Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Everybody Loves Raytheon


"Everybody Loves Raytheon!" 

An Interview with A. Riche-Persson

Editor's note: We last heard from A. Riche-Persson in 2020 when she told us her perspective on the upcoming elections in Why I Adore Joe Biden.  We thought it would be good to make a Zoom call and check in with her to find out how she's been doing during the pandemic and after Joe's first year in office. The transcript of the call follows.

The Revolution Continues:  It's good to hear from you, Ms. Riche-Persson. May we call you by your first name Ayn?

A. Riche-Persson: If you're a member of my private club, maybe. Otherwise, I always insist on the press addressing me properly.

TRC: Okay... So, Ms. Riche-Persson, how was your pandemic experience? I notice you're not wearing a mask.

ARP: President Biden said it's over now, and I believe him. I'm not a science denier, truth be told. I simply did my best to stay away from places where lots of poor people were breathing in and out, and I always use hand sanitizer. Other than one really bad bout of pneumonia, I've been perfectly fine these past two years. The whole thing has been one big joke, but I've had the last laugh. 

TRC: Oh? How so? 

ARP: My friend Nancy told me which pharmaceutical companies to buy stocks in right before they started boo-hooing over this overblown common cold pandemic business. And she was right. It's been very lucrative. 

TRC: Would that be Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House? 

ARP: One and the same. She's very helpful to her friends with her insider tips. I just tell my stockbroker what she says and he lines it up for me. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Money in the bank. 

TRC: I bet. What other insider tips has Ms. Pelosi given you? 

ARP: Lately she's been gushing all about military manufacturers to invest in. Since February those stock prices have soared higher and higher. It's so exciting! Everybody loves Raytheon! I adore Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, too. America is just getting richer and richer by the day. 

TRC: Everyone in the US is getting richer, or is it just you and Ms. Pelosi and her friends? 

ARP:  (Chuckling) What difference does it make? As long as I'm doing okay that's all that matters.

TRC: We don't have time to delve into what the difference is right now, but you're honestly happy with the way things are going? 

ARP: Of course I am. When the stock market is on a roll, everyone is on a roll. I think President Biden said we've got something like zero percent unemployment, so that's gotta be good, right? 

TRC: Do the closed signs on small businesses' front windows ever catch your eye?

ARP: I'm driven around in a limo with dark-tinted windows. Never seen them.

TRC: Okay, so you're saying you're not worried about a resurgence in the omicron variant of COVID-19 or upset about the conflict going on in Ukraine or that millions of Americans won't be able to pay their rent and risk eviction this year? 

ARP: Well, of course I'm upset about all those poor people living on the streets. They bring our property values down. They're so messy with all their possessions in bags littering the place. But the mayor of New York City is doing a great job of rounding them up and putting them elsewhere, so I sleep well at night. 

TRC: And the chance of COVID taking off again and killing another million Americans? 

ARP: Meh. It's not really a thing thing, you know? At least not among my circle of friends. If others get sick from it or have to bury a family member, I feel sorry for them, but I don't know them, so what?  Nothing to lose sleep over. I'm just glad I don't have to smudge my lipstick wearing a mask in public. Masks really killed my sense of style. They never matched my designer outfits.

TRC: (Sighing) The idea that you're making money off of selling armaments to fuel a proxy war that has caused many to flee their homes doesn't cause you any bad dreams, either, right? 

ARP: You said it, not me. It's a proxy war. That means American soldiers won't get hurt--just those people who are stupid enough to live there. And fossil fuels aren't making that good a return on investment right now, so why not expand my stock portfolio to include weapons manufacturers?  It seems that cute little comedian president can't get enough of them. 

TRC: Zelensky? 

ARP: Gesundheit. I hope you wear a mask in public so others don't catch your germs. 

TRC: Uh, yeah. On a related topic, I've recently learned that your family originally came from Germany and arrived in the US right at the end of World War II. Is that right?

ARP: (Quietly) That's right... Granddad got a job with the government. 

TRC: Your grandfather was known to have a very important job within the Nazi government before he immigrated to the US is what I've read.

ARP: Yeah, but he was a good Nazi. Like the Nazis in Ukraine are. America likes the good Nazis.

TRC: It appears we do. The Azov Battalion and other Nazi units in the Ukrainian military are accepting billion of dollars of armaments from the US. Biden gave Ukraine $800 million worth of arms just this last week. Some of those guns in the future may be used to terrorize or kill people that Nazis don't like such as LGBTQIA persons, the Roma, and ethnic Russians. You're okay with that? 

ARP: (Sighing) Well, what can I say? People get hurt in wars, but wars are good for business. 

TRC: They are. And all is fair in love and business, right? 

ARP: Hey, like I said everybody loves Raytheon--my stockbroker, Ukrainian Nazis, the US Defense Department… You know, important people.

