OUR AMERICA

So I mentioned last week that Tuesdays would be about dreams from now on, but after the travesty in Las Vegas yesterday, I couldn’t in my right mind not say how horrible I feel over the subject. So I did what I often do in that circumstance and wrote a poem about it. Before reading it, please consider donating to Las Vegas. Here’s a link to a GoFundMe. Ok, here’s the poem. Feel free to comment:

Our America

We may not be slaves

to the sins of our fathers,

but we are certainly born

out of the wombs of their actions.

 

And while we may not bear the chains

that granted them power over men,

the scars they inflicted are still fresh

on the skins of our history.

 

The flesh of this America

still burns with the toil of war,

where brother fought brother

so that our brethren could be free.

 

The first tears broke over the face

of the American Dream in 1830

when Jackson uprooted the free

in the name of freedom.

 

And again we see the strength of arms

spattering our lands red with blood,

to protect the egos of the fearful.

 

From Orlando to Las Vegas,

that river runs deeper than the oil pipelines

those dream eaters feast their pocketbooks on.

 

Well I say to them:

We do not like your America.

 

Your America is not

the land of the free

and the home of the brave,

but the land of greed

and home to the slave.

 

So we have come to take it back.

With pitchforks and torches,

with iron and steel,

with the bodies of our comrades

gunned down by the bullets

of your deranged militia laws:

we are coming.

 

Like the beating heart of the mountain

and the roaring calls of the ocean:

we are coming.

 

Like the lionhearts of Europe

come to claim their throne from John:

we are coming.

 

For this is our America.

 

Not a land of destiny and perfection

but nonetheless a home

to those who would strive

to see a more perfect union.

 

Not a country unsullied by pride,

but nonetheless a home

to those who would strive

to see the error in their ways.

 

Yes, this is our America.

An America where men can be queer.

An America where women can dream.

An America where blacks do not fear.

 

This is our America,

an America that has never been,

and yet I swear this oath again—

our America it will be.

——

 

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UNDERSTANDING DONALD TRUMP

Hello everyone,

 

For the most part, I like to avoid politics, not because it isn’t of value or importance to society, but because the reality of our nation is that the federal government is so broad spread, there is very little impact in day to day life caused by it, and because I am a pretty good person, I don’t typically have to worry about restrictions by law. Sure, I know my positions on most aspects of politics, but I’m not really the type of person to go out and promote someone. I sense I share this position with a lot of people.

But unfortunately, Donald Trump has caused me to throw a lot of that out the window because he’s just so…awful. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with being conservative. I mean, I probably disagree with your positions, but being conservative doesn’t inherently make you a bad person. It just means you are cognizant of potential issues with progress. Sometimes this is bad, and sometimes it is good.

Donald Trump, however, makes things frightening, because, as he showed recently, he is willing to threaten people to get his way. I’m speaking, of course, about the reference Trump made to “Second Amendment People” and Hilary Clinton. The inference made between the two were that the people with guns could do something about Hilary—I.E., kill her. Sound scary if he were serious? It should. Start eliminating political opponents and suddenly things are no longer a democracy.

Now, Trump came forward and said that he was joking, and maybe he was. But the problem with this is that his joke still impacts people. As I was scrolling through Facebook, I saw a tweet that responded to this, which said that every joke is centered in a truth to some extent. If that were the case, then in some way Trump actually does want Hilary dead. It certainly would be backed up by his track record of horrible statements. Personally though, I think it doesn’t matter if he is joking or not. He could be being entirely sarcastic and really have no issue with Hilary and still it would be wrong to joke about this, because there is a portion of his audience, I have no idea how large or small they are, that will actually think that he’s totally correct, and even worse, there are some that will actually try it.

Either Trump knows this, in which case his “joke” is manipulating the public in order to further bend them to his will, or he doesn’t know the impact of his words, in which case he is not fit to be the president. If you ask my opinion (which, given that you are still reading this, implies that you are), Trump is manipulating people. He’s been doing it his whole life. He’s manipulated the world to think he’s the business Kingpin, he’s manipulated the Republican party to think that he’s capable of solving problems that their normal politicians can’t, and he’s manipulated American’s into thinking that there are problems that do not exist. It’s wrong, but it’s worked. It’s time to wake up and take steps to prevent his continuation.

I’M LOOKING FOR MY FRIEND

I’m looking for my friend,

Have you seen him?

He’s big and tall and quiet.

And he smiles great big smiles.

 

I’m looking for my friend,

Have you seen him?

He’s strong and kind and happy.

And he has a belly full of laughter.

 

I’m looking for my friend,

Have you seen him?

He’s smart and friendly and warm.

And he wouldn’t hurt a fly.

 

I’m looking for my friend,

Have you seen him?

He was shot dead this past week

By overzealous men with overzealous bullets.

 

I’ve lost my friend,

Did you see him?

