A Few Always Hold Us Back

It is an unfortunate aspect of today’s political climate that the same few racist whites keep America from living up to the potential our founding fathers saw when they envisioned a country where “all men are created equal.” Yes, you can make the argument that the founding fathers were not living what they preached, but that is, in fact, humanity’s greatest strength: that we, as a society, as a group, can envision something better than what we have now, something better than what we are now, and strive to achieve that ideal, by giving ourselves a form of government, democracy, which allows us to try to achieve our lofty goals. Yet, there has always been a segment of our society who does not believe in the intent of our founding fathers to rise above ourselves. They were present at the beginning of our country, they put us through a fratricidal war, the bloodiest in our history, and they are undermining America to this day. Once they were called slaveholders, next they reinvented themselves as segregationists, then white supremacists, finally settling on what they saw as, and they hate this term, “politically correct,” white nationalists.

No matter what they name themselves, their beliefs and their message have never changed: white people are superior, to a man (because women don’t count), no matter what their intellect, character, or morals, simply because they are white. They ascribe this superiority to the accomplishments of white society as a whole, and all the advances in human technology that it has achieved. If you point out to them that this white culture was achieved by the suppression, enslavement, or elimination of other cultures, they are proud of that, insisting that that proves their point. Of course, their recollection of history is purposely flawed. It ignores, or diminishes, the accomplishments of non-whites, and also ignores, or mythologizes, the failures of white culture, the greatest example of which we are again suffering from the aftereffects of: the American Civil War, and the current battle over the removal of effigies to the greatest failure of white American society: the Confederate States of America.

The Civil War history that you (if you’re in your sixties, like me), and I, learned in school is one of those purposely concocted messes that proves conclusively Napoleon’s old maxim that, “History is a set of lies. Agreed upon.” The story of the Confederacy was intentionally altered after the end of the Civil War by southern historians into the myth of the “Lost Cause,” and the alteration was not challenged by northern historians, because reconciliation, not truth in written history, was the goal. By not challenging this rewrite of history by southern writers, northern historians, who knew from the start that this was a myth, agreed upon the set of lies. Somehow, the war about slavery wasn’t about slavery at all; it was a struggle between states fighting national government oppression of their rights, and states that supported the oppressive national government.

Of course, all this was bunk. All the preserved articles of secession from the various Confederate States prove that as soon as you read them, although some states were smart enough to include a few other inconsequential things, like tariffs, to make it seem like the war wasn’t just about slavery, because, even at the time, the rest of civilized world was having a hard time figuring out why the elimination of human slavery as an economic system was leading to war.

We are, sometimes unfortunately, a nation of firsts, but many times our firsts are not what others would consider intelligent, or correct, and our acceptance of the lost cause myth is one of those times. Believing your own bullshit is humanity’s worst trait. It leads to doing nonsensical things, like building statues to men who were, in fact, traitors fighting against their legal government, because their legal government did not believe in their inhumane economic system, or it’s perpetuation in western territories by altering it to include mining, which southern slaveholders were actively studying in the 1850s.

I do not include the common Confederate soldiers here, although some were probably aware that they were fighting for slavery. Most were probably simply fighting to defend their states, homes, and families; they themselves having bought the myth purveyed by the southern elite that the elimination of slavery would lead to chaos and murder throughout the south, because freed black men would seek their revenge against whites. Others were compelled to fight, because the Confederacy, vastly outnumbered by the north, had to immediately institute a draft. A draft, which, in fact, rich men could avoid by paying a bounty, or hiring a poor substitute, either for themselves, or their children. It was, to use a phrase coined by the common southern soldier, “A rich man’s war, and a poor man’s fight.”

It is an unfortunate lesson from history that many a brave young man has fought for the wrong cause, or the wrong side, and I bring this up to drive home this point: No one is denigrating the sacrifice of the common Confederate soldier by trying to remove statues of General Lee. There is a critical difference between General Lee and the common Confederate soldier: Lee was a leader in a rebellion against the United States and the common soldier was following Lee. Lee knew that what he was doing was an act of treason against the United States, but he didn’t care. He chose treason. The image of Lee as the kindly old man who was about to free his slaves just as the war started is one of the central lies perpetuated by the lost cause mythology. Lee’s own writings, before and after the war, debunk this myth.

The correction going on right now, because of the attempts by modern Americans to remove statues honoring the myth of the lost cause, is both necessary and long overdue. Those who complain that this effort is an attempt to “erase history” conveniently forget that the myth of the lost cause was exactly what they are complaining about: the lost cause myth was a successful attempt to erase actual history and replace it with something more palatable to the south. We need look no further for evidence of this than to look at the history of William “Pete” Longstreet, a Confederate General who has only one known monument to him, placed at the Gettysburg battlefield park, conveniently hidden behind trees.

