“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair, I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked
by Paul Haeder / April 10th, 2021
Lies, Memory Hole, Circling the Managers’ Rotting Core
Scenario: Interesting how in the first three minutes of a mandatory one-on-one interview with my supervisor — no agenda, no inkling really what it would be about — she yells at me and says, “You look at me when I am talking to you. Look at me right now.”
I’m across from her in the kitchen where she decides to dress me down in, me, with a fucking face mask on, per the nonprofit’s CoV2 orders and signage, while she spews her spittle at me. Ten feet away. While she is unmasked.
Now, just what would you do, kind reader, with a manager starting off a meeting that way?
Mind you, I am taking notes, as I always do wherever I go. “Don’t look down while I’m talking to you.” She repeats this rage again.
I, of course, answer with, “I am taking notes for what appears to be a serious meeting. I’m looking down because I am taking notes.”
She is on her personal phone with the cretin boss of bosses, in his Salem office. Literally, I am 10 feet away, and four staff are just outside the swinging kitchen doors listening in. I mention that concern, and she says, “They can’t hear me.”
The woman degrades and spirals into rage, raging further and further when I am asked for input. I respond, give some pushback, criticizing her current and past demeanor, and she rages again. “This meeting isn’t about what you think I have done. This meeting concerns you and your behavior.”
I do eventually stand up, pack my bag, and head out toward the door, but not before she gets her final yell in: “Don’t you dare leave. If you do, that’s it. That’s it, don’t you leave.”
I respond with, “That’s it? What does that mean? Are you firing me?”
Her paddle pudding head retorts, “Yes, this either can be a first warning if you come back in here, or a final warning if you leave. Come back here now.” She is red-faced, yelling, and the four staff have been listening to this the entire time.
The boss of the boss calls me after I email him to immediately call and explain what just happened, and he says, “Well, we will have another meeting tomorrow after you both cool down. You both take the rest of the day off.”
He states it will be a Zoom call, as I already complained to him about why it wasn’t Zoomed before all the yelling from my supervisor. Then, he puts me on suspension, unpaid, after writing three sets of grievances.
Right to Fire You No Matter How Abusive Management is
It is legal in the U.S. for an employer to cut you loose at any moment, even if you’re doing a fantastic job.
They don’t need a reason. You can be fired for backing the wrong political candidate or the wrong baseball team.
As long as your employment isn’t covered by a collective bargaining agreement, an individual employment contract or regulations that supersede Employment at Will, you could be toast at any moment, no matter how long you’ve held your job. — “Ten Ways Employment At-Will Are Bad”
Ahh, that is it, no, the at-will, right-to-work flimflam of American capitalism. I have been in a union twice, once as a union organizer. The other time was as a community college teacher in Washington State. I even worked with adjunct faculty as an adjunct faculty organizer. Other terms for adjunct faculty include: just-in-time-professor; 11th-hour-teacher; freeway flyer; gypsy scholars; professor on food stamps.
This part-time status, where I worked at four institutions, teaching 9 classes in a one semester load, is part of the precarious nature of work. Now, more than 80 percent of classes at colleges and universities is taught by so-called adjuncts. With the planned-pandemic, colleges are cutting real professors and the other lucky tenured track folk to make room for the new normal of no more or limited face to face time. Colleges and universities are pushing for a deeper cuts to non-essential liberal arts offerings, even many of the sciences, for those more business friendly curricula. To do this, they are hiring on people who are the lowest of the lowest scabs get onto a platform like Zoom and Blackboard to teach not one, not five, not 10 classes at a time, but in some cases, many thousands of “students” (customers) in many states and many countries. MOOC’s — massive open online classes.
Working in social services — all nonprofits who poverty pimp with income streams from governmental agencies — I have run into the most corrupt and corrupting people since, a, social services is supposed to be about supporting people, putting people (clients) first, and, b, meant to incorporate a sophisticated overlay of trauma informed practices, clear communication, transparency, and, c, it’s work with people who would have otherwise been thrown on the great trash heap of America’s capitalist throw-away society pile. We are talking about me working with homeless veterans, homeless just-released-felons, almost-homeless foster youth, and adults with developmental, intellectual and psychiatric disabilities. And those with TBI and PTSD from violence, both physical and structural.
Every nonprofit I worked for fought talk of unionizing. Nonprofits have scolded workers for sharing their hourly incomes (sic). Nonprofits have put into policy no talking bad about the management edicts. These disaster capitalism folk and their boards and CFOs and CEOs and especially their HR heads, they in the end only want good PR spin, emotionally and physically wrecked workers who are compliant, grateful for a $15 an hour job, and almost complete control of the workers’ ability to face off/down power and maleficence and corruptible managers.
Despite the insistence of businesses and their lackeys that “right to work” legislation will help create jobs during the “great recession,” and despite their twisting and turning of statistical data to corroborate this story, the fact is that the “right to work” snake-oil doesn’t create jobs. What it does is puts more ammunition in the hands of employers to use against workers who dare stand up to their workplace hegemony, and helps ensure that employers go unchallenged as they slash the wages and benefits of their employees.
The solution is not, as the capitalists say, to combat the rights of workers to organize their workplaces. The solution is precisely the opposite: to allow workers not only to organize their workplaces, but the whole of society, under a system that works for the advancement of all workers. Otherwise, any “rights” workers have will be tempered and restricted for the benefit of business.
As I mentioned above, I was yelled at and threatened on a Monday, and then I sent in not one, not two, but three very detailed grievances against two managers (the one in person and the one on the phone).
The nature of and specificity included in these complaints were obviously impeachable offenses for that supervisor and her supervisor. I did refer to my younger sister (a decade younger) who has since age 22, after Northern Arizona University (BSW, 1985) matriculation as a social worker, been in many dozens of iterations as a social worker, social services manager, and case manager and case manager manager. We are talking about at-risk teens; migrant farmers; abused women; shelters; rape crisis centers; and generally, statewide social services management.
Her work has been exclusively in Arizona, another retrograde at-will, right-to-be-fired-for-anything state. She hands down told me that as a manager of 27 social workers and others, if she had talked to one of her staff that way, she would be immediately fired.
My detailed and long grievances, of course, got me sacked. It took less than four full days to investigate literally dozens of instances where this supervisor had since day one breached my confidentiality, other workers’ protected information, clients’ personal and medical information. From day one, the 68 year old woman used me as a sounding board, coming to me daily many times in the day with her exasperation and condemnations and criticisms of this or that person, much of which was more than just inappropriate gossip.
I was harassed because of my three college degrees, harassed for my efficiency as a social services practitioner, harassed because of my gender (male), harassed because of my age (63-64), harassed because I am a writer, harassed because I am anti-Trump/Biden.
It gets worse, and alas, I still have to fight the termination, the idiocy of a CEO who actually put in writing two huge lies (errors) in her sped-up termination letter.
There is an OSHA complaint filed, for unmasked people in an unventilated room when I have had to abide by those mask mandates since day one. It is not a matter of me disagreeing with almost everything tied to corona cold virus 2.0, and a matter of me being more informed than boss A, or boss B, or boss C (CEO) about masks. I put up with the bloody mask like I put up with my fucking helmet for my motorcycle.
You know the old saw — Do as I say and do as I do! Not here, amigo.
Broken Bodies, Traumatized Brain, GAD, PTSD as the Real Pandemic
Look, when I am working with people with major histories of physical problems at birth, and the reality of being on the spectrum, having mental retardation, having cerebral palsy, Fetal Alcohol Effective Disorders, Downs Syndrome, Fragile X and any number of other issues tied to bad pregnancies, drug addicted first hours on planet earth, strokes in vitro, and the luck of genetic anomalies, I treat them as persons first, but with a truck load of knowledge on what some of those developmental and intellectual disabilities might be doing to influence my clients’ lives and my clients’ families’ lives.
But the fact is, those people in the professions around poverty pimping for the Nonprofit Industrial Complex are lowly paid, and most come from lives of trauma, physical conditions, mental dire straits, and more.
Yes, the USS (United States of Snakes) society in general is in the GAD — general anxiety disorder. Trauma is a loss of a child in a miscarriage, a death of a loved one, divorce, homelessness, poverty, incarceration, military combat. It is blunt force trauma to the head, to the body, to the soul. I get it that my fellow worker is suffering, big time.
This predatory, fleecing, disaster-ready, dirty capitalism — where all value is on making a buck, making it anyway you can, in many cases — it eats at the souls of people. Social workers and social services people come from whence they speak and how they work — many are also products of some set of significant emotional events in their own lives.
Broken people get into this umbrella of professions. Some get certified as peer support counselors, that is, people who were once on drugs, on booze, in mental dire straits, incarcerated, destroyed partially by rape or war.
“It takes a damaged person to help a damaged person.” This credo is emblazoned in the social services arenas. It is not a truism, but it is truly how these poverty pimps operate.
Given that a CEO who might be the spouse of a big bucks MD, who has some business degree, that person, even in his or her late thirties, does not only patronize his or her workforce, but treat them as children. I’ve written about the infantilization of Americans.
That has infected how an out-of-control boss just a week ago yelled at me, threatened me, and had the stupidity to think I’d stay in that unventilated room to take more of it. Her idiot boss, again, had the audacity to not intervene and call off the meeting early. I called it off by leaving.
Now, the term, Poverty Pimp, was coined by Black Panthers, who saw middle and upper middle class whites come into neighborhoods to have their feel-good moments and build their Women’s Club resumes by setting up nonprofits to take care of the poor (read, BIPOC, addicted, homeless, lowly educated, poorly represented, stuck in hoods dripping with environmental racism at their cores).
The idea is people on boards get all sorts of political perks, and the administrators and upper management get some juicy salaries running these poverty pimping programs in the Nonprofit Industrial Complex.
We know why there is poverty, environmental racism, economic inequity, poor health and education outcomes for BIPOC folk. The real pimping is the pimping inside and around the Complex. Not the Matrix, but the Military-Media-Medical-Pharma-Ag-Mining-Oil-AI-Finance-Insurance-Real Estate-Prison-Education-Lawyer-Lobby-Surveillance-Banking-Stock Trading Complex. End this Complex, and most things in USS are solved.
What befalls a poor neighborhood is systemic/economic violence and a complete septicemia of the lower classes, those of us in the 80 Percent.
Here, from a religious writer —
Last week was the first time I have ever been called a “poverty pimp” in front God and everyone—in public. It certainly got my attention!
As Director of International Child Care Ministries, I straddle two worlds—the America I call home and the 30 countries where our sponsored children live. I travel back and forth between these two worlds several times a year and experience the stark contrast between my world and theirs.
Here in the U.S., part of my responsibility is to advocate for the children at conferences, churches, and other venues. Last week at an event I had my display set up, 20 kids’ faces looking out from their brochures, silently imploring conference attendees to choose them and become their sponsors.
My accuser was an eloquent professor of African American Studies. He is offended at groups like mine who apparently profit off Africa’s poverty and perpetuate an image of black helplessness. He is concerned that African American children who view pathetic images of hungry kids on TV internalize a sense of racial inferiority. And that’s not the half of it.
He also proposed that the American Church invests energy and resources in the missionary enterprise around the world, but seems to care nothing about the problems that plague our inner cities back here at home. Why, asked the professor, can’t the Church in the U.S. direct some of its compassion to the neighbor next door? Why do we care so much about black children who live across the ocean when we are so callous toward the ones who live across the tracks?
“Every time I come to a Christian conference like this, I have to walk past three tables of poverty pimps to get into the auditorium; it makes me sick!” Ouch! — Linda Adams
So, while I work with these various human beings stuck in the vice of capitalism and under the ineptitude of government agencies, and the systemic infliction of economic, cultural, physical, intellectual and spiritual trauma on their kids and their kids’ kids, since I am a lowly paid worker, hourly, with the one goal of keeping some employer-based health care, it is really one-on-one work I do, and I get that sense of satisfaction of doing good for one person at a time. My boss’s boss’s boss is most probably rich by his/her/their workers’ standards, for sure, and like rich people this person looks down on his/her/their workers, even looking down on the bosses of the bosses.
The Very Nature of Work Inside a Dog-eat-Dog Capitalistic Cage
The lack of collective bargaining and concerted intentional organizing inside and outside of the workplace is the devil’s bargain the Fortune 1000 companies and folk like Bezos have dreamed of, and worked to concoct.
Talk of unionizing, or sharing work outside the confines of the actual nonprofit pimping outfit will get you narced on, and the HR wannabe thugs sicced on you.
“Can we do some job sharing, swapping hours, outside the confines of the management teams, away from the watchful eyes of the manager overlords?” People are so afraid of losing the $15 an hour “white collar job” and their health insurance, that they would do anything to keep both.
That also means they would lie — lie to themselves about how they might think they are valued. Lies about being allowed into and to share the master’s house. Lies against the very people who push back.
In one illiterate termination letter, the person, me, is pink slipped.
And the former staff members I will never interface with even in a small rural coastal county? They are happy they are still in good stead, happy to say goodbye to the rabble-rouser (me) or whatever shit language they might use to attack me, a kick-ass practitioner who has been wise enough to forward all those work emails from people attesting to that accolade to my private email.
But You Must Have Done Something to Provoke Them?
It’s inevitable that this sort of refrain or retort comes with it an incredible amount of patronizing and suspended belief. Supposedly progressive people have asked that question, Come on, you must of done something? It’s a pretty simple response — “It is possible that 90 percent of the people in an agency, or state, or town, or nonprofit can believe in wrong things 90 percent of the time.”
Rachel Carson, you must have provoked. MLK Jr., you must have provoked. Caesar Chavez, you must have provoked. I don’t have to fill in the blank for your own set of people who did the right things, and in doing so, went up against sacred cows and broken paradigms. They must have provoked their own assassinations, Rev. Oscar Romero or Berta Cáceres.
As is the case of this Disneyfied country, where people want to be around rich, powerful, connected and supposedly creative overlords. They want to rise up from their simple, poor or middleclass roots and get that brass ring. The prize. So they will succumb to anything, almost. Put up with abuse.
Not to equate great men and women fighting for justice, to poor schleps (see photo below) who want to gain Holly-Dirt fame and wealth.
But this is the culture, whether it is the Starvation Army, or United Way or Goodwill Industries or Google or Wells Fargo. People in America are mean as cuss, but do a fine soft shoe showing the bullshit of their exteriors. It’s what’s inside themselves that counts. Do as I say, but don’t do as I do! They know how to PR spin their “workplace” vision and mission which has been scripted from some of the most mamby pamby of thinkers, but in the end, they treat human beings — the workers — with no dignity, no fairness and a knee-jerk circling of their managerial wagons. Of course, all CEOs do not deserve their high pay. Fact. All college presidents and their battalions of dean-lets and hucksters in VP and MBA roles do not deserve their high pay, laurels and power. Fact. And, this sordid story to the tenth power below represents USA, really, and capital, money, and not just in the United Snakes of States.
But one day, if we survive, and if we put up with these psychopaths, and we shall too have our day in the shade, our laurels, our big homes and our 401-k’s. Stock options and kids getting into Ivy League Un-Schools.
Kelly Hayes, Truthout, interviewing, Sarah Jaffe, a Type Media Center reporting fellow and an independent journalist covering the politics of power.
KH: I think a lot of our conversations about neoliberalism in the media fall short, because we don’t really help people get their heads around what it is. People usually talk about privatization, but that sort of singular focus can make it seem like neoliberals are just people who think private services are better, or just want money in the private sector because they believe in the free market, but as you and I have talked about before, neoliberalism isn’t about the free market. It’s about having a well defended market.
KH: A market that’s rules and functions can’t be tampered with by the people whose exploitation the system relies on. It’s a system that protects markets from people, and even governments, who might otherwise rally against their exploitation or abuse. It’s a counteroffensive, in many ways, against the prior gains of unions and workers who rebelled under capitalism. After losing a lot of ground, bosses and politicians needed to rewrite the terrain, to better control workers, and one of the ways they have done that is by gutting public education.
SJ: And, I think one of the things that’s really important to talk about, because you know, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, Shoshana Zuboff’s book that people have, you know, that has gotten deservedly a lot of hype. But also, I just want to note that capitalism has always been about surveillance also, right, that like the techniques of surveilling workers, again, whether they are enslaved, or theoretically free workers, are intrinsic to this system of capitalism, always have been. And just now we’ve got better technology for it. So you can have a surveillance camera in an Amazon truck where the worker doesn’t even technically work for Amazon, but Amazon has the right to spy on them. Or, you know, the gadgets that you use, if you’re working in one of these warehouses where you literally have a thing that’s just like strapped to your arm. So the sort of bio politics of all of this stuff is really interesting. And this is where we get to, you know, the Amazon peeing in bottles stuff, Amazon workers peeing in bottles stuff. — “Work Isn’t Fulfilling Because Capitalism is a Death March,” Truthout
“There you have it — At-will, AKA at the beckon call, beckon abuse, beckon exploitation, beckon denigration, beckon injurious behavior and workplace environment. These employers are thugs, and from the top down, with their lawyers and MBAs and institutional misleadership yahoos at the executive level, the worker is doomed by this sick system. Forced vaccinations for schools, colleges, workplaces. The systems need to burn!”
