Concert For Valor

concert for valor

This post has been revised to better reflect my intent.

Due to the incredible expense of music performances I haven’t taken my kids to many concerts, especially no big name performances. A sad loss considering the importance of music to culture, and their own culture they enjoy by listening to current pop standards. Unless supported by communities only the wealthy can enjoy well known arts and artists. When my daughter requested that we go to the free Concert for Valor the opportunity was welcome. It was to be held on the DC mall at 7 PM for hundreds of thousands. Estimates were as many as 800 thousand would show up. The concert billed artists they new like Jesse J, Rihanna, Eminem, Carrie Underwood, and Bruce Springsteen, and others they didn’t know like Metallica, the Black Keys, and the Zac Brown band. The Concert for Valor was billed to support veterans and their difficult issues after returning home.

I am not much of a war patriot. For me the Vietnam war was a mistake both in implementation and in dividing this country. I watched the first week of the Iraq war with great interest, horrified at Donald Rumsfeld, all too aware at the tenuousness of the presence of weapons of mass destruction, impressed at how quickly one can roll through a country and capture it, and more aware of the difficulties of maintaining a country once occupied. History is filled with far more stories of failed conquests than successful ones.

Yet, I have considered some wars to be necessary as defense and certainly WWI and WWII could not be avoided. When younger my line in the sand was are they coming after us, are they invading our country? My philosophy was like personal defense. Do not respond to aggression aggressively until all other means have been covered completely and then use the least amount of force necessary while pursuing other diplomatic and peaceful means with greater intensity. I might even let them land on soil if there were any way to stop the war some way other then knee-jerk defensive reaction. Sadly, historically, it has been too obvious that war is good for some of the population while dragging the rest of it down. Now with cyber and virtual war that line dissolves.

Six million have served since 9/11. When they have returned home they have not been supported. Many are homeless. They do not receive the medical, psychological, and economic aid they need and deserve. The two-faced hypocrisy of a military-industrial complex that is quick to send people away and slow to help them when they return is infuriating. You don’t have to support a war to know you must treat veterans well and help reintegrate them into society. More infuriating when war hawks have ignored the real plight of veterans while demanding a patriotic lip service of respect. Yeah, respect them with words while recruiting them and then ignore their real material needs when they need them. Hawks then say just get over those nightmares, missing or shattered body parts, aggressive reactions–toughen up, get a grip. That modern wars now do shock wave injury make many look whole on the outside while thoroughly damaged internally. Too often their families can’t help and they end up alone and on the street. Often the story of vets is the war was pointless. Their take is they think of war culture not as fighting the ideology of an enemy but the value of the relationships they made with fellow soldiers while they were there. The reasons for the war disappear and they most mourn the loss of their closest friends.

Supporting veterans also means prevention. Don’t go to war! I am sympathetic with the egregious inhumane offenses in other countries and have often said a rape, dismemberment, or death cry in Cairo sounds as plaintive as one in New York. I understood why Hitch wanted to change the world by force as it often seems the only way. A global, interconnected, no-person-is-an-island reality, forces us to consider deeply our international involvements, with tremendous doubts and concerns. At what point do we allow other countries to have autonomy even when in full violent anarchy? Would we want other countries to deem us wrong beyond redemption and attack?

A few of the songs were antiwar songs and the crowd boo’d and social media comments spoke of inappropriateness. Can we not take care of vet’s without talking about removing the cause? Our society is so incredibly concerned now with safety and health yet harm from war seems to be an inevitable curse that we ignore. Eminem and Rihanna, both misogynists or enablers, are poetic yet emblematic of a form of this reaction as it expresses itself in tolerating or promoting abuse. My younger daughter liked Rihanna’s “We Found Love in a Hopeless Place” (not done at concert) as a means of dealing with difficulty but did not get it was about staying in an abusive relationship. Who can say when another should leave? The problem is too many stay without change of the situation. “The Monster” likewise which is a concern that fame and fortune change one for the worse; how does one preserve their sanity amidst such ego grooming. The many women around us sang along with “Diamonds” with such fervor I had to wonder at the deep need of finding self worth, otherwise absent. The song is almost a drone that you are as beautiful as the diamonds. These songs do serve as therapy and celebration for many people who are seeking self-worth. Such songs serve as a means to encourage their own well being. Such songs do transfer to general issues of transcending one’s issues rather than maintaining emotional ghettos.

