The US Is Not Ready For Socialism

When the majority of people spoke of Socialism for many years, what they really referred to is Marxist Socialism. Some confuse Marxism with Communism but that’s not exactly accurate, either. If you want a better distinction between the two than I can offer, I advise listening to Dr Richard Wolff.

In summary, Communism and the Bolshevik Revolution initially began with Marxist Socialism as a goal. However, it was diverted along the way by numerous forces which distorted it.

However, this is not about a history lesson. Nor is a full college course definition of Marxism the point I am making here. There are many sources for that information easily available.

If a person is informed on exactly what Marxist Socialism truly is, one can easily define it as a society which places the welfare and well-being of the society above that of the individual. It is the members of that society utilizing the resources produced by that society to help all members of the community. It involves strict regulations of resources and oversight of monetary policies to enforce fair distribution of goods, services and money. The regulations are determined by the very members of the society in question. Policies and laws are debated and voted into place by a democratic majority of regular citizens taking part in the process, each with an equal stake in the outcome and/or consequences of their decisions.

In opposition to Socialism is Capitalism, in which there is little to no oversight of the distribution of resources. The distribution of goods and services are unfairly diverted to those who gain the greater share of those resources, by nearly any means possible. Goods and services are produced by the many for the benefit of the few. Laws and regulations are determined by what benefits the already powerful, with no input by the members of society. The elite suffer virtually no consequences for their actions or decisions, while the consequences are suffered in severe form by the successively lower classes. In modern times, we can clearly see the capitalist system as a direct descendant of slavery and feudalism.

Unfortunately, in this country we have been basically banned from even discussing Socialism for decades. To even mention Socialism raised the contrived specter of an evil enemy, a narrative construct created by elite propagandists to keep the masses in line, subservient to the masters and mistresses of the manors. Generations have been indoctrinated to believe that capitalism is the only system which offers freedom, even as we sacrificed our freedom and our very lives on the altar of the capitalist religion. The servants have warred amongst ourselves to defend our own oppression.

Times have changed. Much of this is thanks to one of the most Socialist constructions ever. The internet. More specifically, social media. While nobody can deny that much of social media is emotionally reactionary behavior, ideas still manage to get through and eventually discussed if perpetuated enough.

This is why the corporate culture has been rising to attempt to censor these ideas. Yet then they must face the backlash of protests, outcries and, most importantly, the threat of losing their audience and consumer base which provides their revenue stream. The threat exists that users will abandon their platforms and form new platforms, never to return. So, should the corporate media sources tolerate some ideas for short term profit? Or censor speech in an effort to control the narrative? Capitalists will always and consistently choose short term profit, even when they know they will suffer some level of defeat further down the road.

One big problem is that our society still believes too much in capitalism as a model. They listen too intently to corporate propaganda fearmongering about the dangers of Socialism.

We have been emotionally conditioned to react emotionally rather than think critically or understand concepts. We have been conditioned to fear simple words without knowing their meaning. Yet this country has had Socialist programs in place for decades, without which the economy would collapse and humans would suffer. Social Security, public schools, public roads, worker safety laws, health departments, environmental protection laws, wage laws, consumer protection laws and more are all Socialist in nature. These programs and other Socialist constructs are responsible for millions of jobs resulting in trillions of dollars in tax revenue.

It is not taxes which are the problem but how those taxes are spent which pose the problem. Our taxes benefit the rich far more than society in general. Bombs and weapons create very few jobs and save no lives at all. Medical care, infrastructure and education save lives, improve lives and don’t directly kill anyone. Yet they create jobs across the country, across the planet.

While our grasp of the benefits of Socialism is improving, we are not yet evolved enough for Marxism. Even the vast majority of those who support Social Democracy are still prone to the mindset of capitalism and consumerism which we have been immersed in for our entire lives. We are not yet evolved enough emotionally, educationally, intellectually or even spiritually to move directly toward Marxism. Just by virtue of the psychological and emotional maturity of our populace, any possible move toward true Socialism will have to be done by gradual steps. We already see the lesser evolved populace fighting in favor of their own oppression, their own suffering, their own insecurity, even their own deaths. They are simply unable to break free of their indoctrinated programming.

One must recall that the two major countries that have utilized any form of expansive Marxism both did so only after being decimated by world wars, the USSR by WWI and China by WWII. People were desperate, their cities, infrastructure and economies laid waste. They enacted Socialism as they rebuilt their socioeconomic systems and even then only with extreme struggle and civil unrest. In addition, they both faced the exact same adversaries which we face now- Corporate influences and the capitalist-enabling US government, backed up by a massive military force. Yes, if we try and move too quickly toward Socialism, we will definitely confront US military force and militarized police on our own streets, in our own homes.

I have no doubt we can eventually make the move toward Socialism. It would be natural social evolution and maturation. It will simply have to happen over a long period of time and include mass education to prove the concept. Each of us in favor of Socialism can help by pointing out the Socialist programs we already have in place and their benefits to both society and the general economy. Still, even we must accept the fact that the only way it will stand a chance of occurring is for us to follow in the same economic path by which it has taken hold in other countries. That is to say, capitalism MUST fail completely, forcing the majority of the population to come to complete realization that a new system to replace it is mandatory. Our only other choice would be reinstating slavery. If that happened, who gets to choose who the slaves would be? What would happen to those who did not own slaves or resources? Their labor would not be needed on any significant scale. To a populace blind to the fact that they are already enslaved to debt, desensitized to our own suffering, to give up more rights may not seem like a frightening concept. Our society has become secure in our own insecurity.

The necessary collapse of capitalism is coming soon. It has been inevitable for many years and is completely unavoidable at this point. The illusion can no longer be maintained. It will be the capitalists who have used the capitalist system as a religion, a drug, a means of self definition who will collapse as the system collapses. People who define themselves as capitalists will be unable to adapt, unaware of who they are without their possessions. Sadly, we can expect many to take their own lives rather than adapt. Some may try and take the lives of others. It will be tragic but we must expect it.

It is time for us to face these facts at this moment, without waiting or trying to defer the mental evolution to a later date. It is time for each of us to be the grownups in the room. The already evolved will find no true challenge in adapting to such a reality. We will have no problem leading the way forward.

Boeing Is Just Another Symptom Of Failed Capitalism

Currently, Boeing is seemingly being raked over the coals in front of CONgress for their mistakes at best, outright fraudulence at worst regarding their 737-MAX jet.