TRC: Uh-huh. You certainly have an interesting perspective on things, Ms. Riche-Persson. 

ARP: I do. And I have one other thing you and your friends don't have.

TRC: What's that?

ARP: Money, so people in power have to listen to me. Even Nazis in power.

TRC: Sad to say but true. Thanks for talking with us today, Ayn Rand--uh, Ms. Riche-Persson. I'm sure you'll sleep well tonight. I know I won't.

BIO: "A. Riche-Persson" (or Ayn to her friends) is a member of the country club down the road and thinks she knows what's best for those who haven't been blessed with her good looks (and face lifts) and brains (she attended Yale, but married a millionaire and forgot to finish her degree). Heed her advice and you, too, can become well-connected in the corporate-owned-and-operated establishment duopoly. Just leave your conscience at the door with the coat check girl.

Related Articles:

Updated: A short video you must see to really understand the power of the weapons lobby in DC:  https://youtu.be/N3pnFR7DeZA 

More Military Spending Won't End Atrocities, We Must Focus on Preventing Them https://truthout.org/articles/more-military-spending-wont-end-atrocities-we-must-focus-on-preventing-them/

Some of the Weapons Delivered to Ukraine Will Be Used Against Us https://popularresistance.org/some-of-the-weapons-delivered-to-ukraine-will-be-used-against-us/

Lockheed Martin and Friends Don't Want You To Know What They're Up To https://jacobinmag.com/2022/04/defense-contractors-human-rights-transparency-lockheed-raytheon 

US Spent 7.5 Times More On Nuclear Weapons Than Vaccine Donations https://popularresistance.org/the-u-s-spent-7-5-times-more-on-nuclear-weapons-than-global-vaccine-donations/ 

Global Capitalism Has Become Dependent on War-Making to Sustain Itself  https://truthout.org/articles/global-capitalism-has-become-dependent-on-war-making-to-sustain-itself/

How the War in Ukraine Is Being Fought in the Media (video) https://youtu.be/j9YewFqws2M 

Gonzalo Lira Speaks Out (video)  (There's lots of good information in this video from an investigative reporter in Ukraine.)   https://youtu.be/AhjcVTCDLLI

Why I Adore Joe Biden by A. Riche-Persson  https://bernie2016.blogspot.com/2020/04/why-i-adore-joe-biden.html 

The Rich Haven't Just Gotten Richer--They've Also Gotten A Lot More Selfish https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2022/apr/23/us-billionaires-taxes-elon-musk-week-in-patriarchy 

Seen on Twitter:


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

The Business Model of Empire

If you've been following the news about Ukraine but still don't understand that it's the single most aggressively narrative managed and psyop-intensive war in human history, there is a 100 percent chance you believe false things about what's happening there.         --Caitlin Johnstone

The Business Model of Empire

by C.A. Matthews

The United States of America is an empire. It has imperialistic intentions. It seeks out resources, lands, and peoples to further its own purposes. You don't have to agree with its intentions to agree with the fact that it displays all the characteristics of an empire.

In order to build an empire, you must have a business plan of sorts. In my opinion, the US has a pretty simple business model when it comes to empire building. I call it "The Three Cs" or "Capitalism, Conflict, and Competition."

Capitalism is the "religion" or the belief system of US Empire. Capitalists are the billionaires (soon becoming trillionaires) who essentially own a controlling share of everything--and I mean everything.  They own politicians, who are essentially their paid-off servants who do everything to keep capitalists and fellow politicians from ever going to jail for the crimes they regularly commit. 

Capitalists own our mainstream media outlets--television, radio, cable and newspapers/periodicals--as well as our social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. They own our communication devices such as internet connections and cell towers. They own almost every morsel Americans put into their mouths through their massive agribusinesss, food processing plants and franchised restaurants. They own our military and profit well on the constant purchasing of armaments and related instruments of destruction.

Conflict is the means in which capitalism continues to exist. Capitalism needs endless resources--minerals, oil, foodstuffs, technology, plastic dollar store gadgets, etc. Capitalism demands profits, so paying too much for resources or the land or the people to produce these products they sell isn't seen as a good thing. And why pay for resources, lands, or workers at all when you can simply take them through Conflict? 

So, Conflicts--or the more accurately named "military actions," "interventions," "proxy wars," or simply "coups d'etat"--are started in order to feed the hungry monster that is Capitalism. The Capitalists aren't particularly bothered about the innocent lives forfeited in their grabs for resources. The natives are seen as so much "collateral damage."  That's what the capitalists' politician-puppets are for--to make a big noise to distract from all the needless deaths. Politicians pontificate and say things like, "The US has invaded such-and-such country in order to defend democracy," or "We are fighting to save the locals against Communism/Socialism/Any-ism that doesn't care much for Capitalism and building up the US Empire."

