Friday, December 3, 2021

The Supreme Court's Overpowering Stench Reaches The Nostrils of A Sitting Justice, Albeit Weakly

"Will this institution survive the stench that this creates in the public perception, that the Constitution and its reading are just political acts?"

-----Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, anticipating the consequences of overturning Roe v. Wade

 

We at Legalienate were deeply shocked to learn that our gloriously independent Supreme Court is being construed as a partisan institution by a Supreme Court justice herself. What is this world coming to?

Just because the Court has previously found justification for slavery, segregation, eugenic sterilization, child labor, sixteen-hour workdays, internment of Japanese-Americans in concentration camps, invading foreign nations, shooting workers, breaking strikes, deporting radical immigrants without trial, jailing dissidents, upholding sedition laws, giving away the country to private speculators, and extending carte blanche authority for private corporations to destroy the earth in its pursuit of limitless profit (i.e., happiness), does not mean it is a political actor. Perish the thought! We are a nation of neutral laws, not private interests.

In short - bulletin! - what political scientist Michael Parenti calls  "The Supremely Political Court" has always been highly partisan on behalf of the wealthy and against the general public. Who knew?

Not that Supreme Court judges are necessarily bad people. Many of the early justices, for example, including John Marshall, were slaveholders, and properly abstained from cases involving chattel, so as not to rule directly on matters involving their self-interest.

Just kidding. They never did that. Instead, they repeatedly protected their "private property" by indulging the legal fiction that black people were farm animals, mercilessly flogged to fulfill superhuman production quotas. No pangs of conscience were called for, however, as the fault rested with black people themselves. Right up until the Civil War the Court reasoned that, whether slave or free, Blacks were a "subordinate and inferior class of beings" without constitutional rights, and that Congress had no power to exclude slave masters and their chattel from the imperial nation's ever-expanding territories. So there was no reason that the Court would ever challenge the Constitution for defining slaves as three-fifths human for the purpose of enhancing their masters' voting power, and of course it never did. 

Justice Sotomayor, please take note: for political "stench," it's hard to improve on that.


Tuesday, November 23, 2021

 

Unlearning To Not Think*  

 

Recent American elections involving a relatively small segment of those already small numbers who actually vote has revealed, according to major consciousness controllers, a tremendous turn around from what is called progressive left to reactionary right. This is actually the all to ordinary voters move from what the Rolling Stones once called an electoral ” choice of cancer or polio. ‘ Meanwhile, good health still awaits the total transformation of the American and global political economy and a political party to help bring it about in a truly democratic form before it is forced on us by something approaching a massive global collapse with particular disasters here in America.

 

An already miniscule economic program proposed by President Biden which would have still offered the biggest social democratic change since the pre world war two days of the FDR “new” deal has been sliced, diced and reduced to what so-called moderates call reasonable. This means it does absolutely nothing to alter, let alone transform a system that spends trillions on warfare and billions on pet care while reducing growing numbers of humans to homelessness and denying millions of citizens healthcare. It’s more positive form, before being mercilessly hacked by supposed moderates, has been dubbed a “green” new deal in view of the near cataclysmic results of a systemic attack on humanity’s life support system – nature – created by the market forces of private profit which reshaped the world and brought incredible wealth to some, a relatively good life for much of the former peasant classes, and dreadful pain and misery for the greatest number of human beings on earth.

 

The present explosion of munitions, toys, pet comfort, disease, video games, fast food, slow thinking and wondering if, when and where it will all subside is the modern state of a system first warned against most vividly and authoritatively by Karl Marx back at its beginning in the 19th century. A brief quote from him from the system’s earliest days:

 

“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the indigenous population of that continent, the beginnings of the conquest and plunder of India, and the conversion of Africa into a preserve for the commercial hunting of black skins, are all the things which characterize the dawn of the era of capitalist production. The treasures captured outside Europe by undisguised looting, enslavement and murder, flowed back to the mother country and were turned into capital there.”

 

Capital, 1:915, 918

 

If he was witness to the present material state of the world and it’s nearly 8 billion people, he might be reduced to a state of shock.

