Sunday, November 13, 2011

One world government?

It seems like it's time for a one world government. I know, I know. The first thing popping into most heads is George Bush's New World Order or something like that. That is certainly not what I'm thinking. With the success of protests throughout the world and even the uniting of what has become an international cause with the Occupy movement, the whole New World Order idea, according to Bush (and many other groups) is being threatened. Since the people are demanding to be heard, and are being heard, they are finally getting some true power, like a proper government should be.

Since this revolution is world wide and generally united in goals, there is bound to be some kind of new government system, and I'm guessing it's going to be more of an international thing. No need to gasp. There already is an international thing going on. There is the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, and the world found out how closely tied the economic system is when banks in the United States freaked out. A thing about the UN and the ICC is that not every country is involved in those organizations. And if you have enough power and influence in the world (translated money and weapons) you don't have to abide by the rules of those organizations. The United States is not involved with the ICC and has not been in international trouble for some international crimes it has committed in the recent and not so recent past, while other countries who are also not involved in the ICC get in trouble for the same crimes. I don't mean to sound like I'm anti-American. I guess it's just a bit of a disappointment that this country that has supposedly always stood on the side of "truth, justice, and the American way," even to the point of civil war, would not humble themselves to be judged. That seems to be another thing that these protests are about.

I don't think all is lost for the world. Eventually, probably after more protests and such, people will realize that we as humans have a common goal and can unite, like the international Occupy movement, and make this planet a better place for all that live on it. That doesn't sound easy. There will be different groups and individuals vying for powerful positions and wanting to do things their way. There will have to be some kind of economy that people are content with, and taxes, laws, healthcare, etc. It boggles the mind. Yet it can be done. It has been done in the past on smaller scales in various forms of government. The birth United States of America is a recent small-scale example (compared to a world government) of how a functional government can be created and persevere. It does seems like democracy is the best form of government so far, even with capitalism. As long as laws are enacted, and enforced, that keep corruption constantly in check, it could work. I suppose the human problems like greed, selfishness, and the like, that inevitably come with an economic system are just human problems that will have to be dealt with individually. Well, the international Occupy movement is not even 6 months old yet, and I'm certain there will be more protests world wide. Not to mention next year is a presidential election year in the US. I suppose we'll see what happens and hope for the best.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Tree/society analogy (very brief)

With all the turmoil going on in the world today it seems the simple answer is to remember that human society, even the world as a whole, is like a tree: from the roots to the leaves, all parts are equally important for its survival and the weakening of one part threatens the existence of the whole.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Alternative news sources

I was watching some alternative news sources, alternative to what the average American is exposed to anyway, and one of the things that caught my attention for the first time is that the journalist asked the audience to email opinions of the program and requests on what stories they would like to see covered. There are certainly a lot of stories on this planet these days, unfortunately not all of them good, but certainly most more important than what the latest fashion is in Hollywood or other things that I see in mainstream Western media that can divert peoples' attention to what is happening in the rest of the world. It seems a bit like media, instead of religion, being the opiate of the people: you give them information through the media that keeps them calm, and they will be calm. Makes sense to me.

The western media corporations, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, give people stories that are pretty sedating compared to alternative sources. They certainly have their moments when it comes to meaningful journalism, credit where credit is due, but considering the state of the world in 2011 one would think that  news editors might choose more of those meaningful stories for the west to see. So why don't they? There are respectable journalists in western media who want tell a unique, thought provoking story that is worth listening to. The answer is likely money. The people who pay the checks, the advertisers and so on, have a very powerful voice regarding what the western media does and doesn't do. It actually doesn't sound so threatening, but when one considers that there are a lot of advertisements and only a few corporations that pay for them, that narrows down where the checks are coming from and the voices who have a say in this or that.  All is not lost, though.

