Every artist, every scientist, must decide now where he stands. He has no alternative. There is no standing above the conflict on Olympian heights. There are no impartial observers. Through the destruction, in certain countries, of the greatest of man’s literary heritage, through the propagation of false ideas of racial and national superiority, the artist, the scientist, the writer is challenged. The struggle invades the formerly cloistered halls of our universities and other seats of learning. The battlefront is everywhere. There is no sheltered rear.
— Paul Robeson, Here I Stand, p. 52.
The struggle for us common folk daily is a battle on many fronts, with the sirocco of plague-coal gritty winds chasing us into poverty, into incarceration, into structural violence and penury with the jaws of the dogs of usury rabidly biting at our young and old.
There is no dignity in the grapes of wrath and no heaven inside the gates of religion.
When we end up working for the poverty pimps, social services, in the public sector, or those non-profits and NGOs, or for those purveyors of a fake capitalist green environmentalism, or in the same league of neoliberals or even patsy identity politics liberals, our stories end up frayed and sent into the abyss in a culture that kneels at the altar of celebrity-wealth-military might-superficiality.
Most of us can’t get the gumption up to face down power, even in this junk society where our collective powerlessness could be vital to standing down this tragedy called Americanism, Consumerism, Militarism, Capitalism.
Some of us are tilting at windmills and screaming,
I don’t have to tell you things are bad. Everybody knows things are bad. It’s a depression. Everybody’s out of work or scared of losing their job. The dollar buys a nickel’s worth, banks are going bust, shopkeepers keep a gun under the counter.
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window, open it, and stick your head out, and yell, ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore!’
— Howard Beale, Network
More poignant in Peter Finch’s portrayal of a disenchanted newscaster is his call to our humanity:
Well, I’m not gonna leave you alone. I want you to get MAD! I don’t want you to protest. I don’t want you to riot — I don’t want you to write to your congressman, because I wouldn’t know what to tell you to write. I don’t know what to do about the depression and the inflation and the Russians and the crime in the street. All I know is that first you’ve got to get mad. [shouting] You’ve got to say: ‘I’m a human being, god-dammit! My life has value!’
So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: I’M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!
It’s an easy life gig, really, showing, being, acting mad as hell, and standing down in that glorious moment of realizing that the powers that be, the fascists in boardrooms, the militant bankers and financial devils, all those militarists and digital demigods, the lot of them, are only in the driver’s seat because the consumer half-citizens we have become in the US of A have not taken the first two steps – being mad as hell and not taking it anymore.
I mean really, not some deplorable bullshit under the mantel of the madman Trump, or the faux anger of the liberals and Hillary lovers, none of that is even in the same league as true anger and standing down. Enough of us in the USA are done with this experiment, but not enough of us have the balls or ovaries to stand down and make a bolt away from their prisons, both symbolic ones and those literals ones.
Bolt and stop taking it. Engage in real dirt-smeared arguments, debates, and stop letting the purveyors of neutering and spaying control our lives. If it’s one poor sop doing it, then that’s one poor schmuck left to hang and dry. In so many ways, my life has been my soul and my intellect splayed by the legions of small men and small women, Little Eichmanns and Compliancy Bureaucrats, Admin Class, Deanlets, Chair Persons, HR Midgets, Diversity Officers, Punishment Officers, Pay Masters, Incrementalists, and Violators of All Good Things About Creativity.
Splayed in the sense that it’s easy to sack people who go against the grain, against the vanguard, against the status quo. Each and every time I have been sacked, it seems like the first time, and my own naïve exasperation is almost overcoming, but in the end, my stands are more than righteous. They are demonstrative, chillingly expressive, and others in my circle can judge and pooh-pooh, and point to my spiraling out of any power or fame or thumbs near or on the levers of power.
In the end, you can die on your principles and feel the incredible lightness of being a human being, and feel emancipated even near the gates of endless poverty, waning sanity and extreme disenfranchisement from this capitalist franchise called America.
I’ve cataloged here and other places my struggle with/in/because of the “work place” in America – it started with newspapers where I had drag-out fights with editors about my attitude – going too strong against the powers, in several cases, the policing agencies I was reporting on. Sacked. Struggle as a union organizer a decade ago fighting the middle of the road bosses who thought compliancy and lock-step (to the Democratic Party) were necessary formulations for working there. Sacked. Fighting for part-time faculty and for students at several community colleges . . . terminated. Working with homeless and drug-addicted adults as a social worker . . . encouraged to resign.
Unbelievable that it may seem, but some of us can be up against the vast majority, and be right most of the time, and the fact that the majority can be wrong almost one hundred percent of the time when it comes to false beliefs in patriotism, loyalty, god-country-hierarchy. So many people I have come across in my 60 years, a good 45 of which involved work and work places, have only been able to go-think-believe-philosophize-contemplate-act so far. Halfway is half-assed, and going nine-tenths of the way is still an incomplete journey, flawed, dangerous and retrograde.
Fired for fighting administrators and college-university presidents. Fired for writing too loudly. Hell, I even went up against the ameliorators in so-called progressive alternative radio and newspaper circles for being too radical, too left, too outspoken, too in your face.
Perception is not reality, but their reality is not mine.
Now this fleeting battle line as I am hitting my Sixties is taking even more bizarre turns with my most recent end of the line work in social services. Sort of takes on an entire multi-layered Orwellian, Kafkaesque, Brave New World ugliness only capitalism can refine to a really disturbing level.
Fired because three insignificant trainers and two of their supervisors in a Planned Parenthood two-day class determined after eight hours that my simple and non-disruptive questioning of Planned Parenthood’s policy of believing — one hundred percent — the efficacy of everything Western medicine shoves down our throats and my doubting some of the mumbo-jumbo propaganda of Big Pharma would somehow weigh negatively on my work at a completely unrelated-to-Planned Parenthood non-profit as a non-medical social worker with my foster youth clients.
Imagine — in a training, with that progressive blathering of “this is a safe space” and “anything said here stays here” — and my livelihood is ripped from me by three narc trainers who outright lied about me being a disruptive element. Imagine the level of punk in these people, these urbanites, these Seattlites, these people who are working in the shadow of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation which is shoving Big Pharma and Big GMO and Big Contraception and Big Sterilization and Big Family Planning and Big Vaccinations and Big Agra down the throats of the so-called developing world. I questioned one vaccine, tied to the human papilloma virus. Planned Parenthood gets tens of millions from Big Pharma and Big Philanthropy.
This shit brings tears of absurdity to a grown adult’s eyes. These people, these Little Eichmann’s working for Seattle’s Planned Parenthood, with a flick of their wrists, and a punch of their index fingers on their smart phones sending messages to my boss that I was somehow a disruption to the training. Read here part of my story and my lightly political question about Gardasil-Merck.
In their world, they believe they hold the power ingrained in their Hillary Clinton stupidity and Uber Alles Planned Parenthood. These people determined from a really light-hearted and anonymous forum that I would be a chigger in their sides for a second day of training. Really, so, this “ich liebe dich Planned Parenthood uber alles in der Welt … I love you Planned Parenthood above anything else in the world” bullshit went as far as influencing my former employer – a social services non-profit in Portland for more than 45 years – to put me on paid leave and then processed through the ringer of an unfair and incomplete investigation that ended with my termination.
Talking to these people in the non-profit sector is like talking to emptied-out moth chrysalises. This mostly female-run and female-staffed organization had the gall to not talk to my two co-workers who were at the training. They had the gall to pointedly show me that I was being investigated and then canned for barely challenging Planned Parenthood’s take on Gardasil, the Bill Gates/Genetically-Engineered/CDC Fast-tracked Approved/Massive PR campaign vaccine for the sexually transmitted virus, HPV.
In the echo chamber of these female-run/female-staffed social services agencies, the people do not resist the malfeasance and poor treatment. The people do not speak out as if social justice is the key to assisting people as social workers and mental health practitioners. These people do not want any rocking of the boat. These female-staffed/managed outfits want to embrace the superficiality of LGBTQ-ism and faux multiculturalism, yet, when push comes to shove, they are middling humans, who have reached their own ceilings of compassion/knowledge/ radical social work that pale in comparison to the real work that has to be done.
Every step of my administrative leave and then bullshit investigation and then dismissal reeks of unethical and wrongful termination. This non-profit, Lifeworks Northwest, is colluding with Planned Parenthood, because tens of thousands of dollars comes from PP’s coffers, and that grant money is really taxpayers’ money.
The power of my simple anonymous comments on unsigned notepaper got my ass hung out to dry, and the bitterness is magnified since I had youth on my caseload in major iterations of crisis, and because I had no opportunity to challenge my accusers, and because I wasn’t able to cut through stupidity and illogical thinking.
Simple stuff, a social worker anticipating what my young clients might also ask: “IS the Gardasil HPV vaccine safe since when I go onto the Internet and Google ‘Gardasil Dangers’ or put in ‘Is the HPV virus safe?’ I get all sorts of incriminating information about the dangers herein.”
Or, I could have posited at the training something more concrete: “I get all sorts of stories from parents and young women who are outraged by the dangers of the vaccine, and I see many documentaries cataloging the dangers and the chronic pain and deaths attributed to the Merck-made Gardasil, and I can download all these scientific journal articles and browse all these advocacy blogs and web sites that point-blank catalog all the issues tied to the three-shot vaccine”: Here!
The highly controversial HPV vaccine “Gardasil,” given to young girls to defend against early onset of the only form of contagious cancer, has been responsible for over thirty deaths (from blood clots in the heart and lungs) and more than 10,000 adverse events (anaphylactic shock, loss of muscle use, and seizures) being reported. Certain forms of HPV are known to cause cervical cancer by fueling the development of precancerous lesions in epithelial tissues of the vagina, vulva, oropharynx, anus and cervix. Most infections however, are benign and cleared rapidly by the human immune system, and never progress to cervical cancer. A valid reason for giving CHILDREN the HPV vaccine has NEVER been established.
Plus, the supposed “benefits” of the two known HPV vaccines, Gardasil (made by Merck) and Cervarix (made by GSK-GlaxoSmithKline), wear off after a few years, meaning that even if they do work, the cancer only lasts a few years anyway before a normal immune system beats it, so why bother with the vaccines, which are known to be loaded with neurotoxins, carcinogens, synthetic emulsifyers and genetically modified organisms. Worst yet, there are at least 120 known human papillomaviruses, so, worse than the flu shot, the HPV vaccine is a complete “shot in the dark.” On top of that, only a third of those viruses are the ones typically transmitted through sexual contact. At least 15 types of HPV are CARCINOGENIC.
Just days after given the intramuscular injection Cervarix, Stacey Jones, 17 (at the time), suffered her FIRST EVER SEIZURE and was left brain-damaged from it. The Cervarix inoculation contains recombinant proteins and for those unfamiliar, recombinant means DNA molecules are brought together from multiple sources in a laboratory to create genetic material with DNA sequences that would NOT OTHERWISE EXIST in the genome. That means the culture is chemically altered and then mixed with sodium chloride and “residual” amounts of insect cells. If that itself is not bad enough, according to the Rx list itself, the “tip caps” may contain rubber latex.
By the way, sodium chloride when injected raises blood pressure and inhibits muscle contraction and growth. All of this sends the immune system into hyper-panic mode when injected, and explains the seizures and anaphylactic shock these girls are experiencing just hours or days after the HPV jab.
In the case of Stacey Jones, her parents said that during the few weeks after her getting the cervical jab, Stacey had MORE fits, causing such severe swelling in the brain and brain injury that Stacey had to go to a rehabilitation unit to relearn simple tasks. GSK called it all a coincidence.
Eleven deaths occurred less than one week after receiving the vaccine, seven of which died in less than two days. Three of the deaths were boys. Guess what the most common diagnosis was for the CAUSE of DEATH–BLOOD CLOTTING. Where is the CDC in all of this? One of the girls died within 3 hours of getting the jab. Her echocardiogram revealed a blood clot within the right atrium and the right ventricle.
Other reports include girls coming down with the sudden onset of Guillain-Barre syndrome, where the immune system attacks itself. With Rick Perry as a sponsor, Merck’s Gardasil was causing permanent injuries and death all in the name of Rick Perry’s political need for monetary backing.
Judicial Watch public interest group investigated this government level corruption and released a report based on FDA documents about adverse reactions to the vaccine and found over 100 DEATHS and spontaneous abortions CAUSED BY GARDASIL. Even JAMA (the Journal of the American Medical Association) went so far as to publish over 12,000 reports of vaccine injury.
You see, when I work with youth, and talk about student debt, about drone murders by the USA, or about Trump’s felonious business deals, or talk about the power of media to manufacture consent, or what the real history of the United States is about, or how we bombed the hell out of Korea in the 1950s and Vietnam in the 1960s and 1970s, or when I talk about what the real Thanksgiving means, the real Israel means, the real NATO means I expect my youth to go on their own Smart (sic) phones and start double checking my facts and theses.
So, what are these people thinking, sacking me, because I shaped a question around maybe Planned Parenthood anticipating some resistance from some percentage of our youth on all our caseloads, and resistance from their foster and biological parents, or their siblings and friends about this unproven vaccine?
Clenched-teeth trainers, and this room of 40 women and three men, and I was the only one raising what some portion of all of our client loads might ask – is this shot safe? I raised the eyebrows of the Planned Parenthood trainers when I supposed that maybe practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, naturopathic treatments, shamanism, Native American healing, and other non-Western Medical beliefs should also be included in their amazing rainbow flag of diversity. These people are lock-step, neo-fascists, for sure, of the liberal kind, and I was not prepared for the absolute party-line around Gardasil.
It took very little to time to research how Planned Parenthood gets massive funding from Big Pharma and Big Industrial Medicine . . . that Planned Parenthood is part of the big PR push to get as many young women and boys globally vaccinated with this toxic brew. Right now, over 270 million doses have been distributed. Mark that as $30 billion or more for Merk.
Yet, these Uber Alles Planned Parenthood punks and then my own former employers – punks with master’s degrees in social work and taught in reduced harm techniques and trauma informed care – find it impossible for me to continue taking a mandatory class and then I get my ass unfairly and wrongfully sacked?
I am in the process of writing Part Three to the series I was asked to work on over at Hormones Matter (and here at DV it’s here and here and here). This entire episode dealing with the cahoots of Planned Parenthood and the drug makers, including the Gardasil manufacturer, Merck, and my own puny job and possibly my future in social services – oh, my next interviews for new jobs will most certainly involve HR folk Googling me and Googling my writings, and, bam, another illicit and unethical determination of my qualities based on my writing – stinks of what’s really rotten to the core in America: the careerism and the death of a real liberal class, and this entitled stupidity and perceived aggrieved neoliberal class.
The formula is clear – if you are a scientist or researcher or expert or legitimate journalist questioning your government, your paymaster, your employer, your school, your non-profit, your NGO, your media, your Fortune 1000 companies, your millionaire and billionaire miscreants, you get harassed, de-funded, shunted into a corner, threatened with lawsuits, threatened with termination, sacked, and in some cases, murdered by these economic and patriotic hit men and hit women. Chris Hedges on careerism!
The greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.
These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. “Positive Psychologists.” Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia.
They are T.S. Eliot’s “the hollow men,” “the stuffed men.” “Shape without form, shade without colour,” the poet wrote. “Paralysed force, gesture without motion.”
Even the HR people at that non-profit wouldn’t get it right about why I was terminated, and the little letter I received from Oregon Employment Department belies the non-profit’s absurdity and confusion:
You ARE allowed benefits on this claim . . . .
Findings: You were employed by Lifeworks NW until Oct. 26, 2017 when you were fired because you received too many complaints about being unprofessional, confrontational and argumentative. This was not a willful or wantonly negligent disregard of the employer’s interest because there was no policy or rule violation. You deny the accusations of being a disruption to a training that occurred on October 16, 2017. Employer failed to respond to additional attempts to retrieve information.
Legal Conclusion: You were fired but not for misconduct connected with work.
This short piece can end with those concepts, these people Chris Hedges likens to docile and compliant followers who obey for whatever prestige they can garner. Notice my former employers use words like “unprofessional” and “confrontational” and “argumentative.” This is how these people running social services agencies work the mental muscles in their heads.
My entire work with foster youth, connected to the department of human services case managers and foster parents and a plethora of agencies and businesses, was deemed both “professional” and wise and compassionate. I have written testaments to that fact. What does it mean to have this pejorative thrown at me after the fact, stated to the unemployment adjudicator without my ability to answer this lie? This is a case of so called social services providers putting in the dull knife in my already opened torso.
Then, this all-female staff and supervisory and management team throw out the term, “confrontational,” in the double-speak of these fake positive psychological beratings. What in the world does this mean, “confrontational”? I did confront abusive parents, abusive bureaucrats, abusive psychologists and employers and teachers, and a few case workers. That was my job to be advocate and mentor for 16-to-21-year-old youth – foster youth. I confronted abuse and lies and mismanagement and maligning and prejudice and pre-judgments and structural violence. I confronted the school to prison pipeline mentality of officials and confronted the lackadaisical attitudes about my youth becoming homeless.
Finally, “argumentative”? You know, I got along with everyone, except a couple of officials at public gatherings who made fun of addiction, who made fun of youth caught by cops for pot smoking or carrying booze in the car. I argued with people who laughed at mental challenges, and who somehow thought addiction was just a fad, a choice. I fought prejudice and stupidity, and did it with aplomb and respect. I never was “argumentative” with supervisors or co-workers, yet, these women social workers dare tell a state official – unemployment adjudicator – that the reason for my termination is my “argumentative” disposition? As if I am getting graded as a third grader for my class demeanor, decorum, participation and citizenship?
This is the coda of our social services gone amok and awry, and with these fake diversity-chanting female workers and these social workers who fall over themselves to help gay young men and women, while arguing their point that anyone else who is not a pushover or who is defiant, or who disagrees with their spin on the world, well, even a 60-year-old seasoned teacher with training, skills, experiences and education they could only read about or dream about, is deemed “argumentative” and “confrontational.” This syllogistic thinking (non-thinking) then puts an icing on their canards with the terminology, “unprofessional.”
We are not in good hands, fellow readers. We have a society that is far removed from the reality of being one emergency room visit from the poor house or one paycheck away from being homeless. This is a society that fines homeless people for loitering, that fines panhandling for a meal or a beer, that fines people camping in alleys or kipping in their perfectly legal and running vans and motor homes. This is the society of people who lets the world know how “powerful” they are – proof is in the gouged-out cultures and ecosystems, perpetual war, the illegalities of every ounce of investment, retirement, consumption schemed up in America, and endorsed by twenty or thirty percent of the population. This is a country that has no history because it forgets and forestalls and fabricates. This is a country of teary-eyed infants, raised on Marvel Comics’ narratives and Disneyland philosophy and computer mush and Hallmark moments, and violence and junk goo for the brain and junk food for the soul.
These people, who are tied to the lies of the most powerful collective organization on earth – Big Pharma (twice the lobbying bucks paid to politicians than even the militarists) – and they give shit about the lives of young women and men forcefully vaccinated.
These are the crimes of the weak, the so-called do-gooders. And their crimes go unchallenged, unnoticed, and under-discussed. Because this country is one giant criminal project — Continuing Criminal Enterprise.
These armies of bureaucrats serve a corporate system that will quite literally kill us. They are as cold and disconnected as Mengele. They carry out minute tasks. They are docile. Compliant. They obey. They find their self-worth in the prestige and power of the corporation, in the status of their positions and in their career promotions. They assure themselves of their own goodness through their private acts as husbands, wives, mothers and fathers. They sit on school boards. They go to Rotary. They attend church. It is moral schizophrenia. They erect walls to create an isolated consciousness. They make the lethal goals of ExxonMobil or Goldman Sachs or Raytheon or insurance companies possible. They destroy the ecosystem, the economy and the body politic and turn workingmen and -women into impoverished serfs. They feel nothing. Metaphysical naiveté always ends in murder. It fragments the world. Little acts of kindness and charity mask the monstrous evil they abet. And the system rolls forward. The polar ice caps melt. The droughts rage over cropland. The drones deliver death from the sky. The state moves inexorably forward to place us in chains. The sick die. The poor starve. The prisons fill. And the careerist, plodding forward, does his or her job.
— Chris Hedges