Sunday, October 4, 2009

Don’t Sing, Don’t Stand

Many would consider my suggestion unpatriotic. Some would accuse me of being a traitor and disrespectful toward the flag (a symbol). Regardless of what anyone says, it doesn’t matter. I prefer to exercise my freedom of speech and expression in protest. Also, I am only exercising my Quakerly belief not to worship or owe allegiance to a symbol like a flag. As I said in my previous blog entries, my allegiance is not to this country, but the world as a citizen of the Universe and of God who has no flag but His colors can be seen in glory after it rains in the form of a rainbow.

I personally have difficulties pledging an oath to a symbol of a country that cannot even care for its own citizens. A corrupt government has abandoned its citizens in favor of bailing out the rich 2% of this nation while the remaining 98% of this country continues to lose their jobs, homes, and health care. Yet when it comes down to reforming important issues such as health care for the people, it always is slanted not in the general interest of the majority, but favors the 2% who has contaminated the leadership of this country to the tune of $1.44 million a day while the average American continues struggling to make ends meet week by week, day by day just to avoid bankruptcy, foreclosures, and losing their homes.

And what happens when people go bankrupt? They often lose their life-long possessions – often without compassion or mercy. They are often displaced from their homes into the streets or forced to live in the back of their cars or trucks – if they are lucky to have even that.

To make matters worse, Corporate America adds insult upon injury by taking out “dead peasant” insurance policies on their employees. When an employee dies, the survivors of that family get absolutely nothing – not one plug nickel. Meanwhile, the company, having anticipating an early passing, has secretly taken out huge insurance policies and cashed in collecting thousands upon millions of dollars in claims. This is corporate greed at its finest – shameful to the world. How should a society tolerate such behavior?

Then, you would say, honor the veterans. Yes, I would honor our veterans in my own way. By remembering all the veterans, both past and present, who were shafted by the government and corporations and forced into homelessness, poverty, and poor health care.

Why should the people continue to owe allegiance to a nation or a flag when their own rights and privacy are taken away on false premises? A nation where once you’re poor, they (society) keep you poor? A nation where we have no right to a national referendum or recall of federal elected officials? A nation where the needs and desires of the people are trumped by special corporate interests?

The time I will again start to stand for the flag is when we get our own government back -- a government that will be accountable to the people. When we are assured that we will get our second bill of rights:

1. The right to a useful and remunerative job in the industries or shops or farms or mines of the nation;

2. The right to earn enough to provide adequate food and clothing and recreation;

3. The right of every farmer to raise and sell his products at a return which will give him and his family a decent living;

4. The right of every businessman, large and small, to trade in an atmosphere of freedom from unfair competition and domination by monopolies at home or abroad;

5. The right of every family to a decent home;

6. The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health;

7. The right to adequate protection from the economic fears of old age, sickness, accident, and unemployment;

8. The right to a safe and equitable life with equal life’s benefits regardless of race, sex, social status, or sexual orientation; nor fear of religious or political persecution;

9. The right to earn an equitable living salary regardless of gender;

10. The right to a good education.

I am a peaceful person. But it is my firm belief that a new revolution is in order and long overdue. There are two political parties controlling the government that no longer serve the people nor their best interest. There is no political choice. Not only does health care in this nation need reform, the government also needs reform. I say, let’s cut the cost of government by eliminating one part of the legislative branch – the Senate that is easily influenced by corporate special interest and bribery. It’s nothing but an exclusive club anyway. Why should the taxpayers pay for an exclusive club that serves no interest of the people?

And to take reform to a greater degree, rid the country of capitalism – an evil that is not consistent with God’s plan – especially in its current state. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few good capitalists who are not greedy and give a lot of their money away for humanity. However, times have changed and greed has become the dominating face of this dying horse. Eliminate the Federal Reserve and simplify the monetary system and adapt a Universal Life Credit system (paperless) that is administered by the U.S. Treasury. Rid the nation of credit reporting companies and other means of keeping people from rebuilding their lives.

Boycott Wall Street – even if the institution itself has to be taken down peacefully. It will no longer serve us in the 21st Century but only pacifies those of the status quo.

With the brilliant minds and scholars that we have in America, we can develop a better economical system that ensures equality and accessibility for the masses and not for an elite few. In a country as rich as America, there is no excuse for poverty, hunger, and homelessness. There is also no excuse for treating people inhumanely like animals when they are down on their luck.

We can replace capitalism with something better -- something that will take us into the 21st Century. It doesn’t have to be socialism, communism, or Marxism. We need to develop something even more progressive, fair, and equal. And, yes, there can be a way. But, we can’t continue to live in the past. But, we need a democratic government that will allow this transition to transpire. Not one that will block progress just for the sake of the status quo and the interest of only a few.

Change will come. The people will rise to bring changes to America despite road blocks, barriers, and lies that are continually fed to Americans through media and propaganda. The rise of change is coming. We will not simply disappear and fade away into the night.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Science Fiction eBook Kami Jin Published by Whittier author Lloyd Kaneko

Whittier author Lloyd Kaneko publishes new science fiction novel on Smashwords.

Whittier author and resident, Lloyd Kaneko, has published “Kami Jin,” a 355-page book that chronicles the life of protagonist, A. Gordon Sakata II, as he describes his challenging, yet victorious life in the 23rd Century in two worlds – one a troubled life in Los Angeles, and then later on the utopian planet of Xychron. With a global unemployment rate of 95%, Sakata returns to Earth to save those in despair and the homeless and takes them to a distant planet to life in paradise.

For a limited time, September 21 through October 21, 2009, an electronic version of Kami Jin,: normally priced at $6.99 will be available to the public for $5.25 (a savings of 25%) through Smashwords at Use promotion codeVC57Y. Offer expires October 21, 2009.

While many stories and news articles have told about massive layoffs and the homeless in the past several years, Kaneko’s effort to keep the story in focus and honor those who have been displaced by globalization, offers a truly unique and moving commentary that begs to be read in one sitting.

