Here I am on the other side of Arnold in the Trailer for escape Plan!
Here I am on the other side of Arnold in the Trailer for escape Plan!
And this is why 80% of the American People and 75% of Congress thinks it is a bad idea to bomb Syria: We don’t know FOR SURE who gassed who!!!
~ Geno ~
A gang rape in Mumbai underlines the need for a change of consciousness in India – starting with police accountability
Another morning, another news story of a woman being gang raped in India’s cities. This time, the victim was a 22-year-old photojournalist out doing her job, accompanied by a male colleague, shooting photographs of Mumbai’s textile mills in one of the city’s increasingly hip mid-town neighbourhoods.
While verdicts are due to be reached early next month in the case of the Delhi gang rape last December, and in spite of new laws in place to tackle sexual violence, the violence directed against India’s women is becoming a terrifying norm. Changes in the law, which include fast-tracking rape trials to beat India’s slow-moving justice system, are grossly inadequate. It’s the collective consciousness that needs to change. That requires both a top-down and a ground-up approach in which the root causes of violence against women are examined.
India’s politicians have failed, willingly or otherwise, to grasp or tackle what needs to be done to transform the collective consciousness on women’s rights. Delhi’s gang rape, and the public response, shook the politicians out of their stupor. Such was the public outrage that the government immediately formed the Verma Committee to report back – within narrow terms of reference and a period of only 30 days – to assuage the public demand that “something must be done”. Haste is often the undoing of law-making and this was no different. Some tens of thousands of responses were delivered. The committee, to its considerable credit, did a good job of broadening the terms of reference and considering the broader legal framework of equality and non-discrimination for women.
It was the starting point of a new constitutional framework for India’s women, of whatever class, religion or social background. But political will to uplift the lot of women substantively was lacking. It was easier to let defence lawyers pronounce that “respectable women in India aren’t raped“, and gurus on television blame or deify the fairer sex. It was easier for the morality police to start a backlash against women, banning them from the street, from bars, or requiring them to stay at home. This blaming-the-woman culture is not a peculiarly Indian phenomenon, mind, but tradition won out and the legislation rushed onto the books was sorely lacking.
The government ignored Verma’s recommendations on police reform and the prosecution of security personnel charged with sexual assault to be dealt with under ordinary criminal laws. In so doing, it has failed to address the underlying malaise within the Indian police force that allows the culture of violence against women to persist. The UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjo, has lamented the loss of the golden opportunity presented to India to establish a full framework guaranteeing equality in line with the committee’s recommendations.
Even as India’s cities are seeing the boom of the middle classes and soaring education and wealth, sexual violence is rearing its head in commercial centres. India is far from being the only culture which denigrates its women, but each culture has to get to grips with the individual way in which it resolves the problem. In India, violence is entrenched through the caste system, religious ideals, social norms and ideas of honour and a woman’s status in the home as well as through a pervasive acceptance of domestic violence in many forms. Women’s activists are creating strong movements for change in the country, and taboo subjects are being raised through fearless journalism and protest. But it is not enough. Change is needed where institutional sexism is rife: at the heart of India’s police force.
Tragedy often has the power to bring about the public outcry to force a government take action to control the excesses of state institutions. In Britain, that tragedy was the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence. The systemic failures within the police force led to the Macpherson inquiry, which coined the term “institutional racism”. In the US, the Rodney King affair of 1991 is seen as responsible for widespread subsequent changes to policing practices, including more community policing, monitoring and changes to recruitment. Accountability lay at the heart of these changes.
Despite news from Mumbai that the police have arrested five suspects already, a plethora of rapes reported in the Indian media this year have been rendered all the more astonishing by abject failures by the police. Change in Indian society and attitudes will only arrive when the enforcement mechanisms are challenged to become accountable themselves. And they will only become accountable once the national discourse on women begins to change substantively. Next month’s Delhi verdicts must be merely the beginning of collective reform. The lid has to be lifted on the failings that permit such abuses against the country’s women.
