April 29, 2012

Genetics and Environment (And GMOs)

Filed under: Dance of Death, Food and Farms, Scientism/Technocracy — Tags: — Russ @ 2:56 am


That everything’s “in our genes”, and that this is more important than environmental factors, is another notion that’s rapidly becoming a Big Lie as the contrary evidence piles up on all fronts.
For example, a new Stanford study on spiking autism rates estimates that the incidence of autism is around 38% genetically influenced, 62% caused by environmental factors. Analyzing the steep spike in autism rates in recent years, and taking the possibility of “improved diagnosis” into account, the study finds that rates have spiked steeply enough and fast enough that it can’t be accounted for by genetic change. It must be on account of changes in environmental factors which in turn are preponderant in causing the condition to develop. We’ve long known that environmental factors are critical where it comes to “switching on or off” various genetic predispositions. This is just one example.
Today, wherever there’s any doubt, the obvious place to look for environmental causality is among the poisons inflicted upon us by the corporate/government system, especially in our food. For example, genetic engineering is a violent, disruptive process from start (where the alien genetic material is literally shot into the target genome with a gun; did you picture some kind of “precision” technique?) to middle (where the alien material more or less randomly and chaotically sprawls over the indigenous genes, disrupting and destroying along the way) to end (where, contrary to system lies, the alien material is absorbed intact into our digestive systems and bloodstream, where it proceeds to modify internal bacteria, viruses, and our own cells, toward what chaotic effects even god would have a hard time predicting).
I’d say GMOs comprise a pretty aggressive intrusion by the environment upon our genes and our biology. One study found traces of Bt toxin from Monsanto’s Bt corn in the blood of 93% of pregnant women and 80% of umbilical cords and fetal bloodstreams. This is one of many studies disproving the Big Lie that alien GE material is destroyed in cooking and/or digestion, and it demonstrates how any potential genetic switch for any disease whatsoever is completely exposed to this invasion from the outside environment.
Someday, when humanity has overthrown this scourge and convened the New Nuremburg, we’ll know the full extent of biotech’s crimes against humanity. This wholesale assault on our genes and our health is among of the worst of these world-historical crimes.


April 27, 2012

GMO Imperialism as Biological Warfare


GMO imperialism is set to escalate on the biological warfare front. Glyphosate, including Monsanto’s previously dominant Roundup, is completely collapsing under the assault of the superweeds it generated against itself. This means the complete empirical failure of the entire concept of herbicide tolerant (HT) GE crops. Just as the dialectical destruction of Roundup was easily predicted, so the exact same dynamic will destroy 2,4-D and dicamba as effective herbicides, no doubt even more quickly. Everybody knows it.
But imperialism doesn’t recognize failure according to reality-based measures. Therefore a whole new HT suite, Dow Chemical’s “Enlist” herbicide and set of HT varieties (they’re starting with corn, but have soybeans and cotton in the pipeline), is poised to supplant the Roundup Ready system. This will do nothing but repeat the same failures and destruction as Roundup has wrought, but on an even more vicious scale. Enlist is based on 2,4-D, one of the primary components of the war-grade defoliant Agent Orange.
This corporate media piece blames farmers for having “relied too much on glyphosate”. This is a common Monsanto lie. The fact is that growers of Roundup Ready crops adhere scrupulously to Monsanto’s guidelines for application. (Monsanto’s technical support requires such adherence, as do what flimsy warrantees there are in the contract.) Yes, the corporate system, from any reality-based point of view (i.e. any point of view other than corporate profit and domination), relied too much on glyphosate. But this was systematic top-down policy, imposed by the corporate/government system. It wasn’t undisciplined farmers, the way the NYT wants us to think. On the contrary, Monsanto’s Gleichschaltung (coordination) is quite rigorous.
2,4-D and dicamba are bad enough under normal circumstances, where they’re mostly applied before crops are grown. This is the stage at which they’re least volatile and likely to be spread far and wide, poisoning the fields of every other farmer. But the HT GMOs will encourage promiscuous spraying (perhaps as much as a 30-fold increase in 2,4-D application over the next decade) throughout the season, including times of peak volatility.

To the extent they now use 2,4-D and dicamba, corn and soybean farmers usually apply the chemicals before the crops are growing, he said. But with resistant crops, the chemicals will be sprayed later in the growing season, when the hotter weather increases the chance of volatilization.

So the goal here is to greatly escalate the use and promiscuous drift of these extremely toxic substances. Let’s recall that government/corporate propaganda touted HT GMO 1.0 as eliminating the need for the more toxic herbicides, as we could now rely upon the relatively inert and less toxic glyphosate. (Glyphosate’s lower toxicity also turned out to be a lie.)
Now the corporate state is back touting HT 2.0, which will depend upon the very same “more toxic” herbicides which 1.0, it was promised, would render obsolete. Of course, as everyone at Dow, Monsanto and the USDA knows perfectly well, these GMOs will be subject to the same superweed dialectic, and will also fail.
If journalism as depicted in the good civics textbooks still existed, every piece written on this doubling down on an already busted hand would focus on this extraordinary fact. In addition to their socioeconomic, political, environmental, and health ravages, herbicide tolerant GMOs are a proven failure. That the government* would still push this failed and destructive policy ought to be a world-historical scandal. Do we the people learn about this scandal from “the paper of record”? On the contrary, the NYT scribbler (Andrew Pollack) pushes the party line with a verve that would make Goebbels proud:

The activity stems from the huge success, at least initially, of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which are genetically engineered to tolerate its herbicide Roundup, also sold generically as glyphosate.

