HAPPY BIRTHDAY JOHN LENNON

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John Lennon would be 70 years old today.  I remembered the day John Lennon was taken from US, December 8, 1980. 
My family was on a ski trip.  I mention Lennon in one of my stories in Culturebook MMX.  Here is the chapter in it’s entirety.
“Yer blues, John.” M.Jagger 1968 Rock n Roll Circus    If I ain’t dead already, girl you know the reason why

It’s Laos or Never!


John Lennon would be 70 years old today.  I remembered the day John Lennon was taken from US, December 8, 1980. 
My family was on a ski trip.  I mention Lennon in one of my stories in Culturebook MMX.  Here is the chapter in it’s entirety.
“Yer blues, John.” M.Jagger 1968 Rock n Roll Circus    If I ain’t dead already, girl you know the reason why

It’s Laos or Never!

There are two well known adages. The first of the two I read as a child in Mad Magazine, part of Mad’s Lighter Side of segment. The second adage, I first heard at Cal Berkeley as an 18 year old – old enough to vote, be jailed, die fighting in Iraq, get married, drive and own a car / boat / house / business; but not old enough to drink a beer. 

Here are the two adages.

— In Capitalism, MAN exploits MAN! But, in Communism, it’s the other way around.
— If you’re not a Communist when you’re 18, you have no heart. If you’re still a Com-munist when you are 40, you have no brains.

Both of those quips are so true. 

I’m 40 years old, and I am not now, nor have I ever been a Communist.  I’m not a very good Capitalist either as my portfolio, or lack thereof, clearly shows. However, my views on Communism are MARKEDLY different from that of MOST of my generation Americans and those born in the decades before me.  Growing up in the 70’s and early 80’s in America, Communism was seen as a scourge on the planet – the worst, most vile and sickening belief anyone could subscribe to. 

Schools in America and all over the world have Fire Drills. A fire is a potential disaster at any time, for which teachers must prepare and educate students.  In the 50’s, 60’s and early 70’s, schools had Bomb Drills, in addition to Fire Drills. For those who are too young to remember, before Muslim terrorists and Arab extremists became our bitter enemy and the bad guy in every 1990’s and early 2000 action flick; it was the Communists who were the US most hated foe.  The Commies were US enemy.

These days, in elementary schools, it’s Terrorist Attack Preparation drills.  My brother, and several of my close LA friends and their spouses are  School teachers.  They do Terrorism Preparation drills.  Why?  Terrorism is  a possible threat!  Just listen to the news!  It’s happened before.  Remember 9-11.  Americans should be scared.  And prepared.  Everyone knows Muslim terrorists single-handedly brought down the Twin Towers – it was on the TV News.  I watched it live in South Korea

It was funny.  I was watching a Korean sitcom, mostly for jerking purposes, the chicks on Korean TV couldn’t act their way out of a paper bag, but man are they sexy!  Anywho I got the Korean  version of We interrupt this program to bring you a special report.  And then I watched it!  And listened in a language I barely understood. 

 
The next day, I read the papers, IN ENGLISH!  Muslim Terrorists Took  Down the World Trade Center!   Newspapers don’t lie.  They can’t.  They are NEWSPAPERS!  
 
Are you going to tell me that Tom Brokaw is a liar?  He told me that the Muslim terrorists took down the World Trade Center on the evening news, just before he licked a lemon lollipop in Lilihammer.

My point is, there are indi documentaries all over the INTERWEB trying to prove that IT IS PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE FOR PLANES TO BRING DOWN A SKY SCRAPER. 

 
Imagine the audacity of some Americans believing that it was an inside job, that the US Government did it themselves.  Those perpetrators of justice, those bloggers and filmmakers should be shot for treason, and it would be justifiable homicide.  Why?  Because TREASON IS PUNISHABLE BY DEATH, not just in America, but in most countries.  It’s arguably a good law!  

If Reaganomics was the way it was going to be; and it was — the 80’s are over.  Gordon Gecko is currently living on an island of topless women, like the father in the new Fox show, LONE STAR, dreams of retiring to; and the 80’s really happened.  History writers are going to have a ball writing about what happened to America when the rich decided it was THEIR country, much like Eric Cartmen creating CARTMAN LAND and wanting a whole amusement park for himself.

