Paul Haeder, Author

writing, interviews, editing, blogging

Set in postwar London, “Alfie” features Michael Caine as a chauffeur bent on promiscuity. After impregnating his girlfriend he takes off on vacation. He continues his life of womanizing, but he can’t hide forever. A misfortune strikes and Alfie is forced to face the product of his ways.

This not the crux of the question, since I was a monogamous dater and monogamous husband. It’s more centered around the discordance and dissheveled nature of humanity in the Western world, which unfortunately is the litmus test for much of the world now, which is another conundrum for me: why the hell would Japan or Oaxaca or Istanbul give a shit about McDonalds, Disneyland, Top Gun and disposable diapers? How viral is Western consumerism and retail disease? How diseased are the people of the world to buy into a disposable culture, from the ketchup containers to the children to the old people?

Marketing, man, and that is a very sophisticated psychological end game. The end run around is the pervasive marketing of everything, and the fake quality of modern humans. All about selling or acting or putting on a show.

Yeah, I’m writing this on the heels of yet another attempt to have a job tied to some civil and social justice gig. I got the call for a 15 minute interview Tuesday, with the fair housing coalition of Oregon, working in four rural counties as an outreach-educator specialists, getting stakeholders (I dispise that term) to get around a table, or in a room or on Zoom to understand the rights of renters, tenants, and home buyers.

Up my alley, and alas, I have worked around the housing “issue” for several decades, as an urban and regional planning grad student, and then with clients in Seattle, Spokane, Portland, Vancouver, and on the Oregon Coast.

Two people interviewed me, and one big question was what I thought of how poverty has come about. Oh how it all ties into Capitalism, about the Gildeed Age, about the first Anglo Saxons coming to this “New World” and exploiting the original peoples. Exploiting as in murdering. Stealing land. Polluting the land. Moving them off the land. Re-educating them. Turning the real people into savages. Enslavement and dedigration. Haves and haves not. You know, workers, laborers, even the professional managerial class, at the whim of the One Percent and the Five percent. You need poor people to make a buck, and you need poverty to be rich. You know, toil and labor to make the gilded ones money.

But it is deeper, sort of like economic sanctions on countries like Cuba or Venezuela — sanctions against the majority of people in Capitalism to pay the fines, fees, tolls, poll taxes, taxes, add-ons, service fees, tickets, violations, late charges, penalties, and the mortgages.

All those millions working hard to stay afloat, and then some medical emergency, some run-in with a lawyer or insurance company or the law, and bam, the semi-stable household is put into a spin — economic, spiritual and existential spin.

There will always be a PayDay monster lurking in Capitalism. There will always be scammers and legions of thieves who get away with it in CAPITALISM. Poverty makes millions money — cops/pigs, courts, judges, schools, governmental program managers, workers in all those so called welfare divisions. You get it! Take a child out of a home, and you will find dozens of workers and managers managing that Child Protective Services intervention-destruction.

In any case, I got a second interview, this time in front of seven people and with an hour to dog and pony my self into their midst. Provide a seven minute Zoom teaching modality or Power Point. Also tell us what a strategy would be to undertake an outreach program in Clatsopo, Tillamook, Lincoln and COlumbia Counties. One educators and outreach honcho, and what would you do and who would you engage to get this off the ground?

One hour equaled five hours or more of prep. I actually called county commissioners in two of the counties. I did much research on all the places that might be engaged with low income folk or people of color. The obvious thing is to get into the faith communities, with support services like work source and Department of Human services departments, and even school districts and landlord groups.

Here, what I was being asked to get ready for:

Here are some details about the interview.

  • It will be about an hour long. The whole team will be there.
  • One question for you to prepare in advance: Talk about how you would conduct an outreach campaign to raise awareness of fair housing in rural Columbia, Clatsop, Tillamook and Lincoln Counties. Who do you think would be most important to reach and what would your strategies be for reaching them?
  • At the end of the interview, we will ask you to conduct a seven-minute training on any topic you like. We want to see what your facilitation style is like. We will make you a cohost on Zoom so if you have a PowerPoint to share, you can.

