Poverty—and the stressof being poor—is killing people every single day
The extreme levels of American poverty and inequality are ripping apart once-interdependent communities with mental health and homelessness problems, and with a surge in drug and alcohol and suicide “deaths of despair.” (Photo: κύριαsity/flickr/cc)
A White House report recently proclaimed that the “War on Poverty is largely over and a success.” United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley said it was “ridiculous for the United Nations to examine poverty in America.”
Well-positioned Americans must talk like this, of course, because admitting the debilitating state of poverty in America might provoke feelings of guilt for 35 years of oppressive economic policies. Wealthier people need to take an honest look at the facts. They need to face reality as it sadly exists in America today.
1 in 7 Americans is Part of the World’s Poorest 10%
According to the Credit Suisse 2018 Global Wealth Databook, 34 million American adults are among the WORLD’S POOREST 10%. How is that possible? In a word, debt. In more excruciating words: stifling, misery-inducing, deadly amounts of debt for the poorest Americans. And it goes beyond dollars to the “deaths of despair” caused by the stresses of inferior health care coverage, stagnating incomes, and out-of-control inequality.
It could be argued that Scandinavian countries face the same degrees of debt as Americans. But far less of the debt is for health and education costs. And the Scandinavian safety net is renowned for its generous provisions for all citizens.
Half of Us are In or Near Poverty
$1 in expenses twenty years ago is now$1.25. $1 in earnings twenty years ago is now still $1.
More and more Americans are facing financial difficulty. Estimates of adults living from paycheck to paycheck range from half to 60 percent to 78 percent. Any sign of a recession would be devastating for most of us.
It’s estimated that a typical U.S. household needs about $60,000 annually to meet all expenses. That’s only manageable if two adults are working full-time for $15 per hour. Beyond that, little cushion exists. No American adult in the bottom 40% has more than $31,124 in total wealth, including house and car and savings (Table 3-4).
Booming Economy, Low Unemployment, and Other Deceptions
While 1 in 7 Americans is part of the world’s poorest 10%, nearly 3 in 7 Americans are part of the world’s richest 10%. The economy is booming for THEM. Yet the Wall Street Journal has the arrogance to claim that “Americans traditionally left behind…are reaping the benefits..”
How about the “jobs for everyone” fantasy? The official unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) itself, is based on employees “who did any work for pay or profit during the survey reference week.” The BLS workforce includes contingent and alternative employment arrangements that make up about 10% of the workforce. It includes part-time workers (even one hour a week!), who make up about 16% of the workforce. And, inexplicably, it fails to count as unemployed those who have given up looking for work — 4% more Americans than in the year 2000.
Many of today’s ‘gig’ jobs don’t pay a living wage, and most have no retirement or health benefits, no job security, no government regulations backing them, and usually a longer work day, with many people putting in 10- to 12-hour days for $13 per hour or less. According to a New York Times report, “41.7 million laborers — nearly a third of the American work force — earn less than $12 an hour, and almost none of their employers offer health insurance.”
Safety Net Failures
While it’s true that the U.S. spends a greater percentage of its GDP on social safety net programs than developing countries, Americans generally have to face much higher costs for housing, heating, transportation, child care, and other basic expenses.
Beyond this, there are significant shortcomings in American social protections, as pointed out by the UN. These include the “shockingly high number of children living in poverty” and the “reliance on criminalization to conceal the underlying poverty problem.” Furthermore, with the call for work requirements comes the realization that the job market for the poorest Americans is “extraordinarily limited.”
Poverty: Not Just a Number
Poverty is living without health care, and choosing the life-threatening alternative of opioid painkillers. Poverty is the stress of overwhelming debt; the steady decline of jobs that pay enough to support a family; the inability to afford a move to a desired neighborhood; the deadening impact of inequality on physical and mental well-being. The United Nationsdescribes America as a nation near the bottom of the developed world in safety net support and economic mobility, with its citizens living “shorter and sicker lives compared to those living in all other rich democracies,” with the highest infant mortality rate in the developed world, the world’s highest incarceration rate, and the highest obesity levels. Low-income Americans are often surrounded by food deserts, with insufficient access to clean water and sanitation, and with the pollutionlevels of third-world countries. The poorest among us are even susceptible — unbelievably — to rare tropical diseases and once-eradicated scourges like hookworm.
One of the first new laws created by the Jewish Bolsheviks when they took over Russia was to make “antisemitism” punishable by jail or death.
The Jewish senator from New York, Chuck Schumer, has introduced House Resolution 1697 – known as the Israel Anti-Boycott Act. This legislation is in direct conflict with the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech and targets those who are critical of Israel with draconian prison sentences and fines:
“American citizens are set to be fined up to $1 million or imprisoned for up to 20 years for criticizing Israel or supporting the BDS boycott, thanks to new legislation sponsored by Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.
Anyone guilty of violating the new prohibitions will face a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison under the new law.
According to the ACLU, the Cardin legislation would “bar U.S. persons from supporting boycotts against Israel, including its settlements in the Palestinian Occupied Territories conducted by international governmental organizations, such as the United Nations and the European Union.
It would also… include penalties for simply requesting information about such boycotts. Violations would be subject to a minimum civil penalty of $250,000 and a maximum criminal penalty of $1 million and 20 years in prison….This bill would impose civil and criminal punishment on individuals solely because of their political beliefs about Israel and its policies.”
Although this bill was first introduced in 2017, it continues to gain traction with more co-sponsors recently signing on.
One of the first new laws created by the Jewish Bolsheviks when they took over Russia was to make “antisemitism” punishable by jail or death. Despite its freedoms, the United States is now following in Russia’s footsteps, with Jews like Chuck Schumer leading the charge.
