After the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut where 18 six and seven year-olds were shot and killed by a single armed individual, President Barack Obama took to the airwaves and we all heard his emotional condolences to other affected. Back in 2008, when Candidate Obama was being honest he said that cultural changes will make people “cling to their guns and religion”, he couldn’t have been righter. In fact some would say that the gun is a religion. The United States of America has more guns than any other ‘civilized” country in the world. We have more people in prison than any other civilized country, prison is supposed to be a deterrent–obviously what we have been doing isn’t working. It can even be argued that the violence we do abroad is merely an extension of the violence in our hearts that sometimes spills out at home…

You will hear the terms “Kids killing Kids”, “Boys will be Boys”, “Guns don’t kill people”, these are paid for slogans that turn shooting tragedies, like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School into nothing more than nursery rhymes. Nursery rhymes right along side other rhymes like “babies having babies”, “Just say no”. Slogans that make you feel better, as if someone has a handle on it enough to craft a catchy slogan for it, while another avoidable shooting becomes nothing more than a parade of faces and a footnote in history. Disregarding the warnings from these events, the media and political framework from these events have become common. They pick sides, cloud the issues only to keep the same ways of thinking in place, year after year, incident after incident, half-measure after half-measure. Why half-measure and promises, because this is the culture of violence that we have created…all of us.

You will also hear words like “troubled”, “problems” and if no on is troubled or has problems. These media slick personalities will cloud the issue by making it a mental health debate. If the individual “snapped” how an examination beforehand reveals that is beyond any psychologist. They will also turn any remedy it into a privacy issues, or a rights issue. One as arbitrary as, at 18 one can smoke and at 21 one can drink alcohol, how is that working out?  They aren’t working, they don’t work. We as a society have not revisited those issues either, but it makes us feel better that we did something, maybe not the right thing, but we did something. “But it’s our right” they’ll scream, but since 9/11 the same screamers have allowed their right to be taken and twisted and their privacy to be intruded upon, without so much as a whimper—why? Because it was for the “Greater Good”. In the case of guns, finger pointing usually follows a shooting like this, but taking money out of the pockets of elected officials can save lives.

This tragedy in Sandy Hook, Connecticut will be tied to false arguments and false conclusions, just as all the tragedies before it were. You hear the questions being asked: What happened to the shooter to make him act in this manner? This can’t be normal, he’s a monster, a monster really–so is America raising monster? This is all done to prevent us from squaring look ourselves in the face. Looking at the society we have created for ourselves and for our children to grow up in. Arbitrarily putting people on a ‘not eligible’ list, stopping the poor for getting guns, preventing minorities from getting guns, ect… none of it will work. We all know it that’s why we pray, we hold vigils, and we debate.

A week after the Sandy Hook shooting the NRA held a national press conference that blamed 1980 and 1990 era video games Splatterhouse, Bulletstorm and Mortal Kombat, and sports for America’s violent culture. The NRA Vice President Wayne LaPierre urged congress to create a national database for the mentally ill, he also blamed the media for being complicity in misinforming people and President Barack Obama for cutting funds. The NRA proposes that every school in America has a police officer. The press conference was so out of touch and so sickening the only thing missing was the Wayne LaPierre brandishing a gun, and metaphorically he was. However, the NRA’s proposal seems like a great solution until the armed protector is the shooter. Make it tougher to get a gun won’t work, because the capitalist will find something else deadly to market and sell to the violence hungry masses. Scenes like the ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School have become as common as law enforcement police shooting unarmed people,and  as normal as the violence from our unmanned drone strikes in other countries. We the so-called educated masses, have lost the clarity and the fortitude to do the right thing.

How many guns does a person need? One for upstairs, one for downstairs, one for the car and one for the white tail deer. I know hunting is a way of life. Yes hunting defenseless animals with high powered weaponry for sport, is a way of life that desensitizes us to the value of life as a whole. We as a society hold the power to take life as our absolute right if someone, anyone offends us, unfortunately the taking of life is in direct conflict with the constitution the evangelist praise so highly, but just as so many religious do with their text, the constitution is left largely unread. Thinking that one right can take another right has to be a mental condition.

Here is what you won’t hear.

