Such is the nature of empires. Or, as the State Department weasel word experts would have it, “The U.S. government works to advance U.S. interests in Nicaragua by helping the country increase its prosperity, security, and democratic governance.” Uh huh.
The U.S. used to have the consent of most of the white people it governed in North America. This was back when home ownership and health care were not out of reach for full time workers.
But, while WW3 looms as the military-industrial complex “solution” to eroding U.S. hegemony, the Biden administration is rapidly losing that consent on several fronts.
Losing the consent of the governed, health care dept.
For-profit health care is an oxymoron and millions have died too young as a result of the greedy medical profiteers who own and operate the U.S. government.
The architect of U.S. failure to contain a pandemic still killing 400 people a day just announced he is retiring at 81 — with a net worth of about $10 million. From a career in public service? Give me a break.
A subscriber-only piece on Patreon by Jack Mirkinson, “Good Riddance to Anthony Fauci,” argues convincingly that, “The worship of Fauci feels like the ultimate triumph of vibes over reality.” Because all the blather about how we had to vote blue no matter who to get a bad, science-denying president out of office had Democrats rejoicing that now the U.S. would “follow the science” and, with Fauci able to lead, get our deadly pandemic mismanagement under control.
We see how well that has worked out.
Number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) deaths worldwide as of August 15, 2022, by country
Or maybe you prefer to compare per capita rates, which take into account total population? The U.S. has 10.37 deaths per million residents. By contrast, Japan, another capitalist state that miraculously also maintains a robust public health system, has 0.94 covid deaths per million. Canada, with demographics and culture more comparable to the U.S., has a rate of 4.03.
But statistics can lie, so what about the anecdotal evidence my Twitter feed is chock full of? So many posts noting that, where public health and commerce are in conflict, commerce prevails. And when it comes to commerce, Weapons R U.S.!
As the next pandemic looms, we hear that tiny and heavily sanctioned Cuba — which has one of the most successful public health programs on the planet — already has measures in place to protect its people from simian smallpox (aka monkey pox). The U.S. has a few vaccines and not much else.
Back to Fauci-land:
Losing the consent of the governed, economic dept.
Medical debt in the U.S. is a huge factor detrimental to personal wealth. It’s part of what makes us so exceptional. You think Japanese and Canadian people lose their homes to mortgage default when they can’t pay for cancer treatments?
That’s been the sad case for decades now, but recently the Biden administration’s sanctions on any country not helping with the proxy war on Russia have taken an ax to global economic structures.
This has Europe reeling from double digit inflation, only kept below 10% in the U.S. by a gas tax holiday contributing mightily to the hottest northern hemisphere summer ever.
It has also led to to a stampede away from the dollar as a medium of global exchange. Maybe the warhawks who love to wield economic sanctions didn’t really think this one through?
Meanwhile the Biden administration is roundly scorned for failing to pass universal health care or even Build Back Better, failing to forgive student loans as promised, and passing a climate bill that benefits fossil fuel and electric car corporations. Oh, and a rider extended the Unaffordable Care Act and will allow Medicare to negotiate prices of a paltry ten medicines several years from now. Too little, too late.
All the puff piece journalism lauding this “win” for Democrats — who won’t even protect the most basic medical rights of those of childbearing age elected them for — exemplifies why the U.S. public is also rapidly losing the last shreds of trust in corporate media.
Losing the consent of the governed, police state dept.
Forget the FBI at Mar-a-Lago. The loss of faith in police nationwide is accelerating steadily. Evidence? Search on Twitter for the term “suspended” and see what pops up. The recent worst in a sea of brutality:
People of color knew all along that this shit happened to their loved ones with little accountability. Now, because phone videos are everywhere, white people know it too.
Cue the Biden administration’s budget requests for FY23: $37 billion for 100,000 additional police officers, and even more transfers of used military equipment from the Pentagon to municipal police departments.
Because when you’re rapidly losing the consent of the governed, who you gonna call?