The reason these songs along with others were important to much of the audience was entertainment. Current pop hits attract more followers. The audience was young. If you want them to come you don’t play Bing Crosby tunes.

Really though a lesson we can’t seem to learn is when we support human rights in other countries the country often turns against us. Just as the police knocking down the door in a domestic abuse case often have both sides turn against them in anger. The only thing worse than fighting is to have another interfere, as if they have all of the answers. While some would have every abusive relationship dissolve, isn’t the real issue to stop the abuse and if possible to save the relationship? To shun and balkanize every abusive relationship is more punitive than restorative.

I found it ironic, as Jack Black said, that soldiers, often country music fans, listen to Metallica more than any other group, often to energize themselves before duty. How many white kids have used Metal, Thrash, and Punk, angry white-boy music, for consolation and energy. We need to pay attention to this meaning and expression or miss the conversation.

The comments after the show were quite negative about Eminem cursing but no one in the press noted or reacted to George Lopez cursing. Yet, the vernacular of military soldiers has always been rather expressive. The duplicity of people who curse in normal conversation but do not reveal it otherwise is not polite or respectful but deceitful without redemption. Should we insist that only one vernacular be allowed?

The performance of John Fogerty’s “Fortunate One” by Springsteen, Grohl, and the Zac Brown band was outstanding in its energy and content. Springsteen was boo’d yet he has done more to support their causes than most artists. Certainly one can support vets without accepting the causes that made them vets.

I brought Tom Holland’s “Rubicon” to read during the long day of waiting–being two back from the front meant staying put and not crowd watching or wandering. It is about the last of the Roman Empire, a society that worshipped war for competition, civic pride, personal gain, authoritarianism, and traditionalism. Just too many similarities with, granted, a lot less death now, but we’re on the edge of global annihilation. The cold war has returned so don’t get too comfortable. Again and again societies fall prey to greed and competitive status at the expense of the masses. The masses have never been important except as a means to the success of others. It sounds horrible until you realize the masses often have no clue or even desire to know and understand politics. We pretend everyone wants a democracy but frankly most would rather live their close circle of life and not be bothered with politics, which often takes too much work to understand. Representative government was created to help but then the people turn and want some direct say even though they have lost the ability to be relevant.

Caesar finished off the Republic after Sulla did most of the work but it’s clear that any form of government that tries to implement a democratic, egalitarian, or even representative government is fighting constant decay. The many spoken comments at the Concert for Valor were about freedom but freedom is fleeting, and freedom to many means the freedom to fleece with the belief that people will rise to fight oppression. It’s easy to understand why a Jesus would be fabricated to somehow contain the wanton greed and bloodlust of the last century of  the Roman Empire, an experiment of seven centuries that couldn’t broaden or maintain its ideals. An old joke about about being passive and loving runs “the meek may inherit the Earth but not until the rest of us are finished with it.”

I am cynical about voting too though I have reconsidered my own position to the positive. Holland quotes Cicero early in “Rubicon,”

In the Republic “there was nothing more fickle than the masses, nothing more impenetrable than the people’s wishes, nothing more likely to baffle expectation than the entire system of voting.”

Has anything changed? Well,  yes, there does seem to be less bloodshed and reason does remain so let’s continue to work to that. Reason really is the only cure but it’s not an easy one.

Nevertheless, it was an amazing concert. A great review of six musical genres on one stage. From rock to rap with some thrash and country in between. A rare mixture in musical venues.

