A New Era in 2012
The Presidential election is about to end. In my mind, the election of 2012 is an end of an era. It's the end of the era of total illusions and naivete among some individuals. The veil has been opened as to the hatred that the reactionaries has to the oppressed. Many deniers once denied their hatred. Now, we know, because of the recent evil statements made by GOP puppets. New polls show what the majority (not only a minority) of certain people in America feel about people of color. Therefore, it's time to work for our self interests and for our community interests (of the real portion of the human race. It's time to more respect and love our brothers and our sisters. Also, it's great for the government to help society. The government has helped society for thousands of years and that's a historical fact. On the other hand, the government can't do everything. It's also our responsibility to work in our own communities to help out our communities and to build up power plus programs to fight poverty, crime, and other complications in our land. So, both private and public efforts ought to be executed to solve problems. The government can't do it alone and we can't do it alone either. So, we also need assistance by working together. Life is individual and social, so it will take both individual and collective answers to solve problems. We understand fully about the two party system and the Left/Right paradigm (where political institutions and corporate entities control the majority of the political infrastructure of the two party system). There was a lot of euphoria made by the event of the election of our brother President Barack Obama back in the year of 2008. Some people have legitimate disagreements with the brother, while others have an irrational, ignorant, and sometimes bigoted (or racist) hatred toward the President too. Now, in our time some folks want to disrupt their hard earned rights under Social Security, Medicare, and other safety net programs. People understand that Mitt Romney is not only allied with Wall Street, but he agreed with Paul Ryan to partially voucherize Medicare, etc. Ryan once wanted a partial privatization of Social Security. The Romney/Ryan budget plan can possibly increase the deficit since their plans will cause a harsh burden on working people in the name of deficit reduction. The falsehood of tricked down economics have been known since the 1930's. The good news is that the vast majority of Americans oppose massive cuts to the social safety net. The President seems to not make his austerity cuts as the centerpiece of his campaign (he said the following: "...But I am absolutely confident that we can get what is the equivalent of the grand bargain that essentially I’ve been offering to the Republicans for a very long time, which is $2.50 worth of cuts for every dollar in [taxes], and work to reduce the costs of our health-care programs..."). On the other hand, the Romney campaign is overtly touting the austerity agenda as the centerpiece of his campaign. It would be better to end the war on terror, and demand tax increases on the super wealthy (plus a Wall Street tax). There should be investments in biomedical research and the ending of the surveillance, police state of spying plus suppression of human civil liberties in America. We live during a time where the super wealthy is making a record amount of profits. Roger Hickey, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future said that his group will soon release a letter (signed by 350 economists) that point out the dangers that austerity measures are (which could cause a new economic downturn).
It is obvious that drone attacks are blatantly immoral. Yet, people still supports it even if it has killed American citizens. Peter T. King is the Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security. I have seen King regularly on TV like in CNN especially spewing his neo-con, reactionary, and radical "law and order" propaganda. We are Change leader Luke Rudkowski asked King what does he think about drone attacks. King used ad hominem attacks against Luke and tried to justify these evil deeds of drone attacks. It takes a real extremist and a callous individual to try to justify an innocent 16 year old boy to be murdered by the West in a dramatic fashion. Many of these neo-cons like Peter King use arrogance, evasion, and historical revisionism as a means to attempt to justify their craven, sick ideologies about foreign policy. It is wrong to sponsor an Empire filled with greed, war, and death plainly speaking. It is clear that international and national laws are valuable and mean something in the world. U.S. treaties are still active in America. It is illegal for a nation to use military attacks against innocent populations when it is no threat to another nation's soil. Many of the military armed attacks in foreign countries are unlawful and unconstitutional wars of aggression. We have war law. It is immoral for attacks