Tag Archives: slavery

The Antierra Manifesto – Blog post #22

[begin blog post #22]

Chapter 11 – The Drook Challenger

Deirdre desperately needs to be trained if she is ever going to become a fighter.  I have earned a certain kind of “reputation” among the handlers and developed an understanding of their pecking order in the training compounds, from the overseer down to the lowly trainers.

Perhaps I should explain the hierarchy of authority and power surrounding the whole aspect of arena fighting.  First are the owners whom we never see or have contact with.  They foot the bills for our maintenance and they recoup these losses and sometimes even make money from the gambling on our fights.  The fighting is arranged by the arena council, a group of a dozen owners or other influential people representing Hyrete and other major centers where fighter slaves are bred and raised.  Then come a variety of “judges” who adjudicate on the various laws and rules of combat, weapons and the conduct of fighters and challengers.  They also decide when a fighter is ready to enter her first arena combat.  Then come the overseers, guards, handlers and trainers.

What a fighter must quickly learn is not so much the official power of each class of male over her, but their pecking order.  It is important to develop a sense of which men are the most power hungry and vicious and which men are there because it’s a fairly safe job, certainly more so than being palace guard, police or military.  These latter can often be manipulated if one knows how to play the sex and humility angle.  I know the ones who have enough authority among their peers to approach for small favours.  By dint of hints and innuendos, I am able to make my desire to train Deirdre known to a couple of handlers.

In return, possibly as a favour to an old and battered crone but one considered still in good enough form and a safe bet in a fair fight, I am given permission to begin her training.  I cannot fail to notice more than a hint of cruel amusement on the faces of the handlers when they authorize the training of Deirdre.  The reason is soon brought home to me.

She is utterly hopeless in hand-to-hand combat.  Though taller than most T’Sing Tarleynan females, she has no aptitude for weapons.  Try as she may, she cannot produce a single hit and winces as if in pain each time she does attempt it.  She blocks thrusts and jumps blows with amazing alacrity, using subconscious reflex actions that blur her movements.  She performs intricate dances of evasion to any thrust, even using the staff weapon as if it was made for pole vaulting, her acrobatics causing cheers to come from the males watching from the benches where they sip on their home brewed mead.  No doubt she is a superbly trained performer and entertainer.

But her heart refuses to enter fighting mode.  There is not one ounce of motivation there.  All the wonderful energy I experience from her when she helps me, or makes love to me, there is none of that on the grounds.  I am in despair.  One day she will be thrown in the arena and the worst possible will be done to her.  Why won’t she fight?

In each session I speak to her of this.  I try to impress the necessity of going along.  “You are strong, daring, probably the fastest I’ve ever seen.  And you are fearless,”  I say to her, “So why can’t you do what you are supposed to?”  Today she shrugs, drops her staff to the ground – a violation of my own rules as an unofficial trainer that could get her severely punished – and turns from me.  When I grab her and spin her around to upbraid her for her neglect and cowardice, I see her face is covered in large, hot tears.

In desperation I ask, “Who are you, Deirdre?  I know you are not gladiator material.”

“I am ‘Cholradil’ (pronounced show-ray); a natural born empath.”

I am shocked by that revelation.  “I thought they had no such class of female.” I reply to her.

“They don’t.”  She replies.  “It is said we are rare – they call us atavistic ‘throw-backs’ or freaks.  When they can use us they keep us, otherwise we are killed as soon as they discover what we are.  About three years ago while I was still in crèche I was caught stealing herbal medicines to help a wounded friend.  They could have flogged me to death but instead they put me in the line-up to be sold for gladiator training.  That was their real punishment.  Since the buyers were not made aware of my predicament, they made money on me which they would not have had they just killed me.

“They knew I couldn’t fight and considered it was a great joke to put a Cholradil in among fighters.  I cannot harm anyone or anything, let alone kill, you see?  I never told you because there was no point in it.  I always knew I would never be able to fight anyone and that I would be killed the very first time I go into the fighting ring.  It is my punishment.  It is the way of it.”

“It is the way of it.”  They say that with so much fatalism.

“They actually tolerate individuals who could never harm others?  They have empaths on this twisted world?  Why?”  The question was rhetorical, of course.  I did not expect her to have the answer.

“I was born feeling what you feel; what anyone feels who is close enough to me.  If you hurt, I hurt.  If I hurt you, I hurt me.  When I was still very young, I knew if another beat me up, I could do nothing but put my arms up to block the blows.  But if that person was hurt, I’d find some way to help her because I could always feel what she felt in her pain.  It wasn’t what you call “compassion”.  I didn’t have to like her.  I did not have to want to do it but I had to help her heal so our pain would go away.  After a while they did not hurt me anymore.  They left me alone and came to me only if they were hurt.  I would heal them and they would ignore me.  I was something they could use.  I could never play in their violent games or listen to their thoughts of violence against one-another and against the authorities they hated.”

“What class of girls were you bred for and raised in, then?”

