With just over a year and a half until the next United States Presidential election, another tough decision is upon the American People. Does one choose Republican or a Democrat? As those are the only choices based in reality, one must choose the lesser of two evils rather than the best candidate. With some luck it will be a toss up between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush. The potential is almost too much to bear. (insert sarcasm here)
However, the truth is that Americans don’t actually have to choose either one of them. One could simply not vote, but that would do little in changing the course of the country’s current path. It would only reinforce the current power structure, and judging by the currently high inequality, corrupted bureaucracies, and utter disrespect for the environment, that’s not a direction anyone wants to be heading.
It is extremely rare for a 3rd party candidate to be elected into any government office, let alone the presidency. Since 1990, only two Senators and six Governors have been elected to office who were 3rd party options. To put that in perspective, that’s only 1.2% of the time in the last 25 years. That doesn’t even take into account the zero presidential elections won by a 3rd party. In fact, Ross Perot accumulated the highest percentage of the popular vote for a 3rd party presidential candidate in over 100 years; when in 1992 he received 18.91% of the vote. That still amounted to zero electoral votes.
There are many reasons to blame for the lack of success amongst 3rd party candidates, such as the current winner take all system as opposed to a proportional system where each party is represented by the percentage of votes it receives. There is also limited-to-no access to national debates for 3rd party candidates. Often times they will even have trouble fulfilling all the ballot access requirements to be on all state ballots. Still the greatest obstacle for those outside the normal Democrat-Republican cycle of ineffectively, is money; the candidate with more money wins 91% of the time according to the Washington Post. As written in the article, “don’t act surprised,” money is the driving force behind this country’s political system. One would think it would be the desire for change or even the country’s prosperity, but history has shown without a doubt that the primary motivation for politicians is personal financial gain. Everyone wants to make money, but those in an official office have an obligation to put the people’s needs above their individual success. Money being the deciding factor in the presidential election only perpetuates that cycle of profit driven politics.
However, this is not the time to panic, but instead become creative. History is there to teach. There are also many current trends that point to the fact that this could be one of ripest times in over 100 years for a 3rd political party to emerge.
First, according to the United States Elections Project, only 36.4% of eligible voters turned out in the 2014 Midterm elections, the lowest total since 1942; a year in which most didn’t vote because they were preoccupied by a world war. Not only is voter turnout low, but Congress’ approval rating hasn’t exceeded 20% in over five years. Unsurprisingly, 2014 was its lowest annual average, at a measly 14%.
At the same time, Americans are losing confidence in all mainstream media. According to a Gallup poll, Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report “the news fully, accurately, and fairly” is at 40%; tied with 2012 for an all time low. This is a trend that has gradually been regressing for the last 10-15 years. This is evident as the major television networks see viewership fall and newspaper circulation continues to plummet.
Undoubtedly some of this can be attributed to technology, but it seems to go with a larger trend, especially amongst people 18-29. People are ditching the mainstream world of news and politics.
Filling the vacuum left behind by mainstream news and its biased reporting, alternative online news sites have been on the rise. With lower barriers for entry, online news grew 44% from 2012 to 2013 according to Pew Research Center. One in every six Americans now get their news from online sites as opposed to mainstream publications. One has to think with technology access growing rapidly, this will only continue to increase. So with online news taking the place of mainstream news, what is taking the place of mainstream politics?
Well nothing yet, but this is where a 3rd party has its opening. Its been done before. Jesse Ventura ran for Governor of Minnesota in 1998 on the Reform Party ticket. He ran on a low budget grassroots movement and narrowly edged both the Democratic and Republican candidates. There is also current Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, an Independent but self described democratic socialist, who has long been a vocal proponent of media reform and public disclosure on campaign donations. He’s the longest serving independent member in Congressional history.
There are many benefits to running outside the two parties. A new party has the advantage of creating a whole new voice without having to appease out of date ideologies and policies. While it may lack experience, it also lacks the weight of bad habits that the other parties often cling to. At the same time, this party can take ideas from both sides that have proven successful in the past and are applicable to today’s world. It is essentially a free and open platform.
If progressive democrats, environmentalists, scientists and millions of regular fed up citizens seeking truth (especially from the middle and lower classes) decided enough was enough and came together, they would soon realize they have enough power and support to change the game. A progressive democratic environmental party could arise and be a force to be reckoned with; a party linking together many of the issues their current politicians are ignoring; a party able to put minor differences in ideology aside in sacrifice for the bigger picture. This is only accomplished through massive awareness and large scale coordination efforts. The likes of which have never been seen before.
Never in history have people been able to coordinate and spread information as they can now. If Americans can unite with the help of the Internet, there is no reason 3rd party candidates cannot hold government offices and even one day win the presidency. Ideas and unity are stronger then any amount of money; and what can truly be lost? Americans should be striving to shape and alter the debate going forward; a crucial step in the essential process of change.
