We are at a crossroads in this country. It is time for BIG change which means we have to take a hard look at what is NOT working and make new choices. To find solutions that WORK we must be willing to think outside the box and THINK FOR OURSELVES.
We can no longer afford to let someone, some group or our government do the “thinking” for us.
Americans are really MAD and ready for change. Anger is the most powerful, passionate energy and catalyst for change there is. It is necessary and creates revolution that furthers human evolution. This country is in a severe state of “dis-ease” and I’m not talking about just illness. It is a collective “state of being”, physically and emotionally. The very thing many are resistant to is the cure – change..
Nothing changes until we change our mind.
Republicans and democrats argue over control; too much control or not enough control. They are both right about one thing – We have a major control issue. As the parties continue to argue the root issue remains hidden from view.
Our government, political process and media have become a puppet to a small minority of people holding the majority of the wealth in this country and beyond.
The only reason we have ever needed a government “governing” in the first place, is to protect ourselves from those who would seek to “control” us; remove our individual and collective right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Greed is threatening our freedom.
The United States is now living under a form of socialism.
Definition of socialism according to Merriam-Webster: “A way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies”.
What we now have is a society in which the government is owned and “controlled” by huge corporations and conglomerates rather than individual people and companies.
After watching 4 televised debates (2 democrat and 2 republican) it became apparent to me we are only going to hear what the party wants us to hear. In these public debates the candidates are not obligated to answer questions that are not asked. To make an educated vote we must research for ourselves the issues that are most important to us and pay close attention to who is legitimately addressing them and who is not.
Here are my top 14 issues (I tried to keep it to 10:). These are issues you may not hear discussed if only listening to one side (and some, NO candidates are discussing):
#1 – In 2010 it became legal for campaigns to be funded by unlimited corporate and personal campaign contributions to super PACs (Political Action Committee). If you don’t know what a super Pac is or how they work, here is a good place to start: https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/superpacs.php
The Question: Do super PACs represent a “Conflict of Interest”? If a candidate is not representing the corporate interest of the super PAC why would the super PAC be interested in financing the candidate’s campaign?
I believe this is the biggest issue. It is a root issue and colors all decisions made by government; economic, defense, health care, social, environmental, and judicial.
#2 – The US became the sickest country out of the top 11 industrialized countries in the world in 2014. (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/publications/fund-reports/2014/jun/mirror-mirror).
The Question: How can we be so sick when we have the most expensive health care system in the world?
Connecting the dots:
According to Inc.com the health industry was once again the most profitable industry in the US in 2015. http://www.inc.com/anna-hensel/ss/2015-inc5000-10-most-profitable-industries.html
In 2013 the FTC objected to a merger between Sysco & U.S. Foods arguing the combined company would “control” roughly 75% of the “foodservice marketplace”. The food we “eat out” is effectively controlled by 2 companies. The majority of Americans eat out A LOT. This merger between the 2 was blocked in June of 2015. Read all the details here: http://www.forbes.com/sites/antoinegara/2015/06/29/sysco-cancels-8-2-billion-us-foods-takeover-in-big-antitrust-win-for-ftc/#50e0181b3129
Here is another interesting read: http://247wallst.com/special-report/2014/08/15/companies-that-control-the-worlds-food/2/
And here: “Today, just four large packing companies process 83% of cattle raised for beef in the United States. Four others process 64% of the hogs. In the early 1900s, when 5 firms controlled 66% of meatpacking, public outcry led Congress to pass the Packers and Stockyards Act, a law whose goal was to curtail the power of meatpackers by preventing them from manipulating prices and engaging in practices that discriminated unfairly against independent producers”. http://www.ase.tufts.edu/gdae/Pubs/rp/AAI_Issue_Brief_4.pdf
Another Good Question: How do huge conglomerates, wielding so much power and control over a nation’s food supply fit into a “Free Trade” democracy? And, is it legal?
Main stream media controls our health in several ways. The majority of advertisements are for drugs, health care and big food industries.
#3 – There seems to be a huge conflict between what our government says is good for us and what the government supports with our tax dollars.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2013 recommends 45 grams of protein a today for the average female (with the exception of lactating or pregnant women) and 55 for the average male. http://comenius.susqu.edu/biol/010/tobin-janzen/nutrition%20for%20everyone_%20basics_%20protein%20_%20dnpao%20_%20cdc.pdf.
(I found this info initially on the CDC website in 2013. I now get re-directed to the USDA when I try to access this info on the CDC website…interesting. I located the data at the website above for this blog and since my original post this link has disappeared…even more interesting.)
If you follow the USDA dietary guidelines (http://www.choosemyplate.gov/) and you are a meat eater, you will have consumed about 88 grams of protein in a single day (most from acidic sources). How does this happen? Many plant foods are also good sources of whole protein (just like meat).
6 ounces (recommended serving) of sirloin has more whole protein than some women need in a single day.
