Writing

Piece 51 – The Current State of the American Body Politic By. Raimondo Graziano

The Current State of the American Body Politic

By. Raimondo Graziano

While from my humble station in this life I may not have the great means to illicit a groundswell of change, being that much of the messaging of the day is scripted as is, portrayed as such on the media, and the movements of the day seem to have their leaders, or rather, lack thereof as a deliberate detail of design, I still hold my opinions and beliefs on how the world is today. As an American, I look outward to the world with an inquisitive, often inquisitorial stern eye. I often lay my critiques of foreign governments and foreign nationals pointedly, and have no qualms regarding criticizing others. As an American, regardless of administration, there are certain values, duties, obligations and so forth, that are uniquely American in their character and that each citizen whether they fully understand the nuances of being an American act upon and exemplify. While I may inhabit a very humble position, one quite frankly, at this juncture, I am very grateful for given the partisan nature of our society today, let alone our politics, I still remain unabashedly forthright with my denunciations of the ills committed, and feckless direction with which other nations take their countries in, as if their actions don’t effect the wider world. As if the leadership of the United States, aid in the form of military, economic and humanitarian hasn’t shaped the very foundations of the modern world. Our nation is one that is vigorously lambasted the world over. In spite, of all that it is this country has done.

With the current administration, we as Americans, have been admonished further. While the one man, may not represent the ideals and values that this country has held dearly, we as Americans, are forgetting them while the rest of the world admonishes us for being just like the man who occupies the bully pulpit. We the people, are pushing them, these fundamental values, to the wayside due to a number of reasons. The spineless politicians who represent us, who can’t get a sliver of work done in the slightest, the vast hoarding of great wealth by the captains of industry today, the illusory belief in the strength of our economy peddled by pundits. Americans are struggling to survive, and it is making us angry, violent, demoralized and impoverished; with all these great stressors weighing on the mind of the average American it is no surprise that we as a people cant live up to our highest ideals and speak greatly on what it means to be an American, what it means to be a nation of immigrants united – what that revolutionary concept means for the world. We aren’t taking care of our basic needs, and it is making us consume one another. We are goaded by the media, who seek to divide for profit, goaded by the politicians who entrench themselves in their power by seeking to divide, goaded by the peoples of the world who call us stupid and ignorant despite our exportation of nearly all the good that the world pleasures itself with today from freedom and democracy to television and the very idea of property for the common man. We are goaded by industry, celebrity and influencers who seek to profit off of our anxieties and desire for comfort and peace. We are goaded, nearly daily, by an arrogant, narcissistic President who seeks to enrich himself, and while in one breath does something one could reasonably argue is right, in the other eviscerates any moderate gains made, throwing the country into whiplash.

The American body politic today is broken, and tattered, our unity is held together by a thin thread with the name: Seeking security for our families, trying to survive, grinding, getting bread – in layman’s terms – making money. We have become a slave to it, because with it, is the means to literally survive. The means to be accepted as normal, and one with the crowd. Its not that we want it this way, it’s a flaw of design. Have you seen the way they treat the homeless in the country – men, women, and children, veterans even – who in god’s name wouldn’t sell their soul to earn a dollar, so that they wouldn’t be subjected to the same disgusting treatment that humans are subjected to when they are destitute. For god’s sake, we can’t even open a shelter for these people without the throng of the masses bellowing out “Burn it down”! But no cries of “Burn it down” when the Congress passes tax reform that benefits the wealthiest Americans, no cries of “Burn it down” when the largest companies in the country move overseas to not pay their fair share, no cries of “Burn it down” when children are murdered in schools by madmen disillusioned by society. No, we the American people goaded by everyone choose to eat one another, when in our union together we can build a better world for Americans, by Americans. The American body politics is disgustingly broken, when we can see that we are being played by everyone, who seeks to see us suffer, our families, our values trampled in the mud – when we can see that clear as spring water, then we will all rise up and with a thunderous revolutionary call to arms, we will say as true Americans do, “Burn it down”.