 

Almost all solutions proposed by governments and citizens labeled progressives, moderates or conservatives involve perpetuation of the very system responsible for creation of the growing problems for humanity. As long as we leave capitalism out as the substance of our problem, the chances of solving it are like those of an ice cube in an oven. The pursuit of private profit at a market involving the purchase of everything needed to keep humanity alive is proving, with every second, to be the worst possible economic form for everyone but an ever shrinking minority which reduces life support for billions of human beings. A profit on one side of a transaction must involve a loss at the other and those profits are more enormous than ever for a tiny minority while the absorption of the loss is suffered by an expanding majority.

 

Real as opposed to the fictional democracy some of us think exists, as though being able to vote defined the term even if the greatest majority have absolutely nothing to do with selecting the representatives of capital offered to voters, doesn’t simply involve rubber stamping the governing servant class of capital. And it should be remembered, or possibly understood for the first time by those of us denied the capacity if not ability to think critically, that, true or fictional, the supposed evil of all evils Nazi state came to power via the vote. The Nazis didn’t march to power in a blaze of gunfire; German people chose them at the polls. Voting in itself does not define democracy, peace, equality or any social good. We need to create real democracy, the voice of a majority of the people and not simply the representatives of tiny minorities of great wealth, and do it on a global scale rather than simply in small communities, job sites or towns where it may exist now. While that may seem a titanic task it is actually far more possible than ever before, given the possibilities for communication among billions and not just elites/leaders that goes beyond twittering and creeping brain death. Here is a simple thought easily understood by people without degrees in economics, who are frequently those most responsible for the creeping brain death. They can explain how rape is a cost effective form of dating but only if they have graduate degrees from the London school of economics…try this:

 

If petroleum, weapons, pet food, garbage and supposed education which teaches us not to think are costing us far more than what is being paid to the workers responsible for doing that dirty work in order to pay their rent, mortgages and health care expenses, they make collective millions but it costs us collective billions to clean up the physical and mental waste they create just to make a living. It is to our economic advantage to have them all stay home and not go to work while we pay them the millions in order to survive, thereby saving ourselves the billions previously spent on cleaning up the mess they create only to survive. Anyone with a doctorate in marketing or economics will have little or no capacity to understand that but most humans will have little if any problem seeing the logic.

 

Until the capitalist pandemic of the corona virus a gallon of milk cost more than a gallon of gas. Only a person with a multi-degree education can explain why something that comes from a cow which can be milked by a child costs more than something that has to be dug from the earth, refined and carried over sometimes thousands of miles and yet is cheaper.

 

The overwhelming majority of high school graduates, if that, can see that hungry people need food, sick people need health care and neither need market forces of private profits governing their ability to get them.

 

Unlearning to not think makes it clear that our primitive communist ancestors had it morally right. When the men’s hunt was successful they all ate meat, when not they ate what the women had gathered. That had nothing to do with patriarchy but an eminently sensible division of labor that found pregnant and/or nursing women ill equipped to chase and kill animals but able to put together a meal of vegetation when the hunt, as most often, failed. That was cooperative and brilliant by comparison with the savagery of economics that reward a few while crippling almost everyone else.

 

The time has come for a moral, political and economic reawakening of humanity to save ourselves and by necessity the planet. We need to get in touch with our original sensibilities and create global democratic communism.

 

 

*Thanks to Marge Piercy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Fake Heroes and the Onward March to Greater Bloodbaths - Notes on the Rittenhouse Circus

 If Kyle Rittenhouse is a "white supremacist" why did he shoot three white men?

If his targets were "heroes" (the prosecutor did everything in his power to make it look like they were in Kenosha to raise money for widows and orphans) why do they have serious criminal records?

Joseph Rosenbaum was released from a mental institution the very day of his fatal altercation with Kyle Rittenhouse. He was a convicted felon - for orally and anally raping five young boys. Two witnesses swore that he lunged at Rittenhouse and shouted "Fuck you!"*

Anthony Huber, the man who swung his skateboard at Rittenhouse, was also a convicted felon: for two separate counts of domestic violence, including holding a knife to his brother's stomach and threatening to "gut him like a pig." His motivation on the night of his death, said prosecutor Thomas Binger, was just "trying to be a hero and protect others."

