Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Giant Versus 100 Midgets

A Giant Versus 100 Midgets

          On the left our motivation is from the heart. We are people of passion. Our passion is of course divided through a plethora of causes. Whether it be antiwar, the environment, ending poverty, giving all a democratic voice, against animal cruelty, promoting indigenous peoples rights, why the list is very long isn't it? It is a group of people loosely affiliated under the general banner of doing good towards others.
          On the right this is not so. The general attitude of conservatives is self serving. That is they want to embolden themselves. They seek personal profit. Take for example the brainless mantra, "Make America great again". Exactly in what way are they trying to do that? Are they trying to increase our kindness and generosity? Are they trying to eliminate poverty and help the disenfranchised? Not at all. What they are saying is that they want to build up the country's military prowess and it's economic dominance. Why? Because such actions will bolster their own selfish status. Even if just in their ego.
          I stand boldly on the left. I have ideals and I believe in fulfilling those ideals no matter what price I pay. Progress, let alone some Utopian state is a far away reality. Still I say this, if every little step of the journey is done correctly then the big steps will follow as well. So many times people consider selling out because of circumstance. If they just compromise this once there is a tangible gain to receive, now. Resist such temptations.
          So you can understand how the right is a powerful group of people. But they are far from strong. Let us now define power and strength. During the Vietnam War, the United States was clearly the powerful entity. They had jet bombers, a navy, savage troops well equipped, why the arsenal was fierce. But the opposition consisting of the Vietnamese people had strength. They had this sense of community as a people that they were one. They wanted to be free from oppression and determine their own lives. They wanted a better life for their children.  And thus you see that the most powerful country in the world was defeated by an impoverished people consisting of mostly peasants. There is a lesson to be learned here. Strength always defeats power. Never give up!
          Now the right has no ideals. In fact they are a mockery. Some claim to be pro life fighting against abortion. But once the child is born they have no interest. These same people for the most part endorse the death penalty and have no qualms about going to war. So if a baby is killed on an abortion table it is wrong. But if a pregnant mother is blown up by a cluster bomb, well that's acceptable as collateral damage. You see when you put it into real life how hypocritical these people actually are.
          Take for example their ardent stance on capitalism. The big Wall Street firms wanted no regulations controlling their operation. Over time the rules and restrictions were eventually removed. What happened? The greedy pigs who control these massive investment firms wound up bankrupting their companies. Now under real capitalism the government shouldn't interfere. After all it what these heinous individuals were long campaigning for. However when they were facing losing their money the insisted the government help them. "Too big to fail", was their cry. Never mind they were shattering their own ideals. The truth is these people have no ideals. They share one religion and that is greed. These people are motivated primarily by the love of money.
          So we see on the right you have ruthless individuals only concerned about themselves. On the left you have altruistic nobility. It is easy for the right to accumulate power. Conversely on the left we are the heirs of strength. Remember strength always defeats power. It is a law inherit to the universe.
          On the left because of the diversity of our motivation we are divided. But this actually works in our favor. It is easier to kill the giant then a hundred midgets. To kill the giant you simply need to take off the head and the whole body dies. Sure the giant can crush a few of the midgets but he can't get us all. On the right you have a cruel monolithic juggernaut trying to destroy everything that doesn't bow down to it's idol of insanity. You see it's a battle between a giant and a hundred midgets. It's the classic conflict of power versus strength. Goliath is fighting David.
          So where do we go from here? To quote "Joe Hill" a famous American political prisoner assassinated by the state of Utah, "organize". That's right, we on the left have to get our act together. We don't have to become one in the sense that we are forsaking our virtues. But we have to become one in purpose and actions. So the question begs, what should we be united under?
          First and foremost that the system has to changed from one the serves the right into one that serves the left. That is power to the people and away from the corporations and the wealthy. This incredible task is a world wide struggle. We cannot rest until every citizen of the Earth is liberated from their cruel task masters. Look at it this way. If you live in a block infested with roaches and you clear out all of the vermin except in one house what happens? Why the roaches regain their strength and infest the houses that were once cleansed. As such we cannot stop our fight until there is a satisfactory condition for everyone on the planet.
          Secondly we must forsake the use of violence and the threat of violence. Disputes should not be settled by a military agenda. Might does not make right. In the same way we should not glorify the school yard bully we should not praise a nation's military prowess. It is not noble in any way or fashion that you are adept at killing people. In fact it is a tell tale sign of the savage insanity of your own self. I am a pacifist and would never consider using violence personally. Saying this there is a difference between war and self defense. Especially in domestic circumstances. It is easy for somebody outside of the 'hood' to say don't pick up a gun when you are not the one being killed daily by the police. Also there is a difference between picking up a gun and using one as the Black Panthers have aptly illustrated.
          Finally I leave the most important element to last. All things must be done in Love, forsaking malice. This here is the key to victory. We must recognize that the movement on the left is a people's movement. Therefore we want to promote the people. To do so that means empowering them.  This necessitates education. Not only must we respect differences in culture but we must share power in respectful humility. A true leader does not conceive of where the people want to go. Rather he articulates their desires.
          I leave these words broad and general on purpose. I could speak further about my own preferences and ideas. I neglect to do so for this reason. Liken a revolution unto a journey. We are in New York City. Our collective destination is out West. Some want to go to California, others Texas, some Nebraska. Why divide ourselves at this crucial initial juncture? Cannot we walk together and share the burdens and hardships of the road as one? If we do so all will be more successful. In the process we will learn of each other's nature. Perhaps then our final destination also shall change.
          If you appreciate these comments or others on the blog please share this. Or please purchase my one or all of my three books.

