Posts Tagged ‘America’

When the greatness of the Tao is present,

action arises from one’s own heart.

When the greatness of the Tao is absent,

action comes from the rules

of “kindness and justice.”

If you need rules to be kind and just,

if you act virtuous,

this is a sure sign that virtue is absent.

Thus we see the great hypocrisy.

When kinship falls into discord,

piety and rites of devotion arise.

When the country falls into chaos,

official loyalists will appear;

patriotism is born.

Lao-tzu

To sum up the 18th verse of the “Tao Te Ching”, Lao-tzu is telling us we don’t need rules to be kind and just. We do not need society to dictate to us how to live from our hearts. If we are following the greatness of the Tao then we would be kind and love without doing it because society’s rules dictate us to. We would be kind and love because the Tao is part of us, so these behaviors come naturally.

I don’t think Lao-tzu is saying rules are necessarily bad, he is just saying it is unfortunate we even need them. If we were all one with the Tao life would be a utopia where there would be no war, murder, greed, stealing, or any other negative behavior. People would live peacefully and in harmony with the seasons of the Tao. There would be no need for money, possessions, insane working hours, and stress. We would get up, work when needed, laugh, play, relax, and enjoy the present moment everyday of our lives. I suppose the same thing could be said about the Bible or any other religious texts. If people were to follow the lessons of their faiths then life would be more peaceful. This does not include those who misread religious texts and turn it into a destructive force.

The most powerful and moving part about this verse is Lao-tzu asking us to not act virtuous but to be virtuous. Many of us act virtuous because it is how society or our faiths require us to be, not because it is one of our core values. I think the world we live in today has lost the true Way. In this process of societal deterioration there are fewer and fewer people who are virtuous not because they have to be; they do this because kindness and love are part of their core values. This is a tough verse for me to meditate on because it calls to the forefront my core values. I sit and try to look into my soul and identify exactly what they are. There are times I don’t like what I see, and there are times I try to fool myself. I do know since I have started studying the Tao Te Ching some of my core values have changed to more selfless ones.  

I think the society we live in today is a society of greed, self interest, and entitlement. We follow rules because of what is legal and illegal. We do not steal because it is illegal, but when society breaks down the human race shows its true values. When Katrina hit in New Orleans, society broke down and erupted into chaos. The people began looting and killing. They knew there was no one to stop them so they acted according to their values. Then there were the people who were in tune with the greatness of the Tao. They made every effort to do everything in their power to help their fellow man. I do not think New Orleans is an isolated incident or case study. I believe if society broke down nation wide, and our laws could no longer be enforced; you would see how your neighbor truly is. There would be those who put their ego above all else and there would be those who put the Tao above all else. Although this would be an interesting social experiment, I would not want to be around if this were to happen.

I am a bit lost in what Lao-tzu is saying in the last five lines of this verse. Is he saying when man fails to be kind to his fellow man then piety and rites of religion are created? Is he talking about other religions of his time being created to keep the people in line? When he talks about countries falling into chaos is he also speaking of what was happening in his time, like Revaluations in the Bible? Is he saying when the kindness and love of man breaks down first comes the need to control “religion” then comes government based on religious values? I am a bit lost here.

American exceptionalism is an American theory that the United States occupies a special role among the nations of the world in terms of its national ethos, political and religious institutions, and it’s being built by immigrants. Even though its origins date back to the 1600’s the concept still lives on today. This mode of thinking is what has damaged our reputation throughout the world. The concept that we are better than all other nations because as Alexis de Tocqueville, argued; the United States held a special place among nations because it was the first working representative democracy. We may have been the first but we were not the last. I am sure there are some out there who could have a valid argument how a later form of democracy trumps ours. Belief in American exceptionalism is more characteristic of conservatives than liberals. Which being liberal to me makes the idea seem even worse.

Parts of American exceptionalism can be traced to American puritan roots who believed in divine providence. They believed God had made a covenant with their people and had chosen them to lead the other nations of the world. The scary thing is; there are those republicans out there who still believe such a thing.  If we take a look at the Latin phrase on the back of the great seal and our one dollar bill it reads “novus ordo seclorum” which translates as “New Order of the Ages.” I think our republican leaders at that time and still to today would want nothing more than to spread their form of “order” to the entire world, and become the nation God has chosen to lead the world.  

