If I have not mentioned it already...
I am in the middle of a manuscript discussing my feelings about government corruption, foreign policy, the fact that the country is no democracy, and how to change it. It will cover many of the themes that I write about here. I don't expect it to be published, but I will try anyway. I already have a great title (won't release that yet). It will be a 6-7 chapter Op Ed book, with a lot of emphasis on solutions/A plan for action, etc. It started out as something to just vent, but I realized that I couldn't just complain without offering solutions. Solutions and a plan were the things that I really had in mind anyway, underneath the need to vent. So I hope it can be a functional book. I actually started it in early 2004. But because of school obligations and work, it got pushed back. Also, things are changing so rapidly that it caused me to make too many changes, and it got confusing by the time I got started again. It's interesting that many of the things occuring today and that will happen in the near future, i had predicted would happen over a year and a half ago- The oil crunch (dependence of foreign oil), Iran, Syria, Democrats continuing to slump, corruption so bad that it had to boil to the surface eventually, all about k-street, and to some extent the re-election of G.W. Bush...if you can really call it an election...more like a staged event in my opinion, which is what U.S. elections have really deteriorated to over the last few decades.
I will occasionally take themes and pages from the book to enter here and vice versa.
I don't consider myself to be an intellectual. I'm more of a visionary. I have a long view about how things should be for the future in general. How democratic institutions, infrastructure, and general frameworks should be put in place so that in the future, ordinary people can make change. I just lay out the basic plan & framework for getting to where we need to be, and let the intellectuals among us worry about the particulars.
I came from a military family and I think that had a lot to do with shaping my view of the world. Being able to live in different places in the U.S. and overseas growing up, I have a little bit of a different perspective. When I was in Europe as a young man with just one T.V. Channel, I learned quickly how to pick up the newspapers and catch up on the issues. That was in the 1980's & it stuck with me. Could you imagine a kid in todays world being told that there would be only one T.V. channel? They would go bonkers. There is no such culture in the U.S. right now that teaches kids to read the newspaper, watch the news, learn the issues or anything of the sort. This is why American youth are in such bad shape when it comes to knowledge of the issues and having information about the world.
People who help shape my thinking:
First of all, I am an independent thinker who takes a little bit from the philosophy of a few others. But most of my ideas are my own. I don't follow any particular individual to the extent where I believe in everything that they believe in. I disagree with many of the people that I appreciate, on a variety of issues.
But as far as people who I get ideas from and appreciate their spirit:
(In no particular order)
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Cornel West
Dr. Noam Chomsky
Robert Nesta Marley
Stephen Bantu Biko
Fanny Lou Hammer
Adam Clayton Powell
And there are others who I can't think of at the moment. Don't be fooled by the leftness of that list. I also appreciate some more conservative thinkers. Many of my views are more toward the conservative end of the dial. It just depends on the issue. That's the beauty of being an independent, free thinker. No one can really put me into a box and describe my thinking in just one word "liberal"... "conservative"..."democrat", etc, etc, etc... because none of that describes me. I think most of us are more complicated than that... but in this age of cliches and dumbed-down news, these labels tend to easily pop up. But i'd like to think that i'm more in the middle.
There are many independents in this country, often outnumbering Republicans or Democrats. Yet we have no representation. If independents, frustrated democrats and disinfranchised people in this country formed a political party, it would rival the size of the other two parties. We really need 4-5 major political parties in this country. Something that I also talk about in my writings. 300 million people could not possibly be represented by 2 parties and have their best interests served. Based on voting options, and the number of political parties vs. population size, the U.S. is the least democratic of all major so-called "free" nations in the world. In fact, most smaller "free" countries have many more political parties on the national level representing their populations, which are often but a small fraction of the U.S. population. Even Iraq has numerous choices- 200 voting options, (and that's 200 political parties which is even more impressive). Maybe it's just me, but I find it very ironic that our troops are dying in Iraq, fighting so that Iraqis can vote and have 200 options for their elections, yet those American soldiers who are bleeding don't have such voting options here at home. That's incredible to me. Dying for democracy overseas when they don't have it here at home.