Travelling to a Chinatown

This was posted by a friend doing work in China and South Korea, Ross Schmidt.

 

guidedintolight

Last week was a busy one with work in Shenyang, China. Missions of infiltrating with Christian Chinese resources so secret, I can’t even tell you about them. Here’s what I can talk about though.

Also, here is the MissionFund link: http://go.MissionFund.org/kidsworship

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The Best or Worst of Times

The following article was written by John J. Tierney, Jr., Professor of International Relations at the Institute of World Politics. It’s title is “The Best or Worst of Times.” 2 December 2015. 

With the growth of ISIS, the recent Paris attacks, the threats to the American homeland, not to mention the racial unrest at home, plus practically everything else since September 11th, one could easily believe that the world has suddenly plunged into unprecedented chaos and violence.

That’s a reasonable presumption. However, while these may not be comforting times, they may not be the worst either.

It’s easy to forget that our ancestors, while living in smaller cities and countries, experienced their own problems, but history’s comparisons might be a bit awkward for those who believe that our modern issues are paramount, urgent or unprecedented.

Take war. The U.S. has been in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Total battle deaths so far are about 6,717. Granting that a single casualty, dead, wounded or missing, is someone’s tragedy, numbers cannot be ignored. The U.S. population is about 330 million and can absorb these overseas combats.

But what about history? Let’s take the Civil War for example. In 1861, the U.S. had a white population of 31 million. The Civil War ended four years later and took 750,000 of those lives, almost all white soldiers. That is approximately 2.5 percent of their population. If similar percentages were absorbed today, we would have lost about eight million soldiers. How would those numbers fit into MSNBC?

Closer to “modern” times, consider World War II. In 1940, the world had about 2.3 billion people; compared with today’s give or take 7 billion. The war lasted exactly six years and a day. Within that span, total fatalities, all theaters, combat, disease, men, women and children, totaled approximately 76 million (consensus). That’s about 35,000 killed every day for the duration! If these percentages were suffered in today’s world, we would have witnessed around 100,000 dead bodies every day since 2009. We may not know it, but our generation, with all its violence, has actually been “spared” what our fathers and grandfathers knew. (And their memories will soon be gone; about 800 veterans of that war die each day.)

None of this should minimize the individual, with each life sacred and unique, but perspective is an intellectual necessity. The American people rightly remember Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as profound historical landmarks, or, as FDR put it, “infamy.” At Pearl Harbor, the country lost 2,403, mostly sailors; on 9/11 the toll was 2,977, most but not all Americans. These were heavy tolls, with each event over in minutes or hours. Pearl Harbor led to U.S. entry in the Second World War and 407,000 more battle deaths; 9/11 has not (yet) been repeated. These were national tragedies but certainly not unprecedented.

Take the Battle of Britain. Formally it went on from July 10 to October 31, 1940 — that’s 57 consecutive days (and sometimes nights) in which as many as 800 German planes pounded London and other cities each day. Total fatalities, almost all civilian, were 40,000, half in London. In U.S. terms, that would be 57 straight “9/11’s.” What would the country do?

But the “Blitz,” as it was called, actually continued until June 1941 when Hitler gave up any idea of invading Britain and attacked the Soviet Union. Yet, compare Britain, with 45 million people, absorbing nearly a year of continuous terror from the skies, ending the raids and then fighting the Axis for five more years on all fronts.

One wonders how these people went on, especially considering that they had just finished four years of World War I. By contrast, modern America goes ballistic if a single black man is killed, especially by a policeman. The event is headline news for weeks.

The group “Black Lives Matter,” a distant cousin of the 1960’s “Black Panthers,” has led the assault against both the Police and society at large. Co-founder Alica Garza has vocally committed the group against “black poverty and genocide.”

But genocides throughout history may have taken more lives than even war. The greatest dictators of history were mainly twentieth century tyrants. Mao Zedong leads them all with an estimated 60 million of his own people killed during his reign. Stalin is not far behind, killing more Russians than Hitler, including over 10 million private farmers (“Kulaks”) in the late 1920’s alone. Stalin also engineered the great mass starvation in 1931-32 against the Ukraine, killing as many as 7.5 million Ukrainians. Going deeper into history, the Irish Potato famine of the mid-nineteenth century starved fifteen percent of the population (1.5 million) and forced emigration (mostly to America) of 25 percent. Great Britain stood by and watched.