Signing off for now,

John 'FeatherLeaf' Kaniecki

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Guest Blog by Carlito Rovira On The Young Lords

Pa’Lante: “Young Lords Way” and Lessons in Struggle

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By: Carlito Rovira (the opinions expressed here are of the author)
Printed with permission of the author. 


Young Lords Way

On Saturday, July 26, a new name was added to East 111th Street in New York City – “Young Lords Way.” It was named in memory of the Puerto Rican revolutionary youth organization known as the Young Lords. Despite the motives of the City Council of New York, which approved and made the street name official, in my final analysis it was the militant struggles of the Puerto Rican people during the 1960′s and ’70′s that made this special event possible.
The City Council of New York, as well as any such municipal entities throughout the U.S., are part and parcel of the overall political power structure that subjugates Puerto Ricans and all oppressed people of color. We should never be fooled by the semblances of democracy and inclusiveness that it appears to have. In the end, city councils are connected to the police state.The NYC City Council may have approved the street name of a revolutionary organization but it will never acknowledge how the Young Lords challenged the racist practices of the police, how they believed in and practiced armed self-defense; and called for the overthrow of the capitalist system and establishment of socialism in the United States. These views of the Young Lords were formulated in their 13 Point Program and Platform.
Carlito Rovira with Iris Morales, former YLP Deputy Minister of Education, at the unveiling of "Young Lords Way" in El Barrio.
Carlito Rovira with Iris Morales, former YLP Deputy Minister of Education, at the unveiling of “Young Lords Way” in El Barrio.
It is a good thing that tribute was given to the memory of the Young Lords; it was a revolutionary movement in the history of an oppressed people who deserve it. Perhaps in a future revolutionary United States the George Washington Bridge, the FDR Drive or an interstate highway can all be named after the Young Lords, the Black Panther Party and other revolutionary legends.
The point is that with the power of a people’s movement not only can we change the name to given locations, we can also change the existing social, economic and political reality.

