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The Major Parties Should Be Worried

2016 July 9
by recessionjuice

The Major Parties should be worried

Voting is not exactly the most popular citizen duty Americans like to-do and when asking around, you may be hard-pressed proving otherwise. Of course it cannot be negated that the last president to be elected in the United States was nothing short of historic, the first of African-American heritage elected to the highest office and turning out a massive amount of new voters. With that said, that was eight years ago and it is now 2016. What do voters think now? One thing is for certain, the two major parties should be worried, because voters have caught onto their game and are turning on them.

Looking at polling, the average turnout for presidential elections remains quite consistent over the last two decades. While it is great to see consistent voter turnout, one may ask, why would voter turnout remain relatively the same if the general population is increasing? Thinking about it deeper, if voting age population (VAP) is gradually increasing, but this is not reflected in voter turnout, could this mean that voters frequently resent the major parties? One thing is for certain: the two major parties should be worried; voters have caught onto their game.

Total Voting Age Population 1960 - 2012

Taking a look at the current presidential cycle is so very telling of the state of the voters mind. What does it say when populist consensus means “Democrats” prefer the only independent-socialist in Bernie Sanders and “Republicans” prefer an unknown quantity in an over-the-top Donald Trump for this presidential cycle? It means that voters are so unimpressed with our lawmakers and party establishments; they are willing to fundamentally change the entire party, even if it has negative results on the incumbents. Voters realize that in order to initiate “real change”; they must elect outsider candidates or risk falling into the never-ending spin-cycle Democrats and Republicans sell to voters. Voters are ready to kick their parties to the curb and vote for whomever they feel like, regardless of ‘what is best for the party’.

What do we think Donald Trump supporters are doing by voting for him as their candidate for office? Some may think it is a joke, but others see it as symbolic, similar to the Bernie Sanders movement. In a nutshell, voters don’t care about voting for the parties any longer, they care about changing the parties to reflect their attitudes and beliefs. The major party establishment should be worried because their seats are not safe for long.

What will the angry Bernie Sanders voters do when they figure out the party leadership at the DNC (Democratic National Convention) has always thought his campaign and voters are a joke and expendable? Will these voters stay home or would they be willing to spite-vote to show their dissatisfaction? Many of the Sanders voters are brand-new voters, similar to Trump supporters, just introduced to voting after being inspired by the respective campaigns. They will be turned off by the idea that a candidate running for the ‘right’ reasons has no chance to win due to status-quo party politics as usual. The major parties better be worried because they are in for a shakeup.

Voting Rates Over Time 1964-2012

The rhetoric major parties push is that their agenda is best for the people and that they know what is best. The major parties tell their dissenting-base of voters over and over, ‘this candidate has no chance to win, give up and follow us’. Well politicians and political elites, we have caught onto your game and are planning a respectful, but ruthless takeover of the Democratic and Republican parties. This is why the major parties should be worried as the next class of millennial activists are now speaking and demanding their voices be heard. The major parties should be worried as the party structures will be permanently re-aligned in order to allow for growth and real changes the current major party leaders could never allow. Let your party establishment know they should be worried, because voters are pissed off!

Originally written on 14th of June 2016 by Tony Washington

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Feed Essay for English 102 – Comparison Style – MLA Format

2016 June 15
by recessionjuice
Feed Comparison Essay for English 102

Tony Washington
Professor Elisa Parrett
English 102
4 May 2016

Feed Comparison Essay – MLA Format – English 102

Requirements:

  • Minimum of 1000 words
  • MLA Format
  • Works Cited page

Assignment:
Using evidence from Feed and at least one article assigned in class, compare and/or contrast Titus’ society with our own society, noting whether the similarities or differences between our society and Titus’ society primarily indicate something negative or positive about each one.

Introduction

There are many stories and novels available to readers that capture our imagination, spark creative ideas and lead us to think more critically about the world and people around us. One such story that sparked some interesting thoughts for me can be found in the fictional novel “Feed” written by Matthew T. Anderson. The main character is named Titus and the book follows him and his friends living their lives in a future world where it is considered standard practice to have a feed device implanted into the body. The feed allows its users to access and receive virtually any kind of media or entertainment, communicate without speaking directly to each other, instantly lookup just about anything they can dream of and even know when their parents are sleeping. With that said, there are many issues and themes throughout the book that can be related back to today’s popular culture. In comparing our society to that found in the Feed we start to see similarities to our very own society in the United States.  The story of feed shows how societies overuse of technology may harm, suppress, or stop all-together the development of unique individual ideas or thoughts and even the human element itself.

Body

One consequence of overusing technology is that it may pressure others into abandoning their own convictions in favor of the social majority consensus. There are clear instances of pressure for those to confirm to ideal “social norms” and this is made apparent even for Violets Dad, whom initially rejected the entire idea of the Feed technology for himself and family; being he was a staunch believer that the Feed was not needed and they could get by just as well without it. This was until he was denied a lucrative job after company associates discovered he himself did not have a feed, which “They found this funny. Risible. That a man would not have a feed.” (Anderson, p. 288). At that moment he had a realization that his daughter, Violet, would require the feed in order to be successful in the world. This being only after his newfound thoughts after meeting with said associates. With everyone around him having the feed this put social pressure on him, eventually leading him submit to the social norms and bypass his own belief and conviction that the feed was not a necessary technology. Keep in mind that Violets Dad himself gets a feed device, albeit an old school one that was put on the back. This illustrates how the feed becomes a negative and hinders development of the individual thought due to being socially pressured to adopt a technology.

We can see similar instances in our own society in the United Sates where social pressures are being amplified by technology, such as social media sites that may lead others to submit to the popular or majority social consensus. Take for example being thin in America appears to be the popular thinking to view how attractive a woman is. Social pressures to be thin can put stress on young adults as they mature and are well-documented, such as eating disorders in teenagers in the US (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012). The feed technology not only pressures people in Titus’s society into abandoning their own unique beliefs, but also affects their self-esteem.

The feed is similar to our society when looking at social media sites and its very real impact/influence on the self-esteem of individuals. Paraphrasing from research findings from a Penn State study they note many people in our society with lower self-esteem “tend to be much more concerned with what others post”, while others with greater self-esteem would spend time adding and highlighting information on their profile themselves” (Swayne). In our society, as many youth grow up constantly connected to social media sites and some since birth, it is understandable how social sites could affect self-esteem over time. As feed broadcasts the constant messaging to its user base this ultimately affects how people view themselves compared to their peers. This is highlighted when Titus is recalling Violet mentioning how “she had watched all the shows about how other people live normally, and she really wanted to live like the rest of us.” (Anderson, p. 107). Violet did not have the feed installed until the age of seven years old, which is considered very late. Due to the delayed install her brain was not wired like others and likewise she did not think like others that had a standard installation. This causes her to be bit of an outsider compared to her peers who had feeds since birth. Her self-esteem is clearly affected by this as she wishes she could live like others do, instead. Another example of how the feed affects self-esteem is after Titus meets Violet and they begin to date. Titus and Violet get into a somewhat intense dialogue and much of the information Violet expelled was completely over the head of Titus with he himself thinking “… we both knew I was stupid, and then I looked away” (Anderson, pp. 113-114). Titus’s self-esteem is hurt due to Violet speaking intelligently and having a broad array of thoughts; significantly more than his feed technology could generate. This furthers the idea that the overuse of technology has consequences that stifle development of unique and individual thoughts and the human element itself.

The overuse of technology shows its negative impacts in the educational system in both the feed and our own society. Citing a recent NAEP national study they found that only 24% of 12th graders perform at the proficient level in writing; in this case “[The] Proficient level represents solid academic performance for each grade assessed. Students performing at this level have clearly demonstrated the ability to accomplish the communicative purpose of their writing (National Center for Education Statistics, 2012)”. To think the United States is a first world country, yet only 24% of graduating seniors from High School are considered clearly able to communicate their writing at a proficient level. Perhaps the overuse of a certain type of technology called digital phones coupled with social media sites is one issue showing how the overuses of technology can degrade the educational experience. As cell phone and social media sites become more prevalent in society this leads to unnecessary distraction, thus degrading the quality of the student’s education at their institutions. According to Adam Gazzaley, Professor of Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, “Everyone suffers some deficit in performance when they’re exposed to irrelevant information, even if they’re aware they should avoid it and are trying to do so,” (Vox.com, 2015). In the society of feed, most people do not know how to write properly and instead rely on their feeds to communicate with each other in unspoken words.

In Titus’s society the technology of handwriting is considered ancient and frankly obsolete; same can be argued for dialogue and speech. Early on in the story Titus is hanging out with Violet and asks her if she writes “With a pen?” and is “…completely in awe” (Anderson, pp. 65-66) of Violets ability. This highlights the fact writing is rare task for Titus, even though he attends School™, which is run by corporations. The negative impacts to education due to overuse of technology do not stop at handwriting in the Feed, it also affects the dialogue and discourse in Titus’s society. One character in the story showing this is named Marty. Marty barely speaks words in the entire book and has to purchase “speech tattoos”, which enables him to automatically say a phrase each time he was speaking. (Anderson, p. 278).  In an essay written in 2008 by Nicholas Carr he notes “When the Net absorbs a medium, that medium is re-created in the Net’s image”. This perfectly describes the scenario society finds itself in the Feed or even Social Media Sites of our own.

Conclusion

When exploring our societies through a macro level we see how the feed correlates back to our society in many ways. The paper touched on how indulging too much into technology negatively impacts educational systems, personal self-esteem and our ability to stick to our own convictions or beliefs. There is so much more to explore in this book and I feel as if I could provide 1000 more words to expand on the topic of how our society compares to the feed. I have already recommended this book to a handful of my friends hinting at them it has quite a bit in common with what you see in today’s world. May the feed be with you!

