Month: May 2013

Rape myth

One myth about sex crimes is that a woman is more likely to be raped by stranger than someone she knows. This myth is supported by the false idea that crimes are committed by one type of people, criminals. When in reality there is no group of people that are criminals because every community has crime regardless of class, race, gender, and sexuality. The same is true with rape. According to the FBI’s Uniformed Crime Report 2009 data, “Every two minutes someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted.” This fact with the  help  of the media, political policies and  cultural  norms would have  citizens believe that  these attacks are being committed by  strangers on the street corner late at  night and  could have been  avoided, if the  woman  was  safe in her home or  not  dressed sexy.

            One reason the general public believes in the rape myth is because of the idea of the justice and economics.  Our “social perceptions are often tainted by personal need…to view the world as just place in which you get what you deserve” (Hammond 244). This thinking puts blame on the victim and not the attacker. The women must have done something to instigate the assault; otherwise the stranger wouldn’t have attacked her. If  the women that  are assaulted are seen as an innocent  victims,  others would have  to come to terms with the  idea that  they  are vulnerable too. The belief that victims are only assaulted by strangers gives individuals a sense of control. They can be safe, if they avoid being alone with strangers. The fact that victims are innocent, but vulnerable to things out of their control disproves the idea that the world is just and functions economically.  Individuals need to believe in the rape myth because “a myth is a way of making sense in a senseless world” (Ryan 774).

            Another reason individuals believe in the stranger rape myth is because of educational, legal, medical institution support the myth.  Children are taught to not talk to strangers and be afraid of them. At a young age strangers are already seen as a threat. When doctors, cops and lawyers discuss sexual assaults “they will rarely label it as ‘rape’ if it does not approximate the stranger rape stereotype” (Anderson 226).  In court, a rape case has a higher probability of conviction if it follows the stereotypes of the rape myth. 

            “Rape expresses the essence of patriarchal relationships” (Martinez 152).  According to feminist perspectives, men benefit from rape myths. “Rape myths…serve to deny and justify male sexual aggression against women” (Ryan 774). The myth that rape is committed by strangers against women of low moral character benefits the patriarchal and religious structures in our society. “Those who hold more conservative sexual attitudes tend to view women as subservient to men and to be more accepting of rape myths” (Hammond 243). Rape myths that blame victims and ignore the majority of rapists continue to keep women in a lower position and inferior to men. These ideas about women’s inferiority and support of rape myths were present in the 2012 U.S. Senate elections. Republican Representative of Missouri, Todd Akin, believes that if pregnancy is a result of a rape that woman wasn’t really raped. Todd Akin told reporters, “If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down” (Moore 1). President Obama responded to the comment by  taking a feminist stance by  calling Akin’s comment “an  example of why  politicians  should not make health care decisions for women” (Moore 1). The idea of questioning what is or isn’t legitimate rape reinforces the real rape script that shapes the rape myth. “The real rape script involves a sudden and physically violent attack on an unsuspecting woman, usually by a stranger. The woman is alone at the time of the attack” (Ryan 776). Any other sexual assault that does not fit into that script isn’t seen as legitimate rape and that victim’s   experience is silenced and trivialized.  Men tend to believe in rape myths more than women because of man’s lack of identification with victims. Women are more likely to be raped or know other women who have been raped, which allows them to empathize with victims. Men have apathy because men are not sexualized or associated with their bodies the way women are. “Not only do men agree with rape myths more than women, they also empathize less with the victims than women, blame the victims and hold less tolerant attitudes towards victims” (Anderson 228). The inability for males to identify with rape victims can influence how policies regarding sexual crimes are formed in government agencies, and how sexual crimes are discussed in the media in our patriarchal society.  “The fear of rape keeps women off the streets at night. Keeps women at home” (Martinez 1530.  The fear of stranger rape is used as tool for voluntary consent and conformity to the patriarchy by women passive and out of the public sphere.