Proponents of American exceptionalism argue that the United States is exceptional in that it was founded on a set of republican ideals, rather than on a common heritage, ethnicity, or ruling elite. In the formulation of President Abraham Lincoln in his Gettysburg Address, America is a nation “conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal”. In this view, America is inextricably connected with liberty and equality. We may be connected with liberty (although this may be up for debate) and equality (also up for debate.) The notion of republican ideals against the ruling elite? Isn’t that a bit oxymoronic?

The United States’ policies have been characterized since their inception by a system of federalism and checks and balances, which were designed to prevent any person, faction, region, or government organ from becoming too powerful. Some Proponents of the theory of American exceptionalism argue that this system and the accompanying distrust of concentrated power prevent the United States from suffering a “tyranny of the majority.” What I find interesting is we are protected from the “tyranny” of the majority, but we do nothing to protect us from the “tyranny” of the minority.

All countries probably believe they are exceptional in their own right. Britain at the height of the British Empire, Nazi Germany, as well as the communist state Russia, and France in the wake of the French revolution all demonstrated exceptionalism in terms of systematically engaging in what they considered benevolent enterprises. I believe although broken America is one of the greatest nations in the world. Do I believe we should feel superior over all other nations because we are what we are? No. We are not the judges and jury’s to the world. The belief and ideals we have are fantastic, but are these ideals better than say Norway’s? We could look at Norway or Iceland and say they are exceptional over us because of their low crime rates and penchant for staying away from wars. Does this make them better than us? In my eyes it does, but I cannot speak for a nation of people, nor should anybody else. It is fantastic to have pride in your country, but this pride should not stir up supremacism. I have always believed America should keep to herself. Trying to find nations we believe should be a democracy then enforce said beliefs by military force is wrong anyway you look at it. This concept that America is exceptional above all other nations is the exact way of thinking that caused other nations to hate us.

“Civilization is a youth with a molotov cocktail in his hand. Culture is the Soviet tank or L.A. cop that guns him down.”
Edward Abbey

The great thing about quotes is you are not always there to bare witness to what exactly was going on when these things were said, or for that matter in what context the quote is being used. What I love about doing these pieces on the philosophy of quotes is it allows me to find a quote that speaks to me and add my own philosophical spin on it. I am a fan of many things Abbey has said, but I like this quote, because the question is “what did Abbey mean by this?” Edward Abbey was an author, and primarily known as an environmentalist activist; many of his quotes resonate on a deeper political landscape.

In many of his writings and quotes you can tell Abbey was opposed to any form of government. In his opinion the only just government is no government at all. He once said Anarchism is founded on the observation that since few men are wise enough to rule themselves, even fewer are wise enough to rule others.” Abbey had very little faith in man to do the right thing. His claim is if we are not even able to take care of ourselves and be responsible enough to make the right decisions; then what does that say about man’s ability to rule a nation. This sentiment was repeated in many of his famous quotes. I wonder what Abbey would think about our society now, with the discovery of global warming and the oil spill. I can only imagine he is rolling in his desert grave.

Describing civilization as a youth, and one with a primitive weapon in hand; says to me that in anarchy there may be violence, but this violence is minor, yet necessary to right the ship of society. The description of culture being a tank or L.A. cop gunning this youth down represents how quickly and swiftly our culture can break us down. He is saying the violence and destruction this youth will bring is nothing compared to the level of violence and oppression our current government shells out.

In one of Abbeys quotes he says; Society is like a stew. If you don’t stir it up every once in a while then a layer of scum floats to the top.” The youth’s purpose in an anarchy run society is to stir the stew, keeping us from being overrun with the greedy, but because of our culture the powers that be prevent this from happening; hence why our society has slowly fallen a part. We have no youths standing up and demanding change. We do not have this, because we know it isn’t possible. We have no recourse but to submit to our masters. 

I often think about what our society would look like if it was over run and anarchy reined supreme. I think the concept of anarchy sounds great, but just like socialism it is corrupted by mans hand. I think you look at any government system and on paper it sounds great, but somehow we end up screwing the pooch. If we were just to switch to no government it would not stop the corporations from taking over. They already hold to much power in this country imagine what it would be like if they were able to take the politician gloves off and truly have at us. As a society we could still have our Molotov cocktails, but the corporations would have the tanks and machine guns. There would still need to be some sort of hierarchy. There would still be the few who held all the power, and the many who don’t. Abbey once said this about power Power is always dangerous. Power attracts the worst and corrupts the best.”

