By Chris Hedges
Posted on May 17, 2010
Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.
Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume’’—are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.
The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge.
Although mothers are certainly the one tie that commonly binds all people throughout human history, it has been celebrated as an official occasion only in this past century.
The struggle toward what we now call “Mother’s Day” began in 1868, with the work of Ann Jarvis to establish a “Mother’s Friendship Day”. Jarvis wanted to encourage mothers to fulfill their unique role which could reconcile the division of so many families as another painful result of the Civil War. Jarvis wanted to expand the concept into an annual celebration for mothers, but she died in 1905 before the day became popular.
Ann Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Marie Reeves Jarvis is credited with establishing Mother’s Day in its current form, following the death of her mother on May 9, 1905. It is the date of Ann Jarvis’ death which was the motivation behind celebrating Mother’s Day on the second Sunday in May.
Ohio’s Estate Tax Must come to an End
“Estate tax repeal should be a no-brainer: More family businesses and farms growing in size. More jobs. More tax revenues.” Dick Patten, president American Family Business Foundation.
For centuries, economists have pointed out the harmful economic effects of estate and inheritance taxes.
Excerpts from the book Rich States, Poor States (by Laffer, Moore, Williams, 2009) explain the harm:
“Many studies indicate that the death tax is so inefficient, so adverse to saving and capital investment, and so complicated, that the states and the federal government would actually recoup much if not all revenues lost from this tax with higher tax receipts resulting from long term economic growth.
“The estate tax causes distortions in household decision making about work effort, saving and investment (and the loss of economic efficiency) that are even greater in size than those from other taxes on income from capital.”
Wednesday 24 February 2010
hat tip: Keith Olbermann | MSNBC “Countdown”
Finally tonight, a Special Comment about health care reform and tomorrow’s summit at Blair House. If I prove to have trouble getting through this, I apologize in advance. Last Friday night my father asked me to kill him. We were just shy of six months since he was hospitalized and it was the end of a long day at the end of a longer week.
Not to get too clinical or too grotesque on you, but he’d had his colon removed at the end of September and that went so well that it was no more complicated than an appendectomy. But what followed was a series of infections, like storms in the monsoon season, one arriving, blossoming, inundating him, my Dad shaking it off and cheerfully bouncing back, and then within days another one coming in to flatten him once again.
by Media Lens
January 24th, 2009
Numerous members of the public have written to us expressing their bewilderment at the violence of Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killing upwards of 1,300 people and wounding 4,200. To many witnessing the onslaught on their TV screens (especially Al Jazeera) this appeared to be an act of state sadism.
Israeli forces repeatedly bombed schools (including UN schools), medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, UN buildings, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes.
On January 15, Helpdoctors.org reported that Al Quds hospital had been “again the target of bombing”. Some 50 patients, 30 in wheelchairs, fled as the burning hospital was “totally destroyed”.
The hospital’s medical director said, “My heart is crying,” as he described how intensive care patients and premature babies in incubators were wheeled onto the street in the middle of the night.