America: Gun Control & The Loss of Innocence – Newtown, CT

The horrific massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT has shocked an American populace already accustomed to mass shootings, thus illustrating how violence has perforated American society and condemned the younger generations to a premature loss of innocence, marking the true tragedy of the Adam Lanza rampage.

The Loss Felt in CT has Reverberated throughout the Country, but Will Anything Chance?

The Loss Felt in CT has Reverberated throughout the Country, but Will Anything Change?

On the 14th of December, Adam Lanza committed the third deadliest gun-related massacre in US history.  At Sandy Hook Elementary, Adam Lanza used various semiautomatic handguns and rifles from his mother, another victim of his indiscriminate violence, and continued to kill an additional 20 children and 5 adults.  The resulting 28 person massacre included the lives of 6- and 7-year-olds, demonstrating the sickening act that was perpetrated.  The loss of youth, of pure innocence, marks the most horrendous factor of the shooting and yet the media has attempted to undercut the senseless violence by statistically analyzing the shooting in retrospect to others.  This statistical analysis of ‘body count’ and casualties marks the transition of American society away from humanity and empathy, towards the fictional worlds being crafted in video games studios and Hollywood –  fake realities devoid of human emotion.  So saying, the American nation has become victim to its own proliferation of violence on multi-media outlets: video games, TV shows, movies, etc.  With memories of Virginia Tech, Columbine, Batman Theater shooting and the Oregon mall shooting, the nation is being desensitized to violence.  The sensationalist media has ranked American shootings, popularizing the mentalities and motives of the shooters to as to begin a cycle of notoriety for these deluded killers and allowing for their names to become remembered, while their victims lie forgotten in graves.  It has taken the senseless slaughter of  the purist form of innocence, children, to awaken the American people to the savage reality that they themselves have constructed.  This momentary glimpse into concrete truth has emphasized that America’s grand empire of civility, laws and regulations are not the impeccable bastions of peace and progress that have been promoted by corporate-bought leaders.  By this measure, the American people must realize that their obligation to protect and ensure a secure future for today’s young generations is not being met.  The American nation is not doing enough to keep its youth protected; rather, it has allowed for the corruption and decay of innocence through the cyclical production of horrific games that desensitize kids to the sense of loss and the brevity of life.  The American Dream has been torn asunder, as its promises will never become reality for the child victims of the Newtown Elementary School shooting.

“Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?  I’ve been reflecting on this in the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no.  We’re not doing enough.” – Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States

The American society has stood as a beacon of urbanization and advancement, marking a clear divide between modernized civilization and the barbarism of media-targeted cultures in the East; yet, this view of American exceptionalism falters at the repetitious scenes of indiscriminate violence enacted by America’s own lost and estranged citizens.  The profit-oriented media has long manipulated societal thought, perpetuating fear so as to suggest that the masses must adhere to the messages of civic duty and consumer responsibility.  As such, the tragedy in CT has rekindled the flames of political debate over the severity and rigidity of gun control  but there exists a paralyzing inability of the political structure to properly address the concerns of a growing uncivil public.  The political atmosphere is defined by a growing polarization of views, a rigidity of ideals financed by special interests groups invested in the continuing sale of guns indiscriminately.  The senseless adherence to a malignant status quo is solidified by the indoctrination of American to the media, a medium controlled by conservative capitalists   The American people, mimicking the propaganda, are not thinking pragmatically; rather, they are merely regurgitating the manipulation of ideas on television.  With the reverberating shocks of this tragedy consuming society, proliferating fears that many seem logical and others not, the media has seized its target audience by reminiscing of years of past violence, political discourse over gun control, and the fear of mental instability.  As the deliberation over fun control circulated in the media and political arena, gun control advocates have pleaded to the President to assert executive powers and reinstate an assault weapons ban as part of a comprehensive plan to address gun violence.  Efforts to restrict the sale and distribution of guns is targeting the so-called ‘gun show loophole’ which has allowed people to buy weapons without background checks.  There are also talks of restricting high-capacity ammunition clips, as Adam Lanza carried hundreds of rounds of ammunition in extra clips and shot his victims repeatedly, one of them 11 times.  Nevertheless, fun control advocates need to realize that banning firearms is never going to happen.  Representative Steve LaTourette, a Ohio Republican, has openly stated that many Republicans will never address gun control.  Coupled together with formidable force of lobbying groups advocating the Second Amendment to its fullest extent, the political arena will not be able to institute a ban on firearms.  America’s powerful gun industry lobbying group, the National Rifle Association, has 4 million members and spend $57 million in a given year in efforts to mobilize members for political purposes.  The Sunlight Foundation reports that the NRA spends 66 times what leading pro-gun control advocacy organization, the Brady Campaign to Prevent Fun Violence, spend on lobbying, and 4,143 times what the Brady Campaign spends on elections.

“Alright! I’ve stood by and I’ve cried while friends have died.  You ever have a friends kill themselves, shot down or knifed?  Just when I think I’ve seen it, for the final time, it comes knocking back around to devastate my life.” – Anti-Flag, “20 Years of Hell”

The proliferation of gun ownership in society is leaving everyone vulnerable and American civilian gun ownership is the highest worldwide, with the Small Arms Survey 2007 estimating 88 weapons per 100 people.  In Chicago alone, gun-related deaths exceed one a day.  More Chicago dissidents are shot and killed than US forces in Afghanistan.  The Sandy Hook Elementary shooting was ‘ranked’ third deadliest in US history.  The second worst occurred in Blacksburg, VA on the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University’s campus.  On April 16, 2007, 33 students and teachers were short and killed, many more were injured.  In January 1923, shootings and other violence killed 150 African Americans in Rosewood, FL.  Numerous other gun-related massacres pockmark US history.  The right to own, conceal and use assault and other deadly weapons is an ugly American tradition.  Nevertheless, the right to own guns it enshrined in the US Constitution’s 2nd Amendment and inextricably linked in the national consciousness to the manner of the country’s founding.  It is the fetishistic attachment to gun rights – cutting across party lines with polls showing that the majority of Americans favor private ownership – and the highly romanticized view on the individual against the world it engenders that are consolidating the pro-gun stance.  As such, the reality of the mass murders has left a resonating echo – the assault on politicians Gabrielle Giffords, shot in the head while 6 bystanders were killed, the Aurora shooting where a gunman killed 12 at a cinema, the Wisconsin gurdwara attack murdering six and now the Newtown Elementary school.  In a CNN conducted survey  Jackson Memorial Hospital was chosen for a study on treated gun-related injuries.  In one year, the hospital treated over 600 patients for gun-related injuries, which is more than the entirety of Britain for 10 years.  Additionally, children between the ages 5 to 14 are 13 times more likely to be murdered by guns in America than in any other industrialized country.  As such, the necessity of gun regulations is evident and the American people need to adhere to their own moral code, rather than the proliferation of profit-oriented noise on multi-media assets.  If people all over the world are better able to protect and ensure the safety of their children, than the land of freedom and democracy should also be able to do the same.  The current inability to do so is evidence of the decay of moral fiber in the American nation, as well as the greed inherent to politics that has allowed special interest groups to pilfer the nation.  American communities are unsafe and once again, the youth and innocence of the future generation is being jeopardized and dissolved by the perpetuation of desensitizing materials in society and the realistic threat of death that endangers the children.