I talked to one woman originally from Michigan who was a county commissioner in Clatsop COunty. She had spent much time in Portland, and she told me that she had lived experience in Lansing, Michigan as a white woman who witnessed red-lining and major discrimination against Black Americans in their attempt to get affordable housing.

She had that poster of Che on her wall.

“At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love. It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality.”

― Ernesto “Che” Guevara

She gave me great insight into her county, and how the rural-urban divide has a crass and prejudice guiding mark — “These trust fund babies or super rich come into our Oregon Coast Communities and think that the IQ for our rural residents is 30 points lower than from their urban locales. Everyone comes here to be served and waited on, even for a couple of days. Everyone, even the struggling middle class, want that two or three days of pretending to be like the rich — fancy food, big hotel, and loads of beach fun and trinket buying.”

I even talked to the president of the Landords Assocation, and I interviewed another commissioner, with the eye toward their opinion on how an outreach campaign might work in their respective communities — counties with 27K, 50K, and 42K populations. Rich homes, arts, retired, and then the linen changers, the cooks, the medical technicians, the teachers, you know, coffee shop workers, bussers, cooks, even the simple laborers to keep those amenities and Martha Stewart homes, kitchens and decks prettified.

The lack of housing is huge, and affordable housing is few and far between. Of course I am a socialist, and these systems of oppression and exploitation have to go. Homes and apartments and mixed neighborhoods have to be run by us, the people, the new American government, and, sure a few can get in on building and designing, but there should never be a society where rents are artificial for investment and profits. A one bedroo apartment for how much in Seattle, Chicago, here? And what are those wages of the linen changers and hotel cleaners?

It will take so many tens of millions to strike against this super exploitative system, and we need a public commons, public utilities, public health, education and transporation. Housing has to be part of that, not some bogus HUD lie, which is predicated on which insane political party is in office. Safe, affordable housing. That human right!

Fact: In 1948, the United States signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), recognizing adequate housing as a component of the human right to an adequate standard of living.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. 
  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.
  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.
  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
  • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
  • All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law. All are entitled to equal protection against any discrimination in violation of this Declaration and against any incitement to such discrimination. (source)

Oh, well, that job went the way of the Dodo, as many of my job applicatons have: “Hi Paul, Thank you so much for your time and energy today in the interview and the obvious passion you have towards social justice. We didn’t feel that you were the right fit for this position at this time and we are going to continue our search. Again, thank you for your time and energy. Sincerely, S”

There are thos buzzwords — “energy” and “passion” and” social justice.” AND, “not the right fit.” I will not get into the errors of their ways, or the dynamics of being 66 and being interviewed by all women except one, but all in their 30 something age range, two hitting forty something. Spilt milk? Sour grapes? Come on, that missive tells me shit about the interview, about anything, really . . . Me thinks there is prejudice here, including age, gender and alas my white skin. I’m a communist, which I did not disclose, but certainly they might have Googled me, and then, you get the semi-half picture of me (right . . . little of what I write or how I express myself gives anyone doing a cursory search of men much to know about me . . . . the real me).

How do I then deftly move from housing as a human right, and the discrimination of this culture on all levels, but also in housing, against the non-White non-Hispanic, into the next and the next topic, and how will I be able to tie in what I have expressed above into issues around, say, the County where I live giving students-parents until Wednesday proof of up-to-date vaccinations, or some sort of exception? While the Covid Crack Shots are not mandatory, but imagine what sorts of shots these kids have received outside of the mRNA madness, and to honest, most kids have been double boosted.

Oregon requires immunization against 11 vaccine-preventable diseases:

  • Tetanus
  • Pertussis (whooping cough)
  • Polio
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Measles
  • Mumps
  • Rubella
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis A
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type B) – only for children under five years old
logo - Americares

Source: The COVID-19 Global Pandemic`

Get into the weeds to understand this SARS-MERS thing, the Covid 19 thing, those bio-tech untested mRNA jabs:

When “Mutated Lab Made Viruses” Are Used on Captive Monkeys…

Don’t judge! Science is hard.

