Vapid Lives of Destruction, Part 4: Selfish vs Responsible Spending

How humanity spends its resources is directly linked to how good or bad we live, how much we maintain or destroy our planet, and whether we make wonderful progress or regress into the dark ages. Ever wonder what happens to the wealth and income that is taken away from you and given to the rich, in other words the resources we need for progress? This series has informed you a bit on this. Today’s video report, shared below, shows even more excesses of billionaires directing our resources into one-upping each other on their luxury toys. Once again, you get to see these billionaires swimming in so much money (unearned, stolen from the rest of us who work!), and at the same time being so selfishly self-indulgent, that they have to come up with most outlandish ways to spend lavishly on themselves and outspend each other for status gain over each other to satisfy their vacuous, immature personalities:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Fabulous Life Of Filthy Rich Billionaires- 2015”)

Now, imagine how many homeless people a narcissistic creep like that could house for the price of his flying Jumbo Jet palace.

Imagine what could happen if – besides buying one opulent luxury toy after another – billionaires wouldn’t at the most stoop to giving merely a tiny fraction of their unearned wealth to charities as a way of pretending to be good and at the same time justifying even more tax evasion. Imagine the amazing impact it could have if just one of them chose to seriously invest in a better world.  Continue reading

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Vapid Lives of Destruction, Part 3: The Stalled Minds of the Billionaires Forestall Human Progress

When one watches filmed documentaries about the lives of billionaires, it’s like watching a crowd of naughty children. They squander enormous wealth on luxurious shopping, jet-setting, and partying, instead of spending it in socially responsible ways. By co-opting governments, or by simply squandering the large chunk of humanity’s wealth that they control, they block human process in order to live their childish god-fantasies. When they (physically, but not mentally!) leave behind their childhood, they have to be on constant guard against gold diggers, and – when they do marry – they typically maintain their marriages so badly that frequent divorces are the norm. And finally they raise their own children to become utterly immoral narcissists to repeat the disastrous cycle.

Waking up out of their empty and destructive way of life is difficult since everybody always says yes to them because of how they wield their wealth as a club. And so they never grow as human beings to arrive at sound insights, sensible opinions, and good goal-setting. Everybody around them only loves the opulence that sticks to them like a bad smell. Nobody cares about them as a person. All the human consideration they get they must buy since, as persons, they are underdeveloped, blithe, abominable, and vacuous. What an empty life to live!  Continue reading

Vapid Lives of Destruction, Part 2: Billionaires are Bad for Us

In this second part of the mini-series on the super rich, let’s look at a few of them. As I promised before, the actual evil deeds committed by some of them are discussed in other articles while this series focuses on exposing their lifestyle and the destructive mindset that comes with that. This second part of the mini-series focuses on how the super-rich arrive in their elevated position and how they live their lives.

First the arrival:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Billionaires: The Youngest In The World (2016) | Forbes”)

Most billionaires are indeed born billionaires, born to be incredibly rich through no accomplishment of their own, born to privilege, and born to be bad. The tiny fraction of them that wasn’t born as billionaires, and who therefore are constantly being dangled in front of us as a justification of our huge wealth inequality (by making huge wealth look as if it were self-made), simply won the lottery of the our capitalist market system — typically with a piece of crap in the software industry, like this Snapchat dude in the video.  Continue reading

Vapid Lives of Destruction, Part 1: The Pathology of the Rich

In the current hailstorm of government acts taken against its own people on behalf of the super-rich (like tax cuts for the robber billionaires tied to many expenditure cuts for the rest of us), it may be sensible to take a look at the puppeteers behind the scenes. When I say puppeteers, I don’t mean the middlemen in public office, whether they be presidents, governors, legislators or others, nor am I referring to the 42,000 strong army of lobbyists, nor the think tank plotters or mass media propagandists, nor even the political consultants that by now are gobbling up much of the donations given to the Repucratic-Dempublican twin party tyranny, but the billionaires whose desires these handmaidens fulfill.

I am not making the unsubstantiated claim that all billionaires are evil beyond redemption. In fact, I strongly suspect that it is only a portion of our contemporary billionaires who even bother to get involved in actively rigging the system against everybody else. Most likely, a large portion of billionaires just go with the flow, floating through their lifelong vacations, being way too immature to realize their responsibility to the rest of the world — something this mini series will visibly expose.  Continue reading

Video Weekend 01-27-2018 (10 Videos + Commentaries)

This weekend’s collection of politically instructive videos not only addresses a variety of issues (more than easily shows in its titles) but also sports a large collection of notables: Chris Hedges, Jimmy Dore, Lee Camp, Abby Martin, Mike Figueredo, and Kyle Kulinski, to name the best known.