to come against nations for money, power, and without the adherence to constitutional law. The propaganda from the mainstream media tries to justify these crimes against humanity like torture, waterboarding, so-called anti-terror laws not just drone attacks. The corporate media's six major companies (that rule most of the news in the American nation) lie all of the time. So, the war on terror has bare the fruit of drone attacks, torture, unjust wars, detention, jailing peaceful dissidents, and other atrocious policies. We have the moral right to speak out against the war on terror. Peace can save millions of lives, help billions of human beings suffering poverty, and prevent more trillions of dollars from being looted from the people. The war mongering activities are still here. Populism is growing though. Some people want to stop the elite bankers from stealing of our wealth and create a full employment and infrastructure program in America. All Wall Street criminals should be prosecuted and punished for their crimes as well via due process. Rep. Peter King is just dead wrong. You need due process of law to handle issues with an American citizen including a trial. To have some sick kill list is disgraceful. The solution to our foreign policy issues is rather apparent. We don't need a war economy. We need a peace economy. We should end all unjust wars, promote international cooperation, stop the drone attacks, continue foreign programs that work (and reject those that don't or are immoral), focused on ending imperialism, and apologize for war crimes done by the Western elite. We should have an international, global program to handle poverty too. This program could be similar to a Marshall Plan for the world's poor as late heroes have advocated before. In the 2012 Presidential election, you have a centrist competing against a reactionary (who tries to act like a moderate). There are other Third Parties candidates as well, so we have the right to vote our consciences here. Psychologically, we have to reject that old myth of "rugged individualism" since cooperatives and cooperative living is better than social Darwinism. I do believe that Dr. Martin Luther King is right to say that the true wealth comes from the commonwealth. That is why Dr. King and even Malcolm X expressed the truth that poverty was very low in its percentage, education was very high, etc. in Scandinavian nations (since those nations followed the social democratic principles). Fundamentally, it's our responsibility (not only the government's responsibility) to fight for better housing, to fight for a greater standard of living, to fight against poverty, to advocate a promotion of justice in our legal system, and for us to reject the concept of oligarchy (whether it's found in Citizens United or otherwise), etc. It is right for us to strive to have social justice and economic justice for all peoples that live on the face of the Earth. That is reasonable, common sense, and it's apart of common morality. I have no issue with urban gardening and real cooperatives at all.
Australia is continuing forward in the 21st century. In the 1990's, Australia worked with the Western forces in the First Gulf War. Carmen Lawrence became the first premier of the Australian state by 1990. Labor won the 1990 federal election. In the early 1990's, the Strathfield Massacre came about. It happened in Sydney, Australia where a deranged shooter named Wade Frankum killed himself and 8 others in an attack. 6 others were wounded as well. This 1991 event increased the issue of gun control discussion in Australia. Regardless of what we feel about gun rights, we should do all we can to prevent such tragedies from occurring in any location of the world. Victims of the massacre included Roberta Armstrong, Robertson Kan Hock Voon, Patricia Rowe, Carole Dickinson, Joyce Nixon, Rachell Milburn and George Mavris. Prime Minister Bob Hawke of Australia was famous in the 1990's. The Liberal Prime Minister John Howard made uniform gun laws after the deaths of 35 people in the Port Arthur massacre. The Howard government dealt with issues of East Timor too. Australia sent military forces to handle the humanitarian and security crisis inside of East Timor from 1999-2000. This program was called International Force for East Timor or INTERFET. The program involved a multinational peacekeeping task force that was mandated by the U.N. to handle the crisis in East Timor. INTERFET was commanded by an Australian Major General Peter Cosgrove. The situation was that East Timor wanted independence from Indonesia and some anti-independence militia factions caused violence there. Later, East Timor rightfully became an independent state by May 20, 2002. In 2000, Sydney Australia hosted the 27th Olympic Games. I remember those games like yesterday. It was the time just before I was a senior in high school. Of course, the courageous Kathy Freeman practipated in track and field including other Australian althetes. In the