Category Archives: Capitalism

Well, which will it be?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

I’d say it’s not as bad as some would have you believe, and I’d say it’s way worse than most choose to believe.

So what am I talking about? I could be talking about climate change, or I could be talking about the after and continuing effects of the draconian imposition of the new global medical religion (GMR) called COVID-19, or I could be talking about the state of the economy (remember when there was such a thing?), or I could be talking about the general state of mind of the planet’s predatory parasite called Homo Sapiens.

I guess I can take my pick.

What is the global state of mind today? It’s in full doublethink mode. It wants to go back to the old normal and at the same time it wants to dutifully, religiously, follow the guidelines of “reducing the spread of the virus” implemented by… WHO actually? No one really knows but the bureaucrats were no slouch in seeing their golden opportunity to push their little puppeteering fascist dictatorial minds to the fore. However it happened, they realized they had just been handed a new kind of controlling power they had never thought possible in their wildest dreams.

Now we have this unbelievable performance of badly trained, mostly untrained, monkeys, dutifully maintaining their 6 foot rule and wearing masks and even gloves when in certain places, particularly near (can’t get in – keep your viruses on the street, peons!) government institutions as I saw this morning while paying my property taxes, lining up outside in the rain but all maintaining that “stiff upper lip” and finding things to smile and laugh at. How very commendable, such dutiful (if hypocritical) obedience to despised authority!

Then comes the shopping and things are quite different. Here in the aisles it’s business as usual, people pushing by each other to grab something – and one youngish couple definitely not keen on social distancing as he’s caressing and pinching her ass and she, smiling and enjoying. OK, so I like that reaction better. How can you make babies if you shoot from 6 feet away?  Maybe with an extended Bill Gates syringe – yeah, picture that.

The thing to remember (or to know if there is no remembering) is that chaos and confusion do not lead to clear thinking, quite the opposite. What do people generally do when severely confused? They become religious. They become believers. They choose one side or the other of an issue and it becomes faith. It no longer requires proof or testing. It no longer requires serious observation to determine the rightness or wrongness of institutional claims. It demands faith. With it or against it, no middle ground and those who insist on standing in the middle will be coerced or eliminated.

Groupthink is designed to operate on doublethink. Doublethink is how polarized individuals continue to function as if their situation (Germany under Nazism as prime example) was completely normal. There are no death camps; babies aren’t being killed with vaccines: conspiracy! Conspiracy! Shut them up! Censor their articles on social media, keep us from having to think!

The Grand Wizard throws the bones and interprets them as saying, “Stay home! Quarantine! Maintain Social Distancing!” and the sheeple respond with an enthusiastic: “Praise the Bones!” The Grand Wizard throws the bones the next day and interprets them as saying, “Go Back to Work!” “Return your Children to School!” “Go Shopping!” “Attend Church!” and the sheeple respond with the same enthusiastic braying of “Praise the Bones!” No perceived dichotomy – it’s business as usual, either way. Those who raise a fuss are deluded conspiracy theorists.

Nobody questions what the bones will say tomorrow morning because the ability to reason was taken away long ago. It was taken away by Religion. Then it was taken away by Royalty. Then it was taken away by Capital and consumerism, the death of which we are living through, as unaware as ever, as when Religion ceased to rule and as when Royalty became a symbol of shame. Same old, same old. The state of mind of the average pee-on remains much the same as it always was. Keep on drinking your mandated daily intake of elitist urinade. If you run short your children will be given their liter a day from daycare to college. Hold on tight to your sequacious beliefs.

But we have done one thing none of the previous conquerors of Earth were able to do: we have arrogantly exceeded the set limits to growth. Earlier failed civilizations didn’t get there: they did not have our capacities to industrialize and did not have our technology to turn industry into a planet eating monster. With such distinction we win the prize. We inherit nature’s final gift: entropy. It’s already in our mouths and it’s kind of muddy, salty, gritty, bitter tasting. It’s called climate change and nothing, absolutely nothing, that man does under current societal conditions can change its direction and purpose. Think the four horses of the Apocalypse: climate change can be either one or all four. It is riding to the end of things as we have known them and we’re not on its back but under its hoofs.

