Tag Archives: United States

Why racism exists in America and how to fix it

Today, I am going to endeavor to explain both why racism exists in American and how to fix it. Before we begin, I’d like start off by saying that I am racist. I am not an ignorant racist, I am an intelligent one. I understand why I am racist, and I wish I was not. Unfortunately, feelings are a fickle thing that we don’t seem to have much control over ourselves that are much more heavily influenced by the environment in which we are in regardless of our thoughts on the matters. That’s not a popular thing to say in this day and age, is it? I’d say the opposite is rather true indeed. But, I digress. Let us begin.

Though as people may want to believe it, racism against the black man and woman does not exist because the color of their skin, nor their racial features. It is not about appearance except in so that it is human nature to form an opinion of a person upon seeing them based on their appearance alone. Everyone does this and it is not inherently racist. For instance, seeing a morbidly obese person it is human nature to assume that person is lazy and gluttonous. It only becomes racist when the opinions formed are indeed racist ones.

First, we must ask ourselves what are the racist stereotypes of the black man?: Less intelligent, violent, and more prone to mob mentality. Let us start in that order. One does not believe the black man is less intelligent because it is so. Popular figures like Neil deGrasse Tyson and Barack Obama are proof of that much – though admittedly I’m not a big fan of Mr. Tyson’s as I was rather fond of Pluto. The reason the black people are seen as less intelligent is because of ebonics. I don’t know who decided that it was “cool” to speak like a fool, but they are to blame for this perceived notion. If you speak like a fool then you will, undoubtedly, be seen as a fool. It is not cool, and it is a result of your own making – that is to say those that perpetuate the culture of ebonics, are quite responsible for this. Rap culture is quite possibly responsible for this in part, I suspect, along with very poor clothing choices.

Violence. Racists believe the black man to be more violent than his other colored brethren, but I offer that this is not true. It is certainly the sentiment, but there is little truth behind it. The truth of it is what people are racist against is the ghetto culture. If you are walking in a ghetto and a group of young black men wearing bandannas and hoodies walk up to you then you are not likely to expect that they are just good young men going about their day. No, most people will fear being mugged or beaten for some ill conceived slight. This is the ghetto culture and it is not an imaginary one. In the ghettos of America this is the reality, and it is not true simply for the young black man. A group of young latino men dressed the same in the same sort of area are just as intimidating. Or asian men or white men. The men approaching you, regardless of race, may very well be there to mug you, pick a fight with you, or even kill you. I suspect even those that live in the ghettos themselves have fears of such occurrences, perhaps them especially as they have seen its harsh reality. Then again, they could just be good young men going about their days. But this is the stereotype created by ghetto culture. It is not a culture of choice. The solution to the ghetto culture is to come together as Americans and affect change that will provide better standards of living, safer neighborhoods, and better education for America’s ghettos. What I refer to are not angry protests which soon divulge into race riots and looting. I am talking about real political change. Get involved in the political system, at every level, and change the country for the better from within. Don’t depend on anyone else to do it for you. In my experience, they will not. You must.

The truth about mob mentality is not an easy one and though it is perceived to be greater for the black people I am unsure of the truth in that. Perhaps the black man and woman are more perceptible to mob mentality, perhaps they are not. What I do know is that the interpretation of such is caused by circumstances of happenstance. Things that I have previously discussed. The people that most feel that they are oppressed are most often those that rise up and demand change and the more oppressed and less educated they are the more prone they are to violence. Yes, it is not a stereotype derived from race but by circumstance. It just so happens that there is much injustice in this country for the black peoples, and they see that perhaps more so than the rest of us as they live it. Police are affected by such racisms and do indeed target young black men far more than young white men. It is a perpetuation triggered by environment and culture. But do not misunderstand me: it is very real, and it must change. To eliminate this image of proneness to violent mob mentality we must do away with the mobs. Yes indeed, as I said before: We must affect real political change in this country. Protests will not do this for us. We must do this ourselves. Nobody is going to do it for us. It is the mindset that someone else will do what is right in our place that has gotten our country into more trouble than you can shake a stick at.

I will however now dispel one perceived slight against the black people and that is white washing of the media and entertainment industries. The truth is that the black people represent no more than 12% of the US population. Since the year 2000 10% of Oscar nominations have gone to black actors. Those numbers are close enough to be within a margin of error. It is a population reality. The black people cannot expect to receive a greater percentage of accolades in any respective field than their own population in this country. To expect such only encourages a culture of entitlement. The reason that the media industry targets white consumers is because they are the vast majority of the population and from a business stand point it makes sense to target the largest block of consumers. There is no vast conspiracy, it’s just good business. Changing this should not occur nor be striven for, as it should naturally scale with the nation’s population. Don’t get too excited and look for problems where they do not truly exist.

