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October 24, 2011

(Originally published March 13, 2005)

Welcome all into 1984.

When some people think of revolution, images of rioting, looting and other maleficent occurrences come to mind. When I hear the word “revolution,” I think about Public Enemy, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, the Berlin wall, Pink Floyd, George Orwell, protesters in the street, young people involved with politics and so much more. We live in the age of technology and information, yet so many people turn down the opportunity to inform themselves.

It is haunting to think that Americans are comfortable with being programmed electric sheep. We live in a country that is controlled by imperialistic war mongers that are interested in sacrificing as many naïve young people as possible to get what they want. The message couldn’t be clearer. The reality that we live in is grimmer than Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Donald Rumsfeld worked in the Nixon administration. Is this the man we can trust as the Secretary of Defense? This is the same man that allowed the Abu Ghraib prison scandals to go on under his watch.

It seems as if mankind is obsessed with perpetuating its own genocide, manufacturing its own fate. It’s time for the sheep to lift their heads up from the grass and look at what’s going on around them. The propagation of fear is used as a device to set the public in a particular frame of mind. Paranoia is embedded in the mind of the people that buy the hype!

Americans can no longer be dependant upon the corporate owned news stations for their source of information. and are alternative Web sites to attain news and information.

Fifty-six percent of 1,006 adult Americans polled by CNN from April 29 to May 1 said that they do not believe that it was worth going to war with Iraq. Forty-one percent believed that Iraq should have been invaded, a 7 percent drop from a February poll.

Where do your tax dollars go? According to the National Priorities Project the average household in California in 2004 spent $2,317 on military and defense out of federal income taxes. Apparently we don’t need to contribute more money to education or energy conservation; we can spend money on bombs and weapons of destruction that are used to kill people in a war that most Americans don’t support.

And don’t we all love the recruiters on campus? They never fail at trying to snatch up another poor student (preferably of color) to serve as another automaton to fill a body bag soon. According to Pentagon spokesperson Ellen Krenke there are over 11,500 young Latina women serving in active duty, and an estimated 47,000 women of color currently in the military. So not only are “minorities” being targeted for recruitment, but women as well. Over 1,500 dead Americans (and rising) don’t sound very comforting or optimistic.

I think it’s time that we start saying “God bless the world” instead of “God bless America.” America has been blessed enough. According to the Program on International Policy Attitudes France was polled as having the most positive influence in the world. Twenty out of 23 countries desired to have Europe be more influential than the United States. The U.S. and Russia were seen as the most negative influences in the world.

Yellow ribbons and “Support the troops” bumper stickers are like polishing the shoes of George Bush. There should be “bring the troops home” bumper stickers instead. Saying “support the troops” is like saying “support the war.” They shouldn’t be there in the first place. Do we live in a fascist nation? Why is it that Americans who question the “support our troops” bandwagon are nearly sentenced to a firing squad when doing so?

We can make a difference, we can change the world. We can bring the power into our hands righteously by voting (and voting for the right people), taking offices, and educating ourselves and others through alternative media. There are many more ways that we can take power into our hands. A shootout with the police might give some people pleasure, but we must think logically. Let’s revolutionize this country, the smart way.

Thousands march in L.A. protest

(Originally published November 14, 2007)

Four years after the war in Iraq began, people are still out marching the streets showing their discontent with the Bush administration.

On Oct. 27, an estimated 10,000 anti-war protesters gathered in Los Angeles according to ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism).

At noon the crowd assembled at Olympic and Broadway, and shortly after the announcements of several organizers and the performance of a hip-hop act, the crowd marched to City Hall.

Protesters carried signs that expressed concern over various socio-political issues occurring in the world right now.

One protester carried a big banner that stated “Free the Jena 6,” referring to the six African-American high school students who were arrested for presumably assaulting a white classmate after several racist incidents were perpetrated by the white teenager.

Another carried a sign that stated “Bush will lie again to invade Iran.”