About Smashwords

Launched in 2008, privately held Smashwords operates a digital publishing platform and online book store for independent ebook authors, publishers and their readers. The free
service puts authors and publishers in full control over the publishing, pricing and marketing of their works. In addition to receiving exposure to hundreds of thousands of potential readers on the Smashwords web site and via distribution on Stanza, authors and publishers receive up to 85% of the net proceeds from sales of their works. For readers, Smashwords offers the opportunity to discover exciting new voices in fiction and non-fiction. Smashwords, Inc. is based in Los Gatos, California, and can be reached on the web at Visit the official Smashwords blog at

About Lloyd Kaneko

Lloyd Kaneko is a former Staff Writer for Drum Corps New of Boston, MA, and has written for various other magazines, newsletters, and blogs including Scenario.SC. and Allvoices. He also writes screenplays and is a member of the Alameda Writers Group. Lloyd has Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from California State University, Long Beach and has studied creative writing under Dora Beale Polk. He has studied screen writing through the Writers Guild of America, West. Lloyd has judged screenplays for the Honolulu International Film Festival and the Mexico International Film Festival.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Corporate Greed – Denying Freedom of Speech and Expression in Public

In Kami Jin (Paper People), I reflected on some of my personal experiences with how executives and managers in Corporate America went out of their way to squash the freedoms of speech and expression in their organizations. At places where I worked, supervisors chastised and ridiculed individuals for making constructive comments or criticisms that were contrary to management’s ideals or beliefs. If bosses didn’t agree with your suggestion, they often considered it as “an attack on management.”

This often resulted in negative consequences for the individual making the suggestion. Speaking out resulted in either being passed up for a promotion, but often resulted in a demotion or even termination if management felt it was severe enough to warrant the action. Oddly, those who often spread lies and false allegations against their peers for the sake of “climbing the ladder,” were often rewarded with promotions.

Unfortunately, corporate greed has spilled into the public sector. The national issue of health care reform has caused many obstructionist against reform to create lies, falsehoods and misinformation about the issue that are so far from the truth that it is pathetic that uniformed people in this country perceive these to be “the truth.” Underwritten and funded by corporate executives and lobbyists for insurance and pharmaceutical companies, these parties have hired out public relation firms to organize “citizen groups” to infiltrate town hall meetings sponsored by Congressional representatives intended to have a civilized debate on issues like health care reform. But rather than having the opportunity to have a “civilized debate,” these meetings have become dominated with violent outbursts and demonstrations by people who, often, are not even constituents of the representative’s district. But, people (prostitutes) planted there by insurance and corporations to intimidate gullible citizens with their misinformation and propaganda provided them by these so called “PR” firms.

It’s first of all shameful that these “public relations” firms call themselves “public relations firms.” To the profession of public relations, they are a disgrace. Unlike marketing firms, in PR, you should be telling the truth about the subject. These entities are nothing but propaganda organizations spreading lies for the sake of and preserving the status quo of insurance and pharmaceuticals that stand to lose large profit if a single-payer or a public-option were to become reality. Or the truth of the matter, if a competing entity were to be introduced to the marketplace.

They say it’s “government bureaucracy” that is out to destroy health care in America. I say, “corporate bureaucracy” has been destroying health care in America all this time.

· Why does the cost of health care in America continue to rise?

· Why does America lag (47th) behind the rest of the world in the quality of health care?

· Why are we paying so much for health care compared to the rest of the world? Why are other countries receiving better health care that we are for a lot less?

· Why does someone have to pay $200 for an inhaler here in America and only pay a dollar ($1) for the same inhaler in Cuba and Mexico?

· Why are corporate executives receiving much more in terms of salaries and benefits while average workers are losing their jobs plus their medical benefits in addition to everything else?

· Why can't our health care system find effective ways to reduce costs and make it affordable for all Americans and find a means of building a health care system that is first in the world, rather than argue about the costs that it will take to create a first class system?

The insurance companies promised the Senate their version of “reforms.” But just think, their “understanding of reforms” is what they have been doing all along.

Recently, to continue to satisfy their shareholders, insurance companies have been making efforts to remove many of their patients from their rolls. Much of this is done with very poor communications often by not telling the patient until it’s too late when a patient discovers that he or she is no longer covered by the insurance that the person once had. Or by suddenly changing a patient from a primary carrier to a secondary carrier without notification and then leaving the patient with two secondary payers leaving the patient to coordinate payment or be stuck with the bill in its entirety.

Then there is the issue of not approving coverage for an important procedure because the insurance company deems it “experimental” or “not medically necessary.” Mind you, the insurance company made this decision, not the doctor. In other words, some bureaucrat in the insurance company was practicing medicine without a license. In some cases, this has resulted in the patient’s death. This is criminal. And the person(s) responsible should not be held for manslaughter, but for murder in the first degree.

Back to the issue of freedom of speech and expression. We have the corporations so paranoid about losing their profits, that they hire “hit people” to be their “megaphones.” Do they come out and do the talking? No, they hide behind their mahogany-lined offices while others serve as their mouthpieces. Let alone, the poor people doing their lying are just as vulnerable to get the ax from their insurance rolls as part of their “reform” measures.

Are you executives too ashamed and embarrassed to come out and speak for yourselves? What are you afraid of? You didn’t let your own employees speak their mind in your own companies. Now, you don’t even let the citizens of this nation speak their mind in public town hall meetings as civilized people. You have turned these events into mass hysteria. Yet, you’re too “busy” to come out and debate one-on-one for yourselves, but you can tell a bold face lie in front of the U.S. Senate about your reforms, while stirring up a hornet’s nest full of lies on something this whole nation should be working for – health care reform that will benefit all citizens of this nation – not just your fat pocket books. And since you cannot come out and speak for yourselves, you are an embarrassment to this country. I suggest that you take a trip to Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and buy a t-shirt printed with the legend, “cut on the dotted line,” just above the waist. For if you have any honor in you – which you probably don’t – you would do as the shirt says and do as any honorable Japanese businessman in disgrace would do.

Health care is not only a right for all Americans. It’s a right for every individual on this planet. We all have the responsibility of keeping everyone healthy. Illnesses do not recognize borders, lifestyles, social classes, races, nationalities, sex, gender, and any other divide that one can think of. It attacks at will anywhere, and at anytime. Take the swine flu for example. All it takes is one airplane or boat trip.

You can silence the employees in your company. I might not agree with your management style or methodologies – but that is your right. But don’t tread your privileges on this nation. You have already tainted Congress by asserting your special interest money, which should have been better spent for the good of your patients, you have instead brought the souls of many Senators and Representatives (the “parrots”) just so that you could sway the opinion of health care reform in your greedy favor.

