Where Does the Money Go

How come most cannot afford the rent, that there is no housing for all, that our schools are falling apart, that health care is almost non-existent? Surely you know it in some personal way yourself.

Where is our tax money going? Mostly, it is going to war. Trump, the self-designated billionaire (how much of that a loan) and hope-to-be president for life (a king), exemplifies the love for money. He recently added a huge amount to the already bloated military budget, one unmatched in the world. Do we really need a new nuclear armed ship? Do we really need such protection which is forcing other threatened nations to throw their money into the military pot? He has even encouraged our NATO allies to increase their military spending to 4% of their GDP.

Who is making this insane decision. It is a very few people, and I mean those extremely few who own the banks. The banks, like all corporations, have only one goal: to make money with their investments. And what investment makes the most? War.

War requires investment in personnel, transport, equipment, technology, and weapons, tanks, bombs, bullets, and whatever is the killer of the moment. War requires investment in doing something about the destruction our war has created. Most of the agencies doing the after-war fixing are American. The money goes out of one pocket into another.

Do we have to fall for war-desiring corporate owned newspaper calling for defense against whatever boogie-man will hit us next? Do we need to put money into destruction rather than into schools and health care and help for the poor and upkeep for our parks (many now for sale to get the wood and oil)? Do we need to let businesses leave the country for places where the people will work for less; to bribe the corporations to return by not paying taxes? It is ludicrous!

What can we do about it?

We still mostly can vote. Young people who have not settled into comfortable or frightened passivity can run for office, and voters can keep their finger on the elected pulse of spending. We need not to stop spending our lives watching tv or talking to people who agree with us on the internet. Those who are controlled by the bank’s desire for war can be stopped by people marching in the street, coming to the elected person’s door and indicate they soon are out of office.

 

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Rape the Earth

Those who own the earth we live on are gamblers who set the stakes. For them, it all boils down to money. It is a conversion factor of life into chips. The one who has the most chips when the tally closes, wins. Closure is set by mass extinction.

People are called to mine various resources. Zooming ahead to the finish line does not support life. Take Mountain Top Removal. Miners no longer work underground. Most are replaced by machines. The mountain top is shaved down to the line of coal. Soil and chemicals fall into streams. The land is polluted. There are landslides which kill people. Money makes the decision. More coal to sell the world’s great polluter.

Some dig for oil, for precious metals, diamonds for this or that. Some go into factory farming. They do monocropping which sets us up for a virus that will wipe out all we eat. They use chemicals that kill insects including the Monarch butterfly and will kill us as well; They raise animals in vast numbers. Chickens and turkeys and pigs are raised in tiny spaces. Cattle are also kept from grazing and eat out of vats of corn. Chickens are bred to have such huge breasts they can barely walk. Many fall and are trampled. All are upset by crowding and by not the living in open fields to eat worms and bugs and plants and run about. Most are given anti biotics to ward off pre-harvest death. The anti-biotic remains in their flesh which we eventually consume. Among other consequences, we soon will be unreactive to antibiotics when we need them to fight infection. People will die from a cut on their leg.

Since the factory farm animals, number in the thousands, their shit and piss, falls into pipes beneath the floor then collected and drained into huge ponds. Hurricanes pass over capturing the waste if releases onto all in its path. Some factory farms blow the waste into the air when the pond gets too full. This spray rains down on locals whose houses lose all value. The people who live in this flood of waste lead hellish lives.

What about the politicians who set the rules to protect their citizens but hide their eyes from consequences? Take Jerry Brown, Governor of California who mourns the huge number of fires ravaging California. Incidentally, prisoners are paid $2/day to fire fight. They are not given enough instruction to be professional fire fighters once released from prison. Is that another save money proposition for those who own the prisons?

What is the gambler’s stake in these catastrophes? Who profits by ignoring it. The soil is dry from drought. That is the consequence of the Greenhouse effect. There is less ice to melt and set the soil. The trees lack water to fight flames. Planes spread chemicals to limit sun, which also rains down onto the soil and into the roots of tree which kills them. Governments deny this activity or call it research. But we can see and test it. Trees poisoned by sky chemicals easily burst into flames when fire comes near.

