Thursday, November 01, 2012

Bringing America to Breaking Point

I heard someone say, "At least we don't have suicide bombers in America." Oh, yeah? I hate to break it to you but we sure do have suicide bombers in America. Ours are the ones using assault rifles to kill innocent people in movie theaters and places of worship. Ours are the ones shooting innocent people in shopping malls, in high schools and universities, in fast food restaurants, on military bases, and so many more places. Ours are the ones flying their small planes into IRS buildings or setting themselves on fire in front of a courthouse. Instead of strapping bombs to their bodies they use guns. Same effect, same outcome. There is no difference between the ones "over there" and the ones "over here".

Mass murder/suicides are carried out by people who have come to the end of their rope. Because they will not be heard and there is nothing else left for them, they decide to lash out at as many people as they can with horrific violence before taking themselves out with more horrific violence. Death by cops in a hail of bullets, death by their own hand, or death by bomb, they decide to make this crime their last living act.

These violent crimes do not happen accidentally. They are not mindless or spontaneous ideas carried out at the spur of the moment. Every incident is planned in advance. The plans are thoughtfully conceived, the dates and places chosen, the weapons and gear obtained all in advance. Specific reasons motivate each and every incident.

What is the usual reason behind suicide bombers? Their crimes are about injustice that has become unbearable, whether real or imagined or somewhere in between, and having no means to make that injustice stop. They feel they have to do something about it. In a mental process we can't understand, they come to decide to murder innocent people, perfect strangers, which of course makes no sense at all. What is achieved by killing people you don't even know who have never done anything to you and in all likeliness never would? What is the point?

Unfortunately, the bloviators of supposed public opinion end the story there, and we are all supposed to end the story there too. Judgment is swift and final. The perpetrators are condemned and branded as insane, as mindlessly violent, racist, extremist, driven by hate without reason, and are then written off as evil people beyond comprehension who deserve nothing from us but our deepest disdain. And then they are forgotten.

The problem is that isn't the end of the story, it is only halfway through the story. The other half, the half they refuse to acknowledge existence of, the half that we are not supposed to care to explore, is as legitimate as the first half. To pretend otherwise only makes things worse. Ignoring the other half of the story guarantees violent escalation and more and more killings. I fail to see much difference between the condemned and those who condemn them when, in the end, both will be directly responsible for the mass deaths of innocent people.

Yes, it is wrong for suicide bombers to kill people. No one can kill their way to happiness, peace or justice. That's just nonsense. Killing innocent people is evil. But there is another evil at play here, one that is perhaps responsible for creating mass murderers and suicide bombers in the first place. One that is responsible for keeping us in perpetual wars. One that has inflamed the whole of the Muslim world and caused America to be heaped with blame, shame and burning resentment. That evil must be realized and held equally responsible for the woes and harms it has always brought upon the world, and it always will. That evil is injustice, indifference to the suffering of others.

Acts of human violence have been with us for millennia. There is almost always a reason behind acts of violence whether those reasons are reasonable or not. Some people aren't very good at being fair minded so they harm others because of their basic selfish inability to see things from someone else's perspective. But if anyone wants to claim to be fair minded it is an absolute requirement to try in earnest to put ourselves in someone else's shoes long enough to be able to see their side of the story. If we fail to do that we are by default being unfair.

Justice is not possible when all involved are not considered. This is true in every situation where disagreement arises, and that includes the cases of American mass shooters and suicide bombers. It includes all criminal acts. If we cannot know the accused's side of the story then justice is not possible. It is impossible because we don't know the whole of the truth. How can there be justice when we don't have possession of the whole truth?

It is often the case that once we understand how others see things we can understand why they feel the way they do. It is not uncommon to realize that if we were in their position, we would feel the same way they do. This isn't always the case but it happens with sufficient regularity that to ignore it or to impugn the process and refuse to engage in it is indefensible. That is, if we care about being fair. At the very least we'll have heard the whole of the truth after which point we are in a much better position to judge things.

A serious complication is that some people are not interested in being fair. They really don't care about how others are affected by what they do. They want their way and will have it regardless of who it hurts. This is the evil we must learn to recognize and reject. That evil is the selfish indifference to other people's suffering, and there is no excuse for it. What legitimate excuse could there be?

