Tag Archives: controversial political topics

Borders Are Inhumane

Photo of a "Caution" sign by the side of a highway next to a very tall border wall. The "Caution" sign has a picture of a man, woman and child running

 

The world is a confusing place, and there’s so much disinformation and misinformation pushed in our faces every day it’s hard to tell reality from fiction. Here’s a little trick that will help you see through a lot of the illusions. Social issues always involve multiple people, usually from multiple groups. These different people from different groups get differentiated with labels like gay, straight, American, Korean, president, citizen, soldier, officer, enlisted, supervisor, immigrant, owner, renter, customer, capitalist, communist, etc. These labels have their uses, but sometimes they confuse the real issue more than they clarify it. If you ever run into an issue you don’t understand, try replacing all the labels with the term “human being.”

For instance, if you’re having a hard time answering the question, “Why should straight people should the right to marry and homosexuals shouldn’t,” replace the labels with the words, “human being.” Then ask yourself, “Why should human beings have the right to marry and human beings shouldn’t?” When you do that, you see the justifications we use to deny one group of human beings the same rights are absurd. We’re all human beings. Bringing labels into the equation just confuses the issue and creates an environment where one group of human beings can oppress another group.

Let’s apply this concept to political borders. Suppose your child asks you this question: “Why aren’t Mexicans allowed to move freely into the United States, and why are the Mexicans who sneak north across the border paid slave wages and not given any employee benefits while people born in the United States are guaranteed a higher minimum wage and certain benefits and protections from their employers?”

When you replace the labels with the words, “human being,” the question becomes: “Why aren’t human beings allowed to move freely into the United States, and why are the human beings who sneak north across the border paid slave wages and not given any human being benefits while human beings born in the United States are guaranteed a higher minimum wage and certain benefits and protections from their human beings?”

When you do that, the question sounds absurd… because it is. But that’s hard to see when you fog reality with arbitrary labels. The truth is our passports are lies that perpetuate a false and inhumane reality. They’re not designed to help us get around the world. They’re designed to limit our freedom to travel, which limits our freedom to choose where to live, which limits our freedom to choose which laws we live under, which rights we have and probably most importantly, who we work for and who we pay taxes to. Borders don’t keep bad people out, they keep taxpayers in.

Any country that truly believes in freedom would open its borders unconditionally, but no country in the world has done that because it would free the human beings from the stranglehold that rich human beings have on poor human beings. Eliminating borders would give human beings the ultimate power to veto their corrupt leaders by simply leaving.

If that were possible, then rich and powerful human beings wouldn’t be able to create trade restrictions and sanctions that exploit human beings from poorer nations. The corrupt leaders from those poorer nations wouldn’t be able to exploit their own people or rule them with brutal force. People wouldn’t sit around saying to themselves, “Oh, the world sucks but what can we do about it?” They would simply leave and go live under the laws of a more just nation, and no leader wants that.

If we are all truly human beings, what right does one human being have to tell you where you can live? In truth, they have no right. All they have is the authority you give them over you. Unfortunately, so many people believe the lie of political borders and help enforce it that they make the lie real, and in doing so we eliminate our own freedom to travel, to choose which laws we would live under and which dictator’s regime we fund with our taxes. That’s the reality we’ve created for our children to grow up in.

 

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10 Solutions That Would Solve Most Of America’s Problems

1: Make corruption punishable as an act of treason.

Corruption is the highest form of treason. It just isn’t punished as such. By making it so we can seriously curtail the corruption that is eating away at America.

 

2: End the Federal Reserve.

There’s no reason to have someone else print the nation’s money and pay them interest for it when we could just print it ourselves. We could end one of our biggest sources of debt in one sensible move.

 

3: Nationalize the Banks

People are getting overcharged for their debt, and it’s destroying their lives. Bank reform isn’t going to work because the banks aren’t going to agree to make less money off the suffering of others. Even if bank reform did happen the banks would just use all their stolen money to bribe politicians to let them exploit people again. If the banks were nationalized we could set the interest rate for all borrowed money at 3%. Plus we could control who got loans so that people who can’t afford their loans aren’t tricked into taking loans they’re going to have to foreclose on.

Another benefit of nationalizing the banks is that all the interest made off of all the loans would go directly back to the government. So paying interest would be like paying yourself instead of letting it stagnate in the coffers of the wealthy.

 

4: Reduce funding to the military and increase funding to schools.

We don’t need a military as big as we have. In fact, we have to continually wage foreign wars to justify our standing military. This wastes money and kills people. Put that funding towards education and we can do a better job at solving every problem the military addresses. Furthermore, an educated population will be able to act reasonably and productively. They’ll get better jobs and drive innovation faster than a few highly paid military researchers could.

 

5: End lobbying and campaign finance.

