Monday, February 27, 2006

Reforming Politics (i.e. regime change at home) - Part One

The twenty-first century is introducing new challenges to presidential selection in the United States. The rapid pace of technological advancement and its effects on human society continue to influence social dynamics on a functional level. One of the more profound conduits for technological integration is the mass media. Television, in particular, wields an underestimated power over the human psyche. Television’s ability to reach a large number of citizens in one broadcast, compounded by its operational cost, has induced unprecedented political spending by parties competing for power.

In the United States, it is no secret that money influences, to some degree, most if not all aspects of American culture. Concerns of unequal bias between the money powers and the common citizen echo throughout American history. Yet today, a disproportionate percentage of media outlets are owned and controlled by a few corporate and commercial interests. Media outlets, following the imperative of the fiscal “bottom line”, compete for viewer-ship by promoting sensationalism over objective journalism. As a consequence, the American media landscape is littered with rhetorical soundbites raped of context.

One of the many side effects of this has been the “dumbing down” of public discourse. Rarely are existentially significant issues, i.e. global population density, depletion of natural resources, climate change, etc., debated thoroughly in public media forums. Instead, partisan dogma wields the lenses of “reality”. Nevermind that both Republicans and Democrats are typically American Adult “White” Males with loving families and a steady supply of wealth. One would think it to be a wise strategy to work together to manifest and protect the ideals of the American Constitution and the society it enables. Yet, on a daily basis, Republicans and Democrats ignore their shared interests to create the reasons for opposing one another. Thus, they perpetuate a schizophrenic political cycle that sacrifices reason and stability for dogma and power.

Presidential debates are highly controlled. Ironically, although “republicans” and “democrats” maintain oppositions over many issues (i.e. abortion, government-social integration, etc.), they eagerly work together to repel third party contenders from official campaign debates. The subject matter of the debates is also controlled. A latent function of bi-partisan debate control is one of image protection for the candidates involved. A degree of censorship is, if only passively, enforced. Time constraints during the debate force quick and empty answers to questions. The Presidential candidate that survives this plush gauntlet of social accountability must be a good actor, but not necessarily a good thinker. This is yet another weakness for presidential selection in the twenty-first century.

Human civilization on Earth faces many threats from the entropic universe. Our increasing dependence on amplified energy and technology is making us vulnerable to shifts in environmental “chaos”. As global nations face new challenges in meeting the demands of human consumption, it is critical that an American democracy produces well-informed and critically minded leaders to navigate the trends of the present and future world.

The Constitutional requirements for Presidential eligibility are adequate for modern American society, certainly worth preserving, and should not be amended (i.e., allowing a “naturalized” foreign-born American to hold the office of the President). The Electoral College, as it has been influenced by President Jackson, can continue to serve its purpose in averaging out the displacement of political influence across the country (but only as long as our government is dominated by bi-partisan politics). Bi-partisan politics, however, could produce better presidential candidates by encouraging and expanding the public forums of debate.

Overall, it would be healthy for American society to embrace a broader and engagingly integrated system of political communication. A renaissance of “Socratic” political debate within community public forums could provide gateways for potential political candidates, enhance the quality of political candidates, and establish a highly competitive arena for candidate selection. Yet, this is not our reality.
America is a media saturated society. Science is slowly coming to understand the psychological and social consequences of media conditioning. The bottom line for American democracy is that the raw economic and cultural cost of the political media circus is far out-weighing the benefits of media integration.

The process of presidential selection in the twenty-first century has been weakened by the decadence of our tech-fixated culture. Future election reform needs to place its emphasis on easing the media costs of the political campaign, attracting well-informed candidates, and establishing the conditions for open and reasonable discourse. Our American democracy must produce well-informed and critically minded leadership if it is to survive the future of human civilization. Our alternative is to conform to the birth and death life cycles of history’s greatest empires.

Real Issues of National Security (part one)

The Theory of the Social Contract as it applies to American society suggests that Americans will surrender a certain degree of freedom under a centralized government as long as that government provides security and order. The twenty-first century brings with it new threats to national security. The old paradigms of the Cold War have become dysfunctional relics in light of modern security demands.

