Standing Rock: A Modest Suggestion Of Strategy

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Avery White/ Al Jazeera

A war is being waged right now against indigenous people by state-backed corporations to make profit from a dangerous and increasingly obsolete resource. The protestors and even journalists covering the conflict at Standing Rock are having false charges brought against them, being brutalized and maimed, and the police are lying about it. Despite the recent and unprecedented victory in the form of the Army Corp of Engineers legally blocking construction of the project pending a two year review, it may still be allowed to go forward. The company building it certainly seems to think so: they released a statement that they “…are fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting in and around Lake Oahe. Nothing this Administration has done today changes that in any way.” It’s also been reported that the equipment is still on the work site.

This is just a battle in a much larger war: oil vs green energy; eminent domain vs. tribal sovereignty; profit and crony capitalism vs. the rights and health of indigenous people and US citizens. So, perhaps it’s time to treat it like the war it is. The US has a long standing tradition history of breaking treaties with the native populations and then illegally seizing control of their land. The tribes across the nation, including Standing Rock could justifiably act to retake their land as any sovereign nation would. Maybe they’ll get bad PR, but since when has that stopped people from protesting, or taking a stand?

This standoff will eventually turn into a siege one way, or another if a permanent solution fails to come about through dialogue, or the courts. The lull should be used to prepare. Trenches should be dug, walls erected and the entire camp fortified. Shields akin to what riot police have could be donated, or shields akin to what ancient infantry had could be fashioned from wood then reinforced using thin sheets of metal, or other materials that may be capable of at least resisting rubber bullets. Since winter is coming, they could borrow tactics from Ukraine protestors by constructing fortifications of ice and snow. Trash bags filled with snow can be stacked together and can compact into solid ice. In Ukraine, they even built a modest trebuchet to launch projectiles at incoming forces.

However, if the Sioux can hold their ground it may be time to go on the offensive. Through ancient and medieval times armies utilized armored siege weapons and small, portable armored covers (upturned boats, or siege rams for example) for protection while laying siege to an opponent. Similar implements could be devised, or modern cars and automobiles modified to have tougher, more protective exteriors: Mythbusters bulletproofed a car fairly well with phonebooks.

Before moving on the security forces and seizing the land the pipeline is on, a small force should be dispatched north to Bismarck (A rejected location for the pipeline because locals feared a spill). The attack will vary in scope depending on the size of the detachment. But the dispatched forces could utilize ancient methods to confront riot police with an organized opposition. If large enough, they could sack, pillage, and burn Bismarck to the ground. This will likely lead to a call for reinforcements to Bismarck which will either distract the “law enforcement” from Standing Rock, or perhaps even call the forces from Standing Rock for support.

While this is going on, the forces remaining at standing rock will send up drones to scout the area and attack most accordingly. The Standing Rock forces can then move in with shields and fortified cars, or whatever else they have at their disposal. A phalanx of water protectors and armored siege vehicles can then surround and take prisoner the agents protecting the pipeline. They can also repurpose all of the equipment. If the US then agrees to not build the pipeline the prisoners will be released.

Or we could start building solar roads instead of pipelines.

Satirically yours, 

~David T.K.~

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Fighting ISIS and Ideology: A New Approach

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In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris the other night, that ISIS has claimed responsibility for, (or any abhorrent act of extremism) our initial visceral reaction is to literally fuck’em all to death, nuke the entire Middle East, or bomb it back to the pre-Cambrian. And it would be satisfying to annihilate our enemies. People say they don’t like violence, but they’re lying to themselves most of the time- we fucking love it when we can justify it.

But ISIS is an ideology that’s giving people in a massively fucked up region a direction and a purpose. And every time we kill innocents in a drone strike, or air raid we create more angry people who want revenge, or arguably justice, for those killings. We’re in their sacred land and that pisses them off too. Make no mistake, I have no sympathy for ISIS, but it’s important we understand them, their culture, their history, their motives if we want to fight them and win. Unfortunately you cannot bomb an ideology into extinction with the possible exception of mass genocide.

So what the fuck do we do? Well, I have a few ideas:

First, we should probably stop being the world’s police. We’re not good it anyway and we don’t right wrongs in foreign nations unless it directly impacts our national interest. However, in this case, we have a moral and strategic obligation to defeat ISIS.

