Posts Tagged ‘politics’

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By @anarchyroll

What does it feel like to tell someone they must remain sick or die so that you can have more disposable income? In America, you indirectly tell people through backdoor lobbying of elected representatives with dark money.

What is the cost of living? Is there a societal flash point where that question is addressed out in the open collectively? In 2017, it feels like that point may be boiling closer to the surface than ever before. It was thought that the question was asked and answered in 2010 with the passing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into law.

What was learned was that there were a great volume of people who benefited from having access to health insurance who didn’t before and there was a large volume of money spent to resist the legislation at every possible turn. It seemed like a vocal majority of the country enjoyed what the ACA did for them. We also found out from the 2016 presidential election, that the silent majority of this country (whites) knows how and when to make a stink.

Repeal and Replace has been a battle cry for over half a decade for the Republican Party and the top one percent of economic earners whom they represent. Obamacare was nowhere near unflawed. Despite its limitations, holes, and warts it did accomplish something that those on the left have been championing for almost a century; access to free/low-cost healthcare to millions of people regardless of political affiliation or belief.

The masses have had a whiff, a taste, a sample of universal health care…there is no going back.

Republicans currently control the United States government. They have the executive and legislative branches and are gaining control of the judiciary. With such deep and vast control, they have been unable to eliminate Obamacare. How? The only thing that’s stopping them is the voting public. Who would’ve thought that an approval rating of 24% as a Congress compared to a 55% approval rating of Obamacare would create obstacles in a democracy?

There used to be this thing called give and take, compromise for short. In terms of economic policy in America for the past half century, it has become take, take, take. Income inequality is at eye-popping levels. Social media has put a magnifying glass on the haves in America. Their appetites of ego and greed has had them binge sharing their lives via smartphones for a decade. One thing all of these filtered and geo tagged pictures, videos, and stories have made clear; is that the 1% can never get enough.

I suppose it would be great to live our lives on permanent vacation. Is that not the end result of the American Dream? Going from the beach, to the boat, to the club, to the rooftop bar, to the personal jet, to the invitation only party, in the unlisted restaurant, at the private island, etc. This lifestyle requires opting out of the social contract, it is an evolution of the gated community.

To live these contribution-less lifestyles, there must be a transfer of wealth without physical labor or violence. The American Health Care Act of 2017 has been independently shown to be nothing more than a tax cut for and transfer of wealth to the top one percent of income earners in America. It is a money grab through the legislative process. It is a bank heist through legal channels.

Okay, that might be too cynical of a view. We should be glass half full kind of people. It’s better to just think of the repercussions of this bill, as a cost of living adjustment.

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By @anarchyroll

In his first weekly address, Trump made sure to speak to what he called the forgotten Americans. Do you know who those people are? If you don’t, you are apart of the problem, not the solution.

If you live in a major metropolitan city, with a job dependent on technology, an artistic mindset, a liberal paradigm: with no understanding or empathy for the old, rural, industrial, rust belt, baseball, apple pie Americana folks who have been left behind since the 1970s…then your faux rage, uproar, rallies, marches, and hashtag revolts are not only irrelevant, but also impetice for Trump’s re election.

Remember how galvanized the left was after eight years of republican rule in America. When two wars were stared. Stem cell therapy was disabled. Religion was prioritized over science. Then a mixed race gentleman ran for the highest office in the land with the potential to make history, The level of enthusiasm, effort, and existential encouragement to reach beyond the brass ring for annals of history was no longer a wet dream of ideology but a forgone consequence the rise of a political base.

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Empathy and compromise must be paid to the south and rust belt at some point. The former Confederacy has been guaranteed red on the electoral map for many generations now. The former manufacturing havens of the mid west have turned electorally red year by year. If the deep blue states of California and Illinois can have red governors multiple times over in recent years, then red states can change majors in the electoral college as well.

The Affordable Care Act has caught on quite well in the Bible belt and the new Pope says a lot of leftist things. Is there not common ground to be gained there?

Trump winning the elections defied many perceived norms. But one old school norm that holds true is that all politics are local. There must be focus paid to state elections. One vote doesn’t mean a whole hell of a lot in a national election. But in state, county, and township elections one vote can go a long way. There must be national emphasis paid to state elections. That may sound like a lot. But in the era of the never-ending news cycle and the unquenchable thirst for content of varying quality, a national spotlight paid to local elections is a natural fit. Think I’m stretching here? Watch a major sports network during an off-season or a preseason.

