Democracy Not!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Democracy is a political system in which the supreme power lies in the majority of citizens who can elect people to represent them. Democracy is based on the Majority Rule, which is the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group.

An Oligarchy is a form of government where power effectively rests with a small elite segment of society. It is a type of authoritarianism.

Democracy is said to have arisen in Athens in the fifty Century B.C. For the first time in human history, every citizen had an equal voice in government. This is the foundation of our government in the United States. Democracy is a process in which free citizens flock to the poles to elect individuals who in turn represent their interests in the government.

The founding fathers also created a Constitution containing a Bill of Rights in which every elected official swears an oath of office to uphold. Elected officials have no power to amend the Constitution unless they build a consensus of a ¾ majority of both Houses in Congress. So politicians cannot decide which part of the Constitution to apply nor can they ignore parts of it which they do not like; if they do it is considered treasonous.

Yet for the past century, the decisions made by our politicians do not reflect those of the Constitution or those of the electing majority. It seems our government constantly rules in favor of moneyed interests, also know as the elite, by creating laws contrary to the Constitution and contrary to the majority who elected them. How did this happen? It all started in 1914 with the creation of the Federal Reserve Act.

"I am a most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country. A great industrial nation is controlled by its system of credit. Our system of credit is concentrated. The growth of the nation, therefore, and all our activities are in the hands of a few men. We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the civilized world no longer a Government by free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and the vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men." Woodrow Wilson, after signing the Federal Reserve into existence.

Woodrow Wilson realized after signing the Federal Reserve Act (FRA) he unwittingly ended Democracy and created an oligarchy. In fact, if you read the last few words, “a Government by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant men” it is the exact definition of an oligarchy. It is very important to understand the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB) is a PRIVATELY held bank; it is not controlled or administered by the government. The FRA gives the power of creating money to a small elite group of unelected officials who then charge our government interest on this money. This interest is the National Debt. If there was no FRB there would be no National Debt (there actually would be a little debt but no where near what it is today).

“If the American people ever allow the banks to control the issuance of their currency, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property, until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers occupied.” Thomas Jefferson

“When a government is dependent upon bankers for money, they and not the leaders of the government control the situation, since the hand that gives is above the hand that takes. Money has no motherland; financiers are without patriotism and without decency; their sole object is gain.” Napoleon Bonaparte

So how do we break an oligarchy? It is difficult but it can be done. First of all, there should be an amendment to the Constitution eliminating all campaign contributions including gifts and favors of any kind for elected officials or their family, friends, and associates. Instead a portion of tax payer money should be evenly divided among the candidates for campaigning. The penalties for violating this law would be immediate expulsion from office and a very long prison term. This would force our elected officials to be honest. Laws would no longer be only for the profitability of the elite but for the voting majority.

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” Henry Ford.

“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” Thomas Jefferson

Secondly, the Federal Reserve Act should be repealed and the Federal Reserve Bank transformed into a non-profit institution; all debt owed to this institution by the government would be forgiven. Salaries of FRB executives would be regulated and capped. Interest rates for all consumer loans would be capped and lowered to a more reasonable rate allowing people to get out of debt. Because of the lower interest rates you could pay off your debt sooner and possibly retire.

These two simple changes would be enough to end the oligarchy and return our country to a true Democracy. As it stands today we have no Democracy. Our elected officials cast votes in favor of the elite few who spend billions in lobbying to get their way. The politicians have no desire to change anything as they get wealthy in the process.

There is no transparency in government anymore which causes conspiracy theorists concoct crazy schemes. Obama promised transparency in government while campaigning, yet he blocked the release of photos proving the previous administration broke the law by torturing, and he will not release the names of individuals who meet with him in the White House even though the Supreme Court ruled twice that it is public information.

I thought an Obama presidency would mean real change but so far the only thing which changed in the White House is the name on the door. He has yet to stand up to the bankers, who received hundreds of billions in bail out money. He has yet to stand up to the military who are still using our men to increase the profitability of big oil companies. He has yet to stand up to the CIA, who still run an illegal surveillance program on US citizens, He has yet to stand up to Wall Street by enacting tough regulations like we had after the Great Depression; he can begin by closing the Enron loophole. Guantanamo Bay is still in operation.