“It’s not night, it’s not day.  It’s no more, for an unfortunate soul who witnessed his life violently erased, from the horror of the human race.” – Anti-Flag, “Hymn for the Dead”

In retrospect, the American nation has placed profit over safety, facilitating endemic violence instead of acting responsibly to curb it, thus aiding in the self-destructing cycle of lost innocence.  The government, through its inaction and invested lobbyists groups, essentially endorses easy access to dangerous assault and other deadly weapons, once again aiding in the murdering of America’s children.  Against this backdrop, it is no wonder that massacres like Norwalk CT, Virginia Tech, Columbine High School, Atlanta GA stock trader killings, 6 deaths at Ft Worth, 10 Washington DC sniper shootings, a Carnation WA Christmas eve massacre, Northern IL University killings, 13 deaths at Ft Hood, the Tuscon AR incident killing 6 and leaving Gabrielle Giffords seriously wounded, as well as dozens more incidents too many to mention.  On average, 8 times more fatalities result from gun violence than in other developed countries.  For children under 15, it’s 12 times higher.  With the weight of society pulling against the youth, domestic violence is becoming evident in younger and younger citizens.  In 2004, eigth-grader Jaime Rodrigo Gough was stabbed to death in a bathroom by his fellow student, Michael Hernandez.  In Miami Lakes Educational Center on the 18th of December, a 16-year-old student was arrested after stating his intention to target his own school through gun violence and expressed an interest in usurping attention away from the Newtown shooting with his own horrific acts.  Gun violence is resulting in the dissolution of the peace and civility that the American nation has so proudly propagated.  The tragedy of recent events is not solely the events of one school, it’s an unceasing toll across the country that is resulting in a denigration of generations.

Egypt: Mursi’s Power Grab

After years of struggle under the repressive regime of Mubarak, the Egyptian people have seemingly come under another totalitarian leadership after the spontaneous power grab of the democratically elected leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammed Mursi.

Muhammed Mursi Grasps for Autocratic Powers, Sparking Violent Animosity

Leading the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, the Freedom and Justice party, Muhammed Mursi became the presidential candidate after Khairat el-Shater was disqualified.  Euphoric jubilation followed his election in June, despite the array of problem that he would face as president.  The celebration of his presidency and the democratic era of Egypt continued after the successful negotiations led by Mursi to instill a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel.  Nevertheless, the jubilation was short-lived as the streets in Cairo have filled with thousands of protesters demanding Mursi revoke recent policies granting Mursi near autocratic powers.  Reminiscent of the democratic groundswell that swept the country’s former leader from power nearly two years ago, Egyptians swarmed into Tahrir Square to demand that Mursi respect their wishes.   Protesters have risen throughout the country against Mursi and his declaration last week that his presidential edicts are beyond the reach of judges, suggesting his rise to unquestionable power and authority.  Mursi has promised the country and the top judges within that he will restrict his newly self-granted powers to sovereign matters.  The edict from last week granted Mursi immunity for his presidential decisions in sovereign matters but not judicial power.  So saying, Mursi’s edicts effectively neutralize the judiciary, which was the only branch of government in a position to balance Mursi, who holds not only executive but also legislative authority.  Nevertheless, as protesters storm Muslim Brotherhood quarters in various cities, the public belief in Mursi’s power restraint is evident.  The presidential decree triggered several days of street battles between Mursi opponents, supporters and police in major Egyptian cities, resulting in 370 injuries so far.

“Suddenly Mursi is issuing laws and becoming an absolute ruler, holding all powers in his hands.  Our revolt against the decrees became a protest against the Brotherhood as well.” – Mona Sadek, Tahrir Square protester

The election Mursi sparked a new era in Egyptian history in which hopes arose for a democratic transition through which a new Egyptian infrastructure would arise on a prospering economy and a democratic society.  So saying, the path towards the democratic era contained a plethora of hurdles for Mursi.  Among these hurdles was and continues to be the numerous opposition groups opposing the monopoly on power that the Muslim Brotherhood holds.  Another hurdle remains the strong military presence, embodied by the military council that existed as a transitional government after Mubarak.  So saying, Egypt’s elections did not promise an easy road forward and many through Mursi would merely become a puppet leader for the military council.  Nevertheless, the actions being taken by Mursi now have indicated the perseverance of the new guard towards the construction of a new era for Egypt.  The election of a Muslim Brotherhood monopoly sparked animosity in Egypt among opposition groups, proliferating fears of a religious theocracy emerging in the hard-fought political freedom they had just won.  Therefore, with the majority Muslim parliament in the midst of writing a new constitution, the minority groups of Egypt remain fearful of their country emerging as a religious dictatorship like Iran.  These fears are represented in the judicial system, as the top judges are skeptical of Mursi’s vision of Egypt’s future and were intending to oppose many of the new government’s actions.  For these reasons, domestic forces were turned against the Mursi government for its religious views and thus Mursi has taken an apparently dictatorial pathway at ensuring the democratic transition for Egypt. Mursi argues that he needs to sweep the judiciary of Mubarak’s old guard to ensure a new constitution and parliament.  According to Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood, the edicts are necessary to defend the fragile Arab Spring revolution that led to the country’s free elections.

“We are the people who will keep you honest, right after you grabbed all of this power for yourself that has made you even more powerful than Mubarak, who we got rid of last year.  So the people were here to say, ‘We might have elected you as president, but we did not elect a new dictator”. – Mona Eltahawy, Egyptian journalist

Mursi’s actions, construed as a step towards dictatorial power, has brought Egypt back to the brink of revolution as the country has come to a halt as protests and strikes paralyze the foundations of the nation.  In addition to outbursts on the street, Egypt’s judges have reacted.  All but 7 of Egypt’s 34 courts and 90% of its prosecutors went on strike in protest.  The unrest raises new concerns about stability in Egypt, thus halting Egypt’s path forward and doing the opposite of what Mursi had hoped his actions would bring about.  The fears of the people have spread to the Egyptian stock market, with volatile trade over the past few days, and the turmoil could derail government efforts to implement already unpopular economic policies such as the removal of petrol products.  The turmoil is also causing the international community to yield in its advancement towards Egypt.  The International Monetary Fund (IMF) board is to meet in a few weeks to consider a nearly $5 billion financing agreement for Egypt and its members will need to ensure that the economic outlook for the country has not changed and that the government is capable of successfully implementing its economic reform program.  So saying, the domestic forces are shown to consider Mursi’s actions as those of dictatorial consolidation, but the intentions of Mursi are not those of a dictatorial nature.  Mursi’s democratic ideals are seen in his mediation of the Israel and Hamas crisis.  As the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political wing, fears had arisen that Egypt would rescind on its 1979 peace treaty.  The possible dissolution of the accord is an appeal shared by many Islamist figures who see the Israelites as a foreign imposition and an evil needing to be eradicated.  Nevertheless, Mursi demonstrated his resolve for peace and stability by negotiating the cease-fire and aiding the Israeli nation.  Thus, to suggest Mursi is intending to usurp power in an Islamist power grab opposes his mediation of the crisis, the installment of the democratic institutions in Egypt, as well as the drafting of a new constitution intended to secure a system of democratic checks and balances on aspects of authority and power in Egypt.

“I think it is a bit of an exaggeration, not because I know his intentions – but I think he cannot really become a new pharaoh and what we’ve witnessed over the past few days really testifies to that.” – Khalil, Egyptian activist

In retrospect, the edict marks the usurpation of dictatorial powers by Mursi, but the intentions behind Mursi do not seem to suggest that Mursi is intending to institute another religious dictatorship in the Middle East.  Moreover, the response of the country to the actions taken by Mursi clearly illustrate the inability for Mursi to capture such a position of power.  The democratic ideals and institution already installed have empowered the people and their vigor will not allow for the Muslim Brotherhood to hijack the revolution from them.  The Arab Spring revolution in Egypt remains one aimed at democratic transition and Mursi has attempted to consolidate the installment of the necessary steps through his unorthodox actions, attempting to halt questions and repeals in order to solidify the passing of already unpopular acts that are necessary for Egypt to emerge as a strong democracy.

