September 27, 2010

YOUR EFFORTS ARE ALL IN VAIN! - a response to defeatism







The Punk Patriot Answers viewer mail!

Thad Allen writes:
I really appreciate your attempts to reform the politics of our nation for the better, but I think you're going to end up wasting your time in a futile endeavor. The system is pretty comfortable with itself as a two party closed off exclusionary system, where no ideas outside the corporate powers get any real say. If the system is so comfortable with itself, how can you possibly change it?

Well Thad, it’s really easy to be a defeatist and a fatalist when you think of things that are fictional and abstract as concrete and real.

When you say “the system” that’s a very nebulous term that includes a bunch of other fictional abstractions, which are also referred to as monolithic unified fronts, when in fact that are terms used to describe thousands of individuals. Abstractions like “media, government, society, political parties, unions, schools, laws, etc”

None of these things are actual things, but are made real through interactions that arise between the individual and these very abstractions that make up our day to day reality.

If we as individuals passively accept what we are confronted with on a day to day basis as “how things are, have always been, and always will be”, then we are no longer passive. In fact, in our complicity we are actively assisting those who seek to keep things the way they currently are.

But the truth is, through the choices we make on a day to day basis we create the world in which we live.

Now new age hippies have this same concept of “creating our reality.” These folks generally take this to irrational extremes, claiming that we can bend physical laws of reality, walk on water, travel through outer space, or physically alter reality using only our minds. I want to differentiate my point from this, as I do not mean that we create reality in a limitless way. I do think that there is an objective reality in which we exist, but that objective reality does not have abstractions in it.

Take for instance the idea of a State. Virginia does not exist. The earth exists, the rivers and lakes and streams and mountains and animals that live in the place we call “Virginia” exist, but the state of Virginia, we create using abstraction.

That objective reality does have physical laws, however, and so we must defer to the laws of physics. Now the Laws of Physics are mathematical descriptions of the world. Mathematics are an abstraction, and a creation of the human mind. The laws of physics apply whether we are aware of the mathematics or not.

So, how do we use this insight to tackle the problem of “the system” and it’s complacency?

Well, we need to step back from this idea of “the system” and analyze what it really is. Let’s break down this word into terms that are more meaningful. The biggest part of “the system” is the Government.

In the USA, we are purported to live in a representative democracy. In this system, individual people use the power of the ballot box to choose another individual person to make legislative decisions for them. Why? Because as a society, we have a division of labor. Different people who specialize in different things focus most of their energy on doing different tasks, much like the division of labor we see in the cells of our own body. One of those tasks we assign to individual members of society is that of legislative leadership.

What’s so great about this system, is the source of justification of power.
In America the justification of power is derived from the consent of the governed. That is in the Declaration of Independence. In other forms of government there are other forms of justification.

Under totalitarian governments, the justification is brute force. And you can’t argue with brute force.
Under monarchies, the justification is that they were appointed by God. And you can’t argue with God without being accused of heresy.

Under our system of government, however, our government derives it’s justification from the consent of the governed. That consent can be arrived at in many forms.

It can be arrived at when the government does a good and just job of meeting the demands of it’s citizens, providing the means to a flourishing society.

But it can also be arrived at through sheer apathy. If people simply do not care what their government does, do not pay attention to what their government is doing, and do not participate in their government, then they are voicing their support to the government by refusing to work to change it.

Working to change things is not a futile endeavor. People far too often assume that progress is impossible. But I’m undaunted by these supposed impossibilities. Indeed, everything that humanity has ever done was impossible.

When abolitionists started meeting and talking about abolishing slavery, that was impossible. When women started meeting and talking about getting the right to vote, getting the right to vote was impossible. When Gandhi defeated the British Empire via nonviolence, that was impossible. When Martin Luther King Jr, John Lewis, and countless others started the Civil Rights movement, everything they sought to do was impossible. When the Czech people threw off the shackles of communism through nonviolent protest, that was impossible. When the Ukrainian people, through nonviolent protests, threw out a government that claimed power through fraudulent elections, that was impossible. Everything good humans have ever done throughout history has been impossible.

So how can I possible change the system? First, there is the fact that I am willing to entertain the radical idea that it is possible to change things, and thus, I do not lend my support to the status quo. Second, I work to change it through what is possible within the constraints reality gives me. I cannot snap my fingers and make things better. But I can join a local or state committee for a political party, run for office, assist others with whom I have a shared political vision in their run for office, lobby my elected officials to change the laws to make things better, etc etc etc.

And I can also join with others who share my vision. It’s not a unique idea to say that all people ought to have access to decent healthcare. It’s not an original idea to think that corporations should be stripped of the fiction of “personhood.” It’s not an original idea to think that third parties should be elected to office. It’s our duty as members of society, if we actually want to change things for the better, to build the movement and connect with people.

