Thursday, June 30, 2011

Who Owns the American Dream?



"The Seed of Revolution is Repression."
What is that? Can you hear it? I bet you can't touch it. You better figure it out though because it is slowly trying to snuff you out. There is an energy source pulsating in this world that is getting stronger. It is heavy and weighing and suffocating. If you focus on it too long, it can cause depression, suffering, apathy, hatred, denial, hostility, greed, violence, separation, desperation, hopelessness and death. What is that energy called? It is malignant negative energy and it is the under current flowing downward from the top into the very soul of every man, woman and child in this country. Ever hear of the trickle down effect? This is the only thing trickling and it is making no one happy and prosperous... well almost no one.
I use to see myself as the person who was more prone to noticing roadkill rather than enjoying the wildlife. My cup was half empty rather than half full. At least that was my M.O. for many things in my life. However, I've been pondering the idea of changing that thinking and becoming more focused on the positive instead of the negative. What if I change my attitude in regards to the state of the nation? Is this even possible? This would be a huge task considering the plethora of information I have been spoon fed by the media. This oppressive climate can do nothing but make life difficult, not only in the physical but the emotional and spiritual realms as well.
I became interested in politics a few years ago during the Clinton administration. After eight years of Bush, I was ready for a change. The night Obama won I felt hope and joy and a sense of optimism I hadn’t experienced before. I was jumping up and down as the states turned blue. I feared an Ace would be pulled from the deck at the last moment that would allow the corporate corrupt to win...but they didn't succeed. The greedy beast was and still is hungrily devouring a large variety of politicians from both sides of the spectrum, so as to dominate and control our country. On that night however, not even the hounds of hell could have ruined my sense of excitement. I turned off the television when it was all over, content that the world would be a better place. I stayed in my naive little bubble for sometime, needing to recoup and heal from my output of anger and frustration over the years with the injustice of it all. As time went on, my curiosity got the better of me and I once again flipped on my political news to while away the time driving or working; my hopes and dreams that I had precariously been pinning to the new government change were crushed. It hadn't occurred to me how much wreckage there was and that opposition was still in place.
“A Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste”
“...precarious balancing act of trying to satisfy the draconian demands of the EU while dealing with the increasing unrest and economic misery of his people.” (Greece prime minister)



(All quotes related to Greece come from...http://huffingtonpost.com/arianna-huffington)

Sound familiar? My positive outlook had been tainted and crushed by the realization that politics have always been corrupt...and the likelihood of that changing is unrealistic. I still have faith in Obama and I would like to hope that he entered the presidency with the desire to bring together the two parties for the betterment of the people who voted him in, not just to be 'one of the good ol' boys'. For anyone that knows me, I am not a Pollyanna but more the pessimist...so it was a stretch for me to go out on a limb and trust things would change. The ‘machine’ is too great and so too was my naivety on some things political. The corrupt thread is long and tangled through our history and can be linked to the negative energy enveloping us. This negative information is the goal of the media of today.
“(Insert any government)...is corrupt, and the problems exist at all levels. It's a place where playing by the rules came to be seen as for suckers only, creating a system of clientelism, in which attaching yourself to a powerful individual or political machine for income was seen as the smart thing to do.”
This quote is from the Greece prime minister Papandreou; he is, of course, talking about Greece. I inserted the 'any government' for the sake of saving time instead of listing them all. Since I live here, I would like to put the United States at the top of the list. We are corrupt with an outer layer of superiority and cover up as we slowly dismantle every good thing we have going for us. The sentiment above, I feel, is the crux of all the problems of today. We have turned into, or maybe it has always been, about power and money. The powerful are just looking at the here and now, not at future generations (except theirs) and the detrimental affect their greed is having on the fate of the world. Corporate owned government's goal is to control as much as possible with no regard to the pain and suffering caused others, or the long term effects it will have on our people and our planet. I am talking about the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the faltering education for our youth, our obsession with coal use, the prospect of not caring for our elderly, the poisoning of our earth, water, and food with chemicals and cross breeding of species, and the complete denial of climate change...all wrapped in a pretty bow called traditionalism and progress. What is so frustrating is all this is done under the guise of helping the people, when it is pirated capitalism. I don’t understand how some are convinced their intentions are wholesome. I feel the few with any heart left that dare enter the political arena are naive about who and what they will be up against. Beat them or join them, but there will be no compromising with them. Corporate run America is not out to compromise for the good of the people and the country and it is time to stop playing in their sandbox.
"We want the system to change and we want all traditional politicians out. We want young people suffering in this system who still have dreams to take over."