Solar power is creating more jobs than the coal industry. Legalized marijuana will be creating more jobs than the manufacturing sector. Both of those things scream common ground for liberals and conservatives. But can that common ground be found if we are all lost in the trees of pundit reactivity?

There is a decent percentage of people on each side who are lost. Too dug in the trenches of their side as if it will give them bonus points in this life or the next. But there are vastly more people who simply want a to live a happy life without hurting anyone. If everyone had more income than debt, only the freaks would care about getting rid of second amendment or transgender rights.

But that common ground must be diligently searched for through action and policy. Rhetoric and campaign promises are simply not good enough. The forgotten Americans have been left behind for almost half a century. Their anger is as justified as it is misdirected. Who closed the factories? Who outsourced the jobs? Who cut the aide checks? The answer is not liberal elites.

It isn’t ridicule nor parades that will convince the forgotten Americans about the wonders of social progressivism. It is a path out of poverty that involves a purpose. For generations politicians have leveraged social issues against economics to channel the angry attention away from the people who closed the factories and outsourced their jobs towards the sex, science, and sin of city dwellers.

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Getting angry or nasty and marching in the streets of major metropolitan cities does nothing but satisfy ego and social media content appetite. The actual work must be done in the broken rural communities of the country that have been so economically depressed and culturally starved for so long that they have become nationally infamous as centers for the meth and opium epidemics of the past decade.

So instead of trying to cram fringe left-wing issues down America’s throat from New York and LA, try putting boots, brains, and plans of action on the ground one flyover state at a time. The rust belt must be acknowledged and tended to. From factory towns to mill villages. These people need to be explained, then shown through action, a plan for sustainable economic success in the knowledge worker age. Until this entire section of the country, until these forgotten Americans are given a hand up from the other side of the aisle, transgender rights, environmental accountability, progressive income taxes, and marijuana legalization are all mere pipe dreams of a voting block too apathetic and naive to bring about the real change they publically pout about with placards and impotent anger.

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Previous AJC articles on Syria can be found here.

By @anarchyroll

The most powerful man in the free world.

That label is just as much a gift as it is a curse. Its like being born genetically blessed. Yes it has its advantages, that open doors others can only live vicariously through works of fiction. But the hate and judgement that comes with it is at a level that morphs the blessings into curses through the eyes of what becomes a scarred mind.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

To have the power to solve any, one, individual problem is a blessing. To have that power in a world of 7 billion and a country of 300 million where the majority publicly expound their expectations of the use of that power in the most malicious echo chamber known to mankind, is quite the head weight.

Military intervention in the Middle East, after the last thirty years, tends to fall on deaf ears to the majority of people outside of the Military Industrial Complex, justifiably so. After both Gulf Wars, who can honestly be blamed for being completely apathetic towards anything and everything in the Middle East?

Syria distinguished its case for US military intervention in the way most important…body count.

I proudly voted for Barack Obama twice. His voluntary attachment to the word hope has been as much a detriment to his legacy as it was to his ascendance. He stepped into the expectation of the largest, most diverse, and most demanding populace in the history of the world.

Economic depression, gender inequality, student loan debt, global warming,  clean up from two wars, racial injustice, the subprime mortgage crisis, the potential collapse of the American auto industry. That’s all before tackling the healthcare industry. Few presidents before have had so many pressing issues that were pressing the red button at the time of initial inauguration.

Many people think he should have used the leverage and power of the bully pulpit for causes other than what his administration chose to put their focus one during his two terms. Syria’s body count separates it from other issues such as equal pay, net neutrality, redistricting, and marijuana legalization.

The military industrial complex being up and running and forever open for business also seemed to dictate that action in Syria be taken drastically sooner than it inevitably was. Fuck, Syria is so messed up that it is the one issue that Russia and the US seem to agree on even with the shady Russian arms sales connection to the region.

Anyone who has been paying attention to the Syrian Civil War for any length of time is happy to hear that President Obama admits feeling responsibility for the ongoing girth in body county in the conflict. He should. The unchecked, unbalanced, rubber stamped budgeted, defense department dictates to any sitting president that; any issue or conflict that would involve or require the military, have action taken as if it were an urgent priority not because it’s a priority but because of the automatically alloted resources that the MIT has at its disposal at all times, for all time, until the end of time.

It always has been and always will be the body count that draws and keeps my attention about Syria. I suppose if I was older I would have the same attachment to Rwanda, AIDS, Vietnam, Auschwitz, and so on. I suppose if I were older I would have expected more from Clinton, Carter, Kennedy, and so on.