One hundred years later, we find ourselves in a very similar situation – proposed Federal laws protecting Jews from criticism. Only criminals and liars are afraid of being criticized.
What other ethnic group is powerful enough to demand such draconian laws to protect them from criticism?
In September, China’s share of US Treasuries holdings had the highest decline since January as ongoing trade tensions with Washington forced the world’s biggest economy to take measures to stabilize its national currency.
In September, China’s share of US Treasuries holdings had the highest decline since January as ongoing trade tensions with Washington forced the world’s biggest economy to take measures to stabilize its national currency.
Still the biggest foreign holder of the US foreign debt, China slashed it’s share by nearly $14 billion, with the country’s holdings falling to $1.15 trillion from nearly $1.17 trillion in August, according to the latest data from the Treasury Department. The fall marks the fourth straight month of declines. China is followed by Japan, whose share of US Treasuries fell to $1.03 trillion, the lowest since October 2011.
Washington has accelerated the Treasury issuance to avoid potential growth in the federal deficit due to the massive tax cut pushed by President Donald Trump, as well the federal spending deal approved by the government in February.
Chinese purchases of US state debt have been decreasing over recent months. The latest drop comes on top of the escalating trade conflict between Beijing and Washington over trade imbalance, market access and alleged stealing of US technology secrets by Chinese corporations. So far, the US has imposed tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods and Beijing retaliated with tariffs on $60 billion of US goods and stopped buying American crude.
The parties are reportedly set to resume trade talks at the G-20 meeting of the world’s developed economies that will begin in Argentina on November 30. So far, Beijing has presented a list of possible concessions. On Friday, the US president said he would leave out “four or five” of the big items the US wants.
“China wants to make a deal. They sent a list of things they are willing to do, which is a large list and it is just not acceptable to me yet. But at some point I think that we are doing extremely well with respect to China,” Trump told reporters.
Summary: A new paper proposes resonance may contribute to human consciousness.Source: The Conversation.Why is my awareness here, while yours is over there? Why is the universe split in two for each of us, into a subject and an infinity of objects? How is each of us our own center of experience, receiving information about the rest of the world out there? Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A gnat? A bacterium?
These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which asks, essentially: What is the relationship between mind and matter? It’s resisted a generally satisfying conclusion for thousands of years.
The mind-body problem enjoyed a major rebranding over the last two decades. Now it’s generally known as the “hard problem” of consciousness, after philosopher David Chalmers coined this term in a now classic paper and further explored it in his 1996 book, “The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory.”
Chalmers thought the mind-body problem should be called “hard” in comparison to what, with tongue in cheek, he called the “easy” problems of neuroscience: How do neurons and the brain work at the physical level? Of course they’re not actually easy at all. But his point was that they’re relatively easy compared to the truly difficult problem of explaining how consciousness relates to matter.
Over the last decade, my colleague, University of California, Santa Barbara psychology professor Jonathan Schooler and I have developed what we call a “resonance theory of consciousness.” We suggest that resonance – another word for synchronized vibrations – is at the heart of not only human consciousness but also animal consciousness and of physical reality more generally. It sounds like something the hippies might have dreamed up – it’s all vibrations, man! – but stick with me.
All about the vibrations
All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterized by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibrations of various underlying fields. As such, at every scale, all of nature vibrates.
Something interesting happens when different vibrating things come together: They will often start, after a little while, to vibrate together at the same frequency. They “sync up,” sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious. This is described as the phenomenon of spontaneous self-organization.
Mathematician Steven Strogatz provides various examples from physics, biology, chemistry and neuroscience to illustrate “sync” – his term for resonance – in his 2003 book “Sync: How Order Emerges from Chaos in the Universe, Nature, and Daily Life,” including:
When fireflies of certain species come together in large gatherings, they start flashing in sync, in ways that can still seem a little mystifying.
Lasers are produced when photons of the same power and frequency sync up.
The moon’s rotation is exactly synced with its orbit around the Earth such that we always see the same face.
Examining resonance leads to potentially deep insights about the nature of consciousness and about the universe more generally.
Sync inside your skull
Neuroscientists have identified sync in their research, too. Large-scale neuron firing occurs in human brains at measurable frequencies, with mammalian consciousness thought to be commonly associated with various kinds of neuronal sync.
For example, German neurophysiologist Pascal Fries has explored the ways in which various electrical patterns sync in the brain to produce different types of human consciousness.
Fries focuses on gamma, beta and theta waves. These labels refer to the speed of electrical oscillations in the brain, measured by electrodes placed on the outside of the skull. Groups of neurons produce these oscillations as they use electrochemical impulses to communicate with each other. It’s the speed and voltage of these signals that, when averaged, produce EEG waves that can be measured at signature cycles per second.
Gamma waves are associated with large-scale coordinated activities like perception, meditation or focused consciousness; beta with maximum brain activity or arousal; and theta with relaxation or daydreaming. These three wave types work together to produce, or at least facilitate, various types of human consciousness, according to Fries. But the exact relationship between electrical brain waves and consciousness is still very much up for debate.
External electrodes can record a brain’s activity. NeuroscienceNews.com image is adapted from the Conversation news release.
Fries calls his concept “communication through coherence.” For him, it’s all about neuronal synchronization. Synchronization, in terms of shared electrical oscillation rates, allows for smooth communication between neurons and groups of neurons. Without this kind of synchronized coherence, inputs arrive at random phases of the neuron excitability cycle and are ineffective, or at least much less effective, in communication.
A resonance theory of consciousness
Our resonance theory builds upon the work of Fries and many others, with a broader approach that can help to explain not only human and mammalian consciousness, but also consciousness more broadly.
