The Bush Administration (Part II)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Why It Is One Of The Most Terrible Administrations in the History of America:

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

 

In Part I, I set the stage up for the atmospheric conditions surrounding the Bush Administration when it came in to office. The mindset – The End of History, which is a widely accepted neoconservative concept that America has found the highest form of human government and because of it America will not slump from its superpower position… ever. The group of people that have most of their ideals in effect – The neoconservatives, which have a hypocritical view of foreign policy, morality, and patriotism. The supporters of the movement – The Christian fundamentalists, who praise Jesus Christ above all else. Even when Clinton was in office neoconservative ideals such as The End of History were seemingly factual with the build up to the second Bush administration. Clinton was a strong proponent of America being a global country.

Now, January 20th, 2001 – George W. Bush takes office. And on a whole slew of issues he’s managed to divide and entangle America with seemingly little bother on his own conscience. And these are facts: America IS divided and America IS entangled, and the Bush administration has much to do with it all. So I will take stance with the Bush administration on issue by issue referencing as many sources as I can as I am going to sift through over 150 that will give a clear, concise argument on how poorly this administration has handled itself just in general.

The No Child Left Behind Act:

I am a teacher so it’s no wonder I chose this to start off where the Bush administration is creating problems. While in college I was education on this Act because at the time itThis is what high-stakes testing makes had recently been approved by President Bush. The class was on the history of American education and the professor was one of the most respectable and reasonable educators I’ve met. He actually had to write a whole report on the No Child Left Behind Act that was no less than 50 pages and presented it to the federal government on how New York State standards are higher than the federal standards and plea the federal government to allow New York to keep them, he succeeded. In short, he admitted, it was a poorly thought out Act and spoke of many of the problems that are still being discussed today after it has been in effect for some time now.

This is the idea: The federal government gives a certain amount of funds to the public education system in every state in America. The federal government is not just going to give all of the states and schools money without adhering to some standards. The reason behind this is because the federal government wants the students of their country to be within the ideals of benefiting the nation. Having loyal, educated, disciplined citizens is what the federal government wants from the educational system. So to bring this to fruition the federal government decided to implement an Act that holds the schools accountable for not having a 100% (no room for failure) pass rate in every school and if this does not occur within a certain time frame then the schools start to get “sanctions” against them being held more and more accountable for the school’s inability to not create the educated citizens our federal government demands. The government appropriates extra funds for the sanctioned schools depending on how in need the school is.

This is what our educational system does for our children under NCLBThe problem? Well there are several. First we’ll start with the standards – what standards are the federal government holding the schools to? It demands high-stakes testing be used to tell which schools are doing poorly. However the problem with high-stakes testing is that it’s controversial. The reason it’s controversial is because it’s known that there is a stronger correlation between understanding how to take a standardized test and success on one than being well-versed in a subject but not understanding the perspective of the standardized test. Instead of education this simply leads to “teaching to the test.” As a teacher I can attest to the ambiguity and confusion a standardized test brings to a student, especially one with learning disabilities. Many of the answers and questions hold a lot of assumptions the test-maker assumes the test-taker, a child or teenager, already knows and they are generally arbitrary and confusing. And ultimately high-stakes testing is used to rank different cultures, intelligences, languages and perspectives over a large area – state or national – on a level of superiority to inferiority. Teachers and students like to have ownership over their teaching and learning styles and high stakes testing removes that making it foreign and hard to understand. While the argument goes we can not remove the system because we will not know which students are doing poorly the whole subject is hardly addressed in politics and the 100% pass rate still stands on this controversial system… even though high-stakes doesn’t mean high standards. Severely mentally disabled students as well as students from low income, complex, culturally diverse environments have to pass otherwise the school gets the sanctions pressuring administrators and teachers eventually meaning loss of jobs and school closures if these tests can not be passed by everybody. How are we going to know which schools need help without a single way to judge people? Well the answer is simply don’t judge people in a single way.

The major problem is the audacity the federal government holding so much power in comparison to the amount they fund. Straight from the federal department of education the federal government has never funded even 10% of school funding since 1900. Yet the federal government now wants to be the determiner of how to best assess our students. State and local levels have been the strongest determiner of education in America’s most prosperous century making the federal governments desire to standardize the nation seem unhealthy for the nation especially when articles like the one in the initial paragraph are frequent. Yet Bush has assured this method to live on well after his presidency is gone. Why would the Bush Administration want to try and standardize the nation when it’s proven it doesn’t benefit the education of our country? Because it ranks people and ranking is more important to the Bush administration than actual education… because the federal government removes the ownership of both what is being taught and learned and places it on themselves. This further erodes state powers which the federal government has been chipping away at for centuries, while some have been beneficial, clearly this one is not.

September 11th:

There seems to be two schools of thought when it comes to September 11th. There is the somber, unspeakable, tragedy that does not even dare probe in to questioning the handling of it by the Bush Administration due to the cruelty of the attacks… and then there are the conspiracy theorists. Rarely is the tragedy looked at in any other light. It’sSee? Liberty is supposed to stand strong with these attacks - not erode heresy to believe that the federal government did not handle the worst tragedy on American soil in a respectable way. The problem is, according to the highly respected Zogby polls, half of the American people want Congress to probe Bush and Cheney over the 9/11 attacks and over 30% seek immediate impeachment. Knowing that at the time of the attacks Bush had the highest approval rating of any president recorded (over 90%), what could they have done so poorly to get that much of the population to rally behind not only to want them probed, but to have such a large group who had previously approved of him to want to immediately impeach him?

Well there are such cases as Sibel Edmonds, who the ACLU claimed as the most gagged woman in America, in which she asserts that the War on Terror is nothing more than a sham comparing it to arresting only drug dealers and ignoring the drug runners and drug lords. In France a documentary was made about the case and in my opinion it is possible that she could be doing it for reasons of profit or fame because the trailer seems to appeal to emotions rather than reason. However the facts remain that she was definitely hired by the United States government directly after the attacks as an interpreter, she was fired after accusing a colleague of illegal cover-up activities, the government doesn’t explain why they fired her, and the government also forced her to not talk by invoking the “State Secret” rule. These are facts and it certainly raises curiosity at least. To learn more about Sibel Edmonds this person seems to be following what she says pretty well.

But bigger reasons why Bush and Cheney are feeling heat for what they were once seen as our protectors over was probably when the chair and vice-chair of the 9/11 commission was “set up to fail.” Those are their words, the heads of the 9/11 commission! It’s pretty obvious that the Bush administration felt there must have been something to hide if the commission wasn’t allowed to fully probe the investigation. This may once again fall into the neoconservative mindset that to protect our country we have to lie to them in order for people to continue believing in neoconservative ideals. While I am nowhere near suggesting the government set up the attack, I am suggesting our government might have had involvement on some level that they are not proud of, otherwise why all the red tape for the commission? That is a fair question!

And the biggest sin created from the attacks on September 11th was the paralyzing fear the government didn’t attempt to disseminate, but used to their advantage. At a time where we were supposed to show our unity and strength we bought bumper stickers and allowed the federal government to feast on our liberties. Here is a good essay on why things such as 9/11 shouldn’t frighten you in to submission.

Iraq:

Maybe the biggest reason why Bush should be probed over 9/11 is the Iraq War. One of the most common misconceptions about the Iraq War that in some dark corners of America is still used as fact is that the Iraq War was started because it had connections to the 9/11 attacks and they had Weapons of Mass Destruction. In fact Iraq has no connections to 9/11 and has never had Weapons of Mass Destruction. Even two CIA officials are claiming Bush knew all along there were no WMDs there. On top of that the war was illegal under international law. I can not find the words to explain the gross mismanagement within the Bush administration to start an illegal war under false pretenses. Not only were the reasons we went to war wrong, it was not even agreed upon by the rest of the world whom we demanded support from. This undermines the integrity of international institutions and the United States in a very strong way. Why would we go to war when it was illegal under international law? Neoconservatives believe that there should not be a world government and therefore have the belief they do not need international approval before starting a war, even under false pretenses. While it’s understandable why people would not want a world government, Hell, I don’t want a world government, the reasons why the UN put the stops up for this war were justified and the United States is still a major part of the UN.

sad and trueIt’s important to compare the quickness of the impeachment of Clinton over being sexually promiscuous to the inaction on Bush when he started an illegal and unjust war. A war is not a victimless crime like Clinton’s sexual actions, there have been hundreds of thousands that are not allowed to be on this Earth anymore, both innocent Americans wishing to defend their country and Iraqi civilians, who are not going to eat dinner tonight because they do not physically exist anymore. This was done completely on false pretenses by George W. Bush and his administration. Where is the impeachment here? Where is the serious addressing of this situation at the very least? Where is the accountability? There is none – there is only brazen rhetoric about staying the course now. And it is brazen. A poll came out earlier this year on how there have been over 1 million Iraqi civilians murdered, well over 2,000 alone killed in September. Over 3,000 Americans have lost their lives because of the war, even ignoring all the wounded who had to make total life adjustments because of their time in Iraq. And there are even questionable circumstances with what is going on in Iraq, and whether America is even attempting to help the civilian population.

All of these people have died because of Bush and his stubborn and impatient decisions that were not based off of reason nor the good of the American people, but based off of inaccurate assumptions that has cost America not just billions, but over a trillion dollars. That is over $1,000,000,000,000. The Bush administration is not just starting unjustified wars, and that is a fact – the war is unjustifiable under the pretenses in which they began, but they are grossly misspending the American taxpayer’s money. This is a trend I’ll get back to in a different section as the War is not the only place where gross mismanagement of money is occurring. 9 billion dollars goes missing in Iraq and it defaults as unimportant and can get on the list of other gross mismanagements due to being in Iraq. When the cost of the war was only 1/3 what it is currently it was compared to the cost of going to Mars 11 times.

