INDIFFERENCE and GREED: Profit Over People, Profit Over Lives

Once again we see what for-profit private prisons (corporations) are doing to boost profit. Millions of voters and conservative politicians claim that private enterprise, when deregulated and/or allowed to oversee themselves will do what’s best for the people, and do better than the (Federal) government with all its regulations and oversight. Yet study is yet another example of that shows otherwise. It’s the same problem with our private “healthcare” corporations in the U.S.—profit over people, profit over lives.

By and large, corporations are concerned with, not people or reasonable profit, but high profit alone—and as high as they can get it by hook or crook. Deregulate Wall Street? Abolish public schools? Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Abolish the ACA? Take away healthcare for millions of people? These are the goals of the present administration and Congress. Profit over people, profit over lives.

President Obama was trying to phase out private prisons and detention centers (human warehouses) at least on the federal level, but Trump wants more of them to warehouse more people. More profit! More profit! —Author


From The Guardian —

Immigrant detention centers marred by ‘needless deaths’ amid poor care – report

immigration prisons2imageThis report cites a ‘systemic failure’ to provide adequate medical care to detainees with health issues and warns Trump’s desire to expand capacity would make it worse.  .  .

Raúl Ernesto Morales-Ramos, detained in California and ravaged by cancer, begged for treatment. He was given ibuprofen.

Tiombe Kimana Carlos, detained in New York with chronic schizophrenia, was held in solitary confinement. She made a noose from a sheet.

Manuel Cota-Domingo, detained in Arizona with untreated diabetes and pneumonia, began to have trouble breathing. Staff dithered over who should call 911.

Read more at: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/may/08/immigrant-detention-centers-medical-care-deaths

Tucker Carlson’s Cognitive Dissonance

LOL! Tucker Carlson did his best with his constant interruptions designed to unhinge Bill Nye, but became unhinged himself as Nye remained quite calm and provided the answers to what he was asking. But then, Carlson denied Nye was answering the questions because Carlson couldn’t understand the very simple, factual answers.

We humans are still territorial creatures, a legacy of our evolutionary past. Today, we can see our territoriality in political borders, properties and land possessions, supported by law, the police and the military.

We have psychological territories as well (subjective belief that cannot be independently verified as true), such as religion, politics and, yes, even negatives such as global warming science denial.

Many of us cannot allow objective facts (e.g., independently verifiable, human caused, global warming) to encroach on our subjective territories. Tucker’s angry conflict arose when Nye’s objective facts came in contact with his subjective border, and Nye correctly identified it as Tucker’s “cognitive dissonance.”

That Carlson rushed to his border to fight against Nye’s objective facts demonstrates his belief that his territory was threatened, which is why he became angry.

I have vetted the following Dr. Seuss cartoon on Snopes. It is TRUE and a very chilling affirmation that history does, indeed, repeat itself (in varying ways).

adolf-the-wolf-with-explanation

— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel exploring the nature justice and religious belief.

Was Descartes wrong and God was a deceiver, after all?

Consider that if the Christian Bible were true (sans contradictions), then what would that say of objective science, such as astronomy, biological evolution and medical research? Indeed, what would it say about logic and the Creator, Itself?

What would the world be like had it been created by a truly benevolent god and our primary motivating force was empathy, not self interest? How, indeed, with the human condition as it is, could we achieve such a world either via a god or by humanism?

Join Professor M. Jefferson Hale as, in part II, he puts God on the witness stand in an ethereal court to answer for Its malfeasance and terrorism.

Donald Trump Needs an Appropriate Moniker

donald-trump-capt-queeg

Captain Philip Francis Queeg

AMERICA, MEET DONALD (CAPTAIN QUEEG) TRUMP,” a real-life version of the fictional Captain Philip Francis Queeg of the minesweeper USS Caine. The Caine Mutiny, was the 1951 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel written by Herman Wouk, and subsequently became, in 1954, a five-star movie starring Humphrey Bogart—one of my all-time favorites.

