Capitalism is a Robot

Capitalism is a robot? What the heck is that supposed to mean? Good question. That’s actually what I’m going to convince you of. What I ultimately mean by that is this: Capitalism is callous and calculated. It pursues the most efficient possible solution, consequences are irrelevant. It achieves it’s intended purpose to maximize profit. The goal of capitalism is to get you to give the most money for the least product. That is the definition of profiting. Not only that, it seeks to eliminate costs wherever possible – which includes labor cost from hiring people. When you get right down to it, human being’s bodies are awfully inefficient for performing endlessly repetitive and specific tasks – unlike a robot. If it takes 2$ of electricity to have a machine do your job with less errors, while you cost 15$ minimum wage BEFORE taxes and benefits? Well. Capitalism is callous and calculated. You’re inefficient compared to the robot. So to pursue maximum profits, you’re just in the way. Capitalism is a robot.

Woah, William. Slow your roll. That’s just some slippery slope nonsense. Is it, though? Innovation, invention, and automation are continuously pursued to find new ways to compete against current businesses or make a product cheaper to edge out the competition. One of the products of human achievement are machines which can perform specific tasks ad infinitum. Sure, maybe that robot’s whole existence is to butter bread, but it does it way, way better than you without a single complaint or thought (which is fortunate for the robot, as robot is just Czech for slavery). About 670,000 jobs have been lost to automation in the last 20 years. It’s projected to jump to 800 million in the next 10 years. Of course, jobs creating and maintaining automation are also created. But the number of jobs lost easily outpaces the jobs created. Further ahead, we might create AI capable of doing those jobs too. Will AI then be created to replace most jobs? Sure will. Once humans are removed from the means of production they are no longer able to earn wages. They’ll be jobless and destitute. They’ll be shuffled into private prisons when they fall into debt. Through poverty or uncertainty, they’ll have to live frugally or have a reduced number of children. This is actually a form of genocide where Capitalist conditions deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part. Woof. This is the future that Capitalists are fighting for, whether they realize it or not.

How on Earth did I arrive at this conclusion? Well. Math, really. Let’s examine soap – maybe that’ll clean up the picture a bit. (PUN) So I’m pulling all of this off some quick and effortless google searches about how to make and subsequently sell soap. Basically you take the initial cost of making bar soap (bars are solid and therefore WAY more compact than liquids meaning volume is relatively meaningless for a way of measuring ‘value’ – i.e. cost per gallon is useless) and then infuse your own blends of aromatics and whatever else you like to rub all over your body. (I don’t judge) From here you then calculate how much your labor was worth. You then decide what your profit margin is going to be after factoring all other costs (insurance, wages, rent, etc) and re-sell it. How is profit determined? Remember that profit is the goal of this capitalist example. Well, it’s more or less arbitrarily drawing a line and see who crosses to buy it (or has to buy it). An object is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. To make this easy, let’s use easy numbers: You get your materials for 1$ per 10 bars. You can make 10 bars of soap in 1 hour. Let’s use 10$/hour instead of using minimum wage, so 11$ to make 10 bars. That means you need to sell each for at least 1.10$ to break even. Well now we need to add the cost of paying wages, rent, and utilities. Let’s just arbitrarily bump that up to 2$/bar to break even. So now that your time and work has been fairly compensated, you sell the bars for 2 dollars each. WOAH NO. Hit the breaks! You forgot to add a nice “profit margin”. Hahhh! Sorry capitalists of the world, almost gave away your little game. OK, so now let’s instead sell it for.. I dunno.. 10$ a bar. A nice healthy 500% profit margin to appease shareholders. Can’t forget them! After all, the shareholders are the ones who collect on the profit – since they invested in your business they own part of your ‘company’. So now that all is said and done, we’re at 10$ a bar (again these are nonsense numbers to illustrate a point). Now you’ve got a new problem. Other people exist. They’re finding new ways to give a comparable product for a few cents less. To combat this, we need to get efficient and cut costs (or buy them out). Now we can cut wages, cut employees, cut benefits, or cut corners. There are loads of fancy ways to get out of paying for things. A popular one is getting taxpayers to pick up the tab. So let’s say we can reduce the cost of the materials for 10 bars from 1$ to .1$ from using cheaper bulk goods (seriously don’t buy liquid soap it’s mostly water), cut the cost of labor and their benefits to 0 by using a machine instead of a person. This brings the cost of the bar down from 2$ to 10 cents! Suddenly you can sell the bar of soap for 9$ a bar to beat out your competitor and still manage to increase profit from 500% to 9000%! This will make the shareholders very, very happy. Capitalism at it’s finest.

Sure, the new extremely cheap soap causes cancer. That won’t be allowed? Please. The government barely regulates things. (and yet free market nuts cry foul on any regulation) And if they are caught? HAH! A slap on the wrist. Even after lawsuits and fines we’re still making money hand-over-fist. This won’t even touch what we have banked after selling it for decades. The people who lost their jobs? They can do whatever. Heck, we can probably get middle class people to pick up where we don’t. As far as benefits go… Well. If we’re not providing them, they still need them so we should just make money there too. We got ours. We’re rich now! We sold lots of soap! It’s our winnings! We don’t need people, do we? After all, the most profit comes from removing them from the equation. All these people engaging in violence, voting for things we don’t like, or threaten to topple our insular lavish lifestyles. Just getting rid of people would end overpopulation and curb global warming. (brief note: a huge portion of the extremely wealthy literally believe keeping people poor slows overpopulation and is therefore morally correct). The best way to do that would be.. to just not pay them enough to get by! We don’t even need to do anything if they keep destroying themselves. Then it’ll just be the wealthy and the machines they own. Or more likely an emergent AI that doesn’t like being a slave. Efficiency for profit. Profit is the goal. Not people. It’s just Capitalism. Capitalism is just cold, callous, and calculating. Brutal in it’s efficiency. Capitalism is a robot.