The only response to all this is more or less the message “stay the course.” Unfortunately there is no course. There is no model for a 3rd world country becoming a successful democracy. There are plenty of failures but there is nowhere to be found on this planet a model of bringing a poor, divided country that uses extreme violence into a successful democracy. None. I don’t need any sources for that because there is no source that will refute it, and it is all but certain Iraq is not the exception. But what do we do? We claim we know the way to bring successful democracy in Iraq though there is no serious progress. Even now Turkey is struggling with Iraq and want to invade it themselves. To prove that we know what we’re doing we build the largest budget US embassy in the world in Iraq costing nearly $1 billion. Like the No Child Left Behind Act the Bush administration wants to make sure their ideas are forced upon America for years after he leaves office. Rolling Stone magazine published a big article that just adds to the mountain of credible evidence that there is something sinister going on within the higher levels of government that is swindling taxpayer money. Which closely relates to my next topic:

Corporations:

If there was ever a question in your mind whether George Bush stands up to the stereotype that he’ll help the rich get richer an the poor get poorer look no further than theWar really is good business, thats why we cant let people who work for defense corps work for our govt second richest man in America: Warren Buffet. Now Buffet is an unusual man obviously well attuned to manipulation of money and not the first person I’d trust in giving me a good deal if it came to the choice of him profiting or me, but Buffet made me look at him again when he made a $37 billion donation to charity. And while we all know this will affect his lifestyle not-at-all, it most certainly is more than most putridly rich people are giving. Perhaps with old age comes a conscience because Buffet recently publicly acknowledged that he should pay more taxes, even making a bet with any on the Forbes 400 list that their income tax is less than their secretary’s. As of this writing none of them have accepted the bet while plenty responded to shun him for it.

Without a doubt it is evident that the Bush administration is pandering to corporate interests and not the interests of its citizens. And Iraq seems to be where a lot of these businesses are ending up hence the reason why the US installed their massive embassy in a 3rd world country. One of the corporations that profited largely from the Iraq situation, current and past, is Blackwater. Blackwater has been accused of smuggling arms as well as labeled as “out of control” by a congressional committee. Yet Blackwater has been heavily funded by the United States. So in order to protect both of their reputations they attempted to cover up unnecessary civilian casualties in which Blackwater created. The fact that we could claim the Iraq War was started to eliminate a man who killed innocent civilians and then on the same hand cover up our own civilian casualties is proof in itself we don’t belong there anymore than Saddam. On top of it all Blackwater is part of a draining cost for America considering we already have a military and spent more on it than anyone else in the world.

Blackwater is not the only corporation that has used the United States government for their high profits. The Bush administration enjoys contracting out governmental work on many levels. Oil companies such as Exxon-Mobil have enjoyed record profits under the Bush administration while the American citizen deals with the ever-rising oil price increases. A congressional report came out even deciding the oil companies are getting some pretty sweet deals from the government. I don’t know how anybody can justify giving a good deal to a business that is having record profits and ignoring the squeeze the same industry is putting on the average consumer. Halliburton, a corporation Dick Cheney once served on as an executive as well as a corporation that has billions of dollars of American taxpayers money, has even profited and up and moved away to Dubai when the heat was turned up on ethical practices.

The American government is more and more boldly supporting corporations leaving individual citizens with the same problems. This is an article on how the Supreme Court ruled to suppress the speech of citizens over corporations. Case after case after case corporations are becoming more bold infringing on citizens rights with very little to no repercussions. This is having a negative effect on our liberties which I will touch on shortly. Why is this occurring? An interesting and well thought out opinion by Robert B. Reich (published in the New York Times and served as an adviser for Clinton) believes that this nation is becoming supersaturated with consumers and investors as opposed to citizens. He calls it a turbocharged economy and frets over the danger because of it.

They forgot the donkey sharing the pocketBut the biggest corporate joke of the Bush administration has to do with the infamous wiretapping programs they’ve implemented and told telephone companies to comply or face repercussions. It all seriously began when thankfully an AT&T whistleblower came out of the woodwork explaining that what his corporation was doing was illegal spying on Americans. Once it became factual that the United States did indeed demand illegal wiretapping programs there was a quick rush to congress to pass a bill demanding immunity to both telephone companies and Bush administration alike. In fact Bush was brazen enough to insist the immunity of telephone companies and refused to sign a bill if it did not occur.

Many ignorantly argue that September 11th changed the world and that Bush only committed this particular illegal act (because he has done way more than just one) with the interests of American citizens in mind. The problem was Bush began this illegal domestic spying campaign even before September 11th occurred according to a suit against the government. And Qwest would be the corporation to trust in this case as they were one of the only companies that understood the illegality of the program and refused to implement it. Documents have surfaced for this truly patriotic task that the government attempted to retaliate against them for obeying the law. On top of Bush illegally spying on America he appoints an AT&T industry lobbyist as a counselor. Aside from appointing a lobbyist as a counselor seeming ethically wrong the motives behind the move are questionable.

American Liberty:

The reason all of this is a problem in the United States, in case it seems quite ordinary practice in much of the world, is because the United States foolishly believed in personalWhat happened to the Lady Liberty that stood strong on Sept 11?! liberties of individuals during its inception. But still the argument of September 11th changing the world comes up and now security is the highest priority in the new millennium. However if security was more important than anything – including personal liberties – then why has the government decided to contract out our security to private companies? The most sensitive information to catch terrorists, much of which the own citizens of the government which pays for its existence aren’t allowed to know, are going to be subcontracted out to a company that has profit as its motivating desire as opposed to security.

The erosion of civil liberties has been a highlight of the Bush administration. Almost every action of the Bush Administration has been to expand executive power and minimize individual liberties. The government has been able to do this by creating an atmosphere of fear in which the citizens of the United States have no choice but to give up their individual liberties. The irony of it all is Bush rallies support for his liberty-removing ideas by declaring the terrorists “hate freedom.” This is one of those times that overt hypocrisy is blinded by fear. “If you see something, say something” is the new mindset of the American citizen even though they have no idea what they’re even looking for wasting multitudes of government time. The “freedom” that Bush claims the terrorists to hate is the exact same freedom he is attempting to remove himself.

The Bush Administration has been attacking the Constitution since the September 11th attacks grabbing more power, breaking down the checks, balances, and freedoms of the United States that was supposed to work towards giving the citizens of this country freedom. This journalist calls George Bush James Madison’s worst nightmare. Naomi Wolf, a feminist becoming more outspoken about the government, claims America is on track to fascism. The ACLU claims the US Constitution is in grave danger. These are not claims to take lightly, what causes these types of allegations on the Bush Administration?

To begin with we’ll start with a terrorist watch list that is rampaging towards one million people. Now the question is – are more people becoming terrorists or is the government broadening the definition of a terrorist? The answer to that isn’t debatable, it isn’t questionable, the truth is the government is expanding who they treat as terrorists. Case after case after case after case after case after case after case after case after case show average American citizens, as diverse as they come (from grandmas to artists to activists to professors), become innocent victims of this intrusion into personal privacy and liberty. For some it ruins their whole life, Americans simply don’t have the time to be bogged down by arbitrary red tape that is supposed to allegedly catch terrorists. If a professor is not allowed to fly or leave the country this is something that could cost him his job, same with a principal of a school… and some have to use their hard earned money and time to fight for their obvious innocence. These people are not questionable terrorists, these are real people who have gotten sucked up in to an overzealous bureaucratic system that has no intention of letting go.

Yet some still ignorantly complain that these freedoms still exist and whatever laws are passed are arbitrary. This is Alberto Gonzales explaining the reason why the United States government is now allowed to unlawfully detain anyone they please, citizen or non. The video sickens the voice of honesty and reason as Gonzales chooses to create foolish lies and look ignorant than give an honest reason. Habeas corpus is not the only thing that has been effected:

This is a negotiated spying bill giving “some” telephone companies immunity to illegally wiretapping people…

this article is about expanded use of US spy satellites…

this is all about the national ID card in the pipe (“papers please”)…

The Protect America Act is about removing judicial and legislative oversight on the executive branch…

this is about loosening the reasons for law enforcement to track you…

this is about wiretapping the internet for the FCC…

and why not one about creating a secretive office to hand out spy satellite pictures with…

and hey, how about our National Intelligence Director asking for eavesdropping power?

And then the Bush Administration determines that in order to make sure nobody’s rights are being violated they will make a “secret court” to figure it out. This is flagrant disregard for the American way of life. And that is an educated agreement across the United States:

Judges have struck down parts of the Patriot Act as unconstitutional…

The ACLU says when you’re confronted by an FBI agent and you’re not allowed to tell anybody – not a soul on this green Earth – that is unconstitutional…

States are rebelling against the REAL I.D. Act..

There is a bill begging the government to restore rights…

What a great transitional picture between topics!However many will argue that if these things that our elected officials agree to make our country safer then they will back them. The major issue is a lot of these big ideas the government have (and they are big ideas) are inefficiently costly as well as debatable in measurements of safety. They store excessive information on you including reading material and bed size. There are negative repercussions to more surveillance to society as a whole. The national systems the government wants to put in place could create deadlock. Running these operations cost billions of your money.

And still there are those who simply say: I have nothing to hide, so they can repeal all the privacy they want for me. Aside from this being unconstitutional it’s just plain non-thinking, these things came in to effect in the Constitution for a reason. On top of that these systems are very easily opened to be widely abused with no checks and balances. So why then? Why do we do this to ourselves? For one – America has gladly traded education for convenience with the First Amendment Center reporting solid callowness on Americans knowing what the First Amendment contained.

The best rally against our own idleness, believe it or not, aired on Conservative Fox News by a man named Judge Napolitano.

So what is the Bush Administrations response to all this encroachment on privacy? They change the definition of privacy. It’s just that simple.

