Planet Earth: An Adventure into Mind, Madness & Motivation
By: J. Marlando
“Treasure each individual you encounter, whether encountered with your senses or encountered in your thoughts.”
As we look around out little planet we mostly see big problems—not natural ones but manmade ones like hunger and homelessness. If you happen to be an American as I am, you were probably raised believing that you were born in freest and most just country in the world. I believed that wholeheartedly for most of my life! For one thing, I was kid during the War World II years and patriotism was everywhere—on sign, on radio, in newspapers and in conversations. God, home and country was, it might be said, in our hearts and minds. When that war ended in victory most Americans simply believed that God had been on our side.
Because we are fundamentally a Christian nation we, as a people, were confused by Korea and Vietnam since we merely broke even with one and actually lost the other. The major cost of those wars was 36,000 lives in Korea and over 58,000 lives in Vietnam. In regard to politico-military-statistics that not much but for the fallen and their families it was everything.
As I write these words we have the Iraqi/Afghanistan “conflict” at the cost of more lives and nearly a trillion dollars. These are of course not the only hot spots going on around the planet. So far this year shooting wars have occurred or are occurring in Algeria and Angola; there has been a government takeover in Central African Republic, armed resistance in Chad and sporadic fighting in the Republic of Congo; forces fighting for liberation in Rwanda; armed outbreaks in Egypt, Ethiopia and Kenya and also wars in Mali with the French and Malian armies fighting radical Muslim groups. Wars and/or armed conflicts are killing people in the Sudan and so Darfur. When these “wars’ end others will begin—some in the same parts of the world and others in different arenas of conflict. Already there are hot Spots such as Burma Myanmar and Pakistan; Israel and Palestine but there’s always been savage fighting of one kind or another—a few decades ago it was the Sandinistas versus Contras in Central America…Catholic against Protestant in Ireland…Iraqi against Kurd in Iraq and Basque against Spaniard in Spain. The list of human atrocities is never ending and the historian/anthropologist Marvin Harris tells us that, “Death-squads, secret police, and the torture of prisoners remain at all time highs.” I could go on but the point arrives in the form of a question: what kind of a species are we?
We are a species that produced Alexander the so-called great, Caesar, Hitler, Stalin and many other self-appointed sovereigns of planet Earth. I am not only talking of the apparent warlords, however. Historically there have also been massive torturing and murdering by popes, preachers, queens and kings, industrialists; presidents and other shepherds leading the sheep across the blood-soaked grasslands in mobs shouting their ideologies and self-righteousness. As a result, “Witch hunts” have occurred in countless guises!
In ancient times wars were clearly fought for expansionism, plunder and pillage but often in the name of the gods or god. The God of Abraham is said to have ordered Moses to have his army attack the people of Midian. Once those men, women and children were slaughtered he tallied up the spoils: 675,000 sheep and goats, 72,000 cattle, 61,000 donkeys and 32,000 virgins. Today there are Muslims killing others in the name of Allah. Most certainly ignorance and cruelty prevails and so nothing much has changed but now the spoils of war are markets and other economic controls at least by the major powers: our current problems in Middle-East, for example, no doubt began for political reasons and only indirectly oil. That is for the kissing the royal behinds of the Saudi’s. After all, the “weapons of mass destruction” propaganda was just one more Bay of Tonkin incident but the point here is merely that, at bottom line, people are still warring for expansionism, plunder and pillage and nothing much has changed since the old god/kings ruled.
The question that arises is twofold. (1) Can this change and (2) can America change it?
Note that the U.S. is not the United States that nearly all Americans thought it was during the Second World War years. We, as a people, have been educated in the faults and frailties of our government and of ourselves as a people. So when we ask the question, can America become the beacon on the hill that spreads peace, freedom and humaneness across the globe we are basically asking an empty question since no country as no person can give what it does not have.
In light of the above the answer remains “yes” but there’s a major snag: America would have to change. America would have to start practicing what it preaches, stop its imperialistic ambitions and begin a gallant, humanistic drive toward creating our world better, kinder, safer and loving. This sounds polyannish, I know…even naïve but don’t you think that after 10,000 to 15,000 years of man’s inhumanity to man, that we might—in this new millennium—attempt to bring peace and cooperation to our world?