The evidence keeps mounting that Boeing covered up information which illustrated how unsafe the MAX jet system truly is. This was done in an effort to bring the jet to market before their competition brought a new model to production. In other words, for profit.

Nothing but theater. The biggest problem with this is that there will never be criminal charges applied. It doesn’t matter at all if overt, intentional fraud is clearly demonstrated with full knowledge that human beings were going to die because of it. There is not even the suggestion of criminal charges coming out of these proceedings.

Not the first time by a long shot. We have seen such fraud committed by corporations for as long as this country has existed. Companies have intentionally dumped hazardous waste in waterways, which they continue to do as of this moment. Oil companies have hidden their full knowledge of the fossil fuel connection to climate change for decades. Drug companies hide drastic, even lethal effects of medications every single day. We’ve seen tire companies hide known catastrophic tire failures while continuing to produce and sell the same tires. Auto companies cover air bag failures. Vehicles that explode on low speed impact. Brake systems with known failures common on certain vehicles. The list can go on indefinitely.

No consequences. The biggest reason we continue seeing this is that there are no real consequences to this kind of corporate behavior. The corporation is typically given a slap on the wrist with a ridiculously small fine in relation to the consequences paid by consumers who are sickened, injured or killed because of such malfeasance. In this case, Boeing will likely have a fine imposed which still allows them to walk away with billions in profits. They will be forced to retrofit the MAX jets. Which will be done as cheaply as possible, so think about that. The CEO will be voted out or forced to resign while receiving a severance package worth dozens of millions of dollars. Boeing stock may decrease for 1–2 quarters, then bounce back. (If the economy doesn’t crash beforehand.)

This is not a flaw in the system, it is a feature of the system. The reason we keep seeing this over and over is because apathy to human consequences is literally built into the capitalist system. The word “capitalism” literally means a system which places profit (capital) above physical/emotional/environmental health or life/existence itself. Capitalism is a religion which worships itself and nothing else. There will never be consequences paid by the priests of capitalism when their actions have been for the purpose of promoting capitalism.

You pay for it. What will happen after Boeing is forced to pay a nominal fine and retrofit the death jets? Your airfare will increase. Your baggage fees will increase. You will pay for the theatrical performance CONgress is staging. Boeing will be faced with lawsuits and you will pay for those too. Just like you pay higher prices for tires, medications and vehicles. You subsidize the alleged “losses” brought on by products known to be unsafe yet that information is hidden, while the corporation posts higher profits, higher stock values, higher stock dividends and corporate executive bonuses/severance packages. Corporations poison and pollute the environment and you pay for it for decades, for generations in terms of over 1300 Superfund sites. You pay for it with your safety, with your health, possibly your life or the lives of your loved ones. You pay for it in stress, in fear, in hypervigilence, in loss of freedom of speech to protest against these same corporations, censorship by media corporations who threaten journalists who report negatively about advertisers, in laws favorable to corporate campaign “donors” while stripping more of your rights away.

No, none of what is happening with Boeing right now is an anomaly. It is business as usual. It is so normal that most Americans will not be listening, not be paying any attention to the CONgressional proceedings. Mostly because we know nothing will change in our favor because of this. For those of us that do pay attention, we can cheer, we can jeer, we can sneer. The result will be the same. That is, until we stop worshiping corporations, stop bowing down to the rich, stop allowing this to be just another day in corporate America.

People Rise As Capitalism Collapses Globally

Corporate media of late has focused intensely on the protests occurring in Hong Kong. Yet they don’t mention the numerous protests happening around the globe. The focus on Hong Kong is meant to be indicating some form of Western victory, while not much mention is made of the fact that there are counter-protesters in favor of China.

Right now there are protests happening in many countries. Some are violent, some are not. Nearly every single one has a basis which boils down to an objection to capitalist systems. There are currently protests occurring in France, Venezuela, Honduras, Ecuador, Brazil and Chile, all of which have had extensive violence involved. Meanwhile in the US we have protests by the UAW (United Auto Workers), backed up by the AFL-CIO. More protests occurring against General Electric. In recent years, Mexico has seen a rising tide of protests for various reasons, some financially based, others against police violence and corruption.

It is not a debatable point that most corruption is in some way rooted in capitalism. Political and police corruption often happen because of bribery by unlawful or unethical entities seeking to make a profit. From direct bribes of police or public officials to turn their heads as crimes are committed to lobbying for favorable legislation in return for campaign donations or post-political-office positions at high salaries, all of it equates to the same thing.

Many union leaders over the years have been investigated and/or convicted of corruption and racketeering. The leaders walk away with massive profits while the workers they are supposed to represent have wages stagnate and benefits slashed.

Interestingly, public officials in the US, elected or appointed, who act against the welfare of much larger number of citizens are basically never indicted or even investigated for their corruption.

The size, scale and geographic diversity of all these protests are a clear indication that the people of the world have had enough of the decades of oppression imposed upon them by capitalists. People have had their comfort, their emotions, their health, their welfare, their children, their very existence brought into doubt or completely sacrificed for the benefit of the wealthy. While the wealthy on average are apathetic or even sadistic in their regard for the middle class and poor.

There was at one time something of a balance where the poor could attain a comfortable middle class status and the middle class could attain some level of wealth. That balance has been destroyed because for the extremely wealthy, enough has not been enough. Today it is far more likely the middle class will fall into poverty than attain any level of wealth. While those already in poverty could well fall invisibly and silently out of existence.

Most of those rising up and those not yet rising up are not seeking any extreme level of wealth. Merely comfort and security. Most are happy working for what they have, as long as what they earn is not claimed by the rich as a birthright. There is nothing abnormal in wanting your labor valued enough to make a living wage, have medical care without bankruptcy or education without decades of debilitating debt.

The absolute biggest reason capitalists gain control of socioeconomic systems is because of common election funding systems. In countries where election funding is primarily through public funding, such as the US, candidates for office make promises and incur debts to “donors” who fund their campaigns. Anyone who denies that quid pro quo exists in such a system is either willfully ignorant or is a direct beneficiary of that system. Thus they have no desire to change such a system.

The only alternative to public funding is government funding with transparent controls. In the US, that would include equal funding for at least the top four parties, not two. Combined with equal access to all state ballots and debates. Ranked choice voting would be a logical and necessary component of such a system.

