Common Ideas to Put to Bed With a Shovel, Pt. 2
The second part in a series, and I'm privately amazed. I thought I didn't have anything to write about, but these are deep social needs that I've been noticing for years and didn't have an opportunity to express or explain. We can learn to strike down some of the problems that we encounter personally and as a society, and the internet is the perfect medium to learn together and take action together.
From how we look at ourselves, to how we look at corporations and politics, here are a few tired ideas that need putting out of their misery. And we can make it fun, too.
Legislation equals Law
"Buckle up! It's the law!" We've all seen the signs. Every day, governments put more and more legislation on the books, and things become increasingly criminalized. It now takes an attorney to co-ordinate with the legal system because things have become so convoluted. And people accept it all, grudgingly, as valid.
But it isn't law.
Attorneys are forever concerned with whether something is legal, and politicians are forever concerned with legislations. But "legal" refers to having the form and appearance of law, and looks to whether a thing is done according to administrative and bureaucratic rules. Paperwork, and that sort of thing. Were all the forms filled out? Did people go through the motions of bureacracy correctly? Was everything signed and dated? Good, good.
It's still not law. In order for something to be lawful, it must have legitimate authority behind it. Legislation, for example, must come from a legitimate governing body. Joe down the street can't pass laws. Neither can my postal worker. It has to be duly elected people, acting legitimately in a governing body. And... and here's the real kicker - that govening body has to legitimately have the authority to pass that law. So for all you Americans, think back to high school history for a moment. The federal government was created by the People, and certain powers and authorities were delegated to them. By us. What were they?
- to coin money
- to conduct foreign relations
- to regulate interstate commerce
- to levy and collect taxes
- to declare war
- to raise and support the military
- establish post offices
Those were the expressed powers, and they also had the implied powers to do what's necessary to carry out those expressed powers. And that's it. Period! And according to the 10th Amendment, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
Reader, do you recognize what you have just read? Nearly everything the federal government has done in the last, oh, 50 years has been against the law! It has been acting outside of its own delegated authority, and so while the legislation it's been passing has certainly been legal, all i's dotted and t's crossed, it hasn't been law. It couldn't have been law, because it isn't within the federal government's authority to do! It's called color of law - that which purports to be valid law, but isn't. It has no legitimacy, and nobody is bound or obligated to follow it. Nobody.
Additionally, the federal government's jurisdiction extends to the ten square miles of Washington D.C., and its posessions. It has no power in the States.
Since all of this renders the legislation passed over the last 50 years or so by the Federal government unlawful and without valid authority, where does this leave us? According to the Sixteenth American Jurisprudence Second Edition, Section 177:
'Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principles follow that it imposes no duties, confers no right, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it... '
So Americans are paying a third of their income to fund representatives who are sitting around drafting entirely fraudulent, treasonous legislation and calling the the law of the land. They don't apply to citizens of the various States, and cannot. New "crimes" are invented daily, and we have a media that claims that it's all true. Even worse, now we have politicians drafting secret legislation and not telling us what it is, or what they're doing. And they're pretending that it's all in accordance with legitimate authority. Guess what? It isn't:
"The rights and liberties of the citizens of the United States are not protected by custom and tradition alone, they are preserved from the encroachments of government by express/enumerated provisions of the Federal Constitution." Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 1 L. Ed. 2nd. 1148 (1957).
"The prohibitions of the Federal Constitution are designed to apply to all branches of the national government and cannot be nullified by the executive or by the executive and the senate combined." Reid v. Covert, 354 U.S. 1, 1 L. Ed. 2nd. 1148 (1957).
"Where rights as secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which will abrogate them." Miranda v. Ariz., 384 U.S. 436 at 491 (1966).
"Congress may not, by any definition it may adopt, conclude the matter, since it cannot by legislation alter the Constitution." Eisner v. McComber, 252 U.S. 189 at 207.
So we have a country of politicians creating fraudulent, treasonous law out of thin air. We have a media that tells us that it's valid. We have courts that tell us otherwise, but nobody listens to the courts anymore. We have a public that obeys directly unconstitutional legislation as though it were valid law, and as a result we have a society that's turning the country into a police state. Fortunately, the federal government is taking care of the problem for us, by building and staffing concentration camps in the U.S., and just biding their time. A triumph of the human spirit. And while they're taking everyone's guns away and finalizing it all, American citizens are going through the motions and claiming that, while it sucks, it's all valid. Like a zombie movie, they're acting as one to perpetuate something that is going to bite us in the tail any time now.
