Burger King recently announced its plans to leave the United States so it won’t have to pay income taxes. In response many have called for a boycott of the fast food franchise.
Over a hundred years ago, we fought a civil war, in part so that a government of the people, by the people and for the people might not perish.
But perish it has. All in the Name of Christ.
Remember the Christian coalition? Conservative Christians banded together to elect candidates a the local, school board level, to state offices, to federal positions, to President Reagan. Strangely enough, the economic goals of the Christian Coalition coincided exactly with the economic goals of the very rich. But the economics of selfishness wasn’t the motivating factor in getting out the Christian vote, instead, the masses were motivated by prejudice – against gays, for they were raised to think of sex along the lines of the Puritans – you know, the pious folks who burned young women at the stake upon the mere accusation of witchcraft. They were also motivated by a much nobler cause – to protect the life of the defenseless innocent, in this case, a fertilized egg.
People motivated by blind faith have little use for logic or reasoned argument. They also have no tolerance for facts that contractic their faith. They make the perfect army for those in power to keep, and enhance their power.
And so it has come to pass, that we have democratically elected representatives that have unquestionably done the bidding of the very, very few. According to a recent study, the United States is now run by an oligarchy.
We have a militarized police force across the country. Why? To uphold law and order? No – to put down civil unrest. Protest a police killing of an unarmed black kid – get arrested. Protest an unjust war – a war built upon lies – and get arrested. Do anything to upset the status quo of the very, very rich, and you’ll likely get arrested.
We, the people, outnumber the oligarchy. They survive by convincing enough people to support them – and by giving those people the power and means to support them. For some, it is as simple as giving them a newscasting spot. For others, it might mean drawing up congressional districts to make it impossible to vote them out of office. Others hold the power to count votes, and to restrict who gets to vote. Still others hold positions of judgships with lifetime tenure and virtually no accountability. Some are teachers, some are preachers.
But now, since 9/11 the most feared are the militarized police. Think about this – since 9/11 the government has had the power, and has gained the means, to monitor each and every one of our electronic communications. The government knows who we are, and what we think, say and do. Think of all your friends on Facepook, Twitter, etc. And think of their friends, and their friends friends, etc. What you have is the potential for McCarthy communist witch hunts, multiplied exponentially.
The country is run by an oligarchy. That this news was allowed to become public means but one thing: the ruling class believes that there is absolutely nothing we can do about it.
The balance of power lies with the oligarchy for now. Chiefly because things haven’t gotten bad enough for what used to be the middle class. It’s a fine line the oligarchy has to walk, between gathering more and more wealth and power unto itself, and making conditions so bad the masses rise up in revolt as they have done in the Middle East recently. So far, they’ve done a brilliant job here in the U.S. uprisings are small and disorganized. Their most potent threat, Occupy Wall Street fizzled from its own incompetence.
But the past foretells the future. At some point, a charismatic leader will arise, one whom the oligarchy cannot control, one who will destroy the current power structures. There are but two archetypes: Hitler and Ghandi.
A Hitler will rise from the evengelical crowd. A Ghandi will arise from obscurity.
We are all dead. The rest of the world can only hope that the conflagration is contained to the United States. I think it will be….if we can find another Ghandi.
ENJOY WHERE YOU ARE IN THE HERE AND NOW.
A short while back, astrophysicist and Cosmos star Neil deGrasse Tyson was pulled over by a State Trooper while on his way to a speaking engagement. The Trooper obviously didn’t recognize the famous scientist.
We here at The Zoo obtained the audio from the Trooper’s dash camera shortly before it was taken off-line. Here, then, is the exchange between an astrophysicist and a State Trooper on the subject of speeding.
Trooper: Do you know how fast you were going?
NdGT: Relative to what?
Trooper: Relative to…..Einstein.
NdGT: Ah, well, yes. It’s fascinating you should day that. You see, Einstein was a mathematician, but his theories revolutionized the study of physics and astrophysics. Using his theories on relativity and time and motion we are finally able to answer that question.
Trooper: What question?
NdGT: How fast was I going. That is what you asked, right?
NdGT: Ok. Now, to give you some grasp of how fast I was going, you’ve got to imagine we’re on one of those Octopus rides in a carnival. You know, the ride where there are several arms extending outward from a central hub. The hub spins around, and the end of the arms go round and round the hub. But that’s not all. At the end of each arm there are seats that spin round and round, so at times you’re hurling through space heading right towards the hub, and a moment later you’re being flung out and away from the hub. And at the point where you’re nearest the hub, you feel like you’re not moving at all.
NdGT: Stay with me, here. Now, the hub is our Sun, and the Earth is at the end of one of those arms, moving around the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour. But that’s not all, because the Earth spins around on its axis, like the seats on the carnival ride. In this case, a person on the equator would be spinning through space at about 1,000 miles per hour. But we have two problems. First, we’re approaching noon. That means we’re heading closest to that center hub, or, in this case, the Sun. That also means that, relative to the sun, we appear to be slowing down. And we’re also not at the equator. You see, the farther north or south you go from the equator, the slower you’re moving through space as the Earth continues to spin on its axis. For example, did you know that if you were standing exactly on the North Pole, you wouldn’t be moving at all, as far as the spin on the earth’s axis?
Trooper: I wouldn’t?
NdGT: Exactly! You’d be standing still. Well, not totally still. Although you wouldn’t feel like you’re moving, you would be doing a slow 360 degree spin. It would take you 24 hours just to be facing the same direction you were when you started. But even that’s a misperception. Because you would always be facing South, relative to the Earth, but relative to the Sun, or an astronaut in space, you’d be spinning in place. Are you with me so far?
Trooper: So far. We’re at the North Pole, right?