Lobbying and campaign financing are streamlined legal bribery. The only people who would deny this are lobbyists and campaign financiers, and the reason they would deny this is because they know it’s true better than anyone. Our government simply cannot address the needs of the poor when it’s prostrated before the rich.

 

6: Reform the political nomination process.

The 2016 presidential primaries proved the Republican and Democratic parties’ nomination process is broken. We need an automated system to vet the most qualified and representative candidates.

 

7: Legalize self-harm.

Oppression and fear will exist as long as America polices victimless crimes. Simply making freedom legal will increase most people’s lives across the board and free up resources to help those who need it most.

 

8: Civil unions for all.

Marriage is an obsolete institution and a method of oppression against minorities. Replacing legal marriages with civil unions will give people more flexibility to live their lives in a way best suited to their changing circumstances. It would take a step towards making everyone equal. It would also remove a destructive illusion that our children are throwing away their potential chasing after.

 

9: Tax religious institutions.

Tax exemption laws for religious institutions is archaic and illogical. It encourages vast amounts of money to be wasted on opulent building projects and provides a tax haven for thieves. I’m not saying every religious leader is a thief, but I suspect you’d be horrified to find out how many are only in the business for the money. The product they’re selling isn’t even good. It gives people false hope, bad morals and a reason to hate others. Taxing religious organizations would help fund public works that actually help people while discouraging corruption and the spread of mythology.

 

10: Improve workers’ rights.

Most Americans are employees, and employee rights are dystopian. Bosses have the legal freedom to submit their workers to a wide range of indignities and abuses. Until this is fixed, life will be miserable for most Americans regardless of any other change.

 

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6 Ways To Improve The Political Nomination System

Most of the political systems in the world are over-represented by the aristocracy, and within the aristocracy, there’s an over-representation of sociopaths. The current political system is designed so that only wealthy sociopaths have a chance at winning major seats in the government. The solution to this problem is not a third party. The solution is hundreds of millions of parties and unaffiliated individuals. The nomination process needs to be based on merit, not money and charisma.

There are a lot of reasons the world is being run by sociopathic aristocrats, but it really all begins with the political nomination system. That’s why I’ve come up with a 6 step nomination system that would do a better job of picking the most qualified candidate who best represents the majority:

 

1: Allow anyone to apply for any political position.

2: In order for your application to be considered, you have to meet specific qualifications, which are slightly different for each political position. You will need at least a doctorate degree in political science and experience in lower level government administration positions.

3: Require every candidate to take a job qualification and aptitude test for their application to be accepted.

4: Once you’ve passed these three steps, you have to pass a security and mental health screening before being allowed to proceed.

5: All the candidates who get this far in the process will have to compete against their running mates in an “American Idol” or “The Apprentice” style showdown in which the public votes candidates out. There will be no campaigning and no campaign financing.

6: Make the voting process %100 transparent.

 

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3 Solutions That Won’t Change America, And 5 That Will

THREE THINGS THAT WON’T CHANGE AMERICA

 

1. Waiting for a leader

This is as true in your individual life as it is for society: Nobody but you is responsible for you. If you’re waiting for someone else to come along and sweep you off your feet or wipe your ass then you deserve nothing. As the old sayings go, you need to “be the change you want to see in the world” because “all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.”

Nobody gives a damn about you because nobody owes you anything. That’s why nobody is going save you. The only people who are even interested in you are the people who want to exploit you. As long as you’re not trying to save yourself they’re going continue to exploit you.

 

2.Voting in Federal Elections

All voting accomplishes is electing the person you want to represent corporate interests. That’s it. Period. Voting is a sham. If you haven’t figured that out already then you’re part of the problem. Stop supporting the corrupt system by voting if for no other reason than it’ll stop making you feel like you’re doing something when you’re really not.

 

3. Violence

Violence begets violence. The more violence you use against the government the more it’s going to crack down on everyone. If enough violence is used against the government eventually the government is going to declare martial law. Once that happens civil war will break out. When civil war breaks out everyone loses.

And violence isn’t necessary. If you’re smart enough you can work around the barriers to change that the current political parties and corporations have put in place. You just have to “fight” smarter, not harder.

You can’t win a fight against the American military on American soil anyway. The Russian and Chinese military would have to team up to beat the American military, and even then the American Industrial War Complex wouldn’t go down easy. The right to bear arms for the purpose of protecting yourself against your own government is a joke. A hunting rifle isn’t going to stop a Black Hawk. The practical fact of the matter is, the only thing fighting the American government with violence is going to accomplish is getting you killed.

 

FIVE THINGS THAT WILL CHANGE AMERICA

 

1. Educating yourself

The first step to changing the world is always to change yourself. If you can’t see the solutions to the world’s problems then you need to educate yourself until you are smart enough. Don’t sit around waiting for someone to give you a solution. Educate yourself and figure it out on your own.

