Category Archives: Current Events

We, the new slaves

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the Corporate King. The king disguises itself as our democratic government. But it lies to us and betrays us. The king owns our minds.

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the king’s propaganda and lies. We are told we are free. But money controls all, and the people have little. The money I speak of buys elections and lying politicians who are the minions of the Corporate King. The Supreme Court, itself owned by the Corporate King, has just delivered our country over to the power of money with the court’s latest decision in which it proclaims that the king may spend whatever the king wishes to further enslave the people, by feeding the people lies, feeding their prejudices, feeding their fear, feeding their hatreds and suspicions and claiming it is all for their benefit and their freedom.

We are the new slaves, enslaved by the king’s voice, the television that educates us and our children, that corrupts our values with violence, that dumbs us down so we can no longer think for ourselves. We turn to the tube to think for us. It tells us what gadgets, what things to buy and how to become further enslaved to pay for them. We once enslaved the aborigines in this country by trading them trinkets and mirrors in exchange for their land. It is an old trick that those in power play on the powerless. We are the powerless.

We are the new slaves. We are enslaved by banks and their demand for interest. The banks own our homes. We pay the banks rent in the form of interest, and we keep up their property at our expense. The banks are the soul of the Corporate King. But king is governed by no moral code. The king is governed only by its greed.

We are the new slaves. We pay tribute to the Corporate King from the sweat of our bodies to finance the king’s wars, wars not for our benefit, but for the king’s further enrichment and power. Our people die in such wars. Our people die without adequate health care. Millions of our children go to bed at night hungry and uneducated. The king does not care. It cares only for its wars and its profit.

The king sits back and laughs. To control the minds of hundreds of millions of people is divine. But such power is in the hands of fools who are the collective mind of the Corporate King. That mind is terminally diseased with greed. And the people are in jeopardy, for the king will continue to betray the people and lie to the people until it has sucked out the last of our lives. The Corporate King is insane.

What shall a desperate people do? We will do nothing until we learn the truth of our slavery. Will it then be too late except to scream in the streets?

But the king is deaf.


Why I hated Avatar

Avatar I saw Avatar the day before yesterday. I hated the movie. You must see it so you can hate it with me.

I was shocked and dismayed at the special effects we were shown. They were magical. If I had been from another planet I would have stood in awe of the humanoids who could produce such a spectacle. 

I would have concluded that if they could create such as was shown on the screen in Avatar, they would be a species that could transcend the animal instincts of hate, killing, war, greed, and the insatiable quest for power. And that they would be able, instead, to find creative ways to care for the poor, to make love the overriding human emotion, to cure sickness and, in the end, to create a heaven-like place on earth for their brothers and sisters.

Instead, what made me hate the movie was that its theme was not love, but war; its message was not forgiveness but killing and hate. Its heroes were killers in the end. The story was the genetic story of mankind.

We have only so many stories in our human suitcase of stories. We have romance, love, betrayal, hate, killing, greed, and the rest of the human potpourri of stories; but they are limited. We cannot have a story without the conflicting story. Love without hate does not exist in the human experience. Nor can caring exist without greed. Peace without hostility and fear.

The sadness of the movie is that it could explode in its technical magic, but it was shackled to a totally predictable, banal story of the same human characteristics that will eventually destroy us and the planet. It is the same story that  existed when man came swinging down from the trees more than a million years ago. We make no progress, none, in reshaping our souls. We are confined to our primitive selves.

We may wish to change. But we cannot. We can yearn for beauty and grace, but we cannot shed our primal core of war. That this was proven to me at the movie is why I hated it. I wanted it to lead us out of ourselves. Instead, it taught me once again that we are trapped in our animal origins from which there is no escape.

The wild pig story

Someone wrote me the following:

A chemistry professor in a large college had some exchange students in the class. One day, while the class was in the lab, the Professor noticed one student who kept rubbing his back, and stretching as if his back hurt.

The professor asked the young man what was the matter. The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists who were trying to overthrow his country’s government and install a new communist government.

In the midst of his story he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked, “Do you know how to catch wild pigs?”

The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line. The young man said this was no joke.

“You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come everyday to eat the free corn. When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence. They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up – with a gate. The pigs, who are used to the free corn, come through the gate now to eat and then you slam the gate down on them and catch the whole herd.

Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom. They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity.”

The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening to America.

My response was as follows:

This is a favorite story of corporate America that has captured most Americans through television, teaching us year after year what we must buy in order to be cool Americans. We buy on credit. We mortgage our homes and cars. We shop, as the saying goes, until we drop. Then the corporate master teaches us how to get out of debt by going to a debt-consultant who takes more of our earnings to help us pay the corporate overlord.