Many other protesters also carried signs in support of the Jena 6 and concerns over a possible invasion in Iran.

As the 2008 presidential election nears, many activists are jumping on the campaign trail to endorse their favorite candidates.

There were signs showing support for Senator Barack Obama and Congressman Dennis Kucinich.

Also in the crowd were 9/11 conspiracy theorists, one in particular who wore a realistic Dick Cheney mask and carried a sign mocking support for Republican Congressman Ron Paul with another poster attached to his sign which read “9/11 was an inside job.”

During the march, a passionate ANSWER organizer representing Movimiento Latino USA told the crowd that the current war had ulterior motives.

“The war in Iraq was based off of racism,” he said.

Five conservative protesters marched on the curb surrounded by the Los Angeles Police Department officers on bikes, in contrast to the thousands in the streets.

A young counter-protester in his 20s held a sign that read “Stop playing games with the troops. Support them, support what they do. Let them finish their job.”

Walking with them were several other younger males, one female, and an elderly Vietnam War veteran.

As the crowd reached Temple Street, the aggressive sounds of local Riverside band Conspiracy of Thoughts came blaring from the speakers set up at the stage that marked the end of the march route.

Guest speakers at the stage included author and Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic, actor Martin Sheen, and other leaders and representatives of various organizations all over Southern California.

After a succession of speakers, the activists staged a die-in in which the sounds of bombs dropping and sirens were played over the PA speakers as the crowd laid down to represent the fallen soldiers and civilians.

During the die-in, a small group of anti-war protesters debated and argued with the five conservative counter-protesters on the other side of the yellow tape protected by LAPD officers.

One liberal protestor questioned the conservative protesters motives and asked that they define patriotism.

“I fought for my country,” an elderly Vietnam veteran yelled in response. “What are you doing?”

Officers of the LAPD were on bikes, in squad cars, and even had a helicopter flying overhead.

Officers were also seen on top of the bridge on Temple Street filming and photographing protesters.

One officer stated that the purpose of the helicopter was to monitor and surveillance the crowd and that the purpose of the strong presence and visibility of LAPD officers was to make sure that “anarchists or communists didn’t disrupt the rally.”

Although the number of protesters had reached the thousands, activist Dick Morris of Riverside Area Peace and Justice Action felt that the turnout was less than expected.

“There could have been more people,” Morris said.

According to the Los Angeles Times, an approximate accumulation of 30,000 protesters marched nationwide Oct. 27 in Washington D.C., Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

ANSWER LA is already in the process of planning the protest march for the five-year anniversary of the War in Iraq.

Other plans and promotions from the organization include a march at Leimert Park on Nov. 7 in South Central in support of the Jena 6 and a Socialism conference in downtown Los Angeles on Nov. 10.

Equal opportunities for third party candidates

(Originally May 16, 2008)

If one was to turn to CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, or any of the other major cable news channels at any time of the day he or she would most likely be bombarded with coverage of the epic battle of Barack Obama vs. Hilary Clinton vs. John McCain.

The news coverage of the presidential election is an exciting one, but it only partially represents true U.S. democracy.

Third party presidential candidates are practically invisible to the public eye through mainstream media and are consistently ignored.

Even our own Viewpoints newspaper has failed to cover third party candidates, instead focusing solely on Republican and Democrat candidates.

How is the public suppose to know that a Black former Democratic Congresswoman, Cynthia McKinney, is running for president as a Green Party candidate or that Independent Ralph Nader is yet again running for president if no one reports about it?

Cynthia McKinney left the Democratic Party in Sept. 2007 and joined the Green Party in Oct. 2007.

Representing Georgia’s fourth congressional district, she served in the House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, and from 2005 to 2007.

Ralph Nader, a lawyer and activist, ran for president as a “write-in” in 1992 in the New Hampshire Democratic and Republican primaries.

He ran again as a representative of the Green Party in 1996 and 2000.