The politician, here Jerry Brown, states helpless consternation with fires and says it can only get worse. But wait! Jerry Brown is allowing oil wells to be dug in California. The oil which is sold then heats the atmosphere which creates the flames. Is Brown too stupid to see the connection. Or is a payoff in his pocket? How many politicians are gambling now, hoping to miss the final extinction before becoming wealthy?

Winner Takes All

Those who own the earth we live on are gamblers who set the stakes. For them, it all boils down to money. It is a conversion factor of life into chips. The one who has the most chips when the tally closes, wins. Closure is set by mass extinction.

People are called to mine various resources. Zooming ahead to the finish line does not support life. Take Mountain Top Removal. Miners no longer work underground. Most are replaced by machines. The mountain top is shaved down to the line of coal. Soil and chemicals fall into streams. The land is polluted. There are landslides which kill people. Money makes the decision. More coal to sell the world’s great polluter.

Some dig for oil, for precious metals, diamonds for this or that. Some go into factory farming. They do monocropping which sets us up for a virus that will wipe out all we eat. They use chemicals that kill insects including the Monarch butterfly and will kill us as well; They raise animals in vast numbers. Chickens and turkeys and pigs are raised in tiny spaces. Cattle are also kept from grazing and eat out of vats of corn. Chickens are bred to have such huge breasts they can barely walk. Many fall and are trampled. All are upset by crowding and by not the living in open fields to eat worms and bugs and plants and run about. Most are given anti biotics to ward off pre-harvest death. The anti-biotic remains in their flesh which we eventually consume. Among other consequences, we soon will be unreactive to antibiotics when we need them to fight infection. People will die from a cut on their leg.

Since the factory farm animals, number in the thousands, their shit and piss, falls into pipes beneath the floor then collected and drained into huge ponds. Hurricanes pass over capturing the waste if releases onto all in its path. Some factory farms blow the waste into the air when the pond gets too full. This spray rains down on locals whose houses lose all value. The people who live in this flood of waste lead hellish lives.

What about the politicians who set the rules to protect their citizens but hide their eyes from consequences? Take Jerry Brown, Governor of California who mourns the huge number of fires ravaging California. Incidentally, prisoners are paid $2/day to fire fight. They are not given enough instruction to be professional fire fighters once released from prison. Is that another save money proposition for those who own the prisons?

What is the gambler’s stake in these catastrophes? Who profits by ignoring it. The soil is dry from drought. That is the consequence of the Greenhouse effect. There is less ice to melt and set the soil. The trees lack water to fight flames. Planes spread chemicals to limit sun, which also rains down onto the soil and into the roots of tree which kills them. Governments deny this activity or call it research. But we can see and test it. Trees poisoned by sky chemicals easily burst into flames when fire comes near.

The politician, here Jerry Brown, states helpless consternation with fires and says it can only get worse. But wait! Jerry Brown is allowing oil wells to be dug in California. The oil which is sold then heats the atmosphere which creates the flames. Is Brown too stupid to see the connection. Or is a payoff in his pocket? How many politicians are gambling now, hoping to miss the final extinction before becoming wealthy?

  Don’t Be Seduced by the Good Stuff

 

A friend said, “but conservation isn’t all bad.” Well, this caveat doesn’t address the larger issue. It has to do with the difference between conservation and environmental justice. Conservatism frequently is deluded. It points to some very good thing we are doing, gets our eyes and minds focused on it so that we miss an extremely threatening larger picture which has to do with extraction. Your government/corporation buys a thousand acres of forest in Africa which gives the fossil fuel industry, carbon credits which it can spend by digging up and burning carbon for power in the field across the tracks where poor people live.

The wood industry also cuts a piece of the carbon pie by buying distant forests. Now it can cut down easily accessible wood everywhere because of the wood they’ve “saved.” Those who know hurl expletives at conservation societies which endorse this practice of an ungodly trade. Conservation rings its hands in pain and comes up with another non-solution. Save a tree or a bunch of trees. A tree sitter saves one redwood tree from cutting by sitting in it for a year while saws sound around her. A community of tree lovers force the politicos who would sell all the trees to create a half-acre park.

All the trees of same species are connected through their roots which travel for miles. Sometimes a forest of trees is actually one mother tree that spreads and raises seemingly new trees from a common root. Ancient forests grow old together. They send nutrients to failing trees as well as warnings of infestation which the younger ones ward off with shared nasty sap. The elders shelter the young and keep them from getting too much light so that their trunks grow dense and strong.