Jefferson Over Hamilton
The mainstream libertarian movement in the United States ties its idealism to the founders of the early government. Many in the mainstream movement champion individual rights, small limited government, constitutional representation and classical liberalism. At the time the early United States government was being constructed many arguments and debates occurred among the founders, but arguably the greatest of which occurred between Thomas Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton.
In Hamilton’s view it would be irresponsible to place much democratic control in the hands of the people. Hamilton and other federalists believed the country should be ruled by the economic ruling class – the elite, the educated and the privileged. Federalist John Jay put it as bluntly as possible: “Those who own the country ought to govern it.” They favored a strong national government, a broad interpretation of the constitution and put national unity above individualism and states rights. Their economic model, of course, was centrally planned with strict regulation of state economies (the first national bank – which later dissolved – was established by Hamilton as well).
Jefferson was just the opposite and today is a favorite of the US liberty movement. Jefferson believed that an informed public would be able to make wise decisions in national policy. He favored a more open and democratic government and rather disagreed that the elite should rule. He favored a close to nature, close to our neighbors idealism for the United States and sought states rights over federal rights while advocating for a strict interpretation of the constitution.
I understand the sentiment that Thomas Jefferson had it right (though I have no problem noting that Jefferson himself was a member of the elite and was rather hypocritical in many regards to his thoughts on liberty). As a libertarian I believe that in a truly free society we would all be owners of property, as a left-libertarian I believe that some of this property could also be commonly owned. I champion the ideas of independence and self-reliance instead of being subject to the wishes and demands of large bureaucratic institutions. It is the opposite of being a free human being when one is dependent on centralized institutions. I agree with the notion that Jefferson had it more right than Hamilton – and I would emphasize the community driven nature of the States that he argued for.
Like Thomas Jefferson, the transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau idealized a close to nature, communitarian approach to life and economics. Thoreau, an agrarian anarchist, also greatly championed individualism, as evident in his Resistance to Civil Government:
That government is best which governs not at all; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have.
Moving into the 20th and 21st centuries there are other libertarian thinkers that champion a more natural approach to social structure and economics, with emphasis on individualism and ones role in the community. Wendell Berry comes to mind. An agrarian from Kentucky, Berry has long mistrusted the government and has made his case against centralized power for a long time now – especially in regards to Appalachian coal mining and industrial agriculture. He is an out spoken critic of the heavy government subsidies the industries receive and how these industries divorce human beings from their cultural and natural heritage. In The Long Legged House Berry writes:
Since there is no government of which the concern or the discipline is primarily the health either of households or the Earth, since it is the nature of any state to be concerned first of all with its own preservation and only second to the cost, the dependable, clear response to mans moral circumstance is not of law but of conscience. The highest moral behavior is not obedience to law, but obedience to the informed conscience even in spite of law.
Perhaps one of the most overlooked voices of the modern liberty movement is Edward Abbey. Abbey, an environmentalist, is also an anarchist. In 1989 Abbey wrote:
Anarchism is not a romantic fable but the hardheaded realization, based on five thousand years of experience, that we cannot entrust the management of our lives to kings, priests, politicians, generals, and county commissioners…Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others… A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.
To Abbey, country is much more than nationalism, and it is defiantly not allegiance to government – or any large institution. He found that in all developed hierarchies, the larger an institution became the more oppressive it would be. Abbey instead advocated that country was the wilderness, the places that have not yet been exploited for consumption. He believed that there were “holy” and “wild” experiences for all of us out there, and that to deprive ourselves and future generations of them would be a great tragedy. Abbey also noted that community, and more importantly, the individual’s role in the community was also very important. Though he had great distrust for large institutions, he believed greatly in family, friendship, fellowship and human labor. To him “America” was not the government or government sanctioned economic activity, but it was land, wild spaces, individuals and communities.
Karl Hess, in his talk Tools to Dismantle the State, also shares this notion. In this talk Hess says “to truly love your country you must loathe the nation.” To libertarians the state is an outside force. It weighs down on our creative labor, it wishes to regulate the spontaneous order of markets and it wishes to execute authority over all aspects of liberty. As an environmentalist and a libertarian I also see that it creeps into the natural world, our wild open spaces as well.
