Archive for the ‘Robbing The Poor’ Category

via Ecuador Endangered

Ecuador Endangered
Posted By Luther Blissett By John Seed 03/05/18: https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/03/05/ecuador-endangered/ Or: https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3569

The tropical Andes of Ecuador are at the top of the world list of biodiversity hotspots in terms of vertebrate species, endemic vertebrates, and endemic plants.

Ecuador has more orchid and hummingbird species than Brazil, which is 32 times larger, and more diversity than the entire USA.

In the last year, the Ecuadorean government has quietly granted mining concessions to over 1.7 million hectares (4.25 million acres) of forest reserves and indigenous territories.

These were awarded to transnational corporations in closed-door deals without public knowledge or consent.

This is in direct violation of Ecuadorean law and international treaties, and will decimate headwater ecosystems and biodiversity hotspots of global significance.

However, Ecuadorean groups think there is little chance of stopping the concessions using the law unless there is a groundswell of opposition from Ecuadorean society and strong expressions of international concern.

The Vice President of Ecuador, who acted as Coordinating Director for the office of ‘Strategic Sectors’, which promoted and negotiated these concessions, was jailed for 6 years for corruption.

However, this has not stopped the huge giveaway of pristine land to mining companies.

From the cloud forests in the Andes to the indigenous territories in the headwaters of the Amazon, the Ecuadorean government has covertly granted these mining concessions to multinational mining companies from China, Australia, Canada, and Chile, amongst others.

The first country in the world to get the rights of Nature or Pachamama written into its constitution is now ignoring that commitment.

They’ve been here before. In the 80’s and 90’s Chevron-Texaco dumped 18 billion gallons of crude oil there in the biggest rainforest petroleum spill in history.

This poisoned the water of tens of thousands of people and has done irreparable damage to ecosystems.

Now 14% of the country has been concessioned to mining interests.

This includes a million hectares of indigenous land, half of all the territories of the Shuar in the Amazon and three-quarters of the territory of the Awa in the Andes.

Please sign the petition and contribute to the crowdfund which will help Ecuadorean civil society’s campaign to have these concessions rescinded.

As founder and director of the Rainforest Information Centre (RIC), I’ve had a long history of involvement with Ecuador’s rainforests.

Back in the late ‘80’s our volunteers initiated numerous projects in the country and one of these, the creation of the Los Cedros Biological Reserve was helped with a substantial grant from the Australian Government aid agency, AusAID.

Los Cedros lies within the Tropical Andes Hotspot, in the country’s northwest. Los Cedros consists of nearly 7000 hectares of premontane and lower montane wet tropical and cloud forest teeming with rare, endangered and endemic species and is a crucial southern buffer zone for the quarter-million hectare Cotocachi-Cayapas Ecological Reserve.

Little wonder that scientists from around the world rallied to the defense of Los Cedros.

In 2016 a press release from a Canadian mining company alerted us to the fact that they had somehow acquired a mining concession over Los Cedros!

We hired a couple of Ecuadorean researchers and it slowly dawned on us that Los Cedros was only one of 41 “Bosques Protectores” (protected forests) which had been secretly concessioned.

For example, nearly all of the 311,500 hectare Bosque Protector “Kutuku-Shaimi”, where 5000 Shuar families live, has been concessioned. In November 2017, RIC published a report by Bitty Roy, Professor of Ecology from Oregon State University and her co-workers, mapping the full extent of the horror that is being planned.

Although many of these concessions are for exploration, the mining industry anticipates an eight-fold growth in investment to $8 billion by 2021 due to a “revised regulatory framework” much to the jubilation of the mining companies.

Granting mineral concessions in reserves means that these reserves aren’t actually protected any longer as, if profitable deposits are found, the reserves will be mined and destroyed.

In Ecuador, civil society is mobilising and has asked their recently elected government to prohibit industrial mining “in water sources and water recharge areas, in the national system of protected areas, in special areas for conservation, in protected forests and fragile ecosystems”.

The indigenous peoples have been fighting against mining inside Ecuador for over a decade.

Governments have persecuted more than 200 indigenous activists using the countries anti-terrorism laws to hand out stiff prison sentences to indigenous people who openly speak out against the destruction of their territories.

Fortunately, the new government has signalled an openness to hear indigenous and civil society’s concerns, not expressed by the previous administration.

In December 2017, a large delegation of indigenous people marched on Quito and President Moreno promised no NEW oil and mining concessions, and on 31 January 2018, Ecuador’s Mining Minister resigned a few days after Indigenous and environmental groups demanded he step down during a demonstration.

On 31 January, The Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, CONAIE, announced their support for the platform shared by the rest of civil society involved in the anti-mining work.

Then on 15 February CONAIE called on the government to “declare Ecuador free of industrial metal-mining”, a somewhat more radical demand than that of the rest of civil society.

But we will need a huge international outcry to rescind the existing concessions: many billions of dollars of mining company profits versus some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on Earth and the hundreds of local communities and indigenous peoples who depend on them.

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION TO SUPPORT THEIR DEMANDS: http://www.rainforestinformationcentre.org/save_ecuadors_forests_from_mining

From 2006, under the Correa-Glas administration, Ecuador contracted record levels of external debt for highway and hydroelectric dam infrastructure to subsidize mining.

Foreign investments were guaranteed by a corporate friendly international arbitration system, facilitated by the World Bank which had earlier set the stage for the current calamity by funding mineralogical surveys of national parks and other protected areas and advising the administration on dismantling of laws and regulations protecting the environment.

After 2008, when Ecuador defaulted on $3.2 billion worth of its national debt, it borrowed $15 billion from China, to be paid back in the form of oil and mineral exports.

These deals have been fraught with corruption. Underselling, bribery and the laundering of money via offshore accounts are routine practice in the Ecuadorean business class, and the Chinese companies who now hold concessions over vast tracts of Ecuadorean land are no cleaner.

Before leaving office Correa-Glas removed much of the regulation that had been holding the mining industry in check.

And the corruption goes much deeper than mere bribes.

The lure of mining is a deadly mirage.

The impacts of large-scale open pit mining within rainforest watersheds include mass deforestation, erosion, the contamination of water sources by toxins such as lead and arsenic, and desertification.

A lush rainforest transforms into an arid wasteland incapable of sustaining either ecosystems or human beings.

Without a huge outcry both within Ecuador and around the world, the biological gems and pristine rivers and streams will be destroyed.

But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Civil society needs an open conversation with the state.

Ecuador has enormous potential to develop its economy based on renewable energy and its rich biodiversity can support a large ecotourism industry. In 2010 Costa Rica banned open-pit mining, and today has socioeconomic indicators better than Ecuador’s.

Costa Rica also provides a ‘Payment for Ecosystem Services’ to landholders, and through this scheme has actually increased its rainforest area (from 20% to just over 50%).

Ecuador’s society and government must explore how an economy based on the sustainable use of pristine water sources, the country’s incomparable forests, and other natural resources is superior to an economy based on short term extraction leaving behind a despoiled and impoverished landscape.

For example, studies by Earth Economics in the Intag region of Ecuador (where some of the new mining concessions are located) show that ecosystem services and sustainable development would offer a better economic solution let alone ecological and social.

The Rainforest Information Centre is launching a CROWDFUND to support Ecuadorean NGO’s to mobilise and to mount a publicity and education campaign and to help advance a dialogue throughout Ecuador and beyond: ‘Extractivism, economic diversification and prospects for sustainable development in Ecuador’.

We have set the crowdfund target at A$15,000 and Paul Gilding, ex-CEO of Greenpeace International is getting the ball rolling with an offer to match all donations $ for $ so that every $ that you donate will be matched by Paul.

Donations are tax-deductible in Australia and the US.

When you sign the PETITION you will reach not just to the President of Ecuador and his cabinet.

