Tag Archives: United States

Negativity Toward Occupiers Around The Globe

The intense negativity that I see toward Occupy Wall Street gets me frustrated, upset and downright depressed. Through this negativity, however, I have become even more enlightened and even more positively charged toward this movement. Through all of the shame the media tries to put on this movement to the disgusting police brutality against innocent protesters, I have seen hope.

Many ask the golden question of “Well what is Occupy Wall Street about?” and “What is the movement going to DO?” While these are all relevant and important questions I ask you to take a look deeper. To really step back and look at this movement from a whole perspective. What is it that YOU are expecting Occupy Wall Street to do? Is it political? Is it to see an economic change RIGHT NOW?

Whatever the expectation is, drop it. Occupy Wall Street is not about having expectations for anything. It is not about trying to gain political prowess with the rest of the world. It’s not about having immediate results. It’s not about trying to climb high in the ranks of political debates. It’s not about having a leader. It is about having human interactions with one another peacefully and to show the world that love is among us.

It is to have people understand that our government has been lying to us about things in the media, things on the internet, how our wars are conducted, how our money is spent. Through all this though, there are people who are awake to this. It is this awakening that is what the Occupy movement is about. It’s about opening your eyes to the world around you. Seeing people for what they are, people. Your neighbor is like you and me. The strangers walking down the street are the same as you and me. We are all alike in this and we all should show respect for humanity.

What I see whenever I go down to Occupy Wall Street is a loving community there to care for one another. There to shed light on issues that may not have light shed due to the fact that the media tries to block it. To help form humanity in a new and daring way. To have you look at the person next to you and smile. To love one another like we are meant to love one another even in these times of hardship. To show that he human race is not all that bad and that we are not all that jaded.

Love. This is what Occupy Wall Street is about. This is the message that they are trying to spread. You cannot have any better of a definition than that. You cannot express love in politics or economics because it is not something that you can say. You can only feel. You can only look at one another with respect. This will get rid of the greed the wars the hate and the rest of the issues that are among us today.

Love, my friends, love.

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What Is Occupy Wall Street About?

So many of you are probably among the masses that ask the question “Well, what IS Occupy Wall Street about” To be honest, even I can’t answer that question quite simply. This movement has some excellent ideas and I saw some of the most innovative thinking I’ve seen in a long time. They managed to created a community equipped with a medical tent, public services, clothing share, recycling and people that were willing to sweep up around the area to keep it clean. To me, this is a fantastic example of what happens when we see humanity really floundering. We all come together because we all want to prove a certain point. In the case of OWS it’s the 1%, or the war, or the politicians or…Well you get the point.

Now, I am NOT in any way saying that OWS is bad or that it is a waste of time. In fact, I say the complete opposite. This really shows us how important it is for us to get together and to create a movement to start change. The energy I felt by going down there was absolutely incredible. People helping people, people looking after one another and just an overall feeling of love. This is what it means to be human and these are the times that it gives me hope that humanity will go forth and live more harmoniously with one another.

There’s just one problem…We need to solidify our goals. Right now, we are being looked at like a bunch of monkeys without our heads screwed on right. We’ve been referred to by countless media programs and politicians as “Dirty hippies” and that we “Don’t know what the hell we’re protesting for” They do a pretty good job at picking out the people who really don’t know what’s going on (Of course, it’s the media’s job to make the movement look bad)

So what am I proposing?
1. We solidify our goals
2. We start a movement from these solidified goals
3. We educate people on WHAT Occupy Wall Street is for and really show people that we DO know what we’re talking about
4. Really get together with the other OWS protestors from other states and countries to really sit down and figure all of this out. There really IS power in numbers.

There are people who are doing this and we do have a connection between our tribes. What we really need? A leader to stand up and speak for the MASSES. A politician of sorts to help voice the whole OWS movement and educate the people. Any thoughts? Please feel free to let me know what you think of the movement. Do YOU have any ideas that are more concrete that should be mentioned as part of the OWS movement? Can we incorporate EVERYTHING they are talking about into one solid goal?