There have been 28 mass shootings since Columbine and 19 mass shooting since the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, 30,000 gun deaths yearly, 100,000 people get shot yearly, 18,000 people commit  gun suicides each year, yet there has been no meaningful change in the gun laws or the gun debate. Unfortunately, American citizens will fork over trillions of dollars and  the wherewith all for wars, but they no longer have the guts to do the right thing here at home. Any of these numbers should have indicated that our culture is in crisis, has been in crisis and every decision we make stems from the bad ones before it. This time, this incident in Connecticut, involved so many children and females in particular involved that the assault weapons ban might get a national tweak, might.  What if the next mass shooter’s are girls would that be enough to make us think? Probably not.

“The issue is not just violence in the media but the construction of violent masculinity as a cultural norm. From rock and rap music and videos, Hollywood action films, professional and college sports, the culture produces a stream of images of violent, abusive men and promotes characteristics such as dominance, power, and control as means of establishing or maintaining manhood.”

For one segment of American society the gun itself is a symbol of honor, human mastery over nature, authority, individual self-sufficiency and history. To that segment by opposing gun control affirm the value of those symbolic meanings and the vision of the good society that the gun helped to construct. However, to the other segment of  society guns perpetuate illicit social hierarchies, the elevation of force over reason, the expression of collective indifference to the well-being of strangers, and the only way the the fearful can sleep at night. To this segment supporting gun control means repudiation these things, meanwhile one sides interest’s are realized at the detriment to the other side. The truth is that injecting partisan cultural values into this debate are inappropriate. People have a tendency to adopt views shared by others of their cultural orientation, this is self-reinforcing. We need a new vocabulary, we need new voices on the matter and no compromise, or middle ground solution will remedy this. We must change our thinking completely.

What would the forefathers think? Where is congress on the matter? Who is paying who? It’s too much for the busy citizenry to deal with, right? So lets put it to a vote, and watch every year as the numbers for a ban grow, but that’s when the real violence will happen. The shooter could have used an SUV and ran down just as many young victims crossing the street to school. Why didn’t he? Because guns and ammunition are far cheaper and more effective ways to kill, when you are killing for power. So why not make guns more costly, but then only the wealthy would have them. We could make it into War on Guns, but how have the wars on Terror, Drugs and Gangs turned out? Why not just ban the firearm and keep the 2nd amendment, which is doable, but the capitalist would never allow that.

The numbers and our actions just don’t add up, what would happen if we as a society were to take firearms out of the equation?

MG Hardie

Dear President Barack Obama and Congress:

With all due respect President Barack Obama we demand that you mandate fixing of educational standards and end the educational money-pit,  encourage the formation of a Black Defense League. prompt the Department of Justice to look into the 11% of cases of inmates they have said shouldn’t be incarcerated, investigate and reverse every racially biased law, revamp America’s legal sand prison system and give reparations to slave descendants that only applies to the 1st two years of college.

We also request that you revive the truth in advertising laws, stop the advertising of drugs and alcohol on television and cable, stop the advertising of adult and sexual themes on children’s networks, stop using war and conflicts as a jobs bills, stop giving South America and drug cartels 200 billion per year, stop giving all other countries billions of dollars yearly to be our ally, pull our troops out of 162 countries, close the border and regulate it, reform immigration policies, and change US foreign policy.

We implore Congress incentivize corporations to build in Africa not take its natural resources, decrease the importance of the Stock Market, end Matching Funds, reform election rules (including those of broadcast stations), float the idea of creating multiple viable political parties, stop drilling for oil off the coast, let Detroit automakers go bankrupt, mandate females to register for selective service, pull embassies out of countries that don’t like us, stop building nations and reallocate forces to rebuild bridges, roads and schools in America.

We request that you ensure that All laws are equal, stop absurd differing age regulations due to state, end baseball antitrust exemption, leave Cuba alone, stop funding Mexican drug cartels, tax companies that outsource, change the tax code, require that all companies that do business in America pay a minimum wage to workers in other countries, legalize marijuana, ban guns (which contrary to popular belief is entirely possible and legal), reduce the size of the military, ban lobbying and encourage companies to release the cures for human conditions instead of merely maintaining conditions for profit.