In 2015 the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled meat as a carcinogen. The bulk of U.S. Department of Agriculture subsidies (our tax dollars) support the huge meat and dairy industry; along with the corn, soy and wheat industries. Much of the subsidized grain crops feed the meat, dairy and egg industry. “85% of all subsidies are received by the top 16% of farm households”*
It seems this practice created to support farmers during the great depression no longer serves the small farmer and hasn’t for a long time. Subsidy dollars artificially deflate retail prices on meat and dairy; supporting an already fat market that hugely contributes to America’s obesity and chronic disease epidemic.
Current subsidy practices create an environment where the small, local farmer growing essential health supporting crops cannot compete.
Have you ever wondered how a pound of hamburger meat can cost less than a pint of organic blueberries? Logically, it makes no sense.
Corn is the largest subsidized crop and is also grown to make high fructose corn syrup. This chemically modified sugar can be found in practically everything from sodas to baby formula and is solidly linked to chonic disease; obesity, diabetes and now heart disease.
*This is a good read with lots of backed-up research on the subject of government subsidies https://www.aei.org/publication/cash-crop/
Agriculture subsidies are “controlling” our food supply.
Question: Do you feel government subsidies are in alignment with what is good for the health of Americans and if not, what would you do to change the current situation?
#4 – According to Hillary 33,000 deaths resulted from gun violence last year and yes this is tragic. According to the statistics below we are losing more than 12 times that many to a cause that NO ONE is talking about.
The media has many running scared for vaccinations when a few people die of the flu. We let ourselves be doused in toxins for fear of contracting Lyme disease. Now we have Ebola and the Zika virus to fear. FEAR SELLS. What you didn’t hear mentioned in the debates from either side, are these mind bending statistics (on our government website):
According to the FDA (siting studies from the Institute of Medicine and Jama in 1998) over 100,000 people die annually from ADRs (Adverse drug reactions) making it the 4th leading cause of death in American. (These are now classified as “unintentional injuries”). Also reported in the same article, in January of 2000, from 44,000 to 98,000 deaths occur annually from medical errors.
Note: I haven’t found any more recent statistics on the FDA site since the one referenced in the FDA link above.
According to a study released in 2013 by the Journal of Patient Safety, deaths caused by medical error are more likely around 400,000 and is now the 3rd leading cause of death More than cancer and heart disease.
More here: http://www.healthcareitnews.com/news/deaths-by-medical-mistakes-hit-records
Question: It seems not only is our health care system not affording us good health, it is detrimental to our health and life. Why do you believe are our government and media are silent on this deadly issue?
#5 – The U.S. still has 33 to 48 million people without health care (depending on who you listen to). The “Affordable Care Act” has not accomplished what it set out to do and for many insurance became less than affordable.
Question: Do you believe health care should be a privilege and a right as a US citizen. And if so, what is your plan to provide and pay for it?
No matter the answer, the demand for health care would plummet if our health care system was focused on “health”. The solution to our health care crisis is to get healthy. As long as this huge conflict of interest exist between what is good for our health and what is good for the health care industry’s shareholders we will have an industry focused on “sick care”.
#6 – Not every candidate is talking about the major issue of corporate tax loopholes that allow huge U.S. corporations to avoid paying income tax (billions of dollars) while small business and the middle class wage earners foot the bulk of the tax bill.
Donald Trump boasted in the first presidential debate that avoiding paying taxes, “Makes him smart”.
Can you imagine what we could do with the billions of sheltered tax dollars?
Question: Should large profitable corporations and billionaires be legally allowed to avoid paying income tax?
#7 – A fair minimum wage has been an issue for a long long time.
People complain about our tax dollars going to fund welfare programs. If minimum wage had kept up with inflation (as “cost of living” raises do) we would need a lot less welfare.
The national minimum wage has increased only by $2.10 since 1997 (almost 20 years). The $5.15 minimum wage went unchanged from 1997 to 2007 – 10 years without an increase! I wonder how many employees would stay with a company for 10 years without a raise?
Question: Do you feel someone willing to work full-time in this country should earn a “living” wage?
#8 – The sky rocketing cost of college is a huge financial drain on families and leave many graduates with debt that may take decades to pay. Is this really necessary? There are many important jobs in this country that do not require a college degree. For those who desire one, the internet and experience can provide one at NO COST.
Do we really need to go into debt to learn? If you can pass the test and do the work, shouldn’t that be enough? Has our worth in life come down to a college degree? It wasn’t so long ago when anyone could climb the corporate ladder on merit and create a rich life.
Question: Do you feel every American citizen should earn a college degree to be worthy of a living wage? And, how do you propose to pay for it?
#9 – Social Security is always a hot topic. It has been proposed that raising the retirement age to 70 is a good idea because people are living longer. Heaven forbid we should live long enough to collect what we have paid in. We may be living longer, however many seniors, due to chronic disease today are not healthy enough to work and have no retirement beyond social security. Many have lost their life’s savings and pensions due to economic crisis and corporate downsizing.
Our elderly are suffering physically and financially. Those that can work are discouraged from earning “too much” money. As of 1983 seniors started paying income tax on social security benefits if earnings and SS totaled more than $25K. Not a lot of money by any standard. The social security program was originally designed to be income tax free.