You have gone to the extent of getting favors from a corrupt government that has sold its soul to Corporate America. Stupidity like this has caused civil wars and revolutions in other countries. A little over 200 years ago, a king who sat on a throne, placed himself on a pedestal, and ruled a New World, over-taxed his citizens. As a result, a new country was born. That same country is overdue for a revolution – to overturn a corrupt government by and for Corporate America, and return it once again as a government by and for the people.

This corrupted government has treated you well. In a down economy, it has bailed out failing companies while continued to reward incompetent executives with taxpayer money. The next time, the taxpayers are not going to be so benevolent.

In modern times, we essentially have the same analogy. We have an elite group of people with influence who have placed themselves on pedestals ruling (hiding) in their corporate suites, influencing government with their riches, getting richer by the day while the “peasants” continually starve and lose their jobs and benefits. Prices are sky rocketing out of control, yet, the government is non-responsive. The time is ripe for a revolution. Being a Quaker, I favor a peaceful one at that. But if it means civil disobedience and unrest, I would have to favor all means necessary to bring justice to bear.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Change the Nation’s Currency System First – Health Care Reform will Take Care of Itself

Go to Google Maps and follow Highway Interstate 10 from Santa Monica, California eastward to Jacksonville, Florida. It’s a long stretch that literally spans the nation from coast to coast. Okay, maybe you don’t want to stop the tour there. So, take Interstate 95 north and you will eventually end up in Boston where you can continue on taking Interstate 90 west towards Seattle. And, continue the trip by using Interstate 5 south towards Los Angeles where you would have come full circle in your journey through America. Have we learned a lesson?

If we look at our trip, by taking a road one way, all roads eventually come to an end. Some roads are longer than others. If we take a tour, we eventually return to the same place, back to where we had started. The same illustration can apply to the nation’s currency system.

The United States once had a great monetary system – envied by the entire world! The dollar was strong and valued in a lot of countries. But, like with every materialistic matter in this universe, there’s only so much to go around – especially if it’s man-made. And money is, regardless of whether the people “trust in God” or not, is made by man. When money was printed earlier in the United States, there was enough to support the population of the nation and maintain a healthy economy. However, with a population increase in the country, a decrease of available jobs, and people living longer in age, the nation simply cannot support its people. The prices of material items have increased through inflation, the cost of health care has skyrocketed and impacted the government.

Money is in such short supply that state and local governments are on the verge of declaring bankruptcy while major corporations lay off employees and file for bankruptcy and financial bailouts from federal governments as well. What used to be a land of the plentiful is now ridden with drought, both literally and figuratively. In California, not only is there a financial crisis in the state, but the state also cannot find a suitable supply of water to support its agriculture. State and local governments are curtailing important services and, cities are asking their residents to reduce their consumption of water.

While the nation faces a shortage of money, Washington continues to live in a state of denial by promoting the need for health care reform and other issues. The federal government has failed to recognize that it has “come to the end of the road,” or has travelled “full circle” and it is trying to fix things that are old and antiquated – such as, the current monetary system. In travelling this “circle.” it has gained such an attitude and nationalistic ego/pride that its money is too important and it cannot be replaced by any other currency system. It (the nation) has isolated itself from the rest of the world. At a time when the nation’s currency was failing on the international market years ago, it continued to borrow huge amounts of money from China.

Reforming the health care system in America will only cost more money – money that neither the people nor the government has. Sure, the government can get the money by continuing to borrow money from other countries. That’s the simplest way out. But it will continue to devalue the already weakened dollar, and future generations will be responsible for paying that money back.

The world is already in a financial crisis triggered by America’s failings. The most prudent thing to do is forgive all debts – including consumer debts – and start all over – from scratch. Nations must come together as one world. Individual nations can no longer afford to keep themselves separate by maintaining separate currencies and maintaining their own interest rates. This has historically been very costly for the whole world and very unfair to many countries. Differences in interest rates allowed some countries more supremacy over others. Along with that came inherent societal problems of distrust, selfishness, national pride, and envy. Currencies were not equal, they did not provide for an equal playing field. Some nations were treated more inferior than others while other nations were given special preferences.

Printing money also has its limitations. With the decline of trees and forests, there will become an ever decreasing supply of resources for paper. Therefore, money, in its current form will be even more limited in supply. The electronic world can provide an unlimited supply of credit and can ensure equality to every person on this planet. With a universal credit system, there will be no need for monetary exchanges at the border or when entering foreign countries. A model of this is working well with the Euro in the European Union. There is really no reason why the rest of the world cannot be unified in joining into one common global currency. The only barriers that prohibit such a benefit becoming reality is selfish nationalistic pride, ego and patriotism, and a false feeling of superiority, and greed. When nations create their currency, there is only a limited supply. There was always the trickle down thought that there would be just enough for the man on the bottom. The fallacy of this theory is, there’s never enough for the common man.

The world, however, can guarantee an unlimited supply of credit (money) – especially if the currency is electronic. The resources are not dependent on one singular nation’s. Man has placed limits on himself. He can easily remove these limits on himself as well as others just by changing national and international policies and practices. It all depends on whether a nation desires to remain isolated, or join the world community and become united as one world.

If man can be innovative and create a universal monetary system that can benefit all of mankind equally, then there wouldn’t be the urgent need to reform the health care system in America. With a universal monetary system, people will be able to afford health care – not only in the United States – but globally. There would be no need for health insurance as we know it today. A well planned universal monetary system should guarantee a living, life-time credit to each human being on this planet. This ensures that no matter where the individual is at in his or her stage of life (employed, unemployed, retired, etc.), the person will be able to afford everything including buying basic living necessities such as groceries, paying utility bills, purchasing automobiles, purchasing homes and making monthly mortgage payments, paying for health costs and medical care, domestic and international travel, and still have life credits for pleasure and recreation. All of this, without having to depend on government assistance programs or subsidies. The balance of each individual account will automatically replenish annually at the beginning of each year.

