3% and Dropping

Edward Snowden brought to the world’s attention that America is watching. Big surprise right, George Orwell warned the world, through his book, Nineteen Eighty-Four, that big brother was watching. Imagine if you will a fiction writer in 1949, writing about how the government would watch over its citizens and control their every move. Of course Orwell wrote about a fictional state, in a fictional country. Or did he?

Think about some of the concepts that Orwell spoke about such as; Big Brother (Snowden crashed the illusion that US citizens are immune to government surveillance) doublethink (political ads filled with non-truths yet quoted as truth) thoughtcrime (the Bush administration’s insistence that “If you’re not with us in the war against terrorism than you are anti-American”; although the weapons of mass destruction were never found, the ideology of questioning the sound decision of the war in the Middle East became a turning point in the us against them political arena ) newspeak (Fox News) just to name a few.

We are experiencing a division in the United States; political arguments are no longer discussed between politicians, but between corporations who have a huge stake in the future oppression of the American citizen. You may accuse me of being too left in my thinking, but let me ask this question; when 3% of society holds the majority of the wealth, who exactly does the 97% answer to?

Let’s explore the 3% reality using the Cosby Show as a jumping off point; in one episode of the Cosby Show, the Huxtable children said something on the order of, “but dad we are rich” and in answer to that statement, Cliff (played by Cosby) said to them, “Your mother and I are rich, you kids have nothing.” In other words, we are all children of the 3%. Most jobs are funded by the 3%; most of higher education is funded by the 3% (I recently attended a marketing meeting for a local private University, and found that the latest numbers on fundraising show that 95% of funding comes from less than 3% of contributors); I contend, therefore, that logic dictates that 97% work to collect wages from and return money to the 3%.

Okay Ken, get back on topic; how does this relate to Edward Snowden and George Orwell? The answer is simple. James Comey, the current head of the FBI, recently said, “Are we no longer a country that is passionate both about the rule of law and about there being no zones in this county beyond the reach of that rule of law? Have we become so mistrustful of government and law enforcement in particular that we are willing to let bad buys walk away, willing to leave victims in search of justice?” And to that I answer, “UM YES”, and the reason that I believe that we should be mistrustful of government is because of the 3%. We work for, spend our money with, and are governed by the 3%. Our existence is not protected by law enforcement nor by the government; our existence is protected by living within the comfort zones allowed by the 3%. On my drive to work this morning the thought hit me, “Ken, just go do your job and be happy that they allow you enough income to be comfortable and to forget that others are starving.” Thank God that shutting up has never been my strong point.

Peace All

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Same Sex Marriage

Personal Perspective

On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against lower court rulings in favor of same sex marriage. Or to be more precise, many lower courts had determined that laws against same sex marriages were unconstitutional, and by refusing to hear the cases brought against those rulings the Supreme Court has upheld those lower court decisions thereby agreeing that it is unconstitutional to discriminate against the rights of individuals (at least in the case of marriage law). One only needs to listen to the news to hear the backlash from those who are opposed to same sex marriage, and to these people I ask; what is different in your lives this morning?

My newly given right to marry the love of my life, with whom I have shared my hopes, my dreams, my wins, and my losses, for the past 19 years affects us more than you can know ; it affects us more than I could have imagined. In August of 2013 when Bill and I were finally able to celebrate our Civil Union, I was taken aback by my emotions; I had no idea that the ability, at long last, to legally recognize our commitment to each other would be so powerful. The announcement on October 6, 2014 was even more powerful for me, and today, October 7, 2014, I awoke with the knowledge that Bill and I would very soon take one more step in our commitment to each other, and that by doing so we, and many other same sex couples in Colorado and all of the other states who have been changed by the courts decision, may now celebrate one more part of an exercise in humanity which has until now been denied to us. How does that decision affect those who have not been outcast and those who have not been denied the same freedoms as the majority of Americans?

I don’t think that heterosexuals awoke today changed in a negative way by the Supreme Court’s decision; the separation of Church and State in this county has taken a major stride forward, but that separation does not detract from the teachings of or the beliefs of any religious entity, nor does this decision change the value of a heterosexual marriage. The court’s decision removes some legal support of religious objections; however, it is the intent of our constitution to uphold the rights of all of the citizens of this great nation, and not the religious ideology of any of those citizens. On October 6, 2014 we were reminded that our constitution is a living document, and that it will grow as people grow, and it will provide more freedoms as more of society lets go of the need to govern through religious ideology. Let me remind you, we fight against religious extremism in the rest of the world, and we may need to continue to sweep our own sidewalks prior to throwing stones.

Peace all.