Sasha Latypova

Less humorous explanation of the monkey business: the C-19 potions are designed, financed, and made by DARPA/DOD/BARDA and related clown agencies via consortia of defense contractors including Pfizer who are paid huge sums of money, are not in control of the entire supply chain and product, and are promised protection by the government. The paperwork Pfizer submitted to the FDA reflects this fact: it is a prop in a play called “vaccine development and approval” and that’s why it looks so unprofessional, full of gaping holes and obvious fraud. The FDA is of course fully complicit in this and continues to pretend to “authorize” these military biowarfare agents as pharmaceuticals.

“But certainly for the present age, which prefers the sign to the thing signified, the copy to the original, representation to reality, the appearance to the essence… illusion only is sacred, truth profane. Nay, sacredness is held to be enhanced in proportion as truth decreases and illusion increases, so that the highest degree of illusion comes to be the highest degree of sacredness.”

Ludwig Feuerbach (Preface to the second edition of The Essence of Christianity)

Even Hegel understood the problems engendered by Capitalism. And in the sixties Debord tracked the direction of western capitalism and sketched with remarkable clarity the history and also created a sense of aesthetics that felt innately radical and subversive. Seeing the fundamental sickness of the Capitalist system was not new. Today, nothing is left of that radical quality, certainly not in the arts or academia. Increasingly there is a rote reflexive hatred of Marx, Freud, Communism, Mao, Stalin, and Fidel. The Frankfurt School is attacked, more from the left than the right, and self identifying left publications embrace the most reactionary of positions (Jacobin comes to mind, of course) on the pandemic protocols. And capitalism is viewed as if it is Nature, a god created fact. (John Steppling)

But, in the end, what is this all about, Haeder? I have been interviewed more than a dozen times here in the last 24 months. Every interview “team” has been comprised of 100 percent female (she, her, hers) about 90 percent of the time, and then other times, six out of seven, she-her-hers. I grew up with strong women — my mom had to divorce her first husband because he had Vancouver, BC mafia after him for gambling debts. She was an amazing force in Paris when we were kids over there, and amazing in Tucson, when she ended up there after divorcing my father, US Military. She had to bury her daughter at 23 after she was struck on her motocycle in Kamloops. My grandmother Kirk, another strong Scottish woman, who ended up in Canada working her tail off. Aunt who opened a fancy resturarant with two other strong women. Aunts that were midwives, and aunt who was a nurse who managed her husband’s surgical and general medicine practice. Strong women left and right. My wife is an incredibly strong woman on many levels, not just because she puts up with me, but her entire life has been struggle and trauma and success!

Ahh, but now, in my world, with so many not-so-strong women in my midst interviewing me, which is a form of critical judgement, and to be truthful, the fix is in when it comes to me, one lone guy, now older, applying for case managers and non-profit this or that position, and the team that interviews me and for which would be working with the new hire are all women.

Again, this is all speculation, but you gotta be me to know speculation is also reality!

But, here I am, working with mostly women, as a special olympics basketball coach. And, while I get turned down for a four-county kick-ass job I am more than passionate about and qualified fo, I am on the Special Needs bus to learn how to drive that bus and get to know the routes and students.

Now now, there are many parents coming out to support these teams, and while there are two-gender homes, many of the special youth have been growing up with moms, aunts, grandmothers.

Facts: The unfortunate correlation between a child with special needs and a marriage, though, is that the amount of participation from each parent can vary based upon how they are handling the issue emotionally. Tragically, there is a high rate of men who simply focus on work while leaving a mother to raise the child at home, creating a distance. This is not true for all fathers. However, far too often we receive phone calls from mothers who find themselves addressing their child’s needs on their own, either due to divorce or simple emotional distance.

Not all men are the ones who cave and leave, that’s for sure. But I am seeing over several states a majority of women caregivers, parental figures, and social services providers, aides, teachers, and such.