Corporations do not build fences to catch people. They throw propaganda nets over the people called advertising. The bait in the nets are the TV shows the people watch, and as we watch we are gradually dumbed-down and captured by endless corporate ads that tell us how we must spend our earnings to be acceptable – the new car –the new TV set – the right clothes – on and endlessly on.

Now that we are in debt and need help, the corporations love to tell the pig story. The question they ask is: Why don’t you work to feed yourself and your family? Why aren’t you independent like you should be? Why do you want something free?

I have rarely seen a corporate executive who was hungry. As a corporate executive who tells the pig story he also comes begging to the government to save his company from bankruptcy, and, at the same time, like a true pig, awards himself and his fellow pigs millions in bonuses while over twenty-five percent of America’s children go to bed hungry.

Please tell the children and their parents the pig story.

We, the silent, insane

The horrid greed-disease casts us into insanity.

It is the disease that corrupts us and compels us, like raging ghouls, to spend endless billions for weaponry to kill and maim other innocent human being, to render children legless, parentless, homeless and to destroy whole cultures for money and power.

We make choices.

We could choose to educate all of our children and provide health care for all of our citizens for less than the endless billions we spend on killing.  We plunge ourselves into debt to kill, but whine that we do not have the funds to provide honest, hardworking citizens jobs, healthcare and an education.

Money is the disease that brings on this insanity. We abandon our own, whom we tax and exploit and lie to – our innocent citizens, now slaves – to build a meaningless war machine which is a money machine for the few.  We frighten our citizens into silence. We are insane.  And this insanity renders us mute.


Dribbles from their snouts

“The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens … Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.”   – Leo Tolstoy to a friend

My own experience is that those who seek power are not to be trusted with it.  Those who chase after power are like gluttons charging the trough – they are not in need of nourishment, but struggle only to satisfy their gluttony.  Indeed, one does expect a hog to undo its ways.

So those who yammer at the gates of power promising that their motives are to do good ought not to be more trusted than the hog.  What is left for the hungry masses are usually but the dribbles from their snouts.

The high price of money

20dollarBill_1 I can remember my mother preaching: “Money is the root of all evil.” Her preaching was appropriate because we had little of either.

I am not one to downgrade money as a means of exchange – money for goods and money for services. But what happens when money becomes the meaning of life?

What happens to us when we dedicate our lives to its acquisition, that we judge our worth, our success, our power, our beauty, our intelligence and our right to dominate others depending upon how much money we have acquired?

What happens when we admire those who have much money, squeezed from the hides of helpless workers and we fail to recognize the mother, stricken with poverty, who, nevertheless, put her children though college. What about the father who dug ditches and cleaned latrines but set a role model of honest labor for his sons, while the corporate executive played money games on the stock market and wrested unearned bonuses from his shareholders?

This so-called down-turn in the economy is a danger to us. But as all dangers are likewise opportunities, these times give us an opportunity to rethink what is worthy of our admiration, both in ourselves and others.

As Sitting Bull said, “I have spoken.”

The trick question about torture

cemetery I see those miles of white markers at Arlington Cemetery – thousands on thousands of small white gravestones placed over the bodies of young Americans who gave up their lives to save our American values. We have not always acted beautifully – not always in accordance with our highest ideals. We have failed from time to time. But Americans as a people have not failed.

Not yet.

The would-be torturers ask: “What do we do when we know an attack is eminent and that one person knows when and where the devastation will occur? He will not respond to ordinary interrogation. Shouldn’t we torture him for the answer?”

The question is a trick question – a dishonest hypothetical construct. Let me show you why:

The torturer will always argue that the man he has strapped to the gurney knows when, where and by what means the bomb will fall. How does the torturer know this? Has he tortured others to find out? Haven’t we opened the doors to torture in exponential proportions? Haven’t we provided an excuse to all who wish to torture and the rationale to torture at will?

The torturer himself may be unstable, misinformed, evil, stupid or paranoid. His agenda may be pathological. Do we test the torturer hoping to discover if he is solid and credible? In general I would not trust the life of a harmless bunny rabbit to someone who is willing to torture another human being. There is something shadowy and fearsome about such a person who would allow himself to perform such horrors on another human being. It is easy to get caught up in trick questions that have no concrete attachment to reality. We ought not argue such questions because they open dangerous pits from which we may never be able to extricate ourselves.

Let me ask my own hypothetical question: Suppose we could store all of our American values, in, say, a cup. To whom would you entrust the sacred cup? Would you deliver it to some unknown person who was chosen by Lord knows who, who, himself was chosen by Lord knows who, to protect and preserve the cup for a nation?

