Syria Letter to Senator Bill Nelson

September 7, 2013 Leave a comment

Kevin Wayne

(Contact Information Withheld)

The Honorable Bill Nelson

Senate Office Building

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510

 

RE: Actions regarding Syria

Mr. Nelson,

I appreciate your response to my expression of disdain toward military action in Syria at this time.

You responded:

“Dear Mr. Wayne:

   

     Thank you for sharing your thoughts about the situation in Syria.

 

     I think everyone can agree that the use of chemical weapons there is cause for moral outrage.

 

     Some argue against a U.S. response. But I agree with President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and many of the GOP leaders, such as Senators McCain and Graham, that it’s in our nation’s best interest to hold accountable a dictator who uses weapons of mass destruction and slaughters innocents.

 

     We also believe we should limit our nation’s direct military involvement.

 

     I very much appreciated hearing from you on this important issue. Varied perspectives help me to be a better public servant. Thank you.

 

                                   Sincerely,

                                   Bill Nelson

 

P.S. From time to time, I compile electronic news briefs highlighting key issues and hot topics of particular importance to Floridians.  If you’d like to receive these e-briefs, visit my Web site and sign up for them at http://billnelson.senate.gov/news/ebriefs.cfm”

 

Senator, I must insist that my expression of disdain not be discounted so easily without further explanation from you in these regards.  I must insist upon comprehending your reasoning with some sort of detailed rationale to your views.  From my point of view, it appears irrational to invoke military action against Syria at this time.  I am asking for some open discourse in this matter due to the important nature of making a decision to kill other people.  Let neither of us “sugar coat” this discourse because you are making a conscious decision to kill people and there will be innocent casualties in the action you are supporting.

With the ugliness of my opening statement being made, I would like to now enlighten you on my point of view.

Firstly: I do agree that the use of chemical weapons is abhorrent and you have made the case that it is a “moral outrage” we conclusively agree to that.  However, their alleged actions are NOT a violation of international law and additionally do not threaten our direct security at this time.  Please permit me to elaborate as that is quite a claim to make (and I stand by it).

Syria has in fact signed the Geneva Articles and additionally the Biological Convention.  However, they have not signed the (CWC) Chemical Weapons Convention.  Why is this important to the situation? It is important to make note of these signatories due to the fact that Syria is NOT involved in a “WAR”.  They are currently acting most similar to martial law to quell citizen unrest.  Even if we were to nickname the act “civil war”, it is quite different from their legal obligations. To clarify even further: If Syria were to use chemical weapons against another nation in an act of aggression or defense they would surely be in violation of the Geneva Articles and would be fully accountable to other nations acting militarily against them.  (Because they DID sign into Geneva).  However, it is clearly not the case in this situation due to the fact that they did not sign the (CWC).  Please review: http://www.nti.org/media/pdfs/apmcbw_5.pdf?_=1328039154&_=1328039154 and http://www.nti.org/treaties-and-regimes/convention-prohibition-development-production-stockpiling-and-use-chemical-weapons-and-their-destruction-cwc/

As abhorrent as the alleged actions are, we have other solutions to this situation.  For instance: Our biggest and most important action we can take, as a nation built upon laws, is to force Syria to NOW sign onto the Chemical Weapons Convention.  The United States’ involvement in this situation should be first and foremost to convene with all other countries to ask, if not demand, that ALL trade with Syria be suspended and that their monetary notes be worthless until Syria signs onto the Chemical Weapons Convention effective immediately.

Not only is my suggestion important, it is necessary.  Additionally, it was the first solution which came to my mind and may not be the best solution.  However, I am proud that the first thing I thought of was a peaceful means, unlike your punitive mindset in this.  It is further a peaceful slap in the face which has the possibility of gaining the support of the Russian and Chinese leadership.  It additionally puts Syria in a position preventing any further use of chemical weapons without more significant action against them.

Secondly: I opine publically that your statement “We also believe we should limit our nation’s direct military involvement” is unfounded and your actions speak differently than your words.  If you truly believed in limiting military action you would actually not support military action when other means of solutions were presently available.  Your insinuation paraphrases that there can be no peaceful solution to any problem and that insinuation and belief is paramount to perpetual war.  It is further suspicious that according to this source: http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120929/DEFREG02/309290002/Top-U-S-Firms-Target-Congressional-Donations you received $60,500 in campaign contributions from defense sector contractors and simultaneously cannot possibly fathom a peaceful solution in Syria.

Thirdly: How is it in our best interest to hold the dictator accountable for this alleged act of inhumane behavior?  His true threat to our democracy is the dangling of the carrot of war in front of the faces of United States government official such as you.  His true threat to our democracy and way of life is that we are on the verge of acting like global conquerors and forcing a “régime” change in another sovereign nation’s territory.  We should be clear and stop saying “régime” and call it for what it is: a government.  When we use the word government is doesn’t sound so “evil” or “negative”.  I ask candidly: Are we using the word “régime” because we are attempting to add a negative connotative undertone to the government of Syria?

Fourthly:  I want to address the angle from which you are being viewed by intelligent individuals not influenced so drastically by daily talking points.  While we respect leadership and the opinions of experienced people, the generations below us are becoming significantly more sociologically self-aware.  That inarguable truth is important to the insinuative claims about our national standing in the global arena of respect.  You have clearly, in your letter, proclaimed agreement with the administration’s and Mr. Kerry’s point of view.  Part of that claim has been publically announced to be based upon how we fear we will appear to Iran and that our statements (“threats”) of action against them must be taken seriously.  In other words: We need to prove that we “mean it” when we threaten action.  This proclamation was clearly stated and reiterated by Mr. Kerry and the GOP leaders supporting military action.

