Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Plague of Babies

Allen Masterson

At the weathered age of 38, I’ve recently realized I have reason to celebrate beyond traditional standards. I am childless. The spermatozoa that has been a literal climax for every good time this author had, that pertained to sex, has found no purpose in a biological sense.  My soldiers have all died at the front (insert bugle playing "Taps").

No mouths to feed. No threat of neglect charges being filed by the police; followed by a local newspaper article about squalor conditions to make members of my community feel good about how they raise the fruit of their loins. (My place is nice and tidy, mind you; I’m just trying to paint a hypothetical alternative reality here.) No worries of an overly vaccinated, medicated, Teletubbies indoctrinated, knife wielding toddler ending up featured on an episode of the Montel Williams Show.

I know what all you procreators reading this are thinking right now; I’m exaggerating, and if I were to have a child, I would take a big gulp of the baby Kool-Aid, and would be happy cleaning shit out of Port-O-Johns at street festivals just so long as I made it home to see my beautiful little Frankenstein baby spitting out mashed carrot portions of my paycheck on the linoleum of my trailer’s kitchen floor. You people obviously don’t know me very well.

Once, over a decade ago, I was at a point in my life where I could have lassoed an ovum with my DNA bounty hunter, but fate gifted me a fickle succubus that bulldozed over any white picket fence, and Sunday afternoon picnics in Candy Land, delusions I may have entertained. She was a petite auburn haired sadist with a laugh that would deflate the most fortified of male egos, and I was madly in love with her.

We both worked as well paid humans pretending to be robots at an auto plant. A very short time after we met, she moved into my tiny one bedroom suburban apartment. As any hormone driven male with easy access to an easier outlet, I physically exerted myself on an hourly basis trying to prove how much I cared. Orgasms were our pastime. We spent our nights as automatons at the auto plant, and our free time became more like a biology experiment than an evolving relationship.

After about a month, she tentatively broke it to me that she was late with her period. Never in my life had I broken down scenarios as fast as I did the five minutes after she nonchalantly told me cells were possibly dividing inside her with every breath. We took the logical young white trash route and procrastinated hoping maybe the moon had decided to go out of its regularly scheduled orbit for a little while.

A couple weeks after she first told me she was late, we had our first serious discussion on what we were going to do if she were pregnant. Here is the dialogue from eleven years ago. Forgive me if it’s a little dusty from being stored back in the recesses of my brain:

Fade in…

Me: So, what do think we should do? Do you want to go get one of those pregnancy tests?
Her: I don’t know. I’ve been pregnant before and this feels like I might be. I’ve had three abortions.
Me: (Long pause.) You know I love you. If you want to have it, I will be there for you and do whatever it takes. I would love the baby, too.
Her: I’ll probably just kill it.

Fade out…

She became withdrawn and mostly contentious afterwards. She told me there was nothing to worry about, she wasn’t pregnant. I kept my doubts to myself. Did she have an abortion and never tell me? Maybe. Would it have bothered me at the time? Oh, yes, very much so. Would it bother me now? Not in the least bit. I’d probably go out and buy her a bottle of hair gel and a pack of Chips-A-Hoy cookies to thank her for her pragmatic decision making abilities in the midst of such a potentially toxic situation.

We broke up shortly thereafter. We were together just a little longer than it takes to conceive a child, then turn around and abort it. I have come to the conclusion that I loved her solely because I knew she would have never wanted my child. The most beautiful brands of contradiction are manifested in the deepest parts of our subconscious. Sometimes neurosis is one’s friend and can crazy a person out of a potentially long cycle of misery.  

I look at friends' pictures posted on social media of their children and see how happy and proud they are. Hopefully, posting their child’s accomplishments, and declaring their pride in them out in cyberspace for all to see, will make parenting for them more participatory than previous generations of parents from similar circumstances.  In my youth, involved parents only had to yell in bleachers at sporting events, or actually show up at parent-teacher conferences.

As a child of two very different types of neglectful parents, I can’t bring myself to ever reproduce for fear of a genetic predisposition to a subtle aversion for caring about my child. For all I know, there could be a pheromone that hasn’t been discovered making it impossible for people like myself to be a positive force in their own child’s upbringing.

Do I hate babies and children? Not at all; I actually enjoy being around my friends' kids. I wouldn’t mind someday possibly becoming a “step daddy”. Most kids make me laugh with their psychological games and their tireless inquisitiveness.

The thing I most fear when it comes to having a child of my own is that there is a biological switch waiting to be flipped whenever my DNA escapes into another vessel, and what I now perceive as people having a good time with their kids running around, playing, and exhibiting traits of my long time friends, becomes an army of terrorizing toddlers and a drooling, crapping, plague of babies.  

I will forever continue to wantonly spill my seed without purpose (a sin illustrated in the Bible by the parable of Onan and aptly named, "Onanism"), but I will keep the image of a redheaded, blue-eyed, beautiful impish child perpetually wreaking havoc in the backyard of my mind.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Necktie Deep in Hypocrisy

Allen Masterson

A few moments ago I viewed President Barack Obama's address to the Iranian people for Nowruz (the Iranian New Year). The four minute long video appeals to the people of Iran to recognize their ancient culture and the bond that they have with the United States. The President references an Iranian film which won an Academy Award. He talks about Iranian Americans and their many contributions.