Beyond the federal governments giant grab of “public lands” it also supports large financial institutions and global corporations. So as the government “manages public lands” (read allows public property to be used by industry) it also champions consumption. Corporate logos are well-known across the states (and the world for that matter). Much fewer people can identify rocks or trees or land-plants – the very resources we are dependent upon for our survival. Is this liberating? I would argue not. I would argue this is designed, this is manufactured consent and that we are manipulated. I believe in a truly free market setting there would be more advocacy for wild places, for life experiences, for liberated time and less emphasis on consumption, debt and materialism. We would care much more about country in a liberated society.
Environment and the State
There is a common sentiment among movement libertarians that one cannot be a libertarian and an environmentalist because environmentalism requires the state. I do not find this to be the case and argue that libertarianism should engage the environmental movement – and the environmental movement needs to adopt libertarianism.
I will start with the National Forest Service and the National Park Service (favorites of environmentalists and many Americans) because they are, unfortunately, very much under the influence of commercial interests. Concessions in parks, hotel lodging, loggers, fish stockers and miners in national forests all encroach on wilderness – the very thing these institutions are charged to protect. Though parks and national forest lands are championed as safe havens for wildlife (and understandably so, they are the best hope for wilderness in this country) there is a tendency in these “safe havens” state environmentalists tend to forget – the tendency to build facilities and roads in the parks and to open up our forests to industrial/commercial exploitation.
Environmentalists are often at odds with the state. There is a continual process of compromise between conservationists, big business and government courts that results in ever more encroachment on wilderness. Every time industry gets a new piece of the landscape it is because environmentalists have had to sacrifice lands or waters they cared about in the name of compromise. Government and industry continually sacrifice natural lands for development, which fuels our consumption, which makes it necessary for state and industry to sacrifice more natural areas. In short, whatever the state has done to preserve natural areas it has done even more to help industry exploit them.
Is the biggest threat to our environment is the extraction/production/use of fossil fuels? Politicos seem to focus on energy consumption at home and abroad as the reason to champion “green” industries. What is often overlooked in this dialogue is war. War is waged (or just carried out without declaration) by states, for states. War is carried out to expand state power and to obtain more natural resources. War is the health of the state and war is dependent on fossil fuel extraction – no matter how cherished, sacred or endangered the landscape is that holds these resources. Any statist intervention on behalf of the environment will fail in comparison to the states lust for war. For libertarians, championing the environmental cause will help build the movement against the state.
State environmentalists are short sighted for a number of reasons, but perhaps the greatest is their reliance on bureaucracy. The bureaucracy is undying. Empowering the state bureaucracy to manage our natural resources will only make matters worse as the state seeks health for one thing only: the state. The greatest hurdles for environmentalists to overcome are government hurdles – which is why “paper wrenching” has become such a vital tactic for the environmental movement. The permitting process for fossil harvesting, weak environmental legislation (which is interpreted by the whims of whoever holds office) and mountains of bureaucratic paperwork rubber stamp big industry projects and serve only to benefit big industry. Paper wrenching has been an effective tactic because as community members learn the law, they can begin slowing this process. States wish to centralize power and economic activity, not empower communities and social movements. Direct action, empowered communities and legal action all serve to challenge state power – this bureaucracy should be torn asunder, not empowered.
Environmentalists should abandon state actions and adopt markets because social movements shape markets. In free(d) markets and vast areas of wilderness would truly be protected because industry would not have the capability of such exploitation. Libertarians should support the environment because true conservation would prevent state monopoly on currency and violence.
Please stand with me in the fight against the horrific abuses that take place hourly in Afghanistan against women there who are sold by their own Fathers (Special Place in Hell for these Bastards!) to other men who use the girls/young women as nothing more than sex slaves! (Another special place in hell for these MF’ers too!)
I have attached a petition you can sign by clicking on the title above to try and prevent this continued abuse from occurring!
God bless my friends!
An interesting article concerning what might be causing the high rates of Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes in America besides a High Animal Fat, High Cholesterol Diet!
