Problems we all just accept as part of life…but don’t have to.

1. “Corporate financing of political campaigns leads to corporate control of the country.” You know it. I know it. Protestors know it, and nobody knows it better than politicians, but campaigning politicians never promise to end corporate sponsoring of politicians. Until that happens nothing will change, and we all know it, but people still act like it matters which politicians we elect when the only people they represent are their campaign donors.

2. The War in Iraq. George W. Bush told the world Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and gave Iraq an ultimatum: give up the WMDs or get invaded. Sadam didn’t give up the WMDs, and America invaded. Then it became public knowledge that the Bush administration knew Saddam never had WMDs. Then George Bush said the real reason the U.S. invaded Iraq was to free the Iraqi people. Then the U.S. spent 10+ years fighting off people in the Middle East who just wanted the American military to leave their country and quit killing civilians. Meanwhile there are countless other people begging to be rescued and freed from ruthless dictators who are too poor to attract America’s attention. There should be an entire prison built to hold all the people who should go to jail over the Iraq war. We know this, and we accept that no one will ever hold the Bush administration accountable.

3. American soldiers are not fighting for the freedom of the American people in Iraq. Nobody can agree on exactly why America invaded Iraq, but everybody knows it wasn’t for the freedom of the American people. There’s just no way to connect the two. So nobody knows what the American troops are dying for, but everyone just says “freedom” and lets them go on dying.

4. Global warming is real, but let’s suppose it isn’t. Just because we can screw up the planet a little more doesn’t mean we should. In a lot of ways taking care of the environment is the most important thing we can do. It’s even more important than corporate profits. Suppose environmental regulations cost companies money, which lowers their profits, which forces them to cut jobs, which hurts the economy. The worst case scenario still can’t be worse than poisoning the planet until it’s unable to support life. We know we should be taking care of the planet. We shouldn’t be arguing about this.

5. We live in a wasteful consumer economy. We slash and burn resources and produce mountains of trash. There’s a layer of garbage the size of a continent floating in the Pacific Ocean. We shouldn’t be using disposable kitchenware, and we shouldn’t be using disposable plastic bags. But we’re using more disposable goods than ever and speeding up our production of garbage.

6. University degrees are flawed. The hardest part of getting a university degree is paying for it. It’s a glass ceiling for those who can’t afford it, and it’s an unfair advantage to those who can. It’s classist, and pampered idiots all over the world are riding their paper credentials to the top of their professional organizations where they’re destroying and squandering companies built by intelligent, hardworking people who couldn’t afford as many degrees as their bosses. The higher education system is broken and overpriced. A lot of smart professors have said all this a billion times, but the glass ceiling factories keep churning.

7. The war on drugs needs to end. Legalizing drugs worked in Holland and Portugal. The results are in. The debate is over. Academics have made their case, and every year another South American politician tells America to end the war on drugs because it’s a futile war that does more damage than it prevents. Even American policemen are calling for an end to the war on drugs. The American people used the whitehouse.gov site to send a petition to the president to legalize marijuana. The president laughed at the people, the professionals and all their evidence. And then everyone just said, “Darn.”

8. Nudity isn’t evil. Women shouldn’t be forced or even pressured to cover their heads or their breasts. That’s basic human equality. If a 5 year kid in a nudist colony sees an 80 year old penis the kid will be grossed out. If a 5 year old kid sees an 80 year old penis in suburbia the old man will go to jail and the kid will be told by a therapist they’re supposed to feel traumatized. You know what would happen if we got rid of all nudity and censorship laws? Not much…because nudity is not an issue. The people who told us to hate our bodies also told us it was okay to own slaves. We stopped believing them about slavery, and most of us have stopped believing them about sexual taboos as well, but more often than not we act like prudes so nobody will suspect we’re as amoral and horny as we really are. But deep inside we all know nudity and censorship laws are overblown and unnecessary. Even if a lot of people want censorship laws in place, if their right to not be offended supersedes another human being’s right to free will then we’ve set a dystopian precedent. Come on. With as much blatant sex is on television, cartoons and the Internet it’s obvious that the world is okay with nudity and sexuality. We just haven’t come out of the closet to ourselves about it.

9. Fox News is the most unethical, hypocritical, malicious disgrace in the history of journalism. Fox won a court case that said they had no obligation to tell the truth. The entire world laughs and cringes at Fox News. This isn’t even a slanderous thing to say. It’s just a simple fact. The organization wears its business model on its sleeve for everyone to see. Fox News is not fair and balanced. It pushes the limits of free speech by lying and sensationalizing disinformation for the purpose of instigating social disharmony. That’s dystopian shit ,and it’s real, and it’s still respected. That’s terrifying.