John Lennon was an American.  John Lennon, since 1972, had not only RESIDED PRIMARILY IN NEW YORK CITY, but John Lennon was in the Public Eye, in a major way.  John Lennon had bouts with drugs, but he’d cleaned up his act. He wrote, directed, and produced the DOUBLE FANTASY album starring himself and YOKO ONO.

OUR LIFE TOGETHER IS SO PRECIOUS TOGETHER WE HAVE GROWN

Had John Lennon been alive in the 1980’s, then there WOULD have been much debate.  Lennon would have have publicly argued and fought and pleaded to his audience of millions to take another look at what Reagan and Bush and Casper Wineberger and Oliver North were really doing; and THAT COULD WOULD HAVE CONSTITUTED TREASON.  It WOULD HAVE saved a lot of jobs and lives, but in the end, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN ANTI-AMericAN Goverment and the RICH would not have got what they felt was their. 

 

They owned it.  They controlled it.  ONE MAN?Fuck him.  He’s a dead man.  Sorry John, Sorry Malcolm, Sorry Martin, so sorry all of you who may have made a difference. 

Schools in America taught, through the bomb drills, that at ANY time, Communists could fire a nuclear bomb on any American city, and we, US, would be defenseless.  People grew up scared of communists, fearing communism, hating communism. ‘Better Dead than Red!’ was a popular slogan of the day.  So, basically, given the choice between either being COMMUNIST or being DEAD, most Americans would’ve chosen being dead. Most kids end up believing exactly what their parents believe.

In the 1980’s, the U.S. trained, supported and gave arms and money to Al Caida, Bin Laden, and other Afghani rebels fighting the Russian’s invasion of Afghanistan. 

One of the CIA’s longest and most expensive covert operations was the supplying of billions of dollars in arms to the Afghan MUJAHIDEEN militants. The arms included Stinger missiles, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft weapons that they used against Soviet helicopters and that later were in circulation among terrorists who have fired such weapons at commercial airliners. Osama bin Laden was among the recipients of U.S. arms   Time Magazine, 13 May 2003, “The Oily Americans”

 

Why did we support these rebels with a cause? Because Russia was a Communist country and our enemies’ enemy is our friend. That is why. If the Pentagon knew then, what these freedom fighters would become by the 21st century, bombing American cities through terrorism, would that have changed their course of action? Perhaps it was all part of the master plan? No movie is good without a solid antagonist or really ornery bad guy, so why should life be any different? Follow the money, you find your guilty party.

Teachers and the media and politicians only had bad things to say about Communism all through the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s…  ‘Communism’ was the reason America not only invaded Vietnam, but also why there was so much support for that atrocity.  Americans were bred to hate communism.  I clearly remember my 7th grade teacher, a nun, Sister Francis Mary at Good Shepherd, Beverly Hills Catholic School, explaining to the class, and getting a little emotional in her discourse, that the U.S. army invaded Vietnam to protect THEM against Communism.  We carpet-bombed and practically crippled the entire country of Viet Nam (as well as Laos and Cambodia) to PROTECT THEM against the evils of the Communism.

If white Americans didn’t respect the human rights of Blacks or Mexicans or women or gays or any non-white Christian heterosexual middle-class or better people living in America, then what chance did inhabitants of French Indochina have? 

During the nine years of the Vietnam War the US dropped more cluster bombs on neighbouring Laos than it did world wide during the whole of World War Two.  It is estimated that the bombing in Laos equated to a B52 load of cluster bombs dropped every 8 minutes for 9 years, this totals to 260 million bombs being dropped between 1964 and 1973. http://www.pri.org/world/asia/bomb-hunters-laos.html

The country of Laos is somewhere between the sizes of Michigan and Minnesota. Could you imagine the devastation if either of these two states were repeatedly bombed every eight minutes for nine years? And the U.S. never ever once declared war on the country of Laos.  School children in America never learn about how we bombed the country of Laos for nine consecutive years without once ever declaring war on them. 

It was Henry Kissinger’s idea to bomb Laos.  Kissinger was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 1973, shared with Vietnamese Lê Ðức Thọ, who declined acceptance of the award, on the grounds that, “There is no peace in my country!” Kissinger should be tried posthumously and convicted for war crimes.  I visited Laos in 2007. Many house foundations were built upon evenly stacked, uniformly placed bombs.  Unexploded ‘ordinance’, a euphemism for bomb, have become keystone for many architectural endeavors.  