When unfair people want their way it invariably causes problems. Why? Because it means that somebody is getting screwed so that somebody else can have something that is not theirs to have. The entire concept of controversial subjects boils down to somebody wanting to be unfair and get away with it. Whenever I hear of some new or old controversy rearing its ugly head I always ask myself one question, who is lying? Because somebody always is. That is what a controversy is. It is rarely about a disagreement between two legitimate sides, it is about one side being unfair against another and people taking sides over it. If fair minded people can see it for what it is the controversy can be put down before it has a chance to take hold. But if people are politically pressured or brainwashed to support the unfair side, the so-called controversy will be able to take root and when it does it will inevitably cause terrible upset because of the injustice it will perpetrate. Controversy is about condoning political injustice and little else.

Take a snapshot of American politics today, foreign and domestic, and you can't help but notice that this country is embroiled in endless controversies. America is at war with itself on numerous fronts and at war with country after country abroad. It never seems to end. To put it in a nutshell, there is a whole lot of political lying and injustice going on. And it's killing us. It's killing a whole lot of people.

We can keep on doing things this way because we think it's right in spite of everything falling apart around us, there's an oxymoron for you, or we can decide to break through the political barrier that makes us think that seeing the whole story is an act of evil. Clearly it is not. It is the only act of good available to every one of us. I say we break through the barrier and take a good hard look at what the other sides of the stories are, there are a lot of them to choose from. This post is about American suicide shooters. In order to break through the barrier we need only ask one question. "Why?"

Part 2 - The Politicians

President Obama addressed the country after the Aurora movie theater shootings and the shootings just a few days later in the Oak Creek Sikh temple. While the media made hay framing the Sikh temple shootings as an act of racist hate, the president told America that it was time for some soul searching.

I couldn't agree more.

It is well past time to take a sober, naked look in the great American soul mirror. A top heavy number of millionaires in Congress an unelected billionaires buying their services seem to be long overdue for some well lit naked soul mirror time. Too many people living their lives in the first class luxury seats of making, persuading and buying American Policy have clearly never looked in a soul mirror, naked or otherwise. Quite a few seem instead to have walked straight through the looking glass to take up residence in a deviant fantasy world of their own creation, a world unaffected by the laws of nature governing the real and natural world the rest of us live in.

The worst ideologues, fanatics, felons and operatives would become predictably outraged at any suggestion that they too should step into the bright lights and strip down in front of the soul mirror. People like these are dangerous and despicable. They deny outright the existence of another side to any story they wish. No matter how indefensibly heinous and criminally compromised their wrong-minded rhetoric and behavior, they demand to be respected as perfected beings who are always right. Then too are the ones who always want more war, more state secrecy, less rights for Americans, and more heavily armed authorities pointing more guns at more people. These should definitely engage in more than a few seconds of self reflection, but they won't. None of the worst of these people care about anything but themselves, their profits, their status and their power.

If we really want to get some honest to God soul searching done, those are the people we need to start with. Why? Because it is down to these people how this country works. As you've probably noticed, such things are not up to you and me.

The trouble is none of these people want to be revealed under any bright lights. They want to be kept safely apart from the public they feed on and control for their own purposes. Who they are and what they do cannot withstand scrutiny, meaning they can't afford to let anyone hear anything but their own side of the story. Their worst enemy is the whole of the truth. Their doings cannot be defended, explained or excused in the real world on this side of the mirror. They know it too, perfectly well. They know they are responsible for the destruction of our economy, the endless years of senseless wars, the destruction of constitutional law, the destruction of our schools, the division of our people into for or against, haves and have nots and all of the injustice and damage that brings. They know full well that they are responsible for the utter demoralization of our people via the double standards and brutality they brought into being to replace the common sense, justice and legitimacy of our system. They know they are responsible for all of it and they're proud of what they've done. They know what they're doing is unjust, but they don't care that it's unjust. Which goes to prove that these people are not incompetent, they are evil.

Our perfectly good political process has been hijacked and taken over by highly driven scientists of control and deception. They are not invisible and they are not hiding. Their unwelcome presence from long ago has metastasized and grown so strong that like any cancer, it will take an incredible battle to remove them and stay alive in the process.