The urgency is not to reform the health care system. The urgency is to put money in the pockets of people – the common people. The average person needs the “big bailout” – not the corporate executives or the companies. States and municipalities also need money in their coffers as well for they provide invaluable services to the people (e.g., education and health services). To focus totally on health care reform without reforming the currency system first is wrong. It is here that we need innovation. We have come to the end of the road, “full circle” in the life of our current monetary system. It’s time that we seek a solution that will best fit the current population, its people and a modern solution using 21st Century solutions – not old solutions based on 19th and 20th Century models.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Beware of the Trap – Falling Behind on Bills Can Make it Tougher to Find Work

So says Tiffany Hsu in her article that appeared in the Business Section the Sunday, June 7, 2009 Los Angeles Times. Ms. Hsu reported that an increasing number of employers perform personal credit checks as part of the employment background check to evaluate the worthiness of a candidate’s qualifications. If the candidate’s credit history is bad, this typically implies that the candidate cannot be “trusted, is unreliable, or is undisciplined.”

While this case may be true in some rare instances, it cannot be applied to millions of Americans who are now being displaced by companies laying off their employees. Unfortunately, society does not blame companies for the individual’s inability to pay his or her bills. They still place the burden of paying bills upon the displaced individual regardless of the reason. In today’s economic environment, once a person loses their job, he or she often falls into a serious trap. Months, even years, may pass without out any success in finding suitable employment, yet the bills continue to pile up. Credit scores plumet, and one’s history is forever marked as bad the credit companies databases. As one fails to pay their bills on time, their score continues to fall even. Not only is credit harder to come by, but a job is also harder to get – yet, it is all your fault because you couldn’t pay your bills in a timely manner. Never mind the fact that you once had a pristine history of paying your bills on time, or that you may even have paid more than the minimum balance when times were good.

Welcome to the pit! Government is not listening to your concerns. Politicians could care less about your problem although there are millions of others just like you in a similar situation. I pity your unfortunate circumstances for I too have been there. Society makes it practically impossible for someone to return to a normal lifestyle – or what we used to consider as “normal.” Corporations could care less about your circumstance either. They are the ones who influenced government to write the laws to maintain databases and records against you that will reflect the fact that you can’t make payments on your bills. If government was for you, there would be a sunset clause in these laws making it easier for you to recover from your misfortunes. Not the case here! Once you’re down, society likes to keep you down, forever! This truly is not a benevolent society.

But by not changing these practices, the government has quite possibly shot itself in the foot. We hear that the Obama Administration wants to put people back to work by creating more high tech and green jobs. However, if they continue to permit employers to use credit histories as part of employment screenings, millions of jobs will go unfilled as more and more potential job seekers have bad credit. And, if the government expects to create more jobs for millions of displaced workers, then it is going to have to abandon old practices that will only hinder the return of qualified talented employees just because they were not able to pay their bills on time and therefore have a bad credit history.

The word and will of the people speak louder than corporations. If the people demand work, then we must speak up and let our will be known in the halls of Congress and to the White House. We must demand that unfair business practices be outlawed so that millions of people can return to work, be productive once again, and live prosperously in America. That an individual’s right to earn a respectable living should be guaranteed by the Constitution on the United States and any record kept against any individual infringing on that right be declared unconstitutional and be immediately sealed.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Same-sex Marriage Is a Civil Rights Issue

In a commentary appearing in the Lodi News-Sentinel on October 16, 2008, writer Frank Nolton concluded that same-sex marriage was not a civil rights issue, stating his views that “societal moral convictions on what is natural and normal.  And these moral convictions have been held for centuries.  No, gay marriage is not about civil rights, it is about approval.  It is about a small percentage of the population working to have their behavior, which the majority of Americans find morally wrong, accepted as normal by society.  In deciding about Prop. 8, keep this in mind.”

Obviously, the majority of Californians have had this same impression and felt that they should legislate the behavior of lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and trangendered people by rewriting the constitution and using their religious beliefs in “changing behavior” of a minority group.

The fact is, for centuries, “moral convictions” have been based on false assumptions without any supporting evidence that LGBT behavior is a “choice.”  Recent medical findings have proven that these behaviors are genetically linked.  Therefore, we do not have a choice whether we are born heterosexual or homosexual.  Therefore, there should be even more supporting reasons to believe that same-sex marriage should be considered as a civil rights issue – especially when the California State Supreme Court granted the validity of 18,000 same-sex marriage, but denies the same rights to future same-sex couples.  This is purely human injustice just because some people, based on their religious and societal beliefs felt this was wrong, and that these people have a “choice” that they can easily live alternative life-styles.

The majority of us may think that it is natural for a man and woman to live together.  I am not the one to deny the freedom of speech and expression.  On the other hand, I also grant the right to those who feel that it is also natural for a man and man, and woman and woman, to live together.  They too, have the same equal right to speech and expression as granted heterosexual couples.  However, with the passage of Prop. 8, we have denied these people their fundamental rights of expression.  There are many reasons why Prop. 8 should be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.  Prop. 8 clearly violates civil rights of a minority group let alone having taken away fundamental rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution as well.

Who are we to dictate their behavior?  Religion should be a personal belief – not something forced upon others.  This is why we are guaranteed the freedom of religion.  And, not all Christian denominations follow the same doctrines.  In fact, many Christian denominations do not have a doctrine.  So who are you to force your doctrine on others?  Just because you just so happen to be in the simple majority at the voting booth, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is right, or should be accepted by others.  In fact, the re-writing of the California State Constitution should have required a two-thirds majority rather than a simple majority.  Clearly, Prop. 8 did not pass with a two-thirds majority.

Marriage licenses are issued by the county government – not the church.  Therefore, same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue and therefore, the church should not dictate to government who may or may not receive marriage licenses.  The Constitution guarantees equality for all, not based on preferences by the majority of a particular set of religious or societal beliefs.  It’s time that we quit living in the past, and press forward into the new millennium.  As long as we continue to hold onto beliefs that are centuries old, we will never progress as a society, but we will continue to reject men and make life difficult by creating barriers and road-blocks for living.  Each person should be guaranteed the freedom of living – free from societal or religious impositions and laws based on false or theoretical assumptions or that, “this is the way it’s always has been done.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bring in the International Criminal Court

The matter of torture committed by the members of the former administration and other agencies of the United States would clearly lead to a conflict of interest if America were to be allowed to investigate itself on these horrific crimes. After all, a local law enforcement agency cannot investigate itself if a member of its agency were involved in a crime. It requires the investigation of another outside agency. The same principal should apply to a country. If the U.S. is actually responsible for knowingly carrying out and implementing such horrific practices, then it should be held accountable to an international court of law (i.e. the Hague). And “internal” investigation by a private investigator ordered by Congress or the current Obama Administration simply will not due -- the world expects much more.