This is the ideal wish for many and many are fighting for this. This is a youth in Greece talking, but it might as well be the voice of the people here. For me, this seems too much to ask; positively impossible according to our news media of today. I have been conditioned to expect the worst. I hear the fear, anger and hopelessness in the news media everyday. I am drawn to fantasizing about my youth, when there were no computers, no more than five channels on television and the negative stories in the news day in and day out were usually confined to my local area. The media was still peppered with stories of hope...but those do not bring in top ratings today. Media was not bought and sold for top dollar. We didn’t have to resort to the ‘citizen’s media’ on the internet where all is disclosed but most will never see it.
"Corruption is everywhere -- and even when we change our laws you cannot eradicate corruption overnight." Papandreou
This quote for me is crucial...to persevere in the face of badly stacked odds, to know that time takes time and to know I cannot predict the future; which is good being somewhat of a pessimist. I mean after all, Hitler was brought down. I keep score on a daily basis by what I hear in the media and we are losing in a big way. Corruption is everywhere and yet we don’t hear that word attached to the people who truly deserve it...lists and lists of corporations. Corporations, according to law, are considered people. The quote “the power of the people” has a whole new meaning in the world today. As long as corporations control the strings of the politicians and allow laws that make them virtually untouchable, how are we to change without a revolution? Where is the revolution when our basic needs of survival are being attacked? The corporate machine is no dummy. It is a living, breathing calculated attack set on a course to rule and conquer, by suffering the people in all directions. They are voting into law the ability to stifle the voter. They kill laws that allow us to see their greed and out right ignore laws in place that protect the people. They are not even trying to hide the insidiousness of their actions and they can do all of this without even a slap on the wrist. It is a cake walk for them and we have a younger generation where the majority has no understanding of the fatality of the situation at hand. They have been exposed for so long to corruption that they have become desensitized to it, right along with the violence they see on t.v. Their world is filled with angst over finding employment, keeping that employment and trying to figure out how they are going to pay for school.
I say, use the power of the positive to fight for the survival of the many and to not allow the advancement of the few. The powerfully corrupt have cornered the market on fear and hatred, let us truly speak for what we stand for. We the people, want what is best for all living things, including our earth. Let us promote that idea. Stop the playground fight; no more name calling. Rise above the hatred and fear and show them we know what is best for this world. Make them look ridiculous in their petty ways and immature actions. Continue to outline what their plan is, but counter it with the positive of what a healthy, for the people, plan accomplishes. Truth, faith and power of and by the people is to be the mantra...over and over and over again. Become a broken record for the best most wonderful outcome the world has ever seen. Tout the strengths of our constituents that bring about positive change and who refuse to be bought by the corporate machine, instead of condemning them at the first opportunity they show their humanness. We the people can be a positive influence. Let this crisis of good and evil be the starting block for a new era of Positive Energy.
“... yes, there's a lot of anger and resentment in the square -- most of it very justified --but there's also an incredible amount of hopeand, considering how hard things are for millions of people in Greece, an incredible lack of cynicism.This isn't just an "anti" protest -- there's a lot of "pro" in it, as well.”
There is an incredible amount of hope...what a wonderful phrase. An incrediblelack of cynicism...fabulous. Don’t you feel better already just hearing those words? I know I do. Do we hear that in our country? I suppose we do, but not enough. What would it hurt to take the issues of today and work toward a positive solution that is told and retold in our media. Take our power into a healthy, truthful, 'for the people' arena, that doesn't make us feel the need to shower and vomit upon exiting. Let us have a soapbox as consistent and nonconforming as theirs. Let us out yell them from the roof tops. We can match every hateful thing they say and do with an equal yet powerfully positive word or deed.
"What I like about this (Cairo's Tahrir) square is that people discuss things, they express themselves withoutfear," said 18-year-old student Stavroula Koloverou.
Isn't that what we want back; our freedom without fear? Isn’t that what we see happening the world over? Revolutions are springing up everywhere. There is a yin for their yang. Just look at Wisconsin for example and now New York. We need to define what it is we are fighting for, not what bought and sold politicians are doing. If we define over and over again what our desire is, it can start to shed light on the vast difference between what we want and who we are as opposed to what corporate owned America wants. It is essential that we call out corporate owned politicians and the corporations that own them and make our high standards and expectations known. We can increase the divide between who wants what is best for the people and who just wants more money and power. Let us live in our power and hope, not in our fear and hopelessness...let us walk our own path, instead of trying to repave theirs.
We have had great leaders in our country and I still have hope that the one now will cut through the corporate crap and play hardball. Why not list his successes as much as we list his failures. We hear plenty of all his faults and the faults of all his constituents. Is it too much to ask that we back the one we have instead of tempting the fate of the vote for one that may just be another pawn in the pockets of the corporate machine; one set on destroying forever what we have worked for and stood for. I for one need to hang my hope on the power of goodness, faith and truth. I need to hear more from the good, the faithful and the truth sayers. Let us yell it from the highest roof tops.