Second, we need to study them like aliens study abductees. We need to know their hopes, dreams, and reasons for living. We must know our enemies like we know ourselves. Then, and only then, can we devise a strategy.

We already send a lot of aid money to countries all around the world. Instead of placing in the hands of corrupt regimes who keep most of it, let’s build schools. Better yet, let’s create jobs and pay locals to build their own schools, hospitals, libraries, better housing, infrastructure, etc. If we can give people in the region a better alternative than joining ISIS they’ll probably take it. They’re people just like us for the most part- there are certainly some crazies in there too I’m sure. But since most of them are regular folks we need to realize they’re joining ISIS, by and large, because they have few other options. They could resist and most likely be killed in a gruesome manor, perhaps getting their families killed in the process, or at the very least leaving them with one less member of their family. The region is filled with sectarian violence, oppressive regimes, people have lost their means of making a living as a massive drought hit Syria in the recent past compounding existing problems and eventually leading to the refugee crisis we have now. With livelihoods destroyed and no voice in their government, many have taken up arms as the best way to achieve both.

If they have jobs, secure livelihoods, representation in state matters, and most importantly a purpose, they’ll not only have no time for blowing shit it, but probably no desire to either- at least no more so than the rest of us who love watching “Mythbusters.”

This is obviously a massive, intricate undertaking and would probably require boots on the ground for a while, be it UN, or a coalition. You can’t build a new school if terrorist armies can just roll up, kill everyone, and destroy all progress you’ve made.

We spend enough money to probably fill one of the ships from “Independence Day” on war and all we’ve gotten is more violence, a new, stronger enemy, and a much less stable region. So, maybe it’s about time we try some actual nation building and not necessarily in our image. The tenets of Islam are being used to justify cruel and draconian laws, but that’s something they need to fix for themselves. Imagine Canada, Russia, or China, coming into the US and saying something like “No more eating meat. It’s cruel to animals!” Or even “No more assholes like Kim Davis are allowed in government!” They might have a point, but we wont give a shit because it’s our culture and because fuck you.

Believe me, I want to see those fucker swaying from a noose, but there’s a time and a place for violence in conflicts and this may not be one of those times.

“I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

Abraham Lincoln

~David T. Kukulkan~

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Black Lives Matter Damnit!

IMG_0347 2Where the fuck do you even begin with this? I feel dirty for writing this because it feels like it’s politicizing tragedy. It shouldn’t be a conservative vs. liberal, but it kind of is.

Fox and conservative media outlets spin a very different narrative than liberal ones: black deaths caused by police are quickly written off and excused because these black people must have been criminals and the officers involved were just doing their jobs. Liberals spin the unfortunate victim of racism story. Neither is entirely accurate, but one of them is a lot closer to the truth. Have there been black criminals shot and killed by the police? Absolutely! But, have there been a disproportionate number of black people killed by police when compared to white deaths? Yes! Police kill white people for no excusable reason too, but we white people live with less fear than our black fellow humans.

Something has happened online since that crazy black guy (apparently he had actual metal health problems) gunned down two officers. “Share if you stand with our officers” and “Stop the war against cops” memes have spouted up faster than a teenagers acne after falling asleep with a pizza on their face. That’s great that people are outraged over senseless violence against those who are supposed to serve and protect us. However, and maybe it’s just my pool of online acquaintances, but there weren’t that many “Black Lives Matter” memes shared, despite the larger number of deaths and violence against the black community. Dozens of black people are murdered and the movement that sprung up is dismissed by so many because “racism is over.” Two officers are shot and it’s a war against cops. Some media outlets have been blaming the Black Lives Matter movement for the shooting, despite no connection between the shooter and the movement other than the color of his goddamned skin! It’s being called a “hate group” and the “Murder Movement.” Shut the fuck up!

