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CAPITALISM RUN AMOK June 26, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Uncategorized.
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. . . and human beings, much less the natural environment does not matter. Whatever is true about the human animal we do not, and cannot live in a bubble. The disregard of the social and ecological consequences from actions and decisions has be judged as pathological.

At Truthdig, Chris Hedges describes Camden, New Jersey:

Camden’s plight is worse than that of Youngstown, Ohio, or Detroit, worse than that of east New York or Watts. It is a dead city. It makes and produces nothing. It is the poorest city in the United States and is usually ranked year after year as one of the most, and often the most, dangerous. Camden is one of our many internal colonies in North America beset with the familiar corruption and brutal police repression that characterize the despotic regimes I covered as a reporter in Africa and Latin America. The per capita income in the city is $11,967, and nearly 40 percent of the residents live below the poverty line.

Large swaths of Camden lie empty and abandoned. There are more than 1,500 derelict, abandoned row houses, empty shells of windowless brick factories and gutted and abandoned gas stations. There are overgrown vacant lots filled with garbage and old tires and rusted appliances. There are neglected, weed-filled cemeteries and boarded-up storefronts. There are perhaps a hundred open-air drug markets, most run by gangs such as the Bloods, the Latin Kings, Los Nietos and MS-13 (Mara Salvatrucha). Knots of young Hispanic or African-American men in black leather jackets, who can occasionally be seen flipping through wads of cash, sell weed, dope and crack to customers, many of whom drive in from the suburbs, in brazen defiance of the law. The drug trade is perhaps the city’s only thriving business. A weapon is never more than a few feet away from the drug set, usually stashed behind a trash can, in the grass or on a porch, always within easy reach. Camden is a city awash in guns, easily purchased across the river in Philadelphia, where Pennsylvania gun laws are lax. The guns are kept for protection from rival gangs that send out groups to prey on rival drug dealers, stealing their drugs and cash. To be poor is to face the awful fact that nonviolence is a luxury that few on the streets can afford.

Chris Hedges with Joe Sacco is the co-author on “Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt” in which he describes his observations in “the sacrifice zones”. He recounts his experiences:

Greg Kaufmann writing in The Nation relates how Adriana Vasquez, a mother of three and cleaner of corporate offices in Houston travelled to the Senate hearing in Washington to ask the Chief Executive of JP Morgan Chase one question. Her question:

She stood before Dimon and asked: “Despite making billions last year, why do you deny the people cleaning your buildings a living wage?”

Vasquez says Dimon’s entourage reacted “as if I had a weapon on me,” quickly surrounding him.

“Call my office,” Dimon replied, before being ushered toward the exit.

Vasquez had wanted to add “walk a day in my shoes,” but didn’t get a chance. That’s exactly what Vasquez and over 3,000 of her colleagues in Houston are asking building owners and cleaning contractors to do as they consider the janitor’s demand for a raise to $10 an hour over the next three years.

The janitors are currently paid an hourly wage of $8.35 and earn an average of $8,684 annually, despite cleaning the offices of some of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world—Chevron, ExxonMobil, Wells Fargo, Shell, JPMorgan Chase and others in the “City of Millionaires.” The cleaning contractors have countered with an offer of a $0.50 pay raise phased in over five years.

Vasquez says she doesn’t think people realize just how hard their work is. She cleans twenty-four bathrooms on eleven floors, from 5:30 to 11:30 pm, five evenings a week. She describes the work this way: before clocking in, she makes sure her cart is stocked with chemicals and supplies. After clocking in, she literally runs up to the floor if the tenants aren’t around.

Adriana is seen in this photo{

 

Her question remained unanswered, and the Chief Executive left surrounded by his entourage. He was having a bad day at the Senate, and it was not caused by those who were is well paid representatives. Tighe Barry, one of the protesters at the Senate Banking Committee hearings was interviewed from Tehran on Press TV:

And as a nod to the right wing framing, ideologically free, Climate Change deniers makes the case that to protect the biosphere – which is surely our foremost duty as human beings – it is not enough to change from fossil fuel energy (as I would have imagined) David Suzuki appeared on Democracy Now.

The first part of the interview with Democracy Now reporting on the Rio Climate Summit:

So let’s not read what crazy ecologists say, let’s hear from a crazy economist, Jeremy Rifkin:

The new Gilded Age seems to have been a function of the fall of the Soviet Union, which was hastened by overspending on defence. Defence spending is more important, apparently, than the minimum wage and people trying to make a living. Those gentle, fragile persons , yet advocates of the proper scientific rigour and reality, who are both free from and adverse to ideology, will be aghast at the suggestion that a fundamental reordering of priorities and modes of being are imperative.

POSTSCRIPT:

It is not the faults in others we should be correcting, but often their faults we can see more clearly. Perhaps they act as mirrors. Self awareness requires I displace from my own ego-centric driven concerns and preoccupations, which the bubble I inhabit. Many times we are playing in the wrong orchestra, whereas we might be possibly striking authentic, and perhaps thereby more useful, notes.

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