Of course I am asked not to identify the person who wrote this to me. We all are being surveilled by these Stasi folk, whether we work for a governmental agency, school systems, private college, for-profit business, mom and pop lowbrow joint, nonprofit, you name it.
They (bosses, agencies, pre-employment interviewers)sign up for Google search notifications — anytime their company is named in the media or on digital platforms, they get notifications. They track what’s said about their business, corporation, nonprofit, agency, school. That is also for anyone they want to put in the search for a price, monthly rate, be it a person’s name. Like mine, hmm.
This is what these Stasi Americans want in their lives — complete control. Damage control by truth-sayers. Damage the messenger, or kill him or her with constant threats of litigation, fines, subpoenas, more. Imagine one writer, me, getting hooked into the Google Gulag, but then, what about anyone with my name? Hmm, children, siblings, spouses? This is how they play their mole game.
Below, an example of the blithe and dangerous bullshit fake journalism of the mainstream imbeciles. That the State of Oregon can force vaccinations onto people really is the issue: the state just pushes that onto the overlords running businesses or nonprofits. That’s it, no argument, hands down the policy of the land, man.
The news (sic) story below will not contain push back, and it will be vacant of civil rights thinkers/libertarians cited, will allude to no one pushing back on these Draconian measures. In fact, the story will not frame these measures as Draconian. The journalist from the Oregon paper of record (Oregonian) is already colonized and co-opted. Then you get some “law” professor (sic) from a for-profit private university pulled into the article, to come on board to yammer on. This is the new normal that’s been pretty old normal — mainstream media faking it, looking like it’s in the hunt for balance, when it’s all false balance, false and manufactured consent. The goal is to question the prevailing party-bureaucratic-company line, and question all governments’ actions. Read here:
“I think ultimately most employers would be able to require it,” said Henry Drummonds, a Lewis & Clark Law School professor specializing in labor and employment law. “But I think most employers probably wouldn’t want to require it. I think employers could first encourage and educate employees about the safety of the vaccine and the desirability of it in terms of protecting yourself and your coworkers.”
Drummonds said that at-will employment standards allow private businesses to dictate and change the terms of employment at any time and fire employees for any reason, as long as they don’t discriminate on the basis of race, gender, age or any other protected category.
In practice, this means that employers probably could require employees to receive the vaccine to remain employed or return to the office. Both the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries have released guidance stating that employers can mandate that employees get vaccinated.
Already, idiocy prevails: just recently, I witnessed a manager of a nonprofit ask her employee in front of another employee in a public place within lots of people’s earshot: “Well Rick got his vaccination. So did I. Most everyone in the company has. But John hasn’t.”
I knew this was a nonprofit this manager was a member of because I was within earshot. I offered an unsolicited response, trying to equate calling someone out in public for not having this experimental and not FDA-approved chemical shot. “How’s your BMI? You looking overweight? How’s your hypertension? You looking pink in the face? How’s your probable lung cancer? You just finished off a cigarette. Come on, shaming people for no agreeing to an untested chemical compound with that jab in the arm is unethical, and in public so I can hear your conversation?” She just clammed up and scooted her two employees away.
Imagine, fewer and fewer tough guys and gals can actually make it in USA (elsewhere too) with the power of what they can and cannot decide upon, that is, what they either want to and do not want to be injected into their bodies. Mind you, the jury is far from out on these chemical shots —
On February 27, 2021, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced it had “issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the third vaccine for the prevention of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19),” the Janssen (Johnson&Johnson) Covid-19 vaccine.
This announcement is virtually identical to the EUAs previously issued for Covid-19 vaccines produced by Pfizer-Biontech and Moderna.
In each of the EUAs, the FDA has been careful to avoid any claim that the vaccines provide protection against infection or transmission of the virus. Similarly, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have each publicly stated that the vaccines have NOT been shown to prevent infection or transmission.
All of their regulatory documents and commentary addressing the issue state clearly that there is no evidence that the vaccines affect either infection with or transmission of the virus, nor do they prevent symptoms of Covid-19 from appearing.
— Source: “Covid Vaccine Nonsense” [US-based human rights lawyer breaks down the contradictory claims of “effectiveness”, the incomplete studies and legal minefield of forced use of experimental vaccines] JP Jerome
Let’s shift to some compare and contrast between vaccine makers and cigarette makers. I just read a short but cogent article on the menthol marketing, how 45,000 black Americans die each year from tobacco related illnesses (mostly throat, tongue, and lung cancer). Talk about cool — mentholated cigarettes’ make the poisons go down easier. Everything goes down smoother with a little bit of throat deadening. And this is legal stuff. No massive “take all the cigarettes’ and Juul’s and pipes and cigars and chew cans away.” “Menthol Marketing Exposes Institutional Racism” by Michael Schwalbe, Counterpunch.
But forced vaccinations, and then this pact with the devil — at-will, zero protection: screw up and you get the pink slip bullshit about American capitalism. Sort of buyer beware, user beware, consumer beware, worker beware.
“In the long run, the solution to the ongoing global pandemic of tobacco-related disease is to abolish tobacco companies. Short of that, we now have an opportunity to significantly curtail the industry’s ability to profit from the destruction of Black lives. If Black lives matter, we must not let the opportunity pass.” — Michael Schwalbe, professor of sociology at North Carolina State University Source.
Low income, lots of working class people, workers in the developing world. Slick multimillion dollar a year ad campaigns, Slick, and scientific. Data driven. Imagine, tobacco kills more than 8 million people each year. Of these deaths, 1.2 million are caused by secondhand smoke exposure. Talk about an epidemic, pandemic. You know that every rotting Southern pol and every single tobacco lobbyist and every grower and CEO, they pooh-pooh these stats. “Prove it. If it’s that deadly, then why’s it legal?”
The internet seems great at scrubbing information, but the reality is that when Ray-Gun left his criminal enterprise throne, he did some hucksterism stuff for the tobacco industry. He and Edwin Meese did a talking tour overseas to push cancer sticks.
Talk about killing people from his cold-ass grave, Reagan:
“But the industry did not launch its campaign for new overseas markets alone. The Reagan and Bush administrations used their economic and political clout to pry open markets in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and China for American cigarettes. At a time when one arm of the government was warning Americans about the dangers of smoking, another was helping the industry recruit a new generation of smokers abroad.
Asia is where tobacco’s search for new horizons began and where the industry came to rely most on Washington’s help. U.S. officials in effect became the industry’s lawyers, agents and collaborators. Prominent politicians such as Robert J. Dole, Jesse Helms, Dan Quayle and Al Gore played a role. “No matter how this process spins itself out,” George Griffin, commercial counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, told Matthew N. Winokur, public affairs manager of Philip Morris Asia, in a “Dear Matt” letter in January 1986, “I want to emphasize that the embassy and the various U.S. government agencies in Washington will keep the interests of Philip Morris and the other American cigarette manufacturers in the forefront of our daily concerns.”” Source.
Why the harangue by yours truly against tobacco in a piece about how rotting the at-will mentality of big, small and loser companies run by bigger losers than anyone following the Peter Principle 2.0 [well, the worse you are as a human, with no ethics, not character, well, you go up the ladder, food chain, corporate manure pile] can imagine forcing vaccines onto workers?
Think hard about an experimental mRNA chemical put into a syringe and then forcefully delivered to the global population. Hmm, would this have been acceptable in 2019? 2001? 199o? The year I was born, 1957?
Of course not, and yet, this is it, with people being shamed or called out for reluctance on an experimental, emergency authorized, untested chemical and DNA morphing drug being forcefully put into one’s body. Not once, but with a booster, and then, now, as the world burns, yearly or bi-yearly boosters for the “new” variants of a corona cold virus.
Here, this is science and capitalism, science/capitalism/politics, like leprosery and it’s host —
“One way the tobacco industry has manipulated cigarettes to increase addictiveness is by loading cigarettes with chemical compounds. Bronchodilators were added so that tobacco smoke can more easily enter the lungs. Sugars, flavors and menthol were increased to dull the harshness of smoke and make it easier to inhale. Ammonia was added so that nicotine travels to the brain faster.
Specifically, increasing the amount of nicotine was of paramount importance to tobacco company executives. Experts found that Big Tobacco companies genetically engineered their tobacco crops to contain two times the amount of nicotine and adjusted their cigarette design so that the nicotine delivered to smokers increased by 14.5 percent. As Phillip Morris Principal Scientist W.L. Dunn said in 1972, “No one has ever become a cigarette smoker by smoking cigarettes without nicotine.”” — Source
Bronchodilators and ammonia added? Come on, my students at UTEP were finding more dirt on big tobacco and the collusion with the FDA, keeping secret under governmental lock and key all the ingredients they sprayed on tobacco before becoming the stuff of rolled cigs, cigars, pipe filler and chew. Think of secret doses of anti-convulsant drugs, since the higher nicotine content and the other burning chemicals cause many people to get ticks, minor tremors, i.e. seizures. Best keep the seizures down and the sales up.
Shoot, this is just the minor list of smoke by-products — Nicotine (the addictive drug that produces the effects in the brain that people are looking for), Hydrogen cyanide, Formaldehyde, Lead, Arsenic, Ammonia, Radioactive elements, such as polonium-210, Benzene, Carbon monoxide, Tobacco-specific nitrosamines (TSNAs), Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
These Satan’s, these big and little Eichmann types, these Mad Men, these PR spinners, these profiteers and cancer mercenaries, come on, the story is bigger — 600 ingredients can be used in cigarettes, but the actual combustion of the cig produces over 4,000 chemical compounds. And, when burned, these cigarette ingredients mix together and create deadly substances, 69 of which are carcinogenic.
Yeah, how’s that pandemic and pandemic and pandemic on the horizon. SARS-CoV2, 3, 5? Remember, there is no outright statement that declares cigarette smoking causes cancers or any number of other co-occurring diseases or terminal cancers.
So, if Big Tobacco and Gore and Reagan and Clinton and Trump, et. al. can stump just for this singular felonious Mafia outfit, what do you think might be happening behind closed doors and inside labs and at the top of the heap tied to exactly what this experimental vaccine’s (sic) side effects might do today, next month, a year from now, etc.?
For the good of the world? The economies? For life saving ethos? You got the memo yet? You want life saving? Shit, one product, tobacco, done with, hmm, what’s that life saving factor? And how much for all the lost labor, all the flagging physiologies, all the damage, slow and fast, caused by cigs, et al? Ya think there will be a ban tomorrow?
Hmm. Now, multiply that a million fold with all the deadly chemicals and toxins and fumigants and fungicides and off-gassing crap in all manner of clothes, combustible materials, food, drinks, drugs. Then multiple one times two, and then factor up. How do these work, hmm, twelve together, the impossibility of really studying the synergistic effects of one chemical interacting with another, or a dozen or 4,000? Hmm, those 4,000 chemicals in one good Marlboro man drag, what’s the toll?
You think there are governmental and private financed studies on that?
“According to comments from vaccine scientists in September 2020 (prior to the Covid-19 EUA issuances), no vaccine had ever before been distributed on an EUA basis.
“We don’t do EUAs for vaccines,” [Dr. Peter] Hotez said, “It’s a lesser review, it’s a lower-quality review, and when you’re talking about vaccinating a large chunk of the American population, that’s not acceptable.”
Three months later, the FDA issued EUAs for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but with explicit guidance that the vaccine “has not undergone the same type of review as an FDA- approved or cleared product.””
The idea is that if there are injuries and deaths because of the experimental and untested drugs-chemicals in these shots, well, who foots the bill? Who is responsible? Hmm, in the USA, it’s the US taxpayer.
I have a friend who’s niece would not take “death by any other means ” as the last answer. She is pushing for an investigation into her father’s death after the vaccine was given to him. He was 74, healthy, but he did have aging issues, like we all do. Blood clots occurred rapidly, hmm, and, then he checked out in a stroke like manner. This is after, right after, vaccination. The county coroner will not do an autopsy, and alas, there are no watchdog agencies in our corner. A simple autopsy would be $6,000. This is a suspicious vaccine-related death, and she has now gone on-line and gotten more people to email here about similar deaths after vaccination. She can’t put it on Facebook, too long or too detailed like, so she is getting contacted through GoFundMe. She’s doing this surreptitiously. There will be no Ralph Nader’s or RFK, Jr.’s coming to her family’s aid.
Just like you can’t sue successfully the big tobacco and their technicians and chemists and MD’s and lawyers and CEO’s and the politicians and marketers for selling a dangerous product to a billion people, let alone the second and third hand smoke of these cancer sticks.
resistance is more than a PSA, and Whitey Is Still on the Moon!
by Paul Haeder / March 28th, 2021
There’s this Zoom thing coming round the corner, once again– Earth Day 2021. The people on the Pacific Coast, Oregon, Central Coast with no industries, winds whipping up air vortices, and air as clean as what it might be in the middle of the ocean, and yet, we have the old white folk planning for some more Zoom Doom fun.
And not only is this a Zoom Doom “same old usual suspects yakking fest,” but in fact, some local yokel and state yokel politicians get to bullshit their way through five minutes of nonsense.
The rules of Zoom like the rules of Earth Day 2021 are make nice, no contrarians, and alas, no one arguing. No criticism. Keep it upbeat and positive. Yep, we got Biden back in office — [Biden Backs Revival of His Brainchild: Plan Colombia 2.0 Set to Begin Next Month — Colombia is set to return to a massive aerial campaign of spraying Monsanto’s glyphosate across the country, a plan Biden once fought hard with his Republican colleagues to enact.]
That’s it, really, in the fake world of Google, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Clubhouse, Slack, and Zoom. There are a thousand major software peddlers readying the schmucks for a digital world of work, world of schooling, world of public engagement (disengagement), world of commerce, world of culture, he world of arts, music, literature, world of medicine and health care.
Earth Day 2021 . . . 2022 . . . 2030!
On the one measly day of the year for celebrating ecosystems, waves, wind, soil, beach, harbor seals, eagles, gulls, cormorants, firs, pines and grasses, the decision to take this one indoors is emblematic of the colonized minds of the, shall I say, liberal class (sic). Neoliberal or demented Democratic minds.
No use asking me to make an alternative earth day for Lincoln County, some gathering on the beach or along a river (we have limitless beaches and thousands of creeks and rivers). In a rural community, in a community based on retirement, and then making dollars from travelers clogging Highway 101, clogging hotels, restaurants, rest stops, you can’t expect any solidarity. The fact that this school system and those white collar jobs are now Zoom Rooms/Jobs, brought to us in the privacy of their closets or garages or fancy offices, that baseline has shifted big time since the lock down of a year ago.
Talk about disruptive and destructive and killer technological shifts. No plan? Right!
Earth Day is Indigenous People’s Year
Yet, on a day of earth benediction, the day of bringing some socialist political zest to the table, a day when Native Americans and First Nations should be front and center, when consumerism-commercialism should be immolated in a symbolic burning of the sales receipts around a big fire, instead we have the Visual Display Terminal (as in terminal disease terminal) as our entry point and end point. One face to the crowd on the 14 inch screen, then our three minutes of Andy Warhol fame, and then, please move on. I am not on it this year, for sure, and last year I dragged myself to the thing.
Again, no expletives, no anti-Americanism, no antiwar, anti-patriotism or anti-politician rhetoric or song or poem. Keep it quaint, upbeat, positive.
It is, of course, deja vu, and that’s how the lords of capital want it — triangulation, and fear and, well, push those outliers out. I have found in the past year, more of the jobs, gigs, people I interface/associate with, and other movements I have been a part of have turned into an “us (them) against them (me)” sick Nazi-like defamation of truth. Any critique of the one-party duopoly, any criticism of Harris or Biden, any criticism of the reality of this hegemon, USA, sick before Trump, sick during Trump, sick after Trump, and you not only get ostracized, but penalized. Stitched on Scarlet Letter A for ‘anarchist,’ red being the underpinning of what it means to be a ‘communist-socialist.’
Take the money and run — that’s the motto, and so, before introducing a short animated video about climate heating and those two degrees Celsius, we have a bit of Haeder banter.
