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Archive for February, 2015

Originally Published:  August 27, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

… Ferguson …

Several weeks ago, I ran across an article regarding whether or not there is intelligent life out in our Milky Way or across the cosmos, and if, or since they know of us here on Earth, why have they not yet tried to contact us?  I’ll let the reader ponder that for a bit while I get on with this essay…

The tragedy of Ferguson isn’t the death of young Michael Brown – but rather the fact that we’re actually mirroring an event in human history many millennia ago, in Egypt, when a certain ruler decided to do something nasty to the children of Egypt’s slaves.  What would result would take another several millennia, but the consequences would be lost to history for some time afterwards.  I mention this because there are parallels in about every facet of our knowing, which may be why reality, learning and Enlightenment are so difficult for some people of which we share this same existence.

In 1776, our own Independence declaration was delayed several days by of all places, South Carolina – currently one of the few U.S. states that Missouri is not more racist than – because they refused to give up their slave franchise.  84 years later, the Union would go to war, because of the rejection by Southern states to obey the Constitutional provision against denial of the common right of citizenship by birth, to the entirety of Native American’s, African-American’s and all other by-birth, naturalized American’s, as well as those cultures/races that would come later, but also denied, the full benefits of American citizenship.   A Civil War would ensue, claiming the lives of over 645,000 American’s, an American President and an additional delay of nearly another century, to those American’s of whom the war was to have completely, unequivocally and finally – after 89 years – liberated from uncompensated bondage.

The end of the Civil War should have been the end of the story.  It was not and so, the tale of torment and despair would continue another century, at the cost of untold lives, the delay in progress and societal, technological and scientific advancements and the prevention of global conflicts leading to even greater human suffering and losses, because we, as a nation were too self-absorbed, selfish and primitive to realize the commandments of our founding documents recommended that we actively pursue a reasonable dimension of self-Enlightenment, maturity and intelligence, in our ambition as a developing modern state, unlike any the world had yet seen.  To some in this country – then or now – none of that mattered.  Only the very immediate concern of what they, individually, tribally, racially or confederately, could gain, exclusively!  This meant stealing, brutalizing, maiming, even killing, children, communities, the innocent, their own, even another President, Senators, pastors, community, business, civic representatives, all for the prideful ownership of being on top, above others, better materially, even if only by way of personification – nothing else was of any importance!

By any other outlook, this is quite immature, that as a psychological condition, is generally outgrown by the early to mid-teens.  But this particular American demographic would had this defect down through generations.  Even to the point of masking it behind major military undertakings, to deflect attention away from its real and actual intent, the Vietnam war was, in essence, supposed to be a buffer, an insulatory action, ensuring the centuries-old now, American wall of inequality between Whites and non-Whites would not be breached under ANY circumstances – i.e. – Civil Rights or otherwise!  The initiative of African Americans, Women, then Hispanic and Asian American demanding recognition of NOT their Civil Rights or their Constitutional rights, but rather their Human Rights – in the same context and manner exclusive to each distinctive race and culture, but on a more expansive, humanistic, intelligent, AFFIRMATIVE manner.  But in the minds of that particular American demographic, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the systems of accessing justice, Law, order and opportunities, had no meaning, as if there were two worlds American’s existed within, that every now an then, would intersect, align and then, jump again out of orbit completely.  This is the world that White and non-White American’s exist in to this very day.

African American men bear the particularly harsh burden of this hatred, as if these parallel world are so completely removed from any and every known realities, that those White Americans who embrace these hostilities are unable to understand the reality occurring all around them.  On the one hand, there are the existence of the generations of poverty – a by-product of the flight of businesses from the St. Louis area, as was the case of every major Midwestern American metropolitan area, since the late 1970’s (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_flight – typically called White-Flight was, in reality, involving major corporations, as well as small businesses of 100 or less employees), following the Vietnam conflict and the settling back in to normal post-war, American life.  First, to the suburbs in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s and then off-shore, to Mexico, Europe and points in Asia.  Secondly, with these regions facing a shrinking tax-base, property taxes would fall and then, just as education began to feel the hit from decreased funding, drugs began to fill the streets of every major American inner-city, as if by design – at the same time austerity cuts would decimate police forces nation-wide, cities were helpless to this new attack, which accompanied the losses of viable, meaningful employment for these same areas, now completely under siege from every angle.  In fact, we would find out, by the ground-breaking reporting of Gary Wills, officials in the administration of Ronald Reagan, began using cocaine to fund the wars against communist insurgencies in South America and Central America.  This almost seems un-Godly, but happened in fact, for a period of nearly 10 years, from 1982 until the end of the Reagan-Bush administrations.