From a sociological perspective it is the equivalent of punching your daughter in the face for not doing her homework to prove to your son that he better bring the car home on time like you said.  While I completely understand that chemical weapons are no significant comparison to doing homework, the psychological effect and results are the same.  The son and daughter would both lose respect for the parent and hate them the same as Syrian, Iranian, and other Middle Eastern countries will gain hatred for the United States.  Punitive actions are not the best solutions to bad behavior.  If you believe they are, then you are too old and out of touch with modern behavioral science to remain in office.

Finally and not entirely:  The arguments for military actions are so unconvincing that it is incomprehensible to imagine anybody with critical thinking skills to accept the “because we say so” approach to this matter.  While I completely accept that the morality of the issue should be enough to provoke action, I disagree that the only action is military action.  Additionally, the moral argument is ONLY viable when we are viewed as a moral icon.  The United States is far from being viewed in that regard upon the world stage and we are currently violating the Geneva Convention by holding and torturing individuals in Guantanamo.  The Constitution Project’s Task Force on Detainee Treatment concluded that we were (and are) torturing prisoners.

Additionally, several news outlets have provided evidence that we, during the Reagan administration, have not only ignored the use of chemical weapons but also provided the means.  This topic is easily searchable and you can research evidence at: http://fff.org/explore-freedom/article/reagans-wmd-connection-saddam-hussein/ and also by viewing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HvuUSRhpXE There is currently no international (or even national in our case) precedent for punitive actions in the regards to the use of chemical weapons in modern warfare.  Therefore I ask: Why do we want to set the precedent that if you kill your people with chemicals we will come and kill more of your people with depleted uranium tipped barrages?  That makes no damn sense!

Conclusively the questions I ask are:

  1. Are we using the word “régime” because we are attempting to add a negative connotative undertone to the government of Syria?
  2. Why do we want to set the precedent that if you kill your people with chemicals we will come and kill more of your people with depleted uranium tipped barrages?
  3. Why are we not attempting peaceful solutions first, foremost, and with greater priority?
  4. Do you honestly feel that the world will be a better place if we chose military action over peaceful resolutions?
  5. Do you really believe that Syria is a threat to the United States at this time (today)?
  6. Mr. Kerry states that we are “Vetting” some of the militants fighting in Syria to support: Do you sir, remember when we vetted the Mujahideen (mujahedeen) and provided to them support to fight against the Russians covertly?  Do you sir; remember how well that turned out?  Do you even know who Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is and what his particular trade was?  Can you explain how our “vetting” process will be different this time with comprehensive explanations?

I am truly jealous of your opportunity to access the vast resources at your disposal to answer the questions above.  I look forward to your comprehensive explanations to the questions I have asked.  I know you must have thought of these things which I have mentioned herein and researched them prior to agreeing to support military actions.

Respectfully,

 

Kevin P Wayne

Thou Shall Not Stone the Rolling Stone

July 18, 2013 3 comments

Have you ever heard the saying: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”? Well, in this case you should. Not due to the fact that there is a comely individual on the cover. Oh wait! That does seem to be important. It is important because we want our monsters to be ugly… to be demons… to be scary. Sorry America. Sometimes your racist attitudes and inept prejudices about the turban wearing monsters are as unfounded as your immature and overly feigned anger at a magazine cover.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev boston bomber

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on the cover of Rolling Stone.
Illustration by Sean McCabe

Read the actual Rolling Stone Article: http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/jahars-world-20130717#ixzz2ZQ8bSh3x

Is it possibly a little insensitive? Not really! Is it possible people are over-reacting due to the desire to live in a world full of reality-based entertainment clichés? Highly likely.

Before I even ask if people bothered to read the extremely informative inside look into the friends’ and associates’ statements within, I would ask: Did you even read the damn caption on the very cover? The caption demonizes the ‘monster’ before the cover is even opened to the substantive article within.

Janet Reitman, of Rolling Stone, did the thing that other media outlets failed to do. She provided to us a look inside. Not only inside the cover… Not only inside of the ‘monster’s’ inner circle… She provided to us a look inside of America and specifically inside of the United States and its divided ideals and expectations of demonization.

A kid… A relatively comely kid, with normal friends, had a storm of confused hatred brewing inside of his very being. Why? Do you know why? Have you read the article? Did it answer these questions and leave you with more questions? (You didn’t read it did you… did you? Come on… did you really?).

Whether you were informed, confused, or longing for more information after reading Jahar’s World by Janet Reitman, you cannot deny the fact that all monsters are not equal (especially in appearance). For ever one person you falsely and unscientifically believe will glorify this monster in his or her own mind and justify horrific future acts based upon that glorification; there will be one-hundred thousand young adult readers sharing a better, well informed, insight into human understanding. (Or at the very least have questions to share and collectively learn from real socialization).

Before you get upon that soap box of intolerance and prejudice based talking points which assist in your overly dramatic self-induced ignorance, maybe you should read the article. Hell! Maybe you should read the damn caption. If, after reading those things, you are still of the belief that the article “glorifies the monster”, then you are entitled to that out-of-touch with today’s youth opinion.