What was the U.S.’s rationale in bombing the neutralist countries of Laos and Cambodia?  Laos was aiding and abetting communists?  Cambodia was providing arms to Viet Nam? It was China! It was Mao and his cronies who were running guns, purchased and built with the help of Stalin, through Laos and Cambodia to get to Vietnam. But the US would never attack the Chinese. Nixon and Mao were tight. And IF the US didn’t know China and Russia were the root of all red activity, then their intelligence sure was stupid.  All through the 70’s and 80’s peace loving Americans wore Mao pins, as if Mao was some testament to ‘good living’. If you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao, you ain’t gonna make it with anyone anyhow. Don’t you know it’s gonna be…alright. John Lennon’s Revolution

As the war went on in SE Asia, things were not ALRIGHT for John Lennon in America. 

Lennon and Ono moved to New York City in August 1971. In 1972, the Nixon Administration tried to have Lennon deported from the US, as Richard Nixon believed that Lennon’s support for George McGovern could lose him the next election. Republican Senator Strom Thurmond suggested, in a February 1972 memo, that “deportation would be a strategic counter-measure” against Lennon. The next month the Immigration and Naturalization Service began deportation proceedings against Lennon, arguing that his 1968 misdemeanor conviction for cannabis possession in London had made him ineligible for admission to the U.S.  Lennon spent the next four years in deportation hearings. While his deportation battle continued, Lennon appeared at rallies in New York City and on TV shows, including a week hosting the Mike Douglas Show in February 1972, where Jerry Rubin and Bobby Seale appeared as his guests.

 

On 23 March 1973, Lennon was ordered to leave the U.S. within 60 days, while Ono was granted permanent residence. In response, Lennon and Ono held a press conference at the New York chapter of the American Bar Association on 1 April 1973 to announce the formation of the conceptual state of “Nutopia”; a place with “no land, no boundaries, no passports, only people”, and all of its inhabitants would be ambassadors. The Lennons asked for political asylum in the U.S. while waving the white flag of Nutopia; two white handkerchiefs. The entire press conference can be seen in the 2006 documentary released by Lions Gate, The U.S. vs. John Lennon. In June 1973, Lennon and Ono made their last political statement by attending the Watergate hearings in Washington, D.C. Lennon’s order of deportation was overturned in 1975. In 1976, Lennon’s U.S. immigration status was finally resolved favorably, and he received his green card.  Nixon’s successor, Gerald Ford, showed little interest in continuing the battle. When Jimmy Carter was inaugurated as president on 19 January 1977, Lennon and Ono attended the Inaugural Ball. Wikipedia

I read a book called Who Shot John Lennon and there are all kinds of indi documentaries and underground manuscripts about Manchurian Candidate theories of brain-washing and Catcher in the Rye. What a load of fucking bullshit!

How ‘bout this for a scenario. The US army has enlisted MILLIONS of recruits over the years. Some go on to become professional soldiers like Generals Powell and Schwartzkopf; some don’t make it through basic training. Most fall somewhere in between, serve some time, get honorably discharged, go on with their lives. Isn’t it possibly that of ALL those men, men of varying morality, men being trained to put country before themselves, men being trained to give their lives willing in battle. Isn’t it possible that the Pentagon found ONE poor schmuck, down on his luck, in real trouble, or possibly just lost; and the Pentagon put it to him – “We’re gonna drop the bomb on you. Yer going to jail, yer family disgraced!” Or worse. The alternative: shoot John Lennon, go down in History, and your family will be provided for, or some other compensation.  Maybe they got a guy hopped up on WHY John Lennon should be taken out, and then give him the EXACT crazy roll to play and start CONSPIRACY THEORY nonsense and have it star Mel Gibson. You think the Pentagon would have any trouble finding ONE person willing to do that? I think not. “Act crazy?” How can anyone act crazy? Didn’t Ed Norton teach us anything in Primal Fear, or DeNiro in Analyze That (the sequel to Analyze This)? I’ll bet somebody will run with this idea and make a feature length Hollywood movie, possibly starring Ed Norton as Mark David Chapman; and everyone will love it in 2013. By then, no one will care that JOHN LENNON WAS ASSASSINATED BY THE US GOVERNMENT.