The only relief came in 1992, with the election of President Bill Clinton, when governmental expenditures were re-routed from military spending, to jobs, education, technology, infrastructure rebuilding and foreign aid.  But this didn’t go over very well with those who felt it an affront, if not an outright betrayal on the grounds of exclusive breach of the edicts of Caucasian confederacy membership!  But the American people were loving what was going on, although a bit tentative with disbelief that things were actually going so well as the results would later prove to be.  And the lull, as a much needed respite for American’s of color, where Hispanic and African American boys and men were slowly incorporated into broader American society for… nearly the first time ever, on a near equal, on par basis with White Americans, thanks in part to the extraordinary number of African-Americans, Hispanic American’s, Asian American’s, Women, all in very important, high-profile positions.  Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a staunch Women’s rights advocate, helped her cause, by being fought for by the Clinton administration, after losing out on the nomination of prominent academic C. Lani Guinier, whose writings were broadly misinterpreted, due to their stark assessment of the impacts of racism, sexism and cultural biases against the poor – or the images attached to the poor, as being generally people of color…

But it would be the decision of the conservative Supreme Court Majority that would again divide the nation along intensive racial and cultural lines, with the event that changed the structure, yet again, on race, following events in September, 2001.  Afterwards, the goodwill and increasing harmony was dashed and would slowly devolve to what we are experiencing today, with the hostilities and fractures that are slowly showing a coming apart of American society.

The shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson Missouri has ignited long-suppressed suspicions and mistrust, smoldering beneath the surface, since 2001, culminating from the opposition to the wars against peoples of color, and then the tragedy in New Orleans, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, leaving many Americans in the old familiar position of sitting on opposing sides of the color and cultural lines – unnecessarily, when it is our unity as a nation that grew us up to the place we were by 2000, but upon abandoning it, saw us all fall down to levels reminiscent of the worst days of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Where we go from here will depend on the intelligence and goodwill of ALL American’s and whether we want to continue to see our Civic Culture continue to grow, expand and flourish, in ways that will make our ancestors of the past and future proud.  But all in the name of fellowship and outreach, can this occur.  And even going forward, this will put into perspective, how we approach leaving our galactic neighborhood and what we will bring with us when we eventually do make communication with other civilization and life forms now alien to our species.

As of now, can we foresee that anyone from an advanced civilization would waste the time or energy trying to communicate without human species, due to the fact we’re still too damn savage!  Why would they?  Their value systems being far and above, much superior to ours, I doubt that they would run the risk to putting their own civilization in jeopardy, exposing their youth to a barbarism it took, probably, many millennia to rid themselves of.  If we’re lucky, they’ll keep on going and not even stop.  Our misfortune would be if they should see us for who we really are and to realize the benefit they would be doing to the Earth and its natural systems, by wiping the planet clean, of our current menace…

Update – On Monday night, August 25, 2014, video of an Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) was sighted just outside Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  The event was caught on a shocked residents smart phone (https://gma.yahoo.com/video-possible-ufo-recorded-pennsylvania-woman-140145703–abc-news-topstories.html ), but that’s not all!!!  Several other sightings over the last few weeks, over different parts of the world, as reported in this same newscast, again put doubters on notice that their opinions are increasingly meaningless!  Which begs the question, why are we listening to doubters anyway, be it science, Democracy or even UFO’s?   Why indeed…

 