If you are of the belief that punishing this ‘monster’ is going to deter future crimes in even the slightest minute fashion, you are an uninformed dolt. We could have never published that “pretty picture” of him. We could have tortured him in the streets spreading his entrails from east to west coasts and it still would never have even begun to deter a future act of terror. Our punitive system of justice is just that… punitive. That is our system. Should we punish this monster? I’ll feel better when we do.

But maybe… just maybe… our youth, who know the article not to be a glorification, will begin to look at our social impact upon ourselves with wider eyes. Maybe they, our youth, will seek out causal effects and solutions to destructive behavior.

Or maybe… just maybe… we will stick to our traditions and teach our youth to over-react upon ten second talking points and perpetuate our problems into the foreseeable future to come.

Drone Strikes Continue Killing US Citizens, the Hyperbole

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

From 2012 to 2016, eight-hundred and eighty-four (884) United States citizens have been killed by Chinese drone strikes aimed at Japanese terrorists.  Over one-hundred (100) of the US citizens killed have been little children.  Many have been “first-responders” with a “double-strike” technique.

While the US admits that some Japanese terrorist have been hiding in the continental territories, the government is stern in saying it is not with permission.  The President of the United States firmly states: “These Japanese terrorists have sneaked into the borders via Mexico and the United States should not be subject to Chinese bombing runs.  The Chinese should work with the United States to apprehend the terrorists instead of bombing with drones”.

While the drone strikes from the Chinese have been effective in killing several known Japanese terrorists, they have also killed innocent US citizens.  The especially disgusting “double-strike” technique is bragged about in China as being extremely effective.  For those whom do not know, a double strike is when a drone drops a bomb then awaits first responders to come to the rescue.  Once the first responders arrive to provide aide to injured or dead citizens, the drone drops another bomb killing those intending to provide aide.  (The police, fireman, and innocent neighbors become victims).

The Chinese government continues to inform its citizens that there strikes are done with precision and no to limited US casualties are suffered.  One Chinese citizen was informed in an interview that the numbers are more often innocent citizens.  The Chinese native then stated: “Well… Then those citizens should not be hanging around areas where known terrorists hide…”  The Chinese native refused to acknowledge an attack decimated a child day care center.

American citizens interviewed recently said they live under constant fear.  “The drones are always up there flying around… You never know when a bomb will fall… you never know if you or your child will be next… I cannot sleep and constantly cry in fear for my family’s safety…”  Said Mrs. Jones on Tuesday.

(End Twisted Satire)

What would we do if the above were true?  I am certain it would be a call to war.  I promise that if my child was part of a drone strike casualty, I would seek vengeance and as cruelly as possible.  None of the United States citizens would accept this type of attack.

However, we seem to accept it when we are the ones performing the attacks.  Political party aside; we should not accept this as human beings.  Either the media or the White House seems to be sugar coating the information provided to the American people.

The above was written with hyperbole and twisted satire.  Yet, the numbers are scary when true.  The United States has killed over 884 Pakistani citizens according to GlobalPost.  Some of the claims upon the web-site estimate a shocking ninety-eight percent (98%) of the bombing victims are not senior terrorist commanders.

There is a commentary from Cenk Uygur concerning these strikes.  Within that commentary, he cites several sources of useful information worth investigating.  Six minutes of time to view his commentary is not too much to ask when it concerns such an important topic.  The topic which accuses the United States of killing 884 Pakistani citizens of which 176 were Pakistani children should be the number one story.

Imagine half of your home disappearing in an explosion of noise.  Within that devastation, lay the mangled corpse of your child.  Imagine that has happened to you, because some terrorist snuck into your country’s borders.  Would you now be the enemy of the country who dropped a bomb on your child?  I would.

I would not blame any Pakistani for hating the US when we continue to drop bombs upon them.  We need to remove the power of assassination from the President to prevent this type of scenario.

Alternative Energy Solutions Cost Too Much, But Excuses Cost Much More

September 22, 2012 7 comments

There seems to be a select group of people in the world not willing to admit that global warming is real.  They purposefully find misleading information and cite a loop of inaccurate sources of information.  This delusional denial of science is dangerous not only to the world, but to the psychological well-being of the individuals living with this denial.  Additionally, their children are going to grow up embarrassing themselves by spewing forth the delusion in peer to peer conversations.  Imagine how embarrassing it is to form an argument based upon learned knowledge from parental teachings, only to discover those teachers were false.  While it would be fascinating to only discuss global warming, it has become necessary to discuss sociological problems congruently with pollution in general.

Most of the population is willing to accept the science proving that there is a correlation between CO2 rise and global temperature rise.  The climate temperature change historically rises and falls with an increase and decrease in CO2 atmospheric parts per million, (ppm), respectively.  A 30 ppm increase over 1000 years was one of the fastest increases recorded within ice core samples.  Ice core samples covering the last 800,000 years were tested showing the historic temperature and CO2 trending.  The last 30 ppm increase in atmospheric CO2 has occurred in only 17 years. (1)  The particular worrying factor of that latter source of information is that it was from 2006.  To context that rate growth to a closer date we need only to look back to August of 1988 when CO2 ppm was 350.66. (2)  The rise from 350.66 ppm in 1988 to 392.41 ppm in August of 2012 equates to 41.75 ppm within 24 years. (2)  This should be considered inarguably too rapid and also terrifying.  However, there are those individuals willing to argue that this is even true.  When faced with the facts, those same individuals often “side track” the facts with misleading information.