The single trees planted along the road side have a short life. Their roots, often sawed off when endangering water pipes, reach no tree brethren. Cows raised to become burgers in the deforested and grass planted Amazon watch the top soil washed away in the rainy season. City dwellers get their Amazon hamburger and lose the oxygen they need to live.

Naomi Klein speaks of disaster capitalism. A company or a nations’ so-called helping agency swoops down on a flooded country and/or allows the disaster to expand so that after most of the local citizens are dead or moved away they buy it for a song. Right now, Puerto Rico’s public schools are being nixed for charters. Public tax money sucked into the maw of those into education for profit. Creating electric lines that work is ceded by the bought-out PR governor to a US company which does not have tools to do the work, all the while ignoring locals who can do it. And on and on. The foreign agency currently circling to eat its prey, creates a local governing body that will allow it. They put up hotels for the rich along recovered beaches. They scoop up natural resources. They plunder and call it conservation.

Conservation is a flag behind which extractors hide. The little the conservationist saves at the cost of all that is connected tears the web of life. Those who own the fracking companies want to sell fracked oil by telling you that it is harmless as your property explodes in earth quakes and your sink provides water you can light with a match. Coal dealers sell cheap while breathable air vanishes in China (which is way ahead of us now in the solar industry which Trump has severely limited with his 30 percent import tax). The air grey with car exhaust in New Delhi destroys the lungs of the young, frail, and elderly but car dealers say look at the cars available now that more people can afford. It’s like being on a highway to extinction. But we can’t even see the view.

We need to recognize that we are part of the “all.” The living world is our life. Its survival is connected to our own. Enjoy the beauty of a living world. How rich that makes us. Become informed. Don’t be seduced. Don’t succumb to a monster that sings a pretty song.

 

At Last a Good Thing Happens, But Then….

So, the Clintons sent jobs away to other lands where people will work for crumbs, a form of slavery, especially with child labor. More and more citizens are falling into that pit. Those chosen to fail are from a certain country, race, religion. They are the people automation discards. They are native people who are in the way of removing their trees and fish and chemicals.

But wait! A new and wonderful possibility has arrived. People in 5 southern US states have discovered a form of income—selling and installing solar power. With solar power sales, people can earn enough to pay all personal expenses. By taxing solar sales, states can build schools and roads and bridges. There is a spirit of celebration.

Remember Trump’s promise, to return employment to this country? His new plan is misleading. It has no feet on the earth. He puts an import tax of 30 percent on foreign solar parts. He says, this tax keeps out “the bad guys,” while locals develop a factory to make parts. But the common folk don’t have the money to take that step. They need the imported parts. Hundreds of thousands work with what they have delivered. Trump’s 30 percent tax will totally crush the US business and he knows it. In addition, we have profit made from loss. The Feds are researching into those areas that will need more oil and “clean coal” to meet their energy needs. Filthy profit-making carbon products vs. harnessing the sun. Your loss = their gain.

Will China be tossed into bankruptcy by losing US business? No. They only sell us ten percent of their solar production. No money is offered to US workers by a Congress funded by oil and gas companies and oil-supported banks.    

US solar production will be wiped out by Trump’s 30% import tax. It is no accident. We common folk will remain dependent on the oil and gas for which we will endlessly pay, with our money and our environment.

Trump continues to stroll through his tunnel of emoluments. He makes money from oil. Remember how he stood for attacking the native population gathered to protest in a prayerful manner, digging the Dakota Access pipe line across the Missouri River to carry constantly exploding oil? He lacks sympathy for losers and undoubtedly profits (if we ever see his tax returns) from the sale of oil and gas which overheats the planet and is leading to the demise of most living things.

What is our way out? Do we need to drag this prohibitive tax problem before the disinterested Congress or must we wait until we have thrown them out? So much time would be lost. Irreparable damage will likely happen.

Look at the States that dare to raise marijuana for medicine and recreation despite Federal edict. States use enormous pot sale profit to build schools and make other life improvements. The only difference between the solar issue and that of marijuana is that pot sellers do not need (although many do so by all kinds of illegal means) to import their product. How can the southern States get free of the Federal tax and receive minimally taxed shipment? Perhaps they can hide solar parts in trucks equipped to bring bananas with a big bunch of bananas painted on their sides.