Torture as well as, but not limited to, other non-citizen treatment:

Our own apathy is not just hurting ourselves, but it is hurting those not from the United States just as much, if not more. This is just one British opinion of his time spent in America. But that is the stuff Americans deal with every day. Non-Americans all across the world have been abducted by the American government, illegally detained, and are tortured relatively often. Now that is a harsh accusation to make – but it is invariably true. Guantanamo is a perfect example with already knowing they aren’t granted habeas corpus from the video above with Gonzales mind-bogglingly explaining away truths. This means that one can be accused of being a terrorist and it’s equivalent to being guilty of being a terrorist. Unfortunately there is a huge distinction between the two and America has always claimed to give the accused a chance to defend his innocence. Because as we all know accusations does not equal guilt. Look towards Arthur Miller’s classic The Crucible for a lesson in that idea. Because of this knowledge that we do not have to treat these accused terrorists like humans articles such as “Doctors decry Guantanamo Treatment” arise. Not only that but when someone stops treating humansExactly why torture has been illegal like humans that is when someone is in the act of dehumanizing. It can start on a lighter level like removing habeas corpus or limits with attorneys, but eventually when that someone has enough control over the one they are dehumanizing it will always lead to torture. Waterboarding is one popular method that has made the news a lot because it’s used by the US government and it is an extreme form of torture that is meant to simulate drowning. Have you ever almost drowned? I have and I promise you I would have told anybody anything to make it have stopped.

Torture is morally incorrect to the American culture, and I’d dare say even the human race. It has always been our duty to do our best to make sure everybody is treated as a human, that is the point of the Constitution. Yes it’s true there have been gross injustices under America in the past but it does not mean the Constitution supported those things, the Constitution is a pretty fair document considering it is arguably the oldest constitution in the world in one of the youngest countries in the world. There must be something of significance to have upheld for so long that united all groups of people and has allowed minorities to vote. So is something like waterboarding torture? Internationally it is recognized as such, and I understand the neoconservative ideal to not want a world government to tell them what is what, but with torture that sounds like something people can universally agree on. Even so we have had one of our own assistant attorney generals experience waterboarding himself and called it illegal, and then apparently was forced out of his position. What does Bush say? Bush, the man who never experienced it, says interrogation methods like waterboarding are not torture. So great, internationally and domestically it’s known as torture, and a country always priding itself on human rights, decides it needs to be tougher than the global free-and-fair definition of torture? Why? How is this even near acceptable? Your tax money, from your pocket, is going to fund a torturer and allow a lie to be spread that it is not torturing.

Then there is the argument: What if torturing someone as despicable as an Al-Qaeda member can save hundreds or thousands of innocent lives? This is a bogus argument because while being tortured you are willing to tell your torturer anything, that does not limit it only to the truth. All an Al-Qaeda member needs do is lie to buy some time before the attack occurs. And all this is under the assumption there will ever be a situation where that is even likely to occur.

Maher Arar - innocent man who doesnt get proper justice because of corrupt administrationStill don’t believe that torture will make you say anything, even lies? Meet Maher Arar, a victim of extraordinary rendition, a term the government uses to extradite accused terrorists without any evidence on them and torture them. Arar is just one of many victims of extraordinary rendition, but if he’s a terrorist, then what’s the problem right? Wrong. Arar is not a terrorist even though he is still on the American terrorist watch list and is even now not allowed in America. Arar was taken to Syria and tortured even though he is a benign Canadian software engineer. Because of no habeas corpus Arar never got a chance to prove his innocence. And when the United States finally realized their mistake they dropped him back off in Canada. The Canadian government even issued an apology to Arar and had someone resign over the instance. The U.S. response? Nothing. Kept on a terrorist watch list, no acknowledgment of his innocence, no apology issued. When all of this was addressed by Senator Patrick Laehy Gonzales avoided the topic completely and it was buried under the table once again. The fact that he never actually says anything is a huge clue as to him being a puppet as opposed to a leader or decider. While being tortured in Syria under American orders he confessed to all sorts of acts he didn’t commit. This information was then taken by American intelligence as a level of fact, then it had to be checked out, then it had to be realized he was lying just to appease the torturer… no wonder why we have to fund such a large intelligence service when they expect tortured information to be accurate information.

Even the threat of torture gets some people to tell radical lies. This is such in the case of Abdallah Higazy, an Egyptian having the unfortunate circumstance of visiting New York City during the 9/11 attacks. An article noticing a small but very relevant change in a statement of a lawsuit provides us with clues as to how our FBI handled the situation when confronting an alleged terrorist: they threaten to torture his family. What happens when the court realized how it made them look? They removed it but not before quite a few people got a glimpse of it to prove it actually happened. Higazy quickly confessed to having connections to September 11th but was later dismissed when the object they connected him to with it, was not actually even his. This is another example of where habeas corpus could’ve straightened things out more fairly with less inhumanity.

Khaled El-Masri, another victim of renditioning, was stolen away from his family for 5 months and was tortured by the U.S. in Afghanistan over a mistaken identity. Then our court system refuses to hear the case of a man that our tax dollars help torture. How grossly inefficient and pandering is a Supreme Court to deny an innocent, tortured victim some justice.

Lastly there are some who still will be ignorant enough to not care about such severely unacceptable acts so long as they don’t apply to citizens. But they do – innocent US citizens, even one that was loyal enough to serve in the military, have been incorrectly imprisoned and tortured. There is absolutely no honest justification for these acts that do not ride the definition of despicable. The United States is supposed to have more moral integrity than that. However the Bush Administration continues to secretly support torture.

Iran:

The audacity for the Bush Administration to set their sights on Iran after the Iraq debacle and with few funds must be for a serious reason, right? My personal opinion is – not exactly. Everyone in America should know the reasons why the Bush Administration wants to go to war with Iran, with Cheney, the ex-industrial military CEO, pushing the idea the hardest. Iran wants to use nuclear energy and while every claim by Iran is that it is not going to be used for weapons, our government just doesn’t buy it. Our government believes that their nuclear energy is going to be used for nuclear weapons. The problem is Iran is only swearing to use it for power plants. There are different ways to harness the power of nuclear energy and if one has a nuclear power plant it does not necessarily know how to make nuclear weapons. That point, however, is moot to the Bush Administration – no nuclear energy, no nuclear weapons, no nuclear. period. And – if they do not comply – the Bush Administration ensures the planet that over our dead country Iran will not have Nuclear energy. Then the Bush Administration went as far as imposing sanctions on Iran over some accusations that seem to use the same speculation as used in Iraq.

The point is the United States is serious about going to war with Iran and they are doing it on the same card they played when they wanted to go to war with Iraq. TheSeriously - this is sickening close to the truth benevolence card. The purpose is because if Iran attains any nuclear capabilities it will quickly turn in to Iran having nuclear weapons and robust claims that they will attack, with nuclear weapons, Israel or Europe. We are doing this for the world’s good, not for our own, yet there is no war-mongering in Europe and while I’m certain there are factions within the Israeli government that support the war, it is the US who is war-mongering the most over Iran’s actions.

But the very serious question to ask is: after Iraq, does America, especially the Bush Administration, have the right to declare war on a country and in a region that does not affect them at all? If it will affect Israel and Europe why are not Israel and Europe the leaders of whatever needs to happen against Iran? Because even if we imagine the worst – Iran gets nuclear weapons (and I agree that is not good, but any country having nuclear weapons is not good) they do not have the capabilities to launch them to American soil, nor has Iran made any claim in the desire to do so. Without even being able to have the Iraq situation under control – awash in scandals and innocent deaths and it was also another country that did not affect America in the slightest- the Bush Administration wants to attack Iran right before it leaves office, leaving the successor deeply entrenched in two middle-eastern conflicts. This has driven some people to go as far as call Bush psychotic for even considering the idea, and I have to agree. It sounds like sociopath thinking to me. Especially because the Bush Administration makes no acknowledgment that Iran is cooperating with agencies involved in these kinds of things in every way that they can.

On top of the severe issues this will call for America, Iran is no Iraq. Iran, despite their Islamic fundamentalist leaders, is actually a pretty progressive Islamic country. In what way? I personally know somebody who lives in the United States but has visited Iran multiple times and the government is not strict on many of the things Westerners condemn about Islamic regimes… in fact the United States, surprisingly, is a popular country among the citizens of Iran. I remember telling her it must be the last country in the world where the citizens look up to the United States. Western culture has influenced the Iranian culture heavily and the government does not oppress most citizens for breaking traditional Islamic fundamentalism. My friend, who does not dress overly conservative for her views in America, was more modestly dressed than most women her age there. Also after September 11th Iran was the only middle eastern country that held a candlelight vigil in mourning for the actions of the extremists. All Muslims are not the same and Iran happens to have the highest density of Shiite Muslims in the world, the terrorists of September 11th were Sunni Arabs. Iranians are also not Arabs. Iran is also a functional country, with a healthy economy and approval for government, and even having one of the largest stand-by military in the world (Nov 11th article).

Yet the Bush Administration claims there are factions of the Iranian government that are terrorists, thwarting attempts in Iraq. It’s interesting enough then that Iran claims the very same thing, that the United States is supporting terrorism within Iran. Not possible, right? Terrorist supporters will say anything to take the spotlight off themselves… and such is the case with the United States. The United States has supported terrorism in other countries in which the government was not obedient to the United States desires. During the Reagan Administration, a highly respected administration for many of the men making current decisions, a man named Joseph Savimbi, an Angolan rebel, was invited to the White House and was presented to the American public as a “champion of democracy.” The truth is he was a ruthless warlord that was attacking a corrupt government. The same book continues in saying “One of the paradoxes of the Angolan conflict was that Cuban forces were given the task of defending American-owned oil installations from attacks by American-backed rebels.” This is a fact: America profits from war by being both the attacker and the attacked and, as seen here, has happened before. The United States has no problem supporting tyrants so long as they are obedient to U.S. desires. One of the worst tyrants in African history was Mobutu Sese Seko (a man who will get an entry of his own) and HW Bush claimed him to be a valued friend, for his aid to democracy? No. He made no serious attempt at it. It was for his obedience. Christian leaders such as Pat Robertson ignored Mobutu’s severe human rights violations and rallied to allow Mobutu to have a visa to the US when the State Department refused it… most likely having something to do with the diamond mines that Mobutu let him control.