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RiaRoseKnows Occupies Wall Street

The corner of Wall Street and Broadway, showin...

Image via Wikipedia

Here’s the basic jist that I got from Wall Street. I will definitely be coming up with more videos on this topic as it is something that has extremely intrigued me. I have some great ideas for this movement so stay tuned to my channel 🙂

Please give me some feedback and let me know what YOU think of Occupy Wall Street. What have you been hearing from the media? How do you think we can make this revolution into something much more tangible?

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Why Regulate Our Wilderness?

Ahklun Mountains and the Togiak Wilderness wit...

Image via Wikipedia

A Well Regulated Wilderness
By: Michael Lipsky

Review by Maria Campagna

Our wilderness is an extremely important place to protect. From the flora to the fauna, we must accept that they were all here first. Just like social workers seek to protect the welfare of humanity, there are those out there who are advocating for our environment. To keep this in check, they must regulate use of land by creating laws to help prevent further damage to our ecosystems.

Environmental activists have helped push laws into the government that prevent people from industrializing certain areas as well as trekking on land that cannot be driven on. There is over 100 million acres that have been protected because of these advocates. To some, they may not see the intense need for regulating and maintaining so much open space. We are living in such industrialized times that we often look over the need for helping out our environment. Most of the time, we can’t even take the time to take care of ourselves.

By implementing these laws it will help ensure that parts of our earth are rightly protected. We as humans take so much from the earth and take it for granted. From our food to pollution to creating massive cities that overtake thousands of square miles. Just like in any type of situation in life, there must always be balance. We must maintain that natural part of the earth so we can help maintain that natural part of ourselves. The earth has allowed us to live and thrive on it by teaching us. In order to understand life, we must first look to the natural side. We must be able to observe nature in an open manner free from cages and laboratories.

Preserving this for generations to come can help ensure that we don’t overlook what it means to truly be human. To truly have that balance and to be one with the earth. We are not separate from it by any means, we are just another species living on the earth trying to make it through. Just as we struggle from day to day with relationship issues, poverty, war and many other issues there are animal that fight to stay alive just as us.

The next time you are out, take a look around you. Notice that we are just another species. Notice that we are all living in this together. Whether what you are looking at is human, is another species, is water, is air just know that we all exist together and that we need to maintain that.

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Judgement: Fact Of Life?

Review of “Black Men and Public Space” by Brent Staples

Judgment is a topic that comes up very often when discussing matters of race, ethnicity, social status, economic status and the various social structures that we are all categorized in. I personally believe that it’s wrong to judge others based on appearances without actually getting to know them first. Aren’t we all the same anyway? Essentially at the core we are all made up of the same molecules and the same elements and the only thing that is different is our perceptions of the world. No one person is really an individual. I don’t mean to speak harshly but rather use this knowledge to possibly look at one another with more respect and seeing others as ourselves could pose to be useful when using harsh words or actions. It may be naïve for me to say that I would treat others with respect and walk up to a person holding a gun as if they were my equal so there is a fine line between judgment and safety.

The issue that this man is facing is the fact that society brings upon judgment based off of the facts of the majority. What ends up happening is, groups of people get judged for things that they have never even done or thought about doing in their lives. Although we must see his perspective as being that of one who is being judged, we must also see the outside world’s point of view.

The amygdalas of the human brain is where our “fight or flight” responses take place. These responses are closely related to registered pictures or words based off of a negative emotion, such as fear. What ends up happening is that the fear is registered and brought into the outside world and applied. The issue here is that we are using our fight or flight responses based off of people we have never met before.

The issue that this man has to overcome is the fact that we have no choice as to what position we are born in and as to what kinds of people are out there in our world. We have no control over the media and what kinds of images they would like to portray to the world. In the case of how groups of individuals act, we have no control over that as well. If the majority of the African American population is seen as gun-wielding murderers and rapists, unfortunately there is no control over that either.

We do however have a choice. Now this may seem unfair but it will essentially boil down to changing one’s life to suit others, which is what this man demonstrates to us. Towards the end of the essay he has clearly evaluated his environment and has acted upon it. By implementing ways to create a more comfortable atmosphere for him and others around him he has learned to avoid people and even whistle a tune from Beethoven.