We’re sorry about Freddie Gray.  Tragedies and injustices happen every day, but perspective tells us that this is not the worst of times.

Want to ‘Defeat’ Jihad? Give the Kids an Alternative. Energize Liberty.

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Summary

This post is about waging information warfare. I harken back to operations in WWII to show how we are doing nothing to fight the ideology of jihad. We can wipe out ash Sham in its entirety but there will always be another jihad group looking to murder people sitting at bars in France or working on financial reports in New York if we do not smoke out the poison once and for all with the power of basic moral law. It is a metaphysical fight and it is in the realm of possible to win it, if we would just do it.

Some Introduction

Buckle in because I want to talk a little bit about evil. I’ll try to be brief with my rage but join me in having a better understanding of Jihad than Ben Rhodes, who apparently didn’t listen in any of his history courses.

Everyday I see “professionals” on CNN sit around and ask themselves dumbfounded (because they are supposed to be the voice of the viewer) “Who are these people that want to kill us? Why do they want to kill us? I have been asking for 15 years and no one has told me. I want to know.” Well friends I have an unpalatable truth for you: the experts have been telling you, loud and clear, for some time now, the truth. Our relativistic society contains the single intolerable imperative that seeks to destroy us. Tolerance has already become tyranny and Utopianism is destroying democracy as we know it. Let me explain.

Consider this. In World War II, Hitler’s Third Reich was all the rage inside of Germany. The man single handedly, with the help of the Nazi Party, his followers, ascended to the Chancellorship and by 1933 rewritten the rules that gave him unfettered and unrelenting power, the best definitive example of evil, manifested through the Final Solution. When the United States went to wage war with this evil, we had a robust information war waging on the propaganda front. Joseph Goebbles knew this all too well, and to this day perplexes Third Reich scholars with how well lubricated his information machine was. Today, we know how evil Hitler’s government was. But at the time? Not the case. You can thank United States Office of War Information for that one. I only use the example of Hitler because it is the formidable evil that most of us have ever heard of (See: Rape if Nanjing, the entirety of what was the Soviet Union, and anything modern China seeks to call themselves today). If it were not for the truth of transparency in government, rule of law, liberty, repsect for human dignity, being broadcasted by the US Government, Radio Free Liberty/Radio Europe, and Voice of America, post-war Europe would be drastically different than what it is today. When Hitler was bent on taking the United Kingdom for himself, Churchill didn’t just blame it on economic hardship and appease the Reich even more? Certainly not! he gave one of the most rousing speeches of the 20th century, and declared that

We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender…

 

So, if we proceed logically, one can surmise that of COURSE we are waging the same type of vital information war against radical jihad?

Nope.

Where is this coming out of Washington? Oh wait that’s right, here is their battle cry: “Don’t do stupid shit.” Quite a juxtaposition.

Politics aside, when a US president must convince the world, and more importantly, the American public, that his strategy against IS is working, when clearly it is not, this should tell any thinking person that it begs the question. I’ll ask it anyway. Why must he have to say this? Why isn’t it just working? After all, it is his job and not anyone else’s. Or perhaps he wishes it wasn’t his job.

Ok, now I am really going to blow your mind with a few statements that I will make no apologies for: There will be more death if we do not attack this ideology. The truth will always, universally, prevail over evil. We cannot simply “condemn in the strongest terms” radical jihad and simply unite in solidarity. Stop.

ISIS 101

Let’s have some background. The Islamic State is an organization that has many advantages and disadvantages. IS bases all of their governmental terminology from the Ottoman Empire, which fell after World War I.

Avantages

Manpower: In 2013 and 2014 they saw unprecedented growth in “believers” traveling ash Sham on the hijrah. The hijrah simply refers to Mohammad’s migration from Mecca to Medina after he was initially kicked out for preaching monotheism (Arabia was more of the wild west in his time then it even is now). However, IS selfishly calls it the journey to ash Sham. Thousands of fighters from all over the world joined the “Caliphate.” There were more Americans, Russians, Europeans, Asians, and Africans calling themselves Syrians than actual Syrians. They are all douchebags, totally obsessed with themselves on twitter. I guess you can’t totally get rid of the West.