Failure is Success wasn’t included among Big Brother’s sloganeering toolkit in 1984, but it’s a favorite among today’s corporate hacks. God knows they have frequent need of it, though it’s seldom applied in such brazen contradiction of physical facts.
Industrial monoculture was already a hothouse flower doomed to collapse even before GMOs. But these have added a vastly more weighty, complex, and flimsy layer. The Tower of Babel, already tottering, becomes ever more top-heavy. 

But some other scientists say there is little choice but to turn to the new crops and their matching chemicals. Without them, “we’re going to get to a situation where we have no tools at all,” said Greg Kruger, assistant professor of cropping systems at the University of Nebraska

This does look like the premeditated end goal. There’s no other way to interpret this kind of propaganda, and the already failed policy it seeks to continue.
It’s clear that corporations and the government are determined to keep speeding up the GMO treadmill, extracting as much profit as possible and enforcing as much domination as possible, until it completely and irrevocably collapses, leaving behind nothing but the ruins of agriculture – toxic, dead soil, rampaging superweeds and superbugs, seed genocide, and the death by starvation of billions.
We see this second, infinitely worse Holocaust being prepared in plain sight. Are we going to let ourselves be marched into the gas chambers as meekly as the first group of victims did?
[*In this case “the government” means the USDA, i.e. the Obama administration. But the Republicans are just as in the bag for Monsanto as the Democrats. For anyone who still believes in system electoralism, remember that in November you have an easy choice: you can vote for Monsanto or for Monsanto. Anyone who wants to vote against Monsanto will need to look to alternatives to electoralism and sham “representative” government.]


April 26, 2012

GMO Labels and Corporate Liberals


Why Not Label GMOs?, asks this not-untypical editorial. (Studies of the media have found near-unanimous support for GMO commercialization, but a split on mandatory labeling.)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) already requires food manufacturers to list ingredients, nutrition facts and common allergens. Why make an exception for genetically modified ingredients?

It’s obvious, isn’t it? Sunshine is not only a basic principle of democracy, which everyone at least claims to respect. It’s also a bedrock premise of consumerism and the “free market” ideology. So how could anyone legitimately oppose it? I think we’ll find that GMO labeling is a handy litmus test to differentiate real believers in democracy from those who lie about the way they actually hold it in contempt. Without exception, all arguments against mandatory labeling boil down to “the people are too stupid to understand such labels.” Of course, even if that were true it wouldn’t make a difference – if you support democracy you have to support its practice, taking the bad with the good. But in truth the people understand GMO labels perfectly well. Humanity has always rejected GMOs on the perfectly sound, rational ground of the precautionary principle. We don’t know if it’s safe, there’s good reason to believe it’s not safe, we don’t need it in the first place, on the contrary it’s the escalation of a food system already proven to fail according to all its promises, so a rational person would reject it.
One place where this issue helps flush out the traitors is among the “food safety” groups. The Center for Food Safety, in spite of some pernicious positions like its support for the Food Control Act, has been strong on GMOs. By contrast the so-called “center for science in the public interest” (CSPI), in direct contradiction of its name, its alleged principles, and its advocacy at every other point, has been implicitly pro-GMO (no doubt only cowardice keeps it from making its support explicit; but it does regurgitate corporate propaganda at its biotech page (several links at the post I just linked)). Its executive director went so far as to personally vouch for the career of Michael Taylor, one of the most notorious corporate thugs and corrupt revolving-door transitors. (“Corrupt” by liberal good-government standards, that is. By that standard the CSPI is similarly corrupt.)
The CSPI’s advocacy is all about labeling. This is its default prescription for pretty much everything. That, plus the general default in favor of democratic transparency, ought to mean that if nothing else it should be at the forefront of advocating mandatory GMO labeling. That renders its absolute silence on the issue all the more glaring. (I guess they’re too cowardly to actually oppose labeling, so instead they go silent.)
Why would an outfit like the CSPI be such ballbreakers where it comes to labeling every other kind of additive, demanding nutrition labels on fast food, etc., but omit labels for this kind of adulteration? This provides a clue to the real nature of GMO imperialism. For savvy corporate liberals like this group, it’s the difference between wanting some regulation of things like regular additives, which are just details of secondary importance, as opposed to regulations which would compromise the integrity of the structure itself. It makes little big-picture difference whether a particular additive is subject to labeling, or is even banned as a carcinogen. But GMOs as such are not a structural detail. On the contrary, they comprise an attempt to replace the entire existing food structure, and beyond that vast swaths of Gaia’s biological structure, with themselves. Therefore any regulation which would compromise the general freedom of the GMO imperative is taboo. Here corporate liberals join hands with regular conservatives. The CSPI provides an example of where the boundary of regulation-seeking lies. This is a good example of the role of corporate liberal cadres in general, and in turn their role within neoliberalism provides insight into the basic scam of neoliberal tyranny itself.


April 24, 2012

History As the War of Abundance vs. Scarcity


Very true.

Baudrillard was, I think, on the mark when he asserted that the transformation from primitive to feudal to mercantile to capitalist society was instigated by a human desire for hierarchical differentiation, and not by material scarcity, as claimed by Marxists.