This may not sound like the most pleasing thing to do, change yourself to suit others but it may be an essential way to survive. Throughout the history of man, and other organisms alike, we learn to adapt and survive in the most comfortable way possible and this is just another example. Although it is much different than having to change your way of hunting food or fending off predators it is an adaptation nonetheless.

The beauty of humankind is the fact that when it boils down to everything we essentially have control over what we do. As stated before, we may not have the abilities to change the world around us but we do have the power to change ourselves. I feel for this man and I do believe that he means very well in his life and he is not a horrible person in the least, he has managed the situation he was given very well. Most would take on the role of the murderer, thief or rapist purely because they begin to think that way about themselves without even realizing it. This man clearly has a strong mind and will to survive and adapt in the world he was born into.

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Terrorism & Words

The whole fact of the matter is if your Muslim and commit and act that is linked to plotting against someone or a group of someones in a violent way, you are a terrorist. Take the Muslim label off, and you just might be considered insane instead.

After 911 happened all bets were off for Muslims and anyone that even looked remotely like a Muslim. Constantly criticized and ridiculed as if the whole Muslim community were terrorists no matter what they said. Of course, this is more likely the ignorant labeling of American society which leads most to believe that they are all out to get us.

The fact that a white man can crash a plane into a building and simply be called “insane” is crazy in and of itself. It is indeed an act of terrorism no matter what your age, race or other social label is. According to Wikipedia, ‘terrorism in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion’

I believe that America should pretty much have their own dictionary for how they define things. We tend to sugar-coat things so we, as Americans, don’t look bad. The definition of terrorism according to Americans (And I’m not saying ALL Americans think this way but for the sake of the mass-media we’ll just use the term Americans) Terrorism, in the most general sense, the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion by someone in the Middle East. Honestly, this is the truth.

Americans can’t look bad! We can’t look like we’re breeding terrorists ourselves so we’ll just call them crazy. If we did, we’d be considered hypocrites and oh no, that’s not what us as Americans are. We have the most upstanding and fantastic citizens in the world. No one comes close to us! Maybe our citizens may be mentally ill but no, they will never be terrorists. The horror!

The bombing that just happened in Times Square was set up by, in fact, a Pakistani man. Of course this is going to be considered an act of terrorism. However, what if this man had been a white 45 year old man who just wanted to bomb Times Square because he was angry or upset about some company that was located there? He’d just be insane. There would be obvious suspicion that he was indeed linked to a terrorist but once the Middle-East is out-ruled, he’s just crazy.

It honestly is enough to make someone scared of Muslims because of the way the media portrays it. The articles posted on this Pakistani man were all geared towards instilling fear upon whoever read it. Whereas articles on Andrew Joseph Stack continuously ruled out any act of terrorism. Maybe these journalists should have gotten a better dictionary.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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The Interlocking Triangle Club

The institutions that form the interlocking triangle are the economic, military and political organizations of America.

The economic institution will consist of mostly major corporation owners. Military will be any high-ranking officers. Political is the president and the members of his cabinet. The thing that these three institutions will all have in common is power and wealth. They are the two key components to being a part of the “Interlocking Triangle Club”

As national events need to be decided, these institutions have the most power and say. Obviously the way to power and say is nine times out of ten, wealth. The members of this triangle will probably all agree on the fact that they deserve to have all of this power due to their status in society and the money in their pockets.

Their money is how they achieved power and their power is how they control society. They are pretty much a group with lots of money that share the same powers and basic beliefs. I would personally consider them an overly powerful subculture.

It’s a little difficult for me to be able to explain why they would be considered a subculture since the power allows them to pretty much be the culture as a whole. What I mean by this is the fact that since they control the laws, decisions and other goings on of society that aren’t they technically our culture? If our culture is defined as beliefs, values and norms and they are controlling most of it then it’s a pretty fine line between the two. Since our culture is pretty much defined by the media and the media is owned by big corporations who are regulated in turn by the government then it would be safe to say they are growing to be our actual culture.