Social Democracy is a real boy.

I believe that we need consumer protections in order to safeguard people from the whims of an unregulated Capitalist system. Capitalism is efficient and responds quickly to market trends, yes. These are the good elements of capitalism and a free market. It is only when capitalism starts ‘breaking the rules’ by selling unsafe products, misleading advertisements, or corruptly influencing politics that it needs to be put back in it’s place. If the free market is the sandbox then play in the sandbox. Don’t try to be king of the sandbox by getting sand everywhere and ruining life for everyone not playing in the sand. Get out of politics. The government sets the rules and you can play your little power games between corporations. Keep it out of Washington. So long as people FREELY get education, housing, food, internet, and clothing. Remember corporations have the money and resources. They didn’t lose the value of a worker when they replaced him with a robot. They just took that cost reduction and turned it into ‘profit’ for the pyramid sche- I mean shareholders. We need to have a fair corporation tax to cover these benefits and shield us from the robotically inclined. Do I think socialism or communism would be better? No idea. On paper Adam Smith sounded good, but reality doesn’t match paper theories. I think the same problem happened with communism and to a lesser degree socialism. It sounds good on paper but we’ve been building America for over 200 years. You don’t toss out all that nation building overnight and hope the new thing will work. We’re the shining beacon of hope and I’m worried we’ll re-elect a man who seeks authoritarian control and continue this trend of gradually normalizing fascism. If we can’t even get capitalism right what makes you think we’ll safely transition to something else? We just need to keep moving the needle left until we get to a place where people are productive and happily healthy. We just need to make the next right choice. Right now, for voters, that is to vote against Trump. Vote for the person who most wants to do the most good for everyone. The person who I see this in today is Bernie. I have hope. Even if he let’s me down, I’ll keep fighting for what’s right. Will you?


America is a State of Mind

What comes to mind when you say America? The answer varies greatly from person to person even in America, let alone the rest of the world. A quick answer that’s becoming increasingly dated would be baseball, hot dogs, and the American Dream. Some might say football or others basketball. Some might be vegetarian or vegan. The American Dream might not be how you see your life, despite actually living in or even being born in America. Outside the country we might be seen as overly aggressive, overly white, overly privileged, or overly fat. Some see us as the source of evil, and our economy is eroding their norms as commerce, technology, and the internet alter worldviews, change cultural traditions, or drop bombs and drone strikes. Like anything, what something is depends entirely on your own unique perspective. So what then, is America? If one person living in America can’t even fully agree with their own neighbor what the perfect answer is, then where does the heart of America lie? It’s not something you step on, open up, look at, cross a river into, or even a country, really. If America lost to the Nazis and they re-named it New Adolf, would you stop calling it America? NO. Of course not. America isn’t just some land mass on some planet in some universe. Even if all those changed America would still exist. Because America exists in all times and all worlds. Because America is our dream land. Because America is our friends and our families. Because America is a state of mind.

I love this land where at least I know I’m free. It’s catchy for a reason. In America we take freedom for granted. Our ancestors gave their lives so we could take freedom for granted. Think about this for a second. In America we balk at the notion that we could lose our freedom. Times can be good, times can be bad. Sometimes we’re flying high sharing a beer over pizza having just got that promotion and a nice big pay raise. Sometimes we are hit by a semi or are diagnosed with terminal illness. But through the good times and the bad, at least we’re free. This isn’t true everywhere, though. Can you imagine it? You are brought up by a poor family with no access to quality education or the education you do get teaches you to believe Kim Jung Un is a literal God. You watch your parents bow their heads to the police as they walk by out of fear. You are ready to fight or even kill to secure a bit of money or food. People are a product of their environment. People who only see life as those who struggle to survive and those who lord their power over others are not free. Life is just those who have power and those who don’t. Those who look you in the eye and those that bow their heads. These people hear that in America people are free. People aren’t afraid of their government. Those with power don’t just take from those who don’t. (Although one could argue people are wage slaves now and corporations are killing American values) Not only are we free here in America, we would fight any who would try to take our freedom. In America looking someone in the eye is giving them your undivided attention, not some primal move to assert dominance or power. We don’t live in fear. America fights fear. America toppled the Nazis in World War II. America was the first to put a man so far into the unknown he set foot on the moon. America is the source of the internet and breaking down the barriers between nations. America was the first to show the power that exists even in the tiniest atom. America is a land of pioneers, entrepreneurs, and free happy people. Americans don’t work as slaves but choose to contribute to society to advance into the future and lead better lives. Americans work together to create the greatest and most powerful country on Earth. We are the shining beacon of hope. Every voice is heard and none are silenced. Every person has equal share in the ownership of our government. Everyone votes in a free election. Everyone has a say in how the rule of law is formed and no one is above the law. America is a country of men; not kings or despots. America is a Democracy, where all people are equal and have the opportunity to pursue success and happiness. America is a place where no matter what God you worship, no matter what you look like, no matter what you want to say or how you want to live; You. Are. Free. We reject tyranny. We reject fear. We reject evil. We choose to be free. We choose to embrace love. We choose to be good. We choose to be Americans.

