My new campaign: US Congresspeople, the President, and the Supreme Court Justices should forfeit their salary

You know, it’s a funny thought, but representing the people of the United States is more a civic duty and a means to an end than a career.  Check the writings of the founders of this nation — you represent this country because it’s the right thing to do, not because you can make a lifetime out of it.  (Sorry, no references here, but it’s true — anyway it’s my opinion regardless of who else shares it).

So here’s the thing:  All US Congresspeople should waive their rights to compensation via the US Treasury completely.

Yes, there is a recession right now, and it would be a genuine, stewartly statement.  But there have been recessions before, and that shouldn’t be the reason.

Senators and Representatives (and even the President and Supreme Court Justices) work very hard, and they deserve to make top dollar.  That being said, they should be performing their duties out of service to their country, not to get paid.

So, here is my proposal:  there will be a salary for all Congresspeople (Representatives and Senators), the President, and the Supreme Court Justices.

However, if their adjusted gross income on their tax returns exceeds said salary, they must pay the balance back to the IRS.

So, the freshman Congressman from state X only makes $30k a year as a teacher? Fine, pay him the $144k balance up to his $174k salary (2009 — US Congress Salaries and Benefits).  Congresspeople deserve $174k a year, but not when they’re already raking it in as a lawyer, writer — whatever.

I am titling this the “US Government Salary Forfeiture Movement.”  If you agree, spread the word.  I want this to become the law.  I wish these guys were already doing it, as it seems like the right thing to volunteer for.

Anyway, tag your blogs with “US Forfeiture” — get the word out, get people talking.  No high level government official has the right to complain about any fiscal issue while he or she is taking unnecessary funds from the US Treasury for performing a basic, humble, civic duty.

At the very minimum, this makes your representatives in government boldly claim that they are doing their job as a service to their country, not as a means to wealth.

An overabundance of souls …

I do not believe in God or any other mystical entity, creature, power source, etc., and I’ll make no effort to mask it, hide it, distort it, or spin it. I mention this, since it is mostly irrelevant to the general theme of this post, to make sure it is clear. Given that, what I am about to write has nothing to do with proving or disproving anything, it is simply a question.

So one has to ask, if human beings are occupied by souls (and I won’t consider the possibility of any other animals fitting the same category), why is it the number of humans are increasing? What causes a soul to decide “I want to leave whatever state I am in,” and why, as time passes, do more decide to take the leap?

Will the overcrowding from Earth be a problem in Heaven too? And why are these souls exiting from Heaven to spend a relatively short lifetime proving their worth to enter back there? Presumably, the souls aren’t coming from hell.

However, there is always the possibility that new souls are being created, but does that not beg the question “Why?”

Just more notes, thoughts from my unrequited curiosity.

More on the concept of free will

I want to first mention the fact that I have written a lot — I mean a LOT — over the years about many philosophical themes.  Common among them are existentialism and purpose, as well as a host of others that just don’t seem to deliver themselves to my fingers at the moment, but undoubtedly, the most common theme is free will.  It’s a concept that really is paradoxically, if nothing else, contradictory.

Regardless of my prolific writing in the past, lately, philosophy is something that comes only in a moment where immediate reason and clarification are required.  Evidence:  I haven’t written a song in over 3 years.  More evidence:  I have no philosophical writings to speak of in about the same time period.  Keep in mind, as well, that the majority of my philosophical writings are scribble on class notes in college or random thoughts in a text-file “note-journal” in which I used to regularly write.

Ideally, I would get back to the stage where those thoughts and theoretical elucidations would flow from my mind as easily as anything else I say in a day.  (I do have misgivings on how “easy” that really is, but since it is a common occurrence, it has to be comparatively mundane.)  Then again, I go back over a lot of my writings, and I realize I’ve said pretty much all I can imagine saying.

The trouble is, I’m not 100% sure what I’ve said has affected anyone, so I develop pangs of purpose.  Anyway, since that is a completely different topic, I will stray from my tangent.  Albeit likely narcissisticly, I read over even my songs that I’ve written and am almost amazed by the points I’ve brought out.  I’ve somehow documented myself abstractly but definitively through rather convoluted metaphor.  This pleases me, yet the lack of such documentation has always been the drive to produce more songs, more writings, more philosophy.  Have I succeeded or failed?

Please don’t interpret this as a cry for assurance.  The ultimate problem that exists here is not whether I have affected anyone, but whether doing so really meant anything to begin with.

I am relatively contented in what I have produced.  I can objectively quantify the discoveries of my life, yet even with the lull — the hiatus — currently present, I still feel the need to boil down all philosophical doctrines to a simple truth — hopefully one that delivers purpose.

There is much more to say here, and it’s somewhat regrettable that I’m insisting on leaving it out of this particular article, but I will get back to it some day.  The great thing is, the more I write, the more I realize I’d like to say again.