Meanwhile, back in Laos…

Many unexploded cluster bombs dropped by the U.S. Army on Laos have still yet to detonate.  There are so many unexploded ‘ordinance’ in the country of Laos that it is estimated – it will take no less than 100 years to recover and diffuse all of them.  So much arable land is unusable. Every year many kids die or, more commonly are maimed from happening upon one and ‘Boom!’  Even to this day. 

Lady Diana made mine removal one of her life’s tasks before the Media assassin-ed her. The people at MAG, www.mag.com.uk, work tirelessly, diffusing unexploded ordinances. 

As a side note, metal detectors are cheap in Laos and MOST of the unexploded “ordinances” are duds, so many Laos people have a little business going where they find them, dig them out, and sell the metal.  So I guess US is helping Laos’ economy after all!  I’m being ironic.

Since the 1990s an official clearance operation has been in place but they say that more than 80 million unexploded ordnance (UXO) or cluster bombs still litter the countryside. With the global increase in the demand for steel, led largely by Chinese expansion, this has driven up the price of scrap metal and unexploded ordinance is now a very valuable asset.

In this BBC World Service documentary, Angela Robson travelled around the province of Xieng Khoang, where scrap metal yards have become the new fields of gold. The people of Laos have utilised the metal from UXO for the past 30 years. In Phonsavan, the fences of peoples’ houses are made of shell casings. Unexploded cluster bombs are also forged into axes, sickles, cow bells, rice cookers, belt buckles, boats and ladders. One particular cluster bomb with a tripod-shaped fin is commonly fitted with a light bulb and used as a lamp.

However, this familiarity has proven lethal. People have grown up with cluster bombs in their homes – so when they see them in the forest, in fields and on the mountainsides they do not anticipate the danger. Cheap metal detectors can be bought for less than $12 (US dollars) and are encouraging trade.

Children as well as adults scavenge many places for scrap and as a result, almost half of the deaths from UXO in Laos are of children. It is illegal and often deadly work; but is so much more lucrative than most other forms of employment that many citizens are turning to bomb hunting just to keep food on the table. BBC World Service

Visiting Phasovan summer 2007, I dined at a rest with a tableful of foreign engineers on some huge Internationally Funded project. I was wearing this sturdy black Fedora style Chola hat that I’d puchased in Boliva earlier in the year. This Aussie, Crocodile Dundee chap starts trying to buy it from me. “10 bucks! 25 bucks!” I let him have the hat at $50. Crocodile Dundee paid for his entire table with a hundred dollar bill. I probably could’ve held out for more money! That was some hat. I wanted to keep it, but I knew, sooner or later, I was gonna lose the hat. It was only a matter of time. It was smart to sell it when I did. I bought the hat for 5 bucks on la Isla del Sol on Lago Titicaca – The Bolivian Side.

Phosovan is a village in Laos where is found the Plain of Jars, a mysterious sight with thousands of HUGE ceramic pots left by ancients. No one knows WHY these Neolithic monuments are there.  It’s like Stonehenge or Avebury in England, only a lot more spread out. It’s a miracle the Neolithic artifacts are not all destroyed. There are many bomb craters all over the region, all over the green plains. Still, that is small price to pay for keeping the world safe. Communism is evil.  America is the greatest country in the world.

Me?  I’ve always looked at Communism in the same light as shooting heroin – as an analogy, shooting heroin is not evil.  I mean, if I had a clean needle right now full of a safe dose, I’d shoot it in a heartbeat.  Why not?  A shot, not unlike a doctor giving you a flu shot, followed by hours of instant euphoria, followed by golden slumbers; in the morning, back to work – pretty sweet!  I wouldn’t know where to get any more smack. I couldn’t get any more smack. It’d be a one-time smack.  Nobody’d get hurt.  And who’s gonna say ‘NO’ to Euphoria, even if it’s short lived.  As a concept, not too shabby…In reality…that’s not the way things work. Recreational heroin is a crack fantasy if I’ve ever heard one!

In Communism:  everybody living together and pulling together for the greater good.  That may seem cool in one’s crack fantasy, but that is just not reality.  And who really wants that anyway. That’s not human nature.  The cream always rises to the top. The most powerful: either the smartest, the strongest, the richest, the cagiest, the most vicious, the most resourceful, the sneakiest – that man will always assume power and take the lion’s share. Always! That is human nature. That is political science.

