The Louisiana “Purchase”

Imagine this scenario:

You are an Azari, a native of the planet Azar. Your people have developed a global civilization with technology comparable to that of mid 20th Century humans on Earth. One day, dozens of alien spaceships appear in the skies above your world and then land, disgorging thousands of alien troops and tens of thousands of alien settlers. The aliens tell you they are Marlos and they claim to OWN your world, having bought it from their neighbors the Carlics a few years earlier. You remember having contact with the Carlics a century ago and even trading with them, but you had no idea they claimed to own your world, let alone that they had “sold” it to another interstellar power. So you reject the Marlos’ claim and attempt to repel the invaders.  But the Marlos use their superior technology to quickly defeat you! Most of your people are exterminated and the few survivors are forced into concentration camps of poor land where they can only survive by farming, while the Marlos take over the richest land and nearly all the resources of the world your people evolved on! Your civilization, which could have become an interstellar power in its own right in a few thousand years, is instead broken forever.

You are probably thinking that the Marlos are evil to have conquered Azar, and are comparing them to the Nazis of Germany.  But if you are a white American living in the midwest of the USA, you are just as bad, because you and your ancestors are the beneficiaries of decades of theft and genocide against the iconic “plains Indians” featured in so many Western movies and TV shows over the past century.

On April 30, 1803 the nation of France sold 828,000 square miles (2,144,510 square km) of land west of the Mississippi River to the young United States of America in a treaty commonly known as the Louisiana Purchase. President Thomas Jefferson, in one of his greatest achievements, more than doubled the size of the United States at a time when the young nation’s population growth was beginning to quicken.

The Louisiana Purchase was an incredible deal for the United States, the final cost totaling less than five cents per acre at $15 million (about $283 million in today’s dollars). France’s land was mainly unexplored wilderness, and so the fertile soils and other valuable natural resources we know are present today might not have been factored in the relatively low cost at the time.The Louisiana Purchase stretched from the Mississippi River to the beginning of the Rocky Mountains. Official boundaries were not determined, except that the eastern border ran from the source of the Mississippi River north to the 31 degrees north.

Present states that were included in part or whole of the Louisiana Purchase were: Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.

This is the land we are talking about:

Note that this was a deal made between two white leaders, Thomas Jefferson (himself a slaveowner and rapist of at least one of his slaves) and Napoleon (a military dictator who would later wage war on a massive scale across Europe, just as Adolph Hitler would over a century later). The various Native American tribes who lived in the vast regions north of New Orleans were never consulted about the purchase and would most likely not have agreed to it had they been informed of it. What the hell was France doing even claiming so much land to begin with???

So when people talk about freedom, justice, and human rights as basic American values, I am tempted to die laughing. We have always been damned hypocrites!

National Geographic has sold out!

Read this horrible story:

In a $725 million deal, the 127-year-old National Geographic magazine is leaving behind its nonprofit status and becoming a key piece of a new venture between its parent organization and 21st Century Fox.

The dramatic shift will place the venerable magazine, with its iconic yellow-rimmed covers, under a new venture called National Geographic Partners. Fox will own 73 percent of the new company, with the National Geographic Society owning 27 percent.

Those proportions are similar to the ownership split of National Geographic’s cable TV channels. The new deal is being called an extension of that partnership, which began 18 years ago and now reportedly reaches more than 500 million homes worldwide.

James Murdoch, who took over the post of CEO of 21st Century Fox from his father, Rupert, this summer, said:

“We are privileged to have the opportunity to expand our partnership to continue to bring to audiences around the world, ‘The world and all that is in it,’ as National Geographic Society’s second president Alexander Graham Bell stated more than a century ago. We believe in the Society’s mission of bringing the world to audiences through science, education and exploration.”

The new media company will be headed by CEO Declan Moore, a 20-year veteran of National Geographic who is currently its chief media officer. Gary Knell, the CEO of the National Geographic Society, will remain in that role.

“We will now have the scale and reach to fulfill our mission long into the future,” Knell said. “The Society’s work will be the engine that feeds our content creation efforts, enabling us to share that work with even larger audiences and achieve more impact. It’s a virtuous cycle.”

National Geographic Partners will combine the National Geographic TV channels with a list of media properties that, according to a news release, includes “National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities, including travel, location-based entertainment, archival sales, catalog, licensing and ecommerce businesses.”