Lessons in Struggle: A Brief History of the Young Lords Party

Forty-five years ago, news headlines focused on a group of Puerto Rican youth in New York City who used daring and unusual forms of protest against racist oppression. These defiant and militant youths called themselves the Young Lords.
Their examples, and the mass movement from which they arose, continue to inspire young people, especially today as we see greater proof that the only solution to oppression is organization and struggle.
The Young Lords developed in Chicago during the 1950s. They were composed of unemployed students and working-class youth, who were among many street-youth organizations targeted by police and demonized as “gangs” by the capitalist-owned mass media.These youths came from families compelled to leave Puerto Rico between the 1940s and 1950s as a result of the economic hardships caused by U.S. colonialism.
These immigrants continued to experience oppression but under new circumstances. They became victims of extreme exploitation at their jobs in factories, hotels and restaurants; they encountered greedy slumlords and the violence of police and white racist gangs.
The Puerto Rican migration occurred during the same years the Civil Rights movement arose. The struggles of the African American people impacted the newly arrived immigrants who also experienced the vile nature of racism. In many instances, Puerto Ricans identified with the demand for Black Power.
In 1966, the Black Panther Party was formed. Panther leader Fred Hampton of Chicago sought to politicize the street organizations, particularly the Puerto Rican youths. The BPP’s efforts were successful when, in 1968, the Young Lords became a revolutionary political entity; they then became part of a fraternal alliance known as the Rainbow Coalition (unrelated to Jessie Jackson’s later Rainbow/PUSH Coalition), which also included the Brown Berets, I Wor Kuen, Young Patriots, and the Black Panthers.
In 1969, the Young Lords opened a chapter in New York City. For many years, Black and Latino people complained about the Sanitation Department’s double standards in trash pick up. White affluent areas were serviced properly with regular garbage pick-ups, while Black and Puerto Rican neighborhoods were left in unhealthy conditions.
In the summer of 1969, the Young Lords began sweeping the streets and amassing large piles of garbage that were a nuisance to the community. Many people wondered about what the young, seemingly “good Samaritans” were up to. But the mystery did not last long.
In August 1969, the Young Lords used the garbage they had collected as the means to execute a political offensive with military tactics. Tons of trash were dumped and set ablaze across the main arteries of Manhattan to disrupt traffic, including on the affluent 5th Avenue. The Lords demanded an end to New York City’s racist municipal policies on sanitation. In neighborhoods where the “garbage offensive” was launched, the Lords galvanized community support; many joined the organization.
The mass media’s attacks on the Lords only worked in their favor. Within months, YLP chapters appeared in Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Jersey City, Boston and Milwaukee—cities with large concentrations of Puerto Ricans. While mainly composed of Puerto Ricans, the organization also allowed members of other oppressed nationalities to join them.
The YLP had a military-type structure with a process for recruitment and rules of discipline that were strictly enforced. At the height of the YLP’s development, women comprised nearly half the number of its rank-and-file.
In the years following the Garbage Offensive, the Young Lords engaged in numerous campaigns that involved bold actions and drew widespread attention. One example was the physical takeover of the First Spanish Methodist Church on 111th Street. The Lords repeatedly pleaded with parishioners for space in order to feed hungry children, but to no avail. This church was closed throughout the week and only opened for a few hours for worshipping by a congregation that mostly lived out of town. Backed by community sentiment, the Young Lords entered the church during a Sunday mass and expelled the congregation. Using the church as a base, the Young Lords operated a free childcare service, breakfast program, and legal clinic. Medical services were also provided.
Since disease and poor health care have long been an issue in the Puerto Rican community, other actions taken by the YLP included the seizure of an unused tuberculosis testing truck, equipped with X-ray technology. After the truck was seized, the city was compelled to provide technicians to run the machine. The truck was then taken to East Harlem, where many people were tested for the lung ailment.
The Lords demanded that Lincoln Hospital, which served the people of the South Bronx, expand its services. Because this facility originated in the mid-1800s, when it treated escaped enslaved peoples from the South, its facilities were outdated and did not meet the current needs of residents. An infestation of rats and roaches in the hospital further exacerbated the deplorable conditions.
In the early morning hours of July 17, 1970, about 100 members of the Young Lords boldly seized control of Lincoln Hospital. For 24 hours, the Young Lords and progressive medical professionals in the Health Revolutionary Unity Movement provided free medical services to community people. Today’s modern Lincoln Hospital—with its new facilities—is the result of a community struggle of which the Young Lords were in the leadership.
The YLP drew up a 13-Point Program that outlined the group’s political objectives. It included independence for Puerto Rico, as well as liberation for all Latinos and other oppressed peoples. The Young Lords upheld the struggle against women’s oppression and openly denounced the capitalist system, calling for a socialist society. The Young Lords eventually voiced support for the rights of LGBT people. By all definition, the YLP gravitated towards communism.
These young revolutionaries believed that the power of the people would eventually overwhelm the power of the oppressors. In that spirit, the YLP believed in the right of armed self-defense. This became evident in actions they took while patrolling the streets in areas they organized. Whenever the Young Lords witnessed the police arresting community residents, they would intervene to confront the racist cops and often liberated the arrestees.
In late 1970, YLP member Julio Roldán, who had been arrested at a demonstration in the Bronx and was pending arraignment, was found hung to death in his cell at the “Tombs” prison facility in lower Manhattan. During this era, many prisoners were found mysteriously dead in their cells, but prison officials always labeled them “suicides.”
The Young Lords responded to Roldán’s death with militancy, accusing the state of murder. Following a procession with Roldán’s coffin through East Harlem, the YLP returned to the First Spanish Methodist Church, which they had seized a year earlier—but this time, they came armed with shotguns and automatic weapons. They demanded an investigation into Roldán’s death. Deeply entrenched community support for the Young Lords prevented a gun battle, as government officials knew there would be an enormous political fallout if they initiated a police onslaught. The Young Lords held the church for three months.
There are many examples of heroism among these young revolutionaries—not only in New York or Chicago, but also in other cities where the Puerto Rican people were in struggle.
Shamefully, because that people’s movement no longer exists, non-revolutionary interpretations of that period persist, which dismiss the relevance of the Young Lords’ history for the struggle for socialism today. Regardless of what may be argued, the Young Lords openly called for the destruction of capitalism and establishment of socialism in the United States. This is made indisputably clear in the YLP’s 13-Point Program.
The Young Lords, like the Black Panther Party, attempted to build a highly disciplined organization. They understood that without the organizational sophistication of a vanguard party, revolution is impossible. It is precisely this lesson that revolutionaries today should embrace and emulate in order to realize the future victory of socialism.
The unveiling of "Young Lords Way" in El Barrio, July 26, 2014.

