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The 99%, #OWS and Me

So, I'm fairly active on Reddit.  Nothing serious.  i see the site as a distraction, an enjoyable news aggrigator and a social setting to shoot the shit with people on topics I find interesting.  I've been following the #Occupy movement when a pic came up for a Iraq War vet at a peaceful OWS rally in Oakland who was shot in the head with rubber bullets or a gas canister  WARNING - BLOODY PICTURE  .
The thing that got me was the response of someone pointing out that as the police/government/people in power escalate with violence, those who protest may be pushed to the point of breaking, which was met with the following:
"NO, absolutely not. Do not fight fire with fire. Do not use violence."
The more i thought about it, the more words came to me.  What started as a two paragraph response evolved into what I have to say now.
In times of great injustice, it is the common masses that must rise up, break their chains and fight the enforcers and defenders of the injust.  There is great pain and blood in birth, but what comes from it is worth the price.  If the system does not work, if the laws and protections of society only apply to a privileged minority rather than the majority of the populace, then the populace must use whatever means they can to restore sanity.  If the ballot is not a strong enough weapon, the bullet becomes the only alternative.
American Bloggers/Redditors cheer the uprisings that have broken out across the middle east.  These uprisings have not all been peaceful.  They have not all been bloodless.  They have not all been without violence.  Yet the concept of an armed rebellion, a violent uprising against the very core of our financial and legal establishment, that has failed the majority of this country over the last 30 years, is unthinkable.  
To quote the Greatest American who ever lived: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
Since the Ronnie Ray-Gun era, this country has become a cesspool of money and privilege for the upper 10% at the expense of the remaining 90%.  Public education is under attack: loss of arts, music and unbiased education.  Public infrastructure is underfunded: roads, public transportation, bridges, inner city programs.  A college education has become needed for anything other than the most menial of service-sector jobs, yet the financial burden is life-crushing. And even at that, the degrees themselves have become devalued because of the "need" that everyone has one. 
The middle class, who at one time was the largest portion of our nation, is dissapearing.  What remains is small class of people that live paycheck to paycheck, juggling bills and debt that are only spread thinner by the rampant abuse of credit cards and financing, something pushed by financial institutions and the wealth owners of this nation, as a means of making even more money.  Debt has become a commodity in this country: traded, bought and sold by the financial institutions of this country.  We are a nation in financial crisis because the common man is in debt to instituions that have more protections and rights than he does.
George Carlin used to say: "The upper class keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there... just to scare the shit out of the middle class. Keep 'em showing up at those jobs."  The problem is, as time has gone on, the middle class has gotten smaller and smaller, as less and less money goes to the workers while more and more goes to the corporations and those who control them.
The media, a tool of the wealthy, manipulated the lower classes to spend, spend spend, buy buy buy, consume consume, consume, even when the reality is that this type of lifestyle is far beond their means.  Bling up, tan, work out, wear the latest fashion, buy the newest gadget, everything is a need.  The media promotes the glamor and social status a superficial and loosely moraled lifestyle, yet is highly intolerant of anything that can even remotely be classified as non-Christian beliefs.  "It's God's will if children suffer and die in conflicts overseas, but should two same gendered people want to marry and adopt, well they're just sick perverts."  For a nation where the rich and "moral" run things, charity for the poor and needy in this country seems sorely lacking.  For a nation that founded itself on a set of basic human freedoms, those in power seem to have little issue with telling people that "the pursuit of happiness" does not apply to non-christian, non-heterosexuals.
Then again, this is the same country that took nearly a hundred years and a civil war to prevent the rich from owning people.  A country that took another 55 years to confirm both genders the right to vote. 
I am not endorsing violence.  But I do believe that a second civil war is coming.  
The first civil war was a fight of rich business owners that had to pay wages for their labor against rich landowners that owned thier primary labor force, fought as a proxy war by the poor and patriotic under the auspices of a war of basic human rights against legislative autonomy.
The second civil war will be a war of class.  It will be a war of the wealthy against the disenfranchised and poor.  Once again the wealthy will fight by proxy.  They will use the forces of "the establishment" against the average citizen - police, national guard, private security. They will use the media as a propoganda machine to negatively paint thier enemy as uncooth, ignorant, unfocused, unintellegent and little more than rabble rousing troublemakers "that don't even know what they are protesting about or campaigning for".  When and if the fight becomes more than they can manage or excuse away, they will fall back on old tactics.  They will pick a group they can easily identify and seperate out, use them as thier proxy, uplifting them from the bowels of where they sit in society, and placing them firmly alongside the "Haves" while giving them little more than scraps.  Just enough to make them feel elevated.  The "Giddy Multitude" will rise again.  We can already see this with the demonization of socialized rights, by people who already benifit from them, but cannot connect the dots between different programs.  We can see this by glamorization of ignorance and  marginilization of the educated. 
Reality check for anyone reading 
     - How many people from the cast of "Jersey Shore" can you name?  
     - Do you know who Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Dave Silverman or Vito Russo are?  
     - How many seperate reality shows do you watch?  
     - What were the last three books of non-fiction you read?
Mass media is the new opiate of the masses.  You are what you consume, and we are being fed a diet of lies, pandering and purposeful fact-bending.  The media preaches racial and social diversity yet we still cannot get people of color cast in roles written for them.  The media decries hateful statements made by Hollywood stars in drunken stupors turning them into social pariahs, but then glorify movements to stop the placing a non-christian place of worship near Ground Zero or organizations who rage against gay marriage. The media tisks against bullying and intolerance then gives viewpoint television talk shows to people like Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. 
I am not a liberal.  I am not a democrat.  I am not a leftist, a pacifist or a granola munching, tree hugging dirty hippy.
But what I am is an American.  I am a patriot.  I am a patriot of the concept of what this country was founded on.  
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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."
It's a simple concept.  It is our national identity.  It is beautiful and elegant and yet so very very simple.
What's wrong with the 1%?  What are the 99% protesting about?  The 1% forget that the Preamble starts with "We the People" not "We the Wealthy".  
In the end, I leave you with the words of our 35th president.
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" - John F. Kennedy