America: Institutionalization – Dehumanizing Alienation

The land of the free and the proclaimed protector of the people has, in truth, become a neo-totalitarian system through which societal calm is accomplished through the targeting of a sect of the public that has been characterized as ‘others’, to be alienated and repressed in dehumanizing institutions designed to rely on medicinal oppression and false authority to force their complicit behavior in a civilization of mindless conformity and social manipulation; thus, degrading the very concept of humanity and individuality.

The System Supports Dehumanizing Practices of Institutions on Adolescents and Children

Being told what to think, what to do and how to act, the freedom to be oneself has been denied to the people of the system.  The concept of normalcy has superseded those of individuality, leaving those outspoken and free to be targeted and demonized for being ‘different’ and supposedly abnormal.  With such public segregation and discrimination, the accepting nation of America has come to be a land of the enslaved and the tortured, creating a malignant trend of eugenics and barbaric treatments towards those unwilling to comply with propagated norms of societal acceptance.  The beautiful minds of the children, the enthusiastic embrace of life and imagination, have been construed as abnormalities and disabilities that limit their practicality for societal utilization.  Apparent to system is that their outward thinking and ability to challenge the norm is also a challenge to the system that has so safely protected their capitalist corporate hierarchy, a system based on greed and profits.  Once again, power and greed have superseded those of humanity and unity.  Bastardizing the kids to dark rooms and straight jackets in far-off centers for mental health, the system has successfully created a new form of concentration camps through which the ‘disabled’ and ‘mentally defective’ can be set apart from ‘normal society’.  Acceptance is only offered to those that meet the criteria for ‘normalcy’, a highly subjective concept that is controlled by those afraid of anything different.  The land of the free is the land of the corrupt.  The land of unity is the land of segregation.  The land of the brave is the land of the scared.  The bureaucratic system seeks to spread its control over the masses, delude them into willingly becoming another file and number in the system of capitalist profits that is protected by societal compliance.  In a sea of thousands there are no individuals, there are only the drowning voices of the freedoms that have been sacrificed for such homogeneity.  The fire of ingenuity and youthful initiative is being targeted and lambasted by pharmaceutical corporations, seeking to administer more coercive toxins and treatments to inspire fear and trepidation into the children.  Children with ADHD, ADD, OCD, Autism and various others ‘disabilities’ are being treated like criminals of the worst kind, being administered into isolated rooms and correctional facilities for being able to think in ways not taught in conformist classrooms.  Their ability to resist the subjugation of societal pressures, of conformity, has made them the children of the future.  Yet the system has chosen to proliferate a hate-mongering stigma against such beautiful minds.  The system has instituted a form of segregation geared towards the protection of its status quo, protect what it understands and quell what it does not.  Where would the world be without John Nash (Schizophrenia), Charles Darwin (OCD), Howard Hughes (OCD), Albert Einstein (Dyslexia), Alexander Graham Bell (Dyslexia), and Isaac Newton (Epilepsy)?

“Have you ever been alone?  Transparency.  In the middle of millions, but still somehow unseen.  We are the lost, the dead and gone, the seldom seen.  We are the helpless and the hopeless.  That no one wants to see.” – Anti-Flag, “We are the Lost”

Being subjugated into a propagated theology of societal acceptance and silent obedience, the modern civilization has devolved into a totalitarian machine of repression, seeking to establish a society of docile tools adhering to a predetermined path of endless subservience – unquestioning and ever-loyal.  Through unjust laws and immoral policies, those labeled as ‘disabled’, ‘mentally handicapped’ and ‘retarded’ are surrounded by an atmosphere of social disgust and revulsion; being removed from their communities and families, forced to adhere to a new set of standards and regulations designed to cripple the individuality and creativity that they were born with.  The vibrant energies of ingenuity and imagination are poisoned by pharmaceutical oppression, being force-fed drugs and toxins that seek to addle them into a mindless state of contentment.  Labeled as a threat to their safety and that of others, the ‘others’ are dehumanized by objective practices and policies that target all aspects of humanity, violating all notions of human rights and civility.  Societal acceptance is not a characteristic of the modern civilization; rather, it has devolved into a system of conformity or repression, where those brave and loving enough to grasp hold of a new meaning of life and freedom are seen as enemies of a status quo that has been proliferated as freedom instead of the enslavement that it truly is.  Their unbridled love and excitement for life is seen as a threat and a disability, a behavior too radical and unstable to be socially accepted.  Standardizing normal behavior and social productivity into an enforced set of laws and policies, the system has guaranteed an education system and  a society of indoctrinated minds to be utilized as tools for the stabilization of profits and the perpetuation of the corrupt system.  This system of total control, of disabling treatments to ensure compliance forevermore, has indoctrinated families and friends into alienating the truly free.  Labeling them as different, as threats, the system has bastardized the saviors of society and forced them into a life of alienation and self-hatred.  Rather than stand against such injustices, the people have risen to support advancements in immoral psychiatry and pharmaceuticals, all of which are designed to cripple the freedom of expression and the freedom to be oneself.  Through institutions and acts, such as the Baker Act, the truly free are being subjugated to a new form of torture that is leaving them afraid and alone in a callous and unforgiving world.  This form of segregation has alienated the people and left them alone and scared in institutions designed to indoctrinate them into a proliferated norm of compliance, thus illustrating that freedom is no longer the norm and instead, freedom is characterized by the ability to meekly follow the dictations of those in control of the conveyor belt society.

“Alright, check this out.  There’s repression and intolerance on any deviation from the norm, in all factions of your life.” – Anti-Flag, “Power to the Peaceful”

The system of indoctrination perpetuates an atmosphere of thought control in which the people are continuously told what to think, what to do and how to behave; thus creating a sphere of susceptibility for generations that, if not met, will be forced upon those seen as ‘different’.  This enforced repression has been justified through the pharmaceutical corporations and health care organizations, arguing that the people must administer one drug after another into their system so that any capability of free thought and actions are done away with.  America is responsible for prescribing antipsychotics to children and adolescents at a rate six times greater than the UK, and with 30 million Americans having taken antidepressants for a ‘chemical imbalance’ that psychiatrists admit is a pharmaceutical campaign, not scientific fact, it is evident that the system is regulated towards the enslavement of the population into a conformed state of mind.  At the Michener Center in Canada, institutionalization, segregation and eugenics were intimately linked.  The housing of supposed ‘mental defectives’ in a virtual fortress set a distance away from any semblance of civilization, and an almost obsessive arrangement for sexual segregation within the Michener Center institution functioned as a covert form of eugenics; ‘defective’ individuals segregated in these ways posed little risk of ‘polluting’ the social body with their genetic material.  The methodology, clearly reminiscent of Hitler’s practices towards the Jewish population, also went so far as to perform involuntary sterilizations, up to 30 to 40 individuals a year.  This was not merely an isolated occurrence in Canada; rather, this is a widely held practice around the world.  The inhumanity of the policies being practiced and instituted for these individuals has crippled society, successfully manipulating common thought against people with these supposed ‘disabilities’.  The malignancy of these practices spreads and continues to worsen, leaving those affected in despair and pain.  Their dreams and aspirations are limited by social acceptance and rather than reforming the system to truly accept the notion that these individuals are equals, the system states that they will never be useful to society.  The system is afraid of different, it is afraid of something it cannot control, and these free-minded and boundlessly creative individuals are targeted for their ability to think beyond the grasp of common thought.  Their disabilities do not hinder their ability to integrate into society; rather, their abilities allow them to look at the world in a new light and reorient society into a civilization that will actually survive into the coming years.

