What is meant by “fake economy?”

Over seven billion humans currently live on this planet. Human civilization has mostly operated (for several hundred years) under an economic system called capitalism, which is predicated on individual profit & loss. By 2017, in order to maintain extreme levels of social inequality, illusions have had to be constructed & sustained. This is where our fake economy comes in.

Under feudalism (and before that, slavery in antiquity) illusions also had to be maintained, as all human societies have been ruled by class forces. The Romans gave their plebeian class “bread & circuses,” until they were overrun by barbaric hordes. Medieval royalty ruled their domain with their knighted class, and the mysticism of organized religion in the Catholic Church. The Crusades were about conquest & power, but peddled as a “Holy War” against Islam. We can therefore see that ‘fake news’ and manipulation of public opinion are not new phenomena. Only the tools & techniques change, as their purpose & interest always remain the same, which is to railroad public opinion towards war.

Fake jobs & industries under capitalism include: sales, business, investing, consulting, management & politics. Education is a crucial area for ideology, as corrupt ivory tower academia provide ‘proofs’ for every absurd irrationally of the profit system and all its malignancies.  It’s easier to manipulate fake people, as zombies don’t know how to think for themselves. Here in the United States, children are taught how to think & act at a very young age, with a consistent propaganda message. That message is to consume things that give instant pleasure. Sugar is the most addicting substance to man, and children are bombarded with targeted advertising in all media programming for unhealthy food from infancy onward.

Now people have fake bodies which aren’t healthy, so they need fake cures. “Selling sickness” is a nefarious industry secret in medicine, dentistry & pharmaceuticals. People are susceptible to this pressure because they have become so insecure about themselves. Any salesperson recognizing this can target weaknesses and close in. When a body is ugly with fat, one has a hard time socializing. One smells bad, so one needs more deodorant, and so on…

      1. Money Bug - Ric Size

 

After a while, many obese people give up on themselves and don’t go out anymore. Luckily there is the Internet and social media, when one can project whatever one pleases. While the Internet & social media are real technology, there is a large element of distortion and inherent falseness in most social media posting over time. We tend to project what we want other people to see, and filter out the rest. It’s much harder to do that in real life, with real people.

The news on the Internet is virtually all fake, outside of the WSWS.org. Capitalism runs every publication, which employs Madison Avenue advertisers to tell everyday people what’s important. This includes the entertainment industry (music, film & TV), sports & fashion. All of these are fake economies, endlessly generating useless content 24/7 for mindless consumers who must be kept entertained in order to distract them from world-significant events happening all around them.

The lure of PED’s in athletics is a form of ‘fake health.’ It plays on competitors’ deepest doubts & insecurities, leading into a chemical morass. Eventually male users need Cialis to get an erection, which begs the question: if you’re so hard, why do you need help there? Steroid use makes no sense when thought out rationally, but our society has taught people to ignore consequences for perceived short-term gains. The problem is the gains aren’t real, and they are more than offset by the detrimental side effects.

The healthiest way to interact is to listen & learn from others, while being influential (in a positive way) where appropriate. Don’t go for popularity because:

1) It’s shallow and accomplishes nothing for anyone else
2) Everyone else is doing it, which means it’s old already

The only way humans can be truly happy is when they are allowed to express themselves freely, without repercussions & without hurting others. That is impossible under our current fake economy. We need to starting getting real with everything, in order to replace these illusions with something real, as nothing else works.

      2. Problem Solved - Ric Size

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Orlando, FL Gay Nightclub Massacre

A gunman (later identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen) walked into Pulse, a gay bar in south Orlando at 2:00 AM Sunday night, and opened fire. When police & SWAT arrived, he had taken hostages. Hours later, he was finally overwhelmed & killed in a hail police bullets. Fifty people were left dead, and another 53 injured. It is now the worst mass shooting is U.S. history.