The rest of this narrative will be devoted to talking about creating positive change in the world and why and how the U.S. might become the “light in the window” for peace, freedom and goodwill among our kind as it has so consistently claimed to be since the Revolution. Be prepared, however, for an unexpected ride into the unexpected.
America The Good, Bad and Ugly
Can America become a model for the world?
The answer is no, not now and not until, as said in the above, the country begins to put its ideals into actual practice. The second question asks, is the U.S. the right country to become the world’s glowing example?
The apparent answer is that Americans are not a nationality. We are, as is said, a melting pot of people. Theorhetically our population is made up of people from all over the globe and so we should be representational of all people in both our aspirations and policies. We are indeed the planets only internationally based population in terms of our roots. Indeed, once we ousted the British and took the land from the indigenous, we began building the most prolific multicultural population on the planet. Not now or in the future, will there be a person born who can claim to being a “full-blooded” American as we all have European, Asian, English, Latin , African and nearly every other people in our ancestry. And so, America, by its very existence, represents mankind!
Upon representing mankind the American forefathers—imperfect as they were—created a most perfect foundation for a multi-cultural continent. That foundation is not in the constitution which, as someone said, is only what the judges say that it is but rather in the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, in my opinion the most important document ever written. After all, the following lines are no doubt the most vital to individual liberty: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Unfortunately, this claim is not based on human action but rather has been left in a dormant sea of philosophy. In short, America does not walk as it talks and in this alone the problems begin in the home seeding the anti-Americanism that exists is in so many places around the globe. But
just imagine for a moment that a one-world government, or all governments were actually based on the credo that that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. All unnecessarysuffering such as hunger, vulnerably to curable diseases such as small pox would be immediately and greatly diminished just as homelessness would go away.
Let us not blame governments for all our woes, however. Unnecessary suffering also lay in the lap of some industries and big business.
Business, especially big business supports inhumanness in the name of competitive capitalism through market expansionism and manipulation. That is, it is the politico power-players like the oil companies (including the Saudis), insurance companies, financial institutions and specific industrialists and so forth that “influence” Washington’s decision making. In fact, if you want to know who will be dictating to the Oval Office just pay attention to who the (visible) campaign funders were to get one idea but this is only the apparent. The web of “political pull” is so complex and the resulting nepotism so concentrated that only an insider could name names beyond common-knowledge-giants like Dow Chemical, Alcoa and Halliburton as being in the powerful ranks of “good-old-boy” politics.
What is no less destructive to individual (unalienable) rights is the stark Darwinism in big business attitudes. Take the greed of the pharmaceutical companies as a best example: I have read that 20 mg Lipitor tablets, for example, cost the consumer $272.37 for 100 tablets. The cost of the active ingredients in the pills is $5.80. That’s over 4,500% markup! Even if we double or even triple the cost to include labor and overhead the gauging remains outrageous. This is true for other drugs such as Claritin, Prozac, Prilosec and the list goes on with some drugs such as Prevacid being marked up over 30,000 percent.
The average American cannot afford medicine or hospitals so government programs have to subsidize the nation’s ill and injured. It’s all part of that complex web of “govermentation” wherein the old axiom remains true—the rich get richer and the poor, poorer.
Hospitals incidentally price gauge ever as much as the pharmaceutical companies. Once when I was writing for a newspaper I had a friend steal some financial forms from a local hospital for an article I was writing. What I discovered was that patients were charged more than $15.00 for items costing less than fifteen cents and the gauging went on from there. (I wish I’d kept the list but I didn’t).
Why does Government permit hospital price-gauging to persist when they are footing so much of the bill? The real answer is that “it ain’t their money” that pays for the gauging. It’s the consumers and taxpayers money! This is true for everything that government spends! For example, way back in 1986 it was reported that government was paying $640.00 per-plastic toilet seats for military airplanes…$214.00 per-flashlight…and purchased a $437.00 tape measure. In 2013 and according to the Associated Press, congress ordered tanks that the pentagon said simply weren’t needed. Congress—including both parties—carried on with their good-old-boy policies and spent the $436 million anyway. So what’s the point?
All this goes on while 1 out of 5 American children go to bed hungry at night.