In a recent gallop pole, 72% of Americans want some kind of public option in the new healthcare reform bill. The jury is still out on healthcare but if the billions in lobbying being spent by the insurance companies are any indication, the middle class will lose again. I am using this issue as my barometer to measure the Obama Administration and Democrats in general. If they can get healthcare with a public option then I feel things will change, if not then that will be proof that there is no difference between Democrats and Republicans.


Blagojevich and the Selling of Our Democracy

Thursday, January 29, 2009
Rod Blagojevich was found guilty today and became the first Governor of Illinois to be impeached. Even though Blagojevich claimed to be an ambassador for the working class, this unanimous guilty vote is a monumental victory for the entire democracy. Republicans and Democrats put aside party differences and came together to make a tough decision; but in the end it was the right decision. Now future Governors will know if they commit crimes they will be punished.

I could not help but think back to the Watergate scandal and how when Ford pardoned Nixon, it put a black mark on democracy which is still felt today. How is that you might ask? Because people within the government decided prosecuting the President would be bad for our Country. I disagreed whole heartedly with that decision and the lack of prosecution set a precedence which still plagues us today. The precedence set is the President of the United States is above the law. It sent a message to future leaders that if corruption is discovered, no need to worry, you'll get away with it.

Prosecuting crimes, even crimes committed by our leaders, does NOT expose weaknesses within our society, nor does it put a black mark on a society. Quite contrary the prosecution frees the society because the people speak out against the acts committed. It makes us stronger because it sends a strong message that this type of behavior will not be tolerated. No man, no position, not even the President is above the law.

I enjoy reading books about historical events and one of my favorite was the Nuremberg trials after World War 2. Many people disagreed with trials because they thought the Allies were abusing their power and prosecuting the losers. Not so. The purpose of the Nuremberg trials was to expose atrocities committed by the Nazis including: the Holocaust, execution of POWs and ritual killing of civilians in the many Nazi concentration camps. By prosecuting, the world set precedence that this behavior will not be tolerated, thus the rules of war were set by the Geneva Convention. So if any regime behaves in a similar fashion in future wars, they will also be prosecuted. This is the primary reason Progressives like myself were opposed to torture. By ignoring the Geneva Convention we were behaving like the Nazis in WW2. I believe we are better than that. So even if the other side tortures we will not because we are better than the other side; our moral compass is superior and never compromised.

I still believe the Bush Administrations policies on torture and surveillance should be investigated. If enemy combatants were tortured and killed then the leaders who allowed it should be prosecuted like the Nazi war criminals of WW2. Our society would then be vindicated and a message would be sent to the world and future Presidents that we do not condone torture. All who were involved even the leaders of the Democrats who knew should be included in this investigation. I believe the Democrats have blocked investigation attempts because they are just as guilty. I am talking about you, Nancy Pelosi.

The Blagojevich impeachment also exposes how thin the line is in our Democracy between lawful political contributions and illegal political contributions. Let me explain how thin this line has become. If I am a contributor to a political candidate or a politician in office, I can give money to influence a vote in my favor as long as the vote is NOT implied. So I can give money when the politician knows how I want them to vote and we might even have communicated so he knows how I want him to vote. So I give the money and he votes in my favor. This is legal.

It becomes illegal if I give the money and tell him directly I want the vote or he specifically states he will vote my way for the money. It is a very thin line. I think both should be illegal. If we removed cash from the Democracy we would get a better Democracy. Then the issues would be decided on merit and not monetary gain. Putting a price on votes is the reason bridges to nowhere get built and why the laws favor the few instead of the many.

So whether you are a Conservative or a Progressive you should expect the Government which represents you to behold the law. If a leader breaks a law they should be convicted just like any other person. That is the only way we can prevent our society from becoming illegitimate. We cannot expect other Countries to respect us until we reject illegal acts committed by our leaders. The unanimous prosecution of Blagojevich is a victory for Democracy and a step in direction of exposing how money corrupts the Republic.