I go back and forth on whether big government is a good or bad thing. I suppose like most Americans I am all for big government when it benefits me (universal healthcare) and against it when it doesn’t (bank bailout.) I think if we had honest people in office who legitimately cared about the country and the well being of the people, the more favorably the public would perceive our government to be. Our elected officials have been letting us down for the last thirty plus years. Instead of standing up and protesting for change and holding our officials accountable we have just grown to accept this as status quo.

We have all grown tired over things remaining the same and we are always skeptical when the government legitimately tries to do something good for us. Take the healthcare reform bill. The democrats were finally able to make a push towards universal healthcare. Everyone was positive about it until the special interests killed it with the negative ads regarding the change. People starting freaking out thinking we would become socialist if we accepted this change. The majority of people wanted reform, but as soon as that magical picture box started saying negative things, is when people started to believe this was bad. Its amazing how much power that little box has; isn’t it?   

I think our government in its current form is as destructive as they come. This is true whether you are talking about republicans or democrats. Abbey had this to say about our conservative leaders our ‘neoconservatives’ are neither new nor conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell.” And this to say about democrats One man alone can be pretty dumb sometimes, but for real bona fide stupidity, there ain’t nothin’ can beat teamwork.” His sentiments and complete lack of faith in our system is harrowing. The sad part is during his time; he would have been in the minority for thinking this way. I think today he would most definitely be in the majority. I look and wonder where are our Edward Abbeys to try and stir the pot? Where are our youths holding their molotov cocktails? I can easily answer these questions. We are indoctrinating our youth to become blind followers of the establishment.

We have accepted things as they are without questioning them, or partake on any real quest at changing them. We have been so hypnotized by money, media and possessions that we have been blind over the hijacking of this country. Big business has infiltrated our government, and we have just sat here and allowed it to happen. We have not stirred our society up enough by questioning our leaders and challenging their policies. The end result is we have let ourselves get overtaken by the scum of the earth. Our elected officials are demons in suits, selling lies to the gullible.

My father came down to the cities a few weekends ago for a visit. I always enjoy when he comes down because we have some great theological and political discussions. He is one of the most intensely religious people I know. Our belief systems and political opinions are complete polar opposites. We will get into some heated arguments involving these subject.

My father is not your typical Christian. He is 100% against Sunday Christians, because he believes they have been deceived by Satan. He is very knowledgeable of the Word, and can repeat scriptures at the drop of the hat. He is a heavy dope smoker and is losing his memory so he can sometimes quote the same scriptures over and over again; which gets very annoying. He watches hours of evangelists on television finding various different ways to find out how they are not preaching what the Word really says. He will write letter after letter trying to show these churches the errors in their ways. He believes the seven letters referred to in Revelations is describing the major denominations out there. When he is not watching television preachers he is watching Fox News, and has some extreme political views as well with various different conspiracy theories, this also causes some heated debates.

On Saturday night he started to go off on his theory for why society has crumbled from within. He believes our downfall has to do when we threw God out of the schools and out of the government. He called us a Godless nation who has turned our backs on the Lord. Warning if we continue to turn our back on God; God will turn his back on us. I listened to his points of view as I always do. I would try to politely interject and give my views. Most of the times I do not bother because he refuses to let me finish a single thought. He is also completely unable to step out side of his belief system and look at things objectively.

It wasn’t until he brought up one of our major downfalls was our acceptance of homosexuality. He went on to say God hates the act, and compared our society to Sodom and Gomorrah. I immediately got filled with agitation, and could no longer hold my opinions back. I asked him why God would create a segment of the population he was predisposed to hate. He told me God does not hate the people he hates the act of homosexuality. I refrained my question asking him why God would create a segment of people who are predisposed to commit acts which he hates. His answer to me was people are not born gay; it is a learned behavior.

I had to scoff at this notion for the silliness it is. I tried to point out the existence of blatantly feminine men and obvious butch females. There is no way these are learned character traits. This has to be something these individuals are born with. We started to really get into it. He gave me the typical Sodom and Gomorrah references and said the famous quote “God made Adam and Eve; not Adam and Steve.”  