This system, their system, is catastrophic. It has failed us. We can expect to see more and more acts of violence and killing not because Americans have too many guns or because Americans are violent racist murderers, but because of our government's insane policies, insane dishonesty, and it's intransigent refusal to stop making our system into one that facilitates immoral acts of grotesque hypocrisy and injustice, criminal deal making, and brute force in support of the selfish quests of a powerful few. The lawmakers' "money first" corporate mentality sees the 1% as their clientele and bends over backwards for them, using our money and our lives to service them. There must be something in it for them, but I have no idea what is worth such a terrible price.

I ask you, what are the odds of any of these people doing any soul searching? The odds are zero for the simple reason that they have no souls. Those who have no souls cannot search them.

The dark idiots (D.I.) responsible for the critical meltdown of justice, human dignity and hope that is spiraling our people into a black hole of devastation, that is pushing people beyond their limits, that is slamming the doors of reason, logic and fairness into the faces of hundreds of millions of people, they understand perfectly well what they are doing. The intentions of certain powerful people have been laid out in plain words for decades, they weren't hidden. None of what we are going through now comes as a surprise to those who are forcing millions of people down on their knees into poverty and hopelessness. The D.I. understand full well that injustice makes people angry. They know that treating people like dirt, that ignoring their valid complaints, that shutting people out of any chance at justice and prosperity, that showing people such revolting disrespect, that not caring as our nation bleeds out in front of the whole world, will definitely cause some people to take up arms and start killing.

Dark idiots worship power over all else. Do they honestly believe that a system comprised of the utter desecration of human decency will not have terrible repercussions? No, they don't believe that. They know full well that their unmitigated selfishness and bounties of aggression and deceit amount to making war against the people of America. They are working with full intent and knowledge to strip Americans of all of their wealth and prosperity, health and freedom in order to strip us of all power and ability to fight them. They are only able to accomplish this by doing away with justice. That's where buying off senators and congressmen comes in. For the right price, those who are there to represent us are happy to destroy us instead.

This destructive and self serving vision of the wealthiest few and its servants perpetrates injustice above all else. Injustice is the only means to grabbing hold of all that is not theirs to have. There is no other way to get it. How else could they get so much money and so much power other than through crime? No other way exists. These people are the physical embodiment of evil. They are completely indifferent to the suffering of hundreds of millions of people. They want us all dead. That is not a crazy conspiracy theory. It is the clear and visible result of what these people do. Every move they make makes millions of people weaker. It steals away health and life and eradicates human potential. This is the way they want it and they want it to stay their way forever. We are the enemy and they are doing everything in their power to undermine and eradicate us.

So how just is that?

Part 3 - No Mystery

Is it really a surprise to anyone that America is being pushed beyond its breaking point? Can anyone really claim not to understand that to strip people of all dignity, all hope, and all prosperity is taking too much from humanity? Is that really confusing to anyone?

Is it really unacceptable that people who are insulted, denied, denigrated, lied to and manipulated, ignored, undermined, used, abused and deprived of a voice are going to get angry? Is it really too hard to understand that cutting people out of all chance of living peaceful and prosperous lives will make people very unhappy? Is it really too much to understand that people are inevitably going to stand up and come kick your ass for doing so much damage to them and to their children?

There is nothing confusing about it at all. And that is why the Department of Homeland Security just bought 450 million rounds of hollow point ammunition. And we were forced to pay for it. A lot like being forced to dig your own grave right before they shoot you in the back of the head and push you into it. Who the hell are these evil beings and why are they turning paradise into one great big filthy dirty concentration camp for all humanity? Why won't they just fuck off and leave us alone?

I don't know who they are and I don't know why they can't get a life of their own instead of taking so many other people's lives from them, but there they are anyway. For decades they have poisoned our minds through their filthy dirty media, taking all that is sacred and beautiful and natural and life affirming and sloshing it with buckets of pig shit and blood, and celebrating every moment of it. As they glorify and sanctify death they have stolen the souls of children who will grow up to carry on what amounts to worshiping cruelty and death and doing evil all in the name of self gratification. They are teaching our people to destroy, to have no respect for anything but power and money, and to not give a damn about justice. They are recreating themselves, training people to hate and fear others as well as themselves.

