Monday, December 7, 2015

Two Minutes To Midnight

World War III may not have begun in earnest just yet, but the risk of it occurring still looms large if the conflicts over in the Middle East region continue to accelerate.  The biggest elephant in the room is not Daesh (ISIL), Iraq, Syria, Iran or any country over in that region--it is the USA and Russia, and to a lesser extent Israel, who combined possess enough nukes to kill at least 8 billion people.  All it will take is one miscommunication and BOOM--it's game over for all of humanity.  And the two primary countries have not exactly been very friendly to each other lately.  Combine that with the threat of climate change, and the World Doomsday Clock, currently set to three minutes to midnight, might as well be set to two.  A certain Iron Maiden song comes to mind.

Meanwhile, rich war profiteers of the mercenary-industrial complex (MIC) are literally making a killing off of it all.  Like the song says, the golden goose is on the loose, and it's never out of season.  Major General Smedley Butler wrote an excellent book about it back in 1935, War Is A Racket, that should be required reading for everyone and would seem to apply a fortiori to our time.  The profiteers/racketeers and their sycophantic lackeys in government keep on pushing for more and more American military involvement in Iraq, Syria, and other countries, when it is clear that America's meddling essentially created Daesh in the first place.  In fact, not only did the 2003 invasion of Iraq pave the way for the current crisis by destabilizing Iraq, but the USA had also been arming various "rebel" groups in Syria in the hopes of toppling Assad.   And many of those "rebels" turned traitor and joined al-Qaeda and what would become Daesh as well.  It is exceedingly likely that the oligarchs did so deliberately in order to further their Machiavellian machinations.

The time to end all of this insanity and evil is yesterday.  The TSAP hereby proposes a law be passed that we call the War Pigs Act, named after both the ineffectual War Powers Resolution of 1973 and the Black Sabbath song War Pigs.  The first part of the new law would put some teeth in the War Powers Act by closing the loopholes and holding the President liable for any consequences of a war that is not authorized by Congress and is not during a state of emergency caused by an attack on the USA.  And absent a formal declaration of war by Congress, absolutely no war may last beyond 90 days (60 days followed by a 30 day withdrawal), save for a temporary authorization of force that expires 90 days after the authorization passes or 180 days after the war began, whichever occurs first.  After that, the must be a formal declaration of war, or the war must end.  Period.  The second part of the law would implement some of Maj. Gen. Butler's recommendations from his book, taking into account that we currently have an all-volunteer military.  Take the profit out of war, first of all.  And for any war lasting beyond six months (which by definition would now require a formal declaration of war), require an annual limited plebiscite of all citizens that would be eligible for military service.  Make it a non-secret ballot such that those who vote "yes" would be drafted if we run out of volunteers, followed by those who abstain from the vote if necessary.  Those who vote "no" would be exempt from any such draft.  A kind of "consensual conscription", if you will.  We would all have skin in the game.  Women would be included as well, but before they draft the very first woman, we should draft men in their 40s and 50s first.  The demographic group who starts the wars but rarely fights.  It's only fair, right fellas?

Watch as war becomes a thing of the past.  As Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler said, "TO HELL WITH WAR!"

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Another Day, Another Horrible Mass Shooting

Today there was yet another mass shooting, this time in California, killing at least 14 people.  It seems that mass shootings have become a daily occurrence in recent years--in the USA at least.  But the rest of the industrialized world doesn't really seem to have this kind of problem.  Why is that?  Well, there's always....


America is the land of 300 million guns, and combined with a culture that is crazier and more violent than most other "developed" countries, and much more extreme inequality, it is a very lethal combination indeed.  Of course, the biggest elephant in the room is the fact that at least 96% of mass shooters are MEN.  Thanks to the patriarchy and the sort of "toxic masculinity" that it creates, combined with the above factors, too many men end up resorting to violence.  Like the Iron Maiden song says, "a briefcase, a lunch, and a man on the edge".  With a gun. I mean, what could possibly go wrong, right?

The True Spirit of America Party would like to apologize for our heretofore rather lax stance on the gun issue.  Mea culpa indeed.  However, we do not believe that banning all guns for everyone, or adopting British or European-style gun laws, as the genie is already out of the bottle, and there is also that whole Constitution thingy as well.  Thus, the TSAP recommends that the following measures be taken:

  1. Bring back an improved 1994 assault-weapons ban yesterday, this time with more teeth.  Include all magazines with more than ten rounds in the ban as well.  (The TSAP used to oppose this until recently)
  2. Remove the 20-year ban on gun violence research, yesterday.  (We were unaware of this)
  3. End the gun-show loophole and implement universal background checks.  (The TSAP always supported this)
  4. Put a significant excise tax on all bullets/ammo, like Chris Rock recommended.  (The TSAP has always supported this)
  5. Treat ammo sales the same as gun sales.
  6. Pass a "one gun a month" law at the federal level. (The TSAP has supported this for some time now)
  7. Require reporting of lost or stolen guns. (The TSAP has been neutral on this in the past)
  8. Regulate firearms like other consumer products in terms of health and safety standards--currently such standards are nonexistent.  (The TSAP has been neutral on this in the past)
  9. Improve enforcement of existing gun laws, which tend not to be enforced very well these days, and improve state reporting of prohibited persons to NICS.  Also, prohibit anyone on the terrorism watch list from buying any guns, period.  (The TSAP has generally supported this all along)
  10. And last but not least, improve our woefully-inadequate mental healthcare system.  (The TSAP has always supported this)
Of course, to truly solve our gun violence problem would require a fundamental overhaul and transformation of our society, which the TSAP clearly supports.  We need to go from being what Riane Eisler calls a "dominator" society to more of a "partnership" society, as the latter kind is far less violent overall.  But in the meantime, the aforementioned recommendations would go a long way towards taking the dangerous edge off of the problem.

UPDATE I:  Since we posted this, we have since learned that one of the two now-deceased lone-wolf shooters involved was a woman (the other was her husband), and that this was an act of terrorism apparently inspired (but not conducted) by Daesh (ISIL).  But since 96-99% of mass shootings are committed by men, and most mass shootings in this country are done by white, non-Muslim wingnuts, weirdos, disgruntled employees, psychopaths, and other domestic terrorists, our general points about mass shootings still stand.  In fact, that shooting was one of two mass shootings on the very same day, and so far 2015 has literally seen more mass shootings than days.  Enough!

UPDATE II:  Since we posted the previous update, it seems that there are glaring inconsistencies between what eyewitnesses saw and what the mainstream media is reporting as fact.   Witnesses recall seeing three large, athletic white men dressed in tactical gear carrying assault rifles, NOT a Middle Eastern looking man his 90 pound wife like the official story claims.  False flag, anyone? Things that (should) make you go, hmmm.  Either way, enough is enough already!