“As I look from this stage at the hundreds of kids in this room with me, the truth is so plain and so obvious, I just can’t help to see that all of us, we are one and the same.  Only different in our ages and our names.” – Anti-Flag, “No Difference”

Nevertheless, the societal embrace offered to these ‘others’ is  summarized by dehumanizing alienation embodied by the isolated institutions they are involuntarily forced into and left to be prodded and experimented upon.  The Florida Mental Health Act of 1971 (Baker Act) allows for involuntary examination.  For the act to be instituted, there must be evidence of mental illness and the possibility of bodily harm to self, harm to others, or self neglect.  The ambiguity of the regulations has allowed for anyone to inform authorities about any semblance of disorderly behavior and thus have the person detained for 72 hours.  The patients are treated as criminals and isolated from civilization and forced to take drugs, never told what they are for.  Children are taken at random hours in the night, in handcuffs because of the evident ability for an underage child to do bodily harm to the thugs behind them.  Sometimes naked and always vulnerable, the children of the future are stripped of their humanity and treated like a malignancy that must be forcefully removed.  There are repeated reports from those ‘Baker Acted’ that they were taken by force from their friends and family, never told where or why they were being taken, and stripped of all their possessions and put into a small and cramp room for various durations of time.  The incarceration of the mind and the body, a treatment and procedure protected and advocated by the law, is evidence of the inhumanity being directed at those deemed different from the nonsensical norms.  Prescribed doses far exceeding those advised, the system is able to repress the thoughts and dreams of the children and once again protect the status quo of unquestioning state tools.  The American nation, one pledged on unity and family values, is home to stringent and unjust policies and treatments of peoples’ that the system deems as socially disabled or merely socially awkward.  The system is responsible for the true death of the nation, alienating and dehumanizing the children of the future.  To parallel the system’s inner workings to the famous depictions seen in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is not unjust, as the system has truly created a theology in which the flawed and outdated methodologies being practiced on innocent and creative minds have truly repressed and stripped the humanity of the people.  Being plagued by a plethora of drugs, encompassed by isolation and cold despair, doctors and physicians prodding and cutting, the minds of the future are driven to depression and self-hatred, conforming to the ridiculous belief that they are truly mistakes and that they do have problems.  The ability for the peaceful and blissful to be corrupted into such self-debilitating hatred is a clear illustration of the revolting monster that has taken hold of the medicinal field.  Taken from their friends and family to be isolated and stripped of all rights, considerations and liberties, the patients are supposed to be reintegrated into society as complicit slaves, just like the rest of society.  What has actually occurred is the sadist punishment of the system upon these people, releasing them into the world once they have truly given up on individuality and hope, allowing themselves to fall into line and accepting of a bitter lifestyle defined by inevitable regret.

“Life is a horror show and baby it will never stop.  They tell me to watch my step.  I answer back, ‘You watch your mouth’. So many stories you have told, you and stories have grown old.  SOS…who will save our ship?  SOS…who gives a shit?  Sinking like a rock with a heart of coal.  Sinking like a rock without a soul.” – Anti-Flag, “Good and Read”

In retrospect, the medical process geared towards the forced correction of those labelled as ‘disabled’ has become an dehumanizing alienation of mind and body in oppressive institutions.  With widely accepted stigmas guiding the laws and policies of the nation, the children of the future are targeted by correctional facilities that leave them scared and alone in a world that has somehow managed to indoctrinate all into believing that the children are an infectious disease of imperfection and abnormality.  Without care or love, the children are left by their family and friends in segregated institutions for reeducation – a process defined by dehumanizing treatments and constant drugging.

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Author’s Note: The system has propagated a stigma against those seen as different, isolating and degrading them into a malignancy that all must avoid and attempt to correct.  The system is bullshit and nonsensical, propagating a norm of normalcy.  Who are we to suggest what is normal?  What right do we have to administer countless drugs and dehumanizing treatments to children and adolescents for being able to think beyond the grasp of our dictated theologies?  What are we without our friends?  What are we without our family?  What are we without our fellow people?  In a world of modernity, shouldn’t we love all that is inside and at lease be able to accept people for who they are and how they behave?   We have scapegoated these children with ‘disabilities’.  We have scapegoated homosexuals.  We have scapegoated gender, ethnicity, race, everything that we view as different.  I’m tired of the hate.  I’m tired of the bullshit, unforgiving stigmas.  How do we have the authority to Baker Act an innocent person, to knock down their doors and storm their homes?  Taking them naked and handcuffed in front of friends and strangers, the system humiliates and dehumanizes these innocent lives and minds.  What is the justification for this shit?  There is none.  In short, fuck you and your system.

America: Disparity by Design

Through deceit and false promises, the American people are deluded into a sense of belief in the availability of a higher ideal in life that is only attainable through hard work and ambition; yet in a hierarchy designed to maintain a status quo of elitism and surplus worker force, the promises are as empty as the thousands of foreclosed homes previously owned by those left behind by the American corporate machine.

The American Nation is Designed to Belittle the Masses into Mindless Subservience through a System of Wealth and Power Disparity

The American system has been mobilized into a cult of personality centered upon the distribution of capitalist propaganda promising the masses equal work opportunities that, if these promises were to be true, would result in an endgame of wealth and comfort.  Nevertheless, the system has been set up to slow or stop the rise of the people to any position of status, therefore polarizing power and stopping the distribution of wealth.  The system has been rigged so that those who are rich will continue to profit, whilst the masses perpetually strive towards the infinitely unattainable carrot that is dangled in front of them.  The system is designed to cause disparity for the working masses that strive day in and day out believing that a better future is a viable possibility through their sweat and tears.  The fairy tale is proliferated throughout the masses, systemically indoctrinating millions into subordinate tools for the corporate-capitalist hierarchy that profits from the exacerbation of disparity in a country based supposedly on equality and freedom.  The American system is defined by a select few that dictate the course of the nation, the taxes, the social programs, the international policies and the just rewards for the millions enslaved under theological nonsense – rewards generally expressed by crippling taxes and cuts in social welfare programs.  Living check-to-check, the people are a minimum wage away from repeating the mistakes of the past – adhering to a growing totalitarian regime based on a capitalist theology in which money and greed weigh heavier than can be supported by the huddled masses.  As the criminals of the state continue to aspire to insurmountable wealth through corrupt deals and offshore bank accounts, the social atmosphere continues to spin pro-mainland propaganda alluding to the greatness that awaits the masses at the end of the tunnel.  Alienated by politicians initially elected to represent them, the people have been left with no outlet from their misery and strife.  Lost in the maelstrom of political in-fighting and polarization, the American ship has continued on leaderless and directionless, being spun by the competing business interests seeking cheap labor and large profits.  With no recourse for action, the growing disparity has left the American people hindered and lost in a nation initially proclaimed as an indivisible family.   With religion being monopolized by the right, the conservatives have flocked under a Mormon leader proclaiming to take America back to its former glory, one he seems to define by appealing to solely the 1%.  On the other polarized corner, the liberals are failing to even flock in any semblance of organization and have rallied around a few masterful propaganda-esque speeches by their first lady and current President.  Despite the general colloquialism, ‘divided we stand, united we fall’, the American people are illustrating their finest stubbornness by remaining subservient to a system of corruption, disparity, division and greed.  No matter the candidate or the party, the American people are blind to the reality that inherent to the system is disparity and maintaining the status quo of mass subservience to corporate profit margins.