We must connect with people in our communities, be they online communities free of the barriers of place and connected by common interest, or offline communities that are rooted in physical place and connected by shared living quarters- Just the fact that you share the same physical space means that you share a lot of the same day to day realities, and thus are affected by many of the same things.

Can we change things for the better? I am confident and can say unequivocally that YES, we can.

WILL we change things for the better? I don’t know.
But not knowing is not a justification for my inaction. With inaction, we are guaranteed that things will stay bad, or get worse.
In fact, not knowing the outcome of the future is the basis for the argument that working towards a better future is the ONLY moral position that a person can take.

You’re watching the Punk Patriot. To Life, Liberty, and pursuit of a less fucked up government.

I dont’ get paid to make these videos. If you would like to support my work, please donate. If you’d like a t-shirt please visit my Etsy shop. Thank you.

September 26, 2010

September 24, 2010

Lady Gaga Rally -- All the stuff before Lady Gaga that the News didn't show

National Anthem


Mayor of Portland


Lisa Young


Danny Hernandez


Stacey Vasquez


Maine 1st District Congressional Representative Chellie Pingree:


Andrew Campbell


Mike Allmy:


David Hall:


My Battery died after Lady Gaga said, "Good Afternoon."
I met up with Maine Web News at the rally. Here's their footage of Lady Gaga's speech:

September 22, 2010

I LOVE GETTING COOL STUFF IN THE MAIL!

I just received in the mail, a t-shirt from changetheworldtshirts.com along with a bunch of bumperstickers!

It's pretty sweet:



I'm also really excited about this business model. They are really serious about value added. Part of the profits from every shirt sold goes to one out of a list of charities, which the t-shirt's new owner chooses.

I'll be wearing mine in an upcoming video for sure.

September 20, 2010

Tea Party Candidate Christine O'Donnell: "I dabbled into Witchcraft"



Did Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell REALLY dabble into witchcraft?
Was her first date REALLY with a Warlock who took for her for a midnight picnic on top of a Satanic Altar?
Is she still a witch in secret?
There's only one way to find out... does anybody have a duck?

New Shirt Design



Is it ironic or not? Post-Ironic?
I'm not really sure what it means. I like that. It's like a Rorschach test.

I think it's awesome and hilarious though; hopefully you will too.
Right now, it's a pre-shirt rather than a t-shirt. If you order one, I'll take a photo of it after I make it. The text is approximately 7" wide x 5" tall and is in the center of the chest.

Available in Men's sizes S-XL, and in a variety of colors, both ink and shirt.
White ink on colors, and colored inks on whites.
Colored inks on colors! White ink on black! Black ink on white! Go crazy! (But not too crazy)

Every order is custom, so be sure to specify your preferred size and color combination for text and shirt.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER ONE

ONLY $12! CHEAP!

If you care about Mountains...



Okay, so this race in WV is crazy.

The Governor of WV, Joe Manchin, is this huge pro-MTR jerkwad, totally in bed with the industry, and he’s just got this megalomaniacal drive to seek even more power. Now, when Robert Byrd died, Manchin had the power to appoint whomever he wanted. He really wanted to appoint himself, but his PR sense wouldn’t let him do that. It would be too obvious of a power grab, plus he’d only serve a partial term, and then likely get voted out for being a power-hungry monster.

So what he did instead was this: he appointed somebody else to fill Byrds spot, but then after appointing them, he wanted to hold a special election so that he could “legitimately” run for office. Now, this is costing WV a lot of money. Elections cost money for governments to hold in terms of manpower, printing ballots, running voting machines, etc, especially when they are held on the whim of the Governor. But there was a catch, he had to change the law in order to hold this special election. So he mucked around in the state congress until he had enough votes to change the law to create a special election so he could run for office. Oh yeah, and he’s a Democrat.

A Democratic Party elder in WV politics, Ken Hechler came forward to run in the primary to challenge Manchin. Ken Hechler is on hell of a dude. He served in WWII, he advised Harry Truman, marched with MLK jr, and served 9 terms as WV Sec of State.
But, Since he didn’t have the coal industry backing him (because he wasn’t a pro-MTR candidate) and Manchin DOES have the coal industry backing him, Manchin flooded the media market with adverts and won handily.

So now, there’s a Republican who is in the back pocket of the Coal Industry, there is a Democrat who is in the other backpocket of the coal industry, but there is only ONE candidate running who is against MTR coal mining-- Jesse Johnson of the Green affiliated party, the Mtn Party. Jesse Johnson makes a cameo appearance in the film “Coal Country” has run for Governor of WV, and is a tireless activist. He has been working on this issue for years.
Ken Hechler ENDORSED Jesse Johnson over Joe Manchin. It’s kind of a huge fucking deal for an institution of the DNC to throw aside party alleigance for an issue like this. It would be like Dennis Kucinich endorsing Ralph Nader after losing the DNC primary for president. (Come to think about it, why didn’t that happen?)