Another major reason for capitalist control of socioeconomic systems is corporate lobbying. Right now there are at least 8 lobbyists in DC for every member of CONgress. Government officials go through a rotating door between elected/appointed office and corporate executive employment. Lobbying and the rotating door are closely entwined. The rotating door must be closed and corporate lobbying should be declared a criminal offense with mandatory prison sentencing for lobbyist and lobbied officials. All debate on legislation should be public with no closed door events, no private communications which do not involve tightly defined issues of national security, such as weapons design.

Fighting for such changes against the beneficiaries of the current system will be a true fight. The corporate media will absolutely be against such changes, seeing that they are some of the most prolific profiteers of our current system. This means this fight will be fought tooth and nail at the grassroots level. It is not something we can take lightly. This issue is gaining ground slowly and each one of us can help with it.

The other option is going to be violent protests as we are seeing in other countries right this minute. JFK said, “He that makes peaceful revolution impossible makes violent revolution inevitable.” We are standing at the edge of that choice right this minute. It will not take much to push us over. In Chile, all it took to push the country into chaos was imposing a tax on internet based phone calls. Americans are far more passive than Chileans are. However, we cannot put off action on these issues any longer or we seal our fate of sinking into violence. It may begin in isolated events but will spread nationally very quickly. Many believe they would be immune from the effects of such violence. I expect the violence here would be far worse, considering the apathy common in the American populace and the number of firearms in this country. Trying to impose gun control at that time would make it infinitely worse.

So, your choice. Peace through submission? Peaceful revolution? Or violent insurrection? Shall we burn our cities to the ground? Anyone in favor of violence I reject outright. Anyone offering passive-aggressive criticism with no viable alternative is useless. Those who choose to not decide will merely leave that choice to others.

The Root Source of Drug Abuse

The US government and media has spoken about drug abuse for decades. Constantly seeking one influence or another to blame. Migrants, minorities, drug companies, etc.

The biggest problem with nearly any discussion on drug abuse is that the root cause of drug abuse is too often ignored, downplayed or completely omitted.

While we are seeing a massive increase in opiate addiction and overdose, this is not the first instance of this in US history. Prior to the creation of government agencies to regulate drug use, opiates were common and sold over the counter. Morphine, codeine and other opiates were in everyday medications like cough suppressants. At one time, Coca-Cola contained cocaine, derived from leaves from the coca tree, hence the name of the most popular soda in world history. 7-Up once contained Lithium, which is now used as a psychiatric medication used to treat manic disorders and allegedly acts as a mood stabilizer. Today, the US comprises 5% of the world population yet accounts for 80% of global opiate consumption.

At the same time we are seeing an increase in opiate use/addiction/overdose, the US also has seen an increase in antidepressant use since 1999. Benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax or Ativan saw prescriptions roughly double between 2003 and 2015, that most recent data compiled which I saw in a cursory search.

In addition to opiate use, the rising trend seen in illegal drug trade is bath salts. Bath salts act as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor, causing elevated mood in the user.

Whether we are talking about legal or illegal drugs, alcohol, bath salts, opiates or antidepressants, the same trend becomes evident. Each of these substances has specific similar effects, meaning decreased anxiety/elevated mood. To be clear, increased dopamine production or slowing the reuptake of dopamine, results in a similar response. Dopamine is the “feel good” hormone produced by the brain.

So, the question is, why are we seeing a desire for chemicals to improve our mood? Some like to claim it is a matter of privilege. Yet they cannot then explain why drug use and addiction are either constant across income levels or worse among the least privileged in society. Or why countries with higher income levels do not have higher rates of use and addiction. In general, why has addiction become more common in the past few decades in the US, while income levels have remained stagnant? Why do drug and alcohol use increase during times of severe economic downturn?

There have been studies on antidepressant use among younger Americans which show clearly that their depression is very real, for very real reasons which pills cannot cure. The same reasons apply to all forms of drug use and abuse.

Here is a short list of reasons we are seeing chemical use rise in the US-

This country has been at war for 18 continuous years. Many younger Americans see family members and friends enroll in the military due to lack of other opportunities. Those family members and friends change, become different people. Then they may not come back or come back injured, damaged physically and/or emotionally. Young people who do not enroll have a very real fear of a draft being enacted at some point. That fear has a very rational basis.

From young to old, we see people struggling to make ends meet. Many working multiple jobs. Younger people are staying at home much longer than previous generations and it is all due to financial reasons.

The price of education has skyrocketed far beyond the rate of inflation, leaving millions with student loan debt for decades, along with the associated interest. Defaults on student loans are the highest they have been in the history of this country. Meanwhile, many who are graduating are unable to find employment in their chosen careers, even when their degrees are in business management, accounting or vocational occupations. Which leaves them earning low salaries with high levels of debt.

Vehicle loans are seeing high numbers of defaults, with the average car payment today being over $500 a month. Or a person has the choice of spending many hours every day on the worst public transportation system of any first world country. Imagine doing that when you have children. Or maybe you don’t have to imagine it. You may be reading this while riding the bus, for all I know.

There is the constant fear of mass shootings, either in schools, churches, theaters, malls, night clubs. Meanwhile our CONgress remains in the pocket of the NRA, refusing to take meaningful action. If the same number of people died every year from an illness or certain class of vehicle as from assault weapons, we would have large sums of money thrown at it and the banning of that class of vehicle entirely.

Anyone being pulled over by police has no idea if evidence will be planted on them or in their vehicle. Road side drug tests are proven to be unreliable and are inadmissible in court, yet you can be held in jail for days before a more valid forensic test proves your innocence and even that will not help if a dirty officer plants evidence. Of course, you also have the chance of being shot while reaching for your wallet.

Racism is rampant. People of color fear being victims of hate crimes just walking or driving. Or being shot by police for the crime of not being white.

Women fear being physically and/or sexually assaulted. Men fear being accused of things they’re actually not guilty of.

People are afraid to speak to each other. Period.

Like I said, this is a short list of reasons we are seeing such an epidemic of mind-altering chemical use and abuse. Yet the discussion regarding those chemicals, the root causes for the prevalence of their use is rarely discussed. The media and government steadfastly refuse to discuss the issues leading to the problem because doing so would result in lower profits for major advertisers and donors, such as drug companies, for-profit prisons and weapons manufacturers selling to police departments. They all want to continue the failed war on drugs which has raged on for nearly 50 years and only escalated with the results being what we see today.

If we want to see a change, we have to change the approach. Up to now, it has been doing the same thing every single year and expecting different results. So it is up to us to insist on the discussion to change topics. That real problems be addressed, that new solutions be enacted. Too many lives have been destroyed by the current approach. If we don’t absolutely demand that things change, millions more lives will be destroyed.

