You Should Know…

I’m as liberal as all of you put together. Go to the mystical core of almost every religion and you get this: Help the poor; the suffering. Conduct yourself fairly and graciously.

Now, I love historical and political theories and analysis as much as the next person. There’s just so many ways to account for, and describe, events past, present and future: class struggle, psychology of the herd, economics, mass trauma, factions with interests…. I, and others, have spent significant portions of our lifetime in such studies. And discussing them to exhaustion.

But put against the core standard of “Help the poor, help the suffering, Be decent.”— well, in the end, they’re just (to revive an old saying) “So much blah blah about tra tra.” All such approaches and explanations exist purely because that very direct formulation of what is required for a good, just, and thriving society is largely ignored.

I mean, what has to be done is not complicated. Doesn’t take any kind of “book learning” to grasp. If you can’t follow this from love, then there’s self-interest against the time you yourself might be poor, suffering. And that can happen. People have gone from Tsar to prisoner in moments.

Any notion that we’re going to restructure classes or whatever theory one might hold is purely for entertainment purposes unless and until most people live by those precepts as a conscious priority, and insist their governors do the same. After we’ve all discussed how to get the indispensable good things done.

So why the bold assertion of my liberal credentials at the start? Because the rest might not seem “liberal,” as generally used. I can’t say exactly what I want to get across, but I can offer some of the territory around it.

Take Global Warming. Climate Change. So back in the years of King George the Murderous Doofus, when I went to libertarian sites tracking down the war-mongering, I came across this guy who said: “Look. I’ll never believe in a hundred years that puny humanity can change the whole atmosphere. But I do know that pollution is bad. So why not approach me from that angle?”

And why not? So I quoted that to some liberals interested in stopping climate change. “Why insist that someone buy your point of view, when you can work in concert with them, though from different motivations?” Nobody says “abandon talking about anthropomorphic climate”; just add “but then, too, stop the pollution.”

The point, ostensibly, is to reduce carbon emissions; a possible result using both tacks. There’s no need to force someone do the right thing for your own reasons, right? So I got: “Fuck him.” “He’s an asshole; this is real.” Complete capitulation to my understanding, or nothing! We don’t need allies to get what we want? What?!

Now, back to the “help the hurting, be classy” idea: That doesn’t mean to baby people, eh? There are situations where vivid recollection of a trauma can be brought on by a “trigger.” Don’t ever cause people that trouble. But then there’s this spate of self-induced suffering (then, at times, anger) upon hearing something ugly. This is nothing other than a kind of manipulation. It springs from the well of early childhood when one cries to get people around them to do, or not do, something. Babies can’t run the world. (Well, in a sense they most certainly do, and should.)

Being an adult requires facing hard things; that most of the world isn’t really interested in how anyone feels. Life brings objective and difficult choices to make, and people sometimes just don’t like other people. Being an adult comes from exercising the “conscience” muscle; not the “what about me?” reflex.

Finally, there was this great book by the lamentably late Shiva Naipaul (brother of V.S.). “Journey to Nowhere.” Shiva wanted to understand how the Rev. Jim Jones/People’s Temple mass suicide and murder (four year olds, infants cannot commit suicide) came to be. So he interviewed everyone he could find in the People’s Temple rise. A Black Panther who gave Jones the phrase “revolutionary suicide.” The woman who taught Jones the “rotten chicken liver as tumour pulled from a person” faith-healing trick. And numerous others who were involved in the evolution of Jones “mission” and methods.

At a certain point Naipaul snaps to: Nobody he spoke with felt responsibility for what happened. Which led him to his very valuable insight: The way the People’s Temple cult, in fact any rotten cult, worked was that Jones was the Bringer of A Noble Mission. So he got his dick sucked and great cars and whatever he wanted when he wanted it. And his followers… and his followers…. got to indulge in harming others because “The Great Mission.”

To go all Transactional Analysis on you: It was a deal between Jones and his followers. “I provide you cover to indulge in bad things, and it’s all washed away in light of the great cause we serve together.” For some reason my mind drifts to the KKK and their mirror image Antifa at this point.