Don’t make excuses about how you weren’t born a genius. What if I wrote an essay saying you were too stupid to do anything? Would you just agree with me or would you get pissed off and change the world just to prove me wrong? If you’re not going to take discouragement from me then why would you take it from yourself?

Even without instigating a cataclysmic change in the world, simply educating yourself to the point where you can make responsible decisions in your daily life is half the battle. If every single person educated themselves enough to make responsible decisions in their daily lives, then oppressors and exploiters wouldn’t have any power over the public. If half the public actually did educate themselves to the point where they could understand the systemic problems inherent in the system, see solutions to the problems and be able to orchestrate plans to address those problems then the power of the people would be unstoppable. As it stands, everyone just wants to know who is going to win the next American Idol contest. Of course people who are that stupid are going to be exploited.

 

2. Educating others

Let’s say you educated yourself to the point where you’re making responsible decisions in your daily life and understand the problems inherent in the system. That’ll help you live a more free life in your own private domain, but you won’t be able to make a difference in the greater scheme of society without the help of others. But ignorant people won’t help you because there’s nothing ignorant people fear (and thus hate) more than change.

Your fellow slaves will beat you down for trying to help them. So the second thing you need to do to help bring about change is to help educate others, especially the poorest of the poor. They have the least to lose and the most to gain. That’s why the military targets them for recruitment. They have the potential to be your most motivated allies if you can just educate them. And unlike the military, you don’t have to lie to them and systematically brainwash them and isolate them in a cult. You have truth on your side. Just educate them and they’ll put two and two together and do what’s in their best interest… just like you’re doing.

 

3. Organizing with like-minded people

Look on the back of an American one dollar bill. You’ll see an eagle holding a claw full of arrows. The symbolism of that image comes from the wisdom of Native Americans who recognized that you can break an arrow easily, but it’s nearly impossible to break 12 arrows with your hands at once. This is the power of the people. There is strength in numbers.

If you want to create a force for change you need to organize with like-minded, educated people. The key word is “organize.” To use a more modern analogy, think of football. A team of disorganized football players is going to run around the field like chickens with their heads cut off. An organized team where there is a hierarchy of authority, a division of roles and most importantly, a plan, is going to be exponentially more successful than a blind mob… especially when playing against a professional team that has been practicing for hundreds of years and refining their organization techniques.

So get together with a group of smart people and come up with a plan, and make sure part of that plan is reaching out to other smart people.

 

4. Bribery

If you want to enact change in America, I’ve got great news for you. There is already a streamlined method for creating change that anyone can take part in without voting or running for office: legal bribery. All you have to do is make lavish campaign donations to everyone running for public office. Donate to both sides just in case. And regardless of who wins, use lobbyists to shower them with gifts and favors. Then they’ll do whatever you want them to and you didn’t even have to kill anyone to have your voice listened to.

I’m completely serious. The American government is always up for sale. If you want it, just buy it.

 

5. Acting/changing locally

You don’t have to change all the rules in America to live a better life. You certainly don’t need to tear down the entire government, and realistically, you’d most likely fail if you tried anyway. So don’t bother. Organize locally, run for office locally, vote locally, pass laws that favor the individual locally. Create a utopia in the local area. That’s realistic. That’s manageable.

 

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If You Want Everyone To Vote, Then Make Voting Work For Everyone

Picture of an elephant and donkey standing on one side of a chasm holding balloons and popcorn. They're saying, "Come join us!! We've got candy, balloons an clowns!" On the other side of the chasm is a young woman saying, "That's part of the problem." Underneath is a caption that says, "COURTING THE YOUTH VOTE."

 

If everyone in the world woke up tomorrow with no memory or evidence of America’s electoral system, and we had to invent a new one from scratch, there’s zero possibility that anyone would, or even could, recreate what exists now. It’s so absurdly broken you couldn’t make it up.

The most powerful positions in the government are held by 100 members of the Senate, 435 members of the House of Representatives, the president, vice president and hundreds of appointed officials.  The elected seats are filled by hosting popularity contests between wealthy, professional campaigners who are matched against whichever other contestants live in the same geographical area as them. The presidency is a nationwide election, but everyone still votes with their state, and the winner of the state-wide election gets to vote on the national level. However, the state representatives don’t always have to vote the way the people do, and there are unelected superdelegates who can vote however they want.

It’s debatable whether or not Americans’ votes matter at all, but if you’re a twenty year old gay black atheist socialist living in a county full of white, Christian Baby Boomers, there’s no doubt that your vote doesn’t count. It’s a cold, mathematical fact. Even if we stopped voting by states and made every federal election nationwide, the generation with the most people will still have the mathematical advantage.