Mao had palatial estates all over China, and on all them, he lived with his floor toilets to squat over when defacating, cuz he detested the western style throne toilets.  Mao lived in paranoia. Every palace had a fortified bunker, and in every bunker that Mao lived, he had a big bed where he kept many books that he read; and many teenage girls were brought to him nightly, and Chinese food delivery all the way from the Hunan Province cuz Mao liked his seafood done a certain way, found only in his hometown Hunan Province. That doesn’t sound like any Communism I ever heard of. 

The books Mao read were all in Chinese. Mao never learned to speak English or Russian or any language other than the provincial Hunan dialect that he learned as a youth. Mao used translators even when speaking IN China to the majority of Chinese that couldn’t understand his country twang. Mao heightened his power to new heights using public torture spectacles to scare anybody against dissent. Humor and sarcasm were deemed illegal. Mao termed his movement, The Great Leap Forward.

It’s funny to think that all thorough the late 60’s and 70’s and even till the present day in smaller numbers, many Americans wore Mao pins; many revolutionary groups around the globe call themselves Maoists. There’s a Chinese Rest on Melrose here in LA called the Mao Café. I wonder the thinking. Embracing Mao is no different from people embracing Hitler.

It is estimated that Mao was responsible for the deaths of 350,000,000 Chinese – that’s almost 60 times the number of Jews killed during WWII. That’s more that the entire population of the US and Canada. Is that Communism? If so, why wasn’t Mao our enemy?

At the height of the Vietnam War, in 1972, Nixon and Kissinger visited Mao on several occasions. Kissinger met with Chou Enlai, Mao’s right hand man, secretly WITHOUT the knowledge of the US government before Nixon and Mao ever met. Isn’t that tantamount to treason? Meanwhile body bags filled with heroin were being flown by Air America from Vietnam back to the good old USA, filling American ghettos like East LA with drugs. Even after Nixon was impeached, and Mao was removed from power, the two aging World Leaders still met in Beijing and chatted up old times. And Kissinger shined his Nobel Prize. Capitalism and Communism are so different that their leaders can sip tea together and chat up the finer things in life while everybody else gets nutted on, to quote a poem by Barrington Hall’s Jamal.

Meanwhile, if you do the math – Nazi Germany, WWII Japan, Attila the Hun, Genghis Khan, Chairman Mao – the U.S. has surpassed all of them. The U.S.A. is the #1 killer of people in the world, the #1 exterminator of human life. Native Americans, Viet nam, Cambodia, Laos, Panama, El Salvador, Iran, African-Americans – slave owners murdered weak Blacks who could read or who needed glasses back in slave times – that wasn’t a crime; niggers were property. Just like some man drowning puppies or kittens or weak slave babies. Slave owners breeded the biggest, strongest bull males with strong-bodied females like animals, putting them together to mate like prize winning cattle – it’s no wonder all professional sports are dominated by African Americans. America has some fucked up history. And Nixon’s Claim to Fame taught in History Books is that he ‘Re-established US Ties with China’ – as if that were some accomplishment!

In 1971, the American ping pong team playing in Nagoya, Japan was invited to visit China. The American ping pong team members were the FIRST Americans to officially visit China since the Mao’s take over began in 1949. No foreign press entered China after 1950, for nearly two decades people didn’t know what was going on in China. We now know.

What the fuck does Communism have to do with anything, when at the end of the day in 1971, while David Bowie was releasing Hunky Dory, Nixon and Mao were sipping tea together in Beijing? Bombing SE Asia, loving life. I’m loving it! Back in the USA, kids were having birthday parties at McDonalds, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Chuck E Cheese.

What is evil?  Evil is people taking advantage of others; people living high on the suffering and hard work of others.  Comfort costs lives! You think Kissinger ever washed a dish? You think Kissinger didn’t enjoying telling people what to do, telling people to ‘hop to it’, firing people for disagreeing with him.  In 1968, the year I was born, Nixon and Mao, the leaders of the two most powerful countries in the world, were laughing all the way to the bank. Southeast Asian countries were being bombed; young people in America were demonstrating the war cuz they could see it was so evil and wrong. 