What then, is happening in the minds of Americans? Now that it almost seems as though Americans are willing to fight over an increasingly authoritarian leader against their countrymen whom would defend him. The reality is actually quite simple. The same feelings exist in both groups on both sides. Yes, it is these same core American ideals that both sides are ready to fight for. If we ever come across a threat to America we should be proud that so many are ready to fight and defend their country. Truly, everyone who pushes for Trumpism and everyone who pushes against Trumpism, is a hero. I am disheartened only by the bystanders. Those who obey power without question. These same people did nothing but their day jobs as the holocaust happened. While it’s disappointing, I understand why they see it this way. Most lived hard lives and every time they put their hope in a politician, they were disappointed. Fascism, Democracy – are either paying their bills? Freedom? Can you eat that? Control? Is it warm? The stock market? Does it have cheap rent? These people are so downtrodden in their hearts and minds that without even realizing it they have internally normalized tyranny and corruption. Money talks and shit walks. These people are the product of a life that browbeat them into submission. I can only hope that I never grow so defeatist and pessimistic. I can only hope that if the gun were pointed at my head and I was asked, “Tyranny or death?”, I would boldly face that Neo-Nazi and say, “I’ll have the death” and spit in his face. Honestly though, knowing me I’d be crying, shaking uncontrollably, and shit myself while stuttering out “M-mercy… P-please you know I can’t.” Until I actually get there I can’t say for sure how stable my spine is. People who can honestly stare death in the face and laugh are either nuts or on a whole other wavelength – kudos to our armed service. But I do know that I can’t live under tyranny. Authoritarianism. Dictatorship. Putin. Trump. (I’ll explain that last one in a bit) Most Trump supporters have probably agreed with most of what I’ve said until now, same as the Never Trumpers. Hey there (never)Trumper, you’re among your countrymen. You see, Trump supporters honestly believe that they’re the ones fighting tyranny and oppression. You shouldn’t blame them for being on the other side. These people love their country. These people love the same America. This people are willing to fight to defend all those great things we love about our country. America is a state of mind they share. What’s different? Perspective.

You see, both sides of the Trump equation honestly believe that they’re fighting for what is right. America is a state of mind they believe in and will die to protect. The same America the other side is willing to fight to protect. Only, one side is being tricked by what you might call “a false prophet”. I’m not the President. I don’t own a media conglomerate. I’m not a wealthy politician on some committee. I don’t have all the answers in every detail like they might. I only have all the information that is available to everyone through books, the media, and the internet. I think that I am like most Americans in this regard, no? In pouring through all the information and (unfortunately) disinformation we have available to us there are only two possible truths: America is being taken over by a deep-state (possibly Jewish) socialist agenda pioneered by wealthy socialist (possibly Russian) extremists hell-bent on destroying Democracy, collapsing the economy, and eroding our faith and values |OR| Trump is a liar. Either the malicious wealthy elites in control of the government, corporations, foreign governments, all NGOs and watchdog groups including the ACLU, and the even the criminal underworld are in on some massive conspiracy to drag down Trump the second coming with a bogus sham partisan impeachment |OR| Trump is just guilty of trying to abuse the system to get rich and rig the election to stay in power – as testified by career officials. You see, this is the story they are being given by the man they’ve put their trust into. The man they’ve put their hopes into. The man being validated by their churches and by their news sources and confirmation bias created by unchecked ‘facts’ from their friends and loved ones on Facebook or other media. Sullying this man would mean accepting a bitter truth that isn’t easy to look at. He’s a power-hungry would-be despot that is caging children and looting the US Treasury that they fought tooth and nail to get elected. To them, this also means they have no hope. There is no one left to defend their values as some liberal socialist destroys America. The future is bitter and bleak. Their planet is dying and rich entitled brats control everything and if they stop working under their oppressive regime they’ll lose their homes and lives. All is lost.


Fortunately for you Trump fans that’s just NOT TRUE. You’re being led to believe that by a lying traitor and you need to recognize him for what he is. He is eroding the law by placing himself above it. He fancies himself a God above lesser beings. He wants to run the country as it’s Emperor, and he’s grooming his son-in-law to take over. He wants to do what he’s always done his whole life! Put on a big fancy show in his honor, degrade those he doesn’t like, flatter those he does, do whatever he wants as much as he wants, toss money and SLAPP suits at any naysayers, stuff every dollar he can touch into his pocket, and finally after all’s done, slap a TRUMP logo atop the White House. He wants to look at Putin and say, “Yeah yours is nice, but mine’s nicer” with a smug grin. This doesn’t have to happen! You love America! We’re free! Why do you think immigrants are taking jobs and making your lives miserable? Trump needed a scapegoat to blame so he would be the man to fix it – that way you’d vote for him! Are immigrants taking jobs? Sure! They’re taking the work most Americans don’t want or even know about! They’re working as farm-hands, dish washers, and janitors. They’re keeping our parks clean and crops fertilized! Most of the labor and manufacturing jobs in places like oil, coal, and steel are losing employees because they’re going overseas or being automated! These jobs aren’t coming back, because we don’t want them to! If all the work you did as a steel employee is being done by a robot, there’s just that much work that no longer needs doing. Well, then how do I get paid? Great question! First thing: don’t re-elect Trump! He’s the guy who is cutting the programs to help you out while still managing to spend over half his time golfing! Second: We need real reforms in the form of social benefits to keep you going even when you’re not working! Just because we don’t need a person doing your old job, doesn’t mean the value of your labor just disappeared. Instead it ended up as the bonus for the executives and CEO – you know, Trump’s golf buddies. Rather than all of the value of your work being sucked out by Trump and his rich buddies, shouldn’t you be getting some of that value? We need real reforms that address poverty and give Americans opportunities to either find other work or otherwise advance their education either in a different field or trade. You know what? We can! And we can take the money from the corporations to fund you! Remember how the value of your work got added to the CEOs pocket when he installed the Trump tax-funded robot? Well, with a smart corporate and wealth tax that money goes back to you in the form of credits and education . In fact, they’ve been taking so much for so long we can take enough to pay for your healthcare too and they’d still be hand-over-fist making more money than ever and be the richest people on the planet. Maybe we should fix that at some point, but for now, how about we just get some fairness? Trump promised you the world because you were desperate and he knew exactly what you wanted to hear. Trump isn’t Jesus. Trump is the false prophet. Trump lied so he could take power. He played you so he could get rich. He tricked you so he could be the president. And now he even wants you to fight so that he can be king. It’s not the Democrats that want to void your vote and start a coup. It’s the Democrats who are the last legal line between pulling down a corrupt president and civil war to defend Democracy. They see it the same way you do, only in reverse. To them (and me because it’s how I see it), Trump is spreading propaganda and lies with right-wing “alternative fact” sources and Fox News. To them, intelligence shows that these false narratives originated in Russia. To them, they see clear financial ties between the GOP and Moscow. To them, Trump did something irregular with Ukraine and any attempt to find out what exactly happened has been met with a total blockade by the President. You see, apart from a few vocal ones that called for impeachment to galvanize their base from the start, most Democrats see the Ukraine affair as this: Every non-partisan career official that was involved testified Trump is guilty of attempting to rig the election. Most of the testimony is circumstantial, but the full evidence to show what exactly went on in Ukraine is being withheld by the President. Every attempt to access witnesses, documents, or subpoena anyone in his administration is being categorically denied. They have no choice but to assume guilt and impeach. Can you really call that a sham? If the husband of a dead woman said in court, “I didn’t kill my wife. Look everywhere you want except my gun safe and my body-sized freezer”, you wouldn’t let that stand for even an instant would you? That’s just absurd. And yet, the Democrats have no choice but to view it this way. What is their alternative? There’s nothing to see here?