While it’s hard to find reliable or trustworthy sources, most numbers will show a much higher incarceration rate for blacks than whites and a disproportionate number of black deaths from police brutality than whites. Also, and there are some conflicting reports, there’s been no significant increase of violence against officers.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t advocate violence against law enforcement, or anybody! The reason we’re saying, specifically, “‘Black’ Lives Matter” is because those are the lives being cut down most frequently right now. Do police lives matter? Fucking duh! Do white lives matter? Fucking duh! All lives matter, but not all lives are receiving the same same amount violence, or outrage at said violence. When a regular Joey-Bag-O-Donuts even looks at an officer the wrong way the offender is tried, convicted, and locked up quickly, no questions asked. But when officers kill Joey-Bag-O-Donuts, we’re lucky if there’s even an investigation, let alone a trial and conviction.

I stand with and support our men and women wearing the blue uniforms (even though most of the ones I’ve encountered have been dicks, they don’t deserve to die, and they have a high-risk, high-stress, occupation) but I also stand with and support Black Lives Matter. Basically I’m on the side of less killing each other. Everybody’s on that side – with the small exception of some extremist, violent, and or crazy people, who probably would have ended up that way regardless.

But also, no matter how much you support the boys in blue, don’t tell me you don’t get anxious, or even scared, when you’re driving and a police cruiser pops up behind you – even if you know you’re doing nothing wrong. But that’s because we’ve all heard the stories of people, both black and white being killed, or brutalized by the police. Now imagine you’re black (only if you’re not black, cause actual black people don’t have to imagine) and you suddenly have a lot more stories and stats to make you afraid. Hell, if you’re black, you probably have personal experiences telling you to be wary of law enforcement. Police brutality and abuse of power are very real and black people have to deal with the brunt of that bullshit.

So let’s not go with the one dimensional narrative the media portrays and instead understand the nuances of the situation. There are good and bad people in every occupation and walk of life. We can condemn police brutality and at the same time condemn violence against police officers. But only one of those is pandemic.

~David T. Kukulkan~

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Are Millennials The Worst Generation Ever?

Millennials on the move!

Millennials on the move!

Are we, Millennials, really the worst generation ever? That clip from “The Newsroom” is always making the rounds on Facebook and the character’s stats are all accurate within a point or two- fact checked it myself a while ago. But is he right about us?

Cause Millennials weren’t the ones who covered the environment with pollution and greenhouse gases that now threaten our way of life and our very existence. But remember that time Millennials spilled a bunch of oil in the Gulf of Mexico? Or how about that time we funded the shit out of climate change deniers and their interests? No! You fucking don’t because that was one of the other idiot generations. Which is partly understandable since previous generation were pretty fucking stupid. Well, ignorant at least, because they simply didn’t know what we know now. But that’s no excuse to keep practicing the same dated techniques and espousing the same archaic rhetoric. Previous generations also fucked up the economy so bad it’s impact reverberated around the entire goddamn world. They were, and some still are, pretty racist too. And homophobic.

Given the same circumstances and limited knowledge of the dark ages whose to say our generation wouldn’t have made the same greedy, irresponsible, and destructive decisions? Doesn’t really matter though because what’s done is done and we had nothing to do with, but we are the ones picking up the tab and cleaning up these catastrofucks.

But we have our own problems too! Like staring at our phones all the time. That’s as bad as the racism thing, right? No? Yeah, not quite. Well, we’re always online wasting time and our politics extend only as far as our Facebook posts reach. We don’t make a lot of money either and maybe still live at home because we’re so fucking lazy. We also only give a shit about a cause for a week tops, then something else happens and we forget all about that last shooting. We have only surface, superficial knowledge of the issues facing contemporary society too.

Nah, just kidding. Some of that’s true, and some it may be more true for others. But remember Occupy? The Arab Spring? Or what about the Black Lives Matter movement? Yeah? Cause that was fucking us being on our phones. Remember when Obama got elected? And reelected? That may have largely been millennials voting for the first time. And the money thing? Well, we all know who trashed the economy and refuses to share profits with employees who make those profits possible. As for the issues and superficial knowledge, we’re doping the best we can with the literally constant stream of news! Current generations will know more than some of the previous generations combined! It’s no wonder it can be tough to stay informed.

Certainly all generations have done stupid shit and we’ll certainly have our turn at that, we just haven’t had enough time to fuck things up as much as the Baby Boomers yet. Here’s the thing though, we are learning from your mistakes, Boomers! We are growing in number while yours shrink because you’re all old and dying! So get used to our liberal values and tolerance towards others. And we’re gonna vote the shit out of you next election!

