ChristianGiroux.com
Christian Giroux's Blog

War is a Racket
Enlist military industrial corporations into the military; pay the war profiteers on a military pay scale. Smedley D. Butler was the most decorated soldier in American history when he died.  He is still the most decorated Marine.  After he retired from the military, he wrote a book titled "War is a Racket."  in this book he stated that: "I spent 33 years in the Marines, most of my time being a high-class muscle man for big business, for Wall Street and the bankers.  In short, I was a racketeer for Capitalism." Smedley Butler was not a communist.  He proposed a very elegant solution to prevent the exploitation of soldiers: "The only way to smash this racket is to conscript capital and industry and labor...the high-powered executives of our armament factories..., be conscripted-to get the same wage as the lads in the trenches get."


Shale Gas & Oil
Ban fracking to protect water and prevent another Enron
"Fracking" is the process by which oil & gas producers extract petroleum from deep within the earth's crust.  The process requires a well that is drilled to a depth of several thousand feet (through the water table and through the impermeable rock below the water table).   After drilling and fracking, however, the impermeable rock is no longer impermeable.  In fact, in North Texas, where the technology expanded, there are literally THOUSANDS of holes now permeating the rock layer that prevented the water table from falling.   After the life of the wells (~30 yrs), the well is "capped" - meaning that cement is pumped about 50 ft down the well.  The water table may be as low as 2000 ft in some places.   After the well is capped, there is no legal requirement for maintenance.  This means that corrosion protection will no longer be present and the well WILL FAIL, it is only a matter of time.  When the wells fail, the water will occupy the well bores (~ 1,000,000 gallons each.  Further, the remaining fossil fuel will contaminate the remaining water.  Altogether, this is a disaster waiting to happen.   Ban fracking so that your local ground water supplies will still exist in 50 years.  Water is our most precious resource; it cannot be substituted by petroleum. ------------------------------------------------------------- "Fracking" is the process by which oil & gas producers extract petroleum from deep within the earth's crust.  The process requires a well that is drilled to a depth of several thousand feet (through the water table and through the impermeable rock below the water table).  After this, the impermeable rock is no longer impermeable. After the life of the wells (~30 yrs), the well is capped (insufficient to protect water table). After the well is capped, there is no legal requirement for maintenance.  Corrosion protection will no longer be present and the well WILL FAIL, it is only a matter of time.  Water will occupy the well bores (~ 1,000,000 gallons).  Corrosion and gravity are inevitable. Ban fracking so that your local ground water supplies will still exist in 50 years. Water is life.


Patents on Life
View life as prior art, therefore unpatentable. Ban patents on genetic information.  A paradigm shift occurred in the patent office when a genetically engineered organism was allowed to be patented.  This eventually opens the doors to patenting all forms of life.  In fact, there are firms racing to sequence genes that ALREADY EXIST, so that they can obtain the patent.  How far will this insanity be allowed?  Will it be OK to own a slave if they are cloned with genetic information owned by a patent holder?  Will a company start sending you bills for using "their" genes that happen to reside in your body?  This is already a powerful tool used to prevent farmers from gathering their own seed and replanting.  Gathering and replanting seed is perhaps the oldest tradition in human history. But when the genes are owned by somebody else, you cannot legally gather the seed you grew!


Drug Scheduling
Since it is the least dangerous drug known to man, push to re-schedule cannabis from Schedule I down to Schedule IV or V. The fundamental issue with cannabis (marijuana) legalization lies with the current drug scheduling in the Controlled Substances Act.  The path to decriminalization / legalization requires that the drug schedule recognizes cannabis as having therapeutic benefits and low risk.   Cannabis is currently considered to have no therapeutic benefit, despite mountains of evidence to the contrary.  In fact, for its effectiveness in reducing nausea, it is the benchmark which drug manufacturers are trying to match with synthetic substances.   Beyond this, overdose is impossible and drug interactions are minimal.   It is time for the DEA and FDA to recognize the minimal risk and maximal benefits provided by this plant that has been a part of human society for 10,000 generations. No drug has as few harmful effects and compares to the therapeutic uses of cannabis. For glaucoma and nausea, cannabis is the benchmark which drug manufacturers are trying to match. Cannabis is in the controlled substances Schedule I, meaning it has NO therapeutic use and is too dangerous to use. The vast majority of studies show that the benefits are maximal and the risk is minimal (not foolish enough to say no risk). So how can this not be a conspiracy of wood mills, chemical producers, and pharmaceutical companies? Leon Anslinger led the campaign against cannabis. He was a powerful bureaucrat that would have been out of a job after prohibition. He needed something new to prohibit. DuPont was selling wood pulp chemicals for the paper making process and William Randolph Hearst owned thousands of acres of forest he wanted to use for newspaper. Together, the powerful businesses and bureaucrats got together to create a heavily racist smear campaign (that works really well, especially in the USA). In fact, the reason you refer to CANNABIS (the real name) as MARIJUANA (the mexican slang) is because "Mexicans were getting high on their marihuana and raping white women." The marihuana tax stamp act was passed in 1937 with little to no resistance from congress. The trick was, they quit producing the tax stamps; so, any farmer who produced was not paying their due taxes. This was just one more way of enslaving our farmers. Farmers used to provide our food, fiber, and medicine. Now, our farmers are even competing with industry for food products (just check your food labels and see how many ingredients for which you are sure of the source). If the federal government acted in the interest of the people, Cannabis would be re-scheduled. This would allow for medical use in all states.