As the American empire shakes itself apart, this generation will find itself with fewer and fewer options. Economic contraction (two words everyone should become familiar with) will eat away at every layer of this economy. Climate change will act as a threat multiplier, high-power weather patterns will destroy infrastructure, and leave less money to invest in the future. What Americans will see is triage, the government will be forced to spend dwindling resources on helping people adapt to climate change, or fight endless wars overseas.
Is this alarmist? Well three weeks ago in the article titled “The End of Higher Education” two distinct predictions were made. The first was that this country is on the brink of yet another financial crisis and it would be triggered by the implosion of the shale oil bubble, also known as tight oil. As of last week three of the smaller shale oil companies have declared bankruptcy, with one having a debt of $6 billion dollars and assets of only $60 million.
The second prediction was that the US university system would also implode starting with small to mid-sized liberal arts colleges. One day after the article was published Sweet Briar College and Tennessee Temple University...
From the original Jeff Spicoli to everyone’s favorite burger seeking duo Harold and Kumar, the idea of the lazy and forgetful marijuana smoker is a stereotype that has been embraced by cannabis culture and the prohibitionists alike. One would be hard pressed to find a recreational cannabis smoker that hadn’t experienced some level of forgetfulness associated with marijuana. That being said, it is important to understand the reality behind this comical image of absentmindedness.
Myth #6 - Marijuana causes memory loss and a general reduction in logic
Of all the stigmas associated with cannabis consumption, the idea of memory loss has had the least amount of long-term studies. On that basis alone one must consider the possibility that the entire discussion could change as future studies come into light. Until that time all one has to go on is the research that has been done to date. To fully understand the effects of any substance on one’s memory, it is important to understand how one’s memory works....
“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.” - Henry Ford
It seems that the confiscation of deposited funds in Cyprus banks was not an isolated event but rather a glimpse of what’s to come on a mass scale. A joint paper by the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Bank of England dated December 10, 2012, shows that these plans have been long in the making; they originated with the G20 Financial Stability Board in Basel, Switzerland; and that the result will be to deliver clear title to the banks of depositor funds. Now, a person’s savings are no longer considered a “deposit” but instead a “debt” that the bank owes the client.
Many are unaware that once one decides to deposit funds into a bank, legally, those funds are thereafter the property of the bank. The bank then owns the funds and the depositor becomes an unsecured creditor holding an IOU. However, until recently the bank was required to pay back the money as cash on demand. Under the new FDIC/BOE plan...
Dutch company, Mars One, has recently whittled down to its initial 202,586 applicants to 100 contestants competing for quite an unbelievable prize: a one way ticket to Mars.
These 100 “lucky” finalists are vying for the chance to ultimately be one of 4 selected applicants slated to become the world’s first Martians, never to walk this Earth again.
Dubbed “modern day explorers,” the four winners would depart in 2024 and become the pioneers in Mars One’s goal of establishing a permanent settlement on the red planet. Since no return trip can be made, the plan is to continue sending four more people every two years to build a Martian society from the ground up.
To top it all off, Mars One has partnered with DSP (Darlow Smithson Productions) to broadcast the competition for the Mars settlement as a reality show for all the world to see.
This unprecedented mission begs the question: is this the beginning of the end, or the fresh start humanity has been desperate...
The American dream follows a well worn road. K-12, then to college, then you get the job, and a house in the suburbs, or city if you're a millennial. We all know that dream ended decades ago, most of us are just realizing it since we're surrounded by people with huge amounts of debt, no jobs, and no hope.
Place the blame where blame is due, first start in the mirror then look at the government, corporations, and finally the paper mills we call universities. The U.S. university system is like a parasite that has sucked it's host dry. Students enter, learn nothing useful, then leave to join a job market that doesn't exist. In the process they shoulder insanely high amounts of debt. U.S. students, current and former, now shoulder $1 trillion in debt according to the Department of Education's latest figures. Most of the money that sustains this bubble comes from the government. Loans backed by the Federal government which have to be repaid under penalty of law, but even if they're not, the lenders will get a bail-out from the feds. That is not sustainable, but most don't have a choice...
From the Great Depression to the Great Recession, this country has battled with the job market and unemployment rates. The United States is currently at a 6% unemployment rate as of January 2015, which as a 1% jump in the year since January 2014. According to Forbes, this country has experienced the worst five years in its history since the Great Depression. The solution to the problem many face with the continued issue of unemployment might arise with the growing Marijuana Movement.
There has been a obvious jump in available jobs in the many states that currently support medical and recreational marijuana. Literally hundreds of thousands of jobs have been created in each state. The economic gain in these states is apparent. I has become clear that this could be a potential end to the unemployment issue facing many Americans today.