Lessons in The American Lifestyle

Wednesday, July 23, 2008
For the past couple of decades, Americans have always been able to satisfy their wants no matter how excessive, without thinking about the consequences to the rest of the world or to their own bank account. Example number one: while many parts of Europe paid $8 per liter for gasoline, we built enormous gas guzzling SUVs, laughing at the rest of the world all the way to the gas pump. We bought these super sized SUVs because the advertisements during the football game said we had to have it. So we traded the economically minded car and bought the Dodge Ram, because it was the “American” way.

When we want a newer 60-inch television to replace the old 59-inch, we buy it and throw the old one in the trash. While many parts of the world are starving, we are over eating at buffets as our kids vomit to be skinnier. We shop with forklifts. We might buy something today and then throw it away tomorrow still in the unopened package because we no longer like the color. Our houses keep getting bigger, while our families and our wallets keep getting get smaller. If our neighbors buy a newer, bigger toy then we have to have it too. The world is our oyster.

How did Americans pay for all of this junk? We didn’t use cash because we didn’t have any. No sadly, we run our households like our government is run. So we either put it on the charge card at 30% interest or, even worse, refinanced the house and paid for it with our future.

Within the past 7 years a caldera was forming in the heart of the American way of life, like a volcano ready to blow its top. And finally, several weeks ago, driven by overextended credit and a lack of equity, the bills finally came due for many Americans and the American economy erupted like Mt. St. Helens did in the eighties.

The collapse of the subprime mortgage markets have sent ripples throughout the financial world. Already two major banks have collapsed with more surely to follow. Not since the 1930’s has our financial markets taken such a beating. Now the government is giving billions of our tax dollars to stop the bleeding by bailing out Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae; money which could be used for healthcare, better roads or an economic stimulus package.

The primary cause of this disaster was the deregulation of the banking industry spearheaded by Phil Gramm and his big banking buddies. These regulations were in place since the Great Depression to prevent another economic failure like the banking collapse of the 1920’s. But Gramm and his cohorts quickly eliminated every regulation which not only protected the consumer but also protected other banks, clearing the way for banking institutions to grow even wealthier by allowing predatory lending practices to endure in the mortgage markets. We’ve seen other popular Phil Gramm deregulations bring us four dollar gas prices.

Although predatory lending practices have stolen the homes of many hard working Americans, some people should rightfully take responsibility for their own financial tragedies. The American lifestyle needs an overhaul. Fueled by over -commercialization, over-indulgence and the need to “keep up with the Jones’s"; many Americans have dug themselves into financial ruin in which they have no one to blame but themselves.

Let me give you even more examples of things I’ve noticed about the typical American. I have a friend who works in a dollar store who has a cell phone. She can’t afford this phone so her mom pays the bill. I have used cell phones in the past but they have always been bought by my employer as a tether for them to use when they wanted me after hours. So if my job ends so does the cell phone. But why does somebody who works in a dollar store need a cell phone? In my opinion this is a classic example of over indulgence. Does every American really need a cell phone? You can save up to $100 per month by eliminating it.

Another example was when I was pumping gas one day back in 2003 and noticed the house next to the convenience store. I remember this guy washing his super sized SUV in the driveway. This SUV towered over his house. He could actually drive over his house, crushing it entirely. I chuckled to myself and thought why own a car that is more expensive and bigger than your house? For that matter, why do Americans buy huge houses when they have small families or no families at all? I’ll bet this idiot spends more to fill up his gas tank per month than he spends for his house payment.

A contributing factor to the economic collapse of our country was Americans willingness to refinance their house and then use the equity to take a vacation or to support their over indulging lifestyles. Another mistake was to charge their lifestyle at 30% interest. People have to realize when income ends or stagnates then the lifestyle has to change, get smaller. The only necessities which are needed are food, water, housing and the utilities associated with housing. Everything else is a luxury and can be eliminated. The 60-inch plasma TV can wait, the cell phone can be cancelled, and the Blu-Ray DVD player is not a necessity. This is a simple lesson our grandparents learned which they have not passed down to the next generations.

