and other short critiques of rampant, mindless patriotism in contemporary
American Exceptionalism? A Shining City on a Hill? I want to cringe whenever I hear this nonsense.
This is one of several trite, too often repeated cliché's; the belief of which keeps Americans from achieving true greatness and social justice, domestically and abroad.
American Exceptionalism? I don't know where to begin to debunk this myth. Should I start with over 300 years of slaughter of native American peoples and their continuing mistreatment and marginalization? Or perhaps the 89+ years of African slavery (only counting from 1776 to 1865) and the continued racism and racial inequality of African Americans? Or perhaps we should discuss the colonization and occupation of sovereign island nations like Hawaii, Guam, Puerto Rico and the brutal subjugation of their people? Maybe we should talk about the internment of Japanese during WWII, or the mistreatment of non-white and non-Christian peoples from the beginning of America to the present day. Of course, no discussion of American Exceptionalism would be complete without even mentioning the United State's continuing military and covert actions in the middle east to protect it's oil interests, and the human misery that results from these endeavors. What about United State's activities in Latin America, especially through the United Fruit Company?
Certainly we must include domestic issues like the blaring wealth inequality and lack of Universal National Healthcare that certainly make America exceptional in the developed world.
If you study American history objectively (this essentially means outside of American public schools and the other institutions it influences) you will see that 'American Exceptionalism' actually pertains to these two things:
1. The United State's spending on it's military compared to the rest of the world and It's subsequent use of military force both overtly and covertly to take what it wants from smaller, weaker countries.
2. It's dominance in propaganda, especially Hollywood movies that make their way abroad and promote the American way of life and the supposed superiority of American culture and ideals; both to Americans who largely have no basis for comparison, and to peoples in the developing world who are unable to discern these glossy images, as slick marketing for a specific product: The concept of American Exceptionalism.
America after WWII
War is such a big part of our economy; I'm not sure we would be able to have become the super power we are today without it. I'm not just talking about the obvious defense contractors making money during war.
Think about our manufacturing sector, especially cars. In 1945 at the end of WWII, Europe and Japan's industrial infrastructure was a pile of rubble, literally. We manufactured and exported everything to the rest of the world and our economy grew by leaps and bounds.
Fast forward 50 years later, and Europe and Japan have totally rebuilt their manufacturing sectors (not to mention china) and are competing with us head on to manufacture everything. We no longer have that advantage of being the only major factory nation still standing after the great war. America's modern day prosperity is directly related to WWII, and it is wearing away fast as we lose our dominance in manufacturing.
America's collapse has already started and the oddly authoritarian legislation (for a nation that talks so much about freedom and democracy) like NDAA 2012 and SOPA are just the death throws of a government that is losing power and control both in the world community, and domestically as people discover that our brand of capitalism is not sustainable; as is our 'American Dream'.
Not everyone in the world wants to
emigrate to America
Americans still think they live in the greatest country on earth because many of them have never been outside of America and don't know about the governments or peoples of other countries.
We are all told as children that people from all over the world are trying to get into America, but that is not entirely true anymore. Maybe people from 3 rd world countries are trying to get in America, by any means; but how many Australian, or French, or German, or Norwegian or Swedish, or Japanese illegal immigrants have you heard about?
Bottom line: America is better than Mexico, Guatemala, Columbia and the other places where illegal immigrants tend to come from, but not better than most of Europe, Japan, Australia, Canada and other countries where America hasn't seen large numbers of immigrants from since the 1930's.
Pawns in a game of Billionaire's club
As much as we want to believe in freedom and democracy and all that crap they filled our heads with about America being the greatest country on earth when we were in grade school; We are all just pawns in a huge game of billionaire’s club chess.
The average American is too stupid or too brainwashed to understand a fraction of what we are discussing here. Sometimes I envy them, in their blissful ignorance; believing in 'absolutes' like truth, justice, the American way of life; and all the other ideology that comforts them in their dreamy, consumer driven, air conditioned, suburban lives.
How simple and blissful their lives must be, to go to sleep every night believing in all the American fairy tales; firmly believing that their children will be better off than they were: if America just continues fighting the good fight; with Sarah Palin leading the cheer 'All we need is our Guns, our God and our Constitution!'
On Domestic Surveillance and Terrorism
New from the NSA - Internal Patriot Discovery
Apparently this mass surveillance did nothing to stop the attacks in Paris or Boston, however the surveillance was successfully used to track, infiltrate and counter Occupy Wall Street and other legitimate and peaceful social movements.
Apparently legitimate social movements that advocate a more fair and equitable society, shine a harsh light on the limitless greed of the 1% this is the real threat to our corporate overlords; who virtually 'own' our government. I would venture to say that the real target of this surveillance is in fact preventing a popular uprising or social movement that would seek to promote a more equitable society, that would result in a loss of power and influence for the super rich and corporate interests.
'Terrorism' the stated target of this mass surveillance scares a lot of people, but statistically the facts are; you are more likely to be killed by police in America if you are an African American male between the ages of 12 and 45, than you are of being killed by some radical Muslim Jihadi in a Boston or Paris style attack.