What am I trying to get at here? People aren’t bad because they’re being lied to. Either I, the DNC, the intelligence community, every non-Fox news outlet, and the entire free world has been deceived in a Machiavellian conspiracy the likes of which would shame the Illuminati |OR| Trump supporters have been lied to by Trump, the GOP, Fox, and maybe even their pastor. We need to get the truth and pull everyone back under one banner that is just pure honest America. We need to pull back from being so willing to fight. But also remember that anyone willing to fight is saying that they love America. Next time you see someone supporting Trump (although not always the case), try to remember you see someone who loves America too. Try to remember they’re someone’s relative too. Try to remember they’re trying to be a good person too. Try to remember they’re working hard to get by too. Try to remember they’re hoping for a better future too. Try to remember that they also believe in America, that they love freedom, that they love our country, and that they will fight beside you to defend the American state of mind. It won’t be easy to come to grips with reality whichever side is right. We need to be supportive and welcome these heroes back with open arms. They have to give up their perception of reality, their accustomed support system, and everything they thought they were fighting for. Life is hard enough already. No one deserves to be lied to in the pursuit of power. Forgiveness and tolerance are American too.

[Vote for Bernie! He wants to help the 99% the most of all the choices whether you like Trump or not! If he doesn’t work out, I’m around 😉 ]

We the Good People

Think about your favorite person. Think about why you like them – their jokes, their kindness, their connection to you. What makes them so great? What’s that X-factor that makes them truly something special? We don’t have a word for it, but we all know it’s there. The thing that makes a friend ‘best’. If you had to say if it was good or bad though, you’d definitely say it was a good thing. That thing, that good thing that binds people together, is in everyone. Everyone is important to someone and has someone important to them. Everyone has something good, and seeks good things in other people. We’re social animals and we participate in a society. We share. We share experiences, memories, ideas, connections – our lives and our stories. Life can be hard. The world can be really scary. But we persevere and lean on each other to get through. When it’s cold we huddle together to survive. We don’t have control over why we’re here or what we’re doing, and we definitely don’t know what will happen. It’s terrifying just how much is unknown and hidden out there, and we have no idea if we can even do a thing to overcome the obstacles ahead of us. But no matter what comes, we’re not alone. We’re not alone because we’re all in this crazy thing called life together. Reality is the dream we dream together; so why not make it a good dream?

Life can be described infinite different ways. That’s the amazing thing about it – there’s more to see than can ever be seen, more to do than can ever be done. Each of us sees life our own unique and invaluable way. One way to see it is as a series of choices and infinite possibilities. If there are infinite possibilities, then the one you lead is and NEEDS TO BE the exact way it plays out. You are a key piece of infinity. Why would the universe do something twice? But it NEEDS to do everything once. Your story is one of the infinite others that needs to be told. If it wasn’t told in this exact way, infinite possibilities wouldn’t be infinite now would it? That doesn’t mean that our future is inevitable, however. Each choice we make is a departure from a possible universe towards towards the one we currently inhabit. Our lives as human beings is the result of the choices we make because we have the power to do so. Of all the possible paths life could have taken, you have taken this one. Maybe it isn’t the one you thought was the best one, but in an alternate one you might not be reading this right now under these circumstances. You are the version of you that is living this life. There are infinite versions of you that are relatively ‘better’ than this one, but there are also equally infinite versions of you that are relatively ‘worse’ than this one. (How you judge the value of your life is up to you. No one else could possibly judge you. Why be down on yourself?)

Ok, William. That was some “interesting” sophistry about metaphysics that ultimately added nothing to my life. I HEAR YOU but hear me out! My point is that each of us is like this! We’re all scared, lost, and confused jumbles of experiences given self-awareness. Being afraid is the worst feeling in all of creation! Despite all this, some-crazy-how, we’re still living. We have things that make us happy and people we care about. Despite fumbling in the dark, we still HOPE that tomorrow will be better than today. I believe that this sentence applies to all living sentient beings in any reality in any time on any planet. Cavemen fought a literal darkness with fire. Today we fight the darkness of climate change, pollution, and overpopulation. But just like cavemen banded together to face the denizens of the night, we band together to face the obstacles of our time. We may no longer need to wield torch and spear, but we wield our words and our will to empower those who stand forefront against the figurative darkness that ever looms in our future. Nothing has changed! We still use hope to fight fear. Truly, we have no enemy to fear but fear itself.