 

Covid-19 has taken away bread and circuses, laying bare the true American empire

This is a simple text copy. If interested and you want to see the original with picture and everything, go here:
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483675-coronavirus-america-bread-circuses-illusions/

by Michael McCaffrey

Michael McCaffrey lives in Los Angeles where he works as an acting coach, screenwriter and consultant. He is also a freelance film and cultural critic whose work can be read at RT, Counterpunch and at his website mpmacting.com/blog.

21 Mar, 2020 14:28

Regular Americans can no longer numb themselves with sports and gluttony, freeing them to clearly see the malignantly craven ruling class that exploits and despises them. If only they would open their eyes to reality.

Anyone who has eyes to see can clearly make out that America is an addled empire in steep decline that is firmly entrenched in its bread-and-circuses stage. This has been brought into clear focus due to Covid-19. Since there is now a shortage of bread, as supermarket shelves are bare, and the distraction of the circus of sports has been indefinitely removed from the culture, Americans are left with little to distract them from cold, hard reality.

Coronavirus calls US’ ‘world’s richest country’ bluff: Will it cling to busted myths or evolve under pressure?

With no brawls or ballgames to watch, and the fear of potential hunger gnawing at their bloated bellies and brains, and with social distancing leaving them isolated with little but their thoughts as company, Americans will now find it harder and harder to ignore the truth about their country and its deplorably corrupt media, financial, government, education and health care systems, that is staring them in the face.

As the old adage goes, crisis reveals character, and the coronavirus contagion is a crisis of epic proportions that is revealing America to be utterly devoid of any redeeming character whatsoever.

If America were a sane, healthy, and rational country this would be a great opportunity for change to occur…alas, it is not. America is an insane, unhealthy and irrational nation, and so any genuine change is inconceivable.

For example, this crisis has once again revealed the house of cards that is the smoke and mirrors American economy. The American economy has long been rigged through financialization, where stock buybacks and accounting shenanigans inflate the stock market but create nothing of substance for the masses except the illusion of prosperity. Here in America the economy long ago stopped working for regular folks, as evidenced by the fact that despite productivity soaring, for the last forty years wages have remained stagnant, while the cost of living has escalated.

The American Way has devolved into a bizarre reverse-Robin Hood world, where the rich steal from the poor and keep it for themselves. Proof of this is that this Covid-19 crisis will undoubtedly be used, just as the 2008 collapse, as a way for the malicious narcissists in Washington, Wall Street and in corporate boardrooms to come together to assure that all their losses are socialized and their profits privatized. Casinos, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and others are already lining up — including of course the scoundrels on Wall Street — for their taxpayer-funded handout.

Bailing out working- and middle-class Americans, though, is an absolute non-starter for the ruling elite. The upper crust will throw around vacuous catch phrases, like the deliciously ironic “moral hazard,” to make their argument, which is pretty rich considering the vermin on Wall Street and their cronies on Capitol Hill are so morally bereft, it is a hazard to all humanity.

Coronavirus is not nearly as deadly as the cancerous corruption that is endemic in our oligarchic corporatocracy. For proof of that look no further than Nancy Pelosi’s emergency “sick pay” bill, that exempts companies of over 500 employees from paying sick pay — and has a boatload of special exemptions for businesses below that threshold — which leaves all but 20% of workers eligible for benefits. The holes in Pelosi’s bill are bigger than the gaping void where her brain and soul should be.

This corruption of the elites is bipartisan, as evidenced by two Republican Senators, Richard Burr and Kelly Loeffler (who is married to Jeffrey Sprechter, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange), who allegedly took advantage of classified briefings on the impending severity of coronavirus in late January and early February to pull off some slick insider trading maneuvers so they could cash in before the public had any clue what was coming. Both, of course, deny any impropriety.

The egregious economic divide in America is further highlighted by the Covid-19 debate over whether to close schools amidst the crisis. The reason this debate raged on well past the rational time to act is that our education system is not a system of learning but rather a glorified daycare and food delivery service.

