Jesus was not a Christian and Buddha was not a Buddhist but their religion was love. Can it really be this simple? That the ultimate religion is love! Perhaps we all need to see what we have settled for in order to fully realize that there is another choice versus war and injustice as well as the full meaning of Lennon’s Merry Christmas (War is Over) which was recorded in 1971 – nine years before Lennon was shot down and killed in December, 1980.
Protesters rallying in Ferguson, Missouri. Credit: The News Commenter
“As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption.” – Martin Luther King Jr. in a speech on March 14, 1968, just three weeks before he was assassinated.
SWAT teams were created in the 1960s to combat hostage-takings, sniper shootings, and violent unrest. But today they’re often used in more controversial police work and with an increased use of military weapons. As Thom Hartmann correctly states, “America’s police forces have become like occupied armies, hyper-militarized for the benefit of our nation’s military industrial complex. All across our country, local cops are kicking in doors, SWAT teams are carrying weapons of war, and warrants are becoming things of the past.”
Ferguson matters because we are finally witnessing the social injustice of our current War on Drugs and growing militarized police state. Here are the facts:
Black people are arrested and incarcerated six times more often than whites.
An African-American male is sentenced to a prison term that is, on average, twenty to fifty times longer than a white male convicted of the same drug crime.
More than 2.3 million men in America are in prison, approximately half of them for drug-related crimes. Seventy percent of all men imprisoned are black or Hispanic. Thirty years ago, before the “War on Drugs” was launched, there were only 300,000 people in the American prison system.
There are 2.7 million children whose fathers or mothers are in prison, on probation, or on parole.
In many urban areas eighty percent of young men have prison records. These convictions will remain on their records permanently, limiting their voting rights and their ability to find employment. Currently, in all but two states, citizens with felony convictions are permanently or temporarily prohibited from voting. The United States is the only country that permits permanent disenfranchisement of felons even after completion of their sentences.
The United States now has the highest rate of incarceration in the world, higher than Russia, China, and Iran.
White households have six times the wealth of African-American households.
The 2014 midterm election will change nothing in the United States. This election is set to be the most expensive non-presidential election in US history and unfortunately money buys elections. Not only do politicians do the bidding of the wealthy, they themselves are increasingly numbered among the rich and super-rich and they follow their corporate masters. Social inequality rules in America and the 2014 midterm election has been reduced to Kabuki theater as millionaire Republicans and Democrats rearrange the chairs on the deck of the sinking Republic while the mainstream press tries to convince us that it all really matters.
American military forces participating in Nevada Atomic testing.
I was only eleven years old when The United States dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. I remember the moment well for I was sitting across the street at the Thompson Club in Nahant, Massachusetts waiting for my twin brother to join me to play baseball. Suddenly I felt an immense sense of collective loss, and then a short time later my twin brother came running from across the street telling me that we had dropped an atomic bomb on Japan. Even at that young age, I somehow sensed we had released an evil, powerful genie that could eventually destroy the planet and ourselves.
Power corrupts. Absolute atomic power absolutely morally corrupts, particularly when it is in the hands of the Military/Industrial complex with the power to control and destroy the world – whereas human life eventually becomes collateral damage as it did with the atomic testing during the sixties in Nevada.
Hundreds of volunteers spell out the obvious to an apathetic world.
Like a relentless, invisible creeping fog, Fukushima’s poisonous presence is already here on the West Coast and it won’t go away. This ongoing ominous radiation threat will be impossible to ignore by 2014 and its effect could double within five years when its life threatening symptoms will begin to fully surface.
The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center and it shows that Fukushima radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the United States are rising and particularly on the West Coast.Every day 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima is flushed into the Pacific Ocean and is building up in our food chain.
“Right now the world faces a terrifying crisis. But are you terrified? Am I? No, we’re not. Perhaps we will be after the fact, sometime between a catastrophic onset and dealing with our own eventual physical decline from exposure.” Harvey Wasserman