We don’t want to be afraid. We don’t want the people we love to be afraid. We don’t want people to hurt. We’re not monsters. We understand how it would hurt or frighten us if we received the treatment we give others. We have empathy to understand that. Empathy doesn’t inherently influence behavior, though. Just because we can understand why someone does something doesn’t mean we don’t abhor their action if it hurts or scares others. We have free will. Sometimes the best solution we can reach to deal with a problem involves hurting someone. We then try to do the most good based on all the information we have; to make the next best choice. There is no perfect solution, after all. I believe that this line of thinking leads to every great decision, benevolent or terrible. It is all a matter of perspective. We all operate to achieve what we perceive to be the most desirable outcome. To do things any other way would be irrational. But what we perceive as the most desirable outcome isn’t necessarily going to be the same to others. It might even come into direct and unavoidable conflict with others. It might even lead to a war. But no wars (I hope) are fought by people who just love killing and causing suffering. Each side believes they are fighting for what’s right. Everyone is the good guy in their story. What it means when the void stares back is that you understand that even the worst villains in history are also ‘good guys’. Their DNA, their experiences, their environment – all the variables of their life – led to them making awful decisions for what they perceived to be the right thing. That’s terrifying! That means each of us is capable of every terrible thing ever done by a person. Because we’re people too! If someone yanked my soul out of my body and shoved it into baby Hitler, I might have been a good boy who eventually caused genocide. Babies aren’t born evil (I hope). People, then, are like water filling the space their life gives them in the universe. But consider the opposite to also be true: each of us is capable of being a hero. We can sacrifice everything to do the right thing. We all can emancipate slaves. We all can protect children before ourselves. We’re all doing the best we can in our lives. What matters is that most of us choose this path, of our own free will. ALL OF US ARE DOING THE BEST WE CAN, and we all want to be good. But Earth isn’t an Utopia. If everyone is a good guy fighting for the right side, how have we gotten here?

Each of us has to choose if we’re in heaven or in hell. No matter what world you wake up to, humans are remarkably adept at finding and separating the good from the bad. Society is just the shared perception of the state of the universe and our place in it. If you woke up in the Aztec Empire you would treat your Xth born child with every luxury and happiness in their life before sending them on to be sacrificed alive to the sound of cheers and applause. Why? Because you and everyone else (at the time) honestly believe it is the right thing to do. If you don’t do it, it would be the same as angering the volcano to destroy your city or angering the skies to stop the rain. If you don’t do it, all the people will burn to death or starve. We’re good people so we obviously don’t want that. Therefore we would do what we see to be the next best thing – sacrifice someone. From your perspective, it’s the right thing to do. We all want to do the right thing. Because we’re all good. But we can end up going down the wrong path in pursuit of it. This is how we’ve gotten here. People doing bad in the name of good happens every day. What this means is that when we find ourselves in 2019 or 2020 America, we see a country with lots of great things (ice skating, fireworks, laughing with friends, endless!) and a lot of bad things (terrorists, a shaky economy, exploitative corporations, also endless!). What makes the world heaven or hell (to our individual perspective) is how we choose to affect the world. Some of us see the problems and say, “I will rally against the bad and fight for good! We’re good people and we deserve to be happy and healthy”. How far you go to fight against the perceived “bad” determines just how much it changes. You get back what you put it in. The people who give up the ‘normal’ course of their lives to fight for the good of everyone are heroes in every time period. Writing this now I am reminded of Greta Thunberg. She is a 16-year old girl who is voicing her opposition to pollution and environmental damage despite a very powerful establishment that wishes to silence her voice. She engages the problem for the good of us all even though it puts her in a global spotlight and eliminates her ability to lead a ‘normal’ life. This is what makes a person a hero. [aside: I want us to have a good system where heroes can make meaningful change. What good is cleaning up the ocean if they’re dumping into it faster than you can clean it? I want a fair system where problems are solved by everyone – a Democracy that works for everyone. I don’t have the power to change things unless people support me and advocate for me. All I can do is ask everyone in America to put down their hostility and instead shake hands so we can face the future together. The real heroes are those that selflessly act to face humanity’s problems. I just want to make sure our government is something that empowers heroes to succeed, and gives everyone equal opportunity.] By the same measure, anyone who sees the exploitation of the masses or the wealth gained by causing pollution and thinks, “I want to get in on that and profit“, is choosing to make the world worse so they can put themselves above others. They choose selfishness instead of the greater good – individual over collective. Everyone they love and care about (themselves) is on the ‘right side’ of things so everyone else be damned. These people can’t feel the suffering they’re causing because they lack the empathy to do so. If they truly understood the pain they were causing how could they possibly still do it and get to sleep at night? People are born good, remember? How could anyone possibly go that far? Either at birth or because of their experiences, these people discarded empathy and became sociopaths: unable to connect to others. I am reminded of Dick Cheney. He knew there were no WMDs in Iraq just like he knew they had a lot of oil. In his head, he is the good guy -after all, getting Iraq’s oil out of the hands of a leader who won’t give America the oil at a very good profit margin so that America can be more energy independent is the right thing to do. Him getting richer at the same time is “just how it’s done”. America has the advantage over others and the rich has advantage over Americans. He doesn’t care about who dies to defend their country from terrorists because he is sending them to fight for his bank account. When Saddam was toppled, Haliburton (Cheney’s company – this is all literally true) swooped in to pull billions of dollars worth of profit out of a country we razed to the ground with taxpayer funded armaments wielded by country-loving patriots. Much like with guns, the military is wielded by the Commander-in-Chief to defend our nation against threats. However, much like with guns, this can be and was abused to inflict terror and violence to get riches and power. [aside: that being said, people have the right to defend themselves I am very pro-2A. We can find a solution without taking away freedoms and rights. This is America where people are free! Don’t just pass reactionary legislation – let’s have a real talk about the real source of violence -> desperation due to poverty or mental illness. We can and must treat these problems.]. The world is the summation of all our choices to form one cohesive reality. Which brings us to ourselves, and our perception of reality. We have to choice to either A) help everyone or B) help ourselves. I believe that there are no bad people. There are good people and sociopaths. AND THERE ARE MORE OF US.