The National Missile Defense Act of 1999 illustrated the U.S. desire to free itself from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (1). When President George W Bush took office in 2001, he fully endorsed the defense shield and withdrew the U.S. from the international ABM treaty in 2002 (1). Six years later, missile defense system is still inoperative and buried under the cloak of development (2). In this time, the American people have experienced the 9/11 attacks, two ongoing wars in the Middle East, and the devastation of an entire U.S. city. All of these events represent threats to national security. All of these threats are immune to a national missile defense shield (especially one that doesn’t exist yet).

The destruction of New Orleans by hurricane Katrina was a disaster waiting to happen. The lesson to be learned from Katrina is that our strengths and our pride are shallow illusions compared with the entropic forces of nature; we are weakened by our lack of vision. 9/11 and the destruction of New Orleans are not dissimilar with respect to breaches of national security. Both are examples of “blow-back”, both could have been prevented, and neither could have been prevented with a missile defense shield.

The Bush Administration should abandon the defense shield project and allocate all available funds to the already $62 billion set aside for rebuilding New Orleans (3). It is vital that we not only rebuild New Orleans, but also prepare our coastal cities for any future consequences of global climate shift. This includes a dramatic shift away from our dependence on foreign sources of oil and an emphasis on domestic energy production. A policy such as this will do more to secure our way of life and re-affirm the Social Contract than any missile defense shield ever will.


1)“Ka-boom or bust: The U.S. Missile Defense System”.
CBC News Online. December 6, 2004.

2) Kaplan, Fred. “Bush's Latest Missile-Defense Folly: Why spend billions on a system that might never work?”. March 12, 2004.

3) Tate, Deborah. “Congress Poised to Approve More Aid for Hurricane Relief Operations”. September 7, 2005.

Cronkite: Oppose the failed War on Drugs

from commondreams

Walter Cronkite Urges People to Oppose Failed Drug War; Calls for New Policies Based on Science, Compassion, Health and Human Rights

“Today, our nation is fighting two wars: one abroad and one at home,” Cronkite wrote. “While the war in Iraq is in the headlines, the other war is still being fought on our own streets. Its causalities are the wasted lives of our own citizens. I am speaking of the war on drugs.”

Mr. Cronkite explained his reasons for opposing the current drug war policies. “And what is the impact of this policy? It surely hasn’t made our streets safer. Instead, we have locked up literally millions of people…disproportionately people of color…who have caused little or no harm to others-wasting resources that could be used for counter-terrorism, reducing violent crime, or catching white-collar criminals.

“With police wielding unprecedented powers to invade privacy, tap phones and conduct searches seemingly at random, our civil liberties are in a very precarious condition,” he added. “Hundreds of billions of dollars have been spent on this effort-with no one held accountable for its failure.

Cronkite’s concluded his message by urging readers to support the Drug Policy Alliance. “Just as they did in Vietnam three decades ago, politicians know the War on Drugs is a failure that is ruining lives. Please help the Drug Policy Alliance tell the truth about the war on drugs, and get our nation on the path toward a sensible drug policy.”


Meet the Drug Policy Alliance

Thursday, February 23, 2006

the 25th hour

As I write, the time borders on 3 a.m. I have tried to sleep, but my racing mind refuses to quiet, which is a typical phenomenon after experiencing a good movie. About an hour ago, I finished "The 25th Hour" by Spike Lee. The film gave me a lot to consider. It reminded me of the film "Traffic"; both films examine how drugs and America's War on Drugs affect individual lives and communities. The sharpest memory I have from "Traffic" is the scene when the U.S. Drug Czar played by Michael Douglas finally admits with a broken heart that the War on Drugs is really just a War against our own families. With "The 25th Hour", I was moved by the notion that Edward Norton's character, by following his Father's wish to run away and avoid his drug-related prison sentence, manages to start a new life with his girlfriend that includes children and grandchildren. The film ends with the reality that that life, and those children, are just a dream, and Norton's character gives up the family "that wasn't suppose to be" to serve his drug-related 7 year prison term.