Yes the president isn’t God an the Government can’t do everything for us. Most of these things listed were allowed and pushed by president and government, so this is were we Americans begin negotiations. Of course we could keep slowly rolling along with the same movements, but we are in unprecedented territory and now is the time for us to be unprecedented! We have to let go of of the old, the outdated, anything else is unacceptable.

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Here we are once again on the issue of race. The incident that forced Shirley Sherrod to resign from the USDA and following apologies has America once again talking about race. Racial Politics has the  NAACP condemning the Black Panther Party and at the same time calling for the Tea Party to not let racist into their organization. The Tea Party is calling the NAACP a racist organization. Sherrod, a government official, who made a speech at the NAACP event was forced to resign  after a video clip was posted on http://biggovernment.com/site a site run by Andrew Brightbart. The NAACP immediately issued a statement saying that “Sherrod’s comments were Shameful”. The video clip contained a part of a speech where Sherrod mentions that prejudice made her think of not helping a White farmer. Media outlets jumped on the blogger’s post and soon it was national headlines and Sherrod was labeled a racist.  The full video  shows that Sherrod’s speech was about overcoming prejudice and helping people. The event was filmed by the NAACP, which for some reason acted like the video came from an outside source. Once the full video of Sherrod’s speech came to the public’s attention, the NAACP released a statement saying that the blogger “bamboozled them”.  The Obama Administration fired Shirley Sherrod on Tuesday, and apologized to her on Wednesday.

Sherrod blames the NAACP, Brightbart blames the Media, The NAACP blames Brightbart, The Obama Administration blames The Media and of course The Media blames Fox News.  Shirley Sherrod says that “The Administration wanted her to pull over to the side of the road and resign”. And that is how it always is with these things, nobody is to blame and everybody is responsible at the same time. We The People don’t want our problems solved, we just want to be able to live our lives without having to think too much, if we wanted the problems fixed we would have elected leaders that do more than just manage our problems. Racism is always in fashion and sadly, it is not in corporate or political America’s best interest for races to get along. If they did they would have deconstructed the lies and myths long ago. America is heading in a dangerous direction.

America is simply afraid of Race, that includes organizations like the NAACP. In their rush to become White Acceptable they allowed someone who wasn’t racist to be labeled racist, by their own fault. The NAACP can’t just use a new slogan and put red, white and blue on it’s website and then shy away from your guiding principles. I know that one of the A‘s in the acronym stands for Advancement, so Ben Jealous where is it? Instead of compromising such a storied organization why bring in new people with fresh perspectives, why not not come up with ideas to stay relevant. The ACT-SO program is great, but why not have a NAACP Entertainment Division or NAACP Record Label and the NAACP can promote actors, actresses, rappers, singers, song writers and others in the field of entertainment who generate positive images of African Americans and other people of color? You need better ideas, and kowtowing shouldn’t be one of them. As for the Tea Party,  since there are racist in every organization, if you are not a racist organization don’t promote racists and by all means don’t let them lead you.

Blacks have national forums on race and many of those forums exclude West Coast Speakers. Gays have meetings that exclude Blacks. Whitetopia’s have sprung up in the mid-west where minorities are welcome to visit, but not welcome to stay. Hollywood continues it’s White Wash of Actors as do our magazines. Racially-coded fair continues to populates our televisions and our radio stations. White rapper Eminem constantly talks about misogyny (in his latest song, Love the way you lie, he talks of tying a women to a bed and then setting the house on fire) and violence, is lauded for being artistry, while Nelly and other black rappers are vilified. The way it is now the Chinese don’t like Vietnamese, the Vietnamese don’t like Koreans, the Puerto Ricans don’t like Mexicans, the Mexicans don’t like Guatemalans, the Japanese don’t like Filipinos, Latinos don’t like other Latinos and Black aren’t very popular with anyone. All the while the police shoot unarmed black men in the street.

Books that are changing everything

Here is the deal both political parties want and need division, that’s how they get paid. Politicians don’t become popular from doing the right thing. Not from being right. If that were the case Dennis Kucinich would be in charge. The Radio, Television and Media were once used to inform the public. However, once it was realized that the constant imagery and bombardment can alter perceptions and attitudes these mediums are now being used to shape public policy, and instead of reporting the NEWS they have been making the NEWS. They can do this because most Americans are too caught up with our fears, or at the very least too busy watching what is going on a Football field or the Jersey Shore.