Good Comment
Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc’-ra-cy): a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


We the People
I would like to preface this by stating that I did vote Obama-Biden in '08. The decision was based purely upon international image; not upon any delusion of the ability for politicians to bring about change.  I have since realized that voting is pointless and I will no longer participate in the farce.   The We the People petitions are truly an insult to the people of the United States.   GUESS WE CAN'T!  The petition is for redress of grievances.  In a government of the people, by the people, and for the people that means you listen to what we are demanding.  You don't send a letter saying thanks, but we're not gonna do that.   This serves only to trivialize the first amendment of the constitution. Pretending that when a petition has been signed by such a large number of citizens in such a short period of time, the only response required is a letter?   Here are the problems and reasoning:   - The website presents many problems to people attempting to register and vote in the same session.  I personally encountered the problem; and several people I know have experienced the problem as well.  I have professionally performed IT services; this is not an operator error problem.  I just hope that the problem isn't engineered into the system.  Only the most motivated individuals actually vote.   - The response is an email letter to those who signed the petition and a simple website posting.  With the access to mass communication possessed by the White House, that is the best you can do?  Guess what? I can do that.  There is no doubt that in the sea of information today, only people looking will even ever know it existed.  That is not good enough!   -The responses are canned.  I received multiple identical letters for petitons deemed to be the "same" issue.  That is garbage.  I am not the only american who isn't foolish enough to over simplify diverse concepts.


Give Unto Caesar
The FEDERAL RESERVE SYSTEM.  As in the words of Ron Paul: "It's as federal as Federal Express."  Pull out the New Testament, read Matthew 22:15-22.  This passage has foolishly been interpreted as Jesus indicating that you should obey the law ?!  Read it, it is actually a criticism of money systems.  You want to know why you owe your taxes?  Look at your money.  Who's name is on it?  When they ask for it back, you can't say no, it was never yours in the first place!  The Federal Reserve system just loaned it to you.  The lesson of give unto Caesar is even more important today, with our fiat (paper) currency, than when the coins were actually made of precious metal (can't print gold).  Funny thing is, the lesson has been taught for around 2000 years, and most people still dont get it!


2008/12/09
If a truly progressive leader wanted to stimulate the failing economy, drugs would be legalized or at least decriminalized. This would allow farmers to grow economically valuable crops, and would effectively end the war in Afghanistan and the now forgotten ongoing struggle in Columbia. The rebels in Columbia and Afghanistan are funded by drug revenue. The drugs are largely consumed by this nation. If we were growing the drugs here, we could give our farmers more valuable crops, keep the money in our nation, and tax the profits. The focus here should not be on refined products, created because of the war on drugs (refined products, such as cocaine, are produced because of the economic value of a tiny amount of refined substance - a kilo of cocaine is worth as much as a boatload of coca leaves, and the refined substance is far more dangerous). The legalization should pertain to allowing the cultivation of plants associated with currently prohibited substances. The most important, and least dangerous of these plants is Cannabis. For those who don't know, cannabis is the real name for "marijuana". Cannabis is still the number one cash crop in the United States, because of its inflated black market value. However, since it is sold exclusively in the black market, no tax revenue is generated. Economically, cannabis is and has been, throughout 6,000 years of recorded human history, one of the most important plants to human society. It was one of the largest cash crops for the forefathers of the United States. (Ever think about all those "Hempstead" and "Hemphill" streets and towns?) The value of cannabis goes far beyond the value as a drug. The plant produces more, higher quality fiber (hemp) than an equivalent land area of trees. It is very renewable since it grows annually, not perennially. If the roots are left behind and flowering tops (the "drug" part of the plant) are worked into the soil, it actually improves soil quality by "fixing" nitrogen. The seeds of cannabis are a valuable high-protein food source packed with omega fatty acids; oil extracted from the seeds can be used for cosmetics and biofuels. Cannabis can be bred to have high THC content (a.k.a. drug potency) or to be exploited for fiber and seed with very low THC content. ALMOST EVERY OTHER FIRST-WORLD NATION EXCEPT FOR THE USA has allowed low THC, non-narcotic breeds of cannabis cultivation. Marijuana is the name of a girl from Cuba (Juana is an alternative name for Cuba, as well as the Spanish equivalent of Joan). Marijuana was Mexican slang, an unfamiliar term to the white population that was scared by racist propaganda proclaiming that drug-crazed Mexicans got high and raped white women. Prohibition was a nightmare when applied to the drug we call alcohol. Demand did not decrease. The rise of organized crime was funded largely by bootlegging. The American people eventually accepted increased police presence and creation of federal three-letter organizations to fight the mobs that had been created. And in the end, the only legislation that helped the situation was repealing the prohibition.


