Monday, August 20, 2018

The Never Ending Iraq War and Middle East Occupation

I am 26 years old. My country has been at war with no less than two nations or otherwise militarily involved which now just means bombing without an official declaration, for more than half of my life. Not that the two "official" wars of Iraq or Afghanistan have an actual declaration either. Its all under the now 17 year old AUMF. There is so much to unpack here, lets start with some fun facts to better acquaint ourselves with what is actually going on with our tax dollars in our name. 

America Has Been At War 93% of the Time – 222 Out of 239 Years – Since 1776, i.e. the U.S. has only been at peace for less than 20 years total since its birth.   

The US Commenced Plan To Dominate ‘Grand Area’ Of The Globe After WWII. 

The Neoconservative wing of the US government, after 9/11 decided to "Invade 7 countries in 5 years"

On the oil reserves in the middle east during World War II “It’s a stupendous source of strategic power and the greatest material prize in world history.” “It’s strategically the most important part of the world”

That is all to say that, whatever you think you know about US Foreign policy- its bullshit. Unless it begins with or contains something along the lines "geopolitical strategical importance and/or natural resources." That might be news to some, but it really shouldn't be, this is pretty out in the open if you pay even the slightest bit of attention to the news.

U.S. soldiers are fighting and dying for the bottom line of fossil fuel companies. That's what this is. Its not about "spreading democracy" or "liberating" people in the region. In a day and age when we could convert the worlds energy grid to green technology in a matter of months, this whole ordeal of permanently occupying the middle east is just a bad joke.  It really is, there's just no other way to put it, you have a small number of incredibly powerful wealthy people who are playing a chess game with with planet and peoples lives simply so they can keep playing the chess game and maintain their status as players, while the rest of us are expendable pawns.

Do  I need to even get into the fact that 15 out of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia? Perhaps our 2nd closest ally after Israel? No, I don't think I need to, but that information exists as well, and it adds to this picture, this real world picture that the occupation of the middle east has nothing to do with 9/11 or Terrorism (btw the US is the largest sponsor of state Terror and it has been since the end of WWII) or freedom or democracy. It has everything to do with maintaining a monopoly on the worlds primary energy source as well as making sure the folks who run that monopoly fatten their wallets while they do so.

I'm even sure where I'm going with this anymore, but lets recap if only for my own sake: We're there for oil. Everything else said besides that is a lie. Okay. Cool.

So what can we do? We the people? Organize. Push renewable energy. Demonstrate against the wars. Vote for anti war candidates or at least people who will begin the process of unraveling the empire. Aside from being aware, make other people aware of this too. We live in an age where people have the entire accumulated knowledge of human kind on their tiny little fucking rectangle, I believe the colloquial term is "phone". Use that, educate yourself, educate others. Its going to take solidarity on a national if not global scale to undo these things we're doing but its the right thing to do, not just morally but fiscally as well.

I'm going to stop here before I keep going into different tangents. Stay strong, keep fighting.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Democratic Leadership falling All Over Themselves To Compromise The Progressive Agenda With Republicans

So the reality of mainstream politics in the United States thats known by anyone but right wingers is that the democratic leadership is wholly right wing and just trips over themselves to sellout to the donor class, much like the republican leadership. Ask your typical self described republican or listen to a talking head on the telly and you would walk away with the impression that the democratic leadership; Pelosi, Schumer and the like, are closeted socialists that actually want to tattoo the Soviet hammer and sickle where a tramp stamp would go and twerk on the floor of the house and senate respectively because they're just godless commies. 

Now I'm a lefty, if you looked at this blog it would take less than a second to realize that. However, I am a lefty precisely because I live in the real world and I deal with facts and data and as far as my politics are concerned, I'm an empiricist. So it was no surprise to me when I read the article I'm basing this post on, that the Democrats new "Debt-Free" college plan is just a group of flowery words  stringed together in attempt to pull the veil over the average persons eyes. 

I don't really need to breakdown the democratic policy plan, the article already does that, just click the link under the cleverly picked picture by yours truly.

What I'm interested in writing about is the broader picture here; That the Democratic leadership that is completely beholden to the 1% are still firmly in control of the party, and they are already trying to compromise with republicans on the core issues of progressive and left leaning candidates. 

I'll just cut to the chase and make the point: They are doing it to preserve the levers of power that the government provides in the hands of the wealthy elite. Medicare for all, college for all, the peoples platform are all easily within our grasp but one or two of two things need to happen for this vision to come to past- raising taxes on the wealthy, and/or cutting the military budget. Both of these things take away power and wealth from the ruling class. Whether they know it consciously or not (and believe me, they do) the democratic leadership is part of ruling class and they'll be damned if they see their taxes go up to pay for social programs that are overwhelmingly popular with the American people. 

One last point, FDR sold out to the working class to win 4 presidential elections, a feat that prompted the party of big business (the GOP) to enact term limits to a measly two per person. If the democrats were actually interested in winning elections, they have all the knowledge to and resources to make that happen. Their actual interests are maintaining the status quo that made them rich and powerful in the first place. 

Monday, August 6, 2018


On the 29th of July, two bus drivers were racing to pick up passengers and killed two students who were waiting for a bus. Since then, high school and college students took to the streets and have been protesting peacefully against dangerous road conditions (i.e. no driving and traffic regulations and poor enforcement). They took it upon themselves to manage traffic (creating emergency lanes; arranging them according to vehicle size) and checking licenses of every passing vehicle (including police vehicles) on major roads.