Don’t let them fool you that 100 or so rocket launches a year (thus far on average, about to go to 200 and then 500) don’t emit much pollution and carbon dioxide in the scheme of things. How much embedded energy to mine that crap, all those wires, metals, plastics, strategic shit, and the electricity, and the transportation? All those human lifetimes expended for Whitey on the Moon, as opposed to stopping the eviscerations of the planet. Right, that isn’t doled out as carbon dioxide emissions. Off-shored, out-sourced, embedded pollution. Forget about the destabilization of those countries where this shit is illegally mined and stolen. Again, science is broken when the capitalists hire scientists to help them steal, pollute, harvest, ruin, destroy, butcher.
With that, how can we not rethink a 51-year-old poem, wisdom in a jazz bottle, Gil Scott Heron and ‘Whitey on the Moon’. The point of the song-poem runs deeper now than what Gil was alluding to then, because, if you think about cooptation, think about how many other cultures and nationalities are racing for the moon, for the red planet, the song’s updated title might be “Capitalists on the Moon.”
There’s no getting around the fact China and USA are capitalist, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution (devolution) is about mastering control of the entire populations of those countries (and that is now Canada, India, EU, Japan, Australia, et al), outside the super-class of folk in the capital dictatorships.
What China or USA or UK or Japan or Musk or DoD or any of them want on the moon or mars, well, it’s not for the good of mankind, womankind, children-kind.
The inverse is the actual affect — more 5 and 6 G, more wasted and polluting energy. More rockets and blasting satellites and millions of human lifetimes spent on this project, and the outcome/outflow are less solutions for the commons here on terra firma. There will be no reversing ocean acidification or ocean inundation or blasting heat waves, or deluges or dwindling snowpack, or melting ice with these money-drenched projects of megalomania in space.
The fact is, food can be grown agro-dynamically. People can live off a much much smaller energy footprint. Industries can be owned by the people for real durable goods that last, hmm, half a lifetime or more? Public trains and trolleys and light-rail, that’s not what the Musk-DoD-China projects are about. Fisheries can’t be restored, Fukushima isotopes can’t be corralled in, human global health and universal “correct” education can never be the end product of these space flights. They are a complete and utter contradiction.
We know it, and they know it, and we the people have been bamboozled into disbelieving what we see-hear-touch right in front of us. They (masters of finance) are in it for more money, power, wealth, control.
You can have atom splitters, neutrino collectors, sunspot probes, but, again, don’t try to pull the bullshit capitalist-militarist wool over my eyes: none of that stops the toll of poverty0-hunger-war physically weathering billions of people’s lives to the point of lifespans cut down by 10 years or more compared to the stem-cell sucking, human growth hormone eating great white hopes in the Lizard Clan.
Water on mars? Asteroids with ancient ice? Club Meds in orbit? You know, none of that is for humanity.
[Drifting plumes created by the Space Shuttle Atlantis]
Alumina and black carbon from rockets can stick around in the stratosphere for three to five years. As these materials collect high above the Earth, they can have interesting effects on the air. Black carbon forms a thin layer that intercepts and absorbs the sunlight that hits Earth. “It would act as a thin, black umbrella,” says Martin Ross, a senior project engineer at the Aerospace Corporation who studies the effects of rockets on the atmosphere. That may help keep the lower atmosphere cool, but the intercepted energy from the Sun doesn’t just go away; it gets deposited into the stratosphere, warming it up. This warming ultimately causes chemical reactions that could lead to the depletion of the ozone layer.
The reflective alumina particles can also affect the ozone but in a different way. Whereas the soot acts like a black umbrella, the alumina acts like a white one, reflecting sunlight back into space. However, chemical reactions occur on the surface of these white particles, which, in turn, destroy the ozone layer, Ross says.
Diet for Parasites of Capitalism — 8 by 10 condo on Devils Island
It’s sort of like the anti-diabetes diet — cut down on white food (rice, bread, pasta, potatoes), walk more, drink water, take a few natural herbs, suck on cinnamon, get flavonoids, pig out on leafy vegetables, stop the EMF’s in your sleeping space, stop the anxiety of TV-Movies-Facebook. Or, what about the real process of land reclamation? It takes removing the trash, the toxins, and then rebuilding the soil, replanting with native plants, readjusting the land to its natural eco-state.
Simple solutions. And, it’s never going to be rocket science that helps the planet, people or others in the animal and plant kingdoms.
Don’t be fooled by Netflix, the Dystopia Stories, the Bizarre Bumbling Cop-Spy-Soldier-Super Hero soap operas. None of that is reality, and, the shortcuts that capitalism has exacted on Mother Earth, well, after more than 300 years of the trillions of lies, here we are, Whitey on the Moon, 51 years after Gil Scott Heron sang it” !!
We have a poem here It’s called “Whitey on the Moon” And, uh, it was inspired, it was inspired By some whiteys on the moon So I wanna give credit where credit is due
A rat done bit my sister Nell With whitey on the moon Her face and arms began to swell And whitey’s on the moon
I can’t pay no doctor bills But whitey’s on the moon Ten years from now, I’ll be paying still While whitey’s on the moon
You know, the man just upped my rent last night ‘Cause whitey’s on the moon No hot water, no toilets, no lights But whitey’s on the moon
I wonder why he’s uppin’ me ‘Cause whitey’s on the moon? Well I was already given him fifty a week And now whitey’s on the moon
Taxes takin’ my whole damn check The junkies make me a nervous wreck The price of food is goin’ up And as if all that crap wasn’t enough
A rat done bit my sister Nell With whitey on the moon Her face and arms began to swell And whitey’s on the moon
With all that money I made last year For whitey on the moon How come I ain’t got no money here Hmm, whitey’s on the moon
You know I just about had my fill Of whitey on the moon I think I’ll send these doctor bills Airmail special (to whitey on the moon)
To whitey on the moon Thank you
Old whitey now ready to build millions of carbon dioxide sucking machines. Old whitey ready for terra-forming on Mars. Old whitey looking to mess with the water cycle, the cloud systems, the first 15 meters of biological life on the oceans with iron shavings. Old whitey and his and her geoengineering.
Whitey is way beyond just blasting to the moon. Old whitey is messing with DNA, genetically engineering not just crops. Welcome the GMO human, a la vaccines.
It’s not such a far cry from Zoom Earth Day to Genetically Modified Humanity.
The Future of Food (2004) is an older documentary, but shit-dog, says it all, says it all:
Again, this is not some super complicated Jungian and Freudian hierarchy of needs intellectual jujitsu. Food, water, shelter, home, hearth, community, safety. Yes, art and communal education. Intergenerational and multi-diverse communities. Again, it is about eating and living, music and art, forests and savannas, mountains and valleys, rivers and wetlands, reefs and mangroves, and, well, you get the picture.
It’s not about 5 or 6 G, or about Whitey on the Moon. Many of us know that, inherently. And, many of us who are devoted followers of democracy on top and socialism as the under girder, we also are in “their house,” that is, as the African slave on Turtle Island stated, “It’s the slave master’s house I’m working in, and not one second of a day do I believe I am in my house, that any aspect of this house negro status puts me in any better position than the field slave who slaves under a hot sun, battles cottonmouths, the toil of an ox.”
The Future of Food is really the future is food!!
The reality is back to those global average rise in temperature, that so-called two degrees Celsius.
Global heating affects ecosystems that provide food.
Oceans provide people with about 20 percent of their dietary protein. Ocean acidification caused by climate change makes it difficult for thousands of species, including oysters, crabs and corals, to form protective shells, which in turn disrupts the food web.
On land, an increase of 3.6 degrees F (2 degrees C) would double our water deficit leading a drop in wheat and maize harvests.
What drives capitalism to extremes? Two things: this hyper-individualism of the Ayn Rand economic school which purports everyone is unique and must fight for himself or herself to acquire as much as possible. And, two, patriarchy which indoctrinates young children into believing this hierarchy of male control. This belief that males are not caring about social issues, the environment, and females are not supposed to speak their minds when confronted with this apparent destructive system.
He reached out to me just recently:
Public awareness of the climate crisis is growing but support for mitigation efforts is still insufficient to reach the goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial. This is partially due to the fact that some aspects of the science, which are truly alarming for those who are able to understand them, are confusing and mysterious to many others. Humans all over the planet conduct their daily lives in temperatures that range from -50°F to over 100°F. So they are understandably confused when scientists describe the dire consequences of a further increase in Earth’s annual average temperature of only 1.8°F (1°C). The Metro Climate Action Team made this short video to help build understanding of why so little means so much!
I sent Pat a quick email with some softball questions. What follows it the Q & A to: ‘Just a short response for each one. Thanks, Paul!’
Paul Haeder: What was your role in producing this animated film?
Pat DeLaquil: I came up with the concept and bounced the idea around with several MCAT members using clip art. Then we developed a script with where several of us contributed to editing and refining the message. Once we were happy with the storyboard and script, I placed the task on a platform called Upwork, and found an artist that did motion graphics, which are much cheaper than real animation. The entire process took well over 6 months.
PH: Who is the intended audience for this and how does that audience access this?
PDL: We believe we have several target audiences among people who accept that climate change is happening, but don’t realize how bad the crisis can quickly get and why strong action is needed now. We believe this group broadly includes people with children and grandparents, as well as civic groups and the faith community.
PH: Explain your background in research climate change — two sentences.
PDL: I have been a leader in the commercialization of clean and renewable energy technologies for over 40 years, and for the last 20 years I have run a small business that develops and uses models to perform policy analyses on behalf of donors, governments and the private sector to identify optimal pathways for achieving economic development and environmental goals. I have lead the formation of two clean energy start-up companies and earlier lead the development of two key solar energy development projects: PV for Utility Scale Applications (PV-USA) and the 10 MW Solar Two Power Tower Project.
I have a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.Sc. in Marine Engineering from the US Merchant Marine Academy, and have authored of over 90 papers, reports, and articles on solar and renewable energy including chapters in two books on renewable energy technology.
PH: Three reasons you believe people in the USA still have difficulty understanding global warming, ocean warming, ice and glacial melting.
PDL: It’s very much like the responses we’ve seen to the pandemic. Disinformation and deliberate politicization of the issue are strategies used by the right (dominated by fossil fuel interests and their fellow corporate oligarchs). The second reason is that most people are busy with life – just making end meet between jobs, kids and – even before the pandemic, so it’s easy to ignore or deny the severity of the issue or just hope someone does something. Third, some people in industries that rely of fossil fuels feel threatened that all this is just a plot to take away their lifestyles.
PH: What do you hope this short animated flick will do to move policy makers, capitalists, businesses and national governments to work on the very difficult issue of ocean level rise, inundation, extreme weather events, crop failures, unlivable conditions in many many tropical or subtropical urban spaces.
PDL: We really hope that this video will motivate people, who are not yet active, to become more engaged in pushing their elected officials to act quickly to combat climate change.
And so another earth day, couched on Zoom (how much energy does a Google search use, how much energy for Facebook servers, how much energy for Bezos and his Global Cloud Server monopoly?).
Pat’s sincere about this short animated PSA, and he wants to do the right thing. Of course, earth day should be indigenous people’s day, farmer-land steward day, animal and ocean day. But we will continue to get “Whitey on Mars” day coming out of the voice boxes of the masters for this co-opted Bono-DiCaprio Earth Day– financial masters. That Fourth Industrial revolution, that globalized capital blitzkrieg, the eugenics of Gates and the GMO Generals, and that digital dashboard, the compliancy demanded of the majority of people on earth, all for Whitey on the Moon . . . or Mars.
The fully developed bureaucratic apparatus compares with other organizations exactly as does the machine with the non-mechanical modes of production.”
The organization of offices follows the principle of hierarchy … each lower office is under the control and supervision of a higher one.
— Max Weber, Economy and Society
This doesn’t infer that private companies, organizations, trade groups, corporations, lobbies are any better than the bureaucracies of government. In fact, the bureaucratic hell we all have been put through — those of us who do not go quietly into the night or roll over to show some yellow belly — consumes millions of lifetime lives, working us over through a very disgusting labyrinth of penury, penalties, prosecutions, persecutions and penal phalanx designed to wear down the innocent.
If you do not have a stable of lawyers (imagine: $2000 an hour; imagine, at least 33.33 percent plus expenses for supposed civil cases of a class action variety), or a stable of lobbyists (imagine: entire companies set up to lie, steal, block, and hide for the rich, the corporations), or a brothel of politicians (imagine: how much does it cost to run for a Senate seat) — here, Oct. 2020:
The North Carolina Senate race is already the most expensive congressional race of all time, with $265 million spent between candidates and outside groups. The Iowa Senate race has already claimed the No. 2 spot with $218 million. — Open Secrets
Those small potatoes people like you and I, those underclass, those lower classes, those less than medium wage/middle class, and all those developing world classes, and all those displaced classes, and all the farmer and laborer classes, we are set up for failure, and when we do fight, we have to empty the savings accounts just to get to the court.
I won’t go into deep detail, but my own family has a living example of this in Oregon. That person set up an LLC — limited liability corporation — when he got a job with a hospitality staffing agency back east. This agency is run by a multimillionaire, who Zooms his gig workers (all workers have to pay the money in respective states for setting up LLC’s) from his 5,000 square foot “dream home” in Vermont, the second or third one in his portfolio. Imagine, a schmuck like me assisting my family member in Oregon to set up his LLC. It cost him $100. Some of my family member’s teammates ended up getting lawyers and CPA’s to help, at a tune of, not less than $450.
The entire gig and DIY and precarious and atomized world of work, including recruiting and staffing, is full of money at the top, and worker bees at the bottom. These worker bees are usually women. Covid-19 stupidity hit, and, well, the hospitality and restaurant business caved. This company then went after the N95 mask makers, and other industries still operating during the planned-economic-demic.
So, you have I Can’t Breathe George Floyd unfolding, yet this multimillionaire white man did not talk about the national movement to stop the police murders of black people (Duh, restaurant workers are BIPOC).
The job went south for my family member. He did not make money, and got one commission check, $3,000 for hundreds of hours of work. Do the math.
Now, he looked for work, paid work, and landed a job. The problem is the Oregon Department of Revenue sent a mountain-high set of letters, warnings, bills, and then penalties. You know, some people have to try and make a living. This family member also had in his past bad nightmares from the IRS coming to his family home and taking the house over, kicking the family into the streets. He was an 11-year-old. Try another incident with a repo of a car, and other such IRS crap, and this family member just could not handle all the chaos of the bureaucracies of hate, failure to file, not knowing the codes inside and out. He expected it all to be washed out at the end of the year when he filed his taxes.
I helped him out, sending in thoughtful and rhetorically-magnificent letters to stop this idiocy. No go. Still, more and more late penalties.
I went to the Tax Court (logged on), and the only way to get a hearing in Oregon is to pay the charged (but incorrect) taxes and the added-on penalties. At more than $10,000 to pay the government, my family member had to dump two IRA Roth’s. So much for the savings.
Now, just to get an administrative judge to hear this, another $280 check had to be written to the state of Oregon. Think of all the work we had to do to try and figure out what the hell was going on. Over $10,000 shelled out, and here it is, waiting for forms to be filled out.
Then, on top of this, ending the LLC cost my family member, $110. That’s $100 to create a sole proprietor LLC, and another $110 to dissolve it.
My family member did not have the bandwidth to handle this. Of course, over the years the toll of medical bills, mortgage company thieves, PayDay loan thugs, school loan sharks, real estate appraisers, auto creeps, and on and on, I have had to come to the assistance of many many people. In reality, this capitalist society — call it parasitic, diseased, disruptive, poisonous — is a wasteland of fraud, scams, and downright theft. In a real society, there would be navigators for people of all ages and ilk — free legal advice, free clinics, free social workers and services workers helping cut through the avalanche of red-tape and bureaucrats who should be — along with at least the first million lawyers on earth, and first 10 million lords of war, and the first 100 million financial real estate insurance scammers should — at the bottom of the sea.
This is it for a broken society. Broken big time. And how do all those notices and penalty scare letters and authentication letters from courts and the revenue service and unemployment service and department of labor come to us in a small rural town?
Yep, through the post office … the dying USPS. That that bumbling mean as a white old man Biden can hardly muster a trickle of phlegm in his words. No groundswell of legislators (sic) and policy makers (sic) and law makers (sic) putting a stop to this evisceration after evisceration.
My family member gets the hearing, appointing me as a secondary or primary family member allowed to present “evidence.” In the first three minutes of my family member presenting evidence, it is clear the Revenue guy is a buttoned down bureaucrat on Prozac. We are talking legalese, and mentioning form x and form y to be filed, with Zeros in all the boxes, to trigger the next step of a refund for the taxes my family member didn’t owe, and then, with the waiving of penalties. My family member literally left, vomiting, and yelling.