President Obama made healthcare his number one priority in office, for better and for worse, because of the issue’s direct ability to effect life and death.

One can be the most anti Obamacare person in the world, take away all the economic implications and political allegiance, and any human being can empathize with a person in power leveraging that power to help directly save lives.

At the end of the day, at the end of the issue, is the value of human life.

It is hard to make the case every life is precious when the global population exceeds 7,000,000,000. The body count of the Syrian Civil War greatly exceeds and overshadows the body count that die in America due to lack of health insurance. But what is the value of human life? Are we a global village? Or do Americans come first?

When one wins the right to be called the most powerful man in the free world, the greatest of all power comes with the greatest of all responsibility. After years and years and hundreds upon hundreds of thousands of casualties in the Syrian Civil War that have all occurred during the Presidency of Barack Obama; the man, the myth, the legend finally admitted in public his feeling of responsibility on the issue.

The death, destruction, desolation, and dehumanization that has taken place over the past half decade makes Syria either a turning point, a sticking point, a flash point, or a new normal for global society. Will we stand up for hundreds of thousands of innocent men, women, and children being shot, tortured, gassed, and butchered or will we use our own personal drama as an excuse to stay silently complacent in mass executions and mass graves?

Barack Obama has publicly admitted his responsibility, will we ever admit ours?

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By @anarchyroll

What is journalism? What does it mean to be a journalist in 2016?

What is journalism in the era of media conglomeration? Has media conglomeration turned journalism as it was known in the 20th century into public relations for the 1%?

Is journalism;

  • What we see on local evening news? Sensationalized reporting of gun violence amongst those on the low-end of the economic ladder between sports, traffic, and weather.
  • What we read in newspapers and magazines between the advertisements, crossword
  • What we see on national news and cable news? Human interest pieces, celebrity gossip, and opinions given about politics, sports, and Hollywood all looped and edited to elicit emotion rather than thought or discourse.

Is journalism meant to report facts and information that affects large numbers of people based on the political, economic, and/or environmental the information will impact? Or is it just people writing/broadcasting what newspaper owners and trending topics dictate?

Journalism is about facts and information. It’s about exposing injustice to the public. It is about shining the light of truth into the dark corners of conspiracy and deceit.

Just because a small group of billionaires has bought all major news outlets (media conglomeration), doesn’t mean they have bought the facts and information that qualifies as news. Just because political parties receive large donations and cater to these media conglomerates, doesn’t mean they are immune from the facts and information they wish to keep secret from being reported to the public.

As was shown in the DNC Leaks, MSNBC was in direct contact with the Democratic National Committee about what to say and what not to say about Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. If MSNBC is a news station, and they are conspiring to turn the news into specifically crafted public relations, do they not deserve to have this conspiracy reported on? Is that not a news story?

When the news is owned by the people the news used to report on, so they don’t get reported on anymore, then the nature of gathering facts and information as well as reporting them must change. If the 1% would divest all holdings in all news reporting outlets, and all journalism was once again independently financed, what purpose would Wikileaks serve?

In a post print media conglomerate landscape, hactivism has evolved into journalism.

How much content have credible news outlets turned the DNC Leaks into? How many articles, pictures, videos, sound bites, polls, tweets, vines, snaps, and stories have been created because of what Wikileaks has done? The only ones who seem to think it’s wrong, are the people who have been exposed and their allies.

Mainstream media using the information provided by Wikileaks makes them complacent which makes what Wikileaks does with their hacking no longer any different from what a beat reporter did with their pen, paper, and access to newswires in the 20th century. Ten years ago Wikileaks may have been an underground, illegal, immoral, criminal, hacking networks of deviants, anarchists, and outsiders. In 2016, they are just another credible source alongside the Associated Press and Reuters. In 2016, Wikileaks is journalism.

 

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By @anarchyroll

Suspected terrorists not being allowed to legally buy guns in America sounds like a no brainer. The type of legislation that is only a formality to pass because it is such common sense. What type of law-abiding citizen who exercises their right to bear arms for the purposes of hunting, stamp like collecting, and/or personal protection of property would object to such legislation?

Congressional legislation is rarely black and white or red and blue. The shades of gray, along with the devil, are in the details. In Congress, the devil and the details are earmarks, appropriations, and general language. Previous attempts to close the Terror Gap have stalled for all three of the aforementioned reasons.

There are so many mass shootings in America, it seems like something like the Terror  Gap would at least be used as a token gesture of good will. A way for the Congress to convince themselves and their varying constituents that they aren’t tone-deaf to the scare and suffering going on around the country at the hands of gun violence.