© Copyright 2014 Yankee Patriot UnderGround Press

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Prisoner Of Amnnescia

Re-Posted:  August 26, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit
Originally Posted on October 14, 2010 by rustacus21/wordpress.com
It’s too bad Americans have grown so dull-witted. It’s also sad we’re still so racist. As we discovered that not only is President Obama half Black (or half White, depending on your cultural orientation), but he’s also related to:
Dick Cheney-
Sarah Palin-
George W. Bush!-
Wow! Well, maybe an “oh well,” would be more appropriate, but at any rate, I say all that to say that in this election year, we have forgotten what has happened, what’s at stake and where we’re going… should we fail to exercise intelligence and prudence, in voting to lend greater support to a president, who to this day, has not had the opportunity to be a president-in-full.
Because at a moment past Barack Obama’s swearing-in as president, the Right wing declared war on his presidency. And making us all hostages in the process. We may never know the potential of this man, as a president, but if we had not given George W. Bush the benefit of the doubt, imagine what pain, suffering and chaos the American people alone, could have saved the world. And ourselves… Something to think about.
Yet, we sit in solitary confinement, most of us anyway, contemplating the rage and psychosis of Republicans, Right-wing pundits, tea baggers and other racist-tinged/consumed/obsessed fanatics, who imagine our Democracy is in some sort of mortal danger, because an American electoral majority was intelligent enough to elect the very best candidate of the field in 2008. Well, as a late news flash, the danger has passed! President Obama’s cousins are no longer in the White House and we can now be relieved that if, as of this coming election, we elect as many Democrats as possible, our nation will be back on track and on the road to saving itself, as well as the world, from the hazards of big money, big lies and bigger delusions that we really aren’t in as much trouble as we allowed ourselves to get into, over the period after President Clinton departed the White House.
And speaking of great presidents, much of our collective issue is we fail to give credit where credit is due. We can’t blame President Obama, without taking into consideration all of what he inherited. We also cannot appreciate the job performance of the previous administration, without taking into consideration the position President Clinton left the nation and the world at large, as of January 20, 2001.
As we were poised to be rid of a national debt, accumulated by 12 years of Republican inefficiency, negligence and irrationality, in nearly any and every category of performance, bring peace to every corner of the globe (INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY the Middle East), uplifted the viability of developing nations, while simultaneously tutoring on how to avoid the mistakes developed nations have already experienced (regarding resource management, the valuation of education, pollution monitoring and control, avoiding imperialistic tendencies, corrupt governmental practices, impacting lurid business/government associations, as well as the benefits of maintaining a clean and healthy Liberal, Democratic society and related institutions), our nation and by extension, the world at large, were moving in a direction never before witnessed in the history of human civilization!
Because this didn’t occur, it’s easier to dismiss this sort of projecting and yes, imagining, as far-fetched, but depend on Republicans and their zany Right-wing supporters to mess up even the simplest of tasks. To understand that 30 years ago – EXACTLY – President Jimmy Carter placed atop the White House, Solar Panels. The purpose? To set both an example and a trend, as to where we would be heading, in order to tame our obsession over the use of cheap, fossil fuel energy sources. Of course, fossil fuels were never cheap, with the associated costs figured in, and then calculated as a whole. But the warning had already sounded, in the form of the oil embargo of the mid-1970′s, coupled with the decline (even at that time) of easily accessible petroleum reserves world-wide.
President Carter’s bold plan would have resulted in America and no doubt, much of the planet, being free of the addiction to burning petroleum, using it, instead, in more vital, life-saving, and much less dangerous methods. This plan was to develop totally renewable sources of clean energy, that would have cost pennies on the dollar, and saved trillions in military, pollution, health and environmental costs, that as of today, are all threatening to destroy our national stability, as well as our probability to survive as a species, beyond the next two centuries.
Taking up such awesome challenges are not things Republicans have the ability to perform. If it’s not about personal enrichment and attaining ultimate, unilateral power over everyone in sight, Republicans and their Right-wing confederates don’t want to even consider it. Because the future is so far away, it is their philosophy to ignore it altogether! But can the rest of us be comfortable taking this same perspective? Can we really, in good conscience, doom future generations to a miserable, hellish existence, that will only progressively worsen, the longer we take to make the decision that Climate Change is indeed a problem and is, unequivocally, our responsibility?
Oh course then, it’s no wonder that young voters have soured on the president. With his legacy firmly tied to that of both Presidents Clinton and Carter, the media itself, has joined in on the hate campaign against President Obama, to ensure he, as well as all Democrats up for election this fall, fail in their effort to lend a hand in saving this nation. To turn the nation back over to Republican control would be the height of irresponsibility and the equivalent of a suicide pact among those voters committing such a horrendous wrong against a nation that is the last beachhead against tyranny and political and economic oppression.
After all, if you allowed an acquaintance to drive your car while drunk, and they crashed it, would you then, give them the keys and allow them to continue driving? This is the choice we, as a nation, are facing at this moment. We know what Republicans have done to this nation. We have seen it with our collective eyes and have already decided that going in a Liberal, Progressive direction, is what will put us back on track. No matter what the tea baggers say, they are Republican through and through. Their presence is the same as Republicans, in opposition to policies of the president and the direction the nation absolutely needs to embark upon, in order to save this Democracy. We owe it to ourselves to escape from the fictional world painted by Republicans, tea baggers and the media and have the courage to vote our convictions and give OUR PRESIDENT a hand in his – and OUR moment of urgent need…
Think this through this election season. There is much more at stake than you know…

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Re-Published:  August 26, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

This was originally published to my old rustacus21 blog, on January 11, 2011, extolling the virtues of the Clinton administration and how we’d been so blessed to have come so far, during those magical years of 1993 to 2000!  I had graduated in 1994 and 1995 from Grand Rapids Community College and began working right away – so much, in fact, that I forgot that an Associates Degree didn’t count for very much, in ANY economy – especially not the conservative, nightmare years of 2001 forward – up to this very point in time!  But in between, we lost much of the virtue of that age, when we were a nation of one people, walking shoulder-to-shoulder, carrying the load of Civil Society forward, for the enhancement of the entire nation – the world in fact, as Democratization was the emphasis of the Clinton administration, here at home and then, abroad.  For the first time, it looked like the nation had reached the point of such maturity, that we were finally ready to evolve to the next step, to Polyarchal (“… rule by the many…”) Democracy.  A subject of a future essay, I was amazed at the time, how we had lost so much of our democratic ambitions by 2011, with the current President being marginalized and disrespected so badly, that we seemed a nation alien to our very past of just 14 years prior!