The petition is also addressed to the other actors who have set the stage for this calamity, being:

The World Bank who funded a project which collected geochemical data from 3.6 million hectares of Western Ecuador including seven national protected areas and dozens of forest reserves thus doing the groundwork for the mining industry.

The international governments and NGO’s who funded the creation and upkeep of these Bosques Protectores and indigenous reserves and other protected sites and who now need to persuade Ecuador to prevent their good work from being undone.

The governments of the countries whose mining companies are preparing this devastation.

Australian senator Lee Rhiannon (who was part of helping us create Los Cedros 30 years ago) wrote to the Canadian Environment Minister on our behalf and the Canadian Embassy has expressed concern about the bad name Cornerstone is giving the other Canadian mining projects.

They have asked us for a meeting to discuss the reports of bad business practices by the company.

Likewise, the Chinese government is beginning to develop some guidance which will come into effect in March 2018.

We are lobbying the Australian government to put pressure on BHP, Solgold and other Australian companies preparing to mine protected forests and indigenous reserves in Ecuador.

Visit Ecuador Endangered for more links to the history and causes of Ecuador’s mining crisis: https://ecuadorendangered.com/

There you will find research, detailed reports and news updates.

Contact information can be found for those wanting to be involved in the campaign, which is being run entirely by volunteers.

To let the Ecuadorean Government, World Bank and mining companies know you want them to invest in a sustainable future for all, a petition can be found here: http://www.rainforestinformationcentre.org/save_ecuadors_forests_from_mining

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via Globalists weaponize the stock market to control presidents

Globalists Weaponize The Stock Market To Control Presidents-Anatomy Of A Fake Reality By Jon Rappoport 03/04/18: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2018/03/04/globalists-weaponize-the-stock-market-to-control-presidents/ OR:  https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3566

The economy is on the rise.

No, it’s sinking.

There are very good indicators.

No, all the signals are catastrophic.

We’ve seen pundits on television hawking their version of the near future.

Many of them represent organizations who have political and financial agendas.

For example, Globalist forces and their mouthpieces would have you believe that laying tariffs on imports will sink the stock market.

However, since the stock market is a rigged game for insiders, here is a proper translation of the above paragraph:

“If tariffs are laid on, Globalist insiders will MAKE the stock market sink, and characterize that as a natural consequence of the new tariffs.”

In turn, then, a diving stock market will be PROMOTED (by the Globalist press) as a sign that the overall economy is in big trouble.

Trump surrounded himself with Goldman Sachs people because they could give him a rising stock market.

This is not an ironclad agreement.

If Goldman decides Trump’s policies are wandering off-track, they can bail on him and send the stock market down.

This is how the economic game is played.

The return of some corporations from overseas, to set up factories in the US again?

Fine. No problem.

But Trump’s statement, several days ago, that he would lay a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on aluminum—that’s an anti-Globalist earthquake.

Globalist leaders in foreign countries are lining up to say they’ll retaliate.

They’ll lay tariffs on imports from America.

Bourbon, jeans, motorcycles, orange juice, rice.

But is this the end of the world?

No.

It should be the first step in sorting out unfair and ruinous trade policies that have eaten into the US economy for decades.

The stock market is hyped as the prime indicator that passes judgment on what Trump (or any president) is doing.

If it falls precipitously, that means he’s wrong and very badly wrong.

But in truth, the stock market is a separate giant Vegas casino.

Investment funds’ algorithms move billions in and out of trades, minute by minute.

Individual speculators bet on rises and falls.

Claiming the condition of the entire US economy is reflected in the stock market is like saying the Powerball lottery reveals the financial health or sickness of the US automobile industry.

The stock market and the precious Dow are set up as a very profitable playground for insiders.

That’s the beginning and the end of that story.

Imagine we have a company, X, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

Its price is very low, and has been low for quite some time.

It crawls along, doing nothing.

Quietly, insiders are buying up the stock.

When they’re ready, they take the price up.

Then the rubes, seeing the rise, buy the stock, too.

THEN there is a shakeout: the insiders momentarily take the stock price down.

The rubes, frightened, sell—and the insiders scoop up those shares.

Now they’re really ready.

They take the stock for a long ride.

Up.

They make a bundle.

When they’ve had enough, they put out news that company X’s stock is a terrific buy.

The rubes buy in—but this the top.

The insiders unload their shares on the rubes and take stock price down.

The insiders also sell short (bet against a rise) and profit on the way down. It’s a piece a cake, a very handsome piece of cake.

This is the game. It really has nothing at all to do with the condition of the economy.

But—there is another game.

The insiders, through their minions in the press, continue to promote the illusion that the overall condition of the stock market reveals “how the economy is doing.”

Therefore, by being able to control the stock market, the insiders can control THE PERCEPTION of how the economy is doing.

If they decide it’s time to give the impression the economy is in deep trouble—and therefore the economic policies of a president sitting in the White House are disastrous for the country—they take the stock market down.

Every president faces this situation.

He’s at the mercy of forces beyond his control—unless he tries to expose the game and show the American people what’s really going on.

But most presidents are unaware of the overall op.

If they do know the score, they’re reluctant to blow the whistle on it, in part because they believe the public is too ignorant to grasp the mechanics of how the op works.

And the howling press, firmly in the pocket of the insiders, would call the president a conspiracy nutcase in a hundred different ways, day and night, 24/7.

The stock market is a casino.

The economy is the economy.

They are two separate realities.

But shills and operatives and propagandists and sold-out economists and idiot financial reporters forever connect the two realities and make it seem as if they are entangled in an intimate cause-and-effect relationship.

They aren’t.

Many people believe the sale of stock benefits a company.

This is true when a privately held company goes public by issuing stock in what’s called an initial public offering (IPO).

During the limited time period of the IPO, money from the sale of stock does go back to the company issuing it, and that money can used for company growth.

Yes.

Later, the company can issue more stock in what’s called a follow-on offering, and then, too, money from the sale of the stock goes back to the company.

But…by far the greatest amount of activity in the stock market is the simple buying and selling of shares…and none of the ensuing profits and losses accrue to the companies whose shares are being traded.

It’s a pure casino operation.

This casino operation does nothing to benefit the companies in the way of adding cash to their assets.

Consider what can happen to a large retirement pension fund.

The fund takes in money from employees.

It will later pay back that money, plus “add-ons.”

How?

The pension fund invests a great deal of the money it is holding in the stock market.

It buys a variety of stocks and sells them and buys them and sells them.

So if those stocks plummet and stay down, and the pension fund isn’t willing to ride out the storm in hopes that the fall will eventually turn into a rise, the pension fund will sell off those stocks and end up losing much money.

It gambled in the casino with other people’s money, and it lost.

But even here, the reason for the loss was an incorrect perception/prediction about what was going to happen in the casino.

It wasn’t about actualities of the economy.

Getting the picture?

Fake reality.

Top to bottom.

via Time To Make Life Hard For The Rich

Time To Make Life Hard For The Rich 03/01/18
Posted By Luther Blissett By Hamilton Nolan: Splinter: https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/03/01/time-to-make-life-hard-for-the-rich/ Or: https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3562

It is time for polite, respectable, rational people to start saying what has become painfully obvious: It is time to stop respecting the rich, and start stealing from them. In earnest.

Inequality is eating America alive. It has been growing for decades.

To say that “the American dream is dead” is no longer a poetic exaggeration—it is an accurate description of 40 years of wage stagnation and declining economic mobility that has produced a generation that cannot expect to live better than their parents did.

Not because of devastating war or plague, but because of a very specific set of rules governing a very specific economic system that encourages the accumulation of great wealth among a tiny portion of the population, to the detriment of the vast majority of people.

Our political and business leaders have chosen to embrace a system that favors capital over labor.