The facts always  matter. Do Native Americans have a legitimate gripe? Do the Japanese? Do the Blacks? Yeap. When the Klux-Klux-Klan killed Sherrod’s father over a cow that wasn’t even his, who could blame Shirley Sherrod if she was prejudice or even racist, and yet there are many who say “just get over it”. For anyone to try and vilify Birghtbard for airing a video is absurd, he is a blogger that is what he does. We point fingers because we want race to be someone else’s issue, and not ours. Race is a media’s issue, a corporate issue, a political issue and a, Obama administration issue. Our officials will point fingers, drink beers in rose gardens, apologize and offer jobs; while the media changes the subject to leaked war diaries or British Petroleum’s restructing all to give us this false sense that we are dealing with the problem.

The President will bend to the pressure of his administration. He will appoint, select and put people in certain positions who are sensitive to race, but ultimately they will be politicians. Racial Politics, Gender Politics, agendas and strategies  will creep in and yet again, and nothing will really be done. Real conversations on race will not take place. American’s, far longer that the term Politically Correct was coined, haven’t been speaking their minds. The only one saying how they really feel in America today is Mel Gibson and ex-American Idol Judge Simon Cowell.

Some of our leaders have people so whipped up on Socialism and Social programs and how bad they are for this country. When the truth is that 40% of the US economy comes from money right out of our social programs, and you wondered why Canada’s tax rate was so high.  Now take that 40% out of the economy and what happens?  Add another 40% of tax to your paycheck. Our elected officials for years have us believing that the invasion of Afghanistan was necessary. Last year the Afghan people earned an average of $1,000 per year for a total of 10 Billion gross national product. At the same time the United States of America spent $30 Billion dollars to win the hearts and mind of the Afghan people.  Why didn’t we just put the Afghan people on our payroll instead?  I don’t know about you, but if somebody tripled my yearly income I think I would be on their side, or at the very least I would have lost the will to shoot at them. And yet not one will bat an eye when congress passes a massive $60 Billion war funding bill. Spending the money to occupy Vs. actually trying to succeed–think about it. And that is the real problem, we aren’t thinking. We are being told what to think, what opinion to have. There will be multiple conversations, discussions and many articles will be written on this Race issue, but when you ask the wrong question to the wrong people you are going to end up with the wrong answer. As a nation we have to be ready to deal with the answers whether we like them or not.

These national organizations, The Media and the Obama administration should be ashamed of themselves for saying that the responsibility is Brightbart’s. Blogger Media, which is usually one sided and polarized. If the Obama Administration continues to allow “The Media” and “polls” to set public policy we are in big trouble. If the NAACP continues to allow the media and media perception to dictate their philosophy their legacy is in trouble  If the media continues to allow bloggers and unvetted information to appear as news the public at large who depend on them are in big trouble. As a nation we need to get beyond race. That is what Post-Racial was supposed to mean, but it actually means that we can be racist and not have to be so tongue and cheek about it. It means that now we can be overtly racist, or use coded racial remarks and if we get called out on it we can just apologize and all is well. Let’s face it they meant to say it, or they wouldn’t have said it. We need to grow together as a nation, after all you can’t legislate racism away. As evidenced bythe fact that articles like these are only written when something happens.

America we have a serious problem, and a lot of growing up to do.  The entire country needs to go on a national P90X program to get rid of prejudice, violence and unwanted notions. Perhaps, racism is America’s second biggest problem, because the first one is Denial.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism_in_the_United_States

The ACT-SO program

http://biggovernment.com/

http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

http://www.naacp.org/press/entry/naacp-statement-on-the-resignation-of-shirley-sherrod1/

http://www.beachbody.com/product/fitness_programs/best_sellers/p90x.do?tnt=P90X_SHAKE_B1&code=P90XDOTCOM

Note: Now the NAACP and Shirley are joining forces to continue the discussion on race.