This is a great example of why I will never accept the existence of God into my life. The fact people can read a book which teaches them to love their fellow man, yet teaches intolerance over something as trivial as being gay is a complete joke. I do not understand why in this day and age we have had such an issue with gay people getting married. The fact we are still debating the don’t ask don’t tell policy in our military is a joke. I could understand his concern if homosexuals were running around ass raping straight men in the streets. This would cause huge issues and a concern to the public. The facts are these things do not happen in the real world. Gay people are not sexual deviants who are a risk to be free in our society. Our world will not be affected in any way if we allowed gay’s to get married. Gay people deserve the right to go die in unjust wars just as straight men do. These things are facts yet because a book has some references to this as being bad; it cause’s our society to tweak out over the subject. How can my fathers claim that God has been thrown out of the government be true when that very same government is making laws based on what the Bible says?

One final thought. The Bible says one of the reasons for the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was homosexuality was running rampant. God decided he hated this place so much he would rain down fire and brimstone. The question I have is why has he refrained himself from destroying us? The fire and brimstone episode was not the only reference to God destroying his children for naughty behavior. Why are we not being destroyed now? This is one of my arguments against the existence of God.

“A man should always consider how much he has more than he wants.”
Joseph Addison

How many of us are consumed with our wants? We live in a society fixated on the belief we can never have enough. No matter how hard we try we always judge our lives based on what we do not have as opposed to what we do have. If we were to just stop for a moment; be present in the moment and reflect upon what is right in front of our faces, we would see we are much more fortunate then we think we are. 

I have fallen to the evils of living strictly with consistently focusing on the things I didn’t have. I never had the right job, status, or pay I deserved. I never had a nice enough car. My house was not big enough. I never had the latest electronics, or enough clothes. The things I did have were never nice enough from what I really wanted. Living in this consistent desire to own more things infested my shen; preventing my chi from flowing properly through my body causing negative energy to rule supreme. This egocentric greed transformed me into a corporate scum bag. This transformation caused me to disconnect with my family, almost ruining my marriage, and my life. 

I was a big wig at an auto collection company. I made more money there than I made at my last two jobs combined. I scratched and clawed my way to the top not paying any attention to those I had to step on to get there. With every promotion I was never content; I always had my eye on the next promotion and never being content with my status. All day long I made my bonuses off of destroying people’s lives. One of my responsibilities was making the decision to repo peoples cars. When we would succeed the customer would call in crying begging for my mercy. I had no empathy; I was void of sympathy. I balked at the thought of assisting these people. I reveled in my perceived victory and told these customers “you should have paid your bill.”  I did not care that without their cars they would lose their jobs, and affect their family. I just cared about my bonus.

After awhile I was unable to keep my work attitude at work. It seeped into my personal life and I began having the same f u attitude at home. I was so stressed out from the hours and the toll it was having on my sub-conscience. I started to shut down and become just a big of dick at home as I was at work. Eventually it was so hard to bare I started using drugs to find relief so I could get through the day. My doctor prescribed me Ativan and Klonipin to ease my nerves. I started taking the prescribed dose, but over time I needed more and more. I then started taking pain killers everyday and everything snowballed out of control. I was finally unable to keep everything up in the air and hit the lowest bottom of my life.

I quit my job and stayed home for the summer to reconnect with my kids with my kids. I needed to have focused and dedicated time for not only them but my wife as well. When the summer was over I started to look for work. I took the first job I was offered at the nursing home where I currently work as a staffing coordinator. I took an enormous pay cut and moved to the very bottom of the totem pole with no chance of advancement, but something was telling me this was the right move. I had a hard time at first accepting where I was. I was bummed about the pay, and devastated by my lack of status and title. If you would have told me two years ago I thought this series of events was one of the best things to happen to me I would have laughed in your face.

As time passed I stopped putting such a high value on money. I no longer desired possessions, and for the first time I was grateful for the things I did have. There are four concepts the Tao has taught me so far.

  1. Stop desiring and just allow
  2. The Tao will provide me with everything I need at this moment
  3. Let go of my ego
  4. Live in the moment

I have yet to master these on a day to day basis, but for the most part it has become a way of life. The funny thing is all the possessions I always dreamed about have just come to me. I am living my dream of becoming a writer, and I founded the Bucket List Foundation. I achieved these things with action by no action. I think if we were all to take a step back and look at what we do have and find satisfaction with this our society may just become a better place.