10. Israel invaded Palestine and forced the Palestinians into ghettos where they’ve been systematically stripped of their humanity and are being ethnically cleansed. Israel shot aid workers trying to bring medicine to the Palestinians. Israel tortures Palestinians. These are human rights abuses. There’s no ambiguity here.  Just like there’s no secret or ambiguity that North Korea is committing human rights atrocities. The world superpowers know all about these problems, but they let it go on because…even if they didn’t actively create the problem they’ve been complicit long enough to share the blame…just like the general public.

11. Police shouldn’t beat up protesters. When the police beat up protesters then you officially live in a police state. When it’s a crime for people to gather to demand freedom, justice and representation in government then you live in a police state. When the police shoot a veteran in the head with a tear gas canister and crack his skull and then throw a flash bang grenade in to the group of people trying to rescue him, and nobody gets fired over that incident then you live in a police state. If warrantless wiretaps, x-ray body scanners and full body searches don’t constitute a police state then what line do you have to cross before you concede you’re approaching a police state? Maybe America isn’t a police state, but it’s not the land of the free. But people keep saying it is like if they say it enough times it’ll make it okay to get groped at the airport and have your E-mails read.

12. There should not be for-profit prisons. There should not be prisons traded on the stock market. The richer a man can get by filling prisons the faster prisons will fill. We shouldn’t incentivize incarcerating as many people as possible by allowing prisons to exempt their inmates from their basic human rights so they can work in sweatshop conditions. We’ve seen enough movies about prison to know that the guards let the inmates tear each other apart like you’d expect animals in a cage to. They even made that “Scared Straight” program to make sure children understand how unethically human beings are treated in prison. We all know how inhumane prisons are, but we’re not using that knowledge as a call to action to do the right thing.

13. Suburbs are a terrible way to design a city. Major suburban cities are congested, unsustainable, stressful and dangerous. Every single building looks the same, and the same businesses are on every corner. Everything is too far to walk to, and the suburbs are so bland and lifeless you wouldn’t want to look at them if you did have to walk through them. They force us to spend our lives in traffic wasting time and resources traveling. But cities don’t have to suck. We have the technology to build ultra-efficient floating cities for less money than it costs to maintain the broken, unplanned cities we’ve scarred the earth with. If nothing else, we could just stop expanding suburbia and start designing new suburbs more effectively. But we’re not even doing that. 24 hours per day somewhere there is a crane and a tractor clearing the earth to make way for another isolated, unsustainable, boring cookie cutter suburb. And they’ll keep going until there’s no land left. And we’re all watching the train wreck shouting for it to stop while paying our mortgages and rent in the suburbs.

14. Everyone who has ever bought a house knows that the housing market is a giant scam. Mortgages are full of meaningless add on fees and charges. Interest rates could be set at anything. They’re set high to squeeze more money out of the customer. That’s it. Banks don’t make money unless they’re fucking their customers in the ass. And we let them get away with it because we assume there’s some higher economic reason why it has to be nearly impossible to buy a home. But really it just comes down to “fuck you.” That’s why houses are so expensive, and that’s why homelessness is so common. Again, this isn’t a secret. But it is something you’re children are going to have to learn for themselves because apparently nobody is going to change the way banks fuck their customers in the ass.

15. Politicians should have competency and sanity tests. Anyone familiar with politics at all can name a few examples of politicians who were unarguably unqualified to hold office. There’s nothing un-American about competency exams. Everyone’s careers are built on competency and character tests. The people with the most responsibility should be held to the highest level of accountability. Anything less is a recipe for disaster. Everyone wants a better president, and it’s crossed everyone’s mind that maybe if we screen the candidates a little better then we’ll get a better pool to choose from. If nothing else the voters would be fine with giving politicians drug tests…just like politicians have mandated that soldiers and school janitors have to take drug tests.

16. Everyone knows teachers are being used as a scapegoat for society’s failures. Schools don’t suck because teachers are stupid. School suck because they’re underfunded and the parents have made it illegal for schools to enforce discipline. Every political and religious organization big enough to fill a P.T.A. board or donate to a politician’s election campaign can have their warped ideology forced onto the Department of Education. The one person with the least amount of say or control over the classroom is the teacher. And they’re too busy filling out paperwork for the performance-monitoring companies that are bankrupting the school to build meaningful relationships with their students. Kids in school know this. They know the system is rigged against the teachers. Everybody does, and we know it’s crippling children forever. But the only way it’s going to change is for parents to accept some responsibility for their children’s performance and cede some authority to the school system. Experience has taught me not to expect that level of humility from first world parents.