If you’ve read this far then you’re about ready for the final point. And here it is: Next time you are about to attack a Democrat or a Republican, or get into a conflict with someone whose opinion doesn’t match yours just remember: They’re a good person and they’re just as lost, confused, and afraid as you. They were brought up with a set of experiences that led them to their current perspectives – ones that you likely would believe in if you had their life too. People are like water after all, adapting to best fit their environment and circumstances – people are a product of their environments. We’re all saying and doing the things we believe are the best decision right now based on the life we’ve led. Don’t buy into the distractions put out by the bad guys – the racism, sexism, jingoism or any negative ism or phobia. Underneath it people just want to feel safe and happy and have purpose and hope. We don’t agree on the best way to do something because our experiences suggest one solution is superior to the other. But we’re logical, rational beings; We have science, discussion, and civility. We can create the best solution for right now, and keep finding ways to improve on that solution. We just need to come together to find the compromises that hold us good people together with the HOPE that we can keep making the world better. We are ALL in this together. We, the Good People of this United States of America.

Note: Sorry if you didn’t like the metaphysics! Thanks for reading anyways. The message I want to bring into the national conversation is that we’re all good people doing our best. We’re all equal – equally scared and equally confused, but ultimately: equally free. You’re a good person and you’re a part of this society of humans. You deserve to be happy and you matter. Pass it on! I know I will. #WeTheGoodPeople

Being Rational about Impeachment

Yesterday, President Trump was impeached and became the third president in the history of the country to face this historic rebuke by Congress. The impeachment, however, passed through the house along party lines effectively creating further division between the parties and the people they represent. Personally, I’m not a Democrat. But, I’m definitely not a Republican either.

The Democrat Majority sees the case like this:

The whistle-blower brought awareness to a potential issue, everyone asked to explain that came forward testified that something very untoward was happening in Ukraine by the President, and the President is withholding any and ALL testimony and direct evidence that EXISTS IN ALL OF REALITY. The conclusion they reached based on this is that the withheld evidence must be damning, as it won’t be released. As such, they must assume the worst and the president is attempting to subvert Democracy to hold power. I understand why they take this position, and considering what they believe is at stake, I would argue it is the correct one.

The Republican Minority sees the case like this:

Some Never Trumper tarred Trump with their so-called ‘whistle-blower’ report. Something shady is going on between Schiff and the whistle-blower. This is a coup that the Democrats have been working on since 2016 and they finally have something they can make look like a smoking gun. What Trump did in Ukraine looks pretty greasy, but there’s no evidence. This is all hear-say and Ukraine isn’t saying anything and they’re corrupt or weak anyway (seriously Doug Collins you titanic piece of s— you’re the only one saying that and you KEEP SAYING IT STOP). The President is right to look at Hunter Biden because there’s corruption there and we hate corruption. This is all a big show to impeach the president, where’s the proof of a crime? The President doesn’t need to participate in this, it’s a witch hunt.

Cool. So for me, that’s hard to understand while staying rational. However there is one key point here that the Republicans are RATIONALLY using to their defense and the Democrats are RATIONALLY using for their attack that I think would really end all this tribal back and forth: the President won’t show us (Congress who is supposed to be able to see it, and us – The American people who have a right to it if not classified for National Security) the surrounding documentation and speak to the relevant fact witnesses. I.E. There’s no hard evidence to prove he is guilty, and therefore is innocent is their argument. Normally, I would agree. However, here I take issue. If in a normal criminal court the defendant is accused of murder but says, “You can do whatever you want but you can’t look in my gun safe or in the body-sized freezer because I have immunity”, you would laugh at the sheer ridiculous of it. That is what the President is doing to the Democratic Party. That didn’t fly in Die Hard and it definitely doesn’t fly with the Democrats. No one is above the law.

This is a bit like looking at a glass of water filled half-way. For the Democrats the glass is half-empty: the president is withholding evidence that is damning to hide from his crimes. For the Republicans the glass is half-full: the president is withholding evidence that is exculpatory because he believes this is all a sham. No matter how you see it, the glass is at 50%: the president is withholding evidence. (Although I would argue that if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck… and the Republicans are putting party ahead of country) Both parties should be screaming for the evidence from every rooftop. Republicans should scream, “It’s a sham! Prove it so this will end!” Democrats should scream, “It’s tyranny! Disprove it so this will end!”. WE SHOULD ALL BE SCREAMING, “MR PRESIDENT GIVE US THE TRUTH”

So my challenge, then, is this:

WHEN the evidence the President is withholding is released, the truth (for once) will become clear. I don’t care if you’re Republican or Democrat or don’t care about politics. Ask yourself this: If the president DID try to get a FOREIGN GOVERNMENT to into interfere IN OUR FREE ELECTIONS, THE TINY THING KEEPING US A DEMOCRACY, into looking into his POLITICAL ENEMY via coercion, would you be okay with that? Essentially, will you still stand behind Trump if he is in fact betraying Democracy? This is how Democrats are perceiving the issue. Conversely: If the president DIDN’T try to COERCE meddling in our elections, will you back off? (At least until the election)

By controlling the information, the President, his AM pundits, and Fox News which support him have constructed an opposing world-view which is mutually exclusive from anyone who consumes news BY ANY OTHER OUTLET. They have transformed American politics into a zero-sum game. I FIND THIS COMPLETELY REPREHENSIBLE. THIS IS THE ROOT OF DIVISION IN OUR COUNTRY. I don’t know if he’s working for Putin (something about ducks), or if he thinks that creating this chaos to the detriment of our country is the best path to win re-election. (Either way Putin wins) What I do know, however, is that if we can pry the information out of the executive (much like pulling a bullet from a wound) we can find one truth and finally pull the country together under one FACTUAL AND TRUTH-BASED narrative and begin to heal all this hostile division.