Works Cited

Anderson, M. T. (2002). Feed. Berryville: Candlewick Press.

Carr, N. (2008). Is Google Making Us Stoopid? The Atlantic.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2012). The Nation’s Report Card: Writing 2011. Washington, D.C.: Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Deptartment of Education.

National Institute of Mental Health. (2016, February 1). Eating Disorders. Retrieved May 4, 2016, from National Institute of Mental Health: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/eating-disorders/index.shtml#part_145412

Swayne, M. (2013, September 5). Esteem issues determine how people put their best Facebook forward. Retrieved April 17, 2016

Vox.com. (2015, September 8). The internet is full of distractions. Here are 7 tips to help you focus. Retrieved May 4, 2016, from Vox: http://www.vox.com/2015/9/8/9261205/attention-span-focus

How Evil Monsters Become Popular – Magazine Style Essay for English 102

2013 May 8
by recessionjuice
How Evil Monsters become popular

Requirements of Magazine Style Essay for English 102 (Brief overview)

You will write an informal, magazine-style editorial or column piece in which you state your opinion(s) on a certain topic related to monsters/monstrosity and support this thesis. Essentially, this is a persuasive argument; you will try to convince your reader that your opinion is valid and/or correct. You may include the opinions of non-experts as long as they are in the context of evaluating the average person’s knowledge or opinion on a subject. You may not interview a non-expert and treat their opinion as fact, nor will the non-expert’s opinion count towards your minimum sources.

Magazine Style Essay – Evil Monsters & Rise to Popularity

Tony Washington
Professor Evan Peterson
English 102
6 May 2013

Evil Monsters & Rise to Popularity by Tony Washington

“Nice guys finish last…” is a cliché term many people have heard before through a movie, reading or just overhearing it someday. The same may also be said for so-called good monsters of the monster universe. A question I had to ask myself was, if you pit monster vs. monster, which one(s) will have the edge at connecting to the hearts and minds of the people? The truth may very well be that the more evil the monster itself, the more memorable they become to individuals and this magazine essay explores a few instances of this.

The people of the world seem to have a need for evil monsters in their lives and have enjoyed a close relationship with mankind since the dawn of civilizations, this being one of the reasons evil monsters have become so memorable for us. This relationship of evil monsters and people has been shown through paintings, pictures, sculpted art, sketches, and in literary forms from early and ancient civilizations. Author David Gilmore explains “monsters have a critical and fundamental role to play in the rise of civilization itself, not only in Europe and the Middle East, but everywhere” (Gilmore 26). Thinking of a popular evil monster, I think of the Sphinx, a half-man half lion. This monster is commonly associated with the Egyptian Pyramids and is one of the most memorable monsters of all time. Some folks may be surprised to know this monster wasn’t a friendly monster at all, but rather “dangerous or hostile to man, gratuitously one may say, often quite lethal” (Gilmore 27). Early societies relied upon these monsters, in part, to help explain events and occurrences happening in their times. Taking into the account the fact that evil monsters have been around since even the beginning of some civilizations, it is no wonder why evil monsters are even more popular and memorable than ever before.

Digging deeper into how the more evil a monster is, the more memorable to individuals they become, we look to a raw and accurate data source, Google Keywords Tool. Based upon internet search habits and analyzing exact global search terms on their engine, we see 6 monsters account for well-over a million monthly searches globally; speaking to the volume of individuals interested in monsters. Starting from the bottom there are two monsters we see with ‘exact match’ terms: Incredible Hulk and Swamp Thing account for a total of 75,300 monthly searches

Figure 1 – Google Keywords
How Monsters Become Evil - Google Keywords
These two monsters are not even close to matching the popularity and memorability to the rest of their evil monster-peers, even when combining both of their worldwide searches (tens of thousands vs. hundreds of thousands). Both of these monsters instill fear in others around them due to their superhuman strength and appearance, amongst other attributes. The mentioned monsters, however, also share similarities and have a good side to them. These monsters feel compassion. For this reason, they are the lone soldiers at the bottom of the list. I am certainly not discrediting these great monsters, just elaborating on the bigger picture that evil monsters win the hearts of individuals. As one jumps up the list we can see some notable monsters, with Joker and Darth Vader taking the top spots. So what makes Joker more memorable in this case than Darth Vader? They both are killers, but the Jokers visual appearance is more similar to humans, thus it may become easier for the general population to take interest in the evil traits of the monster. Thinking of why it is easier for people to acquire interest in evil monsters, we can look at the psychology attribute of the subject.

Psychology has played a role in the way humans have acquired interest in evil monsters, in particular. Going back to the memorability/popularity of an evil monster, Joker, an audience will immediately notice his character has a smile on his face, similar to that of a clown. As mentioned in the Journal of General Psychology, the use of humor towards something typically considered dangerous may induce “. . . desensitization of fear or ambivalence toward a dangerous product” (Ventis, Higbee and Murdock). In addition to joking around often and not taking himself very seriously, the joker shows a general disregard to seriousness even when committing heinous acts. Although, this monster is a villain, he uses humor to ease others fears of accepting and trusting him. This concurs with the general findings in the study that use of “humor can facilitate change in an emotional response tendency like fear” (Ventis, Higbee and Murdock). Connecting the dots, an audience will see the use of humor in the monsters character may have desensitized people enough to the point where his popularity now is on the rise. It is safe to say, Joker has not always been a popular character, given that he is evil, but has made a comeback, even rivaling the good superhero that made him famous, Humor makes the evil monsters like Joker much more appealing to audiences and increases their own popularity or likelihood of being memorable and/or made popular. Focusing more on desensitization in our culture and monsters/monstrosity, there is a definitive trend allowing evil monsters to become more acceptable as well as memorable in our society.

Figure 2 – Google Search Trends 2004-2013
How Evil Monsters become Popular - Google Trends

Monsters, particularly the evil and villainous ones, are becoming easier for people to like, enjoy, and even look up to, in part due to the amount of exposure monsters are receiving through various mediums and forms. Want to keep in touch with your evil monster daily? Check out their Facebook and Twitter accounts! With “1.11 billion monthly active users as of March 2013” (Facebook) social media sites are certainly making it easier for general population to connect with evil monsters and have real impact on the popularity and memorability of that monster. The popularity and memorability of evil monsters is on the rise everywhere and we find them in our restaurants, food, advertisements, toys, games and more. A visit to your local McDonald’s and you may see the newest popular monstrous toy out for kids, or flip on your TV or internet and you’ll see advertisements for the next horror story or ghost hunting episodes. The past decade has seen an explosion of famously evil monsters coming to life or back-to life on the big screen, such as Chucky, Darth Vader, Freddy vs. Jason, Hannibal, Hellraiser and the Minotaur (IMDB). We also see the exposure in all age groups to evil monsters through modern video games, including some notables like the Resident Evil, Mortal Kombat and Elder Scrolls series of monsters. New and old forms of media have helped sustain, spread and grow the memorability of evil monsters keeping the monsters surviving through to the next generation of mankind.

The general population has accepted monsters and they have become engrained in our societies. Evil monsters have d played roles as some of the most memorable and reliable entities mankind has lived with since the earliest times. These monsters are alive and well with the people as seen in our entertainment, past history, ancient cultures, search trends, and even slipping into our lives subtly by psychological means. Evil monsters take on all types of forms and range from the not-so-bad to the not-so-good, the latter being available with increasing abundance. Take time to write down or think of a few of your favorite monsters of all time and your answers may just surprise you! How many of your favorite monsters are considered evil?

Works Cited

Adwords, Google. Google Keywords Tool. 2013. Web. 23 April 2013. www.google.com.
Gilmore, David D. Monsters: Evil Beings, Mythical Beasts, and All Manner of Imaginary Terrors. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1943. Book.

IMDB. Various Pages. n.d. Web. 23 April 2013.

Swamp Thing. Dir. Wes Craven. Perf. Louis Jourdan and Adrienne Barbeau. 1982. Film. 09 April 2013. .

Trends, Google Search. Web Search Interest: darth vader, hannibal, joker, incredible hulk, swamp thing. Worldwide, Jan 2004 – Jan 2013. 01 Janurary 2004-2013. Web. 03 May 2013.

Ventis, Larry W, Garrett Higbee and Susan A Murdock. “Using Humor in Systematic Desensitization to Reduce Fear.” Journal Of General Psychology 128.2 (2001): 13. Document. 28 April 2013. web.ebscohost.com.

Works Cited - Magazine Essay

Trifles by Susan Glaspell – Alternate Analysis Essay for English 101

2012 December 17
by recessionjuice
Susan Glaspell Essay English 101 - Picture credit: Wikipedia Contributors

Tony Washington
Hayden Bixby
English 101
26 November 2012

Essay Requirements:

  • Write a 4-5 page essay in which you will consider the notion that “a play is a representation of the society in miniature”.
  • For Your Reference:

  • My first version essay on Susan Glaspell’s Trifles, contains alternate viewpoints on this play.
  • Works Cited (Citations)

“Trifles” by Susan Glaspell, is based in 1916 and is a one act play, set near the peak of the women’s suffrage movement. Glaspell was born in 1876 and lived an eventful life through 1948. Glaspell, a Pulitzer Prize winner, was very active in her community, founding the Provincetown Players in Provincetown during the summer of 1916. Trifles takes place in an empty farmhouse and tells the story of a murder mystery involving the married couple of Mrs. Wright and John Wright, the murder victim. Additionally, County Attorney – George Henderson, Henry Peters the sheriff, neighboring farmer and witness Lewis Hale. Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale are the two main protagonists and most importantly the main women who shape the story. Although, this play sounds pretty simple to start, being a murder mystery, it reveals some hidden truths not mentioned specifically in the title. Glaspell shows the significant and varying forms of oppression faced by women during the decades of the 1900s, predominately by their male counterparts.