What could have happened to us in that short time-frame?  How could we have become separated and detached from one another so fast?  More importantly, how was it that we became de-educated to the realities of a Democracy that uplifted all of us, giving us a universal sense of pride and accomplishment, that even as we all struggled to restore a world – again nearly destroyed – laid wasted by conservative Republican party policies, that we couldn’t find the intelligence within each of us to realize that, in 2011, we needed to put pettiness, ignorance, jealousies and suspicious judgments of each other aside, in yet AGAIN, reconstructing America – one more time – from being sabotaged by fellow Americans!  We had grown so much during the 1993-2000 time period.  Seeing each other as equals – FINALLY – we saw the future and it looked brighter than it had ever seemed, for many decades…  That was, before the nay-saying doom-mongerers from the Republican Party entered the picture in 1999 and 2000.  Suddenly, there was doubt.  There was unease.  There was suspicion.  There was fear!  There was, for the first time, the slow un-learning of the confidence and pride we grew comfortable with and seeming to feel guilty about it as well, that White trusted Black; Women trusted themselves; children felt safe in the care of whole communities; our political life actually seemed to possess an openness about it that seemed more unfamiliar the more George W. Bush began to malign it.  Of course, it was by design – a fact that we would not come to realize until the months and years following that fateful day in September, 2001…

By way of ignorance and unsophistication, we train ourselves to become less…  This is, in fact, where we had regressed to, by 2011.  The attempt on the life of Gabrielle Giffords and the lack of reverence for Public Education was evident in that one single act.  We had, prior to these post-9/11 years, such a handle on comprehending Democracy, it seemed incapable that we, as a nation, could ever become anything less!  But we became diminished none the less, having been severely brutalized in these first 10 years of this new century – by those creepingly conservative, authoritarian policies, having now infiltrated our psyche, causing us to transition toward the becoming brutalizers of each other in fact.  This could be an almost clinical synopsis of the onset of national insanity, thus my original perspective for this essay…

 

By the end of the administration of President William Jefferson Clinton, there were still enough reasonable citizens in America – in the world, in fact, that were convinced that we are all in this together enough to want to unify our efforts toward the perpetuation of intelligent societies and a sustainable world to exist in. What happened?

What was to follow can only be described by an imposed living nightmare, starting with a Supreme Court decision resolved by political – NOT legal considerations, all the way down to another Republican engineered economic catastrophe. For the Middle Class, that is. Yet again…

While we were originally warned against allowing elements of the aristocracy, rich elites and corporate interests, from infiltrating, controlling and eventually taking over our Democracy, the Constitutions authors assumed – wrongly, that intelligence would prevail in all continuing debates regarding the directions this nation – and subsequently, the world, would take, following our example, in the on-going process of crafting a perfect union among a responsible, accountable citizenry.

Public education, the dismantling of the slave state of America, the implementation of comprehensive human rights, which protected Whites, non-Whites, females and children equally, as well as the opening up of opportunities enabling the reality of a viable, prosperous Middle-Class to be conceived, out of such an unholy disaster as the Great Depression, was a remarkable advance, that could only be achieved by Progressive and Liberal theoreticians.

With the Constitution as a guide and in spite of dynamic Conservative opposition, nearly resulting in yet another assassination of a Liberal champion (in 1933, as well as the related coup attempt, in the year following – see the Morgan-British Fascist Coup Against FDR article, on line), it has been the irrationally pathological hatred, by Conservatives, of Liberals and Progressives that, has claimed the lives of critically important Patriots, from Abraham Lincoln, to Medger Evers, to John F. and Robert F. Kennedy(s), Malcolm X, Martin L. King, to Paul Wellstone and now, with the attempt on the life of Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

The violence in Arizona on January 8th is a result of so many American’s buying into the psychotic philosophies of ME first-isms, as advanced by Right-wing, Conservative monologuers. And since it is impossible for Conservatives to coherently debate the philosophical essence of civic governance, they can only resort to theories, based on personal pathologies. They don’t believe in Democracy, therefore, are unable to conceive of its benefits and/or opportunities. The only thing they can relate to is the financial and economic aspects of Democracies relative influence, and so are thus, disable from engaging in a serious cognitive exploration of Democracy’s impact on people, society and subsequently, the economic consequences, that inevitably benefit the entire society, as a whole.

Since 2000, we have been bribed into the frame of mind of hating anything Liberal or Progressive. The media has done nothing but shove down our collective throats, the notion of being rich, being powerful being selfish and isolating and hating those unlike that particular and bizarre demographic. We have embraced these concepts, and have suffered immeasurably, as a result. And now, as we must face more Conservative-inspired paranoia and fear, as another Left-wing victim of Conservative violence is being prayed for, as well as those victims that did not survive, the real hit is on our Democracy, that is, once again, being targeted for annihilation. Conservatives, after all, want life in America to reflect conditions pre-Constitution.

After the first Great Depression of the 1929 through 1939, the laws that were enacted were a necessary, productive and efficient safeguard against Conservative, rich elitist and corporate criminality in both government and the private sector. Voters, for the most part, got this, as successive legislators and presidents, all represented these ideals, as a conducive process toward national cohesion and prosperity. But it was the progress toward full human rights for all Americans that completed the missing components to the overall puzzle of American civic governance, allowing diverse voices and talents to add to the advancement of the whole of the effort of making America a true Democracy. This was no more evident than in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court ruling, that normalized and optimized education access in America.

However, the death of President John F. Kennedy and the other political murders of the 1960’s, opened the door for Conservatives to advance an agenda totally unrelated to the foundation of which America was built upon. The Vietnam War was a corporate mad science laboratory experiment, with new weapons being introduced, all in the name of creating profit – and human suffering! The chaos of the 1968 political season, engineered by fearfully racist Conservatives, who perceived their exclusive world closing in around them, sought to put the brakes on a momentum allowing non-White and women to gain greater access to the fruits of their intellectual labors and have a say in the direction the nation would comprehensively advance.