“Sex slaves.  Entertainers.  Pleasers.  We learned all that is known about sex.”

“But your branding says you are class 04, fighter.  How can that be?”

“They changed it by grafting and re-branding to make more money.  I am tall and look as if bred as fighter.  It was a ruse on their part.  I sold for much money.”

Well, that explains some of what I’d observed in her.  “Is that why you speak so clearly and knowingly?  You were educated in the arts of words, of communication?”

“Yes.  I would be worth more.  Maybe even become a concubine of some great man.”

[end blog post #22]

The Antierra Manifesto – blog post #11

[start blog post #11]

“This be warning”  one of them intones, “You know rule: No wailing. No disturbance permitted.  All of you we flog too, happy to do.  But owners, they say too much cost, so you lucky today.  Proceed with training and maintenance of weapons.  Any talk; any whisper, you flogged same as that gorok.  He spits in the direction of the dead girl.

The message is delivered without inflection or passion.  It would appear these men do not feel the least amount of the pain, fear or any other feelings they cause others to experience.  No empathy.  To them we are less than animals, although I believe the expression here is quite meaningless.  There are no domesticated animals that I am aware of in this society.  The food we eat contains no meat.  But again, I’ve been wrong so many times about so many things in the few days I’ve been here!  Days?  No, not days.  I’ve been here an eternity that will never end.  I’ve fallen in hell and there is no doorway out of it.

Three handlers walk among us as we exercise or work, pick a half dozen of the youngest trainees and escort them through one of the stone doors.  One by one they shortly return.  One of them had been a virgin by the blood that runs between her legs.  She is ordered to wash and continue with training and work.  For the handlers, the flogging death they observed had given them a powerful sexual desire they needed to sate and that is also what we are for.

The day wears on, oppressive, endless, silent.  When the sun passes beyond the battlements, painting the eastern sky a lurid reddish brown fired through thin stratus type clouds, a reminder of drying blood, we are fed and returned to our cages.  The body of the flogged child, for she had been no more than twelve or thirteen years of age, now covered with some sort of black fly I hadn’t seen before, is removed from the post by two gladiators.  She is stiff and cold.  They carry her to the same door used to remove the body of her friend and is dumped in a similar conveyance.

And out of the blue my mind is asking, “What do they do with our bodies?”  I know that the dead men are taken to a hill outside the city and buried with much pomp and ceremony, but what about the bodies of the gladiators?  Or women in general?  In the field they leave them to wild beasts.  Do they take ours from here and from the arena to be eaten out there?  Or do they perform some kind of hellish rituals upon them?  

A cold chill goes through me and I try to change the subject in my mind.  Is there something else, something beautiful, I can think about?  Well, why not engage myself on my reason for coming here, instead of bemoaning a fate I deliberately chose or engaging in bouts of self-pity and self-doubt? 

Come on, woman.  Where is all that courage and bravery you were so quick to talk about once, far from here?  Where is your compassion now that you are living in hell?  Don’t both victims and oppressors need to find their freedom?  Think.  Why is this world, a place that could be so beautiful, such a horror?  What feeds the misogynist males and their killing instinct?  Why can they not sexually engage a female except by doing her violence?  Why is the beating of a woman such an erotic event for all of them?  Or is it all of them?  Could there be exceptions among the male population, and if so, how can I find them?

When the doctor had sex with me he did not use force or violence on me.  Well, yes, some force because he knew I could not refuse, but no overt violence.  In fact his handling of my wound was uncharacteristically gentle.  Who is he?  He is taller than other men I’ve seen, and his face is broader, flatter.  Could it be that he’s from another place?  That he’s not a true Tassardi?  Push this a bit further, could he be an alien like me?  If so, why is he in this place?  What is he to this place?  Why did he whisper to me “we want him dead” of my first engagement in the arena?  Who are these “we”?  And his friend in the white uniform.  I sensed a mantle of authority over him.  Authority from whom, where?  When he looked at me, it wasn’t out of lust; in fact I’d swear he was not sexually interested in me at all.  Who or what, is he?  What are they planning and how do I fit into that plan if at all?

Many questions.  Good questions engender good answers and keep my feverish mind occupied.  I will find out.  I will know.  I’m glad that tonight I’m alone in my cage.  My thoughts are so loud I’d be afraid to think them if another was lying with me and after Tiegli I’m not ready to “make love” to accommodate another.  I have no passion, no feelings.  My heart is numbed from so much violence and loss in so short a time.  I listen to the rustling of moving bodies in the fresh straw.  I hear muted sobbing. 

Later, a scream, quickly stifled, then silence – the silence of death.  A large bird or some nocturnal creature ululates a macabre call outside, the sound coming in from one of the square openings high in the smooth stone walls to echo as the voice of the dead throughout the compound.  Water drips outside.  It must be raining.  Yes, let it rain, hard and long.  Wash all the blood out of the courtyard.  Wash all the blood from this world until no world is left.