The main component to this triangle however is the fact that they all agree on the most basic outlines of things. For instance, most will agree on private property issues and distribution of wealth to name two. It’s the shared beliefs that hold this triangle together like glue. Of course there might be little quarrels amongst them that they do not agree on but when it comes to things that have to do with money, they will all agree so it binds them together. It’s like the superglue of their group.

They are strong, they are wealthy and they are interested in only themselves. Its difficult to be a society ruled by 1 percent of the population. It really makes you wonder why money is valued so highly. What brought about this intense need for control and money? Personally, I wish I were living quietly by myself in a little village in Japan practicing peace, healthiness, mindfulness and knowledge of the wise.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Ronald McDonald Is Taking Over The World

Review of “McJobs: McDonaldization and the Workplace” by George Ritzer (Link not available)

After reading this article, I now know what to call certain things that I have noticed in my daily life. The fact that the company clearly wants to figure out ways to enable them to gain more money without spending more money is just a given statement. I guess that is us, as the consumer, who are truly the fools in this situation and the employees are just expendable.

I’m sure you have noticed this, in Stop and Shop they now have cash registers that the customer scans and pays for the items themselves. This is a clear example of McDonaldization in the fact that the employee is being replaced with a machine and now the store only requires one employee to watch after 4 machines as opposed to 4 employees per register. This also provides the company with much less room to mess up cash transactions as the machine takes money and calculates change. The only thing that I have seen wrong with it, and this is because I have done it, is the produce buttons. If I’m buying expensive produce such as an eggplant (Because it’s not eggplant season yet) I’ll click on a different and cheaper produce and just weigh the eggplant as such. Not only do they have electronic cash registers, but now they have scanners that the customer scans each item as they put it into their cart and just scans the scanner at the end (or something along those lines) and quick pays for it. This will reduce lines and waiting times and of course those two things are very appealing to Mom’s who own screaming children.

I have also noticed this McDonaldization is when we register for classes. We no longer need to go to the registrar (Unless you have remedial courses) to register for our classes. We do it online which will save the college money in employing people to be behind the registrar’s desks. It’s simple and it’s efficient for the college because everything is online, it already knows the student due to the fact that we must put our N number in the system and in two seconds everything is done. I’m sure all colleges have this feature. No longer needing to go to a person to register, now cuts out how many people the college needs to employ to register students.

There are so many more places that have this McDonaldization such as food buffets, where the customer gets their food from a centralized location. ATM are also another example providing electronic service to individual’s bank accounts 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Bank of America even has a deposit system where you can deposit your checks and/or cash into their ATM.
It’s starting to pop up everywhere and has been an ever-growing trend in the United States especially due to the fact that since the consumer themselves finds it more convenient. There would be an argument that people would want things done for them but I believe that since the expanding “Me” generation has been booming, people will actually want to do things themselves because they simply don’t want the human interaction. That’s a scary thought that people will want to start doing things for themselves because they don’t want others doing it for them or they don’t want to talk to anyone. Just goes to show how although we as a society are being socialized a certain way, the individual can bank on not having to socialize at all.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Dumbing Of Society

Review of “Manifesto of the Communist Party (Bourgeois and Proletarians) by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels

Of course we all know the coined term, “Learn from the past or it’s doomed to repeat itself” and this quote proves to be quite true. In the case of Marx and Engels they both want to convey the notion that if we do not learn from past societies, we are doomed to make the same mistakes.

Throughout the whole article they talk vastly about how the bourgeoisie, or what we would know them as modern-day capitalists, are in control of everything. They put much emphasis on the fact that these very few top dogs control the whole of society. They contain so much power that the proletarians, or modern-day middle class America, have little to no say in anything.

I can honestly say that this article, though issued in 1848 has such astounding truth in today’s society. The second to last paragraph about how the bourgeoisie will begin to have to feed their proletarian counterparts due to the fact that they are getting so large seems eerily similar to what is going on in today’s society. We, the proletarians, are beginning to sink into a crumbling economy in which many need to be provided welfare, many are poor, many are losing jobs and many are going on unemployment. To me, this seems to be how Marx and Engels describe the downfall of the bourgeoisie.

