Like most parents, the most important thing in the world to me is my children. Like other parents, what I want most to leave to them is a better world to live in. Given that, I tend to view people as either part of the problem or part of the solution toward that better world.
If someone were trying to physically poison our children, wouldn’t we as parents instantly react? Well, aren’t corporations trying to poison our children with hazardous wastes? Don’t corporations and conservatives rationalize that air pollution is the “price of progress” and the “scent of profits?” Aren’t the politicians who keep weakening environmental laws to let more and more toxins into our air and water trying to poison our children?
Doesn’t the military poisons our children’s minds by promoting racism and hatred? They do this by labeling would be enemies gooks, nips, zipper heads, rag heads, Hadjis etc. This helps to dehumanizing people, making them mere objects to be destroyed. Are our citizens for war and opposed to peace? Only when our politicians who are owned by the military-industrial complex manipulate them. Half of our federal budget is now for military spending. America spent $52-billion on nuclear weapons and weapons-related programs, in the 2008 fiscal year. That’s substantially more than the $39.5-billion the US spent on international diplomacy and foreign assistance.
When we have a system of justice that is poisoned by a focus on revenge, not rehabilitation, is it any wonder the US has over 2 million people behind bars? Death penalties and long sentences aren’t deterrents to crime a good job is. Yet, we are poisoned with political candidates pushing a ‘”try em and fry em” mentality.
We need health care that will benefit everyone including the 45 million who have none. Who is poisoning us with propaganda and scare tactics like saying that we will all be waiting for months when we need medical help? The Insurance companies, the HMO’s and drug companies that only care about their profit.
47 million full-time workers are making less than $10/hr. More than 32 million Americans live in poverty. The top 1% of the richest people in this country has financial wealth equal to the combined 95% of the American people. This while 80% of the people’s standard of living has been going down. Consumer debt is at an all time high, personal bankruptcies are at a record level and personal savings are dropping to record lows.
In this system the well being of the people means nothing compared to the profits of corporations. The people are forced to swallow this poisonous reasoning even more as our pensions are being replaced by 401K’s dependent on Wall Street. The most bought off of our “representatives” wanted to give Americans a double dose of poison by having us invest our Social Security in Wall Street.
If we talk of reforming this crony capitalism we are called, “Socialists” as if there were no other economic solutions other than capitalism or socialism. Meanwhile, financial institutes pick up a socialist check from our politicians who call us “welfare queens” if we expect any safety nets. The banks not even having any restrictions literally laughed all the way back to the bank.
I could of course go on and on with different issues that are poisoning the world our children will inherit. The point is that the “powers that be” are a small group that is leading the rest of us (the majority) to our own demise. We have a system run by humans that has no humanity. What a great day it will be when men refuse to carry out evil. That will be the day when politicians and businessmen gain enough self-respect and integrity that they put people before profits. That will be the day soldiers have enough self-respect and morality so that they can’t be convinced to be killing machines to expand US corporate interests.
Think those great days of a non-violent revolution can’t happen? Well, they do from time to time as recently when workers at a glass company that was closing fought back: Glass workers fought back
Most recently ten Israeli soldiers have refused to fight in Gaza: 10 Israeli soldiers
These Israeli soldiers join other Israeli soldiers in the past who have refused to obey orders to kill innocent non-combatant Palestinians. I’m not talking about a handful of Israeli soldiers, I’m talking about hundreds, many of whom have been labeled traitors and jailed. The “refuseniks” as they are called have learned there can be no freedom for those who would deny freedom to others. I’m not here to take sides in conflicts I’m saying the only way conflicts will end is to have refuseinks on both sides who refuse to drink the poison of inhumanity.
The Elecpencil has been blessed meeting many unsung heroes I’d label as “refuseniks” because they refuse to accept injustice. They are humble people working hard to lessen the pains of the earth that our children will inherit. I hate to mention names of these unsung heroes for fear of leaving someone out. They are a collage of students, academics, rank and file unionists, musicians, poets, and artists. I thank you all for being the antidote to the world’s poisons and for providing hope and joy for my children’s future.
“If people have moral courage to stand up to the smallest injustice – their own and other’s – it’s kind of like practice for when the big ones come around.”
— Colleen Kelly