My wife had to have surgery on her mouth to fix two impacted wisdom teeth. Her teeth were not going straight up they were growing sideways pushing at her molars. The dentist told her she had to get this surgery done otherwise she would have severe problems down the line. We have duel dental insurance and at that time health insurance. Between these three the procedure was extremely cheap. The place she had the procedure royally botched the operation and caused a whole new set of problems. She was sent to another dentist, when he saw how badly his colleague screwed up he offered to have all visits with him for free. It was because of this shitty dentistry my wife had to go have a serious surgery because the infection was eating away at her jawbone. After the surgery she had to take hardcore antibiotics through an in-home IV. The whole thing was a complete nightmare, but we did not realize there were other issues to come about. This time it was not her mouth it was the insurance companies screwing up.

When my wife received the first bill she noticed the insurance company did not cover everything they were supposed to. When she called the insurance company she had to jump through all these hoops, talk to many different representatives, and really press the issue until she found out the insurance company miscoded many of the services to the tune of over one thousand dollars. The representative she spoke to said she would make notes in her account and said she would fix it. We also received bills from the dentist’s office after he said all services would be covered. My wife continued to fight this as well. We had to go to some out of network providers specifically for the in home IV antibiotics. We received a referral and before my wife accepted she contacted the insurance company to ensure it would be covered and they gave the okay. Sure enough it was coded as no approval out of network.

She has been dealing with this for months. Every time she calls she has to jump through the same hoops as the time before; only to hear “oh yea we miscoded. We will fix right away.” My wife has been in pain for over two years and she still has nerve damage in her mouth. On top of this she still has to deal with the insurance company which has now sent us to a heavy duty collection company. This has gotten so frustrating for her it will bring her to tears. I wish I had better knowledge of how this all works so I can call and help.

I wonder how many people have to deal with “miscoding?” I wonder how many people just pay their bill unaware they are getting screwed. In the film “Sicko” by Michael Moore it addresses how insurance company employees are trained to miscode varies procedures which would normally be covered. It is no secret insurance companies are crooked. They try to find anyway to get out of covering our healthcare needs. This is no secret yet nothing really gets done to hold these bastards accountable for their crimes against the people. We all pay high premiums month in and month out. For many of us we also have such high deductibles to pay before coverage even sets in.

During the healthcare debate there were a lot of lies, rhetoric and fear mongering going on to try and turn the people against Obama. Some of these same people were the ones who voted for him because of his healthcare reform. I remember seeing rallies were people were freaking out and shouting at people for this reform. I remember people spitting on a sick man holding a sign saying he was dying and has no coverage. I am sure these protesters were either well to do and had cheap coverage, or they were ignorant and had no idea what Obama was actually trying to do. Either way the healthcare bill as it stands sounds like it will do very little to stop insurance companies from bending us over and giving us the high hard one. I am amazed with how crooked people know they are and how much these insurance companies are screwing us; we have yet to rally together and demand change. This is further proof how we are indoctrinated into a frame of mind allowing us to be taken advantage of and just accept it and go about our days. I think we not only owe it to ourselves, but also our children the chance to live in a just and fair society. Don’t you?

I am by far an intelligent person. I accept there are many things I know very little about. I do know this much though; I never take anything at face value. There are so many things to consider when reflecting on the world around us. Very few people take the time to say “hey wait a minute this just doesn’t seem right.” It is because of this lack of mindset many things are allowed to continue to flow as the status quo. The one area I sit and think hard about is politics. I try not to follow 24 hour news stations because I don’t want my opinion to be corrupted. I am amazed how things continue to go in a shitty direction without more outcries from the American people demanding change. Our elected officials would actually work for the people if they knew we could throw their asses out of office. They would be forced to make decisions focused on the progression of our great nation not on the progression of their bank accounts.

I understand and I am fully aware we have the power to elect our politicians. I also understand we have the choice to not vote for them the next time around if they turn out to be complete douches. What bothers me is the time in-between. It is no secret politicians lie during their campaigns. They say what they know the people want to hear. They will tap into our media outlets and use fear mongering techniques to try and sway public opinion. Once they are in office their promises seem to go out the door, because they know their jobs are safe another two or four years. There are politicians who really want reform, but are not honest enough on their probability of following through because of stonewalling.  