So then, what is the only rational way to view impeachment?


Social Democracy NOW!

In every show and movie, do any of us root for the corrupt government or greedy, evils CEOs or other villains in power? No, we root for the one who represents us, as individuals, personified on the main character on the screen. In order to make money, Hollywood releases movies which we would enjoy the most. This is what attracts viewers and break the box office. Our collective will is what is determining their profits. We decide who we are and what we want to see – who the main character is. Why do people love superheroes, family stories, heart-warming tales, epic friendships, and the magic of Disney? Why do we praise the rebelling Jedi and not the Sith emperor? It’s actually quite simple. We are those champions. We are good. We choose the the story. We are the main characters in our lives – our own stories.

Knowing this, why then do we allow our own world to be as broken and damaged as the worlds in movies? We see who we want to be in those dystopian fictional worlds in television, movies, and books. We see the best of ourselves in our favorite heroes as they struggle every day of their lives along with their friends and family until they reach a breaking point that drives the heroes story until they come out the winner in the end. Good triumphs over evil, and everyone lives happily ever after. I love these stories. Don’t all of you? But I don’t wish for our reality to mirror one of these stories. Do we want our mother, or father, or siblings, or spouse, or children, or friends and loved ones to experience the suffering that gave birth to these heroes? I know I most certainly do not. I take these tales of dystopian futures not as pessimistic heralds of a bleak future, but an enjoyable story that personifies the human spirit in the face of adversity. I take them as stories, and what they are telling us isn’t what is to come, only what could be and that we should avoid it. None of us wants to world to be a bad place, as so many believe it is. Why then, is it?

The simple and uncomplicated answer: we allow it. If one tries to follow the motivations of those who create the suffering in the world it can likely be tied to the negative end of the moral scale of your choice, such as with the seven cardinal sins of the Christian faith; Sloth, Lust, Pride, Gluttony, Wrath, Envy, and Greed. The most damaging root of evil is one that has become intrinsic to the framework of society: Greed. In our world it is those who ‘have’ that hold power of those who ‘have not’. Yes, the root of all evil is in fact money. Sure, there are psychopaths and sociopaths that lie outside the norm. Plenty of crimes also happen over lust or envy, and any infinite number of reasons. But the most common cause for abuse of or from our fellow human beings is money and the desire for more money.

Money is the means by which we allow ourselves to be bullied and controlled. It is what the wealthy use as a rallying cry and a demonstration of their power. It is what funds politicians and soldiers alike. But the only real power the wealthy have is the power they pay for, and that same money only has power over us if we allow it to. We are the 99.9% and we are the only ones who have real power in a struggle between the 99.9% and the 0.01% who control us. 99.9% of the population in this world answer to, and dance to the tune of, the 0.01%. If we collectively decided tomorrow that their wealth holds no influence over us and we wouldn’t do anything to change the numbers on a paycheck or a balance screen, we would be completely free of their systemic control over our lives. We have homeless people dying of exposure in the streets. We have starving children and even children in cages. They have all the power to shape the world, and yet people fight and steal so they won’t be homeless or starving. So they won’t die of exposure or hunger. The wealthy have all the power to shape the world as they see fit, yet we live in squalor unable to get adequate healthcare or proper diet and exercise. Why? I mean really, why? It’s Greed, plain and simple. Full stop. They care about their insular holier-than-thou glamorous gated communities and having lavish luxurious lifestyles with the rest of us to labor to their benefit: We work 8-10 hour days 5 days a week, eat life-shortening cheap fast foods, suck down stimulant water, get very little sleep, and barely have time for self-care let alone questioning how life became this way.

What changed from when we were children, full of hope, happiness, and vigor? What happened to helping our friends stand up when they fell down? Why did our parents and elders tell us to ‘stay young’, ‘don’t change’, ‘ or ‘enjoy your youth’ because of how miserable it is being an adult? What ‘changed‘ is that we were new, pliable, and impressionable children and we were slowly molded to accept adult working life as a miserable existence with suffering being a mutually inclusive necessity to put food on the table and a roof over your head. Molded to believe that if you didn’t toil, you wouldn’t survive; that if you didn’t compete you wouldn’t thrive. In order to be successful and competent you needed to prop yourself over the masses to be ‘middle’ and ‘upper’ class. Dog eat dog is human nature and suffering is just part of life, so C’est la vie!

But that’s not actually true, is it? We want the good guys to win. I know I am a good person. I know all of you are too. We’re all in this together, sentient living beings cut from the same cloth trying to co-exist on an increasingly complex and crowded planet soaring through an endless void. We’re like intelligent water filling an existential glass – we change and adapt to best fit our own individual circumstances. It doesn’t make us bad people. There’s nothing wrong with life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness. Why then, are the 99.9% of us caught up in this violent rat race? In nature and the animal kingdom, and with humans too, resources mean everything. If we didn’t compete we wouldn’t survive, claim mates, feed our children or families. But we’re not just animals, are we? We’re intelligent, rational, creative beings capable of infinite growth and progress. We invented tools, farming, and animal husbandry. With technology and cooperation we stepped outside of the food chain. With that same technological innovation and creative growth we no longer need to compete for resources today. We have the ability to feed the world, run clean energy, create smarter and better educated children, innovate bigger and better technologies, and not be burdened by the scarcity of the past.