            Some feminist critics blame the media for supporting rape myths and rape culture. “The media shapes public opinion about sexual violence and its perpetrators” (O’Hara 248).  Film and television programs express the idea that “sex defines masculinity, heterosexual men objectify women and heterosexual men are sexually preoccupied” (Ryan 779). These gender norms define men as individuals that use women as sexual objects and women as submissive sexual objects. These ideas of gender are most present in pornography. “Pornography is correlated with sexual coercion and…Rape myth acceptance” (Ryan 779). Hardcore pornography uses plots of rape fantasies of submissive women happily waiting to be raped and men performing aggressive and violent sexual acts with force and coercion. Media images influence how public discourse of rape and sexual assault are shaped in our society.  “Misleading representations of sexual violence may cause the public, police, and members of the court to revert to these understandings when establishing definitions of rape” (O’Hara 257). The majority of the news coverage of rape and other sex crimes tend to focus on the criminal and the shocking nature of the crime in order to get more viewers. When the victim is mentioned, the media “does not address the harm done to the victim” (O’Hara 252).  The victim is disregarded in most news coverage, or at least depersonalized. The victim becomes just an object that this monstrous thing attacked, making it seem like a random senseless act. The media use the monstrous rapist motif to sell their stories. This reinforces the idea that rapists are “sick emotional disturbed men” (O’Hara 250). The news media helps silence the threat of rape because it “regularly described (rapists) as “beasts” or “perverts” and distanced from “ordinary” men” (O’Hara 248). The news media only  focuses on  the  most  sensational  cases  to attract  the  most  viewers and  make high advertisement revenue.  “When rape is sensationalized by the press, the perpetrator is transformed into an ‘other’,” which makes women more vulnerable to more common forms of rape (O’Hara 251). The sensationalism  stranger,  gang rapes,  and serial rapists news coverage cause  the  public’s knowledge and  interests in  more common types of rape committed by  people the  victim knows.   “The  news media gives disproportionate  coverage to certain types of rape, which  can  cause the  public to have an overly narrow understanding of rape that excludes the  most  common type of rape, acquaintance rape” ( O’Hara 250). 

            Believing in the rape myth puts more women at risk of rape and sexual assault because it ignores the reality of sex crimes and the majority of sex criminals.  Women  are focused on  avoiding  stranger rape to  the  point that  they  ignore their vulnerability of  being assaulted by  someone  they know. “Fear of rape is assessed as fear of real rape (stranger rape), not fear of acquaintance rape” (Ryan 777). Acquaintance rape is often interrupted as only a miscommunication issue and not real rape. On college campuses, “many administrators and officials think sexual assault is less a violent crime than it is a misunderstanding about consent between two students. That fuzzy area, often referred to as gray rape” (Jones 3).  The situation is describe by victims and victimizers as the  male  receiving  mixed signals and  going too far,  while the women negotiates what  she  is willing to do sexually to avoid force.  This is interrupted as compromise based on gender roles. “Men believe in  a yes/ no form of consent,  whereas women may  see consent as negotiated through an ongoing  process that  involves  a series  of gates, in  which they  are willing to  do some  things but not  others” (Ryan 777). There is common belief that these strangers committing rape are “obviously different from other men” (Ryan 779). This implies that  you  couldn’t  be  raped  by  a friend or  family member because they  are  not seen as abnormal or threatening.  The rapist is usually described as a “brutish male aggressor…sex crazed, deviant sociopath…who had no previous acquaintance with the victim” (O’Hara 151). Acquaintance rapist may be able to gain access of “potential victims because he does not resemble the myth” (Ryan 779).

 “The rape of a woman is a violent and alarming common crime often committed by men the victims know and trust” (Hammond 243). The majority of rapes are committing against women, but men are also victims. According to the FBI’s Uniformed Crime Report 2009 data, “1 out of 6 women and 1 out of 33 men have been raped or experience attempted rape.” The report also states that only 31 percent of rapists were strangers and 2 out of 3 victims knew the rapist. 23 percent of attackers were previously intimate with the victim, 3 percent were relatives and 36 percent were friends or acquaintances. The myth of being attacked by a stranger walking alone at night can be disproven because only 43 percent of all rapes (not only outdoors) happen between 6pm and midnight. Another study found that “43 percent of rapes happen in the victim’s home” (Anderson 228). A study focusing on college rape found that when American college women were asked to describe their experiences they  “described a date/ acquaintance rape more frequently than rape perpetrated by a stranger” (Anderson 227). The reality of rape is actually the opposite of the myth of the dangerous violent stranger. Some believe that if the victim didn’t struggle enough, it was not legitimate rape. That simple isn’t true either.  In fact, “84 percent of rapes involved a man known to the female victim and involve little aggression, no weapon, and little injury to the victim” (Anderson 226).

