A Fifty Inch Flatscreen and a Fukushima Brewski - by Mark E. Smith

A friend who lives in Venezuela just emailed me two articles by Matt Taibbi.

The more recent article:

The Vampire Squid Strikes Again: The Mega Banks' Most Devious Scam Yet, Rolling Stone, February 12, 2014


And an earlier article with some perspective:

Wall Street's War, Rolling Stone, May 26, 2010


Pretty shocking, I admit. So what am I supposed to do? Move my money out of the big banks? I did that a long time ago and I don't have enough money for them to notice. Contact my elected officials? Don't make me laugh. March up and down and carry a sign and get my head beat in by the cops? Not today, thanks.

So here's what I wrote back:

No surprise that the rich own most of the world, and that they own it
in ways carefully constructed so that they don't have to pay taxes or
accept liability for damage.

Also no surprise that the Democratic and Republican parties cannot
survive for a moment without the support of the big banks (which are
nothing more than corporations, i.e., carefully constructed ways for
the rich to own everything without having to pay taxes or accept
liability for damages), and that therefore politicians will allow the
banks to do whatever they wish and will give them whatever they want.
To do otherwise, for a major political party, is suicide.

Is the surprise that capitalism is corrupt? I think even capitalists
admit that by now.

These are distractions. The last remnants of indigenous people
everywhere, including Venezuela: "Ye'kwana and Sanema Peoples of
Venezuela Threatened by Illegal Mining, Lack of Constitutional
are still being exterminated and their lands usurped for "progress
and development," i.e., destruction and pollution. Everyone in the
northern hemisphere is being inundated with radiation from Fukushima,
but there are more meltdowns to come. There is no way to stop it--and
no way to undo the damage. There is no safe level of radiation, and it
is cumulative.

Metals? Money?

How about air, water, and food? Our species survived for thousands of
years without metals or money. Adults can only survive for a few
decades with current levels of radiation without developing cancer,
children succumb much more quickly. But we can only survive for at
most a month or two without food, so we have to eat radioactive food,
and even organically produced food that has no added hormones,
antibiotics, or toxic chemicals, is still radioactive from Fukushima.
We can go only a few days at most without water, and there is very
little unpolluted water left. And we can only live a few minutes
without air. The air we breathe, everywhere on earth, is polluted.
Dioxin has been found on the tops of the highest mountains, in the
depths of the remotest jungles, and at the poles. It is just one of
many carcinogens polluting the entire planet that we are unable to
clean up. How do you clean up something that is everywhere?

Fuck money and metals. We need clean food, water, and air. And we need
to stop killing people who try to prevent us from polluting the
planet, stop calling them savages standing in the way of progress who
need to be exterminated for the greater good, or terrorists
interfering with corporate profits who need to be drone-bombed or
indefinitely detained. I've just thought of the best definition of
"civilized" yet: criminally insane.


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