For ten long years the war in South East Asia went on; rich people destroying the lives of others for profit.  People enslaving others: linking health care to a job; so that if you lose your job, YOU – the bread winner and your entire family dependent on you – lose all of your health benefits. That is evil. That is what Nixon first implemented back in 1973 when he made that historic deal with Kaiser Permanente. And Americans just accepted it. 

Health care is not a Universal Right. Health care is something that your EMPLOYER gives you.” That’s what my mother’s boss, the lawyer in her office said to me in Jan 2010. That’s what most Older Americans believe. Really, I thought. So when GM workers in the 1980’s, family men with wives and children – when these men were laid off from their jobs as factories closed; and their entire families lost their health care, I guess that was just hunky dork. Or when millions of Americans have no access to health care in 2010? That same lawyer, last year while I was living in Nepal, he expressed his concerns to my mother about the state of health care in Nepal – What if your son needs medical attention in Nepal?

That same lawyer in February 2010, when I had food poisoning, he drove me to UCLA’s new Ronald Reagan Medical Center. There I spent 3 hours on a gurney in the hospital’s hallway with an IV in my arm. In the hallway, I told my ‘ailment’ to at least 5 different doctors and nurses: all of whom left me with, “I’ll see what I can do.” I never saw the same caregiver more than once. Other than initial vital signs in a reception area chair…

I was in the hallway for the entire 3 hour visit. IN THE HALLWAY with an IV in my arm – That’s some 3rd World shit! And that visit cost $1200! We paid $500; a bill arrives each week at my house. The balance has been reduced to $472. I’m told I should be thankful. The restaurant’s insurance company said they’d try to cover it. They’ve requested my records from UCLA hospital. It’s June and they still have not received my records. “It may take up to six months,” Ronald Reagan Medical Center informs us. They bill me weekly.

Universal Health Care? That sounds like Communism! America has the greatest Health Care System in the world, just ask any rich American. England and France, after WWII, while they were rebuilding their war torn countries, passed a law that ALL citizens of England and France would have access to free medical care. Both countries have provided all of its citizens with access to free health care from that time onward. The belief was that no citizen should have to suffer the indignity of not having access to a doctor if they need it.

America does not share this ideal. Americans believe what they believe, and ideology factors largely into that decision, whether or not any one admits it. Still, the biggest reason is money.   America may be called, The ‘Land of the Free,’ but nothing is free in America.

Americans have the right to ‘Life, Liberty, and the Pusuit of happiness,’ but not the right to free, or even reasonably priced health care. In SKorea, I’ve gotten hurt, gone to the hospital, had xrays done, consulted with a doctor, got a cast or bandages. The final cost? With health insuance, about 40,000 won; without health insurance, 80,000 won.

In Berkeley, Wheeler Hall, in 1990, the rapper, Kris Parker, KRS-ONE of Boogie Down Productions gave a two hour lecture – a long, very well written and well thought out discourse on American History where he stated, “In 1865, America did not free the slaves. America enslaved everyone.  History books call it the Industrialization Revolution.  What I call it, is the enslavement of America.”  He went on to develop his point quite convincingly. It wasn’t hard, given all the evidence.

Everyone knows about the Great Depression of 1929. How bout the depression of 1890, or 1910, when there was zero relief? Every time in America that there is a ‘depression’ or ‘recession’, even now in 2010 following the recent recession; several new millionaires were created; that is, a handful of people gain, while thousand starve, lose their homes, lose their job.  Doesn’t get much news till years later, when you hear about what’s happened to Camden, New Jersey or Flint, Michigan; or about people walking around in human feces in the New Orleans Superdome watching teenage girls get raped after Hurricane Katrina? 

That happened in America just a few years ago. How did Carnagie, Getty and Rockerfeller get to be multi-billionaire steel/oil magnates/industrialists?  By paying their workers slave wages while they earned the profits.  Enough profits to build the Rockerfeller Center and Carnagie Hall and The Getty Museums, not to mention giving those men and their families and cronies enough wealth to control the entire American economy.