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Comments

thanatokephaloides's picture

The way the People’s Temple cult, in fact any rotten cult, worked was that Jones was the Bringer of A Noble Mission. So he got his dick sucked and great cars and whatever he wanted when he wanted it. And his followers… and his followers…. got to indulge in harming others because “The Great Mission.”

To go all Transactional Analysis on you: It was a deal between Jones and his followers. “I provide you cover to indulge in bad things, and it’s all washed away in light of the great cause we serve together.” For some reason my mind drifts to the KKK and their mirror image Antifa at this point.

Mine drifts towards the "Prosperity Gospel" churches and Scientology; but other than that, as the ancient saying goes, "great minds think alike"!

Smile

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

@thanatokephaloides
tend to think alike. In fact great minds tend to be very quarrelsome with one another. Not infrequently, they even come to blows.

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native

janis b's picture

@native

and in another way I question it. I think there's probably an infinite amount of disagreement or separation between independent thinkers, but the fundamental concept that I think jim p is highlighting, ("Conduct yourself fairly and graciously."), is one they might all support.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@janis b I'm with you, janis. I guess it depends on how you define "Great Minds," but I'd say most Great Minds would be interested in both accuracy and civility. Because most Great Minds see the benefit of human civilization.

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9 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal when certain ideas and concepts come into being and just explode into our lives. Building on what has gone before is a...zeitgeist isn't quite the word, but a near miss for my wanting vocabulary...time when a concept just begs to be puked out. Printing, steam power, calculus, evolution, flight, the sewing machine all were being worked on by several people with variable success within a short framework.

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5 users have voted.

There is no such thing as TMI. It can always be held in reserve for extortion.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@native

Well no, great minds do not tend to think alike. In fact great minds tend to be very quarrelsome with one another. Not infrequently, they even come to blows.

I was agreeing with you, please remember! Smile

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

and their various histories. I find them to be endlessly fascinating, and often a bit scary. The dividing line between what is considered to be a Cult, and what is considered to be a Religion, is anything but clear-cut. The number and variety of alternative "belief-systems" that have been, and still are, being successfully peddled to Americans is astounding. In many ways, we are a nation in search of Spiritual Truth. And we're not having a great deal of luck in finding it.

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19 users have voted.

native

@native and anything that has "insiders" and "outsiders" as a basic reference point is close enough to a cult for me. The core mysticism that generated the existence of formal religions isn't concerned with that kind of stuff. Thus the Muslim poet Rumi had 100,000 Jews, 100,000 Christians, and 100,000 Muslims in his funeral entourage.

The difficulty in finding any spiritual truth comes from the added clause people tack onto their search: "but also I'd like it to help my standing in the herd and also to enhance my feelings about myself". It is as I wrote: Help the poor, the suffering, act fairly and graciously in your dealings. The pursuit of states, special knowledge, and stations in some imaginary spiritual hierarchy ... just herd business and pleasant self-feeling taken up to avoid the basic requirements of spiritual life. Which also happens to be sound practical life.

People who want to just get over others and to justify their appetites and vanity .... well, of course they'd have trouble squaring the circle. Nothing else is possible.

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dervish's picture

@native the trouble is that very few accept it when they see it.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

@dervish

ran across Gropper's Sweatshop the other day. looked him up.

William "Bill" Gropper was born to Harry and Jenny Gropper in New York City, the eldest of 6 children. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Romania and Ukraine,[1] who were both employed in the city's garment industry, living in poverty on New York's Lower East Side.[2] His mother worked hard sewing piecework at home.[3] Harry Gropper, Bill's father, was university-educated and fluent in 8 languages, but was unable to find employment in America in a field for which he was suited.[4] This failure of the American economic system to make proper use of his father's talents doubtlessly contributed to William Gropper's lifelong antipathy to capitalism.