The “Queeg” moniker came to me yesterday after months of observing and listening to Trump’s unstable lashing out at virtually anyone of note (and some not-so-much of note) from whom he perceives an insult and his consistent display of an uber authoritarian persona. It reminded me of Captain Queeg’s monomaniacal obsession with strict discipline—dominating and micromanaging his crew—which easily distracted him from his primary duties in WWII.

I recalled Queeg’s paranoia, his turning the Cain inside out in a search to find the thief of a can of strawberries, his demanding that no one may interrupt him while he’s talking, his intolerance of being contradicted and his angry rebuke of a subordinate while his ship steamed over its own tow cable.

Considering this juxtaposition with Trump, his presidency is chilling on many levels, especially that he’s now in possession of the nation’s nuclear missile launch codes (Dr. Strangelove comes to mind), his global-warming denial and his intention to go full bore in opening up more land to drilling for fossil fuels, a bow to the Kochs and which includes rescinding the sanctions on Russia for the sake of huge profits for Exxon Mobile (the corporation of Rex Tillerson—Trump’s nomination for Secretary of State and likely confirmed on Jan. 23rd).

As for Trumps thin skin, in my mind he needs some early conditioning on how to thicken it. Since his subordinates in the White House and most congressional conservatives likely are sycophants (yes men) who would bow to his demands for no other reason than for profit and power (although I hope the military types are not so greedy and demonstrate the integrity his Wall Streeters are not likely to display), his education is left to the public.

I will, henceforth, refer to him as Capt. Queeg, until and unless he proves me wrong. I won’t, however, bet the farm. I hope others adopt this view as well.

I once thought that GW Bush was much like Queeg and suggested as much in my novel, The Empathy Imperative, but at least Bush’s insecurity left him open to manipulation (mainly by Cheney). Trump, however, masks his insecurity in extreme narcissism and hostility, therefore, he is not likely controllable.

 

ONGOING: The Greatest Heist in History

From Bloomberg Businessweek

The World’s Favorite New Tax Haven Is the United States

Moving money out of the usual offshore secrecy havens and into the U.S. is a brisk new business.

Last September, at a law firm overlooking San Francisco Bay, Andrew Penney, a managing director at Rothschild & Co., gave a talk on how the world’s wealthy elite can avoid paying taxes.

Read the report here. 


Don Quixote

 

–’tis I, Don Quixote, fighting corporate windmills–Image from Pinterest

 

And From Spiegel Online

Oligarchs and dictators’ daughters apparently have a penchant for bunkering their assets on the British Virgin Islands. Barons and composers, on the other hand, seem to prefer the Cook Islands. To cheat on taxes, they create bogus firms with imaginative names like Tantris, Moon Crystal or Sequoia.

. . . and conservatives in the U.S. blame the poor and the working poor for being poor.

Can there be a better argument for voting for Bernie Sanders for president and progressive candidates for Congress?

 The greatest sin of humankind is indifference to poverty and suffering. Think about it! GET THE MONEY OUT OF POLITICS! VOTE FOR PROGRESSIVES!

 


Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a philosophical novel featuring a trial of God. A bold story that takes a logical look at the god of the Abrahamic Religions.

Is the pious loved by the gods because it is pious, or is it pious because it is loved by the gods?–from Plato’s dialogue, Euthyphro–a Socratic dialogue.

Is an act of God just and right because god does it, or does God do only that which is just and right?–Author’s paraphrase 

 

Seeking funds for Flint, Democrats block energy bill

Deceit

publicdomainpictures.net

When will America wake up? There appears to be no depth to which congressional conservatives will not sink in their utterly disgraceful attempts to undermine the president at the expense of the lives of thousands, even millions of citizens, including the lives of children. Their complete indifference to suffering is simply without precedent, at least in this nation. It appears, to them, the public is no more than a Machiavellian means to power.

I have to say that, even though I do not tend to favor conspiracy theories, knowing the sheer insensitivity, incivility, and inhumanity of leading conservatives, there isn’t much I wouldn’t put past them.

Thus, I have come to lean toward the theory that the Cheney-Bush Administration knew in advance of the 9/11 attack and let it happen (or even facilitated it) in order to fulfill their Project for the New American Century dream of “reconstructing” the Middle East for American control the oil fields.