In the 2000 presidential elections, despite overwhelming evidence that George W. Bush and associates rigged the election, Nader was still blamed by some for throwing off votes by running and causing Al Gore to lose.

In 2004 Nader ran as an Independent and was a “write-in” candidate in California.

Nader, the first Arab-American U.S. presidential candidate, decided to join in this year’s historical election by once again challenging big corporate businesses and reducing outrageous federal spendings.

Both McKinney and Nader called for the impeachment of George Bush, Dick Cheney, and other members of the administration as a part of their political agenda.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel decided to switch to the Libertarian party to continue running his campaign.

Gravel was featured in the widely televised CNN Youtube Debates.

The Obama and Clinton hype completely overshadows the underdogs that want to directly challenge the elites that are taking advantage of the American people.

Candidates like Nader, McKinney, Party for Socialism and Liberation candidate Gloria La Riva, and even former Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich are at odds with the politics of the owners of the major news outlets.

People like Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp. are filthy rich right-wing business owners who won’t allow people to go on the stations and programs that they own to speak out against their wealth and establishment.

Mainstream American media like to dumb down the public by presenting them with only two choices of political parties and two choices of presidential candidates, who more or less have similar agendas anyways.

The reality of American democracy is that U.S. citizens have many more options of whom they choose to elect into office.

I’ve noticed that media has been obsessively focused on Obama, Clinton, and McCain with hardly any coverage of the alternative candidates already mentioned.

How come Nader and McKinney aren’t invited to debate with Obama and Clinton on television?

When third party candidates are denied airtime they lose public exposure to demographics of people that might not even know they exist.

Even if one disagrees with the third party candidates’ personal politics, the general public still has the right to hear a variety of different viewpoints and proposals, especially those that are outside of the Democratic and Republican parties.

In this case, there is a form of censorship; third party candidates are seen as unimportant and not taken seriously.

In reality, they threaten the wealth and power of Democratic and Republican politicians, they fight for working class people, other underdogs and people who are consistently taken advantage of and exploited by their own government.

They ask the real questions about the environment, reducing military spending, and providing healthcare to the poor and funding to education.

They attack corporate companies that rip off millions of people, yet at the same time sponsor Democrat and Republican politicians.

They are the voices of reason, logic, and equality.

And they are silenced just for speaking the truth and asking the necessary questions that will truly bring about change.

Most importantly, they don’t compromise to appease Republican or Democrat candidates in their run for president.

They stick to their issues and encourage the public that the changes being called for are best for all citizens.

Capitalism doesn’t equal happiness and success

(Originally published June 3, 2008)

In America we are taught that financial competition is the way to achieve success and establishment.

The more that we consume as a society, the more money put into the system for circulation.

This theory may satisfy neoconservatives that supported Reaganomics, but ignored the possibility for inflation.

America is $9.3 trillion in national debt yet people are still purchasing on credit and collecting unnecessary material items.

Capitalism is a horserace for wealth and financial gain.

It is a system that tells its citizens that the more money you make the better off you will be as a person.

A grave misperception is that money equals happiness and success.

It has been proven time after time again that money in excess can complicate an individual’s life instead of enhance it.

Next to land, money has arguably caused more deaths than anything else in the history of modern civilization.

The race to attain money can turn people cut-throat and ruthless.

A capitalistic system breeds materialism and greed, which is why corporate companies such as Tyco and Worldcom can take advantage of the public for their own profit.

The reinforcement of the idea that they live in a country that permits them to compete for “unlimited” capital gain allows them to justify their actions and abuse of power.

Corporate companies have worked closely with the Bush Administration, protecting him in his presidential runs as he “conveniently” grants them tax-cuts.

Advertisement is greatly in excess.

Pharmaceutical companies create drugs for anything you can think of to make money with little concern about its effect on the public health (because they know people are stupid enough to buy the medication).

Our country is in need of a wake up call.

In America people compete on television to become millionaires, but not to help solve homelessness and poverty.