Right now the Baby Boomers have the mathematical advantage, and thanks to the horrible economy they created, they’re also the most likely to have enough free time to go vote at one of the convoluted voting stations the system provides. So it should come as no surprise that the average age of Congress is 62.

With age comes wisdom, but it also comes with senility and obsolescence. Strom Thurmond had no business taking up one of the highest seats of power in the world, and neither does anyone who has never sent an E-mail. Age also comes with a shift in priorities. You tend to stick with the old ways and prioritize short-term security over testing radical ideas and looking far into the future.  As a result, the youth are forced to perpetually live in an archaic system that doesn’t represent their values or goals.

I can’t help but feel like there’s a more effective way to stock elected seats than by culling them from 50 arbitrary, gerrymandered geographical areas, and holding a popular vote within them between contestants who are old and rich enough to devote their lives to being professional campaigners who work for one of two warring staffing agencies.

Any teenager could come up with ten better ways to staff the federal government. Here are a few that I would be satisfied with over the train wreck we have now. Assign a percentage of the votes and/or seats by age group, income bracket, IQ level, personality type or by the sector of the economy one works in. In addition, make all federal election national and online. Give voters the perpetual option to vote politicians out of office, and eliminate superdelegates and anything resembling them.

Any of these ideas would put my vote in a pool with more people who share my interests. No matter what flaws these options may have, they aren’t worse than what America has now.

 

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Voting Never Has, And Never Will, Save America

Every time I check the news these days I see a dozen articles about how bad the economy in America is getting. If it’s not that it’s about workers losing rights, poison in the food, overflowing jails, crime in the ghettos, the quality of education being undermined by politicians, corruption in the government, civil liberties being infringed on.

Whenever I read forums where people are discussing the things wrong with America, inevitably someone will squawk this golden bit of wisdom, “This is what happens when you don’t vote.”

Allow me to use a chart to illustrate the flaw in this logic.

 

Picture of a circle with the words inside it, "Years since WWII Americans have voted. Years since WWII America has gotten worse," with the caption, "This is a Venn Diagram.

In America, voting is considered sacred, but all of America’s problems have been caused by poor leadership, and most of our leaders have been elected. The few who weren’t elected were chosen by people who were elected. Our leaders have consistently failed us.

I think Albert Einstein put it best when he said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” Insanity is also not being able to see the obvious, or seeing it and refusing to acknowledge it. The reality is that the right to vote doesn’t empower or protect the American people. The way voting in America works it blatantly disenfranchises them.

Here’s how voting works. Two or more people run for an office. The public doesn’t have much time to get to know the candidates. So the only information they’re given about the candidates are the things the candidates want them to know or what their opponent can dig up on them. Since the people can’t judge the candidates by their qualifications, they judge them on their charisma or familiarity. This means the person with the biggest public relations budget is most likely to win. This means the person with the most money is most likely to win. Most candidates don’t have enough money of their own to finance a campaign. So they get donations. The individuals or organizations who donate the most money expect favors in return.

Now, when a candidate is on the campaign trail they will tell the people whatever they want to hear to get their votes. So they’ll avoid making any concrete statements about their position because they know that will alienate someone. They’ll also make the most unrealistic promises because they know everyone wants to hear that, but once they’re in office they have absolutely no accountability to keep any of those promises or to lean in any direction.

Voters can send letters to their elected representatives, but those letters will be opened, read and responded to by a young intern. If you want to actually talk to a politician and give them a typed up policy for them to sign into law you have to lobby them. Lobbying is when you shower a politician with favors and gifts in return for their compliance. Note that you don’t have to vote for a candidate to lobby them. In some countries, this is known as bribery. And who has the time and money to lobby politicians? Wealthy individuals and organizations. How do they get wealthy? By making goods and services as cheaply as possible, paying the workers who produce them as little as possible and charging the customer as much as possible.

What do you think the wealthy ask politicians for? The right to make cheaper products, pay people less, work them more and charge them more. And that’s exactly what’s happened since WWII because that’s how voting is designed to work. It gives regular voters the illusion of control when in reality it empowers those with the most to gain from exploiting and subjugating the masses. All voting accomplishes is keeping that illusion alive.

 

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4 Illogical Arguments Against Polygamy

1. God hates polygamy.

Some conservative Christians Americans would argue that, according to God and the Bible, marriage is supposed to be between one man and one woman. This is simply not true. Polygamy is very common in the Bible. So legalizing polygamy would be a step towards Biblical standards of marriage. However, while there are good reasons to legalize polygamy, the fact that the Bible approves of it isn’t one of them. If we’re going to base marriage laws on Biblical law, then women should be slaves, and fathers should sell their daughters for silver and beat them to death with rocks if they’re not a virgin on their wedding night… unless they were raped. In that case, the father should sell his daughter to her rapist. The “traditional Christian” concept of marriage being between one man and one woman who are in love, has no basis in Christianity. That’s a modern, secular tradition. If you want to live in a Christian theocracy, then you shouldn’t be standing against polygamy. You should be standing against adultery, divorce, and equality for women.

