Do Not Pray

Do not respond to a catastrophe with prayer. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, US White House Press Secretary responded to the recent reported firing on a crowd in Las Vegas, not to move on the event with prayer. We are not to investigate how one man (but food delivered to the room indicates many), the number supported by audience responses of those who heard overlapping shots, how this small army can get into a hotel room for days armed with 23 rifles, with a metal plate to cover the door, with 3 tripods to mount the guns, with devices to create machine guns out of single firing weapons and so on. People who want to believe that it is only one mad man will believe the latest tale that this single man used the freight elevator to bring the stuff up to his room. But hotel rules require he be accompanied by hotel staff. And nothing noticed, nothing said? We are to investigate changing stories about the event including firing and later blasting through a door that videos show to be untouched, to see contradictions like that the police could not enter for 62 minutes when a hotel engineering worker said the door was unblocked and open.

When a disaster happens and we are told to pray, some say it is like praying instead of taking a fast-acting drug when thrown by some contagious disease; it is like praying as your area goes under water instead of putting out sandbags and preferably of course, to create and maintain strong dykes against exactly such an event. You can think of many recent disasters in which the country’s leaders or their reps said pray instead of act.

Naomi Klein in The Shock Doctrine, pointed to the crisis money-making schemes of people who tell us to pray. That is the time to buy cheap from those in trouble. Our president wants to abandon Puerto Rico due to debts incurred to US banks who do not reinvest their profits in PR. He does not allow the Jones Act closure to last beyond 10 days which keeps direct aid from other island nations to make direct access to PR with food and water and drugs. Jones says they must go to the US (Florida) and unload and reload into US boats which totally inflates the cost of the rescue. Trump said that the shipping companies’ need come first. Likely Pence, his religious front man said to pray.

Praying is usually a request from god to meet some need. Praying is the wrong response to disaster. Whatever your religious affiliation or its lack, do not look on the economic side of things – who will profit and who will lose in terms of your actions. Act for the greater good of living things. Good action is a form of prayer.

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HOMELESSNESS

Just saw an enormous sculpture under the arch in Washington Square park. It is a wire cage with a cut-out image suggesting “person.” The vagary of the image says man or woman and child and grandparent and all of us, collectively indistinguishable in increasing numbers, everywhere.

Homelessness is a kind of jail, a world of fences which keep you out and move you on. First, I laughed at the image like a 60s “shmoo.” Then, after friend Caryn said it looks like a jail, I began to feel the horror of being a caged-in human. Feeling the torture of these people stimulates my fear of suffering a similar fate. I sought an excuse: those refugees must have been bad or stupid. I and my family/religion/political affiliation are smart and safe. I and we turn their eyes away and say not me.

Ai Weiwei has created a film about refugees in many countries he calls Human Flow. He and his father were routed and put away in distant Chinese camp as intellectuals. Readers and thinkers are felt to be dangerous to tyrants. They might not fall for the “leader’s” political hype. Following Dad’s orders in order to not seem a rebel, Ai Weiwei destroyed his father’s enormous library. But still he and son were arrested. Eventually, Ai Weiwei was released and left the country. When he returned to visit a sick father, he was attacked and held for a while.

Why have we fallen into empire building lawless taking/predatory behavior on the defenseless who have something we want? The Israelis evict the Palestinians and locked in Ghaza, increasingly without water and power. They will die of starvation, cholera. Puerto Rico, a recently flooded US territory, is not helped by its US owners; accused of poor planning after being unable to control their economy including outside trading due to the Jones Act. Everything has to be loaded and then shipped from the US which greatly increases prices.

FEMA said it is only there to give advice after showering food and water into flooded Texas. We can’t forget that the Puerto Rican population is largely brown and black. Texas is largely white if you ignore (the original owners), the Mexicans. After most of the Puerto Rican natives are dead or gone to the US, expensive sea-side hotels will rise.

Empire builders, often using drones attack hospitals and schools and water purification plants, etc., illegal actions according to the rules of war but who enforces them? Obama chose one day each week to create a kill list. Also, illegal. The refugees of Yemen are attacked by the Saudi’s using US weapons. The winner countries want to move their stolen oil through another’s country’s fields on way to the sea. They want to take that country’s minerals and ….
Invaded countries are treated like a gigantic super market. Plunderers erase the debt for what they take with bullets.