  1. Plutocracy and Patient Dumping
  2. The Fight to Retake the “Democratic” Party
  3. Class Warfare, White Male Fury…
  4. The Base of the Far Right
  5. Medicare for All
  6. Tell Tale World Politics

 

I. Our Toxic Plutocratic Civilization (case: Patient Dumping)

Plutocratic, profit-driven, me-me-me-mentality-polluted societies treat people like commodities and trash:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Video Shows Baltimore Hospital’s ‘Patient Dumping’ | NBC Nightly News”)

Like most of us, when I saw one of the original videos about this case, I was outraged. I also couldn’t help but wonder if it was real or staged. So I searched around and found the mainstream media agreeing that it was real. I asked myself, what were those security guards thinking. Were they thinking of their paycheck and the video games awaiting them at home? Had they been reluctant but ordered by their boss, threatened with being fired? Had the patient been violent endangering hospital staff and other patients?

So, I kept digging and came across this video. It reveals a lot about our broken healthcare system and our broken society on the whole. The bigger picture is always worth looking at. Yes, we should be outraged, but not just at a particular hospital staff dangled before us by people who don’t see the big picture or by media moguls who are only into making money and status from their position on our TVs. Do watch this doctor telling about the big picture and ask yourself if there isn’t indeed a lot more to be outraged about, a lot more needing to be fixed:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “The REAL Story Behind That Baltimore Patient Dumping Video | Incident Report 135”)

 

II. Update on the Fight to Retake the Democratic Party

Maybe, just maybe, not all hope is lost for a Democratic Wing of the “Democratic” Party. This is a follow-up to Thursday’s article ( The Poisonous Duopoly):

I guess, this year will show how this plays out:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Signs Revolution Happening Inside Democratic Party w/Nomiki Konst “)

Here is another possible indication that corporatist “Democrats” may be breaking, but at the same time it is a reminder to be cautious in believing their smooth talk. Do the actions confirm the words? We have been lied to by forked-tongued politicians before, hence we must keep a close eye on their actions:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Kirsten Gillibrand Names Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren as Leaders of Democrats “)

Comment: Before anybody dissolves in a warm, fuzzy assurance that the “Democratic” Party is about to start representing us (the people) to any extent, please keep in mind that the party bosses will have no reason to buckle unless we have somewhere else to go, meaning a growing people’s movement and coalition that has third parties and independent candidates cooperate with each other and become a strong alternative to the Repucratic-Dempublican duopoly (a.k.a. Twin Party Tyranny). A new party that’s a true people’s party may take some time to build, but a coalition of existing third parties and new parties can produce a powerful people’s voting bloc quite fast, not to forget that independent voters are our largest voting bloc these days. Without the coalition they (just like the twin party lemmings,too) just rarely know who truly deserves their vote. A people’s coalition could do even more than provide an alternative to the duopoly. It could present us with entire cabinets running for office instead of just a single nominee, and it would bring ideas and issues to the table that the duopoly and establishment media have kept taboo. Oh, I can’t wait…

 

III. MISC

Insights on a mix of subjects:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “[95] Class Warfare, Alienation, & Real Origins Of #MeToo With Dr. Harriet Fraad”)

 

IV. Societal Cancer: The Unreasonable Far Right

The populist powerhouse of the American fascist right:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Chris Hedges 2018 (Jan 13, 2018) – Abby Martin Trump, Fascism & the Christian Right “)

 

V. Medicare for All

The healthcare and media war:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Over 1 Million Watch Bernie’s Medicare For All Town Hall, Media Yawns “)

 

VI. The Media War

The Media wars and more:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Is Rachel Maddow Dangerous To Journalism? W/Abby Martin “)

Oh, dear Abby… more power to your words of citizen journalists and people’s media needing to build each other up and creating networks. Just like what I keep saying.

Media war & American Empire:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Abby Martin Exposes Untold History of U.S. Empire”)

An idea just occurred to me. I haven’t been keen on a Trump impeachment because I fear that Mike Pence, taking over from him, will be even worse. The silver lining that just occurred to me is that if those who are working their evil behind Trump’s front would then be more exposed…

 

VII. World Politics

Thanks to Facebook’s increasing blocking, word of yesterday’s post hasn’t gone out as much as it should. OK, none of our articles here do, but this one was stymied more than past ones. It provides a really important insight into the oligarchy’s trickery, though, and the lies fed us on the corporate mainstream media, so I am reposting the featured video report here:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Smuggled Crisis: Who’s crashing Venezuela’s economy?”)

Have a restful weekend if at all possible, my friends.

APPEAL: I need your help to share links on social media. Facebook is blocking me from sharing them, treating me like a spammer if I share to more than a tiny handful of groups, effectively locking me out of groups I have participated in for years and always been welcome in. It’s getting worse every day. Soon nobody but my few subscribers will know when I publish a post. Please contact me if you wish to join an outreach team over which we can scatter the sharing.