 

 

 

A list of verses in the Bible explaining marriage, including: Genesis 2:24, Genesis 38:6-10, Deuteronomy 22:28-29, Numbers 31:1-18, Exodus 21:4 and others

Click picture to enlarge

 

2. Polygamy is a slippery slope.

Some people would argue that polygamy is a slippery slope towards legalizing incest and bestiality. However, incest is illegal because it causes birth defects, and bestiality is illegal because an animal can’t consent to sex. Neither of these applies to polygamy.

 

3. Polygamy oppresses women.

You should not use this argument if you’ve never met a polyamorous/polygamous family, because you don’t really know what you’re talking about. I’ll concede that there have been polygamous families where women were treated poorly, but that was the decision of the individual men involved. It was not the inevitable result of people living together. If we’re to assert that people shouldn’t have the freedom to marry who they want because things could go bad, then that same logic would require us to make all marriage illegal. There are mountains of statistics of women being mistreated in “traditional” one-man-one-woman marriages. If you’re concerned about protecting people from themselves, then you should be petitioning to end marriage completely.

 

4. Polygamy would complicate taxes.

It’s noble to be concerned with other people’s taxes, but that’s not a solid enough reason to take away people’s freedoms. If tax laws are oppressive, the solution isn’t to accept oppression.

There is no solid, logical, coherent reason why polygamy should be illegal. The only reason for wanting polygamy to be criminalized is because you don’t understand it and don’t want people to live differently than you. That’s just cut and dry oppression. It’s not yours or your government’s place to criminalize love or domestic partnerships.

The only thing criminalizing polygamy accomplishes is demeaning, frustrating and destroying people’s lives. Legalizing polygamy would reflect enlightened values of adaptability, love, and freedom. We’ll never live in utopia as long as we’re taking people’s freedoms away for subjective, fantasy-based reasons.

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Why Stop with Just Making Drugs Illegal?

 

Drugs are illegal because they damage your health, inhibit your ability to function in society and lower your potential in the long run while increasing the likelihood that you’ll commit crime. That pretty much sums it up, right? Well, if those are solid reasons to make drugs illegal, then why stop with just criminalizing drugs?

Let’s make it illegal to drop out of school. Uneducated people lack higher-level social skills, are less useful to society and are more likely to commit crime. A lack of education is every bit as dangerous as drug use. In fact, if we’re truly concerned with the individual’s welfare, we would make it mandatory to stay in school through the completion of a bachelor’s degree or at least a trade certificate.

While we’re at it, we should make it illegal to eat fast food and junk food. McDonald’s food will literally cripple and kill you faster than marijuana, and in the meantime, it’ll give you health problems that will rack up extremely expensive medical bills. That’s every bit as tragic as a worst case scenario heroin junky. Obviously, you should go to jail for eating fast food.

Next, we obviously need to make alcohol and cigarettes illegal. They’re drugs. Cigarette packs even say right on the front, “This is poison.” Legal poison hurts you in every way that illegal poisons do. It’s cut and dry hypocrisy to make one poison legal to consume and another illegal. By the precedent we’ve already set, you should go to jail for smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol.

We also need to make wage slavery illegal. Poor people have poor health, low potential and are more likely to commit crimes. If instead of letting CEOs become obscenely rich off the blood and sweat of slaves, we force CEOs to pay their workers a fair share of their company’s profits, then people won’t be so poor. Then they’ll be able to afford better food. They’ll be able to save and invest more, and they won’t have to resort to criminal activity for money. So it should be illegal to pay workers minimum wage.

Next, we should make religion illegal. Religion hinders logical thought, which puts a solid cap on people’s potential. It also forces barbarically archaic moral standards onto people that conflict with their natural instincts. As a result, it causes undue stress on individuals, which has proven to push people to dangerous ends. Religion flies planes into buildings and gets homosexuals lynched. Bibles are worse for your health than marijuana and should be correspondingly illegal.

Handguns and automatic weapons are the next big item. They kill people….and that’s all they do. Not everyone who has a gun is going to kill somebody, but not every crack head is going to steal to support their drug habit. Since there will be a few worst case scenarios, we should hunt down everyone who has a gun and send them to prison for years where they’ll almost certainly be beaten and raped. Plus, we should blacklist them when they get out so they’ll never get a good paying job again. That will certainly solve the gun problem without causing any other problems.

