The Tragic Case of the Wanna-be Cop

The Trayvon Martin/Zimmerman case is a tragedy that never should have happened.  Two people and their families have been forever affected by this.  The fact remains that Trayvon was guilty of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  George Zimmerman made a BIG mistake.  He racially profiled Trayvon because he was a young black male in a hoodie.  Trayvon had not committed a crime that day and unless George Zimmerman had witnessed Trayvon involved in a crime he had no other reason to stop him OTHER than he fit the “profile” of a criminal in that neighborhood.  Trayvon was a teenager who walked to the store and was attempting to head home that day.  There is no doubt that both Trayvon and George Zimmerman acted in fear that day, but one had a gun and one had a can of soda.

“Fear is static that prevents me from hearing myself” – Samuel Butler

Zimmerman’s only way out of this was to “claim” self defense.  The details of what happened are only known to Zimmerman and Trayvon.  The undeniable factor here is that racial profiling occurred by George Zimmerman and someone lost their life because of that.  If Trayvon was beating Zimmerman it was probably was because he feared for his own life.  Zimmerman should never have pursued the teen with a gun in his possession.  This type of vigilante justice is extremely dangerous for our society.  Call the police and give a description and allow the police to handle questioning.  Under questioning Trayvon would have been found to have every right to be in that neighborhood that day and two people lives would have returned to normal.  George Zimmerman was more of a danger to himself than Trayvon was.  If you want to carry a gun at least have the capacity to deescalate a situation without resorting to violence or the threat of violence.  You can’t solve violence with more violence just like you can’t solve stupidity with more stupidity.  It is far past time to evolve our thinking to a higher level of consciousness because, “Heedfulness is the path to the Deathless. Heedlessness is the path to death. The heedful die not. The heedless are as if dead already.” SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Take the Money and Run

the dukes of moral hazzard

Republicans and Democrats alike have backed the same failed materialist techno-narcissistic pro-corporate PR-machine policies with “growth at all costs,” debilitating rational selfishness, and a nefarious embracing of a Dukes-of-moral-Hazzard business model.  Ethics, behind closed doors, is something you flush down the toilet along with your brains.  The whole machine will eventually grind to a halt.  It is going to happen piece by piece rather than a big spectacular Hollywood style explosion.

Banksters.

Eric Holder said, “I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy…”

SAY WHAT?

We can’t prosecute Too Big To Fail Jail institutions even though they broke the law.   Matt Taibbi writing about HSBC sated, “For at least half a decade, the storied British colonial banking power helped to wash hundreds of millions of dollars for drug mobs, including Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, suspected in tens of thousands of murders just in the past 10 years…The bank also moved money for organizations linked to Al Qaeda and Hezbollah, and for Russian gangsters; helped countries like Iran, the Sudan and North Korea evade sanctions; and, in between helping murderers and terrorists and rogue states, aided countless common tax cheats in hiding their cash.”  He also notes, “Yes, they issued a fine – $1.9 billion, or about five weeks’ profit – but they didn’t extract so much as one dollar or one day in jail from any individual, despite a decade of stupefying abuses.”

This should be the new definition of insanity.

Chase and the London Whale.  UBS and Libor Scandal.  Corzine and the MFGlobal scandal.  The Raj Rajaratnam scandal.  Goldman Sachs thinks everyone but themselves are “muppets” that they can knowingly sell garbage to.  And on and on.   There isn’t one single adult running the system.  These are the largest subsidies in the world and people are complaining that someone bought junk food with food-stamps.  You would go to jail longer for stealing a couple boxes of Tide from Wal-mart than people who have screwed around with trillions of dollars and millions of people’s lives.  I guess the Steve Miller Band is right, we’ve got nothing better to do.

This here’s a story about Billy Joe and Bobbie Sue
Two young lovers with nothin’ better to do
Than sit around the house, get high, and watch the tube
And here is what happened when they decided to cut loose

They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso
That’s where they ran into a great big hassle
Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle
Bobbie Sue took the money and run
Go on take the money and run

SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Only in America

logic

Logic?  Who needs logic when you have an assault rifle pointed at everyone’s head?  I just don’t see why there can’t be more research done on violence, especially with guns.  The NRA released a video calling Obama a hypocrite for having Secret Service guard his daughters at school. Why shouldn’t the PRESIDENT of the United States have Secret Service guarding his daughters?   Just because the President has gun toting Secret Service protection then everyone else should too because that would be fair?  I’m not sure that you can fight ignorant behavior with more ignorance or fight gun violence with more guns.  Only in America can you drive down to Wal-Mart in your over-sized pick-up and park in a sea of asphalt to buy an 18 pack of beer, a semi-automatic rifle, and a set of plastic NASCAR mugs made in China.  Where is the logic in that?