Did the judge hear this? Yep. Did the Revenuer hear it? Yep. This wasn’t a Zoom Doom call, but I could hear some dry voices, and then, I took over and navigated the Revenuer’s promise to the judge that all fines and penalties and interests and the initial taxes would be refunded.
Luckily, the Revenuer had some humanity, and emailed me immediately, and we talked, too, on his personal phone, and he attempted to navigate me on some forms, sent them to me, and, alas, the forms did not work. He saw that, and he tried to get some workarounds, and this is where we are at:
Trauma. PTSD. Past bad-bad interaction with IRS, state code men, tax folk, cops, pigs, the entire buffet of bumbling and overpaid and inhumane people. Think of the ticket guy on the street, and the pig-cop. Try and have conversations with these “public” officials about how they live with themselves. I have, in bars. They will throw down, pull a gun, call more pigs-cops. I’ve had many a yelling match. This is the cancel culture.
We await the refund checks, and I will have to let the court know it was resolved once a check comes in, but not without more headaches after the administrative hearing. I will petition the court to charge back the $281 court fee to the state of Oregon, demanding a refund.
And that’s where we are at — letters encoded in Digital Blockchains, on those electronic strips on the DMV license, passport, medical card, on the license plate. And that leads us to the vaccination passport, and soon, the vaccination electronic tattoo.
All app driven, all approved by the Google-Palantir-Facebook-AI masters of the universe. With those sleazy millionaire governors and sleazier senators and congressmen.
Those of us knew this was beyond 1984 and a Brave New World and Minority Report and The Jungle, more than a modern Grapes of Wrath, we knew all of this three decades ago, way before Plans for the Pandemic, shortened to Plan-demic.
The horror is looking at Klaus Schwab, Bill Gates, Zuckerberg, Thiel, Musk, Fauci, and a million other toadies and Eichmann’s in their lizard eyes. The Agenda 2030 and Great Reset bulldozer plowing humanity is already in second gear/
Here we are, now Rutgers, looking for every person on campus to have been hit with the drug-thing in the hypodermic. Prove your worth, prove your jab(s). And anyone really looking at this bio-nano technology knows that the mRNA poison, and the entire suite of bad-bad brews, well, we can expect constant jabs.
The federal government’s assurance of vaccine supply for all Americans prompted Rutgers to make the decision, the university said in a statement.
Brian Strom, chancellor of Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences and executive vice president for health affairs, said the vaccine is the key “to the return of campus instruction and activities closer to what we were accustomed to before the pandemic.”
“The COVID-19 vaccines have proven to be safe and effective in preventing serious illness, hospitalization and death,” Storm said in the statement. — Source, Market Watch
And my shitty job with shitty pay and shitty respect, oh, the managers I work with are actually breaking confidentiality rules by announcing which people have gotten the jab vis-à-vis the nonprofit, and those (me) who have not. Can you believe that shit? I have to tell them if or if not, where and how and which one?
Asking same said boss what the hell is his BMI? How’s that red face blood pressure going? What the hell is going on with the heavy asthmatic breathing? Those fat-laden lunches? You sure about those? Imagine, a world where they ask, or demand, or press — “You’ve gotten the vaccine, right?”
Sure, this is the new normal, and it is their immoral code, their anti-ethics, their Scarlet Alphabet — A through Z, and many symbols stitched into the digital passport signifying the Wrong Kind of American.
My friend does recruiting for California businesses, and that fine fucked up state is requiring vaccine passports, to get to and from work. Pigs-Cops tackling you and folding you into a squad car. That’s step one. Many more steps here to this Plan-Demic takeover.
And this physics and chemistry high school teacher is so right, so vulnerable in this shit show called United Snakes of America:
Today, I would describe myself as a Marxist who thinks the Russian Revolution of 1917 was the most recent example of a working class revolution but would describe its counter-revolutionary collapse as ending in state-run capitalism. I still believe the experience of the Bolshevik party in Russia is vital to look at as an example of what needs to be built today, and there are writings of Lenin and Luxemburg that I use as a political touchstone today. However, I no longer adhere to the idea that “socialism in one country” came only with Stalin, but that you can see its beginnings under Lenin in the policies of the NEP and other changes in policies of the Soviet state under Lenin. The revolution’s fate was sealed when it did not spread to Germany shortly after the socialist revolution in Russia.
Still, I believe the only way out of the mess we are in today is another working class revolution for the establishment of socialism. But that will not take place through the ballot box. It will require mass strikes and an armed insurrection to establish it. Also, it cannot be called socialism unless working class democracy is at its center and is preserved and expanded through the course of the revolution and beyond. Overall, while I firmly believe capitalism must be dismantled, I have more questions than answers about the state of our political tradition and the process by which this mass socialist uprising will take place. Part of the reason I started “What’s Left?”, a podcast/channel I host with two friends, was to give myself an open space to investigate political questions that I am still working through.
The last year has made the prospects for revolutionary change (which were exceedingly dim before the mania around COVID started) seem even more unlikely. I have witnessed the revolutionary Left collapse behind the capitalist state and institutions through the course of the pandemic. I am exceedingly grateful for the existence of Left Lockdown Sceptics and their attempt to fashion a Left response and oppositions to the authoritarian maneuvers of the capitalist classes across the globe. This blog has been a glimmer of hope for me in what has felt like an ocean of despair. — Andy Libson
Just how long does Andy have left in the rotting K12 school system? DV readers know the real way to beating down the masters, and beating back their toadies and Eichmann’s. You’ve read my stuff until you’ve hacked up the offal of capitalism and the rotting meat percolating from the core systems of oppression and subjugation. You know my stance on K12 and higher education.
Solutions to homelessness, obesity, paranoia, fear, sickness, illiteracy, poverty, hunger? Shit, the entire community-based land-formed people-centered, ecosystem-dominating holism and complete person, from cradle to cradle. Every system checked against a true precautionary principle. Every move for 10 generations out. Every decision made for the good of the community.
Art over science. Environment over economics. Ecology over commerce. All tied into a localized economy, regionalized planning, fair use, retrenchment, and ending capitalism, here, there, everywhere.
Naïve? Shit thinking? Is believing in this warring, poisoning, thieving and murdering system of money and top owning the world better? Is that where we are — giving Musk the green light to dump satellites and space junk into orbit after orbit? Who has the right to the Moon and Mars? Just what price is that sickness, that megalomania?
Embarrassing — sick:
Read Andy’s piece. Follow his links to Alison McDowell and Cory Morningstar and Jake Klyceck!
That is the horror story after horror story — Daily, more and more sad sack humans are opting for Zoom Teaching-Medicine-Social Work-Counseling-Engagement with the lighting on the best side of the face, while every Tom, Dick, Harriet and Jane are Zooming in their Underpants.
I think we need to get back to our source of power – our workplace and centers where we congregate to do work – immediately and begin figuring out how we can stop what is coming. The remote learning experience we are going through right now is not a momentary mirage of a world trying to escape COVID. What we are witnessing and participating in (as either educator or student) is the future of education that is preparing future workers for what work will be like in the coming years: remote, on a screen, mediated through data flow and transmission, overseen, monitored and directed by AI. Students are experiencing education (separated, individualized, isolated, controlled and obscure) as they will experience their future work.
Participating in remote learning today isn’t ‘safer’, it’s actually far more dangerous to all our futures. It means our lives will be more separated, more surveilled, more scrutinized and more controlled than ever before. Physical schools will be replaced with laptops and drop-in centers. Teachers will be replaced with screens and AI. Education itself will be a lifelong chase, not of learning, but of job skills so each worker can compete in a global labor market where ever-centralized capitalist centers get their pick of the litter to screen for and exploit workers not as a class but as an isolated worker connected via a screen.
The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them. — Mark Twain
by Paul Haeder / March 21st, 2021
There is dumb-downing, cancel culture (I’ve been cancelled since beginning in 1972 in high school, way before the trendy terminology), forced consent, manufactured bifurcation, false balance, triangulation, perception as reality, equivocation, a host of propaganda techniques unleashed by Edward Bernays and Goebbels, and the ugly quartet of Infantilization-McDonaldization–Walmartization-Disneyfication:
George Ritzer introduced the concept of McDonaldization with his 1993 book, The McDonaldization of Society. Since that time the concept has become central within the field of sociology and especially within the sociology of globalization.
According to Ritzer, the McDonaldization of society is a phenomenon that occurs when society, its institutions, and its organizations are adapted to have the same characteristics that are found in fast-food chains. These include efficiency, calculability, predictability and standardization, and control.
Ritzer’s theory of McDonaldization is an update on classical sociologist Max Weber’s theory of how scientific rationality produced bureaucracy, which became the central organizing force of modern societies through much of the twentieth century. According to Weber, the modern bureaucracy was defined by hierarchical roles, compartmentalized knowledge and roles, a perceived merit-based system of employment and advancement, and the legal-rationality authority of the rule of law. These characteristics could be observed (and still can be) throughout many aspects of societies around the world. — Source
Now, we know infantilization was once applied just to young people, teenagers and such, giving them the one-two punch of treating them as if they have the mental capacity of a four-year or six-year old (now, the nanny-state, and the SARS-CoV2 paranoia and ignorance, making youth think a virus leaps from the ground outside while running in track by themselves will give them the DARPA virus — even DARPA isn’t that good, hail to virologist bomb makers at Fort Detrick and Plum Island). Underestimating the potential of 16-year-olds to understand “our” adult world, or the complexities of society. You know, give a 16-year-old the right to vote since it is that group most affected by the bad bad brew of politics and electioneering that will effect them the most and longest. Nope. That concept of infant-making of the American mind, of course, has been scaled up to an entire society fed on pabulum, cultivated through mass media that are geared to childish concepts of consumerism, fear, patriotism, and celebrity culture and bowing to the rich and famous.
Patronizing might be just one aspect of infantilization, but believe you me, I have been in many arenas — social work, education (higher and K12), environmentalism, union organizing, politics, journalism, the arts (literary, photography), urban planning . . . and then in so many workplaces as an organizer and social services specialist. I’ve seen some dumbdowning and infatalizing and agnotology from supposed brightest and best coming out of elite Ivy Leadure schools. What has happened in the USA is one broadly infantilization and massive Collective Stockholm Syndrome. It took 50 years, or 60.
Walmartization is pretty simple and deadly — Large chain stores moving (bulldozing) into a region (neighborhoods) which then not only devastate local businesses driving and then displacing those workers into low paying chain store jobs, but the money made by these national and multinational chains leaves the community. It could be a bank chain, or hardware chain. That Home Depot is moving profits to shareholders, to the huge monster at the head of the huge serpent that kills local enterprise, local community support. Community of place is replaced by the transnational community of purpose — that purpose being profits anyway possible, and cutting labor costs, benefits, health and safety. Hell, get those workers on state Obama Care, food stamps, and the leftover public assistance. If you work at Amazon, what’s so wrong with three workers living in a beat up RV? That Walmartization is about economies of scale, eating the soul of small manufacturers, small retail businesses, mom and pop’s, and, alas, the money leaves the community and goes to the highly paid family owners or company roughriders — the Cabal of millionaires, multimillionaires, hedge funds, and billionaires that are to put it kindly, bloodsuckers, and viruses.
Disneyfication is a sophisticated intended and unintended set of processes that basically strips a real place (built environment, nature, etc.) or thing of its original character. That is the strip-mall which has boom and busted, and the great 200 acre malls, or the same 7-11 in a million places, as well as those Starbucks shit stores placed everywhere including the bathrooms. It is both a sanitization of real life, of real character, of real communities. Again, anything negative — like telling the real history of this Indian-killing, slave-owning/killing, union-busting/killing, global terror cop propagating country (sic) — is removed, hidden, and then, here we are, with facts that are dumbed down with the psychological and marketing intention of rendering any negative, truthful, hurtful subject more pleasant and easily grasped. Replacing the real bar, the real bookstore, the real coffee shop, the real bodega, the real restaurant, the real park, the real playground, the real forest, the real wetlands, the real swamp, the real everglades, the real farm, with something either idealized … or giving something tourist-friendly veneer. There is a fake “Main Street, U.S.A.” everywhere, and then the ugly side of what makes Milquetoast (but globally deadly) United States of Amerigo Vespucci a dying, wasteful, broken, rotting country.
Now, below will be a short Opinion piece I penned quickly to help my county to realize we have yet another deficit — lack of a literacy initiative, literacy center, literacy professionals and volunteers to help people learn how to read, learn how to decipher children’s schools’ labyrinthine rules and guidelines. To participate in this 21st century, or the Century before this one and the one before that one: learning how to read, and to critically evaluate all the snake oil labels, all the scams, all the hidden fees-tolls-poles-fines-add-ons, to call spade a spade when PayDay comes to town, or when red-lining rules the roost, or when complete and total neighborhoods are fleeced financially, culturally and environmentally.
Literacy — And I have been at that game since, well, since my first year of college, University of Arizona. I’ve taught in prisons where lack of literacy is one big reason for many being locked away. I ran a communications program at a large military base (Fort Bliss, El Paso) where privates all the way to five or six striper NCO’s had reading grade levels of 4 or 5 or 6. That’s fourth, fifth and sixth grade (if they were lucky).
I’ve written about this before — cartoon instructional manuals (usually with a buxom blonde white woman as the instructor in series after series cartoon strips) bending over to show how to arm a Stinger missile or how to use a Vulcan machine missile gun.
If reading isn’t important, than, I suppose every single law drawn up by ALEC and every single omnibus bill, every war lord’s thousand-page contract for this or that bound-to-be-triple-cost overrun killing systems, whether in the air, on the water, underwater, on land, in space, over the web, inside telephones and computers, or inside a bacteria or virus just is not that important.
To the point where 9 or 11 trillion dollars is missing from DoD, and how many trillions have been shelled out to war lords, bankers, virus mercenaries, poverty profiteers?
That I have to work on getting one person into a volunteer-run literacy program as if I am writing the new laws or formulating something unique is troubling (read my Op-Ed piece below).
Functional or complete illiteracy. Remember Jonathan Kozol:
Kozol believes that liberal education in our inner-city schools has been increasingly replaced by “culturally barren and robotic methods of instruction that would be rejected out of hand by schools that serve the mainstream of society.”
Oh baby, did I have Kozol on speed dial in the college classes I taught —
Kozol, Jonathan. Death at an Early Age: The Destruction of the Hearts and Minds of Negro Children in the Boston Public Schools. Houghton, 1967, revised edition, New American Library, 1985.
Kozol, Jonathan. On Being a Teacher. Continuum, 1981.
Kozol, Jonathan. Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope. Crown, 2000.
Kozol, Jonathan. Savage Inequalities: Children in America’s Schools. Crown, 1991.
Kozol, Jonathan. Shame of the Nation: The restoration of apartheid schooling in America. Crown, 2005.
This is what Studs Terkel said about Kozol’s Illiterate America — “Stunning… with passion and eloquence Kozol reveals a devastating truth… and offers a challenge and remedy.” Source
If it is any comfort to this man, he should know that he is not alone. Twenty-five million American adults cannot read the poison warnings on a can of pesticide, a letter from their child’s teacher, or the front page of a daily paper. An additional 35 million read only at a level which is less than equal to the full survival needs of our society.
Together, these 60 million people represent more than one third of the entire adult population.
The largest numbers of illiterate adults are white, native-born Americans. In proportion to population, however, the figures are higher for blacks and Hispanics than for whites. Sixteen percent of white adults, 44 percent of blacks, and 56% of Hispanic citizens are functional or marginal illiterates. Figures for the younger generation of black adults are increasing. Forty-seven percent of all black seventeen-year-olds are functionally illiterate. That figure is expected to climb to 50 percent by 1990. — Kozol, Illiterate America
Now, that was from a book Kozol write 36 years ago. THIRTY-SIX. Those numbers above pale in comparison to this year’s averages. Since we have 335 million in this country, and alas, functional illiteracy is at an all-time high, a larger percentage of people are duped, fooled, cheated, imprisoned, bankrupted, scammed, and structurally murdered because they can’t read or can’t understand what they are reading. Make that 80 percent of people reading the car-seat instructions for their loved one’s safety in fact install the car seat INCORRECTLY after reading a 7th grade level set of simple instructions.
Advocates for children and civil rights who have not yet given up entirely on the struggle to break down the walls of racial isolation in our public schools may want to take a good hard look at Joe Biden’s shameful record on school segregation. Despite his recent effort to allay concerns about that record, it cannot be expunged or easily forgiven.
In an education-policy proposal released by his campaign on May 28, Biden briefly spoke of encouraging diversity by giving grants and guidance to districts that are willing to pursue it. But he said nothing to disown his long history as a fierce opponent of school busing and a scathing critic of the Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education.