“We can’t repeat the mistakes of the past.  March Off!  To Die!  But We can take back control of the world, take back our lives.  Why should it be the poor to die in combat zones?  While Congress and their children sit safe in lavish homes?” – Anti-Flag, “Anthem for the New Millennium Generation”

It is through a system of division inherent to the two-party political arena of America that has allowed for a polarized hierarchy to emerge, in which the elite 1% monopolize the powerful industries of a democracy [healthcare, oil (government policies abroad in general), interest rates, banks, military, etc] and coerce the masses into subservience based on propagated fears and worries.  The corporate elitists have free reign over the political arena, thus having no checks on their power as they expand and consolidate into other assets of the nation.  The people are encompassed by a divisive stance by Republicans and Democrats on every issue, each party stressing that the other is wrong and they have the interests of protection and wealth fare of the people in mind.  With both parties pledging their undying loyalty to the people in the media, they profit in backroom deals at the expense of the people.  The masses are left with no actual representation or care, they have been degraded into a herd of tools for the state to use at will – be it cannon fodder for their wars, an electorate for a corporate-chosen candidate, or guinea pigs for new chemicals (Project Orange, Depleted Uranium, etc).  With no window of opportunity truly open to the people, besides fabricated tales of an American Dream, the American people must believe in the tales of America’s greatness and the aspirations of a nation as one.  The people are forced to believe in lies because without those lies, they would have nothing to even substantiate their lives on and thus actually bare witness to the reality of America – a country for the corporations and by the corporations.  It is through a designed disparity that the people are kept subservient and fearful of change and actual promises of a better tomorrow, believing that the status quo of their suffering is the only viable option for the nation.  Forced to work and slave everyday for a standard of living based on check-to-check, the people cannot lift their chins and stand resolute in defiance to corruption and greed; rather, they are conformists to an ideal proliferated on evening news that suggests that the economy is reviving and that it could be worse.  So saying, the American people have now conformed to the concept of ‘it could be worse’ and this is clearly not the ideal the American Dream is intended to express.  Allowing themselves to grow complicit to barely living and adhere to corporate dictated decisions and rules, the American people have lost the definition of individuality and the meaning of truly being free.

“I heard a man on the radio saying, ‘we’re facing an economic hell’.  It creates a vision in my head of ten thousand kids sent off to kill.  There’s always a voice that says, ‘you’ve got a choice’, but a choice between shit it still shit!” – Anti-Flag, NBC (No Blood-Thirsty Corporations)

The design of the American system is intended to keep the huddles masses desperate and loyal, creating a plethora of state tools to die in foreign lands for oil and ideals deemed necessary by corporations and their narrow business interests.  By using the private sector for their wars, the corporations have taken away the constraints of the nation-state and have turned their potential pool of soldiers and cannon fodder, the poor of the world.  The disparity of power and wealth in American has turned the masses into a herd loyal to the leaders posted at front, leaders bought and supported by special interest groups, allowing the politicians to represent the banks and corporations funding them and not the people.  The elite consensus has turned into a tool to undermine the individuality of the people, allowing an accepted norm for political action among Washington hacks to become an accepted norm throughout the nation because of the growing inability for the people to think individually. Left struggling to live, unable to stop and grasp the reality of the enslavement that has befallen them, the American people are being used as workers for a corporate machine that profits at the misery of domestic and international peoples, growing into a vampiric blood-sucking nation interested solely in greed.  Nearly 14 million children in America – 19% of all children – live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level – that being $22,050 a year for a family of four.  Research shows that, on average, families need an income of about twice that level to cover basic expenses, demonstrating the irrational biased method chosen by the government to conduct such surveys. Using the more rational standard, 41% of children live in low-income families.  This system of impoverishment from birth serves as an illustration of  the cult of personality being constructed by the elitists, indoctrinating from birth the American population into the notion that hardship is necessary for the status quo (poor getting poorer, rich getting richer) to perpetuate into the future.  Despite words to the contrary, the American government has not combated the growing disparity of the nation and the evidence is widespread, even though the recession has supposedly ended.  Only 4% of America’s population have estates worth over $60,000 or more.  9 out of 10 adults could pay their debts, sell everything they own, and not have over $30,000 left.  Worst yet is the fact that over 50% of all Americans would have a net worth of $3,000 or less; at the top are the richest 1% who own one-quarter of the net worth of the entire population.  The system is rigged to guarantee the polarization of wealth and power remains at the top of the corporate-capitalist hierarchy.  The poorer people are paying more taxes than ever before.  While corporate taxes have gone down, state and local taxes which tend to be more regressive than federal taxes, as well as social security have continued to take large bites out of the low-income paychecks.  Evidently, the American civilization is decaying as the huddled masses whither away under the pressure of their own obedience to masters lost in clouds high above, lavishly enjoying luxuries afforded to them by the sweat and tears of the poor.

“Have you seen the scene on the street?  Do you care what’s going on?  Thousands – homeless – in the land of the free but no one seems to think it’s wrong! That’s why we fucking wrote this song!” – Anti-Flag, “Culture Revolution”

In retrospect, the American democracy has become a corporatocracy through which the 1% are able to amass fortunes and power at the expense of the masses that are enslaved in chains from the cradle to the grave, working for an ideal only offered to them in a fabricate fairy tale of an American Dream proliferated on media mediums.  With millions homeless and millions more impoverished,the land of the free and brave has become the land of murderers and those enslaved.  Reverting into a totalitarian capitalist theology of power and greed, the hands of the wealthy have seized hold on all assets of the nation – political, fiscal and social – and allowed for the hierarchy to firmly consolidate itself on the shackles of the masses driven to pull it onward.

Romney: By the Corporations and For the Corporations

The campaign trail for Republican candidate Romney has been defined by an insurmountable stockpile of wealth contributed by the corporate 1%, allowing for the candidate to proliferate an unbelievable amount of political noise on radio airwaves, internet sites and television ads, that do not speak of his character and ability to lead, but rather focus on slandering and reporting lies to degrade Obama and manipulate the public conscience.

Romney: By the Corporations and For the Corporations

The race for the White House no longer stands as a battle of leadership and values; rather, the race has degraded political dialogue into a competition of check-books through which the candidates and their unnamed contributors seek to slander and question the reputation of the other and therefore not win the election, but merely ensure the other does not win.  In the race for the Presidency, a battle of demeaning and condescending rhetoric has unfolded between Democrat Obama and Republican Romney, resulting in a back and forth slandering campaign in which each candidate is cast in demonic un-American lights. Despite the degradation the electoral system has undergone in recent elections, the race between Obama and Romney has truly illustrated the ability for candidates to devote themselves to corporations and special interest groups in search of funds to continue the proliferation of political nonsense.  The race is longer one based on the potential and experience the candidates may bring to the White House, but instead it is a slander campaign based on personal ethics, tax records, birth records, religious standing and, in the end, whose check-book can afford the bigger lie.  Though both candidates are culprits of corporate sellout, the success being met with by Romney is solely based on his ability to purchase the attention of the masses and demonstrate that, although he has no outlook on America’s future and no ability to actually lead, he is not Obama.  The polarization of politics and society has allowed for this method of political audience targeting to effectively work, allowing Romney to gain widespread support because of his status as a conservative  and thus, put as much space between himself and the ‘socialist’ Obama.  Romney’s ability to equalize the race is surely not because of his ‘revolutionary’ policies that will most assuredly take American out of its financial and political slump – Romney has not delivered any speeches or ads that speak to his ability to even lead the country.  Romney’s race is dependent on appealing to the conservative masses and delivering statements that promise to unravel every and any policy or action Obama has done.  With the 1% rallying behind the corporate-capitalist, Romney has been able to target Obama’s reputation and record by spreading lies that are only believable because of the frequency of their airing and because of the big-name conservatives that endorse the ads.  Romney’s strategy is not based on his own policies, which are clearly a mystery to any who choose to think into the matter, but rather his strategy is merely focused on demonstrating that Obama’s future and past policies will undermine America – though Romney seems rather vague in suggesting how they do that.  Through vague and bureaucratic methods of providing nothing but making it look substantial, Romney has seized the Republican candidacy and demonstrated that money can do everything.