I wouldn’t exchange all the rewarding work I have done with both youth and adults with developmental disabilities for this kick-ass job I just got “railroaded out of.” You see, the job I applied for was compliance worker for Fair Housing Coalition of Oregon. That was Oct. 2022. No word until two weeks ago, 2/2/2023. Asking me if I’d put my resume and cover letter into the ring for this outreach specialists since the person writing me thought I was definitely qualified to do the job.

Oh that web so many people have woven in their personal and work lives. Tangled when we practice to deceive is what Walter Scott had as one famous lines in Scott’s epic poem, Marmion: A Tale of Flodden Field. My entire life has been that complicated web, but not because I have gone out to deceive, but because I have not set forth deception, and I have been true to myself, honest with others, and forthright in a world where more and more people are “acting” and playing roles with a modicum of heart in their work if it involves social work. There are great people in social services, don’t get me wrong. But more and more the world of that arena is all about acting, Thespian crap, show and tell, bells and whistles, and now “Your Zoom Presence — How to Make Yourself into a Star” is what rules.

I could go on and on, but this is a minor speed bump in my road called life. Pissed off? Sort of, but not really, though angry at the systems of repression and oppression and how the world I sort of run in is now made up of the ghosting and cancelling and intolerance of this modern end game of confirmation bias and only listening to what one bandwagon is blasting on it’s Propaganda Speakers.

Until I am still working as a school bus trainee in progress. With old people with their biases and backward thinking, and me, again, not on their bandwagon. Imagine, old guys telling me they hate Russia and Russians. No, they are not from Russia, nor did they have anyone from Russia or who fought in the Great Patriotic War. They just hate people they have never met, rendezvoused with or broke bread with. All those horrorific propaganda movies, all that Russia Gate lunacy, and yet, these 77 year old old truckers who are now school bussing, hate a people and country they never knew or will never know.

Oh,m they are equal opportunity racists, because they hate China and Chinese equally.

And they hate their $19 an hour part-time bus driving gig, with precious K12 cargo, but they will never begrudge a dollar to the obsene pimps of war:

All that money going to new nuclear missiles, strategic bombers (the newly revealed B-21), submarines and so on, which in total will cost $1.7 trillion, according to congressional numbers—all in all an impressive escalation. So, $1 billion for each bomber made by Northrop Grumman (the Air Force began planning for the B-21 in 2011 and awarded the major development contract in 2015. The B-21 is expected to make its first flight in 2023 and enter service by 2027) is no big deal. Imagine that, one guy has to pay for hearing aids, at age 77, to the tune of $7000 or $9000 for a pair. Imagine the cognitive dissonance and retrograde thinking and imploding critical analyses skills with that two plus two equals three equation.

So it goes, sisters and brothers. You get older, you get more radical with each day, you get tired of lies, fakes, faux concepts, marketing, and merchandizing death and co-option, and then you, or I, become not jaded or cynical, but emancipated. Or even more decoupled from the fraudulent nature of almost every angle and every silo this sad sack of a country has propped up to destroy the world.

This is 24 years behind the times: ” A Brief History of U.S. Interventions: 1945 to the Present” by William Blum, June 1999. And I know several of the parents today wondered why I left my cap on, turned away fromt the American flag, bowed my head, and looked sad when the stupid Star Spangled Banner came on the speakers at the beginning of the tourney. I was already standing in the bleachers, but I usually sit, bow my head, and leave my hat or cap on.

One of Blum’s last points in 2017: “The Anti-Empire Report #153: Cold War Number One: 70 years of daily national stupidity Cold War Number Two: Still in its youth, but just as stupid”

The Cold War strategist, George Kennan, wrote prophetically: “Were the Soviet Union to sink tomorrow under the waters of the ocean, the American military-industrial establishment would have to go on, substantially unchanged, until some other adversary could be invented. Anything else would be an unacceptable shock to the American economy.”6

Writer John Wight has described the new Cold War as being “in response to Russia’s recovery from the demise of the Soviet Union and the failed attempt to turn the country into a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington via the imposition of free market economic shock treatment thereafter.”