I have been unemployed twice in the past ten years and both times I cut spending and changed my lifestyle until I gained employment. I did not refinance my house to take vacations or to buy a new plasma TV, nor did I max out the credit cards. It sucks but this is what is necessary to survive. I do not understand how people can survive without this basic understanding of financing.

The problems of financing are not limited to a certain group of people either. Across all classes of people from all nationalities, mistakes are often the norm and not the exception. After 2001, record numbers of families choose to refinance their home and then promptly took the equity and blew it. When the reality finally catches up with the irresponsibility, families suffer.

The victims of this behavior are the children who now have to live with their parent’s mistakes. They are the ones who bear the humiliation of these misfortunes because they do not understand what happened. Many times their education is interrupted while they are forced to change schools and change friends. This is very disrupting to a child’s development because kids need stability. Another tragedy is these kids will probably use the same financing skills which bankrupted their parents, and thus another generation of economic idiots graces the United States.

Maybe there is one positive thing which might come from these foreclosures. Maybe the children will learn from their parent’s mistakes, since they now have to live with the result of fiscal irresponsibility. It is just a shame their grandparents did not teach these lessons to their parents. They have to learn, and this lesson is best learned younger, that you can’t always get what you want.

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The Greatest Story Never Told

Friday, June 20, 2008
A little while ago I received an awesome comment at the end of the Entrance Exam to A Christian Seminary; it was from an old friend of mine. I wanted to publish my response for everyone to read in the hopes that something might be learned from it. Maybe reading my position on religion might open a door for someone else. Note the names have been changed to protect futurerev for retaliation from the fundamentalist whachos he works with.


I appreciate your email and I have read you responses. The problem is I don’t really want to respond if you think criticizing your religion is a personal criticism of you. I respect you and do not want to hurt you that way.

I learned a long time ago to keep my emotions separate from my ideas because, if I didn’t, business and other factors would crucify me. If you toss your ideas into an arena but do not separate your emotions from them, you cannot objectively argue or learn anything. This is the exact reason why the religion argument has eluded mankind in the past. When religions are under fired, zealots often throw their emotions up as a smoke screen to shield them from the irrational and illogical ideas they support. This is how a constructive conversation about religion often turns into a tenth grade name calling contest.

I enjoy a great debate, especially one highlighting religion. But if I am going to hurt you with my responses then I would rather not even go there. Although I do not think very highly about Christianity, I still respect you and your feelings.

I do have to retract something from my response to you which you pointed out to me. You are correct in that god never told Moses to go and rape, he told the people of Benjamin to go and rape to get wives. But it was Moses who carved unborn babies from the wombs of pagan women and then threw these innocents from a cliff or smashed them on a rock. I guess today’s Christians base their abortion argument on that chapter in the Bible? The only reason I included this, was I believe Moses to be more like Saddam Hussein or any of the other terrible titans throughout history, rather than a holy man. I did not make this up; it is written in the Bible.

When I worked for my former employer, I did “try on” Christianity for a short time. But when I read the Bible and read passages like what Moses just did, how could I support that? I am not a man of war nor am I man who demands or understands others who demand blood. In answer to your question about our justice system, I would forgive somebody who wronged me. At least I hope I would. You are confusing justice with revenge. Justice is NOT revenge; these are two separate terms and ideologies.

We humans are very fallible so I understand why we fail to see the difference, but I would expect an all-knowing, all-loving god to understand this but clearly the Christian god does not. I would expect this all-loving god to teach us the difference between justice and revenge and then show us an example, like forgiving us for sins without expecting bloodshed.

The Bible would in fact be the greatest story ever told if god would have intervened right before the crucifixion and said, “Stop this madness!! All is forgiven; please accept my son to teach you the ways of love, toleration and forgiveness.” Then Jesus could have lived among us and taught us the ways of an all-knowing, all-loving god. No more hocus pocus. No more blind faith or people flying to heaven or death or blood. Wow what an ending!! Instead, we get a brutalized torture and murder sequence that people apply some twisted ideology to be for our forgiveness, and then mankind echoes god’s thirst for blood with 2,000 years of war, murder and mayhem. Now how can that possibly make any logical sense to anyone?