I therefore call upon the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to launch its own investigation into these atrocities, and issue necessary criminal arrest warrants and bring to justice in the International Criminal Court, all those who have illegally authorized and carried out torture, a practice against the Geneva Convention, and committed against detainees illegally imprisoned. The issue of warrants and investigation should also include the former president and vice-president of the United States, if they too, also were supporting participants in these crimes.

Undoubtedly, the “crime” committed by former President Bill Clinton, does not compare even remotely to what has been committed by the former Bush administration. Even the crimes of Nixon’s Watergate debacle fail in comparison to these crimes. Without a question, war crimes have been committed. It’s time that justice be carried out.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

American Arrogance – Why Should The World Worship America?

I have personal pride living in the United States of America. I have even greater pride being a citizen of the World.  But more importantly, I consider myself a citizen and a servant of the universe who just so happened to be born in Los Angeles, California.  Unlike what some Americans believe, we are really no better than other people of the world. If we are actually children in “God’s eyes” what makes us so different or superior than people in other countries? In His eyes, we should all be equals. Apparently, some people here in this country don’t believe so. And, their beliefs often influence their behavior. According to many Americans, “we” are the strongest and the best. Such thinking has certainly affected their pride and egos.  

On the flip side of the coin, we have just as many weaknesses as other countries. Not to mention a weakened economy that has affected the entire world, but people in this country have the poor habit of pointing out human rights violations in other countries and totally ignoring atrocities committed in this country. Take for example our complaints against China for child labor. Yet, nobody blames the rich corporate executives who laid off millions of people in America causing them to lose their jobs and livelihoods, be displaced from their homes, destroying families all for the sake of exporting jobs in favor of getting “cheap labor” and maximizing their profits. The blame cannot be pinned on the Chinese government; it has to be saddled squarely on Corporate America!

There have been complaints regarding Spain’s recent investigation and the possibility of filing war crimes against officials in the former Bush administration who carried out and implemented torture and supported polices that were totally contradictory to international laws and the Geneva Convention. The Obama administration is being reluctant to press for extradition of these people to face trial in an international court.

Why do Americans continue to put themselves on pedestals and think that they are so superior to the rest of the world that they can commit such atrocities and get away with it? The Spanish complaint, in my view, does not go far enough. I think its courts should ultimately file charges against both the former President and Vice-President of the United States. If they are not guilty, then let them prove it before an international court. The law is the law, regardless if it was written in and for a country or written and for the world. This was the purpose of the Nuremburg Trials. International law must be applied equally to war criminals no matter what their country of origin is without exception. If Americans committed war crimes and are guilty of it, then they too should suffer the consequences as did the war criminals of World War II. What is good for one country, is good for the other. Being the United States of America is not an excuse.

Therefore, getting to the question, “Why Should the World Worship America?” The answer is, it really shouldn’t nor should it be expected to. Nations need to bring themselves down from their pedestals of superiority and unite with the world. We need to come together as a world community – not as one country more superior than others. We certainly have a lot to learn from each other. American has a lot to offer to the world. Yet, it also has a lot that it can learn from the world as well. In adult education we encourage adults to continue their education – never stop learning. This principle holds true for a nation as well. If a nation comes to a point where it has quit learning -- especially learning new ways of doing things – then, the whole world needs to be concerned. Once a nation has stopped learning, self-centeredness settles in, there is a feeling of invincibility, and a sense of superiority. But as the Buddha teaches, everything is impermanent. Eventually, everything starts to implode. The empire starts to crumble. If this be the case of the US, there will be black hole effect, and the devastation will affect the entire world community.

So like in the good old days of Don Quixote, let the “Spanish Inquisition” begin.

Recommended Reading: “The Arrogance of America” by Joe Goodson (

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Gobal Currency? – Yes, Bring it On!

Appearing on the home page of the Single Global Currency Association’s website ( is a quote by former U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Paul Volker. It states: “A global economy requires a global currency.” 

While I totally agree -- despite the Obama Administration’s opposing stance on the issue -- there should be one singular global currency. But I think it should come about with strings attached. While this will be a good opportunity for eliminating global currency exchanges, this will also be a good opportunity for eliminating a myriad of other world issues as well. Mainly, it can be an opportunity to finally eliminate and eradicate the world of poverty, starvation, homelessness and inequality.

Let me begin with the latter. Recently, greed has reared its ugly head through capitalism. While during these times of recession and poor economy around the world, some people became even richer while more people were displaced from their jobs, lost more homes, paid more for healthcare (or, forced to do without), barely fed their children (in some countries, people could not even feed their children), more people were forced into the ranks of the poor.

In considering a new global currency, we must give equal weight to equality and justice to mankind also. This currency cannot benefit just a relative minority of the world’s population as some currencies do. It must serve all of mankind equally and fairly. To do this, each and every individual should be guaranteed the right to live in abundance wherever in the world they reside. We cannot again afford to have a few hoard the wealth of the world while 98% of the world’s population struggles to survive. There is no reason, nor justification for this. We have, at our finger tips the ability, and the way we live for the betterment of the world -- and not just for a relatively few rich and arrogant nations. It’s an opportunity to bring 190 nations together for one unifying pupose.

Why not put in each individual’s saving’s (or checking) account an annual balance of $3-million? Make it a worthwhile living account that one can survive on. This will eliminate the need for credit cards, certain kinds of loans, credit reporting agencies, and anything else that maintains derogatory information on an individual. This society should be a forgiving society where humans are lifted up – not forever torn apart, trashed, or discarded like rubbish or refuse. Some nations do not even give people the opportunity for rehabilitation – but are forever punishing humans for their inequities and failures – many of the causes of which are not even a fault of their own but are caused by other individuals. In short, these societies do not even let an individual have the opportunity for him or her to get back on his or her feet.

The world’s wealth has to be distributed equally. So must the supply of this currency be made abundantly so that each and every human can live in abundance without the struggles of life and unwarranted financial burdens of forever being short of money. So, bring on a global currency. But, do so for the right reasons.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord

“Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” said Isaiah. I am not a preacher, but I think this phrase is appropriate, timely, and I think it is time worth heralding his message.