The deal will raise the value of the National Geographic Society’s endowment to nearly $1 billion.

 21st Century Fox is in turn owned by News Corporation, which also owns…..FOX News! 

Hasn’t the Murdoch family and their companies done enough damage to the mass media already?! Why take over National Geographic, one of the most respected publications in history?! HOW DARE THEY?!!

Let us not forget what happened to MySpace when it was part of the FOX empire. 

The coming downfall of Wal-Mart

Seeing this news story made me laugh.

The most hated companies in America have a knack for angering people. Whether it’s due to inept management, subpar products, poor service, or lackluster stock performance, these businesses earn the wrath of customers, employees, and shareholders alike.
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Pie charts and privilege.

The basic conflict between conservatives and liberals can be illustrated by the following pie charts.

In the first, we see a typical arrangement in which a certain class that is privileged gets most of what they want, leaving only a little for members of a non-privileged class.

PieOne A truly just society, one that liberals would favor, would have an arrangement like this:

PieTwoBut this would cause the formerly privileged group to have less, which would go against their interests. But what if we could enlarge the amount of resources so that everyone could have more?

PieThreeSounds ideal, no? But conservatism depends on social inequality, so instead they might push for THIS instead!

PieFourIt does not matter how large or how small the pie is, as long as a privileged class gets most of it, period!

Maybe that explains this:

The costs of slavery

Until the American Civil War ended, slavery was a common institution in the United States. Often portrayed as cheap, it still had costs associated with it. These included:

1. Obtaining the slaves: They were often kidnapped from Africa and shipped across the Atlantic Ocean under cramped conditions. That cost money. The slave trade was eventually abolished long before slavery ended, but that had the effect of making the slaves already in America more valuable.

2. Buying the slaves.

3. Giving the slaves food, water, clothing and shelter.

4. Treating the slaves of illnesses and injuries.

4. Guarding the slaves to prevent them from revolting or escaping.

5. Burying or cremating the slaves after they died.

Now compare that with people who work today at minimum wage. If you can only afford food to feed yourself and your children, a place to live at, medical expenses, and to pay for your funeral when you die, how are you any better off, materially speaking, than slaves 200 years ago?

And if you wonder why some want the minimum wage increased, that is why!

Why did the Democrats lose this year?

It seems that everything that could have gone wrong this election cycle, did go wrong. Texas elected yet another Republican governor, Greg Abbott (I am so tempted to tell jokes about the comedy duo Abbot and Costello), Kentucky re-elected Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Republicans will control the Senate next year and the House of Representatives actually INCREASED its majority for next year! And that begs the obvious question: WHY?

You see, the Republicans these days have literally NOTHING to offer the American people but bigotry and have nothing to do but express HATRED for President Obama based on that bigotry. Over the past two years, the Republicans running the House tried dozens of times to repeal the Affordable Care Act, even while knowing those attempts would fail in the Democratic controlled Senate. Now they may try again next year, but President Obama will simply veto such attempts. As the old saying goes, “To repeat the same action, and expect different results, is madness!” The Republicans may even attempt to impeach and remove Obama from office like they tried to do to President Clinton, and that will most likely fail too.

So why did the Republicans win so massively this year? Because, quite simply, many people assume that anything bad that happens to America must be the fault of the President, so they blame him for those bad events, then they vote for the party that opposes the President, even though he had nothing to do with the issues involved. For example, President Bush Jr was not responsible for the screw ups of federal agencies that followed the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans in 2005. Likewise, Obama was not responsible for things like the ebola scare this year right before the election.  THAT WAS THE MEDIA’S FAULT! Hmmmm….

Part of the problem is that the Democrats as a party are much more diverse than the Republicans. Obama originally ran as a dedicated liberal but over time due to Republican opposition has moved toward the right, but that alienated many liberals who also consider themselves Democrats, resulting in them being reluctant to consistently support the President.

In fact, I would say the only reason Obama got elected at all was because the previous Republican President was so TERRIBLE! If Bush Jr had been half the President Bill Clinton had been, we would have elected McCain in 2008.

And maybe that is just the real issue, sadly. America as a nation just was not ready for an African-American President. We are still mostly racist bigots!