Let’s add television to the list as well. Television is by and large a waste of time. You get fat and stupid by watching too much TV. This is bad for your health and lowers your potential. Using the same precedent set by drug laws, television should be illegal, and people who watch television should be hunted and caged.

What else? Sports. Sex. Aging. Pets. Unkempt houses. Working too much. Asshole bosses. Driving. Hell, we may as well just lock everyone up. We’re all doing something that could hurt us if we take it too far. And since prison doesn’t have any adverse effects on health, happiness or potential, then once everyone is locked up in prison then everyone will be healthy, happy and able to fulfill their highest potential both for themselves as well as society.

…or maybe some other judicial reform is needed.

 

 

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My Theory On Illegal Immigration

"Schrodinger's Immigrant: Simultaneously stealing your job and too lazy to work"

 

Politicians and celebrities in America regularly bash illegal Mexican immigrants for being lazy criminals who leech off the system. There are about 10 million illegal immigrants in America right now, and you’re always going to have a few bad apples in any group that size, but generalizing illegal Mexicans in America as villains is detached from reality. The causes, consequences, and implications of illegal immigration are bigger than that. In order to see the real issue in the broader scope of things, you need to understand five things:

 

1. Illegal immigrants are people too.

Illegal aliens are just as human as natural-born American citizens. They come from the same tree of life that every other human being came from, which makes them more than just neighbors. They’re family, and from a cosmic perspective, they’re the among the rarest, most precious entities in the known universe. If there’s a God that created us, we’re all children from the same loving parent.

We’re all lost and stranded on the same planet. We’re all going through the same existential crisis, and when we die, we all return to dust. It would be illogical to have a conversation about illegal immigrants without acknowledging their inherent sublime majesty, and any solution to illegal immigration must take into account the dignity and respect due to every sentient being. To say that illegal immigrants are just outsiders who need to piss off misses the point of life.

 

2. They’re here to work and send money back to their families or they’re trying to build a new life in the land of opportunity.

In order to understand how to deal with illegal immigration, you need to understand why people risk traveling thousands of miles across deadly terrain in a strange land where they’re hunted by police. Most of the people who do that aren’t rapists and criminals. Some of them are women and children, but most of them are fathers who left their homes and their families to find work so they can provide for their loved ones. Some want to stay in America, but most want to return home after they’ve made some money.

Think about that, and then think about the words written on the Statue of Liberty:

 

“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
‘Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!’ cries she
With silent lips. ‘Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!'”

 

The bedrock of American political ideology has always been love, hope, freedom, and industry. Those are the same values that have motivated so many Mexicans to answer the call of Lady Liberty.  That’s not to say that opening the borders unconditionally is the best solution, but that would be more American than building a wall from the Atlantic to the Pacific ocean and lining it with armed guards.

 

3. They do the jobs Americans can’t.

It’s a well-established fact that Mexican immigrants aren’t taking high paying, in-demand jobs. In 2010 The United Farm Workers organization challenged Americans to come work the jobs that Mexicans have been taking, and not one American took up the challenge.

It’s an understatement to say Mexicans are taking the jobs Americans don’t want. Frankly, they’re taking the jobs Americans can’t do. Immigrants work 13+ hours per day in inclement weather doing backbreaking work with almost no breaks for almost no money. Even if an American could endure the inhumane working conditions that immigrants suffer every day, their wages would be so far below the poverty line they wouldn’t be able to afford a basic quality of living much less The American Dream.

 

4. America’s economy is based on slave labor.

To say that Mexicans are taking Americans’ jobs today is like saying black slaves were taking all the good cotton picking jobs that colonial-era white settlers were entitled to. The work Mexicans do is tantamount to slave labor. Since America’s agricultural and construction industries (to name a few) are so heavily dependent on immigrant labor, that means the American economy is built on slave labor.

Any American who believes all the illegal immigrants should be deported is a hypocrite every time they go shopping because the low prices they enjoy are the direct result of immigrant slave labor. If all of these workers were deported, prices would skyrocket giving anti-immigration advocates a whole new set of problems to scream about.

Since the economy depends so heavily on illegal immigrants who don’t want to spend the rest of their life in America, the simplest solution to the problem would be to make it easier to obtain temporary working visas. The reason that solution hasn’t been implemented is because then American businesses would have to pay their slaves a living wage and give them all the perks entitled to legal workers. That would raise the cost of goods as surely as deporting all the undocumented workers. Very few business owners would lobby the government to do that. It works out better for their bottom line to keep distracting the public with talk of building walls while continuing to enjoy the fruits of slavery.

 

5. Mexicans go to America looking for work in the first place because South America’s economy and political structure have been systematically destabilized by the U.S. government. 