The legal cannabis industry is one that requires plenty of supporting staff as well as regulators, security, online assistance and many more. This clearly presents many...
Ninety-five years ago, alcohol was deemed such a dangerous substance that it was made illegal in the United States. The prohibition of alcohol lasted thirteen years, and in that time alcohol was more prevalent that ever. It caused otherwise law-abiding citizens to become criminals and associate with crime syndicates that were allowed to flourish within the nation’s desire, and right, to consume alcohol. Many of the famous gangsters of the time gained power and status solely due to the back market created by prohibition. Many believe that it was prohibition itself that created what Americans know of organized crime. It has been over 40 years since Congress passed the current ban on marijuana. In that time the ban has inflicted enormous harm on society and again forced average Americans to interact with criminals for access to a medically substantial substance that is far less dangerous than alcohol.
Despite the countless personal testimonials claiming cannabis saved the life of a loved one, and numerous studies that demonstrate medical value, or...
Almost everyone knows that professional Wrestling is not a legitimate sport. There is little about it that is real. The quirks and characteristics that will personify each wrestler are created in corporate meetings. Each character is furnished with a distinctive “selling point” and slogans to accentuate his character. Each character has a “signature hold” that he uses to demolish opponents. It is rare that a character will win a match with any hold other than his signature hold.
Characters regularly change personalities and even identities. The same person enters the ring, but now, he’s got a different name and different “characteristics.” Alliances shift with surreal regularity. The matches are scripted, and the winners of every match are determined before the bouts ever begin. Even the trash talk before and after the “fight” is meticulously scripted. In the 90s, Mick Foley was a professional wrestler with a particularly ludicrous persona. His “character” was a simpleton who lived in a boiler room and wore a leather muzzle to ensure he didn’t bite anyone. The character was called “Mankind.” He had to be kept separate from...
The United States is suffering from multiple institutional crises, all the signs of imperial decline. Homeless rates are growing, health care services are failing, and the education system has turned into a factory. According to the U.S. Department of Education there are currently 32 million adult Americans who can't read, that's 12% of the adult population, and a further 21% who read below a 5th grade level. The illiteracy rate among the U.S. prison population is a wopping 63%. These numbers have held steady for the past decade, and may even be ticking up.
As the U.S. education system gears itself toward competing with the international market, it is focusing on test taking and white-collar skills. The lip-service paid to the STEM fields caused the country to stop focusing on literacy, self-learning, and basic reasoning. All three are vital factors for a healthy economy and civic participation.
”While the gateway theory has enjoyed popular acceptance, scientists have always had their doubts. Our study shows that these doubts are justified.” -RAND’s Public Safety and Justice unit, 2002
One of the longest standing marijuana myths is that of the “gateway theory.” This is the theory that marijuana is considered a “gateway drug” which means its use will lead users, unintentionally and irrevocably, into the clutches of harder drugs. The reality is that this theory has been, time and again, disproved by just about every legitimate study conducted on the topic. It would seem that this concept is only alive today, due to its relentless revitalization by those intent on continuing marijuana prohibition. Yet, many continue to be swayed by its proclaimers continued focus on the only valid point in the argument: the correlation between marijuana use and harder drug use later in life...
There are many afflictions from which one can suffer at a young age, but none cause a parent to feel as helpless as West Syndrome. A child that suffers from, what is called Infantile Spasms (IS) or West Syndrome, is often developmentally delayed later in life and commonly develops autism if the ailment continues at a young age. Babies with infantile spasms commonly stop developing and lose skills that were already mastered, such as sitting, rolling over, or speaking. To make this syndrome all the more heartbreaking, when the seizers are finally stopped, and if the spasms were not controlled or stopped early enough, many children later develop other kinds of epilepsy. About one-fifth of children who have had infantile spasms will develop Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Young Josie Mathes is already at the point where her ailment is affecting her ability to move.
On November 4th, the 49th great state of Alaska voted on ballot measure 2, legalizing the use, sale, and growth of recreational marijuana. This comes as no surprise, considering the fact that marijuana has been decriminalized within the home in Alaska since 1975. Despite the short dip back into illegality in 1990, the laws regarding the plant have gone far beyond medicinal purposes.
Prior to the passing of Alaska’s “Measure 2” residents were allowed to cultivate up to 25 plants in their homes. Possession of less than four ounces was a misdemeanor, while anything over was a felony, accompanied by 5 years in prison. This is comparable with the current laws of California, where dispensaries have already been multiplying. This is a far cry from states that have yet to get with the times. Texans that get caught with even a “puffs worth” are thrown into jail for up to 180 days. Louisiana residents caught with any amount will face 6 months in jail and a $500 fine. One can only...
