Occupy Wall Street Needs to get it’s Mojo Back!

I have noticed lately the Occupy Wall Street movement has been getting no media coverage. This is tragic because this movement was on the right track and should become very powerful. To help the cause I will list some suggestions for a new ultimatum.

Demand Number One: A national health care plan for every citizen of the United States. It’s been done in Canada successfully according to my cousins who actually live there. The issue in the United States is insurance lobbyists putting profits before health care. This practice should be outlawed. Obamacare to use the popular term, has gaps where it leaves some citizens with no care. In addition certain evil republican governors have refused medicaid expansion which exacerbates this situation. These governors do this simply to show that they hate President Obama and refuse to cooperate with him! This type of politics is petty and needs to be disposed of.

Two: Government funded education for everyone. We need an educated society if we are to compete in this age of technology and communication. The system of paying for education with real estate tax is outmoded and needs an overhaul. Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn. Furthermore it’s outrageous that the huge banks get to borrow money for little or no interest while student loans are gouging the pockets of young graduates! Senator Warren of Massachusetts put a bill before the Senate simply to let students refinance their loans with more reasonable terms and, you guessed it, the Republican legislators blocked it to illustrate once again their intractable attitudes.

Three: Strict controls on wall street. Junk mortgage derivatives and their disastrous consequences were the reason for the movement to begin with. We can’t let shady bankers and brokers control the destiny of the country let alone the world. Elliot Spitzer was on the right track his libido just made a wrong turn. It’s an enormous injustice that the very legislative bodies that should be enacting legislation for tighter controls on wall street regularly profit from blatant insider trading! We are already heading once again into a “too big to fail” system of regulatory loopholes leading to another redistribution of wealth where the middle class is screwed and eventually eliminated entirely.

Four: Regulations that protect our environment. If you think climate change isn’t real please visit the Northwest Territories and talk to some native Americans. Before we strip mine Canada for oil sands let’s shift our energy needs to renewable resources. We have bowed to the oil companies at our own peril. Look at the never ending debacle in the middle east. Imagine all the good that might have been done if instead of spending four trillion dollars on the war in Iraq we had concentrated that money on the betterment of life for all Americans! Instead we made a huge mess. We now have a religious civil war on our hands. What a shame that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had not read Prince Machiavelli before sending our own sons and daughters off to protect corporate oil. Notice they were both draft dodgers and none of their sons or daughters served in the Armed Forces.

Humans are social creatures by nature. Some socialism is necessary for our own basic survival. What does it profit anyone to pillage the planet and leave little for the next generation? This is not the direction of any sane theology or philosophy I know.  Whether you believe in a higher power is beside the point. Think rationally of the big picture then you’ll get it.

Quite frankly I’d like to give my children’s children an existence where people sojourn in the stars together as opposed to their subsisting on Soylent Green, and worrying about finding water that’s uncontaminated by fracking!

“If I have seen more it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants”.                               —Sir Isaac Newton

“Contrary to a tenacious myth, France is not owned by California pension funds or the Bank of China, any more than the United States belongs to Japanese and German investors. The fear of getting into such a predicament is so strong today that fantasy often outstrips reality. The reality is that inequality with respect to capital is a far greater domestic issue than it is an international one.”
― Thomas Piketty, Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Get off the cell phone and DRIVE!  —Jake Shween

Neuroscience and The Abyss

Is it possible that all the extrasensory electronic stimulation that as a post modernist society we are all increasingly exposed to are causing some members of the population to fall into a moral and mental abyss? Take the extremely disheartening and disturbing shootings that occurred this past week, which you are familiar with I am sure, and consider the fact that the perpetrator was at times consumed by a video game in which he vicariously killed other humans in a simulated combat game. It would appear and has been documented that such behavior leads to a form of hypoesthesia where an individual becomes desensitized to sensory stimuli to the point where the line between reality and fantasy becomes blurred. This leads directly to a form of deadly nihilism which completely replaces any fragments of feelings or moral code that remain in an already socially confused and alienated individual. As a society we need to be extremely aware of such dangers and the inherent ripple effect that violence has on ourselves and others.

Compare hypoethesia to its’ antonym a condition known as hyperthesia. This is a condition where the senses become heightened. A heightening of the senses as one was perhaps enjoying the wonders of nature. Would this not then logically lead to a form of empiricism? A state in which the very reason one would have to live would be the experience of such full and heightened awareness of touch and feelings? All the senses engaged at once instead of only the senses a video game could provide? Perhaps we should also be acutely aware of the lack of this state in so many of our lives. We have dangerously replaced nature with a poor facsimile. We should take care to recognize this shortcoming of humanities’ electronic creations and make concerted efforts to remedy the lack of nature in our lives. It has been shown that being outside in nature actually helps to lower ones blood pressure, all by itself. Certainly this wouldn’t work if one was being pursued by a wild animal.

This brings us to guns. Do human beings need guns to exist happily? Absolutely not. One of the beautiful advances of modern civilization is the very fact that one can exist peacefully without constant threat of death or pursuit of by wild animals as our ancestors had to endure. For the most part we can live in peace.  Sadly there are times when madmen seek to destroy this peace by blowing things up etc. Instead of emulating the violence that has occurred we should seek to sublimate such events. More video games that have less killing and more civilized behavior would be in order. We must learn to take care of each other lest we end up in a hell world of our very own creation.