Omar Mateen mass murderer

Mateen was a U.S. citizen reportedly born in New York, with his family from Afghanistan. Mir Seddique, the suspected shooter’s father, claims Mateen got angry when he saw two men kissing in downtown Miami a couple of months ago and that he says that may have been a trigger in the shooting.  “We are apologizing for the whole incident. We weren’t aware of any action he [was] taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”

Mir Seddique

Apologies are nice, but explanations are better. This whole family needs to be investigated, with all political & business links exposed. Don’t expect any real answers to come from corporate mass media or official police/FBI investigations.

Orlando police chief John Mina and FBI agent Ron Hopper_ Photo: Kevin Kolczynski_Reuters

Orlando Police Chief John Mina at the news conference, “The suspect is dead. He appeared to be carrying a rifle, an assault-type rifle, and a handgun, and had some type of device on him. That’s what we’re doing right now. Checking the area for devices.”  This will obviously be used as an opportunity for an urban lock-down run-through, with OPD ‘assisted’ by the FBI & military.

Omar Mateen Massacre_Orlando_AP Photo_Phelan M. Ebenhack

CNN’s Evan Pérez reported that Mateen had rented a car in Fort Pierce (about 120 miles south of Orlando) as transportation for the attack. Reportedly Mateen worked as a security officer, but for whom & in what capacity is still unknown?  Curiously, Mateen was a registered Democrat, which is suspicious considering the claimed homophobic motivation for the massacre.  [1] 

Was Omar Mateen a military/CIA asset?  What about his family?  Where did he receive the military training to kill so many people?  And the hardware?

Omar-Mir-Seddique-Mateen

Law enforcement officials told ABC News that Mateen had been “on the radar” of U.S. authorities for a while, but that he was not the target of an investigation.  In intelligence terms, this has ‘rogue asset’ and ‘blowback’ written all over it.

Rick Scott_Grandstanding

Proper lessons need to be learned by everyone, before this escalates much further.  Political grandstanding & business-as-usual can no longer be tolerated.  Real questions need to be asked and their true lessons learned, or else this becomes our combined fate.

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Muhammad Ali: Courage & Character

Muhammad Ali died yesterday at age 74 of respiratory illness. He had been afflicted with severe Parkinson’s disease for the final three decades of his life.

Muhammed Ali_Parkinson's

Ali one proclaimed himself to be “the Greatest.”  To many he still is.  Facing Ali (2009) is a 5-star documentary of his career, in the words of those who most notably squared off in the ring with “The Greatest.”

Facing Ali (2009)

It must also be noted that in many ways Muhammad Ali will be the greatest example of why boxing must be banned, if we are to be a civilized society.

Ali-charity-event-fight-Parkinsons

If this is how it ends for ‘the Greatest,’ then how horrible must it be for all the others?

Ali-Liston

His autobiography My Own Story published in 1975 tells his it as no one else can, up through the George Foreman ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ in 1974.

Autobiography 1975

As loved as Ali is at the time of his death, it is hard for some to believe that he was once vilified; exiled from boxing for 3 years during his prime, for refusing draft entry into the U.S. military during the Vietnam War.

Muhammad Ali in exile_Chicago

White mainstream media had refused to recognize his name change from Cassius Clay to Muhammad Ali, reflecting his conversion from Christianity to Islam.

Muhammad Ali is still called Cassius Clay

Muhammad Ali’s religion & politics became the line between brash & charismatic versus uppity & dangerous in the late 1960’s.

When Ali spoke his mind on the unfairness of being drafted into a war he didn’t believe in, he became a global icon for the oppressed fighting against U.S. imperialism.

Ali in Exile

Ali embraced his role (and sacrificed more than any superstar athlete ever sacrificed), for a cause nobler than himself.

Ali

This is why he was so loved, and today is so mourned.

Muhammad Ali

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Are You a Socialist?

The theoretical founder of socialism was Karl Marx (1818-1883).

Marx 1

The most brilliant expression of 20th-century Marxism was Leon Trotsky (1879-1940).

Trotsky 1

True socialists have read & absorbed these books. Pseudo-socialists don’t read anything serious.