You can find more typical reviews at (in no particular order)  Daily News, Entertainment Wise, BizPac, Washington Post, Time, another WaPo, NYT, ABC, and Washington CBS.

image source (errors)

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

James Foley Beheaded, Journalists Tease Death in War

James FoleyJournalists and medical staff have special access in war zones and should not receive harm. Many conventions have been developed to protect them. One of the lessons in war, odd though it may be, is the least harm you do, the more compassion you show the less hatred towards the oppressors. Since war is usually a divided issue, even within the country committing war, showing some sort of humanity indicates reluctance to just kill everyone period. It’s an odd dichotomy to be sure as some have said war is war. Yet, most are repugnant at shooting unarmed civilians, women, children, medical staff, and POWs. And journalists.

The Kurds have well utilized women as soldiers and Hamas has used civilian buildings and people to shield military personnel and weapons. Israel has used excessive force to sway the genocide sworn to them. In Japan, in WW II, from 100 to 200 thousand people died from nuclear bombs, and any other living thing that happened to be in the way, proving the US to also be ready to do what it takes with desperate and fearful abandon. Japan, fearing land evasion had begun filling its sea coastal caves with small boats carrying bombs, using citizens as suicide pilots.

Terrorists transgress humanity, long before the situation seems desperate, in the hopes they will shock people to compliance or scare others to stay away.

Hemingway wrote how grand it was to report on the Spanish war but since then the plethora of journalists risking their lives for a story has escalated dramatically. In 2001 Geraldo Rivera startled journalists by carrying a rifle in a war zone where 8 reporters had already died. His claim that he was in a dangerous place sounds ridiculous as how does carrying weapons make it less dangerous? Especially since modern war is not a place where you see your shooter and can shoot back like some face-to-face western. The best choice is to stay hidden or not be there, More radically it clouds the issue of whether a reporter is a combatant or not.

That journalists are not trained to fight in war makes it more difficult to understand why they would carry weapons or even be in war zones. When they are in danger, the military must decide whether to defend them and risk their own men or allow them the freedom to commit what can essentially be called passive suicide. It may seem reasonable that journalists should be allowed to make their own choices about engagement but they have a special privilege. The military does not allow sincere and willing citizens to catch a plane and join in combat or be bystanders to combat scenes.

The American desire for sensationalistic news and the rising competitiveness of young journalists to make a name in a difficult field encourages doing more and more dangerous activities. The old reporter who waits until the bullets lesson misses the story and photo that make the evening news. New reporters laugh at the old journalists still alive that wait at hotels having drinks until it’s safe to go out. It’s not quite like that but it is true that journalists are willing to take more risks than ever before.

65 journalists have died in Syria in 2012. 151 journalists died in Iraq. From 1992 to 2011 880 US journalists have died in war. Was the gripping photo worth it? Was receiving some news a little more early essential for the public’s assessment of what’s going on?

54 journalist died in World War II. A war that caused the death of between 50 and 80 million people, 20 to 25 million soldiers. It is an impossible comparison as no war since has begun to have that kind of death toll. By proportion the number is small.

The Islamic State has certainly capitalized on the capture and beheading of James Foley as yet another horror. They certainly must feel more important as the media blazes with anger and indignation.

The importance of getting the most immediate photos and story of war is balanced against a drama that elevates the status of terrorists to greater terror. Terrorists who were always willing to kill anything in their way.

Has it been worth it? Has the public benefited from the 1,000 deaths of journalists during the last 20 years? Do you feel better informed, more certain of the horrors of war, and more likely to make good decisions about any given war? For me, I would rather see them alive, returning  home, and continuing to support their families and society.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

Ferguson, a Different Day

ferguson highway patrolIt took a crazy week of photo’s, tweets, and ground-up response to get people to realize the situation, and create response to it. The result was the county police were replaced by the highway patrol (typically better trained); the military and police weapons were left in their lockers; and an ad hoc person-of-color police chief walked with the protestors.

Witnesses described how the entire attitude changed from rage, fear, and loathing to a block-party atmosphere where people were taking selflies with cops and the police looked relaxed and even participatory in their fulfillment to allow people to protest peacefully.

With at least three most-likely unjustified killings of people in a week this was a welcome change. Those of us who followed along on social media could finally sleep. Was my rest justified? I am not sure. Will this create change or be lost?

