Corporate Bullies and The American Way

Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Railroad executives made the decisions,
The Military executed their will.
Our First Americans to this day,
Are imprisoned and occupied still.

Rockefeller paid the National Guard,
To suppress Colorado miners on strike.
After Rockefeller’s paid goons,
Had murdered Strikers children, and their wives.

When starving WWI Veterans,
Came to DC to demand their Bonus Pay.
Macarthur and Eisenhower lead the military operation,
Attacking WWI Vets and their families that day.

Blue clad bullies with bullets and badges,
And armed with Fire hose might.
Have water tortured peaceful demonstrators,
Who dared sit for equal rights.

College students who demonstrated,
Against an illegal and immoral war.
Were murdered by National Guardsmen,
The dead count tallied four.

Don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Children have been burned to death,
War Veterans attacked by the Military,
Students have been murdered,
Because people dared to be contrary.

Against a system of oppression,
Against systemic tyranny,
Against an evil empire,
Against an oppressive plutocracy.

From Ludlow to Kent State,
From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock.
Plutocratic servile bullies,
Arrive and go off half cocked.

So don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

And the beat down goes on………

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas
November 25, 2016

(Dedicated to the brave Veterans who have committed to self deploy to Standing Rock in early December in order to stand with and protect our nation’s brave Water Protectors who have come under siege and vicious attack by Corporate bullies and their strong arm of the Law.

Veterans such as these understand the concept of standing up for the good by standing up against the evil.

I respectfully salute such brave men and women. DH)

Make America Great. Finally.

It seems to me that many of the problems related to our badly divided society are actually due to the fact that certain of the more honorable principles of our national Constitution have historically been systematically limited as to the degree of their application. For example, consider the beautiful sentiment and the profound principles of the phrase “promote the general welfare” as recorded in the introductory Preamble of the Constitution. As noble as the concept sounds, the fact of the matter is that promoting the general welfare was by no means the actual concern of the 55 Aristocrats who composed the Constitutional Convention. Nor for that matter had promoting “the general welfare” ever been the primary concern of any of the other greedy gold diggers from whom our nation evolved. The sentiment so expressed is indeed honorable, and undoubtedly “the general welfare” is in fact the end goal and defined purpose of that noble collective known as the society; but therein lies the misunderstanding which serves as the basis for the limited application of the sentiment itself.

For from our very conception as a sovereign nation, America was never a society. More to the point, America is, and always been; an ongoing commercial enterprise, whose welfare for an elite sector is systematically maintained by way of domination and exploitation. In fact, for the most part the history of Western Society was never about promoting “the general welfare”, but rather has always been an ongoing predatory commercial enterprise based upon invasion, conquest, domination, and exploitation of the vulnerable, for the express purpose of enriching and further empowering the already wealthy and powerful class of any given country. The systematic domination and exploitation of the many, in order to provide welfare for an elite sector then, has been the historical pattern of Western Society in general, and America more than any other country simply serves as an example of such.

And so, while giving lip service to the concept of equality and the general welfare, the fact is that the societal system by which our forefathers functioned is in principle the same by which we function today. Granted, the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s legalized the concept of the equality of all people, nonetheless we have yet to abandon our national systematic commercial enterprise for the welfare of the wealthy, nor do we yet refrain from foreign invasions to the same end. Thus, in spite of our incremental social advancements towards social justice, we nonetheless continue, as did our Forefathers, to fall short of the sentiments of our own Constitution, by implementing a system which fails to function accordingly.

This is not to say that things must remain as they are. For as long as the words “promote the general welfare” remain written in our Constitution, then we as a collective people shall ever have the documented right to become a society which seeks the common good as a necessary goal. Our challenge then is to aspire towards that noble state of social being which has alluded every generation of Americans going back to and including our Founding Fathers themselves.

For when, and only when, we as America decide to finally live up to the precious sentiment as expressed in our national Constitution “promote the general welfare”; then and only then, we will actually be a society instead of a collective commercial enterprise for the primary welfare of the wealthy and the powerful.

To do so would make America great. Finally.

Make America Great. Eventually.

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

I love these words. These words, commonly known as “The Preamble”, serve as the introduction to our Constitution, and hence any reading of, interpretation of, or attempted application of our written law of the land should be filtered through the prism of this preamble if you will.

In these words I read the potential for a harmonious and peaceful society.

In these words I read the potential for a society which puts the needs of people before the greed of profiteers.

In these words I read the potential for a society which wants to share the blessings of liberty not only with their own generation, but which also wishes to secure those benefits for future generations.