The symbols presented in the play show both the oppressive power the men hold and the contempt many women of the day held for their own husbands, accredited to the tough lifestyle they had to endure. A dead canary, which had been apparently killed with a rope around its neck, is the symbol of the oppression that many women faced from the opposite sex. Mrs. Wright is described by Mrs. Hale as “. . . kind of like a bird herself, real sweet and pretty”, “How – she – did change.” (Glaspell 8). In the story it is suspected that Mrs. Wright killed her husband and “Choked the life out of him” (Glaspell 10), similar to the dead canary. After long term oppression of anything, including women, the expression that life is being “choked” out would be an accurate term. Mrs. Wright herself goes from a sweet and pretty woman to being suspected of murder, those are two extreme opposites. The symbols of oppression including the dead canary and rope help to reveal the oppression in this story. For many people, oppression can only mean a resistance to growth and progress, something unnatural to human nature and character. In order to get a ‘leg-up’ on oppression, numbers play a notable role for women in the story. Women must rely on each other show cohesiveness together in order to influence events around them, which were often reserved for men in this era.

Throughout the history of mankind, people have been brought together due to oppression, in the case of women living during the time of Mrs. Hales and Mrs. Peters, there were no exceptions. Through the oppression of women, the theme of comradery is brought to the forefront in the story. During this time, women had to be careful not overstep their boundaries set by men, as they were not seen as equivalent intellectually. Naturally, facing oppression with more than just oneself to carry the burden empower these women to directly affect outcomes and their own situations. The women display for the reader the unity, which is revealed in the story when the women stumble upon a quilting by Mrs. Wright, which is well put together except for one portion, described by Mrs. Hale as “. . . it looks as if she didn’t know what she was about!” (Glaspell 7). Since Mrs. Wright was under investigation for murder, the sporadic quilting would be seen as a red flag, as a mistake of this degree would be more than rare; married women of this day knew how to quilt well as they were homemakers and keepers. Mrs. Hale pulls out the odd stitch and additionally, the women take a dead canary with them before leaving the cabin, protecting and providing a sort of shield around Mrs. Wright, ‘one of their own’ so to speak. By masking and remaining quiet on some details to their male counterparts, the women outsmart the men and also show the unique ways women of this day helped themselves and others succeed through oppression. Comradery is an important character trait of women during this period of time and definitely in modern times today. Some could say this is how the women ‘leveled out the playing field’ for themselves. It must have been tough for women of this day to keep a determined outlook and attitude on their situation. Certainly, some women were satisfied and secure with their position and there were quite many others who weren’t, but the attitudes of the men kept consistent.

In order to better understand the oppression women like Mrs. Wright endured, one must examine a common male attitude at the time, that being complacency with power. Unfortunately, these men seemed either unaware or unwilling to treat these women with much respect at all. Glaspell details an incident where the Count Attorney, “Kicks his foot against the pan under the sink” (Glaspell 4). In today’s modern world, most would find this offensive and rude, one could say, ‘try that at Grandma’s house’. The men of this day and age were both complacent and satisfied with their own oppressive nature and attitudes over women. Complacency can be both positive and negative, largely depending upon the situation and circumstance. Once an individual(s) get comfortable in a position that suits them, they are susceptible to the non-assuming factor of complacency. This complacency was shown not only through attitudes, but also through their language and dialogue to women.

According to the dialogue of the play, the men show they do not deem what the women say important or relevant. Mrs. Peters says one comment on how Mrs. Wright worried about her fruit freezing, which it indeed had due to being left out. With haste, the Sheriff fires back, speaking to his male partners, “Well, can you beat women! Held for murder and worryin’ about her preserves” (Glaspell 3). The men agree in general about the Sheriffs comment, “Well, women are used to worrying over trifles” (Glaspell 3) , says Mr. Hale. The dialogue of the play shows the ignorance and general lack of respect given to women’s comments. Even the Sheriff speaks to his wife openly as if a women’s role in the home was meaningless. The prejudice from the men is obvious and brings questions about these men’s characters to the audience. Women had to push a little harder to get fair shots for multiple reasons. Looking at the plot of the play and politics near the time allows one to see this relation.

The plot of the play tells of a woman, who seemingly, was up to her ends wit with her husband so much that she was now accused of murder, in essence cementing the unflattering reality of women during this era that faced a near lifetime of suppression and oppression by men. The oppressive power of men over women led to the US Government passing a bill called the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which finally outlawed wage discrimination on the basis of sex; specifically this bill would “. . . prohibit discrimination on account of sex in the payment of wages by employers engaged in commerce or in the production of goods for commerce.” (US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission). Power can corrupt and blind individuals, groups, businesses and yes, even governments. The addictive nature of power often provides the avenue for unintended, long-term consequences. Women’s suffrage (right to vote) was passed 3 years after the Glaspell released “Trifles” and it took decades of tireless women pushing the cause in order for them to even be paid an equal wage. Power rarely is relinquished without a struggle or fight, showing that the men of this era were no better equipped to handle this type of power than the women themselves.

Americans will agree that we all want basic rights and “. . . among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” (United States Congress). The women in the one act play put on display for the audience and/or reader the struggle involved with oppression faced by men during this era. Oppression and suppression is something that will not go away or disappear and people must remain vigilant to help prevent harm done to others. Everyone deserves a voice and the basic right to live their life to the fullest. As a society, the people have not won the battle for equality, but will win the war.

Works Cited – Susan Glaspell – Trifles – Tony Washington

  1. Glaspell, Susan. Tifles. 1916. MyLiteratureLab. Web. 22 February 2012.
  2. United States Congress. “The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription.” 4 July 1776. National Archives and Records Administration. Web. 25 February 2012.
  3. US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The Equal Pay Act of 1963. 1963 May 14. Web. 18 November 2012.

Ron Paul’s Farewell Speech to Congress Full Transcript

2012 November 14
by recessionjuice

Transcript of Farewell Address

Farewell to Congress

This may well be the last time I speak on the House Floor. At the end of the year I’ll leave Congress after 23 years in office over a 36 year period. My goals in 1976 were the same as they are today: promote peace and prosperity by a strict adherence to the principles of individual liberty.

It was my opinion, that the course the U.S. embarked on in the latter part of the 20th Century would bring us a major financial crisis and engulf us in a foreign policy that would overextend us and undermine our national security.

To achieve the goals I sought, government would have had to shrink in size and scope, reduce spending, change the monetary system, and reject the unsustainable costs of policing the world and expanding the American Empire.

The problems seemed to be overwhelming and impossible to solve, yet from my view point, just following the constraints placed on the federal government by the Constitution would have been a good place to start.

How Much Did I Accomplish?

In many ways, according to conventional wisdom, my off-and-on career in Congress, from 1976 to 2012, accomplished very little. No named legislation, no named federal buildings or highways—thank goodness. In spite of my efforts, the government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive, and the prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without Congressional declaration, deficits rise to the sky, poverty is rampant and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history.

All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities that common sense tells us cannot go on much longer. A grand, but never mentioned, bipartisan agreement allows for the well-kept secret that keeps the spending going. One side doesn’t give up one penny on military spending, the other side doesn’t give up one penny on welfare spending, while both sides support the bailouts and subsidies for the banking and corporate elite. And the spending continues as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy that makes us less safe.

The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke. This has made compromising, just to agree to increase spending, inevitable since neither side has any intention of cutting spending.

The country and the Congress will remain divisive since there’s no “loot left to divvy up.”

Without this recognition the spenders in Washington will continue the march toward a fiscal cliff much bigger than the one anticipated this coming January.

I have thought a lot about why those of us who believe in liberty, as a solution, have done so poorly in convincing others of its benefits. If liberty is what we claim it is- the principle that protects all personal, social and economic decisions necessary for maximum prosperity and the best chance for peace- it should be an easy sell. Yet, history has shown that the masses have been quite receptive to the promises of authoritarians which are rarely if ever fulfilled.

Authoritarianism vs. Liberty

If authoritarianism leads to poverty and war and less freedom for all individuals and is controlled by rich special interests, the people should be begging for liberty. There certainly was a strong enough sentiment for more freedom at the time of our founding that motivated those who were willing to fight in the revolution against the powerful British government.

During my time in Congress the appetite for liberty has been quite weak; the understanding of its significance negligible. Yet the good news is that compared to 1976 when I first came to Congress, the desire for more freedom and less government in 2012 is much greater and growing, especially in grassroots America. Tens of thousands of teenagers and college age students are, with great enthusiasm, welcoming the message of liberty.

I have a few thoughts as to why the people of a country like ours, once the freest and most prosperous, allowed the conditions to deteriorate to the degree that they have.

Freedom, private property, and enforceable voluntary contracts, generate wealth. In our early history we were very much aware of this. But in the early part of the 20th century our politicians promoted the notion that the tax and monetary systems had to change if we were to involve ourselves in excessive domestic and military spending. That is why Congress gave us the Federal Reserve and the income tax. The majority of Americans and many government officials agreed that sacrificing some liberty was necessary to carry out what some claimed to be “progressive” ideas. Pure democracy became acceptable.

They failed to recognized that what they were doing was exactly opposite of what the colonists were seeking when they broke away from the British.

Some complain that my arguments makes no sense, since great wealth and the standard of living improved for many Americans over the last 100 years, even with these new policies.