Gropper's alienation was accentuated when on March 24, 1911 he lost a favorite aunt in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a disaster which resulted from locked doors and non-existent exits in a New York sweatshop.[5] Some 146 workers burned or jumped to their deaths on that day in what was New York's greatest human catastrophe prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Young Bill's interest in art began at a young age. As a child of 6 young William took chalk to the sidewalks, decorating the concrete with elaborate picture stories of cowboys and Indians that extended around the block.[6] As a child on the way to school, Bill used to lug bundles of his mother's piecework sewing to the sweatshops by which she was employed.[3]

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@native

“The only difference between a cult and a religion is the amount of real estate they own”

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@native

The dividing line between what is considered to be a Cult, and what is considered to be a Religion, is anything but clear-cut.

However, Isaac Bonewits made some giant strides in just that direction with his Cult Danger Evaluation Frame (the Advanced Cult Danger Evaluation Frame today), at least in my humble opinion. He systematized the analysis of the factors which make a belief system and its associated community into a dangerous cult, thus moving the discussion away from "a Cult is a belief system you don't like" and towards something with actual meaning.

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4 users have voted.

"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Pluto's Republic's picture

"Help the poor. Help the suffering, Be decent. Be kind. Leave people better than you found them."

We know these things. People have been writing about these values for five thousand years, and probably talking about it from the dawn of consciousness. Prehistoric grave sites tell us that care and kindness was already here when homo sapiens arrived. Sentience probably cannot even evolve in a species without inherent altruism.

All humans are born into communism. It takes 20 years of communal sharing, across society, to build a good adult, and during that time, the maturing human must be supported, nurtured, sacrificed for, and invested in. Thus, humans have always grouped cooperatively into tribes or societies, where work sharing and communal resources made them secure and resilient. I imagine the individuals involved felt both personally complete and also part of something big.

During the 100-thousand-years' migration to populate the planet — "Be decent. Be kind. Care for others." was probably just another instinct related to the complex system of survival. As you say, Jim, it's not complicated. Helping others makes things better. Self-interest is always served when the group benefits from having its weak spots strengthened.

But then it started malfunctioning. The instinct for survival is out-of-order.

Capitalism, a very recent arrival, is probably the culprit. Everything got monetized, from a sip of water to a slightly better view. Even caring and kindness became commodities. The environment became a zero sum pursuit. Grab as much as you can or someone else will get it and have more than you. The world is grossly overpopulated and it's resource scarce in the extreme. The distribution of goods is radically unequal. The harder you work the less you are valued. Most people do not feel secure whether they are on the grid or off; plugged in or unplugged. Without very tight regulation, capitalism becomes a cannibal. When unregulated or monopolized, it is fully predatory in the moment, until there is nothing left.

I think people know they are not part of something big, anymore. They sense they are among the throwaway people, the discards. I'm not sure tough love helps:

...There’s this spate of self-induced suffering upon hearing something ugly... It springs from the well of early childhood when one cries to get people around them to do, or not do, something. Babies can’t run the world.

Being an adult requires facing hard things; that most of the world isn’t really interested in how anyone feels. Life brings objective and difficult choices to make. Being an adult comes from exercising the “conscience” muscle; not the “what about me?” reflex.



I think people feel pinned by a looming unfairness coming their way, even if their complaints are small and self-absorbed. It's likely that their lives are being wasted. They have scant security in the fact that they are American because they are estranged from their government. And they know what their government is capable of: Last year a record 65.6 million people around the world were displaced, forced from their homes. Many are now stateless with no right to any help or nurturing, anywhere. The US is responsible for most of this via its military and by a foreign policy of economic harm through sanctions. In addition, special operations were deployed in 124 countries last year in the interests of Empire. The majority of the displaced and refugees come from places that the US has destabilized. It is a monumental wasting of people's lives, unrivaled since the complete displacement and virtual extermination of the American Indian population in North America.

They say that people under 55 vote their hopes, and people over 55 vote their fears. The victims are the youngest generations, who must live with the consequences of those fearful votes. The voters who consigned the young to their destiny, the one's who borrowed their against their futures indenturing them — they will be dead. I suppose we should have bracketed the ages of the voters with more consideration. The votes of those who have the greatest number of years ahead of them should count for more than the votes of those who are soon to leave. Not that there is anything to vote for that rights the wrongs. They say that if it changed anything, it wouldn't be on the ballot.