I have been wronged many times in my past but have chosen to forgive those who did me wrong. I have already forgiven my former employer for my wrongful termination. I wasn’t always like that; in my youth I was quite a hellcat. I’m not proud of every aspect of my youth, but it took me many years to come to this enlightened thinking. I understand that bad people need to punished or rehabilitated or whatever you want to call it. But nobody and certainly no government have the right to extinguish life; it is far too precious. I would expect a just and loving god to understand this principle.

Please understand I am not trying to change your beliefs; I am just trying to give you insight into mine. I hope this email does not offend you and if it does then I apologize for saying this to you but I could never apologize for thinking this way.

Your friend,



Entrance Exam for A Christian Seminary

Sunday, May 25, 2008
Part one of the test will de derived directly from the scriptures. This is the teacher’s edition as the correct answers are in bold and italics.

1. In Exodus 21:2, according to god if you purchase a Hebrew slave, how many years of service should you get from him/her?
a. A Lifetime
b. 6 years
c. 3 years
d. A fortnight

2. in Deuteronomy 22:28-29, according to god’s law, if a man rapes a woman the punishment is:______________.
a. Death
b. The man must marry her and never be allowed to divorce her.
c. Castration
d. The woman is killed

3. Whom (What) did Jephthat sacrifice to god upon a burning altar after he defeated the Ammonites in god’s name? (Judges 11:29-40 NLT)
a. A ram
b. His favorite cat
c. His daughter
d. A burning bush

4. According to the book of Kings 13:1-2, god demanded certain sacrifices from King Josiah. What sacrifices did he demand?
a. Gold
b. Old Democrats
c. Frankincense
d. Kill all of the pagans upon their own altars (which resulted in thousands of human sacrifices)

5. In Chronicles 21, how many innocent people does god kill after David’s census?
a. God doesn’t kill people, it says so in the Ten Commandments
b. 70,000 innocent people were murdered
c. No people but a couple of goats were killed
d. No people but at least 6 asses

6. In Judges 21, what does god tell the people of Benjamin to do to get wives?
a. Go forth and propose marriage to the best women
b. Ask the fathers of the best women for their daughters hand in marriage
c. Kill all of the people of Jabesh-gilead and kidnap the women for your own pleasures
d. Use the Internet

7. How many times in the scriptures does god mention priests must be virgins?
a. 6,666
b. 0
c. At least 7 times
d. More than 10 but fewer than 15

8. According to James 5:14-15, if a devout follower of god gets sick what is the best cure?
a. Get to a doctor immediately.
b. Prayer.
c. Eat vitamins.
d. Plenty of rest, fresh air and sunlight.

9. In Judges 18:27-29, what did god command Micah to do to the town of Laish?
a. Explain the pros of conservative politics.
b. Quickly outlaw abortion before the Democrats take over.
c. Pass a resolution banning slavery.
d. Kill all of the people and burn the town to the ground.

10. Why did Jesus die for our sins, couldn’t his father just forgive us without all of the bloodshed? After all he is the almighty god.
a. No. Jesus’ father demands blood sacrifices because he loves us
b. No Jesus wanted to die because he enjoys pain
c. No, BECAUSE!!!!!
d. Yes his father could have simply forgiven us.

Part two of this exam is word association. Fill in the correct answer.
11. Kryptonite is to Superman as _____________ is to Jesus.
a. Unholy Water
b. Radiation
c. Garlic
d. Nine in nails

12. Nuclear power is to Ironman as ____________ are(is) to Catholic Priests.
a. Fresh water
b. Fresh air
c. New clothes
d. Little boys

13. According to many Old Testament stories, blood is to Dracula as __________ is to god.
a. Deep space
b. Blue skies
c. Human Blood
d. Kryptonite

14. In modern times, two years in jail for theft is just as fair as the Old Testament justice of___________ for missing church on Sunday.
a. Four Hail Mary’s and six Our Father’s
b. The sacrificing of your most productive goat
c. Death
d. Partial stoning + 20 months of gay sex

15. According to god, the greatest law is:
a. The writ of habeas corpus which guarantees all men are guaranteed liberty and relief from unlawful imprisonment.
b. The Bill of Rights which guarantees all men life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness among other protections from tyranny.
c. Feed the hungry, house the homeless, give money to the poor and ensure the needs of the many outweigh the wants of the few.
d. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

This is the Ten Commandments portion of the test.

