Monday, October 31, 2016

The War On Terror? No Thanks!!

The War On Terror? No Thanks!!

          What exactly is the ‘war on terror’ and how does it affect me?
          That is a very good question as well as a complex one. Presumably the ‘war on terror’ is an attack on those who would like to destroy the American way. That sounds like a noble cause until you define the American way.
          To me the American way are the ideals that this country expressed in the Bill of Rights. Free speech, free press, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, a representative government where the people have the power. Let me assure you that nobody overseas wants to destroy that kind of America.
          But America has a sinister and evil twin. So horridly different it is hard to imagine they were birthed by the same womb. I am talking about the selfish capitalistic America; the one that was founded on genocide and enriched itself on chattel slavery. Like Satan who it serves this America is full of lies and hypocrisy.
          And thus there is a dueling conflict. The virtuous America attempts to exist and survive while the cruel America attempts to enrich itself at the expense of everyone else. It is the second America that these ‘terrorists’ are trying to destroy. Allow me to say so should every righteous person in the world.
          Outside of 911, which in the opinion of many was in fact self inflicted terrorism, what has happened on American soil? Rather the overwhelming amount of killing has occurred over seas; in particular the Middle East. It is a sad and familiar story. The United States uses it’s vastly superior military to kill and destroy the armed forces of another country. Then they go in and seize their resources. It happened in Afghanistan and it happened in Iraq. Unfortunately other countries are on the list.
          The means of conquest that the United States uses are barbaric and cruel. Drone strikes which double dip. That is after the initial missile attack a second missile is fired when rescuers attempt to help those wounded in the initial attack. Cluster bombs that drop and kill innocent civilians are common. In fact in Yemen the youth have acquired a great hatred for the United States as a result of these attacks. The second selfish America mind you.
          In sheer hypocritical fashion the United States continues to do what it condemns. That is the use of dangerous and illegal weapons is one glaring item. The United States still uses deplete uranium and white phosphorus; all the while condemning other nations for ‘alleged’ use of chemical weapons. Far from leading by example the United States is acting as if they are above the rules.
          Take for example the alleged Syrian bombing of two hospitals. The United States called this as a grievous sin; an unforgivable barbaric act. However when the United States bombed a hospital of Doctors Without Borders they sang a different tune. It was all an honest mistake. Subordinates were called out for not properly following the rules of engagement. That is the problem with the United States they can do no evil in their own wicked eyes.
But evil is what abounds in this nation. The only reason God has not treated us like Sodom and Gomorrah is because of the core of righteous people who live here. I am certainly not talking about the so called ‘evangelical’ Christians. I am talking about brave people who think with both their heart and their mind. Allow me to draw your attention to Standing Rock, South Dakota.
There on lands rightfully belonging to the Sioux Nation a host of people have gathered to stop the construction of a pipeline. The pipeline would go under the Missouri River which supplies an estimated seven million people with drinking water. Of course the whole idea of building a pipeline in such a delicate area is utterly insane. But unfortunately greed blinds people. The Bible is right when it says the “Love of money is the root of all evil.”
These peaceful protesters have been met with a host of violence. Armed soldiers in riot gear have attacked them. Hundreds have been arrested. Others had dogs set on them or were sprayed with pepper spray. I assure you the government would kill these people except that the outrage at such an act wouldn’t be worth the slaughter.
          So on one side we have people concerned with the well being of future generations. People who not only want to live the good life but want also want it preserved for future generations. On the other side are short sighted business people who are only concerned about themselves and their profits.
          You see the divide is so profound that it is really a battle of good versus evil. Why are you destroying what give us life? Wealth is a fictional concept. Green pieces of paper and digits on a computer have no intrinsic value. On the other hand pure water is as they say ‘life’ itself. There is no monetary compensation worth destroying the Missouri River. NONE!!!
          These same greedy people refuse to invest their resources into developing alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind. Rather they are fixated on their oil. To them oil is supreme. Henry Kissinger one of the evilest men who ever existed said this, “Control the oil and you control the nations; control the food and you control the people.” Sounds like a play right out of Satan’s handbook. Not only does it explain why Monsanto is producing plants that don’t bear seeds but it brings us back to the ‘war on terror’.
          You see the Middle East is rich in oil. Kissinger is correct in his assessment. That for the time being the world is dependent on oil. The United States in its sadistic quest to conquer to world is trying to grab all the oil for itself. It doesn’t matter to them whom they kill along the way. After all a country that used two nuclear weapons on civilian populations will pretty much commit any dastardly deed.

          So is it wrong to fight against such a force? I’ll leave that up to you. Also remember fighting does not necessitate violence. Let me leave you with this thought, ‘who are the real terrorists?” Is it the people fighting to maintain their way of life, whether they are in the Middle East or in South Dakota? Or is it those trying to make themselves a lot of money off of the suffering of others. Before you answer let me remind you that twenty two United States’ veterans kill themselves every day, far more deaths then the alleged ‘terrorists’ are responsible for.  