A few of Barak Obama's Successes:
*Since coming into office on January 21, 2009, President Barack Obama has:
  • Signed an Executive Order on government contracting to fight waste and abuse:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/economy_in_government_contracting
  • Signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, restoring basic protections against pay discrimination for women and other workers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtKAKlurRAY
  • Renewed dialogue with NATO and other allies and partners on strategic issues:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/09/04/04/Afghanistan-and-NATO
  • Announced a plan to responsibly end the war in Iraq:
  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/28/washington/28troops.html
  • Provided funding to families of fallen soldiers have expenses covered to be on hand when the body arrives at Dover AFB: http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/18/pentagon-will-help-families
  • Ended media blackout on war casualties and the return of fallen soldiers to Dover AFB:
  • http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7986203.stm
  • Signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act: http://www.recovery.gov/About/Pages/The_Act.aspx
  • Launched Recovery.gov to track spending from the Recovery Act, an unprecedented step to provide transparency and accountability through technology: http://www.recovery.gov/Pages/home.aspx
  • Announced the "Making Home Affordable" home refinancing plan: http://www.makinghomeaffordable.gov
  • Launched a $15 billion plan to boost lending to small businesses:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Remarks-by-the-President-to-small-business-owners
  • Invested heavily in education both as a way to provide jobs now and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/education
  • Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) with more than $1.4 billion to improve services to America’s Veterans:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/veterans
  • Signed an Executive Order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs:
  • http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/02/AR2009070201410.html
  • Limited lobbyist's access to the White House:
  • http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/03/20/obama-outlines-lobbying-restrictions
  • Issued an Presidential Memorandum to restore scientific integrity in government decision-making:
  • http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Memorandum-for-the-Heads-of-Executive-Departments-and-Agencies-3-9-09
  • Extended discounted COBRA health coverage for the nation's unemployed from 9 months to 15 months. Workers laid off between September 1, 2008 and February 28, 2010 qualify:
  • http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/how-to-get-extended-cobra-health-coverage-subsidies
  • Extended unemployment benefits for 2,000,000 unemployed Americans by 20 weeks. At the time the bill was signed 7,000 unemployed Americans were losing their unemployment benefits each day:
  • http://money.cnn.com/2009/11/05/news/economy/Extending_unemployment_benefits/index.htm
  • Eliminated federal funding for abstinence-only education which was significantly increased during the Bush Administration to $176 million annually:
  • http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jul/20/bush-teen-pregnancy-cdc-report
  • Rescinded the Global Gag Rule:
  • http://www.guttmacher.org/media/inthenews/2009/01/23/index.html
  • Appointed the most diverse Cabinet in history including more women appointees than any other incoming president:
  • http://www.diversityinc.com/content/1757/article/6319
  • Committed to no permanent military bases in Iraq through the Defense Authorization Act. For your reference:
  • http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/132/no-permanent-bases-in-iraq
  • Provided tax credits to first-time home buyers through the Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 to revitalize the U.S. housing market:
  • http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com
  • Provided the Department of Veterans Affairs the largest spending increase in 30 years to improve medical facilities and national cemeteries, and to assist states in acquiring or constructing state nursing homes and extended care facilities:
  • http://www1.va.gov/opa/pressrel/pressrelease.cfm?id=1671
  • Strengthened the Endangered Species Act:
  • http://www.stopextinction.org/media/releases/89-release-president-obama-restores-endangered-species-protections.html
  • Empowered states that legalized medical marijuana to regulate themselves. Fourteen states have allowed some use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Maryland, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington:
  • http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/19/new-medical-marijuana-pol_n_325426.html
  • Enhanced earth mapping:
  • http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/345/enhance-earth-mapping
  • Increased funding for national parks and forests in 2010, and plans to do it again for FY 2011:
  • http://www.defenders.org/newsroom/press_releases_folder/2010/02_01_2010_obamas_budget_includes_key_funding_for_land_and_water.php
  • Changed failing war strategy in Afghanistan:
  • http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/12/01/obama.afghanistan/index.html
  • Allocated special funding to the Labor Department to provide green job training to veterans:
  • http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/466/create-a-green-vet-initiative-to-promote-environ
  • Allocated funding to states and the Department of Homeland Security to save thousands of police or firefighter jobs from being cut during the recession:
  • http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/promise/188/increase-funding-for-local-emergency-planning
  • Created and sustained 2.1 million jobs and stimulated the economy 3.5% [as of December 31, 2009] through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act:
  • http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN2311303720100223
___________________________________________
Information above and more can be found at Brown Man Thinking Hard: http://simplifythepositive.blogspot.com/2010/03/100-accomplishments-of-president-barack.html
______________________________________________________
So to see the positive of this Negative Energy at work here, is to see the revolution and the waking up of America and democracy around the world. I am not blind to the positive forces at work and as part of my change to be more pollyanna than not, I will look to place myself in the middle of hope. I need to start on a level I will not feel hopeless in. Let us not waste this potential revolutionary crisis in our country. I have no secret corporate overthrow plan in the works. I truly wish I had. My power is this...I can read about it, write about it, talk about it and vote on it. I can have faith and hope that good will trump evil, generosity will trump greed and that truth will trump lies. I will remember the power of the people in the face of the all powerful enemy and know that we can win. What can you do?