Guest Blog by Marc Luzietti On Fascism

(The opinions expressed here of those of Marc Luzietti.)

          What is fascism? Mussolini allegedly said (note, this quote actually first appears in an English translation of a work by Giovanni Gentile, who was one of the theorists of fascism) it was the government + corporations, and as he was the first leader of fascism, we ought to take his word, right? Well, we need to keep in mind that Mussolini, like all fascists, was an opportunist. He said whatever he thought would gain him the most support. So we can't necessarily trust his word on the subject.
          Second, corporation in Italian has a different meaning than in English. Sectors of society are considered corporations (it's a medieval view of society). So farmers are a corporation, unions are a corporation, the church is a corporation. So when Mussolini supposedly said fascism is the unity of the state with corporations, it would have meant the fusion of all of society with the state, not just joint stock corporations. Which isn't to say he wasn't the running dog of the joint stock corporations. Again, opportunist, says anything.
          Lastly, just as Marx says it's not what a man thinks of himself that defines him, but his relations in society, so too is that true of social movements. Just cuz fascists think something of themselves doesn't make it true.
          Many seem to believe that severe authoritarianism is fascism. While it is true that fascism is severe authoritarianism, not all severely authoritarian governments are fascist. We have to look past the forms these governments take, and look at their essence.
          So what is fascism?
          In a nut shell, fascism is a mass movement of the enraged middle classes ("middle class" as defined by Marxism, not the American understanding of the term). They are getting their ass kicked by capitalism, and in their terror at being ruined, they lash out at all whom they see as responsible for their plight. So in Italy, it was the socialists and communists, the bankers, in Germany, them plus the Jews, Roma, gays, foreigners; here, Blacks, Mexicans, Democrats, bankers, etc.
          As capitalism is always kicking the middle classes asses, these reactionary elements always exist in capitalist society. What helps them grow into a mass movement is the support of the ruling class, or rather, the most powerful layers of the ruling class (the ruling class is not homogeneous, capitalism being defined by, among other things, fierce competition among capitalists, even when they seek to damp that down). If the profits of this layer are under threat, and they cannot rely on the usual means of dealing with it (calling out the army or the police) they may begin funding a fascist movement.
          The capitalists only do this as a last resort, however, because they are effectively turning the state over to an alien class, and one that contains elements quite hostile to them. Consider the Tea Party's hatred of the bank bailouts and its attempt to tank the American economy just recently. It's only when the capitalists see no other way out that they turn to this insane enraged mass, because once they are in charge, there's no telling what they might do, like invade the USSR.
          Like most mass movements, fascism attracts support from many classes. Historically, many of the foot soldiers of fascism were working class folks, farmers, etc. But the main impetus of fascism is the ruination, fear, and rage of the middle classes.
          Fascism is not friendly. Fascism is not a policy. Fascism doesn't smile. Fascism is a boot on your face, forever. Fascism allows no opposition. The test to see whether or not you live in a fascist society is whether or not whether or not you are still alive. Since you are, we can be certain we don't live in a fascist society. (I am assuming here you are a leftist, since we're wiped out very quickly when the fascists come to power.)
          Doesn't mean it can't happen, but the Tea Party has played out its historic role of saving the profits of the Finance sector of the economy, so they will likely be defeated in the next elections. ... Unless the ruling class fears a mass upsurge of the working class, which there is some indication that they do.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Free Poem Give Away