[edit: Last paragraph, completed thought on generational sovereignty.]

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janis b's picture

@Pluto's Republic

It is a monumental wasting of people's lives, unrivaled since the complete displacement and virtual extermination of the American Indian population in North America.

It’s more like ‘a torturing’, or ‘a brutalizing’ of people’s lives. It’s inhumane. It’s uncivilised and unmerciful.

Thank you Pluto, for articulating the essential nature of the unfortunate side of life.

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gulfgal98's picture

@Pluto's Republic

During the 100-thousand-years' migration to populate the planet — "Be decent. Be kind. Care for others."was probably just an instinct in the complex system of survival. As you say, Jim, it's not complicated. Helping others makes things better. Self-interest is always served when the group benefits from having its weak spots strengthened.

But it started malfunctioning. Survival is out-of-order.

Capitalism, a very recent arrival, is probably the culprit. Everything got monetized, from a sip of water to a slightly better view. Even caring and kindness became commodities. The environment became a zero sum pursuit. Grab as much as you can or someone else will get it and have more than you.

There is a horrible irony here too. The bigger our world became, the smaller we as caring human beings became. I think you are right that over the course of recent mankind, we realized that each of us is only an insignificant cog in the machine over which we have no control. In our own desire for individual survival, we have forgotten about the survival of the whole.

I wish I could articulate this as well as you have in this outstanding comment, Pluto.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStoptheMacedonianSignal

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Excellent comment, Pluto.

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Pluto's Republic Tangentially, I don't understand how anybody voting their fears would vote for Hillary. I guess I can see how some people voting their fears might vote for Trump, since unfortunately part of the right wing doesn't understand, even now, who is responsible for the devastation of their lives and culture and their children's futures.

But anybody who understands that Mexicans and Blacks and Muslims are not the reason things are going bad (well, I guess a few Muslims are involved, but they're royalty, and it makes no sense to lump a Islamic fruit-seller in with the House of Saud)--anybody who understands that wouldn't vote for either of the so-called "front-runners" if they were scared.

See, the thing is, if I vote my fears, then I have to hope that the Big Strong Leader I'm voting for will save me from whatever it is I fear, or at least fend it off temporarily. It blows my fucking mind how anybody could feel that way about Hillary, who apparently can't cover up the fact that she would probably never left a finger to save anybody but herself and her progeny. Trump does a better job of maintaining the pretense, but he's only talking to a very specific group of people, and I bet he isn't even fooling all of them.

If I were acting based on fear, I think I'd find a remote cave and start stockpiling goods. I wouldn't waste my time voting.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Pluto's Republic

"Help the poor. Help the suffering, Be decent. Be kind. Leave people better than you found them."

We know these things. People have been writing about these values for five thousand years, and probably talking about it from the dawn of consciousness. Prehistoric grave sites tell us that care and kindness was already here when homo sapiens arrived. Sentience probably cannot even evolve in a species without inherent altruism.

1. So go fuck yourself, Ayn Rand!
2. Five thousand years? A trifle. Fucking lions, wolves and meerkats (among others), species far older than ours, show altruism to their own. Therefore:
3. See Item 1, above. Smile

And you're right: sentience probably cannot even evolve in a species without inherent altruism.

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

snoopydawg's picture

@Pluto's Republic
Yep, brilliant comment and so much to choose from. Since no one has commented on this point:

Without very tight regulation, capitalism becomes a cannibal. When unregulated or monopolized, it is fully predatory in the moment, until there is nothing left.

We have watched as our regulatory agencies have been captured by the industries that they are supposed to regulate. Rachel covered this years ago and reported that a regulatory agency had been caught smoking pot and basically having an orgy with sex workers that the agency they were supposed to watching bought all the goods for this party.