Based on the observed behavior of the entities that surround us, from electrons to atoms to molecules, to bacteria to mice, bats, rats, and on, we suggest that all things may be viewed as at least a little conscious. This sounds strange at first blush, but “panpsychism” – the view that all matter has some associated consciousness – is an increasingly accepted position with respect to the nature of consciousness.
The panpsychist argues that consciousness did not emerge at some point during evolution. Rather, it’s always associated with matter and vice versa – they’re two sides of the same coin. But the large majority of the mind associated with the various types of matter in our universe is extremely rudimentary. An electron or an atom, for example, enjoys just a tiny amount of consciousness. But as matter becomes more interconnected and rich, so does the mind, and vice versa, according to this way of thinking.
Biological organisms can quickly exchange information through various biophysical pathways, both electrical and electrochemical. Non-biological structures can only exchange information internally using heat/thermal pathways – much slower and far less rich in information in comparison. Living things leverage their speedier information flows into larger-scale consciousness than what would occur in similar-size things like boulders or piles of sand, for example. There’s much greater internal connection and thus far more “going on” in biological structures than in a boulder or a pile of sand.
Under our approach, boulders and piles of sand are “mere aggregates,” just collections of highly rudimentary conscious entities at the atomic or molecular level only. That’s in contrast to what happens in biological life forms where the combinations of these micro-conscious entities together create a higher level macro-conscious entity. For us, this combination process is the hallmark of biological life.
The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for large-scale consciousness – like those humans and other mammals enjoy – result from a shared resonance among many smaller constituents. The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity in each moment.
As a particular shared resonance expands to more and more constituents, the new conscious entity that results from this resonance and combination grows larger and more complex. So the shared resonance in a human brain that achieves gamma synchrony, for example, includes a far larger number of neurons and neuronal connections than is the case for beta or theta rhythms alone.
What about larger inter-organism resonance like the cloud of fireflies with their little lights flashing in sync? Researchers think their bioluminescent resonance arises due to internal biological oscillators that automatically result in each firefly syncing up with its neighbors.
Is this group of fireflies enjoying a higher level of group consciousness? Probably not, since we can explain the phenomenon without recourse to any intelligence or consciousness. But in biological structures with the right kind of information pathways and processing power, these tendencies toward self-organization can and often do produce larger-scale conscious entities.
Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience, as well as more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics, and also the philosophy of mind. It gets to the heart of the differences that matter when it comes to consciousness and the evolution of physical systems.
It is all about vibrations, but it’s also about the type of vibrations and, most importantly, about shared vibrations.
I’d had enough. It was October 2017, and I’d been wondering what the point of my job was for far too long, and while I’m sure there was something meaningful somewhere and to someone in what I was doing day-to-day, it had certainly lost meaning for me. For all the good that writing another academic research paper would do, I thought I might as well be cycling to Bhutan.
The idea of cycling to this small country nestled in the Himalayan foothills is one I’d had for many years. Bhutan is famous for deciding to value its population’s happiness and well-being over economic growth. As an academic researcher focused on understanding happiness and well-being, the journey looked to me to be something of a pilgrimage.
Before I quit, I’d spent more than ten years at different universities, trying to understand what the most important contributors were to well-being. But what I found was that I was burnt out. Given the nature of my research, the irony of this was not lost on me. I needed to do something different. I wanted to travel; to explore and understand happiness through a non-academic lens. But I wanted to connect the research I’d been doing over the years with what was happening, or indeed not happening, in the world.
Purpose and meaning
When I began my research, I was motivated by the importance of the subject. Most people I knew wanted to be happy and so, I thought, my research might help people to do that. I did what academics are incentivized to do: publish in the best peer-reviewed journals (indexed by academic readership and citation counts), as well as bring in research funds. I also did things such as engage with people outside of academia that might not ordinarily read my research – the public, the media, governments, policymakers – things I wasn’t always incentivized to do, but nevertheless did because they contributed to a personal sense of purpose and meaning.
When it comes to living happy and fulfilled lives, we humans need meaning, we need purpose. People who feel there is a deeper purpose and meaning in what they are doing in their day-to-day lives tend to be happier, healthier, and more satisfied. Research shows, for example, that a life orientated towards meaning brings greater satisfaction than a life oriented toward hedonic pleasure. Those that have a strong sense of purpose in life live longer, and having a strong sense of purpose may be just as good for your health as engaging in regular exercise. Some would even conceive that purpose is, by definition, a key aspect of happiness itself.
Work is an important source of purpose and meaning for many people. When people get made redundant or become unemployed, much of the loss in well-being they experience is often due to the loss of purpose and meaning, rather than the loss of income. Even if there is no deeper personal purpose and meaning in the actual work itself then there is much to value in our daily social interactions and the structure that work provides us, although they are easily overlooked.
It is purpose and meaning that helps people get up each day and it doesn’t necessarily have to be specifically about work. Purpose and meaning can take many different forms and is deeply personal. It might be looking after family, following a hobby, passion, or faith. Purpose and meaning is also an important source of resilience, helping people get through the difficulty and challenges that are an inevitable part of life.
The importance of purpose and meaning is well recognised. In the UK, for example, one of the four questions that the government’s Office for National Statistics asks in its Well-Being Survey is: “Overall, to what extent do you feel the things you do in your life are worthwhile?” To which people are asked to respond on a scale from zero “not at all” to ten, “completely”. In the UK the mean score to this question is about 7.8, suggesting people feel their lives are relatively worthwhile. However, there is variation around this mean. Around 15% of the population answer a score of six or less on this question and this level has been relatively stable.