And, frankly, why would any country in the middle of a proxy war to cover for the US Empire's interests care about the growth of the US Empire or the success of Capitalism? The people there are seen by the US/Western powers as wage slaves or cannon fodder at best. Even George Orwell couldn't have foreseen the blatant disregard for human life.

Competition is a word that covers all sorts of manipulations that keep the world's populace off balance so that the US Empire/Capitalism can continue to grow. While conflict is necessary for the US Empire to make those land or resource grabs, how do you get the human element to cooperate with your plans? This is where competition comes into play. You seed competition among peoples by causing artificial scarcity of food and other necessary items such as medicines/vaccines worldwide. You seed competition by playing "The Race Card" and creating artificial divisions among human beings based on race, religion, gender identity, etc. at home.

Once the US Empire has seeded enough division among its own people (as well as other peoples) then it becomes fairly easy to swoop in and pick up the pieces from among the warring factions. Competition creates mini-conflicts that fuel the bigger Conflict needed for the success of Capitalism and so the billionaires can cash in and pocket all the profits they can possibly glean from a situation.

But what can one do with all the money taken in a world that has fallen apart through war (possibly nuclear war) and climate catastrophe? The US Empire builds a "Space Force" to protect the billionaires currently competing to get their spaceships into space. Once the Capitalists have traveled to other worlds they'll restart The Three Cs once more.

What a glorious future, huh?

If you still can't connect the dots between US Empire building and the current proxy war in Ukraine, don't be too hard on yourself. After all, the Capitalists who own all the mainstream media news outlets and social platforms are doing their best through the fourth "silent C" of Empire Building--Censorship. Censorship and "Cancellation Culture" keeps the public ill-informed. 

That's the way the US Empire Builders want it. It adds a fifth "C" to the equation of "Confusion" that keeps groups of people in Conflict, allowing for Competition that negates and persecutes truth-tellers such as Julian Assange and Chris Hedges. Networks and independent journalists that report on all sides of the story in Ukraine are being shut down by the Capitalists and ridiculed by their politician and media pundit-puppets, so it's difficult to learn what's really happening.

And Capitalism flourishes as the profits from the proxy war grow amid confusion and censorship. There were $800 million in arms sales to Ukraine last week alone. Raytheon and Lockheed Martin stock is soaring on Wall Street. Happy days are here again! (At least for those who own and control armament stocks.)

In order for you to see Clearly (a "C" that isn't in the Empire building business model) check out last week's blog piece on Critical Thinking Skills. That's the lucky seventh "C" for the people--Criticism or keeping a critical eye open. There's only one way for us to Continue life on this earth. We must Continually Critique Capitalism and US Empire Building or else it will kill everyone and everything in its insane quest for profits above all else.

To quote Redd Phlagg: "Remain skeptical. Read widely." And always be aware that you  and your happiness aren't a part of the US Empire's Business Model. It doesn't deserve your allegiance. It only deserves your disdain.

Some others' thoughts on the subject:

Analysts say the defense industry has spent billions of dollars lobbying Congress while quietly making much more in profit by manufacturing weapons that fuel deadly conflicts in Ukraine, Yemen and across the world under federal arms sales agreements that have little effective congressional oversight. 

There is a dangerous “feedback loop” between major weapons manufacturers in the United States that make billions in profits from arms sales, the countries that arm themselves with these weapons, and the U.S. government, which uses arms sales as “tools” to gain economic and diplomatic leverage, according to Dan Auble, a researcher at money-in-politics tracker OpenSecrets. 

“Unfortunately, it’s ultimately the human beings on the ground who suffer as a result of the prolonged wars that are fed from these arms sales abroad,” Auble told reporters on Thursday. Mike Ludwig, Ukraine and Yemen Wars Highlight US Role As Biggest Arms Dealer in the World

Capitalist enterprises seek, find, and develop foreign sources of food, raw materials, workers, and markets. As competition becomes global, competing capitalist enterprises seek help from their nations’ governments to expand. Politicians quickly learn that companies in their nations that lose in global competition will blame those politicians for insufficient support. Meanwhile, companies that win in the global competition will reward such politicians for their help. The social result of this is that capitalism entails national competition alongside enterprise competition. Wars often punctuate capitalism’s national competition. The winners in those competitions thereby often tended to build empires, historically. Richard Wolff, The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraine 

But what was “unprecedented” just six weeks ago has now become commonplace, even normalized. Any platform devoted to offering inconvenient-to-NATO news or alternative perspectives is guaranteed a very short lifespan. Less than two weeks after the EU's decree, Google announced that it was voluntarily banning all Russian-affiliated media worldwide, meaning Americans and all other non-Europeans were now blocked from viewing those channels on YouTube if they wished to. As so often happens with Big Tech censorship, much of the pressure on Google to more aggressively censor content about the war in Ukraine came from its own workforce: “Workers across Google had been urging YouTube to take additional punitive measures against Russian channels.”