Personal Development is Grueling and to be avoided
From somewhere, we've gotten the idea that stuff that's good for us is unpleasant. Healthy food has to taste awful, for example. It's too much effort to take the time to think about ourselves and our society, find out what's wrong, and read up on some better ways to improve our lives both personally and collectively. Exercise is a chore. What this all leads to is a mindset that keeps us from taking pride in ourselves, feeling self-confident, worthy, and in control. And it keeps us from having worthwhile experiences. People feel like they don't have it in them.
And nothing could be further from the truth. We're superheroes, we're forces to be reckoned with. It's just underneath the surface, if we take the time to actually develop ourselves, find out our own strengths, improve our positive areas and work on our weaker points. We could be awe-inspiring - it's just underneath the surface.
Where are we getting all of this psychological static? From a lot of places. We're getting it from frozen entree dinners, telling us that it's now too much work to cook, and that we should get our meals either pre-packaged or from some spendy restaurant. We're getting it from diet fads and crazes publicized in the media. We're getting it from sit-coms that are the closest things we have culturally now as examples of what's normal social behavior - dysfunctional, degrading comedy and time porn, which tells us both that we can succeed without effort, and that we aren't in an economic scenario that causes us to devote all of our time and effort to the system just to get by. It's been said that America is an audience disguised as a culture. And the newest generation finds that to be so true - most of us are grown-up latchkey kids whose parents both had to work, so we have no real skills, domestic upbringing, sense of societal place, or job skills on one hand, and a tough-it-out economic and political environment left over from generations of corruption on the other. It's not a good match, and we've never learned what to do about it all. We scrape by in low-paying jobs, we aren't usually very socially or politically active, we generally spend our free time playing escapist fantasy games on the internet or online because we don't have the money to do much else, and the generation itself is essentially circling the drain while the social, political and economic conditions get fiercer and more brutal.
Because there's so little personal development, there's not much of a way out of this scenario. The answer of course is to look at who we are and how our lives can be made more worthwhile. This sense of "value in life", or "quality of life" has passed most of us right by. We didn't grow up in a society whose values taught us anything about it - most of us were raised by television. It's a hand-me-down problem inherited from the yuppie 80's and the consumeristic 50's. The only solution is to get back to who we are, to rediscover it, and more often than not to discover it for the first time. It means looking through Google and Wikipedia for healthier ways to live - and doing it intentionally, rather than waiting for links to fall into our lap. It means exploring, refining, redesigning. It means being playful and creative. It means using all this technology to relate to people, not just to gossip or find the next party in the area, but to develop ourselves and create things that work. Financially speaking, it's a huge untapped market because nobody's doing it, and everybody needs it. And at the moment, financially speaking may be the best way for people to become motivated - because times are getting tougher rapidly. And the only way we're going to pull out of it is to invest in ourselves and our society again, rather than getting home and feeling too tired from work to do anything but live from paycheck to paycheck.
Lack of prioritization
So often, when people actually get up the energy to improve their lives they get de-railed so quickly. Sometimes it will be because they'll pick the most trivial thing in their lives that's a problem, while leaving the real meat of their misery alone. They'll decide to make their life work for them, and so their goal will be to get their bikini line gone in time for summer. Or they'll pick a goal that is a side-issue, doesn't deal effectively with their problem, or only appears to. So many people become vegetarians for spiritual and moral reasons - which is great! What about the third of your income you pay in taxes to subsidize mass human slaughter? Is that any better? Or they'll decide to make their lives better by trimming their tummy - terrific! Will that really help you with the dead-end minimum-wage job and the string of abusive relationships? Only if you can find yourself a Pimp in Shining Armor, quick!
At this point, I tend to place blame by taking another cheap shot at the media, for creating this mentality and making it so pervasive. We focus on trivialities, side-issues, and generally only get to work on a problem that is solely concerned with us. But in actuality, I know that it's a shortage of life-skills and critical reasoning and evaluation skills on the part of most people. They don't seem to know how to reason their plan of approach to assess the situation, look at the core problems that are causing their more immediate problems, and concentrate their efforts where they will accomplish the most good.
Triage personnel know how to do this. When they come onto the scene of a major medical emergency, they realize that they may not be able to save everyone. The manpower and resources they have at their disposal may not be enough to take care of all the emergency victims in time. They're going to have to prioritize, and determine how to best apply their efforts to accomplish the most good in the right order. This basic crisis management approach seems to have passed most people by. If they were triage personnel, most of them would be wandering through the disaster area lackadaisially, smoking a cigarette, and occasionally stooping down to tack a band-aid onto the chest of someone whose leg has just been crushed - or maybe on themselves.