In the wake of the Pulse nightclub Orlando shooting, it is natural to assume that something needs to be done about guns in America. There are crazy, angry people everywhere in this world. In America however, those crazy, angry people just like the sane, happy people have consistent easy access to automatic weapons and military grade assault rifles.

Wishing for pie in the sky fantasy bills like a total ban on automatic weapons ie the Australia way, is not helpful. As far as America goes, file that under if it sounds too good to be true, it is.

Filibustering and staging sit ins to draw attentions to Congressional gridlock although well-intentioned, do nothing to move forward tangibly or pragmatically in a country where gun ownership is not going away anytime soon. We need cooperation and Congressional compromise literally  now more than ever at the most polarized political point since the Red Scare.

Closing the Terror Gap with a bill sans earmarks or strings tied to appropriations is only a first step, not a cure-all. A first step forward on the issue of guns is just what the doctor ordered for America right about now. Resistance to closing the Terror Gap puts law-abiding gun owners in a negative light. An insatiable desire to go take away all the guns casts progressives as nothing more than the yang to the yin of the redneck, gun clutching, bible-thumpers they claim to be better than through an ego centered in education as opposed to ideology.

A new normal of never-ending mass shootings in America is the time for pragmatism in terms of gun control. What can we do in this situation, at this time, to take a step forward as a nation and a species. Critical mass has been reached and we are long past the tipping point. Something most be done about guns in America.

To think things will change going forward based upon our current actions is insanity defined. There are simply too many guns freely available in the United States of America. Action must be taken. Whether that action is drastic or pragmatic, remains to be seen. But closing the Terror Gap is a first step that can be taken regardless of whether the next step is that of a baby or a giant. And the time to close the gap was yesterday. We need the easy choices like closing the Terror Gap behind us so that we can face the real hard choices like adults, with the kiddy pool decisions already behind us.

 

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ajclogo2By @anarchyroll

Few people, whether real or fictional, are as synonymous with America’s version of capatilsm as Gordon Gekko in the movie Wall Street.

“Greed is good” are words to live by for the people who try to fill the hole in the soul with copious amounts of money by any means necessary. That quote is the foundation of type of free market capitalism that brought about the 2008 Great Recession.

That economic collapse should was a very very big, very very loud, very very painful sign that we as a society have allowed greed to get out of control. It is one of the seven deadly sins for a reason. Wall Street and unregulated capitalism have transformed greed into the deadliest sin. Able to negatively impact the entire developed world with greedy actions of a relatively small percentage of the global population.

One of the ripple effects of the Great Recession has been the mainstream populous rise of what a generation ago would have been considered a fringe presidential candidate. Bernie Sanders through passionate speeches and a lifetime of walking the talk has risen like a phoenix.

Another ripple effect has been that greed is no longer good enough for the top 20% – .01%. The rich get richer no longer is a substantial enough metaphor. How do I know this? How can I be sure of this?

The fact that the real life person who inspired the fictional icon Gordon Gekko is publically endorsing Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders for President.

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How can the inspiration for the phrase Greed is Good be endorsing a socialist for president? Because the unregulated greed thanks to the Clinton and Bush administrations has become something beyond excess and gluttony.

 

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By @anarchyroll

Is GMO labeling important?

If it wasn’t, the companies who put GMOs in our food wouldn’t be actively and expensively trying to stop legislation mandating GMO labeling in America.

GMO labeling is the norm in 64 other countries around the world, which includes pretty much all the other industrialized ones.

There can certainly be a case made for GMOs, you know, with all the starving people in the world who don’t care if the food they get to eat is organic or GMO as long as they get to eat and not die.

But for the large percentage of the population that can think and live above the survival plain, who want to know what they are putting in their body, why all the resistance if there is nothing wrong with GMOs?

Times have changed, people literally want to know how the sausage is made these days. In the 1900s, that wasn’t the case, then again neither was equal rights for women and minorities. Times have changed.

Times have changed so much in Europe, that GMO labeling is so passé that countries are moving into the banning stage. Scotland and Germany have recently announced GMO crop bans. Meanwhile in America, we’re hoping the state of Vermont can lead the way.

Vermont? Isn’t that Bernie Sanders‘ home state? Yes, yes it is. Bernie Sanders has long been a champion of labeling GMO ingredients in food.

The resistance from GMO creators to labeling legislation tells you all you need to know about this issue. That and Monsanto is one of the largest creators of GMOs. If there is nothing to hide, why are they spending hundreds of millinos of dollars to hide? If GMOs are safe, why are Germany and Scotland banning them?