Rain – the tears of the goddess, she whom I must re-awaken in the hearts of these women.  And I too begin to cry and my own tears become an endless river of sorrow.  Tiegli’s hoarse whisper comes to my mind: “We be strong; we be courageous; not tough like stone; not fearless.  We be only women, not robots or evil beasts.  We have heart… feeling.” 

In that on-going nightmare I am finding my own power, not the power I dragged in with me as from my other self, the Avatari Al’Tara, but a power I have created from the mix of love and terror I have experienced here.  From the blood soaked stones and sand of the arena.  From the many fights I have already entered and “won” if one can call that winning; survived is a more accurate term.

I dream again, but it’s a no-dream.  A “locator” to help me find my mind’s feet on T’Sing Tarleyn, my chosen and adoptive world.  Yes, after all, what I dream of is loving, caring and giving.  I am; I am here; I am real.  And because I exist here, in this time and this place, everything will change.  I know this.  I am all the women I have been in every life as far back through time as I can remember.  Each with some memory of power gained from some great personal loss and deep sorrow and each willing to give her share of it to Antierra.  Together we will discover the true pulse of T’Sing Tarleyn and change its name to T’Sing Tallala (pronounced sing tayala); the land of freedom and hope.  All I have to do is survive the years ahead and not give in to fear but in particular, to hate.  Anger is permissible to me I think, as long as it isn’t based on fear and isn’t allowed to develop into hate.  I need to express anger as a psychological release mechanism.  If I do not I will break or become a complete hypocrite.

[end blog post #11]

Antierra Manifesto-Blog post #8 – Tiegli

[begin blog post #8]

Chapter 5 –  “Tiegli”

 “One must be poor to know the luxury of giving” (George Eliot)

He knows nothing of love, just fucking and that’s fine by me under the circumstances.  He responds to his lust stirred by my overwhelming desire for sexual release and finds his satisfaction.  When it’s over for him, it’s over and I’m left with an incredible ache of in-completion.  ‘Damn you!’ I think.  Hiding my shaking hands by pressing them hard into my stomach I wait as he slips his white robe on and directs me outside.  He calls to another man sitting perfectly still on a stone bench against the wall to my right.  He is wearing a white tunic uniform and apparently reading on a slate.  To me he appears as an extremely handsome man, taller than the doctor when he stands up from his reading to acknowledge the doctor with a quick wave of his hand, an unusual greeting or signal, the arm bent at the elbow, the forearm extended forward and the hand, facing down, moved stiffly and rapidly across the body and back.

They speak low, the uniformed one casting probing looks in my direction.  I am the intense subject of their discussion.  Leaving me standing there they walk across the yard and through a heavy stone door that opens and shuts automatically and silently.  I am left confused and utterly exhausted with my slashed arm throbbing horribly despite the doctor’s assurances that everything is fine; that it’s only a flesh wound.

With nothing better to do, knowing I can’t walk anywhere without some male escort, I focus on that new character, the white tunic.  What role does that one play, I wonder?  It surprises me that in such a black-white, cartoon-like world that so much still happens behind the scenes – so much that all the research I did on this world and my painstaking efforts to duplicate my future experiences here come to practically nothing in actuality.  You can study a thing until you go blind and still, until you experience it, you really know nothing about it.  I realize it’s fear that makes my mind wander thus but I cannot help it.  I have to “grow” into this place or it is going to rob me of my sanity.

Forget all that you know, or think you know.  Such is my life now: a blank followed by a question mark!  I wonder at the value of past life memories.  How can they help one when thrust into an alien power structure?  Yet, what else have I got here?  I was warned I would get no “off-world” help while I remained here.  I’m the only source of all my thoughts and all the decisions I make.  The right and wrong of it all, it belongs to me alone.  I can agree with what I do, or I can judge and condemn myself.  Still, I must live or die by my own choices. 

Ah, choices!  I remember my long-ago discussions with friends on the subject of free choice; how I insisted there is no such thing.  Indeed, if nothing else, Malefactus is proving that I was unfortunately correct on that point.

My handlers (guards or trainers, I still can’t quite sort them out) finally remember to come for me.  I am ordered to wash in a wash trough then I am served a meal, alone, by a kitchen slave girl.  I realize I am famished and the food tastes good to me.  After I eat I’m taken inside the cage area and shoved into one of the cages where a woman is sitting.  She is typically broad shouldered with a thick, short neck and her pale, almost white flesh is covered with scars.  She is bald; one eye almost shut and her left ear is missing entirely.  Her right breast has a deep scar from a cut through it and the nipple is missing.  She looks up at me and smiles a crooked, gap-toothed smile.  She reaches over and touches me with her right hand. She is missing two fingers there also.

Female gladiators do not have names, just physical descriptions and fighting titles.  She is “The Crone” being the oldest surviving female in the line-ups.  No point asking how long she has been here, the brands tell that story accurately enough.  Hers tell me when she was born (1303, bred fighter class 04)  The next line indicates she’s been in this compound since 1316 and according to my brand it’s now 1328.  That’s twelve years of surviving hundreds of encounters; of fights to the death. 