But another more powerful solution is for all the States, now and in the future, that are likely to get into the solar trade to threaten secession unless this 30 percent taxation is eliminated. How long would it be maintained?

Like with marijuana, solar production can create good for 99% of the population, not for the 1 % which never seems to be able to horde enough of anything, an anti-social enclave of money and power addicts. That is why the Constitution gives the right to throw over members of a congress that are drunk on power.  

Hubris

No better cage

For the snowball effect

than pride left unchecked

like a runaway train

Momentum only grows

and the destination

is long gone

and destruction is inevitable

just a matter of time

before the whole thing derails

for what was a force

of strength

is all but lost to chaos

all that’s left

is the crash

joseppi.28oct.2017.nyc

Joseph Chang

We are carried away by the hubris of the politicians mad with power and lying to suppress our fear. Know that you are afraid that the destruction our country pours around the world has now come home to us. It is us who have to put on the brakes. We cannot do it individually but only as a mighty “we,” an “us,” “noi” in Italian, as Pope Francis just said it on HuffPost. See the speech. It’s wonderful. 

His Holiness Pope Francis – Huff Post

 

What Is Your True Self

We choose a president who chose a cabinet which is robbing us every single day of things which offer popular support – to give tax breaks to the obscenely rich or great profit to equally powerful corporations. Did we not know this when we voted?

I would say yes and no. We saw a scheming television personalty who promised not to take away Medicare, Medicaid, health care and on and on…. All of these now are on the chopping block. The TV stations went crazy for him because his appearance sold a lot of on-air products. They pretty much ignored everyone else, especially Bernie Sanders.

His reputation for not paying almost everyone who worked for him was not mentioned by mainstream media but seeped into the news elsewhere. Why did we choose to fall into the trip of deceit? Probably because we already were there. People most easily scammed were raised by parents who both terrified and took away their right to think for themselves. These child-minded adults saw the candidate as a powerful figure who could harm them. They chose to accept his words of self-glory as well as promises of help, jobs, etc. that he would not keep. The child within is too frightened of severe parental mistreatment to do otherwise.

But how are we who had a terrifying childhood and, as a consequence, a terrified inner child to move away from our submissive persona and become a free and  and powerful self? That is what this column is about.

I set myself to thinking about people I’ve seen who live in the adult self. I remember going to a NY library to research documentary films because I was about to film one myself on the mothering practices in the Venezuelan Amazon. To my surprise there were few of them. I guess corporations that fund television do so to sell their toothpaste, bombs and bullets through adult educational programming. They are certainly not interested in a tiny bunch of people living off the land. I saw a pygmy family, beautiful small people sitting in an igloo of leaves and branches. It was the rainy season and it sure was raining. There seemed to be some complaining and pointing to the roof until Dad went out and got a few more leaves to cover the holes. Then he sat down next to Mom, next to their older boy child, a boy and a younger child leaning against them, and began to sing to to sing. Momma sang. Daddy sang. The older boy and the baby sang, mouth wide open, not yet quite using words. The melody was beautiful. The harmony even more so- not just the music, but the family itself. Everyone unselfconsciously joined together, entranced.

I then looked at another film of a small group of people, several families on an Indonesian Island. I heard from them that the children never fight. something we in the west call normal. These people gather food from nature around them including mussels in the stream. They leave no imprint on the world.

They too sang. They sometimes sang together, sometimes alone. Even a child would sometimes sing alone. They sang on camera and the tune was beautiful. They sang to celebrate life. They asked the embarrassed and cornered anthropologist to sing. He croaked out “Old McDonald…” They smiled and made happy noises as they were a kind bunch of people.

So this is the image I use for an adult self-singing together, all included. Any “leader” who shuts out certain singers as unworthy, evil, like the Muslims, African Americans, Latinos, are Jews, women, are not singing the song of self. The true self is inclusive. Martin Luther King Jr., made that point. To love all is not to like their aggressive and destructive deeds. A true self feels unity with the living planet which that person will not and cannot despoil.

So find a group in which you can sing your song. Your music needn’t be one of sound. It can be selling solar power, teaching creating. It can be inventing, writing poetry, preserving species, leading hikes. It can be anything in which your spirit sings, so long as you sing with everyone – a beautiful harmony of the human family; more than that, the family of life.