I repeat: This goes on while 1 out of 5 children go to bed hungry at night and while some Americans are eating cat food to subsist and, and, and…well, human degradation is plentiful in the wealthiest, most powerful country in the word. At this juncture we need not mention that over 40% of humanity lives on less than $2.50 per day which is more, by the way, than how the inhumane World Bankers define the poverty line. (The World Bank, however, is a mindless, heartless machine).
The question is does it have to be like this or can the world actually be made better, safer and more loving?
Again, I believe that the answer is yes but, as said earlier, positive world change has to begin with ourselves as a government, as a collective body of people and…as a society of individuals.
According to a CBS poll taken in 1996, government wastes around 49 cents out of every dollar it spends. In the meantime, James Bovard reminds us that this occurs while government confiscates “the lion’s share” of people’s paychecks. The Sheriff-of-Nottingham taxation that American’s are made to contend with (visible and invisible) supports the system we’ve named “democracy.”
What was it that George Bush said when the U.S. began bombing Iraq: Something like we want to save the Iraqi people from tyranny and give them freedom and democracy?
Someone described democracy as being coercive, where “the winners get to use public authority to impose their policies on the losers.” The truth is that the U.S., just like every other country no matter what system they boast, is divided into two divisions: A few masters and the marginalized.
As for freedom—how can a people be free when their “democratic leaders” create laws that they themselves do not have to follow? If Americans heard that this was going on in some other country they would be appalled and angered, yelling “tyranny” but they remain complacent when they are the victims of such apparent arrogance here in the homeland.
And speaking of arrogance, how can a country boast being the freest in the world when they have more of their own people locked up (per-capita) in jails and prisons than any other country on the face of the earth including Russia and China?
For only one thing, we have around 700,000 people in prisons and jails for consensual crimes. It is simply impossible to be a free nation and at the same time dictate what individuals do in their private lives.
U.S. government, however, traditionally upholds individualism but then defines what the individualist can and can’t be. How absurd is this?
Indeed, America is supposed to be based on free enterprise and private ownership but then government creates regulations and laws to control and dominate both those commodities. The Equal Employment agency (EEOC) for example charged a well-known Miami restaurant with “unintentional discrimination” because it had less than 31.9 percent of female servers. A local judge took control of the restaurant’s hiring process and even how they worded their help-wanted ads. In addition the good-old-judge ordered the restaurant to pay $150,000 to four women who had NOT been hired, making up for their “lost wages.”
There are countless examples of this kind of ruling but how can this occur in a free country? It can’t, but the EEOC even attacked Hooters in an attempt to make it “gender neutral.” How does that equate to freedom? And, it is well known that the FDA is, in overview, nothing less than a dictatorship. The examples of government power over the people are plentiful!
In regard to all this, if the reader is old enough to remember Defense Secretary Robert McNamara, who had the audacity to say to the American people:, “Where you’re asked to follow instructions by an elected representative of your government, follow them…or take the penalty…” This doesn’t sound “American” to me but more like what some official might offer the German public during the rise of Nazism or Fascism in Italy. Remember, an elected representative is elected to serve the people not enslave them with instructions.
What we need to do is repeal MOST of government’s statutes and regulations as a way of returning to that simple but most powerfully humanistic document that tells us: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Early Changing of World Views
I have a friend of mine who is forever saying the life on earth is “hell.”
Life on earth, however, is beautiful and in harmony since even the fact that there are predators and prey doesn’t indicate chaos, enslavement or cruelty. Only people create the hellish factors with their greed and egocentricities.
Civilization itself is unnatural!
Civilization is based on isolationism and first-strike determination. This “them and us” concept has persisted since the dawning of so-called civilization. Not even America’s most profound declaration, (We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness) included women, native Africans or native Americans.They became the “them” in the “us” concept so if you happened to have been born black, red or female, you were considered outside the center so the “self-evident truths” didn’t apply.
This, however, serves as a key to the root problems of civilization itself—it isolates its totems, taboos and its gods in centers—the difference between a Jew, Muslim and Christian, for example, is in their cultural-indoctrinations not their natures. In light of this Germans, Russians, Koreans, Americans, Japanese, Chinese, Africans, Thais, Samoans and all the rest of our kind are all the same with their differences being only apparent. This is why the Demaree quote at the top of this article becomes essential in each of our lives.