A system in which the more you already have, the more you make, and the less you have, the harder it is to build wealth.

It is a system designed to increase inequality.

It is functioning exactly as designed. And now, it is about to get worse.

How long are people supposed to tolerate being smacked in the face?

By the rich?

Who already have more than enough?

It is not as though the fact that inequality is a crisis is a fact that snuck up on anyone.

Economists have seen the trend for decades, and the general public has been well aware of it since at least the financial crisis.

Obama called it “the defining challenge of our time.”

Thomas Piketty became a rock star by writing a very dry book about it.

It’s not an underground thing.

It is well known and well understood by the people in control of the institutions with the power to change it.

The response to this dire situation by the Republican Party, which a wholly owned subsidiary of the American capital-holding class, has been to pass a tax bill that will horribly exacerbate economic inequality in this country.

It is a considered decision to make a bad situation worse.

It is a deliberate choice—during a time when the rich already have too much—to take from the poor in order to give the rich (including members of Congress and the President) more.

That is not a metaphor.

That is the reality.

That is what the Republican party is about to accomplish on behalf of the donor class, calling it “middle class tax relief” in the face of mathematical proof to the contrary.

Even to my cynical ass, the sheer fuck you-ness of this action towards the majority of the country is breathtaking.

This is not just a failure to solve a severe problem; it is the expenditure of vast amounts of political capital to make the severe problem worse so that a tiny handful of people will get wealthier than anyone needs to be.

Ideally, in a democracy, elected leaders reflecting the interests of the people would pass taxes and regulations to reverse the growing inequality here.

For that to happen, we would need to end gerrymandering and reform campaign finance and probably abolish the Senate and the Electoral College, and that’s just for starters.

It is not imminent, in other words.

Our broken political system, which is designed to reward money with political power, is actually moving in the opposite direction of a solution.

Who is suffering because of this?

Most Americans.

Certainly the bottom 50% are acutely suffering—money that would have been in their paychecks has been instead funneled upwards into the pockets of the rich.

Every desperate family that has found themselves coming up short for rent or food or medicine, every American who has downgraded her dreams and aspirations because they became financially implausible, has been directly harmed by the political and economic class war perpetuated by the rich, even if they cannot see the perpetrators with their own eyes.

I think that people have been more than patient in the face of this slow-moving crisis.

In 2009, when the markets crashed and millions were laid off, nobody rioted and kidnapped the financiers and burned their homes.

The outcome of that lack of direct action is the situation we find ourselves in today.

Violence against people is morally wrong and a bad way to solve problems.

But capital is different.

One thing that would help to create the political environment conducive to solving the inequality problem would be to make the cost of accumulating all that capital too high to be worth it.

In other words, to create a downside to being too rich.

I have personally stood in a room full of hedge fund titans and billionaire investors warning one another explicitly that inequality must be addressed lest the U.S. become a place like Latin America, where rich people are forced to live behind walls, surrounded by armed guards, because of the very real risks from the rage of the poor.

Rich people in this country do not want to live like that.

If they see that they must stop being so greedy in order to enjoy their own freedom, they will stop being so greedy.

Those conditions have to be created by people who want justice.

Our situation is absurd.

Not since the Gilded Age has it been more clear that a few people have too much.

Furthermore, the people with too much are investing in political clout to give themselves more.

It’s just wrong.

If the government won’t help, we have to help ourselves.

Sticking up a billionaire on the street for $100 is not going to do it.

But one can imagine other ways that angry Americans might express their dissatisfaction with our current division of wealth:

A large-scale online attack against the holdings of the very rich; yachts sunk in harbors; unoccupied vacation homes in the Hamptons mysteriously burned to the ground.

Sotheby’s auctions swarmed by vandals, Art Basel attacked by spraypaint-wielding mobs, protests on the doorsteps of right-wing think tanks, venomous words directed at millionaires as they dine in fancy restaurants.

People have a right to life and safety, but property does not.

A life spent screwing the little people so that you can acquire lots of stuff loses its allure when you know that all that stuff will be smashed to pieces by angry little people.

It is not hard to put together a list of those who should be targeted—Forbes publishes it every year.

Likewise, public campaign finance records give us a pretty good idea of exactly who is funding the politicians who are perpetuating this economic war on behalf of the rich.

It is nice to imagine a grand, well-targeted computer hack that would neatly transfer billions of dollars out of the accounts of, say, the Walton family and into a charity account that would disburse the money to the poor in untraceable ways.

That seems far-fetched.

Realistically, what people can do now is to start thinking about ways to make it uncomfortable to be too rich.

Socially uncomfortable and otherwise.

When the accumulation of great wealth ceases to be a praiseworthy endeavor and instead becomes viewed as a sick, greedy pastime whose only reward is the hatred of your fellow citizens and the inability to live comfortably without fear of your excessive property being destroyed, rich people will rethink their goals.

Until then, inequality will keep rising, and everything, for most people, will continue to slowly, slowly get worse.

The United States Had No Corner On The Campaign To Erase Indigenous Peoples-The Crown’s Actions As Late As The 60’s And 70’s Do Not Give British Canada A Pass:

Image result for Rhymes For Young Ghouls

On Violence & Vengeance-Rhymes for Young Ghouls & The Horrific History Of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools [https://decolonization.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/on-violence-and-vengeance-rhymes-for-young-ghouls-and-the-horrific-history-of-canadas-indian-residential-schools/]

The Movie On Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/watch/80014891?trackId=14170060&tctx=1%2C1%2Cc4485e4b-788c-4ce0-ab03-66ff10ece802-78944943

OCTOBER 24, 2014 by Sean Carleton

** Editor’s note: If you have not seen the movie Rhymes for Young Ghouls, this article likely contains spoilers. **

PDF: https://decolonization.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/violence-and-vengeance-pdf-1.pdf

Written and directed by Mi’gmaq filmmaker Jeff Barnaby, Rhymes for Young Ghouls offers an unflinching fictional account of Indigenous agency in the face of the horrors of Canada’s Indian Residential Schools. Set in the 1970s on the Mi’gmaq Red Crow reserve, known as the Kingdom of the Crow, the film stars Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs as Aila, a tough teenage girl with artistic aspirations and a deep-seated hatred for the sadistic Indian Agent, Popper (Mark Antony Krupa). Popper runs the St. Dymphna’s Residential School and the Red Crow reserve with an iron fist and his heavy-handed tactics mobilize a group of Indigenous youth led by Aila to exact revenge. In the end, Aila’s courageous actions free her consciousness and disrupt the colonial order of Red Crow society. In many ways, Rhymes for Young Ghouls dramatizes the process of decolonization that anti-colonial thinker Frantz Fanon outlines in his chapter “On Violence” in The Wretched of the Earth.

Indeed, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is less about reconciliation, per se, and more about vengeance as a means to deal with colonial trauma; its Fanonian “the last shall be first” energy offers a unique perspective.[i] Barnaby’s film is a kind of revenge fantasy that taps into the wide-spread outrage by Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples over continuing reports of the abuse children experienced in residential schools. In fact, only a few weeks before the film’s limited release in Canada in January 2014, news broke of an Ontario judge ordering the Government of Canada to hand over documents related to an investigation into extreme forms of abuse at the St. Anne’s Indian Residential School. The abuse Indigenous students were subjected to St. Anne’s—ranging from harsh beatings and sexual attacks by teachers to children being forced to eat their own vomit and shocking students in a homemade electric chair—makes the abuse depicted at the fictional St. Dymphna’s school in the film seem all the more real and disturbing to watch.