On first glance you may think this is an unrelated, non-relevant statistic, but this statistic is extremely relevant and is a direct consequence of this social and economic injustice, and the growing income inequality in America. There is no question that we will see more surveillance, more oppression and more violence perpetrated by our own government against 'We the People' until the real problem in America today is addressed: The rich getting richer, poor getting poorer, and the middle class shrinking in terms of finances, and more importantly in terms of political influence as a direct result of the 'Citizens United' ruling; which essentially rules that Money equals Free Speech; and other legislation that increases the amount of money that the rich and corporate entities can give to political candidates.
Additionally, regarding Islamic terrorism: do not forget that that the most virulent and deadly Islamic radicals and terror organizations all seem to come from regions that have large amounts of oil and/or other natural resources (Lithium used for batteries); and that all of these affected regions have a long history of being been brutally colonized or otherwise brutally molested by western powers. Do we want peace in the middle east and an end to radical Islamic terror? Then we need to develop and deploy alternative energy that can displace fossil fuels; the technology exists, research it!
You don't need Social Media in order
to communicate to others.
Shoshana Zuboff on surveillance capitalism | VPRO Documentary
Ignore the intro that describes Ms. Zuboff as 'the Karl Marx of our time'.
To be wary of 'Surveillance Capitalism' and 'Big Brother' is not a Marxist principle, it should be considered common sense to any rational person.
This documentary outlines a good reason why you need to stop carrying a mobile phone / internet connected device all the time, and why you need to stop using social media to communicate with family and friends.
Another public health issue that the community should concern itself with is Internet / Social Media Addiction and Overuse. I think there are quite enough of recent news stories and credible studies of how addictive and damaging social media is, especially for children; and how these platforms were designed by psychologists to exploit the human need for group approval and such.
I'm no expert on community, but it would seem that it is pretty difficult to have a community that is healthy and vibrant without a large amount of communication and sharing of ideas, and I'm not suggesting that people should go back to the 'dark ages' of 'snail mail' and pen & ink.
The goal of this is not necessarily related, or limited to privacy concerns, it's more about piece of mind, freedom from being marketed to or enticed to buy stuff you don't really want or need, and the resulting financial stress associated with these corporate entities exploiting our weaknesses as human beings.
Social media platforms, especially Facebook are information gathering platforms for marketers (among other entities) that not only gather massive amounts of our personal data, that we so willing provide to them; but more importantly; they also meticulously catalog and organize that information to build a detailed profile of us all, that can be used very effectively; both overtly, and covertly to make us buy things that we would not normally buy, or think the way they want us to think.
The power of information today, does not lay alone in the collection of that information; but in the cataloging and organization of that information into a certain format whereby context, shades of meaning, and human emotion can be easily parsed and gauged by automated artificial intelligence programs.
You can send the same information to a small circle of friends by e-mail, with almost the same convenience as posting it on Facebook, but in sending the information by e-mail you deny much of the context and meaning of your communiqué to the marketers. Additionally, when you are face to face with your friends, you should make up new words or word usages to use during your online communications, to further frustrate the efforts of marketers who will undoubtedly glean the contents of your e-mails to tailor the advertisements they send you, especially if you use a free e-mail service like yahoo, gmail, hotmail, etc.
Does anyone still have faith in
Why do we trust that the United States Government will serve 'our' interests?
We are fooling ourselves if we think the government is ours, as in 'We the People'; it never was about 'We the people'. The concept of 'We the people' still may have been reasonably plausible before Citizens United, but not today, several years after this watershed supreme court ruling.
The Citizen's United ruling did not cause America to be run by, and serve the interests of the largest corporations and wealthiest individuals; it just officially affirmed the legality of the blatant influence peddling, and outright buying of elected officials in back room deals that had been going on throughout this nation's history.
So you can rest assured that any action that the US Government takes, both domestically and anywhere around the world; (usually with the assistance of the CIA and others in the Intelligence Community) is for the benefit of the largest corporations and richest individuals that pay the most money 'for political speech' that is able to successfully manufacture the consent of the American people.
Nayirah testimony - was a false testimony given before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus on October 10, 1990 by a 15-year-old girl. This testimony was cited numerous times by United States senators and President George H. W. Bush in their rationale to back Kuwait in the Gulf War. In 1992
Robert Mueller, FBI Director testifies to congress on Iraq War and WMD's - Feb. 11, 2003
Manufacturing Consent - Noam Chomsky The 5 Filters of the Mass Media Machine The propaganda model for the manufacture of public consent describes five editorially distorting filters, which are applied to the reporting of news in mass communications media
It's not just about the obvious wars of plunder that need
political support, or the modification or enactment of laws
that favor the rich and big business at the expense of everyone
else. Even when the government does something that appears to
'Tax cattle'Tax Cattle –
that's us, the rank and file taxpayers and middle class
consumers who pay the bulk of the taxes in this country and
whom the government & our corporate overlords treat very
much like a rancher or farmer treats a herd of milking cows
or wool bearing sheep.
in some way, like bring down the barriers of racism &
xenophobia, or address the discriminatory treatment of some
minority or other; it is done with the ulterior motive of maximizing
profits for the corporation, not the actual improvement of the
conditions of our society for us tax cattle; any improvement
in society for us is merely incidental to their interests of
profit and maintaining political power.