Give Me Something To Work With

          Here it is ladies and gentlemen. "Turn a Page or Two" is getting ready for it's grand opening. We've got a lot of exciting events planned so please stick around. We still have to declare the exciting purpose of this blog! This ain't your mama's blog you know.
          If you have read the entries on the blog you would know that I write poetry. If you haven't read the entries on the blog, shame on you.  So repent and read. Today we're going to explore the poetry. As such we're going to play a little game. I am going to personally write poem for you. Yes that's right I'll write you own personal poem for free. Something for you to treasure for all your years. All you got to do is "Give Me Something To Work With". I'll try to write as many poems as possible. So try to inspire me with a title. Or give me details, or words to use. Give me anything you want.
          So comment on this blog with your words. We're going to star this real slow and then pick up the pace. Everybody who posts a comment is going to be entered into a drawing for some great prizes.

          Please see my personal website for my two poetry books.

Murmurings of a Mad Man

Poet to the Poor 

Let's get those comments rolling. Author maintains all copyrights.  

Thursday, January 14, 2016

The Masters at Church

The Masters at Church

Fred Masters hurriedly signed the blue check his pen darting frantically. In anticipation his head turned toward the soon to arrive collection plate. The shiny golden plate was being passed hand to hand by the congregants. The contorting of his body caused pain in the lower back of Fred Master as the pew was hard and unforgiving. His hands ripped out the blue paper along the perforated edges. In one fluid motion the man folded the check in two concealing the writing.
The metal plate approached closer as the organ sounded out a sixteenth century dirge. Nobody sang along though the priest had directed the congregation to the proper page where the lyrics had been translated from the dead language of Latin. Eagerly the Masters’ hand was about to deposit the check when another hand darted out restraining his. Fred was familiar with the touch; it was his wife’s hand.
The Masters’ eyes met his lady’s as she gave him a quizzical look. The woman’s hand squeezed her husbands at first soft but then the grip turned painful. The Master was familiar with the dreadful ritual and relented handing the blue check to his lady. She in turn opened the paper to examine the contents of the offering. The grotesque look on her face revealed all that was on her mind, but to make no doubt in the matter she harshly spoke, “We can do better than we are!”
Fred Masters’ hand retrieved the check and tossed it into the plate and then past the plate on. He would have hell to pay later of that he was certain. Meanwhile the lady in the presence of the church restrained her true feelings. After all there were rules to be followed in this so called house of god and speaking one’s mind was forbidden. 
Both Fred and his lady were aggravated. The lady was upset that her husband would put such little money in the offering plate; after all God had been good to them, the Masters were blessed abundantly. They had two houses a regular one and a vacation house at the shore. Then there was the Mercedes, the Porsche and the Ford Explorer. They needed something to pack all their stuff in when they went to the summer home. Heaven forbid they had to be cramped up in their Porsche. Then there was all her fines clothes and jewelry.  ‘Why they had everything that life could offer,’ thought the lady as she sighed verbally, ‘except happiness.’ But joy was God’s work, God would bring that joy. And that more than anything else is why her husband’s twenty dollar check was just not good enough to please the Lord. Why it should at least have been forty dollars!
Fred Masters hated giving money to the priests. Why he had seen those sons of bitches several times at the liquor store. Weren’t they satisfied with the sacrificial wine? Of course on such occasions these ‘men of god’ did not wear their funk outfits and ceremonial robes. No they just looked like ordinary people. The Masters’ mind raced on, ‘those sons of bitches just work one day a week’. He bitterly recalled his parents’ deaths. Fifty years straight the elder Masters gave sacrificially to the church. They were present every Sunday and holy day. And in thanks of a life of loyal dedication Fred Master was handed a sizable bill for the funeral.