NdGT: No, we’re in Alabama. But that’s not all.
Trooper: It isn’t.
NdGT: No! and that’s the beauty of it all! You see, while we’re spinning round and round on our axis at 1,000 miles per hour, and spinning round and round the Sun at 66,000 miles per hour, the sun is whirling through space as it goes around and around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy at 483,000 miles per hour!
Trooper: No way!
NdGT: Way! and that’s not all! Our galaxy is moving away from the center of the Universe, the site of the Big Bang, at an amazing 1.3 million miles per hour! So, to answer your question, all I have to do is add 1.3 million, plus 438,000, plus 66,000, plus 1,000, adjusted down for latitude to approximately 800, plus 55 and the answer is…1,849,805 miles per hour, give or take.
Trooper: You don’t say. I had you clocked at 55. Wait, where’d the 55 come from?
NdGT: Oh, that’s the speed I had set on my cruise control.
OPEN THREAD TIME
(Warning – mature language)
The rise in religious fanaticism around the globe has taken its toll on the Almighty. So much so that God has gone into psychotherapy, according to Harvey (not his real name), a rare medium who claims to have listened in on a session:
THERAPIST: So, tell me, Lord, vat ist der problem?
GOD: Well, it all began when I created the universe.
THERAPIST: Go on….
GOD: Well, I didn’t really create. I just spoke, and shit happened.
THERAPIST: Vat do you mean, “shit happened”?
GOD: You know, light and dark, earth, sky, water, sun and moon, stars and shit.
THERAPIST: So dat vas a bad thing?
GOD: Hell no. I looked around, and it was all good.
THERAPIST: Unt den vat happened?
GOD: Well, then I got to creating plants and fish and birds and animals. I wrapped everything up late Saturday when I created man. I took Sunday off, because, well, after creating everything in the Universe, I was plumb wore out.
THERAPIST: Sounds like you had a busy week.
GOD: Yeah, it was a hell of a week, especially for my first week on the job. And I think I might have fucked up a bit.
The Traveler and the Woman at the Gate
a modern parable
A young woman approached the gate of a wondrous new city. “Where do I begin” she thought “to learn everything this place has to teach me?” She walked past the gate, looking with wide eyes at the shops and stores and people.
“I want to learn.” she would say to passersby. “Where did you go to learn? Where should I start?”
“Begin with what interests you” one would say.
“Start by walking in the woods” said another.
“Read” “Perform a cleaning ritual” “look for what interests you the most” the suggestions were endless, leaving her more bewildered than ever. She sat at the city gate, wondering if she should go to the library, visit the elders or walk in the woods. She wanted to learn everything about everything, but what should be her first steps?
A Traveler in a hooded green cloak approached. The young woman looked up at him as he pulled his cloak back, revealing dark hair against the cobalt sky. High above, an eagle circled.
“Are you going in, or out?” the Traveler asked.
“I don’t know” replied the young woman.
“Then you are going no where.” the Traveler observed. The young woman sighed.
“Mind if I join you?” The Traveler sat next to the young woman. “This really is a marvelous city. There’s lots of things to do, to see, to learn.”
“I know” sighed the young woman “there’s so much, and I want to learn it all….I just don’t know where to begin.”
The eagle cried overhead.
The Traveler stood, and helped the young woman up. He walked slowly in a circle. Returning to the young woman, he spoke. “No doubt many have told you how to begin.” She nodded.
“The path is different for each” the Traveler continued. “One seeks knowledge from books, another from nature, another from doing. Each path is right for each of them.”
“But what is right for me?” her blue-green eyes implored.
“Ah…that’s the thing no one can tell you. Tell me, have you ever become your breath?” There was a twinkle in the Traveler’s eyes.
“What does that mean?”
“It means” he replied “whatever you think it means.”
She paused, in thought. The Traveler reached out with his left hand and moved his palm slowly downward past her forehead, and her eyes closed. The young woman began to breathe, slowly, inhaling….exhaling…….relaxing. The eagle cried again.
She stood there, at the city gate, for several moments. Breathing. She thought about becoming her breath until the only sound she could hear was the sound of her breath as she inhaled….exhaled…breathed in…breathed out…..until gently, ever so gently, she was filled with the understanding…what becoming her breath meant to her….and why her path would be hers, and hers alone.
“The way you choose, will be the right way for you.” she heard the Traveler’s voice as if coming from a dream. She struggled to open her eyes and as she did, she was momentarily blinded by the bright sunlight. She thought she saw the Traveler for a moment, golden in the midmorning sun, but as her eyes became used to the light once more, he faded from her vision.
She looked at the city inside the gate, and the woods outside the gate. “Whichever way I choose, will be the right way for me” she thought as she stepped forward, her heart beating with excited anticipation to learn all this new world had to offer.
© 2012 Briseadh na Faire
OPEN THREAD TIME,
CHOOSE YOUR PATH
Premise: Everything can be a metaphore for anything.
I posit that this image is a metaphore for what is happening in the world right now.
Ok, we get it. Republicans voted some 50+ times to undo ObamaCare. Major Corporations insisted Obama give them extra time to implement ObamaCare and he caved to their wishes. Now, Republicans, led by none other than Mr. Orange Himself, John Boehner, are suing Obama for caving in to their constituents.
And – shock – Obama caves once more! We here at The Zoo learned that President Obama and John Boehner have stipulated to an agreement that will be filed in Court shortly, and fully enforceable, whereby Obama will rescind his granting of additional time for Big Businesses to fully enforce ObamaCare.
Ironically, this means that Boehner’s suit will succeed, and the Republican donors who asked for more time to implement ObamaCare will lose, and have to incur costs for implementing ObamaCare right before the 2014 elections.