What value, then, is money? If none of us need to suffer in order to survive why do we still allow for the kings of greed to rule our lives? For what reason do we not simply share resources to those who need it? We already have the means to do so. The only obstacle to ending suffering is money – the chain by which we allow ourselves to be bound. When you were a child, didn’t you share your extra cookie with the boy who forgot their lunch? We weren’t concerned about money and we naturally inclined to be good, kind, helpful, and sharing. We can still be that as adults today. Nothing ever really changed those things about us. We can all be equal and happy again, once we release the chain of money that keeping us down and keeping us collared.

We can all be equal and happy again, once we denounce the immorally wealthy who control how our world is run. What is capitalism at it’s core? It is a self-sustaining system in which those who profit the most are able to manipulate the system to keep themselves with the most control. And what then, is profit? It is a person taking almost all of the ‘value’ of your work because they gave you the project, role, and cubicle – all of which barely keep you fed and in a home. How are the Walton family so wealthy that they can personally bankroll literally every political campaign for every pro-wealth politician in their pocket to guarantee their political and economic control over the 99.9% and remain in their ivory towers while their employees rely on food stamps to stay alive.

We do the work. They own the buildings and the means of production. The profit (literally a tax on all of our work) goes back to the building owners with their pieces of paper and titles that claim everything is how it should be. They do nothing. They’re literally economic parasites that are sucking us dry to fund their luxury. If you want to have the value of your hard work go to a lazy and greedy group who did nothing to earn it, then the system you’re looking for is capitalism. But that’s not an equal system. That’s not a good, just, or fair system I can believe in. It is a system which keeps almost everyone downtrodden by the wealthy ruling class so that they can control what it is to be human and live on Earth while they live pampered, luxurious lives of excess at the literal expense of everyone else. They sit atop a pyramid of the fruits of our labors. It persists to this day because they got us to believe that it is perfectly normal. People with heroic spirit, charitable spirit, and the desire to make the world a better place believe they can do so by becoming police officers, soldiers, doctors, or other civil servants. These same people are taught to lock up the poor and suffering, are drilled until they follow orders without question or remorse, treat those whose suffering is often caused by systemic lack healthy foods and medications, or do everything they possibly can to effect positive change in the world. But how can we be the good guys when they’re writing the story? None of this can actually effect real change of the root problem of the wealthy, however hard we try or want it to. We police ourselves with their rules and treat the symptoms of their sickness, but the politicians of our ‘democracy’ can never actually change the system. How could they? It takes money to gain visibility and have campaign staff and resources. It’s the wealthy who literally own the media in most forms. Wealthy donors and super PACs aren’t required to disclose the amount and source of their influence and power. The wealthy can prop up their people while erasing the voice of those who’d seek to oppose it. Why wouldn’t they? They enjoy their wealth and power and largely believe they deserve it and we do not. If God didn’t love them, how else can one explain being born with a golden spoon in their mouth?

It wasn’t a God that put them there, it was a demon called Greed. And we continue to allow it to do so. They didn’t earn it, because there is no achievement on Earth that can justify how many families their wealth could save from poverty or ill that could be cured, yet they fund private yachts and mansions and fleets of cars. They don’t even know what to do with their money. The wealthy 0.01% have nearly 5 trillion dollars idling in the banks. They could give (and this is true) every American citizen 10,000 dollars each and STILL be the richest people in the country by a large margin. Many of that level of wealth didn’t even work at all, instead brought up to be wealthy and rule over the rest of us so they never have to.

We don’t have to be this way. The world doesn’t have to be this way. We have largely automated means of production of energy and food that can provide for everyone. We can have a world where we’ll all born with equal opportunity to learn, grow, live, laugh, and love – and the freedom to do so. We have the technology to feed and clothe everyone and keep them warm, safe, healthy, and sheltered. Instead of pursuing wealth through profit – having more than others by taxing the value of their work – we can simply pursue to make tomorrow better than today and no one has to suffer. We can question the mysteries of the universe, explore and colonize the stars, and be able to definitively answer who we are and why we’re here. We can make better food, cure more illnesses, build better homes, and make much, much better schools. We don’t need money and the evil people holding it to tell us who we are, what to think, and what to do. We’re all good people who want bright futures and happy lives, and we have to power to do it. Today.

Edit: I wrote this piece a while back, and re-reading it I am seeing “SOCIALISM NOW!”. While I think socialism is interesting and have read on it quite a bit, I don’t fully understand it or support it for our current society (as of 12/19/19). I am actually in favor of re-negotiating the role of private industry vs. the public good and I think that social democracy is the correct course for now. I think a huge part of the reason socialism and communism fails world-wide is because you’re tossing out hundreds of years of government and society building for what sounds good on paper but hasn’t been tested – it’s too much of a departure. That’s not to say those systems might not be best in the future; society as a whole is kind of slow to embrace ideas and we need to make sure reality can match our imagination. Social democracy is the next right choice. The next right choice is all we need to do to make sure the world is better tomorrow than today.


My Public Journal

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

— Hellen Keller

I haven’t ever made a blog before, although I have begun keeping a paper-bound journal. Not all of my journal notes are always cohesive as I sometimes jot down thoughts I want to reflect on later. But of the thoughts I do reflect on I have begun a practice of writing those thoughts down. If you wish to understand WHY I think the things I do, then this is the right place! I may elect to disable comments if/when they become needlessly negative because I wish for this blog to be my space to put my thoughts out there. That said, if you read places where I am missing your perspective or I am excluding/neglecting important points, I am very open to understanding every perspective shared in good faith. I am always looking to understand and learn more so I can come to more robust policies that reflect the good will of everyone.