But the damage to the market economy, and the currency, has been insidious and steady. It took a long time to consume our wealth, destroy the currency and undermine productivity and get our financial obligations to a point of no return. Confidence sometimes lasts longer than deserved. Most of our wealth today depends on debt.

The wealth that we enjoyed and seemed to be endless, allowed concern for the principle of a free society to be neglected. As long as most people believed the material abundance would last forever, worrying about protecting a competitive productive economy and individual liberty seemed unnecessary.

The Age of Redistribution

This neglect ushered in an age of redistribution of wealth by government kowtowing to any and all special interests, except for those who just wanted to left alone. That is why today money in politics far surpasses money currently going into research and development and productive entrepreneurial efforts.

The material benefits became more important than the understanding and promoting the principles of liberty and a free market. It is good that material abundance is a result of liberty but if materialism is all that we care about, problems are guaranteed.

The crisis arrived because the illusion that wealth and prosperity would last forever has ended. Since it was based on debt and a pretense that debt can be papered over by an out-of-control fiat monetary system, it was doomed to fail. We have ended up with a system that doesn’t produce enough even to finance the debt and no fundamental understanding of why a free society is crucial to reversing these trends.

If this is not recognized, the recovery will linger for a long time. Bigger government, more spending, more debt, more poverty for the middle class, and a more intense scramble by the elite special interests will continue.

We Need an Intellectual Awakening

Without an intellectual awakening, the turning point will be driven by economic law. A dollar crisis will bring the current out-of-control system to its knees.

If it’s not accepted that big government, fiat money, ignoring liberty, central economic planning, welfarism, and warfarism caused our crisis we can expect a continuous and dangerous march toward corporatism and even fascism with even more loss of our liberties. Prosperity for a large middle class though will become an abstract dream.

This continuous move is no different than what we have seen in how our financial crisis of 2008 was handled. Congress first directed, with bipartisan support, bailouts for the wealthy. Then it was the Federal Reserve with its endless quantitative easing. If at first it doesn’t succeed try again; QE1, QE2, and QE3 and with no results we try QE indefinitely—that is until it too fails. There’s a cost to all of this and let me assure you delaying the payment is no longer an option. The rules of the market will extract its pound of flesh and it won’t be pretty.

The current crisis elicits a lot of pessimism. And the pessimism adds to less confidence in the future. The two feed on themselves, making our situation worse.

If the underlying cause of the crisis is not understood we cannot solve our problems. The issues of warfare, welfare, deficits, inflationism, corporatism, bailouts and authoritarianism cannot be ignored. By only expanding these policies we cannot expect good results.

Everyone claims support for freedom. But too often it’s for one’s own freedom and not for others. Too many believe that there must be limits on freedom. They argue that freedom must be directed and managed to achieve fairness and equality thus making it acceptable to curtail, through force, certain liberties.

Some decide what and whose freedoms are to be limited. These are the politicians whose goal in life is power. Their success depends on gaining support from special interests.

No More ‘isms’

The great news is the answer is not to be found in more “isms.” The answers are to be found in more liberty which cost so much less. Under these circumstances spending goes down, wealth production goes up, and the quality of life improves.

Just this recognition—especially if we move in this direction—increases optimism which in itself is beneficial. The follow through with sound policies are required which must be understood and supported by the people.

But there is good evidence that the generation coming of age at the present time is supportive of moving in the direction of more liberty and self-reliance. The more this change in direction and the solutions become known, the quicker will be the return of optimism.

Our job, for those of us who believe that a different system than the one that we have had for the last 100 years, has driven us to this unsustainable crisis, is to be more convincing that there is a wonderful, uncomplicated, and moral system that provides the answers. We had a taste of it in our early history. We need not give up on the notion of advancing this cause.

It worked, but we allowed our leaders to concentrate on the material abundance that freedom generates, while ignoring freedom itself. Now we have neither, but the door is open, out of necessity, for an answer. The answer available is based on the Constitution, individual liberty and prohibiting the use of government force to provide privileges and benefits to all special interests.

After over 100 years we face a society quite different from the one that was intended by the Founders. In many ways their efforts to protect future generations with the Constitution from this danger has failed. Skeptics, at the time the Constitution was written in 1787, warned us of today’s possible outcome. The insidious nature of the erosion of our liberties and the reassurance our great abundance gave us, allowed the process to evolve into the dangerous period in which we now live.

Dependency on Government Largesse

Today we face a dependency on government largesse for almost every need. Our liberties are restricted and government operates outside the rule of law, protecting and rewarding those who buy or coerce government into satisfying their demands. Here are a few examples:

  • Undeclared wars are commonplace.
  • Welfare for the rich and poor is considered an entitlement.
  • The economy is overregulated, overtaxed and grossly distorted by a deeply flawed monetary system.
  • Debt is growing exponentially.
  • The Patriot Act and FISA legislation passed without much debate have resulted in a steady erosion of our 4th Amendment rights.
  • Tragically our government engages in preemptive war, otherwise known as aggression, with no complaints from the American people.
  • The drone warfare we are pursuing worldwide is destined to end badly for us as the hatred builds for innocent lives lost and the international laws flaunted.
  • Once we are financially weakened and militarily challenged, there will be a lot resentment thrown our way.
  • It’s now the law of the land that the military can arrest American citizens, hold them indefinitely, without charges or a trial.
  • Rampant hostility toward free trade is supported by a large number in Washington.
  • Supporters of sanctions, currency manipulation and WTO trade retaliation, call the true free traders “isolationists.”
  • Sanctions are used to punish countries that don’t follow our orders.
  • Bailouts and guarantees for all kinds of misbehavior are routine.
  • Central economic planning through monetary policy, regulations and legislative mandates has been an acceptable policy.

Questions

Excessive government has created such a mess it prompts many questions:

  • Why are sick people who use medical marijuana put in prison?
  • Why does the federal government restrict the drinking of raw milk?
  • Why can’t Americans manufacturer rope and other products from hemp?
  • Why are Americans not allowed to use gold and silver as legal tender as mandated by the Constitution?
  • Why is Germany concerned enough to consider repatriating their gold held by the FED for her in New York? Is it that the trust in the U.S. and dollar supremacy beginning to wane?
  • Why do our political leaders believe it’s unnecessary to thoroughly audit our own gold?
  • Why can’t Americans decide which type of light bulbs they can buy?
  • Why is the TSA permitted to abuse the rights of any American traveling by air?
  • Why should there be mandatory sentences—even up to life for crimes without victims—as our drug laws require?
  • Why have we allowed the federal government to regulate commodes in our homes?
  • Why is it political suicide for anyone to criticize AIPAC ?
  • Why haven’t we given up on the drug war since it’s an obvious failure and violates the people’s rights? Has nobody noticed that the authorities can’t even keep drugs out of the prisons? How can making our entire society a prison solve the problem?
  • Why do we sacrifice so much getting needlessly involved in border disputes and civil strife around the world and ignore the root cause of the most deadly border in the world-the one between Mexico and the US?
  • Why does Congress willingly give up its prerogatives to the Executive Branch?
  • Why does changing the party in power never change policy? Could it be that the views of both parties are essentially the same?
  • Why did the big banks, the large corporations, and foreign banks and foreign central banks get bailed out in 2008 and the middle class lost their jobs and their homes?
  • Why do so many in the government and the federal officials believe that creating money out of thin air creates wealth?
  • Why do so many accept the deeply flawed principle that government bureaucrats and politicians can protect us from ourselves without totally destroying the principle of liberty?
  • Why can’t people understand that war always destroys wealth and liberty?
  • Why is there so little concern for the Executive Order that gives the President authority to establish a “kill list,” including American citizens, of those targeted for assassination?
  • Why is patriotism thought to be blind loyalty to the government and the politicians who run it, rather than loyalty to the principles of liberty and support for the people? Real patriotism is a willingness to challenge the government when it’s wrong.
  • Why is it is claimed that if people won’t or can’t take care of their own needs, that people in government can do it for them?
  • Why did we ever give the government a safe haven for initiating violence against the people?
  • Why do some members defend free markets, but not civil liberties?
  • Why do some members defend civil liberties but not free markets?
  • Aren’t they the same?

  • Why don’t more defend both economic liberty and personal liberty?
  • Why are there not more individuals who seek to intellectually influence others to bring about positive changes than those who seek power to force others to obey their commands?
  • Why does the use of religion to support a social gospel and preemptive wars, both of which requires authoritarians to use violence, or the threat of violence, go unchallenged? Aggression and forced redistribution of wealth has nothing to do with the teachings of the world great religions.
  • Why do we allow the government and the Federal Reserve to disseminate false information dealing with both economic and foreign policy?
  • Why is democracy held in such high esteem when it’s the enemy of the minority and makes all rights relative to the dictates of the majority?
  • Why should anyone be surprised that Congress has no credibility, since there’s such a disconnect between what politicians say and what they do?

Is there any explanation for all the deception, the unhappiness, the fear of the future, the loss of confidence in our leaders, the distrust, the anger and frustration? Yes there is, and there’s a way to reverse these attitudes. The negative perceptions are logical and a consequence of bad policies bringing about our problems. Identification of the problems and recognizing the cause allow the proper changes to come easy.

Trust Yourself, Not the Government

Too many people have for too long placed too much confidence and trust in government and not enough in themselves. Fortunately, many are now becoming aware of the seriousness of the gross mistakes of the past several decades. The blame is shared by both political parties. Many Americans now are demanding to hear the plain truth of things and want the demagoguing to stop. Without this first step, solutions are impossible.

Seeking the truth and finding the answers in liberty and self-reliance promotes the optimism necessary for restoring prosperity. The task is not that difficult if politics doesn’t get in the way.

We have allowed ourselves to get into such a mess for various reasons.

