Sunday, September 27, 2015

No, You Didn't Die For Your Country

Story: Tributes to war's fallen spreading

In the above story there is a common phrase that hardly ever gets challenged: "...gave their lives for their country..." Whenever this phrase is used it automatically shuts down any potential challenge to the claim because there is, for some reason, a built-in fear of doing so. That needs to change.

War is not something that is always done in defense of a country (or in defense of anything, for that matter). Even the name, Department of Defense, is inaccurate.War is more often an act of aggression, undertaken for the purpose of strengthening the power and increasing the wealth of those with the most power and wealth.

The way that people who are society's most vulnerable are convinced to fight in wars that bring them no benefit is to give them a false sense of danger. If people with no power can be convinced that another group is going to take away what little they have, they will be willing to fight. Add in a strong dose of simple-minded patriotism, and few will ever look past it to what's really going on.

The U.S. imperial war machine has been in operation since at least WWI, with the actual point in time being debatable. But since the invasion of Iraq, there is no question that our military is not an entity in place to protect the country. It's a monster that is unleashed to destroy and steal for the benefit of those who already have the most.

But we will never acknowledge this reality when people who fight these wars are seen by the general population as have done something noble. It's a terrible skewing of reality that is as ridiculous as it is evil. Tributes to those who have been duped into taking part is a part of the problem. Honoring them can't include the lie that they died for something they didn't die for.


Thursday, September 24, 2015

We Keep Acting Like We Hate Humanity

Two stories I ran across at about the same time:

Poor People Don't Have Less Self-Control. Poverty Forces Them to Think Short-Term.
"...poverty can force people to live in a permanent now. Worrying about tomorrow can be a luxury if you don’t know how you’ll survive today."
Education Gap Between Rich and Poor Is Growing Wider
"...the achievement gaps between more affluent and less privileged children is wider than ever..."

I couldn't help but see a future where we have at least two distinct groups, one with all the power and money and the other begging just to make it through another day. It is similar to what we supposedly left behind when we began moving away from feudal social systems. But, for some reason, our species seems to migrate back to this horrible model history has proven to create an awful existence for the vast majority of us.

If an alien race were to visit the planet, they could correctly conclude that we hate ourselves.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Trickle-Down Heaven Should Be Happening Now

With the presidential debates now underway, we again hear in near unison the conservative talking point about how tax cuts for the rich will create jobs for the poor. This "trickle-down" idea has been at the core of just about every Republican's rhetoric when it comes to the economy and job creation. Leaving aside studies and expert opinions directly debunking this notion, have are living the middle of all the proof we need: rising income inequality.

There is no doubt that the gap between rich and poor is large and getting bigger. But if the trickle-down idea was valid, everyone at the bottom would be benefiting from the wealth increases being experienced by those already at the top of the economic heap; we would be living in trickle-down heaven. Instead, those at the top are hoarding it in amounts so great that they are eligible for their own Hoarders reality TV show. To allow them to accumulate even more money through tax cuts will only result in more of the same hoarding behavior.

Yet, despite existing within the proof of this false notion, people still push it as valid. Our fate need not be as sad as this direction is taking us.