What happened to our Democracy?

         What happened to the great country of America? Why do we not prosper like we did in the 1950s-1970s? What caused the greatest nation in earth to come back to the pack? If you listen to Republicans it is all liberals fault, their policies and entitlements. If you listen to Democrats it is all conservatives fault, horrible policies, war mongering and the trickle down economy. But what caused our current predicament. This is an average high school educated Americans opinion on our decline.

America was very successful in the decades following WWII. There are several reasons for this. I believe first and foremost was the conditions other countries were in. Germany, England, Italy, France, Japan and most of Europe was decimated by the war. This essentially left the world at Americas mercy. We were the only developed country that wasnt decimated and we took full advantage of that. Second was the rise of labor unions. They leveled the playing field with corporations causing better pay and benefits. Workers were happy and American made meant something. Third was the gap in income. It put us in a position where employees believed in their employers. Corporations werent cutting corners for a profit.

When CEO pay began to grow quicker then employee pay we saw the beginning of the decline. Companies off shoring work to make a higher profit despite products that were not made very well. Union membership particularly in the early 2000s declined sharply. NAFTA wad created to help Americans but it worked against us. This was the beginning of the end. Then banks began to work against us. I to this day do not completely understand what they did, but they destroyed pensions, credit, peoples lives and the American economy. Too big too fail and too rich too prosecute.

You may ask “Why all this about the economy and jobs?” It all contributed to the political climate we live in today. The decimation of unions took away one of the major checks on corporations power. Easieast example is Walmart. They make billions in profits, get all of their product from overseas and essentially pay minimum wage. They typically cap employees hours so they dont have to offer benefits. All the while their employees are in every government program that is offered because of the low pay. Walmart is one of the largest employers in the country. Any attempt at unionizing is dealt with harshly. People getting fired, hours cut amongst other things. Workers no longer recieve living wages, all the while corporations and the super wealthy gain more and more of the pie.

Why does any of that matter? Well that is quite easy. 94%. 94% of the time the politician with the most money wins. 94%, a ridiculous number. That means that the people with money get their politician of choice. That means that said politician then works for the cause of the wealthy. That causes an ever growing gap in income inequality. When corporate backed politicians are in charge, corporations essentially are in charge. Take the Stand Your Ground Law, a mess of a law. ALEC writes papers called model legislation, which is a bill that is given to their bought congressmen, who then work to get it passed. Congress no longer works for the people, it works for its puppet master.

Money has bought our government, big money, corporations and super wealthy. These people have destroyed our democracy. We are now at the mercy of our corporate overlords. It is funny to think that not only do you buy their product in a store, but we all bow at the altar of the wealthy. This is what these wannabe oligarchs, feudalists or monarchs want from us. For a while the people were silent, but many are waking up. But it is too late? Can we retake our democracy? Is America the new Rome? I certainly hope not. But in my opinion we are balanced on a precipice.

I realize that this is not the most concise description of our fall. But just open your eyes and look around. People stand up for a tax evader like Cliven Bundy but demonize Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown. When was racism so prevelant, the 1950s. How about the constant attack on women? It seems like a calculated attack to keep rich men in charge of things. The election of President Obama, a black man, seems to upset the apple cart. Why else would certain people say their first and most important priority was to make him a one term president. Democracy is not conservatism or liberalism, it is a combination of all of them. We need to overturn Citizens United, put term limits on Senators, Representatives and Supreme Court Justices. We need to be able to assess their jobs and have the right to immeadiatly fire them. Our democracy is on the line. Lets save it.

Emmitt Till and Trayvon Martin, has anything really changed?

                The murder of Emmitt Till was a seminal moment in the Civil Rights movement. Emmitt Till was 14 year old African American boy who was murdered in Mississipi in1955. Till was from Chicago, Illinois and was visisting his relatives in Money, Mississppi. His crime, speaking to a married white woman named Carolyn Bryant. She was a married proprietor of a local grocery store.

A few nights after the murder, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half brother J.W. Milam arrived at Till’s great uncle’s house. They took Till to a barn, beat him, gouged out one of his eyes and then shot him in the head. They disposed of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighed the body down with a 70 pound cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was found 3 days later.

Till’s body was returned to Chicago to his mother. His mother who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral to show the world the brutality of the killing. Tens of thousands attended the funeral and images of his mutilated body were published in black magazines and newspapers. Media scrutiny was intense on the condition of Civil Rights in Mississippi, with newspapers nationwide critical of the state. Initially local newpapers and law enforcement decried the violence against Till, calling for justice. They soon responded to the criticism by defending Mississippians, which soon turned into support for the killers.