Walking the talk, being authentic
It has always felt important to me to apply my research findings to my own life. My research consistently showed that once basic needs are met, having more money is only weakly related to happiness and well-being, relative to other things such as relationships, health (mental and physical), and our personality characteristics. Taking this on board, I have decided not to take better paying jobs or strive for promotion (one of my first ever published papers demonstrated that promotion can have detrimental effects on one’s mental health) for the sake of it. Instead, I tried to create a life where I had more space to focus on those aspects of life I knew to be the most important for well-being.
Another important contributor to our well-being is something psychologists term authenticity. Authenticity reflects our tendency to live in line with our beliefs and values rather the demands of others, of society. So in following what I believed to be true from the research I and others were doing I was doubly rewarded; I was happier.
I felt despondent. What was the point in writing another academic paper? Perhaps, I thought, I ought to be doing something a bit different. Not only to rediscover meaning and purpose, but to continue striving for an authentic existence and, through that, perhaps a little more happiness too. It was then that I finally decided that it was time to leave my full-time job at the university and to start my cycling odyssey to Bhutan.
A kingdom of happiness
We might not hear about them very often, but there are actually many places in the world where economic growth is not so overtly favoured above other things. It might be just a few people who have decided to live together and put their well-being above economic gain; there are small communities, towns and cities already doing this. But in the case of an entire country – Bhutan – the stated central aim of government is to increase happiness and well-being.
In 1972, the fourth king of Bhutan, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck, first expressed the idea in an interview. He said: “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” Initially, Gross National Happiness was a concept rooted in the country’s spiritual traditions, and government policies would be evaluated based on their supposed influence on well-being rather than its economic effect.
Back in 1972, however, there was little in the way of reliable metrics to compute the influence of a policy on well-being. So the idea of increasing happiness remained more of a philosophical concept. Nevertheless, the happiness concept became embedded in the policy-making process. Some of the decisions that arose from this approach included a ban on television (up until 1999), making tobacco illegal, and restricting tourism to preserve the country’s culture.
The Bhutanese have since developed a Gross National Happiness Index to measure the country’s collective level of well-being – this has been the government’s goal since its constitution was enacted in 2008. The index has direct links to policy making and it is meant to provide incentives for the government, non-governmental organisations, and businesses to operate in ways that increase the happiness index. For example, environmental protection is enshrined in its constitution, which puts a limit on profitable industries such as logging.
Nevertheless, the case of Bhutan continues to inspire conversations as to what should be the purpose of society and how countries can measure success. Bhutan also illustrates what might just be possible if there were the political will.
The journey, not the destination
Against this backdrop, I set off from the UK in October 2017 with the barest of essentials packed onto a bicycle and my route, you might say, has been circuitous. As I write I am in Canada, and it was important for me to travel across South and North America, as I wanted to pass through other places that, much like Bhutan, are exploring new ways of living and where the economy does not necessarily dominate political and social life.
I also wanted to visit Canada, which has an exemplary national index of well-being that was developed in conjunction with citizens. It was developed as a bottom-up process with clear and direct links to policy. From a research perspective we know that autonomy and having a voice is important for well-being and I have learnt from personal experience how important it is to feel heard.
I’ve flown some of the way (across oceans) but cycled most of it in a bid to make the journey authentic and purposeful. Not only did I think cycling would be good for my own well-being (physical and mental) but because it is a form of travel that has minimal ecological impact and therefore would not harm the well-being of those around me. Plus, my experiences traveling on a bicycle before I began this journey showed me that it is a fantastic way to meet people. It is a fairly unusual form of travel in some parts of the world and it draws interest and builds connections.
People can often make a place. I knew that the people I met would form an important part of my trip and I wanted to create long lasting connections, which are of course an important component of a happy life. These connections have come through sharing experiences of what it means to be happy – sharing my own research and personal experiences of happiness and also being willing to hear about the experiences of others, from the people I have met in the street and the plazas to the people making policy decisions.
There are many people who are interested in implementing programmes and happiness policies into their own lives and the lives of others as a means to genuinely promote happiness and well-being in the area where they live.
When I spoke with people involved in policy decisions in Costa Rica, for example, we discussed the country’s involvement in the Wellbeing Economy Alliance. This is an organisation that resembles the G7 group of countries, but rather than a focus on the size of the economy, these countries – including Costa Rica, Scotland, New Zealand and Slovenia, among others – aim to promote well-being.
My journey has been undeniably amazing on a personal level. Each day can bring something different, unexpected, challenging, and that demands a lot psychologically. Suddenly I might find myself in the home of a person I met in a plaza sharing food with their family. The next day I could find myself sitting in my tent alone but in the company of a beautiful night sky. There have been some truly special moments and, through these, I have often felt happy and learnt many interesting things about myself. For example, that I am much more than just an academic, and that sometimes what we perceive ourselves to be can limit what we can be.
Yet it has not been easy, and has definitely not been a holiday. My journey has involved a substantial amount of physical effort and at times deep challenge. About two months into my trip I got bitten by a street dog in a tiny village in Peru. The need to deal with the physical effects aside (treating the wound, getting to a hospital, getting vaccinations), the experience reallyaffected me psychologically.
I wanted to come home. I was struggling to find the emotional strength I needed to get through. I felt alone. But I persevered and I put my ability to do so down to eventually finding the support I needed (both locally and from back home), as well as having that clear sense of purpose.
I’m glad I persevered with the journey as all the other experiences I’ve since that incident and the people I have met have been enormously enriching and given me a greater feeling of wholeness. Plus, an important part of happiness is dealing with adversity and building resilience for when difficult things happen, as they inevitably do.