When they turn off the lights we lie down side by side, holding each other and although I desperately want to sleep she insists on telling me her story. 

“Why did they put me with you?”  I whisper to her.

“For me, a favour by guard, one night.  Accept?  I speak with you,” she whispers back, “tell something very important for us.” She grabs my wrist as if to impress her thoughts through my flesh, “You know we have no name?  Fighters have no names?  But I have name, real name!”  Proud she sounds even in her whispering.  She points at herself.  “Tiegli – and it has meaning too.  Undaunted.  No Man hears this name, but all fighters here have, and they have much envy my luck.  Some they fight with this name – very strong name.  Also mean fearless.  I live this name, many years. 

“Listen: there is big fight tomorrow and die with four women escape to desert and bring back – you know this.  Tomorrow is killing orgy.  No fighter live after this no matter how many of men we kill.  They just come more and more.  We weaken with losing blood and so tired we can not hold weapon or stand.  Then they kill.  Sometimes give rape if we still have enough life, much hurt they give before we die – revenge for men we kill – ritual.  Vengeance ritual.”

Her story is short.  At age of ten she has already been sent off from her crèche to be trained as a fighter and is being held for auction in a female child compound.  There is a raid that turns into a blood letting until the besieged make peace by offering their attackers the “contents” of their female compound.  Now both sides fall upon the hapless females.  Tiegli is taken by a couple of young brothers and hidden.  They hope to keep her alive long enough to sell her on the black market that flourishes in certain parts.  They stuff her in a pack bag and from a tear in the side she is able to observe everything that takes place as the young girls are raped and killed, some tortured viciously.  She sees her best friend gang raped then cut open across the stomach.  She throws up inside the bag and forces herself to pass out.

As a bag of grain stuffed in a pack, making no sound and no demands for food or water, surviving the heat in her vomit and excrement, she is bounced along for two days strapped to a harness carried by male slaves.  She is taken out during a violent storm in between suns twilight, staked out in the rain to wash where she is inspected, haggled over and sold to buyers from Hyrete – the fortified city we are in now.  Hyrete is a major center of commerce and entertainment in Elbre, but also distinguished by being the capital city of the kingdom of the royal house Tassard. 

So the people of Elbre are called the Tassardi.   The only other major “kingdom,” actually a so-called unified republic ruled by an oligarchy of merchant houses, is Estáan.  The people there are known as Estáani.  While complete enmity officially exists between these empires and dependencies, there is much slave trade between them.  As elsewhere, business knows how to take advantage of enemies as well as friends.  The bottom line remains the bottom line.  Trade is good.  War is even better.  First and foremost, profit.  Then whatever.

During her training in Hyrete there is an uprising while a multi-event killing orgy is taking place.  She is taken by the group of rebels and with male help and the use of two stolen “carriers” they flee into the desert.  The rebel leader baptizes her and gives her the name of Tiegli.  When they are captured, as inevitably happens, the ring-leaders are executed by torture and she is returned to the compound.  They cut off her ear and shave her head.  She would never be allowed to grow her hair again.  She is entered in her first fight much too young and almost killed.  Fortunately her opponent is a young foolish buck with little experience.  She barely manages to bring him down and the fight is terminated before she has to kill him.  After this, it’s just fight after fight, kill after kill.  From training/holding compound to the arena and back.

“Why do they do this?” I ask.  “Why do they fight you if they know they will get killed?” 

She chuckles in the dark and pinches me, “They say honour but mostly is money.” 

“Honour?”  I ask.  “How can there be honour in killing a woman, or being killed by one?”

Another chuckle, “You not know these things?  Some, we say you from the land, the rock of T’Sing Tarleyn.  Some, we say you Desert Beast rise from desert sand, come to help women.  Some, we say you from other world.  We know only this world.  Are people up there?”  She grabs my wrist tighter and lifts my hand upward so I understand what she means.  You tell, not lie to Tiegli, please.”

“No, not lie.  I will tell you but you must answer my question first.  About honour.”

“Everybody is enemy; someone is enemy of someone.  Women most dangerous enemies because men attracted to woman sex and lose fighting power.  So young boy must kill female as proof he free of female weakness.  Boy is given young girl – sometime older woman no good no more – to kill.  Rite of passage to be man.  Necessary or boy killed too.  They always must … hmmm… show power to hate and do by shouting and killing.  Also must kill enemy.   Boys go to great hunts in big desert” (I note she points to the south) “and where high mountains live.  After big desert and mountains there is green land of grass and short trees that make tent” (I cannot make her explain further – canopied tops of leaves that deflect water or sunlight?) “In that away far land they kill wild beasts or take wild black people for slaves if they find,” and she points to the only dark-skinned woman I’ve seen, a young woman whom they nickname “The Brute” sitting and rocking herself in a near-by cage.  “She harvested when very young.  They train, she good killer.  Dangerous.  Something wrong in head.”