We have been giving our money over to a retirement system that is not taking care of our seniors and gets farther and farther out of reach for future retirees. As it stands today many seniors can’t afford the basics of life.
Question: What would you do to bolster the current system and insure Americans receive the benefits paid in while they still have retirement years left?
#10 – The U.S. leads the world in incarcerations – even more than communist China. How does this happen when the population of China was 1.357 billion in 2013 compared to the U.S. at 318.9 million in 2014 (huge difference)? Bernie Sanders mentioned this disturbing fact, but he left this out: How for-profit prisons have become the biggest lobby no one is talking about.
Question: Should “for profit” corporations be allowed to influence our legal and prison system?
#11 – Mental illness in regards to service veterans and mass shootings came up during the republican and democratic debates over the issue of “gun control”. I agree with the republicans but not for the obvious reason. Disarming people again is not addressing the “root” of the problem.
There is a complete disconnect between “mental” illness and other “physical” illness. Somewhere along the line we have forgotten the brain is part of the physical body and is affected by food and toxins just like the rest of the body.
Mental health issues are at epidemic proportions along with all chronic disease.
Question: What would you do if you are elected to restore the physical and mental health of Americans?
#12 – Those resistant to the idea of climate change are resistant to change, period. A handful of huge corporations making huge profits on fossil fuels have the bucks to influence Washington. We can no longer deny we must come up with cleaner, sustainable alternatives that bring back balance to our planet. Our future literally depends on it.
The huge meat and dairy industry is one of the leading causes of greenhouse gases, water waste and contamination.
Question: Do you believe clean, sustainable energy and sustainable farming is a goal we must realize if our children and future generations are to have clean air to breathe, clean nutritous food to eat and clean water to drink?
#13 – The option of “straight ticket voting” is a big issue for me. I call this the “lazy man vote”. I was guilty. Many children are brought up to vote “party”. As I have become more responsible for my life, this doesn’t work for me anymore. Not only does it seem lazy – it is irresponsible. Of course, if we did not still have a 2 party system this would be a moot point.
If you are going to vote shouldn’t you at least have to think? Taking this option out alone would solve the issue of voter manipulation of those not mentally competent to vote either by handicap or ignorance.
Question: Does straight ticket voting have a place in a free election process?
#14 – Obama promised if elected (the first time) he would make sure Genetically Engineered food (GMOs) would have mandatory labeling. This didn’t happen. Monsanto has been protected by our government even as the American people have spoken very loudly on this issue.
“A total of 19 EU countries have “opted out” of growing genetically modified (GMOs) crops within all or part of their territories. “Many of EU countries have strict laws against GMOs out of public health and environmental concerns, and all 28 European nations require GMO labeling“.
Question: U.S. companies must label GMOs to sell their products in Europe. Do you believe Americans should have the same right to know what they are eating?
You might have noticed defense did not come up in my top 14. I’m not big on war. I believe all war is a result of people trying to control people or the money. The U.S. has only been at peace for 21 years Total since its birth. Apparently, war is not the answer; however it is good for the economy.
What we resist persist. War is resistance to peace. As long as we live in resistance we will need a defense. I absolutely believe we should honor and respect the brave souls defending our country with as much support as they need on and off the battle field.
The real solution to any problem is always found at the root. Greed and control is at root of all the issues addressed above. We will find solutions when we elect and whole-heartily support those interested in exposing the root instead of covering it up.
All of the events in the world are serving as a “wake up” call and the knocking has become very loud. We are waking up to the realization America is out of alignment with Truth. The truth that we all exist within an Abundant Universe and are connected to all of creation. Like all other big wake up calls in history, I have faith as a country we will awaken and make the changes necessary to reach the next stage of our evolution – Peace.
Voting Mindfully Tips:
- Be willing to change your mind when something does not resonates with your truth; your conscience. Just because something was true before doesn’t necessarily make it true today. For instance; women once were considered incompetent to vote and at one time owning people (slaves) was considered perfectly fine.
- Do your homework. You can’t believe everything you hear. This means listening to all candidates on all sides and seeking out the truth. Different media outlets and “fact checking” websites will have different variations of truth. In the end you will resonate with what is true for you.
- Determine what issues are most important to you. Listen carefully to all sides to determine how important they are to the candidates.
- Resist listening to media “opinion”, biased opinion or interpretations of the debates. Form your own opinion; be a “free thinker”. We give up our rights and can run right off a cliff when blindly following the leader or popular opinion. It has happened before.
- When in doubt, go with your gut. We have a natural “bullshit” barometer built in. When we learn how to really use this gift, lying will be obsolete.
- Once you have made your decisions, it is important to ask one more question. Does this person I would like to see elected have a snowball’s chance in hell? If we cast our vote for the person with no chance, we give our vote to the opposition. Vote for the person most in alignment with your truths that has a decent chance of winning. If we do this with every election big and small, eventually we will have a country again for the people, by the people.
BE THE CHANGE – VOTE!