Saturday, July 04, 2015

False Flags on the Fourth of July


I have had it up to here (visualize me with my hand held at the top of my forehead). What am I talking about? I'm talking about all this idiocy about the Confederate battle flag of course. As most Americans are now aware, the whole discussion regarding the flag arose from a couple of picture of accused mass murderer Dylann Roof which appeared online holding a small cheap "Rebel" flag over his shoulder. Shouldn't the focus here be on the fact that Mr. Roof is (allegedly) responsible for shooting to death nine individuals? If we're going to focus, instead on a flag rather than the crime or what motivated him to commit the crime, why aren't we looking to ban the Gold's Gym t-shirt he was wearing? Now I happen to like Gold's Gym. I think they are an outstanding organization which promotes good health. However, here is an accused murderer wearing one of their shirts. So, what are we going to do about it? I'll tell---nothing; which is what this fuss about the Confederate flag amounts to.

Once again, as most Americans are now aware, the whole flap regarding the flag has been nothing short of a diversion from what actually happened and should have galvanized our attention. I am, of course, referring to the Trans Pacific Partnership---aka "TPP"---which essentially violated the Constitution and removed Congressional debate over treaties and handed "fast track" authority over to the President. It also gave corporations almost unilateral power to usurp governments of their ability to decide on and enforce their own foreign trade policies. It allows corporations to sidestep trade laws which negatively impact their profit. This alone should have had citizens en-masse in the streets protesting, but the fact it was rushed through in secret made that an impossibility. Besides, we were more concerned about a 150 year old flag. We can't forget that President Obama also pushed through an executive order against holding and deportation of illegal aliens. Nope, we were focused on what to do about all the Confederate statues, monuments and headstones, or cancelling popular TV shows, which were obviously so much more important than our silly economic sovereignty.

While the President and Congress was busy selling us down the river---presumably the" Ole Suwannee River"---the un-supreme Supreme Court was busily upholding the questionably Affordable Care Act and gay marriage. Now, I'm not naive or foolish enough to think the Obamacare would be overturned. After all, it was the Supreme Court which rewrote it as a tax law (in full violation of the Constitution by the way), so why would they overrule themselves? Besides, Obamacare has been implemented throughout the United States in one form or another. Too much money has exchanged hands for it to go away. Is it financially sustainable? Nope. Not at all, but they don't see that as their problem anymore than they see the debt crisis as their problem. If we were to have national health coverage like almost every other industrialized nation, I think it should have been a single payer form with the President and Congress having to participate in it just like we would.

As for gay marriage, I really can't see any reason why it shouldn't be upheld. Now, I know that may make some of my more conservative readers (especially those on the religious right) a little miffed, but hear me out on this. I am a straight guy. Always been and always will be. I've always thought "marriage" should be between a man and woman. Marriage in that form has been the foundation of civilization since the beginning. Yes, many ancient civilizations from Sumer to Classical Greece to Imperial Rome and so forth permitted (or at least tolerated) gay relationships. However, none allowed gay marriages. Many fundamentalist Christians cite gay relationships as "against God's laws". Well, bear in mind that not everyone believes in Christianity, at least in that form, and if we're going to enforce one interpretation of one law--written for a specific culture, time, place, and people a very long time ago---then shouldn't we also enforce other laws like stoning to death your neighbors who fail to honor the Sabbath (and I mean Jewish Sabbath) or stone anyone who mixes fabrics (perhaps plaids and stripes) or eats lobster, clams, shrimp or bacon? Did you know even eating veal and drinking milk together was a stoning offense? What about denying women an education or requiring their complete submission? What about the Bible's condoning of slavery or ethnic murder? I could easily go on and on as I'm sure you know. Remember, we're currently fighting a group like that who have this nasty habit of beheading people who don't support their version of Islam. The point is don't cherry pick which Bible laws you want to push.