We have no idea how many innocent people have had their lives and the lives of their families torn apart by planted evidence. Even if guilty of possession of drugs, does that alone warrant paying for it for the rest of your life?

The war on drugs to date has cost us uncounted trillions of dollars. Mock hearings, millions of people in prison, families on public assistance where they were not before, children and innocent adults caught in the crossfire, decimated careers, psychological therapy for any number of related issues and militarized police all cost us every day of our lives in ways we can never account for financially or emotionally.

The ultimate truth about our drug problem is that it leads to many other problems which are far more costly on every level. It is caused by other problems which are too often ignored or viewed separately. We will never solve the drug problem unless we address the problems which lead to it. We will never stop the problems it leads to unless we solve the drug problem.

In other words, drugs are not the problem, they are a symptom of the real problem. The real problem is capitalism. Does that mean we would have no drug problem if we lived in a Socialist society? No. It means we would address the drug problem in far different ways, ways which preserved society instead of ripping it apart. The only reason we are not doing so right now is because of the profit motive of those truly in charge of our society. If we discuss ways to reduce the cost of any problem, capitalists instantly think, “But we’ll make less money!”

If we talk about treating addiction as an illness using a nationalized treatment program, they scream, “But who will pay for it?!” We would. We would pay far less than we do now in every way. We would have more money, more freedom, less violence, less crime, less depression, less anxiety, less anger, less paranoia, fewer suicides, fewer guns, fewer families ripped apart, fewer absent parents, less racism, lower medical costs of treating poisoned chemicals made in garages in other countries…

In the end, we need to wage war against the war on drugs.

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Capitalist Challenge

Capitalists and capitalist wannabe puppets (who own no capital yet support the agenda of the ultra-rich) are fond of claiming that Socialism has never worked. Of course, they leave out the trade sanctions and militaristic threats or outright military destruction imposed by capitalistic countries (mostly the US) on Socialist countries.

Be that as it may, here is a challenge for anyone who supports any level of Socialism to present to said capitalists:

Ask them to name one single country in all of world history in which capitalism has worked for all citizens. That has to include high wages, low taxes, affordable healthcare, no crushing poverty, no slavery, little to no homelessness, no debtors prisons, no wars for profits, protection of the environment, worker safety laws, consumer protection laws, high rate of home ownership and freedom of the independent press with no censorship.

Hell, it doesn’t even have to be a country. It can be a city.

What you can consistently expect is going to be diversion. They will try to redefine the question, the challenge, even the definition of capitalism. They will try to throw around terms like “free market”, which they will refuse to actually define. Yes, I fully expect responses which will focus on that last sentence and ignore the challenge. Just wait for it. They will try and claim capitalism is about small business, yet not explain how limits are imposed on business growth without Socialist-leaning policies.

The reason they do this is because capitalism has never worked for the population. It does not work for the general population now. It will never work because it cannot work. It is not designed to work for the general population.

The entire design of capitalism is intended to work only by force, subjugation, oppression, propaganda, brainwashing, poor education and legal control of all resources available to a society.

In the most prosperous years in the history of this country, we had controls and limits on capitalism. We had price controls on certain necessities. The subsidies we have in place right now are relics of Socialist-leaning policies meant to help the middle class and poor. Such as subsidies on fossil fuels, coal, milk and corn. The original intent was to protect society. Over time, the subsidies grew ever larger while profit caps were removed. Thus today we will hear capitalists rage against profit caps and price controls while they never mention subsidies.

During the same prosperous years, taxes on the rich were the highest they have been in US history.

Yet that prosperity did not reach all our citizens by any means. Many lived in abject poverty, often with no plumbing or electricity.

Some reading this may recall or have heard of “urban blight” from the late 60’s through the 70’s. Yet few recall what brought that blight into being. Give you one guess. It was capitalism. Elitism. Gentrification which drove up rents and property values. Racism played a heavy hand. This was topped off by the reduction of taxes on the rich. This resulted in insufficient resources to maintain public transportation and infrastructure. As desegregation spread, the affluent white moved away from city centers to the suburbs, often taking their retail and possibly manufacturing businesses with them. There was often little to no public transportation to these areas, so the living wage jobs they offered were typically off limits to the poorest in society. What remained in city centers were vacant, decaying business locations with high rent, so if less affluent businesses with less affluent customers moved in, the conditions were poor and crime escalated.

This was not a new pattern. Look at the history of slums across major cities in the US. Nearly all slum sections of major cities were once wealthy, thriving middle class white neighborhoods. Harlem is a good example, should you care to look into the history. Yes, Harlem was a white neighborhood before it later was largely segregated. Today in some areas we are seeing these areas renovated. Though that is not typically good. The renovations lead to gentrification, bringing back high rents and property costs by equity owners seeking to make fast, easy, often unrealistic profits. Thus we have the poor who cannot afford the increased rents and taxes forced out. Sometimes with no place to go. If employment is in these areas, we now have people sleeping in cars and tent cities to have access to their jobs because they cannot afford the rent.

This is all a capitalist cycle we will keep repeating until we put an end to it. No capitalist can ever explain how paying profits and reducing profits for the rich is better than what Socialist-leaning policies offer. Capitalists always claim the higher taxes, price controls, higher wages and any limits at all will destroy the economy. The opposite has been proven true every single time, with no exception.

So, when you encounter a “capitalist”, go back to the challenge above and issue that challenge to them. Accept no diversions, no excuses. If they try it, drag them kicking and screaming back to the subject. Once they predictably resort to personal insults, walk away. You’ve already won that debate. No need to continue the discussion further.

The Case For Nationalizing The Military Industrial Complex

I’ve written before that the claim is false that weapons contractors creating jobs is false. Even in the rare instances that there is any truth to it, to maintain those jobs is entirely dependent on the perpetuation of our current wars. To expand and create more jobs would require waging more wars.

Many Americans still hold by the mantra that we have the greatest military on earth. That our military technology is virtually miraculous. In any case, they think our military can defeat any opponent in existence and do so in short order.

The same people are oblivious to the fact that we have been in Afghanistan for 18 years. In Iraq for 16 years. In addition, we are directly bombing, assisting in bombing or selling weapons to other countries who are bombing 5 more countries- Syria, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan and Yemen. We also fund a significant portion of the Israeli attacks on Palestine.