Another hypothetical question: Would we deliver the wealth of a nation to someone who instead of torture, could roll out a train loaded with thousand dollar bills – billions – to purchase the necessary information to save the nation? It would, of course, greatly affect our taxes. It would break many of us. We might argue that the enemy might well accept such massive wealth under false pretenses but still destroy us. Yet the enemy may well also accept torture without telling us the truth and in the process of torturing we would have sacrificed our values as Americans.

Torture is evil. To accept it under any case – and all cases will eventually prove to be hypothetical – is to tell ourselves that we really don’t believe what we say we stand for.

Torture is evil. To accept it under any case – and all cases will eventually prove to be hypothetical – is to tell ourselves that we really don’t believe what we say we stand for. It says that we lied to those kids who gave up their lives and whose bodies rot under the little white markers at Arlington Cemetery. It says we have a set of life rules that when tested have no meaning, because they can be set aside at the whim of some unidentified torturer in a hidden room. That person does not speak nor act for me.

Likely he does not speak nor act for any of us.

Photo Credit: beggs

Money the Murderer

I see that the Acting Chief Financial Officer of Freddie Mac is thought to have committed suicide. Nice looking man with a pretty smile. Apparently hung himself. Probably loved by some or many.


The power of dead money. It can give life and it can kill. When money becomes the soul of a culture, we are in trouble. I think of the king in Bhopal who claims that his goal is for gross national happiness as, of course, distinguished from GNP (Gross National Product.)

Simple ideas.

Life, our magical gift.

The arrogant embezzlers of Wall Street

Many corporate executives openly and arrogantly steal from the public companies they work for. Since the company belongs to the stockholders, they steal from the stockholders. They betray the stockholders’ trust. Take a look at this chief executive compensation data, please.

Paying themselves such wildly unearned bonuses constitutes simple embezzlement. Of course, the board of directors must approve these bonuses, most of which have increased during this spiraling downturn (let us call it what it is, this depression.) But the directors are part of this conspiracy.

An engaging question: Is such conduct criminal?

Let me make the argument with a simple analogy: John Manager runs a local grocery story for its owners, the many heirs of Henry Owner, deceased. All of the money earned from the business belongs to the estate, and none, of course, belongs to John or the trustees.

A fair and reasonable wage for John, according to his skill and experience is $100. But John has a special relationship with the trustees. First, they were selected by John. Next, they have a tacit understanding: John gets $1000 for his work instead of $100. But the trustees John selected get benefits that include tickets to the Superbowl, recommendations to join John’s clubs, his political support when one of the trustees wants to get on the city council, trips with John to Hawaii during the deadly winter, and John buys groceries from the trustees who are his wholesalers. John is also on the board of the wholesalers who happen to overpay themselves. The heirs are so many and so scattered that they take what they get and are happy to get any benefit at all.

John has, in fact, stolen $900 from the heirs since the reasonable value of his service is $100 while he has paid himself, with the trustees’ consent, $1000. Nifty little scheme. Remember, the monies have been paid by the trustees with the full knowledge of the above facts. The conspiracy is to aid John in stealing $900 from the estate. A dedicated prosecutor could make a criminal case stand up against both John and the trustees.

But no one will prosecute because John and the trustees and the prosecutor and the prosecutor’s political bosses and all of their mutual friends are members of the same country club, all give to the local symphony and all go to the same church and pray together every Sunday and, of course, buy a gross of Girl Scout Cookies.

If Billy Joe, half doped up and in need of another fix, comes stumbling into the store and, at gun point, robs it of $20 he will be immediately prosecuted and sent to the pen for twenty years. He is a danger to society, is he not?

I rest my case.

If a corporate executive will steal from the corporation it runs will it not also steal from the American public that constitutes its customers and clients? And can we really trust its products or services?

The wild horse and the red minnow

We are so afraid. The hand of the trainer has been on us. It has been a punishing hand. Often cruel. It has jerked us up short. It has demanded that we think and act in ways that please the trainer.

Over the years we have become like the horse born wild, captured, and then broken. We now back up to the plow and wait to be harnessed. The trainer – the composite of parents, the pressure of peers, of teachers and preachers, of public relations gurus, of politicians, and the flock itself, have domesticated us.

We have been taught how to act and how to think. Our values have been grafted on to us, ideas that are often strange to our genetic beginnings.

We conform. We embrace convention and distrust and disrespect those who do not. We are regimented and constrained and tamed.

We must conform, else we are in danger. Can you see it – ten thousand minnows, all silver, and that one red minnow? Can you see the approaching shark?

But we have choices. Dare we make them?