Secondly, and this is my personal opinion, if two individuals are in love, regardless of the gender, who am I (or you) to say they can't get married? Just a few decades ago, a heterosexual couple weren't even allowed to live together in most jurisdictions or even share a room together. Love is a rare commodity these days; perhaps the rarest of them all. If that's how two adults want to spend their lives---with someone they love who happens to be of the same sex---so what? What right do I or anyone else have to stand in the way? If there's anything this world needs, it's more love and compassion. As far as God goes, I just can't see how s/he would oppose that. And lastly, what business is it of mine? To be honest, none whatsoever. Now, if a church or other religious institution declines, on religious grounds, to participate, that is their choice. They have the right; the religious duty of their dogma to uphold and follow their beliefs. Neither the government or the courts have any legal authority to demand that they do otherwise. This would be a clear and obvious violation of the tradition of separation of church and state which we have in this country.
Now, having said that, I want to add that I really don't need to know if someone is straight, bi, gay, or transgendered. Whatever you are, I say "great", but don't wave it in my face. Go and enjoy your life because I frankly don't care. I tend to like people based on who they are as individuals. If they're friendly to me and mine, we'll get along just great. If they are jerks, well then, we're going to have a problem. What your sexual orientation or marital status is, your religion, your race, your national heritage, political leanings, or whatever are of no special importance to me. Celebrate it if you want. Embrace it. But allow me to do the same thing with the same respect I give you. At the end of the day, no matter what you entitle yourself, you are still a human being just like everyone else. Be nice to people. Treat them with the same amount of respect you would want, and this will be a much happier world.

As for those caught up in this flag nonsense, it's time to focus on more important issues than on a war which ended 150 years. Regardless of your opinion of the Confederacy, you should still respect the dead and the monuments erected in their honor whether you agree with them or their "Lost Cause" or not. Personally, as most will agree, this flag issue was not about "racial hatred". Any educated person knows the Confederacy or Civil War was not based on slavery. This was intended as a diversion to occupy the American People of all colors while our Constitution was being usurped by a government which is no longer ours. I think it was also to foster racial hatred in order to redirect our attention away from what was happening in Washington. However, I do think that regardless of whatever else you may or may not believe the Confederate flag represents, it above all represents the right of succession. Over the past few years, Obama has been repeatedly embarrassed by the increase of groups throughout the US calling for succession and by number of petitions submitted to state legislatures as well as the White House calling for succession from an increasingly unconstitutional government. I think this flag issue was meant to send a subtle message that any discussion of succession or the memory of succession will not be tolerated.

The last thing these corporate fascists running our lives want is for, not just the American People, but people throughout the world, to stop and realize who it is trying to keep us divided and at each other's throats while they turn us into economic serfs; feeding their hunger for global power and wealth. Their greatest fear is that the people of the world, either nationally or globally, united. "You are not my enemy anymore than I'm yours" is an antitheism to them. We must stop allowing ourselves to be misdirected by manufactured conflicts---racial, religious, economic, nationalistic, or racial; lulled into a daze by video games, so-called "reality" shows and so forth. Not even flags should be allowed to redirect our focus from those who seek to enslave us economically and strip us of our political power.

We must not allow ourselves from coming together as one people and taking this nation in the direction that We the American People want. That same ideal also applies to those in other nation. We must stop accepting the "solutions" offered to us by Washington. Those "solutions" are not in our best interests. They are meant only to appease us while the corporate powers and their pawns continue to consolidate their control over us. We are merely given the illusion of choice. We are far beyond the hope of reform. None of the candidates from either party is actually willing to commit political suicide for the American People, nor are they even capable of realistic political change if they really wanted to. It is time for us to decide what direction we what this country to go in with or without Washington's acquiesce and make it happen.

While we enjoy our cookouts, hotdogs, hamburgers, a cold brew or whatever with our family and friends of our nation's birthday, let's openly and honestly discuss this with those we care about. Real change will have to start at the grassroots and that means each of us. If we fail, the Fourth of July will become just another meaningless Summer holiday and the lives given by of all those from Lexington to now, will mean nothing. It's up to you.