While Democrats march around in Washington DC pretending they care about quality of life for poor people, it’s important to remember who actually walks the walk as opposed to just talking the talk.
A joint press conference held by the Philadelphia-based Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign with the Black Alliance for Peace, shared these words of wisdom via zoom on June 16, 2022. Note that the PPEHRC operates as the Poor People’s Army, a well-established organization that has struggled and won housing for single mothers and their children. Details about attending their August boot camp to learn how it’s done are at the end of this post.
PPEHRC and BAP Joint Press Conference June 16, 2022
Statement from Cheri Honkala
Today is our day to break silence regardless of the fear of the consequences. We are honored to take this step along with the Black Alliance for Peace & dear Pastor Keith Collins from Church of the Overcomer. We have no choice but to be here today – not because we want to be here, but because we have a responsibility to our ancestors & brothers & sisters struggling for survival at home and abroad. We come here today on the days before the weekend where many children, like my son, will grieve their father on Father’s Day because this system and the reform path took his life and never gave him a chance. It is because of this ongoing war at home, literally not symbolically, that we can no longer afford incrementalism. We must make a radical break with a system that is killing our family members.
The drug war has taken more lives than have been lost during Vietnam. My son doesn’t weep alone this Father’s Day. He weeps with children in Palestine, Yemen, Africa, Venezuela, and all over the world because we continue to stand silent as our violent government continues to deny the basic necessities of life and fails to prevent human rights violations at home and abroad. There is no reason for gun deaths in our country. There is no reason for hunger or homelessness – this is the land of plenty. If we wanted to, we could address all of these issues but we live in a country that continues to kill the dreams of children all over the world.
From the poor in Kensington, Philadelphia to the poor all over the world, we stand with you today. We see you. We hear you. These wars of sanctions and allocating billions for war need to stop, and they need to stop now.
How dare we stand by as billions are spent on war when children all over the world, and here in Kensington, go without water, health care, food or a place to lay their heads tonight.
We understand we are on the precipice of an economic revolution. Robots and computers are replacing human labor faster and faster. The potential exists for a society where everyone has the basic necessities of life and where war and famine are prevented and where problems are collectively solved. We are calling for a radical break with the status quo of incrementalism and doing business as usual. We are moving forward in the tradition of other forward thinking pioneers and ancestors. We are building a Poor People’s Army. Today we reconfirm our commitment to building this Poor People’s Army and ask you for your support in doing that. Join with us and the Black Alliance for Peace. We will be holding a Boot Camp in Philadelphia August 12-14 and we encourage you to join us in this endeavor. We intend to map out our plans to take back the basic necessities of life by taking land, taking housing, taking food and ensuring that everyone gets educated around a People’s Centered Human Rights model. The ruling class has betrayed us thousands of times – what makes us think this will be any different. We want to move away from the US exceptionalism that keeps us from uniting from the rest of the world. Now is the time in our lives for all walks of life – artist, faith people, and musicians to get off the treadmill that is taking us nowhere. Everyone has lost someone to preventable causes. It’s time we put an end to a system that is killing us and create the kind of cooperative society that we can all flourish in.
Statement from Ajamu Baraka
Black Alliance for Peace
Thank you all for attending this morning. And thank you PPEHRC that has been at the forefront of the domestic struggle human rights in this country, and especially we want to acknowledge the visionary leadership of our dear sister and comrade Cheri Honkela.
It is indeed an honor to for BAP to be a part of this gathering to lean our voice to call for a shift in priorities away from the cult of death and oppression represented by the policies of this administration from the streets of Philly to the completely avoided, and we say in BAP, the manufactured war in Ukraine.
We say this morning as groups are gathering this weekend to supposedly to challenge this state’s continued avoidance of the issue of poverty, that poverty and its eradication can not occur without the acknowledgement that it will take fundamental structural change by popular forces that are independently organized and prepared to challenge the entrenched power of capital operating through the duopoly and currently through the Neoliberal Biden administration.
