Tuesday, March 29, 2011

flying Persians... and broken justice...

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“No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.”

- Robert A. Heinlein
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... and on that note (drumroll please)... I give you...

The UFO identified!


We've built a flying saucer, boasts Iran

an aircraft created by scientists in Iran is, they claim, the world’s first flying saucer.

Well heck... we know the Germans built the first flying disc.

Anyway... I find myself in a bit of a funk. As I witness the ongoing tragedy in Japan I really wonder - "why?" Why are we so hell bent on creating industral waste that will be around for a thousand generations? What is this rush to electrify the world?

What I fear is that as we of the "modern world" continue our cultural downhill slide all this electrical generation will not win us a more perfect world. I mean what is the end goal? Are we looking seven generations ahead as many indigenous cultures suggest we should?

Or are we not looking past the greedy little noses on our faces? Has self gratification become the accepted global norm? Do we all desire that latest celphone/camera/video/music player/TV/microwave that much that we'll sell out the last forest? We're willing to sacrifice clean air and pristine waters for cheap plastic googaws? Really? Really...? And people accuse pot heads of "escaping reality!" Hah...


How sad.

I was a kid at a time when even in the rapidly growing LA basin there was still lots of open land for kids to dink around in. For me there were still enough bugs and lizards and frogs and salamanders and cool hidden spots to satisfy my need for natural contact and for learning about my earth.

I can look back and see that everything that turned my path as I grew to be who I am now, all those little nudges that drew my attention to something... it was always nature that could hook me intellectually and spiritually.

There is an impoverishment of spirit that I see that scares the crap out of me. 18 men and boy gang rape an 11 year old girl in Cleveland, Texas (near Houston) and people are defending the rapists. Even a Republican Florida legislator - a woman - is not defending the girl but taking her to task instead, for dressing and looking "older than her age."

Now in my mind this... assault... by a group of men and boys on an eleven year old girl... I don't care if she took off al her clothes and begged for sex, she's eleven yeas old. And the event is recorded, that's how they got caught. This makes the Kitty Genovese case look downright civilized.

I mean come on America, what the hell? If the gang rape is recorded can any of the males involved be acquitted? And then... the young man in Arizona, Jared Loughner, is there a doubt he shot those people? I understand we have a system of criminal justice, but I also understand it is broken. Just to make that point consider that when I was an energetic kid I loved being in and from the USA. Heck, I grew up watching any military show on TV. Victory At Sea, Combat, Hogan's Heroes... it didn't matter, if it was about the war we watched it. My dad was a WWII combat vet and proud of it but by no means boastful. Dad was a quiet guy... but I begin to digress. Our criminal justice system...

... is broken. My pointing to old TV war shows is that part of the whole patriotic thing was that we were really known as the Land of the Free and we did feel proud and we boasted about it. But we weren't talking smack, we just were on a roll after WWII. My dad's generation settled down and built homes, tracts and tracts of homes and raised families, lots and lots of families... we had a ready and willing work force and Leave it to Beaver and The Nelsons... and segregation and and and... we had beaten Hitler and blasted the Japanese into submission with the use of atomic weapons. We built schools and parks and could afford to put gas in our cars. And we were the Sweet Land of Liberty.

But now... not so much. Now we are the Land of the Most Incarcerated. Now we have elected leaders demonizing educators, our children's teachers. Class sizes grow and kids too often have their real educational needs ignored and they end up getting shuffled thru the system and graduating (if that) with an 8th - 10th grade reading level. Which is all so weird because the single most prominent common denominator shared by the inmates in an all of our jails, prisons and penitentiaries is that they are illiterate. Education is the key to keeping people out of jail. And education should be one of the keys for prisoners to get out of jail.

We need our teachers and we need to teach our children, all of our children, now. We need to find our way at least as far back as to where "the Land of the Free" had a ring of truth to it. We fool ourselves if we think USA #1! is better sloganeering than the tried and true, best selling the Land of the Free. We need to prosecute the men and women on Wall Street who stole trillions of our dollars.

Jared Loughner is guilty. He didn't craft a crime, no CSI team is needed to determine that... he opened fire in broad daylight and killed and wounded innocent people. Those men and boys in Texas that raped that little girl, they were recorded committing their heinous crimes. Such obvious criminality does not deserve a chance to get off the hook. And lord help us, may they never have children.

meanwhile our government and those elected to lead it are squandering our last vestiges of credibility. This country isn't about corporations and business (even tho' I do believe Lewis and Clark can now be seen as the first scouts for 7-11 locations). This land is, as the song goes, my land, this land is your land. Us, we, the people share a common heritage forged in blood and guaranteed to us in our Bill of Rights.

Every day we grow less free, we are losing the middle class as the economic disparity between the wealthy and the rest of us grows ever wider. Our pockets are being picked clean... and shocking to me - Disneyland turned out to be a fantasy after all. The promises of a marvelous future full of flying cars and fully automated homes for us all hasn't quite panned out as predicted in TomorrowLand.

Yeah we have some pretty fancy gadgets but those are just that, fancy gadgets that bring us no closer to ending the cruelties of war and starvation, no closer to educating the masses of under educated, they won't warm a home in the winter and they won't bring us a better understanding of the tenuous situation in which we now find ourselves.

Shun those that divide and stand against those seeking to profit from the rhetoric of division. Support those who strive for inclusion and seek cooperation. Follow the voices of reason, look for consensus and try to see through the charade of slick political and corporate charlatans. Get private money out of our elections and the horde of lobbyists out of Washington DC.

So ever onward dear friends, towards protecting freedom and individual liberty and a dismantling of the drug war-prison-military-industrial complex...
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“One good schoolmaster is of more use than a hundred priests”

- Thomas Paine

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