Bullies/Big Babies

… the people, the workers, they prefer the enemy to you. They believe him. They understand him when he speaks.

Pablo Iglesias, Podemos

poinsettasJohn Boehner has been in the news again, urging his cohorts to shut down the U.S. government.  See, John Boehner and his cohorts don’t need the U.S. government (except for their health insurance and pension plans).  He and his friends stomp and shout and filitbuster or shut down the government when they’re mad, yet they would deny labor unions the right to strike and they don’t like protestors taking to the streets to declare enough is enough when it comes to police attacks on black males.

The September 15 issue of the New Yorker contained a column titled The Naysayers by Alex Ross.  Ross discusses, in this piece, the Frankfurt School and its analysis of consumerism, capitalism, and art.  The Christmas season has me thinking about Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer;s statement that we have “the freedom to choose what is always the same.”  As channels of distribution and sales become ever more concentrated (as did manufacture and production in an earlier time), their words seem to ring more true than ever.

Are you ever overwhelmed by the sheer number of products available in a supermarket?  Don’t be:  just follow this map of food company ownership that shows how almost all supermarket foods can be traced back to just ten companies.

List of armed conflicts with more than 1,000 deaths so far in 2014

Location (Year began, Total Fatalities/2014 Fatalities)

  • Mexican Drug War (2006, 150,000/1,400)
  • Syrian Civil War (2011, 191,000/30,000)
  • Iraqi insurgency (2011, 28,000/13,500)
  • South Sudan Civil War (2013, 60,000/50,000)
  • Israeli–Palestinian conflict (1948, 22,000/2,204)
  • Islamist insurgency in Nigeria (1999, 22,000/ 5,703)
  • War in Afghanistan (2001, 56,000/1,679)
  • War in North-West Pakistan (2004, 55,473/4,957)
  • War in Somalia (2009, 19,754/1,887)
  • Sinai insurgency (2011, 1,110/600)
  • Central African Republic conflict (2012, 6,192/5,186)
  • War in Donbass (2014, 4,132/4,132)
  • Libyan Civil War (2014, 2,595/2,595)

There are another 31 conflicts with less than a thousand deaths this year.

I’m so tired of using kids as soldiers (or drug runners), of armies and police attacking civilians, of corporations and governments stealing from the people, particularly the poor, of fascism masquerading as any other type of ruling organization.

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