~David T. Kukulkan~

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Ancient Aliens: The Truth Is Out There, But Some Of It’s Down Here

Anasazi Petroglyphs AZThe much ridiculed “Ancient Astronauts” hypothesis -I refuse to call it a theory, because, well, those of you who know the difference will understand- is a guilty pleasure of mine. It’s exciting to think we may have been, or still are, being visited by extraterrestrials. Imagine if we really have been visited and they’ve interacted with us! However, I find truth to be more exciting, and if it’s not true, then it’s nothing.

I enjoy the show on the History channel. I enjoy it for several reasons, mostly because I like asking questions to myself about the show that they really should have answered. A lot of the “evidence” presented on the show I know is pure bullshit because even a cursory google search, or an introductory class to anthropology, or archaeology will already have the answers to the “unexplainable” “evidence” they present. I don’t think they even know what the evidence means, and if they do, they certainly don’t use it correctly. Too often it’s just a question. And questions are not evidence, they, in fact, require evidence to answer.

The show is also very insulting to our species and our ancient ancestors especially because by using aliens as the explanation for all of the amazing achievements of ancient civilizations it devalues the actual human ingenuity involved. And personally, I find some of the unique ways our ancestors found to solve problems of construction far more satisfying and even more interesting than just “aliens did it.” “Aliens did it” is basically the same as saying “God did it,” and it doesn’t actually answer the questions of how these monuments or advanced mathematics and various other advancements were actually made.

So, as I already mentioned, I knew a lot of it was bullshit. But I watched a documentary “Ancient Aliens Debunked” (link below) which presented an overwhelming amount of new information including how the show just outright lies… a lot. The documentary is a bit long, and I don’t entirely agree with it’s conclusion at the end, but it’s definitely worth watching, even if you just watch certain sections. It’s incredibly informative not just about the lies and errors the show perpetrates, but about ancient peoples, their cultures, their technological prowess, and their construction and engineering techniques.

My biggest problem with show and others like it are the consequences of their lies. They make the idea of visitation seem completely nutty and not worthy of any investigation, or even a second thought. But the hypothesis- which may or may not be testable, possibly making the label of hypothesis incorrect as well- is one worth investigation, as are the mysteries still presented to us by the ancient world. New discoveries are pushing back dates for human culture and advancements almost every year. And the explanations, aliens or not, may rewrite history and I promise you it’ll be very interesting- if you find ancient cultures interesting anyway.

But back to the aliens bit. We already know, even with our limited technology, that interstellar travel is possible, but it would be resource intensive, and take a really long time. So right there, it’s possible aliens could have visited, are visiting, or will visit our world. Now, if there are technologies and energy sources we haven’t harnessed or even dreamt of, imagine what a civilization 100 years, 1,000, years, 1,000,000, years more advanced than us could achieve. All I’m saying is that it’s hypothetically possible for aliens to visit Earth, or for us to visit alien worlds in the future. And if something turned up in an ancient tomb or grave that could truly not be explained, like a star map akin to the one in “Prometheus” or even something more terrestrial like the reports of New World items- cocaine, tobacco, tobacco leaves and even a tobacco beetle- being found in ancient Egyptian mummies, scientists very well may dismiss these finds because of the stigmas associated with “Ancient Aliens.” And leaving these genuine mysteries unsolved and dismissed as unworthy of study is the true tragedy caused by the quest for ratings by ignoring already established facts and outright lying.

Ancient Aliens Debunked: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9w-i5oZqaQ

~David T. Kukulkan~

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Why Both Sides of The Flag Stomping Debate are Bullshit

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Flag stomping seems to be all the rage lately and people are either completely against it finding the the practice disgusting and disrespectful, or think they are in the right simply protesting using their freedom of expression.

But both sides are kind of full of bullshit.