Then they commonly wonder, baffled, why it's not doing any good, and they give up and go back to watching sitcoms. Want to get out of a situation where you have no skills and are stuck in a dead-end minimum-wage job? It's easy! Learn some skills through the internet in your spare time, and fix the economy. That's easier than it sounds. So many people have become accustomed to thinking only about their own priorities that they don't stop to consider that the larger problems, the ones they've written off as being something they can't do themselves, is something that lots of people want sorted out. They don't have to do it themselves. If enough people want something enough, it will happen. But that's because wanting something means applying yourself to an agenda, and working with others to get things done. If we had political accountability, we wouldn't have a corrupt economy, we'd have personal freedom, and people wouldn't be donating a third of what they do make to a goverment turning the place into a police state. How do we get political accountability? Does it happen by pinning our hopes onto the next politician who will let us down, and talking eagerly about them? It doesn't. It comes from learning the law, finding out where the problems are, and working with others to effect change. Take Wolfpack, for example. It's like a Wikipedia for corruption, with people in each country being able to keep tabs on the actions of their politicians, their corporations, their news media, and key figures. Each entry will have a button that will allow users to invest a minimum of $50 into a fund for that person or corporation, and when it fills up we can take the matter into law and sue the pants off them. We can sue for impeachment. We can yank corporate charters, dissolve corporations, and sieze assets. We can get journalists with no integrity out o fthe mainstream media. And we can return the seized assets and awarded damages back to the people who invested, in whatever proportion they invested.
I knew that I had to get to the core problems, and I knew that they were too big to do much about on my own. But I didn't let that stop me. I realized that anything that big was everybody's problem, and that everybody would have a motive to assist. The only thing missing was a way for them to do that. So I'm creating one. Help me do that.
If you've ever watched television and movies from the 50's, you've probably seen lady shoppers browsing through their local stores at some point. Sales clerks were very polite, they would offer to assist, and they would thank the lady for her patronage. Today, it's a whole 'nother story. Places invoke policies like timed-seating limits. The Taco Bell a few blocks away from me has a sign that openly declares that they won't give water to someone unless they buy something from them. And along Pacific Avenue, one of the two major tourist thoroughfares in scenic Santa Cruz, nearly every store has either locked their restrooms for customers only, or else have reserved them for staff. Profit margins go up, even with inflation, and civility goes down. "Buy One, Get One Free" has become "Buy Two, Get One Free". About a year ago the Borders bookstore near me removed all of its "soft seating" - the only seating area in the bookstore where browsing readers could stop and look through an overpriced potential purchase - leaving only the seating in the cafe area. To be seated in the cafe area, staff will come up and require you to make a purchase of a $5 drink or somesuch, and in order to use their T-Mobile WiFi service, you must also pay T-Mobile $10 a day. Consideration for the patron has all but gone, and it's all about immediate profit with no ongoing relationship whatsoever.
I'm not ranting about how "much better it used to be in my day", so don't put me in an old folks' home just yet. I'm pointing out the erosion that's happening in the interaction between corporations and citizens. You never hear people in a store being referred to as "patrons" anymore - they're all "customers" now. Patrons were people who, like website surfers, chose to come in, look around, and decide whether to give a retail store their business. And businesses were grateful for it. Today, we're "customers" - we're either there to buy something, or get out. There's a subtle shift in the relationship there, and it's getting less subtle.
It's also present in general practices. We have large corporations owning most of everything (cars, media, etc.), able to charge what they want and mine it, manufacture it, and distribute it through their own channels - and exclude competition in the process - the world is essentially their oyster, or at least the part that isn't the bailiwick of the governments and banks. They can essentially do as they like, and they're starting to throw their weight around. It's no longer a matter of getting people to patronize their stores and spend their money - if you want food, you go to one of the big chain grocery stores or eat at a big chain restaurant. If you want something - and you will - you'll go to them because there's nowhere else to go. Wherever you go for something, the same large corporations will get your business anyway - so why not cut costs down to the bone, give you the worst service and least value, and attempt to use that money either to leverage against the few remaining competitors, or feather a CEO's nest? As patrons, people are no longer of any major consideration. For big businesses, business is guaranteed. The honeymoon's over for shoppers. In my area growing up, it used to be all orchards and farms, for miles. Now it's row upon row of tract housing. People farms. And for corporations, it's pretty much the same thing - just one notch higher on the food chain.
