Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Finder's Way

The Finder's Way

A woman and a man walking in a straight line meet. 
They lock eyes, and then clasp their hands together.
They eat fruit, and farm vegetables for themselves to eat. 
They build a house of wood, to shelter each other from bad weather.

They have children whom which they raise, and spend time.
 They collect animals and minerals, and berries of all kind. 
Eventually they are, a FULL FAMILY of 9. 
And even sing songs in the evenings, if they have time.

One day they decide to see the ocean. 
They pack up and ready themselves for a trip. 
While walking they meet a family, also full of kin. 
Under a campfire's light they laugh and they sit. 

Upon reaching the shore they see people galore. 
Men and women with their children, they fit right in.
They asked the people if they could fit any more.
They all were belated and greeted them with a grin.

Everyone was happy, and productive and gay. 
Sometimes they would fish and sometimes they would play. 
Sometimes families would fight and some children would cry. 
Some people got old and some of them died.

But others were born that stuck by there side.
Living harmoniously with those, in whom they confide.
They shared in their toil; their work and their play.
They shared fighting dangers, like bears side by side.

Not a soul would go hungry that for sure one could say. 
Until someone found a block of golden clay.
The finder picked up this item he saw.
He held it up high sending his peers in awe.

Not a mouth was closed shut, every retina in sparkle.
Every man, woman and child stood and looked at the marvel.
The finder put the block on display for the people to see.
Until the finder decided, "It is only for me."

So only in the house could the gold clay be found.
A price people paid to witness it from all around.
They paid in fish, and in wood, and in services 2.
They bent to his will every week for a few.

For safety of the gold object, he built up a mound.
With a gate built around, he was high up off the ground.
The GOLD, it was molded into a crown.
The people below visited with gifts, to this finder they were bound.

The finder dictated what people did, and when.
If they listened resources, would be shared with some men.
Children praised the crown and prayed for its graces.
Women kissed the hand of the finder with teary faces.

One night 3 young boys went up to the mound.
And awoke the finder trying to take the crown.
In the morning the the crimes of these boys were expelled.
And those boys for there charges were roughly exiled.

The people lived in fear, but still loved the finder.
Because he would punish those who spoke against him as a reminder.
The power the crown held made them bow under its spell.
The finder fed and clothed, them and then told them of HELL.

Hell was a place were all people would go, if they didn't obey, and paid what they owe.
Mothers told children, "Never forget to see the crown!"
In drones, on command the people came to know.
What they had to do to stay away from HELL's HOUND.

Men, Women, and children lived by the Finders Way:
"Let the crown be your guide, and you may have a golden day."
The Finders words... The Law- as in rules to be followed.
They were transcribed onto paper, and selected people lived as models.

As the finder grew older it was known his time was near.
What had to be done was evidently clear.
A sitting son of the crown, took a whisper into his ear.
He was urged to listen carefully, for these thoughts were held dear.

"The trick to the crown is not what I found. It is clay with paint that is not even profound. The trick behind people is to play at their emotions. After catching their attention just stay high above their ocean. When they wonder, and ponder, and think and contemplate tomorrow. CRUSH them with FEAR, GIVE them gifts, and WARN them of hell's sorrow."

Friday, January 17, 2014

Senators Cut Support for the Jobless

No Support from the GOP for the Jobless

      As news media and political experts around the country sit and scrutinize the governor in New jersey with scrupulousness, attention on the state is at a peak since Sandy. Republicans, democrats, and voters are all fixated on the robust executive, and what the "bridge-gate" could mean for the next presidential election. Now I'm sure the story is very interesting and someone should get to the bottom of it. But I don't think that 5-8 hours worth of Chris Kristie on FOX, MSNBC, and CNN etc.. is quite necessary. Like there is nothing else going on this week....

      Lets take a look. Hmmm... lets see. On January 14th, three days ago a bill titled S.1845 was filibustered. 45 of your Republican Senators decided that an extension on unemployment benefits was not necessary. This Emergency Unemployment Compensation Act began in 2008 when the financial crisis raised unemployment. Congress agreed that during times of financial despondency, when jobs are not there, and the jobs that are available can barely feed a family and keep a roof above heads, the government decided that an extension on benefits was warranted.1

     This month we have heard this enchanting mantra from the republican members of congress, "Republicans will get serious on poverty." Well...this makes sense. This is about as serious as it gets. These extended benefits needed to be cut as a matter of principle. After voting against ending the medley of filibusters, (that eventually were successful), the bill is provisionally dead. Apparently this was a matter of principle. Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin claim after voting that, "Republicans actually have principles." He continued, "I ran because...we are bankrupting our children's future." Overall the same tune is heard from every Senator who opposed the bill. "To continue to give money to these Americans is just going to send us further into debt", "Extending these benefits will not help these people get jobs", "The bill is fiscally irresponsible."2

