They Wanted To Serve and Protect

Two more people in Orlando were
arrested for feeding the poor. Police came and quickly whisked them
away ignoring the jeers of the crowd as a small 5 foot tall woman was
handcuffed and put into the back of a patrol car. It was very
uncomfortable not only for those arrested, but for the poor police
officers who had to uphold an idiotic law that demanded they arrest
people for feeding the hungry.

 

I imagine that most police officers want to
help protect their communities and uphold the laws of the land.
Instead they are being called today to support hateful laws created
by ignorant politicians that not only separate the police from their
communities, but make them enemies to the people they have pledged to
serve and protect.

 

New government policies forcing local
police to enforce immigration policies, arrest people feeding the
homeless, break up lawful protests, and enforce racial and economic
discrimination policies have most likely destroyed the dreams of many
of those who have become law officers. It would probably better to
allow these officers to go after real criminals instead of political
activists, thus making them political prisoners.

 

Yet again, the new breed of politician
doesn’t seem to worry about breaking up communities and creating
walls where they didn’t exist. That type of behavior has kept people
like them increasing in power since the birth of this nation and will
continue to do so. 

 

The order of the day is the same as it always has
been: divide; create prejudice by misinforming about a certain group;
enforce the false prejudices through the media selectively choosing
what to publicize and not; create red-lining and discriminatory
policies that keep people apart so they can’t discover the truth; and
then take more and more as those who should be working together fight
over created differences, and misperceptions. Welcome to 1984. It
came a bit late, but it is finally here.

Food Terrorist For Feeding Poor

Food Terrorist For Feeding Poor — Benjamin Mason of Food Not Bombs, has been labeled a “Food Terrorist” by the mayor of Orlando, FL since his arrest, for feeding the poor in a park in downtown Orlando .  The mayor said that feeding programs for the poor and homeless have been bringing too many people into the park. In order to slow  the tide of the poor Food Not Bombs began to feed the poor in an area specifically designed for large crowd picnicking. This was insufficient.  

 
In response to the problem of poor people being fed in the park Orlando City Council passed a law stating that only 25 people at a time can be fed  and that one could not feed poor people without a permit issued by the city to feed them two times per month.  Several requests for permits from churches, non-profit groups, and feeding programs have been turned down since.  Many organizations have been feeding the poor without the permit and have been arrested.  At present, Mason is awaiting his trial. He has filed a lawsuit against the unconstitutionality of the law citing that a waiver in the city constitution that allows for feeding the poor has simply been crossed out and ignored by the major without the input of the city residents or the City Council.  
 
Previously, according to Mason, food programs were not permitted because the neighborhood was being gentrified and the city government wanted to be sure that certain people, i.e., poor people and people of color being pushed out, didn’t continue to return to the community.  Now, due to the poor political strategies of government, more people are poor and homeless including those who were gentrifying the community. There is a great need for the food programs for the community itself.
 
I wonder what will will happen next in FL.  I also wonder if this type of hardheartedness that not only keeps people poor by cutting educational opportunities, job opportunities, and housing programs that support the non-working and underemployed, but doesn’t even allow good-hearted- people from the private sector to step in and take up where the government should be leading, will spread throughout the U.S.  It is both amazing and shocking that there are groups of elected officials who don’t care anything for the dispossessed and seem to take pleasure in their continued suffering as they blame the victims of a society that is chewing people up and spitting them out, for the condition in which they find themselves. Or at least trying to hide their failures in creating a system where everyone has the right to work and prosper from tourists and visitors in order to not feel ashamed.
Food Terrorist For Feeding Poor

The Latest Human Rights Corporate Takeover

By Dr. John Gilmore

For more than 200 years in the U.S., and especially since 1980, Corporations have been posing as the arbiters of justice in the U.S.. Corporations, through the purchase of the mass media, have been influencing U.S. Citizens and creating a false dichotomy between themselves and the U.S. Government since their creation. 

 

Today, due to tools like the internet that is not owned by corporations yet, we have discovered that there is no distinction between the U.S. Government and Corporations. In fact, if one traces the cause for almost every war one finds that most of them were fueled by corporate interest in order to “Open Markets,” for corporations.