(Except for the part about it being a “human desire”; humans are naturally cooperative.) I haven’t read the Baudrillard on this, but it’s long been clear to me that the normal circumstance of humanity is abundance. Since our earliest days, the human brain has been capable of producing extraordinary bounty, in necessities, leisure, and the opportunity for happiness.
Natural scarcity has never been a problem for us. Our human capability transcends it. On the contrary, it’s always been abundance which subhuman criminals, lusting after elite parasite status, have viewed as the most dire problem, but also as a great opportunity. Naturally flush with all we want, the people could never be dominated or enslaved. But the construction of hierarchy could steal this abundance, use it to concentrate luxury wealth and power for this criminal elite, and at the same time artificially impose scarcity upon everyone else.
This has always been the purpose and function of all economic and political hierarchies. Fossil-fueled capitalism and the modern state represent the most extreme development of this organized crime trend.
With the end of the Oil Age, history now reaches its final crossroads. This shall be the final conflict between history’s democratic movement and its criminal movement. The latter will try to use the crisis of Peak Oil to lever civilization into a terminal slave system, the most vicious ever, once and for all.
But the end of oil is also democracy’s great opportunity. Humanity has come of age. We have complete knowledge of how to economically organize ourselves to produce abundance. We have complete knowledge of how to politically rule ourselves. A critical mass is reaching full democratic consciousness. With the end of oil, we resume history’s normal path of energy consumption. But we can now do it with a fully human consciousness, free of all the superstitions of the pre-oil age, and armed with all the immense knowledge we’ve accrued during the time of fossil fuels.
We can achieve the full triumph of humanity, once and for all. The only need left is the will to fight.


April 16, 2012

GMO Labeling


The GMO labeling initiatives and legislation being pushed in California and elsewhere will attempt to use the weapon of consumer choice, normally such a bedrock principle of the system, against the system itself.
Everywhere on Earth the people have rejected GMOs. No vote has ever affirmed them. Everywhere the people have, by overwhelming majorities, demanded labeling of GMO “foods”, foods with GMO ingredients, foods derived from GMOs (for example meat or dairy from animals who were given GMO feed; that’s almost all animals whose products aren’t certified organic). If there was a wider understanding of the “natural food” scam (that term has no meaning, and in practice usually means it’s GM and has lots of other nasty features), eaters would reject it as well. The labeling initiatives seek to purge this bogus term.
GMO processed “foods” are scarce in Europe because the EU requires such labeling, and with the labeling, buyers reject them. (This policy is not in place because EU technocrats support labeling – quite the contrary – but because bottom-up pressure forced them.)
As a Monsanto scumbag put it:

“If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” — Norman Braksick, president of Asgrow Seed Co., a subsidiary of Monsanto, quoted in the Kansas City Star, March 7, 1994

The goal of the labeling campaign in America is to use the same principle to drive GMOs out of our stores. If California requires labeling, processors and retailers will drop GMOs from their roster in that state. Since California’s economy is so massive, it won’t be cost-effective for them to have one policy for that state and another for elsewhere where labeling isn’t required. That would also look bad politically. Instead, they’ll just drop GMOs completely. It would be a devastating blow, using the system’s own consumerism ideology and practice against it.
That’s the ambitious goal of this reform campaign.
I support it but have three questions about it:
1. If enacted as intended, will it really accomplish what we hope for it? The best answer I can come up with so far is “Maybe.” We won’t know until it’s tried.
2. If passed, will it be enacted as intended. In practice there’s lots of ways it can be hijacked or subverted. The wording might be distorted, or the government might interfere to obscure or obfuscate the label, or force its own counter-labels (in violation of the 1st Amendment, by the way). Then there will be the inevitable litigation which is likely to tie up enactment indefinitely. One of the intended functions of the courts is to put pro-democracy policy on ice.
Or it’ll be thrown out in federal court as unconstitutional. I wonder how many “progressives” are hoping this labeling initiative will be a stake in the heart of Monsanto, but are at the same time insisting that Obama’s Stamp mandate is constitutional? But the exact same totalitarian commerce clause logic which would find Obama’s poll tax “constitutional” could also find that a state-level labeling requirement is “unconstitutional” if it harms the general commerce in GMOs. This harm is a stated goal of labeling supporters.
3. If the initiatives and proposed legislation are defeated by a combination of threats, fraud, and weaponized money; or if the California initiative is voted up but thrown out, or smothered in the courts or by subverted enforcement; if these happen, will labeling supporters then say, “We tried the reform route, we tried to work within the system, we tried to play by the rules, and we see how none of that works. Now we know that nothing short of a full-scale democracy and direct action movement will suffice.” ?
Or will they say, “we have to keep trying what’s already been proven not to work”?
The measure of a sincere democracy activist vs. a con artist and astroturfer is the answer to this question.
I do think that this, like some other attempts at throughgoing reform, will have to be tried before a significant number of people will realize that reformism does not and cannot work. (And who knows, maybe this thing will surprise those of us already convinced against reformism.) For that and other reasons the democracy movement will have to support and engage in some kinds of reform activism.
But our goal at all times, in addition to doing our best to see if the reform can accomplish anything, is to consistently argue that “if this doesn’t work, it proves that the whole reformist project can’t work”, and teach about why and how this is.
This is true in general of initiatives, lawsuits, constitutional amendment movements, and anything which attempts significant reform from the bottom up, but playing by the system rules. Probing the limits of what’s possible within those rules, we’ll see if anything’s possible, or if on the contrary nothing is possible. In the latter case, reformism will be a proven failure, once and for all, and no one will still be able to argue for it with any integrity or credibility.