Now we celebrate Columbus Day but Columbus and his crew never touched our shores. It’s a kind of farce, celebrating a historic event that didn’t happen. Columbus and his crew settled in Hispaniola, where they made slaves of the friendly Taino, the Araeaks and Lucayans. They saw a little gold jewelry and wanted all of it.

They forced Indians to dig in gold mines until dead. There was a lot of suicide. Attracted to violence, they ripped babies from mother’s wounds and threw them in the air to catch them on swords, cut off hands and hung them around the neck to warn other miners to be bring up more gold. brought killer dogs that fed on children. The population went from 3 million to perhaps 500.

The Massachusetts governor celebrated Thanksgiving after killing 700 native men women and children celebrating the festival of green corn in their villages. We now celebrate Thanksgiving under a false memory. The Indians taught the largely city dwellers how to farm and once that population knew how to survive, the killing began.

Those who espouse violence create a world of refugees. What is to keep the broom of greed from sweeping us away? We speak of killing to keep us safe from so-called terrorists, how many created by our actions? Our violence creates a tidal wave of homeless wanderers as well as people moved to fight back. We all can shoot. We can only stem the tide of homelessness, fear and hate by being friends. That is Ai Weiwei’s message. Can there be any other?

The Big Suck

First it is the military, using violence to control of the world at enormous cost to tax payers, above %50. Now it is something else. Things will deteriorate for everyone except those in the economic one percent. The new so-called “advancement” is extolled by advertising as the thing we need to have. How easily we fall for a sales pitch. Sigmund Freud’s nephew set the whole thing up. Convince people they are incomplete and get them to buy the object that will fix them. Doesn’t work? Buy something else.

The new cure-all is already here and gaining converts. It is the robot. Robots can do the job for us. This means replace us. Robots can wait on tables. They never take a day off and don’t require pensions. They are awfully cheap to build. Robots can drive cars (not quite perfectly at this point) and trucks. Robots can perform surgery better than the best human technicians. The robot’s hand can get in anywhere by changing parts and robot’s brain can call on encylopedic information about the body as well seek techniques to fix a problem. No one thinks badly about the hospital robot that fixed your heart or brain. You may even “personalize” the robot into a “someone” rather than an “it.”

You might like to think that the time saved by these robotic devices will result in more time off for you, more vacations and fun with friends and family. You might think that the world will become a more beautiful place with everyone sharing and enjoying leisure, holidays, clubs, talents, sports.

No. You are living in a dream. As it now is being considered, computer- driven machines will lead to greater profit for the people who own the factories. And you my friend, will be unemployed. Starvation, war, disease, death will follow.
What do we do about this? I strongly empathize the word we. We as a group need to determine the way our society is moving, not leave it up to the billionaire money -makers whose main goal is having more. It may be nothing but good for them but be mostly bad for us. We the majority need to remember the first rule of democracy. Majority rules.

FDR created Social Security in response to the Great Depression. This needs to happen again and the force to cause it comes from us. Perhaps we cannot eliminate all robot-workers but some jobs we want to keep. We want to use our handicrafts and wisdom and creativity. We want to use our skills. We want to work together and for one another as a method of uniting. Robots do not unite. They are machines. That the machine we program might become smarter than we and take over… nothing like the unexpected consequence leaping out of your un-examined desires.

We need to force the elected official to respond favorably to our needs. We need to do this despite the congressional buy-off by corporations. It is best to start with local reps. We need to remember and indicate that robot-workers create the human unemployed who lack money to purchase the robot’s creation. A worker free operation on a broad scale, can only turn into a worthless endeavor.

Very interesting discussions of this by Lee Camp in Redacted Tonight; also by Jim Hightower in The LowDown. Do subscribe.
Elan Golomb

Profoundly Sad

2 weeks of profound sadness and nightmarish dreams. I see a small brown Dachshund-looking mutt, helplessly curled inside a cooking pot, shot through the side of the pot by a gruff looking man who’d lost patience. I dream of a dark- haired, Gypsy-looking woman telling fairy tales to enchanted children. She was wearing a lacy black mask both mysterious and friendly. Suddenly she is shot through the mask. She clutches her face and falls to the ground. I dream of my beloved husband grabbed from behind by an obese shapeless creature which pulled him back and down. These dreams are all about loss. In them, I stand there watching.

Last night, I dreamed of a parasitic ivy that covers a nearby hill and is killing everything else that grows there. It looked like the bars of a prison. One person, two people, a young dog, my mate, killer ivy…. Does watching without acting turn me into a murderer? Does passivity do it to us all?