The internet is causing problems. People are able to communicate freely and pass on information now through email and social media. This is a problem for the Corporate/Government agencies that want to control information and set one group against the other in order to maintain control. At present a new campaign is going on which is a backdoor method of controlling information exchange on the internet. 

 

The first step was
to create high speed internet so a few corporations could make money
off of and control ones connection to the internet. This has been
completed. The next step is to convince
companies like Comcast, AT&T, and others to voluntarily create a
“Three Strikes” policy. Your internet interactions would
be monitored and if you downloaded or streamed three files your
Internet service provider will respond to online file sharing with
censorship tools like: 

    *
Throttling down” your Internet bandwidth and speed;

*
Limiting your access to the Web;

*
Controlling what websites you are allowed to visit;

*
And requiring you to attend pirate school to be educated on copyright
law.


These actions, led by the Entertainment
Industry in the name of copyright violations (another corporation)
would take away your ability to share files, to read news, to
download information to pass on, and to even communicate with friends
and family members by sharing educational information that you find
on the internet. 

 

This, of course, would be a slippery slope. Do you
trust the corporations to decide what should be able to share? Who
would have ever have thought the the United States would be involved
in censorship? Yet this is a different U.S. The U.S. I was born in
would never have engaged in censorship. 

 

Now that corporations and
the government has merged our civil liberties and constitutional
rights have been abated and 97% of all news and print media are owned
by 6 corporations with the board of one made up of people from the
other 5, we find ourselves struggling to maintain our freedoms. We
find ourselves now living to support corporate interests who
themselves have said they have no accountability to anyone or
anything except their share holders and making maximum profit. Now
they are global. Whatever profits are made in the U.S. can now be
invested in poor nations instead of in the U.S economy where they
would create jobs. This is a different world.


There is no problem with this, if there
is a government that regulates or competes with corporations and sets
up trade laws. It seems, however, that the government has gone to
sleep. Getting rid of the government or weakening it isn’t working.
It is better, I think, to have Good Government, than it is to have
small government. 

 

Somehow we have come to the false assumption that
the government is the enemy and corporations are our friends. This
is only because they have both merged together. It is time to
separate government and corporations and create an honest, strong
government instead of one filled with fools who think the best thing
in the world—the best thing for the U.S., is to get rid of all that
has made us civilized and one of the best countries in the world and
take us back to Feudal system with CEOs and corporate heads taking
the place of the Kings, Queens, Dukes, and Barons and all of us
becoming serfs. 

 

We are on the way to serfdom and all of the old
battles between classes, races, genders, and religions are just
pushing us all to the bottom faster.

Honest Man Robs Bank to Get Health Care in Prison

James
Richard Verone, of Georgia, attempted to rob the bank for one dollar.
After handing the teller the note he sat and waited for the police
to come and arrest him. Why did he do this? Verone was 59 years old
and laid off after 17 years of working at Coca Cola with no
prospects. 

 
He was in so much pain from health injuries that he
couldn’t continue a part time job he found at a convenience store so
he no longer had health benfits. Bills were piling up and he had no
resources. His only alternative was to go to prison where he could
get a roof over his head, food, and health care.

 

The
pain was beyond the tolerance that I could accept,” he told the
Gazette. “I kind of hit a brick wall with everything.”

 

He
had no previous criminal record. He was an honest man who worked
hard and expected to be rewarded for his work. Instead he got what
many workers today are receiving, a boot to the curb. Verone
had back problems, an aching left foot, carpal tunnel syndrome (which
comes from working to much or to fast with one’s hands), and a
protrusion in his chest that was undiagnosed. He is hoping to be
examined and treated in prison and to have a lengthy sentence so he
can begin to receive social security when he is released and rebuild
his life.

 

What
kind of country are we living in where an honest man must become a
prisoner in order to receive health care so he won’t have to live
in a state of pain and suffering and become homeless? People don’t
want that though. A large population of U.S. citizens are fighting
against single payer health care, and even want to get rid of medicaid and medicare. 

 

This group extends from the ultra
rich, who don’t need health care insurance, to working class people who should
identify with the need for a “working stiff” to be able to work,
if willing, and receive whatever health care is necessary to lead a
life that includes the right to the pursuit of happiness. What has
happened to the American citizen? How have peoples hearts been so
hardened that they don’t care about the suffering of others(?)—people who may live right next door or at the end of the block.