Although the original site for this document has been taken  down (surprise, suprise), I found it.

The key line in this PDF document is the statement that their designs on the Middle East would take a long time to accomplish “absent some catastrophic catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor” (Italic mine).


 

Now, this:

Washington (CNN) Frustrated Senate Democrats blocked a bipartisan energy bill Thursday after Republicans refused to allow a vote on an amendment to help the city of Flint, Michigan, respond to its catastrophic water crisis.  READ MORE HERE.


How did Republicans become so insensitive, deceitful and belligerent? I researched the rise of the neoconservatives from my novel, The Empathy Imperative. I plan to post the relevant pages on The Benevolent Thou shortly.

 

 

Hostile Conservatives Successfully Launch Themselves into Orbit!

Indifference to suffering is humanity’s greatest moral failing.

images (2)

The children and adults of Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newtown, Connecticut, whose lives ended that horror filled day

Because of the congressional conservative’s opposition to any regulation that might save lives—especially the lives of children—President Obama has announced the details of his executive order, executed in an effort to curb unfettered avenues to firearm purchases.

The main thrust of the executive order is to expand background checks partly by naming any person selling a firearm at a gun show a dealer and, therefore, must conduct background checks. The executive order also will include stricter control of Internet sales of firearms, which is now a robust industry in itself.

Republicans will say that he has overstepped his authority, but he has not. Recall that G.W. Bush and de facto President Cheney embraced the doctrine of a strong Unitary Executive as a means to block aspects of laws that they didn’t like, even though they were passed by Congress. To my knowledge, no conservative ever objected.

Bush’s use of the Executive Order was no different from the Iraq constitutional Theocracy, where only those laws approved by the head cleric may be allowed to manifest.

images

The March on Washington after Sandy Hook and the lobbying efforts of the parents of the dead children had no effect on conservatives. They blocked subsequent legislation.

President Obama’s executive order on gun control is different. He is acting in a virtual national emergency situation where Congress refuses to act. While conservatives continually chant the mantra that the first duty of the president is to protect Americans, it is clear that they don’t mean by reducing the number of Americans killed by domestic gun violence. After all, that would cut into corporate profit.

The President’s action will be condemned, as usual, as using Executive Orders to illegally grab power from Congress when, in fact, President Obama has executed fewer executive orders than any president since William McKinley, who was assassinated in 1901, having served 4.5 years.

According to The Gun Violence Archive, the total number of Americans killed by gun violence in 2015 was 13,338. There were 692 children, ages 0-11 and 2,688 teens, ages 12-17 killed or wounded.

By contrast, terrorism in the U.S. (domestic and foreign) since 9/11/01, has claimed the lives of 74 Americans.

Conservatives are indifferent to the 13,338 killed by domestic gun violence, but horrified by the 74 killed by domestic and foreign inspired terrorism.

images (1)

Imagine the pain!

The reason there are so few terrorist attacks in the U.S. is because conservatives push for strong controls and liberals agree, to an extent. The reason death by firearm violence in the U.S. is so high, is because conservatives fight against even the mildest controls.

It is a serious moral crime to sit and do nothing about gun violence in the U.S. It is an even greater crime against our fellow citizens to fight against any attempt to reduce these numbers, which is the main purpose of the Murder Industrial Complex (firearm manufactures, the NRA—their de facto political bribery/threat arm—and the politicians they’ve bought to do their fighting or threatened to keep them silent.

PLEASE SEND THE PRESIDENT A “THANK YOU” FOR THIS ACTION.

And consider, as well, that the only candidate now running in the presidential primary who has vowed to fight hard against corporate money in politics (which drives the anti-firearm control madness) is Bernie Sanders.


— Max T. Furr is author of The Empathy Imperative, a novel featuring a trial of God in an ethereal courtroom where He is charged with creating evil, willful and harmful negligence, and with terrorism. His interrogators are a professor of evolutionary biology and a professor of psychology.

Is the god of the Bible amoral? Do true-believers believe that whatever their god does, he does because it is the moral and right thing to do, or are his actions right and moral because they are his actions?

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