Politicians deceive themselves as to how wealth is produced. Excessive confidence is placed in the judgment of politicians and bureaucrats. This replaces the confidence in a free society. Too many in high places of authority became convinced that only they, armed with arbitrary government power, can bring about fairness, while facilitating wealth production. This always proves to be a utopian dream and destroys wealth and liberty. It impoverishes the people and rewards the special interests who end up controlling both political parties.

It’s no surprise then that much of what goes on in Washington is driven by aggressive partisanship and power seeking, with philosophic differences being minor.

Economic Ignorance

Economic ignorance is commonplace. Keynesianism continues to thrive, although today it is facing healthy and enthusiastic rebuttals. Believers in military Keynesianism and domestic Keynesianism continue to desperately promote their failed policies, as the economy languishes in a deep slumber.

Supporters of all government edicts use humanitarian arguments to justify them.

Humanitarian arguments are always used to justify government mandates related to the economy, monetary policy, foreign policy, and personal liberty. This is on purpose to make it more difficult to challenge. But, initiating violence for humanitarian reasons is still violence. Good intentions are no excuse and are just as harmful as when people use force with bad intentions. The results are always negative.

The immoral use of force is the source of man’s political problems. Sadly, many religious groups, secular organizations, and psychopathic authoritarians endorse government initiated force to change the world. Even when the desired goals are well-intentioned—or especially when well-intentioned—the results are dismal. The good results sought never materialize. The new problems created require even more government force as a solution. The net result is institutionalizing government initiated violence and morally justifying it on humanitarian grounds.

This is the same fundamental reason our government uses force for invading other countries at will, central economic planning at home, and the regulation of personal liberty and habits of our citizens.

It is rather strange, that unless one has a criminal mind and no respect for other people and their property, no one claims it’s permissible to go into one’s neighbor’s house and tell them how to behave, what they can eat, smoke and drink or how to spend their money.

Yet, rarely is it asked why it is morally acceptable that a stranger with a badge and a gun can do the same thing in the name of law and order. Any resistance is met with brute force, fines, taxes, arrests, and even imprisonment. This is done more frequently every day without a proper search warrant.

No Government Monopoly over Initiating Violence

Restraining aggressive behavior is one thing, but legalizing a government monopoly for initiating aggression can only lead to exhausting liberty associated with chaos, anger and the breakdown of civil society. Permitting such authority and expecting saintly behavior from the bureaucrats and the politicians is a pipe dream. We now have a standing army of armed bureaucrats in the TSA, CIA, FBI, Fish and Wildlife, FEMA, IRS, Corp of Engineers, etc. numbering over 100,000. Citizens are guilty until proven innocent in the unconstitutional administrative courts.

Government in a free society should have no authority to meddle in social activities or the economic transactions of individuals. Nor should government meddle in the affairs of other nations. All things peaceful, even when controversial, should be permitted.

We must reject the notion of prior restraint in economic activity just we do in the area of free speech and religious liberty. But even in these areas government is starting to use a backdoor approach of political correctness to regulate speech-a dangerous trend. Since 9/11 monitoring speech on the internet is now a problem since warrants are no longer required.

The Proliferation of Federal Crimes

The Constitution established four federal crimes. Today the experts can’t even agree on how many federal crimes are now on the books—they number into the thousands. No one person can comprehend the enormity of the legal system—especially the tax code. Due to the ill-advised drug war and the endless federal expansion of the criminal code we have over 6 million people under correctional suspension, more than the Soviets ever had, and more than any other nation today, including China. I don’t understand the complacency of the Congress and the willingness to continue their obsession with passing more Federal laws. Mandatory sentencing laws associated with drug laws have compounded our prison problems.

The federal register is now 75,000 pages long and the tax code has 72,000 pages, and expands every year. When will the people start shouting, “enough is enough,” and demand Congress cease and desist.

Achieving Liberty

Liberty can only be achieved when government is denied the aggressive use of force. If one seeks liberty, a precise type of government is needed. To achieve it, more than lip service is required.

Two choices are available.

A government designed to protect liberty—a natural right—as its sole objective. The people are expected to care for themselves and reject the use of any force for interfering with another person’s liberty. Government is given a strictly limited authority to enforce contracts, property ownership, settle disputes, and defend against foreign aggression.

A government that pretends to protect liberty but is granted power to arbitrarily use force over the people and foreign nations. Though the grant of power many times is meant to be small and limited, it inevitably metastasizes into an omnipotent political cancer. This is the problem for which the world has suffered throughout the ages. Though meant to be limited it nevertheless is a 100% sacrifice of a principle that would-be-tyrants find irresistible. It is used vigorously—though incrementally and insidiously. Granting power to government officials always proves the adage that: “power corrupts.”

Once government gets a limited concession for the use of force to mold people habits and plan the economy, it causes a steady move toward tyrannical government. Only a revolutionary spirit can reverse the process and deny to the government this arbitrary use of aggression. There’s no in-between. Sacrificing a little liberty for imaginary safety always ends badly.

Today’s mess is a result of Americans accepting option #2, even though the Founders attempted to give us Option #1.

The results are not good. As our liberties have been eroded our wealth has been consumed. The wealth we see today is based on debt and a foolish willingness on the part of foreigners to take our dollars for goods and services. They then loan them back to us to perpetuate our debt system. It’s amazing that it has worked for this long but the impasse in Washington, in solving our problems indicate that many are starting to understand the seriousness of the world -wide debt crisis and the dangers we face. The longer this process continues the harsher the outcome will be.

The Financial Crisis Is a Moral Crisis

Many are now acknowledging that a financial crisis looms but few understand it’s, in reality, a moral crisis. It’s the moral crisis that has allowed our liberties to be undermined and permits the exponential growth of illegal government power. Without a clear understanding of the nature of the crisis it will be difficult to prevent a steady march toward tyranny and the poverty that will accompany it.

Ultimately, the people have to decide which form of government they want; option #1 or option #2. There is no other choice. Claiming there is a choice of a “little” tyranny is like describing pregnancy as a “touch of pregnancy.” It is a myth to believe that a mixture of free markets and government central economic planning is a worthy compromise. What we see today is a result of that type of thinking. And the results speak for themselves.

A Culture of Violence

American now suffers from a culture of violence. It’s easy to reject the initiation of violence against one’s neighbor but it’s ironic that the people arbitrarily and freely anoint government officials with monopoly power to initiate violence against the American people—practically at will.

Because it’s the government that initiates force, most people accept it as being legitimate. Those who exert the force have no sense of guilt. It is believed by too many that governments are morally justified in initiating force supposedly to “do good.” They incorrectly believe that this authority has come from the “consent of the people.” The minority, or victims of government violence never consented to suffer the abuse of government mandates, even when dictated by the majority. Victims of TSA excesses never consented to this abuse.

This attitude has given us a policy of initiating war to “do good,” as well. It is claimed that war, to prevent war for noble purposes, is justified. This is similar to what we were once told that: “destroying a village to save a village” was justified. It was said by a US Secretary of State that the loss of 500,000 Iraqis, mostly children, in the 1990s, as a result of American bombs and sanctions, was “worth it” to achieve the “good” we brought to the Iraqi people. And look at the mess that Iraq is in today.

Government use of force to mold social and economic behavior at home and abroad has justified individuals using force on their own terms. The fact that violence by government is seen as morally justified, is the reason why violence will increase when the big financial crisis hits and becomes a political crisis as well.

First, we recognize that individuals shouldn’t initiate violence, then we give the authority to government. Eventually, the immoral use of government violence, when things goes badly, will be used to justify an individual’s “right” to do the same thing. Neither the government nor individuals have the moral right to initiate violence against another yet we are moving toward the day when both will claim this authority. If this cycle is not reversed society will break down.

When needs are pressing, conditions deteriorate and rights become relative to the demands and the whims of the majority. It’s then not a great leap for individuals to take it upon themselves to use violence to get what they claim is theirs. As the economy deteriorates and the wealth discrepancies increase—as are already occurring— violence increases as those in need take it in their own hands to get what they believe is theirs. They will not wait for a government rescue program.

When government officials wield power over others to bail out the special interests, even with disastrous results to the average citizen, they feel no guilt for the harm they do. Those who take us into undeclared wars with many casualties resulting, never lose sleep over the death and destruction their bad decisions caused. They are convinced that what they do is morally justified, and the fact that many suffer just can’t be helped.

When the street criminals do the same thing, they too have no remorse, believing they are only taking what is rightfully theirs. All moral standards become relative. Whether it’s bailouts, privileges, government subsidies or benefits for some from inflating a currency, it’s all part of a process justified by a philosophy of forced redistribution of wealth. Violence, or a threat of such, is the instrument required and unfortunately is of little concern of most members of Congress.

Some argue it’s only a matter of “fairness” that those in need are cared for. There are two problems with this. First, the principle is used to provide a greater amount of benefits to the rich than the poor. Second, no one seems to be concerned about whether or not it’s fair to those who end up paying for the benefits. The costs are usually placed on the backs of the middle class and are hidden from the public eye. Too many people believe government handouts are free, like printing money out of thin air, and there is no cost. That deception is coming to an end. The bills are coming due and that’s what the economic slowdown is all about.

Sadly, we have become accustomed to living with the illegitimate use of force by government. It is the tool for telling the people how to live, what to eat and drink, what to read and how to spend their money.

To develop a truly free society, the issue of initiating force must be understood and rejected. Granting to government even a small amount of force is a dangerous concession.

Limiting Government Excesses vs. a Virtuous Moral People

Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed. The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.