So prolific and fast-moving is this censorship regime that it is virtually impossible to count how many platforms, agencies and individuals have been banished for the crime of expressing views deemed "pro-Russian.” On Tuesday, Twitter, with no explanation as usual, suddenly banned one of the most informative, reliable and careful dissident accounts, named “Russians With Attitude.” Created in late 2020 by two English-speaking Russians, the account exploded in popularity since the start of the war, from roughly 20,000 followers before the invasion to more than 125,000 followers at the time Twitter banned it. An accompanying podcast with the same name also exploded in popularity and, at least as of now, can still be heard on Patreon. -- Glenn Greenwald, Western Dissent from US/NATO Policy is Small, Yet the Censorship Campaign is Extreme 

Bridget Moix, general secretary of the Quaker organization Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), on Tuesday detailed various nonviolent steps the Biden administration and Congress "can take to help end the war in Ukraine and promote long-term peace." 

"While it may feel as though more weapons and punishing sanctions are the only options in Ukraine, in fact, U.S. leaders have many nonviolent policy options available to help save lives and advance peace," she wrote. 

"They need to understand that using diplomacy, working through multilateral institutions, supporting local peacebuilders, providing humanitarian aid, and protecting refugees are not 'weak' responses," Moix argued. "These are our best tools for bringing about a durable solution to the crisis."  Biden Answers Zelenskyy's Plea to Arm Ukraine with $800 Million in Weapons

Related articles:

The Role of Capitalism in the War in Ukraine  https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/14/the-role-of-capitalism-in-the-war-in-ukraine/ 

Ukraine and Yemen Wars Highlight US Role As Biggest Arms Dealer in the World https://truthout.org/articles/ukraine-and-yemen-wars-highlight-uss-role-as-biggest-arms-dealer-in-the-world/

The New Gold Rush: How Pentagon Contractors Are Cashing in on the Ukraine Crisis   https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/18/the-new-gold-rush-how-pentagon-contractors-are-cashing-in-on-the-ukraine-crisis/

US-Backed Coup in Pakistan Overthrows PM Imran Khan https://popularresistance.org/us-backed-coup-in-pakistan-overthrows-pm-imran-khan-over-his-independent-foreign-policy/ 

The Venezuelan Coup, 20 Years Later https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/15/the-venezuelan-coup-20-years-later/  

How the US Does "Diplomacy" https://popularresistance.org/how-the-u-s-does-diplomacy/

Western Dissent from US/NATO Policy is Small, Yet the Censorship Campaign is Extreme  https://greenwald.substack.com/p/western-dissent-from-usnato-policy 

American Militarism, a  Persistent Malady https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/14/american-militarism-a-persistent-malady/

The Reasons For and Dangers Behind the War in Ukraine https://popularresistance.org/the-reasons-for-and-dangers-behind-the-war-in-ukraine/ 

Biden Answer Zelenskyy's Plea to Arm Ukraine Now With 800 Million in Weapons https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/14/biden-answers-zelenskyys-plea-to-arm-ukraine-now-with-800-million-in-weapons/

A Love Letter to All Draft Dodgers  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/a-love-letter-to-all-draft-dodgers?s=r 

How Much Are We Prepared to Sacrifice https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/how-much-are-we-prepared-to-sacrifice

Seen on Twitter:

 A very good thread (series) of tweets:

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Critical Thinking Skills For The Masses

Few people sincerely want the truth about the world. Most just want politicians and pundits to whisper reassuringly in their ear, "Don't worry. We've got this. Your schoolteachers told you the truth about everything, and so did the news man. You are on the side of righteousness." --Caitlin Johnstone, US Interventionism Always Makes Things Worse

Friendly reminder that it's impossible to get a clear understanding of what's going on in the world without accounting for the fact that very powerful people within your own society are actively working very hard to manipulate your understanding in their favor. -- Caitlin Johnstone, US Interventionism Always Makes Things Worse
It's time for a lesson in...

Critical Thinking Skills For The Masses 

by Redd Phlagg

Critical thinking is making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought-out.  --Study.com

You meet a person, and they become the love of your life. You trust this person and believe every word that comes from their mouth and trust every action they take or ask you to take on their behalf. One day, you come across irrefutable evidence that your beloved has been lying to you, not just once but many, many times. As time goes on, you discover that this person has been lying to you all throughout the time you've known them and are confident that you will never confront them about their lying. They are free to abuse your trust and even possibly abuse you physically, psychologically, and spiritually because they know you will never leave or speak ill of them.

Do you stay in this relationship? What is your payoff for putting up with the lies and abuse?

If you're able to think critically, you should be able to weigh the evidence and come up with a theory about how this person will act in the future based on their past actions. If they have lied repeatedly to you, you will act skeptically about any information they have given you or will give you. You will eagerly double-check whatever claims they make against other authoritative sources. If you believe these sources and discuss your options with others you trust, you should come to the conclusion that it's not worth your effort to remain with this person. You will make the logical decision to leave them.