She continues with her story and I try not to interrupt her. 

“Sometime, yes?  They make large group, many weapons (I gather she means armies) attack other group, city.  Much die in what called raids.  Sometime fight group join enemy group in wild celebration after battle.  Compounds full of females they raid to rape and kill and if “evil juice” is found men become like Warris (which she describes to be wild peoples of the south lands who practice cannibalism) and cook female bodies to eat. I, Tiegli, know.  Saw, smelled the flesh, even I get hungry from smell.  This I see when taken.” 

[end blog post #8]

 

Burn your Nikes? No, Boycott Nike

This timely article speaks loudly and clearly for itself.  I received it compliments of CounterPunch at  https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/09/07/burn-your-nikes-how-about-boycott-them-instead/

My introduction:  Since there are no WordPress buttons on Counter Punch, I contacted the writer for permission to cut and paste his article here, in my blog. He replied with an enthusiastic “yes.”

I’ve always known about Nike, and I make no apologies when I say that anyone, including the sudden American “black” hero Kaepernick, who endorses Nike is also endorsing Nike’s slaver conditions in all of their sweat shops; their criminal anti-human rights stance.  Nike is a vile capitalist exploiter and predator, make no mistake and make no mistake that Kaepernick is fully aware of this – no one can be that ignorant when they take huge piles of money from their handlers.  The money Kaepernick is receiving is slave labour money and I find that deceptive and his “take the knee” performance now a hypocritical travesty of protest that turns out very remunerative and convenient for himself.

The other thing I have to say is about a society that buys into the whole fashion industry.  I like to walk barefoot as I know it to be a very healthy way to go which a lifetime has taught me.  However society has a way to shame you, or force you, to wear shoes and few stop to wonder why? Simple to understand when you read this article.  Shoes are very big money and if more people went barefoot and more people cared about keeping their environment clean and safe for bare feet, some of those money piles would dwindle, would they not, even if only in losses of incremental sales.  Greedy corporations like Nike are astute manipulators of psychology and always creating auras of acceptance for their products.  Parts of society are harnessed to produce useless garments and parts of society are cajoled, conned, pushed and forced into wearing compliance.

No shirt, no shoes, no service.

Quote: “The United States alone bought nearly seven pairs of shoes a person in 2016. What a ridiculous society we live in! We buy our way into extinction, keeping our fellow humans in slavery through the process.”
Burn Your Nikes?

Nick Pemberton says don’t burn your Nikes, boycott them instead.

Burn Your Nikes? How About Boycott Them Instead

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“You have to stand proudly for the National Anthem or you shouldn’t be playing. You shouldn’t be there. Maybe you shouldn’t be in the country”

— Donald Trump

“Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything. #JustDoIt”

— Colin Kaepernick

“A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything.

— Malcolm X

Nike’s catchphrase “Just Do It” was inspired by murderer Gary Gilmore’s famous last words. Nike has been a bloodbath ever since. In the 1990s, there was real pressure on Nike to change their nightmarish working conditions. Those were the days when we cared about slavery.  Nike cleaned up its image and not much else. Since then they have been peddling apparel without consequence, save a few brave protestors.

Nike appeared to have changed its course to some degree, but recent findings tell a different story. in 2016 Nike denied the Worker Rights Consortium access to 690 supplier factories says labornotes.org. The 2018 documentary Behind The Swoosh details the sickening conditions. Piled together in cement boxes infested with rats, surrounded by sewers, workers tried to survive on 1.25$ a day. Jim Keady, former coach of St. John’s soccer, says he lost 25 pounds working in Indonesia on Nike’s wages.

Workers end up working overtime to compensate, never seeing their children. These children soon go into sweatshops at a young age themselves. The full cycle hits in Behind The Swoosh when we see the piles of Nike shoes brought from overseas and dumped for burning. The toxins burned in these shoes give the children cancer.

Resistance (I hesitate to even use that word anymore) to Nike is handled by the mafia bosses, according to the documentary. When Keady and Leslie Kretzu tried to get near a Nike factory they were surrounded by security. They then were followed by factory security, who were highly linked to the local mafia. Keady and Kretzu met with a local organizer Dita Sari who was put in prison and tortured for her union organizing.

There is no way to describe Nike’s working conditions other than modern day slavery.Workers work all day, breaking their backs and numbing their fingers. Some figures estimates that 250 million children under 15 work in sweatshops today. If one tries to organize, they are silenced with force. One has to wonder what is greater, the hunger or the hopelessness?

In the age of climate change, water evaporates and heat is extreme. Workers in sweatshops can work for 100 hours a week. Sometimes one can’t sleep for days. This never makes the news. Meanwhile Americans buy and buy. Materialism is the undiagnosed disease that uproots our souls and replaces them with possessions. Achieving material gains and rising in social status eclipses any capacity for empathy we have for the unseen.