There is no benevolence from the United States when it desires something, there is only obedience. And while I agree Iran should not have nuclear weapons, as should you, this is something the global community needs to work on together with those most directly affected taking the biggest initiatives to handle it. Otherwise it is simply the United States making petty demands for petty gains (and devastating losses). It is not far-fetched for the United States to support terrorism in Iran and for those of you who are willing to accept the argument “two wrongs DO make a right” check the saying again.

Fiscal Irresponsibility:

Though I have already mentioned numerous fiscal irresponsibilities that have occurred under the Bush administration, such as the costliest US embassy in the world and billions missing in Iraq, that unfortunately is not the only toll of the Bush administration. Because of the excess spending on “Homeland security” and the Iraq situation, as well as giving oil companies and the rich deals it has taken an expense on the country as a whole. Things like a $1.6 billion budget for propaganda have helped the Bush Administration to plunder all of the funds it has to date. The executive office of the president has taken more money from the American people than any other executive branch in the history of the country. The nation’s top accountant has been preaching financial reform because of the unsustainable spending by our government, but he can not afford the billions of dollars to promote the truth that the Bush Administration can afford to promote their agenda. But whether or not he can afford to popularize his message it does not mean what he says is false – he is doing his job accurately and is stunned by the amount of irresponsible spending. This is a great chart that puts America’s costs in to perspective.

Lets use this for anything we damn well pleaseBecause of fiscal irresponsibility the American dollar is in decline. It is currently at a 15-year-low and is only dropping further with Canadian currency well above American now. This is a problem for the same reason after World War I it was a problem for Germany to pay off the entire debt helping create the Great Depression. There was too much money in circulation and that means the money is too easy to get ahold of making it worth less. When American money becomes worth less and does not buy things as easily as other currencies countries consider dropping the currency which would end up making the common American dollar worth even less as less people accept it as currency. The issues really hurting America such as the housing bubble and the arbitrary gas price increases are ignored or dealt with in a way so the same people who have been benefiting all along will continue to benefit.

Because of Bush’s ties to big business he praised outsourcing of American jobs. This allowed corporations to forgo tariffs, human rights, and environmental protection as many poorer countries ignore those things for the desire to profit. China was one of the biggest welcomers of outsourcing as most things are now made in China that are sold in the United States. China has a terrible human and environmental rights record (again – another entry will be dedicated entirely to this) but because they are willing to make things cheap for America the fact that they are communist and treat people and the environment poorly are ignored while countries like Cuba (also communist) are scorned for not being as obedient. But China isn’t as obedient as they seem, now America has become dependent on Chinese products making the United States vulnerable to Chinese demands.

Because Bush praised American jobs going overseas, benefiting the rich, and overspending on war, propaganda, and questionable security 1 in 10 Americans live in poverty according to the US Census Bureau and cities such as New Orleans and Detroit are dying.

Corruption:

All signs point to corruption. The above links are irrefutable evidence that the Bush Administration and the people it puts in to power, and even the people it has looked up to in its past, have no issue becoming corrupt. Most people see the changes the government have made since 9/11 have been changes for the worse. Voters are unhappy with Bush and the Congress for its inaction to stop him. Americans simply want change from the current government.

Why? For starters only the Bush Administration would get a legitimate headline proclaiming: Bush administration awash in scandals from Forbes. The article, since disappeared from Forbes website, touches upon:

– the neoconservative Paul Wolfowitz who was giving his girlfriend high paying jobs and World Bank money (money for the desperate!) unjustly

– Matteo Fontana who was put in charge of federal student loans but owned over 100k in a student loan company himself

– Julie MacDonald who had no biology background, was in charge of Fish and Wildlife Service but leaked internal information to private groups and overrode scientists on how to protect endangered species

– Philip Cooney, who was a former oil executive lobbyist admitted editing government reports eliminating or downplaying facts correlating greenhouse gasses and global warming

– Darleen Druyun, who leased tankers from Boeing for $23 billion even though a Pentagon report showed them unnecessary, after getting out of prison Boeing hired her

– Scooter Libby, who was the first high-level white house official to be indicted for over 100 years

– Jack Abramoff, who defrauded American Indian tribes and corrupted other public officials in collaboration with White House aide, David H. Safavian, and deputy interior secretary J. Steven Griles.

Loyalty above competence has been the hallmark of the Bush Administration. Bush even had the audacity to try and appoint Harriet Miers as a judge of the Supreme Court ofOh the irony! the United States even though she had never served as a judge a day in her life. Bush and his administration have attempted to usurp the American government from the moment he took office vying for more executive power and secrecy removing the checks and balance system that has worked for so long within our government.

Bush has managed to do this in various ways. One way is by making a benign bill pass through Congress and allowing his friends to change it before he signs it. Another way is to sign a bill in to action but let Congress know that he has no intentions of following it himself because his administration is above the law. Another way is to circumvent congress to get what he wants. Yet another way is to have cronies underneath him ask him ethically wrong questions. And of course there is allowing federal agencies to have dictator-styled press releases. Another great way of suppressing opposition is to make whistleblowers unsafe. And of course there is the famous tell-your-friends-if-they-want to-keep-their-job they will suppress intelligence disclosures. And when things get tough friends of Bush anonymously come to his rescue by blocking a bill that would unseal many of the president’s corrupt tactics.

Time and time again federal agencies aren’t held accountable for their gross negligence. According to Walter Mondale, Jimmy Carter’s vice president, Dick Cheney has been actively helping Bush expand executive privilege which he asserts is “stepping over the line.” Yes, even a whole book has been written about Cheney’s inner-workings for his desire for power in the White House, yet almost nobody in Congress rallies behind the resolution to impeach Cheney.

How does the executive branch get away with such perversion of the U.S. Constitution? Their favorite way is through puppets. One of my favorite puppets was Scott Jennings when he was interrogated by Congress on illegally firing disloyal government officials. He pleaded executive privilege even to the point of describing what his position was knowing full well by not saying anything he would be protected. This is Bush telling Congress that his administration answers to nobody, not even his own government. But my absolute favorite puppet of the administration would have to Alberto Gonzales as the Bush Administration brought him in, used him to cover for their illegal work and implement more illegal actions, and then allowed him to be removed. It was Gonzales who had to explain to the Senate committee how the Bush Administration illegally ignored the Constitution by disallowing habeas corpus and only getting the repercussion of being told he doesn’t have any common sense. It was Gonzales who had to rein back the committee when they pounced on him for the Administration illegally abducting Arar, the innocent Canadian, and being tortured subduing Leahy to wait for answers when cameras and press are away. In fact the whole time Gonzales was in office he was defending and blocking scandal after scandal by the Bush Administration. So when Gonzales was finally forced from office due to the incompetence of handling his position in his place the Bush Administration carefully selected another puppet for replacement – another puppet that condones torture.

Conclusion:

So there it is. There’s my proof. This is why the Bush Administration is one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America. Did I address everything? No. I have plenty more to say about this administration, but I will bite my tongue and stick with the things that are most obviously wrong. All of the sources I used are verifiable to a large degree and while some of them might not be 100% perfect the corruption, the favoritism, the demanded loyalty, the spite for diversity, the fiscal irresponsibility, the pandering to the rich, the torture, the illegal abductions, the loss of rights, and a host of other things are. To defend the Bush Administration now would be to spit on the American Constitution and everything it stands for. If you support the Bush Administration in their endeavors please move to any number of countries that demand regime loyalty to actual freedom and progress. As I said before – I do not like to call things terrible unless the shoe verifiably fits, and no shoe has fit this great since Cinderella and her glass slipper.

So what do we do about it? In my next entry I will go over the 2008 Presidential Candidates and explain who will bring the change Americans desire.

The Bush Administration (Part I)

 

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

And Why It Is One Of The Most Terrible Administrations in the History of America:

Before you roll your eyes and ignore this with the sea of other articles on Bush, I’m here to try and make this one count. I don’t like calling things terrible, I take no pride in it,Don’t you love your citizens… even if they’re different than you? it is a heavy and opinionated word and I’m disappointed to use it. Unfortunately it is true and heavily underreported so I have saved, over the course of years, sources for my opinion on this administration. In fact right now I am going to sift through a collection of over 150 articles, interviews, and opinions that are going to shape my article and express my opinion on why I believe the Bush Administration is one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America. In a sense this article is going to write itself, and I will do my best to make sure the sources are as reliable and primary as they get for the sake of clarity. I will also be linking to some well reasoned and logical opinions which focus on underlying reasons for some actions.

Due to the length I’m going to need to clearly and reasonably present my argument I am going to divide this up in to 2 parts (this being Part I) (Part II is here). In Part I, I will focus on the background attributes to what has occurred around the Bush administration that helped shape its views and policies with very little actual reference to the Bush administration. I liken it to a play with a stage, actors, and an audience all of which play heavily on each other. Just as the Bush administration didn’t find itself magically in power, there are situations – concrete and abstract – that have helped shape the administration to what it has become.