Of course racism in America is not just against the black peoples. There exists also a racism against the Mexican people (and by association, the greater latino people). This is largely created by two features: a poor economy, and language/cultural barriers. People are most upset because “the Mexicans are stealing our jobs!” What people are really upset about is that the country’s economy is in such a sad state. Unfortunately, the Mexican people are being scapegoated (especially by particular Republican politicians) to take the blame for it, rather than their own political party of which is to blame. Language barriers are of course also a thing and I’ll talk about them in greater detail below but the language barrier is less of an issue for much of the US’s latino population than some of its other populations. Nobody likes people talking in other languages around them that they can’t understand though. It makes them nervous and paranoid. It’s just the idea that they’re saying something that we don’t understand and the fear of the unknown. We become paranoid, immediately starting to think that perhaps it’s about us. This is just human nature. The only real solution for the language barrier is better integration and more fluent English. It’s largely perpetuated by the population of US immigrants that do not speak English, the large Spanish speaking population that immigrated north – some of which illegally. I certainly do not believe that they should be allowed to immigrate illegally, though the process should be a bit less ridiculous. A decade shouldn’t pass before someone’s legal paperwork is even looked at to be considered.

The language barrier is indeed the biggest reason why people are racist against the Indian people – and I do mean Indians from India and not our Native American brethren. This racism has been perpetuated because of the strong Indian accent that native Indian people seem to have when speaking English and the frustration it causes native speakers in trying to understand what they’re saying and having great difficulty in doing so. Paying for a college class and having an Indian professor in which you cannot understand is an excellent example of this. People don’t want to sound racist and say they do not want an Indian professor but at the same time it’s not really fair to pay for a class where you can’t understand your professor. But this has largely been caused by the outsourcing of American jobs to India – tech support and various other telemarketing in particular. When you’re having technical trouble with something chances are you’re already frustrated and the last thing you want to hear on the other end of the line is an Indian that you can barely understand, that can barely understand you, and that probably has no clue what they’re even talking about. Because let’s be honest, most tech support people don’t. They just have written out instructions for procedures to follow in case of various problems, and they’re forced to go through trouble shooting steps in order. This is why your internet service provider infuriatingly makes you turn your router off for 30 seconds to a minute before plugging it in again even though you swear upon your mother’s grave that you already did this before you even called them – who doesn’t?

But if we’re going to talk about racism in America we have to talk about Islamophobia. This is a racism perpetuated by culture. It has been created because the islamic people have become associated with terrorists as a result of our politican’s rhetoric and their response to 9/11 and subsequent terrorist attacks, and the wars that followed. There are Muslim extremist terrorists, and most of the terrorism the world faces today is their doing. Yes, even the terrorism that the muslim people themselves face. Unfortunately, it is a racism by association. People need to understand that all muslims are not evil people. The extremist terrorists are a very small segment of their population. Unfortunately, their cultural changes since around the 1970’s which have made them puritanical in nature – that is to say extreme religious fundamentalism, has not helped. Forcing women to wear burkas? If you look at Iraq in the 70’s the women there dressed like Western women. And now? Their culture has gone back to before even the medieval ages, not only in fashion but also in mindset and education. If you want to eliminate the terrorists the solution isn’t to “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.” The solution isn’t to overthrow dictators – especially without a plan for what to do afterwords once we do overthrow them. The solution is to help them improve their education, their economy, and the safety in their neighborhoods. Things that decent human beings need to thrive and to develop in a way that provides the necessary tools for survival and success in modern society. Don’t attack them. Help them.

The truth is, I’m not really racist against people. I’m racist against cultures. If you were to put a young black man or woman with a good education that can speak intelligently and dresses appropriately in any position anywhere across America I could find no cause for racism nor complaint. I could not because it is not the color of one’s skin nor one’s racial features that define racism. It is culture. Some is perpetuated by ourselves, and some by circumstance. But these are all things that we can change, if we want to, if we care to. And we should.

Am I really a racist? I don’t know. I do judge people, but not based on the color of their skin. I judge people by what they wear, how they talk, and by their actions.

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Military Spending, Universal Healthcare, and Higher Education

I haven’t posted any blogs for awhile but I feel a rant coming on… So, let’s do this!