One government policy, which deals with the reality of sexual crimes, is the federal Violence against Women act of Title IX, the federal gender equality law. The Title IX law makes colleges and  universities  “adopt and  publish grievance  procedures and  develop  education and  training programs to help students and employees to  recognize and  respond  to sexual harassment and  violence” (Jones 2). In 2011, the Obama administration expanded this to include the requirement of colleges to “respond if a sexual assault is reported, even if law enforcement officials decline to pursue charges” (Jones 2). The  law  is a step in  the  right  direction of  recognizing  that  women can be rape by  professors and classmates, but  the lack  of  enforcement is a new problem.  The lack of enforcement shows that society still does not take non-stranger sex crimes seriously.  “Few students found responsible for sexual assaults face punishment at their universities, and the cases are seldom turned over for criminal prosecution” (Jones 2). 

The destruction of the stranger rape myth makes men and women accountable for their violent actions, sexual relationships and sex crimes. It starts to address real issues of date rape, sexual assault on college campuses and incest rapes. The true nature of sexual crimes should open debate on the social meaning of consent, masculinity and femininity, socioeconomic inequalities, and hyper sexualized American culture, instead of blaming victims and defending victimizers. Honest dialogue about rape is the first step of to dismantle the rape myth. Kristen Lombardi, a journalist for Center of Public Integrity, writes a series on sexual assaults on college campuses.  Lombardi believes that education and awareness about sexual assault with help destroy rape myths and make attackers accountable for their actions.  “The level of awareness (about sexual assault on college campuses) has been raised   immensely… a lot of schools review policies, knowing that the OCR (U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights) is serious about these kinds of issues” (Jones 4).

One  way  of looking  at rape as a social  problem is to  place it  into  the macro  content of social  norms associated  with sex and gender.  Sexual  assault  is  only  one injustice within  a patriarchal  society,  where inequality, domination, subordination, and exploitation (based on gender) are common” and  “inequality among men and women have social  causes and consequences” ( Martinez 149).  Sexual crimes committed by men will continue to happen as long as men are socialized to believe that “violence (is) a masculine characteristic” (Martinez 149).  Binary gender constructions mean that women are what men are not.  If its masculine to commit violence, then it means being feminine includes  being a  victim  of  violence.  Rape  and sexual  assault  are  separated from  other  forms of assault, but  they  do  fit  into the history of  violence  against  women.  “The use of stereotypes hinders the discussions about real causes of sexual violence. If the perpetrator is a devious monster, rape becomes a random act of violence rather than a society problem” (O’Hara 256).  Rape and sexual assault needs to be viewed as a crime that is committed by all different types of people and that all members of society are vulnerable.  Sexual crimes can’t only be seen as random uncommon occurrences, but a real problem that is social constructed. 

Its bathing suit season. You know what that means girls….

its time to start working out obsessively and starving ourselves to fit in our bikinis! There will be lots of tears, anxiety, and depression to achieve the goal of looking like the illusions we see on tv and in magazines. But, it will be all worth it when we hook up with the cute boy at the beach who is concentrating so hard on getting laid that he can’t even remember our name. After all we are girls and all we think about is being beautiful to get a man because our biological clocks are ticking. Women are nothing but sex toys and incubators so our bodies need to be perfect and if it isn’t you won’t be accepted.
Or at least that is what I have learned from experience and observations.

