity’s Big Trickle

Hannity’s Big Trickle
by
David Schlecht

I was watching Hannity and Michael Moore discussing “Us vs Them” today and Hannity was trying to convince Moore that Moore is really one of Hannity’s crowd and not part of the rabble. Moore asked him if he repaid society for his riches, and Hannity replied, hey, we contribute. The whole defense was along the line of, hey, we trickle down a drip or two to the undeserving lazy rabble.

That’s the whole problem with the ultra rich. They refuse to admit that they are using a disproportionate amount of the commons that the middle class and poor pay a disproportionate share to provide. The rich are really living off the welfare that the rest of us provide for them. If it wasn’t for the wonderful country that the middle class and poor provide through our maximum 35% taxes those lazy rich people paying only 15% wouldn’t have any money at all. The rich owe everything to this country that allows them to amass huge sums of money.

It’s not charity, but they should be repaying 90-99% of their riches to the society that is making them so rich.

Trickle down on the rabble, Mr. Hannity. It’s time for the rest of us to quit paying your way in life. Pay us back for the wonderful country we are providing to you.

Supporting Honduras’ Coup

Supporting Honduras’ Coup
by
David Schlecht

So, what is Jim DeMint (R-SC) doing in Honduras negotiating with a military coup leader that is not recognized by America as the legitimate government?

Hasn’t anyone told him that it’s against the constitution for Congress to get involved in foreign affairs? Oh well, nobody ever accused the Republican Congress of being interested in anything other than fulfilling their own self interests.

And, isn’t DeMint a product of the secret “C Street” cult?

[poll id=”15″]

Celebrating Jesus

Celebrating Jesus
by
Paul Johnson

Today I saw a sticker on the back window of a car that made me sad. Why was I sad?

The sticker was a picture of a tortured pained grimacing face of Jesus, wearing a crown of thorns. How very strange that we celebrate Jesus’ life by endlessly showing icons of his darkest hour.

Should Jesus come to earth today he would be shocked and horrified to see his icon in every Christian church being a cross depicting his final hours.

Jesus did many wonderful things during his life here on earth but we don’t idolize that part of his life. No. We idolize his death. Why?

Jesus spent his life helping educate people, helping the poor and downtrodden. He healed the sick, especially those without insurance. He fed the poor. He spent his life helping those struggling to survive.

Why don’t we make an icon that depicts something more representative of his life? Because it’s not what matters most to us. What matters most to us is what we can get out of it. We iconize the cross because it’s what’s in it for us. We got cleansed for our sins. We have a chip in the big game, now. How selfish!

If Jesus came to earth today he would be as hateful of most of the Christian churches as he was in The Book of Revelation. The churches don’t try to follow his teachings or his hopes. They don’t even support a national health plan that would help the sick. All the things Jesus tried to do like help the poor, are the political things almost every Christian church opposes. He would be so very disappointed.

And that makes me sad for all of us who have lost track of what Jesus thought was important in his life. We go to church and pretend to be good Christians, we give lip service, and all the while we’re too selfish and greedy to help  the sick and the poor. Helping means more than giving money. It means living the dream of Jesus. Oh, my, he would hate these churches as much as he did those before, and for much the same reasons. Sad!

So, tell me. When is the last time your church taught you about how Jesus died for your sins and when was the last time your church reminded you how important it is to feed the poor and heal the sick? If your church is anything like the many I’ve been to in the past ten years, every sermon is about being saved by Jesus’ death (the selfish sermons) and none have been about voting for the party that wants to clothe the poor and heal the sick.

What would Jesus think of your church? Sad!

[poll id=”14″]

Email Silliness

Email Silliness
by
Paul Johnson

Got a funny one in my email today and just had to share with you. The message:

AGREE  OR DELETE

If You Choose To Delete You Are Part Of The Problem

Me? I’m Passing It On.
It seems to get worse daily.

This is by a daughter of a murdered couple in   Raytown ,   MO , who had a Bible and Bookstore on   63rd street ….

Just one more example:

When I had to testify at the murder trial of my parents a week ago, I
was asked to raise my right hand. The bailiff started out “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth?”

I stood there and waited but she said nothing. She said “Do you?”

I was so stunned I blurted out “What happened to “so help me God’?”

She came back with “Do you?” I replied yes, but I was perplexed.

Then the judge said .. “You can say that if you want to.”

I stopped, raised my right hand, and finished with “So help me God!”

I told my son and daughter that when it came time for them to testify, they should do the same.

It’s no wonder we have so many problems in this country. If I’d had my wits about me I’d have told them that taking God out of the courtroom is only going to result in more criminals and murderers.

I don’t know what can be done about it, but it’s time for us to step up and DO something.

NBC this morning had a poll on this question.. They had the highest number of responses that they have ever had for one of their polls, and the percentage was the same as this:

86% to keep the words, 14% against. That is a pretty ‘commanding’ public response.

I was asked to send this on if I agreed or delete if I didn’t.

Now it is your turn.. It is said that 86% of Americans believe in God.

Therefore, I have a very hard time understanding why there is such a mess about having “In God We Trust” on our money and having God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Why is the world catering to this 14%?

If you agree, pass this on, if not, simply delete…..

In God We Trust

A quick trip to snopes.com and we see that this email message has been started and restarted and restarted since 2004. If the sender had a shred of respect for his credibility, he really should verify things before forwarding them off to everyone under the sun. The questionable source of this should be enough to stop anyone with any self respect from forwarding, but alas, someone sent it to someone who sent it to me.

Obviously this fictitious author never took or failed in her civics and American History courses, either one which would have educated her about why we have and should maintain a separation of church and state.

Ms. Anonymous, have you even looked at countries where there is no separation of church and state and can you find even one that you would like to live in? How about looking at the obvious examples of church run governments, the Muslims. It is obvious, even for a closed minded fanatic, that the governments always end up exploiting religion to control the people. America’s creators were determined to ensure that there was a clear separation for just that reason. Read your history, sister.

Another example is Israel. Again, is that the kind of country you think America should be? God, I hope not. If it is, go there and leave us to a country that respects the wishes of our forefathers and respects the separation of church and state.

But, of course, there is no real Ms. Anonymous, it’s just a scam written up by someone with an agenda and sent out over and over for the past five years and people are still naive enough to continue to forward it.

Think! And do a little Snopes research before forwarding things that may make you look naive or worse. And, when you get tired of the stupidity and lies, it’s never too late to write the sender and point them to this post or just ask them politely to have a little self respect and to show you some while they’re at it.