Lenin 1

Socialists understand the USSR was Stalinism, which is collectivist property relations controlled by a fascist bureaucracy. Trotsky fought ceaselessly against Stalinism, and was historically vindicated in December 1991, when the Soviet Union collapsed back into capitalist Russia.

Trotsky 4

If Russia hadn’t had a workers’ revolution led by Lenin & Trotsky in 1917, it would be completely dismembered (balkanized) today.

Trotsky 5

Instead, modern Russia retains much of it’s size, and possesses the second-largest nuclear arsenal in the world.

Lenin 2

A third world war would end human civilization. Today’s thermonuclear devices are orders-of-magnitude greater than the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima & Nagasaki at the end of World War 2.

Marx 2

Human society can only be preserved (meaning a world war can only be prevented), by a permanent socialist revolution led by the workers & youth of the U.S. The epicentre of global capitalism (culturally, economically & militarily) is the United States; a socialist revolution here leads the way for the rest of the world.

Trotsky 2

Marxist analysis in the 21st century is found at the World Socialist Web Sitewsws.org.  The WSWS is published (6 days a week, since 1998) by the International Committee for the Fourth International (ICFI), the party founded by Trotsky in 1938.

Trotsky 3

The U.S. branch of the ICFI is the Socialist Equality Party (SEP). The SEP announced its candidates for U.S. president & vice-president on April 22– Earth day.  Ric Size officially endorses the Socialist Equality Party’s presidential campaign. [1]

Niles Niemuth & Jerry White

Niles Niemuth & Jerry White SEP: US president & VP candidates

To those interested in actual socialism, this is the only choice.  If you would like to be a socialist, you must put in the work.  Every other leftist political party, from the Democrats & Greens to the anarchists, are opportunist– meaning they are capitalist to the core.  Marxists always spot them quickly, and easily dispatch them when engaged in polemics. That’s why Trotskyists are always blacklisted from ‘official’ discourse.

WSWS-SEP

Those who are politically naive, but well-meaning, need to work through this as quickly as possible.  Read the books shown, along with the WSWS on a daily basis to arm yourself politically.

screenshot-WSWS

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Electrified!– (Rough Cut)

Electrified! is a documentary film about the evolution of a practicing family dentist into musical artist & filmmaker.
This practice no longer exists; as it was shuttered in early 2014.
The staff & patients featured in this film are a fair representation of what went on during its 18 years of existence.

The film was shot & edited from June 2012 through December 2013.
Electrified! still needs money, in order to be truly finished.
It is being released as is on YouTube, because its creators desire the widest viewing audience.

Written & Directed by Ric Size
Edited by Susan Cameron
Produced by Susan Cameron & Ric Size
Directors of Photography: Susan Cameron & Bruce Marcho
Uploaded to YouTube by TomP

Film Cast:

Eric Meeker………….DDS & Ric Size
Tom Pearce………….Drummer & Watch Repairman
Cynthia Lancaster….RDH
Jennifer Jusino………Receptionist
Lidia Barrera………….Dental Assistant
Allan Marsh……………Featured Patient
Elijah Salhani………….Cafe Owner
Art Rich…………………Auto Repair Shop Manager
Bill Warden…………….Tai Chi Sifu
Jay Stanley……………Recording Engineer & Studio Owner
Carol Gray…………….Denture Lab Technician
Mitchell Jim…………..Crown & Bridge Lab Technician
Becca Pearce……….Monopoly Game Contestant
Adrian Pearce……….Monopoly Game Contestant
Brighton Pearce…….Monopoly Game Contestant
Maya Pearce………..Monopoly Game Contestant

“Talented” Crew:

Camera/Editor: Bruce Marcho
Production: WildZebra Media
Lighting: Matt Sowers
Sound Op: Allan Marsh

Basketball scene shot on location at Pat Burke Hoops, in Mount Dora, FL – June 24, 2012.

Challenge Player: Corey Sutherland
Janitor: Pat Burke

Office party and outdoor scenes shot at Belton Bail Bonds in Tavares, FL – July 27, 2012.