How do we or they know GMOs are safe if there are no long term studies on humans who ingest and/or are exposed to them?

And remember that in America, people just want the right to know. The battle over banning GMOs in America is a half a decade at minimum away from starting. This battle is just about the right of consumers to know if the food they are buying for themselves and their children contains GMOs.

In general, those who not only wish to suppress information from the public and spend hundreds of millions of dollars to do so, can be classified as evil and on the wrong side of history. The GMO labeling issue/debate is no different.

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by @anarchyroll

There is something about the genuine article that attracts and magnetizes people.

Deep down inside, we know when we are dealing with a human being who is the real thing, and one who is an imitation/impostor. Granted, that line of thinking exists in the same world as the concept that it’s a shame to let a sucker keep their money. But people tend to know the truth in the gut if they are not having their senses bombarded with fear based propaganda.

Ten, twenty, thirty years ago what would the general perception be of a socialist running for President of the United States? How would the public react? What would the polls say?

Twenty, thirty, forty years of the masses being nickeled and dimed as the rich get richer and the poor get poorer piled on top of $475 BILLION of taxpayer money as a reward to Wall Street for causing the second coming of the Great Depression…..and all of a sudden a socialist in the White House is less much less far out or radical than any Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle catch phrase.

The most successful Independent politician in United States history was Bernie Sanders ten years ago. A self identified Democratic Socialist, Sanders spent 16 years as a United States Congressman before being elected as a US Senator. People of a certain age would love to believe Ross Perot’s run in the 1992 election is the shining example of independent candidates making a splash, but Sanders has already erased all of Perot’s accomplishments outside of Dana Carvey’s SNL impression skits.

Sanders is the real thing, the genuine article. A very white male who was arrested during a 1960s civil rights protest. A socialist who says very loudly, very often that he is going to raise taxes. A leftist who makes not attempt to move to the middle regardless of how politically prudent it is to do so. A man who speaks openly of the NEED for revolution on the reg.

I personally know three people who hate Bernie Sanders and respect him at the same time. They all hate him because they are well off and know he’ll raise their taxes, they respect him because he’s authentic. Well guess what folks?

In the year 2016, in the United States of America, there are WAYYYYYY more legal voters who respect Bernie Sanders for being authentic than rich people who hate him because they know he’s going to raise their taxes.

That is why Bernie Sanders is a legit general election threat, not just a primary darling. That is why Bernie Sanders has NOT gone mainstream. Mainstream has gone Bernie Sanders.

by @anarchyroll
9/3/2014

The war for the future of the internet is being waged now, in real-time by lobbyists of the big US Telcom companies.

If this were a court case, then apparently the people who don’t work for Comcast, Time Warner, and Verizon would be represented by Netflix.

Now of course Netflix is publicly and privately battling the nation’s broadband providers for their own personal gain as well. There is no such thing as a free lunch after all, especially when millions, upon billions of dollars are involved.

However, Netflix has now officially earned some benefit of the doubt for reasons other than how good House of Cards and Orange is the New Black are. Netflix has taken three public steps that directly help the consumers:

  1. Opposing the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner
  2. Lobbying to maintain Net Neutrality
  3. Campaigning for Municipal Broadband

Netflix may be looking out for its own bottom line. But each stance that they have publicly come out in favor of or against directly benefits working class people who use the internet. Coming out against the proposed merger which would create a broadband monopoly, is a good thing for consumers. Drawing attention to net neutrality is good for consumers. Encouraging the development of municipal broadband is good for consumers.

In the fight against the billion dollar companies who want complete control of the internet, the common people need someone with deep pockets in our corner. Netflix has repeatedly stepped up to the plate publicly this year alone. They’re not a non-profit or NGO. But when billion dollar corporations are doing everything they can to reduce choice and increase cost to access the information superhighway, we the consumers will take help anywhere we can get it. I for one, will take the million dollar company that brought Arrested Development back, in my corner any day of the week.

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by @anarchyroll
5/19/2014

300 earthquakes and no drinkable water for 300,000 people.

That is what the energy and chemical industries are doing to our planet and doing to us. I guess we should say thank you sirs may we have another, since we know more is coming. There will be more poisoned water, more earthquakes, more destruction of wildlife, more spills, all for…what exactly? And for whom?

Even the democratic party has embraced fracking for the sake of being elected.

At this rate all of America will become Frackishima. I sure hope I get to turn into the Toxic Avenger rather than just die from tumors and cancers thanks to all the contaminated fresh water. Fingers crossed…