For the last couple of years I have been writing about the negative consequences of poor political policy-making. I have ranted ad nauseum about the destructive ideologies of the "War on Drugs", and I have done so at the risk of sounding like a drug-crazed madman. I set out on a personal mission to understand America's "War on Drugs" from an anthropological standpoint. I wanted to learn about the cultural functions of "drug use" and the conditions that led to "drug abuse". I wanted to study illegal drugs because I realized that the way our society addressed the issue was polarizing and misinformed. I became friends with people who "did drugs", and I learned from them that people simply need to be loved and appreciated, and that destructive behavior is the consequence of poor social integration. I decided that although I would skip the anthropological methodology of "participant-observation", I would read as many books on the issue of drugs as I could; if I wasn't going to "do" drugs, I was going to read about people doing them and I was going to learn as much about the cultural history of "intoxication" as I could. What I've learned so far (and continue to learn) is a TRUTH that has no legal witness. It is a truth that extends back to the earliest moments of human existence on Earth and sets the stage for the raw mechanics of human consciousness. It is a truth that dares us to examine the nature of Constitutional civil rights and the meaning of the 1st Amendment.

I've met and dialogued with many people. Few of them know anything of what I say. It is as if I have been studying a dark secret, one that no one wants to admit to. I suggest to them that our society, constructed by fallible human minds, is engaged in cultural beliefs that weaken and oppress its people. I suggest to them the possibility that our society might have some things wrong, that we are making mistakes within our legal system that are undermining whole communities and arbitrarily criminalizing otherwise well-meaning citizens. I suggest to them that we are erasing important cultural knowledge, INDIGENOUS knowledge that reaches back before the onset of history itself, knowledge that gives us insight into the very chemical construction of human consciousness, and knowledge that would push the envelope in medical and psychological treatment. I suggest to them that our society's problems with "drugs" stem more from our REPRESSION OF KNOWLEDGE than from the presence or use of "Schedule I narcotics". It seems, the more I learn, and the more I speak out about what I've learned, the bigger the wall is that I speak into.

Does anyone care? Does anyone care that bad political policies are destroying American communities and breaking up families? Does anyone care that bad political policies have made the United States of America the world leader in population incarcerations? Does anyone care that bad political policies are enflating a shadow economy that is sucking American dollars out of the American economy and diverting tremendous potential tax reservoirs to violent drug cartels? Does anyone care that this money, which could go towards easing our nation's healthcare crisis, funding our public schools and providing higher wages for teachers, is instead fueling the guerrilla armies that threaten political stability? Does anyone care that bad political policies are witholding powerful and natural medicines from the sick and imprisoning the doctors that prescribe cannabis to terminally ill patients in States that democratically approve such treatments? Does anyone care about the 1st Amendment and the FREEDOM OF THOUGHT?

I do. I care about all these things and so much more. Perhaps I'm just wierd like that, so be it. I'm sticking with my guns on this one.

Our society has embraced misleading political propaganda at the cost of REAL human dignity. I seek to change this, and I'll do it, even if I must work one mind at a time or take on the legal system to do it, as God is my witness, change is coming.

So, if you don't like drugs, ask yourself if what you don't know is contributing to the destruction of American society. You don't have to like drugs to agree with me or to see my perspective. Personally, I think life is better without the constant need for intoxication, but I won't ignore the reality that human consciousness IS a composition of altered states, and that humanity AS IT EXISTS TODAY is the result of an ancient quest for ecstatic enlightenment. David Lewis-Williams, in his book, The Mind in the cave, uses a broad pallet of interdisciplinary scientific evidence to show that the ecstatic art of shamanism is the ancient root of all modern religious and cultural belief. His is one book in many that indicate the reality of humanity's long lost evolutionary secret.

Still, the bad policies continue to flow out of Congress. Scientific and cultural knowledge is suppressed, evidence is intentionally ommitted from the court system, communities are ruined, and Americans are "free" to live a blissfully ignorant life at the expense of their own Constitutional sovereignty.

Not on my watch. I'm declaring WAR on the War on Drugs. The battle plans for my war will be outlined on this blog, and the scientific knowledge will be redeemed on my other blog, the synthetic universe. America is in her own 25th hour. We are slaves, but we can still be free. Stay tuned to find out how.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

get REAL, people...

In light of recent turmoil over these cartoons, I give you history's cruelest joke:

from Reuters, via

New Protests Erupt in Cartoon Row, Restraint Urged
by Kerstin Gehmlich

Speaking from Beirut, Omar Bakri Mohammad, leader of the
Islamist group al Muhajiroon which is banned in Britain, called for the execution of those involved with the cartoons.

"In Islam, God said, and the messenger Mohammad said, whoever insults a prophet, he must be punished and executed," he told BBC radio by telephone.