What they're forgetting of course is that they're becoming more exploitative and lawless. They're forgetting that when corporations first started to be chartered, the people were actively involved in politics and because of this, few corporate charters were issued. They were only issued after a lot of deliberation, and they were pretty constrained. Have a look, it's pretty neat!
Wouldn't you just love to have a corporate situation like that today? Well, you can! All you have to do is re-establish corporate and political accountability, and straighten out this corkscrew of corruption. That's not tough, with the internet. Look at what Wolfpack's doing! Not only can you get corporations to shape up and treat you and everybody else with dignity again, paying fair wages, not treating you like a piece of meat - you can actually shut them down. You can sue to have their corporate charters yanked. They chose to be corporations, and as a result of their power they're very constrained. If you remember Jafar from Aladdin, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Phenomenal corporate power... eety-bitty living space. If people started getting active and doing something about this, you'd laugh as you watched corporations snap to get back in line with what they're already supposed to be doing. It would be something like the way a soldier dozing at his post jumps up and snaps to attention when an officer enters the room - because as one of the People, you are in authority over them. Enjoy it.
And honestly, I can't think of a better way to go about doing this than to start with Wolfpack. You might want to give it a thought. But whatever you do... do something. People with big corporations are making the problem worse on a daily basis. When did you last apply your effort to correcting a social problem, whether political or corporate? Yesterday? A week ago? A month? Three? Last year? While you're struggling, trying to make a living in the wake of this corporate devestation, they're making the problems you have to live with worse. It's not going to get better until people apply themselves to sorting it out - but ah, when they do. It's going to be so much fun to be alive then.
Iraq 2: The big summer blockbuster your government is selling you through the news media with PSYOPS
"Gotcha!" for people, not for corporations and governments
For years now, I've noticed that the media - and especially the news media - have been putting people on the defensive. Are you doing the right thing? Do you know what to do to protect your family from -insert government-spawned crisis here-? Is such-and-such a celebrity or notable doing something against the law? We seldom hear the flip side of that - whether governments are out of line. It's a form of psychological aggression, it's been condensed into forumulae, and those formulae are repeated over and over again in the mainstream media. That's why the news has gotten so boring in one sense, and so sensationalistic on the other. It's also why we get very little news out of our news organizations anymore. If you've seen Outfoxed - and you should - you'll know exactly what I'm talking about with Rupert Murdoch's organization. Fox is the biggest example of this, but most of the news media do it to some extent or another. At first I thought it was just lackluster reporting, and that people just needed to get off their duffs and regain some journalistic integrity. Then I found a few studies showing just how much news media were pressured by their sponsors to squelch stories that would be unflattering, and how much of their stories were actually paid ads made by corporations to promote products, and used because they were easy. But the other day I was doing some research for the first Hub in this series, and I came across what's been going on through Google.
I've finally figured out what the heck is going on.
It's PSYOPS - a government operation positioning their agents in the newsrooms at major networks and demanding to insert their propaganda into the "news". It's easy now - there's no demand for accountability either politically or corporate, and most of the media are owned by the same corporations. Have another look at the media ownership chart. The government has been inserting itself into the media, turning what should be impartial news to help the public enforce accountability into mere propaganda for whatever politicians decide to do. It's not impartial. It's not investigative. It's why press now lap up whatever politicians say at press briefings and don't question them on known lies. And as one agent in the field has admitted, there isn't a bit of accountability there anymore. It's becoming a total reversal of the War for Independance, and at least one insider is saying that what needs to happen is for the public to get involved again. We're going to have to do it. We need to stop letting the government, through the news media, put people on the defensive as though we're in some kind of totalitarian state, and start putting the government and corporations back on the defensive where they should be. It doesn't have to be grueling - improvement doesn't have to be a chore, remember - we can even make money off of it if we use Wolfpack or start something like it. But it needs to happen, and fast. Remember when Bush said he wasn't going to play "Gotcha!"? This was apparently why. But he will play Gotcha - he just doesn't want to be on the receiving end of it. he wants to dish it out, apparently, through his agents and through them, the media. Totalitarianism at its finest, and unless we're going to resist that kind of mentality, it's going to keep encroaching. And let's face it, there isn't much further it can go short of martial law.
We need action. It doesn't have to be miserable or odious, and it can actually be extremely profitable - but it needs to happen. Let's think of other ways we can approach the situation to restore accountability that are rewarding and fun - the Comments section is open if you'd like to share.