I would like to use healthcare as an example of this problem. When Obama was running for presidency the healthcare reform bill he was presenting was in my opinion a perfect fit for our nation. It is a sad state of affairs that we allow the American people to be screwed. Everyone should have affordable and reliable health coverage. This reform bill is a huge reason Obama and other democrats were elected into office. During and after the campaign there were smear campaigns trying to paint this bill in a horrible light. Many paid for by insurance companies and backed by Republicans. Because of these lies and the resistant’s of Congress and the Senate the bill was transformed into a watered down attempt at reform. It is great that reform was passed, but this is a far cry from what was originally proposed.  

These lies and smear campaigns rapidly changed public opinion. The officials who voted against and backed these campaigns should immediately be exposed and removed from office. The only thing which should allow them to stay in office is if their constituents really did not want reform without the swaying of lies. I am hard pressed to believe entire states would be against such a positive advancement of society. If this is truly the case then I have little faith in our future as a nation. These politicians should be exposed not only for the way they vote, but also for their roll in the defecation of this bill and many others our President is trying to pass.

I would also like to use the example of the bank bailout. Many of the same people who were against healthcare reform were the same people for the bank bailout. The American people as a whole were not behind this. They knew we were mortgaging our future generation’s financial progress by such a thing, yet our politicians allowed this to happen. Why? Because they were able to cash in today, and the dept does not directly affect them. Everyone involved in this should be removed from their positions of power immediately; including our president (I think he voted for.) These bastards got rich off this fiasco, and as demonstrated the banks used these funds to pay out huge bonuses and pay for retreats. Our politicians if they worked for us should stand in and demand repayment to the American people.

If our elected officials knew they would be held accountable for their actions and promises we would see greater progress. The American people should have the power to evict our leaders who are making selfish decisions. This should not have to wait two or four years so things can deteriorate further, these things should be done immediately to keep America moving forward.

“The oppressed are allowed once every few years to decide which particular representatives of the oppressing class are to represent and repress them.”
Karl Marx

I was doing some reading on various government structures and came across oligarchy, and I was shocked on how closely America resembles this type of governmental structure. As I did some more reading I came across a form of government called corporatocracy which actually defined our structure better. Many Americans think they live within a Liberal Democracy which favors the freedom of the citizens of the state. Every 2-4 years we have the freedom to elect new officials whose purpose it is to serve their constituents. These elected officials do not serve us they serve the corporations lining their pockets more than the people. I would like everyone to sit back and ponder this. Do you feel you live in such a nation?

An oligarchy is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small segment of society distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, or military control. These states are often controlled by politically powerful families whose children are heavily conditioned and mentored to be heirs of the power of the oligarchy. In this country we do not have royalty, but we do have great wealth that controls most of this country. I am sure the children of these wealthy people are groomed to take over when they pass. I wonder if the ruling rich can be considered royalty. Who ever controls the country controls the military. The military fights for our safety and well being, but at the same time guarantees there is no possible way the people can revolt.

Oligarchies have been tyrannical throughout history, being completely reliant on public servitude to exist. The corporations controlling this country would not have the means to operate without the people. In the movie “Capitalism a Love Story” by Michael Moore he shows a letter from I believe US Bank sent out to their “Elite” customers stating the only thing standing in their way of a complete “plutocracy” is the American people’s right to vote. A Plutocracy is rule by the wealthy or power provided by wealth. The combination of both plutocracy and oligarchy is called plutarchy.

Robert Michels believed that any political system eventually evolves into an oligarchy. He called this the “iron law of oligarchy.” According to this school of thought, modern democracies should be considered as oligarchies. In these systems, actual differences between viable political rivals are small, the oligarchic elite impose strict limits on what constitutes an acceptable and respectable political position, and politicians’ careers depend heavily on unelected economic and media elites. Thus the popular phrase: there is only one political party, the incumbent party.

Corporate oligarchy (Corporatocracy) is a form of power, governmental or operational, where such power effectively rests with a small, elite group of inside individuals, sometimes from a small group of educational institutions, or influential economic entities or devices, such as banks, commercial entities that act in complicity with, or at the whim of the oligarchy, often with little or no regard for constitutionally protected prerogative.

One of Satan’s greatest deception was tricking the people he does not exist. I wonder if the greatest deception our government has done is tricking us into believing we are truly free.

This is a philosophical question I find intriguing. Would such a law improve our society? Would this law improve the quality of life for our future children? What guidelines should we apply to said law? I am certain there are many pros and cons to such an idea. The main con I see from implementing such a law is it goes against our civil liberties. I am sure it would cause social unrest, and would not be met with acceptance. If we look deeper into this question, we may find that society will improve over time.