In essence, in these words I read the potential for America to become great. And I sincerely hope that one day we may actually aspire to such greatness.

The potential of these words notwithstanding, the fact is that due to their limited social perspectives, the intent of the authors of the preamble was to limit the scope of its application to an elitist few.

As unpleasant as it is to acknowledge, the fact is that our “founding Fathers” were the leading Aristocrats of a bigoted era, and as such our Constitution was written by those who assumed White Superiority and the subjugate role of women.

The considerations of “the general welfare” certainly did not apply to the American Indian, whose presence upon the land of rich resources was an obstruction to the greedy golddiggers from whom our nation descended.

Nor for that matter were “the blessings of liberty” to be secured for the Africans who were a product of profiteering for Northern businessmen, and all the while primarily the utility of exploitive labor for the wealthy businessmen of the South.

In essence, the scope of beneficiaries of these great words which introduce our nation’s Constitution was limited primarily to the white, landowning males of that era, and there is no reason to assume that our “founding Fathers” ever envisioned a change in the status quo for their respective posterity to follow.

And so it is that we the American people have these wonderful words as an introduction to our national law of the land, and yet we have had to struggle these past 229 years to mature and develop beyond the bigoted perspective of our own social ancestry.

To our “founding Fathers” then we owe a debt of gratitude for penning such words of potential, though we owe it to our generation and to our posterity to expand the scope of the application of the principles so documented beyond the limited scope of our bigoted past.

In essence, we the American people, may one day become a great society, when and only when, we think and operate beyond the limitations of our bigoted ancestry, by applying the potential of the Preamble of our Constitution to each and every person; with prejudice against nor preference for anyone or any class of persons; in hopes of truly securing “the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”; hopefully henceforth and forevermore.

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas
November 6, 2016

Public Banks as the Antithesis of Neoliberalism

Cowboys on the Commons

I’m for public banks because people have a right to share in sustainable abundance, such abundance is relatively easy to achieve structurally and democratically, and neoliberalism’s reliance on the private sector to get us there is foolish.

by Matt Stannard

The Commission on Social Development is a sub-body of the United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 1995 the Commission hosted a Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen, which the United States attended—sending a contingent led by then-Vice President Al Gore. All participating nations at the Summit signed its set of conclusions, the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development. The Declaration held that the Commission’s task was “to address both [the] underlying and structural causes” of poverty, unemployment, and social exclusion, and “their distressing consequences in order to reduce uncertainty and insecurity in the life of people.” The agreement wasn’t law, it wasn’t enforceable even by the limited standards of international…

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On The Horizontal Nature of Humility

“Humility in a person of high position sheds luster on that position. Humility in a person of lower position no person can exceed.
Thus humility is the ultimate goal of the noble person, regardless of one’s class status or social position in any given context.”

(My paraphrase of the T’uan commentary on the 15th hexagram of Ch’ien of The Book of Changes; aka “The I Ching”)

Humility and deference are often thought of as a “downwards up” perspective. In other words, those who are traditionally regarded as “subordinates” are conditioned to defer to their “superiors” with an attitude of humility and respect.

Such a perspective is quite common in the Western world, and is conditioned into the fiber of our very thinking from an early age onward. Western folk are conditioned to be humble and to defer to all forms of authority figures, commencing from childhood with reference to parents, and continuing throughout our adults lives with reference to any number of a variety of such symbols of superiority. Yet symbols of superiority are all that a person of elevated social position actually represent, for in truth no individual of any setting is superior to any other, regardless of the context.

The natural equitable status of all people being the reality of an unconditioned perspective, then humility should be universal, and respect should be reciprocal in all situations and settings.

In this regard, it has become my observation based upon decades of experience in “the working world” that harmony in such a setting is best accomplished when people of all levels of management and manufacturing share common respect one for another. If the burden of respect for one another is reciprocal, then management and manufacturers share common concerns and seek the common good. This is but one example of an area where universal humility can lead to ultimate harmony, yet such is a most practical place for the application of the process.

Regardless then of one’s “position” or one’s “status”, humility is the ultimate goal of any such person who seeks to be noble and decent.

On Ruism and Humanism

Confucianist Ruism and Secular Humanism share common ground in that each ideology maintains that the human being is naturally equipped with the capacity to be kind, courteous, caring and compassionate. In essence, the theory is that goodness is naturally developed from within rather than being driven into the person from without.