Longstreet was called by General Lee, “the staff in my right hand.” He was Lee’s most trusted subordinate, and was responsible for quite a few Confederate victories during the Civil War. After the war ended however, Longstreet made a critical mistake. He chose to be loyal to the United States, and supported northern efforts at reconstruction, going so far as to command forces that battled the Ku Klux Klan, forces that contained black soldiers. Of course, this lead to him becoming a villain in the Civil War histories being written by southerners in the 1870s. Like Ulysses S. Grant, Longstreet’s history was subtly changed, defiling the career of one of the south’s best generals during the war. The lost cause historians were willing to do this to one of their best generals, so anything they say about figures from the north should be even more suspect.

Today, white supremacists and neo-nazis cling to this tainted history, the mythos of the lost cause, preaching violence against those who are trying to correct history, not erase it. Unfortunately, the majority of us are being held hostage by less than six percent of our population which is ludicrous. The reason they are able to do this is because our last election was manipulated by a foreign government with possible collusion by the campaign of the man who most identifies with the six percent, because they are his true political base: Donald Trump.

Somehow, we, the American people who believe in democracy, who believe in the ideals that our founding fathers espoused, that “all men are created equal,” must find the political will, and legal strength, to overcome this tyranny of a small minority, a tiny percentage of our population, who have held this country back for too long, attempting always to drag us back to a past, and a history, that was not true then, and never will be true. We are not Donald Trump’s base, and his base is not America, they are a small, vociferous minority, and they have no right in a democracy to compel the majority to bend to their will. “We hold these truths to be self evident.”

 

 

A Shorter History of Burning Shit

It occurred to me, re-reading one of my original posts, “A Short History of Burning Shit,” that it was too long, and would run right past the attention span of the modern human, at least in America, so I decided to do a new version, one that would not take too much time away from selfie time.

I think it’s important, once again, to point out that you don’t need climate scientists to come to some understanding of how human activity causes climate change, especially now that our under-educated and incompetent president has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Accord, using the same sort of logic that was used when I was a kid to tell us that “duck and cover” was going to save our butts from a nuclear attack: just pretend, and it’s going to be alright. Well, it’s not going to be alright, and here’s the short version of why it’s not, even if, like Donald Trump, we just pretend.

Humans are the only species on Earth, plant, or animal, that creates fire. We have been doing this for thousands, if not tens of thousands of years, probably almost a million years. We used rubbing sticks together, then flint and stone, to achieve this, but once we did, Earth’s relationship to fire changed.

Natural fires, those caused by lightening strikes (the most common), volcanism, and meteor strikes, burn for a time, but then go out when they run out of fuel, hit a natural barrier (like a river, or an ocean), or when the rain comes. Once these fires are gone, fire does not occur in those areas for many years afterward, because the natural fuel for fire is gone in that particular area. So, natural fires tend to be random, short term events.

Human fires, especially those used to power modern technology, tend to burn continuously, and the growth of our use of fire has been exponential with each technological advance. For example: the internal combustion engine, and the generation of electricity, are two types of man made fire that burn continuously around the world. It’s the continuous burning nature of man made fires that drives global climate change, and just pretending that it isn’t, or falling back on some cave man mentality, that atmosphere so big, isn’t going to help you.

The results will be catastrophic, no matter what scientists hired by oil companies tell you about the effects of carbon, and how much better your tan will be when the Earth warms to its highest temperatures in millions of years. Eighty percent of all humans live within a short distance of water, and the mass migrations of humans alone will cause chaos around the globe, even here in the United States. Perhaps you should ask yourself why Donald Trump, who believes that climate change is a Chinese hoax, wants sea walls strengthened around his seaside resort golf courses.

No one is asking us to return to the eighteenth century and hook up our oxen to carts to go the the market. Arguments that world civilization will collapse if we stop burning shit and turn to renewable sources of energy for some of our needs are ludicrous. It is hard to believe that adaptable humans will have an impossible time turning their mechanical skills working in coal mines, or on oil rigs, into marketable skills working in the highly mechanical world of renewable energy companies. In fact, they will have an immediate advantage over the rest of us in getting these new, highly skilled, and good paying jobs.

The only thing holding us back from making this change is that world governments, especially the present governments of Russia and the United States, are caught in the stranglehold of political contributions, and demands, by fossil fuel company investors, and fossil fuel company owners, one of whom is Vladimir Putin. The most marketable resource Vladimir Putin has is oil, but it’s easier to manipulate if you pretend you’re in favor of the climate accord, and then use your puppet to destroy it. The Godfather always distances himself from the crime.