Proletarian parents are unable to stay home and raise their kids anymore because it now takes two parents — usually working multiple jobs — to make less equivalently than what one working parent did forty years ago.

In the Los Angeles Unified School District, 70% of all students are below the poverty line and rely on the school system for the majority of their meals. In the wealthiest country on the planet, that is absolutely disgraceful. The virus of structural economic inequality isa much more long-term and deadly problem than coronavirus, and the ruling class and their shameless lackeys in the press, have no interest in ever honestly addressing or acknowledging it.

The corporate whores in Congress and the White House (of both parties) also gleefully inform Americans that universal, single-payer health care, which every other industrialized nation in the world already has, is a pipe dream and impossibility.

How about help PEOPLE first? Boeing shredded for seeking ‘tens of billions’ in ANOTHER bailout amid coronavirus pandemic

They tell us they could never ever pay for something so decadent and luxurious as health care, but then they magically pull $1.5 trillion out of their gold-plated assholes in order to stave off a collapse of their own making. It is amazing how the Lords of Finance can make money miraculously appear in order to get things done when it is their exorbitant wealth on the line, and not ordinary Americans’ health and wellbeing.

Coronavirus is a crisis that is revealing the ugly truth about America and the malignant character of its ruling class. The crisis is going to get worse before it gets better, but it eventually will get better. America, on the other hand, will only get much worse, with no hope that it is ever going to get better.

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/483675-coronavirus-america-bread-circuses-illusions/

Everybody Knows…

[some timely thoughts by  ~burning woman~ ]

Yesterday I had to go out “in the public” – sort of – on a job, and today I found some time to slip away and do some shopping. What I saw these last two days staggered my imagination, enough to make me “righteously” angry. I saw the programmed sheeple at their best, lining up at banks and stores, waiting patiently or walking silently between half-empty or blocked off shelves tossing frightened or angry looks when another violated the “6 foot rule” and got too close. Some had masks and gloves. Few smiles, just confused expressions as they contemplated the manufactured shortages and forced themselves to believe and trust. Surely, this is all legitimate. Surely there is a virus out there devastating the planet and killing thousands, soon to be millions, then billions. Surely one must obey the masters for do they not always know best? And who’s to question them? If we do not obey, will they not shut down even more, and will we not all die, if not of “the virus” then of starvation?

The story was being told in strange encounters. My particular clients yesterday are elderly (I’m 73 but I guess I don’t qualify since I am not playing the game by the new rules) and they have “compromised immune systems.” They couldn’t pay me in cash, so they had to place a cheque (yes, that is the proper spelling) on a chair outside for me to pick up, but only after they properly retreated back into their house, with their masks and gloves.

Signs everywhere announcing shut downs of various businesses. Restaurants only doing deliveries. Most government offices shut down, people working “from home”. Schools closed apparently until next Fall. I wondered if they’d shut down the wars?

So I listened to my anger and it told me things I am really not supposed to think. Why? That is always the first question and if followed through it explains much. What are the elites hoping to accomplish with this manufactured pandemic? I could immediately think of a few things. Take China, why not, we’re told it started there… their bubble economy was in shambles and ready to blow sky high bringing the rest of the global market place down with it. It needed stopping without exposing the lie and the massive corruption that is the viral capitalist system. Hide one man-made virus, predatory capitalism, with another! Another test: can the money system finally eliminate all cash transactions? Use the virus to scare the sheeple into going on-line or e-transfer; get them trained, then tell them cash is no longer available: too dangerous to health. Of course this means greater control by the banking mafia. Want another? Why not use the virus to begin the serious elimination of all no longer wanted nor needed older folk? Get rid of pensioners for one. Then kill off other undesirables, those that require health care but can’t pay for it and want “the government” to seriously go into the health care business and control Big Pharma and the entire medical malpractice world – get rid of the sick before serious profits are lost and keep the pressure on to hide the massive corruption threatening to destroy civilization in one fell swoop.