Part 1: Military Spending

Military spending in the United States is absolutely insane and out of control. Military spending in the US was at $581 Billion in 2014.
2014-military-expenditures

That’s higher than the rest of the top 10 combined. Their combined total comes up to $566.3 billion compared to $581 billion from the US. Russia, considered one of the world’s super powers right up there with the US spends a meager 12% of what the US spends on military. This is, quite literally, insane. The most insane part of all is that it’s sacred. Nobody wants to touch it. Nobody even wants to talk about it. It’s not on the table. The only time it is on the table is increasing it even further!

2014-military-expenditures-pie

Insane. Absolutely insane.

Part 2: Universal Healthcare

Why the hell don’t we have universal healthcare? The overwhelming majority of Americans – 75 percent according to a 2005 Harris Poll – want what people in other wealthy countries have: the peace of mind of universal health insurance.

There is actually a bill that would have given us just that and I’ve mentioned it before, it was called H.R.676. It was heavily blocked in the House by health care industry lobbyists spending massive amounts of cash to buy off opposition. It wasn’t free of course, it was a single-payer health care system similar to our neighbor Canada.

Even those with insurance, when seeking medical treatment in the US can end up with bills in thousands of dollars, if not tens of thousands or more. The sad reality is, due to healthcare costs many will likely wait to seek treatment until problems become severe, which doesn’t help them and certainly doesn’t help our nation’s health burden. Medical debt contributes to 46.2% of all personal bankruptcies, and 62.1% of filers for bankruptcies claim high medical expenses. That was in 2001 and 2007 – since then health care costs have increased.

Did you know that the US pays TWICE as much for health care, yet is terribly behind other wealthy nations which offer the security of universal healthcare?

So where’s the money going? 15 cents of every private US health care dollar goes simply to shuffling paperwork. The administrative costs for our patched-together system of HMO’s, insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers, hospitals, and government programs are nearly double those for single-payer Canada. It’s not because Americans are inherently less efficient than Canadians—our publicly funded Medicare system spends under five cents per budget dollar on administrative overhead. And the Veterans Administration, which functions like Britain’s socialized medical system, spends less per patient but consistently outranks private providers in patient satisfaction and quality of care.

But in the private sector, profits and excessive CEO pay are added to the paperwork and bureaucracy. The U.S. pharmaceutical industry averages a 17 percent profit margin, against three percent for all other businesses. In the health care industry, million-dollar CEO pay packages are the rule, with some executives pulling down more than $30 million a year in salary and amassing billion-dollar stock option packages.

Don’t let the concept of not-for-profit healthcare fool you though. We would actually save a great deal of money. As a nation, it would be something to the tune of $100 billion a year. It would also bring us up to par with all other wealthy nations around the world such as our neighbors in Canada, as well as the whole of Europe, and even many of the South East Asian countries such as Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

The worst part of it all? Politicians are convinced that the United States has “the best healthcare system in the world. Not only do we not have the best healthcare system in the world, we’re not the second, third, or even in the top five. Hell, we’re not even in the top 36. That’s right, according to the World Health Organization we rank #37:

1. France
2. Italy
3. San Marino
4. Andorra
5. Malta
6. Singapore
7. Spain
8. Oman
9. Austria
10. Japan
11. Norway
12. Portugal
13. Monaco
14. Greece
15. Iceland
16. Luxembourg
17. Netherlands
18. United  Kingdom
19. Ireland
20. Switzerland
21. Belgium
22. Colombia
23. Sweden
24. Cyprus
25. Germany
26. Saudi Arabia
27. United Arab Emirates
28. Israel
29. Morocco
30. Canada
31. Finland
32. Australia
33. Chile
34. Denmark
35. Dominica
36. Costa Rica
37. United States of America

But, we did beat Slovenia, so go us… I guess? If you’re a fan of Jon Stewart give this little segment a watch, it covers this very subject.

Part 3: Higher Education

Many countries offer college education for completely free with no tuition with the student only needing to cover their own living expenses. Some even pay the student to attend college. I could rant about how horrible our higher education system is in the US but I’ll just embed a video instead – it has sort of a conspiracy theory vibe to it but it presents a lot of otherwise useful information:

With that, I’ll just leave you with the sad truth that if we had lower military expenditures that we could not only completely remove student loan debt, we could offer higher education completely free to everyone – and we could do a hell o fa lot more than that.