He was just trying to make his way in the world

Gunned down under the false flag of American justice.

 

Hello everyone,

In response to the recent tragedy in Dallas as well as the shooting of Alton Sterling, I made this poem. I hope it brings some solace to those in need. Let me know what you think.

LOOKING OUT FOR OUR PROTECTORS

Hello everyone,

 

I hope you all liked my piece yesterday (if you didn’t read it, just keep scrolling down). Talking about war is something that’s hard for me to do because I am pretty anti-violence. I call myself a pacifist but I am uncertain the extent of the reality of that. I know there are situations in which fighting is the only safe way out. I also know that sometimes refusal to battle is seen as weakness. Which can cause more people to attack. That being said, I do have great respect for our armed forces (though I disagree strongly with many of the people eager to send them out to war). It takes a lot of guts to go to war.

That being said, we live in a weird time. A time where being a warrior doesn’t mean you are honorable. Or that you are honored. Take our Vietnam veterans as a prime example of this. They put their lives on the line while countless officials and high-level administrative decisions caused one of the most laughable errors in American history. And how did we reward these brave men? Well, if you hear accounts, many were literally spit on as they stepped off the planes. Most Vietnam veterans are too ashamed to take pride in their positions, because of the treatment they received when they got home. Thousands of veterans sleep out in the cold at night because we have horrible veteran’s benefits programs.

We also live in a world where letting strangers into your house can be dangerous. One of the advantages of living in an honor based society, or even a society that focused more heavily on personal interaction is that we could trust people more easily. And people were less likely to betray our trust. We could open our doors to travellers; give them a warm meal, and a place to sleep. Now people are lucky to ring a doorbell and receive a polite hello.

With this being the case, it’s no wonder so many people are against their children going to war. Seriously. I can’t imagine crippling my child’s opportunities simply to potentially stop a threat. It’s all rhetoric by the people in power to keep the common person sacrificing their lives for “the greater good.” Of course, I’m not saying that there is no need for sacrifice. But we no longer reward those who sacrifice so much. Money is the basic reward, but who can put a price on the lives of a warrior? Can we really just put it on the government to pay their bills? Shouldn’t we be putting it on everyone who is protected? And I don’t just mean filling in more taxes for people—but that certainly is a fair price for security. I think that the businesses should be more open to supporting veterans. Have classes or sessions at local doctors offices to help veterans through physical and mental trauma. It’s time to start looking out for each other more, and stop looking out just for ourselves.

LIBERTY VS. SECURITY

Hello everyone,

 

I have returned for another exciting adventure! Yesterday we had a chat about the lack of importance of guns in society, and I briefly touched on the intrinsic battle between concepts of liberty and security. On the off chance someone doesn’t know what these are, I’ll briefly explain them (plus it adds exposition, which makes the blog sound more professional). Liberty, as I will be using it, effectively means that anyone can have access to something. It’s typically the applications of freedoms to various things. For example, the freedom to speak freely is a liberty we exercise constantly. To contrast this, security is the protection from something. Typically, more security requires the sacrifice of liberty, which is where we reach a hierarchy of values.

Most conflict in life is established by a hierarchy of values. When two values are in opposition, the hierarchy helps to resolve this. One easy example of this is in the Bible, as many modern Christians have interpreted it. The idea that all life is sacred is on value, which is part of why there is such a strong debate over abortion. On the other side, the idea of being gay is often condemned by Bible thumpers, which typically leads to a conflict of interest. Life is sacred, except for the gays. Between liberty and security, we often cite ideas of privacy as a reason to avoid losing security. Take the fairly recent suit between Apple and the FBI, in which Apple was told to make a “back door” encryption key so as to get into the San Bernardino shooter’s cell phone.

For the most part, I think people sided with liberty here—the idea that, while we may have been able to get more information valuable to the security of the state out of this phone, the potential for infringement on human rights and privacy was too great a loss for people. In this case, liberty was more valuable to our country. On the other hand, after 9/11, we lost some amount of liberty in order to maintain security over airplanes. Given the physical damage that could be done with a plane, this makes some amount of sense, right?

So I think the big issue today with guns is another fight between these two values, and the reality is that our security is worth the loss in liberty here. Despite all the gun toting, and the occasional random savior, we finished 2015 with more shootings than days in the year. We are on track to perform a similar feat this year. I know it might seem scary, but think about it. Why don’t we give hand grenades to civilians? Because they’re dangerous, easy to conceal (like many legal guns are), and can kill a lot of people in a short period of time. The only reason we even have a discussion about guns is because we have an amendment that has been skewed by the NRA to promote the purchase of guns. That’s not an American way to do things. Or even if it sounds like one in some sick, twisted way, it certainly isn’t a moral way to do things. The security of peaceful citizens outweighs the need for guns among those who are paranoid about their well being.