Now, I’m in Canada and, in truth, I’m surprised I’ve made it this far. I often wonder whether I’ll ever actually make it to Bhutan; there are many more mountains to climb and seas to cross. Lately, I’ve been having a difficult time on the road – it’s been a year and I deeply miss the surroundings of home, friends and family.
Maybe I don’t actually need to go all the way to Bhutan. Maybe what I’ve done is enough. Either way, I can rest assured that happiness is found in the journey – not the destination.
Dianne Feinstein is “easily one of the most evil people I ever met. She is the Dragon Lady with no f***ing heart.” Jello Biafra formerly of the Dead Kennedys
Previously, I explained that Dianne Feinstein had traded some old railroad ties in the desert for the gold in the Chocolate Mountains of southern California as part of her Desert Wilderness Preservation bill. It should have known as “how big a kickback will I get on $100s of billions in gold?”
Currently, her husband won a $985,142,530 contract to connect Madera and Fresno on California’s high speed rail linking San Francisco to Los Angeles. That is $35 million a mile and does not include land acquisition and rolling stock.
She was for six years the top Democrat on the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies (or “Milcon”) sub-committee, where she may have directed more than $1.5 billion to those two military contractors, URS Corporation and Perini Corporation controlled by her husband.
We have already given Feinstein and friends billions. Is there no limit to what we are expected to give her?
At one time she was a member of the Trilateral Commission and the Council on Foreign Relations.
She is convinced that Julian Assange belongs in jail.
She was against Gay marriage before she was for it.
As mayor of San Francisco, she refused to participate in a Gay Pride parade because she wanted to run for office statewide.
Dianne Feinstein was first elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1969. She won one of her elections by campaigning late the night before election day at sado-masochistic bars. She got the whip vote and was smart enough to do it so late that the news media could not get the story out to the voters. This was at a time when the SF Coroner’s office admitted that 10% of all unnatural deaths were the result of sadists cutting off the circulation of their sexual partners. The coroner ran classes to educate the sadists as to the correct methods of tying up people. Establishments were set up with doctors and nurses on call so masochists could receive immediate medical attention. Unfortunately for America she defeated Quentin Kopp for President of the Board of Supervisors in 1978. On November 27, 1978 Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk were assassinated by ex-Supervisor Dan White and she became Mayor of San Francisco. Mr White used the Twinkie defense and was convicted of manslaughter as opposed to murder. He served less than two years of a 5 to 7 year sentence.
The Talmud told the Jews that they could rob the Gentiles as soon as they of control of their government. Feinstein is living proof that the Talmud does guide the behavior of many American Jews.
Israel Shahak: The Laws Against Non-Jews In 2 Minutes
For a generation, big box stores have swept across America, using predatory pricing and other dirty tricks to kill the independent retail sector; they used their corporate lobbying muscle to tempt cities and towns into handing out massive corporate welfare checks to lure them to town, and now, with the help of hustling contingency lawyers, they are promulgating a property-tax scam called “the dark store theory” that is cutting their taxes in half or more, with further reductions every year, and no end in sight.
The “dark store theory” holds that property taxes on thriving, super-profitable big box stores should not be based on how much the property sold for, plus the capital investment, minus depreciation — instead, these stores should be valued based on the selling price of nearby failed big-box stores that have been sold at knock-down prices.
Big box stores used their generous municipal subsidies to overbuild across American towns, creating a glut that resulted in widespread closures after the financial crisis. Because big box stores are so terribly built — shoddy construction, weird layouts, and not even enough freight docks to use as a warehouse — the shuttered stores sell for a tiny fraction of their book value.
But even though the big boxes are shuttering their stores like crazy, the remaining stores are still profitable — thanks to the overinvestment in big box stores during the rampup phase, all the local retail that might have competed with the remaining stores has collapsed. That leaves locals with no choice but to drive longer distances to the remaining stores to shop, meaning that the predatory mega-retailers now get to spend less to do the same business.
Entrepreneurial corporate lawyer/consultants like Detroit’s Michael Shapiro (who is credited with inventing “dark store theory”) and Minnesota’s Robert Hill have made a fortune for themselves and for big box stores by filing costly court challenges to the stores’ tax assessments, arguing that their property taxes should be based on the price of the abandoned, unsuccessful nearby stores, not on the standard formula of sale price plus improvements minus depreciation.
These lawyers seek reductions of fifty percent or more on property tax bills, and return year after year to drive those bills even lower. The small towns they hit — who often can’t afford to litigate against multinational, private-equity-backed retail giants — roll over.
Towns that have granted these tax concessions are going broke. Ste St Marie, MI has slashed city pensions; Escanaba, MI has cut its library hours; and so on. Meanwhile, town residents and small businesses are facing rising tax bills as their cities seek to close the gap left by the sweetheart treatment the big boxes are getting.
Wisconsinites in 24 towns voted to end “dark store theory” tax treatments in ballot initiatives in this month’s elections. But that’s only a few towns in one states, and meanwhile the epidemic rages on.
Still, it’s going to be tough: Don Millis, a prominent tax attorney who represents retailers and a lobbyist for the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the top advocacy group for big business in these parts, sits on the legislative committee assigned to review the issue.
Other states have proposed legal fixes, too, but in Indiana, the one state that managed to pass anti-dark store theory legislation in 2015, lobbying pressure led to its weakening the year after it was passed. The state tax board has continued to sympathize with retailers, who keep launching appeals.
If Wisconsin managed to change its laws, Hill told me, lawyers like him would just redouble their efforts. “That’s when we’ll grab the pitchforks and get the Constitution involved,” he said.
