Swans Commentary » swans.com July 2, 2007  



No System Can Measure Itself


by Carol Warner Christen





(Swans - July 2, 2007)   We, the People, have developed a huge blind spot: many of us permit any group, whether corporate or governmental, to measure itself, and believe that it can do so objectively. To permit any entity to do this is to invite error or fraud or worse on the People themselves.

The Founders wisely gave us three groups to measure each the other to ensure that the People were served by government and not by entities with much to gain. Those three groups, of course, are the Congress, the Judiciary, and the Executive Branch. As a metasystem over these three governmental bodies, the Preamble states who instituted this system and who is entitled, as a finality, to measure the three branches of government. The measures are "We, the People of the United States, in order to:

* form a more perfect union,

* establish justice,

* insure domestic tranquility,

* provide for the common defence,

* promote the general welfare, and

* secure the blessing of liberty to ourselves and

* (secure the blessing of liberty) to our posterity, do ordain and establish the Constitution of the United States of America."

Each of the seven points above in the Preamble are a standard against which We, the People, can and must measure our attainment of, or our deviation from, the concise ideas of the Founding Fathers. The Constitution following the Preamble contains the general and specific rules; the Constitution itself is not the measure of the goals, it is the means. The Preamble contains the ends; the Constitution provides the means with the Bill of Rights protecting the people, specifically, from the state.

Sometime recently, corporate entities began to determine, with the persons in the three branches of government permitting, that what was done for profit should be measured by the profiteers. Some examples will suffice.

Drug manufacturers would test their own products and report the results; polluting corporations own the rights to their pollution, thus, they can determine if the People's health is affected or not. The best thing is we could disband the Food and Drug Administration, especially after all the political meddling in its workings.

Corporations assume that the corporation is a "person" as if a corporation were a single human. A corporation, however, is actually a group of real humans with the owners pretending to be one extraordinary human, too. If we measure a corporation, we come up with a machine. Those corporate group humans have the power to buy political real persons with donations to write laws in their favor, and to avoid dissolution for wrongdoing using civil law, even if the case is criminal and did harm to real human beings.

In order to remove depleted uranium and plutonium from the costs and headaches to store it and "protect" the People from it, the government decided to give the misnamed uranium away free to weapons manufacturers.

The fully radioactive "depleted" uranium is used to coat weapons, creating incredible penetrating power for use in war against humans who have no defenses against the fine, nano-sized (a trillionth of an inch) particles released in their vicinity when the bombs explode. The world's air, including the air in the United States, is now polluted with uranium dust and cancers, among other problems, will soon begin to decimate humanity and the environment as in Iraq now. That country has been occupied by the United States for five years and is almost a perfect pile of rubble, somewhat like our own town in Kansas when a tornado rode roughshod over it recently.

Depleted uranium dust attaches to DNA and cannot be removed, as it emits alpha and beta radiation for 4.5 billion years. The Pentagon uses it to protect against high troop death rates in the here and now. Everyone ignores the future deaths and birth defects because we refuse to measure the damage even for our own troops who, if they survive battle, will father children with possible birth defects at minimum.

Four hundred sixty thousand tons of depleted uranium have been dropped in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, and Serbia. Four hundred sixty thousand tons equals 920,000,000 pounds into the atmosphere and on the ground. No clean-up is possible. Each human being might be exposed, if things were even, to 0.137 pounds (2.19 ounces) of the lethal stuff. In this case, we willfully as a nation refuse to measure the results. At least, no storage facilities are involved. We all carry it around forever.

When we choose to torture or to imprison a human being without a just trial of the facts with a jury of peers, we refuse to measure our crimes against humanity with the means our forefathers gave us. There is no excuse. We signed treaties and now pretend we can ignore them when we choose to profit. There's that word again: profit. Is the opposite of profit fairness?

If our scientists did not agree that other scientists would test and measure the results of any original experiment, we would not progress at all. Most humans in government are not scientists. They often show great ignorance of facts, methods, and realities when promoting certain deterministic groups' ideals. To further corporate agendas, politicians are replacing actual scientists in government with political operators beholden to one belief system or another, by money, not science.

Education is regressing because so many Americans have decided they do not approve of liberty unless it embraces their personal dogma. For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church tortured and killed dissidents of every type. Then, the Protestant backlash created its own tortures and certainties without a shred of proof, except personal belief systems. Today, the same type of thinking and insistence continues.

Since the beginning of the planetary, patriarchal format in human life, women have been on the receiving end of unbelievably wrong-headed treatment. Women are killed, raped, trafficked as slaves, in or out of the home, as if women were groceries or cloth to trade and sell. Women are killed by any male's whim or hubris as his arrogance insists. No one seems to want to realize in the throes of profit that a human girl or woman has existence in, and for, herself.

How on earth did we reach this pathetic place in time and space? The reasons why are written everywhere but nowhere has anything changed. It worsens again and again for women. The real reason is that women do not train nor arm themselves against irrational, selfish male decisions which, as human adults, women must make personally themselves. The male half of humanity assumes it has rights; but, this is a mirage of power. The warring male half of humanity will kill the enemy even if it is a baby, an unarmed woman, a very old person, fragile, but condemned by no law, no court, no right, and no good reason. We are a shameful people, en masse and individually, in political respects. We are quite loving to some humans; the rest, we damn.

In the privacy of our homes and lives, we measure what we do and are quite successful at it. The Bill of Rights puts a barrier in the government's way to prevent it from robbing us of enjoying those rights. We teach and learn from each other at home, at school, at our church, or in small political groups.