The list below contains twenty five of the worst sins in humankind. Select the 10 which all-knowing, all-seeing, almighty God included as the worst:

Human slavery
Missing Sunday mass
Worshiping false gods
Coveting thy neighbor’s wife
People dying of hunger in a world with ample food supplies
Plunging an entire economy into turmoil so a few billionaires can earn even more money
Disobeying your mother and father
Slaughtering living creatures for pleasure
Human torture
Coveting your neighbors goods
Gay sex
Janet Jackson flashing a bare boob during the Super Bowl
Nude photography of consenting adults
Using god’s name in vain
Carving an image of another god or of the heavens
Bearing false witness against your neighbor
Allowing the wants of the few precedence over the welfare of the many

A passing grade and to ensure entrance into the Seminary, you must get at least a 95% passing grade.

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I'm Baaaaack

Friday, March 14, 2008
I’ve got one excuse for my absence: Tivo. This box is incredible!! I can record all of my favorite shows!! I no longer have to wait for the DVDs to be released because I can skip through the commercials. I had plans to write blogs on some awesome topics but I ran out of time due to Tivo and learning my new job (but mostly Tivo). It’s been so long since I even logged into my blog that I forgot the password. It took me almost an hour to find it again.

I have been reading more lately. We remodeled the house and build an office for me which allowed us to renovate the old office into a library. I have over 5,000 DVD titles, 8,000 CDs, and 4,000 books organized and available. Having my books available instead of in boxes has allowed me to catch up on some very necessary reading. Some of my recent reads include: The Age of Reason by Thomas Paine, The End of Faith by Sam Harris, God’s Problem by Bart Ehrman, The Audacity of Hope by Barak Obama, God is Not Great by Christopher Hitchens, The God Delusion by Richard Hawkins, The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins, American Fascists by Chris Hedges, Freethinkers by Susan Jacoby, God On Trial by Peter Irons, and selected works by Noam Chomsky, David Cay Johnston, Gore Vidal, Barbara Ehrman, Thomas Paine and Cornel West. If you are looking for a great book chose from any of the above. I guarantee all will challenge your intellect and possible change your paradigms.

I’ve seen many great and not so great movies over the past several months. I can tell you that 10,000 BC is very disappointing compared to other Rolland Emmerlich films. Its well made, has some good special effects but the plot of the film is adolescent, and unbelievable. The ending might work in a Disney film but not here. I find the older I get the less I enjoy PG-13 films. I’m an adult, therefore I like adult movies about adult topics. The fairy tales with always happy endings don’t register on my radar anymore. There are exceptions but they are very rare indeed.

I also realized during my absence that when someone tells you they will pray for you it means they plan to do absolutely nothing for you. I would prefer action. Instead of praying, get off your ass and do something……anything. Be honest, just say, “I will help you by sitting on my ass, closing my eyes and mumbling words to my invisible master in the sky.” Thanks buddy; maybe superman or even spiderman will help in the interim!!!!

Regarding the Presidential elections, I am very happy with all of the candidates but Obama is the man. I am disappointed with Hilary Clinton for her selfish attitude by trying to derail the entire Democratic Party if she loses the nomination. When she said (paraphrased) the experience to be the president was limited to herself and Sen McCain, she crossed a line no candidate should cross. For her punishment, if I was Obama I would not even consider her for Vice President. With that statement she has proven she regards herself and her interests above all others. We’ve had that attitude in the White House for eight years, we don’t need it anymore.

I am looking forward to the election this year and the possibility of exchanging our first retarded president with our first black president. Although I will miss the speeches where he fumbles his words, provides his usual blank stare when the questions get too tough, and then struts off stage like he nailed it. I will also miss the open and honest communication. Including the talks about fear, how we must compromise our freedom for security and about how we must limit the checks and balances within our government. Yea I’ll really miss all that.