Are those individuals psychotic?  (Not likely).  Often times they were taught sociologically through a political party affiliation.  Much of the culture of the United States becomes divided through hard line politics. That social culture then becomes easy to manipulate.  Whereby, instead of using facts of science to learn, we use subjective stances taught to us by pundits.  It makes us feel better to be around like minded individuals.  It’s easier to “hear” words which we want to believe and to deny words which scare the hell out of us.  Thereby, one person learns that the CO2 rise is caused 100% by humans and the other person learns that humans contribute only 3.6% of total CO2.  One person has science on their side, but so does the other person.  One person knows that it is imperative that we change our ways immediately to save the environment.  The other person believes that such an insignificant contribution as 3.6% cannot be worth panic.  They have both been provided facts; however, neither has the entire truth.

Human industries like Fossil Fuel burning and Cement construction convert 33.4 billion metric tons of products into CO2.  Changing land use by clearing forests and other means convert an additional 3.3 billion metric tons.  Unfortunately, approximately 50% of our converted CO2 is in excess of what the planet can naturally recycle. (2)  There are sources of information which attempt to make the argument that human produced CO2 from industrialization contribute approximately 4% onto the carbon cycle.  The argument is worthy unless you have more of the information.  The natural global cycle from land produces approximately 439 billion metric tons of CO2 and from the oceans approximately 332 billion metric tons.  If we take a conservative figure of 29 billion metric tons of CO2 produced by humans instead of the 33.4 billion metric tons listed above we get 800 billion metric tons.  That is only 3.6% of human intervention.  However, the natural earth cycle also handles itself pretty well.  The oceans safely take back approximately 338 billion metric tons of CO2 and the land converts approximately 450 billion metric tons while safely maintaining balance.  Therefore, the natural cycle can handle 788 billion metric tons of CO2 and it’s our excess which causes 100% of the imbalance. (3)  The imbalance with nature is the only real concern.  If we used discretion to globally maintain fewer than 17 billion metric tons of CO2 conversion, we would be in tune with nature.  However, we are in an emergency situation and need to reduce some damage.  It is imperative that we substantially lower emissions.  We specifically need to be responsible for less than 6 billion metric tons of human caused CO2 production.  It is not only a matter of producing less than the natural cycle, we need to be under the more important ocean CO2 natural recycling.

Learning that our 3.6% CO2 contribution to the atmosphere is what causes 100% of the excess CO2 is an important factor.  Exceeding the ocean’s CO2 sink ability is another important factor to protecting the environment.  The way in which CO2 is filtered within the oceans takes hundreds of thousands of years.   Once dissolved the carbon atoms stay there more than five-hundred years. (4)  Ocean acidification is a term which can be researched at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration which is also referred to as NOAA.  To attempt to explain ocean acidification in elementary terms we have to imagine the atmosphere continuously “rubbing” against the ocean surface.  As the CO2 levels increase in the atmosphere, more is “rubbed” into the oceans’ surfaces.  As the atmospheric CO2 levels increase, the warmer the planet becomes.  The warmer the planet becomes, the larger the oceans’ surfaces become.  As all of it compounds, more CO2 from the atmosphere is absorbed into the increasing ocean surface.  The entire process changes the chemistry of the water. (5)

This oceanic chemical change is very important to humans as well as 500,000 other species. (6)  Coral reef species estimates are nearly impossible to fathom.  Ocean acidification weakens the shells of many sea creatures as well as destroys coral and plankton.  The plankton destruction should be important to humans as it provides nearly half of the world’s oxygen level.  Sea turtles survived the mass extinction event sixty-five-million years ago.  Six of the seven species of sea turtles are now endangered. (7)  Human CO2 production could and likely will be responsible for another mass extinction event.   The latter statement will only be true if we consider half of one-million species as a “mass”.  Even with these scary numbers presented by science, some deny it as an issue.  After all, the only way in which evolution is believed to occur is with stress or need for adaptation efficiency.  Therefore, many believe that other species will evolve or be created to fill the void.  While that could ineptly be argued, there are more concerns.  The morality of destroying hundreds of thousands of species should be enough.  The fact that evolution by adaptation can be suspended due to extinction caused by rapid changes should negate argument.   The rate at which we seem to be destroying coral reefs is one every other day.  With only ten-thousand reefs remaining in existence, the current rate destroys all of them in under fifty-five years. (7)  The current elementary student aged population of humans upon this world could likely see the mass extinction caused by their parents and grandparents.  The half-million species will have no time to evolve.

Another social argument is often presented as a diversion to accepting the knowledge of CO2 level destruction.  Even though, CO2 levels do have negative impacts upon marine life as we know it today, other facts can divert our attention.  For instance: The seriousness of water vapor as a greenhouse warming gas is often ignored from quarrels.  When it is brought forth as a dispute, it is often to disprove that CO2 levels are dangerous.  Humans contribute an even smaller percentage amount of water vapor into the natural cycle.  Nuclear plants emit water vapor directly into the atmosphere.  Burning any fossil fuel emits water vapor directly into the atmosphere.  The latter two examples hardly compare to the amount of evaporation from surface water. (8)  If we look back to a previous example, we begin to understand our involvement.  It is not always accurate to compare the infinitesimal percentage which we contribute.  We must understand that it is our contribution which causes 100% of the excess to the natural cycle.  Once an excess is contributed, a “rolling snowball” affect begins.  The warmer our world becomes, the more contributing factors begin to compile.  The compilation increases the warming trend, which again supplements more contributing factors.