Image result for Rhymes For Young Ghouls

Rhymes for Young Ghouls is a heavy and profoundly troubling film, but one that deserves a wide audience. In Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada, political theorist Paulette Regan argues that Canadians must learn to confront the hidden and horrific history of Indian Residential Schools as a starting point to build greater awareness of, and meaningful relations with, Indigenous peoples today. She claims that such a strategy of unlearning national myths and narratives that ignore Canadian colonialism or portray it as peaceful or benevolent, which she calls a process of “unsettling,” can contribute to the larger project of decolonization.[ii] Thus, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is a timely film about violence and vengeance with “unsettling” potential; it will undoubtedly shock audiences as well as raise greater awareness about the horrors of residential schools. As such, Rhymes for Young Ghouls is not only exceptional but is arguably one of the most important films to be released in Canada in recent memory.  RFYG 1Colonialism & the Kingdom of the Crow

Rhymes for Young Ghouls begins with five year-old Aila and her younger brother Tyler attending a party with their parents. Aila’s parents, like many Red Crow residents, engage in drugs and alcohol as part of “the art of forgetfulness” in an attempt to block out their experiences of abuse in St. Dymphna’s residential school. On the way home from the party, Tyler is mistakenly killed by Anna (Aila’s mother played by Rosanne Supernault) in a drinking-and-driving accident. The next morning, Aila awakes to find her mother dead hanging from a rope on their porch and her father, Joseph (Glen Gould), being arrested. Alone, Aila is left in the custody of her uncle Burner (Brandon Oakes) who, as the film quickly fast forwards ten years, successfully recruits her into a life of drug slinging in the reserve’s underground economy. Selling drugs is a means to an end for Aila. The film explains that, by law (quoting the Indian Act), every Indigenous child between the ages of 5 and 16 who is physically fit must attend an Indian Residential School. The opening credits clarify: “Her Majesty’s attendants, to be called truant officers, will take into custody a child whom they believe to be absent from school using as much force as the circumstance requires. A person caring for an Indian child who fails to cause such a child to attend school shall immediately be imprisoned, and such person arrested without warrant and said child conveyed to school by the truant officer.”

Historically, truancy—the intentional absence from compulsory education—posed a direct threat to the assimilationist aims of Canada’s Indian Residential School project and was thus heavily monitored, often by Indian Agents. On the fictitious Red Crow reserve, however, the Indian Agent Popper is so corrupt that he will accept a “truancy tax” to exempt those able to pay, and Aila manages to earn enough money selling drugs with her uncle to keep her temporarily out of St. Dymphna’s. But one day Aila’s drug money is stolen and her father suddenly returns from jail. All at once, Aila’s freedom from life inside “St D’s” is jeopardized. With the help of three friends, Aila decides to break into the school and steal the required money from the Indian Agent. However, the plan is quickly discovered by Popper, who cracks down on Joseph and takes Aila to St. Dymphna’s. The conditions at the school are abusive and coercive. Popper and a priest are portrayed intimidating new students to the school. Popper, in particular, is aggressive and antagonistic and he barks orders under threat of violence: “From here on in, it’s the Queen’s fucking English. Relish it!” Upon arrival at the school, Aila is taken into custody and stripped of her clothes by two nuns who cut off her braids and roughly wash her before giving her European clothes and shoving her into a dark cell.RFYG 2 

Before the reality of being locked away in the residential school breaks her spirit, Aila is sprung loose by a local boy who has discovered a secret entrance. With her temporary freedom, Aila resolves to carry out her revenge. Popper must pay. Dressed in Halloween costumes, Aila and her friends break into the school at night. After attacking one of Popper’s guards and managing to release Aila’s father, whom Popper had taken into custody, the gang descend on Popper’s office and steal $20,000. With their new riches, the group decides to flee the school. However, it is not long before Popper tracks down Joseph and Aila. In the middle of a heart-to-heart conversation between father and daughter, in which Joseph opens up to Aila and confides in her that she is not responsible for the intergenerational effects of residential schools, Popper abruptly breaks onto the scene and knocks Joseph unconscious with a rifle. Popper then beats Aila extensively before trying to rape her. Popper’s assault is stopped, however, when the young boy that sprung Aila from St. Dymphna’s confronts him and shoots Popper in the face, killing the Indian Agent with his own rifle. In the end, Joseph takes the fall to protect Aila and the boy from persecution, symbolically giving the new Mi’gmaq generation a chance at freedom.  

RFYG 3Toward an “Unsettling” Pedagogy

Rhymes for Young Ghouls augments existing films on Canada’s Indian Residential Schools such as We Were Children (2012) and Muffins for Granny (2008), but adds a different perspective. Rhymes for Young Ghouls aims to shock audiences not just with the violence of the schools but with the ability for Indigenous peoples to violently resist and fight back. Filmmaker Jeff Barnaby has said that his goal in making the film was to push the envelope with a kind of “bare knuckles cinema,” and he certainly pulled no punches. The film is drenched in a kind of violence that emphasizes Indigenous agency. In The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon argues that: “Decolonization is always a violent event. In its bare reality, decolonization reeks of red-hot cannonballs and bloody knives. For the last can be first only after a murderous and decisive confrontation between the two protagonists.”[iii] Indeed, for Fanon decolonization occurs as a result of a colonized person’s realization that the “deployment of violence,” in different forms, is often crucial for liberation.[iv] In Rhymes for Young Ghouls, Aila exacts vengeance with the violent killing of Popper which, indeed, opens a space for Aila and others on the Red Crow reserve to step outside the shadows of colonialism.

Rhymes for Young Ghouls, then, contributes to an “unsettling” pedagogy by directly confronting Canadian colonialism and the horrors of Indian Residential Schools. Pursuing such a pedagogy is important because, as Mohawk scholar Taiaiake Alfred has suggested, “Canadians are in denial, in extremis” about the history and ongoing legacies of colonialism.[v] It is hard to argue with Alfred. Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, speaking at the 2009 G20 summit in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, proudly proclaimed to the world that Canada has “no history of colonialism.” In challenging people to learn more about the damaging effects of colonialism in Canada and about the horrific history of residential schools, films like Rhymes for Young Ghouls create opportunities for what Regan deems necessary for decolonization: for “all Canadians to fundamentally rethink our past and its implications for our present and future relations.”[vi]

Rhymes for Young Ghouls will prove invaluable to the many efforts to educate Canadians about the history of residential schools already happening across the country. In terms of integrating the film into classrooms, however, caution should be taken to fully flesh out the contours of Canada’s history of colonialism and education. It is perhaps easy to be outraged by the oppressive and inexcusable actions of one individual such as Popper, but it is important to emphasize the overall violence of the Indian Residential School system which, for over one hundred years, generally sought to “kill the Indian in the child.”[vii] It is also important to develop a historical consciousness about the ways in which residential schools in Canada were but one part of Canada’s larger strategy of dispossessing Indigenous peoples from their lands to create a capitalist settler society.[viii]

Overall, films like Rhymes for Young Ghouls are significant because they can used by historians, teachers, and activists as accessible methods in which to confront Canada’s horrific history of colonialism and to create decolonizing dialogue between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples about how to establish more positive relations in the present and future.


NOTES [i] Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 2. For more on how Fanon’s ideas might be applied to the Canadian context see Glen Sean Clouthard’s new book, Red Skins, White Masks Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014). On violence and the colonial history of the Americas see, for example, Ned Blackhawk, Violence over the Land: Indians and Empires in the Early American West (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2006) and Gord Hill, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010).

[ii] Regan, Unsettling the Settler WithinIndian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia, 2010), 13.

[iii] Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 2004 [1963]), 1 and 3. [iv]Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 21.

[v] Alfred, Forward, ix.

[vi] Paulette Regan, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2010), 4.

[vii] Stephen Harper (11 June 2008), House of Commons, Edited Hansard 142 (110), 39th Parliament, 2nd session, 1515.