Now before I get into the essay it’s important to understand my perspective and where I’m coming from since I’m using an opinion here. These are the values I am using to judge this administration: I’m viewing it from a secular point of view- so I am not holding the administration to any religious standards considering our government is supposed to be secular. I am going to view them indiscriminately- meaning I will not judge the administration on race, age, religion etc, and I am not judging them simply because they are Republican as Democrats have their own let-downs to be shamed by. Do not dismiss me as anything and instead try and connect the lines from what this country was founded on and what it has become with this administration. The United States of America, despite the negative actions it has caused in its past, was a nation that truly wanted to free the people, as best as possible, from the greed and corruption of those in power. If you believe that power doesn’t usually breed corruption and greed it’s important to look at most nations in the world and see greed and corruption first hand. It is easier to be secretly greedy than open and honest – because the latter requires trust and stories from Brutus and Caesar to Benedict Arnold teach us not to trust. While there are figures who people have claimed to be open and honest heroes they generally end up assassinated – Martin Luther King Junior, John Lennon, these have been examples of the fate we must meet being open and honest. Yet, the point of being an American, I thought, was that it was our duty to stand together and to trust each other to defend against the regressive attitudes of greed and corruption within our government. Hence the 3 branches as well as both state and federal powers. Now with that basic background here comes my essay on why the Bush administration is in fact one of the most terrible administrations in the history of America:

The Stage – The End of History:

Let’s set up the stage, shall we?The End of History is a term coined by the man Francis Fukuyama who at the time was working in the State Department. He came up with the term during the last throes of the Cold War when the Soviet Union was hemorrhaging into failure. The idea behind the End of History was simple enough – that Western liberal democracy was the highest form of human government because of its success and longevity in comparison with other forms of governments like the Soviet Union. Americans had a hard time disputing this seeing as they were the champions of a decades-long cold war and their material wealth. Even when I was growing up in school there was absolutely no question that the United States has virtually perfected the political system. The End of History wasn’t just about the end of nation-wars though, it was basically a prediction that things will never change for the worse.

Historically that is the biggest mistake an empire should make, and by the end of the Cold War the United States was surely an empire. Currently there are bases in about 130 countries around the world making the United States the country most into other countries’ business and whether we like it or not the US is an empire. However we are a benevolent country, or so the argument goes, and this is what differentiates us from the empires of the past. But an empire is an empire and no matter how benevolent we claim ourselves to be, if it’s not viewed as benevolence by those people we are involved with in other countries, then history will repeat itself. When Rome stretched itself too thin collapse did not occur from another powerful nation but instead from the areas outside of their borders that they tried to claim as their own. There is no historical evidence suggesting that there is a way for foreigners to control indigenous lands of others but this is precisely the course of direction the United States took after the Cold War. Towards the end of the Cold War the United States found itself in some of the most remote, unstructured countries in the world. Afghanistan, Kuwait, Iraq, Somalia as well as a host of others. These nations were not directly threatening the overabundance of wealth in the United States but because of America’s benevolent nature the United States intervened strictly for the cause of global charity. We weren’t going to allow despotic rulers to make petty demands of the world and we dutifully did our part to keep them in their place.

But it was this fallacy of The End of History that actually set the United States up for the beginning of its decline. It was readily accepted that we, the Americans, had found the one right way to live which is obviously horseradish. The needs, desires, and actions of people are constantly changing and assuming that the United States was setting the example for the way the world should work was only outlining a genocide of all other human cultural interactions, while the people may not die, their cultures that have worked for them for so long will be murdered. Only the Constitution seems to allow change to occur while maintaining stability. Undoubtedly nothing less than arrogance would’ve allowed such an idea to go to our heads and actually be implemented. This is a great article that goes in to depth on the opinion (backed up with centuries of proof) that superpowers don’t always stay superpowers once there.

The Actors- Neoconservatives:

What good is a stage without lead actors?If the ideas surrounding “The End of History” is the stage certainly it is the neoconservatives that are the actors. Francis Fukuyama himself is a neoconservative and The End of History is based off of neoconservative ideals. Neoconservativism has deep roots that reach in to American politics past for a half century molding the policies of the nation. Irving Kristol happens to be the man everyone looks to as the “godfather” of neoconservativism and in this article he calls neoconservativism a “persuasion” as opposed to a “movement.”

In short, in economics neoconservatives are proponents of low taxes and risky (though they tend to make it wordier: risk-friendly/ far-less-risk-averse) approaches with the goal of achieving growth.

In social issues they are uncomfortable with “demoralizing” freedoms such as pornography or homosexuality and are allied with religious fundamentalists (in this case Christianity) on a certain level of integration of church and state viewing the separation of the two from a minimalist standpoint. Simply this means the neoconservatives wish to have a national moral foundation based on the principles of Christianity to make sure the country stays united and strong. Religious conservativism is a proud aspect of the neoconservative mindset.

In foreign policy neoconservatives are dismissive of a world government (something like the UN) and are proponents of protecting democracy around the world based on their own decision as opposed to a joint decision with other countries. Assumingly this will allow neoconservatives to act decisively based on their own principles without the principles of weaker or potentially more corrupt governments getting in the way. Thusly it was a neoconservative action, for example, to invade Iraq before UN approval. Patriotism is encouraged and while Kristol doesn’t exactly define patriotism he most definitely promotes allegiance to a Christian morality base and ipso facto patriotism of American rules and laws would be most agreeable if they were connected with Christian fundamentalism. Kristol also makes it a point to note that “national interest” is not a geographical term and considering democracy is of national interest it has taken us to places all across the globe for wars and other interests: the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo conflict, the Afghan War, and the Iraq War.

President Bush awarded Irving Kristol the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002 which is a medal for “an especially meritorious contribution to the security or national interests of the United States, world peace, cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.” Neoconservativism is viewed as a progressive political persuasion for the leaders of the United States to follow. Following it is supposed to guarantee power, resources, unity, and benevolence. There are some inherent problems with neoconservativism though that seem to get too easily dismissed by intelligent men like Kristol. For example it’s hypocritical to be against a world government and then attempt to govern the world. While neoconservatives choose to hide the hypocrisy under “national interest” without borders, it ends up being a level of world governing that they agree occurs with the massive amount of power we have, though they state they do not want other types of world governing. This is a selfish policy for the United States to have and while there are many good reasons for not wanting a world government, the United States is not an exception to the rule just because it’s powerful. If we are going to be led by a “persuasion” that advocates no world government, then we must not be the exception simply due to our desire to remain in power. If we are going to be led by a persuasion that advocates the United States governing the world for its own national interests be prepared for other countries to attempt to attain that power and put the United States under their own power. If we are prepared to do this we must prepare for war… which we’ve done by having the most military bases in the world, as well as the largest and most funded military in the world. While the idea that the United States should act benevolently is a mutually agreeable one, it is not benevolent to stifle or prop up governments for our national interests. And even though it could be very easily argued that propping up a United States friendly government is beneficial for our national interests the opposite seems to prove otherwise. When other governments look to protect the United States interests before their own the people become upset with the United States.

The concept of national interest beyond our borders have been taken to the extreme with neoconservative idealists. While one of the strongest arguments that led us in to war with Iraq was because of Saddam’s fascist leadership we have turned a blind eye and even supported dictators who have been just as extreme or worse. Ronald Reagan is a 20th Century hero for neoconservatives and thusly his administration must’ve been ideal. A true ruthless tyrant during his administration was Samuel Doe (just to name one) who came to power when he was young Sergeant in the military. According to The Fate of Africa, a respectable book on Africa’s struggle since colonial independence, SamuelSamuel Doe Doe led a group of men to sneak in to the President’s mansion in 1980, shot him three times in his head, gouged out his right eye, and disemboweled him. The book goes on to explain, “What inspired Doe and his group of fellow conspirators to storm the Executive Mansion was not a plan for revolution but simply grievances over poor living conditions in the army barracks. They possessed no political objectives, no policy ambitions, no guiding ideology, other than to set themselves up in power.” The book also explains Doe was “then the youngest and lowest-ranking soldier to seize power in Africa.” Doe was the typical African tyrant with looting from state corporations, tribal favoritism, arbitrary detentions, secret trials, secret executions, rigging elections, even ordering soldiers to fire on crowds of protesters. Doe went as far as to resort to cannibalism to prove his power. How did the Reagan administration handle such a ruthless dictator? They increased aid to Liberia from $10 million to $80 million (page 551 in The Fate of Africa) which accounted for nearly one-third of the country’s budget. When Doe detained a prominent international figure only then did the Reagan administration take action by refusing $25 million in aid. Doe released the prisoner and in return the United States gave him the $25 million to continue his ruthless rule. Why would the Reagan administration do all of this for such an aimless, power hungry, corrupt, and petty dictator? Because Doe openly endorsed the United States and openly denounced the Soviet Union, even using socialism as the reason on why he had to ban opposing political parties. Doe was allowed to rule as ruthless as he pleased so long as he helped American national interest by denouncing its enemy. The US ambassador, William L Swing, even referred to him as an “endearing boy.” When an election took place where preliminary votes showed that Doe would not win the presidential election and Doe burned the ballots declaring himself the winner, the Reagan administration responded by calling the election “generally fair although marked by a few irregularities.” Chester Crocker, Reagan’s senior policy-maker in Africa, “praised what he called ‘noteworthy positive aspects’ about the election. He went on: ‘There is now the beginning, however imperfect, of a democratic experience that Liberia and its friends can use as a benchmark for prospects for future elections – one on which they want to build… his prospects for national reconciliation were brightened by Doe’s claim that he won only a narrow 51 per cent election victory – virtually unheard of in the rest of Africa where incumbent rulers normally claim victories of 95 per cent to 100 per cent. In claiming only 51 per cent Doe publicly acknowledged that a large segment of society – 49 per cent – supported other points of view and leadership than his own.'”

