The Shakers, a religious sect started in the nineteenth century, did not believe in copyrights or patents. They believe knowledge was given by God for everyone. It is only when we commodify life that we need to secure our credit or rights on our creations. Life is not a commodity but a gift from the stars or God take your pick. If we believed this we would not hesitate to offer healthcare or social security to those who currently are in need. But listen to the language we use for offering assistance. We use terms such as ‘deserving poor’. And what we mean is if we can commodify you we will. And if your commodity does not measure up we will not give you assistance because you are a commodity. We want to use you to make our lives in society better. Your life has no inherent value in and of itself.
This does not mean if you have something to give we want you as a part of our community; ask the slaves, chain gangs, coolies, Native Americans, Hispanics: they will tell you differently. No our society will use you but we do not like it if you need to use us back. We have Hispanic farmworkers who toil in our country all their lives and one of our big worries about them is they might receive social benefits from our government. We even have myths of large amounts of non-citizens such as these Hispanics somehow are getting on Social Security. This is not true but it is a myth because myths are often manifestations of our fears.
If we did not commodify each other we would not rate our economy by Gross Domestic Product but by quality of life and happiness. If we did not treat each other as units in an assembly line we would not say we had full employment at 3% unemployment or less. We would not be debating whether to have a minimum wage but we would be implementing living wages.
But for time immemorial we have been putting prices on the heads for people. Jesus price’ was thirty pieces of silver. But this trend, this way of living has exploded with the success of the free market. And the free market would be great if greed and power did not become the heart of so many in the system.
The Shakers were quite the proud entrepreneurs. They are responsible for many inventions. Their industry brought about many inventions a partial list follows Babbitt metal, the rotary harrow, the circular saw, the clothespin, the Shaker peg, the flat broom, the wheel-driven washing machine, a machine for setting teeth in textile cards, a threshing machine, metal pens, a new type of fire engine, a machine for matching boards, numerous innovations in waterworks, planing machinery, a hernia truss, silk reeling machinery, small looms for weaving palm leaf, machines for processing broom corn, ball-and-socket tilters for chair legs. Shakers were the first large producers of medicinal herbs in the United States, and pioneers in the sale of seeds in paper packets. There were other innovations but they did not keep patents and other people borrowed their inventions so that their contribution has been lost to time. Gail Borden’s breakthrough, life-saving invention of condensed milk, was inspired by watching Shakers boil fruit.
Now I know we all do not want to be celibate as the Shakers were but I do know the inhabitants of a Shaker community had better quality of life than their peers. And this was because the wealth of the villages was shared with everyone in the community.
I believe we will always have poverty in America when we allow each other to be treated as a commodity and not as fellow citizen with whom we are to share the wealth of our nation. Amazingly work ethics according to studies show that with the simple practice of treating workers as family or part-owners the quality of their work improves.
Anyone who lives and works in our country, citizen or not should benefit from the fruits of our economy. If we start with this premise everything will change including those undeserving poor. But if we keep commodifying each other we will see the economic divide increase and anger lead to more shootings, riots, and maybe even revolution.
How seriously do republican voters care about for who they vote? The truth is its hooligan time. They holler when we use words like racist to describe them, but in Iowa in the heart of America, they have elected well known white supremacist Steve King to Congress again this election. He has served because of not their racist views but their enlightened ones for sixteen years and was just voted for two more years. And don’t you dare call him homophobic even if On April 3, 2009, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a state ban on same-sex marriage violated Iowa's constitution. King soon commented that the justices "should resign from their position" and the state legislature "must also enact marriage license residency requirements so that Iowa does not become the gay marriage Mecca." NO he is not homophobic.
The Republicans are not racist even though the party ran ads that were considered too race baiting that even their partner media agency Fox would not run them.
Even the California Republicans show a complete disdain for who they will vote in office. Duncan Hunter Indicted Republican Rep. Duncan D. Hunter, R-Calif., on Tuesday won re-election to a sixth term in the 50th Congressional District. It did not matter he has been indicted in a 47-page indictment outlining how his family spent beyond its means and illegally used campaign funds to support an expensive lifestyle.