The bourgeoisie are constantly exploiting the proletarians for their work which in turn will create angst among the proletarian community. In the past, class struggle has been the way that classes change and re-gain power or even lose power. The fact that the proletarians will increase in number much more rapidly than the bourgeoisie will be a key factor in the overthrowing of their oppressive ways. Many unions will be formed and as the community of the proletariat increases so will the anger and oppression will be felt by more people than there are oppressors.

The past has, up until now, always had an oppressed class and an oppressor and each time the oppressed managed to work their way up to overthrow their oppressors. This has happened over and over again and through the careful studying of society, we can see why Marx and Engels would describe such a change happening again.

This article confused me a little bit and I can’t seem to grasp the full meaning of it. To an extent, I believe that today’s society is much like the one described in the article. I think that there is a very big possibility that there could be an overthrowing of large companies but the reason that I wouldn’t believe this is because the American society is too lazy or too into themselves. We all care about these things and we all wish for change but we still sit back and give into their demands. Maybe the bourgeoisie of our time have gotten smarter and evolved in such a way that they know how to use psychological means to capture their proletarians (such as television, video games and the like) Could the dumbing down of society be what is causing them to gain such power?

I hope though, that since the economy is getting worse and the job market is still at a standstill that people will be able to wake up from this stupor and begin to revolt. As Marx even explained with his societies, we greatly outnumber those above us and we are getting closer and closer to the possibility of being fed-up.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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Sacred Cows

Review of “India’s Sacred Cow” by Marvin Harris

The recognition of cows in India is quite a big cultural difference especially when you compare a cow in the United States to a cow in India. Obviously, judging by the large beef section in our supermarkets, we don’t view the cow as those in India do.

We can argue that the cow is a source of nourishment and having too many cows would just be like having stacks of money walking around for no reason. Although I personally do love myself a good steak, the way India views their cows is a beautiful thing. I believe it helps their environment, provides ample energy without worrying about too many horrible toxins getting into the atmosphere and overall doesn’t seem to be doing much harm.

Americans (And I’m using Americans because I personally feel like we are gluttons and take our food sources for granted) would argue that the cows are meant to be eaten and it’s a great way of gaining profit. We always tend to think of how we can take something and make money off of it without really thinking about other factors. If India were to gather their cows and start a large business I’m sure they would do well but at what future cost?

After a few years India’s “free roaming” cow population will begin to diminish and they will have to start worrying about efficiently reproducing cows. They will have to worry about keeping their cows healthy so that no diseases spread to the meat. Large facilities will have to be built for slaughter, packaging and shipping of the meat. This all costs money in the long and short run.

It’s no wonder India see’s these animals as “sacred mothers” and it’s a beautiful thing to me to be able to know that there are people out in this world who care about something so deeply that an entire country is behind these cows. A cow can provide much nourishment through milk and it doesn’t need to be killed to stay within the circle of life.

I have an Arabic friend that said when he was younger his mother used to force him to drink milk even though he didn’t like it at all (much like my mom would force me to eat veggies) After reading this article and doing a bit more research online about the topic I see why he was always forced to drink this milk. The milk is the sacred nourishment that the cow provides and it is mostly for this reason that they are not killed.

The cows also provide great sources of cooking energy and saves tons of money by using manure rather than oil. The burn off products of manure are much more environmentally friendly than the oils we use and there is obviously a large abundance of manure so the cost is slim to none.

The cow gives the Indian people something to believe in. It’s a unifying factor throughout India due to the fact that no matter what the individual does with their lives, the cow is always seen to them as a sacred animal. There are laws protecting the cows from anyone who wishes to harm or slaughter any cow in India. I’m sure most of the population of India doesn’t mind this law being in effect especially because it is also a part of their religion.

The tradeoff between the energy they provide, nourishment and something to believe in, I believe, makes the cow such a great asset to the Indian culture and society. They deserve their place and protection amongst the population of India.

Thoughts © Maria Campagna

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