Nike is not alone. The clothing, shoes and retail industry is amongst the most brutal in the world. They primarily target poor girls to do their bidding. Workers face tremendous amounts of abuse and wage theft and have little power to stop it. These industries are amongst the most environmentally heinous as well. From animal skin to fossil fuel to coal to waste to dangerous chemicals, the shoe industry wreaks havoc.  The United States alone bought nearly seven pairs of shoes a person in 2016. What a ridiculous society we live in! We buy our way into extinction, keeping our fellow humans in slavery through the process.

Like war, slavery has become so normalized it is barely a story anymore. We (this author sadly included) are most likely to think of slavery when it intersects when one of our rich and famous household names in the endless petty culture wars that postures as American politics. Colin Kaepernick may be my second favorite spokesperson for Nike (after the greatest athlete of all time, Serena Williams). Yet one has to be disappointed in Kaepernick’s latest ad campaign for Nike.

While Nike workers make a dollar a day, Kaepernick is raking in millions for his endorsement deal.  Kaepernick has exposed police violence at home but the war on the working class remains invisible. As soon as supporting the man became trendy, the slaveholder Nike touted him as inspirational. The brand became taking a stand (or a knee). But who will take a stand against the liberal slavery industrial complex?

It is possible to have a left critique of Black Lives Matter, a movement Kaepernick is often linked with. Bruce Dixon writes it better than I can here.  I’ll just say it is hard to imagine Malcolm X appearing in a Nike ad. Malcolm X would surely link police violence at home with slave labor and imperialist violence abroad. Above all, Malcolm was a curious and open-minded internationalist. In the age of Trump an uncompromising working class figure like Malcolm has never been more necessary. A giant like Malcolm reminds us that there was a time when souls mattered more than soles.

The liberal resistance was once again blind to real world politics in the age of Trump-like sensationalism. How many fools pledged their support for this organization that has more buried more harassments than #MeToo has even brought to light? How many suckers concerned about Barack Obama’s legacy turned away from brown children who are starving, enslaved and infested with cancer? How many people complaining about ignorant climate deniers went ahead and endorsed an environmental disgrace? The outpouring of support for Nike was just as sick as the John McCain procession just a week earlier. Could no one see through the liberal propaganda that offered trendy symbolism with one hand and slave labor on the other?

Heroes are hard to come by in the age of Trump, and one can see why people are tempted to tip their caps to Kap. The paranoia that the ex-NFL star inspires in Mr. Trump and his rabid supporters is impressive. They hilariously began burning their Nikes after Kaepernick appeared in a commercial for Nike. Note that Nike’s slave labor and environmental destruction did not move these people an inch.

Now what exactly will these Trump supporters be thinking of Nike? Are they just another globalist institution pedaling transgenderism, science and vaccines for all? Is Nike on the wrong side of the Qanon wars? Perhaps they were upset by the fact that Nike’s sweatshops contained more female workers than male workers, surely believing that the abuse by their bosses was consensual, their courage to stand up to them a witch hunt, and the lack of male workers a serious plot in the campaign to castrate all men vis-a-vis the lasers on Hillary’s pantsuit? Or perhaps it was the multiculturalism poured into each shoe by this equal opportunity employer who mysteriously ran most of its shady business out of black and brown countries? Why do they make you take off your shoes at airport security anyways? Is it because the shoes are Muslim?

Where does one start with the layers of contradiction? The anger against products made in China only comes when a “veteran-killing terrorist”a.k.a. an educated black man is endorsed by Nike. Does burning the Nike shoe, made in China, constitute less of a crime than burning an American flag, made in China? How about burning a MAGA hat, made in China? What kind of snob are you if you don’t give a hoot about child slavery and only become concerned with “elitism” after your least favorite football player appears in a commercial? Who burns their 120$ shoes as a protest against elitism anyways? Across the world, burning these shoes isn’t cool, it’s cancer inducing.

Those looking to explain away Trumpism through a backlash against globalism, elitism, liberalism, etc. may be on to something. But when Trump targets globalism he targets diversity, not slave labor. When Trump targets elitism he targets education and free thinking, not the 1%. When Trump targets liberalism, he is not taking on the Democrats from the left, he is challenging the notion of a pluralistic multiethnic society with women as equal citizens.

Perhaps once and for all Trumpism can be exposed for what is truly is. A movement whose only depth is the return of the white male ethos and whose only breadth is a coalition amongst the most angry, privileged and reactionary characters in today’s grim political landscape.

Trump and his fans once again whine about something legitimate, but for all the wrong reasons. They stumble upon the reality of the world only when it touches their fragile egos. They remain too ignorant and self-absorbed to know about anything else. Then again we all allow and endorse slavery from companies like Nike everyday, no matter who is in power.

For a moment let us dwell on the fact that a real, devastating, and hopeless pain is upon our sisters and brothers in sweatshops across the world. Are we this numb to the world’s most cruel condition of slave labor? The left may want to blame this all on capitalism, the liberals may want to blame this all on fascism and the Trumpettes may want to blame this all on liberalism. Above all we should agree that slavery in all forms is a cruel and unnecessary condition and that stopping it is urgent. So the next time one buys their shoes, just avoid a sweatshop. It’s not that hard. Here are some options to start. Many more options are available online or locally.