Im constantly reminded of my gender and sexuality every time I walk by a man on the street and my negative image about my body increases when I see a cover of a magazine. Some days I love my body and other days I hate it. Today is one of the days that I hate my body because today I tried on my old bathing suit that fits okay and I went shopping for a new one.
At the store, I pick out several different bathing suits different sizes. Tops are always easy for me to find because Im only an Acup so small top is fine. My breast are one of the few things I like about my body. But, my ass is a different story. Finding bottoms of a bikini is impossible and one pieces fit awkward because my body is so disproportional. So I went home empty handed and feeling like crap because they don’t sell bikini bottoms in 2XL.


But, the worst part was the dressing rooms. Every single women in their was complain about their bodies, including myself. They were calling themselves fat, complaining about body hair, skin tone, cellulite and breasts (too large & too small), every one was pissed off and one girl cried her eyes out when she ripped her shorts. Trying on clothing is always stress full but looking at my thighs in the bikini from last year that Im in right now makes me feel disgusting. The only time Im comfortable with my body is when Im completely nude.



Besides my large ass, small uneven breast and thunder thighs I have peach fuzz all over my body, thick eye brows, chubby arms and stomach, wide hips, long eye lashes, chapped lips, tiny hands, tons of beauty marks, off center nipples, acne, greasy hair, pale skin, large amount of scars, big brown eyes, dirty finger nails, cream colored crooked teeth, soft skin, sweaty feet, and I don’t wear make.

Do I measure up to our cultures beauty standards? No, of course not! No one ever does. I look like an actually person and Im slowly learning to embrace that.

Lets stay in bed

Lets stay in bed. The sweat makes me stick to the bed. There is no more tears to keep me up all night, only broken promises. I always forget to change the battery in the flashlight. But still, why couldn’t you find me. How could you let him put his hands on me? How could you let him sink his teeth in me? Get his hands off me! Act like you did nothing wrong by doing nothing.  We can have a loveless house and the neighbors would talk. Way too many bad habits framed on our walls. You could blame all the sin on me. Homes are nothing more than places to eat and sleep. It will be easy. There are lies in my words and secret hotel rooms if you want them. Sign the papers. It’s your divorce day. Oh baby, please say yes! I place my mouth between your legs stealing all that’s good within you. You look better on your knee, with a million looks on your face. The looks of all your lovers before and after me.  Turn the stove top on. Let the house fill with gas and light a match. Don’t ask  for forgiveness. Just erase me and  all your other  mistakes.

Neo-Nazis in Greenpoint

Neo-Nazis in Greenpoint

Walking down the street in Brooklyn, you’ll see many types of self-expression. Multi-ethnic neighborhoods are decorated with different national flags, gay pride flags, statues of saints and now swastikas.

A local photographer released a series of photographs featuring Neo-Nazis. The photographer, Adam Krause took the photographs in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. A few were taken in their home with Nazi flags as the backdrop. The local community was shocked and outrage. Krause censored his art by removing the photographs from his website after receiving international backlash. Krause should have stood by his art and kept his photographs online, despite social repercussions. His photographs and the people in them are protected by the first amendment. It states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Just the word Nazi makes the majority of people’s blood boil, which is more than understandable. But, we must remember freedom of expression is essential for a free society and that every citizen has that right.  The majority of responses from the local community are that the photographs are offensive. They create feelings of hate, anger and fear. Many want the Neo-Nazis out of the neighborhood. People are not recognizing the hypocrisy of hating a group of people for hating a group of people. The demand for removal of these photographs and the Neo-Nazis themselves seems hypocritical. New Yorkers boast about being more liberal and open-minded than the rest of the country. But, we feel a collective need to censor a photographer and monitor a small group of people based on their belief systems. New York is considered the cultural Mecca of the world and has a high population of the so-called intellectual creative class. Regardless of that reputation, we jumped to anger and fear instead of having a discussion on hatred and freedom of speech in America. The sad fact of freedom of speech allows people to express hatred, as long as it is done in nonviolent and legal ways. Believing in freedom of speech means we must defend the rights of people we disagree with, or in some cases people that hate us. The Supreme Court case, National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, ruled that states can’t infringe on first amendment rights andallowed Nazis to have a rally in Skokie, Illinois. A Jewish lawyer, Burton Joseph, who worked for the American Civil Liberties Union, represented the Nazis. Burton Joseph believes in freedom of speech so strongly that he fought for people who hated him. He is a noble example of standing by your principles no matter what.