So many South Americans head North to find work because their economies and governments have been systematically destabilized by the United States government to ensure that none of its neighbors could challenge it economically or militarily. This has also allowed the United States to outsource jobs to South American sweatshops while also guaranteeing a steady flow of workers will come North to work inside America without any legal protection. So screaming at Mexicans for taking Americans’ jobs is blaming the victim.

(Documentary) The War on Democracy

(Documentary) Harvest of Empire

(Wikipedia) Latin America- United States Relations

No amount of victim-blaming will solve the immigration problem. We need to fix the fundamental problem with the economy, which is that our entire economic system is based on oppression and unsustainability. America and Mexico both need to build affordable, self-sufficient cities that don’t require its citizens to work themselves to death for barely enough money to survive. If/when that ever happens, nobody will need to leave their families and travel thousands of perilous miles to work in inhumane conditions, and nobody will have to fight each other for the ability to build a happy life.

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Barack Obama
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My Theory On Gun Control

Picture of an assault rifle painted like the American flag

 

The topic of gun control makes headline news in America every time there’s a mass shooting, which is almost yearly now. Even without those events, the topic of gun control rarely leaves the public discourse because Americans are killed and terrorized by guns every day. Even if Americans didn’t want to hear about guns, tens of millions of dollars are spent every year by both pro and anti-gun control groups to lobby politicians and create propaganda for the public. And guns are such a normal way of life in America that they’re celebrated and satirized in American movies and television daily.

With guns so ingrained in American culture, it’s impossible to have a productive public conversation about them. Both sides are right about some things, but they both overvalue some of their arguments. Since most mainstream news organizations are fighting tooth and nail for ratings, they tend to paint the issue black, white and divisive, but gun control is a kaleidoscopic grey area. It’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

Americans can speak with authority on guns because everyone knows somebody who owns one. But most Americans have never left America. There are 195 other countries in the world, and between them, every possible combination of gun control laws are in place somewhere. When discussing the possible consequences of implementing different laws, the question isn’t, “What would happen?” The question is, “What’s happening?”

Before I offer my theory on what combination I advocate, I want to share my personal experiences in the countries I’ve been to.

Mexico– Every Mexican has the constitutional right to own firearms, but there are very strict laws on what kind they can own, and they’re basically not allowed to carry them outside their home. The gun laws in Mexico don’t really apply though, because criminal organizations are stronger than the government, and guns are extremely easy to obtain. To be fair, there are a lot of places in Mexico where people don’t lock their doors at night, but other cities are nightmares to live in. Guns are the number one reason I would not live in Mexico.

Israel, Greece, Egypt, and Italy– When visiting each of these countries I didn’t know what their gun laws were. I was standing in a bazaar in Jerusalem when I heard random gunfire in the distance, and nobody around me batted an eye. I witnessed a large, angry protest smash a car in front of the Parliament building in Greece, which was surrounded by riot police carrying automatic weapons. In Egypt, there was a mounted machine gun in front of my hotel, and while living in Italy, I saw Carabinieri police with automatic weapons every day. In these four very different countries, I got very comfortable with seeing heavily armed guards on the street corners. After leaving Israel, I flew to New York, where I felt naked on the streets and longed to be surrounded by automatic weapons. Granted, if I were a black man in New York or a Palestinian in Israel, I would have had different experiences.

Slovakia, Slovenia, and Croatia- These countries have pretty middle of the road gun laws, and I felt reasonably safe. However, I was in a nightclub in Croatia, where one of my friends kicked over a bottle of beer and shattered it on the dance floor. An Australian we were hanging out with, who had been living there for a year said, “Be careful. That bouncer over there has seven lines cut into his forearm. That’s for each person he killed in the war. Life is cheap here, mate. Don’t piss people off.” So obviously, any debate about gun control laws must also address the larger issue of what causes people to be violent in general.

Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Holland– These countries have mostly strict gun laws, but out of all of them, Switzerland has the least. Of all the countries I’ve visited, I felt the safest in these countries, and I felt the safest in Switzerland. This is partly due to laws, but these countries also have the highest quality of living of all the countries I’ve visited. The locals just don’t have as much stress and desperation motivating them to kill each other.

Kuwait- Regardless of the laws in the Middle East, weapons are easy to get. Life is cheap and hard, and there are a lot of ideological extremists who divide the world into “us versus them.” This is a recipe for violence, and weapon manufacturers are fanning the flames. I wouldn’t live in the Middle East even if I could, and every year hundreds of thousands of refugees risk their lives leaving their country because it’s a better option than facing the guns and bombs at home.

Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam– These countries have fairly strict gun policies, and the local religions tend to promote peace and harmony. I felt safe in these countries when I was in affluent areas, but I didn’t venture into impoverished neighborhoods because the threat of being robbed is very real there. Even when a society has strict gun laws and a pacifist attitude, poverty will still create criminals who have less to lose and more to gain from picking up a gun than obeying the law or social norms.