“So this will be the entire point of the Romney- Ryan campaign.  Lie lie lie.  Muddy the waters.  Turn the day to night, fire to water, champagne to piss.”  – Michael Tomasky, The Daily Beast

Despite an array of Romney related issues concerning tax returns and his tole in Bain in 2002 after supposedly ‘retiring retroactively’, the announcement of Paul Ryan as his running mate was to introduce a new era of honest debate and answers for the American people.  As with most statements from the conservative allies, the distinguishing fact of the Romney-Ryan campaign thus far continues to be built on outright lies in a desperate attempt to avoid honest debate at all costs.  They have continued to muddy the waters as much as possible in an attempt to proliferate an impenetrable boundary of chronic lies through which the American people will not be able to see through and thus believe in the lies.  Sadly, the apparently infinite amount of endorsers and corporate piggy-banks at Romney’s disposal has allowed him to sell his lies effectively and persistently to the people.  It is through the strategy of political ads and fundraising events that Romney plans on buying the Presidency, a strategy that has put him equal to Obama in most recent polls.  So saying, the ability for corporate-capitalists to consolidate power in America is evident based on the fact that Romney’s questionable leadership and international policies have not taken him out of the race only because of his stockpile of financial weapons – a laundry list of conservative super PACs.  At the end of July, the Romney campaign and its Republican allies stood upon $186 million in donations, this comes after spending $350 million in July on ads on radio shows, internet sites and commercial ads.  The former Massachusetts governor is flanked by an array of deep-pocketed super PACs and nonprofit advocacy groups that are pumping tens of millions of dollars into the race on his behalf, providing the finances necessary to produce reoccurring ads that spread half-truths and flagrant lies.  The most blatant of lies being proliferated on public mediums is that concerning Obama’s supposed welfare rule change.  The Romney ad campaign says exactly the opposite of what the new rule stipulates.  PolitiFact called the first Romney ad ‘Pants on Fire’ and Glen Kessler gave it ‘four Pinocchios’.  The new ad that has been released states the Obama ‘ended the work requirement’ for welfare.  The ad is plainly and provably not true.  Whilst condemning Obama and his plans for health care in America, Romney has praised his vague and essentially nonexistent plans for future care based on a plan that mirrors Obama’s rule by rule, except for the way to actually pay for it – something Romney has no solution for.  In a recent event in Florida, Romney attacked Obama for supposedly planning on cutting $716 billion from Medicare while lavishing praise on Ryan, whose Medicare plan from last year cuts over $716 billion.  The truth of Ryan’s is that his premium support plan would devastate Medicare because it would slow increased spending to a rate well below the rate at which health care costs have been rising in recent years.  Evidently, this is simply Romney’s weaselly nature to never say anything forthright about any topic and perpetuate the historical nature of Republicans – to lies about lower taxes bringing in more revenues and discrediting any and all contrary opinions from Obama by telling a number of lies that are somehow tied to race.

“I was just the guy with the smoke screenish, yet still legal title of CEO and Managing Director who was paid at least $100,000, a year to do what, according to me, Mitt Romney, was nothing.  That’s the king of common sense business experience I hope to bring to the White House.” – Jon Stewart, host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Mitt Romney does not stand as a candidate for the people, a conclusion that should not be surprising considering the policies he endorsed while at Bain Capitol and a conclusion clearly seen by the list of mega-donors that have carried him so far into the race for President.  Naturally, if the American people are satisfied with a corporate-capitalist takeover of the nation that allows for the 1% hierarchy to perpetuate the degradation of the nation at the expense of the masses, than Romney is the clear choice.  Though not as eloquent as Jon Stewart or Steven Colbert have put it, Romney’s involvement in Bain oversaw the outsourcing of millions of jobs and the exploitation of tax loopholes so as to ensure max-profits for investors and owners, such as Romney.  Romney’s refusal to accept that he oversaw the carrying out of policies clearly hurtful to Americans, as well as his repetitious insults of American intelligence, is a clear indication that Romney cannot serve as President of the nation.  Moreover, during the 2008 race for President, Republicans chastised and attacked Obama for being a supposed elitist for having been educated at Harvard.  These attacks were effective in driving many conservatives away from Obama because they believed he was ‘disconnected’ from the trials and suffering of the American people.  So saying, Romney’s disconnect from the receding care for the American people is more apparent and his placement in the corporate hierarchy clearly places him at a polar opposite from the troubles facing the American people.  Romney’s perception of the trials facing the American people can be put in parallel to the starvation of the French masses and Maria Antoinette’s, “give the people cake”.  Romney is as disconnected an example of the 1%  as can be, and his ability to even consider fixing the problems addressing the nation are nowhere to be found, just like the majority of his tax returns and statements from his ads that are actually true.  Nevertheless, with mega-rich supporters like Sheldon Adelson, Bob Perry, Ira Rennert, and the Salvadoran entrepreneur Poma family (accredited for being first investors to Bain Capitol), Romney clearly does not need to address his problem-solving strategy on domestic or international events, but instead can continue to merely target Obama with lies that are somehow able to undermine the confidence of voters.  So saying, a main point of issue for many Americans, and a point that illustrates the pro-wealth disparity stance of Romney, is that of tax reform.  Romney is being evasive about exactly what he plans to do on tax reform.  Romney proposes an across-the-board 20% reduction in existing marginal rates, while keeping the 15% top rate on capital gains, except for filers who make less than $200,000; for them, capital gains would be tax-free.  As for which deductions and special break Romney would eliminate to offset lower rates – Romney has not provided any solution.  One element that has become evident is Romney’s position on one notorious tax break: the favorable treatment of ‘carried interest’.  Mainly enjoyed by private equity and hedge fund managers, this break is a big reason Romney’s own tax bill was no more than about 14% of his multimillion-dollars income in recent years.  The carried-interest break not only accentuates income inequality but also overincentivizes  the formation of investment partnerships, diverting capital – financial and human – from other, more productive uses.  In contrast to Romney’s corporate-capitalist favoritism, President Obama has sensibly proposed getting rid of it.  Evidently, the position of Romney is that he is a man of the people, but those people are corporations.

Russia: Pussy Riot

The 3 members of the feminist punk-rock band Pussy Riot have been found guilt of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred, after being detained for months for their February 21 protest at the Christ the Savior Cathedral.

3 of 7 Female Members of Pussy Riot have Sparked International Controversy after Being Detained by Russian Authorities

Pussy Riot is a 7-member punk-rock band in Russia infamous for staging impromptu performances in public areas demonstrating their disdain for the return of a Stalin-esque era under Putin.  Most recently, the 7 members staged one such performance in the Christ the Savior Cathedral, criticizing the support Putin has received from the church.  The resulting crackdown by police forces after the video went viral represents that return of censorship and repression that has been installed under Putin.  The return of Putin has been marked by continuous protests and demonstrations against the militaristic, hard-lined conservative President notorious for his repressive handling of anything liberal.  So saying, the recent suppression of Pussy Riot serves as another illustration of the dictatorial nature of the President, marking a blow against freedom of expression and the return disproportionate punishment.  The 3 women that were detained for over 5 months have been convicted of charges of hate-motivated hooliganism and sentenced to 2 years in prison.  Moscow’s Khamonvinchsky District Court found 22-year-old Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 23-year-old Maria Alyokhina, and 30-year-old Yekaterina Samutsevish guilty on charges of hooliganism committed by a groups of persons motivated by religious hatred, under article 213, part 2 of Russia’ criminal code.  Despite the reported ruling for anti-religion, the group’s activism was aimed at criticizing the politics of the Church and the support it has for Putin.  The claims of religious hatred are fraudulent and mark the corruption of the justice system instituted in Russia, thus signifying the emerging conservative state based upon vague laws and bureaucracy used to control the citizens.  Not only was the verdict unjust and unfounded, but the proceedings of the trial were shameful and dishonest, shaking the belief of any Russians that were still optimistically in support of the faux democracy under Putin.  The judge rejected the defense and refused to hear reports from several witnesses who were in support of the band members, firmly denying all accounts of political activism and focusing solely on the religious aspect of the band’s ‘punk prayer’.  So saying, the trial of Pussy Riot has gained international attention, resulting in a sensationalist fervor in international media that has proliferated the reports of harsh treatment and possible torture while in police custody.  Evidently, the personal vendetta of Putin against the protest movement has resulted in the disproportionate punishment levied against the members of the band, turning the protest into a much more accredited symbolic movement that has gained international support and thus renewed attention on the practices of Putin’s theological rubber-stamping repressive regime.