The Fact that the majority of the locals were shocked and surprised that there are Neo-Nazis in their neighborhood means that they are a very small minority and are not an organized threat. People should take comfort in that. There have been a few sightings of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti in the area. The NYPD should patrol the Greenpoint area for vandalism, violence and other illegal activities. It’s the NYPD’s job to ensure the security of New Yorkers, while allowing all citizens to use their rights to express themselves in accordance with the law.

The Neo-Nazis should continue to express themselves within their rights. The shaved heads and swastika flags are rational ways to express their identity. They need to stop the graffiti and never resort to violence and hate crimes. Once they cross that line, there isn’t any way to justify it in the eyes of the law. 

The freedom to express ourselves in a country with many diverse belief system means that people are going to be offended. There is no way around that. All the opposition can do is express their own beliefs and hope that social norms gravitate towards their views. The opposition in Greenpoint should create educational programs in schools and religious institutions condemning hate speech and promoting diversity. There are over 8 million people in New York City. A handful of non-organized Nazis should not be seen as a threat to New York’s ability to accept diverse cultures. 

Imaginationland south park season 11 (reissued movie)

The movie (3  episodes reissused)  begins with the boys looking for a leprechaun because Cartman bet Kyle that if leprechauns exist Kyle would have to suck Cartman’s balls. They find a leprechaun and he warns them about a terrorist attack. Soon after, the boys meet a man that takes them on a balloon ride to Imaginationland. He sings the imagination song. The Imagination song is unimaginative. The lyrics are the word imagination repeated. In Imaginationland, there is a terrorist attack. During the suicide bombing, there is a Saving Private Ryan reference with the silence during the violence. The boys, except for Butters, escape back to the real world. Butters is forced to make a video for the terrorists. The United States Government watches the tape and turns to Hollywood for help stop the terrorists. They call in Michael Bay. He is no help because he does not know the difference between special effects and ideas. They call in Mel Gibson. He is crazy, but knows story structure. He tells them to reexamine the tape and look for something that doesn’t fit. Cartman takes Kyle to court because he is refusing to suck his balls when they had a deal.  The court sides with Cartman.

In Imaginationland, the terrorists destroy the wall that keeps the evil imaginary creatures separate from the innocent creatures. Butters tries to stop the terrorist by giving a heartfelt speech, diplomacy. It does not work.  The United States government contains Kyle and Stan because they know Butters. They help the government open the portal to Imaginationland. Cartman tracks down Kyle and breaks into the Pentagon because he is determined to make him suck his balls. Kyle and Cartman go into a conference room to settle their bet, but Cartman taunts Kyle too long. Cartman dresses like a king and the Pope for Stan to suck his balls.  The army calls them out before Kyle can suck his balls. Troops, lead by Kurt Russell, are sent in to fight the terrorists. The woodland creatures that Cartman made up rape them. Manbearpig comes out of the portal and kills people. The film footage is given to Al Gore, who makes in public. Al Gore wears a cap because he thinks he is a superhero. The Government wants to nuke imaginationland.  The media and the government debate whether or not killing imaginary things is right. Hippies protest nuclear weapons outside the Pentagon.

Butters is told by the good imaginary creatures that he is the key to defeating the evil imaginary creatures. Butters does not like hearing this. Butters uses his imagination to the good imaginary creatures. Kyle stops the government from nuking imaginationland in order to save Butters and Stan. Kyle tells them that it is difficult to know what is and isn’t real and imaginary things have more long lasting effects on people than real people. I love that people believe Jesus can’t be in imaginationland, but Buddha can. Western culture is predominantly Christian. Al Gore isn’t so convinced and tries to set off the bomb, but causes everyone and the bomb to get sucked into the portal. Imaginationland is nuked and everything is destroyed except Butters. He uses his imagination to return things to normal. Kyle is still refusing to suck Cartman’s balls. Cartman uses his imagination to create imaginary versions of him and Kyle. Imaginary Kyle sucks imaginary Cartman’s balls.