Boycott Nike. Just Do It.

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Thoughts on Change

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

“We cannot fight change because we are a part of it.”

Doesn’t that read like a great thought? It reads as if change will happen without fighting for it, just because.

But what if the change spoken of is retrograde, what then?

If we cannot fight such change precisely because we are a part of it, then does it not behoove us, as intelligent, sentient, self-aware beings, spiritually and mentally aware, to separate ourselves from such retrograde change?

Must we ever remain victims of forces we believe are beyond our control?

The price we must be willing to pay if we would renounce our collusion with destructive, if not murderous beliefs, forces and powers, is to become self-empowered.

Did I just conclude that last sentence with a swear word?

Every religious; every political, every financial; every belief system, by nature of being a system, has stood viciously opposed to Earthians ever daring to become self empowered. Every teaching; every public education system has one refrain: study the accepted, recognized authority figures. You, as an individual, have no voice.

Self-empowerment equals the end of every controlling system on earth. No system can exist without our willingness to offer ourselves, in chains, upon the slave auction block. We’ve done this since we became what we proudly think of as homo sapiens sapiens. So long have we dutifully followed this path from conception to death that we’ve come to believe it is a sign of superiority, of power and great intelligence.

We love to be enslaved. We want to be led, no matter where, just as long as we don’t have to make that decision.

The opening quote comes from the movie, “Belle” based on a true story. It addresses the problem and horror of the slave trade in England circa 1750. A bit of a slow start – I almost turned it off – but it finally picks up to a mighty grand finale.

An intelligent movie. A great story.

Fake Democracy Today: give me Slavery, or give me Death!

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

I have heavily criticized and mocked, the modern concept of democracy.  I particularly despise the use of the word democracy as it is applied to those Western nations that but recently emerged from the oppression of their imperial rulers.  They are at best plutocracies.  A better description is, kleptocracies.  

Truth be told, there is nothing democratic about any self-styled democracy.  There may be vestiges of it in some European countries, though I seriously doubt that.  At least based on my interpretation of the concept of democracy.  Socialism as practised in Scandinavian countries doesn’t mean democracy; one is more likely to encounter meritocracies.

Why can’t I accept the term “democracy” as it is applied to Western republics or constitutional monarchies?  It’s very simple: a real democracy would exist freely without any undue influence from any economic, religious or pre-eminent political forces.  It would operate freely under the flow of freely cast majority of votes. Never would it be influenced by advertising or propaganda.  Note the emphasis on “free.”

Let’s get right to it.  During a political campaign, the campaigner would have his or her expenses defrayed by the democracy (the commons) because, you see, it would be the democracy, not her/his ego that got them on the campaign trail.  Do we need reminding that an elected representative in a democracy is a servant of the people, and not of one’s ego?  

Let’s see how our current “representatives” compare:

If a campaigner was caught uttering lies during a campaign, not only would s/he be instantly disqualified from being a representative of the democracy, but subject to severe censure and legal repercussions likely to result in a jail term.  If a campaigner was caught being subverted by a lobbyist, both candidate and lobbyist would be arrested and charged with violating the public trust, the equivalent of being a traitor to the country.  And let’s face it, it is a treasonous act.    

Critical point:  It is my contention that any elected representative in a real democracy could never earn more than the least paid member of said democracy.  To expect more pay than anyone else is to mock the concept of equal representation.  No democracy can function properly under the economic system called capitalism, much less under the current system justly called “predatory capitalism.” 

In a democracy, no election can be valid unless, and until, every member of said democracy has voted, no exceptions allowed except in situations where the individual is mentally or physically unable to complete her or his vote, in which case a person could be duly authorized to cast their vote through power of attorney.  As to voting age, I say the sooner a member is made aware of her/his responsibility, the better.  Voting age? 16.

Obviously in a democracy there can be no political parties, that being a contradiction.  The electoral process would be quite simple, really.  It begins at the most local level.  A community elects a representative to run for governor of a state or province.  That person then runs against all other elected representatives from other communities.  The one who is elected governor is then automatically qualified to run for president, or prime minister.  The one who wins the final round of votes becomes the president.  Too complicated? 

She or he, cannot represent any other group or be attached to any business enterprise, religious organization or other pressure group during the time in office.  A contract to that effect must be signed by the president elect and any violation of this contract would mean a life sentence without parole.  Are we clear on this?

If a people is going to insist they want to live in a democracy it’s high time they took responsibility for their claims.  It’s more than high time the people put an end to the current farcical events of “elections” bought by the highest bidder and candidates coming from the richest members of that society.  Any individual expected to vote under current conditions, if any intelligence was in play, would automatically say, “How stupid do you think I am?” 