Conservatives, rich elites, and their sympathizers, only believe in power, as a destructive force. Unable to manifest itself on its own, Conservatism can only be imposed, as it has no intrinsic value in and of itself. Nowhere in nature can the concept of Conservatism be found, except as consequences of a cataclysmic event. With this in mind, it makes sense, the events of the previous 10 years, from the allowance granted to the those who took part in the attacks in New York and Washington D.C. in 2001, irrationally idiotic war, that could have been resolved by moving suspects to trial in any other country but the U.S.A., the 2003 war over oil access, the economic war against the Middle Class, consolidating even greater wealth among the nation’s rich elites and corporations – Conservatives all – up to and beyond the economic disaster of 2008, that in reality, began with the tax cuts of 2001.

One single decision, which has been overlooked for years, but was a preemptive move none the less, was the decision to remove Civics Education, from the Public School curriculum, during the Nixon administration. The Prospect of a more diverse pool of elected representatives, as well as a more knowledgeable voting base nation-wide, was not a consideration Conservatives across the board, could or were willing to embrace. Because of the fundamentally racist nature of Conservative thought, belief and philosophies, it is inconsistent to advocate a position that results in equality, within a political, social, economic or even educational context. This action has since, resulted in a confused and bewildered electorate, as well as policies antithetical to Democracy – domestic or otherwise. There should have been no hesitation as to where the American voter should have placed their trust in 2000, or since. We all understand the priorities of Conservatives, as exemplified by the actions yesterday in Arizona. What Progressives and Liberals bring to the table is the opportunity for all Americans to engage in, prosper from, and share with others, a broader, deeper pool of experiences and relative benefits for society as a whole. These were the immediate results, following the comprehensive expansions enjoyed by Americans and an increased proportion of the world’s populations, at the end of the Clinton years. It was not perfect. There was room for improvement, to be sure. But the world was on track toward that improvement, without a doubt. What we have now is suffering, regret, confusion, fear and paranoia. Nothing that is in any way, complimentary to the legacy of the Patriots – White and non-White, male and female, even the children, who grew into adults, making additional contributions and sacrifices, toward the perpetuation of the first citizen owned government in the history of the world.

Now, we have politicians like Sara Palin pretending her exclusivist, elitist rhetoric is about the masses. It is not! Others like John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, all suddenly cognizant of the disaster we’ve been overcome by, but who, in reality, were all instrumental in its inception, are now leading ignorant, unsophisticated voters to believe that the problems began as of January 20th, 2009, is racist in its implications and dangerous in its consequences, as military spending remains high, but spending on social programs such as aid to families in dire need (as of result of Conservative economic policies), educational, scientific, medical research and development, aid to developing nations or increased economic cooperation in halting Climate Change completely, is slashed, only means that Americans of disabled intellects, have no idea what any of the above means, but are still able to vote!

Because there were no criminal sanctions against Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan or his administration, it was guaranteed, the possibility of the catastrophe, by the criminal elements installed to the executive, by the Supreme Court majority, in 2000, would succeed. If Americans remain confused over events up to now, the attempted assassination in Arizona on January 8th is their wakeup call. This, in itself, should be a rally call for all Progressives, Liberals and sane, coherent Conservatives, to implement recall campaigns nation-wide, to reject what is becoming an increasingly untenable political environment in this nation. There are, after all, more Liberal and Progressive voters in this nation. What it takes to get them to participate should not be the craziness of Right-wing, Conservative crackpots, such as those currently sporting Republican or tea bagger political affiliations, pretending to represent the whole of electorate that voted for them, or who use violence as a political expression.

The pervasive ignorance that has marred American elections since 1980, can only be cured by citizen self-education and engagement at the grass-roots level, by the overwhelming number of Progressive and Liberal citizens of America, who have the obligation of leading this nation out of this dark age and back on track to the promise enshrined in that grand, Patriotic document, which holds us all accountable, by way of the establishment of “…a more perfect union, do establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America…” Whatever is confusing or complicated about that, only exposes an incorrectable degree of illiteracy that is monumentally tragic. Yet, Conservatives find a ripe environment among illiterate racists, to peddle their hate, fear and paranoia to. And since it was Liberals and Progressives who did the fighting, bleeding, dying and leading, since the creation of the United States of America, it’s time we pick up our collect fates, and put them back into action, leading the way toward the renaissance this nation was on track to achieve, in November, 2000…

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Originally Published:  August 18, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

A work which was produced locally, a long essay, presented by the Hauenstein Center of Grand Valley State University, continues echoing through my consciousness these last several weeks, as I contemplate the historic anniversaries of: the Nixon resignation; the 20 year anniversary of the official end of the Reagan-Bush recession; another anniversary of the moon landing 45 years ago, being again, marginalized and ignored as the embodiment (at the time and even since…) of all of human achievement; and this being the fifth year in the ever-malfunctioning Obama administration, which to date, has yet to exert itself in the transition from its campaign rhetoric, to full-out and active executive initiatives – when all combined, show us a decidedly schizophrenic society, unable to take from and act upon our very best – the common elements to make us ALL better. Instead, we’re determined to undermine and do ourselves in, out of indecisiveness, distractions and plain stupidity!

