Sunday, October 24, 2010

Anne Rice leaves Christianity

Today I quit being a Christian. I'm out ... in the name of Christ, I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of Christ, I quit Christianity and being a Christian, Amen.

- Anne Rice, author of Interview With the Vampire

Saturday, October 23, 2010

American Socialism rising

Newsweek, in their article We Are All Socialists Now, explains how ironic it is that the Bush years paved the way for an American socialist revolution ... and that the fear mongering that pervaded Republican rhetoric during the last election, where the word 'socialist' was thrown around like it was to be feared, made people seriously look into socialism as an alternative to the corporation-run duopoly that currently exists, which lacks transparency and efficiency.

According to alternet, Thomas Geoghegan points out in
Were You Born on the Wrong Continent?:

Germans have six weeks of federally mandated vacation, free university tuition, and nursing care. But you’ve heard the arguments for years about how those wussy Europeans can’t compete in a global economy. You’ve heard that so many times, you might believe it. But like so many things, the media repeats endlessly, it’s just not true.

Since 2003, it’s not China but Germany, that colossus of European socialism, that has either led the world in export sales or at least been tied for first. Even as we in the United States fall more deeply into the clutches of our foreign creditors — China foremost among them — Germany has somehow managed to create a high-wage, unionized economy without shipping all its jobs abroad or creating a massive trade deficit, or any trade deficit at all. And even as the Germans outsell the United States, they manage to take six weeks of vacation every year. They’re beating us with one hand tied behind their back.

The most mindboggling thing about Germany's exports is not the six week mandated vacation that every worker gets: it's outcompeting China! China is the largest country on Earth, with 1.3 billion people, whereas Germany is about the size of a large state of the U.S. One out of every five human beings is Chinese. That's how efficiently the German economy is being run.

It would be refreshing to have multi-party elections again in the US, and to finally have a truly liberal party representing liberal concerns in Washington. The Democratic party, like Bill Maher and Michael Moore have repeatedly claimed, is centrist. It does not truly speak for a liberal base, which has been powerless in American politics for way too long.

It would be refreshing if corporations were unable to purchase the politicians, if we had people in positions of power that were able to truly curb corporate control of our country, which in effect annuls democracy. What is the use of voting for my favorite candidate if the pharmaceutical industry, or worse yet Monsanto, are able to pay millions to get laws passed that are detrimental to the consumer, and to public health?

The anti-capitalist values of socialists would bring a new set of checks and balances that is sorely needed in the US. If we had a robust, vocal socialist party as part of the public discourse in American politics, the public in general and especially the consumers would be better educated about the corporations that keep the US from progressing, that keep the health of Americans poor, and that keep people sick ... because socialist leaders would create awareness about the roots of diabetes, obesity, cancer and many other health problems that arise from having powerful food and pharmaceutical industries whose lobbyists push for laws and regulations that are anti-consumer.

But for as long as only money speaks in DC, the consumer will be voiceless.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

There will be no swastikas this time but seas of red, white and blue flags and Christian crosses. There will be no stiff-armed salutes, but recitations of the Pledge of Allegiance.

- How Radical Christian Conservatives May Succeed in Destroying Democracy

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Beautiful Truths

I am about to share with you what the pharmaceutical industry does not want common folk to know because it would set us all free ...

The Beautiful Truth is an immensely important film, sort of along the lines of The Future of Food and Food, Inc. but it's much more personal: it follows the admiration of a young Alaskan for a 20-th century Doctor who cured many people from cancer, and it also paints an alarming picture of what the movie calls the 'cancer industry'.

It reminded me of the lawsuit that was filed by unscrupulous drug companies from first world nations in South Africa some years back. These corporations used the legal resource of patented medicine to ask for exagerated amounts of money for their AIDS/HIV drugs when South Africa, in the midst of one of its worst health crisis in recent history, was trying to acquire cheaper versions of the meds from Brasil and India. Meanwhile thousands were dying because they could not afford their medicine in this extremely poor corner of the world.

I respect the right of an inventor to hold the patent to his inventions ... or of a writer or owner of other forms of intellectual property. But when a CORPORATION owns the patent to a life-saving medicine, our lives are at risk.

When medicine becomes a for-profit venture and health services are not seen as a fundamental human right, which is what they are supposed to be, humanity always loses. But the more dehumanizing fact is that corporations are not people, they have no conscience, they can't be put in jail if they commit crimes, they can't be shamed ... and not only does it seem that they are far more powerful than people in our day and age, but oftentimes in the case of Big Pharma we are told that we have no choice but to put our lives in their hands. The desperate need to feel better leaves people at their total mercy.

And so, to know that we can go back to nature, and get our medicine from it like the shamans of ancient times did ... and to be able to do so using the science and the vast knowledge that is available to us today, that's very liberating. This is, in part, what this eye-opening film did for me.

Another documentary to watch is Simply Raw, where a group of diabetic patients sheds all the symptoms of their condition by only eating living foods during 30 days.

Friday, October 1, 2010