 

These
are hard times and sad times. Larger numbers of people are
suffering. The American Dream and the Constitution is being
destroyed. The Bill of Rights is meaningless now, as those who would
enforce it are either being bought off by corporate money, or are so
angry and cold-hearted that they just don’t care about anyone except
themselves. 

 

Things are hard enough without the creation of an
underclass, permanent unemployment, and the removal of the safety net
which provides the means for the U.S. to promote the general welfare.
We can afford bombs and F21 Fighters, but we can’t afford jobs. One
day, perhaps, we will all learn that you cannot eat bombs or oil. I
will hate to see that day come because there will be a cry so loud
that it will reach the farthest stars.
 

Forget a Healthy Nation – Get Rid of Obama

Instead
of Good Government the Republican Congressional focus has been
to “Get Obama,” through the use of various soft war
(Psychological Warfare Techniques) developed and perfected by use on
developing nations. This consisted of creating an image of
incompetent governance through the media, focusing on specific areas
that needed to be fixed, and then working to reinforce the idea of
incompetency by purposefully sabotaging the government so those areas
couldn’t be.
 

Some
examples of this:
 

Not
allowing the Democrats to enact legislation aimed at addressing the
financial and economic crisis by forcing the Democrats to water down
the stimulus packet to push it through, and then broadcasting
propaganda about high unemployment due to the “Failed Stimulus.”
 

The
media attack that accused Obama of trying to brain-wash children when
welcomed American students back to school in 2009 and told them to
work hard.
 

The
crisis in American health care and a palliative care option being
reduced to nothing more than the government denounced as taking away
freedoms and imposing “death panels.”
 

Billionaires
like oil man David Koch and media mogul Murdoch, promoting a
“grassroots” rebellion against Obama called the Tea Party
bringing guns to rallies, making racist remarks, or at the least not
denouncing them when they were being made. All of these thing
happened within the first two years of the Obama Presidency.
 

This
set the stage for the Right Republican comeback. The party swept to
victory in the House and fell just short in the Senate. There is
still no health care and no jobs for the unemployed. Liberals,
Conservatives, and Progressives find themselves struggling to
maintain the civil and human rights fought for and won by patriots of
the past like the eight hour work day, child labor laws, public
education, and the Commonwealth of the nation. The goal for the
Republican Party, however, is not a better America, but the White
House with all its executive powers.
 

As
Robert Parry writes, “The Right’s best hope for regaining
complete control of the U.S. government in 2012 is to sink the U.S.
Economy. Already, the Republican success in limiting the scope of
the stimulus package and then labeling it a failure – combined with
deep cuts in local, state and federal government spending – have
helped push the economy back to the brink where a double-dip
recession is now a serious concern.
 

Despite
these worries – and a warning from Moody’s about a possible
downgrade on U.S. debt if Congress delays action on raising the debt
limit – the Republicans are vowing more brinksmanship over the
debt-limit vote. Before acting, they are demanding major
reductions in government spending (while refusing to raise taxes on
the rich).”
 

Because
of all of the racial, ethnic, sexual, and religious splits created by
the constant soft war techniques used to divide and conquer We the
People
, it seems that the Right will be successful at this task,
and all of us will meet together in the poor house.
 

If
we, as a nation, cannot build consensus before this happens and move
this nation toward the dream of our great fathers and mothers instead
of just struggling to be on top of some other group, we need not
worry too much about who wins. Most of us, the 90% sharing 10% of
the wealth of the nation, will be in the bottom of the same boat,
chained to the same oars, cursing and fighting while we are forced to
row to the same old drumbeat: If you work hard, you can pull
yourself up by your bootstraps too; bootstraps made in China.

The New Depression Fact or Fiction

Dale Maharidge spent spent several
years traveling by rail to many parts of America speaking with people
who have been affected by what he calls the New Depression in
his book Someplace in America: The new depression. It was
very disheartening to discover just how bad many Americans are
suffering today. Many people have gone broke because of health care
bills. Some have been laid off because of jobs leaving the country.
Other factors—things that could happen to any of us like fires,
floods, natural disasters, car accidents, have ravaged their lives.

