Our Entire Civilization Is Fake And Stupid

You’re not jaded; everything really is just as phony and vapid as it looks.

I say this because if you are reading this it’s likely the result of a personal quest for truth which has led to a gradual peeling away of the lies our society is made of. Your eyes probably found this text because you’re the sort of person who’s been trying to make sense of the world in a sea of propaganda and deception, which often results in a growing disgust not just with the power structures which oppress and tyrannize humanity, but with our entire civilization.

This experience is very common for people like yourself, and it’s very common because it arises from a clear perception of reality. From the very beginning human civilization has been built around serving the interests of the powerful, from religion to philosophy to the arts to law. As the world has gotten smaller and it’s become possible to artificially manufacture culture with mass-distributed media, this has only become more the case.

That’s why the more you learn about the world, the more fake and stupid our civilization looks. It’s because it is fake and stupid. Our news, our entertainment, our jobs, our legal systems, our political systems, our education systems, our financial, monetary, economic and commercial systems; the way our entire civilization is structured and organized

— source caitlinjohnstone.com | Caitlin Johnstone | Sep 8, 2022

Nullius in verba

Fed Rate Hikes Are “Body Blow” to Workers Reeling from Pandemic, Growing Inequality

This week, the United States is facing what Politico calls a Category 5 economic storm as analysts debate whether the U.S. economy is in a recession and how to respond. Today, the Federal Reserve is announcing another interest rate hike, which it says will help fight against inflation and bring down prices, that are up by some 9% since last year as inflation reaches a 40-year high.

This week also marks 13 years since the U.S. last raised its federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour in 2009, which is the longest time without a raise since the federal minimum wage was first implemented during the Great Depression.

Over the last 30 to 40 years, we have experienced here in the United States a radical redistribution of wealth and income. All manner of economists, from all perspectives, have done the research. It’s all very well known. That has caused epoch-changing problems here in the United States that our political headlines are full of literally every day.

But the last four years have been a cap on that process, that really requires taking a deep breath. Number one, our society was unprepared for and did not well manage a pandemic, that it could have been and should have been much better prepared for, as many other countries were who don’t have our own wealth or our medical system. About the same time, we had an economic crash. Over half the labor force in this country lost their job, for a few weeks or the entire time of 2020 and 2021. We’ve had viral catastrophes before. We’ve had economic crashes. We never had them at the same time. That was a body blow to a working class that, as I said, has been suffering for 30 to 40 years.

As if that weren’t enough, we then had — when we thought we might be out of the worst of the crash and the pandemic, now, in the last year, as you just pointed out, we have

— source democracynow.org | Jul 27, 2022

Nullius in verba

Strike, Strike, Strike

The ruling oligarchs are terrified that, for tens of millions of people, the economic dislocation caused by inflation, stagnant wages, austerity, the pandemic and the energy crisis is becoming unendurable. They warn, as Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and NATO Secretary GeneraJens Stoltenberg, have done, about the potential for social unrest, especially as we head towards winter.

Social unrest is a code word for strikes — the one weapon workers possess that can cripple and destroy the billionaire class’s economic and political power. Strikes are what the global oligarchs fear most. Through the courts and police intervention, they will seek to prevent workers from shutting down the economy. This looming battle is crucial. If we begin to chip away at corporate power through strikes, most of which will probably be wildcat strikes that defy union leadership and anti-union laws, we can begin to regain agency over our lives.

The oligarchs have spent decades abolishing or domesticating unions, turning the few unions that remain — only 10.7 percent of the workforce is unionized — into obsequious junior

— source scheerpost.com | Chris Hedges | Sep 18, 2022

Nullius in verba

Myth of Electricity Markets

The price of electricity has risen astronomically in Europe over the last two years: by four times over the previous year and ten times over the last two years. The European Union has claimed that this rise in prices is due to the increase in the price of gas in the international market and Russia not supplying enough gas. This raises the critical question: why should—for example—the German electricity price rise four times when natural gas contributes only one-seventh of its electricity production? Why does the United Kingdom, which produces half the natural gas it consumes, also see a steep rise in the price of electricity? All this talk of Russia masks the reality that the electricity generators are making astronomical windfall profits. The poorer consumers, already pushed to the wall by the pandemic, face a cruel dilemma. As electricity bills may consume 20-30% of their household budget during winter, should they buy food or keep their houses warm?

This steep rise in electricity prices is the other side of the story of the so-called market reforms in the electricity sector over the last 30 years. The cost of electricity is pegged to the costliest supply to the grid in the daily and hourly auctions. Currently, this is natural gas, which is why electricity prices are rising sharply even if it is not the primary source of electricity supply to the grid. This is market fundamentalism, what the neo-classical economists call marginal utility theory. For those interested in its history, this was Augusto Pinochet’s electricity sector reform in Chile. Milton Freedman, assisted by his Chicago Boys, was the guru of Pinochet’s reform. That electricity price

— source newsclick.in | Prabir Purkayastha | 09 Sep 2022

Nullius in verba

Monarchs Belong in the Dustbin of History

The fawning adulation of Queen Elizabeth in the United States, which fought a revolution to get rid of the monarchy, and in Great Britain, is in direct proportion to the fear gripping a discredited, incompetent and corrupt global ruling elite.