Let’s start with the anti-flag stompers. They claim it’s unacceptable and completely disrespectful. Well, yeah, it is very disrespectful since the the flag is the symbol of not only our country and it’s ideals, but also representative of what the men and women who have served in the military have fought to defend. It’s thus understandable why veterans and those who support them get so angry about people walking and stomping on the flag. But here’s the thing: you know what else is disgusting and disrespectful? Sending our men and women to fight and die in endless and needless wars while not giving the support and medical care they need once they return. We’ve let many veterans become homeless which may be a direct result of inadequate healthcare. Instead of giving veterans the resources they need to overcome things like the loss of limbs, post-traumatic stress disorder, or other ills, some are unable to reintegrate back into domestic life. In some ways, it’s surprising there aren’t more veterans walking on the flag. You know what else is disrespectful and disgusting? Discriminatory anti-gay laws; billionaires buying, or at least heavily influencing elections; individual states denying people healthcare by refusing to accept the Affordable Care Act; the legislation that seeks to regulate everything women do with their bodies; systemic racism resulting in numerous deaths; and the list goes on.

There are always people saying “Well, if they hate America so much, they can leave!” They say this regarding people who stomp on the flag, or protest in general. That’s statement is fucking stupid. I don’t know for sure if they hate America, but I don’t think they do. They’re angry about something that’s going on here, and if they truly hated America, why would they want to vocalize the problems they have and try to raise awareness and bring about change? If they hated the country, wouldn’t they want to just let the problems continue until they destroy the country from the inside?

But there’s a problem with walking on the flag as a form of protest. While it clearly sends a message, and while it is a form of free speech that people have fought and died to defend, the main message that’s being heard is a big “fuck you” to the men and women in the military. Despite the fact our country has many failings and hasn’t been doing a great job of living up to the ideals that our flag symbolizes, desecrating the flag turns people off immediately. What are these flag-walkers upset about anyway? I have no i-fucking-dea because their actual message isn’t getting out. People focus on the action rather than the message, because it’s a pretty inflammatory action.

Chances are these protesters are not intending to disrespect our veterans and have some legitimate grievance. They aren’t looking at veterans and thinking, “Hey, fuck you guys!” They might be doing that though, because, like I said, I haven’t seen anything about their actual reasons. It’s an incredibly stupid way to get people on your side.

If you want to stomp on a flag, maybe get a fake one where the stars have been replaced with corporate logos, that’s something more people could probably get behind. But whatever the case, let’s not get so offended over a symbolic action, especially if they really do hate the US, who gives a shit what they think? But people walking on the flag, how about being less offensive and finding a better, more inclusive way to get your message out? It’s really all a bunch of bullshit.

~David T. Kukulkan~

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5 Reasons To Not Say The Pledge Of Allegiance

American FlagBefore we get into this I’d like say that, unlike some of my other posts, I intend no disrespect towards anyone here. I believe we can all be proud of our country and it’s accomplishments and at the same time be critical of ourselves and our country, recognizing we still have more to achieve.

Back in middle and high school I’d refuse to say the pledge of allegiance. However, especially on Veteran’s and Memorial Day I’d at least stand out of respect. For me, it wasn’t about being disruptive, cool, or rebelling just to rebel because that’s what teenagers do. I had my reasons and have developed more with time. And in case you forgotten the words since you were in school, here they are – “I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.”

Under God

Let’s get this one out of the way right now. It’s probably the most well known and controversial issue concerning the pledge. Those words became added in 1954 and did not appear in the original text. It’s easy enough to just not say those two words “under God,” but in America we have the freedom of religion and worship, or not worship, as we please. The phrase itself is hypocritical to that core American value. People who believe in a different god, or gods, or no god at all. The Constitution reads “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” While the pledge itself is not a law, it is our official pledge passed by Congress and it is in conflict with the essence of the constitutional excerpt above by respecting an establishment of religion- technically many religions which have a single god.

What Republic?

Ideally, our nation is supposed to be a republic- a government where the people elect representatives to… well, represent their ideals and interests. Nearly half of Congress are millionaires. Google “millionaires in congress” and click any of the articles that pop up, or, just go to images for some pie charts! Then if you Google “average income in USA” the information is answered right at the top: $60,528- which is almost a million dollars short of a million dollars. The median income is even less. The US is oft called “The Great Melting Pot,” but Congress is not. Congress has become more diverse both in terms of gender and ethnicity, but it’s still 75% old white males. The average American 39, women make up 50% of the American population, but only 17% of Congress. There’s also a disparity in religious diversity.They are out of touch with the average and majority of Americans in age, income, ethnicity, gender, religious beliefs, and probably sexual orientation. So, how can these members of Congress be said to truly represent their constituents? There’s a link to a helpful info-graphic at the the bottom.