[viii] See, for example, E. Brian Titley, “Schooling and Civilization” in A Narrow Vision: Duncan Campbell Scott and the Administration of Indian Affairs in Canada (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1986), 75-93; J.R. Miller, Shingwauk’s Vision: A History of Native Residential Schools (Toronto: University of Toronto, 1996); John Milloy, A National Crime: The Canadian Government and the Residential School System, 1879-1986 (Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999); Mary-Ellen Kelm, “A Scandalous Procession”: Residential Schooling and the Reformation of Aboriginal Bodies” in Colonizing Bodies: Aboriginal Health and Healing in British Columbia, 1900-1950 (Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 1998), 57-80; Ian Mosby, “Administering Colonial Science: Nutrition Research and Human Biomedical Experimentation in Aboriginal Communities and Residential Schools, 1942-1952,” Histoire sociale/Social History XLVI, no 91 (Mai/May 2013): 145-172; James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life(Regina: University of Regina Press, 2013).


Sean Carleton is an activist and educator living in Nogojiwanong (Peterborough), Ontario, Anishinaabe Territory. He is a PhD Candidate in the Frost Centre for Canadian Studies & Indigenous Studies at Trent University and he studies the history of colonialism, capitalism, and education in Canada.

Thursday, 01 April 2010 11:08

Image result for residential schools in canada

[https://indianinthemachine.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/the-strange-story-of-the-queen-and-the-children-who-disappeared-from-native-residential-schools/]

Signed statement by survivor witness followed by copy of letter already given to the Queen in January, 2008 by residential school survivors in Canada.

Statement of William Arnold Combes

I am an Interior Salish spirit dancer and am 58 years old. I live in Vancouver, Canada.

I am a survivor of the Kamloops and Mission Indian residential schools, both run by the Roman Catholic church.

I suffered terrible tortures there at the hands especially of Brother Murphy, who killed at least two children.

I witnessed him throw a child off a three story balcony to her death.

He put me on a rack and broke some of my bones, in the Kamloops school basement, after I tried running away.

I also saw him and another priest burying a child in the school orchard one night.

In September 1964 when I was 12 years old, I was an inmate at the Kamloops school and we were visited by the Queen of England and Prince Phillip.

Image result for canadian genocide

I remember it was strange because they came by themselves, no big fanfare or nothing.

But I recognized them and the school principal told us it was the Queen and we all got given new clothes and good food for the first time in months the day before she arrived.

The day she got to the school, I was part of a group of kids that went on a picnic with the Queen and her husband and school officials, down to a meadow near Dead Man’s Creek.

After awhile, I saw the Queen leave that picnic with ten children from the school, and those children never returned.

We never heard anything more about them and never saw them again even when we were older.

They were all from around there but they all vanished.

The group that disappeared was seven boys and three girls, in age from six to fourteen years old.

I don’t remember their names, just an occasional first name like Cecilia and there was an Edward.

What happened was also witnessed by my friend George Adolph, who was 11 years old at the time and a student there too

__________ _______ __
William Arnold Combes
(signed and witnessed in the original)

February 3, 2010
Vancouver, Canada

———— ——— ——— ——— ——— ———
Media Advisory:

Queen of England Issued a Letter of Demand, Possible Lawsuit by Indian Residential School Survivors

Evening of Thursday, January 24, 2008
Unceded Squamish Territory (“Vancouver, Canada”)

Elizabeth Windsor, the Queen of England, was issued a Letter of Demand yesterday that requires that she identify the fate and burial sites of all the children who died in Indian Residential Schools established under the authority of the Church of England and the British Crown.

The Letter was handed personally to Governor-General Michaelle Jean by aboriginal elder Carol Martin at the Downtown Eastside Womens’ Centre in Vancouver in the afternoon of Wednesday, January 23. Ms. Martin asked the Governor-General to deliver the Letter of Demand to the Queen on behalf of residential school survivors, and the Governor-General accepted the Letter and assured her that she would.

As a Common Law Notice, the Letter requires that the Queen comply with the request to identify the grave sites and cause of death of these children within thirty days, or face possible legal action.

“The buck stops at Buckingham Palace” commented another aboriginal elder and residential school survivor. “The Queen, and the Pope, are the ones responsible for the genocide their government and churches did to my people. She has to be held accountable. She has the power to help bring our children home, finally.”

In recent weeks, similar Letters of Demand have been issued to officials of the Canadian government and the Catholic, Anglican and United Church of Canada by residential school survivors. Karl Ratzinger, Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church, is scheduled to be issued a similar Letter of Demand soon.

A national press conference to announce the next stage in this Truth Campaign will be held on Monday, February 4 at 10:00 am outside the Prime Minister’s Office at 80 Wellington street in Ottawa. Organizer Kevin Annett (Eagle Strong Voice) will be present at this event.

For more information contact:

The Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared
(Chief Louis Daniels, Anishinabe Nation, Patron)
c/o 1-888-265-1007 (pager) or:
hiddenfromhistory@ yahoo.ca

Public Notice

Letter of demand from the Elders and Members of the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared

23rd January 2008

To: Elizabeth Windsor, aka “Queen of Great Britain”

Buckingham Palace

London, England

(Transmitted through the office and person of Michaelle Jean, Governor-General of Canada)

Dear Ms. Windsor,

This Public Letter of Demand is issued to you, Elizabeth Windsor, as one who claims the title and fiduciary responsibility of Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, and Head of the Church of England in Canada, aka the Anglican Church.

We, as the friends and relatives of tens of thousands of children who died or were murdered in Indian Resedential Schools in canada established and run by your Church of England and the British Crown from 1867 to 1996, do hereby demand that you, Elizabeth Windsor, in your capacity of Queen of Great Britain and the Commonwealth, and head of the Church of England, publicly disclose the cause of death and whereabouts of the buried remains, of all children who died in Indian Residential Schools operated by the Church of England in Canada, aka the Anglican Church.

This Common law Notice also requires that you, Elizabeth Windsor. arrange the immediate repatriation without conditions of the remains of thesen persons to their holes for a proper burial.

This Common Law Notice also requires that you, Elizabeth Windsor, publicly name and surrender all persons in or employed by the Government of Canada and the Anglican Church who are responsible for or complicit in these deaths and disappearances, and all documents and evidence related to the same.

This Common Law Notice also requires that you, Elizabeth Windsor, compel Canada through its Governor-General to comply with these requirements of natural justice and international law.

If you, Elizabeth Windsor, fail to comply with these requirements within thirty(30) days of you recieving this notice through the medium of the Governor-General of Canada, it will be assumed that you do not dispute these claims contained herein, and legal action may be commenced against you.

Sincerely

Jeremiah Jourdain

on behalf of the Friends and Relatives of the Disappeared

isssued under the Tribal Land Law Juristiction of the Squamish Nation on unceded Squamish Territory

Read and Hear the truth of Genocide in Canada, past and present, at this website:www.hiddenfromhistory.org , and watch Kevin’s award-winning documentary film UNREPENTANT on the same website.
UNREPENTANT: Kevin Annett and Canada’s Genocide
— Winner, Best Foreign Documentary Film, Los Angeles Independent Film Festival, March 2007, Best Director of a Foreign Documentary, New York Independent Film Festival, October 2006
— Winner, Best Canadian Film, Creation Aboriginal Film Festival, Edmonton, 2009

“Kevin is more deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize than many who have received it in the past.” – Dr. Noam Chomsky
Institute Professor Emeritus
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“As a long time front line worker with the Elders’ Council at the Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre, I stand behind what Kevin Annett is trying to do for our people. The genocide that continues today and which stemmed from the residential schools needs to be exposed. Kevin Annett helps break the silence, and brings the voice of our people all over the world.”
Carol Muree Martin – Spirit Tree Woman
Nisgaa Nation

“I gave Kevin Annett his Indian name, Eagle Strong Voice, in 2004 when I adopted him into our Anishinabe Nation. He carries that name proudly because he is doing the job he was sent to do, to tell his people of their wrongs. He speaks strongly and with truth. He speaks for our stolen and murdered children. I ask everyone to listen to him and welcome him.”
Chief Louis Daniels – Whispers Wind
Elder, Turtle Clan, Anishinabe Nation
Winnipeg, Manitoba

By Jon Jeter 02/02/18 [https://www.mintpressnews.com/its-not-the-dow-stupid-underpaid-workforce-imperils-us-and-global-economies/237090/]  https://wordpress.com/post/randrewohge.wordpress.com/3530

Over a period of 40 years, capitalists like Rockefeller, Walmart, the Koch Brothers, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have completely rearranged the financial universe — all but eradicating inflation, and radically devaluing work relative to capital.