In the cases where we are selling weapons, those sales may pose a profit for military contractors but it comes at a LOSS to US taxpayers. Consider the fact that the US gives $90 billion every single year to other countries. Most of those countries use a portion of that money to buy weapons from US contractors. We also buy oil from Saudi Arabia, providing profits for them to wage war on Yemen and fund terrorists in other countries. Both Saudi Arabia and Israel have been on record assisting ISIS and Al Qaeda.

Did you realize that when military contractors sell weapons to other countries, those weapons are transported by or under escort of US military ships? The companies and purchasing countries are not billed for this security, YOU are. THIS is a corporate subsidy.

Military contractors spend billions each year on lobbying, campaign “donations” and advertising on corporate media. This alone should be illegal by any account. Their profits come from taxpayer dollars and should never be allowed to be spent to influence opinions of the public or elected officials.

When corporate media has “experts” speaking about international conflicts, over 90% of the time the “experts” and guests have direct ties to military contractors. The result is propaganda and sales pitches by MIC contractors being presented as “news”. Have you noted they do not host diplomats, who would be the logical choice for the subject? When was the last time a corporate media source interviewed Jimmy Carter?

Here is a list of companies you may or may not have known are military contractors- Boeing, Ford, General Dynamics, GM, GE, CAT, IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, Heinz, Tabasco, Lockheed, McKesson, Humana, United Health Group, Hewlett Packard, Honeywell, Merck, Cardinal Health, Pfizer, Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon, Fedex, Valero Energy, AT&T, GlaxoSmithKline, Berkshire Hathaway, Rolls Royce, Express Scripts Holding, Bank of America, Burger King, Coca Cola, Tyson Foods, Walgreens, Citi Bank, the NFL…

Of course, this is a small fraction of the list of military contractors. Is this changing your view yet of all the patriotic and heartwarming “Support Our Troops” advertising?

The point I am making is not that all these companies should be nationalized. Just making the point that they all make significant amounts through government contracts and some portion of those profits funded by taxpayers and government debt are used on advertising. We could go even further by nationalizing any oil processing which is required by the military.

However, by nationalizing weapons contractors, we would end the practice of those weapons contractors having a voice in elections and what is presented as “news”. By removing corporate profits from the equation, military conflict would then be seen as what it truly is- a drain on resources that offer virtually no benefit to society in any form. By removing the commentary of those who gain from warfare, we have a much greater likelihood of war being portrayed as the horror that it truly is rather than some patriotic, heroic, profitable endeavor which creates more enemies than it could ever possibly nullify.

Yes, I know some will still claim that the weapons industry creates jobs. Okay, so if weapons manufacturing were nationalized, would thet create fewer jobs? No, same amount. Which would likely pay more and have better benefits.

Know what else creates jobs? Schools, highway construction/repair and medical care. Plus the fact that those would create jobs and incomes in all communities, reduce costs for real life needs and provide needed services to the PEOPLE of this country.

In short, the real enemy we face is unbridled capitalism. That is what created any enemies we now have in other countries. It is what has resulted in overthrow of governments, multiple refugee crises in the Middle East and South America, tens of millions of deaths, millions with PTSD, hundreds of thousands of suicides, children growing up with damaged or dead parents and trillions in debt while society has nothing positive to show for it. Only the rich benefit from the current system.

Automation- Your Job Is Not Safe From Indirect Effects, Pt 2- Solutions

Part 1 of this series addressed the challenges involving automation which affect our economy and job market. Part 2 addresses solutions which we cannot avoid having to implement at some point. If we do not implement these solutions at some level, our economy and our society as we know it will continue to deteriorate and ultimately collapse. We’re already well on the road to that conclusion.

There is no stopping it. You will not stop the advance of technology and automation. It’s here to stay and is accelerating. Technology has been advancing since prehistoric times. Technology multiplies technology. Humans have always used tools to build bigger tools, better tools, buildings and factories to create tools. Computer programs speed the development of better, faster programs. We now have programs that write programs. Computer hardware is used to develop the next generation of hardware, faster, more capable, more resilient. The more the tools advance, the fewer the number of workers needed to accomplish the greatest amount of work. The only time this is bad is when it happens in a capitalist system. Remove money for survival from the equation and it is a positive. Keep money in that equation and it becomes deadly.

WE need to adapt our attitudes. Many Americans are still stuck in the concept that Socialism is bad. Never mind that without Socialist-leaning programs our economy would collapse right this minute. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schools, public roads, health departments, fire departments, police, jails, prisons, etc. Millions of jobs rely on a Socialist ideal right now. The problem with the advance of technology is that our economy has not kept pace. Our attitudes as a society have not kept pace.Most of this is because of capitalist ownership of media and domination of education, all pushing a capitalist agenda. “Capitalism good, Socialism bad.”WE need to evolve beyond this mindset. Stop giving in to fear of change. See what is happening. Stop trying to prop up a collapsing building.

Advances and opposition. Technology will continue to advance no matter the economic system. It is part of our evolution. It is the human drive to solve problems and defeat challenges. The first humans that used rocks as hammers made no monetary profit. The first humans to develop bronze, iron and steel made no money. The problem is that the same mindset to evolve and defeat challenges in our economy is opposed by a barbaric need to dominate, by greed, by ego. It is an absolute indication that our society has not evolved socially. It is this barbaric mindset which holds us back, which is apathetic or even sadistically jubilant at the suffering of human beings who lack the resources to dominate, even if that person is born with artificial socially imposed disadvantages which have nothing to do with their capabilities or true potential. It is this barbaric mindset which refuses to grant anything for free and pushes to make even the most basic needs like clean water a commodity available only for an ever-increasing price. It is that barbaric mindset which keeps those born or forced to the bottom of the economic ladder constantly fighting for mere survival until they have no time, energy or resources remaining to even make the attempt to climb higher. Mental slaves to that barbarism attempt to blame the victims of this system for their alleged failings. Surrendering our minds to that barbaric mentality means surrendering our lives, our society, our health, our children and our futures to someday be on the victim side of that equation. Many are experiencing this today as the middle class loses ground and becomes ever more insecure.

Limited options. There are only a limited number of solutions to the conditions which we are facing. Every one of those solutions involve some form of Socialism. Trickle-down economics is a demonstrated failure. Capitalists still try to claim that only capitalist solutions can save capitalism. Yet none of that is true. We have watched the flow of wealth to the top over nearly 40 years and we are now in crisis mode globally. You can cheer for your favorite gazillionaire all you like, that doesn’t mean that your paycheck grows any larger, that your personal future becomes any more secure. The rich have had sycophants groveling at their feet through all of history but when you no longer present a profit to the rich, your purpose has been served and you get thrown out like so much garbage along with everyone else. Stop licking boots.