Racism is so systemic it’s hard to acknowledge baby steps as useful. I have to be grateful for what does happen to the positive? I have to replace my cynicism that it was peaceful because citizens were near ecstatic to be free from teargas and tanks coming their way they’d just about do anything? I have to think that community organization, peacemaking skills, and activities of respect and care were genuine, not tactical and temporary?

While libertarians were pathetically silent for a week, when they did finally raise their pundit heads they too spoke against militarization and excessive government interference in protests. Finally, except for those too racist or authoritarian  to care, there was a collective demand for change. The president spoke in whispers but nevertheless expressed his position towards legal, constitutional, and humane ways of dealing with protesting people. People who were justifiably angry at the police recalcitrance to be transparent about their activities, much less show concern to the reaction.

I have written how modern Euro-American slavery and racism were different from the past. In short. Until the advent of colonialism slavery was of conquered people, most often women and children, and not based on color of the skin. The commonality of a Greek or Persian enslaving another person of the same color was more easy to remediate; it still took a coupled thousand of years. No doubt this racism of skin color was very much encouraged (caused?) by the patriarchal, authoritarian, and xenophobic positions of Abrahamic religions. This makes it very difficult to eliminate racism.

But I am getting distracted. What can we learn from this.

Racism is alive and well in America. If you don’t get this… hmm … I am not posting statistics and recounts of extreme and everyday examples. Let Ferguson be the example for now.

Protesting is a positive tradition in America. From the individualist Thoreau’s Conscientious Civil Disobedience, to the union Homestead Steel Strike, to activist Rosa Parks our history is filled with protesting on all levels. Indeed, the very fabric of this began with stealing and tossing tea into the ocean, (an act the Tea party has stolen and misused.)

For those who allow oppressive responses because of looting, remember our country was founded on acts of looting. From John Smith capturing Native Americans to make them provide them food to modern corporations stealing labor value.

Taxation without representation is wrong. The incredible disparity between those who pay taxes and appropriate representation is astounding. What I mean is every political office should have equal representation of taxpayers.

Civil protests are not war. The ease with which humans can turn on each other is astounding. It has been tempting to say this has been for economics but invasions have often occurred for ego, greed, and blind aggression. A civil protest is not an invasion. Protestors are your family, your friends, and your citizens, who seek change, not destruction. We are all equal brothers and sisters in our democracy.

Tear gas, illegal in war, and militarization of the police is not only counterproductive and inhumane, it is illegal–war can only be declared by the president or the congress.

A republic representative represents its constituents. Representatives must be mindful of helping their members understand constitutionality, law, and due process (a triple redundancy.) Local governments follow suit with administration reflecting the demographics of their jurisdiction.

US constitutional democracy protects the rights and participation of the people. Martin Luther King reflected that every refrigerator should display the Bill of Rights. This is the glorious balance against tyranny of the majority and tyranny of the minority. These rights and philosophies insist on equality of representation regardless. The constitution is boring in its detail of voting process to ensure equality. Adjustment has been needed as racism and other inequities have slipped through its cracks. An example of this is gerrymandering where voting districts do not represent the people within.

In Ferguson, there were 53 police, three of whom were people of color. The mayor and police chief were white. Ferguson is 70% people of color, 50% women.

Both Senators are white. One of them is a woman. Missouri is 83% white and 51% female. However, since minority rights are protected and to be represented, even on the state level, concern and even deference must be made to nonwhites. It would seem obvious the goal of  50% of politicians over all levels should be women and one of five nonwhite.

Political education, including gender and minority, is essential. An uninformed public cannot vote effectively. The government cannot demand that all senators and congressmen be 50% women or 12% POC, to reflect demographics, education must inculcate, yes I mean inculcate, the foundational thinking of our governance. It would seem obvious but since it is not there must be education and if necessary adjustments to balance. Equal Opportunity tried to do this, and the Equal Rights Amendment failed for all the wrong reasons.

Yes, equal divisions may not wish to run for office. This is not a wall but an indication of the ongoing need to structure politics and education to ensure representation.

These are political basics. Drilling down to political and human ethics there are several social and psychological processes we can learn from Ferguson.