NEW YORK — “It’s Not a Roar,” read the first-edition headline for the New York Times business article published January 27, “but the Global Economy is Finally Making Noise.”

A death rattle, perhaps?

Try as they may, the mainstream media simply cannot prepare for public viewing the gaping wound to the head that murdered the U.S. economy.

Never mind the Dow, the Fed Funds rate, or Apple’s latest earnings report, the cause of death is really quite simple: work is underpaid.

If we are to raise the economy from the dead, the American worker needs a raise.

For all intents and purposes, when adjustment is made for inflation, workers in the private sector haven’t had a pay increase in nearly 30 years.

That’s not just a problem for wage-earners who find they have too much month left at the end of their paycheck, but for an entire global economy that depends on consumer demand in the U.S.

With our paychecks shrinking, the workforce in the U.S. has resorted to borrowing more and more money — to buy a new car, fix a broken tooth, or finance the kids’ college education — to make up for the loss in buying power. Such forced borrowing, at the interest rates typically charged by lenders, only deepens the consumer cash crunch.

Poor & Getting Poorer

Said Jane, who raises chickens with her husband at their central Texas ranch: “Everyone I know is poor and getting poorer.”

As we struggle to pay down the mountains of credit-card debt, monthly insurance premiums, car loans, or skyrocketing utility bills, we spend less and less on new stuff.

Rosa Luxemburg called this cycle “underconsumption;” more modern economists call it debt deflation.

What it all means is that Laura of New Jersey makes very few new purchases these days.

The monthly premiums on the state exchange she, her husband and two sons enrolled in increased last month from $1,750 to $2,350.

Well actually, that’s not quite true. It would’ve cost that much had she and her husband continued with the same plan but, with college tuition for their second son bearing down on them, they decided to downgrade to a less expensive plan, which costs only $2,000 a month.

And that’s only for catastrophic coverage; they have a $6,000 deductible — and, even when coverage does kick in, it only pays for half their health care costs.

“So we send our kids to the doctor,” Laura told MintPress. But she and her husband “do not go.”

When her oldest son went off to college four years ago, he was fortunate enough to receive scholarships that paid about half of the $50,000 annual bill, leaving Laura and her husband to foot the rest.

Her youngest son starts college in the fall, and they are looking at adding possibly another $60,000 in annual expenses.

“Most of our woes came from the economic crash of 2008,” she said, when her husband lost his job in publishing.

“We just never recovered.”

Only creditors have. Since onerous debts triggered the 2008 meltdown, households, businesses and governments have merely borrowed 43.8 trillion more dollars, Sonja Gibbs, Senior Director of Global Capital Markets for the Institute for International Finance, told MintPress.

Happy Days Are Here Again-For Whom?

The New York Times and other mainstream media outlets have joined President Trump in his State of the Union Speech in cuing up “Happy Days are Here Again” because their high-rolling advertisers and constituents are heavily invested in restoring consumer confidence — if not income levels — and encouraging more shopping sprees to grease the wheels of a dried-up demand economy.

The contradiction is that the mainstream media have consistently been a cheerleader of the very policies that have robbed American consumers of their buying power.

Despite their proclamations to the contrary, the country has never recovered from the financial ruin of 2008 that was triggered by the collapse of an overpriced real estate market.

It is true, as the Obama Administration claimed, that many banks had become “too big to fail,” although he failed to mention that that development was the result of laissez-faire government enforcement of antitrust and anti-monopoly regulations.

But rather than force banks to accept a “haircut” or write down the loans on their balance sheets to help jumpstart consumer spending, Obama’s Treasury department did just the opposite — effectively pouring gasoline on a fire by loaning the banks billions in low-interest loans to re-inflate the asset bubble that popped in 2008.

The result is the best-of-times, worst-of-times quality that characterizes the relationship between the country’s wealthiest 1 percent and everyone else, with stock market indexes — and poverty rates — at or near historic highs.

The Plutocrats Rearrange The Financial Universe

What’s important to note is that the dispossession of workers in the U.S. is a man-made catastrophe, and is the culmination of the plutocrats’ concerted 45-year effort to undo the stagflation crisis of 1973, and, if possible, ensure that it never happened again.

At the heart of the crisis was inflation, caused by pay hikes for the U.S. workforce, that was running as high as nine percent year-over-year at that time.

Workers, generally, don’t mind moderate levels of inflation because they have more cash in their pockets — and indeed, poverty levels in 1973 were at an all-time low.

Conversely, creditors consider inflation a type of financial fraud in which they loan a borrower $100 but get only $95 back.

“It is clear to me,” David Rockefeller wrote in 1971 to his fellow Chase Manhattan board members, “that the entire structure of our society is being challenged.”

As many labor historians — most notably, Kim Phillips-Fein – have documented, today’s savage inequalities are rooted in that epoch when labor unions were strong, factories were humming, oil prices high, and wages were causing inflation to climb.

Over a period of 40 years, capitalists like Rockefeller, Walmart, the Koch Brothers, and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos have completely rearranged the financial universe, all but eradicating inflation, which hasn’t increased by more than 3 percent annually in nearly 30 years.

But, as theorists as diverse as Hegel and Luxemburg have noted, this reversal of fortune is a case of Wall Street biting its nose to spite its face.

As the Marxist economist Richard Wolff notes in describing Hegel’s master-slave dialectic, an employer reflexively moves to pay his workers as little as possible, and yet his prosperity is wholly dependent on workers earning enough money to buy his products and services.

With workers’ buying-power in decline, big business has had to resort to smoke-and-mirrors to generate profits.

Stock prices for companies such as Apple, for example, aren’t skyrocketing because of robust sales, but because the company is borrowing money at low-interest rates to repurchase its own stock and drive up the price.

One Great Economic House Of Cards

In his latest book, The End of Normal, University of Texas Economics Professor James Galbraith — the son of the great Keynesian economist John Kenneth Galbraith — asserts that the 2008 crisis wasn’t just part of a normal macroeconomic cycle but the culmination of a political economy that lost its way beginning in the 1980s. Galbraith told MarketWatch last month:

I think there are really major changes in the structure of the economy going forward.

The share of business investment has been quite low, share of construction has been very low, and that means the economy is being driven increasingly by the consumer.

The consumer is dependent upon the access to debt, auto loans, consumer loans and student loans.

Those things will build up over time until such time as there is a crack and households decide that they no longer wish to access the credit — at which point this phase of the expansion will end.”

It might, in fact, be time to ask the New York Times the question that a reporter for Fortune Magazine, Bethany McClean asked Enron’s Chief Financial Officer in March of 2001.

Suspecting that the now-discredited energy-services firm was cooking its books, McClean — according to the 2005 documentary on Enron, The Smartest Guys in the Room — asked the chief financial officer in a telephone call a question he could not answer, setting in motion a chain of events that revealed that the whole enterprise was a house of cards:

“How exactly does Enron make its money?”

via Why Fear and Self-hatred Destroy Human Sharing and Solidarity

Why Fear and Self-hatred Destroy Human Sharing and Solidarity Posted By Luther Blissett – Photo by Adam Dean – By Robert J. Burrowes 01/31/18 [https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/01/31/why-fear-and-self-hatred-destroy-human-sharing-and-solidarity/]

Biodata: Robert J. Burrowes has a lifetime commitment to understanding and ending human violence.