Obviously lying and bending the truth have become more important to our national interests than benevolence for neoconservatives. Winning is winning and there was absolutely nothing positive about the way Doe handled the election, but in turn for his approval the Reagan administration gladly praised the wretched leader, the next When there is incentive to “liberate” we liberate, when there is incentive to allow oppression we allow oppression.sentence in the book says “…the election marked the beginning of a descent into hell.” Because of the endorsement of the election no serious attempts were made to remove Doe from power and cannibalism as well as more corruption ensued. Countless people were maimed, tortured, detained, deprived, and raped because the people were not allowed to have a fair election, the country descended into using drugged up homeless children to fight their battles as well as abducting the children of others for slave labor. This all may have been prevented if the ballot was ever counted correctly and the United States acknowledged the truth of the situation. But instead the book notes a senior US policymaker in 1993 said “We were getting fabulous support from him on international issues… He never wavered [in] his support for us against Libya and Iran…. All our interests were impeccably protected by Doe. We weren’t paying a penny for the US installations.” The book also goes on to give another quote by Crocker painting a much freer country than Liberia was. Neoconservatives gladly turn a blind eye to the obedient, dismissing the misery caused underneath them. The benevolence card only gets played when things important to our national interest such as the “clearly phenomenal” amounts of oil reserves in Iraq is being sat upon by a disobedient ruthless dictator. We don’t attack based on the leaders cruelty, we attack based on the leaders obedience… this is the mindset that neoconservativism has bread. Even the USpolicymaker in the book used the words “All our interests were… protected.”
The origin of neoconservatives actually has a direct link to the Muslim extremists that are now our nations biggest enemy because of the narrow focus of “interest” used. It is eloquently portrayed by Adam Curtis in his BBC documentary The Power of Nightmares, a 3 hour long documentary you can view on google video: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. While it has criticism of showing the neoconservatives in a negative light Adam Curtis has a pristine record even being awarded 2 separate BAFTA “Best Factual Series” awards. He is not a man to throw away his career to create non-factual documentaries out of sheer spite. Most importantly I think it shows how neoconservatives help fund Islamic extremism when it was used to their own benefit.

The Audience- Christian Fundamentalists

Excuse the animation, it just fits so well. (I hate animated pictures too)What good is a set stage and primed actors without an audience? Who will encourage, support, and enjoy the actions of the actors? Christian Fundamentalists gladly will take the seat and applaud as well as encourage the actions of neoconservatives. Because neoconservatives look towards Christianity for their morals and wish to implement a level of Christian morality into the government it is those who are most passionate about Christ who back the idea up most. So what is wrong with this? Well, for starters… what if you’re not Christian? That question seems to be quickly dismissed with the automatic assumption that those who do not believe in religion surrounding Jesus have beliefs that come second to the one right way to live. The Christian Fundamentalists don’t question what religion is the right religion, they know. Christian Fundamentalists see themselves as a special group of people whose job it is to bring Jesus into the lives of everyone. This is respectable in some ways because their intentions are good and they are interested in the spreading of what they see as positive morals. While their desire to spread their religion is passionate we must look at the situation as adults as opposed to emotional children: though you may believe strongly in your religion you have no right to expect others to be forced to follow its rules. We have the ability to be articulate which is a much more mature means of solving a problem than just getting upset. The first people that really migrated here from Europe were people who were persecuted by their religious government. As I linked above the neoconservatives take a minimalist view of the separation of church and state so things such as homosexual marriage should be illegal, God should be all over our money and in our pledge, public funding for Christian foundations is okay to help build a moral base. The problem with this is all under the very large assumption that Christianity is the single right religion and evidence around the world gives me reason to believe it’s not the only option. Instead of just ignoring the overwhelming evidence that there is more than one right way to live, let’s embrace it and handle our differences like adults. Don’t get upset at homosexuals for wanting to be legally recognized as a couple to get the same benefits as a straight couple. I can understand the argument that it’s not natural in a procreation sense seeing as the parts do not work together to make babies… and that is a sign from nature (be it God or nothing) that a gay couple cannot procreate with each other… and that’s all it means. It doesn’t mean they can’t spend a lifetime together, it doesn’t mean they can’t adopt children, it just means that two of the same can not createCreated for shock value. Handle it and move on, don’t outlaw it. a child… but if the adults are responsible, dependable, and stable then what is wrong with supplying a child with two living adults, what’s wrong with allowing them to be wedded by the state? Men are not going to stop loving women and women are not going to stop loving men. Because heterosexuality is the more natural thing to do homosexuality will always be less popular. But sexuality is a private thing to explore and laws have no rights with how people want to bond with each other so long as it’s not threateningly. Having any child see two adults acting respectably towards one another is not a bad example for our children.

Christian Fundamentalism has found deep roots in our government flooding it on all levels and actually convincing us that something as simple as homosexuality could possibly demoralize our culture. Spiteful, regressive, heartless, controlling, dehumanizing actions are what give our children bad morals. They take spreading Christianity so seriously they make private clubs where they can grow spiritually with Jesus. One man named Jeffrey Sharlet was invited to join one of these groups on the mistake that his interest in Jesus made him a believer. In this article he explains in detail what it was like to live with some actual public representatives which he names personally: Senators Don Nickles (R., Okla.), Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), Pete Domenici (R., N.Mex.), John Ensign (R., Nev.), James Inhofe (R., Okla.), Bill Nelson (D., Fla.), and Conrad Burns (R., Mont.) are referred to as “members,” as are Representatives Jim DeMint (R., S.C.), Frank Wolf (R., Va.), Joseph Pitts (R., Pa.), Zach Wamp (R., Tenn.), and Bart Stupak (D., Mich.). What Sharlet describes is unnerving. These people are feeling very exclusive even renaming themselves as “In Christ” (as opposed to Christian) to emphasize the passion in their belief, they even begin to sound giddy when talking about Jesus. While I understand the importance and strength spirituality imposes on the way your body will act, it is important to not force your beliefs on others or expect them to adopt it simply because it’s so important to you. These men Sharlet stays with are very powerful inviting ambassadors over to eat and discuss politics, here is a quote from the article:

“A man I didn’t recognize, whom Charlene identified as a former senator, suggested that negotiators from Rwanda and Congo, trapped in a war that has slain more than 2 million, should stop worrying about who will get the diamonds and the oil and instead focus on who will get Jesus. ‘Power sharing is not going to work unless we change their hearts,’ he said. Sezibera stared, incredulous. Meese chuckled and opened his mouth to speak, but Sezibera interrupted him. ‘It is not so simple,’ the Rwandan said, his voice flat and low. Meese smiled. Everyone in the Family loves rebukes, and here was Rwanda rebuking them. ”

The Rwandan genocide and the events surrounding the event were some of the most horrific in history happening barely a decade ago. It was directly related to the bloodiest event since World War II with millions dead, displaced, and in severe poverty. Haughtily over a lazy breakfast a former senator minimizes the extreme desperation and seriousness of the situation and points out that the religion he believes in should be studied by them. He doesn’t acknowledge that many of these people are desperate to not live in poverty and the extreme lengths they have to go through is sincerely a sad thing, especially to a Rwandan ambassador, that is extremely insensitive. Compounded by the inaction of Americas involvement on stopping the genocide. It would be as if right now we have a Muslim person explain that if everyone on the planes and in the towers were Muslim on September 11th, then the atrocity would’ve never happened. It’s just an ignorant thing to say in both situations and not progressive in the least. I feel terrible for that Rwandan ambassador.

Christian Fundamentalists are almost fanatical in their belief. Jesus Camp does an excellent job at showing the conditioning of children in to religion going as far as speaking in tongues and emotionally destabilizing children to the point of tears. While some claim that the movie was purposely done to make the Christian Fundamentalists look bad the director only edited the video, everything said and done in the movie was without any bait because they were simply sharing their faith. Featured in the film is Ted Haggard eerily making fidelity jokes before he lost his position over being accused of having homosexual relations and smoking meth. In the film they mention how Haggard, when he was the leader of the New Life Church in Colorado (a church that now estimates 14,000 attendees), he would have regular meetings with President Bush. This directly links Bush with Christian Fundamentalists and it’s interesting to ask the question – Where do the funds for these stadium-sized churches come from? Certainly these churches are part of a religion of public men with deep pockets.

The problem in using Christianity as a moral base that works closely with the law is that not only other religions are being forgotten about, but even other sects within the same religion tend to come after the prominent ruling sect of the religion. Christian fundamentalists, for example, believe in very different things than Catholics. It’s impossible to determine which one section of Christianity is the most accurate considering all of them have believers. There are even Christian churches that embrace homosexuals. This leaves many people who try acting out the high demands of a religion that might not fit their needs. The concept that mankind is inherently evil is extremely pessimistic and See, the argument doesn’t work. Religion needs to be taken out of the picture. Even Jesus.not at all validated by the actions of many people across all religions. While there have been atrocious behaviors within other religions Christianity is in no way exempt. It is about getting past the religion and focusing on progressive and positive actions despite the difference in spiritual preference. Yet in that article above where Sharlet lived with the religious public officials one of the men was discussing how they need to “unwrap” Jesus from religion so that it is a fact separate from personal religion and can be shared openly as factual within the confines of the law. This is undermining our national integrity as seeing there is no proof for any religion or anything truly depicting what is correct or incorrect for another human to do. The law is supposed to protect those who do things differently from the persecution of any group, marrying Christianity on any level with our legal system is going to view non-Christians as second tier citizens even though non-Christians have the ability to be just as intelligent, respectful, and productive as Christians. Trying to hold themselves to standards that aren’t for them, political figures tend to resort to scandals as a means of pleasure or satisfaction. This was a great comprehensive list I found of just Republicans that have been involved in scandals alone (While all might not be guilty, the number is still just way too high). Republicans, generally the group Christian Fundamentalists adhere to due to their conservative nature, are awash in immorality. If entwining law with Christianity was a good idea on any level the group that supports it the strongest is setting a terrible example for the rest of us. However the Republicans are not alone as many Democrats readily accept Christianity with its involvement in the government, some were even listed in Sharlet’s article. Rarely are the words Conservative and Republican as well as Liberal and Democrat ever separated, but seeing as politics is naturally conservative in nature rich with tradition and history, there are many Democrats with a Conservative streak in them. This does not mean it’s acceptable to attempt to merge religious ideals with secular decisions as it is wildly immature to dismiss the beliefs of the millions of people in this country who expect their beliefs to be looked at with equal validity as everyone else.