This makes it our responsibility: yours, and mine. We must speak out, and elect officials who will take this seriously, and remove those who believe snowballs disprove climate change, at least in those countries where there remains a vestige of democracy, as we have here in the United States.

Life on Earth is an intricately connected web of life. Inaction will lead to the collapse of that web, and, once it collapses, even our technology won’t be able to overcome its effects, killing even the human spiders at the center of the web, who are presently sucking the life out of everything around them, perpetuating a zero sum game that they believe they will survive, at the expense of the rest of us, and all other life on this planet.

My White Supremacy

Let me preface this by telling you that I’m Caucasian, white, so when it comes to the subject of White Supremacy, or White Nationalism, or whatever you call it today, or will call it tomorrow, I am, naturally, an authority, because I meet the basic qualification: my skin is white. In fact, I don’t tan, so I almost guarantee that I’m more white than you, unless you’re an Albino. Again, this makes me more of an authority than you, especially when you factor in my education, which, unlike many of you, went well beyond the tenth grade, so tremble in fear of my absolute supremacy when it comes to being a white, pretend intellectual.

Now that I’ve established my ultimate supremacy over all other white people, due to my pasty whiteness and commanding intellect, let me fill you in on a few things that I have observed from the lofty tower of my ultimate white supremacy.

First:

Most white people I’ve met are just as dumb as anyone else, irregardless of their color. I base this observation on the evidence of their own words and behavior. I worked for many years in retail management jobs, and I can assure you, with absolute certainly that white people, no matter what their economic status, rich, or poor, are just as lazy, dumb, and entitled, as they claim others are.

Mr. White Entitled Businessman in the $3000 suit, if you’re standing in front of me, trying to chump me, the guy with way too much to do, into doing your shopping for you, because you’re too busy on the phone, you’re just as much of a lazy, dumb ass as you claim the inferior colored person on welfare is, because your welfare comes from tax breaks, rather than an E.B.T. card, but you’re getting the money from the same source of funds: me, the working poor.

Second:

White people are especially stupid, because they’ve bought the same con game since before the Civil War. And that con game is? White Supremacy itself. Want to keep the poor whites of the Anti-bellum south happy? Just convince them that they were superior just by being white, and giving them whites only shitters, even though they were as poor as slaves. Personally, I loved this article on the subject:

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/opinion/article136803208.html

Please, follow the link, and read with an open mind, if you can find where you hid the key you’ve locked it down with. Go ahead, take some time to read it, I’ll be here when you get back.

Back already? My, you’re either a speed reader, or, like most entitled people, you stopped reading after the first few sentences, because what you were reading didn’t tally with your preconceived notions. That’s okay, there’s more.

Third:

The White Supremacist contention that all of today’s advanced culture is due to the accomplishments of white folks, is just as much a bunch of bullshit as anything else they claim. One reason: the gunpowder they used to exert their dominance throughout the world was an idea, and formula, swiped from the Chinese. Another reason: they completely ignore, or minimize the accomplishments of anyone non-white, and conveniently forget that they purposely kept those they felt were inferior in positions of inferiority by limiting the rights and education of the peoples they conquered with their stolen gunpowder.

Which brings me to the real ground of white supremacy; the ability of white society to organize crime on a societal level. Remember, in 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, he may have been looking for a passage to the far east, but when he crashed into Mesoamerica, he happily reported the place was ready for plunder, conversion to Christianity, and that Mesoamerican women were fun to rape, so he could stock the brothels he constructed for his soldiers with kidnapped Mesoamerican women. Jesus loves me, this I know.

Indeed, if you follow the course of white culture throughout history, no matter what good we’ve brought into the world through our technology, such as advances in medicine, or industrialization, we have done so on a road paved in the blood of others. In fact, Western Culture throughout history has more resembled Mafia families fighting for territory than anything else, and oft times reminds me of the sequence in the Godfather movie where Michael Ricci renounces Satan even as his plan to wipe out the other Mob families is carried out by his henchman.

White Supremacy? I think not, and fortunately, for the world and all its people, the claims of white supremacists to superiority are no more valid than mine. So, it’s sad that a pile of garbage as big as white supremacy has gained national attention through the election of a narcissistic idiot who panders to the base instincts of an under-educated populace who themselves buy the same load of bullshit that they have been since the Civil War.

It’s official!

