Exxon and Planet of the Apes
I sat down yesterday and watch four movies from the 1970's Planet of the Apes series and I kept thinking of the disaster that destroyed the earth. You know the usual: nuclear holocaust, global pollution, dying oceans global warming, greed, racism, discrimination, and religious myths just to name a few.
While watching the original movie, I could not help but label the heroes and the villains. In one, the apes, villains, where driven by hatred for the humans who destroyed the earth by nuclear war. The human survivors were the slaves the apes hunted, tortured, and killed. In another sequel, the humans were the villains and the apes were the slaves. The humans treated the apes as slaves who lacked intelligence and were terrified that one of the apes could talk, therefore, was intelligent.
I suppose that a common theme of the movies was that mankind caused the destruction of the earth yet the human value systems had not changed over thousands of years. Global annihilation brought about by human greed, imperialism, and a lack of moral fiber is destined to destroy us all one way or the other.
Which brings me to Exxon, a multi-billion dollar oil company, who has lied for decades about the destruction that oil does to the world. Based on news reports and released documents, Exxon knew their products were destructive but choose greed over humanity. They choose profit and power resulting in wars of conquest, environmental destruction, and global disaster. A more humane path would have them fixing their products to make them safe but that would have required them to possess a level of humanity they apparently lack, kind of like the apes in the newer version of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
America Was Never Great
"America Was Never Great" engraved on a hat worn by the young lady pictured above caused a great stir from America's racist once her photo went public.The Home Depot employee and college student received death threats and racial slurs. She noted that other employees were wearing hats supporting the bigoted buffoon, Donald Trump but they received no blowback which is to be expected in a country that has always ignored racism. She said that her only goal was to bring people to the realization that we as a nation should try to make America better for everyone not just great for a few.
The "America Has Never Been Great" does raise two important questions, I think. Can we say that America ever was great? I think that when we supported allies in two world wars and helped win them that was great. When we put men on the moon that certainty was a great accomplishment. When we support other countries who have suffered disasters that is great from a humanitarian standpoint. But over 400 years of history we should have a lot more examples, don't you think?
That short list is of deeds accomplished and I don't believe it is germane to what she was saying on her cap.
I think what the cap was asking was when are we going to be great. Hence the second question is when is America going to start living up to the words printed in the Constitution? When is the country going to practice what it preaches about equality, democracy, opportunity, and justice? Why is our political system so corrupt?. Why don't we have a functioning government that addresses the peoples' need ahead of the corporations. Why do we support tyrants and dictators who suppress their people? Why do we have more people incarcerated than any other country in the world? When will our justice system begin to deliver equal justice for all?
I think that was what the cap was asking and maybe a few wise people will get the message.
If you are like most intelligent people in America, you are fed up with hearing about voter suppression, polling place snafus, lost voting records, fraudulent voting machines, flipped political party registrations, and etc. President Obama went on record this week in support of having federal election day declared as a national holiday. Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed legislation defining the same thing but obviously it won't be considered in today's worthless GOP led Senate. Talk show host, Thom Hartmann, has proposed voting on paper and throwing the voting machine in the junk heap.
Those suggestions and ideas are a great, commonsense start but they don't really address the problem of voter suppression and discrimination. In a country with voter participation ranging from 40% to 60% depending on the election type that palls in comparison with so-called Third World countries where voter participation is 80% to 90% are higher. In the great democratic experiment called the United States of America we have active voter suppression/discrimination by one political party, GOP, at the federal and state level and neglect of the voting problems by the Democratic Party. Well, I have a solution to the voting problem of democracy loving America.
The solution is THUMBPRINTS. In America, overlooking the obvious problem and developing a complicated and ridiculous fix seems to be a national habit. You know like taking a drug for sleeplessness that increases your chances of a heart attack/stroke, for example. Or taking a stomach gas remedy that causes kidney disease. Stupid shit like that! Fingerprints have been in use as a reliable, foolproof tool for over 100 years. No two people have the same fingerprints and unless they are identical twins they don't even closely match.
So here is the solution:
1. Place thumbprint devices at all polling places and the voter will provide a thumbprint as id with the thumbprint also being registered on a numbered ballot designated for that polling place. No other id will be required. Thumbprints will go into a national database just like the one currently being used by law enforcement. This will ensure that the voter is a citizen and is not voting more than once.
2. Voting by mail: the mailed ballot with have a place on it where the thumbprint is applied and the ballot is returned and scanned with the voter keeping a receipt/copy of the ballot for later auditing of the vote, if necessary.
3. Early voting for any and all elections with be mandated of at least 20 days prior to an election, nationwide/statewide.
So now you have a voting process that is simple and doesn't require a bunch of registration BS and will be much more inclusive and less expensive than the current stupid system. Of course, my idea will never be taken seriously because it is too simple, stupid.
Sen. Bernie won the West Virginia primary Tuesday even after Secretary Clinton had gone there to make her usual pandering statements about helping to keep the coal industry alive. (It did not matter as the laidoff coal workers who seemingly lack the intelligence to understand that their industry has been in decline for thirty years yet, still they blame Obama and the EPA. As proof many of the out-of-work miners say they will vote Republican. Case closed!)
But back to Bernie, he still has a very slim hope of securing the nomination from Hillary "Goldman Sachs" Clinton if he can sweep the West Coast. Then there is the convention in Philadelphia this July which has all the trappings of a lobbyist love-fest. According to Lee Fang and Zaid Silani at The Intercept: Democratic Convention Hosted by Republican Donors, Anti-Obamacare Lobbyists (May 11) regardless of how many delegates Bernie has it won't make any difference. "But the 2016 convention in Philadelphia will be officially hosted by lobbyists and corporate executives, a number of whom are actively working to undermine progressive policies achieved by President Barack Obama, including health care reform and net neutrality." How can a progressive like Sanders hope to move the Democratic Party to the left and address the real issues of inequality and the country in this convention.
The sellout was initiated "In October 2015, DNC chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., reportedly huddled with dozens of lobbyists to plan the convention in Philadelphia, and provided the influence peddlers involved with a menu of offerings in exchange for donations. In February, news reports revealed that the DNC had quietly lifted the Obama-era ban on federal lobbyist donations to the party and convention committee." according to Fang and Silani.
So, just a bit of analysis here. How does Sanders, a man pushing a single-payer healthcare system, etc. have any real say in a convention run by a sleaze-bag sellout like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and hosted by "The Host Committee’s finance chair is Daniel Hilferty. In his day job, Hilferty is CEO of Independence Blue Cross, a health insurance giant that covers nine million people. In December, Hilferty became board chairman of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association of America, a trade group that lobbies for the insurance industry, and he serves on the board of directors of America’s Health Insurance Plan’s (AHIP), the insurance industry lobbying group that spearheaded the campaign against the Affordable Care Act. Lobby registration documents show the BCBS Association is actively supporting a number of Republican bills to roll back provisions of the ACA."
Like I said, Bernie, the fix was in from the start!
Comments to think about.