Meanwhile to sheeple are, as usual, returning to their blind faith. Believe those in charge, maybe even go back to believing in god. Believe the virus is deadly and can only be controlled by following mandated guidelines. Invest a maximum amount of emotion and fear in the process. Worry, worry, worry, about grandma and grandpa (or great grandma and great grandpa) and although they are already “compromised” and “sick” – if they die, believe it is because of the virus. Blame the virus, and blame whatever animal is supposed to suddenly, for no reason, have spewed it out upon innocent unsuspecting humans. Blaming always accompanies blind faith.

There are other thoughts going around in my mind about this massive scam job but I’m letting it go. It’s “your” story, not mine and I’ve decided not to spoil your fun and faith in a fabulous fantasy. If you cannot, or will not, realize that only a tiny minority of deaths are not caused by pre-existing conditions; if you do not or will not realize that “they” are blaming generic deaths from chronic conditions accompanying old age, heart conditions, over-drugging, collapsing lungs or whatever else (car crashes maybe next?) on this “virus” then go ahead, enjoy the emotional ride. While you’re at it, remember there’s a comet out there too  and comets have been known to be harbingers of “terrible” things. So let’s add that to the list while we’re at it. Maybe the comet caused the virus. More blame.

Yesterday I kind of blew up at my “boss” as she went on about the virus and I said, “There isn’t any f*****g virus! It’s a scam of such mega proportion that it’s impossible for the sheeple to even try to think. Exercise faith, obey, fear, take expensive precautions, and hope. Meanwhile this game is giving billions of quietly desperate lives something to “do” giving those lives a semblance of meaning. Suddenly the commuting, assembly line working, shopping, playing and praying system-slave discovers excitement outside the bland ordinary. A new game, and the rules aren’t all set yet: does it get better?

Remember this song?

Everybody Knows – Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows that the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That’s how it goes
Everybody knows
Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died

That’s the gist of it, but of course that is not how it goes: how it goes is, nobody knows because nobody wants to know.  What everybody does know however is that if the virus “grows” it will be my fault for not playing by the establishment rules. For not being “vaxxed”; for not getting medicated; for not doing the doctor check up; for not BELIEVING. That’s my crime: I’m an unbeliever. The proof is undeniable: I don’t get sick and I don’t carry around or feed a compromised immune system. So watch for the comet then put up the stake in the public square. Burn some unbelievers and the virus will die off.  It’s always worked in the past. 

 

Extremophiles – from George Monbiot

The “establishment” is fighting hard to maintain its exceptionalism, and it’s playing hardball against environmentalists.  This is one of the best Monbiot articles I’ve ever read.

Extremophiles

Posted: 24 Jan 2020 02:04 AM PST

Anyone seeking to defend life on Earth is now labelled an extremist. Yet the real extremists are those in power.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 22nd January 2020

It’s not an “error” or an “accident”, as the police now claim. It’s a pattern. First, the Guardian revealed that counterterrorism police in south-east England have listed Extinction Rebellion (XR) and the youth climate strikes as forms of “ideological extremism”. Then teachers and officials around the country reported that they had been told, in briefings by the anti-radicalisation Prevent programme, to look out for people expressing support for XR and Greenpeace.

Then the Guardian found a guide by Counter Terrorism Policing to the signs and symbols used by various groups. Alongside terrorists and violent extremist organisations, the guide listed Greenpeace, XR, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, CND, the Socialist Party, Stop the War and other peaceful green and left organisations. Then the newspaper discovered that City of London Police had listed XR as a “key threat” in its counterterrorism assessment.

There’s a long history in the UK of attempts to associate peaceful protest with extremism or terrorism. In 2008, for example, the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) produced a list of “domestic extremists”. Among them was Dr Peter Harbour, a retired physicist and university lecturer, who had committed the cardinal sin of marching and petitioning against an attempt by the energy company RWE npower to drain a beautiful local lake and fill it with pulverised fly ash. ACPO sought to smear peace campaigners, Greenpeace and Climate Camp with the same charge.

The police have always protected established power against those who challenge it, regardless of the nature of that challenge. And they have long sought to criminalise peaceful dissent. Part of the reason is ideological: illiberal and undemocratic attitudes infest policing in this country. Part of it is empire building: if police units can convince the government and the media of imminent threats that only they can contain, they can argue for more funding.