If we look at our welfare system, there are a large number of people who are not able to support themselves let alone children, yet these people continue to procreate. In most of these cases we are dealing with addiction, and ignorance, while the children are forced to grow up in unhealthy environments. This unhealthy environment creates violence and the continuation and acceptance of poverty.

 This puts undue strain on our welfare system, often time’s families who need the help of welfare are denied such benefits because they make too much money, but the reality is they make too little to survive. Minnesota Care is a great example of this conundrum. This pattern of having children and being unable to support them is a pattern of poverty, which is passed on to the next generation. It is acceptable to have children young and become reliable on the system to survive; with no reliance an self preservation. If we were to end this cycle, would it be bad for our society? Would it be bad for the children who are forced to grow up in that environment?

I am certain we can agree, it is not in the best interest for poor, single, drug addicted people to have children. Then wouldn’t it make sense for people to prove they can support themselves, and be drug free to have children? Changing this simple trend, would end the culture where having more children equal a bigger paycheck from the government. In my opinion this is the easiest for me to accept, there are other issues not so cut and dry.

Is it wise for dumb people to breed? Is it ok for the mentally ill to risk passing on their illness? What about people who are racist, should they be allowed to give birth to a new generation of hate? Is teen pregnancy damaging to the parent and the child? What would happen if an unregistered person got pregnant? These questions make implementing such a law impossible, because who would say where the line should be drawn.

Being a parent is the most crucial job that anyone can have. Failing as a parent has severe consequences to the child and our society. I think there are people in America who do not qualify for such a large responsibility. I feel regulations in this area are needed, but would be impossible to carry out.

The Yin Yang is a symbol of duality. Verse two of the Tao Te Ching says “we can only know beauty because there is ugliness. All can know good as good only because there is evil.” Looking at a Yin Yang symbol we see white within the black, and black within the white. This is telling us within one thing lies the other. In darkness we see light, and vice verses. Taoist know there is no such thing as ugly, or beautiful. These are man-made concepts, and to view the world in such a judgmental way keeps us from living a good life. This also applies to good and evil. We only know one because there is the other, and these definitions are defined by man.

In order to explain this I need you to take a step back, clear your mind of any societal induced versions of what is deemed good and what is deemed evil. You also need to put aside any personal view points on what is moral and the concept of a conscience.

We are born into this world as a clean slate. The only concepts we have in our mind is our primal urges. These are things that are bred into any creature on this earth. Holding onto this concept of a clean slate, we learn how to crawl, walk, and speak. These are actions we knew nothing of, until we were taught. As you grow, you begin to learn what behaviors are acceptable and which ones are not. You were not born knowing the difference between the two. Are you born knowing to not touch a hot stove? No, you are either told, or you touched a hot stove and burned yourself. This is all learned, you are not born with this knowledge. As you grow older this concept becomes more complex.

When you are born do you know the concept of beauty, or is it defined to you? The media, family, and peers define this concept. When we are born do we know of God? This is taught through our parents and religious establishments. This could be elaborated on over and over; point is everything we know we are taught.

I was debating with my wife on this concept yesterday, and she brought up morals, and the individuals self conscience. She was saying that all humans are born with a conscience and know right from wrong. The same applies to the concept of morality. When we are born, do we know it is morally wrong to steal? No, our parents, schools, peers, religions, the media, and our society’s laws teach us this concept. The question then is where does our conscience come into play. The answer is simple; we are told through all these different channels that stealing is bad. Your conscience is reinforcing what it was taught, which was stealing is bad.

If you are still thinking I am wrong, look at suicide bombers, or feuding ethnic groups in Africa. The follower is taught that by blowing himself up and killing infidels, he will be greeted in heaven and awarded 72 virgins. It is taught that the greatest way to please God is to become a martyr. To the believer the act of killing is righteous. In Africa you are taught to hate rival tribes. It is considered noble to kill your enemy, in fact they see no problem with genocide.

It is hard for us to believe that we are rewarded in heaven if we kill non believers. It is even harder to imagine committing genocide. We view these actions as immoral, and evil, they view these actions as just and righteous. The difference between is how we are raised.

The concept of good and evil is man-made. Morality and ethics are subjective to the individual. Insanity and sane is defined only by our society, night and day are just man-made concepts to define the differences between the two.