Now with Trump in office, the people that he appointed to our regulatory agencies are doing everything they can to defund and roll back the regulations. This is with full consent of both parties.
The democrats will tell us (again) that they didn't have the votes to block these appointments, so their hands are clean. But I am sure that there are many procedures they could have used to stop these appointments. Hell, Warren said that she voted for Carson for HUD because she was afraid Trump would appoint someone worse. This is a huge cop-put. But this it the kabuki shit that we have been watching for decades. At least since the Clintons slithered out of Arkansas and into D.C.

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a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

@Pluto's Republic

Since most unaware humans find it impossible to understand the invisible and dangerous mental handicap of psychopaths, missing as they are the capacity for humanity and viewing others as lesser to themselves in every way, their skill at facile and often-highly-convincing lying, ruthlessness, lack of empathy and conscience has too often enabled them to overpower those less physically strong or prepared for any such alien and destructively selfish viewpoint, to claw their way into power positions over others and to alter cultures into a pathological state to better suit themselves.

A link from one of Creosote's recent comments:

https://cassiopaea.org/cass/political_ponerology_lobaczewski_2.htm

Political Ponerology: A Science on The Nature of Evil adjusted for Political Purposes
by Andrew M. Lobaczewski
with commentary and additional quoted material
by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8SVyHS3jZU

Dacher Keltner - Survival of the Kindest
The Mind Science Foundation

We would never have survived as a species without empathy and compassion. The psychopath takes advantage of what s/he regards as a weakness in normal humans and destroys what s/he cannot understand, being incapable of realizing that s/he might possibly suffer from the results of his/her own 'brilliant' actions.

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1 user has voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

as we got rich.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

had no problem doing that, back in the day. You feel better when I call it carbon pollution? No problem! You'd rather hear about how it's giving little kids asthma than how it's going to render the planet uninhabitable for more than 1/2 billion people? No problem!

But the problem is that that guy you talked to on the web was not the problem.

The problem was his boss' boss' boss' boss' boss.

I don't know what framing would be appropriate for psychopaths like that guy.

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15 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

divineorder's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal key point you make:

The problem was his boss' boss' boss' boss' boss.

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@divineorder Thanks, d.o. I try to keep my eyes firmly on the boss' boss' boss' boss' boss, to the extent that I can, mainly because they try so hard to deflect people's gazes off of them.

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6 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal I talked to; one of them one of the best and most respected (and by me as well) writers on the leftish blogosphere. I was stunned.

There's no advance possible while ideological factionalism has a grip on our understanding of things. Why I kept returning to the basics and away from the identity/theory overlays in the post.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@jim p I'm totally in agreement with the point you made in this essay.

Left v right factionalism, esp. the morality police version, has to go. Well, that's what has to go on the left's side of things; on the right, they need to finally understand that people with little money don't have power and thus are not responsible for current conditions, no matter what their skin color, religion, or native language.

That said, although it would be useful (in the sense of clearing away bullshit of all kinds) for the left to stop acting like the League of Decency and the right to stop acting like dumb goons, it isn't our opinions and behavior that are holding the current policies in place. That's what my comment was about.

On the other other hand (h/t Tevye), we can make things more or less convenient for the power-holders, and it would certainly be less convenient for them if said bullshit were cleared away. They're spending too much time and money trying to create an ideological war and expand the race war for these divisions not to be a key part of their plans. So I'm in favor of what you propose. My one area of disagreement with you is only by way of implication: you seem to imply that what sunk the climate movement was the left's self-congratulatory Puritanical idiocy, when in fact what sunk the climate movement was the hijacking of representative government and the rule of law by the forces of wealth and blackmail.

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The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal Didnt mean to imply it's the left's fault on climate change; just an illustration of the short-sightedness that ideological approaches suffer.
Though I do fault the left for not thinking outside the coffin. We should have focused on the priority of breaking into and breaking up mass-reach media's narrative creating since at least the internet. No thing changes until that's done.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

But the problem is that that guy you talked to on the web was not the problem.

The problem was his boss' boss' boss' boss' boss.