Use no more police force than necessary. The overwhelming display of power and force by the Ferguson police created a pushback that could not possibly be equal except by theft and violence. Thank goodness more protesters were not armed, or chose to leave them at home. Raising hands was a brilliant display of cool headedness to demonstrate the desire for peaceful protest. If the police had responded likewise Ferguson might have been diffused.

Part of force is psychological. Had the police immediately suspended the offending officer, revealed his name, or admitted they might have done something wrong, or displayed efforts to remediation, the people might have trusted what justice could be done in a still racist society.

Understanding and countering the biases and prejudices in people helps clarify positions and create agreement.

Peacemaking skills are essential to police training and conflict resolution.

At the end of the week what prevented more deaths in Ferguson was the protestors stuck with peacefulness and the police began to use peacemaking skills. That along with a lot of outside pissed people demanding change.

As anger and retaliation escalates the appropriate response is to yield, find common ground, and demonstrate respect and care. The goal always is to lower levels of anger to create paths of communication and empathy both ways, towards change.

While weaponry may be essential it is the absolute last response. A person seeing a weapon aimed at them may see they have nothing left to lose to gain freedom and respond the only way they can, creating harm for themselves and others. Far better to not trap people and provide an exit.

This respect includes the trust that one person is not superior to another. By showing this, people will return respect. Was saving the face of a police officer worth the response? The officer involved expressed regret early on but this was hidden. In restorative justice, versus the too typical punitive justice, immediate communication and action to concern, care, and compassion gains valuable time and immediate response to concerns.

Understanding that long felt prejudices, whether you understand them or not, create hostility and what may seem inappropriate responses, shows willingness to listen and negotiate. Enfranchising people and empowering discourse creates a sense of safety that calms everyone down and allows all to participate.

Understanding that citizens are not trying to destroy their country lends tolerance of protesting and conscientious civil disobedience. The need for change and its expression is not always pleasant. Escalating that to a fear for public safety shutdowns all communication but the expressions of anger and violent demands for change.

Peacemaking skills acknowledge there will be disagreements, strong disagreements, and even, potentially, civil war. Peacemaking skills do not deny the importance of the disagreement and its passion but seek to create an environment of trust and care where both parties can communicate effectively towards a mutual goal or process.

This does not mean whitewashing or shoving issues under the table which can result in even greater pushback. It means providing some immediate satisfaction while working to long term solutions. It means allowing people to express themselves, taking the time to listen.

A common example of this, consider you have a car accident and kill someone. The one side feels you have killed a family member. You may have done it by accident or negligence. The common way is to not communicate and let the police and courts decide. A better way would be to immediately show remorse, empathy, support, and help participate in remediation long before the court dates where rage and defensiveness have festered, often for months, creating an entrenched view that will last a lifetime. Maybe help to pay for the funeral or other expenses. Stay away if that’s requested.

Since this process is difficult without intervention, the police, firemen, and rescue staff must be trained in interpersonal communication and effective negotiation. Community leaders can act as liaisons and facilitators.

That this failed in Ferguson is evidenced by the overwhelming response by many military and policemen that what went down was the worst possible response.

For myself, I am glad more people didn’t die. I encourage all of you to continue to fight racism on all levels, including, at least, everyday actions like eye contact, courtesy, and criticism of racist talk and actions.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

The Grand, New, American Police State

riot_policeIn case you wondered how the police got militarized, they didn’t ask the people if they wanted it. They took Homeland Security and other terrorist-war funds, and bipartisan fear, as permission to arm themselves for war at home. Vets have commented the police are now better armed than they were in Iraq or Afghanistan. Now, instead of selling our weapons to other allies or hopeful allies, they just send them home. Wonder what will happen when an open-carry advocate becomes president and decides to wear a weapon to press club?

Do you feel safe? Safe from whom? This is a protestor not a terrorist!

War-Zone-Ferguson

 

This should help.

police militarization

They used to show up at your door like the left. Now they check for liquor licenses like the right.