Milquetoast to all the idiots who fight me tooth and nail when I explicitly state I never have or never will vote for a democrat or republican for president. That a two-minute scribble exercise called voting does absolutely ZERO for me, and for the causes I fight for, including a literacy center in every rural, suburban, urban community.
Illiteracy is bad all around, but oh is it sweet to the bankers, real estate folk, the doctors, lawyers, accountants, IRS, military, marketers, flimflam folk that rule this country . . . as you will read in the short piece I did for the small twice a week rag, Newport News Times. But what makes this country a house of horrors and run by corporate and war lord whores, is how all of those elites and monsters conspire to make people dumb downed, and that is the McDonaldization-Walmartization-Infantalization-Disneyfication of everything.
Literacy is a matter of life and death, happiness or penury
I used to get my elbows up into many literacy projects as an English and writing faculty member at community colleges, universities, prison school programs and writing/journalism workshops for people who are exploited because of their status as low income or as former felons, and those homeless citizens as well as adults living with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Events like “Banned Books Month” (October) or National Poetry Month (April) I worked hard to promote/support. Big journalism organizations like Project Censored and groups like Reporters without Borders are still in my blood.
I am now working again in a small rural community dotted with small towns. I am not only supporting folks with job development and on-the-job training and coaching, but I am helping two Lincoln County citizens with reading literacy.
In my situation with Shangri-La, these two are adult men in their 30s who are seeking reading literacy programs.
It may come as a surprise to citizens, lawmakers and politicians alike, but Lincoln County does not have a literacy center. There is no one-stop place for people who need literacy tutoring, whether they are functionally illiterate in their English skills as a U.S.-born citizen, or those who are English as a second/third language learners.
I’m working with a Salem group, Mid-Valley Literacy Center (founded in 2009). Vivian Ang is my contact who is helping train Newport and Toledo-based citizens to help tutor my two clients. This is not an easy task, and Vivian, with more than 20 years of tutoring including at Chemeketa Community College, says it’s hit or miss.
“I do not have any experience with assisting an adult with a learning disability (developmental disability) to learn how to read,” she has repeated to me several times.
An adult who drives a car, works at a factory, runs a large piece of construction equipment, lives on his own and presents as a “regular sort of guy” can be in one of the most dire of circumstances — functional and complete illiteracy.
Wanting to learn how to read when you are in your 30s takes guts. There are stigmas for someone who can’t read an insurance form or simple job application.
The need is high in Lincoln County for adults like this client of mine — born in Newport and educated in Newport’s K-12 system, including special education classes — to learn how to read. But we have many from Mexico, Guatemala and other countries in our communities where learning how to read and speak English is more than just a step toward better pay.
Vivian tells me a story about an Oregon woman, from Mexico, illiterate in English, who had a sick daughter who needed medication to improve. The prescription stated, “Take this medication once a day.” In Spanish, once is the word for the number 11, so, tragically, the mother followed the prescription contextualized in her Spanish reading abilities. At 11 times a day, after a few days, the medication killed her two-year-old daughter.
Navigating housing, employment, the legal system, utility companies, landlords, cultural activities, and representative politics are basically off limits to a person who can’t read or write. The amount of exploitation, fines, fees, garnishments, late payments and other penalties is a regular occurrence for people who can’t read and write.
According to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy (founded 1991), low literacy in the USA costs us as a society $2.2 trillion a year. According to U.S. Department of Education, more than half of U.S. adults aged 16 to 74 years old (54 percent or 130 million people) lack proficiency in literacy, reading below the equivalent of a sixth-grade level.
For my many clients across the board, lack of reading, low reading levels and functional illiteracy can be linked to poorer health, low levels of civic engagement and low earnings in the labor market. On average, more than 70 percent of people following the seventh grade reading level for instructions on how to install an infant car seat fail to follow the proper steps.
I am enlisting tutors for my two clients. I have a librarian and a library technician on board. Three retired women living in Toledo and Newport, too. One of my client’s workplaces is stepping up and paying the nonprofit Vivian runs for the materials and training. That general manager is also providing a private space with internet access to his worker (I’ll call him Samuel) who is illiterate.
He tells me, “I wish I had 22 Samuel’s working for me. He’s an incredible worker, reliable, goes the extra mile.” Source
The final report on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) concludes that the project has been ‘the most successful anti-poverty movement in history’. Two key claims underpin this narrative: that global poverty has been cut in half, and global hunger nearly in half, since 1990. This good-news narrative has been touted by the United Nations and has been widely repeated by the media. But closer inspection reveals that the UN’s claims about poverty and hunger are misleading, and even intentionally inaccurate. The MDGs have used targeted statistical manipulation to make it seem as though the poverty and hunger trends have been improving when in fact they have worsened. In addition, the MDGs use definitions of poverty and hunger that dramatically underestimate the scale likely of these problems. In reality, around four billion people remain in poverty today, and around two billion remain hungry – more than ever before in history, and between two and four times what the UN would have us believe. The implications of this reality are profound. Worsening poverty and hunger trends indicate that our present model of development is not working and needs to be fundamentally rethought. — Jason Hickel, Third World Quarterly , Volume 37, 2016 – Issue 5
How could these two cohorts, the 85 richest and 3.5 billion poorest, have the same amount of wealth? The great majority of the 3.5 billion have no net wealth at all. Hundreds of millions of them have jobs that hardly pay enough to feed their families. Millions of them rely on supplements from private charity and public assistance when they can. Hundreds of millions are undernourished, suffer food insecurity, or go hungry each month, including many among the very poorest in the United States.
Most of the 3.5 billion earn an average of $2.50 a day. The poorest 40 percent of the world population accounts for just 5 percent of all global income. About 80 percent of all humanity live on less than $10 a day. And the poorest 50 percent maintain only 7.2 percent of the world’s private consumption. How exactly could they have accumulated an amount of surplus wealth comparable to the 85 filthy richest? — Michael Parenti
Staggering the memory hole shoveling going on and perpetrated by elites in commerce, weapons, media, education, a la industrial complexes in the second decade of the 21st Century. Like plagues of locusts. Leeches two hundred worth per hominid, and the tapeworm eats the last, next and current generation like a desiccating alien of our nightmares.
The more light shining on the criminals, onto the military war lords, the entire punishment cabal in governments, in corporations, in policing and uniformed military agencies, the more that bearing witness just peters out. It flags the average Yankee, and the doodle dandy is football, flicks and frolicking with furious caloric intent.
Welcome to the West. Then, the mind-numbing retorts to the initiation of discourse, of legitimate discussion about the ails of the world, largely set loose by the captains of industries — the military-media-legal-medical-penal-computing-financial-education-energy-AI-real estate-poison-agriculture COMPLEX. And boy is it never really “complex” — it’s about the art of the steal, the art of the scam, the art of the grift, the art of the toll-fine-fee-garnishment-penalty-tax-attachment set forth by the lobbies of the lords of death with the Eichmann’s of Bureaucracy.
“We can only take so much trauma.”
“The human brain can’t take so much truth.”
“Trigger Warning; The Following Stories About Wealth for the Rich and Poverty for the rest of Us Might Cause Spasms of Collective Amnesia, Anxiety, Animosity.”
“There is no meek shall inherit the earth. We are talking about the meek and the poor inheriting the toxins, pollutants, the penury, the profound suffering inflicted upon them generation after generation by the rich and their enablers, the ultimate evil — those turning a blind eye to suffering, rape, razing, murder.”
I’m getting it from all angles, really, the tired, the over-educated (in terms of college but not in terms of smarts). The tired middle class. All those huffing and puffing and blowing Trump Towers down folk who are self-blinding themselves, as if bearing the truth of Biden et al, as well as bearing the weight of protecting Everything/Anything Empire, while the chorus of War Mongering Democrats a la LGBTQA-+ sing ‘Hallelujah, No More Trump’ puts them right smack where Oedipus was, exposed to the truth and overcome with shame, grief, and remorse. Poking eyes out is the least the people who follow the perverse leaders should do.
Except, their blinding is symbolic, life-long, from womb to cradle to grave, as in turning a blind eye to the roots, the very radical cause of all the suffering, the police no-knocks, the cesium floating in lungs and bellies, and a dozen other micro-particles from this or that nuclear fallout incident. Symbolic and demonstrative of the kill-for-profits Capitalism.
It is too too much for the masses — The Truth — so we all have to gather round the Zoom screen, tune into Amazon Prime, and sing, Give Peace a Chance while the world is fleeced by the billionaires, but also those millionaires (we tend to give millionaires, multi-millionaires a get-out-of-jail pass, when they too are the culprits helping spread that poisonous fallout).
Professor Bernd Grambow (co-author from IMT Atlantique) added “the present work, using cutting-edge analytical tools, gives only a very small insight in the very large diversity of particles released during the [Fukushima] nuclear accident, much more work is necessary to get a realistic picture of the highly heterogeneous environmental and health impact.”
Lockdowns for a flu virus, lockdowns for free thought, lockups for free speech, lock and loaded for the Empire, shackled to bills-mortgages-policies-ballooning debt…. BUT for fuck’s sack, we can’t lockdown the fossil fuel monsters, lock-up the Fukushima shills, shutdown the Olympics, punish and quell the military saber rattlers (read: purveyors of nuclear- chemical-bacteria-viral-digital-intergalactic weapons).
Business as usual is a trillion easy dollars in Pandemic Profits for a half dozen men, and a cool several trillion more with mandatory masking, Zooming, SARS-CoV2,3,4,5,6 annual vaccinations and semi-annual boosters.
Passports to their hell. Yet, when you talk to a Kamala Harris floozy, well, they get teary eyed, sing the All Spangled Banner of Buffoonery, and then tell you to hit the road, no more Haeder in their House.
Literally, people want nothing of politics, or the reveal — showing how their own colonized and kettled thinking under the guise of “liberal” looting under the Democrat Vote has always been part of the problem, not any solution to the world thievery or a pathway to world peace.
So What is The Answer?
It is not a $64,000 question, for sure, since the answer is collectively simple, easily repeated, easily understood, Yet, that is the jig, always looking for the messiah, or having their cake (capitalism) and eating it (profits-profits-profits) too. They are limited and limiting, and they gladly take the Kool-Aide and mix in a shot of Jack Daniels and a jigger of high fructose fizz.
Resisting for them is not an option. If they can’t converse, frame, contextualize, harmonize, recount, go back in history, recall the scene of the crime(s), then how the hell can these same folk who ask, Well, you sure know how to criticize and go on and on about the ills of Capitalism, but show me any other system that works. Humanity is humanity, whether in the center of Wall Street or out on the Rez.
This is their thinking, their great retort, and so, how do we get to that point where we just get to the basics, the Cornel West basics– Watch his rumble in the jungle: Harvard, the worst kind of man-eating institution, along with a few hundred elite schools on this side and that side of the pond:
Listen to him, watch him, feel his presence of soul, Dr. West. Not a perfect man, thank god!
So, what is the answer? Justice. Social-spiritual-ecological-cultural-gender-age-racial-ethnic-ecnonmic-educational-food-energy JUSTICE? Using the inverse, the answer is the whole human-whole earth, toward holism, embedded in systems thinking, what it means to have the commons, what it is to be a society among other societies that is ecologically-based, agrarian-centered, humanistic-thriving, environmentally-aware, is, well, the opposite formulation of these Gandhian sins:
Wealth Without Work Pleasure Without Conscience Knowledge Without Character Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics) Science Without Humanity Religion Without Sacrifice Politics Without Principle
It doesn’t take much K12 education and applied learning to understand that reversing these sins and following the antithesis would illuminate the bearable weight of being a human in the world, triggering change at a global and galactical level. Prometheus steals the fire from the gods and gives it to people. Bound to the mountain. Prometheus grows weary. The future oh the future, swallowed up by that lack of hope. Let us all be Prometheus, and help each other take from the thieves, the rich, and give warmth and fire to the world. Unbound us together. Break the chains of the illicit gods and their devils.
Really, though, one person’s hope is another person’s oppression. In capitalism, there is the king of the dung heap, the winner being the one who dies with the most toys. Dog-eat-dog, and survival of the most unfit (using the Seven Sins of Humanity above as illustrative of what makes capitalism really zip along).
In Western culture, it all might seem like a Greek Tragedy of Trailer Park or Mar-a-lago proportions. It might all seem like a hardscrabble blues tribute to American stick-to-it-ness. That hardened soul, as DH Lawrence ascribed —
The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted.
We know that Western soul is a killer from the womb — those royals and despicable ones from the Old World, those Belgium in the Congo, those Romans, those hard, soldiering, religious zealots, hand in hand with silver chalice and golden rosary, those kings and queens, launching the deplorable ones, the rabble into crusades of raping-ravaging-razing. There is no “American soul” without the British slave traders-merchants-purchasers; no American soul without the French and Spanish interlopers. The American soul is part and parcel those former Nazi’s and the money changers, the globalists looking for a micro-penny for every human corpuscle exploited in their gaming humanity. This is Turtle Island, not some chunk of land named for an Italian map maker for the king.
Now that’s a dark dark killer that never melts — Capitalism. It is now cleaned up, a la Madison Avenue and slick green-blue-pink-white washing, no longer presented as cold, stoic, but happy, illustrious, coopting, brainwashing, gleeful, the ice cream truck coming to serve all the children with gooey goodies. Shifty, slick, liberal, slick, hip. It is now a virus inside a thousand viruses —
A democratic society shapes itself – by means of the participation of its citizens in discussing and deciding how things should be organised and to what ends.
But, as even their name reveals, the Global Shapers want to “shape” society from above and in their own interests.
This is not the solution to global problems, and, the rockets and payloads of Bezos and Musk and DoD and the rest of the capitalists looking for lucre and gold on Mars and the Moon. Reset is not rebounding. Reset is not reconvening the true holistic way of life. Reset is not returning to a point in time in our civilizations where we come together in mutual aid, live a biodynamic present and future, hold onto sacred tribal principles, understand the soil-air-water. The reset is not a return to sanity, actualization for woman, man, child, ecosystem. This reset is the rich’s bargain basement theft of our agency, our independence, our collective will to strike at them as the felons of our time. Their reset is tracking our every movement, each blink of the eye, each snore and defecation. This reset is about pulling strings, forcing the Faustian Bargain each moment. They will fine-garnish-withhold-penalize-criminalize our unborn, and our dying parents. You get a universal income, but not to be spent on what they do not want you/us to spend it on.
The foregone conclusion is what the teachers teach the children. It is what the media paint around us. Each narrative directed and shot for Netflix or Amazon or Hulu or Vudu, they are set to propagandize for the rich, the resetters, the titans who want mars colonized, who want the moon for their private resort. Orbiting Club Meds in the ionosphere.
Yet, the Lesson is Dead Wolves, Manatees and Turtles
The very place of Trump and Spring Break, Florida, is emblematic of the fall, the disgusting imbalance of the world, of sanity, of thinking. Manatees dying off in unfathomable numbers. Turtles washing up sick and dead. The expansion of the ocean, wiping out much of Florida by 2100. The bastion of Spring Break and lust and speedboats and dream hoarding.
Something not to be proud of, and to lend pause for humanity, but not more than once, and give it to me once in that 24-hour news cycle, please. At least 432 Florida manatees have already died in 2021, well over double the state’s 5-year average for the same time period.
Hundreds of sea turtles washing up on Southwest Florida beaches this year in a mass mortality event that researchers say will impact the recovery of the protected species is not a good sign of HUMAN health. The Great Reset has nothing to say about the reality of our own commons.
Then you have Wisconsin, gun-toting AR15-loving murderers taking on a record 216 wolves killed in 60 hours. What does this say about this society, this blood sport society of high powered weapons, radar trackers, dually pick-ups, $340,000 campers, TV, booze, and a quick trip in the woods to murder wolves?
Or, the hard cold soul of the European, Italians, putting 20-year sentences on people working with charities to help stranded and sinking and drowning refugees from African countries. Imagine that world of the cold Great Resetters. Save the Children and MSF among dozens facing sentences of up to 20 years over humanitarian work
Humanitarian organizations are rejecting what they say is an attempt to criminalize lifesaving aid to migrants and refugees at sea after Italian prosecutors charged three groups with aiding and abetting illegal immigration through their rescue operations in the Mediterranean.
Over 20 people are facing up to 20 years in prison. — Source.
Each story of injustice is the tip of the proverbial iceberg, demonstrating the insanity of systems — legal systems of punishment-abandonment-unruly laws against the suffering, laws meant to pay the rich, pay off the rotting bureaucrats, the Eichmann’s, big and small, who keep the wheels and the gears of death grinding, whether those wheels are those of the Empire, or the Capitalists, or the Economic Hitmen-Frontmen-Debasers, or all the pigs who make money off the penury and punishment unleashed by Capitalism.
