Sunday, July 30, 2017

Die Gift-Presse (The Poison-Press)

Imagine if you will the field of Agincourt. The French knights are defeated.  Mitch, the Duc of Bourbon, lies, fallen from his horse, in a pool of muck and blood, held in the  arms of his pages.  "Shame, shame; nothing but eternal shame..." he says.

And then the incredible.  King "Harry" -- his bifocals hanging on the tip of his nose, calls for a retreat and marches the English back to the Channel. 

Herald, played by the New York Slimes, stands spotless and shinning amid corpses and gore and trumpets,

Consensus Is Health Law Can Be Fixed. Now the Hard Part.


Stabilizing the market, lowering drug prices and expanding access to coverage would go a long way to easing millions of Americans’ concerns.

... ...


Responding to calls for a bi-partisan fix, McConnell said he doubted any Republicans would support “bailing out insurance companies with no thought of any kind of reform”.

Repugnant creepy-crawly mutant that he is, McConnell is right: Obambicare is an insurance company bailout. In other words, it is yet another corporate, capitalist scam in what passes for Murka's pathetic excuse for a veneer of social democracy.

It bears repeating.  Obambicare is nothing but an insurance company bailout.

This "trivia" from the L.A. Times:  "the federal government sends about $600 million a month to insurance companies to help cover the cost of insuring low income people"

600 million a month.

"Basically, the government tells insurers that they need to hold down the insurance deductibles and co-payments that they charge low-income people. That costs the insurers money. To make the insurers whole, the government is supposed to reimburse them."  (L.A. Times.)

To make the insurers whole?  Really?  Is that the point of the "health care" exercise?  Are Murkans congenitally stupid?   Are the Niebelungen of Forty Second Street drooling morons or evil, malign, peddlers of poisoned news?

Die Gift-Presse.

Chipsters have said it before; and will say it yet again:  insurance is not the right vehicle for providing health care.   It makes no business sense to insure against something you know will  happen; and everyone will get sick.  Older people will get sicker more often.  People with pre-existing conditions are like drivers with bad records.

I mean DUH.   When you buy insurance you are betting against your good luck.  If the risks are low, the  insurance company can charge low premiums and still make money.  If the risks are high, it can only make money by charging higher premiums or refusing to insure altogether.  Insurance companies are in the business of making money  NOT providing health care.  DUH.

(We pointed this out to the Slime's niebelungen, but they refused to print the comment.  Supposedly it was not sufficiently, informed, considered, sober, right-minded, poison.)

Insurance companies are very good at "shifting" and "defeasing" costs.  The entire  industry is one huge, multi-dimensional Ponzi Scheme.  But the bottom line is that they cannot make money if they only charge premiums people can afford and if they provide health coverage to people who need it (i.e. people who are sick or at risk of getting sick.)

So.... The Scam, that goes by the name of "U.S. Government," makes up for business losses, by directly paying "lost profits" to insurance companies from taxpayer paid funds.   From your pocket to theirs.  

Are you being suckered?  Big time.  Are you stupid?  If you put up with it, yes.  Stupid beyond belief.

But do continue reading the New York Slime.  Fool yourselves into thinking that "stabilizing the market" is somehow, something (you don't quite know how) different than "from your pocket to theirs." 

And so, the average "well informed" middle class jackass reads about "expanding access to coverage"  (i.e. expanding government bailouts to insurance companies) and thinks in his or her stupefied way, "Oh yeah.. that would be a good thing.  We must get the Repuglicans to work with Demorats to get that done....

How can anyone be so fucking dumb?   Well... the psychological term is "fetish" and in particular the Fetish of the Commodity.   Murkans are convinced that "the market" is the solution to everything.  It was even behind the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.   They are as much convinced of this as as a boot-licker is convinced that dragging his tongue over a dirty boot is both joyful and necessary.  Fetishes create their own appearance of demanding objective reality.   That's the whole point of having one.

Are the whores who run  Demorat Party really that deranged or have I just answered my question?  If Mitch McConnell understands that what's at issue is "bailing out" insurance companies, is it reasonable to think that Senawhore Wall Street does not?

Of course they do. In fact, they are more despicable than their Republican colleagues, because they peddle false hopes and false nostrums that convince people that corporate boot licking is good, natural and necessary.

The latest Demorat Manifesto -- A Better Squeal -- is silent on single payer.  Says Peelousy, “the comfort level with a broader base of the American people is not there yet,”   She encouraged state initiatives instead.

What a stinking douchebag.  Peelousy knows perfectly well that states lack the financial muscle power to enact "local" single payer systems.  Even California's recent bill (procedurally shit-canned by the state Demorats) was critically dependent on federal funding.

Of the 247 Demorats in the House, 110 (less than half) back the Conyers bill for single payer.  The silence in the Senate is damning.  Hillary Replacement Icon, Karamela Harris along with Elizabeth Warren and Kristin Gillibrand say they support the "concept" of single payer.  Weasles.  As for the male Senawhores .... zip.