Beautiful Woman #1: Angelica-Naia Gabor
Beautiful Woman #2: Jenay Nadine
Beautiful Woman #3: Amber Sym
Beautiful Woman #4: Amber English
Cop: Mitch Bromwell
Gay Guy: Sherwood Heineman
Straight Guy: Allan Marsh
Lady Justice: Ali Camp
Rich Businessman: Robby Camp
Secretary: Stephanie Sherman
Waiter: Tom Pearce
Young Kid #1: Ross Hackney
Young Kid #2: Jamison Moore
Young Kid #3: Katie Hohman
Young Kid #4: Victoria Strawbridge
Young Kid #5: Hunter
Young Kid #6: Jeffy

* In the historical discussion section; German imperialism is shown in green, not purple

Electrified! film Copyrighted by Infinitelink Records/ WildZebra Media

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Plutocracy & Marxism

      1. Kararak - Ric Size

Kararak    RS:  vocal, guitar, bass;  TomP:  percussion & production

Plutocracy is defined as a government by, and for the wealthy– which is the United States of America in 2015.  It has actually always been this way, since its Constitution was first enforced in 1789, as wealthy landowners wrote the rules.  But the point was, the Constitution had ten amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, which offered certain protections for individual & legal liberties, placing restrictions on governmental power.

Today, the U.S. Constitution is a dead letter, obvious to anyone who thinks; and the horrible truth is none of us are actually free.  We are all held prisoner by the fetters of capitalism, which bind us in all forms– visible & invisible.

The American Heritage dictionary definition of free is– to not be bound or constrained; at liberty. 

Constraints are all-too-real to ignore for those with limited means, as they include: money debt, re-occurring bills that become harder to pay, and the threat of unemployment with no pension or retirement savings.

Those with a job they dislike are the lucky ones among today’s U.S. proletariat (working class), as the unlucky ones face an inability to obtain a workable job at a liveable wage, homelessness, being the target of police violence, imprisonment, and premature death.

The hooligans of the working class are defined in Marxist terms as lumpen-proletariat; a mixture of criminals, provocateurs, and bigoted ignorance.  They are a relatively small (but dangerous) portion of the working class, that needs to be recognized & ruthlessly crushed by an educated proletariat, for any progress to occur.  Otherwise our society ends up with fascism, followed by obliteration.

The petty bourgeoisie (formerly the middle, now upper-middle class), are financially stable, but certainly not free.  The petty bourgeoisie are full of disorders, mostly stemming from their insecurity in not being rich enough (and therefore not good enough), by capitalist standards.  They are (like the U.S. proletariat) equally divided among Democrats & Republicans in their illusions, usually focusing passionately on a single issue or two.  Those who remain apolitical, become pawns in the grand chessboard of politics.

Petty bourgeois politicians always miss (avoid) the big picture.  Trotsky correctly summarized liberalism as “half-thinkers with half-baked ideas, pronouncing half-truths they half-heartedly support, all to justify their political half-lives.”

V.I. Lenin once remarked, “The power of Marxism is that it is true.”

The petty bourgeoisie are the professional class of doctors, lawyers, engineers, and other vital problem-solving intelligentsia.  They also run the universities & the mass media, and their conformity to the plutocracy is critical; as all capitalist ideology rewards them, in return for their services & obedience.  It’s a Faustian deal one makes.

Capitalism must be understood dialectically, as a global system that is constantly evolving.  The only source of wealth is human labor, and capitalism extracts it at below actual cost, more efficiently than feudalism or chattel slavery.  This extracted wealth is defined as capital.

Marxism is the only scientific method of studying economics, as money is created through commodity production by human labor.  It’s philosophy is dialectical materialism.  Dialectics is the study of change and revolutions.  Materialism is the insistence that all thinking be rational– based on actual matter.

Marxism rejects all forms of idealism, which always leads back to god; insisting on a rational scientific method in all questions of political economy.

At an earlier stage, say the pre-Industrial Revolution era, capitalism was a spur to creative development and free thinking; in other words, capitalism of that time could (at least in some sense) honestly claim it was progressive– because it was founded on Enlightenment principles.