So in the house of god, Fred Masters sat next to his wife in silence with a hurting back against a hard and unforgiving pew. Fred noticed that a few people were making their way out of the church and Fred longed to be one of them. But he dare not tempt his wife with that notion of freedom considering her state of mind.
They priest got up to do his thing. He started of about talking about Jesus’ command of Loving one’s neighbor. The priest then went on to explain how the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq were doing just that, loving one’s neighbor. Fred couldn’t follow the logic behind the reasoning, how soldiers, killing people and blowing things up were loving one’s neighbor. But Fred never expected to church to make sense any way. The priest contended that the troops were defending the country’s freedom so that they could have all the nice things that they had. The conclusion of the matter was that we should be grateful to our troops making the supreme sacrifice and the priest led a moving prayer for their safety and success. Then without missing a beat the priest went on to advertise bingo night and a special collection that was going to be held for something. Fred didn’t know what that something was except that it was made clear that is was absolutely necessary and very costly, so the congregation should be prepared to ‘fork up the money’.
While the priest carried on in his antics Fred peered upwards and marveled at the beautiful architecture. In particular how the ceiling arched being supported with massive beams. Then taking his eyes down from the heavens he gaze upon the stain glass windows which glimmered in the sun’s light. Down to Earth he looked over the gold that lined the church. He viewed the statues of saints that people bowed before to make prayers. Fred had a thought, ‘Whoever created this religious business was one shrewd man!’
After saying the final amen for the closing blessing the priests walked out. A young acolyte swung a golden censer which spelled a poignant fragrance into the air. ‘Hope they ain’t molesting that boy!’ thought Fred in his first genuine prayer of the day. Then the masses fled the church, everyone trying to leave as quickly as possible. The Master noted it was the first time the people were smiling during the whole service.
Fred and his wife were doing their best to leave so they could do something useful with the rest of their day. As they shuffled toward the exit the crowd was delayed by the priest who was attempting to shake hands with the faithful. He was calling everybody ‘my son’ or ‘my daughter’. Fred noted that the priest was not related to anybody and most likely didn’t know but a few of the names of the people in the flock. Fred made haste trying to avoid the unpleasant interaction. For some reason the priest extended his hand towards the Master. Repulsed Fred could do nothing but restrain the truth and he shook the hand of the man dressed in black. ‘God bless you my son’ spoke the priest repeating his favorite mantra. Fred noted he was a good ten years older then the priest.
Fred Master gingerly strolled from the church with his wife as they were heading towards where their Mercedes Benz was parked. Fred looked fine and dashing in his handsome blue suit which its jacket had sleeves short enough to show off his Rolex. His companion in turn was looking mighty fine as well. Her hair elegantly made up and make up was applied transforming her looks to a woman ten years younger. Her gold earrings and pearl necklace made a fine combination with her fur coat. The couple turned the corner.
There beside the wall their eyes fell upon a wretch of a man. His tattered green army jacket was not a fashion statement but an authentic one. The obvious fact that the man’s right arm was missing could not be avoided nor missed. The man was slumped against the wall beside him lay a hat with a few scarce coins laying in it. The soldier stuttering in the cold called out the words “spare change, spare change” as he shook spasmodically.
The lady clung closer to the Master. The pair quickly hastened their steps to flee as quickly as possible from the wretch lying on the side walked. A comment was made, “There’s no helping some people!”