The arguments about global warming are mute.  If you do not believe we contribute to it, you are delusional and others around you should treat you as though you are ill.  Believing that it is real is also insignificant.  We are still polluting the world.  Pollution is not an argument.  We are polluting the air, the waters, and the lands of this world.  To make semantic arguments over one-half of a ton of pollution when we are comparing billions of metric tons, is only a diversion tactic.  Most sane people with an elementary education understand that pollution is unscrupulous as well as dangerous.

Often, better practices which could reduce our CO2 emissions and other pollutions are ignored or debated inaptly.  Arguments to the use of wind and solar power are often presented because of costs.  This makes very little sense.  Increasing use of those solutions would decrease cost of the same.  Magnetically driven solutions are not as efficient as fossil fuel combustion in regards to input vs. output.  While the latter is true, it is senseless because magnetics are environmentally friendlier.   The United States provides $21 billion in subsidies annually to an industry which has been setting record profits while contributing to the majority of world pollution.  Therefore, finding little inapt arguments to divert the absolute necessity of change is malicious and immoral.  We need to act.  We need to move forward into new technology.

That does not mean we should accept any technology.  The argument for natural gas is disturbing.  Natural gas emits 43 percent less CO2 compared to coal and 30 percent less compared to oil.  While that reads as if it is a great solution, there are other considerations.  The burning of any fossil fuel not only creates atmospheric CO2; but also combusts O2.  (Depletes atmospheric Oxygen).  Combustion ratios of O2 are greater when burning Natural Gas because of greater hydrogen contents.  For each CO2 molecule which accumulates in the air via this process we lose nearly three O2 molecules. (9)  Assuming that ratio is higher with natural gas than other fossil fuels we are trading one problem for another.  We should be willing to trade one problem for another when the newly created problem is not as much of an emergency.  That is a step in the proper direction.  However, there are other considerations with natural gas.  Mining it through drilling and “Fracking” is causing serious pollution to ground water.  Hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas has also caused earth quakes in Ohio. (10)  Therefore, natural gas use has caused earth quakes, frequently pollutes ground water, depletes oxygen faster than other fossil fuels, and continues to increase atmospheric CO2 albeit at a lower rate.  Once the understanding of natural gas use becomes common knowledge, it will be as much of a joke as the oxymoron “clean coal”.

To solve the CO2 emergency, (and it is an emergency), we need to invest in technology.  Wind, solar, and magnetic renewables are only the beginning.  It will be expensive to make the internal combustion motor obsolete.  However, not advancing our technology will cost us so much more.  The threat of an extinction level event is very genuine.

The humiliation of knowing that we leave this muddle to our children is profane.

Works Cited

1. Amos, Jonathan. BBC News. Deep ice tells long climate story. [Online] BBC News, September 4th, 2006. [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/5314592.stm.

2. CO2Now.org. What the world needs to watch. Earth’s CO2 Home Page. [Online] CO2 Now.org, September 5th, 2012. [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://co2now.org/.

3. Cook, John. Getting skeptical about global warming skepticism. Skeptical Science. [Online] [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://www.skepticalscience.com/human-co2-smaller-than-natural-emissions.htm.

4. Harvard Magazine. The Ocen Carbon Cycle. Harvard Magazine. [Online] November 2002. [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://harvardmagazine.com/2002/11/the-ocean-carbon-cycle.html.

5. NOAA. PMEL Carbon Program. [Online] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . [Cited: September 21st, 2012.] http://pmel.noaa.gov/co2/story/Ocean+Acidification.

6. Missouri Botanical Garden. Tropical Oceans. Tropical Ocean Topics. [Online] [Cited: September 21st, 2012.] http://www.mbgnet.net/salt/coral/main.htm.

7. Ocean Ark Alliance. Ocean Acidification – The other CO2 challenge. Ocean Acidification. [Online] [Cited: September 21, 2012.] http://www.oceanacidification.net/docs/OAA_Factsheet.pdf.

8. Hieb, Monte. Water Vapor Rule the Greenhouse System. Global Warming: A closer look at the numbers. [Online] March 2nd, 2007. [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html.

9. Johnson, Mike. Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Fall As Carbon Dioxide Rises. Sci/Tech. [Online] December 14, 2007. [Cited: September 21st, 2012.] http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/.

10. Goodman, Amy. Natural gas fracking fires protests over pollution fears. The Guardian. [Online] September 20th, 2012. [Cited: September 21st, 2012.] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/sep/20/natural-gas-fracking-fires-protest?newsfeed=true.

11. (Governmental) Evironmental Protection Agency . Climate Change . EPA United States Evironmental Protection Agency. [Online] September 14th, 2012. [Cited: September 16, 2012.] http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/.

12. Climate Central. Surging Seas. Climate Central . [Online] Climate Central . [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://sealevel.climatecentral.org/.

13. National Geographic. Critical issues sea level rise. National Geographic. [Online] Nation Geographic. [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://ocean.nationalgeographic.com/ocean/critical-issues-sea-level-rise/.

14. University of Colorado . State of the Cryosphere. National Snow and Ice Data Center. [Online] University of Colorado . [Cited: September 16th, 2012.] http://nsidc.org/cryosphere/sotc/sea_level.html.

Politicians, Supporting Class Warfare, Generation Warfare, or just WAR?