There was something gruesomely familiar about the way we commemorated the supposed end of the First World War a hundred years ago. Not just the waterfalls of poppies and the familiar names – Mons, the Somme, Ypres, Verdun – but the almost total silence about all those who died in the First World War, whose eyes were not as blue as ours might be or whose skin was not as pink as ours might be or whose suffering continues from the Great War to this very day.
Even those Sunday supplements that dared stray from the western front only briefly touched on the after-effects of the war in the new Poland, the new Czechoslovakia, the new Yugoslavia and Bolshevik Russia, with a mention of Turkey. The mass famine – perhaps 1.6 million dead – of the Arabs of the Levant under Turkish looting and Allied blockade in the First World War received not a word. Even more astoundingly, I could find not a single reference to the greatest crime against humanity of the First World War – not the murder of Belgian hostages by German troops in 1914, but the Armenian genocide of a million and a half Christian civilians in 1915 by Germany’s Ottoman Turkish ally.
What happened to that key document of the First World War in the Middle East, the 1917 Balfour Declaration which promised a homeland for Jews in Palestine and doomed the Palestinian Arabs (a majority in Palestine at the time) to what I call refugeedom? Or the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement which chopped up the Middle East and betrayed the promise of Arab independence? Or General Allenby’s advance on Jerusalem during which – forgotten now by our beloved commentators – he initiated the first use of gas in the Middle East. So smitten are we by the savagery of modern Syrian and Iraqi history, that we forget – or do not know – that Allenby’s men fired gas shells at the Turkish army in Gaza. Of all places. But gas in the collective memory last weekend was confined, yet again, to the Western Front.
First World War Allied war cemeteries in both the Middle East and Europe contain tens of thousands of Muslim graves – Algerians, Moroccans, Indians – yet I did not see a photograph of one of them. Nor of the Chinese labourers who died on the Western Front carrying shells for British troops – nor the African soldiers who fought and died for France on the Somme. Only in France, it seems did President Macron remember this salient feature of the conflict, as well he should. For more than 30,000 men from the Comoros, Senegal, the Congo, Somalia, Guinea and Benin died in the Great War.
There used to be a monument to them in Rheims. But the Germans launched a ferocious racist attack on black French troops who participated in the post-First World War occupation of Germany for raping German women and for “endangering the future of the German race”. All untrue, of course, but by the time Hitler’s legions reinvaded France in 1940, the Nazi propaganda against these same men had done its work. Well over 2,000 black French troops were massacred by the Wehrmacht in 1940; the monument was destroyed. It has just been reconstructed – and reopened in time for the hundredth anniversary of the Armistice.
Then there are the sepulchral ironies of the dead. Of the 4,000 Moroccan troops – all Muslims – sent to the Battle of the Marne in 1914, only 800 survived. Others died at Verdun. Of General Hubert Lyautey’s 45,000 Moroccan soldiers, 12,000 had been killed by 1918. It took the little French magazine Jeune Afrique to note that the graves of many of the Moroccan dead are today still marked with the star and crescent of the Turkish Ottoman caliphate. But the Moroccans, though notionally inhabitants of the Ottoman empire, were fighting for France against Turkey’s German allies. The star and crescent have never been the official symbol of Muslims. In any event, Moroccans had by the Great War already got their own flag.
But of course, the real symbols of the First World War and its continuing and bloody results are in the Middle East. The conflicts in the region – in Syria, Iraq, in Israel and Gaza and the West Bank and in the Gulf – can mostly trace their genesis to our titanic Great War. Sykes-Picot divided the Arabs. The war – only days after the Gallipoli landings – enabled the Turks to destroy their Christian Armenian minority. The Nazis, by the way, loved Mustafa Kemal Ataturk because he had “cleansed” his minorities. When Ataturk died, the party newspaper Volkischer Beobachter edged its front page in black. The division of Lebanon and Syria and their sectarian systems of administration were invented by the French after they secured the post-war mandate for governing the Levant. The post-First World War Iraqi uprising against British rule was partly fuelled by disgust at the Balfour Declaration.
Mischievously, I delved into my late dad’s library of old history books – he of the Great War, Third Battle of the Somme, 1918 – and found Winston Churchill, with rage and sorrow, writing about the “holocaust” of the Armenians (he actually used that word) but he could not see the Arab world’s future even in his four-volume The Great War of 1935. His only disquisition on the smouldering ex-Ottoman empire came in a two-page appendix on page 1,647. It was entitled: “A Memorandum upon the Pacification of the Middle East”.
As for the Palestinians who wake up every morning today in the dust and filth of the camps of Nahr el-Bared, Ein el-Helwe or Sabra and Chatila in Lebanon, Balfour’s pen scratched his signature on this document of dispossession not in 1915, but only last night. For these refugees, still in their hovels and shacks as you read these words, the First World War never ended – not even now, today, on the hundredth anniversary of the “end” of the First World War.
Far beyond the distractions of political bickering and cultural trends, the big, big picture that’s unfolding across our world right now is a plan to exterminate 90% of the current human population in order to “save” the planet and protect what globalists see as the future of human survival on a cosmic scale.
This plan is under way now due to two very important developments:
#1) The rise of robotic systems that can replace human labor, eliminating the need for a world of impoverished human workers whose only reason for existence — from the point of view of the globalists — was to be exploited for cheap labor and manipulated votes.
If you aren’t yet aware that robots are replacing human labor, you’re way behind the curve. As this Zero Hedge story shows, heavy duty robots are already being introduced that can replace human labor in construction and other similar jobs.
Critically, the reason Democrats and globalists are ready to replace low-wage humans with robots is because robots will be granted voting rights. Once robots are granted voting rights under the justification that AI is “conscious,” Democrats will have no more need for humans, migrant waves or Third World populations. They will simply program all the robots to vote Democrat in every election… which, originally, isn’t far from what’s being done right now with human voters.