A third man, Gaige Grosskreutz, admitted under oath that Rittenhouse didn't shoot until he (Grosskreutz) pointed a Glock at his head. Grosskreutz has police records for domestic abuse, prowling, trespass, two DUIs, felony burglary, and two charges of carrying a firearm while intoxicated.

There was also a fourth man, never identified, who did a drop kick at Rittenhouse's head.

In the current phase of mental corruption, we're supposed to believe that these were all pious disciples of Dr. King, who only wanted to follow in his moral footsteps. Sure.

As for Rittenhouse, what is there really to say? How is it even possible for a teenage kid to stroll around in public for hours with an AR-15 slung around his neck? Far from being accosted by police, he's friends with them and fully able to deputize himself one of them, then shoot three people and get off scot-free. 

Another "hero." But there's just one small problem. Unless you're a police officer, if you go armed to a place where you know there's going to be violence, you're not a peacekeeper, you're an insurgent. Check with 1990s Yugoslavia.

We don't even need to pose the question as to what would happen to a black teenager marauding around in public with an AR-15 in order to "protect the security of the neighborhood." Grimly put, we wouldn't be able to even count the number of bullet holes in his body. 

The predictable next step in this series of bloody disasters is for armed "leftists" to show up at MAGA rallies to defend human rights and loving community. What could go wrong?

 

 *The Washington Post says Rosenbaum spent most of his adult life in jail due to "sexual conduct with five preteen boys"; Ann Coulter claims it was anal and oral rape.

Sources:

A mentally ill man, a heavily armed teenager and the night Kenosha burned, Washington Post, October 3, 2020 https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2020/10/03/kenosha-shooting-victims/?arc404=true

Graham Elwood: Kyle Rittenhouse Verdict Shows Insanity of America, Status Coup News, November 21, 2021 (You Tube)

Ann Coulter: Get Rittenhouse! November 17, 2021, www.anncoulter.com

Friday, November 19, 2021

Suicide By Capitalism: The Glasgow Climate Summit Farce

"The biggest challenge for the impresarios of these climate summits is to appear to take some action to avert the crisis that envelopes us, while doing almost nothing at all. Less than nothing really, since over the course of the summit the catastrophe will have deepened by more than the meager measures adopted to ameliorate it. When the first COP (aka, Conference of the Polluters) was held in Berlin in 1995, the atmospheric carbon level hit 395.92 parts per million. This year the monthly average topped 419 ppm. Net less than zero reduction.

"Mostly the art of summitry comes down to stagecraft and after three decades of these kinds of performances the mechanics of the event are pretty well scripted. Indigenous leaders are brought in from the Arctic and Amazonia to bless the event. Global leaders memorize their lines and pitch coins into fountains for good luck, by far the most assertive act for of the entire affair. News is carefully leaked about fake fights behind the scenes in the anterooms of the conference, which threaten to imperil any agreement. The leaders of island nations are given a few moments before the cameras to declaim how many acres of their land mass have been lost to rising seas since the last summit and the members of the press try earnestly to recall how to spell the names of their countries before they disappear altogether. Outside protesters from around the world swarm the streets, lending the whole affair a gravitas that these hollow exercises wouldn’t have without them.

"The lobbies of nearby hotels are turned into showroom floors for the latest quick-fix technologies marketed by corporations, most of them also Pentagon contractors, seeking to capitalize on a global green new deal. The rituals of the COP are followed as diligently as the secret salutations and backroom handshakes at Davos and Bohemian Grove. The most important thing, of course, is that whatever agreement is reached–even if it’s an agreement in name only (often the most preferable outcome)–must be good for the bottom line. It must make the crypto-carbon-futures markets jump.

"Still there must be drama and tension to emphasize how seriously these ambassadors of the atmosphere are taking the crisis. One way or another, the people’s interest must be simultaneously maintained and distracted. The protesters need to be kept on the streets, shaking their puppets and signs, voicing their agitation over the carefully cultivated prospect that it all might fall apart and nothing, alas, will be done.