“It’s clear in this case that the women’s aim was to make a political statement, and it’s also clear that some found their actions offensive.  But there is still a long way to go between an offensive political statement and a hate crime.” – Hugh Williamson, Human Rights Director of Europe and Central Asia division

The trial of Pussy Riot, at first a propaganda show by Putin to discourage further protests by crucifying the members as feminist hooligans of questionable morality, an erroneous judgement based upon their ‘unethical’ attack on religious values; the trial has spun chaotically into an international media fervor in which corruption and repression have become defining headlines for Putin’s return.  The media has seized upon the offences of the regime, intensifying the diplomatic pressure on Putin for the unjust ruling and punishments.  Reports being proliferated throughout the Western world allege that the band members have been forced to sit in cages for 5 days, some days for 10 hours at a time, being denied food and adequate sleep.  The regime has attempted to exhaust the members in order to extinguish their revolutionary fires, fires that have spread throughout the Russian and international public encouraging uproar and condemnation for such human rights violations.  Nevertheless, as the solidarity of the Western masses begin to coalesce into clusters of sensationalist supporters, the severity of the situation is being muddled in the new form of pop culture activism which, despite resonating enthusiasm, is short-lived and quickly turned into a celebration of issues not at central to the real problem being debated.  This is later turned into an exploit of commercialism that ends in the decay of the movement and the loss of a cause based on good intentions.  Pussy Riot embodies the questions about Russia’s degrading political freedoms and civil liberties,  a series of problems that have escalated under the iron fist of Putin’s powers.  In 2010, a Moscow district court found the co-organizers of a controversial art exhibit “Forbidden Art-2006”, at the Sakharov Museum in Moscow guilty of inciting religious hatred, which is considered an extremist offense, and fined them.  In June and July, in the midst of protests against Putin’s election, the newly formed loyalist parliament adopted a raft of laws putting new restrictions on certain nongovernmental organizations that receive foreign funding, on public demonstrations, and on the Internet.  During a winter peaceful opposition protest, authorities arrested demonstrators who were reportedly involved in a clash with police during the mass demonstration.  They were later charged with crimes disproportionate to their alleged actions.  Police have also conducted searches of the homes of opposition leaders that seemed intended to intimidate them.  Evidently, the intensified oppression of liberties and freedom marks the rise of the police state in Russia, centered around a cult of personality that resembles one of the Soviet era.  Putin’s use of force is not aimed at protecting public order and security, but instead, at setting boundaries for political criticism.

“The millions of dollars of taxpayer money spent in the last few years on fixing the image of our country abroad have been thrown to the wind.  Our image is getting closer to a medieval dictatorship, although in reality we are not that.” – Tina Kandelaki, prominent pro-Putin media personality

The controversy of Pussy Riot’s performances and messages have allowed for their trail and stance against political takeover to be heard across the world, constructing a solidarity movement of organizations and countries in support of the release of the female band members.  Nevertheless, the hype behind the members is being warped by popular culture.  Kony 2012 is a fit warning for the development of movements dedicated to representing and fighting for the just causes of Pussy Riot.  Kony 2012 brought to light a serious problem – warlords escaping justice in Central Africa – but it was turned into an exercise in commercialism, militarism, and Western meddling.  The intensity of the movement was rampant in the first few months but quickly died away as the message quickly became distorted by public mediums in charge of manipulating ideas and ideals to be readily consumed by the masses.  In Russia, Pussy Riot’s new found Western fans are taking the severity of the cause – fighting against political corruption and infringement on civil liberties and freedoms – and turning it into a celebration of feminist punk music and art.  The attention is being drawn from Putin and the hierarchy that is being installed.  For instance, whilst the Western sensationalist culture stars perpetuate the public fervor in directions other than political rights, there lacks any coverage of the much harsher sentences facing the not so famous and not-female co-protesters.  Along with Arytom Savylov, 12 other protesters have charged with calling for mass disorder and assaulting police officers.  Each of them could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.  This is not to say that there is special attention geared towards Pussy Riot because of their status as women, but their popularity in pop culture has allowed them to become figureheads for the media.  With respect, the media has allowed for the trial and unjust ruling to become a global phenomenon but it also results in a smokescreen for the more nefarious actions being committed but not reported.  The obsessive focus on these 3 women, not for their activism or political dissent, but for their status as female punk rockers, risks drawing attention away from other Russian activists or political prisoners and focusing it instead on the plight of all-women punk rock bands, which is decidedly less dire. Moreover, the message of Pussy Riot is about political action and refusing to stand by and allow for the Russia people to be, once again, enslaved by the President.  So saying, the members would not look favorably on the media distortion of the trial’s unjust ending and the manipulated focus on punk rock and popular items of culture that are not correlated to the activist call that they perpetuate. The consequences of the cultural focus also envelop the ability for Putin to manipulate the coverage by appearing lenient and forgiving towards the bands’ members (as has done by asking for lenient sentencing), while he deals in backrooms for harsher treatment of the other protesters (which was done and said above).

“It shows that the Russian authorities will stop at no end to suppress dissent and stifle civil society.  Each step in the case has been an affront to human rights.” – Michelle Ringuette, Amnesty International

In retrospect, the controversy surrounding Pussy Riot brings to light the re-emergence of the Soviet-era police state under former-KGB member, Vladimir Putin; yet, the overt attention of manipulated media has skewed international perspectives away from the general repression of the Russian people and more towards the popular culture item – a female punk rock band.  The development of cultural hype about the detention of these members is likely to converge with Kony 2012 in a cesspool of yet another failed international propaganda movement.  So saying, Putin has attempted to crucify the members in a general policy of ending future protests to his Soviet-esque power and though this has failed, Putin has succeeded in diverting attention away from the trials and tribulations of other political prisoners being tortured and sentenced to much harsher terms.  The Western world has hoped onto the bandwagon of Pussy Riot-related injustices because of their cultural significance as a punk rock band, their status as female punk-rockers and because of the provocative nature of the name, a multitude of selling points for the profit-seeking media networks.  It is this consequence of cultural hype that must be avoided so as to honor the purpose of Pussy Riot and the many other revolutionary persons in Russia that have braved the repression of Russian authorities to demonstrate the return of totalitarianism in Russia.   It is the mission and its objective of transparency in a faux democracy that should be celebrated in the Western lands, not the unjust sentence of a few female punk rockers.

America: Modern Civilization? – The Collapsing Empire

The American society has stood as a beacon of urbanization and advancement, marking a clear divide between the important civilization that had risen in the West and the barbarism of other underdeveloped peoples; however, this view of American exceptionalism has fallen into an age of decline.

The American Empire has Reach its Zenith. When Will It Fall?