But human beings aren't logical and rarely use their critical thinking skills when it comes to the people and groups they have emotionally bonded with. We make excuses for other's lies and tell ourselves that we deserve to be lied to. We convince ourselves that the lies we've been told are actually "truths" even if our higher cognitive processes tell us there's no possible way they can be true.

"I'd never accept a lie as the truth!" I hear you say. Are you so sure? "No way would I continue believing anything out of the mouth of anyone who repeatedly lied to me," you insist.

Okay, then answer me this: Do you believe everything the US government has told you about the whys and wherefores about what's happening in Ukraine? Do you believe everything that mainstream media outlets such as NBC News tell you about what's going on there?

If you answered yes to either or both or those questions, the following is going to blow your mind:

NBC News has a new report out citing multiple anonymous US officials, humorously titled "In a break with the past, U.S. is using intel to fight an info war with Russia, even when the intel isn't rock solid".  
The officials say the Biden administration has been rapidly pushing out "intelligence" about Russia's plans in Ukraine that is "low-confidence" or "based more on analysis than hard evidence", or even just plain false, in order to fight an information war against Putin. (…) 
Just as the smear campaign against Julian Assange trained mainstream liberals to defend the right of their government to keep dark secrets from them, we may now be looking at the stage of narrative control advancement where mainstream liberals are trained to defend the right of their government to lie to them. -- Caitlin Johnstone, US Officials Admit They're Literally Just Lying To The Public About Russia

It's time to use those critical thinking skills... NBC News (a mainstream media outlet) is quoting US government officials who state they're telling outright lies. Do you continue believing these officials who candidly admit to lying?

It wouldn't be the first time US government officials have lied to us about a military action. Do you remember the reason George W. Bush sent our troops into Iraq-- something about "weapons of mass destruction" being found there? Does that ring a bell? It's been verified there were never any WMDs in Iraq. This "false flag" or fictional excuse was concocted to give the US an excuse to invade that country. 

And no, none of the 9/11 terrorists came from Iraq. Most of them came from Saudi Arabia. So, why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia? Good question. Invading a country we don't like just made more sense at the time than invading one we did/still do like.

Hey, stop using those critical thinking skills now! It's embarrassing to the US government to point out that they're liars.

When our government wants the American people to believe something or go along with a military action (no matter how abhorrent it may be), they will expect us to keep our minds turned off and our mouths shut.

This year we're supposed to hate all things Russian with a passion and to think there's no such thing as a Ukrainian Neo-Nazi paramilitary unit such as the Azov Battalion. But here's the Pentagon and another mainstream media outlet--Reuters News--reporting about a recent event in Ukraine that you probably have heard about and might have upset you. Warning: I might upset you again by telling you that it's possible that this horrible event might not have even happened or  it wasn't quite what you were led to believe:

WASHINGTON, April 4 (Reuters) – The U.S. military is not in a position to independently confirm Ukrainian accounts of atrocities by Russian forces against civilians in the town of Bucha: “The Pentagon can’t independently and single handedly confirm that, but we’re also not in any position to refute those claims.”

If the Pentagon, which includes the Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency, cannot confirm any of the atrocities that Ukrainian government claimed, then what really happened? Did anything happen? Who can be believed?

Critical thinking skills can help us in this instance. Other sources of information should be consulted and the evidence weighed before jumping to conclusions.
According to this source:

The Ukrainian President caused controversy in Greece by including a video message from members of the neo-Nazi Azov battalion in his speech to the Greek parliament. This caused a walk-out by a number of Greek MPs who protested the move on Thursday. (…) 
The Azov Battalion is based in Mariupol, and had led a terror campaign against civilians there, including the city's 120,000 Greeks. Greek City Times also reported that the Ukrainian nationalist forces have "killed people for trying to leave the city." 
Greece's SKAI news asked Mr. Kiouranas, a Greek who lives in Mariupol, if he was planning on leaving the city, to which he responded:  
“How can I leave? When you try to leave you run the risk of running into a patrol of the Ukrainian fascists, the Azov Battalion," adding “They would kill me and are responsible for everything." --Greek MPs Leave Zelensky Session for Including Message from Neo Nazi Azov

Since foreigners living in Ukraine have confirmed the violence of the Azov Battalion, and other sources have stated that multiple atrocities have been committed against ethnic Russians by these fascist groups since the 2014 coup when the eastern republics that make up the Donbas region voted to leave Ukraine, then it's possible the Russian Army isn't committing atrocities at all. It seems highly probable that Ukrainian fascists such as the Azov Battalion are killing ethnic Russians and are trying to shift the blame and focus away from them and the Ukrainian government instead.