Indivisibly Divisible

We are a fairly divided nation. Blacks have higher incarceration rates and less access to social mobility than whites. Race divides us. Religion divides us. Political affiliation divides us. Congress get’s along as well two child siblings who both want the remote control and watch their own show. President Obama recently vetoed the Keystone XL pipeline, but it doesn’t matter whether you agree or disagree with that decision. Republicans and Democrats have been giving “facts” that are exactly opposite. There can’t be two versions of a fact. Someone’s lying. According to Congress it would and would not create jobs, it would and would not hurt the environment, it would and would not help make America’s energy needs secure. Turn on the news, or “The Daily Show” and the same is usually true for every other issue from marriage and gender equality to healthcare. Even when they agree, they bicker about syntax. Republicans say ISIS is a threat to America and we need to bomb them. Obama agrees and has done just that with drones. But since he’s not calling the Islamic extremists, he’s not doing enough, despite his reasonable argument that ISIS are just terrorists because they do not represent religion and shouldn’t be given any validity in that regard.

Liberty And Justice In Different Amounts For Different People

I already mentioned the disparity in black and white incarceration rates, but it goes further than that. Remember that big economic crisis in 2008 that was totally avoidable, but happened? Yeah, there are people who are responsible for that. There have been no arrests. But plenty of protesters have been arrested. People get arrested all the time for lame reasons and we have for profit prisons making money off of people committing crimes. Wealthier people enjoy more liberty than less wealthy people, and more (or less) justice depending how you look at it. You ever see a story about a celebrity driving drunk, but nothing really happens? But if you, or I, did the same thing we’d probably loose our license, get a massive fine, and then loose our jobs because we just lost our mode of transportation to work. Do we even have to go over economic inequality, or how super rich people and corporations influence elections? Or how women are paid less than men for the same work? Or how some people can get married and others can’t?

Forgetting The Vets

A Facebook friend posted a political cartoon depicting a classroom with a child refusing to stand for the pledge and a veteran in a wheelchair with the teacher saying she’d like to introduce someone who can’t stand for defending his right to not stand during the pledge. But I don’t think veterans should be standing either because our country is letting them down. They’re treated as somewhat disposable. Remember that Veterans Affairs scandal that happened not too long ago? While going to college I met several Veterans and they had similar stories. They have been getting the run around, cutting through red tape, and waiting seemingly endlessly to receive their benefits. Many vets come home with what we used to call “Shell Shock” now called PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and some of them never receive the proper care. And like George Carlin once said, maybe if we kept the scarier sounding name they’d be getting the care and support they deserve. Others come back with missing limbs, brain damage, and countless other injuries and do not receive enough support to become rehabilitated or keep themselves and their families afloat economically. Statistics vary, but between 25% and 12% of the homeless population are veterans and that’s despicable. There’ll be a link at the bottom for more information which also shows inequality between the ethnicity of veterans and the rates of homelessness.

It’s for these reasons I will not say the pledge of allegiance. I respect and admire those who serve in our armed forces but we have let them down. We have let ourselves down.  We are not living up to the ideals our nation was founded on and too often we’re guilty of doing the exact opposite. If we do say the pledge, we are pledging our allegiance to the flag of a republic which does not exist anymore. The pledge is a lie and until we fix these problems I will not say it. We can all be critical of our nation while still having respect for those who serve and protect us. We can abstain from saying the pledge with false promises and still want those promises to be fulfilled. We may not be everything we want to be as espoused in the pledge, but we can still aspire and work towards that end and we can still love our country in spite of it’s flaws not just because it’s our home, but because even though our society isn’t currently living up to it’s ideals, I believe that most, if not all of us, regardless of race, gender, class, or political affiliation, we want to live up to those ideals in earnest.

Diversity Info-graphic: http://ivn.us/2013/04/11/congress-is-not-representative-of-americas-diversity/

Homeless Veterans: http://nchv.org/index.php/news/media/background_and_statistics/

~David T. Kukulkan~

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