"The blah blah blah outside the COP confab has become as predictable and tedious as the blah blah blah inside. But every summit needs its sonic score, the sound of marching, charging feet, boy. As Norman Mailer once said in a different context, it’s like muzak for the cancer ward.

"Big fights ensue over tiny measures. Nations threaten to walk out, until, at the last possible moment, the summit is saved by some fancy deus ex machina wordplay by veteran climate diplomats like John Kerry and Angela Merkel, deftly changing “phase out” to “phase down” and eliding the tripwire phrase “fossil fuels” altogether.

"Hurray! Progress has been made, if not toward reducing emissions, at least, and this is, naturally, the most important thing, toward planning the next summit, sure to be the most important one yet, when the planet’s atmosphere will have breached the once unthinkable level of 420 ppm. Book your flights now."

 

--------Jeffrey St. Clair, "Roaming Charges: Muzak For The Cancer Ward," Counterpunch, November 19, 2021

Monday, November 8, 2021

Doctors Call Out Monopoly Capitalism In Health Care

 To the Editor:

Re “For Democrats, Tough Options on Health Care” (New York Times front page, Sept. 21):

Drug and health insurance companies have manufactured the congressional “clash” over whether to improve Medicare or expand Medicaid.

Pharma lobbying will apparently keep price controls out of the budget bill, eliminating Medicare savings that the bill would have deployed to simultaneously help seniors (by adding vision, hearing and dental coverage to Medicare) and the poor (by implementing the Medicaid expansion nationwide).

Meanwhile, according to Congress’ own Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, private insurers’ Medicare Advantage plans continue to drain the Treasury, inflating taxpayers’ costs by more than $500 annually for each enrollee.

Our country could afford universal coverage if we constrained drug companies’ price gouging and trimmed the $600 billion in useless administrative overhead inflicted by private insurers.

The real health policy clash in America is that between corporate profits and patients’ needs.

David U. Himmelstein
Steffie Woolhandler
East Chatham, N.Y.
The writers, both physicians, are distinguished professors at Hunter College and lecturers at Harvard Medical School.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Inalienable Right To Be Completely Useless

 1899: Chicago

"The Theory of the Leisure Class"

Economist and social critic Thorstein Veblen publishes his sociological treatise revealing the most admired traits of propertied elites: "ferocity, self-seeking, clannishness and disingenuousness - a free resort to force and fraud."

Such desirable attributes permit the wealthy to live solely to provoke envy in others. Rich "ladies" eagerly embrace a decorative standard of helpless femininity. Slinking human trophies of money to burn, these useless appendages of male egotism proudly lounge about in fur-draped passivity - perfumed, painted, powdered, and pampered. Who doesn't want one?

"Their" men dedicate themselves to pointless passions like fox-hunting and coin-collecting, diversions likewise bespeaking riches vast enough to be openly wasted. A battalion of doting servants advertises the "master's" unique freedom to limitlessly consume without doing anything useful. 

The sacred duty of the Leisure Class, instructs Veblen, is to retard social evolution and preserve the obsolete social forms that confer invidious distinction. For those of a practical turn of mind, he offers this insight into getting ahead under capitalism: "Freedom from scruple, from sympathy, honesty and regard for life, may within fairly wide limits be said to further the success of the individual in pecuniary culture."

 

Source:

 

Thorstein Veblen, The Theory of the Leisure Class, (Viking, 1967), Chapters 3 and 4

Friday, October 8, 2021

Legalienate Shocker! Wisdom Appears in a High Place . . .

"The best way to dominate and gain control over people is to spread despair and discouragement, even under the guise of defending certain values. Today, in many countries, hyperbole, extremism and polarization have become political tools. Employing a strategy of ridicule, suspicion and relentless criticism, in a variety of ways one denies the right of others to exist or to have an opinion. Their share of the truth and their values are rejected and, as a result, the life of society is impoverished and subjected to the hubris of the powerful. Political life no longer has to do with healthy debates about long-term plans to improve people’s lives and to advance the common good, but only with slick marketing techniques primarily aimed at discrediting others. In this craven exchange of charges and counter-charges, debate degenerates into a permanent state of disagreement and confrontation."

                                  

                         ----------Pope Francis