Today, understood dialectically, capitalism is in its death throes–  an impediment & mortal threat to our future.  Human civilization needs an international socialist revolution in permanence, as capitalism is pushing its ruling class towards nuclear extinction.

The truth is: the ruling class isn’t even in charge, as the combined forces of a global political economy under the irrationality of capitalism are determining what each nation’s political leaders must do.  Their marching orders come directly from the global economic powerhouses, such as the IMF, ECB, Downing Street, and Wall Street; who are ruled by the logic that profits always come first.

This completely dehumanizes the leaders of these institutions, which of course makes them thoughtless, self-serving slaves of the capitalist system; and thus, by definition, not free.  The bourgeoisie which controls the world’s wealth is the sickest, and most decadent class in human history.  Even the most gluttonous of Roman emperors, medieval pontiffs, and royalty would surely envy the level of luxury & destructive waste among today’s richest of the rich.

Their disorders are among us everywhere, most conspicuously in the never-ending glorification of their celebrity & money. This can be seen as an ideological offensive by the bourgeoisie, in insisting that brains & real work have little value in comparison, in order to justify their pathologies & parasitic existence.

Freedom is Slavery

Official bourgeois ideology is called post-modernism, which simply states: there is no truth, except what is in your mind– so therefore anything can be true.  Post-modernism is a convenient ideology for a class with all the money.   The bourgeoisie monopolize all the levers of power, allowing corporate fascism to broadcast nationalist consumerism 24/7, while marginalizing any expression of free thought.

All this leads to a pathological need to own & control everything, hence domestic spying operations by the FBI, CIA, & NSA.  Every bit of electronic data from every American, is stored in vast intelligence databases; for analysis, profiling, and the marketing interests of the ruling class.  The police & military are increasingly the favored tools of the bourgeoisie for mass enforcement of undemocratic policies, at home & abroad.

Domestic spying never includes sharing with the public of high-level, closed-door meetings concerning major economic, political or social policies.  Disclosure is always made to flow in the same direction as the money & power.  Presidential and top administration emails, texts, & phone conversations over policy are always ‘national secrets’, and if revealed, becomes their paranoid nightmare ‘threat to national security.’  All this is simply couched language to justify concealment of bourgeois criminality.

Therefore, secret discussions of nuclear war with Russia & China, by top U.S. government officials & military commanders of all the armed forces, are never honestly revealed or discussed with the working people. [1]  This Orwellian logic keeps us ‘safe’ we are told.

Instead of mindlessly consuming the Great American Holiday, step outside of the jingoism and notice this mad parade we’re all made a part of.  When the fireworks dazzle the crowd, eliciting reflexive “oohs” and “aahs”– think about what they represent.

They represent shock & awe, which began on March 19, 2003; and since then has claimed over a million Iraqi lives.  The most advanced society in the Middle East was destroyed, by insatiable capitalist greed for oil.  It is precisely this impulse that will kill us all, if we don’t stop it.

Mount Dora: 5th & Donnelly

Today is the 239th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence by the Continental Congress, which declared the United States of America a sovereign nation.

True nationhood wasn’t that simple, as Great Britain was the mightiest Great Power of its time; but through determination, the richness of its resources, and bitter struggle– the newly-born United States prevailed.

In today’s epoch, our struggle is different, as the leaders of all nations– the U.S. foremost– are war criminals.  Here in the U.S., its proletariat is faced with the task of having to disarm the mightiest and most sophisticated military/intelligence apparatus in human history, in order to head-off mutually assured destruction.

Any help from the petty bourgeoisie is appreciated, but not expected.  It is now the task of the working people of all nations to unite, and overthrow its capitalist paymasters.

The alternative is to go on as if none of this matters, as human civilization eventually becomes consumed by a nuclear fire-storm, through the inexorable logic of capitalism; which prefers that outcome over socialism.

To those of us who think homo sapiens are better than that, we must truly begin to reflect on what these days really mean; and what needs to be done; as the time for action is coming soon.