The UK, New Zealand– These countries have fairly strict gun laws, but they have high levels of economic inequality. I felt safer in these countries than in America, and I was more afraid of being stabbed than shot.

America– I went to two different high schools in Texas. At one of them, students had gun racks full of shotguns and rifles in their trucks, which they parked on campus, and nobody ever worried about it. When I attended the other school I lived two blocks from the projects and would hear random gunfire from my bedroom window at night. I would never walk the streets after dark. When I lived in Hawaii, I was awoken one morning by a man shooting an AK-47 randomly outside my apartment as he went door to door looking for the man who raped his sister. I told that story to a friend of mine in Texas, and I asked, “Where do you even get an AK-47?” My friend replied, “Do you have $300. I’ll get you an AK-47 today.” I’m afraid to live in America.

If there’s one thing most of the world agrees on, it’s that insane people and violent criminals should not be allowed to own guns. There’s nothing wrong that. It’s been said that, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” But if you give a monkey a gun, a random person is going to get shot.

So my four solutions to gun violence are:

 

1: Don’t let crazy people and repeat-offenders own guns.

Another concept that’s not up for debate is that “opportunity creates the criminal.” The more people have guns, the more gun deaths will result from accidents and crimes of passion. Just because some people can own a gun responsibly doesn’t mean everyone can. If you want the general public to have easy access to guns, you need to ask yourself how many inevitable gun deaths you’re willing to accept for that freedom.

Any violent gun-owning criminal will tell you that the easier it is to legally buy a gun, the easier it is to illegally buy a gun. So it’s shortsighted to say, “Criminals don’t follow laws. So if the public can’t have guns, only criminals will have them.” In reality, the more guns the public has, the more guns criminals will have, and as I just mentioned, more otherwise peaceful people will become violent offenders.

To address this problem I would be fine with either of these solutions:

 

2: Only allow current members and veterans of law enforcement and the military to own guns.

The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” If the right to bear arms is related to militias, then it stands to reason people who own guns should be patriots who have some experience with organized fighting. I’m not saying this is the best solution to the gun control issue, but it’s better than allowing any crazy person to hoard guns.

 

3: Make gun safety a required class in public k-12 schools. 

It’s been said that, “American’s weren’t meant to be safe. They were meant to be free.” But the basis of the social contract is limiting people’s freedoms to hurt each other. You’re not free to drive a car without a license. You’re not free to practice medicine without a license. You’re not free to hold public office without meeting a few requirements. It’s easier to get a gun in America than it is to open a business, get divorced or buy a house.  There’s a limit to how many freedoms we should sacrifice for safety, but everyone’s life is already saturated with inhibiting laws. Screaming about gun control is screaming at a single tree in a vast forest that’s on fire. If you’re going to get mad that you don’t have easy access to assault weapons, you should be screaming about having to get a driver’s license or wear a seatbelt.

If you truly, madly, deeply believe that American citizens should be able to own guns in order to defend their rights from an oppressive government, you should already be overthrowing the American government. Americans aren’t free. The average American isn’t represented in government, and America isn’t the good guy. I’m not actually saying that we should all band together and violently overthrow the government. I’m just saying that if you use the “protection against tyranny” argument then you’re naive at best, a part of the problem at worst, and a hypocrite either way.

You already know you don’t stand a chance in Hell of defeating the U.S. military with weapons you bought from a pawn shop. As much of a beating as the U.S. military has taken fighting loosely organized, moderately armed rebels in the Middle East, America is still over there killing people every day. The American war machine will keep fighting until everyone you know is dead and the country is bankrupt. Armed insurrection in America is not an option.

You don’t need to overthrow the government to make America a better place anyway. Even if you did overthrow the government, it wouldn’t matter what kind of gun laws you put in place afterward. The main determining factor in whether or not people will commit crimes with any kind of weapon is ultimately poverty. If you’re screaming because you’re worried the government is going to take away your assault weapons, you’re distracting the public from the fundamental problem with society: the oppressive economic system. Regardless of what the current gun laws are, if you’re truly worried about your (or anyone else’s) ability to preserve your life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, then you need to worry about poverty first and foremost.

So my final solution to the gun question is this:

 

4: Save the gun debate until after we’ve addressed the main threat to people’s lives that lead to most gun violence, to begin with: poverty.

Poverty causes stress and crime. Add guns and you have a recipe for perpetual violence that no amount of regulations can stop. If everyone were secure and content, like in Switzerland, you could give everyone a gun for free and you’d have less gun violence than a country with high income inequality and totalitarian gun laws.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Barack Obama
The 2016 Presidential Election
Donald Trump
Voting
Corruption and Election Reform
American Laws
My Tweets About Politics

 


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