Now, more than ever we need to use our critical thinking skills to prevent a proxy war over a liquid natural gas pipeline (and possibly American/Ukrainian biolabs working on military grade pathogens) from turning into World War III. And if you don't believe this conflict could turn into a nuclear apocalypse, just read what one former top NATO commander says about how the use of nuclear weapons is a "proper response" in this article,
Former NATO Military Analyst Blows The Whistle on West's Ukraine Invasion Narrative https://www.rsn.org/001/former-nato-commander-says-western-fears-of-nuclear-war-are-preventing-a-proper-response-to-putin.html

Always keep in mind who benefits from a situation--even a horrific situation such as nuclear war or a prolonged conventional conflict: 
For Arms Manufacturers the War in Ukraine is a Profits Bonanza https://www.rsn.org/001/for-arms-manufacturers-the-war-in-ukraine-is-a-profits-bonanza.html

Remain skeptical. Read widely. Don't give your love or trust away automatically to any person, group, political party, or government just because they tell you, "You can believe us! We'll never lie to you!"

Because even our co-opted mainstream media has told us that's completely bogus.

Articles to make you think for yourself and consider all sides of the story:

UPDATE: More Escalations in Online Censorship https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/more-escalations-in-online-censorship?s=r 

Former NATO Military Analyst Blows The Whistle on West's Ukraine Invasion Narrative  https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/09/former-nato-military-analyst-blows-the-whistle-on-wests-ukraine-invasion-narrative/

US Officials Admit They're Literally Just Lying to the Public About Russia https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/us-officials-admit-theyre-literally?s=r

Who Are the Good Guys In the Ukraine War?  https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/05/paul-street-who-are-the-good-guys-in-the-ukraine-war/

The Lie of American Innocence (audio article)  https://chrishedges.substack.com/p/listen-to-this-article-the-lie-of?s=r

New Witness Testimony About Mariupol Maternity Hospital Airstrike https://popularresistance.org/new-witness-testimony-about-mariupol-maternity-hospital-airstrike/

Questions Abound About Bucha Massacre  https://scheerpost.com/2022/04/06/questions-abound-about-bucha-massacre/ 

Greek MPs Leave Zelensky Session for Including Message from Neo Nazi Azov https://english.almayadeen.net/news/politics/greek-mps-leave-zelensky-session-for-including-message-from 

Twitter IS "State-Affiliated Media"  https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/twitter-is-state-affiliated-media?s=r

For Arms Manufacturers the War in Ukraine is a Profits Bonanza https://www.rsn.org/001/for-arms-manufacturers-the-war-in-ukraine-is-a-profits-bonanza.html 

Twitter to Crackdown on Russia-Ukraine Info That Contradicts State Department  https://www.rokfin.com/post/81618 (video)

US Interventionism Always Makes Things Worse https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/us-interventionism-always-makes-things?s=r

The Levers of Power Are Also Triggers (warning: contains link to graphic video of Russian soldiers being murdered)  https://popularresistance.org/the-levers-of-power-are-also-triggers/

Independent journalist Richard Medhurst:  "What EXACTLY Happened in Bucha" featuring UN weapons inspector Scott Ritter (video)  https://youtu.be/klPYYqhqO74

Ukraine: A Conversation with Scott Ritter (video)  https://youtu.be/OdM5Pkyl0_8 

If It Feels Like You're Being Manipulated, It's Because You Are https://caitlinjohnstone.substack.com/p/if-it-feels-like-youre-being-manipulated?s=r 

They Admit They're Lying to You! (video) https://youtu.be/CvXVBDs_fKw  

The Revolution Continues' ongoing series on the proxy war in Ukraine: https://continuousrev.blogspot.com/p/ukraine-war-series.html

 Seen on Twitter:


Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Money Is Not Speech (Except When It Is)

After a month of posts covering issues surrounding the current proxy war in Ukraine, it's time to take a little break and think about what's really behind all the unpleasantness in the world. 

"What is that?" you wonder. I'm glad you asked.

It's money.

"That's a bit simplistic," you may retort. Well, sometimes keeping it simple gets right to the heart of the matter. Without billionaires desiring even more profits from fossil fuels such as natural gas, and from military armaments/equipment/training, we wouldn't have this current mess in eastern Europe. Without money being promised to politicians to do the bidding of these billionaires, we wouldn't have this current nightmare of being less than two minutes from midnight on the Nuclear War Countdown Clock.

"Money makes the world go round," the old saying goes. And it could very well end all life on this planet if we allow it to continue enthralling billionaires and Neo-Nazis alike. 

"Money is not speech!" is a slogan shouted by Move to Amend supporters. By amending the US Constitution to counteract the damage done by the Citizens' United  Supreme Court ruling since 2010 (when the justices declared that corporations could spend as much as they like to buy off politicians since it was "free speech"), it is hoped actual free speech and less wars and less profiteering off the poverty, health care, and student loan debts of the American public would occur.