But that’s not enough to win. This race is still David vs Coaliath (get it? Coal-liath? Nailed it! I am hilarious!)
Now, what can you do to help out?

Well, Jesse doesn’t have a fancy website. The campaign he is running is mostly on the ground, talking to people face to face, traveling long distances through largely rural areas. If you go to the following link http://www.jesse4ussenate.org/ (link also in the vid description) you can donate to his campaign and help cover his campaign costs. You can also write a check payable to Jesse Johnson for US Senate and send it to:
Jesse 4 US Senate
PO Box 446
Pinch, WV 25156-0446

What else can you do? If you’ve got free time, head to West Virginia, and volunteer on his campaign! Send an email to info@jessejohnson.org or try calling 304-581-3005

This message was not endorsed or paid for by Jesse Johnson or Jesse Johnson for US Senate.
I am the Punk Patriot and I am on YouTube. And blip.tv. And facebook. And I have a blog. And I sell t-shirts on etsy.com But nothing to do with Jesse Johnson.

September 17, 2010

Grassroots Democracy IN ACTION

All you political pundits who know so much about DC but never do anything. Look to these two political novices to learn how Grassroots Democracy works.




So calling your elected officals never changes anything, right? Oh yeah?

Senator Bennet's Personal Response




Why are teeny bopper girls who don't know anything about politics calling their Senators?

Here's why:



Lady GaGa is playing the game, and winning.

Send The Punk Patriot to DC to make videos at the "Restoring Sanity" Rally!



I don't know that this will happen, but I figured, "Hey, why not give it a shot?"

September 5, 2010

I love DIY, Grassroots Support

These? These I like very much:





And the video that inspired them:



As soon as the folks that created these list them somewhere for sale, I'll post the links.
Now, just a reminder, these shirt designs were made by fans of the show, and they will be the ones profiting from their sales of their shirts, not me.

I heard a rumor that my scripts are going to be reprinted alongside other authors in a zine published out of Alabama... I'd like to get a copy of one of those zines...

I'm interested to see what other cool ideas you come up with! Be creative!

And thank you!

Sincerely,
The Punk Patriot

September 1, 2010

Obama Whitewashes Bush

by Anthony Gonzalez

We already knew President Obama has a counterproductive and outrightly insane obsession with bipartisanship, but he sank to a new low last night by rewriting history in favor of his Republican predecessor, the worst commander-in-chief the United States ever had. In his address to the nation from the Oval Office about the end of our combat operations in Iraq, Obama stated that "no one can doubt President Bush's support for our troops or his love of country and commitment to our security."

This was an outrageous lie. Anyone who monitored the previous administration knows that throughout it, George W. Bush demonstrated neglect of our troops, contempt for our Constitution, and carelessness about our national security. He allowed the attack of 9/11 to occur, violated the Bill of Rights via policies that Obama is continuing, slashed counterterrorism funding, allowed for dozens of our English-Arabic translators to be fired for being gay, illegally sent our troops into needless battle without adequate gear and equipment, worked to cut the salary of our troops and the benefits for them and our veterans, encouraged insurgents to attack our troops, etc.

It's bad enough that Obama is a corporatist and a militarist. But by now, no one can doubt that he's also a liar. And he doesn't only lie for his own political gain as he did in the campaign. He lies to cover up for the criminals whom he refuses to prosecute and of whom he is, therefore, an accessory.


Partners in crime

Also in last night's address, the current president claimed, "The greatness of our democracy is grounded in our ability to move beyond our differences..."

Wrong again. The greatness of our (indirect) democracy is grounded in our freedom to express and act on our differences. One of the differences Americans had with each other concerning the invasion and occupation of Iraq was whether it would make our country safer or less safe. Based on the unanimous conclusion of our intelligence agencies, the facts vindicate those of us who said it would make us less safe. However, on Friday, Obama said the invasion and occupation of Iraq "has made America safer."

Finally, aside from what Obama did say lately, what he did not say also stood out. Neither in his speech last night, nor in any other statement from him that I have read or heard, did Obama make any mention of the casualties among the Iraqi people that resulted from our military action in their country. Over 1,200,000 Iraqis were killed because of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and I have not heard of anyone even trying to estimate the number of injuries inflicted because of it. What will continue to take a toll in that land is the psychological damage inflicted on Iraqis by the horrors we perpetrated there for the sake of higher corporate profits. And remember, Obama is leaving 50,000 of our troops in Iraq for another year. The flag-draped caskets have not stopped arriving on our shores.

Ben Cohen :: Oreo Federal Budget (Live)



Ben Cohen is co-founder of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, founder TrueMajority.org and Business Leaders for Sensible Responsibility. Here he demonstrates the Oreo Cookie Federal Budget live.