As Conyers has stated, "We will never get universal care built on a foundation of private, for-profit insurers."  But the Demorats can only manage tepid endorsement of a "concept" when they ought to be on the barricades  pushing their advantage forward over the bloodied bodies of the Repugs.  But they won't.

The issue is not just health care.  Health care is simply the symbolic flag ship for "concepts" of social responsibility and civic cohesion -- you know, the outmoded idea that all citizens are entitled to a basic and secure standard of living which enables them to live in dignity as human beings and participate in political and economic life as contributing citizens.    

Instead of seizing the initiative, the corporate-trained monkeys in the Demorat party cede the field of glory, after helping the enemy to their feet.   What does one do with such contemptible bootlicks other than  sweep them into compost of history.


Friday, June 2, 2017

God's Death Rattle

Several days before the orange-utan announced that the United States would leave the Paris Accords, the Great Barrier Reef off Australia was pronounced officially and irreversibly dead.  Another article at the same time described the complete ecological devastation of Borneo whose once rich and vibrant tropical forest, habitat to thousands of species, was now a strip mined, factory farmed garbage dump.  As dismaying as the pictures was the note that the human denizens seemed oblivious to the squalid, fetid, hell they were living in.

The news of Borneo and the Barrier Reef are just the latest funereal tolls of what has been obvious (at least to chipsters) for the past 20 years: the human race is destroying its one and only home.  The Paris Accords do not and will not change anything.  They are but a cynically small palliative designed to keep the environment at something just under an unlivable oven.  To anyone who understands even the rudiments of what   "ecology" means, since the word was first coined in 1866 by Ernst Haeckel, that approach is fundamentally flawed.

But the death of the Great Barrier Reef raises an even more fundamental and theological question:  How can God negate Himself?

How is that possible?

God looked upon HIS Creation and saw that every unfolding part of it was "good".  He separated day from night and saw that it was good.  He parted the waters from the land and saw that they were good.  He created fruits and seeds according to their kinds and say that they were good. He created great creatures of the sea, teeming fish and flocks of birds vaulting across the skies, and blessed them all.  He then created insects and wild animals and saw that they too were good.  He then created mankind in his own image and gave them dominion over His Work.  He did not, however, say that  it was good. 

And so it came to pass that His image, acting with His authority is undoing all of His handiwork.  How is that possible?  Is God a cosmic, childish tantarum?

Now there are those, no doubt, who will contemptuously smile and say "There is no God" and "It is just a foolish tale for children."  But the foolishness, Oh rationalist one, lies in understanding Genesis in the manner of a child.  The account of a demiurge is clearly a metaphor for the more complex truth that what we call God inheres in and vivifies that which we call Creation.  God is not separate from Creation. He is its life-force or "breath" and the question becomes how can he also become its death-rattle.

In the Grundrisse, Marx points out that the "kernel" of capitalism lies in the "primitive hand that picks the fruit."  It is human labour that commodifies and kills; that turns a living tree into a dead plank of wood for use and sale.  But that hand is God's image. 

Does God cancel himself out?   It would seem so.

©WCG 2017

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

An Elephant and Integral Human Development

[Ed. Note - The following letters were sent to two prelates in the Catholic Church]

1 May 2017

Rev. Msgr. Giovanni Pietro Dal Toso
Secretary Delegate
Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development.
Piazza San Callisto 16, 00153 Roma, Italy

Dear Monsignor,

Enclosed is a copy of a letter I have sent to His Eminence, Luis Antonio Tagle Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, concerning an elephant. I think the letter speaks for itself but would like to add a few remarks.

Article 2415 of the Catechism states, “The seventh commandment enjoins respect for the integrity of creation. Animals, like plants and inanimate beings, are by nature destined for the common good of ... humanity. Use of the mineral, vegetable, and animal resources of the universe cannot be divorced from respect for moral imperatives. Man's dominion over inanimate and other living beings granted by the Creator is not absolute; it is limited by concern for the quality of life of his neighbor, including generations to come; it requires a religious respect for the integrity of creation.”

I believe this articulation is inadequate, as it focuses too much on use for the benefit of Man and fails to draw the necessary connection between love of creation and man's own integral human development.

As you know, the word dominion is a derivative of domus and primordially refers not simply to the power of the paterfamilias but to his love, solicitude and responsibility for the beings within his household and, indeed, for the oikos as a whole. It is in this sense, I believe, that Genesis 1:28, gives Man dominion (heb. radah) over Creation. By focusing on use, the Catechism obscures that the essence of dominion is neither power nor benefit but love.

I have in mind Hans Urs von Balthasar who reminds us that "when the whole of worldly being falls under the dominion of 'knowledge', then the springs and forces of love immanent in the world are overpowered and finally suffocated by science..." (Love Alone.)