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


          When my wife Sylvia and I first visited the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue there was a thrill in the air.  It was after all in the year 2008 and there was a newly elected president  Barack Obama. Chancellor Avenue is located in the South Ward in Newark, New Jersey. For further clarification we were in the heart of the Hood.
          One didn't even have to talk to a person to sense the anticipation of something good coming along. It was written on their smiling faces and it was written on their shirts. I'm talking about the famous or perhaps now infamous one. It had the depiction of President Obama with the words HOPE underneath.
          I am certain that almost everybody down there was feeling good. After all sixty years ago if there was a black president of the United States in a science fiction story it would have been criticized as unbelievable. But despite slavery, despite Jim Crow, despite the riots, despite watching immigrants come in and move on ahead, despite a thousand other things, it had happened. One of their own had become president; or so they thought.
          Every time we were down there we saw that 'Hope' shirt. I am not exaggerating. We'd be down to the Church building twice every Sunday and Wednesday evening for Bible study. Our walk to the store front building from the street was measured in mere yards. But without fail we would always see that shirt. It was almost like a gang affiliation; perhaps stronger and definitely more universal.
          So what happened? Well my wife and I dedicated ourselves to the congregation. We met a lot of wonderful people and we made a lot of beautiful friends. Oh, yeah, the 'Hope' shirts are now gone. Not one has been seen in years. Somewhere the anticipated messiah of the poor African American had been shot down.
          Don't get me wrong there is still a tremendous amount of pride towards President Obama. Some of the people blame the senate and the congress, in particular the Republicans. Rumors abound, and based upon certain statements I've seen I believe them to be true. That is that the priority of the Republicans was simply to shut down Obama; so that he could get nothing done.
          There's not too much talk about the man selling out. Personally I believe to climb high into politics you do indeed sell your soul to the devil. That when you go to big business for financing a political campaign that favors are expected in return. Dick Cheney and Halliburton come to mind. But it's not limited to Republicans and it's not limited to the Federal level. Let's face it, even if it's the cop on the take or the local assembly man getting kickbacks this country reeks with corruption. I firmly believe that if Obama tried to fundamentally change the way our country worked this article would be a eulogy.
          Let me tell you that I have yet to see any sign to indicate whether people are more favored to Hillary or Sanders. I think that perhaps in some of the crowds that hangs around the church building, if somebody claimed to support Trump, they would get beaten. I'm not joking. In the eight years we've been there at the church plant I can recall at least three murders. Two on the corner thirty yards from the building and the most recent one on June first, a block away.
          These are the same people who as a pale skinned person have embraced me. That when I walk the neighborhoods and knock on doors there hasn't been the slightest hint of hatred. Except perhaps once. On the other hand when I take my Sylvia, who is African American to 'European American' neighborhoods, I have more concern for her safety.
          So to quote Marvin Gay , "What's going on?" Certainly I have seen no excitement in the Hood over this election. I think everybody is sad to see President Obama leave office. I don't think that the majority of the people down there have a grasp of the political climate. I really don't think I could make that claim for myself as well. It seems to be a very complicated world. When in the United States that it is a crisis that billionaires and millionaires on Wall Street are going to go broke, yet when that's the daily reality in the Hood, it's not even mentioned in the press. When you can spend all the money you need to 'defend' this country but can't do one lick to support what you are 'defending'.
          I believe there is an answer and I know it does not exist in politics alone. Politics can be an avenue for change, but if you focus on it you will lose every time. In the end, cynical as it seems, Washington is an exclusive club where money is the ticket to intimacy. If you have no hefty some of cash you are simply a statistic.
          So what is the answer? Community. Simple as that. A community of love and support. Obama and his wife did provide inspiration. They still fulfill that role today and historically forever will. But they fell short of what the people aspired to. Nothing great was done, outside the mind and spirit that is. But who knows what will grow from the seeds of Obama's legacy? What unimaginable good thing will happen sixty years from now?

          So we'll continue to do our service. Hand out free clothes. Buy the panhandlers food. Lend a sympathetic, listening, non judgmental ear.  Talk to the people about a better life with Jesus Christ. But most importantly there is an open invitation for anyone on this planet to come down to the Church of Christ on Chancellor Avenue and become part of what we are. You see we offer a HOPE you can and must believe in. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