The trial was a press event. Problems identifying Till’s body effected the trial. This partially led to the aquittal of Till’s kidnappers and murderers. Several months after the trial during a magazine interview, protected by double jeopardy, both admitted to the kidnapping and murder.

Fast forward 58 years to the George Zimmerman trial. A m an is on trial for the murder of a 17 year old African American child, Trayvon Martin. He followed Martin although the 911 operator told him not to. He startedan altercation with a minor and then shot him during the altercation, killing him. Those are the facts, evrything else really didn’t matter, but Zimmerman was aquitted and now walks around with the gun he used to kill Martin. All because of a law created by the lobbyist group ALEC and that is spreading across the country.

Republicans generally supported Zimmerman and his Stand Your Ground Rights. Democrats and President Obama supported justice for the teen armed with Skittles and Arizona Ice Tea. This is a major step backwards for Civil Rights in America. The Stand Your Ground Law only seems to apply to white people. A black women in Florida, who had history of being battered by her husband fired a gun in the air. Didnt even shoot him. She got 20 years in jail. These are both racially biased decisions that effect all of America going forward. This is not the America I believe in. If you believe in this kind of America, you do not represent progress, you truly represent Sharia Law.

Trayvon Martin deserves justice, Zimmerman got away with murder.

                 My faith in America’s judicial system is gone. A teenage boy was murdered by a man, a man who followed him when 911 told him not to. A man who carried a gun on neighborhood watch when he was told not to. A man who instigated the fight, after a year of Mixed Martial Arts training. A man who shot this child when he started losing this fight he started.

For Don West and Marc o’Mara said this case had nothing to do with Civil Rights, race. They could not be farther from the truth. If Zimmerman was black and Martin white, the case is closed, Zimmerman is convicted of murder and it never garners national attention. I am flabbergasted that a murderer walks free today because of an ALEC model legislation, that was made into law by Republicans.

I can’t process this decision. I am a white man, with a bald head, large goat-tee and a lot of tattoos. I get dirty looks and judged regularly. But I cannot grasp how a young black man feels. Every race has bad people, but entire races should not be judged on the actions of a few. Race should not be so prevalent in 2013. I feel for young black men, I know how I feel and it cannot compare to what they feel. They should see police and feel safe, if innocent, like everyone else. I really believe they are not.

This decision has shaken me to my very soul. I feel let down, I could not be as calm as Trayvon Martin’s parents. If it was my child, I would be going nuts. The Republicans have sold America to corporations and lobbyist like the NRA. Democrats are just as guilty for letting it happen. We the people are guilty of letting America become this joke it has become. It is now legal to murder a kid because you think they may be doing something wrong. You are allowed to shoot someone if you feel threatened, but not defend yourself from some creepy guy who is following you. This is a disgrace.

The Zimmerman trial is a waste of taxpayer money.

              The facts are clear. George Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin, after the 911 dispatcher told him not to. He followed him, started altercation and then shot a teenage boy. Trayvon Martin’s previous record does not matter, he is not on trial here. But Don West and Marc O’Meara, defense attorneys for George Zimmerman,  want to paint this case as Martin threatening Zimmermans life.

Each day the defense is going to try to cast a shred of doubt, that he did not cause the problem. That Martin caused it and Zimmerman reacted because his life was threatened. But this does not change the facts of the case. Why did Zimmerman follow Martin? Why was he carrying a gun? How did the Head of the Crime Watch not know the street name in a 3 street developement? This casts plenty of doubt on Zimmerman’s side of the story.

The only reason Zimmerman is not in jail is because an ALEC and NRA sponsored law. Stand Your Ground Law is what is really on trial. If Zimmerman gets away with cold blooded murder it sets a new precedent. It allows a citizen to become judge, jury and executioner. This is vigilante justice, which is illegal. Even in the Marines we could not use deadly force, shoot someone unlesd shot at. Why does a citizen have a right the military and police do not?

This is also a case based on profiling. George Zimmerman profiled Trayvon Martin because of his color. If this was a white kid who was killed, Zimmerman would be jailed. But that is not the case and that is why we are watching this joke of a trial. If Zimmerman walks there will without a doubt be riots. Justifiably so, but more people and property will be hurt because of this horrible law. This is a shame.