There certainly are reasons to be concerned that Washington is taking more and more steps to limit freedom.  The debate needs to framed logically and not with the tough guy act of prying weapons from someone’s cold dead hands.  Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People by shooting them with a gun.  Some people think the Government should register guns.  Probably not going to happen anytime soon.  Some people think the Government should register “stupid people.”  The Government has already done that and they have given them a number.  I think it is called a Social Security number.  One way or another and at one time or another we would all make that list.  Just because a person has something to make them feel more in control than they really are doesn’t make it so.  A wise man can admit there is much that he does not know and does not need to fear death so much that he forgets to live.  That is the only thing that is certain in this world.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Gun Control Debate in America

Coming soon to a theatre near you.

Clint Jesuswood starring in American Jesus.  Coming soon to a theatre near you.

We here at the Square Root of Zero are sick of reading the news about another tragic shooting. The list is long and the one in Newtown targeting schoolchildren seems to transcend even the unthinkable.  These individuals have a societal cancer, a psychosis, that is obsessed with violence and sense of worth derived from how other people view them.  People are sure to ask, “how did this happen?” and “he was such a nice boy.”  The only thing worse than being lost in a cultural wilderness where the Will to Power has taken place of the Will to Meaning is our ability to suspend ALL reality and be willfully ignorant of the warning signs.  We know more about building cars, making satellites, and powerful telescopes to see farther into the infinite universe – as if the solutions lie OUT there somewhere – than we know about what goes on in the human mind, right here on this very planet.  These “cancer” stricken deny thier connectedness and alienate themselves from thier OWN nature.  The confused individual sleepwalks through their life by living in a memory of the past or dreaming about the future.  If spirituality comes from somewhere up in the sky then we might as well believe, if it suits us, that a book is the same thing as knowledge or the same thing as our brain.  Our lives are little more than an anthropomorphic manifestation of our own thoughts and OUR OWN choices.  This once “nice boy” who killed 20 elementary school children, probably, held the belief that his life had no meaning, but he forgot that it is he who must ask the question and he who must be responsible to answer it.  The Society Cancer grows because, “it is a characteristic of the American culture that, again and again, one is commanded and ordered to ‘be happy.’ But happiness cannot be pursued; it must ensue.”  These “cancer” stricken individuals do not realize that it is okay to feel fear or anger, but it is how they choose to act on those feelings.  The cancer forms in an inability to grasp that nothing happens to them, it happens within them.  Cultural conditioning encourages people to ignore and push away these feelings and leads us to believe we can and live in world of gain, fame (or respect), pleasure, and praise, indefinitely.   Tens of thousands of people will sheepishly whack at the branches of evil for every one person who wakes up and strikes at the root.

“All the great dangers threatening humanity with extinction are direct consequences of conceptual thought and verbal speech.”

Our weapons “technology” has outstripped instinctual restraints of their use, and we find ourselves in the situation of today, with a power to destroy and a willingness to do just that.  The solutions are incredibly simple, but we feel that complex problems must have complex solutions in our lives of ever increasing, unnatural, and useless commotion.  Again, we have iPods, cell phones, and airplanes, yet we still haven’t come to terms with existential problems of maintaining an identity, confrontation with absurdity, and the distinction between phenomena and noumena.  While the solutions are simple, the real difficulty is reminding ourselves to do what we already know how to do.  My deepest sympathies go out to people who have lost loved ones in the face of senseless violence.  I maintain hope that they will be able to keep the strength to deny credence to these acts and continue their own lives in good health and peace – no small challenge.  But as Viktor Frankl said:

“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.  Since Auschwitz we know what man is capable of. And since Hiroshima we know what is at stake.”

Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger

Change?  The election is over.  Obama won and Romney lost.  Where is that “change” we were promised?  Which version of America are we going to get?  First of all, for the average person change does not come from the Government.  The Government does not create “change.”  That change has to come from within.  It is not an external force acting upon you.  Both Republicans and Democrats have dangerously thrown that idea out of their political psyche.