Presidential Quotes Worthy of Repeating:
John F. Kennedy
"The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word "crisis". One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger — but recognize the opportunity."
"If by a 'Liberal' they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people — their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties — someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a 'Liberal,' then I'm proud to say I'm a 'Liberal.'"
"When we got into office, the thing that surprised me the most was that things were as bad as we'd been saying they were."
"Freedom is not merely a word or an abstract theory, but the most effective instrument for advancing the welfare of man."-
"My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
"We know what works: Freedom works. We know what's right: Freedom is right. We know how to secure a more just and prosperous life for man on Earth: through free markets, free speech, free elections, and the exercise of free will unhampered by the state."
"An honorable defeat is better than a dishonorable victory." –
"It's the quality of the ordinary, the straight, the square, that accounts for the great stability and success of our nation.”
"America now is stumbling through the darkness of hatred and divisiveness. Our values, our principles, and our determination to succeed as a free and democratic people will give us a torch to light the way. And we will survive and become the stronger — not only because of a patriotism that stands for love of country, but a patriotism that stands for love of people."
"We have come tardily to the tremendous task of cleaning up our environment."
"In a political sense, there is one problem that currently underlies all of the others. That problem is making Government sufficiently responsive to the people. If we don't make government responsive to the people, we don't make it believable. And we must make government believable if we are to have a functioning democracy."
"I believe in friendly compromise. I said over in the Senate hearings that truth is the glue that holds government together. Compromise is the oil that makes governments go."
"Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be. But she goes not abroad, in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."
"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers."
“The name of American, which belongs to you, in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of Patriotism.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
"Should any political party attempt to abolish social security, unemployment insurance, and eliminate labor laws and farm programs, you would not hear of that party again in our political history."
"A people that values its privileges above its principles soon loses both."
"We demand that big business give the people a square deal; in return we must insist that when any one engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right he shall himself be given a square deal; and the first, and most elementary, kind of square deal is to give him in advance full information as to just what he can, and what he cannot, legally and properly do."
"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children."
"We, and all others who believe in freedom as deeply as we do, would rather die on our feet than live on our knees.”
"Today we are faced with the preeminent fact that, if civilization is to survive, we must cultivate the science of human relationships - the ability of all peoples, of all kinds, to live together, in the same world, at peace”
Theodore Roosevelt
"Character, in the long run, is the decisive factor in the life of an individual and of nations alike."
"Friends, I will disown and repudiate any man of my party who attacks with such foul slander and abuse any opponent of any other party."
Famous People’s Quotes Worthy of Repeating
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."
"We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools."
Walt Disney
"I thank God and America for the right to live and raise my family under the flag of tolerance, democracy and freedom."
"Crowded classrooms and half-day sessions are a tragic waste of our greatest national resource — the minds of our children."
Bob Dylan
"All the money you made will never buy back your soul."
"There's no black and white, left and right to me anymore; there's only up and down and down is very close to the ground. And I'm trying to go up without thinking about anything trivial such as politics."
Amelia Earhart
"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed."
Hillary Clinton
"The American character is both idealistic and realistic: why can't our government reflect both?"
"Freedom is never granted. It is earned by each generation"
Gloria Steinem
"Law and justice are not always the same. When they aren't, destroying the law may be the first step toward changing it.
I think that most people from one end of the political spectrum to the other, have way more in common than is disclosed, especially by the media. We most likely are somewhere in the middle just wanting to be able to live in comfort and raise their children without fear. We want what is best for ourselves and our families and that includes our freedoms and the health of our planet. All these quotes are not from one political party, but a melting pot of ideals and ideas. Let us not be too hasty to judge the individual, just know what you believe in your heart to be the best for you. Corporations are not people, no matter what the law says.
"I have never been able to conceive how any rational being could propose happiness to himself from the exercise of power over others." - Thomas Jefferson

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