Propaganda: The IS propaganda machine is robust and their most powerful tool. They have around 14-15 official media outlets that have different purposes. Battlefield ops, humanitarian aid (yes this exists), ‘State’ infrastructure, and of course executions, which happen so much now that CNN just gave up. All of these videos are to show the glory of the ‘Caliphate.’ This is their greatest strength and is how they recruit. Claiming credit is all a part of their propaganda. If they can claim to their troves of thousands upon thousands of little cheerleaders on twitter that they took down a jet, then they have already won, even if it was engine failure. Even Al Qeada HATES the Islamic State. Why are we not exploiting this?

Money: IS is funded by many many sources. To get into sources would take a very long time. They have also robbed banks, treasuries, so on. This means arms. The black market in Syria is huge, almost anyone can get munitions. The point here is that IS has millions, and has had the capacity for a long time to commit hundreds of 9/11’s. Also, they pay their fighters salaries, did you know that? What happens if they stop paying for religious fervor when they run out of money? Sounds more like kufur (infidels) to me.

Smarts: One huge misconception in the US is that IS is full of a bunch of idiots. This is not, as you may have guessed, the case. They are in fact a very intelligent and unified force with engineers, doctors, computer scientists, and graphic designers. They are united in their cause and we can kill jihadi john after jihadi john–it doesn’t matter. They’ll just keep coming back.

Disadvantages:

They are losing on the battlefield: IS is reaching out to the west in the form of cell formation and attacks, AQ style, because they are literally losing ground in ash Sham. Before, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi wanted fighters to some to Syria. Now, they want you to stay home, stay quiet, and blow things up. They are losing land, men, everything, and this affects their advantages in ways that prevents good propaganda, good recruiting, and therefore, survival.

Some conclusions:

We have not been fighting the ideology for 15 years. None of the ideas I am bringing up here, for the most part, at their base, are my own original ideas. Experts have been saying these things, on both sides of the aisle, for a very long time. And now we have let the enemy dupe us on the information front. It’s like we don’t even know what the internet is. WE INVENTED THE INTERNET DAMNIT.

My Solution:

Give the kids the truth. Old school jihadis and those already in ash Sham have made up their minds. The only thing to do there is kill them and kill them all with the power of western missiles and western guns. It must be swift and it must be merciless.

But  we cannot simply kill all terrorists. It is impossible. There are still Nazis alive today, and many of them. But is there a Third Reich? Not last I checked.

Immanuel Kant believed that we should always do what is right, according to the supreme principle of morality. Do not do an act which cannot be universal. He even made Aristotle look like a fool, in some cases, when he said it. He believed that morality lived in our brains, and I think we can learn something from Kant about radical jihad. If someone asks what America was founded on what would you say? I hope you would say rule of law, transparency, liberty, property, brotherhood, human dignity, freedom of speech, freedom of religion and no established religion, and so on. These are universal western values.

So, my solution. It is pretty simple. We need to energize the alternative for jihad. We need to speak to it. We need to find a real means to broadcast a differing opinion in ash Sham when lies and hate are preached and there are no alternatives being presented. We cannot simply “condemn in the strongest terms” on twitter and move on. We need to take the next step to show the kids, those thinking of joining jihad in silence and blowing up a stadium, that there is an alternative, and that is freedom, even freedom in Allah. The largest Islamic body in the world condemns radical jihad. But, they are doing nothing to counter it. I’m not talking about imposing the West on this, I am talking about providing a solution through understanding.

THERE WILL BE MORE DEATH. THERE WILL BE MORE DEATH. THERE WILL BE MORE DEATH.

I cannot stress this enough, there will be more terror from radical jihad if we do not provide the second prong of this global war. Use logic, reason well, and arm yourselves with understanding. And don’t be surprised when another Paris happens, rather, write your Senator a letter.

Further Reading: Fighting the Ideological War-Winning Strategies from Communism to Islamism

 

 

A Conversation with an Aramaic Christian in Athens, GA

It was arbitrary—there was no reason at all that my fiancé and I stopped in at our local pita joint to grab lunch. The moment that we walked in from the downtown street our conversation is interrupted by the current scene in the restaurant.  There was a fair-skin middle-eastern man wearing slacks, socks and sandals judiciously yelling at a gym shorts-clad college student stealing soda from the fountain machine with a cup that no currency was exchanged for. “That’s not the water! The sign clearly states that it is in the tea tower!” “I was just having a sip,” the pro-athlete quipped. “No such thing was happening!” As the band of thieves hurried out of the store our attendant immediately began to discuss with us the altercation. “This is stealing, no?! These kids, they come in here and have no decency. You can’t do anything with them,” referring of course to the students that are undoubtedly fresh meat at the University of Georgia a minute’s walk away. “They use the water cup and take the soda every time.”