The essay, Is Common Ground Possible, authored by Gleaves Whitney, is a deeply thought-provoking piece on the ideological divide that now threatens to rip asunder, the very fabric of not just our nation, but the delicately woven tapestry of modern human civilization. The fact that many modern Americans feel so detached from the originating and crucial documents of our government and Civic Culture, we nearly seem identical to the very first generation of Americans for which the Constitution and latter Bill of Rights had no real tangible meaning. As such, a peoples’ good nature was all that there was to rely upon, to hold tenuously together a society and government, still under threat from insurrection from within and hostilities from outside (the British Crown, who would fulfill that threat in 1812, just 24 years after our official government was established, by law), to ensure that we ALL had/have a stake in the effective, transparent and honest operation of our democratic republic.  The fact that the election of 2012 saw only 57.7% participation rate among all eligible voters is fairly disconcerting, but further proof that Americans, more and more, feel considerably disconnected from our overall political system.

The reason for my angst stems from the moment. In recognizing this year as the anniversary of the resignation of former President Richard Nixon, in August, 1974 and how elements of his persona have slowly inundated and diminished the quality of citizenship and in turn, governance imperatives, we are left in a quandary, as to . In the Whitney essay, these questions are treated with a nearly-imperceptible quality of crisis, that in reality, it can ill-afford. Some of the information and statistics included in the Common Ground essay barely hint at the wrongs perpetrated by conservatives, against not just Liberals, but our decidedly Liberal societal tenor, from which American government and culture are born from. By placing the issue in a context of simple confusion over terms and events, it goes far deeper, when considering that President Barack Obama, upon assuming office, was directly charged with undoing eight consecutive years of corruption, mismanagement and criminal negligence, by the conservative administration occupying the White House from 2001 to 2009.

We come away from the essay a bit more confused, over an implication that … progressives and conservativescame together to search out meaningful ways… to work together, … in order to form a more perfect union…, when in fact, conservative elements of the day won out on many key provisions which would later be overturned as barbaric. The treatment of non-Whites (Black African slaves, in particular) and Women are of particular note. It’s difficult to see how common ground is achieved when conservatives not only have closed their minds to advancing and modifying their thinking and perceptions – affectively rejecting objectivity, but how is such an exercise achieved, when they don’t participate in broadly attended and diverse debates, opting instead, to a smaller venue, in such places as a the debate, hosted by the Hauenstein Center which, while requiring thoughtful deliberation, is not the national stage that is required for a debate of such magnitude.

The concept of Liberal Education has come to mean much, but now only means being undone, for its obvious conflicts with conservative thought. The issue of inequality being one of passionate focus since the 2008 economic crash and subsequent Depression, has found the government unable to reign in the big banks as of yet, and as a result, has left the economy in just as much jeopardy now as was the case leading up to the unraveling of the banking and investment markets of late 2007 and going into and throughout 2008. But Liberal Education, which is sorely lacking, could have offset the ecology of greed that pervaded the financial markets during the whole of the conservative administration of 2001 to 2009. That employees were schooled in more virtuous, ethical and moral practices, taught specifically through the Civics lessons that formerly were taught in a Liberal format of an educational system that instilled the training of being thoughtful and honest in public dealings – especially as it related to the public trust.

In a recent reprint of an essay I blogged several years ago, I featured an essay by John F. Kennedy, from his 1956 Profiles In Courage, titled, The Legislator As Trustee, the heart of our government, being trained in the traditions of the Liberal Arts, and then bringing these virtues to elective office, was the uncompromising initial goal in mind, upon the establishment of our nations republic. One of the more poignant quotes from Kennedy, however, speaks to the very issue of ways common ground are achieved, but often overlooked – getting along! Kennedy was often quoted as telling the story of being told when first coming to Congress, that the …way to get along, was to go along… and many Liberals have oft adhered to this philosophy – a little too often. Conservatives on the other hand, consider getting along, as others doing what conservatives instruct them to do!

No compromise.  No Negotiations, no give and take.  Some may accuse me exaggerations or over0-symplification of circumstances, but even from my own experiences, rage and vitriol aimed at some of my writing, even the point of hacking into my email, phone and potentially, my home (and while I don’t have definitive proof to tie to it, the former two incidents having all the earmarks of the latter), the definite unwillingness to be open, accepting and able to allow critics to speak frankly to their inadequacies and defects – as if they don’t have any!  But in no way is this a criticism of the work of either Mr. Whitney or the excellent endeavors of the Hauenstein Center.  I am merely pointing out this exercise is far more rigorous without the active participation in this debate, from higher profile, big name conservatives, from a far broader cross-section of American life.  This way, we’re able to understand in the same way conservatives do, exactly what ALL humanity does, which, to date, have yet to be articulated, exactly what conservatives feel they have honestly brought to the debate, the table of discussion, the work-bench of labor, where the work of civilization is done, as well as the laboratory, where the rigors of theory experimentation are put to the test.  It is here that the actum of Democracy – the carrying out, the actual commitment to Democracy is put into practice, and of where we are trying to get an understanding of the exact what, how, and why of which conservatives are and have made, continue to and plan for the future, to assist in the continuing development of our Civic Culture, through Democracy.