#2) Entitlement payouts to humans are draining government resources that globalists believe should be spent on space colonization, space weaponization, faster-than-light (FTL) travel technology and other exotic tech systems that can defend human civilization against cosmic threats.
Thanks to the socialist policies of Leftists, so many people are now collecting entitlements that governments now see the masses as an unsustainable financial burden. If the masses were eliminated, governments that were on the path to financial insolvency could suddenly achieve balanced budgets and remain solvent (rather than collapsing under endless debt spending). This is especially true when considering the robot replacement of human workers, given that robots collect no welfare, food stamps workers comp, sick days or retirement benefits. Once robots can replace all the benefits of human labor without all the costs associated with human entitlements, the globalists will very quickly accelerate their plan to exterminate what they see as “excess humans.”
(See my full, accompanying Counterthink video below, which explains this in more detail.)
Part of the elitist justification for all this rests on the fact that globalists believe Earth is a vulnerable planet for multiple reasons, including space weather events (asteroid strikes, solar flares, etc.) as well as the human depletion of natural resources. The elimination of 90% of the human population, they believe, is necessary to prevent the planet’s resources from being consumed by “useless eaters” instead of being redirected into exotic research projects that would shore up the survival of the human species and protect against cosmic events that, right now, could wipe out humanity in an instant.
Specifically, globalists believe that Earth’s elitists must:
Colonize other planets in order to diversify the survival odds of the human race. Ultimately, this colonization must move beyond our solar system and build human worlds near other stars.
Build faster-than-light travel systems to colonize planets orbiting other stars within our galaxy.
Build exotic planetary defense systems that protect Earth from attacks by other civilizations that they know inhabit the cosmos.
Achieve breakthrough leaps in Artificial Intelligence, quantum computing and materials science that enable, for example, the construction of space elevators — a necessary breakthrough for lifting materials into orbit to support the construction of human colonies on Mars and elsewhere.
The current situation where Earth’s governments are spending the vast majority of their wealth paying for “useless eaters” to continue living and reproducing isn’t a sustainable scenario, globalists believe. Thus, they see the extermination of 90% of the human population as a necessary evil in order to save the world and save humanity on a cosmic scale. (It almost reminds you of Thanos from the Marvel universe, a powerful cosmic being who travels around the universe exterminating half the population on each planet he encounters, all in the name of sustainability.)
In essence — and this is not my point of view, but theirs — every dollar that’s currently going to feed a food stamp recipient, process a migrant or finance the retirement of a former government worker would be better spent on colonizing Mars, the globalists believe. All their current talk of advocating for migrants is merely a way to overthrow sovereign nations, eliminate borders and establish global United Nations control from which global depopulation can be directed without resistance from independent nation states (i.e. Trump is the enemy).
One coming conflict, by the way, will be between this UN-directed global government and communist China, which is about to face its own economic and environmental collapse. Brexit is also playing a role here, throwing a huge delay into the globalism plan.
How globalists plan to exterminate 90% of the human race
The extermination plan rests on the “accidental / on purpose” release of an engineered bioweapon viral strain. Such bioweapons offer several distinct advantages to extermination efforts, from the point of view of globalists:
1) They are not traceable and are easily released into the population with complete anonymity.
2) They are self-replicating. Once the initial population is infected, there’s no need to manufacture more because cellular physiology runs the replication automatically.
3) They exploit the natural social structure of human societies. People will automatically spread the virus because people like to be around other people. Very few people are completely isolated in modern society.
4) They allow globalist governments to declare “pandemic emergencies” and mandate mass vaccinations which, of course, will be laced with additional bioweapons to accelerate the pandemic die-off. As more people become infected from the vaccines, governments will mandate mass vaccination as an “emergency” public health initiative. Those who comply will be infected. Never forget that the mass polio vaccinations of the 1960s and 70s were laced with cancer viruses. This was admitted by the CDC for decades, right up until a few years ago when the CDC scrubbed its website of all such history. Further supporting this realization, UN-approved vaccines administered to women in Kenya have been exhaustively tested in science labs and confirmed be laced with infertility chemicals designed to reduce the population of blacks. See also this story with further details.
5) They tend to more aggressively target low-wage populations and Third World populations, achieving one of the key goals of the globalists which is to wipe out the “useless eaters” as they see them, while maintaining the top 10% of the human population to carry out the science and innovation that globalists see as necessary to protect Earth. In effect, the globalists are carrying out Adolf Hitler’s eugenics “utopia” on a global scale, but instead of merely six million people being exterminated, the globalists seek to eliminate more than six billion people.
The other advantage of bioweapons, from the point of view of globalists, is that they do not destroy the ecosystem in the way that nuclear weapons do. Since part of the goal here is the extermination of humans without damaging the ecosystem, bioweapons become the obvious choice, and they can even be tweaked to target specific races such as South Americans, Africans or Europeans.
Global immune system suppression is under way to prepare humanity for the bioweapon assault
For bioweapons to succeed in their goal of exterminating 90% of the human race, humans must have their immune systems suppressed in advance of bioweapons exposure.
This plan is already well under way.
Immunosuppression is easily accomplished through multiple vectors described below. Here are just a few of the ways this is being done right now:
#2) Toxic medicine and toxic vaccines – Nearly all the prescription medications now consumed by westerners are biologically toxic. Most cause immune suppress in one way or another, and many lead to nutritional deficiencies that further weaken the human immune system. Flu shot vaccines are scientifically proven to weaken immune response in subsequent years, meaning anyone who takes vaccines is more vulnerable to bioweapons. This is not a coincidence. It is a global IQ test to see which humans are stupid enough to commit suicide via injection while calling it “medicine.”