Americans are becoming increasingly concerned about the use of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) in their food, and with good reason. Environmental concerns over the corporate "mono culture farming" methods used to produce these foods, as well as a potential increase in allergic reactions, are causing some to second guess their shopping choices. As a result of these concerns, many Americans have been demanding that food containing GMOs be labeled appropriately. Fair labeling has always been a means in which Americans can not only keep manufacturers honest, but be allowed to choose what is ingested into their bodies.
Unfortunately, GMO labeling has not yet happened in the United States. In fact, major US corporations associated with GMOs have gone out of their way to keep food containing GMOs from being labeled. Millions of dollars have been spent purchasing air time and employing “experts" who claim that, "there is no need to label GMOs" as "they are perfectly safe,” when...
At the beginning of this month, Souad Al-Shammari, one of the women who helped found the Saudi Liberal Network, an online discussion and blogging group, was released from women’s prison after serving three months’ time. Her charge was insulting Islam, and making comments about religious leaders on Twitter. According to a report on Yahoo! News, her daughter stated that she suffered some malnourishment during her sentence due to dietary restrictions, but is currently recovered.
While this seems an exceedingly harsh sentence for some Twitter comments, her punishment is mild compared with that of Raef Badawi, the man who started Saudi Liberal Network. He was charged with seven years in prison and 600 public lashes for starting the network and insulting Islam. He was initially sentenced to 1,000 lashes, but the sentence was reduced after the United Nations deemed this cruel and unusual. Al-Shammari was lucky to escape such a sentence, but the group’s free speech is currently stunted, as the website has been shut down...
“We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States… marijuana was a legitimate medication.” Dr. Sanjay Gupta
For more than 5000 years cannabis had been effectively used in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Cannabis is one of the 50 “fundamental” herbs of TCM, and is still prescribed today to treat a variety of symptoms. Up until the early 1900’s, cannabis and hemp were used in just about every aspect of American life, from fuel to rope, and most importantly, medicine. It was not until certain industries became threatened by cannabis that it was selfishly and unjustly branded as a dangerous substance. Dr. Gupta noted that the infamous Reefer Madness documentary was entirely funded by DuPont Chemical. DuPont was heavily invested in nylon. In the 1930s, nylon was a new synthetic fiber that would’ve seen hemp fiber as direct competition. As in most...
A few weeks ago, Obama proposed a plan to make the first two years of college free or more affordable for students. Everywhere you looked on the internet, people were posting comments along the lines of, “Sure, but how much are my taxes going to pay for this?” Well, here’s the real math that you need to consider:
If the “War on Drugs” isn’t actually just a war on poverty, making education free and affordable should be our country’s number one priority. Giving people a chance to further their education, or in this case with Obama’s proposal, possibly even get an Associate’s degree in a useful area to get a decent job, would be one of the quickest ways to get young adults, and even older adults off the street, off of drugs, and eliminate a significant amount of drug-related crime. Hell, we could eliminate some homelessness while we’re at it. Do you know how much it costs taxpayers when a homeless person is hospitalized for an accident or overdoses? Considering the frequency, and the fact that...
During a time in the history of our society where things may seem hopeless, where the world seems to be getting more corrupt, increasingly dangerous, and prone to disasters, whether it be natural, or otherwise, it may feel like our apathy, consumerism, and media consumption are factors of our modern world we just have to live with; that we have to accept this downward spiral because there doesn't seem to be anyone who can pull us out of the dangerous cycle we've created for ourselves.
I'm here to tell you that it's BULLSHIT.
The Millennial generation, the generation I just so happen to be a part of, is much more powerful than our grandparents, the general public, and ourselves, give us credit for. In my humble opinion, we have the power to change the world, to shape the future of human existence into the cohesive, peaceful, and powerful society we were always meant to be. Forget the endless criticism from our elders: that we don't know how to communicate with others, are lazy, spoiled, and just can't seem to master cursive....
“We live in a stage of politics, where legislators seem to regard the passage of laws as much more important than the result of their enforcement.” - William Howard Taft
Marijuana. The word at one point was spoken is hushed voices with ashamed faces. The country convinced of its evil properties and dangerous effects. Even those in the know, taught to see the evil plant as enemy number one. Yet today, with the connectivity of the internet, we see accounts of healing in real time, children regaining their lives from seizer consumed illness, and the looming cloud of cancer that this country is battling finally being held at bay. Unfortunately, the Federal Government stands stagnate in a rising swamp of Big Pharma bureaucracy. The vast majority of Americans are no longer blind to the loss of this country’s True North. No longer blind to the overwhelming political focus that is placed on profit at the expense of the people’s future well-being. The most recent Gallop poll shows an all time high of 65 percent of Americans that are dissatisfied with the current political system. Americans are unhappy with...