Writing

Piece 50 – The Promise & Perils of New York City By. Raimondo Graziano

The Promise & Perils of New York City

By. Raimondo Graziano

 

New York City is one of the most diverse and wealthy cities in the world. Wealth in it’s people, and their character and the stories they hold. And wealth in the sheer abundance of opportunity and promise it holds. Though here there is wealth, monetary and material wealth which abounds in a great thunderous exchange of goods, services, luxury and great inequality. Great, terrible inequality.

This city has a history of corruption and governmental neglect and negligence at the hands of those the people dually elected. In some cases democracy does not always work to the favor of the people of this city. As rent rises to highs not seen before in this cities history, the wealthy move in and supplant neighborhoods and peoples who have had roots here for generations. Our elected officials do little to nothing to mitigate this. Often they are in the pockets of those they are meant to protect the people from.

Often it is the power of political parties and the monied interests of Wall St. And the Real Estate industry who hold our elected officials hostage with exorbitant campaign contributions. These in the hands of the powerful, the movers of the levers of government though not elected, are a dangerous tool acting as near as can be though skirting the gray moral line that divides contributions and bribes. It is not this city rejects wealth and chastises it. Rather welcome it with open arms. We must take a cautioned, measured and practical approach to the wealth that enters this city uninhibited.

If those that seek to come in look to benefit from the promise this city has, from its story and its trials – then they need to invest in these communities which have been here for generations. That’s individuals and corporations alike! No one ought to get a free ride and welcome mat laid out simply because they have a fat wallet. What message are we then sending our children? The stewards of this city in the years to come? As our mayor returns from his quixotic campaign for the Presidency, as he flies in, and prepares to get back to the job he was elected for let him be reminded of the issues facing this city.

Firstly, a housing crisis in affrodabilty, while countless tens of thousands of New Yorkers remain homeless, and a shelter system that many outright avoid. Secondly, a crisis in our wellbeing and health. I’m talking about the Overdose Crisis, where we have lost thousands of New Yorkers to a preventable overdose and countless more the horrors of addiction and the stigma that comes with it. Thirdly, a mayor who cannot work effectively with his Police Department to ensure that they receive the support they need while at the same time holding them accountable for their actions and in many cases negligence. Fourthly, educational disparities within our school system, disparities in opportunity.

The way we tackle this is not through ending programs for gifted students, but rather expanding access and resources to the people of New York, to those who don’t have access to begin with. To tackle a nuanced problem we needn’t follow the recommendations of the mayors bureaucratic commission, to penalize those who do well, but to gove opportunity to those who haven’t been given the chance to succeed!

Fourthly, the lack of expanded economic opportunities to smaller business which are struggling to compete with larger and often aggressive chains and other corporations. Let’s empower the people, and unleash the untapped potential in many cases lying dormant in this great city. We needn’t demonize corporations but rather, we can say to them – You have had your fill, let the people profit from the well too. We can reward responsible corporate practices, and those which are sustainable and empower workers by encouraging the growth of unions, while scrutinizing those who face no such oversight.

In other words, what this city deserves, what it’s people deserve and what is long overdue is a city government that works for the benefit of the people, responsible progressive and pragmatic governance for the benefit of all New Yorkers, those here for generations and those who seek to plant their roots. We can achieve this together, it is our hope that together this vision for a truly progressive, responsible and action oriented city government can become our reality. That is the hope of this city, that reason and justice, and personal responsibility projected outward can uplift and transform this city into a model for responsibility and duty and honor the world over.

 

Writing

Piece 46 – Man & His Irrelevance to Nature By. Raimondo Graziano

Man & His Irrelevance to Nature

By. Raimondo Graziano

                Man has for much of history attempted to wrestle with the tour de force that is nature; and it has often lead to his ruin. Even when we work with nature, its brute force and strength, indifferent to humanity, unmoved by human concepts of mercy and right and wrong, its carves a path of glorious beauty all its own. It is the greatest painter, the meticulous sculptor, and the sternest of parents. It is utterly immovable by any force enacted on it other than itself. Even when we honor it, we can see that we are often ahead of ourselves. One can see it on the sea, in great ships. Or in the air, above, with our great planes and rockets. Nature is always waiting to squash even our most well-intentioned plans. There is a saying – that man plans and god laughs. For the more agnostically inclined, a more apt phrase would be – man plans, and nature sighs. 