The Cost

      The checks for 1.3 million Americans wont be cut. 1.3 Million mothers, sons, fathers and daughters will be at a loss. 1.3 million neighbors and ex-coworkers will be hurt by this cut. With the death of this bill comes a loss of food on the table, and no gas money to go look for a job. Many of the jobless are teetering on the edge of struggling and impoverished.  But with the budget in mind the money will be better spent providing skilled training to these unemployed workers. Because these laid off teachers, out of work electricians, construction workers and laborers from the manufacturing industry, many of whom are over the age of 40 have many choices in this country. They can try switching careers, going back to school and taking a lower paying job, to pay their mortgages. 

      According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, with the termination of these benefits the number of unemployed will be 5 million by the end of the year if congress doesn't act.3 You may see the lowering unemployment numbers as a positive indicator. But this statistic is skewed because many have given up the search.

It's Economics

      A balanced budget is of great importance. It comes down to economics for these senators. Economics means continuing bush's tax cuts for those in higher tax bracket. The 678 Billion dollars that the government will cut from taxes is all economics.

      Its interesting...good policy decisions seem to be centered around solid economics. Yet Mark Zandi, former adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona said, "No form of the fiscal stimulus has proved more effective during the past two years than emergency UI benefits." Other economic analysts have said the same thing. It seems that unemployment checks are spent. They stimulate the economy enhancing consumerism.4

      What are the real reasons behind why most Republican  senators have decided to oppose the bill? Could it have anything to do with the fact that the bill has been proposed by mostly democrats. Could it have anything to do with the fact that the president supports the bill?

      Listen to the news and you might hear a tea party member or two call these unemployed people lazy. I have a request for those whom want to perpetuate this notion. Go and speak to someone who has been without a job. Ask them what its like, ask them about this "vacation". Just because someone doesn't know what its like to get a million dollar bonus, worked hard and loss their job as result of an economic crisis or couldn't afford student loans doesn't mean they are lazy. These are hard working Americans. When will the welfare of a people outweigh political maneuvering. It appears they are not deserve a little more time to find employment. When will values actually mean more than a party. English writer and journalist Harriet Martineau put it best, "If a test of civilization be sought, none can be so sure as the condition of that half of society over which the other half has power."5

Interested in following what your congressmen and women are up to download the informed American app:
Flag your senators and representatives to see how they voted today!



Monday, January 13, 2014

America: The Republic not Democracy

Breaking News: America Expels Democracy

      I pledge allegiance, to the flag, of the United States of America, and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all1 ...The original text of the Pledge of Allegiance was written by a socialist minister as an attempt to foster nationalism, and patriotism in the post civil war America. Yes, its because of an anti-capitalist that every schoolhouse around the nation has flags for kids to salute to every morning, sounds like the beginning of a bar joke. 

No matter how important or unimportant you think the pledge is, there are a few terms within the text that are overwhelmingly seen as representative of American values (even if only by its own people). There is justice....liberty...and then there's the word republic. Republic? Was Francis Bellamy referring to the Good Old Party of today? Maybe, this was a foreshadowing of George Lucas's version of galactic order.

      According to Webster a republic is, "a country that is governed by elected representatives and by an elected leader (such as a president) rather than by a king or queen."2 The word republic can be found in the United states constitution; Article 4, Section 4 requires states to have "republican forms of government"... This may or may not incite a knee jerk reaction from you. Why doesn't it say democratic. America has always been the protector of democracy. We have even gone so far as to daub ourselves the proprietor of democracy. If we think back to the Iraqi insurgency, one of our main goals were to, "install a democratic government" a la Monsieur George Bush.

      Throughout history democracy is as American as apple pie, moonshine, and freedom fries. But for some reason the word has been left out of The Declaration of Independence, our Pledge of Allegiance, and  The Constitution of these United States. Why? Well...that is because the United States government is not a democracy. Shocking. This may seem debatable but it is very straightforward. The founding fathers of this "magnificent" nation disagreed on a lot of things. They weren't too sure on how to balance power amongst the young American government, there was disagreement on religious values, and a few of them may have quietly fought about the ethics of slavery. But what they did overwhelmingly agree upon was that democracy was the absolute worst form of government. Benjamin Rush compared democracy to the "devils work" and called it one of the "greatest evils". Benjamin Franklin said, "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!" It was no mistake leaving the word out of their documents, cursing it's utterance similar to "he who should not be named". The reasons for their disgust are clear as is the reasons why you cannot go five minutes without hearing the word from everyone in politics, from Marco Rubio, and John Boehner, Hillary and Obama.