Not me. Not I. Over my dead body.
The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall. We cannot be sure of having something to live for unless we are willing to die for it. — Che
wy-kan-ush, salmon to Columbia basin people —pum – the creator sees pum fragile so conjures up grand council offers salmon first food of gods then water, home for King of Fish
longhouses built for offerings spring, chinook, sockeye, silver bodies of creation tribes sing sacred reverence salmon: the returner, anadromous egg sac gestation in clear fresh water migration to sea, return to home tributaries circle of reproduction, death, return – life
salmon from Latin salmo, salire, “to leap” indicator species now keystone for all species giant firs nitrogen loads from the carcasses eucharist to all our wy-kan-ush
My strength is from the fish; my blood is from the fish, from the roots and berries. The fish and game are the essence of my life. I was not brought from a foreign country and did not come here. I was put here by the Creator. —Chief Weninock, Yakama, 1915
“You knew that he was a kid who was always sticking up for the underdog. Boy, if he felt something was wrong, forget it. He’d fight anybody tooth and nail, often at his expense. That’s worth a lot.” — Pete Jenny on RFK, Jr.
White Washing: According to one Merriam-Webster definition, to whitewash is to “gloss over or cover up,” which, in a sense, is what the racial form of whitewashing does. It creates a White world where sins against people of color, including Blacks, Native Americans, Asians, Latinos, and other minority groups cease to matter because, in revisionist history and reality, those minority groups barely exist.
Here’s one example believe it or not which ties into my neck of the woods on the Central Oregon Coast, and even Portland, OR: Daniel Boone was a man. Yes a big man. With an eye like an eagle and as tall as a mountain was he. Daniel Boone was a man. Yes a big man. He was brave, he was fearless and as tough as a mighty oak tree. The rippin’est roarin’est fightin’est man the frontier ever knew.
We get to Boone in a moment, and all the mythology and falsified history of his very existence.
There are all sorts of ways to wash away complicity or guilt, and the color wheel is just one way to describe this highly sophisticated form of propaganda-marketing-PR spin-Revisionist history/thinking/mythology. Whitewashing is a form of fabrication.
Part of the fabrication are those scared cows like “we support our men and women in uniform.” I personally have a few hundred examples of going up against many armies of the lie, or battalions of the bullshit.
There are good journalists and good teachers, for sure, but the majority, for the most part, are not sacred or holy or fool-proof agents of democracy. There are many ways I have been hobbled for not supporting the illegal wars of this country, especially Bush’s “declared victory” in the Middle East. Hobbled by fellow journalists and educators. I was living in El Paso, and Cocaine and Southern Comfort W Bush was the governor of that Tex-ass state. El Paso is a huge arena for military and retired military. The Mexican-Americans (88 percent of the population in El Paso/El Paso County) may have voted straight democrat on their ballots (Bush and other retrograde redneck vicious governors have come to town courting that vote), but many Latinx love their USA flags and military men and women from their ranks. So, going against Reagan’s wars in Central America or Bush I’s against Panama, Malvinas and his Desert Shield, I was up against supposed liberal left fellow teachers and journalists. Even supposedly disenfranchised Latinx.
Once the Prez or Congress or whomever (CIA, NSA) gets us into a war, we all must support the troops, no, tie a yellow ribbon on the chain-link fence sort of thing . . . support the mission, support whatever the Commander in Chief does with his tin soldiers. How many times have I gone up against college/university presidents and provosts and department chairs and even my own fellow faculty when I questioned the veracity of rationales for bombing other countries. As Kim Peterson illustrates in his recent DV article, “North Korea Steadfastly Resisting US Hegemony,” by illuminating A.B. Abrams “… comprehensive book, Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with American Power, there is a whole lot of rooting for war and destruction by the average North American:
US wars are not only a function of its government and military. It is important to realize that the US carries out it warring and provocations against foreign countries often with overwhelming approval of the American populace. Abrams writes that the majority of American citizens supported using nukes against North Korea. (p 131) American public support for warring was also evident by support for intensified bombing by the US during armistice negotiations. (p 224) That this American public support for militarism was not an anomaly was revealed during the US attacks on Muslim nations following 9-11, with 70% of Americans indicating a belief in Saddam Hussein being connected to Al Qaeda. (p 390)
You can fiddle with terms like illegal alien, positing that no human being is “illegal,” or debating how the term “alien” ascribes more than a negative otherness to the person — it dehumanizes the person.
These are important discussions, especially in politics, in journalism and in educational circles. Yet, these discussions have lingered in academia, and have withered at the root of American enlightenment.
I’ve had to confront people about what it means to be humanistic and abiding by the Earth Charter and Dignity and Rights of All People. You know, that socialistic and humanistic and democratic and communist set of principles of for-by-with-because-of the people:
love it or leave it
bleeding heart liberal
These are terms of vile against me and others for fighting for the simple rights of people — some of the most able, of the land and poor village people and farmers whose lives are torn up, destroyed, disposed of, displaced through the strong arm and long arm of economic-cultural-political-military warfare.
You can be labeled “anti-American/anti-business/anti-poor” for questioning Walmart. You can be called a “traitor” for questioning bombing, chemical spraying, immolating, polluting, imprisoning, permanently displacing people the USA deems enemies, supportive of enemies of the state, or collateral damage.
Proportionality when discussed by the average American is questioning the very fabric of our way of life, our leadership and our own form of enslavement and dictatorship. The military is right, and whatever they need to intervene or overreach, they know the deal.
Proportionality in international law, however, is not about equality of death or civilian suffering, or even about equality of firepower. Proportionality weighs the necessity of a military action against suffering that the action might cause to enemy civilians in the vicinity.
Under international humanitarian law and the Rome Statute, the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable does not constitute a war crime…. even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur. A crime occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (principle of distinction) or an attack is launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality). — Luis Moreno-Ocampo, Chief Prosecutor, International Criminal Court.
The above Moreno-Ocampo statement is more or less memory-holed, erased largely from discourse, and hardly every cited in educational circles. This form of washing away knowledge is called agnotology – a concerted effort to wash or erase facts, history. The white wash cited above, as in support the troops right or wrong, is well, pretty obvious in the K12 textbooks, or watching those crocodile-teared GOP or Democrats with their metal USA flag lapel pins, shakily saluting while death jets like F-15, 16, 18 models zoom above inebriated football fans. Hourly fuel costs —
VIP transport: C-20B VIP Plane (Senior Pentagon Officials) — $32,212 C-32A VIP Plane (Vice President, Cabinet Officers) — $42,936 VC-25A Air Force One — $161,591 E-4B Flying Headquarters — $163,485
Operating expenses total $206,337 for every hour the president’s plane is in the air.
Which brings us to more than just white washing, or blood money trading. Imagine the US military is the biggest single source of pollution in the world, and imagine creepy politicians and GS-18’s and highflying ex-four star generals and CEOs of the mercenary companies like Raytheon and Aerodynamics, just getting their free air time spewing lie after lie about a more sustainable US military — mean, green, lean fighting machine.
Greenwashing is a whitewash or green sheening by corporations to promote themselves as “environment friendly.” It also encompasses that environmentally and socially responsibility flim-flam, full of the PT Barnum deceptive promotion to lie through their teeth. Key concepts for all washing it marketing and advertising themselves as environment friendly. Spend money on the Mad Men and Mad Women, rather than actual actions, is called greenwashing.
Add to the wash of the green, blue-washing: a technique deployed by corporations and companies to form collaborations and associations with various United Nations agencies to portray themselves as being compliant of the ten principles of United Nations Global Compact, while not being so in actuality.
Advertising spin of the blue wash variety is supposedly showing congruence with these principles above, to include actions against child labor, slavery and corruption, safeguarding human rights.
Then, well, we get into the latest arena of washing, bullshitting, lying, mind manipulation, closely linked to the fearful majority who would dare speak out against Zionism as a massively inhumane belief and operating system, one counterpoint to the 10 Principles illustrated above. You are, in a nutshell, pigeon-holed as anti-Semitic if you criticize these aspects of Zionism or the country (sic) of “Israel.” Washed out of existence, another form of washing. Akin to being memory-holed as a non-human, a nobody.
Who would have thought Pink-washing would be tied to “Israel,” but . . . .
[Below: Anarcho-queer collective Mashpritzot hold a “die-in” protest against Israeli pinkwashing and the perceived homonormative priorities of the LGBT support centre in Tel Aviv]
Over a decade ago, activists adopted the term “pink-washing” to describe the Israeli propaganda tactic of washing away the oppression of Palestinians by painting Israel as a gay-friendly and liberal state. Israeli pink-washing tries to win the hearts and minds of international audiences and prevent solidarity with the Palestinian struggle
Reversing back to this screed’s start
We’ll get to Ralph Nader’s Radio Hour in a second. We’ll get to Daniel Boone too, in a second, tied to the white-washing pulled quote above.
First, a little bit of my work again in social services, a field that is for the most part vastly underpaid, with workers who are dedicated at first, highly motivated to help people, and whose lives are in many cases the epitome of sacrifice — student loan debts, master’s degrees for $17 an hour work, and mandatory several thousand hours of unpaid clinical hours.
Think about that for a moment — pre-Covid-19, a society fraught with trauma, fraught with chronic physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual illnesses. People who are left alone, left out to dry, folks who are traumatized by family, by neighborhoods, by circumstances. People who were already damaged in many ways in utero, and after birth, well, the society in general and at large, eating away at the typical American soul. Tape worms of the soul: Capitalism. Pin worms of the heart: Consumerism. The giant proverbial leech sucking people dry in this economic gulag: Market Driven Madness.
Some of the people I serve have head injuries. Traumatic Brain Injuries. That act of “god” or “fate” can alter a person completely for life. In most cases, there is a lot of physical impediment, or some, but the memory is shot-through, many times. Spotty short-term and long-term memory. Swiss cheese of the brain in many cases.
Then a head bash-trauma can also strip away a person’s emotional and empathetic cores. They just can’t feel the normal range of human emotions. No tears when a loved one dies. Little joy. Even brain injured children are considered low on the person’s emotional totem pole.
On the job, a person in this situation needs accommodations, needs personal support workers to help the injured person just do the basic activities of daily living/survival.
It isn’t an easy life — going from a perfectly healthy and active 15-year-old thriving teen, to a paralyzed, comatose and soon recovering brain injured human being.
My job is to support these sorts of people in getting work, and in getting to first base in the first place by coaching interview techniques, by helping contextualize life gaps, such as the years after a brain injury.
The emotional complexities of the human species are many times missing, and so I have to act as the bridge and interpreter as this person attempts to navigate integrated employment.
The problem is that this sort of survival is a growing concern. Emergency Medicine can keep people alive after horrific accidents, accidents which just a few years ago would have been a death sentence.
Now, what do the “recovered” do to survive, to find some niche in society by working and carrying on? When the society in general is still fifty years behind the times?
Many of the people with a TBI live a life surrounded by/surrounding themselves with mythology, sacred cows, propped up belief systems. They many times want to believe in “normal/normalcy” in a world where that — normal — is an ever-moving target.
The “new normal” is no normal.
Which leads us back to the entire white washing of USA, of this country’s past, this country’s under girder and foundations of, well, theft.
Brains and Daniel Boone
I write, participate in revolutionary activism, muckrake, and work in social services, as I have laid out in DV many times in the past 11 years, grappling with many different challenges in those gigs or jobs I’ve had assisting people — people in distress, traumatized, in full-blown crisis, a la PTSD. Brain injured as adults (war time, too), born with Down Syndrome, dementia and Alzheimer’s, mentally retarded (according to various school districts and Special Ed programs), with drug affected conditions leading to all manner of learning and developmental disabilities. Old and young, functional in terms of our “normal” society, or highly impacted by fetal alcohol syndrome or cerebral palsy, and the like.
I’ve worked with folks living with psychological disabilities, like schizophrenia. With full-blown mental breakdown caused by bad families, bad circumstances, bad drugging, bad war experiences, bad people. Everyone of the military women I have worked with were victimized by rape. Brutal. Many women in general I have worked with have been sexually assaulted. And with all of the psychological tears and battering those rapes do, there are also physical issues tied to pounded faces, pounded necks, and, thus, we have bad backs and necks and all the other secondary and tertiary things associated with violent attacks on bodies.
I’m working with what the people who come to me have, helping them enhance the positives and push down some of the barriers. And the barriers are more than just their own, their own families’, their own community’s. The barriers are cultural. Many Americans want “them” to maybe be seen but not heard. Many do not want them to be seen, either.
Another threadbare existence for tens of millions of people. Maybe more. And there will be more on the horizon with more and more people surviving crashes and accidents, left with major mental-psychological-neurological-physical disabilities. The handicapping comes from policies, legislation, lack of housing, lack of real support teams. Just one of a million things lacking in this Corrupt and Criminal Capitalism.
Funny stories arise, though. One fellow I work with read the local paper, Newport News Times. I’ve written for the twice-a-week rag. On homelessness and environmental stuff.
He was excited to know that the Oregon timber town where he lives once had a fellow and his brood there, on an island, whose family line included that fellow, Daniel Boone:
‘The history of McCaffrey Island’ —
Van Daniel first homesteaded the island in 1897 but never owned the property, according to James’ correspondence with Van Daniel’s daughter, Carol Holbrook. The family first moved into an abandoned shed on the island but built a full home there by 1901. Nine of their 10 children were born on the island, and they went to school by rowing to Oysterville.
The family made its living harvesting oysters and raising pigs. On the upper tier of the island was a waterfall and garden. Holbrook said there were no trees on the island when they first moved there, but they later planted many, including an apple and plum tree.
Holbrook said Indigenous people often visited the island, and her father hired them to help the family shuck oysters. One of Van Daniel’s sons also found arrowheads and beads on the island while they lived there.
When Van Daniel’s wife fell ill with tuberculosis in 1917, the family moved from the island to an abandoned house on the mainland. They didn’t sell the island because they didn’t own it. They never learned who owned the abandoned house they moved into on the mainland either.
So, of course, my friend/client got all excited because of that famously present seeding of lies the US school system and Holly-Dirt have perpetuated since that old cherry tree was chopped down, or that first “thanksgiving” with the Puritans and Pokanoket Wampanoag.
We talked about the old TV show the 35-year-old client watches — Fess Parker as Boone in the 1964-1970 TV series. Strange how these racist old series still float around the ether.
“Man, I always wanted to be like Daniel Boone when we watched that show. I watched the show when I was young. What was it, fifteen years or whatever after the show was cancelled.”
So, with his permission, we looked at the Boone myth which was precipitated by an innocuous piece in the local rag on some pioneer (sic) families and others who had that island.
Boone has been portrayed in books and in movies and TV shows as a regular tough guy, all-American, the new Adam paving the way for Manifest Destiny and land claims for a beginning white nation. Here is a decent two paragraphs that put the white washing in the context of Boone and his modern-day worshippers:
In 1992 Native people in KY and allies during the 500th anniversary of Columbus decided to correct local historic monuments to alleged heroes of colonialism in the Ohio Valley. The picture you see above is one example. It was a statue of Daniel Boone at the entrance to? “Cherokee Park”. There are 4 parks in Louisville named after the people driven from this land. Cherokee, Shawnee, Chickasaw, and Iroquois. Of course there are monuments all over this city to Confederate Generals, Indian killers, slave owners, and the like. There are absolutely none to Tecumseh, Blue Jacket, Harriet Tubman, or any native or African-Americans. A couple of streets that is it. So as I was watching Tecumseh’s vision, the PBS special last night, I was reminded of several things that deserve exploring. So once again I am going to poke holes in “American History” and saw the legs off of statues to genocidal murderers. Sorry. — Source.
To begin with let us be clear, the colonial Americans never had any desire to live harmoniously with their Indian hosts and in fact Thomas Jefferson explicitly ordered their removal and extermination, owned slaves, and was aside from his humane policies toward his fellow colonists was a rapist, slaving, ethic cleansing murderer. So was Boone. So let us be exactly and historically honest shall we? Let us start with Daniel Boone as he was the “Indian Fighter” exemplar. Now let us remember Tecumseh was born in 1768. Boone was killing Indians and escorting colonists as Tecumseh drew his first breaths and Boone then became an elected official and presided over the ethnic cleansing of the Delaware, Shawnee, Cherokee, and all the indigenous people in the way of “progress” till his retirement. Many would say he just did what was expected of him in that time. OK? What was expected of him was that he kill Indians and escort colonists to steal lands that belonged to someone else.