I don't know what framing would be appropriate for psychopaths like that guy.

A gallows, perhaps? Diablo

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides As I think you're implying, there is no talking to a psychopath with billions of dollars. This isn't a conversation. They dictate. They're trying to even dictate what we think.

This is why some people were talking about the "end of politics" a little while ago, here and in Europe; most of what we think of as political activity becomes meaningless under these conditions. The law, policy debates in government, the individual characters of politicians, all those things are meaningless in the context of an oligarchical consensus like we have now.

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10 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

snoopydawg's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

The law, policy debates in government, the individual characters of politicians, all those things are meaningless in the context of an oligarchical consensus like we have now.

But we still play their game of voting for the less evil every 2=4 years. What if they held a vote and no one came to the ball?

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a longtime oligarch eugenics plan is already well underway

earth is the insane asylum for the universe

thanatokephaloides's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

As I think you're implying, there is no talking to a psychopath with billions of dollars. This isn't a conversation. They dictate. They're trying to even dictate what we think.

My remark was a pun on the word "framing". It can mean how one sets one's ideas out (the way you were using it); it can also mean the building of the skeleton of a wooden-framed structure like a house, a commercial building, or, well, a gallows!

Or a Guillotine. Wink

And you're right about the psycho-sociopathic gazillionaires, too!

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"Some members of the government are now investigating opioid pain killers but they are investigating the wrong thing. Despair-masking drugs are not the problem. Despair is."
-- featheredsprite

Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@thanatokephaloides Excellent! It's not often somebody gets a pun by me. Kudos!

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4 users have voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

lotlizard's picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal  
That would certainly confirm a person in their sociopathic thinking. “I’m a god, why should I worry about what lesser beings think? F— ’em, they only exist to serve my purposes.”

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Creosote.'s picture

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

"The law, policy debates in government, the individual characters of politicians, all those things are meaningless in the context of an oligarchical consensus like we have now."

Many stars of thanks for that guarding map.

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Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal's picture

@Creosote. You're welcome...but I'm not sure what you're thanking me for?

What's a guarding map?

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1 user has voted.

The part of John Edwards could easily be played by a burnt out light bulb.
--strollingone

The issue is patriotism. You've got to get back to your planet and stop the Commies. All it takes is a few good men.
--Q

@Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal @Cant Stop the Macedonian Signal

Industrial pollution is destroying human and environmental health and literally killing the planet, nearly all of this directly due to profiteering industry itself, rather than consumers. Carbon pollution is only one aspect of this, but we almost never hear about the rest anymore - because it's 'cost-saving' for giant corporations, even if at the cost of everyone else's health and lives.

There is no longer any place on Earth which is pristine and devoid of industrial pollution. Sea-bird shit has long been toxic because sea life has been so loaded with industrially-produced toxins, (we did hear years back about the accumulated level of mercury in larger fish restricting the amount considered safe to eat weekly, but not much about the myriad others) as is much of everything on sold ground. Yet there is no mention of how this damages and ultimately destroys the ecology, acidifies water and soil, of how many per hundred thousand people can be expected to sicken/lose function//die prematurely due to exposures to each and every separate toxic mineral/chemical (don't think it's officially estimated anymore, at least not where accessible on the internet, as it once was some years back, although I've also not looked for some years now) and never any idea as to what ongoing environmentally occurring petrochemical combinations may produce by way of previously unknown chemicals or of what diseases/disorders they might produce, because there are too many potential combinations, which are too numerous and constant, and constantly changing as new chemicals/mixtures enter the market and environment.

Although money can be made from hazardous waste by polluting industry, while introducing toxic/hazardous waste packaged and sold as fertilizer directly into the soil/food/water supply, this including home gardens, lawns and parks where children play in what sometimes is discovered to be, for example, dioxin-soaked soil, once symptoms and sources are investigated. This saves on corporate costs, thereby increasing profits for them.