The employment rate has risen back to
9.1 percent overall, almost 18 percent in African American
communities, and it will be 50 t0 60 percent for Latino American and
African American teenagers in the inner city. What will the youth be
doing this summer? One may say this is a travesty, or that we all
need to buckle down and share in the hard times that sometimes
happen. The truth is that these are just not hard times that
happened. Much of this has been either engineered, or maintained,
purposely by those who make profit from the suffering of working
class people and the poor. Even the prisons have been privatized.
It is more profitable for corporations who own prisons to have people
locked up, which costs each tax payer about 40,000 dollars per
person, than working for half that cost.

After the big mortgage crash more than
700 billion dollars were given to banks and large financial
institutions, no strings attached, so that the capital would continue
to flow. This money still has not reached those in need. People’s
mortgages are still being foreclosed, money is still being invested
overseas instead of in the U.S., and jobs are still not being
created. The companies that profited from these interest free loans
have not only made record profits, but they are not paying taxes.
Some have even received tax credits as the money flows outward to
foreign investments. In the meantime families are becoming homeless
or barely able to make it. We blame this crash on unions and on
teachers? There is a much larger problem here.

The problem is that no one really cares
about the average American. The social contract has been broken.
The government no longer answers to the demands of the people, and
small groups of the people no longer support the well being of the
whole country as much as they support themselves or their small
group. Until we can come together and realize that we are one
nation under God
and one people, and that a divided people will
not prosper, we will have runaway unemployment, runaway jobs, and all
of the Commonwealth will continue to be sold to private companies.

We have returned to the Great
Battle-field
that Lincoln referred to in his Gettysburg
Address
, but this battle field is within our hearts and minds.
What we do will decide whether this nation dedicated to the
proposition that all men are created equal will endure
. It is
truly up to us to not be willing to see our neighbors driven into
poverty. And who is my neighbor? Anyone who I will treat kindly out
of the love in your heart.

San Francisco Legislators At It Again

Just when you think that people have become as stupid as possible something comes along to prove they haven’t. Since the banning of “Happy Meals” at MacDonald’s in San Francisco, a new, more controversial proposal is being considered that would ban circumcisions of all boys under age 17, and it’s causing lots of debate.

According to ivillage.com, “The latest statistics from the CDC (which, admittedly, is from 1999 — not too recent) reports that 65 percent
of all boys nationally are circumcised (but the percentage drops to
37 percent on the West Coast). Plus, it’s a religious or cultural
tradition for many people. And it’s a controversial topic in
general.”

The reason San Francisco is considering this ban? Lloyd Schofield, the
activist pushing the law, calls it “genital mutilation.” In his
proposal, punishment would be either up to a year of jail time or up
to a $1,000 fine. With all that is going on in the world and in San
Francisco and CA at this time, I am glad that this activist can find
the time to work on an event like this one that will keep the tips of
our male genitalia safe.

For
a climate where so many people seem to preach getting government out
of their personal lives it is strange and amazing that some not only
want government in their lives, but in their bedrooms, and even
governing what can be done to the end of their sex organs. This can
only happen in America.


  

Government Doesn’t Want to Hear From You

By Dr. John Gilmore

 

A friend received a petition being distributed by Penn Environment
through email to inform our State Governor about the desire for more
safety regulations to protect the environment and forests in central
PA. Instead of receiving “email sent” upon completing it, she
received a smiling picture of the governor and a code that was called
a puzzler that one had to answer before the email would be accepted.
There was basically a code like FQAH6 (an actual code) and a place
where one had to type in the meaning of the code in order for the
mail to go through. Whether one agrees with Penn Environment or not,
this is yet another example of inaccessible government doing the will
of corporate interest instead of the people and taxation without any
representation. Penn Environment is supporting the legislative
process of regulation in drilling due to the following reasons:

 

  • Gas
    drilling contributed to the contamination of the drinking water
    supply of 325,000 people near Pittsburgh in 2008.

  • Already,
    drilling has contaminated drinking water in seven Pennsylvania
    counties with dangerous methane gas.

  • In
    the past year, nearly a dozen different drilling companies have been
    caught breaking cornerstone environmental laws, such as the Clean
    Water Act, at their drilling sites.

  • Last
    September, drilling activities spilled 8,000 gallons of harmful
    pollution into Stevens Creek in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Right
now, state officials are considering policies to help protect the
public from the dangers of gas drilling. Unfortunately it seems that
the people are not allowed to have any input in the process—yet
again, and the government is not interested in hearing what the
people think. Whether one is far left, far right, or even out in the field the one thing that we all need is a government that serves the people and makes decisions based on their input.  This is what is known as democracy.  There is nothing like democracy that works.
Unfortunately, I haven’t seen much of it in our country in the 21st Century.