Drop the resentment of the poor. Resentment of the poor does no good. Let’s say that some people take unfair advantage of welfare and avoid that argument. The fact is, if 25%, 1 out of four of Americans, took advantage of welfare to the tune of $1000 a month every month, that would equate to an annual cost of $990 billion. Now consider that most of those welfare recipients are likely to be supporting families. Consider that this spending would be spent in the economy, supporting jobs and incomes. The government surrendered more money than that giving tax breaks to the rich in 2018. The rich responded by using that money to buy back over $2 trillion in stock. In other words, enough to give HALF of Americans an extra $1000 a month. Yet that tax break created exactly zero jobs. Bloomberg recently reported that the job market declined by 600,000 since December 2018.

Solutions. It is obvious that the only way that the general population and capitalism itself will survive is by implementing some form of Universal Basic Income (UBI). As more jobs cease to exist, competition for remaining jobs becomes more fierce and as a result wages plummet, we are driving headlong into conditions ripe for unbridled civil war. You can deny it but that doesn’t change the truth. Look through history and the same conditions have always resulted in civil war by some name. Call it revolution, uprising or anything else, they all mean the same thing. The only thing missing at this point is some spark to light the final fuse. That fuse is lit. Flooding in the midwest, decreased imports and increasing prices due to tariffs mean that we are now facing a shortage of resources which will only be available to those higher on the income scale. As resources become more exhausted, it will mean more jobs are lost and prices escalate further. Cutting social support programs to support warfare and corporate welfare is exactly the wrong thing to do at exactly the wrong time. Yet that’s what is happening.

New ideas. It is obvious that new ideas and approaches are needed. We cannot keep applying the same old ideas which have NEVER worked and expect them to suddenly solve our problems. We have to be brave enough to accept the fact that the old system has failed and will continue to fail. Remaining in the same system for fear of change is no different than remaining in an abusive relationship because the abuser tells you that you cannot survive without them. It is the rich, the capitalists who will not survive without us. We literally don’t need them at all. Workers build and produce everything. Our national resources, including intellectual property, belong to us, not them. The profits from our efforts, our lands and waters do not belong to them by any authorization but our allowance, which has cost too much destruction, too much suffering, too many lives. The time for UBI is now. Not later. Later will be too late. Corporations are not your friends. The rich are not your friends. Corporate media are not your friends. Politicians who push the capitalist agenda are not your friends. The sooner YOU realize that, the sooner we can move forward together and build something better than we have. The other choice is that we all fail together.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

Automation- Your Job Is Not Safe From Indirect Effects, Pt 1- The Challenges

I’ve been writing about the effects of automation reducing jobs for several years now. More jobs are being eliminated through automation than the number sent to other countries.

Jobs which become automated will never come back. Period. The jobs do not even have to be automated in this country. They can be automated in another country. The result is the same, that the job no longer exists.

I still encounter people continuously that insist that technology creates more jobs than it eliminates. When challenged to explain how that works, they consistently fall silent. All they have is propaganda which they regurgitate, either programmed into them or which they directly promote with full knowledge that their words are false. Many of those who have challenged my statements work in the tech and robotics field, trying to justify their positions. I will admit that some of them seem to be trying to ease their own conscience. Sorry, I cannot be that nice to them.

I am not a Luddite or against technology. As a nurse, I prefer computer charting and despise paper charts. They’re a pain in many respects. They may be more secure for privacy but there have been many cases of paper charts being damaged, burned or destroyed. Once they’re gone there is no backup, they’re just gone. Forever. Plus the whole thing of chasing down the single copy of a chart when multiple offices or doctors want to access it while medical records sits on their thumbs is not fun, to say the least. As a writer, this effort relies almost exclusively on technology. Accessing information today takes a fraction of the time it once did. Sharing valid information is done in milliseconds. Mass social movements can be built in short order in this way. Independent media relies on technology, allowing us to bypass the multibillion dollar corporate propaganda machine.

Their rationale fails every time. The point where the tech propagandists fall is when I ask them to explain why companies would invest in expensive systems to reduce labor, when it would only result in more labor cost. I’ve stated before how jobs for auto workers, telephone operators, print setters, proof readers, toll booth attendants, accountants, bank tellers, cashiers, file clerks, manufacturing jobs and many more have been eliminated due to technological advances. Once systems are built, it takes only a few workers to maintain them. Updating software is done remotely, so one worker in another state or country can maintain systems. One or two technicians for a large company or from a contractor can maintain hardware for a city or several cities. Repairs are a matter of replacing disposable components.

No, trades are not safe. Of late, I have heard from people who say that trades are secure. No, they’re not. One person replied to a comment by saying he is a painter who does mold remediation. I concede that his job is secure. For the moment. Yet over time it will not be. This is true for many occupations.

The threat does not need to be a direct one.

The race is on. On his own statement, I directed him to do a search on YouTube. Right now there are many companies and universities in multiple countries developing home painting systems. Each one first does scanning and mapping of the space to be painted, stores a 3D model and then starts painting. So they are not limited to a set environment. It is a race for the first system to be patented and implemented. These systems do not do remediation but focus on viable structures and new construction.

Now, think about the implications.

Overcrowding. I’ll stick with the home painting issue as an example. Painters do not all do remediation. However, once robotic systems become widely used which eliminate an ever-growing number of jobs for new and stable construction, painters who relied on new or stable construction for income will acquire new skills which add on the their existing skills. Like mold remediation. This results in increased competition, driving down prices for remediation. Reduced pricing then results in reduced income per contract. The number of contracts will remain constant, while more workers will be competing for them. Less income per job, fewer jobs available.

Expand the concept. I have challenged the growing cry of people claiming that trade skills are secure. See that article here. However, let’s say that they are correct and I am wrong. If other occupations continue being eliminated while trade/vocational occupations remain secure, what happens? You’ve seen this before. What happens is that the number of people entering those careers skyrockets. The field becomes overcrowded, competition for those jobs becomes fierce, driving down wages and available opportunities are spread among a greater number of workers.

