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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Hitting a target
Sometimes it is required to aim beyond the target
in order to hit the bullseye.
 
Colin Stuart McCoy
9:35 pm pdt 

The good works and efforts of others
I wanted to take a moment to state that I see and
appreciate the work of the still functional
elements of our society. The letters to the editors
in the daily papers and blogs that show people
who can think are still alive and kicking out there.
I also know that for many of us the efforts that
we must make to keep the lights on and food on
the table makes a material dent in the time and
energy we have to work for needed societal
improvements. This places a burden that must
be accepted, a responsibility that must be
shouldered upon those of us who are able to
somehow create the time to work for those
societal improvements to keep working, to keep
pushing for as long and as hard as we are
physically, financially, and morally capable.
 
Colin Stuart McCoy
12:03 pm pdt 

Saturday, July 21, 2007

The American way of doing things- To be an American
People bandy about the term about how some
forms of behaviors are UN-AMERICAN. This I
believe ties into the degree to which we as
people or as a society can demonstrate the
level of our functionality or consciousness. I
mean, if you study the history of our nation,
our society, what you find is that consistently,
the majority of our various institutions, as well
as our general populace are behaving in ways
that we would catagorize as UN-AMERICAN. 
As I sit here today, the same, unfortunately
still holds true.
 
The unfortunate truth is that we have become
a nation of mindless consumers, that many say
use a disporportunate amount of our global
resources, and produce nothing of equal value
in the exchange.
 
Many believe that if the United States of
America, as it exists today, disappeared like an
ill odor in a strong wind, the majority of the
rest of the world would sigh a quiet exhalation
of relief . For at the very least it would provide
an opportunity for the have nots of the global
community to have greater access to the
resources that we so readily consume, doing
so without a moments consideration for the
feeling of obligation that such consumption
should instill.  
 
I believe that the positive potential that lies
in slumber in the United States must be
fought for and awakened. The wrong paths
that so many of us believe our nation has
been led down must be corrected.
 
We lead the world in almost nothing when it
comes to our quality of life. The only category
in which the United States can state clearly
that it leads the world is in the number of
people it has in it's prisons. None of our
european allies even come close to us in this
category. As of today we imprison a little over
750 of our people out of every 100,000 living in
our country. The european countries imprison
aprox 75 of their people out of every 100,000.
Are their countries 10 times more criminal than
ours, because of their rational rates of their %
incarceration? Absolutely not!! Are U.S. crime
rates 10 times lower now because of the 
morally and intellectually bankrupt size of our
prison industrial complex? No, not even
close. The truth is, we have allowed ourselves
to be overwhelmingly manipulated in our country
by people who are willing to play on our fears or
gain transitory political high fives and superficial
praise over needless human suffering, created
through effective fear campaigns, based upon
a tough on crime rhetoric. This must not be
ignored any longer, nor the damaging impacts 
left unchecked. We have in our country turned
our prison industrial complex into a major source
of capitalistic political coersion. Build it, then you
must fill it. This process as it releases aprox
700,000 people per year back into our
communities, and convicts and imprisons an
estimated 15,000 factually innocent people per
year. Additionally since 1977 we have executed
aprox 553 people who were on death row.
During that same period 80 people have been
released from death row as innocent, an error
rate of aprox 14%. In Illinois during this same
time period 12 people were executed, while 13
managed to prove their innocence in time to
save their lives. How easily for these resources
to be used to crush activists, our country has
a history of destroying our most effective
activists. With things as they are today using
bullets to stop those activists among us has
become rather antiquated. One nation under
God, (please lets stop deluding ourselves). 
This will be the first step towards our societal
better health. Being the most powerful seldom
transfers as to being the most enlightened.
 
This situation if not checked, could quickly 
destabilize our country in extremely negative
ways. (Prison Nation- Land of the Free, wake
up and smell the coffee)
 
The gap between the rich and the poor is the
worst that it has been in 40 years, while at
the same time due to effective conditioning
through various media, our societal concern
over this issue is at the lowest point that has
existed in over ten years.
 
We are over in Iraq showing the world what
it means to be American, how Americans
think. Since 2000, and 2004, after our nation
has very likely experienced the closest thing
to a national coup in our history, we hear our
national leaders brag about our democracy.
 
In Iraq, our soldiers place fake cameras on
poles clearly identified as being US property.
They put these out in the open as bait. Any
Iraqi foolish enough to forget themselves for
a moment, who then expresses anti american
sentiment by throwing a rock, or otherwise
directing their ire at these created targets
will be dealt with by our soldiers who have
been given direct orders to kill such people.
Now I realize these cameras are most likely
meant to be viewed as US security devices,
devices that if tampered with could endanger
the lives of civilians and soldiers alike.Then
again if we are so beloved by such a high
percentage of the Iraqi people that such
transparent, and brutal tactics regularily
produce targets for our soldiers, to warrant
such tactics being adopted, we must
consider how good a job we are doing showing
the Iraqis what being an American is all about.
Free speech is a wonderous thing.
 
You examine the money and resources
squandered to date in the current Iraq conflict,
and you consider for a moment how those
resources could have bettered the lives of
every citizen of the US if spent within our
nations borders. You consider, are our
current national leaders really wanting us to
buy as fact, that with all the capabilities of
the US, how we chose to handle the Iraq
conflict was the best and most efficiently
humane solution that our current national
leaders could come up with. That this Viet
Nam clone is indicative of the American
process. In Vietnam when the political
climate shifted to the point that we pulled
troops out, South Vietnam was overrun in
a matter of months.
 
The American way of doing things?
 
 
Colin Stuart McCoy
4:03 pm pdt 


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