Most politicians and pundits are aware of the problems we face but spend all their time in trying to reform government. The sad part is that the suggested reforms almost always lead to less freedom and the importance of a virtuous and moral people is either ignored, or not understood. The new reforms serve only to further undermine liberty. The compounding effect has given us this steady erosion of liberty and the massive expansion of debt. The real question is: if it is liberty we seek, should most of the emphasis be placed on government reform or trying to understand what “a virtuous and moral people” means and how to promote it. The Constitution has not prevented the people from demanding handouts for both rich and poor in their efforts to reform the government, while ignoring the principles of a free society. All branches of our government today are controlled by individuals who use their power to undermine liberty and enhance the welfare/warfare state-and frequently their own wealth and power.

If the people are unhappy with the government performance it must be recognized that government is merely a reflection of an immoral society that rejected a moral government of constitutional limitations of power and love of freedom.

If this is the problem all the tinkering with thousands of pages of new laws and regulations will do nothing to solve the problem.

It is self-evident that our freedoms have been severely limited and the apparent prosperity we still have, is nothing more than leftover wealth from a previous time. This fictitious wealth based on debt and benefits from a false trust in our currency and credit, will play havoc with our society when the bills come due. This means that the full consequence of our lost liberties is yet to be felt.

But that illusion is now ending. Reversing a downward spiral depends on accepting a new approach.

Expect the rapidly expanding homeschooling movement to play a significant role in the revolutionary reforms needed to build a free society with Constitutional protections. We cannot expect a Federal government controlled school system to provide the intellectual ammunition to combat the dangerous growth of government that threatens our liberties.

The internet will provide the alternative to the government/media complex that controls the news and most political propaganda. This is why it’s essential that the internet remains free of government regulation.

Many of our religious institutions and secular organizations support greater dependency on the state by supporting war, welfare and corporatism and ignore the need for a virtuous people.

I never believed that the world or our country could be made more free by politicians, if the people had no desire for freedom.

Under the current circumstances the most we can hope to achieve in the political process is to use it as a podium to reach the people to alert them of the nature of the crisis and the importance of their need to assume responsibility for themselves, if it is liberty that they truly seek. Without this, a constitutionally protected free society is impossible.

If this is true, our individual goal in life ought to be for us to seek virtue and excellence and recognize that self-esteem and happiness only comes from using one’s natural ability, in the most productive manner possible, according to one’s own talents.

Productivity and creativity are the true source of personal satisfaction. Freedom, and not dependency, provides the environment needed to achieve these goals. Government cannot do this for us; it only gets in the way. When the government gets involved, the goal becomes a bailout or a subsidy and these cannot provide a sense of personal achievement.

Achieving legislative power and political influence should not be our goal. Most of the change, if it is to come, will not come from the politicians, but rather from individuals, family, friends, intellectual leaders and our religious institutions. The solution can only come from rejecting the use of coercion, compulsion, government commands, and aggressive force, to mold social and economic behavior. Without accepting these restraints, inevitably the consensus will be to allow the government to mandate economic equality and obedience to the politicians who gain power and promote an environment that smothers the freedoms of everyone. It is then that the responsible individuals who seek excellence and self-esteem by being self-reliance and productive, become the true victims.

Conclusion

What are the greatest dangers that the American people face today and impede the goal of a free society? There are five.

1. The continuous attack on our civil liberties which threatens the rule of law and our ability to resist the onrush of tyranny.

2. Violent anti-Americanism that has engulfed the world. Because the phenomenon of “blow-back” is not understood or denied, our foreign policy is destined to keep us involved in many wars that we have no business being in. National bankruptcy and a greater threat to our national security will result.

3. The ease in which we go to war, without a declaration by Congress, but accepting international authority from the UN or NATO even for preemptive wars, otherwise known as aggression.

4. A financial political crisis as a consequence of excessive debt, unfunded liabilities, spending, bailouts, and gross discrepancy in wealth distribution going from the middle class to the rich. The danger of central economic planning, by the Federal Reserve must be understood.

5. World government taking over local and US sovereignty by getting involved in the issues of war, welfare, trade, banking, a world currency, taxes, property ownership, and private ownership of guns.

Happily, there is an answer for these very dangerous trends.

What a wonderful world it would be if everyone accepted the simple moral premise of rejecting all acts of aggression. The retort to such a suggestion is always: it’s too simplistic, too idealistic, impractical, naïve, utopian, dangerous, and unrealistic to strive for such an ideal.

The answer to that is that for thousands of years the acceptance of government force, to rule over the people, at the sacrifice of liberty, was considered moral and the only available option for achieving peace and prosperity.

What could be more utopian than that myth—considering the results especially looking at the state sponsored killing, by nearly every government during the 20th Century, estimated to be in the hundreds of millions. It’s time to reconsider this grant of authority to the state.

No good has ever come from granting monopoly power to the state to use aggression against the people to arbitrarily mold human behavior. Such power, when left unchecked, becomes the seed of an ugly tyranny. This method of governance has been adequately tested, and the results are in: reality dictates we try liberty.

The idealism of non-aggression and rejecting all offensive use of force should be tried. The idealism of government sanctioned violence has been abused throughout history and is the primary source of poverty and war. The theory of a society being based on individual freedom has been around for a long time. It’s time to take a bold step and actually permit it by advancing this cause, rather than taking a step backwards as some would like us to do.

Today the principle of habeas corpus, established when King John signed the Magna Carta in 1215, is under attack. There’s every reason to believe that a renewed effort with the use of the internet that we can instead advance the cause of liberty by spreading an uncensored message that will serve to rein in government authority and challenge the obsession with war and welfare.

What I’m talking about is a system of government guided by the moral principles of peace and tolerance.

The Founders were convinced that a free society could not exist without a moral people. Just writing rules won’t work if the people choose to ignore them. Today the rule of law written in the Constitution has little meaning for most Americans, especially those who work in Washington DC.

Benjamin Franklin claimed “only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.” John Adams concurred: “Our Constitution was made for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

A moral people must reject all violence in an effort to mold people’s beliefs or habits.

A society that boos or ridicules the Golden Rule is not a moral society. All great religions endorse the Golden Rule. The same moral standards that individuals are required to follow should apply to all government officials. They cannot be exempt.

The ultimate solution is not in the hands of the government.

The solution falls on each and every individual, with guidance from family, friends and community.

The #1 responsibility for each of us is to change ourselves with hope that others will follow. This is of greater importance than working on changing the government; that is secondary to promoting a virtuous society. If we can achieve this, then the government will change.

It doesn’t mean that political action or holding office has no value. At times it does nudge policy in the right direction. But what is true is that when seeking office is done for personal aggrandizement, money or power, it becomes useless if not harmful. When political action is taken for the right reasons it’s easy to understand why compromise should be avoided. It also becomes clear why progress is best achieved by working with coalitions, which bring people together, without anyone sacrificing his principles.

Political action, to be truly beneficial, must be directed toward changing the hearts and minds of the people, recognizing that it’s the virtue and morality of the people that allow liberty to flourish.

The Constitution or more laws per se, have no value if the people’s attitudes aren’t changed.

To achieve liberty and peace, two powerful human emotions have to be overcome. Number one is “envy” which leads to hate and class warfare. Number two is “intolerance” which leads to bigoted and judgmental policies. These emotions must be replaced with a much better understanding of love, compassion, tolerance and free market economics. Freedom, when understood, brings people together. When tried, freedom is popular.

The problem we have faced over the years has been that economic interventionists are swayed by envy, whereas social interventionists are swayed by intolerance of habits and lifestyles. The misunderstanding that tolerance is an endorsement of certain activities, motivates many to legislate moral standards which should only be set by individuals making their own choices. Both sides use force to deal with these misplaced emotions. Both are authoritarians. Neither endorses voluntarism. Both views ought to be rejected.

I have come to one firm conviction after these many years of trying to figure out “the plain truth of things.” The best chance for achieving peace and prosperity, for the maximum number of people world-wide, is to pursue the cause of LIBERTY.

If you find this to be a worthwhile message, spread it throughout the land.

2012 Third Party Debate – Gary Johnson & Jill Stein

2012 November 6
by recessionjuice

The final 2012 Presidential Debate was aired on November 5th 2012, just a day before the General Election. Although, no one is expecting these third-party candidates to win, it gives a chance for voters to have a real discussion of the issues the Democratic and Republican candidates will not.

Russia Today, an international news company, hosted the event and was picked up on many independent blogs and news sites, such as Recession Juice.

This is the second public debate held this year that has been hosted by the Free & Equal Elections Foundation, a non-profit. Christina Tobin runs the non-profit and opens the debate.

2012 Third Party Debate – Gary Johnson & Jill Stein

Watch 2012 Final Third Party Debate – Gary Johnson & Jill Stein Complete Debate

“One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop – MLA Style Analysis Essay for English 101

2012 October 29
by recessionjuice
Elizabeth Bishop (Credit: Alice Helen Methfessel, courtesy of Frank Bidart)

Essay Requirements:

For the poem selected, make a claim about how the LAST image or idea (the “ending”) is related to the meaning of the rest of the poem. Furthermore, consider how the formal elements of the poem help convey that meaning and attitude.

Author Comments about Paper

The use of my outside sources in this paper ended up with me losing some points on this assignment. The content was solid according to the teacher, however I must have not been clear on the use of outside sources when I turned the paper in. Overall, the poem “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop is a unique look at loss and how it effects us.

Introduction

What are the first thoughts that come into the mind when hearing the word “Loss”? Losing is not a science or skill and some would argue that life is built to lose. A great way to help answer and focus in on some of these questions would be to read “One Art” by Elizabeth Bishop. Bishop, a Poet Laureate from 1949-1950 and a Pulitzer Prize winner in 1956 (PoemHunter) was very articulate and passionate in her writings. The poem “One Art” focuses on the art of losing and how to interpret loss. The last ideas given by Bishop coincide with the rest of the writings meanings, those including acceptance, compassion, realistic expectations, participation, and realizing the potential for positive growth. Through her writing, Bishop exhibits the attributes of loss one must be aware of in order to triumph over it.