April 14, 2012

American Medical Association As Typical Corporate Cadre


According to a piece on “ethics” recently published by the American Medical Association, the way the medical research system is set up, only the poor, convicts, etc. “volunteer” for the good of all. This state of affairs, our medical philosophers tearfully implore us, is “not fair or ethical”.

As a result, the risks of developing a health intervention that would benefit the whole population are carried disproportionately by some of society’s most poor and vulnerable. This is a situation few would judge to be fair or ethical. However it is hard to increase volunteer payment without creating financial incentives. “Danger money” is frowned upon as an inducement that inevitably clouds an individual’s appreciation of risk, limiting the likelihood that consent is informed.

For some reason this doesn’t seem to be applied by our esteemed ethicists to dangerous and disgusting “jobs” in general. The same philosopher who wrings her hands over payments for vaccine trial participation or organ donation pretends not to recognize the economic coercion which drives people to become migrant farm workers, coal miners, or Apple factory workers (they need safety nets in the factories for the number of workers driven to attempt suicide by jumping). For some reason (straight out of Law-and-Economics, no doubt) the whole nexus of economic coercion, economic and physical threats, and forced “contracts” which prevails everywhere with corporatism is normative, but only in the relation of the profiteering medical system and the research subjects it needs is there supposed to be an ethical component. Of course this ethic must act as a damper on any monetary payments. It’s funny how things always work out that way. Why aren’t “financial incentives” bad for doctors, hospitals, insurance corporations, Big Drug with its patents, but only for individual 99%ers? We see again the basic fraudulence of all pro-corporate thought.
It’s hard to imagine how one can honestly embark upon the train of thought expressed above at all, and not quickly be forced to condemn corporate capitalism completely.
For example, I agree, the system of medical profiteering and proprietary drugs is not fair or ethical. So the AMA must want to abolish that, no?
Nope – participation in their for-profit research trials should be mandatory, according to the AMA’s Virtual Mentor. The piece has the appropriate tone from the outset, its first sentence quoting rentier extraordinaire and current GMO flack #1 Bill Gates*. That indicates the mindset and priorities of the authors.
Here we see a characteristic gambit of corporate propaganda. The individual from the 99% has some kind of citizen obligation to volunteer for the alleged common good. If he doesn’t meet this alleged civic obligation, the government should force him. But strangely, there’s no corresponding top-down citizenship obligation on the part of the 1%.
No one has ever explained why profiteering should be allowed to exist in the health care system at all. The authors of this AMA piece certainly don’t explain why it should continue to exist amid such an outbreak of civic concern. Surely if we’re at the point where the individual must be compelled to submit his body, we’re far past the point where the corporatist must surrender his profits?
But no, as always, such a “social contract” point of view is a wild goose chase. As always, it’s a scam. As always it’s one standard for the 99%, and a completely different one for the 1%. Just as “violence” always occurs only from the bottom up, never from the top down, so obligations toward “the greater good of society” exist only from the bottom up (but perhaps to be coerced by top-down force), never from the top down. Profit For Me, Self-Sacrifice For You. Egoism For Me, Altruism For You. Capitalism For Me, Anarchism For You.
Just like with the Wall Street bailout, Obama’s health racket mandate, the Permanent War, the Pentagon’s weapons racket welfare program, the police state, just like with massive corporate welfare in every sector, pandemic privatization, the austerity onslaught, terrorism and war, just like everywhere else, so here too the working citizen must sacrifice, not for the common good, but for the good of a handful of gangsters. Indeed, this sacrifice is a slow suicide, as these gangsters do nothing but prey upon us.
The fact is that the 99% is in a zero-sum death struggle with the 1%. To call for any policy whatsoever which involves the continued prerogatives of the 1%, its continued existence, and any further sacrifice from the 99 on behalf of anything but fighting the system and rebuilding our own communities, is to be an enemy of humanity.
In this case, we know that the system’s “health care” is being intentionally priced beyond our reach. It’s to benefit only our oppressors. Obama’s poll tax, and Mengele-style coerced experimentation like that advocated here, are typical forms of how the people are to serve as a resource mine for something which will never benefit anyone but our enemies. We should contribute nothing further to this predatory system. If we can’t afford the “health insurance” this system forces us to get, then let’s reject the system completely. If we have no choice but to look to ourselves for our medicine, let’s start doing so according to our own plan.
Or, if that’s still too extreme a thought, then how about these kinds of reforms? Let’s institute Single Payer. Let’s abolish Big Drug and its IP regime. Let’s purge rent-seeking from our corrupted universities and educational finance, so that becoming a doctor isn’t tantamount to debt indenture. As things are, vaccines are often peddled and even mandated for non-medical, pro-profit reasons. Remove such crime from the system, and we’ll see where we are. Let’s have a real government jobs program, union-friendly legislation, a much higher minimum wage. Then we’ll see if we still have a research volunteer problem.
I don’t actually call for us to fight for such reforms, because I know reforming kleptocracy is impossible. But I wanted to give some examples of how modest, rational structural reforms could achieve the beneficial goal this piece claims to want to achieve, and far more than that, instead of going in for further coercion within the system of organized crime. But the AMA, like all advocates of organized crime, tends only its own garden, considers corporate crime to be natural and normative, and merely wants its own little share of the loot and taste of the domination prerogative. That’s what this proposal is all about. 
As I’ve said before, this should be one of our core slogans and demands upon ourselves and our future:
Total Austerity for the Criminals, Not One Cent More From the People.
This will always put us at the opposite extreme from all system cadres.
*The piece makes much of “informed consent”. So the authors must call for a total moratorium on GMOs, since there was never sufficient safety testing done on any GE product. On the contrary, the unregulated commercialization of GMOs is the human feeding experiment, a massive one, with zero in the way of informed consent protocols. Humanity as a whole comprises the uninformed, uncompensated guinea pigs. Indeed, the US government opposes even GM labeling. So the AMA must be anti-GMO, at least as currently commercialized, no? No.