Red, White, and Blue. What went wrong for Romney? The answer probably lies within the Republican party itself and less with Mitt Romney.  The Republicans were unable to win an election by leveraging emotional, not rational, anger about the economy and rouse enough people to vote “against” Obama.  Romney was obligated to indulge in politics Dipped in Fear, Fried in Anger, and served up like chicken and sweet tea on Red, White, and Blue party plates because that is what it takes to get a GOP nomination, but obviously not the Presidency.

Chameleon.  People were asking which Mitt Romney they would get get if he was elected.  Romney became a contortionist to try and please everyone in his Party.  Psychology would suggest that people would pick the Mitt Romney that suited them best by taking the things he said that they liked as the truth and dismissing what they didn’t.  Simply, they will accentuate what they want to believe and ignore what they don’t.  That strategy seems to work for people in Politics in both parties.  However, it seems that Romney had to twist and bend far too much for the average voter.

Race.  Was this about race?  Yes and No.  By and large people that identify with African or Latin heritage have been largely ostracized by the Republican party.  Again, this is based in fear of a America different from the one they know – or want.  Republicans have not been successful in suppressing or distancing themselves from racial attitudes within the Party.  Usually, this dissolves into a Freedom of Speech argument.  I have the freedom to say that women are less intelligent or capable than men, but it won’t get me a lot of dates.  Compassion and understanding goes a long way regardless of religion or situation.  Reaching out to people who are different than you does not mean weakness.

Here is an excerpt of a story written by Calvin Malone called Razor-Wire Dharma that highlights this:

Bulldog was not only loud and obnoxious, he was big and strong as well.  Few people dared to mess with him and he knew it.  I made sure to stay way from him as well.  Christmas season came (as it does each year), and most inmates were not looking forward to the holiday period.  In most prisons, there is almost nothing special done during this challenging time.  In our case, there is a holiday meal: a regular meal made “festive” by the addition of cranberry sauce and stuffing.  The next Christmas, I went to several friends and asked them to help me put on a Christmas party.  Our (Christmas) party was the talk of the prison for a year.  On several occasions Bulldog mentioned that he had heard about our parties, but I never entertained the idea of inviting him.  When I passed Bulldog’s cell something made me stop. I went back and straight out, invited him to the party.  His response was suspicious. “Why you invite me?” he grunted from his doorway.  When they had heard what I had done, two people decided that they would not attend. Others had serious reservations.  I went ahead with the plans and hoped for the best.

It was interesting that all those who attended were dressed in their best “civilian” clothes and made an extra effort to make this a special time for all.  Throughout the party, Bulldog was quiet and nice to everyone.  He got the most animated when we called out the numbers for the gifts. When he received his, he was like a child at Christmas!  Later he told me he thoroughly enjoyed himself.  Bulldog was moved to another prison after that Christmas party.  Three years later I saw him again.  When he saw me he rushed up and gave me a huge hug and flashed an uncharacteristic smile.  Yelling loudly enough for everyone in the next county to hear, he let me know how much that Christmas meant to him and that in all his years in prison that was his best memory.

Common Ground.  Practice what you preach.

The nation, as you know, is at a critical point. At a time like this, we can’t risk partisan bickering and political posturing. Our leaders have to reach across the aisle to do the people’s work. And we citizens also have to rise to the occasion. – Mitt Romney

 

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions, and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are and forever will be the United States of America. – Barack Obama

 

They are BOTH right.  It is time that we stop laying blame on one Party or the other, work together as individuals, and not highlight differences, but find common ground no matter how far away it seems.  You will not only find the change you seek, but a life that is better than you imagined.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Purple People Eaters

Good vs. Evil.  The last Presidential debate is over.  What have we learned?  Both candidates are willing to suspend reality in favor of techno-narcissistic-hyper-corporate-self-esteem building fairy tales in order to take the reins of the Ineffectual, um I mean, Executive branch of Government.  Our system of finance is so completely rigged that one good look under the rug will show more dry-rot than a one-hundred year old farm house in a ghost town.  Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney would prescribe cigarettes to a cancer patient instead of face the difficult task of coming to grips with the root of the problems.  Their “cures” are worse than the disease.   Any coming energy crisis will have nothing to do with “domestic oil production,” “energy independence,” or who will be, or not be, “Mr. Oil.”  These are mere distractions for the masses of hypochondriac Americans who are hungry for another quick fix.  I could probably see more thoughtfulness to the gravity of our situation out of a pack of wild dogs.  They have good hearts, but they will bite you the first chance they get.  Even “good” people are showing their claws and teeth when it comes time to blaming the “other party.”  I strongly believe that the coming crises will be a result of failure in the entire system and not because of one political party or the other.  This will be a result of the fact that BOTH parties want to increase their own power and diminish their own responsibility – it has become the American way.  It has become a quest for power for the sake of power and a fight of “Good vs. Evil.”  If one considers themselves “good” then one must find or create “evil” to justify their own goodness.  Justification is like a straight jacket when you are trying to swim.  Justification means you have a need to limit your own faults and increase the blame on others, which is SURE sign of failing leadership and distorted thinking because you only see what you want to see.  When you are wearing your justification jacket you not only need people to cause problems, you NEED problems.