Remember folks, when a theory has been established as “gospel” in any discipline, yes, even science, which more than any other area of study should be open to new and fresh ideas, points of view and questioning, the “Establishment” has a vested interest both monetarily (Vast amounts,millions and even billions of Federal, State and Private Funds pour into Medical Doctors and Researchers to continue studying the already known causes of the disease, and to develop new drugs to fight the disease!) and to uphold their Reputations in their Field of Work and Study to continue the theory as “Gospel” even if other evidence contrary to those long held beliefs may surface.
Am I saying that this Doctor in this article is 100% correct and we should just scrap the current ideas concerning the causes of Heart Disease? No, but when you take into consideration that for 50 years now we have been preaching and believing that the High Animal Fat and High Cholesterol Diet is the major cause of Heart Disease in America, BUT the rates of Heart Disease, Stroke and Diabetes continue to rise, maybe it is time to look at some other ideas that might be contributing to and underlying this disease and how it is affecting Americans!
~ Geno ~
Friends and Fellow Citizens!
It has begun; The SHAMELESS ASSAULT on your 1st and 2nd amendment rights by the Federal Government and the Obama Administration!
I say SHAMELESS ASSAULT for a myriad of reasons but mostly because the good people of Newtown, Connecticut have not even buried all the victims of last Friday’s Massacre and the Politicians are using their suffering and pain for their political gain! These Politicians should all be bitch-slapped and kicked in the groin for being so callous and disrespectful!!!
I have been sitting on a “Slow-burn boil”, just kind of ‘simmering’ with anger, ever since last Friday.
Like all other caring and loving Human Beings, I was mortified that a young man could do this to innocent adults and helpless and defenseless little children. That is a given.
Unfortunately, I also know something about how the Anti-2nd Amendment Media Members work and that they would soon begin to spew their disdain for a FREE INDIVIDUAL’S Right of Protection from the Tyranny of Oppressive Governments and People’s “God-Given or Natural” (Not Government given, not Bureaucratically given, not Police given) right to protect oneself, their loved ones and their property. And it didn’t take long…
Soledad O’Brien made an ASS-HAT out of herself, showing her Anti-2nd Amendment Bias, trying to argue with John Lott, Author of “More Guns, Less Violence” which is backed by 15 years of research and indisputable evidence. Then, Piers Morgan goes on his “Idiot” campaign, railing against America (And he is British), our love of guns and then a day or two later, the Christian Bible. Then the President appoints Joe Biden, the Vice-President, to head up a Commission to study Gun Violence in our society and they are to report back to him within a month. Who wants to bet me that this Commission will not come back with a recommendation to further restrict the Rights of Americans to own guns and defend themselves! I will bet they do…
I have about 3500 or so friends now on Facebook. I know, sounds a bit crazy to say the least, and probably is, but I Manage the MoonShyn Band and my wife, Tracey Anne-Jolie’s, singing career and I want to reach out to as many people on Facebook as I can that might be potential fans and listeners for the Band, so I will befriend an albino squirrel on there if I think it will help the Band, or my wife, out in some way! Otherwise, I probably know about 500 of the people on my page and probably only regularly correspond to 200 of them… that’s all a guesstimation (new word I just created) of course. I digress!
I hate my computer! Damn cursor jumps all over the damn place, erases whole paragraphs and sentences… Argh!!!
Yes, the political name calling thingy I was trying to type about before…
Until recently, I never really had analyzed the concept of the swing voter or the undecided vote. Yes, I know what the terms mean and how they are used in context, etc. I guess I just never gave much thought to whom exactly these terms represent among the American People. Enter Facebook!
Facebook has allowed me an opportunity to discover who these swing voters very well might be by also allowing the “Bleeding Heart Liberal” Democrats and also the “Radical Right Wing Conservative” Republicans to post with an incessant fervor and tenacity their strident, and very frequently derogatory, Status Updates concerning their political leanings! And boy o’ boy does it sometimes get brutal! Which readily then presents to me who the Swing Voters are not!
Myself, I am a Libertarian. I believe that to mean that on Social Issues, I am fairly Liberal and believe people should do what they want with themselves and their property, etc. as long as they are not hurting or infringing upon other people or their rights and that the government should leave us alone as much as possible. Also, on Government Fiscal Issues, I believe the government should take as little of my or my fellow citizens money as is necessary and spend it very thriftily to provide the bare minimum services necessary for our government, and the Nation, to survive.