17. People want to be able to listen to any song whenever they want and watch any television show, movie or clip ever created any time they want. And we have the technology to allow that. We’re just not allowed to use it. If Hollywood won’t give their customers what they want then their customers will go somewhere else to get it. If Hollywood made one website where anyone could access any song, show or movie anytime and it would work without any hassle then everyone would pay a premium for that luxury. As it stands, you can either go pay a ton of money to a bunch of different services to get random access to media or you can go get it all for free on a pirate site as long as you’re willing to deal with pop ups and virus threats. Customers don’t pirate because they’re evil. They pirate because it’s a more user friendly way to access the content they want. Hollywood needs to stop blaming their customers for expecting a better consumer experience. The world is waiting for Hollywood to get its shit together and offer everything it’s got in one place for a flat fee. You can make excuses for why that’s not legally possible, but as long as that excuse continues to prevent customers from getting what they want legally, they’re going to keep paying pirates to host and organize pirated media. We’re all waiting for Hollywood to save itself, but we’re not holding our breath. All we really expect Hollywood to do is bribe more Orwellian-worded spying legislation through congress.

18. Everyone knows Hollywood creates anti-intellectual crap that is lowering humanity’s potential. “Jersey Shore,” “Full House” and “Saved by the Bell” should never have been on television. Television was supposed to help mankind fulfill its potential, not record it celebrating its suicide. Celebrities are irrelevant. If you buy celebrity gossip magazines at the checkout line you’re retarded. That’s not mean of me to say because if you buy those magazines you know you’re retarded, and you don’t care. But when you look at those magazines in the future look at them as a test. The more of those that get sold the more people there are who are living in the dumbest reality you can create in a Los Angeles basement. The most dangerous force in the world is a large, frightened group of dumb people. The more gossip magazines you see the higher the apocalypse threat level

19. Everyone knows their phones and shoes were made in sweat shops. But if you boycotted every product that was made in a sweat shop you’d die from starvation and exposure. Slavery isn’t the exception in our economy, it’s the premise. So what do you do? Apparently you just give up thinking about the problem and carry on with your life. We’ve been ignoring the problem for over 10,000 years. Why would we do anything different now?

It’s common knowledge that these problems and their solutions exist. People have been talking about them for years. Maybe if we just talked about them a little more we can actually fix them. If you don’t see any of these problems getting fixed in the coming years though, then that may be a good sign that you should invest in a bunker because we can’t stay this ignorant and apathetic forever without blundering into some kind of avoidable extinction level event.

20. It’s past time churches started paying taxes. Taxes help people. Tax havens attract dishonest people. Taxing churches is a win/win situation for everyone. And why should believing in mythology be rewarded anyway? The tax free status of religious organizations is archaic and obsolete. Even religious people understand that…even if they won’t admit it.

 However you felt about this post, you’ll probably feel the same way about these:

Police and the Law

Occupy Wall Street


4 responses to “Problems we all just accept as part of life…but don’t have to.

  • Trevor

    A good specialized school for autistic kids might be able to fix more than the 20 problems you found.

    Like

  • dontrkthesk

    “. . . but people still act like it matters who the president is. . . . Politicians should have competency and sanity tests, [ergo, it does matter]”

    These seem contradictor but I know that I’m dumb, so please enlighten me as to what I’m missing here.

    “Everyone knows teachers are being used as a scapegoat for society’s failures. Schools don’t suck because teachers are stupid. . . . Kids in school know this. . . . But the only way it’s going to change is for parents to accept some responsibility for their children’s performance and cede some authority to the school system.”

    Are you sure?
    http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/26/us/kentucky-boy-bag/
    &
    http://redd.it/spw7b

    And I’d really like you to opine upon http://SchoolSucks.podomatic.com

    You are my absolute favorite author, so please and thank you, ahead of time.

    PS: Thank you for helping me on the free will question!

    Like

    • wise sloth

      You’re right, it does contradict itself. At this point mandating competency exams without fixing campaign finance reform would just force big companies to sponsor smarter corrupt politicians, but if every politician had been passing competency tests up until now I suspect corruption wouldn’t have become such a problem because we would have had enough politicians who were smart enough to prevent the campaign process into devolving into the state it’s in. But there’s not much point arguing about the past. What’s important is that we fix what everyone knows is messed up today.

      Schools do screw up, and there are bad teachers, but we would have less bad schools and less bad teachers if we hadn’t let parents strip schools of their mission and their authority. The school where the autistic kid was put in a bag might have noticed that had a bad teacher if their entire staff wasn’t so bogged down and stressed out over testing companies micromanaging their students’ test scores. If school paid teachers competitive salaries they’d get higher quality teachers who are less likely to put autistic kids in bags, and if we spent as much money on education as we did on war then autistic kids could go to specialized autistic schools like they should be doing in the first place.

      I’ll check out that podcast as soon as I have the time. It’s looks pretty good. Thanks for the commment and the links.

      Like

  • dontrkthesk

    ‘The made that “Scared Straight” program to make sure children understand how unethically human beings are treated in prison.’

    Holy shit, that’s real. I remember that from an episode of the Simpsons, half my life ago. God damn.

    Like

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