#3) Toxic food supply laced with neurodegenerative chemicals and immunosuppressive chemicals – The human food supply is intentionally laced with toxic chemicals that impede brain function, immune function and fertility. These chemicals, known as pesticides and herbicides, are intentionally designed to interfere with key neurological or physiological functions, otherwise they would not kill other living organisms such as insects. The fact that they are designated as pesticides is proof that they kill living organisms. Most people don’t realize this, but popular breakfast cereals such as Corn Flakes are made almost entirely out of ingredients that are registered with the EPA as “biopesticides.”
#4) Propaganda attacks on nutrition: The entire fake news media complex continues to denigrate the importance of immune-enhancing nutrients such as vitamin D, zinc and selenium, knowing that gullible news consumers can be convinced to avoid nourishing their own bodies. Those who believe the corporate-run news cartels are committing nutritional suicide, turning to Big Pharma instead of supplementary nutrition, causing them to become weak in both body and mind. This is all by design: Weak-minded people are easier for the info-propagandists to manipulate and control. And the last thing they want is people obtaining the ability to operative with cognitive clarity and presence of mind.
#5) Chemtrails. This is a very controversial subject. Not every contrail in the sky is a chemtrail, but it is a simple scientific fact that “global warming” scientists are well into the process of altering the atmosphere using what they call “geoengineering” experiments. The very subject of chemtrails used to be derided as a conspiracy theory, but now it’s openly explored by scientists in the name of reversing climate change. See Geoengineering.news for coverage of some of the current experiments being conducted by university and government scientists. According to some analysts, the substances being “amended” into the atmosphere also serve to suppress human immune function.
#6) The promotion of immunosuppressive sexual behaviors involving multiple partners and anal penetrative sex. This point offends the easily offended, but the promotion of gay lifestyles involving unprotected sex with multiple sex partners also creates the rapid transmission of blood borne disease. This is exactly why the gay community is currently experiencing an epidemic explosion in anal cancer, which the left-wing media is desperately trying to sweep under the rug and pretend isn’t happening. See this article on Outbreak.news for more details of the anal cancer cover-up (and the desperate protection of anal penetrative sexual promiscuity by the LGBT propagandists).
#7) The planned global debt bubble collapse is being engineered right now by the central banks of the world. One of the desirable outcomes of this is the plunging of first world nations into financial destitution, which ultimate promotes infectious disease and dissuades access to medical care. Right this very moment, the streets of San Francisco are littered with human feces and drug needles. The medical implications of the financial collapse of cities into feces-ridden filth hubs should be obvious. Impoverished cities and nations are cesspools for the spread of pandemics. Financial collapse is just one small part of the very big picture.
The bottom line is that the effort to soften up your immune system is well under way. Be sure to do exactly what the anti-human media tells you to do and keep taking “your” flu shot. Your obedience to this quack science ritual is required in order for you to “serve” the interests of the globalists by eliminating yourself from the human gene pool. The sicker you are, the more easily you can be killed off in the interests of “saving the world.”
Solutions: The greatest act of resistance against eugenics is found in herbs, nutrients and healthy living
In a way, globalists are running a planet-wide IQ test for humanity: Anyone stupid enough to keep taking vaccine shots, popping medications and avoiding nutrition is probably not qualified to represent the future of humankind, they figure. On that particular point, they may not be wrong.
The defense against the global pandemic is simple and readily available: Boost your health with herbs and nutrition, and you are far more likely to survive the planet-wide culling of 90% of the human population.
In anticipation of this, I have created a little-known website based on cutting-edge modern science and medicine research. It’s called NaturalAntibiotics.news, and the site covers both plant-based antibiotics as well as anti-viral phytonutrients that can also help protect you from viral pandemics. (Note that antibiotics alone do not harm viral strains. Anti-virals are necessary for that.)
I also publish Herbs.news, which documents the scientifically-backed evidence on hundreds of medicinal herbs, including anti-viral and anti-bacterial herbs. Many of these herbs can be grown in your own garden, meaning that you can literally grow your own anti-pandemic medicine at home, without permission from any doctor, drug company or government.
Over the last several years, I have also built a multi-million dollar analytical research laboratory running multiple mass-spec instruments. The lab is ISO accredited, and we use the lab to produce the world’s cleanest supply of nutritional supplements, superfoods and green living products for home and health. Here’s a recent photo of me giving a tour of the QQQ (triple-quad) mass spec instrument that we use for quantitation of pesticides and herbicides (a full video tour of the mass spec analysis process is coming soon).
The lab-verified products we offer to the public are found at HealthRangerStore.com, the only nutrition manufacturer and online retailer in the world which lab-tests every raw material and every production lot. We have the most strict heavy metals limits in the world, which is why tens of thousands of customers who have survived cancer, heart disease, diabetes or other ailments shop at our store to find ultra-clean foods that support their healing journey.
Avoiding exposure to toxic chemicals and heavy metals can strengthen your immune response to viral infections. Clean food, clean water and clean air is the answer to making it through the global attack on humanity that’s now under way. (Read CleanFoodWatch.com for more stories on clean food.) If you aren’t yet drinking clean water, eating clean food and avoiding toxic chemicals in the food supply — be sure to buy organic where possible — you are playing right into the hands of the globalists who can’t wait to eliminate you (and people like you) from the planet.
Here’s the full video explanation that accompanies this story:
“Our citizens should know the urgent facts…but they don’t because our media serves imperial, not popular interests. They lie, deceive, connive and suppress what everyone needs to know, substituting managed news misinformation and rubbish for hard truths…”—Oliver Stone