The fine line I have to toe is that I am there for my clients on many social services levels — the official duties — but I am also more importantly an advocate, a teacher, a model, a mentor, and someone they can relate to who happens to have years working with “disadvantaged” but who himself thus far has had or currently has none of the disadvantages they have had to bear (yet). Sure, we are all in this predatory, insanity called United Snakes of America together, but unfortunately (and for obvious infantilizing reasons) we do not have the same depth of research, life experiences, multiple perspectives, and worldly views. When I am with the average Biden Boy or Obama Yes We Can Cultist, I know I am with someone who is ultra conservative, ultra pro-money, ultra stupid when it comes to history and facts. That is the very nature of those millions of gears working to “white” wash or “green” wash or “pink” wash the world.
When it comes to sacred cows, well, the discussion turns interesting. And for many people, with or without trauma and disabilities, very uncomfortable.
Weight of Rape, the Weight of Racism
The reality is that the average “dude” or “gal” who may be coming at things with a less severely redneck or reactionary point of view, well, they either can’t fathom the number of people in the USA (no, I am not getting into other societies with just as bad situations) who have been violently raped as adults or sexually assaulted as underage humans. Mostly women, but not exclusively. In 2021, I still get people with or without college degrees, telling me, that “this is not a rape culture.” Telling me “many women are faking it.” Telling me that “Trump is a target because he is famous and has money . . . there is no way he did that . . . he has children, man, and what would his wife say if it was true?”
That white washing is a unique sort of push back against women.
Then, well, many just can’t take the Portland uprising anymore, as if Portland is this huge Fallujah bombed out metropolitan area. They can’t take “black lives matter” anymore. They can’t take the crescendo of news stories of more pigs/cops getting accused and acquitted of murder. The white washing of our murderous men (and women) in uniform is just so complete that the few that want to defund the military and the police, well, they are propagandized into people who are not true Americans, rabble, provocateurs. “All those statues coming down, what do you think, Haeder? Isn’t that erasing history?” I just got asked this question. Again, people on their duffs, consuming main-line TV as if it’s crack.
So the beat goes on and on, to explain to them, that Andrew Jackson or Daniel Boone or even Honest Abe, coming down, well, isn’t it obvious that the disenfranchised and basically helpless people of this predatory land have to release something symbolic to show their disgust of this country’s white washing? I attempt to explain, yes, a better reaction and process would be to put a mural around each bloody statue, with just the head of the white murderer sticking out as he sits upon his horse. On that mural, well, the real history of this person’s contribution to Indian killing, Slave owning, Black murdering. Of course there are a million teachable moments, but in a country that doesn’t do nuance well, one that is all about flash in the pan, all about spasms of this or that reaction to the zeitgeist, we are not going to see those sorts of responses to the racist monuments. And yes, many of those confederate monuments were put up AFTER the south lost the war. Decades after. Tin monuments for tinhorn racists and rapists. They are not sacred monuments, in the true sense of the word. Sacred Racist Monuments.
Does Anyone Not Get Why a Democrat Would NOT Hire One Nader?
So, I do encourage folks to listen to Black Agenda Report, or to read Mother Jones, In These Times, The Progressive, Mint Press News, Consortium News, Counterpunch, DV, and others, for sure. But for most, I get them to listen to a bastion of powerful knowledge and real on-the-ground activism. Someone who actually ran for president of the US of A. Twice!
Simple stuff, not exactly radical Black Panthers or anarchy —
Ralph welcomes the former head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, to talk about how this important agency – created in the wake of the 2008 financial meltdown and moribund in the Trump years – needs to start protecting consumers again. Plus, Ralph pays tribute to the late great muckraking journalist, James Ridgeway.
Richard Cordray is the founding director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he served from 2011 to 2017. He is the author of Watchdog: How Protecting Consumers Can Save Our Families, Our Economy, and Our Democracy.
“Every aspect of our legal system has been turned around by financial companies to oppress individual consumers. And yet, individual consumers are not permitted (often by these arbitration clauses) to band together to seek collective justice against the company.” [ Richard Cordray].
So we talk about this issue, with me pointing out that antigovernmental entitlements or antigovernmental this or that is actually anti-public, anti-people thinking. The corporations — all of them, with the unholy facilitation of banks, credit companies, tech companies — they are the enemy. And each and every politician they have in their back pockets is the enemy, but the public realm, the public potential for true democratic socialism, that is not the enemy. AT& T, Wells Fargo, Safeway, Amazon, Walmart, Walgreens, and a few million other corporations are the true enemy. They have cooked the books, stacked the deck, and conspired to rip-off the public. Listen to just this one episode of Ralph, and when I ask people who are skeptical of my criticism of all corporations, they have a bit more to deal with here: Finances.
Listen to the beginning, where Nader talks about the death (and work of) the great American journalist, James Ridgeway. Note that this man was a muckraker, a man who looked for truth, and never tired of investigative reporting, never jading himself to the people’s needs. He did die, as Ralph states, a poor man.
Here’s a Mother Jonesarticle on Jim when he worked for MoJo —
Jim Ridgeway—who leaves MoJo’s staff roster this week to become a contributing reporter—is, though he’d never put it this way, one of the legends of modern muckraking. Back in 1965 he helped establish the nascent field of consumer reporting when he revealed that GM had run a dark-ops campaign against a young Ralph Nader, whose book Unsafe at Any Speed detailed how automakers had knowingly sacrificed safety for sales. He went on to break more stories than we can count, digging into everything from energy politics to national security to the sex industry. MoJo co-founder Adam Hochschild remembers becoming a Ridgeway reader in 1968, when Jim and the late Andrew Kopkind started a newsletter called first Mayday and later Hard Times.
‘I still remember the yellow paper it came on, how eagerly I waited for each issue to arrive, and the pleasure of instantly knowing we shared a view of the world if I found that a new acquaintance was also a reader. It is sobering, in a way, to see how many of the problems Jim wrote about half a century ago are still with us. But it’s inspiring to see someone keep the faith all these years, especially someone who could have very easily had a successful and doubtless much more lucrative career writing unthreatening stories for the mainstream media. That, in fact, is where more than of few of the dissenters of the 1960s ended up.’
Most people I interface with do not know of Jim Ridgeway, and those that know about Nader, still incorrectly and stupidly think “he’s the guy that got Bush into office.” More white wash and agnotology:
It is true that approximately 95,000 Florida ballots were cast for Nader in 2000, and assuming every single one of those votes went instead to then-Vice President Al Gore (which is an incorrect assumption, but we’ll get to that later), Gore would have been easily able to supplant the 537 vote differential in the Sunshine State that gave Bush the presidency.
What that oft-cited factoid leaves out are the inconvenient truths laid out by Jim Hightower in Salon way back when, including the fact that only about 24,000 registered Democrats voted for Nader in Florida, whereas about 308,000 Democrats voted for (wait for it…) Bush! Further, approximately 191,000 self-identified “liberals” voted for Bush, as opposed to the fewer than 34,000 who went with Nader.
The conventional thinking goes like this: Nader voters lean left and Gore is to the left of Bush, therefore votes for Nader would have gone to Gore. But leftist academic Tim Wise pushed back on this summation in 2000, writing that “Exit polls in Florida, conducted by MSNBC show that Nader drew almost equally between Gore, Bush, and ‘None of the above,’ meaning his presence there may have been a total wash.” — Anthony Fisher
Covid-19 Fears, Fools, Fascists
Hyper paranoia, misinformation, one bad leader leading a bunch of bad leaders. One man’s science, isn’t another 10,000 scientists’ and journalists’ science.
Everyday, a few dozen pleas by clients and their charges and their families about what to do next with lockdown A, B and C done, and more cases (maybe) of Covid-19 (many articles being scrubbed from the WWW about faulty tests for CoV2).
Amazing how many bad mask wearers I run into — literally, 90 percent of the masks out there in la-la land do not stop exhales from hitting the common air locations, whether it’s the grocery store, restaurant, liquor store, or on the beach.
The dichotomy of American thinking is the dangerous thing now, and the retribution, the white washing and green washing and blue washing and vaccine washing and the science washing, all of it, now, we have many new normal’s tied to more scrubbing (agnotology) and banning and outright fascistic attacks on people, like, well, Robert Kennedy Junior.
Agnotology (formerly agnatology) is the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. It was coined in 1995 by Robert N. Proctor, a Stanford University professor, and linguist Iain Boal. The word is based on the Neoclassical Greek word ἄγνωσις, agnōsis, “not knowing” (cf. Attic Greek ἄγνωτος “unknown”), and -λογία, -logia. Proctor cites as a prime example the tobacco industry’s advertising campaign to manufacture doubt about the cancerous and other adverse health effects of tobacco use. More generally, the term also highlights the condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before.
David Dunning of Cornell University warns that “the internet is helping propagate ignorance,… which makes [users] prey for powerful interests wishing to deliberately spread ignorance”. Irvin C. Schick refers to unknowledge “to distinguish it from ignorance. He uses the example of “terra incognita” in early maps, noting that “The reconstruction of parts of the globe as uncharted territory is … the production of unknowledge, the transformation of those parts into potential objects of Western political and economic attention. It is the enabling of colonialism. — Source.
This is not child’s play, this entire game of narrative framing, myth-making, mind scrubbing, brain washing, collective Stockholm Syndrome, Collective Abused Spouse/Worker/ Student/Consumer/Citizen Syndrome. It infects our culture of words, books, TV, movies, mass education, media, social digital networks, Madison Avenue, history book creation, and the marketing that is the way of Capitalism. Mediums are the Message, but then, how the child is wired in utero, and then right out of the womb. Bombarded by ignorance in the culture and brain washed parents. Bombarded by images and sounds and the smells of consumerism, there to draw in newer and younger and more buyers of the junk, the dangerous products, the more dangerous ideology of the masters in this complex.
Learned helplessness is nothing compared to learned and gloating ignorance. And here we are, even here with the author attempting to be “objective” with a piece in Town and Country Magazine on RFK, Jr. Imagine what this writer says, doubting the veracity and the validity of Kennedy’s research into vaccines over a sordid historical record. Imagine, thousands of journal articles parsed by RFK, Jr., thousands of books annotated, thousands of people interviewed by Kennedy on the many troubling things around pharmaceuticals, drug makers, scientists using people as Guinea pigs and around vaccines. That’s Kennedy, man. Yet, the elite author of the more elitist rag (Town and Country) has to put in his pretty shallow and sallow two cents.
The room that Kennedy, who is 66, uses as an office is walled with books on shelves stacked six high from floor to ceiling, hundreds and hundreds of books. On top of those: a long line of framed photos like cars on a freight train—old ones, recent ones, black-and-white, color. A sprawling L-shaped sofa with blankets and pillows, a big TV.
On this subject, I think he is dangerously wrong. But that’s not the most interesting thing to talk with him about, nor is it the subject of this story. You can judge his arguments for yourself on your own time. The debate about whether vaccines are safe rages every day, and you can go online and read studies and opinions on every side. You can read almost any story by or about Kennedy and you will encounter the substance of his beliefs in detail. There aren’t many doctors in the world who think it’s a debate at all, of course.
A deeper question than whether he’s right or he’s crazy is why Bobby Kennedy Jr. is doing any of this. There was a time when he was almost universally admired, a fighter for conservation and the environment—perhaps the dominant issue of our time—and a shining figure worthy of his family’s legacy. Now he is shunned by many of his former allies and admirers, ignored by much of the once fawning media, and just tuned out by many who are uncomfortable with his sometimes hectoring obsessiveness.
Look, I am in the process of writing my memoir/anti-memoir (sounds pretentious, but . . . really, does the world need Epstein’s madam’s book, another Trump tell-all, all the creepy stuff from the rich and famous, more crap from actors and musicians?). I have a wheelbarrow’s worth of novels (unpublished but hawked by my deceased NY agent) and plays and a teleplay and other such stuff. I’m 64, and, well, some things in my life have been amazing full circle existential wheels through the magic of ecology and meeting fellow man/woman in fellowship.
Drinking from the spring where Winona LaDuke’s father, Sun Bear, had his gatherings, sure, that was another wheel of life I have written about. I have hundreds of these moments, with a ship-load of connectivity to the circle of life.
For now, though, it’s Kennedy. Our two lives are so different in so many ways, that the circle, the multiple circles of connectivity, well, maybe it takes a working class fool like myself to really drill down on that stuff.
I am not taken by money, and in fact, I am anti-money, anti-rich, anti-famous. Celebrity culture is to me worse than the guys and gals I used to run with who were hooked on lines of coke and drams of Scotch.
However, here’s the interesting thing. Make that a decade ago when I heard RFK, Jr. speak. I got to take him aside, and talked with him, but that is another story. He was in Spokane as President of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. We already got our Spokane Riverkeeper, and Kennedy was in town helping with fundraising for Spokane Riverkeeper and Lake Pend Oreille Waterkeeper. Kennedy was at the Fox Theater in downtown Spokane. I also met him afterwards.
Here you go — if you get any sense of Kennedy from the Vanity Fair article cited, you can see a real battler (that’s the epigraph to this essay above). He certainly came from a famous family. Our two lives are diametrically different.
But the circles, man, those five or 10 degrees of separation. I had an aunt who owned– with two other immigrant (Scotland) women — The Whale Inn, in Northampton, Massachusetts. An amazing restaurant and B & B. I had relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) who lived in Short Hills, NJ. My uncle was a well-known surgeon and did stints for Columbia University as an MD. Now, I was back east a few times, spending time at the Whale Inn, and in Short Hills, in the City, in Boston, and at Cape Code. Poor kid of the military man dad, and I got a taste of East Coast.
So, get this, I also had a mother who worked for an advertising agency in Albuquerque and part of that was some publicity for John and Jackie Kennedy when they came to New Mexico. When we lived in Germany and France, many people thought my mom looked like Jackie.
Okay, so let’s get real — I have worked around people with developmental disabilities for a long time, officially the past decade. RFK, Jr. also spent time around disabled people — “When not at school Bobby used to spend a lot of time at the house of his Aunt Eunice—his father’s sister, and Bobby’s godmother. She ran a camp for children with intellectual disabilities, and she founded the Special Olympics in 1968, and Bobby remembers there always being people at her house who had Down syndrome, ‘at every meal, virtually. I was always around people with intellectual disabilities.’”
He also to this day does animal rescuing and wildlife recovery. He drives a mini-van that has the stench of pit bull rescue pets and road kill he finds and takes back to boil and articulate or at least display the skull.
[Kennedy in 1972, around age 18, at a tennis tournament named for his father. Even in his late teens, Kennedy was battling drug addiction, which he would eventually beat. — Ron Galell photo]
He was hooked on heroin until he was 30. He was and still is an avid adventurer. Much of that above I related to directly. Not heroin, but other drugs. The road kill? Yep. Animal rescue? Yep. Mini-vans? Yep.
[In the early 1980s Kennedy teamed with John Cronin, right, to revitalize the Riverkeeper Association, which routinely sued large polluters. The group spurred the creation of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, of which Kennedy is president. — Ted Thai photo]
[In 2014 Kennedy edited Thimerosol: Let the Science Speak, about mercury and vaccines. Cindy Ord photo]
The point I am trying to make in this essay is that the circles I recognize and write about are as real as anything on planet earth. What RFK, Jr. and I talked about back then, well, I will write about at length later. I did mention to RFK, Jr. how burned out I was getting being with the greenie weenies, the so-called sustainability wonks and their pandering to corporations … and not just through green washing. We are talking about eco-pornography. Kennedy got a kick out of that terminology — eco-porn. You know, Shell Oil or Exxon or Monsanto running multimillion dollar ad/PR/public disservice campaigns to sell their idea of snake oil to the global public. That those companies are the best and the brightest hopes for stewardship of the environment. Now that’s pornography of the utmost degree.
I mentioned how another state eco group was taking money from Proctor Gamble or CocaCola, for what I call blood money from those corporations. Lots of blood money in the game of the Non-Profit Industrial Complex. We also talked about science gone awry, science for-by-because of the profit motive, science in the name of Imperialism and Corrupt Capitalism. We also talked about vaccinations.
The circle I am drawing it that I was a young guy who did all sorts of adventurous stuff in the Sonora Desert catching rattlesnakes, Gila Monsters, scorpions. Lots of crazy cool stuff scuba diving (roughing it) in the Sea of Cortez. Lots of crazy stuff on my own on Baja, diving and free diving and camping alone.
Another point is, while our lives are so different, there are things that connect us, in my mind. Kennedy was pretty jazzed about my writing, my activism and my ability to go for the underdog over any hubris or placating. He was definitely in favor of my concepts of fighting white washing, green washing and agnotology (he hadn’t heard of that concept).
Here’s the title to that six-month old Town and Country article —
What is Robert Kennedy Jr. Fighting For?