He continued to tell us different stories of times intoxicated youngsters pile in to his store at the waning hours of the night only to fabricate discount punch cards, use fraudulent receipts to obtain the all-important alcohol absorbing midnight pita, and of course, steal soda with a free cup. As I traded my property for his goods and paid for my drink, we began to discuss an injustice in a theatre that exists outside of the brick and mortar of his parlor. Mike, our attendant, I learned is an Aramaic Christian from Mosul, Iraq. Aramaic Christians are a people that live in northern Israel, southern Syria, and mostly northern Iraq and have a direct lineage to Christ. Their churches are works of ancient history and maintain the same traditions that those of their fore fathers did who were members of the early church. Aramaic Christians have been displaced in Iraq before and over hundreds of years and have had it rough living in a world where persecution is everyday life but it was nothing compared to the conversation that was about to take place.

After we asked Mike where he is from he began to tell us of his homeland, his people, and his upbringing; these were traditions and practices that define his bloodline were now on the brink of extinction because of scatter and displacement by the chaos that the Islamic State has brought to his homeland.

ISIS was stirring like the Necromancer at Dol Guldur long before they made their moves to consolidate power in the region last year and we saw the heads begin to role on international media. As they began to conquer and root out government forces through brute force of a blitzkrieg described by Sebastian Gorka as more dangerous than al Qaeda ever was, Mosul was the first to fall.

Mike told us stories of the barbarians and how they forced his people and those close to his family and extended family out of the city and the country. While Mike has lived here for 15 years, he watches across the ocean as people flee. He told us of how the IS forces came to his home church during worship, tore down a statue of a cross that had been erected thousands of years ago and in its place flew the banner of the IS. He told us of how after he fled he knew people in his community that were killed in the street and girls that were taken prisoner. And among the most disturbing, he told us of how these terrorists would dig up the graves of close ancestors and maim their dead bodies just because they were Christians, including that of his grandmother, buried in Mosul. “And I ask, what do you want? She is already dead! Can they not spare us the dead either?” It was after this that our friend got to his real point. According to Mike, Islam is not as grey as it seems here in America. He gave a comparison for us: If we were to go to a Muslim man on the street, ask him if he were a Muslim or a Christian, and if he said Muslim, then give him a choice between slavery or death, he would object and claim his freedom under the Constitution to worship freely as he chooses, and rightly so. In Iraq, it is not the case. No Christian is safe. To convert or die is becoming everyday life, and many Aramaic Christians like Mike learned early on and got out when they could. “We have been slaves for hundreds of years to this. It is our homeland. We don’t seek to live in conflict, we want only peace and to worship as we will. Why is that so much to ask?” He said that here in America we are told that extremists interpret the Quran differently to adhere to a system of violence, but in Mosul even before the IS came, living underground is everyday life because of Islam is commonplace “but I tell you, it is a known fact—if you are a Christian, you are a martyr.” In other words men pervert Islam everywhere, but for Mike, Islam is the reason that his people suffer.

Humbling, yes. While here in America evangelicals only care about guns and Chick-fil-a and hide behind their pro-life pick-up trucks and have time to argue that “new left” Christianity (those crazy people that think the gospel was for all mankind) is going to be the death of the (mega) Church, these Christians die just for living.

Our current administration feels that we aren’t fighting an ideology, rather, a misconception. They believe that through community outreach we can overcome terrorism. Until we fight ideology, we won’t win. Franklin Roosevelt didn’t waiver when Japan relieved us of our western fleet and George Bush didn’t question the motives of 11 men who called themselves true Muslims. We seem to love our movements, our child solider awareness and our “End It” obsessions, like we think it is going to work or something. I tell you now it is a shame that over 100 Kenyan students have to die because they are Christians but it is a humanitarian crime that our Administration prefers to call it a non-ideology.