At bottom line we ALL want to live our lives in some comfort, be sheltered, have enough food and water; work, and play in the security of being able to exercise our individuality as free human beings and to pursue our own happiness. This is true for everyone on the planet until governments begin to inject mores and ideologies into their systems.
If this is so why is it that we have wars upon wars and 850 million people without enough to eat, 1.7 billion humans that lack access to clean water with 270 million people who have no access to health services in 2013/ This unnatural state of existence is not caused by floods, droughts or storms but by the greed, corruption and callousness of other human beings and their systems.
In the U.S. an estimated 672,000 are still sleeping on the streets at night but what is vital to recognize is that Homelessness and hunger looks about the same it does in the U.K.
and everywhere else in the world. It is just as painful, and frightening and lonely for a homeless person in San Francisco as it is for a person in Bangladesh.
People are people and that is the first change that we must make in our international view—no matter what color a person is or how different their costumes and cultures, hunger hurts is just as agonizing, tears are just as salty and fear feels the same for all of us.
In observation of all this, I recall talking to a good friend of mine who is from India. I said to him that I felt bad that India was so poor. He said, “India is not poor…only the people are.”
I lived a little while in Thailand where poverty among the people is just about everywhere you look. The rulers of Thailand are actually wealthier than the king of Saudi Arabia ($18 billion) where poverty is also escalating. (This reminds me, not many months ago three Saudis made a video about the poverty in Saudi Arabia. They placed it on the internet and…were jailed) Anyway.. in Saudi Arabia as in America and other countries such as the United Kingdom…poverty is merely placated far more than it is actually attacked as a socio-cultural disease.
Way back in the 1960s President Johnson declared war on poverty. The so-called war began with creating programs funded by government to assist the impoverished. As happens, the heads of the bureaucracies became more self-serving than other-serving so once again the poor, in most instances, were not allotted all that they should have been. In spite of the corruption of some agencies, however, the poverty rate was lowered proving that government efforts can have positive effects on the financially challenged.
Poverty in the U.S. began noticeably spreading again under Reagan and later under Clinton and nothing has really improved since. What is signaled in our times, however, is that the gap between rich and poor is rapidly widening. This is not merely an American phenomenon but belongs also to the U.K., Israel, and Mexico as well. These four countries have the biggest gaps between the wealthy and those living in poverty. For only one thing bankers and executives are reaping more and more income while common labor is, in effect, remaining income-static.
A New Understanding of U.S. Poverty and Capitalism
We need to understand poverty before we can fix it.
First of all, poverty like wealth is inherited. Poorer people tend to remain poor just as richer people tend to remain wealthy. While there are exception in both camps few poor kids grow up to climb ladders of (real) financial success just as few rich kids grow up falling into (real) financial failure. For one thing wealth and poverty are both subcultures. It can be said that rich and poor live in different worlds where different values prevail. Indeed, society and its institutions treat rich and poor people differently. For example, those living at the lowest end of the economic spectrum are seen as depraved social misfits. Their hospitals, schools and neighborhoods in overview reveal this cultural prejudice!
What few people fail to recognize is that the ghettoes and barrios are not all the results of individual failures but the failure of the monetary system to produce fair-wages and at least ample benefits for workers. Indeed, most U.S. ghettoes were started with poor, but ambitious people with high hopes but ended up working to keep food on the table as opposed to “getting ahead.” This was during the Industrial Age of Robber Barons, sweat-house employment and self-serving politics; a time when government and big business were merging. It is the legacy of those times that we see in America’s poorest districts today.
One modern aspect of the prejudice has clearly been revealed in health care. The United States remains the only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not have a universal health care system—it seems Obama Care has at least penetrated this lack of inhumanity? In 2010 there were 49.9 million Americans uninsured according to the US Census Bureau. And speaking of 2010 a study estimates that at least 26,000people died prematurely as a direct result of not having life insurance. (In poorer countries 90% of medications are bought by individuals. In Tanzania, for example, it takes around a month’s wages to afford enough antibiotics to treat pneumonia. When I lived in Mexico, I was able to buy antibiotics, over the counter, for less than $5.00—this is of course prohibited in the U.S. because of nothing other than the “economics” of medicine and treatment where everyone wants a piece of the profits and the consumer is made to foot the bill.