And there this rambling essay ends. Stupidity and cancel culture and ingrained hatred of Russia and Venezuela and Cuba and Nicaragua and Iran and Chine and North Korea, those are the drools coming from a half-brained rabid society. The spiritual rabies crosses all political boundaries, all camps, all silos.

“The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.”

― D.H. Lawrence, Studies in Classic American Literature.

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”

― W.E.B. DuBois

“It’s liberty or death. It’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody.” …. “I believe that there will ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those that do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the systems of exploitation.”

Malcom X

2 thoughts on “What’s It all about, Alfie?

  1. Maria Kraus says:

    Great piece Paul! Thank you. You are fighting the system in a war that involves attempting to work with it, and in the messages you spread in the process. A never-ending fight, of course. Have you thought of putting a well-chosen collection of your essays into a book, in order to reach a larger audience, one that involves more people than those already in the choir?



  2. haederpaul says:

    Thanks for the input. Oh, those essays! The issue is, Maria, audience, and marketing, and what value added impetus will these essay collections engender?

    We’ve talked about the endless crap of capitalism, and crap sells.

    Even a guy like Sy Hersh gets so much wrong in his current piece:

    This short excerpt summarizes the primary claim that is the focal point of the entire article and—in my opinion—the claim is well researched, impartially presented and extremely persuasive. But there are other parts of the article that are not nearly as convincing and will undoubtedly leave alot of fairly well-informed readers scratching their heads. For example, here’s Hersh discussing the timeline for the Nord Stream operation:

    “Biden’s decision to sabotage the pipelines came after more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to best achieve that goal. For much of that time, the issue was not whether to do the mission, but how to get it done with no overt clue as to who was responsible.” (“How America Took Out the Nord Stream Pipeline”, Seymour Hersh, Substack)

    “Nine months”?

    The war broke out on February 24. The pipeline was blown up on September 26. That’s seven months. So, if there were “more than nine months of highly secret back and forth debate inside Washington’s national security community about how to” “sabotage the pipelines” then we must assume the scheming preceeded the war. This is a crucial point, and yet Hersh skims over it like it’s ‘no big deal’. But it is a big deal because—as Andre Damon points out—it “blows apart the entire narrative of US involvement in the war as a response to “unprovoked Russian aggression.” In other words, it proves that the United States was planning to engage in acts of war against Russia regardless of developments in Ukraine. It also suggests that the Russian invasion was merely a cover for Washington to execute a plan that it had mapped out years earlier.

    Later in the article, Hersh makes the same claim again without emphasizing its underlying significance. He says: “The Biden Administration was doing everything possible to avoid leaks as the planning took place late in 2021 and into the first months of 2022.”

    The truth—as journalist John Helmer states in a recent article—is far different than Hersh describes. Here’s Helmer to explain:

    From the full text of the Hersh report, it appears that neither the source nor Hersh has “direct knowledge” of the history of US-led operations to sabotage and destroy the pipelines which became public more than a year before; they directly involved the Polish government and the Danish government. In fact, by error of omission Hersh and his man are ignorant of those operations and of that history.” (“WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE HERSH REPORT ON THE NORD STREAM ATTACKS“, John Helmer, Dances With Bears)


    I will persist, and perish. That’s about it on the Central Coast of Oregon for a communist like myself. Predestiny?

    Look at that! Now, the feloneous Amazon has this collection of essays and rants for $6.97. IMagine that. So where is that profit for me?

    In this collection of sardonic and synergistic diatribes, radical teacher and writer Paul Haeder confronts six decades of America’s great slide into the intellectual muck that is today’s neoliberal morass. In these literary incantations, the iconoclastic Haeder fights against the trappings of a world gone mad while simultaneously contemplating the missed chances of his own life. Collected over a decade of writing for the radical blog Dissident Voice, the wide range of essays vary in stylistics, shifting voices and points of view, but are all underpinned by Paul’s fearlessness. They come crashing together to spark a rarefied bonfire of truth rising from the ashes of propaganda and doublethink. Reimagining Sanity: Voices Beyond the Echo Chamber is a white-water rapid rush, a free-fall into the heart of American darkness.


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