There is a disconnect in this country. We are protected by those in our government who work tirelessly to defend us and those in service who work tirelessly to defend us. A western nation attacked by ideology is a tragedy, an outcry for coalition and the destruction of evil, but when 100 schoolchildren are murdered in Pakistan, to Americans it is simply a headline. It’s not about patriotism—it’s about security. It’s not a matter of opinion—it’s evil. There was a time 14 years ago when we called it like it is and formed a coalition to destroy it, now we don’t know what a refugee is when we see one. Americans don’t consider the public good provided to them through security. Americans don’t consider it a privilege when they have the freedom to gather under one name. Americans don’t appreciate the lessons that we can learn from Mike.

It’s ok though, we’ll leave to the “soda” drinkers to empathize with Mike.

Pictures watch from the sidewalk past
Poems go flying in the tracks
All we ever got left is a pile of things

I visit you with nothing burning
Hidden heart, stomach churning
Circled in the words like the vultures

Your mouth becomes a dictionary
Words without a holy theory
You’re the only one on the page

Look it up to find my heart
Tear that old shit apart
Till you find the words to sum me up

– Gregory Alan Isakov

Austerity for All of Us and the Elusive “Wealth Disparity”

I was just pacing Academy Outdoor for about an hour trying to decide what to spend a forty dollar gift card on simply because it was given to me. I browsed the fishing poles, button down shirts, camping supplies, and even golf balls. I finally settled on getting my puppy her birthday presents: a new bed, food and drink bowls, and a nifty toy that she will surely destroy sooner or later. All I can think of is how I would rather make a million other purchases with this credit, but I am forced to spend it here. I scrape by these days, student loans are deferred, bills are being paid, but twenty bucks is a luxury. Wealth disparity is something that I understand. Kill me.

There’s this funny phenomenon called stock buy-backs, but we will get to that in a minute. If anyone turns on NPR they will hear of the IMF, the World Bank, and many many many other lenders that seek to provide relief loans large and small, to governments and individuals alike. Debt relief seems to be the international name of the game, but how does debt, austerity, the wealth disparity among people, within nations, and in the international case, play out?

First let’s talk about the Greek debt crisis. Right now, according to CNN, the Greek debt is 323 billion euro (around $366 billion). That seems a small number compared to the US’s monolithic $18 trillion. However, what is key here is the fact that this debt is over 175% of the Greek GDP last year, a shocking stat, nowhere near commensurate to the US debt. The biggest losers here are definitely the Eurozone and the good folks of the Germany. The German government is a reluctant sage in the balance of the Euro, it’s strongest supporter loath to offer any more help to even Barcelona or Rome. And if credibility is the name of the game, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government have posted the first balanced budget since 1969 solidifying the European state as an economic power to be reckoned with.

There are many who will lose because of this crisis I think mainly because we, and they (we are all guilty) do not think about what policies are sustainable. The left-wing party Syriza has won in Greece by naming the IMF as the bully and promises to bring prosperity for all Greeks. This is worrisome for Greece internally because the IMF is not an organization to rile with anti-austerity and, it is in Westeros as it is in Western Europe: Greece will have to pay it’s debts at the expense of its people.

But the question is how will this play out internationally. The international state of nature is the only place where it seems that sovereignty has nothing to do with interest rates. We are bound by what we borrow, and we all have something to lose. To connect the micro with the macro, let’s talk about changing the conversation. The only way to restructure debt without going broke forever is to think about prosperity and it’s creation differently. I am no economist, but I try to pay attention when Jean Tirole wins a nobel for his work “Market Power and Regulation” about the revolution in regulation of firms that dominate certain markets. What I take away from work like this, is that it re-imagines the way that government treats firms because it is market specific. Why, though, are we not then entrusting real prosperity with the stricken workers of the world? The masses, the middle classes and the 3 jobs folks?

There is a great piece by the venture capitalist Nick Hanauer he wrote for POLITICO titled “The Pitchforks are coming…For Us” referring to the top rich in this country that control all the wealth. He understands that capitalism is the answer as long as we don’t screw the pooch and realize that when people have MONEY than an economy prospers. It’s not spread-the-wealth dogma, it’s simply understanding that we are hurting ourselves when we let corporations run wild and we shit on workers. I’m a republican, unfortunately. I can’t stand polarization. There are governments and bubbles that will burst if we don’t change the conversation now. I believe security, capitalism, all that good stuff is necessary and the answer, but we have to regulate firms and legitimizing the plight of the worker.