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Kararak credits:

TomP: percussion & production
RS: bass, vocals & guitar

Inspired by this piece, and John Dos Passos’ USA Trilogy.

Memorial Day & Modern Wars

Why did the US military invade Iraq in 2003?

The official version was that Saddam Hussein was hiding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
By 2005, US president George W. Bush was forced to publicly admit there were no (and never were) WMDs in Iraq; claiming it had been an “intelligence error.” [1]
Troop levels were still maintained.

Jeb Bush (G. W. Bush’s younger brother) is now a contender for the Republican party nomination in 2016.
He recently admitted publicly that he (any any other politician [!]) still would have invaded Iraq without WMDs. [2]
Obviously there is a different motivation for these ongoing wars in Iraq & the Middle East, than what has been presented publicly.

Scramble for Oil

Oil is the most valuable natural-resource commodity in the modern world.
As far as economic importance goes, oil surpassed cotton in the late 19th century as the driver of global capitalism.
Today, nearly all the products we consume for daily living rely on petroleum for extraction, refining, production, and transportation to market.

Whoever controls the world’s oil supply, controls this all-important lever of the world economy.
Since the end of World War 2, Washington has established a permanent garrison in the Middle East for this purpose.

US & Israeli Militarism

Israel was created by the United Nations (itself a tool for US imperialism), from 1947-49, for the stated purpose of avoiding another Holocaust; and in doing so, they created another humanitarian crisis.
According to UN figures, 726,000 Palestinians fled or were forcibly evicted by the Israeli military from 1947-49. [3]

Disappearing Palestine

Why is the US military still in Iraq?

Scramble for Oil 2

The acronym ISIS stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
ISIS evolved into a regional a power directly as a result of US support for Sunni Islamist proxy armies in its dirty wars for regime change in both Libya and Syria.
ISIS is often referred to as ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in the media, in order to confuse the US population as to its origins.

US military presence in Iraq is about to increase again. [4]
In spite of all the government/media lies defending militarism, here’s the latest Gallup poll from June 2014:

Do you think the United States made a mistake sending troops to Iraq?
57% Yes
39% No
3%  Undecided [5]

Controlling the world’s oil reserves is a US strategic objective, even as its risks a potential conflict with nuclear powers Russia and China.

Benjamin Netanyahu & Barack Obama

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Militarism in the modern-day Middle East is never discussed by the media in the context of global warming.

Of course, the Earth is already in the grip of global warming, which is caused by excessive carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel consumption; so as a species, homo sapiens need to be cutting back on fossil fuel use.
Instead, we have a non-stop US government & corporate media campaign of lies, in order to hide the real issues from working people.

Gas, coal & nuclear are the only ‘serious’ alternatives promoted.

The cleanest and most-democratic form of energy production is solar, which has been mothballed & kept artificially expensive– in acquiescence to the oil, gas, coal, and nuclear giants.

Global Warming Denialist

In the final analysis, this is the ‘freedom’ for which all US soldiers (along with countless others), have sacrificed.
This unnecessary waste of human lives & our planet, will only end when working people everywhere organize themselves, with the purpose of carrying our a socialist revolution in permanence, in order to end the destructive conflicts of capitalism.

Rising Tide

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What is Zionism & Antisemitism?

      1. Atheist Psalm - Ric Size

Atheist Psalm mp3
RS: gtr & vocal
TomP: percussion & production

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Zionism is Israeli/Jewish nationalism.

Most Jews live in Israel (42%) or the US (42%), and their aggregate population of 14 million comprises 0.2% of the world’s total.

Judaism’s Old Testament texts, traditions, values and hierarchy, strongly influenced later Abrahamic religions such as Christianity & Islam.

Historically, Jews were educated servants of the aristocracy as moneylenders, rent collectors, etc; any jobs the ancient Greeks, Romans or medieval Church aristocracies considered too odious for their own hands.

This is the origin of the merchant class under feudalism, and the bourgeois class under capitalism as defined by Karl Marx.

This hatred, by the ancient aristocracy of the rising business class, is the modern origin of antisemitism.