What is Democracy?

      Democracy literally means, "the rule of man". The Greeks of Athens had the first documented democracy. Their brand of direct democracy went as so: The important men of Athens would come together and manufacture laws. Everything from what to do with poop to how to deal with Socrates was written out. Then "every eligible" citizen would go and vote yea or nea. The majority vote would go through. This is a direct democracy, this is the direct rule of people ruling over each other with equal power. In this system of government the majority of people rule without contest.3

      This is one of the exact reasons the founding fathers were against such a form of government. They wanted the furthest thing from a direct democracy.

      If this country was even a representative democracy. The people would vote for representatives directly. Then as in the direct democracy the majority voted candidate has absolute power. The will of the majority of citizens would be law. America has what Ben Franklin, John Adams and John Marshall all were fixated on, the republican form of government. Before we go into what exactly that is, it important to note that the republic the founding fathers were talking about is different from that of Machiavelli's writings.

We can look to John Marshal's Federalist Papers #10 to see what exactly the point of this republic form of governing is.  

          "If a faction consists of less than a majority, relief is supplied by the republican principle, which enables the majority to defeat its sinister views by regular vote. It may clog the administration, it may convulse the society; but it will be unable to execute and mask its violence under the forms of the Constitution. When a majority is included in a faction, the form of popular Government, on the other hand, enables it to sacrifice to its ruling passion or interest both the public good and the rights of other citizens..."4                    
                                                                                 -John Marshall

      Poetry ain't it? Marshall warned that the democracy leads to what is called "mob rule". This allows the majority power without protection of the minorities within a state. The republic provides for protections for every citizen equally. This is accomplished through a constitution. Liberty not equality is more important in a republic. In America representatives are voted by citizens indirectly. We have electoral colleges and party bosses that filter the masses from directly deciding who actually makes laws and passes them. Most importantly the constitution gives freedoms, and dictates exactly what powers each branch and state governments have. This is the most important aspect of the republic. A republic is the rule of law. Law can be stepped over by none; no matter how many guns the majority have, or how much money the majority have...well, in theory.


Why do Politicians lie?

I don't mean in general of course. In order to campaign effectively lying just comes with the territory. But I mean why speak of these democratic ideals when we have a republic?
      Imagine live in the democratic nation of America, in the state of New York. There is a referendum up for vote about pants regulations. This bill includes restrictions on super short and/or tight pants, super baggy pants, sagging of pants on men, and women are no longer allowed to wear pants. Come voting day the referendum is passed thanks to a super conservative faction rallying voters. This being a national vote, immediately becomes law, there are no restrictions on the government protecting rights of citizens not in the majority.
      This was the fear of the founding fathers. They really feared  democracy would restrict trousers! But this fear (Democracy) has become the hallmark of any political campaign. Why would politicians use the word democracy. Well...Campaigns are full of what is called subversion of language. When your senator speaks of protecting democracy, he is allowing you to make democracy synonymous with himself. Knowing that democracy coincides with equality you the people are led to believe that they support equality. Universal Equality! This is not the case.

They support a republic. In essence they support an ideal that the masses cannot organize enough, and are not capable to rule with efficiency. Which is why we need to indirectly elect the brightest, most morally sound of us all. (After a party chooses whom is the best of the best for us) Politicians don't want to be known as promoters of this elitist style of government. Law is not a very attractive speaking point. Though, it is a system they work in, being "a champion of Equality sounds way better."
      Now we can see through subversive language. Thanks to our founding fathers we have avoided mob rule. So new citizens of the republic, try and call as it is, a spade a spade. And remember you can't loose what you never had.



Sunday, January 5, 2014

True Love and a Yellow Sponge

True Love and a Yellow Sponge

Love. True Love. Endless/Eternal. Butterflies in your stomach and dopamine to your brain. In The Midsummers night dream Shakespeare wrote, "Love looks not with the eyes but with the mind. And therefore is winged cupid painted blind." These were the words of Helena. The woman was dismayed to find her love Demetrius had fallen for another woman. He had found the other woman Hermia to be more attractive and this tears Helena apart. Throughout the play, which I urge anyone to see, loves essence is questioned in a very prosaic way.3 The relation between the eyes and mind, and aesthetic beauty are as much initiators of trouble in the play as they are in the real world. Love and the debate on were it comes from, what it is exactly, if it is real have been the topic of many conversations, letters, books, and sad soliloquies of teens everywhere.

Love has been narrowed to feelings, or a state of being that a person has towards someone or something. Different completely from love we separate the "sexual" from the romantic. Loves involves directly how we feel, so there really is no action in the accepted definition. Love has been claimed by many fields as a work of "their systems". Biologist and other scientists point to the primal brain functions, as love being another urge connected to the necessity to reproduce . To them love is hormones and firing synapses.