He has done extensive research since 1966 in an effort to understand why human beings are violent and has been a nonviolent activist since 1981.

He is the author of ‘Why Violence?’

His email address is flametree@riseup.net and his website is here.

His Resource Websites:

Nonviolence Charter: http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.com/
Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth: http://tinyurl.com/flametree
‘Why Violence?’: http://tinyurl.com/whyviolence
Feelings First: https://feelingsfirstblog.wordpress.com/%E2%80%9C
Nonviolent Campaign Strategy: https://nonviolentstrategy.wordpress.com/
Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy: https://nonviolentliberationstrategy.wordpress.com/
Anita: Songs of Nonviolence: http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/
Robert Burrowes: http://robertjburrowes.wordpress.com/
Global Nonviolence Network: https://globalnonviolencenetwork.wordpress.com/

As our world spirals deeper into an abyss from which it is becoming increasingly difficult to extricate ourselves, some very prominent activists have lamented the lack of human solidarity in the face of the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya.

See ‘The Rohingya tragedy shows human solidarity is a lie’ and ‘Wrongs of rights activism around Rohingyas’.

While I share the genuine concern of the Yemeni Nobel peace laureate Tawakkol Karman and Burmese dissident and scholar Dr Maung Zarni, and have offered my own way forward for responding powerfully to the ongoing genocide of the Rohingya – see ‘A Nonviolent Strategy to Defeat Genocide’ – in my view the lack of solidarity they mention is utterly pervasive and readily evident in our lacklustre official and personal responses to the many ongoing crises in which humanity finds itself.

To mention just the most obvious: Every day governments spend $US2 billion on weapons and warfare while a billion people lack the basic resources to live a decent life (and more than 100,000 of these people starve to death).

Every day millions of people live under dictatorship, occupation or suffer the impacts of military invasion. Every day another 28,800 people are forcibly displaced from their home.

Every day another 200 species of life are driven to extinction.

And every day our biosphere is driven one step closer to making human life (and perhaps all life) on Earth impossible.

See ‘Killing the Biosphere to Fast-track Human Extinction’.

It is not as if any of this information is unavailable.

Just as many people and major international organizations are well aware of the plight of the Rohingya, it is also the case that many people and these organizations are well aware of the state of our world in other respects.

And still virtually nothing meaningful happens (although there are tokenistic responses to some of these crises).

Hence, it is a straightforward observation that human solidarity is notably absent in virtually any attempt to tackle the major issues of our time.

And the Rohingya are just one manifestation of this problem.

Given that I have long observed this phenomenon both personally and politically, and it concerns me as well, I would like to explain psychologically why the lack of sharing and solidarity is such a pervasive problem and suggest what we can do about it.

In order to feel concern for those who are suffering, and to want to act in solidarity to alleviate their suffering, it is necessary to experience certain feelings such as sympathy, empathy, compassion, love and (personal) power.

Moreover, it is necessary that these feelings are not suppressed or overwhelmed by fear and, equally importantly, not overwhelmed by a feeling of (unconscious) self-hatred.

If someone is scared and full of unconscious self-hatred, then they can have little interest in sharing their own resources or acting in solidarity with those who need help.

And this applies whether the adversely impacted individual is a close relative or friend, or someone on the other side of the world.

So why is fear in this context so important? Simply because fear grotesquely distorts perception and behaviour.

Let me explain why and how.

If an individual is (consciously or unconsciously) frightened that one or more of their vital needs will not be met, they will be unable to share resources or to act in solidarity with others, whatever the circumstances.

In virtually all cases where an individual experiences this fear, the needs that the individual fears will not be met are emotional ones (including the needs for listening, understanding and love).

However, the fearful individual is never aware of these deep emotional needs and of the functional ways of having these needs met which, admittedly, is not easy to do given that listening, understanding and love are not readily available from others who have themselves been denied these needs.

Moreover, because the emotional needs are ‘hidden’ from the individual, the individual (particularly one who lives in a materialist culture) often projects that the need they want met is, in fact, a material need.

This projection occurs because children who are crying, angry or frightened are often scared into not expressing their feelings and offered material items – such as a toy or food – to distract them instead.

The distractive items become addictive drugs.

This is why most violence is overtly directed at gaining control of material, rather than emotional, resources.

The material resource becomes a dysfunctional and quite inadequate replacement for satisfaction of the emotional need.

And, because the material resource cannot ‘work’ to meet an emotional need, the individual is most likely to keep using direct and/or structural violence to gain control of more material resources in an unconscious and utterly futile attempt to meet unidentified emotional needs.

This is the reason why people such as the Rothschild family, Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, Amancio Ortega, Mark Zuckerberg, Carlos Slim, the Walton family and the Koch brothers as well as the world’s other billionaires and millionaires seek material wealth, and are willing to do so by taking advantage of structures of exploitation held in place by the US military.

They are certainly wealthy in the material sense; unfortunately, they are utterly terrified (and full of self-hatred) and each of them justly deserves the appellation ‘poor little rich boy’ (or girl).

If this was not the case, their conscience, their compassion, their empathy, their sympathy and, indeed, their love would compel them to use or disperse their wealth in ways that would alleviate world poverty and nurture restoration of the ancient, just and ecologically sustainable economy: local self-reliance.

See ‘The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth’.

Of course, it is not just the billionaires and millionaires of the corporate elite who have suffered this fate.

Those intellectuals in universities and think tanks who accept payment to ‘justify’ (or simply participate in without question) the worldwide system of violence and exploitation, those politicians, bureaucrats and ordinary businesspeople who accept payment to manage it, those judges and lawyers who accept payment to act as its legal (but immoral) guardians, those media editors and journalists who accept payment to obscure the truth, as well as the many middle and working class people who accept payment to perform other roles to defend it (such as those in the military, police, prison and education systems), are either emotionally void or just too frightened to resist violence and exploitation, in one or more of its many manifestations.

Moreover, governments that use military violence to gain control of material resources are simply governments composed of many individuals with this dysfunctionality, which is very common in industrialized countries that promote materialism.

Thus, cultures that unconsciously allow and encourage this dysfunctional projection (that an emotional need is met by material acquisition) are the most violent both domestically and internationally.

This also explains why industrialized (material) countries use military violence to maintain political and economic structures that allow ongoing exploitation of non-industrialized countries in Africa, Asia and Central/South America.

But, equally importantly, many ‘ordinary’ people are just too scared to share (more than a token of) what they have and to act in solidarity with those who suffer whether through military or other violence, exploitation, persecution, oppression or occupation.

Of course, it takes courage to resist this violent world order.

But underlying courage is a sense of responsibility towards one’s fellow beings (human and otherwise) and the future.

As noted above, however, fear is not the only problem. Two primary outcomes of fear are self-hatred and powerlessness.

Here is how it happens.

When each of us is a child, if our parents, teachers and/or the other adults around us are frightened by a feeling – such as sadness, anger or fear – that we are expressing, then they will use a variety of techniques to stop us expressing this feeling.

They might, for example, comfort us to stop us crying, scare us out of expressing our anger (particularly at them) and reassure us so that we do not feel afraid.

Tragically, however, responses such as these have the outcome of scaring us into unconsciously suppressing our awareness of how we feel when, of course, evolutionary pressures generated emotional responses (some pleasant, some less so) to events in our life in order to help guide us into behaving appropriately at any given moment.

And this suppression of how we feel is disastrous if we want children to grow up behaving functionally.