This past week supporters of the Move to Amend met together in the Toledo, Ohio, City Council chambers to celebrate Democracy Day 2022. The pandemic had put it on hold for two years, so it was great to see old friends and face down the city officials in person as we once again presented our requests for building a world not based on money but free speech for human beings, not corporations.

Here's what I had to say:

Single Payer Action Network tabling at Democracy Day.

Health Care Is A Human Right--Democracy Day 2022

by C. A. Matthews

Toledo City Council has bravely enacted Democracy Day and each year stands with Move to Amend members in boldly declaring, "Money is not speech!" and "Corporations are not people!" 

But is this a complete and adequate response? If a corporation is not a person, then who qualifies as a person?  Is a flesh and blood human being considered a "person" in a legal sense? If money is not considered "free speech" then why do wealthy individuals and corporations have more influence and wield more power over politicians and governmental policy than mere individual human beings?

To give a little background on this topic, corporations are not mentioned in the US Constitution. Not once. They are so-called "legal fictions" or creations of government, intended to provide useful goods and services. No voter, citizen, social movement or elected official has ever granted corporations constitutional rights – those were intended exclusively for human beings. Corporate entities have gained constitutional rights and "personhood" solely through the rulings of activist Supreme Court Justices. The 14th Amendment in particular has been reinterpreted to mean that corporations have the rights to free speech and personhood. It was argued that formerly enslaved persons--who were once thought of as merely "property" and not as human beings created in the Image of God--were to be granted rights under this amendment. They were given the right to be considered "people," in other words. And if "property" or former slaves could be considered as persons with the right of free speech, then why not corporations as well?

Nowadays, it can be argued that once again our Constitution is under attack and that those who once were considered "persons" by the fact that are flesh and blood human beings have lost the right to claim that status. Consider this all-too-common scenario: A person has an accident--he's hit by a car crossing the street let's say--and is rushed to a local hospital for treatment. Once there, it is discovered that this person doesn't have private health insurance, doesn't qualify for any kind of government health care, and has little or no money in the bank to cover necessary treatment. Unless someone or some organization comes to this person's rescue and pays all his medical bills, this person doesn't legally have the right to expect health care. There is no law saying that health care must be provided to him no matter how much he pleads to be treated for his injuries. His speech is "free" but it is not heard in this instance as he is sent home without treatment.

So the question again is raised, "Is a flesh and blood human being legally a person with all the rights of personhood?" Under our current health care system in the United States and in this scenario, it can be argued that this injured individual is not legally a person. Just as a slave master of the pre-Civil War period wasn't legally obligated to treat an injured slave--who was considered his property--our health care system has no obligations to help every individual who asks for medical assistance.

What good is to simply say, "Money is not speech!" and "Corporations aren't people!" if actual human beings have no free speech and aren't legally persons?

Speaking to a handful of city council members (and the mayor).

If Toledo City Council really wants to make a bold statement, then it must add to that mantra, "Human beings are persons, and as persons, they have the human right to health care!"

It is a simple statement, but it packs quite a punch. According to the United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights -- Article 25, Section 1:

Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services...

By stating that corporations are not people, but that human beings are most certainly people, City Council would be stating for the record that Toledo is a place where all its residents will enjoy the human right of "a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of themselves and their families" which would include access to food, housing, medical care and necessary social services as stated in the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

I believe by making this simple statement and reaffirming it yearly on Democracy Day, Toledo City Council will create a caring and compassionate community that will become noteworthy worldwide, creating an image that corporations will find attractive, encouraging them to locate their businesses within our city limits to everyone's benefit. After all, a population that is housed, fed, and has the certainty of access to health care, whatever their socio-economic status may be, makes for a strong and healthy workforce and a happy living and working space. More businesses and more employed Toledoans also means more property and sale taxes. It is the ultimate win-win scenario where human beings are free to speak and to grow and prosper in the assurance that their city government protects their human rights and wishes only the best for all persons--human beings and corporate alike--who dwell in Toledo.

 Please support Medicare For All and together with all of us as persons--as human beings--proudly state, "Health care is a human right!"  

Article links about what money does to our free speech, how it endangers our world, or how health care is a human right:

UN General Assembly to Recognize the Right to a Healthy Environment https://www.abajournal.com/web/article/aba-encourages-un-general-assembly-to-recognize-right-to-healthy-environment

Poorest US Counties Suffered Twice the COVID Deaths of the Richest https://truthout.org/articles/poorest-us-counties-suffered-twice-the-covid-deaths-of-the-richest/

Facing An Attack From a For-Profit Health Super PAC  https://jacobinmag.com/2022/03/pa-democratic-senate-primary-fetterman-lamb-pac 

Medicare For All Is Not Enough  https://popularresistance.org/medicare-for-all-is-not-enough/