Ask a Programmer. One of the claims that will not go away is that there is an increasing need for programmers. That information is sorely outdated. Years ago, there was a demand for programmers who developed entire programs and systems. Those who had the skills could demand high wages. Today, thanks to competition, a programmer who could once demand $100 an hour can barely demand $30 and have to compete for that. Today, rather than building programs and systems, we have developers who develop applications or “apps” which run on top of operating systems. In many cases, apps can be developed with drag-and-drop programs developed by someone else. Even that has seen competition which demands short development time, perhaps only a few hours, at lower cost, meaning less income. In fact, tech development has resulted in systems which can create simple apps with no human programming needed. Tell the system what you want the app to do and it compiles an app for you with pre-written scripts pasted together. Developers have developed themselves out of jobs.

We already see the effects. The dwindling number of remaining occupations, the increasing number of applicants into these occupations is already apparent. Careers which once demanded high skill levels have been “dummy-proofed” through technology. That means fewer literal skills are required for most occupations. That means companies can pay less to workers and offer fewer benefits. Corporations can move entire operations to different states or countries and hire people with no skills at all. Just follow simple instructions for actions they repeat all day, every day for years. Auto workers demand far less pay than they once did. Programmers rarely program. Cashiers don’t have to be accurate. Trust me, I used to run a manual cash register. Riveters don’t rivet, they push a button and the robot rivets.

Many jobs are centralized. Talk to a telephone operator in your own state lately? Customer service technician in your own country? When you get invasive sales calls, chances are they are in New Mexico, Texas or some other country routed through a US number. I lived in San Antonio and New Mexico and those jobs have a high level of competition. My brother made a decent income decades ago as a telephone sales person for the San Antonio Light Newspaper. The Light no longer exists, driven out of business by Rupert Murdoch long before Fox News ever existed.

Worker productivity. We hear reports on financial news that worker productivity keeps rising. This is good news to investors, not to workers. Increased productivity means fewer workers are need to produce the same amount of goods. That means fewer jobs available. It’s that simple.

This is the end of part 1 of this series. Part 2 will delve into solutions.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

By The Numbers

According to Dr Richard Wolff, who is always very accurate, the average pay for a CEO today is $238,000 a week. (Just under $1 million per month.)

I broke down the numbers further.

This comes to $5950 per hour (for a 40 hour week).

Going further, it equals $99.16 PER MINUTE.

Which equates to $1.65 PER SECOND.

Simply put, a CEO makes more money in 5 seconds than a minimum wage worker in the same company makes in one hour. The CEO can take a long sip of water or coffee and make more money than the worker, who spent an hour on their feet, tired, possibly sweating, dealing with difficult customers, handling sharp or hot instruments, etc.

I won’t bother going into the difference in benefits much which for the CEO means stock packages, bonuses for cutting staff, more bonuses for declaring bankruptcy and raiding pension funds or retirement accounts, full insurance paid for by the company (in other words, by low employee wages and jacked up prices for customers). All that becomes fairly moot when they could afford any catastrophic illness and have more money in investments than a real person could ever spend in multiple lifetimes.

I see capitalist puppets defending this system all the time. People who consider themselves oppressed billionaires, yet make less in a year than the CEO makes in a month. People who have no grasp of economics. They think they understand economics because they can use a computer program to balance their checkbook for them. Or because they made $1000 on the stock market last year in a folio managed by someone else. They are economic geniuses in their minds.

Back to the numbers.

I previously explained exactly how much $1 billion is because most people have no concept of it. They just hear the term all the time and have never even considered how large that number is. So, here is that explanation again-

If you make $50,000 a year, it would take you 20 years to make $1 million.

Now, $1 billion is $1 million times 1000. Yes, I mean 1000, not 100. Check your math class.

This means that at $50,000 a year, it would take you 20,000 (Twenty THOUSAND, not a typo.) years to make $1 billion.

Maybe you make $100,000 a year. Okay, so your numbers are cut in half. You would have to work 10 years for $1 million, 10,000 years for $1 billion.

Or maybe you make $1 million a year. Then you would only have to work 1,000 years, a full millennium to reach $1 billion.

Keep in mind that at the end of that time, you would not have $1 billion, you would have earned $1 billion. You would be spending during that time frame.

Thus, at $50,000 a year, to earn the $150 billion which is Jeff Bezos’ net worth, you would have to work 3 million years. (Go ahead. Check my math.) Oh yeah. He lost some of that in his divorce recently. So I guess he’s onlyworth around $115 billion now. Poor Jeff. The struggle is real.

Some people will attack me and ask, “Are you proposing class warfare?”

Actually, yes. Yes I am. That doesn’t mean I am proposing violence. I am proposing legislative changes that equalize the balance of wealth, improve the economy, improve living conditions for the 99+%.

I’ve written extensively on how the wealthy hoard money. Like capital gains. Capital gains refer to investments. Investments are not taxed until they are withdrawn, then considered income. This is no different than your own 401k. Then capital gains are taxed at a lower rate than wages. There is a cap on federal capital gains tax of 20% at the highest level. That only applies if the money is withdrawn. So, if you make $100 million a year and invest $90 million of that, you evaded taxes on that $90 million. Keep doing that for 10 years and you have evaded taxes on $900 million.

Now, apply that concept to Jeff Bezos, other billionaires and corporations. Yes, corporations do it too. One way they do this is by spending money on stock repurchases to boost stock value. Stocks they bought back using money they gained from the bipartisan tax break they recently got.

This has not even reached the concept of taxing wealth. This is only discussing income. Meaning an individual or company evades taxes on cumulative trillions of dollars in income each and every year, year after year.

Meanwhile our government debates whether we should raise the minimum wage, cuts food stamps, denies Social Security applications/claims, reduces Medicare and Medicaid benefits, schools cut teaching positions, roads and bridges collapse.

When anyone proposes increasing taxes on the top earners, that’s not taking away anything they already have. It is an increased tax on income only and is not retroactive in any way. It also does not mean they pay a 70% tax on income over $10 million, it does not mean they pay a 70% tax on the whole thing. OVER $10 million means exactly that because of the incremental tax system. So if a person makes $10 million and $1, they only pay the 70% tax on the $1. Plus, it does not affect the capital gains tax I already discussed, where they can evade most of their taxes.

So the discussion on increasing the top tax brackets sounds Progressive but it’s really an illusion. CEO’s can take bonuses in stock packages. Capital gains are still a thing. Corporations pay no taxes on money spent on stock repurchases, bonuses, etc.

I’ve previously suggested a much more effective idea. Implementing a maximum income. Not wage, income, meaning from all sources.