(Bolding mine)
http://www.pirg.org/toxics/reports/wastelands/

WASTE LANDS: THE THREAT OF TOXIC FERTILIZER

Report by
Matthew Shaffer,
Toxics Policy Advocate
CALPIRG Charitable Trust
The State PIRGs

May 3, 2001

Download the Report || Executive Summary
Press Release || U.S. PIRG

Executive Summary

The recycling of hazardous industrial wastes into fertilizers introduces several dozen toxic metals and chemicals into the nation's farm, lawn and garden soils, including such well-known toxic substances as lead and mercury. Many crops and plants extract these toxic metals from the soil, increasing the chance of impacts on human health as crops and plants enter the food supply chain. This report documents the highly toxic substances found by testing fertilizers, as well as the strict regulations needed to protect humans and the environment from these toxic hazards.

Between 1990 and 1995, 600 companies from 44 different states sent 270 million pounds of toxic waste to farms and fertilizer companies across the country. 1 The steel industry provided 30% of this waste. Used for its high levels of zinc, which is an essential nutrient for plant growth, steel industry wastes can include lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, nickel and dioxin, among other toxic substances. Although the industrial facilities that generate these toxic wastes report the amount of chemicals they transfer off-site to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (U.S. EPA) Toxics Release Inventory every year, they only report the total amount of a given chemical contained in wastes transferred over the course of a year, making it difficult to determine the chemical make-up of a given waste shipment.

With little monitoring of the toxics contained in fertilizers and fertilizer labels that do not list toxic substances, our food supply and our health are at risk.

TESTED FERTILIZERS CONTAIN HARMFUL TOXIC METALS
California Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) Charitable Trust and Washington’s Safe Food and Fertilizer tested 29 fertilizers from 12 states 2 for 22 toxic metals. This report documents the results of these fertilizer samples, demonstrates that the problem of toxic fertilizers is widespread, and details concerns with proposed regulations for the practice.

Twenty-nine tested fertilizers contained twenty-two toxic heavy metals. These metals are linked to either ecological or human health hazards. Most noticeable is the wide array of toxic metals that exist in fertilizers. ...

... All commercial fertilizers made from recycled materials such as hazardous wastes, and produced for the general public’s use are subject to the federal Land Disposal Restrictions (LDRs). 3 Land disposal restriction standards, which are levels of concern that are limits for keeping hazardous wastes from leaching from a lined landfill, exist for thirteen of the twenty-two metals for which we tested. 4 Land disposal standards do not protect human health and the environment. While exceeding these levels of concern is not an indication that a fertilizer has violated the law, such exceedences indicate that some tested fertilizers have the potential to violate federal regulations.

Twenty fertilizers tested higher than levels of concern. One fertilizer, The Andersons 0-0-0, 36% Zinc (from Michigan) exceeded six levels of concern. It also contained the highest levels of antimony, cadmium, chromium, nickel, silver and lead of any fertilizer we tested and the second highest levels of beryllium, selenium and mercury. In all, the twenty fertilizers exceed levels of concern for nine toxic heavy metals. The most frequently exceeded levels of concern were for cadmium, chromium and vanadium.

These results indicate that fertilizers often contain high levels of harmful toxic metals that exceed levels of concern and could violate federal law.

Labeling is inadequate. Because fertilizer labeling laws only require beneficial nutrients, like zinc or phosphate, to be listed, fertilizers are sold directly to the public and farmers without warnings or information that informs consumers about the presence and quantity of toxic metals. Also, there is no indication on fertilizer labels as to whether or not the fertilizers we tested have been further treated to meet federal land disposal standards. ...

... TOXIC FERTILIZERS THREATEN AGRICULTURAL SOILS, FOOD SAFETY AND WATERWAYS
As demonstrated in this report, the tested fertilizers contain toxic substances at high levels. These substances can accumulate in agricultural soils, become available for plant uptake, and run off into waterways.

AGRICULTURAL SOIL QUALITY
Farming, especially single-crop farming, requires consistent and dependable soil conditions. The introduction to farm soils of toxic substances like lead and cadmium can adversely affect growing conditions and result in increased toxic accumulation as these metals are highly persistent in soils. This can negatively affect critical growing requirements, such as soil acidity or the solubility of beneficial metals like zinc in the soils.