After softening up the Iranian people, he then begins to address the “electric curtain” that is draped over Iran that is keeping Iranians from freely expressing themselves. He points a finger at the Iranian government and how it is disallowing its citizens the right to communicate freely by blocking satellite feeds, censoring the internet, and monitoring cell phones.

There has been a “Virtual Embassy” put in place for Iranians to go and find out what the United States is up to through a Farsi language Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. (Google Plus being the site they will have a hard time getting anyone to go to because, let’s face it, it sucks.)

I’m having a very hard time suppressing a knee-jerk reaction to this video. The video happens to drop the day Iran switches its currency of choice for trading oil from the dollar to the Euro which significantly threatens the status of the US Dollar as a reserve currency throughout the globe. My imagination is conjuring World War ll scenarios with bombers flying over populated areas of Europe dropping propaganda leaflets out to land on the populace of the enemy.

Are the Iranians that happen to break through the “electric curtain” going to get a true representation of the United States from heavily monitored social media pages? More importantly, isn’t this hypocrisy at its finest on display for the world to see?

With recent attempts to pass internet censorship in the guise of copyright infringement (SOPA, ACTA) how can our government have the gumption to point fingers at another country’s censorship practices? The only difference I can see is the method. Our censorship will one day soon be done through corporate fascism bought and paid for by our very own tax dollars.

We are still somewhat free to express our individual thoughts, but with recent legislation signed into law that goes by the name the “National Defense Authorization Act” (which allows the President power to detain US citizens indefinitely without due process) how long before once outspoken citizens clamp their mouths shut (or have their mouths clamped shut for them)? Our current president stated he never intends to actually use the law, but he also promised to not have lobbyist appointed to his cabinet…. 

There are several laws and Presidential Signing Statements that have many US citizens on both sides of the political spectrum questioning the direction our president is taking us. Knowing that the position of president is merely a public relations ploy by the true string pullers on Wall St and in London City compounds the paranoia I find myself trying with a Herculean effort to keep at bay. The newest executive order “National Defense Resources Preparedness” is the ultimate “just in case I need to” law. The US congress has now become little more than ceremonial; and if things get too hot on the Hill, and the president wants to put on a show, a “Super Committee” is appointed and everyone gets a free day.

If I were to sell my soul and write a Hollywood movie script, I would write one where George Orwell comes back as a zombie and travels on a lecture circuit explaining to the world the dangers of apathy while feasting on the intellectually deficient brains of reality TV stars. But I digress. 

President Obama’s plea for the Iranian people’s electronic freedom may be an attempt to foment an Iranian Spring to precipitate a military intervention. If the governments of the West truly cared about the Iranian people, we wouldn’t be trying to bankrupt them by initiating sanctions that are having a devastating effect on their economy and infrastructure and was once considered an act of war prior to article 41 of the corporate thug, the United Nations Security Council. 

I also need to reiterate Iran’s going off the US dollar in favor of the Euro for petrol trade. It was not widely reported in the mainstream media that in 2000 Iraq began trading in Euros instead of the Dollar which set a precedent that threatened the hegemony of the Dollar being used as the world’s reserve currency. Our Dollar is on the verge of being defined as counterfeit as it is, so a major economic player jumping ship would cause an economic tsunami that would wash away grocery store shelves filled with high fructose corn syrup laden goodies, and genetically modified good times. 

Do we really want the Iranian people to see us in the light of an electric curtain-less window? We may end up scaring the shit out of them and sending them into the welcoming arms of their Twelfth Imam….

I’ve attached below the full Whitehouse version of President Obama’s video to the Iranian people, and a few links to the legislation I referenced. And a transcript of President Obama's full speech.