This is more fully explained in ‘Why Violence?’ and ‘Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice’.

So where does self-hatred fit into all of this? Well, if a child is angry in response to some violence to which they are being subjected (usually, of course, in an attempt to control their behavior), then they will attempt to defend themselves against this violence in an effort to persevere with their original intention.

However, if the child is then terrorized into submission by a parent or other adult (by being threatened with or experiencing some form of violence, often given the inaccurate label of ‘punishment’) the child will be compelled to unconsciously suppress their awareness of the original feelings, including anger, that were generating their behavior.

Unfortunately, there is a heavy cost to this suppression because each child is genetically programmed to follow their own self-will (manifesting through such mental functions as thoughts, feelings and conscience) rather than to obey the will of another (whether it be parent, teacher, religious figure or anyone else).

Hence, if a child is successfully terrorized into not behaving in accordance with their own self-will, they will experience a strong feeling of self-hatred precisely because they have submitted, out of fear, to the will of another.

Conscious self-hatred is an intensely unpleasant feeling to experience, however, and because the child is systematically terrorized out of expressing and acting on most of their feelings (which is why 100% of children go to school wherever school is available and compulsory: children are not given freedom of choice) the feeling of self-hatred is suppressed along with these many other feelings.

Having learned to do this, subsequent opportunities for this self-hatred to be felt are progressively more easily suppressed.

An unconscious feeling does not ‘go away’ however; it is unconsciously projected elsewhere.

Suppressed self-hatred is always unconsciously projected as hatred of someone else, some other group (usually of another sex, race, religion or class) and/or something else, often in imitation of the violent parent/adult (because imitation will be given ‘permission’ by the violent parent/adult).

And this inevitably leads to destructive behaviors towards that individual, group and/or the ‘something else’ (including the Earth’s environment).

But, and this is important to recognize, this destructive behaviour might simply manifest as inaction: doing nothing in response to someone else’s (or the Earth’s) obvious need.

So the unconscious fear and self-hatred are projected as fear of and hatred for living beings as well as the Earth, and manifests as behavior that is destructive, often by inaction, of themselves, others and the planet.

The tragic reality is that it takes very little violence to terrorize a child and this is why a substantial proportion of the human population is consumed by their own fear and self-hatred, and feels powerless as a result.

Consider the people immediately around you: many spend most of their time, consciously or unconsciously, abusing themselves, others and/or the environment, and doing nothing in response to the plight of our world.

So what can we do?

Given existing parenting practice, fear and self-hatred are not easily avoided although they are not necessarily all-consuming.

But to be free of them completely requires just one thing: the fearlessness to love oneself truly. What does this mean?

To love yourself truly, you must always courageously act out your own self-will, whatever the consequences.

This requires you to feel all of your emotional responses – fear, sadness, anger, pain, joy, love … – to events, including impediments, in your life. See ‘Feelings First’.

It is only when you do this that you can behave with awareness: a synthesis of all of the feedback that your various mental functions give you and the judgments that arise, in an integrated way, from this feedback. See ‘Human Intelligence or Human Awareness?’

At first glance loving yourself and acting out your own self-will might sound selfish.

But it is not.

Self-love is true love.

The individual who does not truly love themselves cannot love another.

Nor will they feel such emotional responses as compassion, empathy and sympathy.

Hence, this individual will not seek mutually beneficial outcomes in tackling conflict, will not seek distributive justice in resource allocation, will not value ecological sustainability and will not act in solidarity with those who are suffering.

It is this individual, who is terrified, self-hating and powerless, who will act selfishly.

In addition to courageously acting out your own self-will, you might also consider making ‘My Promise to Children’.

And if you love yourself enough to be part of the struggle to end the violence and exploitation of those who are full of fear and self-hatred, you might like to consider signing the online pledge of ‘The People’s Charter to Create a Nonviolent World’ and/or using sound nonviolent strategy for your campaign or liberation struggle. See Nonviolent Campaign Strategy or Nonviolent Defense/Liberation Strategy.

Those who are terrified and self-hating never will.

via Freedom Rider: Oligarch Jeff Bezos

Posted By Luther Blissett 01/23/18
By Margaret Kimberley: Intrepid Report [https://desultoryheroics.com/2018/01/23/freedom-rider-oligarch-jeff-bezos/]

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a net worth of $105 billion and is the richest man in the world.

But he is not just the richest man at this moment in history.

He is the richest person who has ever lived.

As of 2017 he and seven other billionaires had a collective net worth equal to that of the poorest 3.6 billion people on earth.

These figures have been in the news of late but without much useful analysis.

The corporate media refuse to state what is obvious. Namely that inequality is worse around the world precisely because these super rich people demand it.

While pundits and politicians go on breathlessly about oligarchs in Russia, they seldom take a look at the wealthiest in their own backyard and the control they exert over the lives of millions of people.

When Amazon announced it would choose a site for its new headquarters, cities across the country began a furious race to the bottom.

Amazon is not alone in the thievery department.

Major corporations like Walmart always request and receive public property and public funds in order to do business.

Some 235 cities have put themselves in the running for this dubious venture.

Chicago is willing to give Amazon $1.3 billion in payroll taxes that prospective employees would ordinarily pay that city.

If Chicago wins this booby prize, Amazon employees would pay taxes to their employer and not to the government.

This is truly cutting out the middle man and makes real the rule of, by, and for the wealthiest.

The potential for public outrage isn’t lost on unprincipled politicians.

Some cities now refuse to reveal how much they plan to give away.

But the news to date is disheartening with Boston offering $75 million while Houston is willing to part with $268 million.

Amazon says it will hire 50,000 people but their business model already pays employees so little that many of them qualify for public assistance, despite being employed.

The United States is as much of an oligarchy as countries it usually disparages but it is far more dishonest about its true nature.

All talk of democracy is a lie as the rich get richer, by an additional $1 trillion in 2017, and wield more and more power over the lives of everyone else.

The Bezos juggernaut is not restricted to theft of public money.

He is also the sole owner of the Washington Post, one of the most influential newspapers in the country.

Bezos owns a newspaper that is an organ of the ruling elite and he also has a $600 million contract to provide the Central Intelligence Agency with cloud computing services.

The Washington Post was the force behind Propaganda or Not, an effort to destroy left wing voices like those at Black Agenda Report.

Under the guise of fighting Russia and so-called fake news, the Bezos owned Post began the censorship campaign that has put the left’s presence on the Internet in such jeopardy.

Politicians outdo one another giving away public resources to the richest man on the planet who also owns a major newspaper and services the surveillance state.

If it can be said that any one person rules the world, Bezos would be obvious choice.

No one in Chicago, Boston, Houston or any of the other cities giving away the store ever voted for Jeff Bezos.

All talk of democracy is a sham as long as the richest people take from the rest of humanity.

The effort to make government an irrelevance is thoroughly bipartisan.

Republicans and Democrats alike are willing to turn over government coffers to Bezos and his ilk and the rights of the people be damned.

Whoever wins this tarnished brass ring ought to be consigned to political defeat.

The mayor, aldermen, city council members or whoever else brings disaster to their locality should be punished for aiding and abetting the theft.

If these cities can give to the richest man who ever lived, they can surely use public money to help their residents right now.

But they will never do that because they are all bought off and compromised.

They are either cynical or afraid to go against the real rulers of the country.

Bezos may look like the villain in a James Bond movie but there is nothing funny about him.

He is deadly serious and so are his intentions. In a Bezos run world, every worker will be impoverished, every level of government will subsidize corporations, and anyone who speaks out will be discredited and under surveillance.

The last thing any city needs is a new Amazon headquarters.

We need an end to billionaire rule in this country and around the world.

That will be the salvation of the people, not more sweatshops run by wealthy people who steal from everyone else.