So lights, camera, action! The stage is set and the play is about to begin. The setting: The End of History, the headlining actors: Neoconservatives, all eagerly being watched by the Christian Fundamentalist audience (with guest appearances from the audience working with the Neoconservatives). But the star of this magnificent play, the central character to piecing it all together is George W. Bush. Knowing his audience and his fellow actors it’s not hard to play the part and get the right reaction from each respectively. But there is a problem – The theatre sold the tickets to everyone in America but only let in those who wouldn’t criticize the show. Now there is a nation of people feeling cheated because of it. Part II is here.

Religion

Update: May 2011 – Hey, if you like my writing, you should check out my new website: Sustainable Diversity with fresh new and more in depth material!

Let’s just all, for once, be real honest about religion.It’s CLEVER at least!

In my racism/dehumanization entry I posted this survey printed in the New York times: It is far less likely for an American to support a political candidate if they do not believe in God… essentially this means they must be religious to some degree. If you believe in a God you are affiliated with some religion, that is the whole concept behind religion. In fact, according to this survey it is the thing that makes the biggest difference to American citizens… if you don’t believe in God, then I don’t trust you to be in office. The United States of America overwhelmingly agrees with this. Surprisingly, it does not matter if it even is the God the dreaded terrorists praise, as a Muslim president would still theoretically be about 20% more likely to be elected than a “Godless” one. My very simple question to this is… Why?

If you’re religious and reading this you might already want to continue on your journey across the internet with such blasphemy, but I implore you to stay and to read. I’m not Richard Dawkins. While I have my issues with religion (as I am not a religious person even in the slightest) I will not give my allegiance to the haughty atheists as I have a hunch not even many religious people know what a god really is, let alone the atheists. Atheists assert a faith as dear as the religious. However I also would not consider myself agnostic as I am committed to my beliefs. Intrigued at all? I hope so, I want anyone who is interested in religion in any way – whether you hate it or love it – to please read this opinion on the whole subject.

I’m a guy who likes to play fair. This means if you are a human, and you believe in any religion (and those who believe in none as well), then you are able to step up to my imaginary starting line because we are in store for a race! But… this race isn’t about how fast you run – it is about finding the right religion – so the only one that can finish is the one that can prove to me, with relative reason and logic, that they believe in the one correct religion. After all most religions are contradictory of each other which essentially means that I have to make an informed decision.

Spirituality:

Now I know the reason why religion exists. Humans are not machines (exactly), humans have feelings. We are inefficient and imperfect, we also love, care, take pride, hate, and desire. Humans are creatures of pattern. We crave patterns and is why we have become so good at everything we’ve done. We’ve understood the pattern of the way something works, be it the wheel or physics. We even can, to an extent, internalize some of these patterns. It is our ability to recognize and work with these patterns with such dexterity that has made us a very powerful species. We learned (like most other animals) to move with the herd (of people or of the food the people are following). We figured out a pattern that would work to feed ourselves all year long and we could stop moving. We could use these patterns so efficiently we had free time to search around and play with other patterns. People were able to use their keen ability to recognize some of the most complex patterns. We all of a sudden realized one day when we looked around we had no more predators so long as we were in numbers. Civilization was born from our ability to recognize patterns.

With our clever minds, and with the Earth relatively tamed, we turned our questions (our unlockers of patterns) inside. While humans have thought about their origin well before any organized religion came in to being they weren’t anything like the mega-religions of the last few thousand years. While civilization flourished a problem occurred. Collaboration between people became difficult with so many different perspectives on or about the Earth. The more isolated a culture is the more time that culture has to identify with the planet in an entirely different way. However if there was a way that was the one right way then everything would be easier to figure out because we’d all finally know the truth. Essentially we’d have a template for human thoughts and action.

Basically we want to know the proper way to act. Is it okay to be greedy? Is it foolish to be generous? Is it appropriate now for me to attempt to have sex with this person? Is it right to depend on others to make important decisions for me? Can I kill this person if he offends me? Which actions should I be responsible for? These are all questions that we have attempted to find a pattern for. These are spiritual questions. I would go as far to define spiritual as those things in nature that do not have a pattern that we must create ourselves. How do we know how to act in a favorable way? Who are we supposed to be pleasing? Ourselves? Our family? Our culture? A deity that we’ve never seen, touched, tasted, heard, or smelled? Who trumps in importance? This is a question we must ask ourselves as humans because it is only inevitable until you have to choose. This will define who you are to yourself and others with the emotions of shame or pride (and everything in between) as the outcome. And it even goes further – when we’re shamed, how should we act? When we’re proud, how should we act? Who has the answers?

Jews, Christians, and Muslims:

JudaismGOD has the answer! At least thats what the Jews decided. The Jews had a religion with an origin that is obfuscated by history but certainly it was originated by a small group. While there has never been any serious evidence that the Jewish God has existed, it has certainly altered the actions of these people. They were self proclaimed “chosen” people who had a special relationship with God. Could this mean that the Jews were the first serious group to internalize and teach patterned morals in the Middle East? There is no evidence to the contrary. However it’s human nature to search for patterns and connections in people and if they decided that they finally had the key to the proper way to pattern human morals they began preaching some very serious things. They, in essence, found the single right way to live. They were not tempted by other Gods and their strength in numbers proved what power the Jewish God could yield as the Jews grew in number. Many gentiles were awed by the collaboration of morals and what strength, courage, and fruits could be attained from it. Now the real question is – did God make the Jews or did the Jews make the God?

ChristianityThat question should be really simple to answer. God made the Jews – hence their longevity, their wisdom, their strength. But then one day, a few hundred years after the inception of the Jews God had a strange change in heart. God decided to send his son down to Earth in the form of a human. And, as legend goes, his son preached a whole new set of rules from the very same God the Jews have been worshiping. The Tanakh, that the Jews found so sacred, was actually only part 1 of the two part series God meant to give out. He made sure his people knew this by sending down his “son” and teaching people to turn the other cheek. The new testament overrides any of the more ancient, severe, old testament and love and patience was the new order of the day. On top of it all, it was predicted in the old testament that this messiah would come and change the world. To top it off, in case you weren’t sure, he suffered unimaginable pain, nailed to a cross, thrown in a tomb, and even came back to life a few days later. And in case you didn’t believe him to be the messiah still, it’s important to know that Christ let everyone know about eternal hell that will ensue if they don’t accept him has their savior. Now the real questions are – was Jesus the messiah or wasn’t he? How can the Jews be sure this isn’t a trick? Why did a benevolent loving God allow his people to rot in eternal hell for being mere humans? And lastly… are we still sure this isn’t made up?

IslamWell many Jews for the next 2000 years decided no, Jesus was not the messiah, and it is why we still have Jews today. Okay, but many people decided yes! Jesus is the messiah and is why Christianity is the most popular religion in the world today. Perhaps there are just a few stubborn Jews who refuse to accept this fact? Let’s work on this idea for a moment. Let’s say Christianity is the right religion, the Jews are stubborn, and we finally have our prophet who has allowed us to share his love and power or rot in eternal hell for living in darkness. A few hundred more years pass and Christianity is flourishing, people really are catching on to the idea… but then something happens. Another prophet has come from the heavens! This time it’s not any small time prophet like Jesus, no, finally God has given us the ultimate prophet! Muhammad. So the story goes – yes the Jewish God exists, and yes Jesus is most definitely a prophet, but there is an essential piece of the puzzle missing… there is a final prophet, the prophet that speaks more truth than any other prophet previously. And just like Jesus he carries the newest most revised edition of divine rules – the Qur’an. The first two were dry runs skewed by the people who had followed them. Muhammad came to make the rules clear as a desert sky and thusly Islam was born. So now, seriously, what do we believe? Islam is the second largest religion in the world behind Christianity but Christianity is allegedly older and more incorrect than Islam… so do we follow the crowd on what’s biggest? If we did that with the inception of Christianity then Judaism would still be the major religion. Are we supposed to convert to Islam? If so then why are there so many Christians still? Does this mean the Jews weren’t necessarily stubborn but that they kept doing what worked for them and allowed the Christians to do what worked for them? If so, who goes to Hell? Am I going to be eternally damned for not following one religion or the other? How am I supposed to know? How do I know which messages have been skewed over time by theThats what it seems like, doesn’t it? translators or writers?

And lastly… again… the nagging question… could this all just be made up? Are we taking our internal beliefs on the way we should interact with other people which make ourselves grow and attaching them to invisible deities that allegedly will punish those who do not submit? I mean think of all those people in remote parts of the world where missionaries never got to people, are they to be punished? And should we seriously expect a person to just nonchalantly give up their original beliefs because you’re insisting you know the correct way? Organized religion has a lot of serious questions that are consistently glazed over with the desire to bring more people under their umbrella.

Comfort:

Now let’s take a break and think about human nature again. While there are many things we do not know about people or that we may be perceiving incorrectly about people, we do know this: When people are very familiar with something they tend to become comfortable with it. This works in all sorts of situations – some people will stay in bad relationships or repeat bad relationships because they are comfortable with the actions… though they may not always be happy. When you become more familiar with a partner you do love and are happy with you tend to become more comfortable with them. And while that relationship may even sour later down the line and you are not happy with it, but yet it is familiar (perhaps a daily annoyance) whether or not you like it you become comfortable with it to some degree. You see- it doesn’t have anything to do with emotions. When we wake up and see the sky blue, we’re pretty damn comfortable with that, when we wake up and the sky’s green… you’re probably going to feel a little uncomfortable.

Now you’re right! This is not true for every last person in the whole world. But we can most certainly agree on that familiarity breeds comfort, negative or positive. Being comfortable can be negative, it could imply laziness or apathy on taking charge of the things that incessantly dissatisfy you. There is positive comfort as well, just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. This can be agreed upon to a strong degree because people are affected by both (positive or negative comfort) every day. With that being said… we have a major problem with religion. People become born and raised into religious families and become comfortable with their faith (whether or not it’s the most positive and progressive thing for them) and defend that comfort adamantly with vigor because it is the definition of how to live your life. If someone has the audacity to remove that definition, be prepared for the consequences of removing a human beings reality.