Some other "Dark Matters" for your reading pleasure.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

The Power Of Art

The Power of Art

          The most powerful weapon is an idea. More so than a gun or even an atomic bomb. You can kill a man but you cannot kill an idea. This simple notion explains so much of the conflict that we are experiencing in the world today. Those with wealth and power lust for more. Those with very little want their fair share. If the truth was commonly known things would change overnight. But those in control convolute the clarity of reality with lies.
          Whether it is patriotism or religious dogma or hatred the end results is always the same. It is a call for those who do not have to sacrifice on the parts of those who have. Look at the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are not 'a war on terror'. Rather they are attempts to steal resources from the indigenous peoples of foreign lands. Nevertheless they are portrayed as a noble cause. The fact that more veterans die from suicide then actual combat is a strong telling of the truth.
          For those of use aware of the truth or at least partially aware, we have a tremendous responsibility. We must get the message out. We are facing a sophisticated enemy that employs any weapon at their disposal. Whether it be the infiltration of the Black Panthers by FBI COINTRELPRO, the bombing of the MOVE house or modern drone attacks there is a common thread. A desire to destroy anything that challenges the system.
          Many look at the brutality of the oppressor and feel there is only hope with meeting violence with violence. To quote Lucy Parsons, "Never be deceived the rich will allow you to vote away their wealth." But there is another option. That is to win the hearts and the souls of the people.
          We must understand that the illusionary representation of the United States is both strong and virtuous. After all every citizen goes through twelve years of indoctrination. We are taught of an idealist benevolent country that never lost in war. "The greatest country ever." Something worthy both to kill and die for.
          However the truth is there. Starting with the genocide of the Native Americans to chattel slavery to immigration oppression, to wars of conquest, it is there. The true story of America is one both violent and evil. But it is also one of beauty and bravery with many heroes. These are the heroes of the oppressed. Those that have risen up and challenged the status quo for the benefit of the masses.
          Let me introduce you to "Joe Hill". Forever a hero of the working class. Joe would take popular Christian tunes and turn them into songs of inspiration for the working class. As a result of this Joe Hill was executed in Utah on trumped up charges. Despite intervention on many, including President Woodrow Wilson, Joe Hill was shot dead by a firing squad. The question then is why did they kill Joe Hill?
          The answer is that his method was effective. His songs distributed by the International Workers of the World were sung all over the country. They were songs for the working class by the working class. In the beauty of the art there is some intangible that empowers. Thus Joe Hill was a very dangerous man.
          Fast forward a couple of hundred years to the invention of Hip Hop. Though you might not believe it, it was originally positive. However there was a meeting by record executives that it should turn negative. Thus instead of solidarity and brotherhood it transformed into gangsters pimping whores. Of course there were well thought out motives in this change that went far beyond profits.
          "It twas beauty that killed the beast." I hope you are revolted by the evil in the world. I hope when you hear that men, women and children were blown up in a drone strike it makes you want to vomit. It just shows that you are functioning normally as a human being. But there is one more necessary step to take. You must do something to rectify the situation. To sit idle is almost as bad as participating.
          Why are there no songs on the radio against the current wars? Or nothing speaking against the pollution? Or the rise of fascism in the United States? It is because the media is controlled by a minority. It is the same minority that possess most of the world's material wealth.
          But the people have the power. Unfortunately their minds are darkened by lies. Deliberate fallacies told to them in what is called 'education'. I refer you back to my earlier article "The Myth of Nations". But light can shine in a dark place. The best place to constantly shine a light is to present it in an unforgettable way. Art is the medium for a better future.
          Creativity comes from the Creator. See the similarity in the spelling of the words. Creativity is birth from originality. When originality dies evil creeps in. Why do all soldiers, who are trained to kill, all where the same uniforms? What is this call to conform? It is an attempt to stifle independent thought. If you really understood that you were snuffing out the life of someone just like you, you wouldn't do it. Thus to make people kill you must destroy what exists naturally in the mind. You fill their minds with hatred and take away the force of Love.
          I challenge you. Explore the motives and desires of other people. Make an honest search. Read all sides of the issue. Don't take anybody's word on things. Investigate. Most importantly look at the art. It has power that can transform and liberate. If you chose to closer your eyes and ears then your guilt has already been decided. I want to share a poem from my book "Poet to the Poor, Poems of Hope for the Bottom One Percent." It shares my escape from being brainwashed.