September 6, 2012 2 comments

Do you remember the “class warfare” hype or when it began?  Have you been bombarded by that propaganda too much to realize how recent it actually was?  While the argument may have been slightly mentioned in politics in the past, it has grown recently.  Democrats have always tried to portray a class difference of unfairness between the wealthy and poor.  However, it reached new heights in 2011.  Around the middle of August, 2011 Warren Buffett caused an eruption within the FOX pundits (disguised as a news channel).  He had announced to the world that it would be fair for the extremely wealthy to pay more taxes.  The danger of this spreading around the United States and causing any type of unity between Republican and Democratic voters could not be tolerated by FOX.  They immediately began a campaign of slander against Mr. Buffett which including calling him a “socialist”.  Eric Bolling of FOX Business did so on August 15, 2011 (accessed September 04, 2012 at: (http://mediamatters.org/video/2011/08/15/foxs-eric-bolling-asks-if-warren-buffett-is-com/182062).

Both sides of the political spectrum began to be aghast by the fact that somebody so wealthy paid a lower effective tax rate than a middle class worker.  It only took several days to retrain the Republican voters to think for FOX and the GOP base, not for themselves.  By forcing propaganda campaigns upon them, the term “class warfare” became a commonly spoken phrase amongst Republican Voters.  The voters even ignored other respected and wealthy individuals such as Alan Greenburg and Bill Gates.  Cenk Uygur, with The Young Turks, did a news piece on this subject on August 16, 2011 (accessed September 04, 2012 at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOEPidoc6uA).

The ridiculousness of the events above is only overshadowed by the fact that both democratic sheep and republican lambs played into the fake class war.  Democrats babbled like gobbling turkeys around an automatic livestock feeder about how the rich didn’t deserve all of the breaks and benefits accompanying wealth.  Republicans gathered a line of defense by puffing out their chests and claiming that every worker, who was not them, was intent on stealing from their tax dollars.  Both collections of voters were too blind to realize that they were ALL part of the same system and subject to a hate smearing campaign.  It was class warfare, and the money was teaching (and still is) both sides how to think and how to hate.  While Democrats need to stop scorning people solely on the basis of wealth, Republicans need to admit there is a huge disparaging and unfair difference.  The top 1% of the wealth holders have had income rates rise while the bottom 80% have had income rates fall over the past decade.  The Democrats need to realize that they need wealthy people in a capitalist system in order to invest in business.  The Republicans need to admit that wealthy people NEED the working masses to be prosperous in order to maintain a democracy instead of an oligarchy.  The Republicans also need to admit that it has been money in politics causing most, if not all, of the corruption.

There was a surplus deficit when former President Bush took office for the twenty-first century.  While this did not mean our debt was totally paid, it did mean that it was about to be.  We had a plan and a path to recovery from the previous economic disaster.  (Cold War Spending).  The surplus seemed to be burning the pockets of Republican politicians.  This clearly cannot be blamed on both sides.  The Democrats failed in their fight against Republicans for fiscal responsibility.  Taxes were cut and a War was started.  (Republicans cannot blame terrorism on this war… we attacked Iraq… NOT the terrorists from 9/11).  Democrats cannot be fault free as they may like to claim.  Most of the party permitted 9/11 to cloud their minds from the reality of the War in Iraq and authorized then President Bush to invade.  Additionally, Democratic voters seemed to cower and not back the democratic politicians in their fight against the tax cuts.  Even democratic voters felt they would reap the benefits of a tax cut on the middle class. While the tax cuts on the extremely rich were very rewarding to the upper 1% of the population, the bottom 80% faired some good reductions too.  With information gathered from: (http://taxfoundation.org:81/blog/comparing-income-taxes-under-bill-clinton-and-george-bush) on September 03, 2012, one can chart the middle class benefit.

Bush Tax Cuts

President Bush definitely lowered the taxes upon the middle class.  However, once you gather more information on the middle class, you begin to see no benefit.  Please go to “Dailykos” accessed on September 02, 2012 at: (http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/12/17/928894/-Clinton-vs-Reagan-and-Bush-Just-the-numbers). There you would find a wage comparison which discusses income growth during different administrations.

Bush Income Drop

As you can see, the tax cuts are not savings.  In all of the middle income brackets wages fell.  (And Yes – the dollars are adjusted for inflation so don’t try to fake argue).  The amount portrays an actual income loss on the middle class workers in the US.  Sure if you were lucky to be in your job for more than twelve years, you may not have noticed this.  However, the core of the middle class workers has switched employers at least once in that time period.

Deficit spending by our government has caused economic collapse.  Additionally, major tax breaks on the wealthy seem to match (if not cause) lay-offs of American workers, as history through the Regan era to present has proven.  While the evidence to argue that the tax breaks are the cause of lay-offs is slim, the matching trend is apparent.  The superior assumption would be due to lack of investment in the US economic betterment.  Why invest in the US economy when its government is deficit spending?  Why would a bank invest in your hypothetical business if your business plan was to spend more money than you make?