Britain issued a stern warning after protesters carried inflammatory placards. "The attacks on the citizens of Denmark and the people of other European countries are completely unacceptable as is the behavior of some of the demonstrators in London over the last few days," it said in a statement.

Moderate Moslem groups as well as Western leaders condemned the weekend violence and calls to arms and called for calm.

"With growing concern, we are witnessing the escalation in disturbing tensions...," the prime ministers of Turkey and Spain said in the International Herald Tribune.

"We shall all be the losers if we fail to immediately defuse this situation, which can only leave a trail of mistrust and misunderstanding between both sides in its wake," Tayyip Erdogan and Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said in the joint article.

But Iran responded angrily, saying the cartoons "launched an anti-Islamic and Islamophobic current which will be answered."

"It was an ugly measure. The Islamic Republic of Iran is prepared to sacrifice its life for its belief in Islam and the honor of the holy Prophet," Iran's government spokesman Gholamhossein Elham told a news conference on Monday.


In my opinion, some people just need to chill out about the whole "sanctity of icon" thing. It's not like strapping on a bomb and demolishing a busy cafe is any less sacreligious.

I especially like the cartoon with the "Stop Stop, we ran out of virgins!" Hilarious stuff, really.

I once drew a crude picture of Jesus Christ wearing a shiny white pair of Nikes, and toting a shopping bag in one hand with an M-16 in the other. In place of a crown of thorns, Jesus wore a baseball cap with an American flag patched on the front. Behind him, the Cross was leaning in silhouette with black oil squirting out of its base. I believe I also drew a path of gold winding from the base of the Cross to the feet of Jesus. I'm not quite sure of this because I've since trashed the picture, but the cartoon as a whole sticks in my mind as a reminder that I shouldn't take symbols all that seriously. I don't want social illusion to distact me from the significance of life itself. It would be heavenly if everyone else felt the same way.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Constitutional Civil Liberty- under arrest

So, here it is.

"I told him that my son died there. That's when the enormity of my loss hit me. I have lost my son. I have lost my First Amendment rights. I have lost the country that I love. Where did America go? I started crying in pain."
- Cindy Sheehan, on being arrested before the State of the Union Address for openly wearing a T-Shirt with the number of American fatalities in Iraq

I've been ranting about the ignorant and misdirected policies of our Federal government for roughly two years, now. I've witnessed how these policy makers fail to acknowledge the true root of our global conflict(s), and continue to expand upon their flawed and short-sighted campaigns at the expense of American Constitutional ideology.

My patience is running thin.

When my breaking point will be, and what that will entail, I don't know. I am not a violent person, and violence will never be a tool of my passion. However, the truth remains: ignorant and arrogant policy makers in THIS country are destroying my home society, my native culture... the Constitutional America, and they're taking the rest of the world with them back to the Dark Ages.

According to the Social Contract, we Americans can sacrifice a little freedom for the security of Government, but this contract becomes invalid when the policies of Government manifestly threaten Constitutional civil liberties. The Constitution provides the Second Amendment as a defense against Government intrusion on civil liberty. If Americans can't wake up from their decadent slumber and elect a higher degree of intellectual and broad-visioned political leaders, then our Nation is doomed to follow the currents of entropy. Every empire falls. The Roman Empire collapsed over a lengthy period of time. The U.S.S.R collapsed suddenly and to the astonishment of many around the world. The United States of America will also one day collapse. This is a given, and nothing can change this. However, we Americans NOW can act to preserve our Constitutional ideals and perhaps extend the life of our "free" society. This is the power of "We the People", but we must act collectively and responsibly.

With respect to the Social Contract, Attention U.S. Federal Government, YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL LAW. It would be best for you to resolve this issue promptly and take steps to restore the dignity and promise of civil liberty. You have a nation to lose and many enemies to make if you don't.

As for "We the People", we must struggle to realize the ideals of the U.S. Constitution. We must elect political leaders capable of protecting and expanding these liberties. We must project these liberties around the world, NOT through war, but through EXAMPLE and SERVICE.

Anything less than this is a maladaptive status quo that will eventually end our society. I'm will not submit to the laws of an UnConstitutional government, and I will actively fight to ensure that Constitutional civil liberty is maintained and exercised to lift up the world's poor and destitute. This is my passion. DON'T TREAD ON ME.