Dr. King reminded us of the connection between racism, materialism (capitalism) and militarism – he referred to these as the giant triplets. In remind the movement of these fundamental relationships and declaring his opposition to the war in Vietnam he earned the wrath of the entire liberal establishment and had his life taken from him one year to the date of his declaration to break the silence on war.
This ultimate sacrifice is the model that must be assumed if one if serious about human rights. One can not have one foot in the establishment, echoing its most backward positions on issues like the war in Ukraine, and the other foot with the people declaring solidarity with the people suffering from the rapacious greed and violence of a ruling class operating through the two capitalist parties.
One has to make a choice – you are either with the people all the way – or with the enemies of human rights, democracy, and global social justice.
Today PPEHRC and BAP declare our firm commitment to the life-affirming values of equality, social justice, cooperation, participatory democracy, self-determination, and non-oppression represented by the PCHR framework.
However, we recognize that we are not going to realize PCHRs by just criticizing the rulers or begging for them to recognize HRS. We understand that the realization of HRs must come about as the result of struggle.
That is why BAP is joining hands with PPEHRC in their efforts to build a Poor People’s Army, a non-violent army dedicated to ground working class and poor people in the PCHR framework and collectively through our own agency creating the conditions where we can experience the full range of HRs.
People-Centered Human Rights (PCHR) are those non-oppressive rights that reflect the highest commitment to universal human dignity and social justice that individuals and collectives define and secure for themselves through social struggle.
The people-centered framework proceeds from the assumption that the genesis of the assaults on human dignity that are at the core of human rights violations is located in the relationships of oppression. The PCHR framework does not pretend to be non-political. It is a political project in the service of the oppressed. It names the enemies of freedom: the Western white supremacist, colonial/capitalist patriarchy.
The demands for clean water; safe and accessible food; free quality education; healthcare and healthiness for all; housing; public transportation; wages and a socially productive job that allow for a dignified life; ending of mass incarceration; universal free child care; opposition to war and the control and eventual elimination of the police; self-determination; and respect for democracy in all aspects of life are some of the people-centered human rights that can only be realized through a bottom-up mass movement for building popular power.
That is the historical task we face, and the historic responsibility that we have assumed for ourselves and call on everyone to recognize this task and come off the fence.
Neither party represents the needs and interests of the people and that understanding must be front and center in our analysis and our politics.
That is and will be the message of the Poor People’s Army that will guide us to victory!
Statement from Pastor Keith Collins, Minister with the Inner CityFaith Congress & Lancaster Mennonite Conference
And someone once said, Why is it that we reject the charity model? Shouldn’t the Church support charity?
Well. the reason we reject the charity model is very simple.
Charity is vertical charity is from the top down, and in charity the people that are on the top remain on the top and the people that are on the bottom usually remain on the bottom or very close to the bottom.
We believe in a faith-based model, that that celebrates solidarity.
Solidarity is always horizontal. It respects all those around you, and respects each other person as our equal. It is not a condescending agenda, but it’s an agenda that empowers everyone.
The Biden administration and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress are called the trifecta because presumably a party in control of those branches can get shit done. Although they ran on empty promises like Medicare for All, forgiving student loan debt, and extensive claims that they would serve actual people’s actual needs far better than their Republican rivals, what Democrats have actually delivered is mostly a horrifically expensive proxy war with Russia. The $54 billion or so sent to Ukraine has enriched U.S. weapons manufacturers as working class and low-income people here struggle with soaring housing costs, soaring fuel costs, soaring food costs, and medical bankruptcy.
A glitzy march on Washington with free sandwiches on the bus does nothing to address the fundamental problems facing poor people in the U.S., and may or may not have served as a get out the vote boost for the midterms.
How much hungrier will poor people be come November? Will they organize on their own behalf rather than following Democrats down the road to perdition?
If you want to help organize on behalf of housing and other human needs in your area, consider attending the PPEHRC boot camp outside Philadelphia this summer. Learn from the best! And don’t forget who your real friends are.