But there’s another reason, which is arguably even more dangerous: the nexus of state and corporate power. All over the world, corporate lobbyists seek to brand opponents of their industries as extremists and terrorists, and some governments and police forces are prepared to listen. A recent article in The Intercept sought to discover why the US Justice Department and the FBI had put much more effort into chasing mythical “ecoterrorists” than pursuing real, far-right terrorism. A former official explained, “you don’t have a bunch of companies coming forward saying ‘I wish you’d do something about these right-wing extremists’.” By contrast, there is constant corporate pressure to “do something” about environmental campaigners and animal rights activists.

We feel this pressure in the UK. In July last year, the lobby group Policy Exchange published a report  claiming that XR is led by dangerous extremists. Policy Exchange is an opaque organisation that refuses to disclose its donors. But an investigation by Vice magazine revealed it has received funding from the power company Drax, the trade association Energy UK and the gas companies E.On and Cadent.

One of the two authors of the Policy Exchange report, Richard Walton, is a former police commander. A report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission said he would have had a misconduct case to answer, had he not retired. The case concerned allegations about his role in the spying by undercover police on the family of the murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence. The purpose of the spying operation, according to one of the police officers involved, was to seek “disinformation” and “dirt” on the family, and stop their campaign for justice “in its tracks.”

The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, has defended the inclusion of XR on the police list of extremist ideologies. But it seems to me that people like Patel and Richard Walton pose much greater threats to the nation, the state and our welfare than any green campaigners. Before she became an MP, she worked for the company Weber Shandwick, as a lobbyist for British American Tobacco. Among her tasks was to campaign against the European tobacco control directive, whose purpose was to protect public health. A BAT memo complained that the Weber Shandwick team as a whole “does not actually feel comfortable or happy working for BAT.” But it was pleased to note that two of its members “seem quite relaxed working with us”. One of them was Priti Patel.

In her previous government role, as secretary of state for international development, Patel held unauthorised and undisclosed meetings with Israeli officials, after which she broached the possibility of her department channelling British aid money through the Israeli army, in the occupied Golan Heights. After she was less than candid with the prime minister, Theresa May, about further undisclosed meetings, she was forced to resign. But she was reinstated, in a far more powerful role, by Boris Johnson.

Our government is helping propel us towards a catastrophe on a scale humankind has never encountered before: the collapse of our life support systems. It does so in support of certain ideologies – consumerism, neoliberalism, capitalism – and on behalf of powerful industries. This, apparently, meets the definition of moderation. Seeking to prevent this catastrophe is extremism. If you care about other people, you go on the list. If you couldn’t give a damn about humankind and the rest of life on Earth, the police and the government will leave you alone. You might even get appointed to high office.

It is hard to think of any successful campaign for democracy, justice, or human rights that would not now be classed by police forces and the government as an extremist ideology. Without extremists such as Emmeline Pankhurst, who maintained that “the argument of the broken window pane is the most valuable argument in modern politics”, Priti Patel would not be an MP. Only men with a certain amount of property would be permitted to vote. There would be no access to justice, no rights for workers, no defence against hunger and destitution, no weekends.

In his Letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King, subjected to smears very similar to those now directed against XR and other environmental groups, noted “the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for the preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice?”

Good citizens cannot meekly accept the death of the living planet, as corporations rip it apart for profit. The moderation demanded of us is, in reality, extremism: acceptance of an economic and political model driving us towards unprecedented disaster. If seeking to defend life on Earth defines us as extremists, we have no choice but to own the label. We are extremists for the extension of justice and the perpetuation of life.

http://www.monbiot.com

Christmas 2005, a Prophecy

        (Voice from the other side ~burning woman~ )
[Yes, this was written in 2005, and every year since the truth of it has only shone brighter. The world as we of the West have enjoyed it, is passing as water through our fingers and nothing can hold back the winds that are sweeping it away]

What is it about “Christmas” that evokes such confused and contrasting feelings in people of the Western world? 

Certainly, it is not about some redemption from sin – Christmas gives rise to more “sin” than possibly any other time of year.  Certainly it is not about the story of a poor family in Judea 2000 years ago from which the Christian Savior or Christ purportedly issued.