IMF Admits US Dollar Hegemony Declining Due to Rise of Yuan and Russian Sanctions https://popularresistance.org/imf-admits-us-dollar-hegemony-declining-due-to-rise-of-chinese-yuan-sanctions-on-russia/

This War Is Really About Central Banks and the Petrodollar (video) https://www.rokfin.com/post/80658

Meet the New Resource Based Global Reserve Currency https://popularresistance.org/meet-the-new-resource-based-global-reserve-currency/

Russia Invades Ukraine: A Timeline of Broken Promises https://www.breakthroughnews.org/post/russia-invades-ukraine-a-timeline-of-broken-promises 

US Imperialism's Proxy War With Russia in Ukraine https://popularresistance.org/us-imperialisms-proxy-war-with-russia-in-ukraine/

If you need a dose of revolutionary optimism, check this video out: https://youtu.be/XO_FXkxJVj4 

 Seen on Twitter:


Families Belong Together (Logo)

BREAKING: The Center for Disease Control just announced it will end the racist Trump-era Title 42 policy –which weaponized the pandemic to expel millions of people seeking safety— by May 23. 

For months we’ve been pressuring the CDC to end the draconian Title 42 policy. Today’s decision is a huge testament to our activism, calls, and emails, but it also calls us into action – because, of course, it’s not that simple. 

Until Title 42 ends on May 23rd, the Department of Homeland Security will continue expedited removals, a devastating mass deportation system that sends people back into danger without due process. If we can open our borders to Ukrainian families escaping the horrors of war, we can do so for the Black and brown children, families, and adults who have been fleeing similar violence and waiting at the border for months, or years, because of this policy.

Every day that DHS Secretary Mayorkas allows these expulsions, we put children and families seeking safety at risk of kidnapping, rape, and murder. Will you join us in demanding Secretary Mayorkas end all expulsions now and welcome families with dignity?

take action

In only two years, U.S. immigration officials have carried out over 1.7 million expulsions using Title 42 as an excuse, primarily against Black and brown asylum seekers at the border. Yet, when Ukrainians and Russians show up at the border, we have found a way to let them through, as all people should be.We have the capability to grant exceptions and let people fleeing violence through. We just refuse to use it for “certain” people. Title 42 has uplifted the inherent racism of our immigration system — another six weeks of expelling Black and brown families without a chance to go through a legal process is another six weeks of racism, unnecessary pain, and hardship.Today’s news shows us that our pressure is working, and we have to keep it up. We can’t allow DHS immigration officials to cherry-pick who gets to access asylum in this country based on race.Every day that the administration continues to allow Title 42 expulsions to continue is hypocrisy. Let’s make it clear that we won’t back down until we get a clear commitment from DHS to end all expulsions immediately.

Take action now to tell Secretary Mayorkas to end all expulsions and welcome children and families with dignity: 

take action

From Ukrainians to Afghans to Haitians to Venezuelans, people are forced to flee their countries because they have no other choice. Everyone seeking protection deserves a warm welcome here.We can, and will, rise to the task of fixing our broken asylum system.Thank you for taking action,Erin Mazursky, Interim Managing Director


From Public Citizen:

Hepatitis C.
Prostate cancer.

Millions of Americans who suffer from these conditions (and others) can’t afford the medicine they need.


Because of sheer greed on the part of pharmaceutical companies.

  • For the 20 top-selling drugs, Big Pharma made more in the U.S. than in every other country on Earth combined.
  • That’s particularly outrageous given how much research and development is paid for by the American people. (The taxpayer-funded National Institutes of Health alone spends $40 billion a year on R&D.)
  • In essence, we are paying through the nose not once but twice!

But We the People can fight Big Pharma’s immoral price gouging.

The federal government can overcome patent monopolies by authorizing generic competition — either for products it will pay for (like medicines purchased through Medicare) or for publicly-funded medications.

Generic competition is a game-changer: The FDA has found that the introduction of generics can lead to price reductions of 95%.

And, crucially, the federal government *already* has the power to do this — which would be transformative in making essential medicines affordable for millions of Americans.

To proceed, we don’t need Congress to do anything. The Biden administration can act on its own.

Tell the Biden Administration:

Use your existing authority to introduce generic competition for medicines. By doing so, you can lower drug prices, improve the lives of millions of Americans, make progress on confronting the epidemics of our time, and improve health equity.

Add your name now.

Thank you for taking action.

For progress,

- Robert Weissman, President of Public Citizen 


In a near-future dystopian world, hope blossoms where mutual aid and democracy begins...

Zonta’s world is turned upside down when Jake arrives at the commune to investigate the disappearance of agents of the Authority. Can she persuade him to switch sides before the Protectors (antifascist fighters) take action?

Available now: https://www.extasybooks.com/Where-the-Bodies-Lie

A great tale of how love, cooperation, and socialism will ultimately save us all. -- Redd Phlagg

(Read and review Where The Bodies Lie and you'll get a mention on the blog.)