Certainly the poorer a person is the more marginalized he (or she) will be in his or her life but, with this in mind, there will always be those with more and those with less. This is not the problem and no one here is seeking a utopia or some kind of absolute socialism. After all, competitive capitalism seems apparently the best economic system there has ever been. On the other hand, a more conscientious distribution of the wealth is also needed. For example, does a top executive of Wall-mart really need to earn over $20 million dollars a year while a clerk must struggle on no more than $22,000?
How can this be justified, we might ask? For any reader who recalls the movie Wall Street
Ghetto kids stealing car radios typically receive more real time than most corporate thieves in the categories of those mentioned in the above. Darwinistic capitalism in the guises of competition must stop. Fair-play capitalism must evolve and a new Compassionate Capitalism must emerge.
The question is, but how?
U.S. government must change if it is to make positive changes in the world. A first change is that it needs to reestablish itself as a (real) people’s government and in the doing consciously adopt the Hegelian projection of “world spirit.”
This means to philosophically lift itself out of its own center and become universally-mindful.
True mindfulness is rooted in empathy!
Empathetic action must begin at home. No nation preaching freedom can be believed as long as license rules in the guises of liberty. All consensual crimes must be taken off the books. Crime in a free country is an act that harms or coerces others. It has never been the right of our government to protect the individual from himself but presently there are around 750,000 people doing hard time for doing what they wanted to do. Each of those prisoners costs the tax-payer around $30,000 per year to house. With 750,000 empty prison beds, $22 ½ billion dollars could be saved per-year and therefore be used to house and feed the homeless or put to some other worthy cause like work programs for unskilled labor.
Why hasn’t an empathetic, common sense suggestion like this actually occurred? Because even prisons are Darwinistic institutions and the more prisoners the more profits are earned by a select few: Some years ago, I recall reading where Dial Soap sold 100,000 bars of soap to only one county jail…we need not go any deeper into this.
Remember the new military tanks (mentioned near the top of this article) that were purchased for nearly a half billion dollars? How much better it would have been to have that money spent on renovating ghetto neighborhoods or assisting the elderly living in desperate poverty. In other words on something caring and mindful instead of…well, supporting “pork-barrel” politics!
Certainly American needs a strong military in a world that has become so dangerous but on the other side of the same coin, however, a strong, sincere peace effort is needed. Not peace based on coercive negotiations or market controls but on uplifting the human spirit with humanitarian projects that sincerely reaches out to make the world a better place for every individual. Just imagine if the cost of those tanks had instead purchased tractors or livestock or water filters.
Compassionate Capitalism strives to profit just as traditional capitalism does. The difference being compassion stops capitalism from being a winner/loser strategy and to become a winner/winner strategy.
This might begin by manufacturing returning to an earlier model that created more for less as opposed to today’s model that creates less for more. This might begin by government greatly reducing or abolishing payroll taxes so that individuals are free to keep what they earn. This would certainly help reduce the need for two-income families and perhaps even start a national return to family values. This might begin by executives and owners of large companies including public utility companies to reduce their own bloated salaries while distributing profits more conscientiously to employees; this might begin with pharmaceutical companies humanizing and thus reducing the cost of their products to actual cost plus 200% but no more while supplying life-saving vaccines and medicines to countries (at cost) that are enduring unnecessary deaths and human suffering because of their poverty—around 27 people die per-hour (unnecessarily) from measles alone and other diseases such as small pox and HIV/aids…if the big pharmaceutical companies resist such humaneness than they need to stop lobbying against those makers of generics who desire to supply those underprivileged places. Is medicine and medical treatment out of hand? In our own country, the American Journal of Medicine reported that in 2007 nearly two-thirds (62%) of bankruptcy files were due to illness or medical bills. There are just so many positive changes that could occur if Compassionate Capitalism was actually to become a national effort, slowly expanding to international policy.
The above paragraph does not claim to even begin touching the surface of what might be done if compassion was added to national and international affairs; to capitalism! As I understand it the billionaire Bill Gates is on a one-man campaign to make the world a happier, healthier place. When we realize that only 7 of the world’s richest individuals could change and better the lives of the inhabitants of 400 impoverished countries, we must acknowledge that there is simply something Machiavellian creating the gap between the haves and have-nots…worldwide!