MTV and VH1 shove down television viewers’ throats the images of spoiled teenage girls that demand expensive cars and lavish parties for their birthdays and air shows specifically created to calculate the wealth of Hollywood’s “hottest stars.”

Corporations became so money hungry that they felt the need to market on “cool.”

Even MTV is guilty of hiring people to do “cool hunting,” which is when marketing professionals observe, interview, and document traits in the youth that can be exploited by the popular marketed and sold back to public through commercialization.

Products of “cool hunting” include the exploitation of goth and punk by Hot Topic or Sprite’s recent hip-hop campaign.

Recently Myspace, owned by Rupert Murdoch of News Corp., is used by corporate companies to look for trends amongst young people to commercialize and market on.

Not only are these companies exploiting the trends of young people, but they get to do it for free via Myspace, whereas in the past they had to pay to view cool hunting Web sites.

Myspace in itself is worth about $6 billion.

Riverside County has the worst air quality in the country from industrial factories and traffic.

Commuters must travel to attend work, and factories must manufacture to contribute to economic profit.

Many companies who produce excess pollution get taxed, yet don’t do much to correct their errors.

While some people are choosing to switch to smaller or eco-friendly vehicles due to gas prices and environmental awareness, there are many who refuse to change their ways.

Automobile companies such as General Motors place profit over public health, once again exercising the evils of capitalism.

Gas-guzzling eco-unfriendly Hummers and oversized SUVs imperialize the road making things more complicated for other drivers, yet gas is at $4 a gallon as of today.

Why do sports athletes get paid millions of dollars to kick and throw balls on a field or court, yet the average salary for K-12 teachers is about $40,000 a year?

Why is America a country that is so entertainment driven that it allows record companies and film studios to throw away millions of dollars to overpaid actors and musicians who society puts up on a pedestal and praise to no end?

Think about how beneficial it would be if all of the money that the cast of “Friends” made, and the 2007 salary of all players in the National Baseball League and National Basketball Association was put into education budgets, social programs, or health care programs.

You and I would probably be going to college for nearly free and there would be more jobs available for people.

We live in a culture that has brainwashed its people to believe that success is owning as much stuff as you possibly can until you die.

Why is it that people can spend $1,000 for a sweater or $300 for glasses, yet some students can’t even afford to pay $112 for a textbook.

The gap between the haves and have-nots is widening.

The middle class is shrinking.

Not to depress business majors, but the goal of entrepreneurship in America is often driven by greed, the need to make money excessively.

So imagine a society with no money, no currency, nothing to “kill or die for” as John Lennon brilliantly put.

Imagine a society with free-trade, where there was no cost to going to school, attaining groceries, attaining healthcare, producing entertainment, or running for office as a presidential candidate.

Imagine if there was no money-driven competition, no corporate crime and almost non-existent street-crime.

Now wake up.

These are utopian ideas.

And although they seem ethical and fair, they are unrealistic for an American society.

Men have already been tainted with the abuse of currency.

It would be impossible to retract it and establish it in a capitalistic country such as America.

One thing that people can do to be better citizens is to not over consume.

As Ron Paul indicated in a Fox News interview, every child born into this country today has a $30,000 debt attached to them.

As Americans it is not something to be proud of.

If people can change their mindsets, then they can change their spending habits and elect better leaders.

Then, the country would be in better shape and better equipped to tackle poverty.

Military Budget Raises Serious Concerns

(Originally published in Viewpoints in April 2009)

The price for patriotism is more than what Americans can realistically afford.

Americans, in general, feel that they are better than most other people in the world.

Therefore, they feel that they are entitled to earn, spend and consume more than the rest of the world as well.

As the recession grew to negatively impact more and more Americans, the federal government proposed cutting back on some programs in the federal budget.

However, there is one department that has seen a steady increase in its budget from year to year; it is the Department of Defense.

The military budget covers a variety of things, from paying salaries and providing training to purchasing arms and new equipment.

The budget is divided and distributed to the branches of the Air Force, Marines, Navy, Army and Coast Guard.