Genetically Modified Crops and Foods
Retain by modification of (3) to read as follows:
(3) Our AMA believes that as of December 2009, there is no scientific justification for special labeling of genetically modified foods, as a class, and that voluntary labeling is without value unless it is accompanied by focused consumer education.

(I do agree with the part about focused education, which may be an issue with some labeling initiatives. But I mean it in the opposite of the direction meant by these FDA lackeys. They mean that labeled food should have to carry the FDA’s ideological lies about the “safety” of GMOs. I mean that labeling, the initiatives and any labeling that’s actually done, needs to take place within the context of a criticism of industrial and corporate agriculture as such, including the fact that agroecology is superior in every way, now and even more in the post-fossil fuel future.)
We see the basic fraud of this corporate cadre, all its pretensions to caring about the public health, social justice, and basic human decency. I wrote this post to highlight how all professional cadres are completely merged with the basic corporate assault on humanity. Even “doctors” with their vaunted Hippocratic Oath spew the same hypocritical double-standard lies about the economy (the kind of lie that assumes corporate profits, property, and sociopathic seeking of these, as normative, but which considers giving non-rich individuals “financial incentives” is ethically problematic) and about human health itself. Thus, in direct and criminal contravention of their oath, they take up the government’s ideological declaration, not based on any clinical evidence whatsoever, and in defiance of all the evidence that exists, that GMOs are “safe”. They even overthrow their own alleged principle of “informed consent” in order to justify this massive human feeding experiment, and indeed to deny it’s taking place at all. We see what fundamental frauds they are.


April 13, 2012

Resistance Is Fertile

Filed under: American Revolution, Food and Farms, Freedom, Relocalization — Russ @ 11:07 am


I found this image as somebody’s gravatar or whatever you call those doohickeys. I like the icon and the slogan.
“Grow Food” would be better, though.
(I tried making this larger than its original 100X95 pixels, but larger versions were blurry. I settled on 150X142. I don’t know if there’s a way to make it bigger while maintaining clarity.)

April 10, 2012

Time Banking in Relation to “Job Creation”


Some people worry that time banking will “compete with job creation”. Someone in my time banking google group just mentioned encountering that argument again. So although time presses at the moment, I wanted to jot a few notes on this. This is a work in progress.
It’s usually better to lead with an affirmative argument, and add any negative argument to that. Even if I thought, “what we have is terrible, and so I want to try something different for its own sake, even though I don’t know if this would be any better”, I wouldn’t want to put it that way. But I do think time banking is actively better than the cash economy, and not just different. Therefore:
1. To be part of a time bank network is more fulfilling and resilient than to hold a job which earns you some cash. You not only have the benefit of a plethora of offered services (just like if you held cash), but you gain the benefits of giving to others as well, and you have all of this within a human framework which can build community, social life, and has many possibilities for strengthening political and spiritual life as well.
2. As for well-paying jobs, those aren’t coming back anyway. The 1% has been permanently destroying them for decades now, toward its goal of restoring a feudalism far more vicious than the medieval variety. The pace of this destruction has accelerated in recent years. To look at time banking as competing with a hope which is a pipe dream is to look at things wrongly. Whether we have time banks or not, those jobs are gone forever. The system which controls “job creation” wanted them gone, and they’ll remain gone. Time banking, on the other hand, is completely in the people’s hands, and we can make of it whatever we wish.
We can add, as a preliminary or supplementary argument, if it seems necessary: There’s no evidence that time banking hinders job creation. Jobs are created or destroyed according to the imperatives of Wall Street. For example, “offshoring” was never actually more efficient from a textbook capitalist point of view than keeping manufacturing jobs within Western countries. But Wall Street wanted those jobs destroyed and rewarded or punished stock prices accordingly, so offshoring became the standard practice.
Philosophically, we should be clear that it was never legitimate for elites to enclose our human work as their “property” and then parcel it back to us in the form of “jobs”. This is immoral and irrational, in addition to not working on a practical level. (The definition of something that works: That it increases the general happiness, freedom, prosperity, social stability, and decreases unhappiness, decreases tension and stress, decreases violence. By these measures, capitalism and its “employment” model are dismal failures, and abominable hypocrisies.) It’s also an unhistorical anomaly. For the vast majority of humanity’s natural history our labor power was nestled within community networks, and inextricably bound with social and spiritual relations.
The employment model as such is unnecessary, immoral, undesirable, and doesn’t work according to its own premises.
So for these reasons I’m clear that time banking and other relocalization actions and structures aren’t trying to “co-exist” with or merely supplement capitalism or the employment model, let alone be just a temporary band aid to tide us over until those are restored to some spurious notion of health. With these actions we’re trying to build the new within the crumbling structure of the old, to survive its collapse, to do whatever we can to help undermine it, and most of all to have the new networks in place to replace it. That’s what I mean when I say time banking is on a vector away from capitalism, toward full economic democracy. That’s what I mean when I call for all things to be measured according to their democratic vector. 