The world has operated on a winner/loser strategy for 10,000 plus years, since the advent of so-called civilization itself. Every generation has been blood-soaked and agonized including our own unfolding a history of Gordon Gekkoism in commerce, in manufacturing, in retail, in medicine, in militaries, in politics and in nearly every other arena of humanity including religions. The wealth of the Vatican, for example, is overwhelming and beyond imagination—in the U.S. alone the wealth of the church is greater than that of the five wealthiest giant corporations in the country and still we have children homeless and hungry.
To start a movement toward world peace and world betterment we must first cure our own faults and frailties, we need to take the weak, afraid and helpless off our streets and feed the poor.
Certainly if the number is true and government wastes around 42 cents out of every dollar it has, only 10% of that wasted capital could better the lives of millions of human beings and 20% recreate America as the greatest, freest and most humane country on the face of the planet. And once we (the U.S.) were aglow with prosperity and well-being we could actually begin a universalism of goodwill and prosperity for all. In this view, it is, in fact, as the philosopher Kitaro Nishida tells us: “Genuine universalism…does not require that each nation ceases to be. Rather, it means that each nation becomes increasingly stable, displays its distinctive characteristics, and contributes to world history.
Neither this writer nor the reader is naïve: It would be absurd to believe that this article, or a thousand like it, will awaken government to a new mindfulness, or create change in the callousness of business or stop politics from seeking warmongering profits. The hope, however, is that this will put a spark into people’s hearts that tells them that positive change is possible; that man’s inhumanity to man can be placed in the archives of history next to dungeons, witch burnings and public lashings. On the other hand, since we can be all but certain that government will not change becoming kinder and more conscientious, we the people need to take the lead then. This lead begins with an extremely easy but powerful human action that nearly every religion on the face of the earth preaches but does not practice. That is to simply treat others as we would want to be treated.
If each of us did only this much in ALL circumstances and all situations, goodwill and compassion would soon enough spread across the land and finally around the world. The modern ways of social-Darwinism would soon enough fade into the past just as the sweat shops of old did.
To assume that things must be as they are is to turn ones back not only on humanity as a whole but on one’s own potential to manifest love where hatred is standing, to manifest kindness in the wake of cruelty and to manifest generosity where greed now sits on its throne.
Remember, the terror and pain of hunger is the same for a child in Durban, South Africa as for a child in South Los Angeles or Chicago, Illinois. And while the face of poverty changes from one place to another it is clad in same realities of hopelessness and fear, of desperation and sorrow. Cultures and costumes change from one place to another but take away the individuals indoctrinations and suddenly he or she is you only in a different circumstance. What is meant by this is that we human beings are all the same it’s only our differences that are apparent.
Gandhi said that we—each of us—must become the changes that we desire for the world and this is what I am attempting to promote. There can be such a thin line between seeking the contract that creates the win/win situation as opposed to the winner/loser motive. This applies to individuals, to businesses, to bureaucracies and to entire countries. Obviously wars should be obsolete by now but instead they are promising far more pain and destruction than ever before. In 2003 Medicare expanded drug benefits for seniors that was said would cost $338 billion over ten years…spending in Iraq and Afghanistan could have paid that in full in just a little over three years, And so as we can see money is NOT the root of all evil, greed and gluttony for ownership of it is.
Just imagine if the U.S. became the shining example for Compassionate Capitalism, for creating the win/win contract between people and places; for kindness and caring of its own and of others. The old argument is that people would soon enough take advantage of such interpreting kindness for weakness and generosity for stupidity. But once the world began to observe the (real) freedom and the (real) liberty that arrives from simple fair play, I am convinced that those changes that we all would like to see would start to occur.
Again, why should America lead in making these changes? Because American is an island made of manifold nationalities. We are after all, Chinese, Russian, Japanese, Irish, Italian, Polish and German; Hungarian, African, Mexican and the list continues all the way round the world. In truth, the only absolute American is the Native American whose freedom and pursuit of happiness was taken away by the greed and self-serving-motives of others. Have we not had enough of that on the only planet we share our lives on?
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