As much virtue there is, so much appears; as much goodness as there is, so much reverence it commands.  All the devils respect virtue. The high, the generous, the self-devoted sect will always instruct and command mankind. Never was a sincere word utterly lost.  Never a magnanimity fell to the ground, but there is some heart to greet and accept it unexpectedly.  -Ralph Waldo Emerson

Change.  The solution to these problems is not to just use your “vote” to command justice, but to hold each individual personally accountable.  AS A PERSON.  Not as a political party and create fictitious “evil” monsters like Purple People Eaters.  Then and only then will we see real change.  The choice is yours because, “Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth.”  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Let’s Play Pretend

Band-aids.  The fight over taxes is really full of ABSURD arguments.  However, it seems that we just like to fight about entitlements, redistribution, and lack of fairness which all seem to be symptoms of a larger disease.  Let’s not attempt to treat the disease, but put band-aids with Cartoon characters on the symptoms, like we are all still nine.   Let’s ignore that people pay towards all that God-Forsaken concrete and asphalt out there with gas taxes and that the young pay social security taxes for the old.  Let’s ignore our reliance on energy companies and utilities to provide gas, water, heat, and electricity – and those taxes.  Let’s ignore that a single mother might be raising two children on a teacher’s salary of less than 50k a year and has to pay for ALL of these things on top of her mortgage or rent.  Let’s forget about the taxes she pays when buying necessities – like backpacks, books, and clothes – for her children.  Let’s also ignore the fact that no one is doing anything to address the schemes and rackets going on within the financial system and inflationary taxes.  Certainly, let’s play pretend the steering system is NOT broken and hand out boxes of band-aids.

Responsibility?  Any politician who lays out specific goals and then will pledge to give all the money he or she made back to the Government or a Charity and then only accepts minimum wage for their services – if they fail to accomplish those goals – would deserve my vote.  You can call it leadership, “individual” responsibility, or just plain patriotic.  There is NO POSSIBLE WAY that blaming failure on “The other side of the aisle” is going to solve anything.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO

Kicking back, bro

Economy.  The FED built the “explosive” device, Big Banks pushed the button, the Bush Administration fanned the flames, and the Obama Administration is kicking back having a beer and waiting for the smoke to clear.

Puppet show.  At the very best we are letting the same stupid policies come back to bite us in the rear.  I am tired of watching the corporate puppet show.  I might as well buy all the political talking bobble-heads, line them up on the desk, and have them run the Government.  Raise taxes? Bobble-heads? Lower taxes? Bobble-heads?  Drill the Arctic for oil?  Bobble-heads?  Raise the debt ceiling?  Bobble-heads?  Did Democrats get drunk last night and give poor people free Martinis, again?  Bobble-heads?  Did the Republicans steal your lunch money and make inappropriate comments about rape victims, again? Bobble-heads?  Shall we just throw out the rule-of-law, agree that corporations are people, and refuse to acknowledge the rampant financial fraud, swindling, and shenanigans?  Bobble-heads? I think they are saying, Yes.  They are saying Yes and No. Yes and No?  Right?  Left, right, yes, no.  Okay. Got it.

Election season diarrhea.  Is is just me, or does political discourse in America grievously resemble a misleading attempt to sit down to tea and Cheetos with the Mad-hatter inside the oval at a Nascar race within a vast cultural wilderness of bewilderment?   The spectrum of “Save money, Live better” party politics would be much more informative interesting with interpretive dancers dressed like Elvis and Jesus, dipping marshmallows into a Chocolate Wonderfall provided by the Golden Corral.  So far the 2012 Election is a few kittens short of a Pussy Riot and a couple of Budweiser’s short of a Joe-six-pack.  Pass the remote, I’ve fallen and I can’t reach the TV.  Pause.  (Sound of static)  I will take your silence as nonverbal agreement.  SQUAREROOTOFZERO