Finally Safe from Sagging Pants

By Dr. John Gilmore

Other than being a bit annoying and aesthetically challenging to many people from my generation, it seems that sagging pants, i.e., pants hanging off someone’s butt, have become a crime in some local jurisdictions.  During these times when people are looking to local government for more support and sensible decisions, and the federal government for less, it is a bit frightening to see the focus of some of our jurisdictions.

In recent years, cities from Dallas to Rivera Beach, Fla. have launched efforts to make sagging pants punishable by fines and jail time. Some of the most vociferous supporters of these efforts claim the fashion was born in prison culture and, by implication glorifies criminal behavior.  Others just argue, like Townsend, that it offends community taste.

“It’s a horrible fad,” said City Councilman Anthony Davis of Paterson, New Jersey.  The 40-something legislator, who spearheaded an anti-sagging campaign in his city, traces the trend to correctional institutions, where belts are often banned, and says many in the African American community worry that young black men are embodying a “prison mentality” when they let their pants sag.

What better way to deal with this “embodying a prison mentality” then by fining them and putting them in prison?  In the study of Symbolic Logic there is a type of logic called “not logic.”  I would definitely say that this is a prime example of not logic, or perhaps logic–not!  I wonder if this is what happened to tube tops.

 

I want a Tax and Spend Government for The People

By Dr. John Gilmore

 

When Bill Meyer was about to retire he
gave an excellent speech on the idea of the Commonwealth. He said he
was born in a very poor neighborhood, but didn’t even really knew it
because we all shared in the commonwealth when he was growing up.
There were parks, free summer recreational programs, free after
school programs, free music programs in the schools and art programs.
Sometimes they even had free summer camps sponsored by the counties
or cities. Anyone could be involved in a sports program for just the
cost of a two dollar insurance policy each year and the school
provided buses that would take the children to the away games on the
weekend.

 

We don’t have many of these programs
because of the movement led by rich people to disassemble the
commonwealth and do away with taxes. As a result of this people end
up paying for all of these programs as if they are a privilege. Many
people spend hours of time driving miles to carry their children to
soccer games and other sports activities, thus spending the money
they thought they had saved in taxes on time and for gas. Now only
the ones who can afford it send their children to music programs and
to art classes. Just think of all of the great musicians from poor
families who started playing their instrument in school. This won’t
happen now in most school districts.

 

Now people who can afford it have to
pay for day care, pay to go to parks, pay to go to the beaches, and
the many other things that add to the quality of life for all
citizens, allowing us to share in the riches of the nation as a whole
group instead of as individuals working and struggling to buy what is
necessary to enjoy the fruit of American life.

 

As we cut taxes the savings are now
being funneled into overseas investments that put us out jobs and
foreign wars—especially to defense contractors. The states and
local governments are broke, so they need to raise state a local
taxes while cutting the services we so desperately need. In the long
run the average person ends up paying more for services than he paid
for taxes, while the rich person has an opportunity to invest in
China and send their children to the best schools, concerts, music
programs and so on so they can make us look like failures when we try
to compete against them. As a result of this the rich communities get
good resources while the average and poor ones decline until they
begin to look like the slums in most Latin American countries. We
end up with beautiful homes in one block and torn up ghettos right in
the next block, except for the most rich areas—all because we don’t
want to support each other by paying taxes.

 

The sad thing is that the amount of
taxes never go down, they only get transferred from the federal
government to state and local governments, utility fees, park fees,
higher car registration costs and licensing fees. We end up paying
the same amount of taxes for no service. That is why I like the idea
of a tax and spend government as long as the money is being spent on
the people who are being taxed instead of on foreign wars and foreign
investments. It is strange that anytime we hear the words tax and
spend government from the corporate media we are hearing it from a
person who’s income is highly invested in stocks in foreign countries
that are taking our jobs. They tell us we can’t depend on the
government to take care of us, but we can depend on private
corporations. That doesn’t even make sense, when you really think
about it. We can pressure the elected government to make changes in
its spending patterns; we cannot do anything to corporations.