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write (and draw) for this site and work on my book. If you find value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets or companionable fellow blogs, partake in discussion, or contribute articles of your own. Or help my book get out there when it’s finished. Thanks. Only together can we change this world. 🙂

Society Punishes the Poor for Being Poor

I avoid ever referencing a Quora post because of Quora’s censorship against non-privileged people, but today I came across a post that I feel really needs to be shared around. It illustrates the deep immorality in our me-me-me society, and also the reason for why I object to leaving socio-economic justice in the hands of gatekeepers, a chief reason of why I want a universal basic income for all, so that injustices like those described in this post can be stopped in their tracks.  Continue reading

Property Violence and a Moral Economy

Our collusion of government with private sector bullies has created a set of rules and laws that make it so that the majority of people cannot grow their own food or live on their own land since they have been deprived of any land ownership. If they wish to eat and take shelter from the elements, they then are forced to work (be slaves/serfs/peons) for the officially recognized owners of all the land, buildings, and the businesses that form the extensions of the land.

The officially recognized owners of EVERYTHING are those few whom the collusion has declared the owners. How is this moral, especially when you consider that the majority of the owner class inherit their “properties,” concentrating them in the hands of the owner class over the course of generations, and the few “owners” who gain their properties in life do so by walking over corpses, clawing up and kicking down, and pulling the ladders up behind them (causing Wall Street crashes and kicking people out of their homes, for example)? How is it moral that those types of all people, one group that never worked for anything, and another group who acted like bandits, get to “own” everything, be in charge of everything, live in opulence, and get to deny the rest of us our due?

Aren’t we capable of acting morally? I think we are. And that means, we are capable of exchanging an immoral system for a moral one.

The below forum coverage which inspired my words above is 54 minutes long. So, if you are interested in it, you may have to listen to it while you are commuting or postpone watching it until a night off or the weekend:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Building a Moral Economy: Elizabeth & Matt Bruenig at the Harvard Law Forum“)

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course offering, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂

Andrew Taggart: Our Cultural Obsession With Work

It’s ridiculous. We live in a time when jobs are getting scarce (off-shored or automated away), more people working are not needed to produce enough as we already produce an abundance (we just don’t distribute to everybody!) — and, yet, many people have a hard time letting go of the idea that we all must spend most of our lifetime in paid jobs lest we be immoral or have no purpose in life.

Here are the thoughts of one guy about our cultural obsession with work:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Can Universal Basic Income End Our Cultural Obsession With Work? | Philosopher Andrew Taggart”)

Note: A family emergency is cutting down on my time to post this week. In itself, this serves as evidence that our obsession with money and paid labor is wrong-headed and our internal war over grabbing the largest possible pieces of the pie and kicking others to the curb makes for a sick society. Where have our morals gone?

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂

A Universal Basic Income Would Only Have to Tax the Rich

A major mental hurdle that average or low income people have to overcome is the panicky idea that they would be taxed to finance a universal basic income. It’s the fear of: “Oh, no, I – a hard worker – will have to pay for lazy welfare queens.” However, a properly done UBI would do the exact opposite, unlike our welfare system. Properly done it would confiscate the obscene wealth in assets kept at the top of our country’s wealth pyramid (where the bottom 80% of people own less than 7% of the nation) and distribute the dividends to us all — as citizen dividends instead of privileged billionaire dividends. It’s our country. Our economy. The dividends of our prosperous economy should be our dividends (not the exclusive privilege of the rich) and create financial security for us all.

The following interview video talks about this:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: “Matt Bruenig Talks about His Viral Article on Universal Basic Income”)

Note: A UBI is not exclusive to a federal job guarantee or other helpful measures that will be discussed here tomorrow (don’t miss it!). It’s not either or. Just like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, FDR’s job creation, the G.I. Bill, and other programs worked best together, so will new measures we can take.

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Ending Note: It takes me at least 100 hours a month to research and write for this site. If you find any value in what I do, please consider becoming a patron and supporting this site with an automatic monthly donation of $1 or more. If you can’t afford this, then don’t, but please share my posts, tell folks about my online course, refer others to this site, refer me to paying outlets, partake in discussion, or contribute essays of your own. Thanks. Only together can we change the world. 🙂

The Seductive and Destructive Power of Debt

A hallmark of our dark current times is debt. More and more people are drowning in debt while banks get bailed out and bankster CEOs ride into the sunset with huge bonuses even after crashing the world economy. People often think that a system of credit and debt is the latest in economic developments, but in reality debt has a long and interesting history which explains why our almost religious worship of debt can lead to dreadful human suffering.

You have the option of listening to the following 1 hour and 21 minutes-long talk by David Graeber or read my short 598-word summary below:

(Note: if the video linked above gets deleted, you may search the Internet for the title: »David Graeber: “DEBT: The First 5,000 Years” | Talks at Google«)

Summary: Debt started, and is apparently inborn in us, as a way of social cohesion. Example: I gave you, my neighbor, a cow. So, some day, you help me build a new barn. Another neighbor gave me a bunch of chicken to start my chicken coup, and next year, when he has had a bad harvest, I give him and his hungry family several sacks of potatoes…  Continue reading