We have come a long way in electing an African-American to the Presidency of the United States. But, the road is long and we still have a long way to go.

People are still losing their livelihoods, homes, and jobs and an alarming rate and it’s almost as if we do not have a solution to this dilemma.

As long as there continues to be the existence of social class structures and ruling classes in the world and divisions between nations, the notion that “all men are created equal” will remain a myth. Man will continue to live in inequality until these hierarchical social classes are eliminated around the world and nations come together as one.

As long as we continue to live independently as separate nations, there will always be differences of behavior, perception, and thinking. We may agree on some things, but differ on many issues. These differences cause disputes often leading to tension, conflict and war.

When the Lord comes to establish his Kingdom on Earth, He will abolish social classes and bring nations together as one. We will unite as citizens not of one nation, but as citizens united of the world -- one united planet. Men will live in equality and harmony. So, let’s get started now by, “Preparing the Way of the Lord.”

May We All Live in Affluence and Abundance

I commend the current administration for taking steps to create opportunities for green jobs that will put thousands of people back to work.

Unfortunately however, that’s not enough. Thousands of jobs is not enough to provide for the millions who have been displaced from their jobs and trying to make ends meet.

While politicians and the affluent live lavishly on their riches, millions upon millions in this country don’t even have enough of the bare necessities.

Where, then, is this land of opportunity? Especially for those who are playing by the book? Or, is this land of opportunity only for those who bend the rules, play dirty, and live by corruption?

Yes, the federal government will bail out the people with pennies, but it rewards pathetically failed executives with millions in bonuses. Where is the justice in this system? Where is the notion that “all men are created equal?” Are some men created more equal than others? Are some men in this nation, entitled to more privileges than others?

In this country there are thousands of starving artists waiting for their voices, their art, their works to be recognized. Yet, on the spur of the moment, a major publisher is quick to offer a $17-million dollar book contract for an inept former-president, the greatest embarrassment in this country’s history. Why do we continue to worship those who have harmed and tarnished the reputation of this nation by giving lavish book advances – especially when this person can’t even put a proper sentence together?

Why are people like Bernard Madoff, Nadya Suleman, and AIG corporate executives celebrated in the press for doing stupid and irrational things in their lives, ripping off people, and getting large sums of money for their notoriety or corruption?

People with far greater character, honesty, and integrity probably have a greater message to tell to the nation and the world, but are overshadowed by corruption, and dishonesty and these people are often silenced. Why? Because the greedy and warped minds of press editors end executives would rather print and sell dirt than honesty. Then, everybody wonders why we have such a bad image around the world.

The nation as whole must come to its senses. It must quit worshiping those who have failed the people of this country by placing them on pedestals and must begin to provide for the common good of all citizens of the nation.

We have a problem of providing enough just for the few. We need to reverse this practice and provide enough for the whole. That includes jobs and money. Let there come a day when everyone may live in affluence and abundance – not only in this nation, but around the world.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Making a Constitutional Change: The 28th Amendment – The Right to Recall

The Republicans in the Senate appear to be convinced that tax-cuts are the only solution to saving and creating more jobs during this economic crisis. If one looks at the recent past, the only thing that tax-cuts have resulted in are incentives for rich corporate executives to pocket the money and export jobs overseas, thus putting millions of Americans in economic turmoil. America has lost more jobs during the Bush Administration, than under any other recent time in the history of this country.

Obviously, tax-cuts are a smoke-screen for the underlying cause of job losses in America. There is a bigger problem which Congress refuses to face up to -- the fact that powerful executives of Corporate America have run the country during the Bush Administration – in collusion with the Vice President. The underlying problem with the economic dilemma is not the downfall of true ideal capitalism. The culprit is outright corporate greed and corruption in Congress and total ignorance of what real capitalism should be. Tax-cuts were only incentives to the rich to export jobs overseas and an opportunity to get richer.

I’m not blaming every senator or representative for being corrupt for there are honorable servants of the people in Washington. However, there are many who are easily influenced by corporate lobbyists as well as inside government lobbyists who have corrupted a once very good model of government.

The answer? Clean up Washington. Set term limits for all branches of government including the legislative and judicial branches. How can we expect to progressively move forward when we are still living in the past with old ways of governing and methods of doing business – especially when those methods are as polluted as a cesspool?

Start with the Senate for example. A lot of Senators have served for a lifetime. It’s about time that a cap be put on their service. It’s obvious that the country needs a new way of thinking. A new bold, open way of governing. A lot of Senators seems to be very “closed minded.” It’s either their “party’s way,” or, “the highway.” Sometimes, it’s not even the party’s way. And, a lot of times, their actions are not in the best interest of their constituents, only the “constituents” who have paid them under the table. After all, it’s money they have. We don’t – they’re the ones who put us out of work! Remember?

I say, let’s put a cap of a two-term limit for each Senator. Then, it’s time for a change.

As for judges, the same thing. Perhaps a 10 year term, once only. Then rotate the bench. Get some fresh blood in the judicial system.

Or, why not make it easy for the people? Everybody gets elected to a four-year term and everybody is up for re-election every four years with a two-term limit for a maximum of eight consecutive years? Any limit is, perhaps, better than what we have right now.

And while we’re cleaning up Washington, ban all lobbyists. Not only those who represents major corporations, but also those who represent government entities including the Pentagon. Our national budget is so out of balance that it’s no wonder why we cannot afford a better national infrastructure (electrical grid, transportation system, alternative energy, etc.). Most of the money being spent is wasted on military spending.

Finally, the people need to be given the right to a federal recall any sitting elected official at-will. Like, in the state of California. In other words, if you’re not working out, why prolong the agony for the people. The people should have the right to get rid of you at the drop of a dime. If your current representative is not in favor of changing the Constitution, do all you can to find someone who will fight for our rights and freedoms and not those of special interests.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Capping Corporate Executive Salaries

I applaud President Obama’s decision to cap corporate executives’ salaries receiving federal bailout money. It’s about time government took the reins of control in the midst of a serious economic crisis, and a shameful embarrassment as corporate executives were rewarding themselves with excessive bonuses and salaries and lavish junkets while their companies were failing, or on the verge of collapse, and they went begging for government handouts.