The great bourgeois revolutions of the late 18th (US & France) and 19th (Napoleonic Wars) centuries, swept away monarchies and reorganized the world under the modern system of nation-states.
The historically stateless Jews were now being systematically persecuted by nationalist racism & terrorism.

By the early 20th century, Jewish immigration to the US increased sharply; first under the whip of tsarist terrorism in feudal Russia, then under the rising tide of European fascism after WW1.
Six million Jews were murdered by Nazis in Europe during WW2, because fascism was allowed to grow unchecked worldwide in the preceding decades.

The capitalist Cold War solution to prevent another Holocaust was to create a nation-state for Jews.
On May 1, 1949 Israel was recognized by the UN as a nation; occupying Palestine– previously a nation of Islam.
Millions of Palestinians were evicted by US/NATO-assisted military force, in order to build Jewish settlements.

This conflict has steadily escalated ever since.

The Six-Day War in June 1967 and the current Israeli Defense Force (IDF) assault on Gaza, are historical markers for Zionism’s war crimes against the people of Palestine.
Since May 1, 1949 anyone expressing sympathy for Palestinian civilian casualties caused by indiscriminate IDF shelling is slandered as antisemitic.

————

Fascism is antisemitism applied indiscriminately.

Zionism is conservative Jewish fascism.

While a mortal enemy of European (Nazi) fascism, Zionism shares many Nazi attributes in ethics, style and function.

Since Zionism is a religious-based ideology, it is important to have a clear understanding of religion.

ALL religions are mythology, and have no basis in scientific fact.

Religion offers ancient philosophy, wisdom & poetry; but no material solutions to complex modern problems– be them technological, economic or political.

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The state of Israel serves US ruling interests in the Middle East, as a permanent garrison in the most petroleum-rich portion of the globe.
Oil is the most important natural resource commodity under modern capitalism, replacing cotton in the late 19th century.
Human labor is the most valuable commodity–Karl Marx, Capital

Israel currently has an estimated 120 nuclear-tipped ICBMs.
That is only an estimate, because the state of Israel refuses to even acknowledge it has a nuclear arsenal.

Vela_Double_Flash_22_Sep_1979

Israel (goaded by ruling fanatics in the US) remains a potential flash point for global nuclear war– which human civilization will not survive.
Once started, human civilization will burn (or perhaps fossilize) into geologic ash, as Mutually Assured Destruction is the only possible outcome to WW3.

Short-sightedness & hubris are threatening our species’ survival, which only measures a fraction of the dinosaur’s geologic existence.
The dinosaur’s demise was after over 150 million years of surviving & thriving– by a chance asteroid collision.
Homo sapiens have only lasted a few hundred-thousand years in total, and we are already facing self-annihilation– which would be a senseless act of species suicide.

If that becomes our fate, then maybe in a few billion years when life can finally return to this beautiful planet, a more highly-evolved species will discover and properly interpret why we didn’t have it in us to survive.

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Holy Rollers (2011) & Card Counting Christians

Jesus is ideal and wonderful, but you Christians, you are not like him.  –Mahatma Gandhi

Preface: I have not written a negative film review, up until now, because I don’t enjoy reading about bad films.  If they are bad, then generally I don’t want to watch them, and they are usually best ignored. Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians (2011) falls into that rare category of bad films that should be examined, because it has great potential to be misunderstood, and also because it is important to understand its weaknesses which run much deeper than its narrative.

Holy-Rollers-Holy Shit

This film’s tag-line reads: “Follow the rise of the largest and most well-funded blackjack team in America — made up entirely of card-counting, churchgoing Christians. The players don’t see blackjack as a sin; they take from casinos and give to their families and churches.”

One would have to admit that this idea is undeniably intriguing in its contradictions, and this film has many, which run to the heart of modern culture and its degradation; including its worship of money, its lack of honesty in intention, and its absence of useful productivity.

In short, the film is a documentary about young men & women who count cards to win at blackjack, while sharing a common bond of being Christians. This creates conflict with friends and family who view gambling as sinful behaviour, but most of this is justified by their incredible winnings which ameliorate these doubts.  Whatever their stated intentions, the final message is: in the real world, money trumps faith.