PoliceMilitarization

I feel really safe now.

law-enforcement-gone-wild

 

You think we would have figured it out from the Occupy protest. The police did not prosecute most protestors but put them on probation with automatic jail time if they protested again. It made the police look better but ensured protestors would not chance protesting again.

lapd-occupy

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

The Three Myths: PostSexism, PostRacism & PostPoverty

fergusonThe desire to consider humanity has progressed feeds a blindness to issues remaining. Worse, this blindness makes people halt what progress there has been to a stasis of status quo complacency. If we are going to continue progress to allow freedom, equality, and food for all, we’re going to have to admit improvement can still be made; not spend our time talking about how worse it used to be to justify current ills.

Postsexism is the idea that things are pretty much better for both genders; we have eliminated the big issues with gender. Now that women can vote, get a credit card without a husband’s signature, and maybe even run for president things seem so much better. Now that men can be Mr Mommy, work fewer hours away from home, and share combat duty with women, things seem less male oriented.

The problem is this is like baking a cake halfway, maybe a quarter, and saying it’s done. In blind obliviousness we see the liquid mix and switch to a spoon as if it were the natural way to eat cake. Women having children really does break up a career flow and selfjustifies companies seeking unattached men, women, whether married or not. Men really do want to work excessively and competitively in order to make more money and gain fame. Women competing for this are still held accountable for their body and gender issues that could be overcome to the benefit of all.

Women need to toughen their skin and be ready for anything just as men used to in those rough and tumble times of the Old West when even a farmer was supposed to carry a rifle in the fields, and women shouldn’t open the door to a stranger. We lock our cars so they won’t get stolen, why not make women dress less provocatively to prevent assault, or keep them out of view like the jewel in the safe? Men are naturally aggressive to deal with the horrors of war, and this must be allowed during peace or they lose the easy ability to bloodlust; why make pacifists when there will be war?

This genderism runs so deep that some feminists, young and old, spend horrendous amounts of time discussing whether a trangender person is appropriating the female body, and most stupidly which bathroom should they use. We are so progressive we can’t even get over the viewing of another’s body.

It all sounds ridiculous when phrased this way but when you look at the current statistics of gender inequality, inherent male-centeredness, and the constant lack of equal numbers, this parody of current equality and destruction of male rule is hollow. We really have a long way to go.  That we don’t beat women in public or empower men to beat women in public, to show they have authority, is no excuse to say we’ve made it, and dismiss those who insist there must be more.

With a POC president we must have entered postracism? There are so many more POC in the country their mere presence makes it seem like they have power. Yet, a POC president doesn’t mean a huge group of people don’t wish him dead or call him mongrel with sincerity; a president who has received more death threats than any other; who has had to supress press attendance to avoid constant atopical attack.

The recent murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson shows how well the police have learned from race riots of the past. Trained by the military, weaponized by the military, and loaded with the fear of terrorism, police now are para commandos, dropping in from nowhere and treating everyone like an embedded terrorist. Terrorists have no rights and are not entitled to due process. The fear of terrorists causes us to suspect everyone as a mole or possible insurgent. We cannot even let our kids play in the streets anymore. Mothers who leave kids in a park are arrested for negligence. If this isn’t a hidden and tolerated police state what is?

With only 3 of 53 police being black in Ferguson you would hope Americans would remember the American mantra of “no taxation without representation” as it applies to societal involvement. Yeah, Ferguson with 70% POC and a white mayor and police chief.

POC get it the worst. Postcivil war sentimentality and angst justifies a blind anger at both the North and POC. The so called flooding of border crossings lends the aura of being attacked by another welfare-ready group of dependents. Never mind that immigrants tend to be more productive than natives; never mind that we have often opened and closed the borders in a whimsical tumult of desire and discard for decades.

How easy to blame women and POC for not leaning in, not having grit, and guilty of behavioral entitlement. Just look, the performance isn’t there. If this poor black person can make it so can everyone. The “can do” motivation of optimist bias helps and hinders. It encourages those who want a push but it blames those who can’t benefit from mind warp. A white man or woman with grit who leans in is going to have a far better chance of success because of the situation and not because he or she has better motivation. Emphasizing the opposite anchors the debate in politics of gumption where the individual is at fault for lack of success.