Our present government is so used to splitting hairs publicly to explain away their idiot views and machinations that they’ve begun to do it in their own heads, as evidenced by the latest absurdity from Sean Spicer. Apparently, there’s tidy mass murder, and untidy mass murder. One is organized and contained in camps, and one is haphazard and random. Therefore one is better than the other, obviously. At least Hitler didn’t stoop so low as to use untidy mass murder; therefore he would be someone you’d want to align yourself with, I suppose, unlike an untidy mass murderer like Assad. I have to ask, though, how low is the thinking of the present administration, and how low will they go to split hairs. I, for one, hope this administration falls before the rest of us have to find out.

The Reign of the Oligarchs

Through a combination of Russian interference: an under-educated segment of our population swayed by catch phrases and slogans; because logic, observation, and study is too boring, or too difficult: and the machinations of a loud mouth, reality TV star, whose sole drive in life is to prove that nothing of his is too small- we now have the reign of the oligarchs in the United States.

Our Executive Branch today is nothing more than a large group of self-serving manipulators and liars bent on dismantling the Federal Government in order to, according to them, get government off the backs of the people, so that the people can be free. In reality, their intent is to remove government oversight, so they can plunder freely, without government interference, and without thought, or care, about the future: a zero sum game in which they win, and the rest of us lose. As Ike Clanton put it in the movie Tombstone, “Law don’t go round here, Law Dog!”

How else can we explain the installation of heads of government such as an E.P.A. director who feels that the job of the E.P.A. is to fight the scientific consensus that human burning is affecting the climate and jeopardizing our great grandchildren’s future? In fact, each appointment of a Department head by Donald Trump, no matter what the department, has had as its intent the dismantling of that department, and the cessation of the work intended for that department. Is it any wonder that people within those departments do all they can to leak the truth to the rest of us?

I applaud the leakers within the Trump government. Oligarchs and Fascists want to bury the truth, or engineer it to suit their ends: the real truth tellers are the ones who won’t let the facts die, even if it exposes them to the retribution of their masters. The people within this government who leak information are the resistance, and we need them more than we need Trump, or his appointments, because the resistance here are public servants who oppose the work of the self-servants.

Even while the rest of us are forced to capitulate to the Oligarchs, the resistance carries on, and we, the people, must support them, however we can, and bide our time until the Oligarchs become vulnerable again in 2018. Even if we can’t remove their figurehead until 2020, we can turn him into a eunuch, and that will be the most fitting reward we can bestow upon him.

An Apology to Future Children

I’m sorry, kids, that you have to suffer from the delusions and dreams that we had. I’m sorry that you’re suffering the effects of our “enlightened selfishness myth,” God myths, and Superman myths, which prevented us from seeing that what we did here and now was important to your future. I’m sorry our mythical God is not there to fix things for you, because his existence was only in our heads, and he cannot intervene on your behalf now. I apologize that we did not have the strength of my father’s generation, who sacrificed lives to make their children’s lives a better place. We lacked the moral character for that. In fact, we would not sacrifice our ease and comfort for you, because, far from being the “greatest generation,” we were the “entitled generation.”

If you’re reading this, and I cannot assure myself that you will be, then at least know that some of us did care, did try to spread the word, and did try to make the changes necessary to assure your future, but we failed, because most would not listen, and created new myths to assure themselves that they were doing nothing wrong. I wish we had been better at reasoning, because the truth was easy to see, if you just saw Earth in the proper way, but we were not well educated, and reason was not our strong suit, myth was.

What a mess

The investigation of the Trump campaign ties to Russia and their influence on the past election needs an independent investigation. It’s becoming obvious that the Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are trying to hush it all up in hopes that it will go away. It’s not going away, clowns, so get over it. We, the American People, are pretty pissed off about this, and we want to know what happened. So cut the closed door crap, where you’ll try to find a convenient rug in the room, and let this play out in front of us. We have a right to know. They stole our election, not yours. This is about our rights: our right to vote, and our right to know. Cut the crap.

My Microwave is watching me.

How did the president know that I talk to myself about him in the kitchen? I knew I was being surveilled when I woke early one morning to find my microwave, refrigerator, and kitchen wall clock discussing the dossier they had built up on my treasonous activity. There was only one thing to do: I put on my aluminum foil helmet and jammies and went back to bed, where deep sleep protects me from Steve Bannon’s penetration of my psyche during my dreams. Now, I can continue my work with the Klingon Empire to overthrow Earth governments in the past (their past, the Klingons, I mean) without interference. Hail the House of Duras!

Seriously folks, is this the state of American government today? These latest allegations from Trump, and the response to criticism of it (especially by Kellyanne Conway), simply indicate to the rest of the world how under-educated the American populace is, when people of this caliber can occupy top level positions within the White House. Do you really want to make America great again? Remove these people from government and never let them hold national political office again.