Regardless of what critics say about government staying out of the affairs of corporations, it is only logical that government should have the right to speak on behalf of the people whose money is being used to bail out these failed institutions – only for the money to be wasted on lavish executive spending rather than bailing out their customers, or their own employees, who they helped to displace. These also were people put into financial jeopardy facing possible losses of their homes in addition to losing their jobs.

If $500,000 a year is not enough for these people, then let them spend at least 3 months living in a skid row neighborhood in their nearest metropolitan area and let them make do with general relief and food stamps. Then, perhaps there will be less complaining, for they will see what it is really like. Maybe, corporate executives will be more compassionate for these people rather than wasting their money on lavish corporate parties and celebrations. Coincidentally, there was once a fabled story where a prince in India renounced his throne to live and learn about the people who lived in poverty. His experiences led him to great wisdom and his wisdom has taught many things to the world – taught in many schools today. He was Prince Siddhartha – Gautama Buddha.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Need for a National Energy Contingency Plan

If the crisis in Israel escalates into a major regional issue involving Iran and other countries in that region, this can have serious implications on the national security and economy of our nation.

Currently, we are dependent on over 66.5% of our oil from the mid-east, about 70% of our oil from foreign imports around the world. If terrorist organizations block the Strait of Hormuz by destroying or sinking tankers headed for this country, this can virtually shut off more than 30% of our oil supply for a very long time.

In the 70's we were able to withstand an oil embargo by these oil producing nations by the mere fact that at the time, China and India were not major oil consuming countries. Today, however, the picture is much different. The outcome can be much more catastrophic. Also, back in the 70’s, former President Nixon initiated bold steps to implement gasoline price caps when prices were rising during the embargo. Unfortunately for this country in the last 8 years, the out-going administration did nothing to control the price and spikes of gasoline prices. And, the citizens of the nation paid dearly for their inactions.

If oil were to be cut off today, we would only have a 6-8 week supply to keep the nation running. I understand that states, like California, have an emergency plan just in case. But this plan is really inadequate and only will replenish emergency service vehicles. And, in a really serious case, the state will provide for only farm vehicles -- not the general public.

This will again lead to gasoline rationing and long lines at the gas pump -- on a short-term basis. On a longer term -- if the emergency crisis were to continue -- this would disrupt the workforce in the country. Every industry would be forced to shut down since employees will no longer be able to get to work. Especially here in Los Angeles, people will not be able to drive their vehicles and, people are dependent on automobiles in a region where the availability and accessibility of mass transit is very poor.

If the crisis continues even more, this will lead to chaos within communities. Neighbors will turn against neighbors, people will not be able to go to the markets to buy their food, and food will not be available -- people will starve. Crime can and probably will rise uncontrollably.

The Administration and Congress must quickly develop and adopt a plan for this country to migrate its dependency from foreign oil in the next five years without delay, rhetoric, or debate. Convert heavy transportation vehicles from diesel to natural gas as a bridge to alternative energy. It is known that natural gas is the only energy source available right now that can power the big vehicles. Some states, municipalities, and educational school districts are already converting their large vehicles to natural gas. Commercial vehicles should do the same even if it requires that they be subsidized by government assistance.

By weaning ourselves off of foreign oil, we can save $15 billion by not sending this money to foreign nations. The money can better be used for our educational institutions and educate and instruct students in new and more energy efficient technology.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Has Capitalism Run its Course? – Trying to Fix an Antiquated Machine

The meltdown of the U.S. economy has obviously had a ripple effect on the international world’s economy as well. That just goes to prove how interconnected everything is. In an article appearing in the English version of, the website questioned if this was the end of U.S. capitalism. In the September 19, 2008 article, they interviewed three American economists. Essentially, they (the economists) concluded that this was not the end of capitalism in the United States, but that the system was only broken.

There has been much talk about an economic recovery. President-elect Obama is talking to Congressional leaders about creating a bill that will deliver an economic recovery package ready to be signed the day he is sworn in as President. Congress is talking about trying to solve the nation’s economic problems as well. Are these measures too little and too late? If the citizens were to receive another stimulus package, would it be just another paltry $600 per person or $1,200 per couple? Come on! The government gave away billions to corporations and millions went to only a few individuals. The right thing that Congress should do is give us a real stimulus package in the five to six-figure range so that we too can pay our bills and stimulate the economy.

When the banks cried out for help, the government stepped in with a bailout “plan.” They gave these institutions billions of dollars with the notion that this money was going to stem the tide of rising foreclosures and families being displaced by job losses and unable to pay their mortgages (largely because of the issuance of bad loans to begin with). However, the money never “trickled down” to the people where it would serve the most. No, a lot of the money went straight into the pockets of corporate executives through bonuses and stock options. They also used up the money to buy up other banks. There never was an accounting for the money. Yet, while families continue to lose their homes, the rich continue to get richer and the disadvantaged are screwed even more. To add insult to injury, not only are they not helped by these financial institutions (which were helped by the federal government), but their homes are placed in foreclosure auctions. Just look at the increasing number of infomercials on television and ads in the newspapers for foreclosure auctions in your community. If you have a little money, the more power to you. But society, being as cruel as it can be, never helps out people with very little or no money at all. In fact, when you’re down, you’re down. And, they like to keep you down for as long as possible. In this country, there is no mercy. Yet, the irony is that we cry out loud when human atrocities are committed in other countries, but we’re totally oblivious as to what we do to our own here in this country.

The car manufacturers, too, are asking the government for billions of dollars to bail themselves out so that they can continue to produce environmentally unfriendly automobiles. A lot of the money will probably end up in the pockets of the corporate executives, who should have been escorted out of their positions by the government before the money was given to them. Are they going to live up to their promises? Probably not.

If GM survives, they are going to come out with their new Chevrolet Volt – an all-electric car. Something that’s probably too little, too late. Furthermore, when it does come out, the only people that probably will be able to afford it will be the rich. In today’s world of high volatile gas prices, they should have put this technology on the market ten years ago and improved upon the technology. Take American Honda for another example. Honda should be commended for designing fuel-efficient automobiles, and having the foresight to design alternative fuel cars using hybrid technology, natural gas, and hydrogen. However the FCX Hydrogen Clarity (pace car of the 2009 Rose Parade) is so expensive that only a few can lease the car at a mere $600 a month. In California, we need more cars like this, but they also have to be much more affordable – not just for the rich.