Such a maximum income could be quite generous. Like $50 million. That is annual income. If you need more than that to live on every year, you don’t need more money, you need therapy and lots of it. Anything above that cap would be taxed at 100%. Corporations should be taxed at a percentage of profits. A 15–20% profit margin should be enough for any corporation. Bonuses and stock repurchases would not be deductions. Of course, capital gains would be taxed annually and at the standard tax rate.

If this idea were implemented, then over time it would be a possibility that Americans below that income level would not have to pay any income tax at all. Especially if we cut our military spending. The result would be all the money currently paid by most Americans on taxes would then be spent in the economy. Know what that does? It increases profits for the rich while improving lives for the rest of us. It creates jobs, real jobs with living wages. It boosts the middle class considerably. The rich do not create jobs. Consumers create jobs. In fact, the rich destroy jobs by laying people off to boost stock values and dividends. Corporations force small businesses out of existence.

These are not radical ideas. This is reasonable. It preserves capitalism but balances it. The alternatives to this are radical, either in favor of the rich as we have now or in favor of literal revolution. These ideas are peaceful and rational.

Back to that class warfare thing. One thing to realize is that the rich have waged class warfare against us for generations. We have simply hunkered down and tried to avoid the missiles and mortars falling all around us, destroying our planet, our country, our lives. It’s time to fight back.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.

Trump’s Immigrant Detention Industry Is The Worst Form of Socialism- Pt 2

As I noted at the end of part 1 of this series, the immigration detention industry is paid for by society, yet offers no direct profit to society.

Contrast this with Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. These programs offer direct societal benefits of providing a direct income or medical care. Under our current system, they do result in corporate profits but only afterthe money or service passes through the hands of the beneficiary.

None of this is true with immigrant detention centers. Instead the money goes first through the hands of the corporation. The corporation determines how much a worker gets paid after first considering their own profit margin, which is their first and only concern.

It is true that these facilities provide jobs and incomes for those that work there. They may boost local community revenues to some degree. However, this can only be seen as a temporary situation. There will come a time when the immigrant population will become so low that these facilities will decrease, leading to these facilities being closed again.

This could very well leave these communities in even worse condition than they began. You can count on the fact that many municipalities and local businesses will take out loans based on the increased revenue they see in the immediate present. So will many individuals, taking on new debt in the form of mortgages, vehicles, credit card debt and so on. Once the facilities begin reducing staff, cutting hours and closing doors, this party ends and the cleanup begins. The income will be gone and the bills will still have to be paid.

As long as these facilities remain open only for the purpose of detaining immigrants, this system is unsustainable. Eventually so many immigrants will be deported or naturalized that the end is inevitable.

For the record, the Socialist statement is also true of all of ICE, minus the corporate profit.

The alternative is considerably worse. That another use is found for these facilities. Like turning them into federal detention facilities. For whom? That’s the terrifying thing to think about. We already see laws being enacted to make it illegal to protest against corporate interests such as oil pipelines. We see laws being put in place which may well lead to it being a crime to protest our government giving billions in aid to Israel. I have no doubt laws already exist making it a crime to protest weapons manufacturers.

This in a country already hosting the largest prison population on the planet at any time in history.

Should these facilities turn into federal detention centers for other purposes, that would mean some working at those facilities would no longer be eligible to work there because employment criteria would change. These facilities would no longer be holding areas but actual prisons. The criteria for employment would then require security screening and training above and beyond anything currently required. In some cases, it would require training in restraint procedures and weapons training. (Of course, many currently working there would likely look forward to such things.) The inmates would be deemed “dangerous dissidents” and “terrorists”, even if they were someone like me, an anti-war, mostly pacifist blogger pushing for changes to our system which benefit everyone. ICE would likely be repurposed into a federal police force to identify and round up people like myself, then detain us with no charges, no right to representation, no Habeas Corpus at all.

Should that happen, many of those incarcerated would be family members, friends, social and business associates of those working in the facilities. Make no mistake that it would become a criminal act to protest the facilities themselves.

Some are going to claim that this projection will never happen, that it is unrealistic. Yet we have already gone so much further into what can only be described as fascism that our country is looking more like a dystopian nightmare than any sane person currently living in this country could believe. We are bombing 7 countries, collapsing our economy while corporate news denies it’s happening, spending an unbelievable amount on “defense”, threatening military action against at least 5 more countries, sanctioning our allies, destroying our own industries, handing all of the wealth to the already insanely wealthy, denying medical care and even food to those at lower income levels, poisoning our own water and land for the purpose of corporate profits, obliterating human and Constitutional rights at every level. What the HELL makes you think you are not next?!!

The last irony I will mention is this. Many of those who support these detention centers like to view themselves as “Christians”. The Bible teaches one to love your neighbor, love your enemy, feed to poor, heal the sick, judge not and to treat others as you wish to be treated. It also teaches you to welcome foreigners into your home and treat them as a guest, not only as an equal but with honor. One of the greatest sins listed in the Bible is pride and arrogance. The worst part for alleged “Christians” is that the majority of the immigrants from Mexico and South America are far more devout Christians than those who choose to eject them from this country.

Each day we force regime change on other countries, dictate laws to our allies and neighbors, imprison those who flee the results of our policies, separate families, kill innocent people in the name of “prosperity” and “security”, we deplete our resources, surrender our wealth, stain our reputation.. and create enemies. We are now creating terrorists within our country and in immediate neighboring countries. Those we have harmed for the sake of our own greed will seek restitution in some way, at some time. As individuals and as nations.

This country has suspended a Damoclean Sword above our heads with our actions as a society. It is only a matter of time before that sword falls and we have nowhere to turn to evade it. Live by the sword, die by the sword.

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I am an independent writer with no corporate sponsors or backing. The only income I make from my writing comes from views. At least I have reached the point where it makes more than it costs me! lol! (Not by much.)My writing is done in between full time (and overtime) nursing, shared custody of my brilliant daughter and mundane existence.

I have opened my new website which is intended to be a central listing of protests and political rallies across the US. It’s still a work in progress but is functional. You can find it at http://RallyAndProtest.com

Please consider becoming a patron on Patreon. I try and average at least 20 articles a month, so a $1 a month donation would come down to 5¢ per article to support independent, non-corporate writing. My Patreon page is here.

If you care to share articles with those who do not have Medium or Patreon accounts, I also post most of my articles on my own website, which has no advertising and I pay for with income from writing. My website is at https://issuesunite.com/ and all articles can be shared freely. You can always quote me, no attribution required. My goal is spreading information and awareness. The whole point is building a better, more peaceful, more equitable world for us and future generations.