It’s no surprise he gets into battles. Kennedys seem to be born with their chins out. But why does the 66-year-old scion of America’s most prominent political family take his crusades—the environment, vaccines, you name it—to places where very few people want to go? By Ryan D’Agostino, OCT 19, 2020
Note: Several months after the publication of this story, Instagram deactivated RFK Jr.’s Instagram account. “We removed this account for repeatedly sharing debunked claims about the coronavirus or vaccines,” a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement.
Here he is, now part of the systematic suppression of debate, discourse, ideas counter to the prevailing winds, the current paradigms. He’s questions Fauci, Gates, 5-G, and the motives of Big Tech and Big Pharma. What we all are supposed to do, no?
And yet, those people I support with developmental/intellectual/TBI disabilities, they want to know, they want answers, they want to understand how someone like me, or someone like Kennedy is looking beyond the parables of propaganda and virtue signaling and systemic silencing of countervailing thought and opinions.
I wish I had Bobby Kennedy’s email or physical mailing address to exchange words and ideas. That is another circle that may or may not come to fruition, though circles are really never complete or ending or beginning, now are they? I know he probably saw this documentary, probably saw my review of it in Hormones Matter — “Injecting Aluminum: Documentary Questions Vaccine Safety”
[In 2014, Kennedy married the actress Cheryl Hines, whom he met through his friendship with Larry David. “I have an amazing wife and amazing kids,” he says. “I have everything.” — Emma McInty photo]
In that regard, the circles are still being shaped, huge veronicas in the sky, throughout our collective consciousness. At least for those who are willing to fight for the underdog. RFK, Jr., now counted as one of the underdogs. My whole life, while still in a category of white privilege in this racist country, I too have been an underdog. The grace of rebellion and revolutionary thinking has given me more privilege of knowing when the jig is up than I can actually express in a short essay here.
A December 2017 statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights notes that, while the US manages to spend “more [money] on national defence than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan combined”, US infant mortality rates were, as of 2013, “the highest in the developed world”.
The Special Rapporteur provides a barrage of other details from his own visit to the US, during which he was able to observe the country’s “bid to become the most unequal society in the world” – with some 40 million people living in poverty – as well as assess “soaring death rates and family and community destruction wrought by prescription and other drug addiction”.
[A demonstrator from the Occupy Wall Street campaign seen with a dollar taped over his mouth as he stands near the financial district of New York September 30, 2011 — File: Lucas Jackson/Reuters]
How the Cookie Crumbles
She’s 80, comes from Ayr, Scotland, lives in a sea town along the Oregon Coast. She is caretaker for her 55-year-old nephew. Her heart-failed husband, liver shot through, dialysis weekly, is another of her charges.
Imagine, she and her family ran a small chain of shops — clocks, another locksmith, another fish and chips. That was in Bonnie Scotland.
Her sister married a bloke in the US Air Force, and she shipped out with him. Pregnant. Child Drew, early on, in Tucson at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, he was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome.
Regina’s sister and her sister’s husband immolated in a crash coming back from El Paso. Boy Drew left with a younger sister — the boy age 20, sis 16.
For 35 years, our Regina and her Bob raised the boy. Drew is now 55, and part of my job is to support him in his job at a grocery store. He’s been there more than 15 years, and he makes $12.01 an hour.
Forget that economic injustice for a moment. Listen to how the crumbling cookie goes in predatory capitalism — Regina has not been back to the old country in 20 years. She has two knees that are shot. She needs two replacements, but she is the caretaker for the chronically-sick husband. Drew lives with them, getting his two-times a week work at the grocery store as a bagger.
He’s got the infectious personality, and he also has some “issues” glomming onto female staff. Regina was not told that adults with Downs Syndrome many times have lost the synoptic connections tied to urgency for urination and defecation.
Sweet drinks he gulps down, like a lost man in the Sahara. He scarfs down or wolfs down his food.
Like anyone, Drew wants to be in a relationship, married, on some piece of property with a horse, dogs and big garden. He works eight hours a week, and receives under $800 in social security payments.
The state pays Aunt Regina for his care. Her biggest worry is Drew losing his job because of the bathroom accidents or the sexual harassment.
Regina is kind but firm, and her bedside manner isn’t from the latest holistic and enlightened training around people who live with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
“I tell Drew, that if he messes up one more time, the grocery store will fire him. The job is more than pocket change for him. He gets out, has responsibilities, is growing some from the integrated employment, and, mind you this is a big AND, I get him out of the house for a few hours a week so I can gain some sense of sanity. I don’t know if he has to be put into a state institution.”
Luck of the draw, luck of the gene expression, luck of the accidental car mortalities, luck luck luck.
That’s the way the cookie crumbles, and in capitalism, we are not judged by how we treat our aged, infirm, vulnerable, youth, sick, disabled, poor. The worse we treat “them,” the more “they” have to struggle, the more daily fear “they” have of failing, faltering, flipping out mentally, the more successful those Capitalists and those Investors and those Finance Wizards and those Upper Economic Class are!
Redistribution of wealth for “them” is taking every last penny from “them,” us. Working people at $12.01 an hour after 15 years in a national/international chain.
A mentality that posits that “they” meant to do that, defecate in their pants, or, oh, “they” know better, and, oh, “they” are gaming the system and pulling the wool over your bleeding heart social services worker heads.
Heartless in a Time of Plague
Our Scottish Regina is worried about what will happen to Drew once she kicks the bucket, or when she is no longer physically capable of carrying on and running a household with a very demanding Drew and a very failing Bob, her 86-year-old husband.
We talk about the old country’s National Health Service. We talk about the failures of a society that has been ripped open time and time again by the purulent investors — another word for making money anyway they can.
Gutting medical care, gutting entitlement programs, gutting progressive taxation, gutting the measures for health and safety for and by the public. Where oh where will Drew go once his aunt and uncle pass on?
Think of every dollar and penny pinched, and then think of how much we the taxpayer shell out for every nanosecond of the crimes of corporations eating at the belly of communities, and every penny taken in light speed for everything run by the imposters, the misanthropes.
Every million$ here, every billion$ there. Grifters and grabbers. How much did the first Billionaire’s “impeachment” cost us? How much does an Alex Jones or Tom Brady or Michelle Obama get paid for their insipid bolstering of their self-referential mythology? Each speech? Each rot gut book penned?
Every rivet sunk into a Hellfire missile, every pound of fuel used in US Military Terrorism Toys, every nanosecond million made through illegal and unethical investing through algorithm?
That Moon shot by India, or that Mars rover by Japan, or Israel gunning for more surveillance. How much is every human lifetime worth, if we are lumped together in that big pile of “other” and “non-human”?
That heartless cookie crumbling capitalism is rotten to the core. The joke is, though, by the filthy rich, the Art of War Friedman’s and Bezos and all the Google middling’s and upper crust, that if all the billions were taken from the filthy rich, and dumped into the majority on planet earth — the poor, the uneducated, the misbegotten, the terminal, the dysfunctional, the Jerry Springer protagonists and antagonists, in five years all that and more would be back in the hands of the Star Chamber 1,000 or 2,000 Multi-Billionaires.
“We’d just get it all back, because the masses are inherently stupid, know nothing about the value of a dollar, would buy all the junk and shit and whoring dreams we create to sell. We’d have all that so-called ‘redistributed’ wealth back in our hands.”
That myth is coupled with another one, where the rich and the rest of us, having collectively, as much as the 1,000 or millionth richest? Christian Parenti lays it out simply and clearly here:
The 85 richest in the world probably include the four members of the Walton family (owners of Wal-Mart, among the top ten superrich in the USA) who together are worth over $100 billion. Rich families like the DuPonts have controlling interests in giant corporations like General Motors, Coca-Cola, and United Brands. They own about forty manorial estates and private museums in Delaware alone and have set up 31 tax-exempt foundations. The superrich in America and in many other countries find ways, legal and illegal, to shelter much of their wealth in secret accounts. We don’t really know how very rich the very rich really are.
Regarding the poorest portion of the world population—whom I would call the valiant, struggling “better half”—what mass configuration of wealth could we possibly be talking about? The aggregate wealth possessed by the 85 super-richest individuals, and the aggregate wealth owned by the world’s 3.5 billion poorest, are of different dimensions and different natures. Can we really compare private jets, mansions, landed estates, super luxury vacation retreats, luxury apartments, luxury condos, and luxury cars, not to mention hundreds of billions of dollars in equities, bonds, commercial properties, art works, antiques, etc.—can we really compare all that enormous wealth against some millions of used cars, used furniture, and used television sets, many of which are ready to break down? Of what resale value if any, are such minor durable-use commodities? especially in communities of high unemployment, dismal health and housing conditions, no running water, no decent sanitation facilities, etc. We don’t really know how poor the very poor really are. — 85 Billionaires and the Better Half by Michael Parenti
Image by Judite B
The books and discourse and deep discussions and analyses have already been posited and published, and yet, we are in 2021, and the school system, the media system, the propaganda machines of government-military-resource extraction-big ag/med/pharma/AI/finance continue to cobble truth, censor the reality of the penury system that is consumer-corporate-criminal-corrupt Capitalism.
Here, a hodgepodge of readings ramifying the thesis in this essay of mine —
Chris Hedges and Richard Wolff: Capitalism Does Not Work for the Majority of the People
Make No Mistake: The Rule Of The Rich Has Been A Deadly Epoch For Humanity
Michael Parenti: Does Capitalism Work? (2002)
The 1% Pathology and the Myth of Capitalism
Capitalism: The Systematic Poverty and Exploitation of Human Beings by Finian Cunningham
Michael Parenti: These Countries Are Not Underdeveloped, They Are Overexploited (1986)
Luxury Eco-Communism: A Wonderful World is Possible
The Growing Disparity In Living Conditions and Its Consequences by Rainer Shea
Covid-19 and the Health Crisis in Latin America by Yanis Iqbal
The Start Of The Great Meltdown For Industrial Civilization by Rainer Shea
MFTN: Poverty Will Kill More Of Us Than Terrorism
The Rich Are Only Rich If We Let Them Be by Dariel Garner
Mystery: How Wealth Creates Poverty in the World by Michael Parenti
The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger + How Economic Inequality Harms Societies
Wealth Belongs To All Of Us – Not Just To The Rich by Dariel Garner
We Are So Poor Because They Are So Rich by Dariel Garner
It all comes back to the rackets — war, banking, big ag, law, prisons, military, computing, finance, insuring, retail, lending, investing, for-profit medicine, education, utilities.
The rackets of putting garnishments on all of our wages. The punishment rackets of fines, foreclosures, levies, taxes, fees, surcharges, add-ons, user fees, disposal fees, tolls, late fees, interest fees, penalties, wage attachments, wage theft, any-government-revenue/policing/judicial entity having the legal right to crack into any savings or checking or real estate holding they want to….And steal!
Imagine that freedom, uh? My Drew or my Don, they work for pittances, and they have their measly wages garnished if they make too much above the allowable social security benefit level. Imagine all of the flimflam, all those middle and peripheral and shadowy and underhanded people and agencies each taking a gram of flesh until that human life has been pecked away.
Stuck in a closet somewhere. Huddled around a TV, surrounded by the deadly products of a food industry responsible for billions dead. Food (sic) more deadly than cancer sticks, AKA cigarettes.
Think hard how those children-who-come-to-me-as-adults as their social services manager, wanting me to help them find jobs in a dog-eat-dog culture, where the cookie isn’t just crumbling, but rather smashed into smithereens by the capitalists. All those poisons in food, all the polluting, toxin-laced, dam-building, river-tainting, air-staining processes that bring us better living with plastics-fastfood-shelf lives of a decade. Better living through chemistry, pharmaceutics, chronic illness, disease management, pain regulating.
Then, we cannot discuss the possibilities of a society with more and more allergies, more and more chronic illnesses, more and more learning disabilities, more and more developmental disabilities, more and more intellectual disabilities, more and more trauma and PTSD and generalized anxiety and physiological premature weathering.
And poverty does more than just kills. Poverty eats at the soul, drives people to unsafe harbors like consumerism, disposability, obsessions, addictions, inattentiveness, collective Stockholm Syndrome, perversions, empty calories-entertainment-thinking.
There are numbers just for one aspect of our consumer-retail-exploitative societies competing in a trans-national gallery of dirty capitalism — 4.2 million premature deaths annually? Five million? More? Exposure to air pollution caused over 7.0 million deaths and 103.1 million disability-adjusted life years lost in one year.
Attributed to dirty (polluted) air. Not dirty water. Not dirty food. Not dirty drugs. Not smoking. Not boozing. Not war.
The study uses existing data from IHME on global burden of diseases (Mortality and Disability Adjusted Life Years) related to air pollution such as Trachea, Bronchus and Lung cancer, COPD, Ischemic heart disease and Stroke. This study shows that air pollution is one of the major environmental risk factors for the global burden of disease in 1990-2015 and has remained relatively stable for the past 25 years. By region, the largest burden of disease related to air pollution is found in Western Pacific and South-East Asia, reflecting the heavy industry and air pollution hotspots within the developing nations of these regions. Moreover, the rates of Disability Adjusted Life Years increased because of increase in pollution, especially in South-East Asia region, African region, and Eastern Mediterranean region where populations are both growing and ageing. — Source —
I’ve written about this for years — how there is so much disconnect in Criminal Capitalism, where the marketing ploys and psychological tricks force babies and then toddlers and then kindergarteners and then grade schoolers and then more and more millions of growing minds to adapt to counterintuitive thinking, to accept death, slow or otherwise, as part of the social contract. Dog-eat-dog, predation, big fish/small pond, and the roots of America after decimating Turtle Island, one smoke and mirror show after another snake oil sales pitch.
Which sane or humane person would accept a PayDay loan scam? Which humane person would accept forced arbitration clauses? Which caring human would not endorse clean, well-run, full coverage public transportation? Which caring mother would not demand prenatal care, and medicine and clinics on demand? Where is the logic of old men and old women (look at the senate, the congress, the administration) running the lives of the unborn, newborn and youth into the ground.
Even the thirty-somethings in Brooks Brothers suits look, sound, smell, and espouse OLD. I don’t mean old and wise, or elder thinkers, or experienced and well traveled. I mean old in decayed.
If the world is saved, it will be saved by people with changed minds, people with a new vision. It will not be saved by people with old minds and new programs. It will not be saved by people with the old vision but a new program.
The Takers accumulate knowledge about what works well for things. The Leavers accumulate knowledge about what works well for people.
—Daniel Quinn, Ishmael
These flimflam artists, these liars and cheaters and pontificators and media monsters, they are antithetical to a good governance, good society, good people.
They not only do not know the stories of Drew and his Aunt Regina and Uncle Bob, but they have no forward-thinking solutions to the aging old foster parents and the still healthy middle-aged Drew. With all his beauty. With all his kindness. With all his adept knowledge of how to get on, get along, get his day going. Drew, born in the cookie crumbles crap shoot. Regina, who was on her way back to the UK, Scotland, when she answered the call to take care of Drew and his sister.
This story is repeated a million times a month, worldwide. The penalty for living, for being human, for being not one of them (rich, powerful, greed-wielding) and for stopping their lives to do the right thing.
You wake up one day and believe you have a worthy life. You wake up and take account of what good you have done. You wake up and look in the mirror and wonder what it is you actually dreamt, thought, spoke, cared for, read, built, protected, grew, sheltered, did, held sacred, envisioned, husbanded, parented, fostered, ate, drank, created.
Did any of that living have purpose, or some connection to the humanity that is the real culture of Homo Sapiens, mother culture?
Daily, I have a million intersections with culture and cultures — Big D for deaf or small d for disabled? Brain-injured at birth, or hit by a truck at age 11. Traumatic Brain Injury from an early childhood beating, or massive psychological trauma from a rape at age 20. Born with any number of diagnosed maladies, or any expression of “being born on the autism spectrum.” Fragile X or fetal alcohol affective disorder. Or Downs Syndrome.
The luck of the draw is one enormous field of chance, and the outcomes are not just tied to the abilities — emotional, spiritual, economic, personal — of those you call family, but how the society at large and each community gauge the value of life, the value placed on those whose luck of the draw came up short in some areas.
But the world is fragile, and those on some neuro typical scale and those atypically neuro, can we build our culture together, and heal and protect and shelter and engender and facilitate and teach and learn from?
There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with people. Given a story to enact that puts them in accord with the world, they will live in accord with the world. But given a story to enact that puts them at odds with the world, as yours does, they will live at odds with the world. Given a story to enact in which they are the lords of the world, they will ACT like lords of the world. And, given a story to enact in which the world is a foe to be conquered, they will conquer it like a foe, and one day, inevitably, their foe will lie bleeding to death at their feet, as the world is now. ― Daniel Quinn, Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit