Just as many predicted over a year ago, the rollout of the vaccine for Covid-19 and its implementation has introduced intense polarization and social segregation through the implementation of mandatory vaccination for employees and vaccine passports. Medical authoritarianism and the burgeoning biosecurity state are here, expanding in real time. In New York City, San Francisco, France, and Italy, vaccine passports are mandatory for entrance to nearly any indoor public venue: restaurants, bars, museums, cinemas, and more. Also, hundreds of corporations, colleges, federal and state agencies are mandating rushed emergency experimental injections with no long-term knowledge of side effects.
Yes, we’re all well aware that the Pfizer vaccine just got full FDA approval. Did anyone think that it wouldn’t? Did anyone in the media bother to ask if the forces of power, money, and technocratic medical tyrants would back down and not give full approval, considering how these forces have managed to shape reality and scare to death half of the population over a disease with a very low mortality rate? Regardless of your opinion of how severe the disease is, mandates and passports are incontrovertibly coercive, tyrannical measures. If the vaccines do not stop transmission, which the medical authorities have already admitted to varying degrees, then what is the point of these mandates and passports?
Furthermore, the vaccine passport will effectively be discriminatory since minorities are less likely to get the vaccines. African Americans especially have lower vaccination rates, for good reasons, the US medical establishment experimented on black populations throughout the Cold War and even beyond. It’s not difficult to see the ramifications of bio-digital segregations. One does not need a PhD or medical degree; in fact, these “credentials” seem to blinker one’s view in support of this new form of discrimination.
In the view of what we might term the technocracy, or perhaps the emerging biosecurity establishment, it is virtuous to separate the “clean” vaxxed from the supposedly disease-carrying, uneducated, lower-classes who won’t take these experimental shots.
All of the power and money, all the “Science ” snowballed into an unstoppable corporate/government momentum which shows no signs of letting up. All that propaganda, the deliberate lies about mask efficiency (they don’t work) and vaccine holiness (they don’t prevent transmission) they’ve been shoving down the public’s throats for over a year and a half? Yeah, the nanny-state politico-medical tyrants are not going to give up this narrative without a fight. They are doubling down on the fear and quest for total obedience and control. It suits late-stage capitalism just fine if small and medium sized businesses go under and the excess labor supply of the unemployed are evicted and go hungry. They are extraneous to the monopoly cartels which run the “economy”, which is run by giant tech corporations, the stock market, the military-industrial complex, and the FIRE sector, multinational conglomerates who operate with almost no competition in nearly every industry.
There is no way to fight back against these abuses of power through the court system. In my opinion, the most rational approach would be to boycott, in any way possible, the corporations and public institutions that are going along with vaccine mandates and passports. Part of this involves the vote with your dollars approach. Hurting the corporate lemmings and technocrat sociopaths in their wallets and lack of tax revenues are the only things they will understand.
If you were thinking of traveling to Europe, skip France and Italy. Guess what? If globally millions of tourists suddenly gave the middle finger to these two countries and vacationed elsewhere, the dent in lost revenue and GDP might actually have some effect on the political establishment. In France and Italy citizens are rightly fed up with protests every day against the passports, and many vaccinated people have burned their vaccine papers in solidarity.
Similarly, if people in the US abstained from traveling to and spending money in NYC and SF, every restaurant owner, museum board, theater, and small business would then put immediate pressure on city, state, and federal politicians to ban vaccine passports, hopefully for good. If millions of people refuse to shop and do business with companies that have mandatory vaccination requirements for their employees, it would also put immense pressure to relent.
Investors should also divest from corporations that insist on mandating vaccines for employees. It may, in fact, be legal for companies to do so, but it is frankly coercive and is a sort of crossing of the Rubicon, blurring one’s private life and medical choices with public duties, to create a new type of “good citizen”, a biopolitical subject serving capitalism with zero critical thinking skills.
For those in the workforce facing mandates, such as federal/state public employees and health care workers, if possible it is definitely worth considering if another career/job can be found. If enough teachers, nurses, etc., quit or go on strike against their employee mandates, pressure can be applied and the mandates could potentially be lifted.
It’s worth pointing out that the goalposts continue to be changed from slowing the pace of transmission to eradicating the virus- from two weeks to flatten the curve (tacitly acknowledging that coronaviruses cannot really be stopped) to mandates for wide swaths of public and private work, as well as military and police presence on the streets of Australia, to name one of the most obvious police state measures. The goalposts are changing to determine our “good citizen” status. Before, one simply had to go along to get along, obey the laws, pay taxes, and keep one’s head down; now, not only are we expected to do and say the right things, but to inject the right experimental drugs into our bodies.
My humble prediction is the goalposts are going to continue to move. The game is akin to the frogs boiling slowly in the pot; by consenting to our own freedom being curtailed and our own imprisonment, the establishment gets what it wants without having to crack down using excessive force and coercion. The innate desire to have access to public spaces, to go on vacation, will lead many people ignorant of the wider implications to accept these new dystopian measures. The horizon of getting “back to normal” will recede faster as new variants naturally emerge, as viruses tend to do, and this will continue to be used as a new scare tactic, even as death rates effectively returned to normal four months ago (May of 2021) in the US, and many other countries show no more excess deaths, or none outside normal yearly variations, as well in 2021.
The virus is now endemic, but the powers that be are going to insist upon using it as a weapon for total control over the population. We’re through the looking-glass, we now have a form of “scientism” which is irrefutable no matter how unsettled the truth really is. Statistics such as death counts from Covid are unreliable, with doctors confessing to listing Covid-19 as the primary cause of death when it’s not- dying “from Covid” is conflated as dying “with Covid”. Deaths from the lockdowns are not seriously considered, even though many scientists are on record stating that the lockdowns led to a large chunk of the excess deaths.
Frankly, the near future looks pretty bleak for the US and the chances to have an open, honest dialogue about the seriousness of the pandemic, the capitalist world-system which stands to gain by using a 21st century tech-driven shock doctrine, and the police-state that will be built on the back of the panic caused by incessant propaganda. The fault lines are deepening and Democrats yammer to “trust the science” without any understanding themselves, and are willing to demonize anyone who doesn’t get an experimental jab or wear two masks while alone in their car; while Republicans continue to frame the “reopen the economy” debate in terms of those supposedly wonderful job-creating corporations, all the while being willing to sell the average worker out for an extra buck or two. Both parties are more than willing to screw over the poor, minorities, and working classes; if either cared about their citizens’ lives they wouldn’t throw people out into the streets via the mass evictions that are already underway.
As imperial decline and rot deepen, and the domestic surveillance apparatus pulls its noose tighter against our necks, our best bet to resist these freedom-crushing decrees is to deploy citizen power, mass protests, and coordinated direct action against inhumane vaccine mandates and police-state vaccine passports.
Is it possible to build social solidarity beyond the state?
It’s easy to conclude that it’s not. In 1915, as national governments produced the shocking carnage of World War I, Ralph Chaplin, an activist in the Industrial Workers of the World, wrote his stirring song, “Solidarity Forever.” Taken up by unions around the globe, it proclaimed that there was “no power greater anywhere beneath the sun” than international working class solidarity. But, today, despite Chaplin’s dream of bringing to birth “a new world from the ashes of the old,” the world remains sharply divided by national boundaries—boundaries that are usually quite rigid, policed by armed guards, and ultimately enforced through that traditional national standby, war.
Even so, over the course of modern history, social movements have managed, to a remarkable degree, to form global networks of activists who have transcended nationalism in their ideas and actions. Starting in the late nineteenth century, there was a remarkable efflorescence of these movements: the international aid movement; the labor movement; the socialist movement; the peace movement; and the women’s rights movement, among others. In recent decades, other global movements have emerged, preaching and embodying the same kind of human solidarity—from the environmental movement, to the nuclear disarmament movement, to the campaign against corporate globalization, to the racial justice movement.
Although divided from one another, at times, by their disparate concerns, these transnational humanitarian movements have nevertheless been profoundly subversive of many established ideas and of the established order—an order that has often been devoted to maintenance of special privilege and preservation of the nation state system. Consequently, these movements have usually found a home on the political Left and have usually triggered a furious backlash on the political Right.
The rise of globally-based social movements appears to have developed out of the growing interconnection of nations, economies, and peoples spawned by increasing world economic, scientific, and technological development, trade, travel, and communications. This interconnection has meant that war, economic collapse, climate disasters, diseases, corporate exploitation, and other problems are no longer local, but global. And the solutions, of course, are also global in nature. Meanwhile, the possibilities for alliances of like-minded people across national boundaries have also grown.
The rise of the worldwide campaign for nuclear disarmament exemplifies these trends. Beginning in 1945, in the aftermath of the Hiroshima bombing, its sense of urgency was driven by breakthroughs in science and technology that revolutionized war and, thereby, threatened the world with unprecedented disaster. Furthermore, the movement had little choice but to develop across the confines of national boundaries. After all, nuclear testing, the nuclear arms race, and the prospect of nuclear annihilation represented global problems that could not be tackled on a national basis. Eventually, a true peoples’ alliance emerged, uniting activists in East and West against the catastrophic nuclear war plans of their governments.
Much the same approach is true of other global social movements. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, for example, play no favorites among nations when they report on human rights abuses around the world. Individual nations, of course, selectively pick through the findings of these organizations to label their political adversaries (though not their allies) ruthless human rights abusers. But the underlying reality is that participants in these movements have broken free of allegiances to national governments to uphold a single standard and, thereby, act as genuine world citizens. The same can be said of activists in climate organizations like Greenpeace and 350.org, anticorporate campaigns, the women’s rights movement, and most other transnational social movements.
Institutions of global governance also foster human solidarity across national borders. The very existence of such institutions normalizes the idea that people in diverse countries are all part of the human community and, therefore, have a responsibility to one another. Furthermore, UN Secretaries-General have often served as voices of conscience to the world, deploring warfare, economic inequality, runaway climate disaster, and a host of other global ills. Conversely, the ability of global institutions to focus public attention upon such matters has deeply disturbed the political Right, which acts whenever it can to undermine the United Nations, the International Criminal Court, the World Health Organization, and other global institutions.
Social movements and institutions of global governance often have a symbiotic relationship. The United Nations has provided a very useful locus for discussion and action on issues of concern to organizations dealing with women’s rights, environmental protection, human rights, poverty, and other issues, with frequent conferences devoted to these concerns. Frustrated with the failure of the nuclear powers to divest themselves of nuclear weapons, nuclear disarmament organizations deftly used a series of UN conferences to push through the adoption of the 2017 UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, much to the horror of nuclear-armed states.
Although there are no guarantees that social movements and enhanced global governance will transform our divided, problem-ridden world, we shouldn’t ignore these movements and institutions, either. Indeed, they should provide us with at least a measure of hope that, someday, human solidarity will prevail, thereby bringing to birth “a new world from the ashes of the old.”
The Globalists have semi-clandestinely introduced some kind of “covid-Martial Law” that overrules everything that is an otherwise Constitutional Right. We are in most of the western world a direct dictatorship. In most countries the Constitutional Amendment from “Democracy” to Dictatorship has happened clandestinely or at least semi-clandestinely. That’s what dictators do. Most of the people have no idea. Many of those who do know, don’t agree. They launch initiatives for new laws – that fall by the way side, because they have no teeth under a Martial Law-broken Constitution.
In Switzerland, the situation is slightly different, better of sorts. The Confederation Helvetica (CH) has a semi-direct Democracy. With 50,000 signatures, scrupulously verified for their validity, Swiss citizens can launch a referendum against a specific law. The referendum may eventually come to a popular vote, and a government/Parliament let law may be overruled. Though, this happens very rarely – the money lobby-propaganda is too strong – occasionally the people may have a chance. In these covid-times, it may actually happen.
We are currently undergoing the worst “tyrannification” of society in human history and in all western world countries. Covid-martial law overrules everything. This happened very fast. Within 18 months, from the beginning of 2020 to about mid-2021 citizens have basically no longer the very rights they could otherwise call as a human right. HRs have become worthless. In most cases police and military are under strict orders to obey. Those who don’t may lose their jobs, or worse.
Although, there are vivid and positive signs that the tides are turning. For example, at a London anti-covid-measures, anti-vaxx-certificates rally in London. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich, Corona Committee, spoke via a huge video screen to the crowd on Trafalgar Square, tens of thousands of people, telling them that class actions suits are under way in the US, Canada, and that institutions and individuals, especially those responsible for the invalid PCR-tests, particularly in Europe and the US, that are the basis for governments lying about “cases”, serving to manipulate up-and-down the “infection” figures, leading to false numbers on hospitalization and death, about a virus that is less deadly than the common flu. Yes, you read correctly, less deadly than the common flu. This is the onset to Nuremberg 2.0 – where justice will prevail, as much as light prevails over darkness.
Dr. Fuellmich closed his talk on a positive and encouraging note.
It is humanity, versus inhumanity. We are human. We can laugh, cry, sing and hug. The other side can’t. The other side has no access to the spiritual side. Therefore, the other side, without any doubt, the inhuman side, will lose this inhuman battle for life….
The transformation is beginning to take place. This is the health side, the human side, the most immediately important side – where real science is overcoming “bought” science, in order to avoid a genocide of biblical proportions – which is the eugenists plan, probably developing over the past about 100 years. However, there are two other, complementary plans which also need to be stopped.
The first one of the two is the digitization of everything. It is already descending upon humanity, had actually started already decades ago – and is now in its final round – just so as to coincide with the massive population reduction. It includes not only digitization of all forms of monetary transactions – which is rapidly pushing forward, through Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms and most importantly, the vehicle to drive it all, the worldwide installation of 5G and soon to come 6G. This is foreseen to turn the entire globe into an electromagnetic field. And humans will be turned into “transhumans”, especially those that have survived the experimental, untested messenger spike protein injections called mRNA inoculations, falsely called “vaccines”.
This is not a joke. This is actually the plan already divulged in 2016 by Klaus Schwab, founder and forever CEO of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in an interview with Swiss French TV broadcast, see this 2-min video:
According to Klaus Schwab’s “The Great Reset”, algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots will soon rule the masses. By 2025, give or take a year or two, about half of today’s jobs will be run by AI. This electronic technology will in turn be ruled by some dirty-rich individuals, who somehow have given themselves the liberty to “run the world”. And we, the people, have let them.
They – the Deep Dark Statlers – call them Satanists – have planned this for about the last century. With great precision and intensity at times – and – what’s worse, much worse, right in front of our eyes. We have ignored them. Anybody who dared to draw attention to their evil machinations was dismissed with the convenient label “conspiracy theorist”.
Imagine, according to the Great Reset, half of our jobs will be taken over by AI, in just the next 5 years or so. By 2030, only about 5% to 10% of the current jobs will be existing and carried out by humans – maybe “transhumans”. All the others may be gone. Massive unemployment? Maybe. But Schwab tries to tranquilize the world, saying that there will be new jobs for which newly unemployed people will be trained. They may be transhumans, because training is done by, and in partnership with, AI – and for the Epsilon People, the down-to-earth working class, robots will do the supervising.
This may sound depressing, despairing. It ain’t, if we think about the situation which we, pretty much on our own, have allowed to happen. It is not the end of the road, but only a stepping stone, onto which we too can step, when awakened – and not in anger, but with the bright spirit of light – a new world shaped by humans, shaped with the forces of light, Leaving the devil behind. Not even mentioning the beast. No letting it bother our minds. We are up to something much higher, much cleaner, clearer and much nobler. Our project is for humanity, for planet earth with all her sentient beings.
The simple model “Small is Beautiful” may be an appropriate vision forward. It may include another simple principle:
Local production for local consumption with local money, a local community run central bank working with a public banking system. Trade will be practiced with like-minded mostly neighboring sister countries, benefiting from comparative advantages. The money supply will be a reflection of the local economy. It will be backed by the local economy. Quite different from the current globalist-run fiat money pyramid.
This appears like a perfect recipe for de-globalization. And deglobalize we must. We must become again individuals that can and want to bond, not separate, individuals for whom solidarity is not just a term from a rusty vocabulary but means “we do it together”. This is the way to go, we will be satisfied with what we can achieve as a common, as a society with goals that serve the people, with values that do not depend on vertical growth, but rather reflect horizontal expansion of social infrastructure and well-being.
Let’s imagine a new type of economy with novel yardsticks – Happiness Indicators. Actually, not so novel, just not often talked about. In July 2011, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution 65/309 Happiness: Towards a Holistic Definition of Development inviting member countries to measure the happiness of their people and to use the data to help guide public policy. The first Happiness report was issued by the UN in April 2012.
If we are able to abandon the magical concept of “growth” and exchange it for happiness, we not only protect and preserve Mother Earth but will also preserve our human health – our sanity. Our today’s society is sick. It strives for ever more growth, for more possessions, for more affluence, for more control – but happiness that is the basis for a healthy life – is but an abstract term in today’s business-driven world. Happiness is more often than not confused with material wealth.
The no-growth, but social growth concept, is the basis for our escaping from the globalist agenda.
Human wealth comes from the heart. And it is through the heart that we may pass it on, replicate it. How does one define Happiness? There surely is no blueprint for happiness, as we are moving away from the all-modelled sets of values, away from the “musts” and the “Must-nots”.
The website “LifeHack.org” offers a few definitions of Happiness. Among them, the following two:
Happy people find balance in their lives. Folks who are happy have this in common: they’re content with what they have, and don’t waste a whole lot of time worrying and stressing over things they don’t. Unhappy people do the opposite: they spend too much time thinking about what they don’t have,; and,
According to the Dalai Lama, Happiness is not something readymade. It comes from your own actions. And let me add, from our actions driven by our heart and soul.
The General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution 66/281 of 12 July 2012 proclaimed 20 March the International Day of Happiness recognizing the relevance of happiness and well-being as universal goals and aspirations in the lives of human beings around the world.
How does the UN define “Happiness”? Happiness is not contained in GDP, and less in GDP growth. To the contrary. It’s most important that we start detaching from material wealth, that we see the moral and friendship wealth in our society. That we see and strive for equality, inclusion, solidarity – that we learn to smile at each other, even in adverse situations. This requires an elevated spirit, a mentality of light that defeats satanic darkness.
Happy people abide by the golden rule: They let stuff go. Happy people realize this, are able to take things in stride, and move on – without fear.
That’s what we have to do – shed the fear – and move on, in a higher spiritual mode, floating out of the darkness into the light. It’s possible. Let’s give it a collective try. ‘They’ are blackmailing us into accepting the poisonous jab they fraudulently call vaccine. They may go as far as blocking us from getting food, from entering supermarkets without the vaccine certificate – or getting the test every time you need food. – No worries. They won’t succeed.
Is this ever-more encroaching human rights abuse-tyranny a malicious provocation? See this.
Are they on purpose driving people to the edge? To provoke a revolution? And bring in NATO and maybe even UN troops to subdue the upheavals, personal freedoms, national sovereignty – and even national borders towards a globalist world, a One World Order, a One Government world, led by the WEF and the club of billionaires directed by a satanic cult?
It is possible. But we are stronger. We will defeat this evil cult. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich et al, from the Corona Council, has already launched class action suits in Canada and the US and is taking legal actions against EU institutions and individuals. The tide is turning. Of course, you will not read or hear about it in the mainstream media.
Think small. Think community – your community, think self-sufficiency as much as possible. Think local production for local consumption with local money and local banks for the wellbeing of all within the community. Think trading with friends and with think-alike nations, societies, people.
When the Palestinian Olympic delegation of five athletes – adorned in traditional Palestinian attire and carrying the Palestinian flag – crossed into the Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium during the inauguration ceremony on July 23, I was overcome with pride and nostalgia.
I grew up watching the Olympics. All of us did. Throughout the month-long international sports event, the Olympics were the main topic of discussion among the refugees in my refugee camp in Gaza, where I was born.
Unlike other sports competitions such as football, you did not need to care about the sport itself to appreciate the underlying meaning of the Olympics. The entire exercise seemed to be political.
However, the politics of the Olympics is unlike daily politics. Indeed, it is about something profoundly deeper, related to identity, culture, national struggles for liberation, equality, race and, yes, freedom.
Before Palestine’s first Olympic participation in 1996, with only one athlete, Majed Abu Marahi, we cheered – we still do – for all the countries that seemed to convey our collective experiences or share part of our history.
In our Gaza refugee camp, in a small, often hot, simply furnished living room, my family, friends and neighbors would gather around a small black and white television set. For us, the opening ceremony was always critical. Though the camera often allocates mere seconds to each delegation, a few seconds were all we needed to declare our political stances regarding each and every country. It was no surprise, then, that we cheered for all African and Arab countries, jumped in joy when the Cubans came marching in, and booed those who have contributed to Israel’s military occupation of our homeland.
Imagine the chaos in our living room as a small crowd of people made loud and swift political declarations about every country, making a case of why we should cheer or boo, all simultaneously: “The Cubans love Palestine”, “South Africa is the country of Mandela”, “The French gave Israel Mirage fighter jets”, “The Americans are biased towards Israel”, “The president of this or that country said the Palestinians deserve freedom”, “Kenya was occupied by the British too”, and so on.
The judgment was not always easy as sometimes none of us would be able to offer a conclusive statement to make a case for why we should cheer or boo. For example, an African country which normalized relations with Israel would give us pause: we hated the government but we loved the people. Many such moral dilemmas were often left unanswered.
These dilemmas existed even before I was born. The previous generation of Palestinians also struggled with such pressing quandaries. For example, when African American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their fists during the award ceremony in the October 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, that, too, must have been a difficult philosophical question to be readily answered by the residents of my refugee camp. On the one hand, we loathed the historically devastating role played – and continues to be played – by the US, in arming, funding and politically supporting Israel. Without such support, Israel would have found it impossible to maintain and profit from its ongoing system of military occupation and apartheid. On the other hand, we supported, as we continue to support, African Americans in their rightful struggle for equality and justice. In these situations, it is often resolved that we should support the players while still rejecting the countries they represent.
The ongoing Tokyo Olympics were hardly the exception of this complex political system. While much media coverage has been placed on the Covid-19 pandemic – the fact that the games were held in the first place, the safety of the players and so on – the politics, the human triumph, the racism, and much more were also still present.
As Palestinians, this time around, we have more to cheer for than usual: our own athletes. Dania, Hanna, Wesam, Mohamed and Yazan are making us proud. The story of each one of these athletes represents a chapter in the Palestinian saga, one that is rife with collective pain, besiegement and ongoing Diaspora, but also hope, unparalleled strength and determination.
These Palestinian athletes, like athletes from other countries who are enduring their own struggles, whether for freedom, democracy or peace, carry a heavier burden than those who were trained under normal circumstances, in stable countries that provide their athletes with seemingly endless resources to reach their full potential.
Mohamed Hamada, a weightlifter from the besieged Gaza Strip, competes in the 96 kg men snatch. In actuality, the 19-year-old is already carrying a mountain. Having survived several deadly Israeli wars, a relentless siege, lack of freedom to travel, to train under proper circumstances and, of course, the resulting trauma, by taking his first step in Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium, Hamada was already a champion. Hundreds of aspiring weightlifters in Gaza and throughout Palestine must have watched him in their own living rooms, filled with hope that they, too, can overcome all the hardship, and that they, too, could be present at future Olympics.
Yazan al-Bawwab, the 21-year-old Palestinian swimmer, embodies, despite his youth, the story of the Palestinian diaspora. A Palestinian, who grew up in the United Arab Emirates, now living in Canada while carrying dual Italian and Palestinian citizenships, he represents a generation of Palestinian youngsters who live outside the homeland and whose life is a reflection of the constant search for home. There are millions of Palestinian refugees who were forced by war, or circumstances, to constantly relocate. They too, aspire to live a normal and stable life, to carry the passports of their own homeland with pride and, like al-Bawwab, to achieve great things in life.
The truth is, for us, Palestinians, the Olympics are not an ethnocentric exercise. Our relationship to it is not simply inspired by race, nationality or even religion, but by humanity itself. The dialectics through which we cheer or boo conveys so much about how we see ourselves as a people, our position in the world, the solidarity that we wish to bestow and the love and solidarity that we receive. So, Ireland, Scotland, Cuba, Venezuela, Turkey, South Africa, Sweden and many more, including all Arab countries without exception, can be certain that we will always remain their loyal fans.
I was asked to appear on What’s Left?, a podcast put on by three fellows, all identifying as socialist, and all concerned about the shut down of critical thinking, the shuttling of alternative narratives and censoring of plain old questioning paradigms and authorities of any ilk. Their concern covers why questioning the scientism of today’s Corona Craziness is somehow verboten, or why we can’t discuss what the Lockdowns do and do not do, or worse, how the censoring of medical treatments (like ivermectin) — life saving ones — by mass media, left media and by so-called leftists has killed thousands.
They have a more far-ranging repertoire, and in these various podcasts, they take on sacred cows and traditional paradigms coming from “the left.” What is Left; i.e. What’s Left, is something that has been tackled here at DV:
A great idea — self-reflective, rhetorical, didactic — turned into a regular twice-a-month discourse with a guest (many times) and these three dudes — Eduardo, Kenny and Andy. Sometimes it’s just the three of them grappling with modernity and history, the collision of left with consumerism, how capitalism is a disease but one we live with or under. Many times, the shows are awakenings, as the three of them come at the respective topics from very defined and diverse backgrounds. Connotation versus denotation, and then all the heralded processed of analytical thinking, and discourse and debate (they do not always agree on issues or spins).
There is a refreshing openness to what the three do, and how many times the topics are picked out of a bucket one week while then the three go about researching each topic to bring some construction to the podcast. They lean into discovery, and how their own more or less generalized collective social justice ethos dovetails into the realities of Xenophobia, Colonizing minds, collective delusion, and, yes, why leftists in general have a slew of topics they just will not venture toward, or worse, topics for which leftists will not entertain multiple discourses and perspectives around, albeit, what we see now, a cancelling, or censoring of discussion and debate, de facto or overtly pronounced. Like a house of cards, lies and ameliorating toward some cherished false balance or invented purity come tumbling down.
Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. Not respecting anyone, he ceases to love, and having no love, he gives himself up to the passions and coarse pleasures, in order to occupy and amuse himself, and in his vices reaches complete bestiality, and it all comes from lying continually to others and to himself.
— Zosima makes this speech to Fyodor Pavlovich in Book II: Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
Here, recent shows:
JUL 17, 2021 — Biden’s Sleight of Hand in Afghanistan
JUL 10, 2021 — Abolish the Police! I Mean, Defund the Police! Never mind, Fund the Police!
JUN 19, 2021 — Secret Societies and the New World Order
JUN 13, 2021 — What is the New World Order?
Even Kenny was interviewed a while back on the show — What’s Left? interviews Kenny Zepeda on his journey from Guatemala to the United States and from liberal reformist to socialist revolutionary. Previous What’s Left? Episodes Kenny on revolts in Chile and Latin America, Kenny on Climate Change Nicaragua and Fake Socialism, What’s Left? Kenny Z.: The Revolutionary Road
Their first episodes dealt with myriad of issues — beginning August 2018
Sacrificing Everything for Nike
Prison Strike 2018!
Interview with a Pro-Capitalist Anarchist
What’s Left of Abortion Rights?
Is the U.S. Turning to Fascism?
As teachers, Andy and Eduardo have been dealing with lockdowns and Zoom doom rooms for educating (sic) youth. They are dealing with fellow teachers who have taken the Covid-19 pill that has turned them into Covidians.
They are concerned about the censorship of leftists who might question the bioweapon theories, or promulgate them, citing USA DARPA and other nefarious actors in higher ed, industry, etc.
I am of the opinion that people have the right to decide whether to accept vaccines or not, especially since these are experimental vaccines … My concern is I know there are risks but we don’t have access to the data … We don’t really have the information we need to make a reasonable decision.
— Dr. Robert Malone, “Inventor of mRNA Interviewed About Injection Dangers“
Now, I will give readers the entire interview I did with them, via email, here, to give the reader a decent look at three very different men and their narratives, their avocations, their work now, and what makes them tick as socialists-Marxists.
They have moved into the Fourth Industrial Revolution to what is a new world order.
For me, I was asked to handle the ungainly topics of Covid-19 as a bioweaponized monster, possibly put into the world intentionally by USA, and then 5G and 6G, what that means to public and environmental health, and then tying in the militarization of space as part and parcel of the pogrom.
Now, I believe Andy at first gravitated to me because I am an unapologetic communist, and that is a refined term in some sense since I’m not espousing a communism that has been bastardized by USA, by the media, even by some history.
Tolerance is another buzzword, and for all those gigs I worked where I questioned the management, the deans, the presidents, provosts, the managers, the editors, et al, well, this country is propaganda central, wink and a nod, smoke and mirrors, and triangulating those who doubt the goals of management and the leadership — triangulating us out of the discussion, the discourse, hence, the death of critical debate/thinking/questioning.
Now, I don’t see on What’s Left?, 163 episodes, a deep look at some of these shenanigans, in the world, and not just Rogue State USA. Israel.
That in a nutshell is the death knell:
Here, a far-ranging discussion on Israel and on the Covid program:
Listen to Julianne Romanello, Gilad Atzmon, and Jason Bosch go deep into “ideological and spiritual thoughts that have turned our world into an open air prison.” This sort of show, well, scrubbed, and right along the lines of looking at this concept of “chosenness, and then at the work of Leo Strauss, Athens & Jerusalem, Noahide fundamentals, the origin of Zionism and many other crucial topics most intellectuals insist to avoid…”
These are the times, but they were the times for me a long time ago, when I was 13, questioning cruise ships knocking over coral reefs, or bulldozers destroying the Sonora, or the Vietnam War narratives, and it just continued every place I ended up as a worker: the people “in power” are lunatics, for the most part. On one level, sure, let’s do some trauma informed care, but in the end, this society’s underbelly — USA, Canada, UK, Europe and Australia — has to be questioned!
Education, since all of us are educators, that is, with the What’s Left? reference, is amazingly entrenched in indoctrination and deadening of critical thinking:
And, the narrative around Israel and what’s happening globally, well, that is shut down all the time:
Microsoft, Google join Whatsapp lawsuit vs. Israeli spyware developer
Stuxnet: The Israeli-American Computer Virus That Started Cyber-Warfare
Snowden: Israeli technology may have helped Saudis kill journalist
Israeli Spying on US, Perfecting 24/7 Surveillance Tech
Why did Microsoft fund an Israeli firm that surveils West Bank Palestinians?
Israel Launches Internet “Command Center” to Monitor Social Media
Julian Assange exposed the crimes of powerful actors, including Israel
Israel advocate Ravich named to senior intelligence post, planned US-Israel cyber project against BDS
ADL to Build Silicon Valley Center to Monitor & Fight “Cyberhate” [Video]
Israel is Training U.S. Police
Check out more here — If Americans Knew and Palestine News:
The American Federation of Teachers, all those colleges and universities, and K12 ordering everyone to get an mRNA experimental treatment (sic), they will use the tools of oppression, from Google to Israel’s hacking and tracking and ripping up tools. Andy did a live event, with social distancing (sic), even masks, outside, with parental permission, on circuits. The honchos at his school in the Mission District of San Francisco came down hard on him. We know the feeling, Andy, we being the royal “we.”
Paul Haeder: What is “What’s Left?” and how did it come about?
Eduardo: Oh, golly… I think, for me, it started back in 2017 in the aftermath of the “Unite the Right rally” in Charlottesville as I was attempting to politically make sense of the times and debate a childhood friend of mine on a public social platform. I had watched many Oxford debates before and wanted to do something similar. I really thought my friendship was on the line. Fortunately, Andy had come along at that time and shared with me he was interested in taking our own café political discussions online. So, we had a long conversation about the idea of “What’s Left?” and its intention. Something we both agreed on early on was to have open, honest discussions about our personal politics and ideas. We wanted to create a space for alternative points of view that challenged the mainstream Left. We had noticed there was a growing tribalistic way of thinking on the Left that seemed to cancel all deviant political discourse. Hence, “What’s Left?” came into being.
Andy: Eduardo and I started “What’s Left?” 3 years ago. For me, I had been politically frustrated at not having an outlet for discussing my own political ideas and thoughts that came up as events happened. At the same time, I watched YouTube channels on groups of friends who would get together and review movies or video games. They seemed to have fun doing that and I approached Eduardo about trying to do the same thing but with politics. I have always enjoyed talking with Eduardo and I trusted him to be passionate and honest about his beliefs (just as I was trying to be). It has been both rewarding and fun despite YouTube’s censorship nonsense.
Kenny: I joined the show a couple years ago. I first joined Andy and Eduardo in a conversation about the events unfolding in Nicaragua in 2018. From then on, I participated as an occasional contributor regarding Latin America related topics until I was approached to contribute on a weekly basis.
PH: “What’s Left?” is composed of three hosts. Can each of you share your background?
Kenny: I’ve been a restaurant worker and a manager at a small mom and pop restaurant in San Francisco, CA. most of my working age life. I grew up in Guatemala until the age of 12 when we emigrated to California. Much of what has informed my road to Marxism has to do with lived experiences such as migration from Guatemala to the U.S. A , my father’s dealing with immigration and eventual deportation, attending public school in San Francisco, entering and dropping out of UC Berkeley, growing up around sex work, growing up in a U.S. backed military dictatorship in Guatemala among other things. The search for answers that actually make sense has shaped my life and led me to Marxism.
Eduardo: I was a “cross cultural kid” having lived in México with all of my tías/tíos, abuelitos and primos, then as I got older went to public school in San Francisco, CA. I would study in San Francisco then spend my rather long summers back home. It was an atypical Latino experience of back and forth. I cannot say I had the common undocumented Latino experience for most families in the USA. I mean most families are not crossing the border over skies multiple times a year. So, it shapes one in a way. But I would say my 18 years as a Jehovah’s Witness had the most impact in my life. I would read forbidden literature late into the wee hours, be curious of all things deprived of me and learned never to trust ANY person, organization or ideology claiming to be the “right way.” I will say it fulfilled my desire to be of service to others. It was just an awful sort of service of conversion. Although, I did teach many illiterate people how to read over that time. I found another way to fulfill that void when I witnessed the massive anti-war protests of 2003 and joined the school walkouts. From there it was joining many Lefty movements and campaigns, such as supporting progressive candidates. I think my skills as an organizer and activist of rallies and protests, though, were sharpened by Occupy Wall Street and protests against GMO companies. Those experiences have influenced the way I think and do things. If I had to label myself, I would say I am anarchist-leaning-syndicalist-Leftist-libertarian. If you have an issue with that mouthful, too bad.
Andy: I am a school teacher in San Francisco (who lives in Oakland). I have been teaching science (physics and chemistry) for over 20 years. I have been a Marxist for that long as well. I have been in socialist organizations and active in my union over that time. Currently, while still active in my union, I am pretty much a solo communist trying to find a political community to work with. “What’s Left?” has been a big part of rebuilding that community.
PH: What for you are some of the more compelling topics and issues you all have covered?
Andy: I think the one episode that stands out for me is our interviews with Eric Lerner (part 1 and part 2) challenging the notion of the Big Bang as a theory that explains our current universe. This was such a surprising issue for me and uprooted a core premise of my beliefs in an area that caught me completely off guard. At the same time, it explained the nagging sense I had that there was some real problems with these things like dark matter and dark energy. So these episodes, for me, symbolize the way my world has been continually shifted and uprooted as I take this political journey with Eduardo and Kenny. It also symbolizes my attempt to use truth as my North Star, not ideology.
Eduardo: Oh, there are so many. But I think I’ll go with what has recently changed me in many ways. The topics around the Internet of Things with Alison McDowell, and, what I call “my COVID journey”, the reopening schools debate as well as the vaccines. It’s been a rollercoaster and re-traumatising being rejected and attacked on a personal level from friends on the Left who disagree with everything we have recently discussed. I also realize we have to discuss unpopular topics or say more than “We oppose Trump!”.
Kenny: For me, the show has been instrumental in processing and dissecting a number of topics, but most especially everything related to the pandemic. I’ve been particularly captivated by the fast encroachment of tech into our lives and the implications it will have for dissenting working class voices.
PH: What topics would you like to cover in the future on “What’s Left?”
Kenny: I’d love to continue covering relevant topics to fellow workers, in ways that are accessible and not elitist, in the hopes that we can spark interest in thinking outside the parameters chosen by our ruling class. I would definitely love to continue tracking the implementation of the techno-fascist world being built in the name of social justice with rhetoric of inclusion. I’d love to continue processing the implications of current events outside the mainstream manufactured narratives.
Andy: “What’s Left?” has really been a labor of love, and we have pretty much been able to interview the people and cover the subjects we want. I would say that I hope that it can increasingly become a locus of organizing for me as I try to build a community of parents, teachers, activists and even students who are prepared to join me in fighting the implementation of the 4th industrial revolution in education.
Eduardo: We have to continue covering on-the-ground workers’ experience and any significant mobilization. However, if it’s slow and there isn’t much going on currently, I’d like to delve into more labor history and revolutions. Hopefully that will inspire more workers to organize.
PH: Your channel has experienced a lot of censorship with YouTube taking many of your videos down and threatening you with “community strikes”. How has this affected your channel? How has it affected you personally?
Eduardo: The ruthless censorship of YouTube and big social media platforms is outrageous. I don’t understand how we can criticize China and North Korea for their censorship when we have it going on here as well. The recent strikes on our channel have been eye-opening. I just don’t get why it hasn’t been for others. I wish our channel could reach more people. Unfortunately, we started at a time when the play of algorithms has been used against us. On a personal level, sometimes it feels discouraging because I imagined we would reach more people. Andy and I discussed from the beginning, though, that our intention wasn’t to gain “followers” or “subscribers” for popularity contests. I just hope our political conversations reach more folks as we see people really relieved to have found us when they write to us on our blog. They feel connected and not so alone anymore.
Kenny: I suspect that regardless if we are straight up taken down, the algorithm gods will manage our content’s diffusion. In my perspective, this is only the beginning of the even more dystopian doctored sense of ‘reality”. YouTube’s censorship hasn’t affected me personally in any significant way. At least not now. I expected it in some form or another. It does shed some light into the fast approaching dystopian future. The censorship and political isolation in my community is another story.
Andy: YouTube’s censorship is bullshit. It has definitely been a disruption to getting our message out on YouTube, but from what I understand, even without the censorship, YouTube’s ‘algorithm’ has kept our channel in check. But, I think one good thing about it (if you can call it that) is that it has forced me to really challenge my beliefs in pushing me to speak my beliefs in the face of censorship or isolation. Of course, I want our channel to be seen by more people, but not at the expense of us staying true to our vision of “What’s Left?” is a place where people can speak honestly. So, I am going to stick with honesty and let YouTube decide for themselves if we can do so there. If not, I am content with the idea that we will find other places to have our discussions.
PH: Given the sort of culling of discussion and debate and information flow back and forth being by the elites, what would you tell students who might ask you why all the websites and podcasts and videos are coming down?
Andy: As a teacher, my political focus has always been on organizing and talking with other adults (co-workers and parents). The best way to help students organize is to be a model for them in my pursuit of getting us adults to wage a fight for our collective liberation. I have found this road a difficult one, but I do not think I can teach my students anything about the fight for our own liberation unless I engage in that pursuit with my fellow workers right now. I do talk with students who ask me about my beliefs but I rarely use the classroom as a vehicle for getting my politics out there, although I will facilitate discussions when they come up to see what students’ ideas are.
Eduardo: I think there are enough great episodes from Black Mirror to ease the conversation into the idea that we are increasingly approaching a dystopian future if we don’t organize to intervene. From there, I would share and facilitate discussions around the culling of our political freedom of speech. But I think it goes beyond the classroom. So many educators want to contain or effect change within the confines of the classroom. We have to organize together alongside them to create the change we want to see.
Kenny: I’m not a teacher/educator. I’ll sit this one out.
PH: If you were stuck with a stranger on an elevator and could only talk briefly, how would you describe the core of your political beliefs?
Kenny: I’m highly suspicious of power and strongly believe in the power of community. I think capitalism rewards antisocial behavior and it’s inherently coercive. Capitalism cannot be contained with legislative reform as advocated by liberal ideology. I think we live in a world technologically capable of sustaining organized human life and only a socialist revolution can and must take over the wealth workers create for the good of the masses and away from the truly privileged few. Capitalism, through its inherent violent and competitive nature, cannot bring about a world of peace and abundance for the masses. Only a revolution that suppresses wage slavery and other coercive and destructive mechanisms of capitalism can change the course of the cataclysm ahead of us. The profit motive must be obliterated out of production. What we produce must serve life, NOT profit.
Andy: I am a Communist. I believe the collective working class is the only force that can make a revolutionary change of our current system, Capitalism. Capitalism is the organized theft of our labor by a minority and is at the root of virtually all the problems we see in society today — war, racism, sexism, environmental destruction and the deep isolation and alienation all workers feel. The only way out of this is a socialist revolution that eliminates the profit motive for production and establishes worker’s rule through mass working class democracy.
Eduardo: I am an anarchist-syndicalist-Leftist-libertarian-anti-capitalist. I don’t claim to have the answers. I don’t know what is the best approach. I am skeptical of many things. But what I do know is that the current system that we are living in isn’t working for us. It’s detrimental and we are going to suffer greatly if we don’t put a stop to this system. I believe we have to organize as workers and see that the Leftist identity politics isn’t getting us anywhere. We can’t be shutting down or shutting out other people because of their political positions. We have to challenge them and we have to continue sorting it out together… but by working together.
PH: Are you a pacifist, and if so, why, and if not, then what, and why?
Eduardo: I want to say yes. I dream of a world where our revolution could be achieved in such a way. Unfortunately, I am struggling seeing how that could become possible. The capitalist class and all people with power have waged violence on us. They have started this fight and are willing to massively destroy us if we don’t defend ourselves. I still have a lot of conflicting feelings over this topic.
Kenny: “For the oppressor, peace is the absence of a response to their violence.” I think history has been sanitized to make us believe fundamental change arrives through Disneyfied slogans and appealing to the morality of the oppressor. Capitalism is inherently violent, and it attempts to have a monopoly of violence in the hands of the police/military and other coercive institutions. If we pretend to rattle the cage of power, we have to be ready to respond to the unleashing of the institutions built to protect a violent system. We have to be able to contend with their monopoly of violence. My mother taught me to exhaust all the means necessary to avoid violence, but she also taught me some abusers can only be pushed out of the way by punching them in the face when you must.
Andy: No. I believe we will ultimately need to be armed to liberate ourselves from Capitalism. A class war will be necessary and I do believe violence has a role in workers’ experience of liberation (such as anti-colonial struggles or anti-occupation resistance). We live in a system where two great classes are in opposition to each other (Capitalist and Worker), and we live under their violent boot every second of every day that Capitalism exists. This system will require violence to uproot it. The better we are organized, the less violence required, but we must recognize our struggle as a war if we are to understand both the stakes and the seriousness of the struggle we are engaged in.
PH: Where do you see the world in 20 years?
Andy: I believe in the possibility of working class revolution, but currently I don’t believe we will make it happen in time. I think Capitalism is headed to its 3rd global war which will embroil China, United States, Russia, Europe, and India as the major players in a life and death struggle to see who will control the globe (and secure maximum profits, resources and markets for itself). Unless stopped (and I believe working class revolution is the only way to stop this inevitability), we will have a war that will go nuclear and kill billions and likely destroy the world enough to push all of us back into feudal existence at best. I think some of the sci-fi depictions we see in “The Road” or “Mad Max” are pretty good descriptors of where things are headed. That’s what I see for us in the next 20 years unless we do something to stop it.
Kenny: I think we need a global workers’ socialist revolution with the most decisive battle happening in the economic north. The U.S., the world’s dominant hegemon, is being challenged and will continue to be challenged as it overextends itself. All empires suffer a violent end. The U.S. threatens to bring the entirety of organized human life down with it. Cooperation in capitalism is only a tenuous illusion. The illusion of cooperation will be exposed as the major powers come into a competitive clash under the pressures of dwindling resources and markets.
Eduardo: It’s unfortunate that I don’t think the world will get any better if we don’t do something about it now. My view is quite grim. Alison McDowell has been on our show many times and has shown us how fast the fourth industrial revolution is accelerating. I fear we are losing a part of ourselves, our humanity. But I think we each have to continue this lucha one step at a time.
PH: Define what it means to be a human?
Eduardo: To be human is to be of service, to think, to understand we are linked and interconnected. In the USA there is a strong selfish individualistic culture. Where I am from people live together communally as families and neighbors for years, if not forever. I fear we have lost that in many ways here. I think we can only come to an understanding by building those long-term relationships to understand such values as compassion, care and love beyond our immediate selves.
Andy: Being human means being free to both express yourself, be yourself and through that find out who you truly are. But humans are social, so society must be free to have free associations so that a community can likewise be free to find and express itself through the free participation of its individual members. At the root of being human is being free to be yourself and free to associate with whomever best fits your true self.
Kenny: Being human is the ability to understand processes beyond our individual survival. Being human is the ability to understand how our destinies are inter-connected with other life forms. Being human is the recognition that we are social beings and that our individual well being rests on the well being of our communities and our environment both locally and globally.
PH: What does community mean to you?
Kenny: Community is a pillar of humanity.
Eduardo: Bees come to mind. I mean I can think of many animal examples we could admire for their systems of communities. We can be more than that. I think we would not allow much of what is happening, such as the destruction of our environment, the occupation of lands and other profit-driven acts if we felt that pull and tie to one another. If we work together, if we think of all our comrades/companions, we would build a stronger and brighter future.
Andy: A community is a set of people I trust enough to be my true self with. A community is a collection of people who make worthwhile the sacrifice of my time and abilities to make that community stronger and more able to bring the best out of all of its members. A true community celebrates and strengthens its individual members and is strengthened and celebrated by the individuals who compose it.
PH: What have been some of your biggest influencers in your life to have gotten you where you are now? And, exactly where are you now?
Andy: Politically, my development as a Marxist who tries to blend my ideas (theory) with practice, I would say my friend, Brian Belknap, has been the most significant influence. Personally, there are many people I could cite, but I think I would put my decision to engage in counseling over the last 15 years as the most significant decision to help me integrate my current self with my past self and integrate my political self with my personal self. In terms of historical political influences, I would put the major ones as Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, and Rosa Luxemburg as the biggest influences who help me orient myself as I try to make my way in the confusing journey of trying to change the world.
Kenny: My mother has always advocated for the marginalized by putting her well being in harms ways. She influenced me by showing up for others and for justice. My mother inspired me to speak against inhumane and despicable acts and to side with the weak and abused while advocating for myself. Even though she never engages in theory, my mother has always been a communist in practice. A passionate enemy of maliciousness.
Eduardo: Oh so many… Noam Chomsky helped me make sense of world politics. How wars, greed and power trips make these empires run the world. Christopher Hitchens gave me a way to leave my former Jehovah’s Witness life. Subcomandante Marcos, from the Zapatista movement, was an inspiration early on and provided the hope that class/native action can happen. Though small, they have achieved something that you won’t find anywhere in the USA. I think these are the top three figures that have paved the way for me.
Note: We’d like to thank Paul Haeder for the opportunity to share our story and our thoughts on Dissident Voice. If you like what we have to say and want to talk to us on “What’s Left?” feel free to contact us at: what’s left?
At a 1969 Students for a Democratic Society conference, a 27-year old graduate of the University of Chicago’s Law School, Bernardine Dohrn, proposed:
The best thing that we can be doing for ourselves, as well as for the Panthers and the revolutionary black liberation struggle, is to build a fucking white revolutionary movement.
Balance. Inside out, outside in. From science driven diving, environmental warrior in the 1970s — in AZ, in Mexico, in the Sea of Cortez — to small-town daily newspaperman: Tucson, Bisbee, Wilcox, Sierra Vista, and all these small towns in several rural counties south, on the borderline. El Paso, New Mexico, Mexico, Central America.
Teacher, social worker, mescal-guzzler, photographer, aspiring failed novelist, always moving, always moving on, always distracted.
She’s seen me buoyant and busted. She’s heard me wax poetic and polemic. She’s admired me and feared me. She’s understood me and debated me. She’s heard me embrace her and argue with her.
There is no handbook, no guideposts for being a father . . . or to flip the script: there are no guiderails or throttle governors to learn how to be a daughter of a character like me!
her chin lifts
air of Chihuahua
sink into corner
clouds on wall
painted by Mario
beer in hand
the world his home
her room, sanctuary
daughter is innocence
odors of cumin
green giant chiles
thunderbird on mountain
one day a woman
alone at night
sounds of city
harsh, tumbling humanity
trapped, concrete prisons
she tastes poblano
eagle out there
wings of hope
— Paul Haeder, 7/2/2021
I was in Spokane, helping my amazing daughter get her small business going.
Lots of tough days with her father, me, always on the air, in print, hurly burly, angry at the world, alone writing, man lost of tribe, lone wolf, perfectionist, over “college” educated. Always flapping his lips.
She asked me, “Are you really proud of me, dad? I didn’t finish college? I am not this politically engaged and active person in Spokane. I am not the daughter you wanted, right?”
Shit, now that takes a 64-year-old know-it-all, big blustery dude like me down a few notches.
The reality is, of course, I am proud of her. Of course, I am not disappointed about the lack of a college matriculation. Of course, I am not expecting in 2021 that college means much.
Proud, and with love. Seems like a no-brainer combo in this completely (almost) fucked up (oxymoron) world (theirs, ours, mine, hers).
It is the father issue, for sure. Divorce. Other things in my daughter’s life that not only cemented her spirit into what we call CPTSD — complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — but also her view of the world, with her own beat of a very different drummer in the background, low grumble bass in her chest.
Those are her stories to tell, though my daughter is self-actualized, open, and articulate about her struggles.
“Come to Dust”
Spirit, rehearse the journeys of the body
that are to come, the motions
of the matter that held you.
Rise up in the smoke of palo santo.
Fall to the earth in the falling rain.
Sink in, sink down to the farthest roots.
Mount slowly in the rising sap
to the branches, the crown, the leaf-tips.
Come down to earth as leaves in autumn
to lie in the patient rot of winter.
Rise again in spring’s green fountains.
Drift in sunlight with the sacred pollen
to fall in blessing.
All earth’s dust
has been life, held soul, is holy.
She is in Spokane, since age six, and alas, at 25 she’s feeling everything I lamented and wrote about: small town now traffic snarled; pigs/cops hassling homeless; unchecked building (growth); water issues; broken down buildings; homes and rents out the roof; Californians (other big monied folk) swooping into town and the county buying up stuff, and hiking rents.
I was there, June 30, at a 112 degrees, 101 in the night, 1 am. Planned rolling blackouts by the electrical service, Avista. Roads cracking and buckling. Fireworks stands. Death, sickness, the new normal — unmitigated survival of the fittest (richest) and nothing ever prepared now, yesterday and for tomorrow’s heat domes.
The show is over, with unfettered casino-predatory-disaster-zombie-parasitic capitalism.
Shit, how does a guy like me help a gal like her, 25, 500 miles away (I drove the 2006 van, which I have kept up, worked on it myself, called a sucker for having a rig with 230,000 original miles on it).
She’s an on-her-knees kind of photographer, but also right there, with a heart of empathy, for what Eduardo’s poem belies — “the nobodies”. Others call them/us — useless breathers, useless breeders and useless eaters. Makenna is there, in their spaces, and her own heart is so drawn into that unknowable force that makes some people “empaths.”
Fleas dream of buying themselves a dog, and nobodies dream of escaping
poverty: that one magical day good luck will suddenly rain down on
them—will rain down in buckets. But good luck doesn’t rain down
yesterday, today, tomorrow, or ever. Good luck doesn’t even fall in a
fine drizzle, no matter how hard the nobodies summon it, even if their
left hand is tickling, or if they begin the new day with their right
foot, or start the new year with a change of brooms.
The nobodies: nobody’s children, owners of nothing. The nobodies: the
no ones, the nobodied, running like rabbits, dying through life,
screwed every which way.
Who are not, but could be.
Who don’t speak languages, but dialects.
Who don’t have religions, but superstitions.
Who don’t create art, but handicrafts.
Who don’t have culture, but folklore.
Who are not human beings, but human resources.
Who do not have faces, but arms.
Who do not have names, but numbers.
Who do not appear in the history of the world, but in the police
blotter of the local paper.
The nobodies, who are not worth the bullet that kills them.”
― Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America
She’s stayed in Spokane and has enveloped herself in that part of the Inland Pacific Northwest, because of the fairy like worlds in the woods and in mountains and valleys:
The ecosystems — running water, lakes, mists, the dews, soggy soils — those are the victims of climate heating, bulldozers, human incursions. So, combine this formula after formula:
bigger than life father
mother an English teacher
father on the radio, in the news, making it and writing it
dad with full-throttle on boats, kayaks, motorcycles, diving, hiking
a childhood with lots of leeway
exposure to street life, and Spokane has a reputation of having tough lives on the street, and violence
being a vegan and self-styled, she was bullied at k8-12
mother hits the air to move to Australia
father raising a pubescent girl while on his own, dating
always railing against the systems of oppression, her father, well, not always a good bedside manner raising his only child
father moving away — Seattle, Vancouver, Portland, Oregon Coast!
I look back and, of course, this is not the life I envisioned, the relationship with a child I was banking on. I wasn’t even thinking of children. I cycled through relationships, and that includes four marriages. I am not prudish or Puritan about this at all, but the ramifications are huge. Hell, I am trained on ACES:
I’ve worked with youth for more than a decade as a social services provider. I have worked with adults who are coming out of prisons, are homeless, are facing addictions, and are poor. I know the epigentics of how even bodies (DNA) change under cortisol loads. I am there, understanding why some old guy with no teeth who just went off the wagon again, using meth, is bawling and apologizing. Old guy at 73, one of my clients when I worked with homeless vets. At 73, sliding into Meth in Portland. Everything goes to shit because he goes MIA for days.
I know these men and women, and they have a boatload of influences in their lives. They did not wake up one day, at age 14 or 21, and say, “Man, I can’t wait to have all my teeth rot out of my head. I can’t wait to have collapsed veins, psychosis, COPD, the shakes, uncontrolled bowels, living in a box at the back of a warehouse, with a criminal rap sheet that is 30 pages long.”
My daughter has kept one good thing her old man instilled — “When you see that person on the street, all greasy and broken down, cardboard sign in hands, and shaky, and, wanting to drink or shoot up, with blathering and blathering as his or her SOP, remember, that person once was a baby. And even if it was a nurse in the delivery room, that old homeless adult once had at least a person in his or her life who swaddled him or her and loved. Unconditional love.”
It is tough being Makenna since her old man is always out there, putting it all out there for everyone to see, hear, read, view. She’s seen her old man locked up for various things, seen her old man sacked for various reasons, seen her old man broken by this or that slight coming at him from the bureaucrats. She’s seen her old man heart-broken. She’s seen her old man not exactly the ideal of a good All-American Father.
Yet, she has stuck with me. She embraces my spouse, now, finding the thrill of my wife’s laugh, the warmth of the chile-embraced tamales my wife makes so all can taste Aztlan on their tongues. She has held my hand and warmed my cold heart. These are valuable humanistic traits in a time of Covid, post-Covid, Transhuman Dystopia, Unbalanced-Unbalancing world. But she is also one of the world’s vulnerable ones — heart on sleeve, deeply tied to humanity, absolutely through and through in constant ire against the authorities, the systems of oppression, the overlords and the mean as cuss cops/pigs/DA’s/judges/CEOs/Captains of Industry/Colonels of death!
During those last hours I was in Spokane — not surrendering to all that heat the real new normal for most of USA — I was being interviewed by Andy, Kenny and Eduardo for their podcast, “What’s Left.” I was in her pad, and alas, while she was getting an ultrasound for excruciating side aches, I was doing the interview.
The closer I look at the Zoom recording, the more fidgety and disjointed I am now after so many decades of railing, screaming to be heard. I’ll post that interview when Andy and his fellows wrap it up.
But am I Beale?
All I know is that first, you’ve got to get mad.
You’ve gotta say, “I’m a human being, goddammit! 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!!”
— Network (1976)
Thanks, daughter, for putting up with me and my rants, like the one below I just posted on the show I will be on today — What’s Left. I was recorded with Che in the background in your cute, sweet, house-plant invested apartment in Spokane. Hasta luego, chica:
Yes, indeed. All my travels — physically, intellectually and emotionally — have taught me that, of course, communism and collectivism work. Yeah, act locally, think globally. Well, what a hell of a resource extraction world the Capitalists have set forth. You do not have to travel far into history or your own backyard to see that predatory-casino-parasitic-penury-disaster-war capitalism is the gift that keeps giving: fines, tolls, add-ons, penalties, triple taxations, taxes without representation. Rape the land, force pollutants onto the people, charge the people for cleaning them up (they never get cleaned up, ugh, forever chemicals, PCBs, dioxins, radioactive by-products). Epigentics of DNA mutations.
Then, attempt to critique or fight this tyranny, and, well, zip up that mouth and lose that job, because a person counting on a dirty boss and dirtier paycheck to make ends meet is not going to be looking that rotting gimpy gift horse in the mouth. You will, however, not see anyone on the right actually fit any humane or human role, so that dead horse don’t need no kicking. I have interviewed, argued with, taught, and even looked down the wrong end of the barrel of right-wing fuckers’ gun, and to a person, they are not in this world to be holistic, to be collective, to be fair, to be one in the whole. Dog-eat-dog, pull-yourselves-up-by-your-own-bootstraps, I’ve got mine, and I give a shit if you don’t have yours.
These are the human eaters. When I say right, let’s make that clear — that’s Clinton or Bush, Carter or Reagan, Obama or Trump. Add to that DNA similarity the mutated minds of the western thinker — sociopaths, pedophiles, bestiality’s punks, torturers, criminals, Oedipus-loving narcissists. So, critiquing lockdowns, or questioning the Big Pharma-Big Tech-Big Finance- Big Capitalization/ Financialization agenda, seems like what Che did, Marx did, a million other communists did and do. Keep up the good work, What’s Left, and remember to have some fucking fun with these snakes and poisonous propagandists and murderers.
Check out one motherfucking funny and off the wall dude —
Remember, any motherfucking patriarchal prick who thinks of the 80 percent as useless eaters, useless breeders, and useless breathers, well, it doesn’t matter which side of the “political” manure pile in this country’s duopoly he sits on: those people are, well, mass murderers, in situ, with the power of a mouse click, the power of the rule of corporate law.
Galeano’s work, above, “The Nobodies”! Says it all, if you spend time talking about its meaning, its context, its writer.
Or hell, Pablo Neruda, man — says it all about EVERYTHING, 71 years later: Musk, Exxon, Bates, Soros, the Fortune 1000 thugs, transnationals, the Group of 30 and the 147 companies controlling the world:
The United Fruit Company by Pablo Neruda , 1950
When the trumpet sounded, it was
all prepared on the earth,
the Jehovah parceled out the earth
to Coca Cola, Inc., Anaconda,
Ford Motors, and other entities:
The Fruit Company, Inc.
reserved for itself the most succulent,
the central coast of my own land,
the delicate waist of America.
It rechristened its territories
as the ’Banana Republics’
and over the sleeping dead,
over the restless heroes
who brought about the greatness, the liberty and the flags,
it established the comic opera:
abolished the independencies,
presented crowns of Caesar,
unsheathed envy, attracted
the dictatorship of the flies,
Trujillo flies, Tacho flies,
Carias flies, Martines flies,
Ubico flies, damp flies
of modest blood and marmalade,
drunken flies who zoom
over the ordinary graves,
circus flies, wise flies
well trained in tyranny.
Among the blood-thirsty flies
the Fruit Company lands its ships,
taking off the coffee and the fruit;
the treasure of our submerged
territories flow as though
on plates into the ships.
Meanwhile Indians are falling
into the sugared chasms
of the harbors, wrapped
for burials in the mist of the dawn:
a body rolls, a thing
that has no name, a fallen cipher,
a cluster of the dead fruit
thrown down on the dump.
People the world over are opposing fossil fuel extraction in an incalculable number of ways. It is now clear that burning fossil fuels threatens millions of Life forms and could be laying the foundation for the extermination of Humanity. But what about “alternative” energy? As progressives stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those rejecting fossil fuels and nuclear power, should we despise, ignore, or commend those who challenge the menace to their homes and their communities from solar, wind and hydro-power (dams)? The Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance gave its answer with unanimous approval of a version of the statement below in May, 2021.
Global Conflicts Over Fossil Fuels, Nuclear and Alternative Energy
The monumental increase in the use of energy is provoking conflicts across the Earth. We express our solidarity with those struggling against extraction, including these examples.
Standing Rock, North Dakota. We stand in solidarity with the on-going Native American protests at Standing Rock in North Dakota protesting environmentally irresponsible and culturally damaging pipelines that transport crude oil extracted from tar sand, destroying their ancestral lands. So-called “clean” and “renewable” energies depend on the climate killer oil for their production.
Ogoni People vs. Shell. We stand in solidarity with the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People against Shell. The Niger-Delta was devastated and traditional culture weakened by soil, surface and groundwater contamination that makes farming and fishing impossible. Local communities still seek to receive denied compensation, clean-up, a share of the profits and a say in decision-making.
Coal extraction in India. We stand in solidarity with the Centre for Policy Research in India as it opposes efforts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to open 41 new coal mines because burning coal is a major factor in climate change, leads to asthma, premature births, and spreads toxins (including mercury) by air, water and land.
Fracking in Pennsylvania. We stand in solidarity with the Green Party of Pennsylvania which has opposed fracking since 2008 when it realized that use of volatile chemicals could harm local communities and waterways and contribute to climate instability. Local residents have become ill and major waterways and delicate ecosystems have been damaged.
Nuclear power and Olympic Games. We stand in solidarity with the No Nukes Action Committee of the Bay Area who are demonstrating against the Olympic Games slated for Tokyo in order to raise awareness of the ongoing disaster of Fukushima nuclear power since nuclear power is deadly and intimately connected with the potential for nuclear war.
Uranium Mining in Africa. We stand in solidarity with “Solidarity Action for the 21 Villages” in Faléa, Mali against the French multinational COGEMA/Orano. After years of struggle, this NGO defeated a uranium mine through community mobilizing. Aware of the detrimental effects on health, environment, agricultural land, water sources and cultural heritage, they are still fighting to undo already done infrastructural damage.
Solar arrays in Washington State. We stand in solidarity with rural Klickitat County, WA residents who are being invaded by industrial solar facilities which would exceed 12,000 acres and undermine wildlife/habitat, ecosystems, ground/water, and food production because solar panels and lithium ion batteries contain carcinogens with no method of disposal or re-cycling and could contribute to wildfires from electrical shortages.
Hydro-power in Honduras. We stand in solidarity with the indigenous Lenca people opposing the Agua Zarca dam on the Gualcarque River in Honduras whose leader Berta Cáceres was murdered for uniting different movements to expose how dams destroy farmland, leave forests bare, disturb ancestral burial sites, and deprive communities of water for crops and livestock.
Lithium mining in Thacker Pass. We stand in solidarity with activists aiming to stop Lithium Americas’ Thacker Pass open-pit mine (Nevada). Essential for electronic devices including electric cars, the mine would destroy rare old-growth big sagebrush, harm wildlife including many endangered species and lower the water table. Its operation would require massive fossil fuel use and toxic waste ponds.
Cobalt Extraction in DR Congo. We stand in solidarity with the child laborers slaving and dying in Democratic Republic of Congo cobalt mines. Cobalt is an essential ingredient for some of the world’s fastest-growing industries—electric cars and electronic devices. It co-occurs with copper mining, used in construction, machinery, transportation and war technology worldwide.
The version adopted by the Gateway Green Alliance differs only by referring to its organizational name in the text. If you would like to join those spreading the word regarding the need to challenge all forms of energy extraction because we can provide better lives for every society on Earth by reducing the global production of energy, please contact the author at the email below.
A member of the South African Student Congress (SASCO) holds a poster reflecting the face of the late Palestinian political leader, Yasser Arafat, during their protest in solidarity with Palestine outside the Israeli embassy in Pretoria on May 20, 2021. (Photo by AFP)
Dockworkers in the South African port city of Durban have refused to offload cargo from an Israeli ship in a show of solidarity with Palestinians, and in protest at Tel Aviv’s military aggression against the besieged Gaza Strip.
The South African Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Coalition announced on Friday that the dockworkers with the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (SATAWU) will not discharge the cargo belonging to Israel’s Zim Integrated Shipping, following a call from the Palestine General Federation of Trade Unions.
— South African BDS Coalition (@sabdscoalition) May 21, 2021
Also on Friday, the South African BDS Coalition and its partners, among them SATAWU, will stage a rally in Durban to celebrate the stalling of the Israeli vessel, the movement said.
They will also demand that the South African government-owned Transnet port company stop transportation of goods to or from the Israeli-occupied territories through South African ports.
“We do not want Israeli ships or goods in South African ports and shops,” Roshan Dadoo, a member of the South African BDS Coalition, told London-based Middle East Eye online news outlet.
She added, “We salute our dockworkers and will continue to work in struggle with them to ensure that South Africa becomes an ‘apartheid free zone’.”
Dadoo said the coalition hopes that the South African government “takes their lead from the dockworkers and immediately cuts all ties – trade, diplomatic, cultural, academic and sport – with the oppressive Israeli regime.”
The development comes just days after dockworkers in the Italian city of Livorno refused to load an arms shipment onto the Asiatic Island, another ship belonging to the Israeli company Zim.
The L’Unione Sindacale di Base (USB) trade union said in a statement that the port would not be an accomplice in the massacre of Palestinians as the cargo contained weapons and explosives that could be used to kill the Palestinian population.
A ceasefire came into force in the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Friday morning after Egypt brokered an agreement between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups to halt 11 days of conflict.
At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed in the Israeli bombardment of the densely populated coastal enclave.
South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa has come under pressure to cut all ties with Israel following the latest Israeli aggression against Gaza.
Ramaphosa said on Monday that “we stand with the Palestinian people in their quest for self-determination, but also in their resistance against the deprivation of their human rights and the denial of their dignity,”
He noted that the sight of a group of Palestinian families forced out from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds to make way for Israeli settlements reminded him of what happened to millions of South Africans, including his own family, during the apartheid era.
“It was a pain and humiliation faced by my own family, and by many South African families. My family was forcibly moved to different parts of the country on two occasions,” Ramaphosa stated.
He said being forced from one’s home at gunpoint is a trauma not easily forgotten, which is carried across generations.
If winning a military battle is defined by the accomplishment of one’s military objectives, then Hamas won the current round of violence with its very first ballistic barrage on Jerusalem ten days ago. Israel, on the other hand, won’t win, can’t win and doesn’t even dream of winning. Like in recent ‘rounds’, all Israel hopes to achieve is an ‘image of victory.’ Despite its military might and destructive enthusiasm, Israel can’t prevail militarily because it doesn’t even remember what military objectives are or what they look like.
In the last seven decades Israel has worked relentlessly to divide the Palestinians in an attempt to dismantle their ability to resist as one people. This project had been so successful in the eyes of the Israelis that many of them started to believe that the Palestinian cause had evaporated into thin air. But then, completely out of the blue (as far as the Israelis are concerned), Hamas managed to unite the Palestinians into a unified fist of resistance: on Tuesday every Palestinian between the River and the Sea joined a strike called by Hamas. Such a collective, multi-sectorial strike didn’t happen in Palestine since 1936.
Military victory is not measured by the carnage you inflict on your foe. It isn’t measured by the number of casualties or the residential towers one reduces into dust. Admittedly, there is no room for comparison between Israeli military capabilities and Hamas’ firepower. Israel is one of the most technologically advanced military forces in the world. Hamas is decades behind, yet it wins over Israel in every round of violence.
The reason is simple. Hamas’ military objectives are simple and modest. Hamas has vowed to keep the resistance alive. It fulfills its promise. By achieving this goal Hamas has positioned itself as the Palestinian unifier. Israel, on the other hand, can’t decide its military goals. We hear Israel’s Defence Minister vowing to bring security to the Israelis but Hamas proves him wrong, continuing to rain Israel with rockets at a growing rate. Israel brags about its precision bombing of Hamas’ tunnels, yet rather cynically, Hamas keep operating from tunnels that seem intact and operational.
It doesn’t take a military genius to grasp that in order to stop Hamas, Israel needs to deploy ground forces and to engage in a fierce battle in the streets of Gaza. But this is exactly the one thing the IDF refuses to do and for a manifold of very good reasons. Firstly, the Israelis are fearful of a house-to-house battle. Second, Israel doesn’t want to control 2.5 million Gazans. Third, not one Israeli military leader is willing to face the relentless Israeli mothers brigade. In the region, however, Israel’s reluctance to send foot soldiers to Gaza is understood as cowardice and weakness.
For Israel, Gaza in particular and Palestine in general is a no-win situation.
But there is a deeper reasoning behind Israel’s hopeless situation. Israeli decision makers (both within the political realm and in the military) subscribe to the power of deterrence. For Israelis, the power of deterrence means punishing the Arabs so heavily that their will to fight would practically stop existing. For one reason or another, the Israelis manage to clumsily zigzag through their troubling history in the region in an attempt to validate this doctrine. For instance, Israel works hard to convince themselves that despite their military fiasco in Lebanon in 2006, Hezbollah has been reluctant to enter a new round of violence with Israel because it is intimidated by the consequences.
Examination of Israeli history actually defies the Israeli doctrine. When Arabs are defeated and humiliated in the battlefield they keep fighting until they win. When Arabs win, they often lose their motivation to keep fighting. They occasionally seek peace and harmony in accordance with the Islamic teaching.
In 1967 Israel defeated 3 Arab armies in just 6 days. Israel performed a perfect Blitzkrieg operation. The Israeli air force surprised and destroyed the Egyptian, Jordanian and Syrian air forces on the ground in less than four hours. Simultaneously, Israeli Panzers raided into Sinai, within hours the Egyptian forces collapsed. The humiliation of the Egyptian army was unprecedented in military terms.
If the Israeli doctrine carried any validity, Egypt wouldn’t consider any military confrontation with Israel. But the reality on the ground proved the opposite. Just a few months after their June 1967 defeat, the Egyptian Army launched a war of attrition against Israel, one which exhausted the Israeli forces (including the air force). In the War of Attrition (1967-70) Egypt displayed new capabilities, relying on new Soviet ground-to-air missiles that obliterated Israeli air superiority. Yet Israel refused to draw the necessary conclusions. It was suffocated by hubris that prevented it from reading its neighbors and their intentions.
On 6 October 1973 (Yom Kippur) at 2 PM, Egypt and Syria launched a coordinated attack on Israeli forces in the Suez Canal and in the Golan Heights. Within hours the two Arab armies managed to obliterate the Israeli defence lines. A few days later and thanks to a close American airlift Israel recovered. It gained its lost land in the occupied Golan heights and even managed to conquer some new territory in Syria. In the South, Israel managed to establish a bridgehead over the Suez Canal. It encircled the Egyptian 3rd army and cut its supply lines. But Israel failed to push the Egyptian 3rd and 2nd armies back. The Egyptian army ended the war, claiming a narrow strip of Sinai back. It was this victory that empowered Anwar Sadat to launch a peace initiative four years later (1977).
Hafez al-Assad, the Syrian leader at the time, didn’t manage to claim a victory. Syria remained a defiant enemy of Israel. It is reasonable to speculate that if Assad was allowed to cling to some of his territorial gains in October ‘73, Israel and Syria could have proceeded into further reconciliatory talks.
The same logic can be applied to Hezbollah. The Lebanese Shia resistance movement is reluctant to fight Israel not because it is afraid of the consequences, as Israelis delude themselves, but because it already won significantly over the IDF. A war with Israel is dangerous for Hezbollah not because Israel will do its best once again to destroy Lebanese infrastructure and flatten half of Beirut, but because the outcome of such a war is unknown. Hezbollah is in a much better position retaining its status as the Arab military force that made the IDF run home with its tail between its legs (2006).
One may wonder whether Israeli strategists are so thick as not to grasp the most obvious facts about their neighbors and what fuels their motivation to fight. It may of course be possible that Israel’s decision makers aren’t as excited by tranquility as some of us want to believe. Gaza is where Israel tests its new weaponry and tactics. Gaza rockets are a necessary ingredient in the Iron Dome’s public relations. Most importantly, the Gaza crisis emerged when Netanyahu’s political options were running out. It was the Gaza current conflict that made the political powers in Israel subside and then crystalize lucidly within the realm of the hard right. This war made both Netanyahu and Hamas stronger.
It would be fair to argue that Hamas is operating within the modernist perception of conflicts as devised by Carl von Clausewitz. For the German military philosopher “war is the continuation of politics by other means.” In ‘postmodernist’ Israel, it seems war is one of the means that keeps some politicians out of prison.