April 8, 2012

Kangaroo Courts and the Health Racket Mandate (Reprise)

(This is an edited re-post of an earlier piece. I thought that in light of the looming “decision” on the health racket mandate by the supremely corporatist court, it might be useful to revisit the nature of this corporatist jurisprudence.)
A federal judge has given the first adverse ruling against one of the many lawsuits declaring Obama’s health racket Mandate unconstitutional. The ruling demonstrates the “logic” of a corporatist ideologue and how he views the Constitution. A corporatist assumes as the god-given order of things that the purpose of America is to be mined by powerful corporate interests. He then views the Constitution as purely instrumental toward this goal. As we’ll see, this judge views the artificial, ideologically fabricated and imposed “market” as sacrosanct and beyond the Constitution’s purview. He views the written Constitution, and by extension the sovereign people’s inherent constitution, as subordinate to the corporate imperative. This is the essence of corporatist ideology. It views sovereignty itself as reposing in corporations, not the people. The constitution is only the corporate constitution. The written Constitution is therefore the servant of corporations.
A judge like this might even try to argue that the fact that the Constitution never once mentions the word “corporation” is proof of his thesis that corporations are not below the Constitution, but above it. At any rate he’d argue that the absence of such specification gives him license to interpret things that way.
The human truth is the exact opposite. Society exists in the first place only of, by, and for human beings. Sovereignty reposes only in the people. The constitution can never be anything but of and for the political health of the people. The written Constitution can be legitimately interpreted only toward this human imperative. Corporations have no right to exist at all, and certainly have no right to act against the people. Wherever they do, any government has an affirmative obligation to smash them. Where it fails to do so, let alone where it actively supports corporate organized crime, it abandons all sovereignty, legitimacy, and authority. The people then have the right and obligation to repudiate the system, smash the criminals themselves, and redeem society on a human basis.
Let’s go to the case. The suit claims the health racket bailout in general, and in particular the racket Mandate, violates the Commerce Clause, the 5th and 10th amendments, the Free Exercise of religion*, and that it’s an unconstitutional tax. The decision rejects the demand for a preliminary injunction and throws the case out completely. The decision focuses on rejecting the Commerce claim, also rejects part of the tax claim, and declares it doesn’t need to reach another part.
In the so-called “factual background” the judge launches right into the propaganda. He intones:

The Health Care Reform Act seeks to reduce the number of uninsured Americans
and the escalating costs they impose on the health care system.
(p. 2)