Since this blog is effectively a new forum, I do not have as much concern with rehashing old, delivered truths, because they’re relevant to new potential postulations.  I will, therefore, simply state that at one point in my life, I did all I could to abandon all values, morals, doctrines, that were, well, indoctrinated into me, in order to take a more pragmatic, premise-conclusion based set of ideals.

That being said, there is one ultimate rule that I have concluded, one assumption from which all explanations are nascent.

“Everything is a system.”

Simple, right?  Obvious, right?  But it’s the truth.  The fact is, nothing can be without something already having been before it, excluding, of course, the obvious “thing” that started it all.

Continuing, I want to rehash something I had previously written.  I am not going to take the time to support or argue its validity, because I’m pretty convinced on its truth.  I always welcome debate, and I will respond, but, nonetheless, the proposed “Law” is pretty self-explanatory.

Anyway:

LAW:  One cannot have something to say without having heard something said.
Corollary:  One quotation deserves another thirty.
Related:  Mulder, Small Potatoes “… ultimately maybe it’s other people’s
reactions to us that make us who we are”

[I tend to quote TV shows and the like.  This is, of course, an X-Files reference]

:: A reaction to a statement is just that; this reaction depends on the
statement in accordance with the reactors contextual assocations and
previous experience.  It has nothing to do with his or her intelligence
or will.
:: Our actions are but re
actions to other actions; the resulting reactions
define how we will react in the future.  It is somewhat broader than
implied by “Mulder” in that our personality in words is defined through
others personalities in words, but our interpretations belong to the
realm of all observation, linguistic, and ultimately, sensual.

The obvious conclusion is, free will is almost impossible, because everything happens as a result of something else.  Think about it, and get back to me.

There is a host of additional derivations that can result, but I will leave it as pure statement.  I can already feel the philosophy brewing again, and I can see more elaborations to come.  😀

A fascinating irony of homosexuality …

First of all, let me note that I am not homophobic or against homosexuality in any way.  I support gay marriage, because, let’s face it, who the hell really cares?

Anyway, something that has always fascinated me about gay people is that they quite often, stereotypically, go out of their way to behave like their stereotypical counterparts of the opposite sex.

Simply put, why are many lesbians “butch” and many gay men flamboyantly effeminate?

You have to ask yourself, why would a lesbian woman be interested in other women who act like men, and why would a gay man be interested in other men who act like women?  It seems the contradiction …

Now, I realize that oftentimes these personality types are kind of genetic, hormonal, and I realize that even though they are stereotypes, they’re probably not typical in the actual statistics, but the irony is still there, and it befuddles me.  That’s all  😉

Barack Obama — 44th White President of the United States of America

Given that I’ve finally got the forum to publicly mention the point, does anyone else find it somewhat ironic that the first “African American” President of the United States is half white?

Frankly, I couldn’t care less about race.  I may have racist tendencies, but they are unintentional, and I make an effort to extend my philosophies beyond them when I notice them.  That being said, why is it that the offspring of a white parent and a black parent is considered black?

Calling Barack Obama the first “African American” or “black” President is just a testament to how far we have NOT come as a country and as a society.  We see the offspring of a white parent and a black parent as black.  We don’t see that offspring as white — evidently black alters white and not the other way around.

So, I say Barack Obama is the 44th white President as much as he is the 1st black, and that is an absolute fact.  One may point out that he DOES actually look different.  Clearly, his skin is a different color than a white person’s.  It’s natural to notice the difference.

Ok fine, so he IS the first black President.  He obviously looks different than the previous Presidents.  Then again, as it turns out, Bill Clinton looks strikingly different from Harry Truman and Benjamin Harrison, and I’ve never read about how Abraham Lincoln liberated the world by being the tallest US President elected.

Someone who isn’t racist would see something amazing in Barack Obama’s skin color no sooner than in Ronald Reagan’s ears.  Genetics, ethnicity, appearance:  these should ideally be a footnote to the perspective of the individual.

It is without question a great step for a black American to become President given the level of open, blatant racism that existed even 40 years ago.  That being said, we’re still considering Barack Obama black even though he’s technically genetically half black.  We’re not considering him white, although we could do so just as accurately.  In this case, would we still proclaim a social victory?

Summary:  Obama’s skin color alone means nothing, so it’s his achievement as a black American that is noteworthy, but he is only a black American because we’re racist enough to call him black and not white.  Ultimately, from this author’s point of view, a person’s race is nothing more than a feature, but as a society we still give weight to it beyond other physical attributes.  That still makes us racist.

Someday, ideally, we will elect a <insert_distinct_minority_here> President and barely care about the adjectives.  It will be then that we will have truly overcome such bigotry.