America is dying for lack of love and compassion, lack of respect, lack of generosity and a life affirming spirit.

And you want to know why we have people going crazy and shooting people in movie theaters? Really? It's just not all that mysterious.

Shitty People

I want to ask you for your thoughts on something. While the subject is one that affects me directly, it is also one that affects everyone on a greater scale. This is a kind of problem that can be personal, familial, national, international and global. I am going to come at it from the personal level with the aim of keeping it focused and specific so that I can get your thoughtful insights and feedback.

First I need to set about describing this thing I'm talking about. Bear with me, it's a bit complicated. Here goes.

There is a sad truth that applies to humankind. It seems like such a simple thing and yet it has proven impossible to overcome. That truth, and the problem I'm talking about, are one and the same.

I must try to put this in a nutshell so as not to try your patience. The best I can do is this. While the majority of people in this world are basically good people, there are always some among us who are not good. The ones among us who are not good are responsible for the vast majority of pain, suffering and destruction that affects everyone around them. They make life miserable for others.

I call them shitty people. They are not honorable. They have no concern about being dishonest with others. They don't play fair. They are self serving. They are brutal. They cheat. They lie. They deceive. They destroy. They can be just downright mean. They are either incapable of, or disinterested in, considering the negative effects their words and actions have on others. They not only don't care how much damage they do to somebody else, they often enjoy inflicting it.

There are some people who are nasty through and through. These are people who cannot be reasoned with. They cannot be escaped or avoided and there is no way around them. It is a nightmare to encounter someone like this because there is no chance that you can escape unharmed. You may not even be able to escape at all. People of this type are very scary once you realize what they are. It's not always obvious at first. These types are also very good at pretending to be good, decent, upright, respectable people. They are good at selling appearances of decency and respectability but they are neither good nor respectable. They are nasty and very dangerous people.

But there are others who only behave in these ways situationally, in other words it's not their usual way of behaving. It is due to group influence that they behave in ways that would ordinarily go against their values and beliefs. Like George Carlin said, and I'm paraphrasing like crazy here, one on one people are great. Sit and talk face to face with someone and they are reasonable, intelligent, good. But get them into groups and they become insane and monstrous. I guess it's the gang mentality. Us against them. Separatist, aggressive, competitive, violent. All of that holier than thou crap comes in along with all of the self justification that allows and encourages breaking the rules of human decency in the name of taking their cause to victory.

There are also others who behave very badly due to their own life experiences. The accumulation of scars and damage they have received in life, instead of strengthening them in a positive way, makes them cruel. They want to take it out on others. It's a form of payback, only instead of paying back those who harmed them they transfer their vengeance onto people who have never done anything to them. It's no surprise that taking it out on innocent people is so devoid of satisfaction. By never addressing the actual problem they never achieve what they need, which is full and sufficient justice. Therefore they must constantly seek new victims to brutalize, and on and on it goes. It becomes even more complicated when the humiliation and rage they feel are not legitimate because they are essentially nuts to begin with. Not fun to be around people like this at all.

There are other reasons that people behave badly as well. Emotional immaturity, lack of knowledge about the world beyond their own tiny piece of existence, lack of education, even being born psychopaths. There are a great many reasons that people behave badly, but regardless of the reasons, the outcomes and effects are the same. Serious damage is done to others. Worst of all is how impossible it is to stop people behaving badly, and how often there is nothing the victims can do about it. Justice will not come. Often the victims cannot even explain to someone else what they are going through. They are not believed, or they are accused in some way. Too many times, legitimate victims have no means of defending themselves and the nasty persons win. They often win big. And the victims simply fade away, broken and demoralized and alone.

That's a general description of the concept I'm talking about. Shitty people. People from all walks of life, all social and economic backgrounds, whether they do it alone, do it with a family, do it with a group, organization or on the job, rich or poor, old or young, all races, both sexes, all of them have some shitty people. Now here is the question I have that I would love to get your reasoned and thoughtful responses to. How do we deal with such shitty people?