George Zimmerman is a cold blooded killer, no bogus law can change that.

                 I personally do not understand how a grown man can kill a teenager and walk around free and clear. I did not think you could kill someone in cold blood and have a law defend you. I understand that a defense attorney’s job to defend them, but for anyone else to see it like that is ridiculous.

Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law is basically a license to kill. If you feel threatened you can kill them, as long as you feel threatened. Texas’ version if Stand Your Ground Law is just as insane. You are authorized to use deadly force to recover stolen property at night or if an attempted burgalary happens at night. Both laws were model bills from ALEC, which has a strange bedfellow in the NRA. This is the law that may allow a grown man to kill a teenager and get away with it.

The facts of the case are simple. Trayvon Martin, 17, was walking home wearing a hoody, carrying a bag of skittles and an Iced Tea. George Zimmerman saw him, called 911, who told Zimmerman not to follow him, which Zimmerman did anyway. He followed him, caused an altercation and killed him during the struggle. Those are the important facts, nothing else matters in this case.

Defense Attorney Don Nelson cross examined Rachel Jeantel, trying to establish her as a liar. This was in hopes of getting her testimony thrown out. But the facts are simple and so should be the outcome. I am afraid to say that if Zimmerman gets away with this there are going to be riots. If he gets away with this, it allows people to kill at will. Zimmerman needs to be found guilty to keep America American.

The opening stages of the George Zimmerman trial started today.

                 17 year old Trayvon Martin was walking down the street with a pack of skittles and an iced tea; when George Zimmerman decided he was dangerous. Something clicked in Zimmerman’s head saying Martin was dangerou. Zimmerman called 911, which told him not to follow, Zimmerman ignored them. He followed anyway, a conflict followed. In the end Trayvon Martin lie on the ground dead from Zimmerman shooting him.

The question here us not whether Zimmerman is guilty of shooting Martin, that has already been established. The question is whether it was in self-defense or not. Under the Florida Stand Your Ground Law, several other states have adopted similar laws, Texas was in the news for it most recently, you do not have to retreat if you are threatened. It authorizes you to use deadly force if you feel you are threatened. This was an ALEC model bill that has had a negative effect on society.

Unfortunately the focus of this case will be on a bogus law passed by Republicans, with tremendous support from ALEC. The focus of the case should be on the fact that a grown man followed a child, instigated an altercation with a minor and then killed the minor during the struggle. These are the unmitigated facts of the case. A grown man killed a child, how does some bogus law make that ok. Is this the kind of country we want to live in? The Judiciary System has been removed by a man known to be touched in his head.

The implications of this case are far reaching. If Zimmerman is found innocent, people have been given the ok to kill basically at will. I can shoot my neighbor because we exchanged cross words, as long as I felt threatened. If Zimmerman is found guilty, well that is a victory against big business, the Republican party and deals a major blow to the laws ALEC and the NRA are trying to push. I want to know how these laws slipped past Democrat lawmakers. Lobbyist and Republicans are trying to turn this into a free for all to please the gun nuts. How about pleasing the majority of Americans, we don’t want these laws.

ALEC, corporate evil that is losing its strangle hold on government.

                   ALEC is a group of corporations that gather together write bills and convince Congress to pass them for them. They are one of the stronger lobbying arms in our country. Several Senators sit on the ALEC board. They supported the Stand Your Ground Law in Florida and similar laws in other states.

                   It is a symptom of the corporate government we have. Corporations pour money into government through lobbyist groups in attempt to influence votes and bills that are written. What do corporations have to do with government? Does anyone believe that corporations have the country or the peoples best interests in mind? Private corporations are only concerned with profits, at all costs. A little boy being shot or 20 first graders being shot cannot affect profits.

A corporation has more input into the laws that govern us then we the people do. It is all about money and a conglomerate like ALEC has more than enough. Although many corporations have been leaving ALEC because of their extreme right wing agenda. They are involved in Gun Control, Abortion, Privatization of Public Schools, Tax Reform and Bank Reform, just to name a few. What interest do they have in any of these things? MONEY? It runs our politicians and helps create the bills that affect everyday life.

We the people need to take the power back from greedy politicians and corporations. If we can do that President Obama and Democrats have a chance at fixing our messed up system. Republicans like it this way, it gums up the works and stops progress, making the party in charge look worse. That is their main objective, to hurt the Democrats at all expenses. It needs to be stopped, bringing sanity to our government.