year of 2001 Australia celebrates its centenary of Federation.. Howard formed the Goods and Services Tax in the year 2000 as well. After 9/11, Australia worked with the West to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. Australian governmental leaders support the evil war on terror. In 2002, about 88 Australians died in the 2002 Bali bombings. In 2008, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd lead a bipartisan Parliamentary apology to the Stolen Generation. Quentin Bryce became the first female Governor General of Australia. Julia Gillard in 2010 became the first female Prime Minister of Australia, which is very historical indeed. Now, the Labor government of Prime Minister Julia Gillard wants more spending cuts as a means to have a fiscal surplus. This include cuts to funds to parents of new children, education, and training. Swan also announced that large companies will soon have to pay company tax on a monthly rather than quarterly basis, a measure that boosts government revenues through interest payments. They assume that the surplus will be just 1.1 billion dollars. The corporate media in Australia still wants more evil cuts to social programs. For the most part, Julia Gillard is more centrist on issues (except on a few). Gillard is wrong support to support some militarism, austerity measures, and controversial actions on basic democratic rights. Gillard is in error to support the agenda of the criminal war on terror. I will give Julia Gillard positive on one issue though. Julia Gillard legitimately defended herself against sexist attacks from conservative party opposition members in Australia. Even Tony Abbott went too far in criticizing Gillard and Prime Minister Julia Gillard responded to him in a strong, courageous fashion as a means to defend her dignity.
Wall Street has sent their manifesto in the realm of 80 top CEOs. The manifesto wants President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to slash social spending. They are obsessed with the deficit at the expense of human life. These corporations claim that they want to change the federal budget, but for centuries, we have lived with economic debt. Some of the richest individuals in America still aren't satisfied. So, the Wall Street corporate elitists want to slash Medicare, Medicaid, and Society Security. This is their agenda against the working class since they want payback from the reforms made by the New Deal including the Great Society. The CEOs' letter was written by CEOs of giant U.S. banks, financial firms, and industrial corporations. The letter wants austerity, because they cry and whine about the debt. Therefore, they want policies to worsen the lives of the poor without increased taxes on the super wealthy at all. They ignore how they received trillions of dollars via the financial bailout or the trillions of dollars gave to imperialist war (including the global defense of their economic interests). They weren't lectured about personal responsilibility, but yearned for governmental help. They claim that they want to fix America's debt when they should concentrate on ways to strengthen programs that helped the poor and millions of working people including retirees. The Wall Street elites want to cut Medicare for the young and they they want to slash Social Security when Social Security is a highly successful program. The CEO blatantly want to cut taxes when we have record low taxation. We have have the lowest amount of taxes in history for about five decades. At least the note calls for raising revenues. Yet, as Felix Salmon of Reuters comments, "...You can’t have lower rates and higher revenues—not without eviscerating pretty much all of the tax deductions which much of the middle class has learned to rely upon. Mortgage-interest tax relief, the charitable deduction, even the deduction for state and local taxes: pretty much all of them would have to go.” So, Salmon is right to assume that this letter is a slick way that Wall Street is promoting the same agenda of cut their taxes, possibly raise taxes on everybody else, and cut some of the benefits form real social programs that some of them don't rely upon (like Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security). The letter represents the agenda of the recommendations from the 2010 bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Commission. Simpson Bowles wants 4 trillion in budget saving to be achieved almost at the expense of the working population. That is why that commission wishes for new taxes on consumption and employee health care benefits and cuts to federal old age programs. They want large tax cuts for the rich and corporations. The CEO manifesto was organized by FIX the debt campaign. This campaign has been inspired by Republican Alan Simpson and Democrat Erskine Bowles (he chaired the 2010 deficit panel, which was appointed by President Barack Obama). So, the elite wants the federal deficit to be cut at the expense of human life. They