Body Paragraph 1

Bishop encourages the reader to show acceptance and compassion to loss, as shown throughout and in the last stanza of her writing. The last stanza goes like so:

“Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture
I love) I shan’t have lied. It’s evident
the art of losing’s not too hard to master
though it may look like (Write it!) like a disaster.” (Lines 16-19)

In the last stanza the author wraps up the poem with a moment of compassionate thought during a loss, as she explains, “Even losing you (the joking voice, a gesture I love)” (16). Selecting her words carefully, “Love” is used only once in the poem, showing Bishops compassion and the words “Even losing you” mark the important tone of acceptance in the poem. These lines are one of the most direct references in the poem to a painful loss for Bishop. In addition to the latter, Bishop opens the poem with one line that will be seen throughout the poem, tellingly, “The art of losing isn’t hard to master” (1). This phrase or similar to that was repeated in four of six stanzas in the writing. The repetition she chooses in her stanzas gives a reader the sense of Bishop actually encouraging those to accept loss, given that, loss “. . . isn’t hard to master” (1).
Loss is something that is repeated continuously throughout life as well as in Bishops poem. With the repetition of loss in “One Art”, Bishop provides opportunities for the reader to interpret it, one of those being the idea that a loss may at times appear more destructive in nature than they actually are.

Body Paragraph 2

Even with all the losses that life can bring, many times those losses have the appearance of something much worse than the reality; this is why realistic expectations are important for Bishop in defeating loss. These realistic expectations help guide her through unclear situations. Bishop shows the reader that losses are not always an actual disaster, “. . . though it may look like (Write it!)” (19). Bishop tells the reader to “Write it”, meaning to write a select losing scenario, like a disaster for example. Could one write a disaster or losing scenario with an exaggerated outcome than the reality of it? The short answer is – yes. Just in the past decade we had the scare of the Y2K crisis. This took place in the year of 2000 and there were many articles, interviews, and discussions of it. During this time it was safe to say that many were preparing for a very different world. As we know for a fact today in 2012, all writing and theories about a doomsday year of 2000 proved to be false. A loss on paper can always be scarier than the reality of it. A reader can take away from Bishops poem that “. . . though it may look like (Write it!)” (19) a seemingly guaranteed loss or disaster may in fact be exactly the opposite. The fear of loss can certainly bring people to act differently and affect their actions. Rather than fearing, the embracement of loss can be a good trait to learn and keep. Remembering that loss can also turn into growth, there is potential and opportunity for something entirely new and positive to come into play.

Body Paragraph 3

Embracing loss can be a wonderful thing when you accept it, being that not all loss will lead to disaster and has potential to grow into something healthy and bountiful once again. Bishop expands on this idea of potential for growth out of loss and appears to assist Bishop to get over loss itself. Further she explains to the reader the numerous losses she has taken, such as vast realms of property once owned and “. . . two rivers, a continent” (14), “I miss them, but it wasn’t a disaster” (15). Digging for more answers, we can find abundant clues on times when a loss isn’t actually a complete disaster. Take the eruption on May of 1980 of Mt. St Helens in Washington State. The instant of the eruption there was instantaneous death and destruction of all natural and man-made structures near the blast zone. Effecting approximately 230-square miles, many areas that received the brunt of the blast looked much like a wasteland. Some of the first plant life returned to the affected area of Mt. St Helens years later around 1984, while Elk were spotted just a few weeks after initial blast. In addition to the birds, gophers, plant life and other wild life returning to the area, the blast zone is becoming the breeding ground for new life and abundance. (Mount St. Helens, Washington Life Returns to Mount St. Helens). It is understandable for one to miss the loss of what Mt. St Helens used to be, pre 1980 eruption, “. . .but it wasn’t a disaster” (15). From this example, it becomes clearer for a reader that in order to triumph over loss; there must also be participation in loss.

Body Paragraph 4

Bishop clearly encourages the reader’s actual participation in loss from her writing, harping back on that phrase many have or will hear sometime in their lives, “Practice Makes Perfect”. With more practice, one is trained and disciplined, therefore could handle loss more efficiently. The encouragement of participation in loss is readily apparent in the third stanza of the poem, with the idea being that by promoting the acceptance of loss, one may have an easier time triumphing over it. The author reminds the reader about daily loss, which would be considered normal, such as forgetting “. . . places, and names” (8). Bishop further directs the reader to, “practice losing farther, losing faster” (7). Living daily life is the practice for learning to lose quickly and/or more efficiently. At times we may forget what it is or who we are losing and why, due to the “practice” of losing. This is relatable to young individuals, during the first decade or two of life, everything seems new and exciting, but as they age, they lose interest and excitement on aspects that once would seem irresistible. From commonality and repetition, this kind of loss is no disaster for one’s life, as age does bring its own new experiences. This practice of learning to lose is achieved over time and is something everyone must accept sooner or later.

Conclusion

Bishop paints a picture clearer than most may care to think about loss. She shows through her writing that in order to triumph over loss, one must learn the attributes of acceptance, compassion, participation, realistic expectations, and realizing the potential for positive growth. She reminds us through the writing that the art of losing doesn’t mean disaster. There is a positive message made out of loss, even with all of the loss detailed in the writing. Next time you are dealing with a loss, positive or negative, remember it most likely won’t be a disaster and could very well be a learning lesson. What have you lost today?

Works Cited

“PoemHunter.” n.d. Biography of Elizabeth Bishop. Web. 08 Oct 2012.

“Mount St. Helens, Washington Life Returns to Mount St. Helens.” 30 Sept 2004. USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory (CVO). Web. 08 Oct 2012.

Tomajczyk , Stephen F. 101 Ways to Survive the Y2K Crisis. St. Martin’s Griffin, 1999. Web.

Obtaining a Bank Account with Bad Credit History

2012 June 9
by recessionjuice
Obtaining a Bank Account with Bad Credit

Obtaining a Bank Account with Bad Credit History

You can get a bank account with bad credit history that has all the features of a “normal” bank account. Bank accounts offer a secure place to park your money for many people. These types of bank accounts offer debit cards, savings accounts, direct deposit, bill pay, loans, and more.

Since RecessionJuice.com was founded in Washington State we can provide some information to help in the search for businesses that offer bank accounts or replace the role of bank accounts similarly. All information here is applicable to many states, so do not be discouraged if you do not recognized the business names mentioned.

“Nothing is wrong living within ones means, as in living life without obtaining free debt, which boils down to the definition of what “credit” truly is.”-Anonymous

Short to Longer Term Bank Account Solutions

In substitution of a regular bank account, as in Bank of America; consider using a business like Moneytree, as a bank account when facing bad credit history. Moneytree services British Columbia, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada and Washington. Referencing Moneytree’s business statement is a good indication of what you should be looking for when looking for a bank account with bad credit history:

“Moneytree is the premier provider of check cashing and payday loan services in the five western states in which it operates. In addition to these core services, Moneytree offers prepaid debit and gift cards,money orders, wire fund transfers through Western Union, and bill pay services” – Moneytree.com

Check cashing and short-term pay-day lenders will often have some type of prepaid/re-loadable card that can get your debit/credit card needs accomplished. Additional advantages you will get by obtaining a bank account with bad credit history, is the fact of safely and securely storing money.

Start Saving again…

You can actually start saving again with this, where all the other banks will turn you down.  It typically works like so:

  1. Money is loaded onto your card
  2. You open a free savings account, which is attached to the card account
  3. Transfer money either in or out of your savings/debit accounts

Interest will also be earned on the savings accounts. If choosing a card system with a savings account try to resist moving your money around too much, this just encourages saving.

Before signing up with a business like Moneytree, make sure that their card service offers a savings account. The savings account will go a long way in retaining funds so you may be able to pay some of the bills harming your credit.

Another business that will help you in your solution to a bank account is WalMart. WalMart will cash government, payroll, or tax checks for only $3 on checks up to $1000 and $6 on checks up to $5,000. In this area, WalMart dominates Moneytree. However, be warned that if you have not cashed a check at a WalMart before, your check may be declined. When attempting to cash a check for the first time, do not cash a check over $500. If your check is over this amount, it will likely be declined. Of course, there is no harm in still trying. Let us know if you experience a different result.

Dispute discrepancies on your credit report

Equifax Online Dispute

Never underestimate the tactic of disputing information on your credit report as a way of potentially getting information removed and deleted from your credit record, thus improving your score and ability to obtain credit.

Dispute your credit report with the 3 major credit reporting bureaus

  1. Equifax Credit Report Dispute
  2. Experian Credit Report Dispute
  3. TransUnion Credit Report Dispute

A decent all around credit report that should be reliable is Equifax’s Complete Report. After reviewing the information obtained here, you should be able to get an idea of what bills you may not owe anymore. Any information that you know is false or incorrect should be disputed. Be careful when disputing information, you do not want to awaken an old debt that may be past the statute of limitations for your state; doing so would re-start the time limit for a debt agency to sue.

If you get your credit score to a reasonable level you should also think about a Secured Credit Card as a means to establish good credit. Make sure they will report to the credit bureaus monthly – this will help your credit.