and follows with a series of details. This is standard political fraud from the bench. As a matter of dogma, the judge is supposed to assume the legislature is a public servant and not a criminal cabal. So the court’s default is to aid and abet organized crime in the legislature. At the very least, even if the court is going to strike down an act (because of some ideological squabble among elites, not because the act is against the people), it still engages in this pretense of legislative good faith. That’s SCOTUS dogma going back a long way. (Anyone who follows the corporate media is familiar with the how it’s their established practice to report as fact the self-proclaimed intentions and mindset of elites, especially political elites. The courts have the same practice.)
Everywhere else judges are supposed to infer motives from actions. Why is that reversed here, and the dogmatically assumed motive is used tendentiously to interpret the action? It’s because here the system is functioning as an integrated machine. Elsewhere it’s the system against the people or individuals, so there the interpretive dynamic is reversed.
So here this judge proclaims that the Mandate is “integral to the legislative effort”, but everything he claims about what that effort is, and the constitutionality of the effort itself, is a lie. The Mandate is indeed integral to the effort, but the effort’s intention and goal is the opposite of Congressional and judicial lies. The effort isn’t to ensure better health care for more people at lower cost. A Congress which wanted to do that would’ve instituted Single Payer. Period.
The effort is to bail out the parasitic insurance rackets, who already have an institutionalized anti-competitive monopoly, by absolving them of having to compete with non-participation as well. That’s the one and only objective of Obamacare.
The decision moves quickly (p. 3) to bashing alleged deadbeats, the mythical free riders at the ER. But the entire premise of “the legislative effort” is to bail out a tremendous but politically powerful deadbeat and parasite, the insurance racket. So right at the outset we can see the judge’s bad faith. It’s not possible to be concerned about free riders but still support this deadbeat bailout bill. So on its face anyone who supports the bill (or finds it constitutional) but claims to be concerned about free riders is lying. Again, if Congress had been concerned about free riders, it would have enacted Single Payer instead of bailing out the insurance parasite. So on its face the judge’s entire rationale regarding the legislative intent is invalid.
We also have the moral fact that anyone amid a system based on organized corruption, legalized fraud, and massive robbery in the form of corporate welfare who would ever make a top-down anti-deadbeat argument must be a vile immoral criminal himself. It’s not possible to face such monumental system crime and still say the individual deadbeat is just as bad, or to bother with him at all. And then there’s the fact that the vast majority of individuals in that position are not deadbeats at all, but the victims of an aggressive kleptocracy which has mugged them into poverty.
As I said, this proves the judge is corrupt and acts in moral bad faith, so his “legal” reasoning must be judged from that point of view.
He has the haughty nerve to claim that it’s individuals, mugging victims who show up at the ER, who are “shifting costs onto third parties”. But the fact is that we the people ARE the victimized “third party” here, while the rackets and their bought politicians and judges are the only market “participants”, the only “stakeholders”, as their own flunkies would concede.
In a gesture of noblesse oblige the judge grants that the plaintiffs had standing to sue (p. 4). (But not before a lecture on the monetization of standing, how as far as the courts are concerned the only measure of citizenship is property, and the only measure of values or injury to those values is a monetary injury. This filthy doctrine must always be enforced. As usual, the first priority is to deny true citizen access to the law.)
The judge, as a petty crook aping a benevolent despot, magnanimously grants that a person without much money may already be feeling trepidation over the Mandate and acting accordingly, so standing is granted. The whole passage is sickening. The judge’s hypocritical, bloodless, wonkish, trickle-down “generosity” is even more repulsive than open, naked greed. How could any decent person even discuss this without outrage over the fact that those already suffering from the depredations of finance and insurance sector gangsters are, by the judge’s own admission*, to be made to suffer even more in order to pay yet further extortion to the most worthless and repellant criminals afflicting us today?
[*P. 8: “..the injury-in-fact in this case is the present financial pressure experienced by plaintiffs due to the requirements of the Individual Mandate.”
This pressure is being put on by already-rich robbers who want to steal even more, and helping them commit this further robbery is the one and only intent and goal of this bill. That’s the vision of “civilization” and “law” this judge seeks to uphold.]
We get to the Commerce Clause. Here’s the first time I’ve come across the Orwellian name for the Mandate: the “Shared Responsibility Payment” (p.11). Deciphering the totalitarian code: It’s the Full Responsibility of those who do all the work to hand over almost all they produce as extortion Payment to wealthy parasites who have and assume Zero Responsibility.
The judge is honest about this much: The Mandate is regulation of “inactivity, or a person’s mere existence within our Nation’s boundaries.” He admits it’s a poll tax.

The crux of plaintiffs’ argument is that the federal government has never attempted
to regulate inactivity, or a person’s mere existence within our Nation’s boundaries, under
the auspices of the Commerce Clause. It is plaintiffs’ position that if the Act is found
constitutional, the Commerce Clause would provide Congress with the authority to regulate
every aspect of our lives, including our choice to refrain from acting.

The decision says this case involves the third aspect of Interstate Commerce – “those activities that substantially affect interstate commerce.” Since that’s as vague as can be, and since by the reasoning here it can apply to literally anything the system wants it to, the judge confirms what we who oppose the Mandate always said. This Mandate is not only a crime in itself but a totalitarian precedent. If it goes through it can serve as the template for mandates to buy literally anything the system wants to force upon us.

The Supreme Court has expanded the reach of the Commerce Clause to reach
purely local, non-commercial activity, simply because it is an integral part of a broader
statutory scheme that permissibly regulates interstate commerce. Two cases, decided
sixty years apart, demonstrate the breadth of the Commerce power and the deference
accorded Congress’s judgments. (p. 12)

The decision discusses two highly disputed cases, Wickard v. Filburn and Gonzales v. Reich, as alleged precedents. With seeming lack of awareness of the ideological biases involved, in his own case and that of SCOTUS judges, he trumpets the striking down of anti-gun and anti-domestic violence laws as the SCOTUS philosophically “placing limits” on Congress.
Um, no. The judges on the court majorities simply support gun rights but don’t support marijuana rights, and don’t care about domestic violence. That’s the one and only difference which went into these decisions – how the subject of each case squared with their non-judicial ideology. The judicial ideology almost without exception is servant to the political ideology. Scalia’s anti-federalist vote in Gonzales was a spotlight example of how fraudulent his ideological pretensions are. He simply doesn’t like marijuana, period.
The decision admits the novelty of the case.

Plaintiffs in the present case focus on the common fact that each
of the regulations that survived Supreme Court scrutiny under the Commerce Clause
regulated an economic “activity,” as opposed to the “inactivity” they have demonstrated by
merely existing and not purchasing health care insurance. The Supreme Court has always
required an economic or commercial component in order to uphold an act under the
Commerce Clause. The Court has never needed to address the activity/inactivity
distinction advanced by plaintiffs because in every Commerce Clause case presented thus
far, there has been some sort of activity. (p.15)

To get around this the judge engages in what he himself calls “mental gymnastics”, and more fraudulent divination of Congressional intent.
Now we get to the core of obscenity:

The health care market is unlike other markets. No one can guarantee his or her
health, or ensure that he or she will never participate in the health care market. Indeed, the
opposite is nearly always true. The question is how participants in the health care market
pay for medical expenses – through insurance, or through an attempt to pay out of pocket
with a backstop of uncompensated care funded by third parties. This phenomenon of costshifting
is what makes the health care market unique.
(p. 16)