The global oligarchs are not sure the next generation of royal sock puppets – mediocrities that include a pedophile prince and his brother, a cranky and eccentric king who accepted suitcases and bags stuffed with $3.2 million in cash from the former prime minister of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, and who has millions stashed in offshore accounts – are up to the job. Let’s hope they are right.

“Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories,” Patrick Freyne wrote last year in The Irish Times. “More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like

— source scheerpost.com | Chris Hedges | Sep 11, 2022

Nullius in verba

Baby Formula Crisis in US Requires Urgent Action to Address

Four corporations control 90% of the baby formula market in the United States, and as a national baby formula shortage drags on, it has impacted working-class families of color the most. We get an update from Democratic Congressmember Ro Khanna of California, who just wrote an open letter urging leaders of federal agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration to take bolder action to address the shortage. Khanna discusses efforts to increase production domestically and supplement the shortage with formula from other nations, and why he is calling for President Biden to go further and pass antitrust laws to reduce reliance on corporate monopolies for vital products. “Why is it that we are so dependent on one or two manufacturers in this country?” says Khanna. “This is a problem not just in baby formula.”

The crisis started last October after a whistleblower sent the Food and Drug Administration a report detailing safety and sanitation violations at the Abbott Nutrition factory in Sturgis, Michigan, the largest baby formula manufacturing plant in the country. Actually, the whistleblower had notified authorities long before last October, but it would be months before the FDA took action. Abbott fired the whistleblower. Four babies who had consumed formula from the plant suffered bacterial infections. Two of them died. The FDA could not conclusively link the illnesses or deaths to that particular Sturgis plant. In February, Abbott shut down the plant and announced a voluntary recall of its Sturgis-

— source democracynow.org | Jul 25, 2022

Nullius in verba

Black Maternal Mortality in U.S.

With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the battleground for abortion access now shifts to the states, even as the U.S. faces the worst rates of maternal mortality among all rich nations, with Black maternal mortality three to four times higher than the national average. Now a new documentary examines the crisis of Black maternal mortality through the families of two young Black women who died after giving birth. “Aftershock” is co-directed by Tonya Lewis Lee and Paula Eiselt, who join us to discuss how Black women navigate a healthcare system built against them and efforts underway to reduce racial disparities. “We know that Black women’s health and infants’ health is the marker of the health of a nation,” notes Lee. “In a system that puts profit over people, doesn’t listen and center birthing people already, Black women are even more affected by this due to the systemic racism that’s ingrained into our system,” adds Eiselt.

Amber Rose Isaac, as you mentioned, died in April 2020. She had what is called HELLP syndrome, which is a very treatable condition that many pregnant women get, but, unfortunately, when she showed up to her doctor with symptoms of HELLP syndrome, she was dismissed. They did not listen to her. And unfortunately, by the time she had a C-section, it was too late to save her.

And it is clear that these women were loved women. They were loving women. And their partners, Omari Maynard, the partner to Shamony, and Bruce McIntyre, the partner to Amber, loved them so much. And through their grief — and what I’ve learned from these families is that grief really is an expression of love — through their grief, they’ve become activated to improve outcomes for all of us. And they’re doing amazing work. Omari is a painter. He paints portraits of other women who have passed away. He reaches out to the other fathers when they lose a partner from childbirth complications, to offer support. And that’s how we met Bruce McIntyre, because Omari reached out to Bruce when Amber passed

— source democracynow.org | Jul 25, 2022

Nullius in verba


This is not a viral crisis; this is a crisis of late capitalism

There have now been more than 17,000 cases of monkeypox infections in at least 75 countries, including the United States. Monkeypox isn’t fatal, but it can cause fever, rashes and extremely painful lesions. It’s most often spread through close, intimate physical contact. On Saturday, for the second time in two years, the World Health Organization declared a global emergency to address the spread. The last time, it was for COVID-19; this time, for monkeypox.

Here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported more than 2,800 cases of monkeypox so far across 44 states, with the largest outbreaks in New York, California, Illinois, Florida, D.C. and Georgia. The White House has not declared a public health emergency, that could bolster the U.S. response to the monkeypox outbreak. White House COVID response coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said, quote, “It’s an ongoing, but a very active conversation at HHS.” That’s the Department of Health and Human Services.

I’ll actually start with the second part. Monkeypox is not a new virus. And this is sort of why our community has been so frustrated by the lack of urgency to get us the tools we need to care for ourselves and each other and to prevent this virus. It was discovered in 1958 in animals and was shown in 1970 to exist in humans. It’s a virus that’s related to smallpox. You mentioned earlier that it’s not deadly. It’s not very often deadly, but in this outbreak so far this year, there have been five deaths, all

— source democracynow.org | Jul 25, 2022

Nullius in verba