Now I know that is not a popular view to be held by me from my Liberal Friends, who seem to me to base their view of what government should be and do on their emotions rather than on a specific guiding principle, e.g. “There are starving people in America and we can’t have that so the Government should give them money for food.” But again, I digress to a degree!
These Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Republicans are not going to vote for anyone else except who is running for office from their party! That is just the way it is. Write it down, it is in the books!
It is the more Conservative Democrats, in the South and Midwest that would be blue-dog Democrats, and the more Liberal Republicans, e.g. people with views like John McCain and Rudy Giuliani, as well as the Moderate vote that the Candidates must pander to. Of these three groups I can see, and do see, the Conservative Democrats, also called Reagan Democrats, crossing over and voting Republican if they feel the Democratic Candidate is too Liberal. And I think the same could be true concerning the Liberal to Moderate Republicans, except that if they are so Liberal as to side with the Democrats, they have probably already switched parties anyway.
So we are left with the Moderate Vote! I believe these to be people who are concerned about Local, State and National Political Issues and who are good, patriotic Americans who really want what is right for our Country to happen to our Country! These are people who are more concerned though with raising kids, going to school, their local High School, College or NFL Football Team, work, vacation, church/mosque/synagogue related matters, etc. Yeah, they peek into the Political Maelstrom that rages on the periphery of their lives to check and see what is going on, who is in trouble for what, what’s up with the economy, foreign policy issues, etc. and then pull back out and go back into their own world to again try to manage those more pressing affairs.
Then I feel that a couple of weeks before the elections, these Moderates tune in and start to pay more attention to the individual candidates and some of the pressing issues of the day. Crime, terrorism, the economy, foreign affairs, etc. and start trying to see who they could vote for. Mostly, I believe that they don’t like the name-calling and mud-slinging of politics that much! I believe them to sometimes vote more based on how they feel about a Candidate than about what their stance is on issues; Does she look like a leader, talk like a leader, dress and carry herself like a leader? I think they look at an Incumbent Candidate and say, “Am I better off now after his first 4 years than I was at the beginning, or worse off? And they may vote solely based on that! I believe they sometimes vote for someone because they are just tired of seeing the other party in office for such a long time!
So these are the people the Candidates for Public Office are trying to impress and have them vote for them. People who aren’t too far left or too far right, who are interested in what goes on in the world, but try to fit it into their busy schedules as they can, who don’t care for the messy side of politics, who just want a candidate who will say what they mean and do what they say. They are just people who are trying to make it in life, raise their kids, do a good job at their job, go to school, give something back to their community all while making ends meet!
I said to my wife the other day concerning something that we saw or heard about on TV or from somewhere, “No good deed goes unpunished.” She didn’t understand what I was talking about, having not heard that phrase used before. I explained to her that sometimes it feels like the more good you try to do and the more you try to help others; the more you are taken advantage of or your good intentions and help are misconstrued by others in some convoluted way as a bad or a negative thing and they get offended.
This has happened to me many a time since moving to New Orleans six years ago. I came down here from Kentucky, where believe me the people are much nicer, and this has happened to me more times in six years here than in the 38 years that I lived up there. I’m beginning to believe there is just something in the drinking water, or the liquor, down here that just makes certain people here disagreeable, miserable and generally unhappy with themselves. So that when you try to be nice to them, give them a compliment, hold the door for them, smile at them, tell them they look nice today, offer them your seat, etc. they interpret your gesture of kindness through THEIR misery clouded lens of perception and assume that your actions must in some way not be wholly altruistic but deviant and malicious.
I know, I should just move somewhere else if I don’t like it here, everyone else her thinks it’s a grand place, lots of culture, good times, very eclectic, etc. And I probably should and probably will move away from here when I can as I have learned you can’t change people, especially ones who enjoy being miserable. But until then I will probably just shut the hell up, just nod my head and smile at them and move on in life. They won’t make me angry, mad or anywhere or anyway as miserable as they have chosen to be…