The example in Greece is one that we hope to all avoid. It affects our wallets when we don’t even pay attention. We have to start paying people and thinking differently about debt on a grand scale in order for everything, and I mean everything, to be …wait for it… sustainable.

And don’t even get me back on Student Loans.

Read some more: The Divide, by Matt Taibbi 

Pleasant accidents, pleasant accidents, always worried.
Pleasant accidents, pleasant accidents, forever focused.
Pleasant accidents, pleasant accidents, always worried!
Pleasant accidents, pleasant accidents, forever focused!

Tiny Moving Parts

We Are Charlie

Don’t make a badge and wear it too
So mark my S’s through and through
Cause I’d buy anything for you
And I make my badge and sell it, too.

My voice is finally giving in
So I toned it down another step
So I can hit that note you wept
When I play that one note again

Your body is attempting to
An argument on what to do
We all know there’s a truth to truth
So I make my badge and sell it, too.

Hallelujah, what have I done?
Hallelujah, what have I done?

-Andy Hull

We Are World Trade, We Are Pentagon, We Are Shanksville, We Are Vicitms of ISIS Sexual Crime, We Are Starving Kurds, We Are USS Cole, We Are Britain, France, America, We Are The Free State of Iraq and Syria, We Are Fighting An Evil Ideology To Its Core And We Will Not Lose. 

It’s funny, ignorance. Our friend and one of my favorite modern philosophes Cornel West, the man every establishment fears, auspiciously declares “never forget that justice is what love looks like in public.” Empathy requires that we are “prisoners of hope,” West also says. It also requires us to condemn ignorance and fight it with such a veracity that it can be pushed to the deepest depths of the seas. Charlie Hebdo is a wonderful weekly that was full of prisoners of hope. In an age where Islamist terror strikes fear in many innocent people in the world they called it like it is. This paper is well known to degrade oppression through masterful satire that is unapologetic when it comes to human freedom.

All out war: “France is in a ‘war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islamism, against everything that is intended to break fraternity, liberty, solidarity,’ [French PM Manuel] Valls told an audience in Evry, a town south of Paris.” The ensuing march in Paris with world leaders interlocking arms in a show of solidarity was show of great coalition that I hope will once again dampen the polarization over the asymmetric fight against this evil ideology. Let’s let it carry out, root out the vermin, and eat them for breakfast.

Via NYT

Via NYT

Via NYT

Via NYT

This Land Is Your Land

It’s about 2 AM and I am scared that my absentee ballot hasn’t come to my mailbox yet. I checked it today, tomorrow is election day, and it is not there. The election supervisors over at Franklin County failed to get it to me on time, so now I am fretting that my ballot will not be cast. I tried changing my address in time but it didn’t work. I’m scared that my one single effort to vote for all of my favorite Republicans and Democrats will pass me by these midterms and the Tea Party, or what one of my old school liberal professors called the “teabaggers” (no kidding), will remain the bane of Georgia in a land that wasn’t just made for you, not for me, but for you and me. John Stuart Mill would roll over in his grave.

Government, equality, democracy, republic, security, wealth disparity, climate, international affairs, human rights, American politics, global poverty, choice and life, feminism, campaign ads, the Kochs, pols her pols there, Iraq WMD, the Obama “Doctrine”, Coney Island, coffee, woodworking, Thomas Jefferson, SCOTUS, corporations, the New York Philharmonic and the quest to truly find and communicate with the elusive middle class, this is Politics For All Of Us. A somewhat daily commentary on all things America, or rather just the things I want to write about, that will most likely affect you in some way if you live in the land that was made for you and me. Hopefully you will find mixed signals based only in rationality. The fabric of this land is not defined by who is in charge. Policy and governance should be universal. It should provide for a free market as well as the thousands of homeless children that, to this day, still sleep on freezing streets in American cities. Let’s energize the alternative and pay it forward. Let’s contribute to a conversation that is worth having where the greater fool has a chance again.

“As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing.”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing,
That side was made for you and me.

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people,
By the relief office I seen my people;
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me,
As I go walking that freedom highway;
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me.”

-Woody Guthrie