PLANT UPTAKE
Some crops are more likely than others to absorb non-nutrient toxic substances from soils. For example, fruits and grains can absorb lead, and lettuce, corn and wheat can absorb cadmium from soils. 6 This means that our food supply is at risk of contamination by toxic substances that could threaten human health.

WATER QUALITY
The overall health of the nation’s waterways has declined dramatically over the last quarter-century. Forty percent of our rivers, lakes, and estuaries are still too polluted for safe fishing or swimming 7 . Agricultural runoff is a common cause of waterway pollution. A 1998 U.S. EPA report found that metals are the second most common pollutants found in lakes, ponds, reservoirs, and estuaries. In fact, agriculture is the industry most responsible for lake pollution. 8 The introduction of toxic substances from fertilizers to agricultural environments will only add to their concentrations in waterways that state and federal agencies are working to make safe for fishing and swimming.

MISGUIDED POLICIES AND TOXIC LOOPHOLES

Labeling is inadequate. Fertilizer labeling laws do not require listing toxic metals like lead, cadmium and chromium that are not essential to plant and crop growth. Without listing all the ingredients present in fertilizers, consumers cannot make decisions that will protect their soils, crops and plants, or their health.

Existing standards for toxic metals in fertilizers are inadequate for protecting our soils, crops, plants, water, air and health. All commercial fertilizers made from recycled materials, such as hazardous wastes, and produced for the general public’s use are subject to the federal Land Disposal Restrictions. 9 10 The U.S. EPA’s federal Land Disposal Restrictions, which are applied to zinc fertilizers 11 that contain toxic waste, are intended to ensure that toxic substances are properly treated before the waste is disposed of in heavily regulated, lined landfills. Land Disposal Restriction standards are technology-based standards, which means that they are designed to predict the ability of a hazardous waste to leach from these landfills.

These standards are not risk- or health-based standards. Using these standards for fertilizers can result in unacceptable health risks because of unanticipated uptake by plants, migration of toxic substances to groundwater more easily than would occur from a lined landfill, generation of airborne dusts, or exposure to humans, including children and farmworkers. Land Disposal Restrictions are inadequate for regulating the application of hazardous wastes, via fertilizers, to farms, lawns and gardens or for use as animal feed.

As hazardous wastes continue to burden regulatory agencies, municipalities, and the industries that generate them, regulators are under increasing pressure to find ways to treat, handle, and dispose of wastes. U.S. EPA encourages the reuse and recycling of industrial wastes, including hazardous wastes, as a way of handling increasing waste quantities, when such wastes can be used as substitutes for virgin, raw materials. 12

Unfortunately, the recycling of hazardous wastes into fertilizer products does not always include the process of treatment or cleaning of hazardous waste, but rather dilution of the waste. Dilution involves adding substances to a waste to reduce the concentration of toxic substances that are present in the waste. Dilution does not reduce the toxicity of the hazardous constituents. 13 Federal law specifically prohibits dilution as a form of treatment. 14 ...

Thanks to NAFTA, this particular form of profitable polluting industry poisoning, rather than having to pay for sealed (if short-term) containment of such hazards, was made 'legal' in Canada as well.

But I feel that even just this one little aspect demonstrates the degree of concern for human and environmental health among the Psychopaths and Parasites That Be and the degree of cover-up and distraction necessary to cover for a continuous and accumulating poisoning-for-additional-profit of planetary life, now undergoing a massive and snowballing die-off rate far faster than previously realized in this current anti-science and pro censorship corporate/billionaire-controlled regimes.

And my computer's back to repeatedly claiming that it can't find the server at DuckDuckGo to let me look up anything till remaining on the net about the dioxin poisoning of children playing on hazardous-waste fertilizer-poisoned park and lawn soil in the US...

Going to see if this much will post...

And edited for a mangled word and letter-typo after a lengthy wait. My poor computer, lol.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.