Because for more than just a singular or tribal beneficiary value, so much of the instructions and the directives of conservative thought are secret and covert.  We can therefore assume these directives are so abstract and beyond the norm, that it is literally impossible that such theoretical anomalies could actually function in a real-world setting.  In other words, the intent of the Hauenstein essay is to prod conservatives into taking advantage of showing their worth, by actually engaging in the hot square of debate, where the hand-to-hand, mind-to-mind skirmishes take place – in the actual and real world of results, where theory becomes fact!  But where are they?  I hear Ted Cruz, Senator from Texas, speaking in the abstract.  I hear Congressman Paul Ryan speaking in generalities and hypotheticals.  I hear Patrick Buchanan going on in simplified, sweeping overviews.  But nothing of specific or concrete contributions…

Next:  Putting ideas into action and examples of how this is done in a real-time context…

 

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Originally Published:  August 14, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

I met a couple from Iraq this morning.  We talked briefly, about being in America, how his wife feels about their new life, their baby (who seemed to think I was ok enough to stare at, for periods at a time; significant for a just several months old infant)…  There was a short pause, as I looked over he, his wife and their tiny baby, and blurted out, “… I’m sorry,… for what our country did to yours.  We made a mistake.  In 2000.  Some of us didn’t know what we were doing!  What we were voting for…  I’m sorry your country had to pay the price… for our mistake…

I surprised myself.  I’m not even sure where that came from, but I got it out  – finally.  For the first time, I personally came face to face, with an error by our nation, and on behalf of those of us who didn’t agree, I was able to tell (at least some of) the victims of the biggest foreign policy… misfortunes, in the history of our nation, that we, the vast, huge majority of citizens, are sorry for destroying their nation and if we could take it back, we would.  Which would mean going all the way back to November 7, 2000, and citizens who now realize what a catastrophe it was casting a vote for George W. Bush, would then have the opportunity to take it back and give it to the real, actual winner (Al Gore)…  If only they could…

Several months ago, I purchased a magazine called The American Interest (the November/December, 2013 issue), which had several articles of note, which included one by A. Wess Mitchell and Jan Havranek (Atlanticism In Retreat), on the coming apart of  the post-Cold War arrangements, due to neglect and a preoccupation with terrorism, instead of relying on fellowship and outreach, which use to be our most articulate foreign policy technique – with Europe at least;  then there was another on the question of Western and Central Europe, by Andrew Michta (Back To The Frontier), which again, spoke of our distancing from our partnership with our NATO allies and surrounding nations, just prior to upheavals in Ukraine and ironically, our now, strained relationship with Germany over the recent spy fiasco and more recently, their (Germanys’ reluctance to fully honor our sanctions initiative on the Russian Federation); also, a very interesting article and one of my favorites of the magazine, by Josef Joffe, titled The Canard Of Decline, on the apocalyptic conservative doom sayers who continually predict and actively work toward American decline.  But the one that has really had resonance of late, titled Swated: The Militarization Of America’s Police, by Radley Balko, which seems as if it were written especially for the explosive racial confrontation and repressive demeanor Saint Louis Police have assumed, as have many law enforcement agencies nation-wide, from New Mexico to New York, to California to Michigan to now Missouri.

The article itself explains how this initiative follows a 40 year trend, in which massive investments have been directed towards the beefing up of police departments across the nation, as if in preparation for some unknown event, yet to occur.  This event coincides with the emergence of the radical conservative agenda, of decimating the influence and of the power of citizens, in direct denial of the free exercise of their Constitutional rights, speech and personal civic activism.  The article goes on to describe how many of the police state tactics are targeting non-threatening, non-violent targets, but nothing of which poses a danger to the broad citizenry or the social/civic orderliness of communities.  With the upheavals in St. Louis being televised internationally, it looks as if we’ve now, in our war-mongering obsession, brought our internationally telegraphed violence back home.  The pictures themselves are quite ominous, with armored personnel carriers and fully armed and flak-jacketed soldiers marshaling over the community.  It’s not a very pretty – nor American – sight, to be certain.

But combined, this is what happens when communities fail to vote dutifully and with a purpose for the future.  Certainly this isn’t the future conservative voters had in mind when casting their presidential votes in 2000, their mid-term votes in 2002, 2004, nor the 2010 Mid Terms, but we have a chance to redeem ourselves this year.  We must first settle down, join together, White, Black, Hispanic, Asian and realize that if this America is to survive, we must bring our virtues and values to our local, state and national elective offices and remind our legislators, this is the America of 1775, not 2014.  We expect that our wishes to have a civil dialogue in returning to our interactive cooperative, and stop the endless funding to warrantless and unquestionably illegal spying, police state violence and lobbyists’ writing of laws putting citizens at the back of the line, instead of the front, where we appear in the lead line of the Constitution – We, the People…

… which seems to be what we the citizenry have most often forgotten…

 

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News Is… Old…

Originally Published:  August 12, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

When I saw this, I was reminded of last night, as I was walking to find a place to camp out for the night and thinking over why I’m doing this…  This…  just so happens to be trying to keep from being surveilled, but with the wonder of spy-tronics, I couldn’t even find privacy in the middle of a golf course at 2am!  Then I found this today & realized that I’m working against a system that’ working against itself… (http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/08/12/us-usa-whitehouse-lobbyists-idUSKBN0GC1XE20140812?feedType=RSS&feedName=domesticNews)…

What my sacrifice is for, being homeless and treated like a criminal… all because I speak up on behalf of enlarging our nations Democracy, and for what?