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Political Proposals

Here are a few political proposals…

Allow National Referendums

The national initiative is a proposal to amend the United States Constitution to allow for ballot initiatives at the federal level. In other words, for the people to directly vote on Federal laws like is currently possible at the state level (in some states). In doing so, the American people could bypass the bureaucracy and bickering of Washington.

Eliminate Lobbying & Corruption

1. Eliminates political funding & campaign contributions.
2. Federally mandates equal funding to candidates, and BANS all other forms of campaign or political funding.
3. Federally mandates equal representation in news media and commercial media outlets OR establish a free and readily available Federal outlet (such as a TV channel) for such purpose and ban other instances.
5. Offers more scrutiny and regular mandatory investigations into Political candidates and their assets as a form of oversight and in doing so create a Federal organization to perform the investigations thereof for such purposes. Personal privacy rights of those running for office being waved for such.

Put H.R.676, “Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act” to vote by national referendum.

This law establishes national universal health insurance similar to Canada’s single-payer system and Britain’s socialized medical system.

This will save $100B annually due to 15c per $ currently going to shuffling paperwork, double that of Canada single-payer system, which would drop to 5c per $ under Medicare with lower administrative overhead and eliminating the Pharmaceuticals 17% profit margins compared to 3% for all other businesses.

What do you think? It’d be nice, yeah?

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Obama asks for $770m for Arab Democracy

My oh my… Check this out. Obama asking for nearly $800 million for Arab nation building (and another $1.3 billion for Egypt). Um… don’t we have enough of our own economic problems without just tossing massive amounts of our taxpayer’s money at the Middle East?

Obama
WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama’s administration on Monday requested a fund of nearly $800 million to boost political and other reforms in Arab countries undergoing pro-democracy revolutions.

The new fund is part of $51.6 billion requested for the State Department and US Agency for International Development in 2013, which amounts to around 1.4 percent of the government’s entire budget, the State Department said.

The department said it requested “$770 million for a new Middle East and North Africa Incentive Fund to respond strategically to the historical changes taking place across the region.”

US officials said all but $70 million is new money.

“The fund will incentivize long-term economic, political and trade reforms — key pillars of stability — by supporting governments that demonstrate a commitment to undergo meaningful change and empower their people,” it said.

US officials told reporters on condition of anonymity that the funds could be used for countries such as Syria, Yemen, Tunisia and Morocco, and at this point it was unclear how the money would be allocated.

In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad is accused of resorting to violence to stay in power. In Yemen and Tunisia, transitions are under way with the exits of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. In Morocco, King Mohammed VI has introduced constitutional reforms.

The new fund will be in addition to existing bilateral assistance between the United States and individual Arab countries, officials said.

The State Department said the United States re-allocated around $500 million in existing funds to help transitions in 2011.

The State Department also pointed out that the Obama budget retained $1.3 billion in military assistance for Egypt, even though the administration has warned such aid will be reviewed in the current year amid a dispute with Cairo over a crackdown on US-funded pro-democracy groups.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the warning for 2012 remained in place, noting that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had to certify first whether Egypt is making progress toward democracy.

But she added: “Let’s hope we’re still not in this situation in 2013.

“We do have concerns that if we can’t resolve this situation it could have implications for the whole relationship with Egypt, including what we would like to do together and how we would like to support them.”

The proposed budget also contains requests of $3.1 billion in military assistance for Israel and $300 million in such aid for Jordan.

Fiscal year 2013 begins in October this year.

The State Department said the request contains a core budget of $43.4 billion for funding the long-term national security mission of the State Department and USAID.

A further $8.2 billion is requested to support “the extraordinary and temporary costs of civilian-led programs and missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.”

The Obama budget is seen as having little chance of being voted into law.

Source

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Obama

I’m a few days late with this, I know. It’s too bad really, but I have been talking about it. Trust me I have.

So, if you haven’t heard yet – it seems Obama passed ACTA (remember that particularly nasty little trade agreement I mentioned a few posts earlier? Yeah, that one.) by executive order. He completely bypassed the Congress.

What. the. fuck.

Seriously, man?

This isn’t the first time this RIAA lapdog joke of a politican has done shit like this either. I’m getting pretty sick and tired of his blatant abuse of power, especially its use to usurp our freedoms and oppress our people.

This guy needs impeached. Seriously.

Here, go ahead and check the story out if you haven’t. Here’s a link. Go ahead, there’s not much in there that I haven’t already told you. Blah blah, yadda yadda. That’s what he did. All you need to know, really.