The terrorists attacking Imaginationland causing our imaginations to run wild is a social commentary on contemporary American society. Ever since the attacks on September 11th, Americans have been fearing the next terrorist attack. The fear of terrorisms has America imagining the worst. The rise of Islamphobia is a direct result of the terrorist attacks on September 11th. The controversy over the community center, also know as the ground zero mosque, and the Quran burning this past September are two examples of Americans being irrational because of terrorism. The current increase of security in airports is an example of our imaginations running wild because of terrorism. Travelers who wish to fly must experience an intrusive pat down to pass the security check. One terrorist hid a bomb in their underwear and now all passengers must have a pat down or full body scan, which are both an invasion of privacy.  As a country, we think up and fear the worst-case scenario. We go to extremes to try to prevent them, even though there is very small chance of them actually happening.

Dear Jeff, (all the “Jeffs” of the world)

Dear Jeff, (all the “Jeffs” of the world)

 

Why won’t you let me love you?

Why won’t you come back to me?

Don’t you understand that someone

wonderful is waiting for you?

I can’t believe that you are

not coming back  For me.

 

I can’t believe I’m supposed to

stop waiting. Stop looking.

Frantically searching parks, trains and missions

For your face.

Your green eyes brighten my dreams.

The track marks on your arms

Haunt my nightmares.

Why am I not good enough?

Did you leave me for your next fix?

 

All this time I’ve spent waiting on our bench.

Watching your favorite movie.

Reading books you stole for me.

Waiting and waiting.

Time has almost made me forget how

Your hand fits in mine.

I’ve been waiting so long.

Do you know how this feels?

Are you on some bench waiting,

For someone else?

Are you returning to someone else,

Who has been waiting for you,

Longer than I?

 

I remember how you repeatedly referred to me,

As obviously beautiful and drop dead gorgeous.

Do you remember?

Did you meant it?

Obviously Not.

Or maybe you dropped dead.

 

You told me that you would

Meet me by the fountain

In two hours.

Two hours feels like eternity.

Do I have to wait forever?

 

I don’t want to be your wife,

Or even your girlfriend.

I just want to know

When I’m going to see you again.

I need to know you are okay.

 

You had written, “forgive me” on your arm,

As a disclaimer for

The ones that love you.

I ignored the warning.

I wish I had add an “N”

On the end of “forgive.”

So you know,

You can always come back to me.

 

No need to apologize.

It’s already done,

With your breath on

The back of my neck

And the nibble on my ear.

Every time I gave you a compliment,

You denied it.

But, gave me many in return.

You claimed to not be good

Enough for me.

But, that’s a lie.

How do you not see the

Infinite value within you?

 

I wish I could tell you that

I love you with all my heart.

Even at your worst, 

You are fucking incredible.

Both will never change.

Your beauty is never failing,

Never fleeting.

 

Your embrace felt like home.

It brought me to a place

I have not been in years

And may never go again.

You made me feel as if

My aunt was reading to me

Until I feel asleep.

Like my dad brought me

Apple juice in my favorite bubble cup,

In the middle of the night.

Just because his baby girl,

his  little princess

yelled, “I’m thirsty.”

 

We made me a new home

And then you burned it to the ground.

Without notice.

You made me feel loved.

Love like when a mother

Holds her new born for the first time.

She tells it that it’s

“Beautiful and perfect.

That’s she would do any thing

And every thing to protect it.”

The newborn knows that this is true,

Even though it doesn’t

Know any thing else.

It knows love.

 

Looking at  the ashes of 

my safe house, I think

Didn’t any one ever tell you,

“Don’t play with matches”?

 

How am I supposed to let this go?

Just let  it go.

Let it be.

C’est la vie.

Leave it alone.

Get over  it.

Suck it up.

Keep moving.

Move  on.

Let it pass.

 Forget  it.

Grow a pair.

Get a grip.

Stop crying.

Move forward.