Science of Love

The scientific view is comprised of mostly of thoughts of psychologists and biologists. Extensive studies have gone into understanding how love works and what is happening when we "love". Psychological studies have shown that it only takes a person 1 1/2 to 4 minutes for person to decide whether or not they love someone. They equate what a person looks like or how they move to equate to over half of this decision; the voice equates to about 40 % and the actual words that are said equate to less than ten percent (so much for intelligence). Then the scientist break love down into three stages. Initially there is lust. They say that your strictly physical attraction is the foot in the door for love.

Then there is the stage of intimacy or attachment. This is the old "honeymoon" stage were your neurons are flooded with adrenaline, Dopamine and Serotonin. Adrenaline results in those fun symptoms you get when your crush says hello. Sweating, cotton mouth, heart beating out of your chest. Yes, blame adrenaline for why you spoke Aramaic to the hottest girl in your grade. Then there is dopamine. It's similar to cocaine, that's all nothing special. Those new couples walking around "high" as hell calling each other pet names and whatever else. Yup...they are all doped up. :) Dopamine results in excess energy, a lack of sleep and food, and extreme happiness. Last but not least there is serotonin. This neurotransmitter causes your lovers face to be the only thing on your mind. In this stage your partner can do no wrong. They are perfect no ,matter what your mom thinks about them. Then comes the third stage; attachment. The hormones of this stage are Oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin is released during an orgasm. So this is the scientific way to connect sex with love. As Oxytocin deepens feelings of attachment. Oxytocin is also the hormone that makes a mother care for its young. This is that unconditional "love" hormone. Vasopressin , aka the "anti diuretic hormone" used by the body to control thirst. This hormone is also released after sex, and is directly correlated to long term relationships. So if you question the devotion your spouse, slip them a little ADH intravenously.
For the scientist this is love. Super romantic...I know. They have found you can pretty much find love by following 3 steps:
                        1) Find a stranger
                        2) Talk about the details of your life for half an hour
                        3) Stare into each others eyes for 4 mins.1
And "Expecto Patronum" you've got love!

Philosophy of Love

Renown philosophers have touched the subject as well. Bertrand Russell extensively talked about love, revereing its importance. He called it extra rational but not anti-rational. Bertrand equated love to a person in a state of "absolute value". This is interesting and confusing as most things that involve love are.2 Relative value means to look at everything, kind of a cost benefit analysis and seeing what something will mean to you. In other words what will you gain. Absolute value in terms of love must pose that a person in love is without the end goal of finding the best deal for him possible but instead finding the absolute best deal. But how could this be possible. As people we only have our perspective as a tool to judge. This sounds a lot like Helena's speech, "cupid painted blind." So Love, lets take it in the instance of person A and person B. Person A loves person B. Therefore Person A is in the best state of affection for existence. It may not be in his best interest. Person B's dad may kill him, she may leave him at the alter, they may both be persecuted for their love. But he does not have his personal "relative" well-being to worry about because love doesn't care about the person. In a way this definition says that love is beyond us completely. A religious person could say that love is gods plan, maybe. That love is a tool of god to exert his will. This could work for absolute value. Or maybe the universal harmony is relies on love to keep things even; yin and yang, good and evil.

True Love

 photo spongebob_zpse004c198.jpg 

I enjoy Bertrand's explanation of love, because sometimes sex, eye contact and a face cannot explain the feeling that is true love. And I believe the word love deserves more than a few hormones, or just a means to ensure the survival of our offspring. Real love to me must be unwavering. From start to finish, love should be alone in its steadfast stubbornness. Sex, lust or other things that all are only necessary to you as they bring pleasure are not love. In its truest form the only real love is that of SpongeBob Squarepants.

SpongeBob has been through it all. Hurt, and battered, duped and beaten Sponge Bob still returns only love. He works in a space were with the best of his ability he acts to bring pleasure to those around him. Now you may say, Iziah, Sponge Bob is annoying he brings unhappiness to Squidward all the time. But look not at the reality, look at the intention. His acts are often self depreciating. Love is that of Sponge Bob, Love = complete selflessness. Love gives without receiving. Love does not involve the word "want". Love only allows giving. Giving your all to bring your brand of happiness, and when you fail, which eventually you will... feed your snail, go to sleep and wake for the next days episode and try all over again. True love is more than butterflies, true love is the ride. It is the time you spend searching and giving all of you to the world. Most of us will never see true love I believe, but it is not to late to impart it. It is not to late to release true love to those who you interact with everyday. The only question is are you ready, because I'm ready!

2 Russell on Ethics: Selections from the Writings of Bertrand Russell