That’s not all you missed though. There has been a major shitstorm going across the world about ACTA. You know, it’s not even elected officials that are passing this shit in most countries. It’s Ambassadors and shit that are accepting these “trade agreements” which alter our very laws. We are having no say in the matter. That guy in charge of the whole thing even, he resigned! Here, check it out…

This is interesting. Kader Arif, the “rapporteur” for ACTA, has quit that role in disgust over the process behind getting the EU to sign onto ACTA. A rapporteur is a person “appointed by a deliberative body to investigate an issue.” However, it appears his investigation of ACTA didn’t make him very pleased:

I want to denounce in the strongest possible manner the entire process that led to the signature of this agreement: no inclusion of civil society organisations, a lack of transparency from the start of the negotiations, repeated postponing of the signature of the text without an explanation being ever given, exclusion of the EU Parliament’s demands that were expressed on several occasions in our assembly.

As rapporteur of this text, I have faced never-before-seen manoeuvres from the right wing of this Parliament to impose a rushed calendar before public opinion could be alerted, thus depriving the Parliament of its right to expression and of the tools at its disposal to convey citizens’ legitimate demands.”

Everyone knows the ACTA agreement is problematic, whether it is its impact on civil liberties, the way it makes Internet access providers liable, its consequences on generic drugs manufacturing, or how little protection it gives to our geographical indications.

This agreement might have major consequences on citizens’ lives, and still, everything is being done to prevent the European Parliament from having its say in this matter. That is why today, as I release this report for which I was in charge, I want to send a strong signal and alert the public opinion about this unacceptable situation. I will not take part in this masquerade.

Pretty rare to find such direct honesty in political circles. That’s quite a direct and clear condemnation of the entire process. In terms of process, it will be interesting to see if this has an impact. While the EU did sign on to ACTA today, it still needs to be ratified by the European Parliament (more on that in a little while). Having Arif quit makes a pretty big statement, and hopefully makes it easier for Parliament Members to speak out loudly against ACTA… Still, this is an uphill battle. The supporters of ACTA have been working to get ACTA approved for years. To them, this is basically a done deal.

And here’s the source on that from TechDirt. Not that you’d think I was lyin’ to ya or anything.

Right, so… ain’t that some bullshit?

Anyways, there’s some online petitions to parliaments in EU now to try and stop ACTA, to try and get them to listen to their people. But according to the Poles, that may not even be all that useful.

In fact, the Polish Parliament donned Guy Fawkes masks (the same as Anonymous) to protest ACTA. Check it out:
Polish Parliament Guy Fawkes masks

Isn’t that some funny shit? I think it’s cool. But anyways, what they said wasn’t so funny:

“US interferes in internal affairs of Polish parliament. We feel great friendship for US, but there are limits.”

They were basically protesting that they don’t even have a say in their own Parliament. They’re being manipulated, and underhanded tactics are being used to bypass Parliaments and pass the bills without even being voted on by elected officials, never letting the people’s voices be heard. I haven’t found a good English source on that, but here’s the original using Google Translate. You’ll have to bear with the machine translation. I know it sucks.

So anyways, all kinds of bullshit going on with ACTA. These RIAA/MPAA/etc. assholes seem to have gotten serious. Well, fuck them. They need to learn that a government that doesn’t have the support of their people won’t be governments for long. We can’t let shit like this stand.

Oh and just as a footnote… We really need to impeach that Obama asshole. President.. hah! We should have just put an RIAA executive in there. It’d have the same effect.

Time and time again, man… What a prick. I’m gonna be pissed if he gets reelected. I mean, shit, I voted for the guy. But even I take offense to this shit. All his bypassing Congress and bypassing crap with Executive Orders. The power mongering fuckwad… Hell, he was already banned from the 2012 Presidential Ballot in Georgia. heh, I dunno about all that… Here’s the source for that shit. Something about the legal definition as per the Constitution of “natural-born citizen” being a child born by two US Citizens, and whereas Obama’s mother was a US Citizen, but his father was Kenyan, and not a US Citizen, which makes him a US Citizen, but not a “natural-born citizen.” It’s some real finger pointing technical bullshit, but if it’s true then it means he never should have been eligible to have been elected into the office in the first place, and it completely bypasses the Constitution, and I think it’s mostly about upholding that, and not so much about going after him. But let’s all not kid ourselves… It’s all about going after him. I mean, black President… Georgia… Everyone knows the Civil War never ended there. Anyways, whatever. Sorry, no offense to Georgians. Just callin’ it like I see it.

Anyways, Tiff out. I’ll make another post here in a minute about my Political and World Views. You’ll get a kick out of that.

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