Free sources for your reference

Order your free Credit Report:
Annual Credit Report

Order your free ChexSystems Consumer Report:
Annual Consumer Report

Closing Suggestions

To get a bank account the best way out is to pay your bills that you honestly remember owing. If you have the means – you should pay your bills. Everyone at times will be financially unable to commit. Look up your states statute of limitations, which vary state by state. These limitations spell out the time duration, in which someone may attempt to collect a debt. The financial institution that claims you owe them only has a set amount of time to actually collect or get you to admit you truly “owe” them that debt. After this limit, you may request removal of these marks on your credit report, which will help your credit woes. In some cases, it could be better to simply not pay.

Computer Technology in Our Future – Essay for Computer Info Systems

2012 June 1
tags:
by recessionjuice

Author: Essay by Tony Washington – January 23rd 2012. This was a fun essay to write since I was not being graded on how well I could write 🙂

Computer Technology in Our Future – 2012

When thinking about the way we use computers every day, it is hard to imagine life without them. From sunrise to sundown, computers find their way into our lives whether we realize it or not. There are people who believe there is no downside to the role technology plays in modern day society. Individuals are becoming entirely dependent upon computer technology, thus are failing to learn the skills needed to function without its assistance.

“No generation has yet lived from cradle to grave in the digital era,” say authors John Palfrey and Urs Gasser, in “Born Digital”. This book gives another look at technology in the eyes of the individual who has not only been surrounded by technology, but enveloped by it. They also bring to the point, “Digital Natives live much of their lives online, without distinguishing between the online and the offline” (Palfrey and Gasser 4).In this instance, “digital native” would be any individual who was “born after 1980” (Palfrey and Gasser 1). These individuals are typically completely comfortable with the computer technology that surrounds them in their daily lives.

One of the most ancient forms of communication known as hand writing is being replaced by typing. Even with the invention of the typewriter, it was still not uncommon to handwrite memos, letters, and academic papers. According to the Sue Loughlin from Tribune Star, “. . . the Indiana Department of Education will no longer require Indiana’s public schools to teach cursive writing,” which gives a quick insight at technology taking a precedence even in education. With the move away from writing in schools, educational institutions are promoting computer keyboarding and putting it on an “equal” playing field with hand writing.

“The constant use of digital technologies can place a strain on families, friendships, and classrooms,” (Palfrey and Gasser 186). Thinking of the shear amount of time we devote online interacting in some form digitally, you may find the majority of your day is consumed by it. Not to say this applies to everyone, but for most technology is becoming an increasingly important aspect as it touches all areas of our life and world. The downside to being digitally connected constantly is that we never get a real chance to go unconnected. Instead of waking up and stretching, you may wake up and check your cell phone first; digital technology is changing almost every part of our lives.

With technology rapidly expanding, even our navigation is evolving around us. Navigation of some sort has long been a part of nearly every day life for most. Navigation is important for everything including trade, farming, flight, and sailing. No less than 30 years ago, people were still using maps as a common way to navigate, which has been replaced with the Global Positioning System (GPS). Every occupation from the pilots, police, fire departments, emergency medical services, and more rely on some form of GPS in their day to day work. If one were to ever get lost 30 years ago, there may have been the handy road map in the glove compartment, but now is virtually always replaced by the GPS unit.

Information is a powerful tool, but too much of a good thing can spoil the goods quickly when used in excess. “The value of creativity, imagination and critical thinking over “information” access is self-evident,” says Andrew Orlowski of The Register. With so many users and governments undertaking information technology as a core utility for nearly all tasks, we undertake a risk of simply forgetting how we perform duties without them. Heavy use of technology from young users may create a “problem-solving deficit disorder” (Orlowski). Think of it as skipping a couple of grades due to your ability to research material on the internet, however once you get to the advanced grade level, you are unequipped with the tools necessary to succeed due to overuse of technology resources.

For the average person in the IT world, every colleague or friend they know probably has computer and internet access at their homes. With the ease of use to “instantly” retrieve information from search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, is there a possibility that individuals are becoming more unwilling to find other resources that are not electronic? Speaking with a fellow student attending Edmonds Community College, “I don’t know what I would do without my computer and internet,” said John Brown in a personal interview. Before the dawn of the internet age, most people used services like 411, phonebooks, or even their neighbors to retrieve information quickly. Fast forward to 2012, and you will find most of these services becoming more “irrelevant” in people’s daily lives. Why take the effort to look through papers or asking a neighbor, when you can just “Google” it?

In a society that sees individuals becoming so entirely dependent on computer technology, they may find that some tasks aren’t so easily performed without the assistance of it by their side. The future of technology is all about how we choose to use, promote, and take advantage of this incredible resource. Deciding the future we give to the world and our loved ones is our decision to make. Caution must be observed as with everything, so that the rapidly evolving technology around us does not become our very own “Achilles” heel.

Household   Internet Usage In and Outside of the Home

Characteristics per 1,000 Households

In Home

Anywhere

No Internet Use

Households (Percentage)

71.06

80.23

19.77

(U.S. Department of Commerce)

Works Cited

Brown, John. Personal Interview on Computer Technology Tony Washington. 20 January 2012.

Loughlin, Sue. Archaic Method? Cursive writing no longer has to be taught. 3 July 2011. 1 January 2012 .

Orlowski, Andrew. How computers make kids dumb. 21 March 2005. 20 January 2012 .
Palfrey, John and Urs Gasser. Born Digital. New York: Basic Books, 2008.

U.S. Department of Commerce, National Telecommunications and Information Administration. “Digital Nation: Expanding Internet Usage.” Household Internet Usage In and Outside of the Home by Selected Characteristics: 2010. 2011.

The Mother by Gwendolyn Brooks – Analysis Essay for English 101

2012 April 29
by recessionjuice
Gwendolyn Brooks - Picture Courtesy of Poetry Foundation

Analysis essay of, “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks. This paper focuses on the “dramatic situation” and how the speakers attitude about that situation changes throughout the poem. Additionally the essay considers how the formal elements of the poem help convey that meaning and attitude.

Introduction

When thinking about personal experiences, “The Mother” by Gwendolyn Brooks touches on the often emotional topic of abortion. This poem was produced decades ago, yet still remains relevant to this day. Accepting abortion and the outcome can indeed be a challenging task for many, while others adapt to it without much of a problem. Gwendolyn Brooks writing allows us to take a look at the mothers view point of abortion and how a mother responds to her unique situation. Throughout the poem the speaker shows signs of grief concerning the topic of abortion and its outcomes by presenting to us her point of view, memories, love, subtle triggers, and confusion.

Body

From the first stanza of the poem, the speaker provides us a quick snapshot of her feelings about the abortion. The first stanza is set in a second person point of view, with much of it explaining how her children will never realize certain fulfillments in life. Reading the second stanza in the poem, there is a sudden change to a first person point of view, where the speaker references herself multiple times. From this section in the reading, it becomes apparent this is much more of a personal matter to the narrator.

In the beginning of the poem the speaker shows a mother unable to forget the dramatic events, which have trapped her emotionally. We can see an example of the narrator facing more than one painful memory of abortion in the very first line, “Abortions will not let you forget”; followed by a mention in the first line of the second stanza, “…voices of my dim killed children”. Both the words “abortions” and “children” are given plural reference, which can be interpreted to mean more than one abortion is being spoken of in the writing. The memories of a mother dealing with the hardship of one abortion is hard enough, while additional abortions just adds to the discomfort of a grieving mother. What about the relationship between the narrator and her unborn children? Does she actually love them?

Not having a loved one around can dramatically change a person or entire family. Losing more than one loved one only compounds the emotional impacts of grieving. We can take a present day example from military members, who are away from their families for extended periods, causing both anxiety and grief. If the mother really loves her children, it is understandable why she may grieve over them. This notion is conveyed in the second to last line of the poem when the speaker says, “Believe me, I loved you all”. This line confirms the speakers love for her would-be children. Grief and love may go hand in hand together, especially when the love is true and viable. Most families and individuals agree separation from a loved one, can most certainly set off processes of grieving.

Expressions and signs of grief vary by the individual and the unique circumstance. At times, something very subtle yet so simple may set off the emotional response of grief. The speaker tells the audience that as a mother she would never see the opportunity to, “buy with a sweet,” (line 6) her children. This references encouraging your child to comply with your wishes, with the commonly used treat or snack. These simple triggers show just one of the many memories she will never find due to the outcome of her abortions. Other than the very subtle triggers of grief, mixed emotions can play a major part in a grieving soul.

Confusion is definitely a factor in the reading, which is a relatable attribute to grief. Confusion appears as one of the longer lasting results of her abortions. Near the end of the poem, the narrator is speaking of her abortions:
“Since anyhow you are dead.
Or rather, or instead,
You were never made
But that too, I am afraid,” (29-30).
The reader can also see 3 ideas given in the four lines. Digging into the meaning of the lines we see she believed the aborted children to be dead; or perhaps or potentially, never created; followed by confirming all of the aforementioned ideas to be discouraging and scary to believe. With a mix of both confusion and denial, the narrator shows disagreement with herself about the ideas and thoughts she is facing. Confusion is a natural occurrence, especially for a grieving mother, who has gone through more than one abortion.

Conclusion

While reading through the entirety of the poem, the narrator provides the reader clear signs of grief via confusion, subtle triggers, love, memories, and the point of view of a mother. The speaker confirms for us the love she has for her dead children as well as the painful memories, which expose themselves during the process of grief. Reading the poem also reveals the fact this is not the only abortion the speaker is writing of, proving to be a major contributor to the grieving in the poem. The poem is a great read for any first timer or anyone experienced with poetry. With a variety of topics throughout the poem, one may find that there is more than just grief, which shows itself in the poem. Other than abortion, one must ask what other major attributes play a part in this amazing poem by Brooks?


Works Cited

Brooks, Gwendolyn. “The Mother”. Poetry Archive. New Directions, 2002. Web. 12 Jan 2012.