There is an old saying in America, "You can't fight City Hall". What that means is that one wronged person alone cannot take on City Hall and win. One person fighting for justice against a larger group of people, people enclosed to themselves, people all on the same page, corrupted, self serving, for a plethora of reasons and motivations, will be able to use an assortment of tricks and tactics, while backing each other up, in order to close ranks and present an impenetrable wall to the seeker of justice. One person cannot win against such a group. The group has strengths and resources that the single individual does not have. And when you throw into the equation that the group is a shitty group of people it becomes all the more impossible to prevail against them. It can often become dangerous to even try to take them on.

When we're talking about formal, organized groups like the police, the courts, the government, institutions and so forth, you know that as a single individual you have no chance whatsoever of being heard or getting a fair outcome. This is about power. The group has it all, the individual has none. One person cannot prevail here. It is much more likely that he will be crushed out of existence. It doesn't matter that he is right and they are wrong, all that matters is who has the most power.

Historically though, when groups become abusive their abuses are seen by the general public. The more abusive they become the more visible they become. And the more people they victimize the more chance there is that those victims will become a group that will then begin to have some power and can begin to fight back. The general public can see both the abusers and the abused and some of them will stand up for the abused. This is political and there have been countless successes against abusive powers. It's not always pretty but success is not out of the question when groups take on other groups to force shitty people out of power and restore justice into the status quo. When power is equalized you can fight for what's right. When you have no power you just get victimized.

But how can a single individual fight back? Is there no hope at all for individual justice?

Something that I find deeply disturbing is that there are a lot of people who have a nasty value system. We see this in the military, in those who remain invisible to us but who are the ones responsible for long range planning and overall military philosophy. We see this in big business, in Wall Street, in the class wars we're in today like hair on fire. Some people consider the world and the way it works and they ask themselves, what can I do to guarantee that I will get my way and have everything I want? And the answer to them is a no brainer. Use force. Force overcomes everything. Force, violence, the more overwhelming and unnecessary the better, literally reduces the enemy to ashes. This is the guarantee of total success.

It means dropping all human decency, ignoring every law standing in your way, behaving as badly, as madly, as it takes to crush the opposition. The only rules that matter are the ones you make.

This "philosophy" of total selfishness and brutality is in direct opposition to my own philosophy of life and my personal values. I feel respect for others. I do not believe that I should have whatever I want at any expense to others. I am a firm believer in the golden rule. But then I also have a fundamental desire to see everyone do well. I want everyone to be happy and get their needs met and live wonderful, free lives. But there are many others who do not want these things. They do not share my desire to see everyone else doing okay. On the contrary. They have no respect for others. They don't care about others. In fact, some of them despise others and want them all dead. There is nothing new here, this is imperialism and it's been strangling the world for millennia.

But that same imperialist attitude is encountered at the personal level too. It is so common it's not even funny. We have a lot of names for it, racism, sexism, etc., but it boils down to that same exact mentality of self over others. There are people today snatching people off the streets and selling them into slavery, sexual slavery, labor slavery. It's happening in our midst, not just in far away places. This is a mindset that is pervasive. Other people are exploited for personal benefit without a single thought given to the injustice done to the victim. Nobody cares about the victim in their circles. In fact, people like this feel absolutely entitled to victimize others as much as they like.
ENTITLED to have a sexual slave. ENTITLED to exploit individuals or groups of people because it is what they see as beneficial to themselves and somehow that translates into entitlement to destroy other human beings at will.

I can't speak to that because I don't understand it other than to say it is wrong and they are wrong and they are nasty, shitty people. I don't know how to not give a damn about doing harm to someone else. I don't know how to not care about someone's life being stolen, about enslaving them and using them for whatever I please. I could never do it. I don't even like being waited on at a restaurant because nobody is supposed to be subservient to me or to anyone else. But I'll tell you what, you'll find no shortage of people feeling entitled to top notch "service", and demanding it in the most obnoxious, snarling and insulting ways. As if it were owed to them to have someone else think of nothing else but serving them, breaking their back to keep them firmly ensconced in their delusions of superiority and entitlement to be treated like a king. To me people like this are just plain nuts.