claim that we will drop out of the economic cliff if we do nothing by next year. The signers of this reactionary manifesto include people like: Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase; Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs; Michael Corbat, CEO of Citibank; John Stumpf, CEO of Wells Fargo; and Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America. These are the same people that fund both political parties. Dimon, Blankfein, and Moynihan signed the open letter. Other corporate interests allied with the letter includes these corporation CEOs from Alcoa, AT&T, Boeing, Caterpillar, Delta Airlines, Dow Chemical, GE, Merck, Microsoft, Time Warner, UPS, Verizon, etc. Financiers, speculators and asset managers are also on the list, including Leon Black of Apollo Global Management, Larry Fink of BlackRock (with $3.3 trillion in assets under management, the world’s largest such firm), Martin L. Flanagan of Invesco and Thomas M. Joyce of Knight Capital Group. Many of the signatories made millions of dollars per year including millions of dollars in compensation. Glenn A. Britt of Time Warner got 17 million dollars and Dimon of JP Morgan Chase earned 42 million dollars. There are billionaires who signed this sick Deficit Manifesto like Steve Ballmer of Microsoft and Bill Ackman of Pershing Square Capital Management. Some of these same corporate interests are responsible for the financial disaster of 2008. The financial crisis resulted in countless jobs and communities being destroyed. Now, these same bankers want to force the government to accept their policies. Both the Obama and Romney campaigns are sympathetic to the demands made by the CEOs. Both want to reduce the deficit via austerity. The difference is that one man claims that his approach is balanced and the other person wants overt changes as soon as possible.
Immanuel Kant was one of the most controversial philosophers in human history. Regardless of what you think of his fundamental views, he was a voice to be reckoned with. He was a German philosopher from Kaliningrad, Russia today (or from Konigsberg, Prussia back then). He was influential in Enlightenment thinking by the end of the 18th century. The Enligthenment movement stirred away from spirituality and sought humanist solutions to complex moral including philosophical issues. "Critique of Pure Reason" from 1781 (or Kritik der reinen Vernuft) tried to unite reason with experience to move beyond what he took to be failures of traditional philosophy and metaphysics. He tried to get into the medium position of not embracing what he thought was futile theories (or finding reason outside of experience), but not going into what he deemed were the extreme skepticism of thinkers like Berkeley and especially Hume. Enlightenment scholars wanted to use reason instead of divine intervention as a means to formulate solutions. He wrote on many subjects like religion, ethics, law, aesthetics, astronomy, and history. So, Immanuel Kant wanted to resolve the debates about empirical and rationalist approaches to reality. Rationalism wants to use knowledge or reason (like the studying of science, mathematics, etc.) in figuring out concepts and notions of reality. Empiricalism wants to use the human senses, human observation, or the scientific method to prove all evidence. Kant's views influenced philosophers like Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, and Schopenhauer. Kant was right to deduce that the Milky Way was a large disk of stars, which he theorized was formed from a much large spinning cloud of gas. He wanted people to think autonomously without the dictates of external authority. Kant believed that people have the right to believe in God for the sake of embracing morality, but there is no way of knowing if there is a God or an afterlife (because of the absence of irrefutable evidence). Kant still respected the idea of God in the sense of humans believing in moral principles. Kant criticized mainstream Christianity for, in his mind, its superstition, external ritual, and hierarchical church order. So, it is obvious that Immanuel Kant wasn't a supporter of pro-traditional Christianity. He invented critical philosophy, that is of the notion of being able to discover and systematically explore possible inherent limits to our ability to know through philosophical reasoning. Kant wrote about Islam as well. Politically, Immanuel Kant wanted peace with constitutional republics. He wanted a federal of republic states as a means to improve the world. He rejected democracy, because in his mind, any form of a direct democracy would cause the majority of people to threaten individual liberty. You can disagree with this assumption, but that was his assumption. Georg Hegel later developed the Kantian method of reasoning by "antinomies" as the basis for his dialectical method upon which the structure of Marxism was built. Immanuel Kant was one of the greatest philosophers of Western civilization.