There are several students now dead and missing; all they did was demand safer roads in a country where people die from road accidents every single day. They took to the streets and checked licenses, regulated traffic, exposed an incredible number of people including government and ministry workers for driving without valid licenses. They had been doing a better job than traffic regulation and law enforcement officers in the city, and all they wanted was an assurance of safety.

This protest was entirely peaceful, wholesome and supported by most citizens. The government’s reaction to this was to send out student political parties to also don school uniforms and partake in the demonstrations. These “students” infiltrated the protests and initiated violence both on the students and public property, followed by law enforcement doing the same: opening fire and using anti-riot equipment such as tear gas, aimed at protesters who were 13-20 years old.

This event has gained traction on international media recently, and has been covered by multiple media outlets such as the New York Times and BBC. However, they’ve stated multiple times that the government claims these were instigated by the opposing party, while other parties have been trying to twist the narrative to fit their own agendas. However, that is NOT true. These are young students protesting PEACEFULLY against law-breakers and unsafe roads, they have no political affiliations whatsoever.

The government has also shut down mobile data in the country and slowed down internet speeds. They have been arresting and detaining people for posting things online that implied dissent, and multiple journalists have been attacked, detained and had their recording equipment seized and destroyed. The media was made to withdraw many of their previous statements and say their sources were wrong, and some hospitals are being pressured into turning away students who were injured at the protests.

Today, Bangladesh is a battleground. These "student politicians" have turned the streets into a hunting ground, chasing down these peaceful protesters and brutalizing them. They're literally hunting anyone that looks like a student and murdering and mauling in the most inhuman ways... And these monsters are supported by the government. Law enforcement and these thugs (who are all armed beyond their pay grade) have murdered multiple people already, committed other crimes like rape and also attacking those trying to help the children.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Toys R Us, Vulture Capitalism and Worker Cooperatives.

Giraffes just want to live in dignity!

This hurts to write about. Before I get into what I have to say about this whole shit-bag of a situation I'd like to first express my fondness I have of Toys R Us. I grew up in a middle class family, I come from a level of privilege that makes me wonder why I ever started paying attention to world affairs. I could easily not give a damn and live a life of selfishness. If anything my life would probably better off, I'd still have close friendships without giant wedges and more money to my name from not donating to charities and progressive campaigns and so on.

But I digress, I really enjoyed Toys R Us as a child. Who wouldn't? Its a building full of bright colorful toys and parents to buy you one if you've been a well behaved child or whatever. Some of my fondest memories include Seeing the Nintendo 64 on display for the first time and playing the Mario demo with my brother. Or seeing the GameCube on display and playing Smash Brothers Melee or Luigi's Mansion (depending on when you went there of course). Its where I got my first Razer scooter that quite noticeably increased my mobility around the neighborhood. I could go on but for everyones sake I'll stop here and summarize with: Toys R Us is....was fucking dope.

Okay, so Toys R Us is a thing of the past, merely a memory now, but why? How? Surely its because they just weren't making enough money right? They got cocky and put too much stock into Beyblades.

Well, no. What had happened was, Toys R Us was bought by Bain Capital and KKR in 2005 and they do what vulture capitalists do: they loaded the company with debt to the point of bankruptcy. That was the goal from the 2005 buyout, to load the company with debt so the investors could cash out in a few years.

The workers were given 60 days notice as "severance pay". Over 180 stores closed and 31,000 people lost their jobs because a small group of people far above those 31,000 on the economic ladder wanted to get just a little bit higher on that ladder. But hey, investors gonna invest right?

It should go without saying that of course no employees were consulted about the 2005 buyout or the debt that was loaded onto the company or any of the other very important decisions that were made by a tiny little shitty minority of people who "worked" at the company. What if there was another way? What if workers had a say in the decision to sell the company they worked at to vulture capitalists?

This is where Worker Cooperatives come swooping down in their stylish union made capes and Chinese slave labor free spandex. Why good golly gosh O.P. what in tarnation is a Worker Cooperative? Well, since I'm here I may as well you: A worker cooperative, is a cooperative that is owned and self-managed by its workers. Simply put, instead of having investors and shareholders and CEO's run the show, the workers run the show. The people who work and make the profits that the investors and shareholders actually have self determination under a worker Co-op.

You may be sitting there, slack jawed, wondering if I've been infected with brain worms or some other nonsense. Well, aside from being extremely sweaty from self-driven exertion, I'm actually quite fine.

But yes, worker Co-ops exist, even right here in the motherland! Over 300 with over 3,500 employees that together make an estimated $400 million annually. But surely they don't work as well as the top down structure of a corporation, surely a privileged few dictating decisions that effect the lives of every worker is the proven model. Its whats everywhere! Its I'm familiar with.

Well, call me bubble bursting Bartholomew because bam: Worker Co-ops are more productive than normal companies.

But as I'm sure you can imagine, there is in fact a reason why worker co-ops are not the norm. To state it bluntly, when workers can make decisions about their workplace and how things are done, inequality at that company shrinks considerably.

I really just felt it was time for another picture, for pacing sake.

I think I'll wrap it up here with a quick summary. A beloved store by myself and children everywhere is no more and those workers are without jobs because a small group of people with all the power to make important decisions made the decision in 2005 that led ultimately to the companies demise in 2018. Perhaps if Toys R Us were one of the 300 worker cooperatives the company would still be around today, making kids smile with their inventory of joy.

Say no to war with China

George Soros recently said this in regards to the People's Republic of China: "China is not the only authoritarian regime in the wo...