The reality is that people like me are snack food for people like them. Even though there are many more people like me than there are people like them, they have power. Shittiness is power. Full blown shittiness, the kind where the shitty person feels entitled to be that way, can make millions of people's lives absolutely miserable. They do more damage to more people in a day than I could ever do in a million lifetimes. I would never hurt anyone on purpose, it's not in me.

I do believe in defending myself against shitty people who harbor the delusion that they are entitled to do harm to others for no good reason other than they want to. I know they're not entitled. Their personal delusions don't bind me or anyone else. I'll shoot 'em if they're fixing to shoot me or if they're shooting other defenseless people. Hell yes, I wouldn't hesitate because they don't get to force their personal will on others. I know the difference between right and wrong and nobody gets to run around stealing people's lives and happiness. No such creature exists who has any such right. It's nonsense. I wouldn't relish shooting someone in self defense, and if I killed them it would be deeply upsetting, but I wouldn't bear any guilt over it. Standing up for your own life in the face of imminent destruction is fair and square. They started it and if I have to finish it, I will.

Not every situation is that clear cut and it's not always about imminent threat to life. At the personal level it's usually about beliefs, insecurities, immaturity, selfishness, jealousy, things like that. It's not a life or death situation, but the damage done is still very real. Being insulted, dismissed, ignored, being treated thoughtlessly or unjustly, these are all things that take a very real toll on human beings. It's that imperialist attitude of entitlement to not consider others again, it's amazing how common it is.

What do you say to people like this? You have to deal with them. If you don't they'll just run over you like a Mac truck runs over road kill. But what do you say? Remember too how easy it is to become what you hate, we see it every day on the world news reports. If we say we must fight fire with fire then we become what we are against. We become the same as they are. We are not the same, and I won't have that taken away from me.

So far I have found that the way to deal with these people is to simply speak the truth. State the facts of the situation in a way that is succinct, deadly accurate, and without anger. Truth is a mighty weapon and it can and does take down giants. Sometimes the truth is dismissed and I am accused of all sorts of preposterous nonsense. Sometimes people caught with their pants down will stand and angrily deny their pants are around their ankles and they will attack you for the rest of their life rather than take a look at their own ankles and see for themselves how silly they are.

In your own daily life, how do you deal with the petty imperialists that stomp in and stir up discord? What is the best way in your experience to deal with the bullies, the liars, the cheats? Conversely, what is the worst way?
What has worked in the past and what hasn't?

If anyone would care to offer anything up from their own personal life experience I'd be delighted to hear from you.


On a very personal note, my Dad passed away on Oct. 2nd. Cancer. I didn't get to be with him when he died. I didn't get the chance to say good-bye or to tell him things I wanted him to know before he went away forever. Although we didn't see eye to eye on some things and our relationship has always been a difficult one, there were some things about him that I admired very much. He was a dignified man. He had diverse interests. He had a creative streak which he often shared with me, like his love of stamp and coin collecting, Far Eastern culture, leather working. He could even knit amazing sweaters. He built a huge boat all by himself in our garage, it was amazing. A cabin cruiser. Once it was finished he sold it without even taking it out on the ocean. He'd spent twenty years in the Navy and retired, coming then into the private sector where he got a regular job like everyone else. He tended to be rather serious and could be quite intimidating at times. But he was also superb with people, a perfect host or guest. He treated my mother with great respect and never abused her in any way. He loved her very much and that's a fact.

One of the things I liked most about him was his willingness to hear information contrary to his current opinion, and to see my point, and even then to change is position. For instance, I remember once being at his house and george w. bush was on the TV. President bush was saying that we really had to do something about frivolous lawsuits. He then claimed that 60% of lawsuits against corporations were frivolous. They were a waste of tax payer money. He was talking about abolishing lawsuits against corporations. My Dad was listening and immediately was on the president's side. Sixty percent was over half and it was not acceptable at all. He would have been willing to go along with whatever the president said he was going to do about it. I looked at my Dad and asked, even if it's true that 60% of those lawsuits were frivolous, what about the 40% that aren't? He quietly thought for a moment then said, "You're right. I hadn't thought of that." How can you not love that about somebody?

I'm going to miss him. I'll miss his strength. I will miss the feeling that no matter what, my Dad's got my back. He was a pretty good guy.