My daughter is watching “Ella Enchanted” now. Supposedly a good movie with social commentary on the idea of women and obedience that can be extrapolated to all of us, if we are imaginative. Yet, the evil one who places a curse on her is a POC woman, the only POC in the movie. These subtle (not so subtle) messages reinforce racism in deep ways that few can express as source when confronted.

Postpoverty advocates state we are so wealthy now no one dies from starvation. Poor kids wear $300 sneakers and bright bling. Almost every home has a TV–with its constant messaging of buy more. Welfare means they won’t starve. That no one sees this as the opposite shows how we have hidden the ugly realities from view. Vagrancy laws, loitering laws, and constant harassment for minor public infringements ensure that we don’t see how people really live. People look at children in India remarking how clever they are to mine junk heaps and repurpose crap as if it were something to emulate here, not realizing it is totally illegal and is enforced here.

We don’t want to see the poor on the street. It leads to more crime and makes us look bad. If we allowed open begging, sleeping, and residence on the streets we too would look more honest. Getting the ugly out of sight makes it so much nicer for those who have it. Using the rubric of safety makes it common sense, sufficient and necessary.

The largest disparity of income in history seems to create a sense of awe and desire rather than a deep distaste for unfairness. The poor blames themselves for not making it. They want the dream of wishing to win the capitalist lottery rather than dealing with their near permanent entrenchment and disability to change it. Tearing down the wealthy feels like eliminating the road to wealth. The poor fight back on the trivial front of saying they should have the freedom to work for $5 an hour if they chose, as if it were some basic freedom that would allow them to rise out of poverty.

That the rich think they are entitled to all funds capitalized off the backs of the many shows a far deeper entitlement than the so called lackadaisical attitude of those who really can’t get more without assistance, and soon get used to it because there are no opportunities on the horizon. There must be more.

Jim Newman, www.frontiersofreason.com

Can Atheist Corp’s Exclude Religious Offenses?

supreme-court-corporate-interestCourts have used two measures in the past to deal with religious exclusions. Sincerity and tradition. Atheists would need to show proof of sincerity and a history of action to that end. The concern has always been (is) that people can make claims of sincerity without real history to gain exclusions. Eg, just because I join a pothead church online doesn’t mean I get a tax break or I can smoke pot as excluded sacrament.

What corporations are not in place to do is create world-view position statements that consolidate directors, but what about stockholders, and prove the company has a religious position. The separation of stockholders as economically interested only, continues the separation of owners to liability which was the original reason for corp’s.

Once the company can have assertive rather than protective positions the company has effectively become a union, lobbying for the best wishes of owners.

Wealth capitalists have effectively castrated or eliminated the vast majority of labor unions and have shown great progress in making a corporation not just a person but a union man, where union is of owners. Just another name for empire.

It used to be assumed that corp’s thought they had sufficient might as to not need unions but rather conquest through trusts. In fear that wealth is at end, corp’s now hoard all capital such as to endure times they can’t compete for better profit margins.

When product sales fail, corp’s gain power by coalescing across product boundaries to gain support for growing antipathy to system by people.

Corp’s become balkanized simply as protection against rabble even as rabble loses power. The feedback is concern that as rabble retreats they eventually revolt ending game. Push to powerlessness and legal disenfranchisement but tension is how far to push.

As soon as a corp has identity and brand name then survival becomes its prime directive as the corp as individual doesn’t ever wish to lose autonomy. Or one penny of its wealth with excuse that it is shareholder’s.

The push to preserve profit margin will always foster survival mode mentality in corp’s, sooner or later.

In the old world atheists have had to show sincerity and tradition. Now, who knows? Well, but for the rabid Catholicism of the Roberts Five.

The current need to show western civilization as arising because of Abraham means their sense of history, tradition and sincerity, will be just that.

The intersection of this new world with the old world will become the proverbial clusterfuck.

With the women of the court clucking loudly in brilliant dissent and stating that it is a gender issue, echoing support to Elliot Rodger as logical misogynist zealot, in everyday sexism made SCOTUS, there is more proof that numbers count even when so called cooler heads prevail.

Jim Newman, bright and well www.frontiersofreason.com