Showing no shame, (the no apology Republicans seldom do) claimed the moral high ground by accusing his Palestinian opponent was a security risk because of his Palestinian grandfather's connection to the 1972 Munich massacre. Campa-Najjar was raised by his Mexican-American mother in San Diego and said he had little to do with his Palestinian father. His grandfather was killed by Israeli commandos before he was born. Hunter’s campaign ad claimed his rival, who was given security clearances to work in the Obama administration, is a “security risk.” But he had two things against him: he was part Mexican and Palestinian.
Donald Trump the Grand Master Dragon of the Republicans recently chose the word Nationalist to describe himself. He did this despite the criticism that the word nationalist is used by racists who referred themselves as white nationalists, and neo-Nazis who consider themselves nationalists. The only person who did not criticize him for this choice was David Duke once a Grand Dragon Master of the KKK and probably his boy Stephen King mentioned above.
A white supremacist group is behind a racist and anti-Semitic robocall targeting Florida gubernatorial Democratic candidate who also is black Andrew Gillum. They even extended their robocalls to Oprah and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. That’s right the Republican party praised by David Duke and a white supremacist group is pushing Republican candidates but do not think for one moment they might be racist.
Hell the Republican voters this election voted A Dead Nevada Brothel owner as their candidate. The candidate was conservative on many issues but was looking at proposing legislature that eased restrictions on brothels. But I am to believe they hold some moral high ground.
And get prepared for the next minority leader of their party: Jim Jordan. Yes, although accused by victims of knowing and not doing anything to stop Ohio State athletes from being sexually abused when he was an assistant coach at Ohio State University is shamelessly running for Minority Leader. And don’t you judge him.
There is more but I do not have the time or pages to identify them for you. The Republicans are now the party with which racists and homophobes feel comfortable. So yes, it is entirely fair to refer to the Republican party as the party of racists and homophobes. If they do not like that label they need to change.
A week of the far right letting us know how much they love those who are different. They are more than willing to let churches and synagogues hire a security guard to protect themselves. How about this we place a tax on all guns and the taxes be used to train, hire, and arm security guards. This would enable the gun merchants to continue reckless and unaccountable ways of selling guns. At least the gun owners would not be inconvenience until if the body count grew too much. The tax on guns would not be that unusual of a tax. We take tax money from cigarettes and do public education of the dangers of smoking and we also use car tag money to build roads.
To foist the cost of security unto people who are worshipping, a peaceful affair, is unfair. While we are at it we could use the money for public education to teach parents how to keep their guns away from their children. In 2015, 2,824 children (age 0 to 19 years) died by gunshot and an additional 13,723 were injured. Now some gun rights owners may want to protest that they might not be able to buy a gun if we implement a security and education tax. But I do not think it is fair that a church or synagogue may have to close if they have to afford a security guard. Plus some churches may have religious objections to supporting gun rights folks by hiring a security guard to prevent gun violence.
Republicans were all up in arms about the latest pipe bomb attacks. They were so busy trying to create conspiracy theories of how the Democrats were behind the pipe bomb attacks they forgot to express sincere concern for Democrats. Hey if two ex-presidents were targeted that would be understandable if they were Democrats. Maybe it’s time to put a penalty on promoting false conspiracy theories. This might keep people from using false conspiracy theories to batter the opposition.
Maybe we should let the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)charge fees if your programming is shown to be based on 50% or more on false conspiracy theories. This would not limit free speech it would make it more costly to do bad and wrong speech. False conspiracy theories that enrage the public is akin to yelling ‘Fire’ in a crowded theater. Meanwhile, you are improving the quality of the free speech in America. I think no one would argue that our speech in this country needs improving.
Now Republicans will complain that all you want to do is tax and fine people more. They are exactly right. If you promote a conspiracy that erodes citizens’ confidence in the government and our leaders you must pay to play. If you have a hobby that uses an object that is used to kill our citizens you should pay to clean up your unintended collateral damage.
Hey if we do these taxes we can use the money to pay the tax breaks given to the rich and oh yeah using their latest tax-free money to sponsor North Korea’s nuclear missile program or to bolster Putin’s war in Ukraine. Oh shit I may have to pay a fine for those last two accusations. But maybe not, no one’s proven me wrong yet.