Even though this kind of thing kind of sucks for everyone except the few who make some money, the times are changing. With more options to media information throughout the world people can get opinions and ideas about themselves and other people. It's interesting, for example, to hear what citizens in other countries think of Americans--not just Iraqis or Afghanis--French, Irish, Australian, Canadian, just average citizens from all over the globe. Most think Americans are pretty arrogant, if that's any surprise. I wish I could offer link to a documentary that was done, but the best I can do is tell where I found it: it is an alternative new source website with a wealth of news sources from around the world. Very intriguing.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The "H" Word(s)

With all the latest blah-blah about homosexual this and that in the news lately some new stuff has come to my attention. Of course everyone has known one way or another about hate crimes that homosexuals have suffered through years and years with little or no legal help, which lead to a relatively new word to describe their attackers: homophobe (derivative of homophobia), which means, according to The New Oxford American Dictionary, an extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people. I suppose somebody had to come up with a word for it some time. However, with all of the hoo-ha lately in the world press and the topic of homosexual marriage getting a spotlight on the political stage in the United States, it seems like it might be time for the dictionary to have another word in the H section.

I like to read internet news and I am often entertained and sometimes confused to discover what people around the world are thinking these days about certain subjects by reading their comments. I was reading some comments on an article about what may or may not have been a hate crime that had something to do with a gay pride parade and I was impressed to see how many homosexuals and homosexual patrons voiced their anonymous opinions. I was surprised, well I guess not, to see that there were some homosexuals that appeared to have a kind of disdain of people that are not "with" them. I don't think there's a word for it yet, so I will call it "heterophobia," for now, for lack of a better term. I suppose I wasn't so surprised because when power comes to those who have been without for so long, even suppressed, it becomes easy to hate those who even slightly resemble their oppressors or potential oppressors. Admittedly the homosexual community is still considered a minority, but they have certainly come farther in American society in the past decade than they have in the past 25 years. If that won't boost an ego and give the confidence some arrogance, I don't know what will!

I don't want to give the impression that I'm pro or anti homosexual in this essay. That's not what this piece is about. I also don't want to give the impression that I think all homosexuals are "heterophobic." What I'm trying to do with this short essay is remind people that everyone is susceptible to hating. No matter who you are, what you do, what religion (if any) you follow, etc., etc. we all can hate. That is an important thing to remember. Another very important thing to remember is that we can all love, too. No matter who you are, blah, blah, blah. Just do your best to not hate. I know it can be pretty difficult in this difficult world to love your neighbor as yourself, but it takes less energy to smile and the benefits are innumerable (not that one should do it for the benefits). These are certainly some interesting times to be alive. Let's make them good ones. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Even atheists can grasp that

The town that I live in welcomes you with a sign that says "No racism in our town." Presumably one might think that with that greeting this would be a liberal, open-minded town where people are at least accepted as people regardless of their beliefs, and race would not even be a factor. Sorry. As human beings, we need to realize, and overcome the fact that there are things that make us different in the way we appear to each other. We, as human beings, have different ideas on how to get things done. Some ideas are more aggressive, even to the point of violence, than others. The most important thing to remember as fellow humans is that we all share the same ideas of what is right and wrong. These ideas have been refined throughout human history. I will be so bold to say that they are spiritual. I will also be so bold to say that science has a role in those same spiritual concepts. I don't mean to imply that spirituality more important that science or the opposite, but, as so many people have tried to do before, they can collaborate to prove, as much as it can be proven to a person, that there is a right and wrong.

The town I live in has racism, sexism, religionism (if that is a word), and whatever else that might have a root from hatred and ignorance. That is not unusual. That is the way of the world and the way it has been for as long as history has been recorded. Fortunately, more human beings have come to learn, unfortunately the hard way, what is right and wrong--but sometimes, as most of us know, that is what it takes.

I believe it was Andy Warhol who said that the '90s would make the '60s look like the '50s. Well folks, this is the 21st century. The world is in at least the beginning, if not already, WWIII. There are political, cultural, religious, social, technical, and I could go on about the revolutionary things that are happening on this planet now. It seems like everyone who wants change wants the same basic thing(s) which is no more fighting, for one. Who wants to fight? Who in their right mind wants to hurt somebody or hurt someone else? I think people would like to avoid that and find a solution to avoid that. Unfortunately, we as human beings have not found that solution yet.