The progress of history is marked with the emergence of great empires, all of which attained a zenith of societal advancement that marked them as a great civilization of civil people living in a new structure of hierarchy and urbanization.  These empires of history rose to become global powers defined by a golden age of prosperity, wealth and a general contentedness of their masses.  Each of these empires rose to represent the ideal of the time and yet, each of these empires fell due to a floodgate of problems that rotted their infrastructure.  Despite claims to the contrary, the empires of the past fell with extraordinary speed.  The transition from equipoise to anarchy took little more than a decade for many of the powers.  The vast imperial metropolis of Rome, the Ming dynasty’s rule in China and the Soviet Union were powers of vast strength and land, yet their structural integrity collapsed into utter despair and ruin in the span of a decade.  So saying, the great American power of the West has been plagued with a plethora of problems being perpetuated by a growing inability of the political structure to properly address the concerns of a growing uncivil public.  The political atmosphere is defined by a growing polarization of views that has constructed a parallel society of hate-mongers and delusions of the American greatness, an ideal only resplendent in the minds of a public too afraid and confused to address the reality of a crumbling empire.  The political paralysis of the American system should not be inevitable, but the rigidity of ideals proliferated by those in powers has resulted in a structure of education and thinking that indoctrinates the new age of American thinkers into the same growing divide of competition that has defined the past era of politics and society in America.  The era is defined by a political strategy defined by ignoring problems and failing to address the points that have been proclaimed as ‘nonnegotiable’ – social security, military budget, health care, etc.  This prolonged era of “can-kicking” has become the age of descent for the American nation, an age that was allowed to grow and fester because of the general unwillingness to make sacrifices and address the corruption, the poverty and the crumbling pillars of structure that are deteriorating at the weight of the American decline.

“See our sense of shame and throw it overboard.  See our moral compass and set it so past bored.  I guess conscience really does just make cowards of us all.  See us turn a blind eye till it’s criminal.” – Anti-Flag, “Turn a Blind Eye”

The root of problems being born in the American civilization are mainly found in the fact that the American nation is no longer home to a civil public; rather, the masses have become a divided sea of propaganda-infused tools from both the right and left.  This has essentially resulted in a civil war of competing values and ethics that undermine the American nation and its sense of indivisibility.  Though the American nation was founded on the cooperation of both the right and the left, an infusion of ideals congruent to all people, the modern era has forgotten the civility and brotherhood that gave rise to the republic.  The American people, mimicking the corporate-bought leader, are not thinking pragmatically; rather, they are merely regurgitating the manipulation of images and ideas propagated by television, allowing for propaganda to become a substitute for individual ideas and ideology.  The senseless adherence to a medium controlled by conservative capitalists has allowed for the American people to lose grasp on reality and believe that the status quo of American greatness will continue on under their complicit behavior.  Nevertheless, this American greatness is spiraling downwards as did the empires of old.  The rise of Western civilization, the reason for the rise of the American nation, was due to a series of institutional innovations – competition, scientific revolution, the rule of law and representative government, modern medicine, and work ethic.  These assets for growth were monopolized by the rise of the West and yet, these tools for civilization have  grown divergent of their initial purposes.  The consumer society has turned into a system through which the media can delve into the minds of the masses, run ads inspiring insecurity and superficial want for carnal and material pleasures.  The consumer society has turned the American nation into a corporate capitalist hierarchy through which the great diverge is seen in the ever-growing gap between the rich and struggling poor.  The work ethic is now a concept that applies only to the poor, those that must live check-to-check in order to maintain a standard of living that is barely livable.  As the masses grow tired of carrying the great American behemoth, the mechanisms of the American infrastructure begin to crumble under the weight of a debt and disparity to which they have no answer for.  50 million people in America last year to earn enough to eat.  This number, a fit description of the false myth of the American Dream, can also be coupled together with the fact that the $14 trillion bailout for CEOs and banks, the 1% who never struggle to eat, was paid for by the taxpayers – approximately $47,000 per person.  The poor and middle class will pay for it in the form of inflation, declining infrastructure, poorer education and higher state and local taxes.  As the rest of the world advances beyond the advancements from America’s past, the great empire languishes in its own investment in the past, unwilling to make the necessary sacrifices to emerge from its stagnant pool of despair and decay.

“They call it America, ‘land of the free, home of the brave’.  More to the truth, it’s a murderer, it’s the land of the enslaved!” – Anti-Flag, “Until It Happens to You”

The media has become to represent cult of personality, one aimed at maintaining the servility of the masses.   The culture of illusion thrives by robbing the American people of the intellectual and linguistic tools to separate illusion from truth.  It reduces the people to the level and dependency of mindless slaves.  Rather than focusing on the crumbling walls of their own futures, the people remain unquestionably loyal to reality shows and the paparazzi invasion of some person or another’s privacy.  The people are plagued with a narcissism epidemic  in which a shift in culture towards greater self-admiration is illustrated by their malicious attitude and sadistic behavior towards others.  The American people are subject to a  growing desire to watch and laugh at the misfortunes of others, allowing for corporate media to create shows and images that enrapture the peoples’ attention and allow them to continue on blissfully ignorant of the collapsing empire.  To provide a general example – American Idol and the subset series of talent shows that have followed, through which the American people denigrate those who go on by a sadistic voting mechanism that demeans the worth of a person to the number of people who voted in their favor.  As millions go sick and dying in the streets, as brothers and sisters are sent to die in foreign lands to ensure the oil tycoons remain resplendent in their lavish homes, the American people sit on couched and laugh at people on these shows.  It is the same ‘freak-show’ distraction that comes along every time a mighty empire starts collapsing.  These shows have become the new coliseum  where the American people willingly participate in a show where the weak are torn apart for the sake of their amusement.  The American civilization, a society honored for its advancement and urban technology, has become home to cruel and vile population being deluded into waging war on each other and on their own minds.  As they fight among themselves about the validity of a FOX News report or an MSNBC claim, laugh at the idiocy of some star on Jersey Shore, or stare mindlessly at the sexual images of some HBO series, the American people are driven like animals towards the workforce to labor on.  The American people are not forced through physical power to work rank and file in jobs dedicated to the perseverance of a nation no longer representative of its intended purpose of freedom and justice for all.  Rather, the American people are coerced into these jobs to ensure that the debt and disparity of the nation, both of which were created by the corporate leaders and politicians in the 1%, does not utterly destroy the nation.  It is the media – tv, commercials, radio and the web – that has invaded the conscience of the people, making them fools.  The American people have become the target audience for the noise propagated by competing groups and organizations, all interested in profit and power instead of truth and fact.  Thus, a public is created that is divided into competing groups of barbaric fighters with no grasp of what is truly important.  The fighters stand on their pedestals of fabricated reports and gossip, regurgitating the manipulated information reported by their favorite medium.  Throwing word and dagger, the American people have brought down their own nation.

“I thought I’d begun to see a change, but the more things change, the more they stay the same.  Back stabbing and name calling, the trademarks of your act.  You talk and talk of unity, but divide with your attacks.” – Anti-Flag, “Tearing Everyone Down”

In retrospect, the American people are led to fight against one another, against those that represent an ideal opposite of what was published on their rightist/leftist media medium, believing that to rise up and be an American is to yell, scream and fight so ignorantly loud that no one else can heart another view, a view that could be the salvation for a nation that, apparently, is only home to deluded and bigoted people.  The people are led astray, led to lead senseless and ignorant lives, in order to maintain a stable and peaceful workforce that is in charge of keeping the rich aloft on pedestals far from the everyday worries of the masses.  The rich think of ever more ingenious ways to hoard more wealth, mostly at the expense of the public, instead of working to resolve the country’s problems.  As the people suffer way, they remain loyal to mainstream commercial mediums of media that pander to profits and gossip, deluding the peoples’ sense of reality and striving to fuel the peoples’ motivation to continue on working and listening, to continue on being so divided and bigoted.  In the end, what is the purpose of having an American civilization if the American people are no longer interested in being civil.  America has become a cruel and vicious place, rewarding the shallowest, meanest and loudest of those fighters that stand for the division of a country proclaimed as the United States.  With no sense of decency, no right or wrong, the American people pander to the most extremist of views and values proliferated on their favorite mediums, illustrating that the modern civilization is just another reality show of incredulous activities that demeans those within, destroys its surroundings and caters to the amusement of a target audience – the corporate benefactors.  The American nation has become a slogan-saying, bile-spewing, hate-monger.