We are in the 6th Great Extinction, the death of everything. There is our climate crisis: drought and flood and hurricane, no distinct seasons, boil, melt, starve, drown, nuclear accidents, pollution… We attack those who flee to our shores. Prison keeps a very tentative “order” of the impoverished. Those who govern accept a state of ignorance of the climate consequences of their actions. Their god is money=power. The rest of the world is going bio degradable. But our government which is run by oil interests clings to the “old ways.” Trump calls himself a gifted businessman but he (and we) are the losers.

Colin Kaepernick, the NFL football player, knelt on one knee during the National Anthem, to remind people that Blacks need to be treated fairly. Now, he cannot get a football job. Owners of the football business protect themselves from those in power, by kicking him out. Luckily, the sports world is fighting back. Victims are waking up. Many police as well as self-elected “protectors” hate the “underdog.” They shoot black kids who play with tiny, artificial weapons, shoot boys in hooded sweatshirts, arrest black adults who forget to signal left. Police prey upon the poor (largely colored,) whose payments fund the police force. The list of enemies foisted on us by corporate news is ever growing: LGTBQ, women, Jews, Muslims, the disabled…. Them. The more we become afraid, the easier it is for us to jail and kill.

Have we been hypnotized by Madison Avenue’s buy this (on time) as if possessions give life meaning? Have we been sufficiently crazed to hate those who are labeled terrorist? Have we been induced to feel unrelated? We live or die together. That is all.

Please respond.
Elan Golomb
Author of Unloved Again and Trapped in the Mirror

Puerto Rico for Sale

How come we don’t send aid to Puerto Rico, a territory owned by the United States; no ship with aid and food and water, no right to land allowed to foreign ships offering to help hurricane victims. It is not the destroyed docks as some say, which cause this prohibition. Docks can be repaired or constructed in a day.
How come we don’t end the Jones Act which causes Puerto Ricans to pay $6,000 over a US Price for a car and equally inflated fees for every imported thing? How come Puerto Rico sinks in a debt created by outside corporations? Not an accident.
As Naomi Klein said in The Shock Doctrine, that those with power use catastrophe to cannibalize broken areas even broken nations. In this instance, the most valuable possession of the Puerto Rico government is their electrical system. The longer people sit there in the dark, the more hysterical they become and the more they are ready to sell their dearest possession. What is being proposed is a PP (Public/Private) ownership but PP actually means here, profit for the rich that buy it.

Let the Puerto Rico inhabitants suffer to the point of death without power. Heat will suffocate them. There will be no water to drink since wells need electrical power to draw water. No food to eat, all of it gone rancid in hot refrigerators, edible plants drowned by hurricane driven water. The country once green is brown. Streets and fields are full of dead animals which breed disease; there is a release of toxic chemicals from many flooded factories. Toxic waste sites swept by hurricane winds, spread their contents across the land. The coal dust once piled many stories high and left uncovered despite the approaching storm is everywhere. Everybody breathes it.

This land of sun and wind and water, is not allowed by the US to have solar collectors and wind mills. Not allowed to use the tides. Those non-PR corporations which sell coal and oil call the shots. They make profit regardless of the cost to these inhabitants.

Do the US government care about PR’s population? Speeches aside, it is profit from this conquered land that counts.

Elan Golomb

 

Disaster Can Be a Money Maker

Everything is cheap to buy from an overwhelmed population and its governing body (if not to outright take from the vanquished “enemies.”} The poor part of New Orleans was under water due to a good amount of rain and an inadequate dike system in the lowest part of town populated by disadvantaged people of color. Poor people who lacked the means to flee were put into a stadium in overwhelming numbers. Food? Toilet? Medicine? Forget it.

Red Cross money devoted by thousands did not come to New Orleans. It was another aspect of enrich yourself by using money devoted to someone else’s disaster. Their excuse for using it elsewhere was flimsy. African-Americans were stopped by armed white “authorities.” Keep them in their neighborhood. Once it stopped raining, the public schools and public housing untouched by the flood were closed. Black people were removed on a variety of buses often separated from their children. They were scattered like buckshot then spent enormous time attempting to find their children. A new white middle class moved in.

Take the Canadian Keystone XL Pipe Line which has already has had 3 spills in August and groups are demanding an environmental impact investigation. What of the millions who drink from the Missouri River? The oil is sold in other countries. The number of employees is almost non-existent including people who could do something about pipe break if there are any detected signals. Drinking water for millions vs. money in the bank. Profit for the few vs. survival of the many.