In 1968, the year I was born, the US was at war with Vietnam. Many Americans opposed this war. There was a mandatory draft that said that all high school dropouts or high school graduates that did not go on to university had to enlist, or be jailed, if they were fit. That meant that high school dropouts, inner city youths, uneducated, underprivileged young Americans were sent to Vietnam. From Football Practice to Basic Training they went. At the same time, richer American kids going to University were exempt from the draft. They got to smoke weed, drop acid, grow their hair, and not trust anyone over 30. “Far out!” “Groovy, man!” “What?” Air America was cart-loading heroin from Southeast Asia back to America in body bags while the U.S. bombed French Indochina. The US sent young infantrymen to fight. Fight what? Communism? The Industrial Revolution took place in Western Europe 100 years before.  That movement, that employing for slave wages an entire population for the good of a few individuals: the industrialists and their minions, that’s what Karl Marx was challenging when he wrote his Communist Manifesto

That’s why the Bolshevik Revolution in Russian happened in 1917.  What happened afterward, had nothing to do with any ideology; it had to do with greed.  Lenin was just capitalizing on his control of the Russian military.  Mao was just trying to be rich and powerful without actually working himself.  Pol Pot was just enslaving his own people for his own personal gain, after the U.S.’s bombings crippled Cambodia’s central government.  Ferdinand Marcos, who wasn’t even a Communist and was totally supported by the US, he was a crook like the rest of them.  All those men who took power saw an opportunity and took it. They weren’t Communists. They were Opportunists, supported by US.

Communism is not now, nor has ever been evil.  Nor has Capitalism.  People are evil.  People with evil, parasitic tendencies to reap the rewards of other people’s work – they are capable of the most evil of acts, and they are able to disguise these crimes with ideolies.  What were the Crusades and California’s Missions, in addition to the Catholic Church trying to spread the word of Jesus? Genocide and slavery!

Communism and Capitalism – Not much difference whatsoever, except for the presence of a free trade economy and a middle class that will fight to the death to keep things AS THEY ARE, as hunky dory as their incredibly shrinking wallets and increasing work hours allow.

This is not to blame any ideology, including Christianity which brings JOY and peace to millions around the globe. Christianity works for Christians; as surrender to Allah does to Muslims. This is not to blame ANY Ideology. This is to blame individuals who mastermind crimes against humanity, and people who profit from pain and suffering.

It is important to factor in the truth that there are homeless, starving people in America, so who’s to say how good life is in a Capitalist country, if you are homeless and unemployed. Until you’ve lived in a particular city or country or FINANCIAL STATUS, it is ignorant to make statements possessing knowledge of quality of life there.  

Humans are opportunistic sneaks at heart. Free enterprise should be part of every society’s economic planning; but Socialist policies in terms of Education, Transportation, and Health Care are needed to protect people from the savage potential of human greed. If California were its own nation, it would be the 8th largest economy in the world (formerly 6th). Yet in 2010, some CA public schools are being privatized because THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY to run them! There is not enough money in the State Budget to run all the public schools, but California is the 8th Richest Territory on the Planet. That’s criminal!

I’m going to end this with an anecdote.

In fall 1988, as I began my 3rd year of Cal and had decided upon History as a Major, I took a required class, History of Western Europe. It was a lower level, all encompassing class beginning with the Greeks and Romans, going through the Middle Ages, the Plague, Renaissance, New World, Rise of Nations, WWI, WWII and ending with the UN and 1945. 

I remember my professor – it was one of those 500+ students in a lecture hall with discussion sections meeting at a later time, in smaller groups and with a TA moderating – the Prof was quoting this Churchill speech.  Prof spoke through a mic. I think it was Churchill’s most famous speech quoted to stir the Allied Forces.  The Prof’s eyes basically welled up with emotion as he read it; and in conclusion, Professor’s point was, “Before 1945, half the world was colonies, and then because of the Allied Powers, all countries of the world became sovereign nations.”  And that was a good thing, he concluded.

I remember feeling like I should stand up and say, “That’s Bullshit!  Installing a puppet leader to guarantee an export economy to the West and keep that country in the 3rd world, how is that democracy!” 

I didn’t do it.  I mean, you can’t ask questions, or yell something out in a lecture – I guess, in reality, you could, but it would be a shocker to everyone.  That’s what discussion sections are for.  In lectures, you just listen and take notes; but I remember feeling like I should say something.   I was 20 years old; most of the students were just out of high school, young impressionable American minds.  18 to 20 are big change years. I knew they wouldn’t have my back, so I kept my mouth shut.  I can keep my mouth shut no longer. 

Here’s a new adage: If yer silent when yer 18, that’s okay cuz yer just a kid; but if yer still silent when yer 40, yer a gutless turd.

 

 

 



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