My tweets

  • Wed, 22:09: Football, football, football! Yay football! #NFL is back baby!


My tweets

  • Mon, 13:05: @SI_PeterKing Kind of harsh about the Packer ring situation, Are they not allowed to enjoy last season's success because of labor issues?


My tweets

  • Sun, 17:19: RT @Monicks: Saying you don't believe in magic but you do believe in god is like saying you don't have sex with animals, except dogs. #a ...


A Realization

I've come to a realization. I have alot of friends and alot of family that are very devout and deep in thier beliefs. I don't question or challenge them because they don't question or challenge mine. I don't shove my beliefs down their throats out of love and respect because they don't do it to me. I think everyone has to come to their own truth in thier own way and in thier own time. If they come to you, it's your job to respectufully speak with them as equals, answer their questions with what your truth is. Religion, racism, classism, sexism, gender/sexuality rights...I think all the "taboo" topics fall under this. Never be afraid to speak your mind, but never waver from a tone of respect - that will only cause hurt feelings and cease communications. I'm not the best at keeping in touch, but I obviously don't want people who show me the same respect I show them out of my life.

 THAT SAID: If there is any of my friends/family that truly believe in this May 21st rapture talk that's getting press and alot of buzz on the internet, please IM me, i really want to talk to you about it.

Well, it's official....

The fail that is the live action adaptation of Avatar the Last Airbender is an abysmal failure.


I'm not one to always put stock into critics.  i will typically go see a movie i want to see based on my own judgements, but there are a few critics I do typically find myself in line with.  There are also a few i truly respect.

A soul-crushing disaster.

Even during the climax, the film still is struggling to introduce the world

The 3-D is pretty bad. Almost as bad as the writing and the acting. Almost.

It is so bad .. Uwe Boll (could) make a better movie.

Slavishly amateurish with no heart.

How can this action-packed adventure be so deadly dull?

This is bad filmmaking and bad storytelling. It also sounds what should be the death knell to M. Night Shyamalan's career.

The Last Airbender lays there, stillborn, potential squandered

Nothing short of an incomprehensible fiasco.

A new low point in Shyamalan's crumbling career

The good news: the 3D isn't horrible. The bad news? Just about everything else is.

If any movie ever warranted a class-action lawsuit against the filmmakers, it’s The Last Airbender.

The movie has been criticized for racially inappropriate casting, but that’s the least of its problems

Roger Ebert's tag for the review I think is the most telling.

The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. 

The BP Gulf Oil Spill (Disaster)

The BP Gulf Oil Disaster. We all know about it. We've all heard about it. But do you really understand how bad it is? Check the link and be afraid.


Mother nature isn't pissed at this point.  She's probably trying to figure out how many of us she's going to need to kill off to make her point.

This is an ecological disaster that will still be a hot topic of conversation in a hundred years - if humanity manages to survive that long.

I am a white male.
I am part of the 18-49 White Caucasian demographic.
I grew up in the midwest.
I joined the military, and am a member of the NRA.

I am ashamed of my people.

Read more...Collapse )

Wiscon 34 - Closing thoughts (Abridged)

I'll probably have more to write after some shut eye and the kids are off to school tomorrow, so that i can go over my schedule booklet and re-read my notes.

Initial uncompressed thoughts:

[info]xakara  - I cannot express how happy I am you came.
[info]sparkymonster  - I love the energy you bring to a panel.
Nora - You're awesome. I pray I never do something to earn your wrath.
Naamen and Elizabeth - I should have sought you out more.  You both provoked deep thinking as panelists and attendees.  I really enjoyed both of your thoughts at the Fan Fic panel.
[info]bipagan  - You vaporized!  What happened?

I have many other thoughts but they are currently in a soup of mush that will be sorted out over the next few days.

OMG [info]cabell  - I didn't make it to a single one of your panels.  I am ashamed of myself.

(Crossposted to the WisCon Community)