                Man often overstates his cosmic importance – he being that his world is indeed so small compared to the expanse of the universe, must lift himself up in his idea of his own self-importance to both settle his mind, and to bring a sense of greater purpose to his otherwise, cosmically unimportant and immaterial existence. The truth is that for most of us we live lives of cosmic unimportance, though we carry on as if our deeds and actions could move the planets if we simply said so. Even for the greatest of conquerors, and the wisest of statesman their actions only transcend time here on this earth, and not across the endless ocean that is space. Perhaps if we took heed in a deeper understanding of our humble spot amongst the heavens, we would live lives of quiet duty, rather than seek to subjugate and exact our will on what we deem as lesser people.

                 Perhaps we would live in a quieter, simple world if we were all humbled by the reality of our existence.  To curb one’s ego, to quote a common subway scrawling one sees in the underground of New York City. Man speaks directly to the embodiment of the universe and is so arrogant as to expect a reply. The universe, and nature is indifferent to our existence – it does not accommodate and it does not make exceptions. It is an institution in and of itself and it cares little for us, a relatively recent blip in its expanse. We must work within its laws, and not force it to bend to ours. To do otherwise is sheer incompetence at the worst, and arrogance in its rawest form at best.

 

Writing

Piece 42 – A Word on the Marginalized to Commemorate Pride Month 

A Word on the Marginalized to Commemorate Pride Month

By. Raimondo Graziano

This country has a long history of oppression and demonizing minority groups within the nation- historically marginalized groups as we collectively refer to them as. For much of our history this nation has been one ruled by a ruling elite, a political class of individuals – white, straight men. Now there is nothing wrong with being white or with being straight. To the contrary, that’s an okay thing. What is demonstrably wrong, is using ones position of inherent privilege to advance their needs and their wants alone. Using ones considerable advantage, whether it is a realized one or not, to purposely keep power concentrated in the hands of the few for the perpetuation of marginalization of those who cannot fight for themselves. Marginalization of those who are fearful for their lives simply for being born into a world who stigmatizes them as a group and as individuals just for being who they are.

Now, considerable progress has been made both legislatively and socially as well as culturally and economically. But to believe that our hard earned victories are shielded from assault by the powers that still be, is naive. Each day work is done to undermine the advances we have made on civil rights for all Americans including, and especially this month of Pride for the LGBTQ community, the advances made in normalizing the public thought and perception on identifying as a gay, lesbian or any other orientation. The opposition is hard at work on undermining and eroding our progress we have made in the name of peace and justice. Our fight is one for the recognition of the ills we have helped to sow, and righting the wrongs of our storied past. We cannot go it alone, and we cannot rest on our laurels. Rather we must see each day as a ceaseless war in the effort to ensure that justice and liberation is accomplished in full; success denotes progress, but success is not an end. Progress moves ever forward and it it the foot soldiers of this movement not only here in the states but across the world that ensure that our progress continues unfettered by rogue actors, and unfeeling, “moral” parties bent on peddling their false ideologies of tradition.

Their ideology is not one of tradition but one mired in backwards, degenerative policies that work to alienate and keep some of out brightest minds down based on purely racial, sexual, or social prejudices. Those within communities that are marginalized must fight for themselves and for those around them that they would call Brother and sister. Those who would call themselves allies must equally fight for their rights and ensure that our understanding of their trials, translates not into a co-opting of the conversation for our own benefit, but of an amplifier to the fight of those who are, or believe that they may be voiceless. That is why I am an ally. That is why I choose to fight, not only for my sister and for those she calls friend, but for the millions more in bondage who have no champion. We have an obligation to do right, and to do otherwise is to be a true, true coward.

General

Tonight – I’ll be on The Rundown Hosted by Hunter Dubis & Skylar Budman AT 9:30 PM EST (7:30 PM CST)

You can check them out here – they’re a conservative outlet hosting their podcast The Rundown.

They’ll be live as well, so this will be completely unedited. As you all know I am left leaning in my politics, so I will be talking to those of an opposing ideology BUT debate is debate nonetheless, and starting a dialogue is key in the country right now.