Focus on other things.

I can’t  let  this go.

 

You’ll never know how much,

I adore you.

I can’t make love to

A ghost who hates himself,

Or a memory that wants

To be erased.

 

If I knew what I know now,

I would have never left.

You said, “There will be plenty of time

For us. Go get some sleep.

I will be waiting for you.”

So I can’t believe I’m supposed to

Stop looking, stop waiting.

I can’t believe you are

Not coming back for me.

But I know,

You’re not coming for me.

 

 If  I knew that  the last kiss

Was in fact our last  kiss,

I would of made it count.

I would had  made sure,

You knew all of this,

before the separation of our lips.

Marx wage-labour

There are three main economic conditions, which created the capitalist class. The first condition is the relationship between wage-labour to capital, slavery of workers, and the rule of capitalists. The second condition is the destruction of the middle class. The third condition is the exploitation of workers by the market.

Marx believes that capitalists do not buy a worker’s labour, but their labour-power. Labour-power is a commodity that the worker exchanges for another commodity, such as money. The amount of money or another commodity given to the worker is determined by the amount of time the labour-power is used. The exchanged is called an exchange-value. The exchange-value of the commodity in terms of money is the price. The capitalist purchases the labour-power from the worker the same way the capitalist buys the materials needed for the product. To the capitalist the worker’s labour-power is another material for the means of production. The work done by the worker is what the worker sells to another person in order to secure a wage in means of survival. The money is the worker’s goal, not the finished product. The product belongs to the capitalist. Free-labour is also known as slavery. In slavery, the worker and his labour-power are for sale as a package. The slave is the commodity and the slave does not own their labour-power. 

The price of a commodity is determined by competition, and supply and demand in the market. The buyers want to get a product as cheaply as possible and the seller wants to make the highest profit possible. When there is a large supply and little demand, prices are low.  When there is a low supply and high demand, prices are high. A high supply and low prices is more common than low supply and high prices.  A profit is determined by the production costs of the commodities that are being exchanged. A high profit is made when the cost of production of the commodity being received was higher than the cost of production of the commodity being given in exchange. The price of a commodity is above or below the cost of production. The rise and fall of the price balance each other, matching the cost of production in a type of industry, not individual products.

Wages rise and fall based on competition, and supply and demand.  Wages are determined by the time need for production, and the training of the worker. The less time its takes a worker to complete the task, the lower the wage. The wage is also determined by the cost of taking care of the worker’s basic needs, so they can continue to work. But, when a worker is no longer able to work, like a piece of machinery, new workers replace them.  The large supply of workers leads to workers being paid a minimum wage.

How did we become these broken things?

How did we become these broken things? We won’t find salvation in this. We are charlatans with blood shot eyes, but it makes us safe and warm. We just want to feel alive at any cost. It turns all my weakness into my strength. We are not the unforgivable things we’ve done. It makes you confess all your secrets to me. I can’t believe the wonderful things you’ve said to me. It gives me hope for a miracle. We could start over tonight. Oh, I could give it all up for you. So darling, I’m not leaving until you kiss me goodnight. You could be my miracle. 

us court systems

The US Federal Court system is made up of the US District Courts, US Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court of the US. There are 94 US District Courts. US District Courts deal with civil and criminal matters involving federal law. There are over 500 judges. The US Congress established the US District Courts.  Evidence is used in court to determine the decision.

 The US Courts of Appeals make decisions on cases involving civil and criminal laws based on the application of Federal laws. It also rules on appeals dealing with Federal administrative agencies. There are 13 US Courts of Appeals that employ 132 judges. Three judges vote on each case with majority vote to make the decision. The US Courts of Appeals have the ability to set legal precedents that effect later cases.

The Supreme Court of the US hears cases that involve constitutional law. The Supreme Court does not review all cases submitted to it, only the ones concerning constitutional issues. The US Supreme Court has one chief justice and 8 associate justices. The justices are nominated by the president and approved by the senate. The US Supreme Court decisions are set as national law that sets precedents for all other US courts, including state courts. States can’t create laws that contradict national laws.