When we treat other creatures as material objects, we close ourselves to the forces of love immanent in them and, to that extent, we progressively deaden ourselves; for it is the nature of death to be inanimate and insentient.  What this means is that “integral human development” necessitates that we ourselves refrain from descending to the material level and that we treat our fellow creatures not only with respect but with the affection of the fatherhood over them which was granted to us.

As I know you know, this becomes a matter of habitus and praxis. Studies have shown that materialism – that is, deadness of heart – begins in small things, often in childhood, and entrenches itself as man inures and accustoms himself to view the world “objectively.” More than a personal failing, the indifference of the soldiers on Calvary was the product of a culture.

Our present culture is the most materialistic of all; not just on account of the fact that it has “the appearance of a vast warehouse of commodities,” but because what we call knowledge is actually a lower faculty whose focus and practice is on things as such. We have become too used to executing tasks, so that the awesomeness of our technological progress stands in inverse proportion to our ability to stand in awe of the Creation we manipulate.

To quote von Balthasar again, “whoever sneers at Beauty... whether he admits it or not — can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love" (The Glory of the Lord.) We see symptoms of our technological alienation everywhere.

Of course, this gives rise to paradox. As a species, we could opt to live as simple savages without all the techno-material benefits we have discovered and created. (And Mother Nature might very well punish us with just that after we have killed her off. ) Or we could develop a scintilla conscientiae equal in strength to our knowledge and serving to remind us, as through an aperture, of our original, savage righteousness in paradise. I do not conceive of this as a question of morals (itself a mere form of mathesis) but of vivification.

This task of reanimation falls heavily upon the Church. In fact, is that not her primary task? And as with bringing anything back to life, back to mobility, the habit and progress begins with small things and small exercises, daily.

Some might say that an archbishop has more serious and more important things to do than to worry about an elephant. I say not. It was Jesus who reminded us that as unto the least so unto Him. In fact, I would submit that the more we focus on systems for delivering charities, on institutional projects and programs for development, the more we distance ourselves from immanence and fall back into the materialism of knowledge.

The Church has been remiss in this regard. Its bishops focus to much on management and too little on sparked response. When they do speak out it is all too often on a small menu of issues that have become, frankly, moral fetishes. To be fully alive to the world is to be alive to all of it. One does not smell a tree and not hear the bird or feel the sun or bask in the breeze.

Our Holy Father, has spoken out on environmental issues. It was long overdue. But he cannot – and should not – speak out on everything, daily. His authority would be diminished by over-use and eventually be ignored as just another voice in the increasingly competitive global cacophony. It is therefore up to cardinals, bishops and priests to lift the burden from the Pope's shoulder's and to assist in the work that must be done.

Mali's suffering is heart-wrenching to anyone who is alive to Creation. It is as pitiable as the suffering of any child because, for all her grandeur and size, she is, before us, as helpless as any child in the house over which we have dominion. For our sake – for the integral development of our humanity – she deserves a cry of mercy from the memory of paradise. And so, I have sent my letter.

I am sending this letter to you so that you may call attention to the fact that the Church's catechesis in this area is inadequate for the reasons I have discussed. That is my opinion at any rate; and I believe it is a good one. If I have addressed this issue to the wrong person, please be so kind as to forwarded it to the right one.

Sincerely yours,

18 April 2017
His Eminence Luis Antonio Tagle
Cardinal Archbishop of Manila
121 Arzobispo St., Intramuros,
1099 Manila, Philippines

Your Eminence,

I read with deep dismay about Mali, the captive elephant in the Manila zoo who has been kept confined for 40 years in complete isolation without the company and consolation of her own kind. This is barbarism. I quote to you Saint Aelred of Rievaulx,

What forest bears but a single tree? Even in inanimate nature a certain love of companionship, so to speak, is apparent and thrives in society with its own kind. And surely in animate life who cannot easily see how clearly the picture of friendship is, and the image of society and love? For, although in other respects animals are rated irrational, yet they imitate man in this regard to such an extent that we believe they act with reason. How they run after one another, play with one another and betray their love by sound and movement. So eagerly do they enjoy their mutual company, that they seem to prize nothing else so much as they do whatever pertains to friendship.” (De Spirituali Amicitia 1164-67.)

Our Church has many times spoke out against materialism. But is it not a materialism of the cruelest sort to debase living, sentient creatures, lovingly made by our Common to Creator, to the level of inanimate objects, which yet remain alive if only to feel anguish? Mali is reportedly so lonely she tries to hug and caress her own tail.

Animal rights groups are willing to take Mali to a sanctuary where she can live the remainder of her days among her own kind and taste, if only for a short while, the joys God intended for her. But zoo officials refuse to release her. In naked contravention of Art. VII, § 2415 of the Catechism, they want their "object" for people to gawk at for a fee.

We are commanded to revere the least among us and to rescue the helpless. I implore you to speak out on Mali's behalf. It would be such a small thing for you to do that could have a saving impact.