Unfortunately, what we do not see is that each small human system may not fit another person's ideals or needs. Yet, we persist against each other lest the country think us wrong. We use force; we threaten economic harm; we exclude those who are unlike us whether it is by class, by race, by earnings, by education, by our place in society, and by our self-importance. We tend to measure others by our own personally calibrated yardsticks in order to penalize those who fail our tests.

So, then, who are we? If we have been elected, we forget that we owe a duty to represent only real humans. Politicians feel that the electors gave them carte blanche to run amuck over others who disagree. Is that what government is about? Does it become "our way or the highway," or prison, or blacklisting, or war for some, and terror for the rest? Why? Where is that written? We are all equal, and equally, citizens. The Founders thought it through while we are allowing their gift to disintegrate bit by bit as time goes by.

"I had no choice." This ugly phrase is used over and over ad nauseam. It measures nothing but a robotic response to life. Other misuses of words lately are: "consumers" for citizens; "democracy" for a constitutional republic (the only functioning democracy on Earth is Switzerland); "lobbyists" for corporate shills; "corporations" as persons; "military theft of others' resources and lives" for the common defence (see above in the Preamble).

There are other falsehoods we believe in: that we are a "Christian" nation; that we can torture anyone as if there were no law; that we do not have to give a fair trial but can condemn anyone because we say so; that we can imprison humans without trial by using their bodies and minds against them instead of a public and legal hearing. The president gathers our rights and keeps them unto himself while denying them to the People, the only real sovereign in the United States. It is not his "homeland"; it has always simply been our country. "Homeland, Deutschland, Fatherland" are all too Germanic à la Hitler and WWII for me to stomach. The president's grandfather was Hitler's banker.

All of this is measurement: us against them. Real measurement is scientific or legal, not individual, unless cookies and cake are involved. Since each human being is only human and cannot step outside as a god by overseeing and peering into any other's life, what are we trying to prove with these worthless exercises? We pretend we are better than each other unless we are friends. That is not possible. Or, we can pretend to be god and weigh each other in the balance.

Who is to decide the result, you or me or them? We cannot do better than to honor our roots and to perfect our republic forbidding it to be an empire for corporations, "elites," armies, and "fools that mortals be." Humankind has already been through the "man as god" phase before.

What has to happen soon is to honor our one small planet by respecting the life upon it. Measure carefully without cheating the treasure we awoke to as babies. There is nowhere else for us to be and there is no one who rates the honor more than any other. Life is not money, fame, fortune, rank. Life is not a passport or an identity tag under the skin. Life is not a closet full of furs. Life is living with respect and integrity, lest we become dogs that fight for scraps as is happening now.

If we keep selling ourselves to the highest bidder, we will return to slavery and death, which our warmongers are inflicting on unarmed humans around the planet. Almost 800 military bases have been bought with the money we need here at home for our own infrastructure. The recruits we bribed to serve our country are coming home terribly wounded as we attack and occupy and covet foreign resources without respect for life, ours or theirs.

The cost of this empirical process is immeasurable anymore. Some figures say one thing and some another but the debt climbs into the trillions. The Federal Reserve prints more and more worthless money for us to buy and buy from countries we gave our best ideas to outsource ourselves for profit for a class that does not measure itself by the United States. Elites have gone global and we are in decline on every front. We are losing our country. The elites hope to lose most of us to ill health, poverty, and death. Katrina is just an omen of the future.

Global measurements in education, healthcare, infant mortality, earnings, quality of life, are down for our citizens as we increase our debts. Our progeny -- the future of our humanity -- will pay the price for the current wantonness and shortsightedness of instant gratification, credit cards, and low-paying endless work and toil. If we become paupers, someone becomes king. How will we measure that against two hundred thirty years of freedom? Who thinks they can teach Americans to grovel?

If we go back to the Preamble and our current misuse of its precepts, we find "our more perfect union" is a far-flung attempt at the first modern empire of money, elites, and force; we are now hated world-wide. Our need to establish justice has been changed to establishing politicized justices as payback for favors. We need, instead, fair, decent judges. An unjust system is being established by the president who wants jail time for everyone. This is certainly less than fair to minorities and the poor. It does mean more profit for private prison corporations -- there they are again -- instead of local and state oversight as we have had for two centuries.

To insure domestic tranquility, the Military Bill of October 17, 2006, was passed with barely a word from the infamous fourth estate: publishers and journalists. The president can put the army on our soil, which the Founders forbade. The military can stop dissenters and nullify the First Amendment's free speech provisions. The Bill goes on for hundreds of pages; Congress passed it without reading it. I read it. The author and I may have common ancestors who fought in the Revolution. I wrote him, after I read the unholy thing, that he was a traitor to our forebears. Read it yourself. Weep for our "once and future freedom."

We have thrown away the blessings of liberty for gadgets: television, cell phones, endless shopping and debts, endless distractions, too much work, too little time. Everything seems okay on the surface, the same, and all normal to us. We have become Alfred E. Neumann's phrase: "What, me worry?" Under cover of complacency, we have four years of oil left, four years of bees to pollinate food; and, today's paper (June 16, 2007) said the bird population is seriously declining. It's all too much trouble to consider, much less measure, isn't it? Can humanity measure humanity's environmental distortions? Will it? In time? We are spreading like viruses, distorting life itself.


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America the 'beautiful'

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About the Author

Carol Warner Christen on Swans (with bio)... Woman born 1939, twice married, five children, 7 grandchildren; own a goat farm, rural Oregon after years in Chicago area and Ohio; Associate of Arts, Chicago Art Institute (1 year); artist, editor, mechanical design drafting supervisor; owned two computer companies before anyone had a computer; activist; antiwar; human.



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Defending The Constitution - Gerard Donnelly Smith

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Published July 2, 2007