Look at Plessy v. Ferguson; this landmark court case didn't come about because 1890's corporate America had an epiphany that 'racism and racial segregation' was wrong an morally reprehensible to a country who's founding documents speak of 'All men being created equal'. NO, this court case was pushed all the way to the US Supreme Court because the railroad companies stood to maximize profits by being able to run fewer passenger cars on their trains, instead of 'separate but equal' cars for blacks and whites.
Same thing with this contemporary issue of transgender bathrooms: To our government this isn't some biblical question, or moral question, or a question equality & discrimination, it's a question of profit maximization for corporations who stand to save money by constructing and maintaining fewer bathrooms in all of their facilities and real properties; and it is on that basis, that this issue will eventually become the law of the land.
'Your' government doesn't give two shits about you, or your issues unless those issues can be expressed in terms of maximizing profits for the rich and powerful corporations who own and rule this country.
9/21/2020 Clarification on Gender:
There are only 2 (two) actual, real Genders; Male and Female. Any notion or personal belief, that puts forth the idea that there are more than two biological genders; can not be supported with empirical evidence, therefore it is not science, but religious doctrine . As per the 1st amendment of the United States Constitution, we are all guaranteed religious freedom in this country. Accordingly I am free to reject the religious doctrine you are attempting to inject into the public and government spheres, therefore I will not recognize your claims of non-binary gender and any attempt to force those beliefs on me will be dismissed as unwanted religious proselytizing. This is no different to Muslims trying to institute sharia law as the law of the land, or Christians trying to place the 10 commandments on government property, or enforcing prayer in public schools.
And in regard to the 'Cancelation' of J.K. Rowling and the burning of her Harry Potter books because of her views on Gender: Who are the Nazis now? I'm not a fan of Rowling's work, but this makes me want to go out and buy all of her books, because their value is likely to increase due to future scarcity.
For those who do not recall the controversy with J.K. Rowling & the Harry Potter book series, here is a brief synopsis:
Several years back, perhaps in 2007, the Harry Potter books were in the peak of popularity among elementary school age children. J.K. Rowling was simultaneously being both praised for writing books that encouraged children to read, and being attacked by the Christian Religious Right (mostly Evangelicals) for introducing children to Occult themes in literature. It would appear that J.K. Rowling allied herself with the Liberal (woke) Left as a defense against the Evangelical Christians who were trying to drum up support to have Harry Potter banned from schools and otherwise publicly demonized as being reading material unfit for child consumption.
Quote of the day regarding the 'Cancellation' of J.K. Rowling by the 'Woke Mob' -
'There’s no better cautionary tale that bending to the mob won’t ultimately save you from the mob.
I remember cringing when Rowling announced, well after the fact, that Dumbledore was gay. I felt embarrassed for her, engaging in such an obvious act of pandering.
Now here we are, the same woman celebrated for celebrating homosexuality is summarily canceled because she dared speak
A) her opinion and
B) the truth about .01% of the population.
Not hate, not genocide, just words.
It’s easier to stand up to the mob when you have a billion dollar cushion to ease the blow if you’re canceled, but I hope even working class Joe’s will do so all the same. These people [The 'Woke Mob'] are psychopaths.' - Rottemeister
9/25/2020 Quote of the day:
'I never cared if you were 'gay' until you started shoving it in my face, and the faces of my children.
I never cared what color you were, until you started blaming my race for your problems.
I never cared about your political affiliation until you started to condemn me for mine.
I never cared where you were born until you wanted to erase my history and blame my ancestors for your current problems.
I never cared if you were well-off or poor, until you said you were discriminated against, when I was promoted because I worked harder.
I never cared if your beliefs were different from mine, until you said my beliefs were wrong.
NOW I CARE!
My patience and tolerance are gone.
I'm not alone in feeling this way, there are millions of us who do and we have had enough!' - Author unknown
12/18/2020 Apparently The New England Journal of Medicine ''One of the most prestigious medical magazines in the world'' has decided to ''get woke'' and substitute actual science and sound medical principles with far left politics by seeking to eliminate recording gender on birth certificates of newborn babies. Between this and their collaboration with the ongoing politically created COVID-19 scam; the medical establishment is losing their professional credibility and impartiality.
Now, I don't know if I fully agree with this, but it is an interesting theory to ponder; regarding the actual nature and role of contemporary government in these United States of America:
'It is important to always bear
in mind that those calling themselves 'government' or 'the
state' are nothing but the dominant crime cartel in a given
area. They have no democratic mandate, they do not serve
the people. Their role is to keep populations enslaved and
working for the tiny bunch of ultra-rich criminals at the
top of the global pyramid. They do this by psychological
warfare, the dissemination of MSM [Main Stream Media] fake
news, distorted education, economic suppression and physical
violence against their populations.' -