The Inequality Of Wealth

The Inequality Of Wealth

          The idea of wealth is really starting to sink into my psyche. Whenever I venture down by the Church of Christ at Chancellor Avenue in Newark I am acutely aware of poverty. People come up to my almost every time I am down there. They ask for money for food, coffee or bus fare. Being a minister and thus a representative of the Church I almost never decline. The only exception is when I know the recipient squanders their money on drugs. Otherwise I am glad to buy a person a cup of coffee and I am grateful to have the funds to do so.
          But the concept of poverty hit me harder when I recently had to go to court. Where people had to pay fifty dollar fines and needed a payment plan to take care of it. The idea of living off of a fixed income really struck me. That people have to watch their budget so tightly they cannot even pay a small fine. Contrasting this are others who have every luxury and don't even need to have a budget. So my thoughts focused on 'the inequality of wealth'.
          In capitalistic America we are presented with this theory that we are all created equal. Also in our so called 'free market' we have the ability to act as we sit fit. Simply put, we all have skills and abilities and we can use our talents however we like. Success and failure occurs just like evolution with the superior rising to the top. We are all competing for the slice of the pie.
          Perhaps on a certain level this might seem just. That we all do our best. The person who works harder or is more clever succeeds. Those who are lazy or make bad decisions fail. Even at this base and accepted level this system seems harsh. What about the weak and wounded in our society? Shouldn't we make a special effort to take care to them?
          Let me now shatter all pretenses of righteousness in capitalism. Let us examine the history of the United States. If we are competing for a fair slice of the pie we must first recognize that the whole pie has been stolen. That's right, Europeans came here and through violence, treachery and deceit they gained power over the land. The takeover was done in a most detrimental way to the indigenous peoples. It is one of the most grievous examples of genocide ever in the history of mankind. We are taught that God gave the Europeans a mandate called 'Manifest Destiny' to seize the land. In all honesty I care not to know that wicked God and furthermore it is not the God of the Bible.
          Secondly the empire was built on cruel, forced labor or chattel slavery. People were stolen or kidnapped from their homeland. They were brought here in filthy conditions. The mode of transportation was so atrocious that a businessman wouldn't even transport stock in suck a fashion. Once arriving the slaves were dehumanized and robbed of their own identity. The women were raped. The children were sold on the auction block. And all were worked with no regard to their welfare.
          When chattel slavery ended great waves of immigration came to America. The newcomers were put to work in terrible conditions, for long hours and scant pay. Here when they workers organized and fought back things actually changed. Work hours got reduced. Pay was raised. Safety conditions improved. Child labor was banned. It is proof things can change if we fight for it.
          That is an economic history of the United States in a succinct and simplistic manner. Understand that wealth was originally stolen and then it was increased by the oppression of others.  Opportunity was never fair and equal nor was it ever just. Furthermore the conditions continue today in hideous forms. The oppression of the inner city is a prime example. Young African America youth are denied opportunity through various insidious methods. Primarily through the racist nature of the system. This is evidenced by the extremely high rate of incarceration.
          Now here is the key. Many have tried to fight for the oppressed. You would think that somebody wishing to eliminate poverty or to improve social status of people would be welcomed. Isn't it a noble thing to lift your fellow human being up in life?  Instead anybody advocating for anything remotely righteous is met with the fiercest resistance of the system. Whether it was Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, American Indian Movement, The Black Panthers, MOVE or the I.W.W. to mention a few. All these groups have been met with physical violence aimed to eradicate them directed by the United States Government. For the uninitiated research COINTELPRO. 
          I am saying that in the United States there is no free speech and certainly no freedom to practices as one feels politically inclined to. To prove the latter I just simply have to ask  you how much influence you feel you have in selecting the candidate. Rather it is the wealthy people or the upper one percent who have selected two shills for us to chose from. Even then I doubt the votes will be counted fairly. In addition left wing groups like socialists and communists are repressed. Eugene Debs the Socialist candidate for president of the United States of America was thrown in jail for saying World War 1 was not a war for freedom.
          As far as free speech surely we must have it, after all you are reading this very anti government treatise. Free speech is indeed tolerated. However when a person starts to have influence they are quickly delt with in a very hostile way. Keep on paying attention to those who speak out against the system.  They will either be co-opted or destroyed in the struggle. 
          The point of the whole matter is that there is an inequality of wealth in the United States. None can deny this. The overwhelming majority of those who have wealth have gotten it by the most despicable ways. Furthermore they maintain it in an equally evil way.
          There are other options. The Native Americans had an idealistic system based on cultural community. Certainly we could spend less money on war and on other things. Let me make this very personal. My wife is suffering from dementia. My car is getting fixed and I can't take her out to calm her down. Due to my limited economics my wife is suffering needlessly. First of all the burden of her care shouldn't fall entirely on me. Society should be there to support me in this manner. I cannot afford to pay for her health care in a day program. Thus I have to tough it out on my own. In a capitalistic society you can get the finest of things, but only if you have the necessary money.

          When people such as I advocate for redistribution of wealth I am derided by the rich and called a 'thief'. I know the history and I know the truth. The rich people are the ones who have stolen this country. The rich people used immoral and unscrupulous methods to create and maintain their wealth. I agree with Joe Hill that we should organize. Let's let the dialogue continue on this matter. There is so much that needs to be explored. Let us have a just world in every way. Let us end "The Inequality Of Wealth".