2008/04/15
Don't learn from doing; learn how to do. There is a problem with tradition (and learning from doing).  Traditions are means to an end.  Traditions were developed by people with a plan.  Having a goal is not a problem in itself.  A problem lies in the fact that one who learns through tradition learns only one way of accomplishing a goal.  This limits the learner's possibilities. Some traditions make sense, others don't.  This does not mean traditions that don't make sense never made sense.  However, if the reasons for a tradition have been lost or forgotten, the methods and the goals should be considered seriously. Our goals in life should be clear.  The primary objective in life is to survive.  If we cannot survive, then all else is meaningless.  This is practically axiomatic.  Even a belief in afterlife cannot diminish the fact that survival is necessary to accomplish goals in the world of which we are aware. Air (fresh), water (uncontaminated by disease), food (of diverse substance), and shelter (comfort, both domicile and textile) are the fundamental necessities of life.  Secondary in order of importance are transportation, communication, and data storage, a.k.a. information technology (IT).  These are inter-related and integral parts of modern society and technology.  However, these are not fundamental to survival (though they may help ensure survival).  The basic needs must be provided in the order shown above.  Any other system is unrealistic or unsustainable.  Each step in this ladder helps the steps before. Traditions are often practiced so that the fundamental goals can be accomplished.  Problem is, change is the only constant.  Situations will change, and adaptation is necessary.  Adaptation requires change.  Tradition depends upon minimal change.  Those who depend largely on tradition are incapable of adapting to rapid changes. The fundamental problem here is not establishing tradition, but obeying tradition without reason.  The most valuable capability is the creation of a system of means to an end.  This is more important than learning the mechanics of a tradition.  How and why the tradition started is what must be preserved.  Survival of our species depends upon every individual's ability to create, not just re-create.


2008/03/25
Economy is NOT about money.  Economy IS what has been done.  Economy is raw material, energy, and the focus to create something useful with these resources.  The foundation of the economy is agriculture.  First there is food, then everything else.  Textile and hides are also very important for protecting our frail exteriors.  Shelter is necessary to protect ourselves and valuables from the elements and wandering opportunists (of any sort, man or beast - if there is a difference).  Everything else in an economy can happen after these basic needs have been satisfied. All that is traded in the economy outside of this realm is material and energy that is not being directed to the basic needs.  The value of anything should be proportional to the resources consumed and the work put into it.  A person should get their fair share of the value of something they helped to create.  It is assumed that the capitalist, free market system can effectively establish relative value of goods and labor.  There are many examples in modern society arguing against this assumption.


2007/12/26
We the People . . . When will the day come when those who support the lives of others decide to write the rules to their own lives?  Our society is and has been, for millenia, supported by those who work harder and earn less than those who consume what is made.  When will the people be educated enough to rule themselves?  When will the people no longer look to "higher" power to guide their lives?  When will the people look within themselves for answers to life's deepest questions, rather than relying solely on the wisdom of others? To start an introduction to my philosophy, it must be understood that I believe in a power greater than myself.  The existence of power greater than any man (or woman) is obvious; the immensity of the system we all depend on for our very lives should, in itself, be capable of humbling anyone.  However, I cannot, except in my wildest imagination, believe that the creator of all existence has ten fingers, ten toes, and in general made in our image (let alone the concept of an elderly white man with flowing white hair and beard, and clouds for underwear, a la Michelangelo).  I do believe in a higher power, and somehow, somewhere, sometime, a oneness to all existence.  I believe we are all facets of the same thing, infinite reflections of a single thing that embodies all possibilities.  I believe in a collective consciousness.  I believe that groups of all sorts have a higher consciousness greater than any of the individuals that make up the group.  I believe that any boundary that can be drawn in space contains a consciousness.  I believe when you add up all of the consciousness everywhere, there is one thing that can be seen differently from infinite angles.  I believe that everything exists to experience everything else so that the highest consciousness can be aware of itself on a deeper level.  However, this philosophy has a catch-22, a paradox that keeps it going forever (if there is such a thing).  The problem is: If something wants to examine itself, it needs something else with which to interact.  If there is only one thing in existence, it must split into two to experience itself; however, by splitting in two, has become more complex; and therefore, it must become even more complex to understand the last iteration of self. . .  This pattern can continue ad infinitum.  This concept ties in closely with the concept of entropy always increasing.  This is demonstrated in the modern day by human attempts to understand our own brains; but how can a brain understand itself?  There is no way a brain could actually emulate its entirety within a subsection of itself. Welcome to everything you don't want to hear.  Insight in a world of oversight.