While I definitely do not feel a county’s government should be run like a business, the value compares the same on monetary notes.  To explain the latter we use semantics to call it money.  The value of our US dollar fell nearly 40% during the Bush era economy.  Our value is less because we spend more than we receive.  We spend $Billions more than we tax.  An article written by Kimberly Amadeo, warning of a dollar collapse explains creditor fears.  (Accessed September 02, 2012 at: http://useconomy.about.com/od/inflation/i/dollar_decline.htm)

Using the inflation calculator from the US Department of Labor (http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm) we discover that the $1.00 in 2002 has the same buying power as $1.25 in 2008.  It continues to worsen to $1.33 in 2012 (as of September 03, 2012 when accessed).  This could mean that a $1.00 can of beans now costs you $1.33 and we, as consumers, know this by shopping.  This type of inflation is based completely upon the consumer price index.  Therefore, the price is based on averaging the cost increase of all goods normally consumed by households.  We do consider that some items may have increased less and some far more.  For instance, we are deficit spending the US treasury resources.  This has caused our dollar value to decrease approximately forty percent (40%) in the world economy as compared to Europe over the same years listed above.  This has caused us to pay more for foreign goods and services.  (In this case “services” is the loans we are getting to cover our national debt).  China and Japan, holding large portions of our debt, are wise to be weary of our falling dollar value and to charge greater interest rates to our debt notes.  If our dollar value remains low they earn less or nothing from our recovery. (If we recover at all). This world value increase against us can be more impactful on low income families.  Those who make almost all of their purchases from chains such as Walmart may have paid a greater effective inflation rate.  That rate would be caused by almost all goods purchased being from another country.  You are using a weaker dollar to purchase imported goods.  This is where the forty percent (40%) weaker dollar really hits the lower middle class consumer.  That imported shirt that was $15.99 in 2002 could now be costing you $22.39 in 2012.  Consumer price Indexing applies less to a consumer purchasing all goods from overseas.  Consumers making such purchases do not get the balance of the index, but rather the brunt of it.

Once you know the facts previously listed herein, you can see the disparaging sufferance of the middle class and poor.  While we pit fault against each other or point to the “other guy” as a source of blame, we lose our unity.  Obviously the wealthy want to keep the current system.  Obviously it does not work for the mass majority of the US populace.  The middle and lower income receivers continue to suffer and our politicians continue to sell our government as a commodity to the wealthy.

If you perpetuated the feigned insults of “class warfare”, you may have ignored a more important war.  You may have even participated in the recently coined “generation warfare”.  I don’t know who to thank for that latter term of hyperbole.  However, there could be no more fitting term to use in describing the actions of the complete populace of the United States today.  Greater than any other American dream, for the majority of people, is the success of our children.  We have failed as parents and citizens of the United States of America.  Democrats have failed our children by worrying equally about the rest of the world as they have their own citizens.  Republicans have failed our children by placing all of our debts upon them and leaving them with a burnt and broken environment.  This is definitely “generation warfare”.  We have done nearly nothing to improve our failing and fading infrastructure.  We have created a massive deficit and refuse to raise our own taxes to pay for it.  (F*** it… When we are dead and gone the next generation can worry about it).  The Democrats want to raise taxes on the wealthy to make them pay their “fair share” of the cost.  The Republicans want to cut spending even more and destroy any progress as a species.  It is as if we believe the next generation having a better life than we did is a bad thing.

Republicans – stop lying so badly about your financial policies.  You are not fooling anybody but you seem to have started to believe that your policies have ever worked.  They don’t.  Get over it.  Spending cuts on the military is necessary.  Spending cuts on other programs is not welcome by the majority of the PEOPLE of the United States.  Tax increases are necessary for our country to prosper and pay the debt which you (Republicans) are solely responsible for.  (Not shared – you did this to the country).

Democrats – stop trying to raise taxes only upon the most wealthy.  You have made your case and you were right.  It currently is unfair.  However, less than two decades ago we all prospered under the tax laws.  The Congressional Budget Office projections show that it will be necessary to return to Clinton Era tax laws and also cut spending.  Admit to the fact that we need to pull out of Afghanistan before 2014 to help our economy.  Admit to the fact that we need to cut our defense budget and increase taxes on everybody, not just the wealthiest.

Both major political parties need to build our country.  We, the majority of the People, want to work on nation building.  We want to leave a better country for the next generation.  Protecting big business is not going to do that.  Do you think rich corporations will leave America if we don’t bow and kiss their feet? Do you believe wealthy people are suddenly going to invest in nation building on their own?  Does anybody really believe that?  If so, then your political ignorance will be passed onto your children in the form of financial servitude.

We may be a great and patriotic country, but we are refusing to advance our culture into the twenty-first century.  Why?  Maybe we are addicted to complacency.  Maybe we are addicted to misery.  Maybe we are addicted to conflict.  Whatever root cause or multiple causes we choose to blame our situation upon; it is the children of our children who will suffer our decisions today.  That is most certainly “generation warfare” as much as it is invective to say so.

Maybe the United States of America cannot survive without war.  It may be bred into us like hip dysplasia in a weak boned bitch.  We fought hard and paid dearly for the right to be a free country.  We occupied an already occupied country leaving a wake of American Indian blood upon the soil.  We decided that fighting others was not enough and decided to lose to ourselves by making Civil War.  It seems we cannot go long periods without deadly war and conflict.  In a country that cannot go more than four decades without spilling our soldiers’ blood, it is no surprise we are full of political hate.  We are all, as citizens, proud to be American.  However, we seem to have a stigma that in order to be patriotic we must support war.  Many Americans can hear a news broadcast about a soldier’s death in the background of their daily routine and be complacent with it.  If you feel that describes “somebody else” and insults you, then say how many soldiers have died in Afghanistan this instant and out-loud without looking the information up on google.  Many Americans have lost the ability to differentiate between supporting troops and supporting war.