“Maybe every other American movie shouldn’t be based on a comic book. Other countries will think Americans live in an infantile fantasy land where reality is whatever we say it is and every problem can be solved with violence.”                   — Bill Maher

“Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.” — Isaac Asimov

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween

The Grand Old Paralysis

It seems like the Republican Party is now in its’ death throes in these United States. The message of the party is confused and very twisted. What was once the cause of conservatism has become a cause of hatred. None of the proposals of this party benefit the common citizen of the country. A party like this cannot survive. A sad divided party with confused religious principles and a twisted view of science will inevitably implode as it is already showing signs of doing. Educated people will see through the folly of following such a lost cause.

Despite the stupid notions and hate filled lies of Fox News and the likes of Rush Limbaugh eventually common sense and diplomacy will win out. Violence and hatred never solved anything. Violence and hatred cannot nurture life or the earth, two things that humanity needs to survive. The greed of corporations will not win out either. The attempts of a few to direct the political conversation through bullying and large sums of money is doomed as the people hear and know the truth. The population has reached the point of political advertising saturation. The average American’s BS meters have already gone off the charts. It is not the least surprising that in the Republican’s desperate attempt to retain control they who are in power are attempting to quash and control education everywhere. Education and the scientific principle cause people to question everything!

We must be vigilant and voice our disapproval of these crude methods and show up at the polls and vote this hatred away. We must protect the earth now and cease to destroy our home. If they want to hide the chemicals used in the fracking process obviously something is very wrong. We can’t let them poison our water and then sell us water. We can’t let them poison our food by genetically modifying it to carry toxic levels of pesticide. We can’t allow them to control and patent the seeds of the food we plant. These are just some of the ways that backward political parties seek to control and divide us. The Republican mission has become one to create fear and mistrust of each other to further divide us. These ultimately profit and power oriented motives are evil and must be stopped. It is time to act, stand together unified, and be counted.

We need politicians who believe and act on principles for the greater good. We don’t need ‘Corporate Democrats’ just playing a role to fool us! Education and communication are the keys to lift humanity out of its’ current trajectory towards destruction or dystopia. The notion of money controlling everything will be stopped as this world is witness to a change for the worse all around us. We will see the harmful results of profit as the only motivating force. We must evolve to a system of beliefs where the motivating force is life. We must adopt a philosophy of kindness.

“This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is the temple; the philosophy is kindness.” — Dalai Lama

“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first, they love the produce of the second.” — John Steinbeck

Get off the cell phone and Drive! — Jake Shween




































Death in the Produce Aisle; Genetically Modified Truths

He stood in the produce aisle debating what to eat for dinner that night. Several vegetables caught his eye and brought up visions of culinary delights. The crookneck squash looked particularly delectable with its bright glossy yellow skin. Next to that a bin of ears of corn. The ears were large and firm. They also appeared perfectly edible. The produce person was sorting through the broccoli and arranging fresh bunches. He politely asked the store employee, “are these vegetables genetically modified?”. “I’m really not sure.” answered the broccoli sorter. ‘Hmmm’ the man thought. ‘Maybe I’ll give them a try.’

He tore a plastic bag off the dispenser and loaded it with six ears of corn. Three for a dollar he thought, better get six. As far as the squash he loaded up the bag with what he guessed was two pounds of golden goodness. Curiously as he turned to the scale he noticed a man dressed in camouflage was eyeing him from behind the green beans. ‘That’s strange,’ he thought, ‘what’s he looking at me for?’ He turned and walked up to the next aisle which was filled with condiments including vinegar and salad dressing.

Reaching down to grab a jar of his favorite mayonnaise he felt a strange sensation tearing through his left quadricep. He stumbled back and slammed into the shelf behind him. Several jars of mustard fell on his head and shoulders. He looked up to see the man in camouflage standing over him with a glock pistol. It was aimed squarely at his forehead. “What did I do?” he managed to spit out despite the pain. “Why you were going to buy those genetically engineered vegetables you stupid son of a bitch”, growled the vigilante. “I am going to kill you quick, they would’ve killed you slow!”

‘Great,’ he thought to himself, ‘I am going to be killed by a frikking gun happy lunatic over a dosing of roundup.’ ‘Talk about a genetically modified vegetable, who modified this lunatic’s brain?’ Crack, crack the pistol exhorted. Soon his brains and blood were slowly leaking into the spilled mustard. Mixing into a bizarre dressing on the grocery store floor. “Clean up in aisle five!” the gun happy man proclaimed. “Call the police!” screamed an elderly man.

Five minutes later the police arrived. After the shell shock across the country there were five cruisers pulled up to the front of the store in three minutes flat. Seven policemen surrounded the glock wielding murderer demanding he drop his weapon immediately. Curiously the man complied and gently lowered his shiny pistol to the floor. An officer approached him and began to recite his Miranda rights. When he was finished the trembling man let himself be handcuffed and was led away without a struggle.

“Why did you do it?” the sergeant said as he carefully put the man in the back of the patrol car? “We are all going to die anyway, don’t you see?,” the murderer whispered, “It doesn’t matter anyway, I was just helping him out. If my bullet hadn’t got him he would’ve gotten cancer from those vegetables. We are all being lied to every day. Lies, lies and more lies. Don’t you see it? Nobody gives a damn anymore!” The sergeant closed the car door when the man had finished. ‘How many more of these Goddamn lunatics have guns?’ the sergeant thought to himself.

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on, I can’t believe you” — Friedrich Nietzsche

Get off the cell phone and drive! — Jake Shween