Today, Michelle and I extend our best wishes to all those who are celebrating Nowruz around the world. In communities and homes from America to southwest Asia, families and friends are coming together to celebrate the hope that comes with renewal.
To the people of Iran, this holiday comes at a time of continued tension between our two countries. But as people gather with their families, do good deeds, and welcome a new season, we are also reminded of the common humanity that we share.
There is no reason for the United States and Iran to be divided from one another. Here in the United States, Iranian-Americans prosper and contribute greatly to our culture. This year, an Iranian production — “A Separation” — won America’s highest honor for a foreign film. Our navies have confronted the danger of piracy, with U.S. sailors even rescuing Iranian citizens who had been taken hostage. And from Facebook to Twitter — from cell phones to the Internet — our people use the same tools to talk to one another, and to enrich our lives.
Yet increasingly, the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want. Instead, the Iranian government jams satellite signals to shut down television and radio broadcasts. It censors the Internet to control what the Iranian people can see and say. The regime monitors computers and cell phones for the sole purpose of protecting its own power. And in recent weeks, Internet restrictions have become so severe that Iranians cannot communicate freely with their loved ones within Iran, or beyond its borders. Technologies that should empower citizens are being used to repress them.
Because of the actions of the Iranian regime, an electronic curtain has fallen around Iran — a barrier that stops the free flow of information and ideas into the country, and denies the rest of the world the benefit of interacting with the Iranian people, who have so much to offer.
I want the Iranian people to know that America seeks a dialogue to hear your views and understand your aspirations. That’s why we set up a Virtual Embassy, so you can see for yourselves what the United States is saying and doing. We’re using Farsi on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. And even as we’ve imposed sanctions on the Iranian government, today, my Administration is issuing new guidelines to make it easier for American businesses to provide software and services into Iran that will make it easier for the Iranian people to use the Internet.
The United States will continue to draw attention to the electronic curtain that is cutting the Iranian people off from the world. And we hope that others will join us in advancing a basic freedom for the Iranian people: the freedom to connect with one another, and with their fellow human beings.
Over the last year, we have learned once more that suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. The Iranian people are the heirs to a great and ancient civilization. Like people everywhere, they have the universal right to think and speak for themselves. The Iranian government has a responsibility to respect these rights, just as it has a responsibility to meet its obligations with regard to its nuclear program. Let me say again that if the Iranian government pursues a responsible path, it will be welcomed once more among the community of nations, and the Iranian people will have greater opportunities to prosper.
So in this season of new beginnings, the people of Iran should know that the United States of America seeks a future of deeper connections between our people — a time when the electronic curtain that divides us is lifted and your voices are heard; a season in which mistrust and fear are overcome by mutual understanding and our common hopes as human beings.
Thank you, and Eid-eh Shoma Mobarak.

Wikipedia page for the NDAA

Wikipedia page for Executive Order:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Kony 2012 Is Nothing But a Scam

Allen Masterson

The truth about one of the fastest viral videos is now coming to light almost as fast as the the video spread. Ugandans are making videos in response, and stating various facts which refute the claims Kony 2012 makes about what is going on in Northern Uganda and the supposed actions of the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army). 

The reason for the push to have U.S. military intervention is extremely outdated and the actions by lawmakers only goes back to last year when a couple representatives introduced a resolution in the The House. (Jim McGovern, D-Mass. and Ed Royce, R-Calif.)  The bill introduced was passed into law and signed by President Obama as  "The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act." Subsequently, President Obama authorized 100 U.S. troops to go into Uganda to help train and track down Kony and the LRA. The glaring flaw in this maneuver is the growing testimonies from Ugandans that Kony has not been seen in over five years, and is considered either dead, or out of the country. It has been stated that the LRA may only consist of about 250 to 500 hundred soldiers. (If it is even still organised.)

Since the law was introduced, there has been little reported on the happenings in Northern Uganda in media outlets, but there has been a Hollywood movie staring Gerard Butler by the name "Machine Gun Preacher" released shortly after President Obama signed "The Lord's Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act." The movie was based around the experiences of a recovered born again biker, turned preacher in Northern Uganda and his confrontations with the LRA. The setting for the movie is between the years 2001 and 2003. Machine Gun Preacher was even advertised before, and after its release on the radio network NPR (National Public Radio). 

Now, with the phenomena of Kony 2012 and its suspicious Hollywood backing of thoroughly vested players, a pragmatic, objective observer need only scratch the surface of the ubiquitous internet to formulate a conclusion that this may be one of the fastest, yet clumsiest, propaganda pushes in history; rivaled only by the burning of the Reichstag building in Germany which was used by Hitler as an excuse to suspend civil liberties, and allowed him to eventually take dictatorial control over the country. 

Kony may be the first of many more little bogie men to start popping up in the resource rich continent, Africa. China and Russia have also taken an interest in the region and there is probably a covert race to gather intelligence on many Kony-like monsters whom ruthlessly oppress the fragmented tribal communities throughout the continent. 

How long are citizens of first world countries going to fall for these idiotic attempts to manipulate the masses towards satiating the elite's insatiable greed? I would like to think that there will come a day when a paradigm shift will take hold, and the everyday person will awaken from their lifelong addiction to apathy and vicarious blood lust exercised by war, Hollywood, and whatever flavor of violent acts designed for their particular demographic. 

Should we care about the happenings in Africa? The answer is yes, but only if our intentions are noble (as noble as human intentions can be). There are atrocities happening everywhere in the world on a daily basis, but the one thing that will eventually lead to the ruination of the human race, if allowed to flourish, is our inability to disallow the worst of us to control our fate and intent as a species on this ever shrinking planet. 

The complete fraud that is Kony 2012 should be exposed and a light should be shone on it for the whole world to examine not just as a ruse by a few greedy well placed people, but as a trend in society that has been allowed to go on far too long. To wake up is only a first step; to look around and discern will lead us to a path in this dark forest we find ourselves in today.

A new resolution was introduced by the same culprits that introduced the first law. This new resolution calls for the expansion of regional forces, and placing restrictions on any individuals, or governments, which might be suspected of supporting Kony or the LRA. Nefarious forces are gaining momentum before complete examination can be made by the public. Time is, as always, of the essence. 

Below, I have embedded a couple You Tube videos (Including the Kony 2012 video) and a couple articles concerning the resources which have recently been discovered in Uganda.  

Article about the oil reserves discovered:

Article about the mineral reserves recently discovered in Uganda: