Saturday, March 25, 2017

Living With Mental Illness in America


"I start to think there really is no cure for depression, that happiness is an ongoing battle, and I wonder if it isn't one I'll have to fight for as long as I live. I wonder if it's worth it." - Elizabeth Wurtzel

"My depression has followed me around my whole life like a black dog, a spectre from which there has been no escape." - Winston Churchill 

"I speak of a clinical depression that is the background of your entire life, a background of anguish and anxiety, a sense that nothing goes well, that pleasure is unavailable and all your strategies collapse." - Leonard Cohen

"I have suffered with mental illness silently for the great majority of my life. Thankfully, for the past few years, I have begun to seek help. Admittedly, however, it has not been easy. The hardest part is being taken seriously." - Kent Allen Halliburton

Living with mental illness in the United States can be a nightmare. First, you have to get past the stigma. People with diagnosed mental illnesses are looked upon by many as either dangerous or a complete waste of flesh. They are not taken seriously, and they tend to get marginalized. This has an additional side effect. This treatment leads to many people with several mental illnesses living much of their lives in silent pain and suffering just to avoid the stigma of being declared mentally ill. For some, it gets so bad that they end up either dead from self medicating or homeless because they are unable to function normally. Further, in the past, admitting to mental illness carried an additional spectre. If a person admitted to being mentally ill, they could end up in a permanent facility for the terminally insane.

Once a person has managed to get past the stigma and is getting treatment for their illness, they have to spend months and even, sometimes, years going through examination after examination to find the right combination of medications that makes it possible for them to function normally in society. This struggle can be a massive pain all on its own. Unfortunately, for some, they are never able to reach normalcy, and they struggle their entire lives, even on meds, just to function like a human being. This trip can have severe negative effects on people. In between medications, people can end up in the hospital where they can be locked away for months at a time while medical professionals attempt to stabilize them.

Luckily, mental health is beginning to be taken more seriously and many more people are beginning to get the treatment that they need to function in normal society. However, there is much left to be done. New medications are coming out all the time, and many medications have side effects that are worse than what they are meant to alleviate. Further, people with severe problems, fearing the consequences, may not want treatment. This puts their future in a precarious position. Most mental facilities are no longer designed for permanent residency. This means that a person cannot be easily sent away for life. So, what happens if they have no family to live with? Further, what happens to them if they are poor or no one in their family can foot the bill for a life long care facility? Usually, they end up on the street.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, upwards of twenty-five percent of the American homeless population, in excess of five-hundred thousand people, is mentally ill. They admit, though that this number may be under estimated. This is so because their numbers rely on responses to in person examinations and logistical information gathered from local municipalities who measure mental illness among their local homeless populations. So, what kind of mental illnesses are Americans suffering from. Lately, because of the wars in the Middle East, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has come to the forefront of Psychiatric care. There are also illnesses like Schizophrenia, which is a mental disorder that is characterized by hallucinations, either auditory, visual, olfactory, or tactile, and delusions. It is usually treated with a combination of anti-psychotic medications and psychotherapy.

If you have a mental illness that is going untreated, please, do not be afraid to seek out the help that you need. Their are resources for you out there. You just have to look for them! If you have no other options and are beginning to feel helpless, check yourself into the hospital. They are obligated, by law, to get you the help you need. Remember that there is always tomorrow!

This piece is the beginning of a series of pieces on mental illness. The main goal will be to list major mental illnesses and examine exactly what they are and how they effect people.

Taking Trump DOWN!



"Democrats need to catch up with us, or we are leaving them behind!" - Lexa Moon

Are you wondering how Progressives can take down the Trump administration and corporate Democrats? Don’t worry, we Progressives have a secret weapon!

What is the Progressive's secret weapon? YOU!

According to info posted on PBS.org, there was a 58% voter turnout during the 2016 Presidential election. What were the results? We got a Republican victory in all three branches of government. These were not the results we wanted, but the Democrats didn’t give us much of a choice either, considering that they anointed Hillary Clinton long before the Democratic primaries every took place.

According to a Gallup survey posted on Salon.com, only 36% of the country identifies as conservative. This is down from 38% in 2014 and 40% in 2012. So, what does this mean? It means that a lot of Progressives did not vote. However, if they vote in 2018, we will have a solid chance to take back Congress!

What’s your job? Get involved! Join campaigns for real progressive candidates, such as those involved with Justice Democrats for a New Congress. Throughout the elections make sure to register as many people as possible to vote! Knock door to door to get more people on board so we can take back Congress and get big money out of government once and for all! Make congress and the politicians accountable for the mess that they gave us in the 2016 election!

Make your voice heard! I know I will!


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Twitter- @lexa_moon

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Are You Troll Food?


When a person first gets on the internet to socialize, they try to justify how they were taught or what they learned, which means they argue with anything that does not line up with what they were taught. ('This is my opinion' + 'or you are' + '<insert insult here>'). They use the shame mentality to justify their opinions as if to disagree makes you less than perfect. Most think a Facebook group is akin to the cork board at the local laundromat that people post help wanted or for sale or local events to be monitored and rigidly cleaned up. Further, bad comments are to be deleted and difficult users are to be kicked out. This is farthest from the Truth. A Facebook group is more like a community meeting to discuss issues that are of concern. If you were attending a community meeting, it would be considered rude and inappropriate to tell someone to shut up or to kick them out of the community because they brought up an issue of concern that someone else did not like. This is called being intolerant of other opinions. Yes there is such a thing as Netiquette or a standard of internet conduct. Google it.

There are millions of Facebook Groups. The best ones for truth are the ones that let everyone have a say. They do not Police their sites as much as amateur admins do. Sure, they have a responsibility to keep the porn out, as well as, the sunglasses ads, but other than that, the admins job is not to play judge, jury and executioner to the disagreements in their groups, The more diverse the groups are, the closer to truth they get. We all have to step up, to create reason and to create open discussion. No one person will have all the answers, and on the internet, no one cares who you are. The internet is all about information. Since the inception of social media and discussion boards, people have been communicating their subjective opinions. Most are just echo's of how they were taught. Some were not taught and seek understanding, There are, however, hidden treasures on the internet. If you know where to look, you can find some really good stuff. Don't be so quick to block someone just because they say something you don't like. Maybe they are speaking a truth you need to hear?

There is no telling. What you choose to take in is your choice, not theirs. On the internet, if you react to baited attacks, you are Troll food. Trolls Love Emotional people. So, use your reason, and take your time to look for the good stuff. Jesus does not promote kicking people out of the club just because they don't agree.

"Matthew 25:39-41

39 When did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the king will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ 41 Then he will say to those on his right, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels."

Internet 101: DO NOT REACT!

You are responsible for how you react, not anyone else.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Refuse to Cooperate Platform - Part 3


The Demands of Refuse to Cooperate

As Marxist-Leninists We:

1. Demand that all means of production be in the hands of the workers through a socialist state. This state should be organized into workers' councils with a centrally planned economy geared towards meeting human needs.

2. Demand an end to all systems of oppression such as white supremacy, patriarchy, as well as. discrimination faced by lgbtq people, and the disabled.

3. Defend the rights of all people to quality healthcare, housing, food, and education organized and managed by the workers through the state without economic obstacles.

4. Demand an end to the drug war, the use of prison slave labor, and police brutality.

5. Defend the rights of all nations to self determination and national liberation, including the right of secession. Accordingly, we demand an end to colonialism and the return of native lands to their rightful owners.

6. Demand an end to all imperialist wars of aggression and stand firmly with all those groups fighting against imperialism and with the working class globally rather than the working class of any one country.

7. Demand a complete end to all government spying on its citizens, public ownership of all internet bandwidth, and the creation of copyright laws that protect the individual while also protecting the free flow of information.

8. Demand total amnesty for all immigrants and an end to all aggression against immigrants.

9. Demand reparations and cancellation of debts be given to all victims of imperialism and colonialism including the families of former slaves and former and current colonies.

10. Demand aggressive action against climate change and environmental damage, as well as, The implementation of ecologically friendly forms of power generation, waste management, emission controls, and widespread public transportation.

11. Demand a rejection of liberal ideas of "free speech," as zero tolerance be given to reactionary opinions. Free speech ends where oppressive speech begins.

12. Demand the creation of a working class, mass based, internationalist socialist political party to enact these demands

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Meanwhile in Australia.....


Australia's Fair Work Commission passed an act to cut Sunday and Public Holiday penalty rates on Thursday February 23, 2017; the day it was done is important, for workers in the hospitality, restaurant, pharmacy and retail industries. These are some of the lowest paid workers in our country, and if they feel like they have been kicked in the guts I am not surprised.

In our country, it has long been accepted that if you are working outside normal hours; basically 9-5, Monday to Friday, you will get a loading, or bonus, on your base rate. If your loading is 150% for a night shift, you will get $30 dollars an hour on a $20 dollar base rate. This has been our societal norm for about 100 years. If you work unsociable hours you get even further monetary compensation.

The usual squeals of anguish and acclaim has been heard from all the usual suspects. Unions claim rip off, probably correct, employers say not enough, probably correct too. Our federal government, liberal, or conservative, won't interfere with an independent authorities findings, good thing. The parliamentary opposition, labour, liberal/labour, socialist inclined, yeah I know its confusing, whom set up the commission in the first place want to introduce a bill to parliament to ensure that the commission cannot reduce wages. This is a good thing too.

Now, all this is just a giant shit fight but seems not to address the real issue. This is about the commodifying of time. Is your time just a commodity? Is every hour of every day worth the same as another? Is the time you spend at work worth the same as the time you spend playing football with your grandkids; and if not, should you be financially compensated?

The Fair Work Commission handed down its decision on a Thursday; they don't work weekends. Our parliament will make its decision on a weekday; they don't work weekends. The union leaders who are in uproar will make their announcement on a weekday; they don't work weekends. The Business Council of Australia will make their pronouncements on a weekday; they don't work weekends.

It seems to this writer that the commodifying of time only applies to the poorest members of our workers. Judges, commissioners, lawyers, politicians, managers, public servants,will have their cappuccino and croissant on a Sunday morning happy that they have solved a "labour" problem happy that only the the working poor's time has been com modified but their time is more important. Australia, we're standing in it.

The Refuse to Cooperate Platform - Part 2


 The Paris Commune - March 18, 1871 to May 28, 1871

We are Marxist-Leninists

1. Refuse to Cooperate roots its analyses in dialectical and historical materialism.

2. Refuse to Cooperate recognizes the necessity of revolution over the ongoing failure of reform.

3. Refuse to Cooperate rejects all idealism and liberal individualism.

4. Refuse to Cooperate upholds the necessity of Lenin's theoretical contributions to Marxism in understanding global capitalism and how to fight it.

a. Lenin's Theory of Imperialism is defined as:

"(1) the concentration of production and capital has developed to such a high stage that it has created monopolies which play a decisive role in economic life; (2) the merging of bank capital with industrial capital, and the creation, on the basis of this “finance capital”, of a financial oligarchy; (3) the export of capital as distinguished from the export of commodities acquires exceptional importance; (4) the formation of international monopolist capitalist associations which share the world among themselves, and (5) the territorial division of the whole world among the biggest capitalist powers is completed. Imperialism is capitalism at that stage of development at which the dominance of monopolies and finance capital is established; in which the export of capital has acquired pronounced importance; in which the division of the world among the international trusts has begun, in which the division of all territories of the globe among the biggest capitalist powers has been completed." - Lenin, "Imperialism: the highest stage of capitalism"

Simply being a capitalist nation does not mean a nation is imperialist if it does not meet the above criteria.

b. The Theory of Vanguardism is defined as:

"the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others" - Marx & Engels, "The Communist Manifesto"

This is further explained and expanded upon in "What is to be Done," by Lenin.

c. The Theory of Democratic Centralism is defined as:

This can be found in "Freedom of discussion, unity of action" - Lenin, "Report on the Unity Congress of the RSDLP."

d. The Theory of Socialism in One Country, formalized and applied successfully by Stalin, is here defined as:

"Uneven economic and political development is an absolute law of capitalism. Hence, the victory of socialism is possible first in several or even in one capitalist country alone. After expropriating the capitalists and organizing their own socialist production, the victorious proletariat of that country will arise against the rest of the world...." - Lenin, "On the Slogan for a United States of Europe"

"I know that there are, of course, sages who think they are very clever and even call themselves Socialists, who assert that power should not have been seized until the revolution had broken out in all countries. They do not suspect that by speaking in this way they are deserting the revolution and going over to the side of the bourgeoisie. To wait until the toiling classes bring about a revolution on an international scale means that everybody should stand stock-still in expectation. That is nonsense."  - Lenin,  (Speech delivered at a joint meeting of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Moscow Soviet), 14 May 1918

5. Refuse to Cooperate upholds the right of Self Determination for all nations. A nation is here defined as:

"A nation is a historically constituted, stable community of people, formed on the basis of a common language, territory, economic life, and psychological make-up manifested in a common culture."
 - Stalin, "Marxism and the National Question"

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Refuse to Cooperate Platform - Part 1


The Problem and the Solution

We, the members of Refuse to Cooperate, are determined to direct our resistance towards the central underlying problem of the capitalist mode of production. We point out the following problems:

1. Capitalism is inherently environmentally destructive. The chaotic and unrelenting competition for profits and the need for a continuous supply of new markets that is a defining characteristic of capitalism is ruining the life support system that is our planet. Capitalist governments and charities have shown themselves utterly incapable of stopping this process. The best that they can do is slow things down or fix them on a very small scale. We do not have time to wait for failing institutions to rescue the world from the very system of production those institutions depend upon.

2. Capitalism favors the few at the expense of the many. A system based on competition inevitably produces, like any game, winners and losers. The winners become the rulers and the losers become their subjects. As the game continues, the divide worsens and deepens. Such is the nature of competitive markets. In this way, poverty, homelessness, unemployment, and even starvation are inevitable byproducts of the system and are integral to its day to day functioning. Such a system that allows the wealth of the whole of society to pool in the hands of an ever dwindling elite class at the top, wile the many increasingly suffer, is inherently unjust.

3. Capitalism turns its subjects into slaves. Inherent to this system that we as a society have designed, is an exploitative relationship whereby the value produced by workers is taken from them for the benefit of a private owner with only a fraction of that value returned to workers as a wage. The degree the worker is dependent upon that wage is the degree to which that worker is enslaved. They are enslaved not by any one owner, as workers may occasionally choose a new one, but rest assured the owners make quite sure they are not usurped. At the same time, there remains, even today, large numbers of people forced into prison labor for maximum exploitation.

4. Capitalism is inefficient. A system dictated by profits rather than by projected needs leads to chaos in production. Huge surpluses of commodities are produced in some areas, whereas, massive shortages of those same goods are produced in other areas, with little regard to actual need or even the ultimate usefulness of the product. A system operating this way cannot never hope to meet the needs of its people.

5. Capitalism is bigoted. A system built upon inequality from the ground up will produce ideologies which are then institutionalized to rationalize conquest and exploitation. The ruling class will use these ideologies based on a variety of human differences, from national origin, to skin color, to sexuality, to physical and mental capability, as a means of maintaining control and keeping the masses divided. It is thus that capitalism either reshapes existing bigotries from previous systems (i.e. sexism) or creates bigotries to fit its needs (i.e. racism). These forms of oppression often interact and interlock, reinforcing each other.

Our solution to the question of human liberation is the Marxist mode of production, a society without classes, money, private property, and exploitation, where resources are produced and distributed based on need. The practical means of attaining communism is via socialist revolution and the building of a socialist society.