Ever since the beginning of time, there has been the existence of a societal or communal “pecking order.” That is, whoever was “top dog” ate first. If you were royalty, you got treated better than the peasants and the working families. If you had more money, you had more influence over matters (such as in government and policy) than those making less money. Even today, this ancient structure of living remains prominent around the world. Because we have not learned how to progress from this archaic way of living, there have been societal clashes within and among nations. In many countries including our own, homelessness, poverty, and starvation are on the rise leading to civil wars. In more serious cases, this has led to international conflict including two world wars. We continue to think that we live in a civilized world, yet our behavior often brings out the animal in us. Somehow, our intelligence has yet to mature – especially if we are to progress into this new century.

As long as we have a government that continues to support the affluent and the very elite of this nation, we will continue to live in the past. We will never be a progressive nation. And, the government continues to favor business over the people that elected them into office. Take the bailout for example. Where did the money go? Whom did it benefit? Follow the money trail! Are our lives any better because of the bailout? No!

When the world’s economy was in trouble, they had a summit of the G7. But did they come up with any new solutions? Why? Because these are the same people who basically got the world into this mess in the first place. Can they get us out of it? Probably not. We’re trying to fix a broken system with broken tools and missing parts.

When corporations began laying off millions of people in the United States, there were no plans of putting these people back to work. Like the saying goes, “this is an ‘ownership’ society.” You are literally on your own. Where’s the government? They’ve taken a hands off approach and left a lot of the problems in the hands of the states who are going broke. The educational system is doing very little to rehabilitate displaced people by offering many courses and subjects that are irrelevant in today’s world. Oh sure, they offer basic computer skills, but a lot of those jobs were shipped overseas to India. Again, who does this favor? The rich executives in America for they seek cheap, inexpensive labor that will give them a bigger profit.

The Federal Government really has no plan at all. And if it really matters, they’ve pretty much let Corporate America run the country – at least for the last 8 years -- ran it right into the ground. If change is going to come to America, then the people should demand and expect the Federal Government to take back control of the nation. It has missed several opportunities, and if it is not careful, it will miss several more prime opportunities.

If this government is going to be truly a government by the people and for the people, then it should establish a citizens task force to work closely with the new administration to draft a strategic plan for the country. Not something based on a political party’s platform, but an unbiased, non-political strategic plan for this country that will be accepted by the people and implemented by Congress, and managed by the administration.

To ensure that there are no special influences, all special interest groups and lobbyists should be banned from Washington and limitations placed on political election spending and campaigning. Donations from corporations should be banned.

The people should demand that Congress and the Administration create an oil crisis contingency plan in case the nation’s oil supplies were to be cut off. Concurrently, The Federal Government should establish goals and objectives for the nation to become independent from foreign oil by creating a plan to produce alternative energy in the next five years and mandate that auto manufacturers produce affordable alternate fuel consuming automobiles in five years or less. Raise miles-per-gallon requirements to equal or exceed those of Japanese manufacturers.

The people should demand that the Federal Government do all it can to become more environmentally friendly and to work with the world in doing so. This will be a prime opportunity to change the monetary system to a more equitable one that favors all of mankind rather than just the world’s elite.

Discontinue supplying and selling arms and military equipment to Israel and other warring nations and provide support and funding only to those nations that will promote peace and diplomacy. In fact, discontinue the manufacturing of military equipment to foreign countries all together and just build equipment only for the defense of this nation.

If we rid ourselves of the different monetary systems in the world, we wouldn’t have to worry about money exchanges when we travel abroad. By going paperless, we can save the trees and our natural resources. The governments will not have to print paper money or coins. Issue everyone an environmentally friendly debit card. This way, people will not have to carry cash.

Since many financial institutions are going under already, establish a new world bank that will manage the world’s money system. Each person in every nation will be issued an annual life credit of $5,000,000. One credit equals one dollar or euro (whichever currency has the highest value). That is to say, at the beginning of each year, each account will start with a balance of $5,000,000 for life. This will eliminate the need for credit cards, applying for loans, etc. Everyone will have the same balance regardless of their position (president/CEO of a company, or custodian of the company). The company will not have to pay salaries or benefits. This amount will be sufficient to cover for medical care so it will eliminate the need for insurance. Everyone will be guaranteed medical and dental care and will be able to attend college without taking out a student loan. Yet, there will be credits left to invest in other miscellaneous matters. Companies will therefore have to find other incentives for people to work in their organizations since work will be for pleasure and not just for the sake of working to make a living.

So, by adapting to just one card for all of our financial needs, we can get rid of the other extra frivolous credit cards which, in turn, will lessen our dependence on oil. Also, by not printing paper money, we can not only save the trees, but also save on ink, which is oil-based.

Not only this, but it’s shifting the value from gold, silver and oil to people and placing a value on people. If each person is worth $5,000,000, it is going to be awfully costly to send people off to war. Nation’s leaders are going to have to think awfully hard about going to war with this price tag. Could this really make wars obsolete?

Finally, if every person can have an annual balance of $5,000,000, this will eliminate homelessness, poverty and starvation. People will be paid to be citizens of one world and not slaves to a company and expendable to its owners.

If we are going to take this opportunity to make changes, then we must begin to shed the ways we have been living in the past. If we are to work towards globalization, then we must work towards edifying the world as humans – not just for the benefit and profits of the rich in the world. We cannot adapt a world class structure similar to those in ancient times in many countries where there was a separation from upper and lower class. Or like farm owners (corporate executives) ruled over slaves (employees) – only now on a global level. We cannot permit this to continue – not if we are to progress into the future. Everything we do must be for the good of all of mankind and the environment. The archaic ways of living and doing business must change. We are all interconnected.

Let the strategic plan reflect, that the nations goals and objectives will include:

· Equality and justice for All (worldwide)

· Making wars obsolete

· Adapting a National Energy Plan

So to answer my question, has capitalism run its course? It depends on who you talk to. Naturally, the economists are not going to admit it. But then, many of them claim that the system has worked for ages, so why change it. The Buddha talked about impermanence – everything, including capitalism, is not permanent. I say, why try to reconstruct a sunken ship. Let’s learn from the past and move towards a better millennium.