Think about that sentence, the two allegedly equivalent and interlinked propositions:
“No one can guarantee health..” That’s self-evident.
“…or ensure that he or she will never participate in the health care market.”
What? We could ensure we don’t have to participate in a criminal market by getting rid of it. We could, for example, institute Single Payer, which would cost far less, provide far more care far more efficiently, and would even solve that alleged individual free rider issue the likes of the judge claim to have such a fetish about. It would not be a moral affront to the people, as it would eradicate the free riding parasite rackets. We’d be free of their depredations and extortions.
But the decision depicts this “market” as a law of the universe. It would be hard to imagine a more grotesque example of begging the question. I don’t know if the conservative plaintiffs themselves care, but in the case of we who reject the Mandate on citizenship grounds, we reject any constitutional basis for the entire system based on private health “insurance”. We didn’t try to sue over it before (and of course we would have lacked “standing”), so long as we had the option of non-participation.
But now we’re going to have to sue against this Mandate. But when we declare* the Mandate unconstitutional, we’re saying that’s the most aggressive unconstitutional manifestation of an extra-constitutional, outlaw system.
[* And we as citizens do declare it so. We do not beg a court to do so for us. We demand that if the courts really do serve the people, they’ll ratify what we the people already know and declare.
Since the prospect that these suits will do the trick is dubious, we need to start preparing for citizen disobedience and resistance.]
So the judge’s rationale is non-responsive. (The fact that “the health care market is unlike other markets” is also proof that private health insurance itself is a conceptual and moral absurdity.) Especially as he moves on to a series of flippant absurdities.

As inseparable and integral members of the health care services market, plaintiffs have made a choice regarding the method of payment for the services they expect to receive. The government makes the apropos analogy of paying by credit card rather than by check.
(p. 17)

We are NOT “members of this market”. This market is an alien assault being artificially inflicted upon us. The “market” has absolutely nothing to do with health care. The two are completely separable and separated. Paying by “..credit card or check…” – when of course the real issue centers on the fact that it’s a mugger demanding this payment in the first place.

Similarly, plaintiffs in this case are participants in the
health care services market. They are not outside the market. While plaintiffs describe the
Commerce Clause power as reaching economic activity, the government’s characterization
of the Commerce Clause reaching economic decisions is more accurate.

We are NOT “participants”. We ARE “outside the market”. We are disenfranchised, coercively indentured subjects of this “market”. Victims.
What level of depravity does it take for someone to not only ignore the one fact of the case, but to turn around and accuse the victim of that very crime? What can decent people do with a criminal like that?
Now he comes to his decision, and his ultimate lie:

The Act regulates a broader interstate market in health care services. This is not
a market created by Congress, it is one created by the fundamental need for health care
and the necessity of paying for such services received. The provision at issue addresses
cost-shifting in those markets and operates as an essential part of a comprehensive
regulatory scheme. The uninsured, like plaintiffs, benefit from the “guaranteed issue”
provision in the Act, which enables them to become insured even when they are already
sick. This benefit makes imposing the minimum coverage provision appropriate. (p. 18)

This is incontrovertibly a market created by Congress. On its face that’s a clear fact. The bill’s very purpose is to bail out the rackets who, even though they have an anti-trust exemption (another creation of Congress), and can therefore quash innovation and competition, are increasingly unable to compete with non-participation, which more and more Americans are rationally choosing, as is their constitutional right as citizens. The purpose of this bill is to eliminate this competition as well. The purpose of this decision is to eliminate our constitutional rights.
And once again, what we must always remember immediately, every time we hear anyone like this judge say a word about “shifting costs”, “third parties”, free riding, or any other “deadbeat” language, is the obscene fact that this “market” exists at all for one reason only. It’s to enable the parasitic extortions and extractions of this insurance racket which is indeed a third party to us all, which does nothing but shift costs to us all, free ride upon us all. That’s the one and only reason the bill exists at all. That’s the one and only reason this decision was made the way it was.
Every word of it is a crime against the Constitution, just like the bill itself. We are under the thumb of stateless, lawless, anti-sovereign predators. This Mandate is a major step forward for their criminal regime. As this incident makes clear, we cannot rely on the courts to help us uphold our constitution. We must do that ourselves.

April 7, 2012

What Is Capitalism?

Filed under: Neo-feudalism, Reformism Can't Work — Tags: — Russ @ 3:26 am


We could have markets without it. If there was a network of producers/customers who exchange among themselves, each seeking the things he needs, each seeking only the fair value of his work, that would be a market, but not a capitalist one.
Capitalism is when one of them decides the fair value of his work isn’t enough, but that he wants something extra on top of that. He wants a “profit”. In other words, he wants to steal and be a leech. If enough of them can impose this system of swindling and extortion in place of the system of fairness and sufficiency, the rest have no choice but to reciprocate bad for bad, also become some level of profiteers, also seek to steal. Most people would rather not be this way, and to the eternal credit of humanity, most do not seek every profit opportunity, but on the contrary do their best to maintain human cooperation amid this harsh anti-human environment. But nevertheless we’re all forced into all sorts of degrading compromises which attempt to dehumanize us. Dehumanization is always the goal of capitalism at all times.
Again, to boil it down to a sentence, capitalism is where someone doesn’t want what’s fair, but is greedy for more.
Really, it’s where someone doesn’t want to work at all, where he wants to be a worthless rent-extracting parasite. It is essentially antisocial and anti-human.


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