This is what I have to offer as a solution. It is an oldie, but a goodie. It sounds difficult and dangerous, but it's really very simple, easy, and it never fails. The answer is love. That is something that has been taught throughout human history in various spiritual (notice I didn't say religious) texts. Even atheists can grasp that. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tower of Babel

The United States and many other countries in the so called “West” are a relatively comfortable place to live right now, regardless of the economic and political state that they may be in. The benefits that the poorer classes are allowed by the governments are actually pretty good compared to how some other countries treat the underprivileged. The poor, elderly and handicapped have access to financial benefits, food, housing and other basic necessities provided by state (when relative) and local governments through the money from fellow citizens that people in too many other countries do not for reasons beyond and within human control. With such availability to information these days, it's difficult to not be aware of the suffering that goes on in many of these countries that lack many of the things that some of us take for granted. When I compare how people live in what might be considered more privileged countries to some other countries like that, even though I consider myself more of a human being than an American, I am grateful, and humbled, to live in the United States.

Though I don't agree with everything about the government of the United States all the time, I count my blessings for the opportunities I am allowed here, such as my right to disagree with the government. Sometimes, though, I do get a bit concerned when I consider people in this and similar countries who are enjoying similar privileges I am. Through conversation, observation, personal interaction and other research methods I came to the conclusion that many of the afore mentioned “Westerners,” as we have become known, take what they receive for granted. They even go so far as to abuse their privileges and discount their good fortune. No person is perfect, so I suppose that's human, to an extent; but in this age of information and technology, after a time one must almost avoid knowledge of their benefits and consciously abuse their privileges. Before so much information became available about the condition of the world it was more excusable to be ignorant of it. Now it seems disrespectful and inhumane.

It is obvious that the West has a great influence on the world and it has been said many times that the United States has a powerful influence in the West, but so do citizens of these places and many of us have forgotten where we come from. Things like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and basic civil rights are just some of the human rights everyone deserves that too many of us arrogantly take for granted. It seems that too many of us have forgotten the struggles and sacrifices of the brave people that got us those rights. In those days of cultural and political revolution friendships were broken and made, families were broken and made, people died and killed, and those in power were rich, proud, and arrogant and building that Tower of Babel brick by brick. My how times have changed, sort of.

Regardless of the “progressive” social and political changes that were fought for, many people still seem as arrogant and prideful as ever. They think that they can do it all, and do it all by themselves. Unfortunately it seems the victories of various civil rights groups for acceptance and equality only made many of those groups more defined and separated. They received the civil rights that they fought for, gradually and with great sacrifice, but somewhere along the way, at least in my eyes, they became tainted with power and became like the enemy they fought against.

The West and Westerners, especially the United States, have a very strong influence on the entire world politically, socially, economically, and other ways that are, and may not be, admirable. I read sometimes (though I don't trust the news media much anymore) that other countries consider the West and Westerners to be greedy, very materialistic, corrupt and lacking spirituality. Considering the great influence the West has on the world, this should not be taken lightly. Those with great influence have great responsibility and since there are apparently many people angry at “those with great influence” I suggest that there may be a lack of responsibility.

Everyone is responsible for their own actions, so it is difficult, if not impossible, to blame one person for the state of the world. People, especially Westerners must realize that money and what it can buy are not the most important things in life. I agree that at this point in human existence it is difficult to survive without it, but when one is blinded by materialistic desires to the point of not aiding a fellow human being, there is a problem. When people begin to forget the simple things in life that everyone in the world can't do without and get caught up in the illusion of desire for earthly things that lead to greed, jealousy, arrogance, and worse, they are setting themselves up for failure. There are many examples of that throughout history that can be found in various powerful empires and kingdoms as recent as the 20th century. They all seemed to start off with good enough intentions, but eventually, as so often happens with humans, they were corrupted by power. For the human race to at least get along, it seems to come down to being smart enough to recognize the mistakes of our ancestors and to be wise and strong enough to not repeat them. Humans have a long destructive history of becoming arrogant with knowledge, but some constructive things have happened, too. People, especially Westerners because they have the most influence on the planet right now, should take a look at the condition of the world and their place in it and consider the example they are setting for the rest of the world, especially younger generations. We must all remember that we are co-habitating, whether we like it or not, on this planet and it would be best if we got along or we just might get evicted. Also it's a good idea for people, especially Westerners, to pay a bit more attention to the things that money can't buy and maybe consider why money can't buy them.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Strange daze