I’m really beginning to wonder…

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Originally Published:  August 6, 2014 by rustacus21 | Edit

Dateline: July 16, 2014

In a move that is starting to look all too common in the scandal-mad Washington atmosphere of gotcha political retribution by conservatives, California Republican Darryl Issa, who is Chairman of the Congressional Oversight and Government Reform Committee, soon after making an intensely inflammatory statement of unsubstantiable accusations against the administration, and soon after an opening rebuttal by the ranking Democrat on the Committee, Representative Elijah Cummings of Maryland, Issa unexpectedly adjourned the meeting before a single scheduled witness was called to testify.

In a remarkable turn of events, of which many observers anticipated fireworks and hostile exchanges between the Committee and witnesses and even among Committee members themselves, were surprised when, after citing a past administrations’ actions for violating a law, which attempted to block a White House official from testifying before a select house committee, Issa leveled a series of criticisms, that the Obama administration was behaving recklessly, in its refusal to cooperate, quoting a just-received letter the night before, from White House Council, declaring that subpoenaed Senior White House Adviser, David Simas, was immune from Congressional compulsion to testify.

After a lengthy overview of past disputes regarding access to key White House Officials during important Congressional investigations, today’s controversy centered on the White House Office of Political Strategy and Outreach, which replaces an older, but now banned White House Political Office, which was sited for its routine misuse of funds, in organizing political strategies from the White House, from tax-payer dollars, and a violation of the Hatch Act. The act, which was a bi-partisan bill, was enacted to prevent abuses of much-needed tax-payer dollars, which should instead, be used to pay for more essential government operations.

After a stinging rebuttal by the ranking member, Congressman Elijah Cummings (Maryland), the hearing was adjourned!  It was, to say the least, a quite shocking conclusion to a hearing built up in the media to be another clash of ego’s, but was nothing of the sort and appears to be going the same direction as the Benghazi hearings – nowhere?  So what’s really going on here?  What is the reason Republicans are so determined to build up sensations around these various hearings and then, we discover information we already know?  Of all the other hearings, this one was to address the unacceptable, corrupt and inherently lawless nature of the Obama administration, spending money frivolously on vendetta campaigns against its enemies, driving up the debt, without any consideration for the hardships imposed on tax payers, nor the increases to the deficit being accrued meanwhile?  In a word, Nixon!

It is no small the obsession with scandals anyway, with the event of a Democrat in the White House.  This is an exclusive case however, and no matter how much or how long it’s denied, this is directly associated to the fact that not only is the President a Democrat, but he’s also a non-White male.  A phenomenon, that no matter how it’s sliced and diced, this is the bottom line.  Coming along with the profiling of still one more Black man, is the intent of smearing him and his administration with the same brush and broad, colorful strokes as that of which we will never be unable to cease applying to the continually evolving canvas of the Nixon history and legacy.  And as with President Bill Clinton, the obsession fixation on scandal, was to simply mire that administration as well, with endless scandal, no matter how trivial.

Out of all of the information that has so far been divulged during these hearings, no a single mention has been uttered of the genesis of this program beginning with the Nixon administration, in neutralizing his political enemies.  This effort was then perfected by the latest Bush administration and aimed particularly at those still discontented with the outcome of the 2000 election, as well as the growing faction of anti-war demonstrators and sympathizers, who found themselves face to face with harsh scrutiny and meticulous audits by the IRS, beginning in as early as 2003.

The Benghazi hearings have been an altogether similar creature, with the constant overlooking and inflation of the same information that, with each new rendition, nothing of note or that is new has yet been revealed – save that which has slowly unfolded that further vindicates those maligned and accused of everything from a cover-up to active participation in the murder of the Benghazi consul staff.

As for Lois Lerner and the other witnesses, nothing was heard from any of those called by subpoena before the Select Congressional Committee. Some, leaving in an obvious fury, foretell of a troubled conclusion to this tawdry witch-hunt that already has been concluded, by the complete absence of any evidence whatever. The torment the victims of this inquisition will endure, but we’ve already seen the end, reflected in the whimpering conclusion of the multi-million dollar waste of tax-payer dollars, of the equally futile witch-hunt, that as well, found absolutely wrong-doing. Stay tuned however, as we may be surprised that reason and logic, as expressed by the ranking Democrat, Representative Cummings, that there is hope, as long as our Democracy stands, that there will be people who will honor it to the degree that brings pride to current citizens as well as generations yet unborn.  We, likewise, can only hope as well…

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