I Once Was a Fascist

By John Kaniecki

I once was a fascist
And thought I was supreme
I was presented an eternal quest
Called the American dream
I was instructed to prosper and succeed
That accomplishment was to satisfy one’s greed
That money brought eternal bliss
Wealth was something not to miss
America too was noble and grand
Far superior to any land
We never lost in war we were far too strong
And we were always right incapable of wrong
From kindergarten on I saluted the flag
And of all of our glory I would boast and brag
Then observation testified I learned a lie
Irrefutable evidence came I could not deny
And inner torment raged in my brain
The agony surged and I went insane
I once was a fascist
But that man no longer does exist
He is dead, nailed to a tree
I once was a fascist but now I am free

Signing off for now,

John 'FeatherLeaf' Kaniecki 

To Purchase Poet to the Poor

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Hope That Is In You

 The Hope that is in You

What is your hope?

1. The hope of the promises.

2. The hope of an abundant life.

3. The hope forgiveness of sins.

4. The hope of the Holy Spirit.

The nature of the Holy Spirit:

The fruits of the Holy Spirit:

5. The hope of the resurrection of the dead.

6. Hope of eternal life.

7 The hope of a peace that passes understanding.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Capitalism and Socialism Defined

Capitalism and Socialism Defined

          A capitalist looks at the world. Then he says to himself, "How can I capitalize on this situation?" That is how can he take advantage and benefit personally. A socialist however looks at the world and says "How can I help society?" That is he looks at what he can do to benefit the whole.
          Capitalists declare that if there was a free market all would be well. What they are really asking for is a market of license. That is a system where all restraints on business would be removed. This of course would maximize profits. The use of the word 'free' is a perversion of the concept. In America we claim to live in a 'free' society. Yet there are laws that control my behavior. That is I cannot kill, or rape, or steal and so forth. Yet these capitalists want a system in which they are not bound by anything. They preach any control of business is wrong. This is contrary to the very basic notion of civilization. In civilization we create laws for the benefit of all. Whether inspecting food plants for cleanliness or prohibiting monopolies, these things benefit us all. 
          Another myth is that socialism is the robbing of the rich and giving to the poor.  We could all readily agree that there are a lot of things in America that should be collectively supported. The infrastructure is one. Brides, roads, tunnels, trains, and the ilk are all subsidized by our taxes. Yet we can all readily agree that these things are both mutually necessary and beneficial. Other things like  schools, hospitals, garbage collection, public parks and so forth are beneficial to all. These things would be eliminated in a true capitalistic system. In a socialistic system they would be expanded.
        There is a very simple tenet of Jesus Christ expressed in the Bible. "It is more blessed to give then receive." Ask yourself this question. "If money can bring happiness then why do all these rich people do all sorts of evil coveting more?" You see when you base your self worth on the accumulation of material possessions you will never be happy. Like the heroin junkie you always need more and more to attain the high. Capitalists will never be happy for the god of greed is a cruel master.
          Socialists however are among the happiest people. In fact they have great wealth beyond that of capitalists. When you are in the cut throat world of business no true love exists. Only alliances built on mutual benefit. In true socialism there is an abundance of love. When you give freely to people they in turn will give freely to you. It is a very basic human response. You reap what you sow.
          We must call out capitalism for what it is. The 'worship of money' and 'blatant selfishness'. In return we must defend socialism for what it is. 'The cooperation of the masses contributing freely to the general good.'