The Confucian Ruist then does not depend upon being motivated or moved by an exterior being, but rather trusts the natural inner feelings of compassion and concern for others as an effectual guide for establishing a personal code of ethics (Note: The very term “Ru” means softness).

I believe this quality is very well termed by the Asian Studies scholar Philip Ivanhoe when he describes Confucian ethics as “virtue ethics”. Indeed, Confucian Ruism is the theory that all people have within the natural virtues necessary to be humane and to live in peace and harmony.

And so the daily walk of the Confucian Ruist and the Secular Humanist is that of seeking to cultivate and develop our natural virtues from within as we socially engage and casually interact with others without.

For such is the good and natural way of the person who trusts our natural sensitivity and softness as a reliable and reasonable social guide.

The “Me Within Me”

The Confucian thinker Mencius said “All humanity has the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others”
(Mencius 2A.6)

My thoughts:

Introspection is the key,
To realize the “Me Within Me”
A common mind we all share,
Upright, sincere, and based on care.

This mind I often throw away,
And act contrary to the Way.
This mind distressed at the pain of another,
I cherish more than any other.

On The Root of Humaneness and The Rudiments of Harmony

The Confucian thinker Mencius maintained that “all things are complete in oneself”. Confucius himself said that “Humanity is born with uprightness”.

It seems to me that within each person is the root of humaneness and the rudiments of a peaceful and harmonious way. The cultivation of such qualities is a daily endeavor accompanied by a host of distractions and obstructions.

I sincerely maintain that the cultivation of our nobler qualities, which should be our primary effort according to Mencius, is the most natural of all experiences and the most necessary of personal endeavors.

A daily work in progress.

The Practical And Adaptive Nature of Confucian Humanism

Among the qualities of Confucianism which appeal to me are the personal and practical nature of its teachings, and the ease with which such may be adapted to any circumstance or situation.

Confucianism is the self awareness of our natural qualities; and the subsequent application of such in any and all settings. In fact, when one comprehends the reality that the Confucian way is merely adaptation to and abiding in accord with the nature of all reality, then we can understand that the Way is not only always with us; but that in fact the Way is within us.

As Confucius said, “Humanity is born with uprightness” (Analects 6.17). And as Mencius said “All things are complete in oneself” (Mencius 7A.4). Again, Mencius said that “All humanity has the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others” (Mencius 2A.6).

The fact that such qualities are natural to our very being, and the fact that “all things are complete in oneself” then it follows that the realization of such is based upon a deriving such from within, rather than having these qualities driven in from without. Hence; the 12th Century Confucian Lu Hsiang-Shan said “Principle is endowed in me by Nature, not drilled into me from outside”. Thus, the Confucian way is to “build up the nobler part of our nature” (Mencius 6A.15) by way of honest introspection and sincere application of such in any and all settings in our lives.

And so it is that the Confucian way is merely self awareness of our natural humane qualities; and sincere application of such in our everyday lives.

The Confucian way then is applicable in any situation, and is adaptable to any setting.

Hence, when one looks within, and realizes our natural sensitivity for the feelings of all beings, and responds accordingly, then we are better people for the experience.

Confucianism is about human relations, regardless of the setting.

Confucianism is about self cultivation, and subsequent social engagement based upon a natural kindness and courtesy which is natural to our being.

The Confucian way is to be the best family member, citizen, employee, supervisor, neighbor, and friend; not due to rules and regulations, but rather based upon the realization that such is natural to our very being.

It is my personal view then that self cultivation is the most natural of all experiences, and the most noble of all endeavors.

And such is the Confucian way.

“If you can renovate yourself one day, then you can do so every day, and keep doing so day after day” (King T’ang of the Shang Dynasty)

On The Mind Which Cannot Bear The Suffering of Others (Mencius 2A.6)

From the moment of my birth I have been sensitive to discomfort of any degree, and have from that very moment asserted my will to seek comfort as my preferred state of being.

From an early age I was sensitive to the suffering of other sentient beings. The cry of a stray dog in pain or suffering would have been such a discomfort to my inner being, that my own comfort would have depended upon the comfort of that dog.

I aspire to never lose my original mind which has always had such an aversion to discomfort that my own comfort depends upon the comfort of others.

I cannot help but believe that everyone is born with this same natural aversion to discomfort of any degree for self and others, yet I can only speak for myself in so affirming that such was the case for me.

In the words of the Confucian scholar Mencius (371-289BCE):

“All people have the mind which cannot bear to see the suffering of others”

“The good person is the one who does not lose his originally good child’s heart”