Take Nestles, a lightweight candy. Nestles uses tremendous amount of the world’s vanishing water supply. Those who sell water to Nestles are not local farmers. Nestles salespeople do not drink from that tap. Crops need water. No water, nothing grows. Corporations only have one objective, to make money.

We ordinary citizens have been captured by that machine we worship, that weird construct called “the economy.” Confused and frightened, we accept the various lies and rationalizations tossed at us by those who profit. Our president cares for us. He denies the possibility of climate change as do his chosen cabinet members. Climate deniers say that it is not our fault that the life supporting things are destroyed by our pollution and greed. They say that it is merely a reflection of our planet revolving in space.

Then there is the issue of fighting. Do you believe that our country goes to war to protect us or protect citizens of another country? There usually is some conflict in a nation between the haves and the have not. If nothing can be found, actors hired by the we-need-a-war group stage a terrorist false flag operation. We point to this to say they need our aid. But aid in terms of guns and bombs is not their desired situation. Citizens may desire politicians who better represent the but dying for it is not a willing price.

Who pays for war? We pay it through out taxes. Who profits from war? Corporations (CEOs) who create the fighting tools as well as keep the spoils. They have to possess a natural resource that we can use to make money. Afghanistan has minerals. Iraq has oil. The current nation we claim needs us to assist them is Venezuela, another major source of oil.

What of our destroying whole countries: Iran, Sudan, Iraq? Thousands cross the Mediterranean Sea (many drowning), entering and moving through Europe to a country that can give them food, medicine jobs, living spaces. Germany is a favorite. It can handle a few hundred– but thousand on thousands? They are not set up for this.

But why would the US want to wipe out whole countries in-order to flood Europe with a refugee population which occupies, confuses and undermines them? The US has been losing its dominance in the European market which has decided, for example, toe refuse gene-modified food. When a nation’s governing body is overwhelmed, they cannot focus on what is being allowed into their market. They have to accept gene modified products sent by the US and other procucts previously refused. The US is dominant once more.

Don’t Read This

We are a people who turn away. Or we read about some ongoing catastrophe and assign it to the past. We have a one-day mental set. We read about Trump’s banning use of the words “Climate Warming” from any political discussion. Does this stop the temperature from soaring into unlivable levels, people burning to death in Africa, India, and elsewhere? No. Do we read about these catastrophes in “all the news that’s fit to print”?
Take the Fukushima radiation leak. This is last year’s news. Newspapers have a finger across their lips. Don’t upset the reader. What? Do you think that the bleeding Fukushima radiation has ended? What happens to the cooling water endlessly sprayed on the nuclear contents? Do you know that every moment of every day, radiation contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean? Do you know that all the animals that live there are dying? Do you know that Pacific fish are radioactive and should not be eaten? Do you know that the Pacific is a “dead ocean?”
Why do we avoid knowing such things (if we do not own stock in polluting companies?) And if we do, does money blind out eyes? The axe of death is coming for our wealthy necks as well.
How do we learn to deal with fear? A little child wants to feel the parent’s comfort. But the parent does not seal their lips and cover the child’s eyes against the facts. They do not take as a guiding principle, hiding from the facts and overall unknowing. Parents who need to blind their child think a good parent “makes it all go away.” They do not prepare their child to grow up and handle the truth.
The more a parent magnifies to him/herself the destructive capacity of “knowing the facts” the less likely their child will grow up in the sense of becoming an adult. Our society praised and represents child-weakening parents. Doctors give pain-killing medicine but do not look at what their patients do to make themselves sick. They are into symptom removal not into getting well.
Politicians play on the immature nature of their voter population. They feature being afraid of terrorists, that current boogie man. They say this largely because they get kickbacks from weapon-making corporations whose guns they buy. The fearful adult/child allows his tax money to go for war. Having learned to hide his eyes, he does not know he is being taken for a monetary ride.
We all need to resist our need not to know. Knowing is good. Knowing leads to solutions. How do we make ourselves sick? Reverse anti-health behavior and get well. How do stop creating terrorists who will attack us? Give them food and health care and educational support. Buy their art. Give them what they need to make them friends.
We can step out of blinding fear and bias to have a much more meaningful life. We can take care to stop doing reckless things based on the false belief that some future invention will save us. Also, we can have a lot of fun.