As a film, Holy Rollers has deep flaws; mostly in lack of vision & character development.  The viewer ends up learning very little about the characters in the film, including why they are doing this?  Explanations often ramble in the direction of, “I try to explain to people why I do this…but after an hour they keep asking questions… so I do try not to explain myself anymore because it’s frustrating.”  That succinctly describes how a thinking audience would feel when trying to make sense of all this, because filmmaker Bryan Storkel doesn’t attempt to dig beneath the surface, likely for fear of what he might find.

Bryan Storkel explains the inspiration for his film in an video interview, “I kept in touch with a boyhood friend from Seattle…one time at lunch he showed up with $80,000 in his pockets and I thought this is crazy…I kept thinking about it and said ‘I have to do a film about this.'”  It’s not hard to recognize this love of money (and the ends justifying the means) in which the filmmaker accepts every rationalization this “church team” makes as good coin– simply because it makes good coin.

One example of this, which is completely neglected by the filmmaker, is their non-profit status.  Most team members are church pastors, which allows them to avoid paying any taxes on their winnings. In casinos, W2-Gs are not required for winnings from table games such as blackjack, craps, pai gow, baccarat, and roulette; regardless of the amount. This does not mean exemption from paying taxes or reporting the winnings. Any and all gambling winnings, by law, must be reported to the IRS.

From a purely blackjack/business perspective, operating as a professional gambler through a church is simply another aspect of smart money management. The ethics of this position are never discussed, and this obvious point is never raised by Storkel.  Team members simply vent their outrage on the evils of casinos (in which they can never spend enough time), portraying themselves as modern-day Robin Hoods.

This justification has a tint of nobility until the viewer asks, “Where is this money going?” These “pastors” seem to spend very little time with their congregation, and even less in giving their winnings back to their communities. The fraudulent character of religion as an ethical cloak and tax haven comes through all-too-clearly, despite the filmmaker’s intention to ignore it.  These self-professed Christians enjoy their success; drinking Guinness & smoking fashionable cigarettes at lavish get-togethers in swanky restaurants, staying in luxury hotel rooms at major casinos, all-the-while rationalizing their moral distaste for these palaces of excess & vice. Not once in this film is there any mention of these ministers of faith setting up a Gambling Addiction clinic, or any other such community service.

Blackjack_board

The team’s winnings start to become less & less over time, and finally one team member runs a statistical analysis which shows this to be a low probability of just being a run of bad luck.  No one wants to admit that someone could be stealing, because they are all Christians, except for one member. One fundamentalist, who earlier in the film revealed his prejudice towards Non-Christians, now accuses the outlier of stealing.  How does he know?  1.) Two other team members (whom he refuses to identify) told him; and 2.) God told him.
This is good enough for the leaders, and the accused member is asked to leave the group.  Call this the ironic part of “the true story of card-counting Christians.”

The only character in the film with any conflict of ethics is Brad Currah, who midway through wonders about the value of card counting, in that it doesn’t produce anything useful to society.  Of course this is correct, as all forms of gambling have no benefit to society, and that is why they are widely considered vices.  This point is completely lost on everyone else including the filmmaker, as this moral conflict causes Brad to decide to leave the team. This is the only example of character development in the film’s entire 90 minutes.

Today, team leaders Ben Crawford & Colin Jones have parleyed their gaming & film success into a website, not to spread the Gospel, but to help train card counters [1].  While paying lip service to the evils of gambling, their online store is full of products designed to make you the best blackjack player possible; ranging from their modestly priced “pro training kit” ($30); to “boot camps” ($1500); to private lessons in Vegas with Ben or Colin ($4000).

ben & colin_blackjack coaches

In summary, this documentary film suffers from a laziness in approach that is endemic in modern mass media.  Even when it picks interesting subjects to study, it fails to ask serious questions that will draw out necessary truthful conclusions, however uncomfortable they may be.  Instead, this movie is an attempt to glorify something that is in fact, truly ugly.

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