I’m sure that with a bit of thinking about it I could come up with an even better description of a proper, working democracy, but for now, this is enough to create some food for thought.  Yes, and I know that these simplistic ideas of mine will be relegated to the garbage pile of non-history as non-applicable, pie-in-the-sky bullshit.  Why?  Because the brainwashing says they can never work.  Not common sense; not simple facts: brainwashing.  Slosh-slosh goes the big political brainwasher through the years until it goes into full spin during the election.  After which, when the insults and punches have been thrown, everybody gradually regains their balance from being spun dizzy, and it’s business as usual.  And you call that a democracy?  “How stupid do you think I am?”   

But just so you know, I happen to know these ideas I presented above are totally applicable, totally practical and absolutely necessary if a working political system is to be called democratic. 

They will not ever be applied, or even tried, however, because our elites will make sure we never get it; that we continue fawning to, and supporting sociopathic, narcissistic, political ponerologists; the war-mongers and billionaires with their locked-in institutions: public education, religious organizations, banks, spying, defence and policing agencies, political parties and all their “grassroots” affiliates, the main stream media, Big Pharma, the medical system and academia, in which we all must trust for no better reason than that they eat us and our world alive, killing our neighbors, enslaving and imprisoning our families, our descendants, leaving always tiny thread of hope for baseless dreams to keep us performing: working, voting, studying, arming, shopping and believing. 

With that much institutional brainwash knocking us about, they can be assured that we’ll never clue in as to what’s actually going on.  Oh sure, we’ll read about it, maybe even think about it, and we’ll certainly talk ourselves blue in the face about it but we’ll never – GET IT.

The “system” says we need to believe… in anything, anything at all, as long as we don’t GET IT.  As long as  we never learn to trust one-another or lean on one-another.  The “system” has us trusting in literal demonic forces.  Even if every one we met or encountered walked around lovingly caring for others, looking and acting like angels from heaven: yes, even so, when it comes to choosing a leader, we’ll go find and choose the demon.  Only the demon is qualified to rule and the ruler must be given sycophantic armed support and protection if deemed necessary, the adulation of fandom and handed the key to the national storehouse and if possible, to all planetary reserves. That’s the brainwash. 

That’s the age-old programming, obviously too much of a headache to try to hack into and neutralize.  The real slogan of any so-called democracy today is, “Give me slavery or give me death!” 

“We do not have to visit a madhouse to find disordered minds; our planet is the mental institution of the universe”.  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

 

 

 

 

What does it mean to die a Martyr?

[a dream by   ~burning woman~   ]

In the midst of all my writing activity… I fell asleep outside at my back yard computer “desk” while listening to Ana Vidovic playing “Recuerdos de la Alhambra” by Francisco Tarrega.  I had a dream, almost a lucid dream. 

In this timeless dream I stood  in an old Middle Eastern or Turkish city square – the ground surface was of beige stone, as were the houses and walls surrounding this square.  There were many people around but deathly silence.  I was a tall blonde woman wearing a long white cotton robe draped from the shoulders down to my ankles with the neck carefully and deliberately exposed.  I wore long blonde hair down to my waist and I had large, bright blue eyes.  What had I been before this ordeal?  A captured royal princess?  A slave?  

My wrists were tied with ropes at my back.  Two swarthy men stood at each side of me and in front was an execution scaffold with a depression for a human neck.  A very large bald headed man holding an over-sized scimitar stood by the bench, looking down, waiting.  All so well staged, I would have smiled had it been a play. 

I looked over the crowd and they were all staring at me.  The overall impression I was getting was, I was trying very hard to decide how my situation should make me feel.  Frightened?  Angry?  Desperate?  Hopeless?  Distant?  I wanted a feeling to hang on to but each feeling flitted across my mind and none would stick.  Should I again try to beg for my life, to argue my innocence?  But I already knew it had nothing to do with justice, or innocence, but with religion and politics; with machinations I could not begin to understand.  I wasn’t a human being, I was a tool, perhaps a weapon of state craft.  My death was necessary to make a point.  To whom?  I had no idea.  It occurred to me then that I did not understand the language being spoken, and no one had ever translated anything for me.  But could they understand me? 

I would not beg; I would not speak a word.  I could not speak. 

I realized then I was already dead, so prepared for this inevitability that I had gone past my physical body and was looking at myself from the other side of the ordeal.  I could already see my head on the ground and the blood gushing out of my severed neck, over the ground and what had been a pristine white dress and in my mind it was all over.  That’s death, I thought. 

What does it mean, then, to die like that?  I thought about it as I walked slowly to the place of execution, and as I knelt down to put my neck in the curved mold.  It means to be utterly alone; it means being just yourself for the first time since the day of birth.  It means a new birth, however frightening, however painful, however devastatingly stripped of everything that your life, your beauty, your dreams or everything else that ever meant anything to you or anyone.  This is it.  One life’s, however brief, final crossroads.  Did I see a friend, a lover, a possible “knight in shining armour” to save me in the crowd?  Honestly it would not have mattered, I no longer desired to be known, loved, or saved.  I no longer belonged here.  My feelings were dead.