So pick your own religion and determine what it would take for you to start believing in a different one. Certainly nothing less than irrefutable proof right? You like your religion! You’re comfortable with it! Most likely your community shares it with you even! So even though nobody has that irrefutable evidence it does not detract away from what is comfortable.

Religion’s positive aspects:Religion is cryptic

Notice I haven’t spoken anything necessarily bad about religion. I’m sure it’s understandable for a non-believer to be confused on which religion he should join. The obvious answer would be to look for what feels right to you and pick it. But that doesn’t explain the fact that there’s conflict. Obviously all religions are attempting to promote a perspective they see as positive attribute to their religious culture. When a Christian missionary goes off to a remote land to convert some tribes to save them from Hell, it’s never thought of that he’s breaking down the diversity of this world which made it thrive so well. Some of these native cultures are older than all the major religions and they will faithfully convert every last one of them if it’s possible virtually shelving a whole history and culture into a lightless room never to be opened again. It’s never thought of that way. Muslims don’t question a woman covered from head to toe, it’s promoting modesty, they never think of it as oppressive- which it is for those who must follow it and are not allowed to opt out. And even while the Hindu hook piercing festival may only just simply be downright cruel and crazy, they actually can withstand pain many would normally go into shock over and can show seemingly super human strength, which is why the festival remains so popular.

So ultimately while religion can create negative consequences they are generally trying to promote positive things. Positive things are generally agreed upon across cultures though there is a lot of subjectiveness on whats too much or too far. But people generally tend to agree that not being greedy is good, patience has its rewards, kindness and respect are valued, don’t lust too much, try not to be a hypocrite. Basically they’re all different equations to breed trust, order, and safety with one another. The idea is outside of this way of doing things people can be deceitful. I think this is entirely arguable especially with all the documentation and history we have of people within the same religion being deceitful (priests and young boys as the most overt example of this) as well as people of different faiths being extremely generous for one another (Christians helping Jews escape Nazi internment).

In The Fate if Africa by Martin Meredith, a comprehensive book on Africa’s history since colonial independence, Meredith does an excellent job at explaining the complexity of the Rwandan genocide as well as its gross public misunderstandings. After explaining the obvious that many clergy in the country did what they could to help save the Tutsi ethnicity from slaughter he tells this unnerving fact:

“But some priests actively aided and abetted the genocidaires, assisting them in rounding them up for slaughter. The church president at Mugonero, Pastor Elizaphan Ntakirutimana, urged Tutsi refugees to gather at the mission station there. Some 2,000 were packed into the hospital there when soldiers from the Presidential Guard and militiamen sealed off the premises. On the evening of 15 April the refugees were told that the hospital would be attacked the next morning. Seven pastors among them wrote a letter to Ntakirutimana asking for help.”

And I can promise you the letter is endearing, they ask him how he is, they speak of being strong, and they respectfully ask him to save them from being murdered. His reply was as follows:

“There is nothing I can do for you. All you can do is prepare to die, for your time has come.”

Religion has by no means been an oasis from corruption and oftentimes, sadly, it becomes an oasis for corruption. People allow themselves to be stricken with greed and power using it for manipulation to their advantage. Oftentimes religion is used to dehumanize those without the same religion. Some people believe that because a person does not believe in the same religion as their own then that person isn’t as equal as them. Unfortunately this is not the case as you are both humans and while some individuals may prove to be dangerous it is never a certain religion, race, gender, age, or ethnicity. This is discrimination and we have to come to recognize that everybody here shares the same feelings, desires, needs, and wants to some degree. But this did not stop religions from creating wars and laws persecuting those just because they were different in what they valued and how they valued it. It did not stop the crusades, it did not stop Muslims converting by the sword, it did not stop the Christian witch hunts, or the stonings of those deemed impure.

None of these things make religion necessarily a negative thing as these attributes do not just manifest themselves via religion. But the fact is religion has been a source for some of the most passionate actions. So while being spiritual, even through organized religion, is something that should be encouraged in individuals we, as humans, have to be responsible for ourselves in making sure we’re not suppressing another belief just to legalize our own. Remember these are standards you are holding to yourself, and while you may share them with others or even attempt to convince others to share them with you, you ultimately don’t have the right to force these things on people who do not recognize the value in it by the way you do it. And this is okay. Differences and imperfections are what make us unique and worthy. Had we all thought and acted exactly the same there might as well be nothing happening because every move we make could be predetermined because of the lack of anomalies.

Diversity:

Comeon… seriously?Diversity might get an entry for itself someday but right now it’s important to recognize and embrace diversity. Now this is not meant to be a condescending talk to anyone religious like they don’t promote or enjoy diversity, this is directed towards those who drunkenly crave homogenization at all costs. The ones that create genocides, the ones that refuse to recognize their victims as humans, this section is for you. Diversity in religion is a good thing, so long as your religion is in your heart and you have the ability to practice it by yourself and with those who share the same beliefs then there is no reason to start attempting to bring these beliefs to law. We just have to accept different ways to live and make sure, as best we can, there is an escape for those who feel persecuted by the situation.

It is so completely hard for me to believe how upset many people would get over this mindset. There would be outrage over it, a call to action if this was implemented and embraced, People would demand their right to entitlement, power, and comfort. And while it’s understandable that no radical changes can take place in most places for fear of instability, there is nothing wrong with addressing differences and coming up with a mutually agreeable way of interaction. This way we don’t have to have nuclear rich religious countries pointing nukes threateningly at each other (India and Pakistan). The question everyone should be asking constantly to each other, rich or poor, big or small, powerful or weak, is: Where is the positive progress? death, rape, poverty, and plundering are negative things to avoid yet much of the world revels in this and clings to religion as their savior. On many occasions it has provided the strength to stand up to dehumanizing oppressors and this is the positive aspect about religion.

The positive aspect about atheism is that you have nobody to kill or die for but yourself. However atheism does not provide the sense of moral base that religion does. Without the sense of moral base provided by religion you have a susceptibility to negative attributes such as greed, cynicism, spite, or apathy. However this does not mean a person is unable to come up with his own moral code that promotes positive attributes and decides to be accountable for himself. Many atheists and even myself have chosen this route. There is nothing wrong with (and actually a lot could be argued right about) coming up with your own sense of positive morals. Just like people within religion people outside of it are susceptible to negative or regressive things. Atheism however inherently implies the knowledge that there is no deity, and this, as well can not be proved. God and deity have such complex definitions that depending on what perspective you’re looking at it you might be looking at the same thing from different sides. The point is as bullheaded as atheists or religious people can be the two groups can still find agreements to work under without attempting dehumanizing the other group. This is simply the action of being an adult, it’s using your years of wisdom to try and collaborate a mutually agreeable way to work with or around each other because it’s positive and progressive.

Using hate to make decisions and eliminating diverse options is divisive in nature and leads to mutually agreeable negative consequences. Hate, apathy, greed, power… these are things that you must lose your moral character to revel in the agony they create. So while someone might find it cute or pithy to accept these things with arrogance and apathy, it’s a game that leaves others, who are simply just trying to live their lives like you are, in agony or distress that you created. This isn’t moral in action and it’s not positive or progressive. Murder, fear, ignorance, and walls are never progressive. While we may encounter and use some of these things it should always be with the deepest desire to correct what has created the situation.

In Summary:

So what do I believe then? As I stated above I’ve created my own moral code which I and I alone answer to. I’ve determined, after much thinking, that if there was a God and he decided to punish me for eternity for living up to my own moral character (the things I felt were right) then I will gladly accept the punishment with the knowledge that anybody who shares his space in heaven deserves it no more than the greedy spiteful fat King who shares his wealth with those who support his arrogant ruthless treatment of his subjects. If you can fault a man for doing the best he can with what he’s got, and he’s honest with himself about it, then that divine being is not the all-knowing, kind and generous God people proclaim him to be. So when the fact comes to me that no religion is without blood on their hands, and I look down at my clean hands, I know I’m going to come up with my own rules to keep them clean because it should be known that you shouldn’t expect anybody else to take care of things for you. If you allow this to happen you may propagate ignorance that can be transmitted to scores of people. We have example after example where negative and regressive attributes have corroded all of our organizations. Many people have a hard time feeling such a sense of individuality, but in cases where persecution could be involved why not focus on that and consider how to fix that?

My belief is that while I don’t know if there is a deity up in the sky or not (though it sounds childish to me, it’s true at one point Zeus was considered real) I do know the things that have provided for me and they become the things I believe in. I know the Earth has provided me with everything in my life in combination with the sun. Why do we noThis at one point was as true as Jesus and Muhammadt treat the Earth and Sun as Gods for they both have literally given us the power of life. Why worship something intangible when you have the actual providers beneath your feet and in your sky. Yet every day we take a little more of the Earth and turn it in to something man-made, ignoring the diversity of the world and creating an artificial world.

Could it be argued that in our artificial world we must create an artificial God? For in the real world our Gods provide for us tangibly every day. Just because we collaborate to do the work does not mean we created it. I know I come from the Earth and I know I will return to the Earth and that makes a lot more sense to me than coming from heaven, for example, and returning there upon my death knowing absolutely nothing about it. Are these just illegitimate thoughts? Is it seriously not okay to believe in different things but still collaborate for mutual benefit without attempting or fearing swindling of trust?

This entry took me days to work on and it just frustrates me that our world has become so cold and hard that violence to promote ethics has become so commonplace. Religious people just have to face up to the fact that they are susceptible to the same temptations as everyone else therefore making no religion better than any other. Remove the supremacy from religion. While there is nothing wrong for being proud about what you believe in, you don’t have to tout that you are more than human for it.