For the fiscal year 2009, the Department of Defense budget, according to its press release, came up to $515.4 billion.

Including other departments outside of the Defense budget that are Defense-related, (such as Department of Energy and Veterans Affairs) and war funding, the annual cost for Defense-related spending totals up to over $1 trillion.

Could the United States afford to throw away $1 trillion to the military?

It is not suggested that the United States do away with its military.

Thousands of servicemen being left unemployed is unacceptable, but so is spending $1 trillion on Defense funds when the nation is in a recession.

There are things that can be cut back from the military budget to bring down its cost.

Is it really necessary to have military bases stretched throughout the world in countries such as Japan, Spain, Australia and South Korea?

Is it necessary for the United States to have the presence of its armed forces on every continent on the planet?

The Bush administration advocated “safety first,” and thought that sufficient military power was a top-priority.

In March 2003, the Bush administration launched the nation into a war with Iraq under false pretenses.

It then managed to successfully bamboozle the American people into supporting its patriotism propaganda with bandwagon catch phrases such as “support the troops,” (which really means support the war).

Apparently there is a flaw in the human perception that men can evoke peace through means of violence and destruction.

Patriots would argue that the government must protect the country and if it requires significant financial backing, then it is necessary. This is the same logic of the Bush administration.

Perhaps the United States could more efficiently protect itself from outside enemies if it would stop going into other countries and blowing people up.

The war in Iraq as of April 2009 cost more than $610 billion.

Imagine what $610 billion could do for unemployment in the country right now. Imagine what $610 billion could do for education and health care programs.

The Bush administration launched the Department of Homeland Security in November 2002; its budget for 2009 is $52 billion. It has already come under criticism for misuse of funds.

The Department of Homeland Security inevitably made the country more unsafe and vulnerable.

The Obama administration will have to learn the power of surrendering. We can not fix our problems at home if we simultaneously pour money into violence abroad.

The priorities of the Department of Defense are highly questionable.

Perhaps if money within the budget was shifted from purchasing arms to recuperating injured soldiers (including the mentally unstable and post-traumatic stress disorder victims), or reducing the number of homeless veterans, the Defense’s efforts would be more productive.

Military funding should help aid the men and women that it broke by sending into combat in the first place.

Time magazine reports there were over 2,000 reported suicide attempts in 2007. CNN reports there is an average of five suicide attempts per day by U.S. soldiers.

As of April 1, there have been 4,263 American casualties in Iraq, 673 American casualties in Afghanistan, and about 99,000 Iraqi civilian causalities.

The juxtaposition of death-tolls is astonishing.

The U.S. military must change its outlook on the world and realize that American lives are no more valuable than the lives of any other human being on this planet.

The military works best as a humanitarian machine; it works destructively as a murdering machine.

Military patriots might argue that the United States has spent $20.9 billion in aid to help rebuild Iraq.

However, it is incredibly backwards to wage war on a country, contribute to its destruction, and try to modestly clean up after itself by throwing aid to it to take care of the problems.

Contrary to popular belief, money doesn’t solve every problem. And it certainly doesn’t grow on trees.

While other Americans throughout the country are nervous about the security of keeping their jobs, military positions seem to be protected.

The problem is that no one is brave enough to stand up to the Department of Defense and tell it that it is wrong.

Just because 9/11 happened doesn’t mean that all logic and rationality should be thrown out of the window.

From the perspective of Iraqi’s, how many 9/11s have the United States committed against them?

The military budget has become some sort of high-class welfare. Top generals and officials live comfortably at the expense of tax-payers.

The outrageous Defense budget increase is backed by bravado and ego.

Killing people is not a top priority of the country, and it shouldn’t cost $515.4 billion to support the Defense department’s political interest.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. heartofbella permalink
    October 24, 2011 10:53 pm


  2. December 1, 2011 12:37 pm

    We are legion.
    We do not Forget
    We do not Forgive
    Expect us

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