Is it just me or do people these days seem to be lacking in morality? I remember the first time I heard what was considered a “bad word” on network television. I believe the word was “damn.” I was a bit shocked. I was even more surprised the first time I heard the word “ass” on network television. That kind of language was for PG movies, not regular television. That kind of language on public access airwaves is taken for granted these days and nobody really raises a big stink about it. People of all ages have grown accustomed to sexually explicit material in video games, network television, music, movies, etc. Younger generations consider what used to be thought of as indecent behavior and actions quite normal. Apparently, it is quite normal. It is the way things have become. Religion, spirituality, ethics, morals, or whatever you want to call the positive intangible principles that keep order in human societies is waning.

Every generation usually has some kind of comment about the ethical and moral breakdown of the society they live in compared to when they were younger. I am certainly aware of that. There was a time when jazz music was thought of as unscrupulous. Then it went to rock 'n roll. I don't need to mention all of the stuff people were raving about in the 1960s and 70s. A lot has happened since then, though. Leaps and bounds in technology have allowed a lot of information to be easily accessible by just about anyone at just about any time. All of that has an effect on a societies ethical and moral standards, which in my opinion, ain't what they used to be. I'm not quite sure when things started getting so weird, probably a very long time ago. Regardless of when things started getting funky, just by reading the newspaper or even simply objectively observing people in a mall or bar or restaurant, one can see that they are funked-up now like never before. Single parenthood, which used to be a major issue in the 1980s, is apparently accepted as part of life. People, especially the younger ones, are more violently aggressive even to the point of murder than in the past. Materialism has seemed to replace simply being friendly and kind to your fellow human being these days, too. Many people, again, especially the younger people, believe that whoever has the most stuff is the better person and they will go to almost any extent to get stuff. I could go on and on.

The evidence of immorality or whatever term one might use is obvious, but the cause is what is most important. The state of the world at present is in what has been politely described as a transitional period. If the world isn't in World War III now, it likely will be very soon. There is starvation, corruption, debauchery, and the world economy is not getting any better, to name just a few things. Also, as I mentioned previously, people are able to communicate with each other like never before. There is pretty much no place on the surface of the Earth that cannot be seen from a satellite or where “civilized man” has visited. I'm not a religious person, but these times we are living in resemble the times of Noah, whether you believe that story or not. People are selfish, there is corruption in all areas of society, including religious, and it seems like people get more respect for doing bad things than good things. Something is definitely wrong there.

People, for the most part, have forgotten about God, The Big It, Super-Something-Or-Other, Allah, Jehovah, or whatever, which has lead to a general lack of the peace that spirituality brings. Perhaps that is because people don't trust organized religions, and I don't blame them. I don't trust them either. But one must remember to not let one bad apple spoil the bunch. Love, which from my understanding is what God is all about, is the only way a person can truly get their soul soothed and balanced. To love one has to trust in one way or another and that is quite a personal risk, especially these days, but it is certainly worth it. Better to suffer a bit for the sake of trust and love than to spend your life alone in a self-made cell that constantly has to be repaired. I guess the best thing to do is love, love and more love to make the world a better place for everyone in it. There will be people who won't like it, and unfortunately I think a lot of those people are in power in the world, but they will just have to get over it. In the mean time, be nice to people, don't be afraid to smile, and remember that somebody loves you and it's always darkest before the dawn!