That latter problem may augment an abysmal psychological or sociological problem where war is associated with patriotism.  Whereby, peace cannot be patriotic.  Whereby, the side of the conflict one person is on, in their mind, must be the patriotic side.  This, in my opinion, is problematic to solving “class warfare”, “generation warfare”, “the war on religion”, “the war on women”, and the war in Afghanistan.  If we cannot have a conversation where both parties know (and more importantly feel) that the opposing opinion comes from a fellow patriot, then we can solve none of our problems.

We must remove ourselves from war.  We must re-become we.

Labor Day or Slavery Day

August 29, 2012 Leave a comment

If I were to begin talking or writing about slavery, many (I presume) would immediately think of early America and the Civil War.  Those were times which should be considered a learning experience as well as scarring upon our history.  If I were to add that I am speaking of modern slavery, I again presume, that many would immediately think of some “third-world” country.  I make the presumption because I would have thought that very way until recently.

I recently learned of slavery existing right here in the United States.  I am not writing of those Civil War era times.  I am writing about the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  I am writing about the year 1997.  Please take a moment to think about that before I write the next date.  Does slavery in southern parts of the United States of America in 1997 seem forgettable?  What about the year 2010?  Is slavery in 2010 recent enough for you to help?

Will these examples mean something?  {U.S. vs. Flores – 1997} {U.S. vs. Cuello – 1999} {U.S. vs. Tecum – 2001} {U.S. vs. Lee – 2001} {U.S. vs. Ramos – 2004} {U.S. vs. Ronald Evans – 2007} {U.S. vs. Navarrete – 2008} {U.S. vs. Bontemps – 2010} {U.S. vs. Global Horizons – 2010}

Some of the above cases resulted in convictions of slavery, conspiracy, involuntary servitude, and witness tampering charges to name only a partial list.  This is not America one-hundred years ago.  This is right here in the United States.  Maybe you are thinking that this must be some run-away children or prostitutes involved with modern day “pimps”.  Shockingly enough, it is not.  It seems to be a repeat of pre 1865 United States, however, I wonder if it ever actually ended in the far south.

It has been many years since I attended a history class dealing with the 1865 era of the United States.  However, I am pretty certain I remember over six-hundred-thousand deaths being attributed to the Civil War.  Forgive me if I have that number wrong.  The point which cannot be denied is that forced servitude is illegal in the United States.  Additionally, that it discounts hundreds of thousands of deaths to ignore this issue.

I gained much of the information about this from the Coalition of Immokalee Workers.  It is so appalling to go into this weekend of Labor Day with political conventions dominating the news.  Politics has become a form of entertainment like some dysfunctional “reality” television show.

Have we become so worried about tomorrow’s talking point being fed to us by pundits disguised as news groups that we cannot be shocked by reality?  Must we pretend to be traumatized in feigned awe by over-exaggerated, out of context statements made by the “other side”?  Can our media not take on genuine and current ethical issues without political involvement?  If the answer to that later question is as I suspect, then we should be humiliated.  We should also act.

If politics is necessary to make anything news worthy, then I want some answers from politicians.  I want to know that they are going to get involved in this.  It is Labor Day weekend of 2012 and we have court cases this year involving forced labor rings.  Call me a “bleeding heart liberal” if you must but I am writing about f___ing slavery in the year 2012.

We seriously have United States soldiers being killed in other countries at this moment and we can’t solve slavery on our own soil.  How do we explain that to a dead soldier’s family?  Did we lose our own Civil War?  Did I only get a copy of the “short” version of the thirteenth amendment to our Constitution?  Maybe there was some new skin color clause I missed in the Constitution.   Do human rights issues only matter to U.S. politicians when it involves our military invading another country?

The answer to the latter question is no.  I write that answer because our Secretary of State presented an award for 2010 to the Coalition of Immokalee Workers concerning the fight against slavery.  If you do not remember this, don’t be ashamed.  I didn’t know it until very recently, yet I remember the previous Secretary of State explaining a need to invade another country.

Other politicians have been slightly involved in this issue and I mean not to discount their efforts for human rights work.  I am frustrated that it is almost Labor Day in the year 2012 and I cannot remember slavery as ancient history in the United States.  My child will be studying U.S. History of the nineteenth century in school this year and I will have to explain that slavery occurred in her lifetime.  As parents, we should be nothing less than ashamed.

I have seen the coalition asking for better pay that would equate to $0.01 per pound of tomatoes.  I can’t afford to pay for my children’s college educations, but I would gladly pay $0.05 more per pound of tomatoes to assist workers.  I am not endorsing the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, nor am I writing that they are correct on all issues.  However, the fact that slavery existed in our lifetimes in our country is something which should mortify us.  Agreeing or disagreeing with the agenda of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is insignificant.  Involuntary servitude in the twenty-first century is a crucial social topic to be resolved.

I am not writing to ask anybody to donate anything to the coalition.  I am simply asking small favors from everybody for this holiday.  This weekend is to celebrate and show respect for the working class people of this country.  Please resist the urge to discuss politicians’ birth certificates.  Please resist the urge to discuss contempt for politicians’ wealth.  Please take a moment to honor the working class people of this country.  Please take a moment to both discuss and condemn the actions of Miguel Flores, Sebastian Gomez, Abel Cuello, Jose Tecum, Michael Lee, and Juan and Ramiro Ramos all of whom were convicted of slavery.  (And likely within your lifetime if you were born before 1997).

Categories: Uncategorized
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