During the process for writing my new book I had the privileged and opportunity to speak with hundreds of diverse people. I spoke to many immigrants illegal and naturalized.  I had numerous conversations with many Hispanics on the issue of immigration, but more importantly on the issue of  illegal immigration. What these many individuals imparted to me, for my book, was enlightening to say the least. I won’t say that the Arizona Bill is right or wrong, but here is what I will say. The Media has been all over this topic reporting this, investigating that, showing numbers and stats. And we, the masses,  are tuning in and posting. Even our “leaders” and elected officials, who haven’t done anything of note in their city and who we haven’t seen or heard from in months, have also chimed in with their own share of face time about SB 1070. Even Los Angeles’ misguided Mayor Antonio Villarigosa convinced the city of Los Angeles to have all businesses boycott Arizona, but somehow the boycott didn’t extend to businesses, colleges or professional sports teams.

There is so much misinformation on both sides of this issue. Are illegal immigrants employed in the low tedious work that a lot of Americans don’t want to do? Yeap. Is there a difference between illegal immigrant and an immigrant? Yeap. Why does the media and spokespeople seem to put them all in the same barrel? Coalition politics. The fact of the matter is that America, like it or not, is a nation of immigrants. And what that means is that the person next to you, the person you call friend, the person you know and love maybe an immigrant. However, the immigrants who have legally come to the U.S. do have a problem with the illegal immigrants from the Western border…and rightly so.

Many immigrants that have come to the U.S. by boat or by plane and they had to wait in line, or they had a work/school visa. Many of them have taken naturalization classes and fulfilled all of the necessary steps to becoming a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. The fact is that most immigrants are white collar workers and and thus pay a large amount of taxes.

The majority of American’s either supported the Arizona bill or something legislation close to it. There have been many assertions concerning potential police abuse, but doesn’t every law have the same potential? If you don’t trust law enforcement officials, then why trust them on anything. Why pass a bill at all? Why not just make the federal government enforce what is already the law? They are elected by us, so that means that they work for us. We don’t want them on television, we don’t want the sound bites and we damn sure don’t want the politics. What Americans want, not let me rephrase that, what Americans demand is action. Politicians will use the public emotions to get elected and then do nothing about the issue.  Arizona appears to simply be one of the many battle grounds for a much larger American issue.

What if the Arizona Legislature were to pass a law saying that Arizona would be an “English Only State”? And by English only no non-English store signs, no DMV with 11 languages printed forms, no banks using your money to print things in who knows how many languages, would that be divisive or unifying? President Bush sent 6,000 troops to the border and the problem became worse, so why is President Obama is sending 1200 troops to the border? Politics, and  to generate good headlines that galvanize the base and Hispanic voter incase of a low voter turn out election.  The United States deports over 1000 people per day, so even if immigration reform were done, it would only be part of the solution. The DREAM act, would provide amnesty for many illegal immigrants living in this country, has been tabled by congress. As other states follow Arizona’s lead the federal government waste tax payer monies by filing a lawsuit against Arizona. The bill wont solve Arizona’s problem, if anything SB 1070 is a cry for help.

Now here is the Truth. The border and immigration issue will nver be properly addressed because many non-latino illegal immigrants, who are in America have families with deep pockets. This is especially true on the East Coast, which enjoys a healthly amount of illegal immigrants from Europe. Also many illegal immigrants come from Asian countries and now live hear with their well-to-do children. The media chooses to focus on the Hispanic community because they have the least amount of in-country power. There are many illegal immigrants in America and only 70% of them are hispanic. The most important reason the border issues with not be resolved is because the FAA does not track airplane flights below a certain height. This means that if your airplane is below that height you are not tracked, don’t need to have a flight log and do not have to register your flight with the FAA. This is how the majority of human trafficking and drugs gets into the country. This is one of America’s dirty little secrets… The Border Issue extends to the sky. As long as the powers that be can keep the citizens and congress focused on what is happening on the ground, the skies are and have been wide open. The FAA has admitted that they have not been about to track 120,000 planes in the United States, but somehow news agencies always reports the one commerical flight that has a problem. I don’t think that the people we see being  arrested on T.V. and running through fields own a single plane, do you?  While Home Land Security puts out warning and squeezes the average traveller putting them through invasive pat downs, making them wait in long lines, scanning them with radiation and repeated questions and searches, they have been letting those who own planes come and go as they please. I was shocked when I discovered this fact during the course of research for my book It Ain’t Just the Size. Furthermore, all of the immigrants legal and not that I honestly spoked to advocated Closing the Western Border, for a limited time period, “it’s chaos, if they don’t vote to close it then you know who they really work for”.