What is so gripping about Christmas?  The hype?  The commercial lies so thick one can barely wade through them day after day?  Some distant hope for something better?  Something eternally stolen, ever hidden and ever replaced with artificial concoctions from the minds of gods, of rulers, of systems, and swallowed so eagerly by deluded, egotistic masses?

Christmas is the saddest time of the year for me.  But I know my feelings and I know what generates them.  It isn’t movies, TV, books, religious rituals, radio or garish store displays. 


It is the awareness of the monstrous lie Christmas has become and how it chokes all who try to swallow it by participating in it.  Particularly religious people.  Particularly those who claim to be followers of Jesus; of the Christ; the being, entity, person, prophet, divinity — call him what you will — whose “birth” Christmas is supposed to be all about.  (And please don’t remind me that Jesus was not likely born on Dec. 25, Gregorian calendar, if he even ever existed – I know that and that’s not the point.)


How in “Hell” I ask myself, did Christmas become such a time of debauchery?  Of gluttony?  Of revelry?  Of covetousness and cupidity in this post-Christian society? 

I was taught as a child that “Jesus” was the gift of God to the world, the gift of the richest person to the poorest.  I was taught that in turn, the rich of the earth were to share their possessions with the poorest.  I was taught that Christmas was such a reminder that such an act need take place regularly to maintain life’s balance. 
Maybe because where I originate the people celebrate this “gift” on January 6th and it did not then  entail the gross and crass commercialism so in your face here; maybe because it did not translate in piles upon piles of trashy “gifts” did I remember what I was taught.  And maybe, living here, in a pathetic carbon-copy world of “American Santaclawism” the message I got as a child resounds that much louder these days in hollow greed-swept outer malls where empty cans, plastic bottles, half-eaten Big Macs, cigarette butts, paper and plastic cups and tons of broken and torn packaging collect inside vending machines, along curbs and under cold, wet benches covered with the grimy film of diesel fumes from city buses… 

Yes, inflatable plastic figurines and fake icicle lights are out; decorated trees bleed to death in living rooms, ante rooms and dining rooms.  Yes, the jolly fat man (who reminds me of the utterly evil, utterly depraved baron Harkonnen of Dune) is out and about, promising more goodies to the rich, more junk foods to the obese, more whatever to whomever will spend their last overdraft dollar… and collecting money for “the poor” after it is laundered by the official charitable organizations…


At Christmas, a “celebration” that belongs primarily to the richest segment of earth’s people, as many as always, and perhaps more, people will die “out there” and their pain will never be felt, will never be known, will never be acknowledged, neither by the churches, the charitable organizations, the politicians  nor, heaven forbid, the Media.  They will pass away as clouds that give no rain.  Empty, hollow laughter will sound for a few moments all over this Western World, not knowing that it too is passing, just as the dying poor, the “Lazarus” types who died at the door of the rich man. (ref: Luke 16: 19-31, New Testament, the Bible)


Tonight I give a prophecy — in full realization that no people, no collective, no nation, has ever appreciated the prophet, for such a one always comes at a time of ending, not to make change – such is not the purpose – but to warn (and such warning is always so damned inconvenient!) — and this is the warning: this Christmas will not generate as much happiness as the last for merriment seekers.  Next year’s will be far less happy.  And after that?  Even for those who can afford to hoard and to lord,  there may not even be one.


Many more small businesses will fail as this year passes.  Christmas will not bring the expected and needed revenue.  The largest greed-based corporations will last a bit longer for they still have the fat of millions of slaves to eat or burn – but not as much as they’d like their greedy share-holders to believe.  All of them are bankrupt, no matter how much money or power they claim to hold.   


It is the end for this society.  The world of the rich is corrupt unto death.  The world that worships money and mindless pleasures, whatever the cost to life, is finished. 

And why?  Because compassion is scorned; because the real spirit of caring, giving and sharing is gone from most human hearts and the world is split between the billions who go about naked and hungry and the millions who wear the emperor’s new clothes. 

Those who sow nothing must ultimately reap nothing.  Those who sow the wind (resource wars today) must reap the whirlwind.