January 25, 2012
If you want to find the real radical true believers, the real plotters of government takeovers, the real bomb setting terrorists, the real haters of our freedom, the real killers of countless innocent people, then you’ll need to look away from all of the usual places. It’s not the Muslims. It’s not the Christians. It’s not the Jews. It’s not any organized religion that you’re aware of, yet it is the most powerful religion in the world. It is the religion of Doing Business.
Muslims, Christians and Jews have the same basic human values. They all believe in the sanctity of life. Life comes first. Protecting, nurturing and saving lives is held as the most important thing. Life is precious. Life is a miracle. Everything is done around and in support of life.
But we ordinary people have very different values than the fundamental believers in Doing Business. Some who believe in the religion of Doing Business share these values too, but I’m not talking about them. The ones I’m talking about are the dangerous extremists who believe that you can kill your way to happiness and they make it a regular part of Doing Business. When they Do Business people get hurt.
Radical fundamentalist believers in Doing Business talk about all of the same values as we have and claim to hold them as their own, but there is one big difference that makes their value system a complete inversion of ours. That difference is the order of their values, what they hold in the highest esteem and will protect no matter what it takes. To these fundamentalist fanatics, the reason and purpose of life is Doing Business. Doing Business is the highest good. Doing Business is doing God’s work. Doing Business always comes first. Doing Business is the answer to all problems. Doing Business will set the world free.
This isn’t economics, this is hardcore whacko fundamentalist religious belief. These are the most dangerous people in the world. They terrorize humanity and don’t see a thing wrong with anything they do. They will always place Doing Business above protecting human life. Above protecting the environment. Above human rights. Above safety. Above human decency. Above justice. Above the law. Above common sense. Above freedom and democracy. None of those things will ever be allowed to stand in the way of Doing Business. Not anymore than you would be willing to let anything get between you and your religious beliefs.
For the radical true believers in Doing Business the fervor and excitement of Doing Business is all that matters. Doing business is everything. They love Doing Business. It is all they want to do. It is all they think about. It is all they care about. Everything else is unimportant. They’re not necessarily pernicious, although they may be, but they are disconnected from anything that is not about Doing Business. They’re not aware of anything beyond Doing Business. They believe that this world belongs to them and everything and everyone in it is either here to be exploited or it is in the way.
When you’re doing business and something gets in the way, you find a way to get it out of the way. You have to get it out of the way or just plain get rid of it so that you can go on Doing Business. And if what you have to get rid of is some other country’s leaders who believe that protecting, enriching and defending life comes first instead of Doing Business, then you do some business to have them taken out. You don’t feel bad about doing this, it is how business is done. When you do business you bring prosperity wherever you go and that means you are God’s gift to this world. Any who stand in the way of God’s work are evil, so removing evil-doers from the earth makes the world a safer and better place. You are absolutely entitled to destroy whoever and whatever is in your way, it is your God given right. This is the same self-excusing logic that all fundamentalist extremist religious whack-jobs believe. It is exactly the same thing.
Now not all the true believers in the religion of Doing Business are actually all that delighted about killing people. Many of them find it distasteful and ugly, and sad even. They would be truly hurt to be called heartless and uncaring. They would be outraged at being called terrorists or war criminals. They would say they feel sad when hundreds or thousands of indigenous farmers or peasants or modern city dwellers are killed or displaced and are suffering, starving or being tortured or blasted into bits by bombs and bullets and so forth. They would say nobody enjoys seeing ravaged dead bodies; of course it bothers them to see that. It gives them no pleasure, they are not beasts. But when they are trying to do business, to save the world through Doing Business, and people fight them, it must be dealt with. It’s nothing personal. It’s just Doing Business.
When they are trying to Do Business in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere in the world, and there are civilian casualties, this is a normal, reasonable and expected cost of Doing Business. The military, which Does Business as it’s primary function, calls it collateral damage. That makes it all right. It’s not like they wanted innocent civilians to get killed, it is that it simply can’t be helped sometimes. The military is there to Do Business and the deaths of innocent people is one of the unfortunate costs of war. War is Doing Business. Since Doing Business is the most important thing, since it is the highest and noblest good, it is not wrong when innocent people die.
This is not an exception to the rules of Doing Business, it is a basic rule. This rule is in place all around us, it is common practice in every big corporate entity and plenty of small ones too.
Like when miners die in mine collapses because the mine owners refused to spend the money to make it safe for people to work in there, you and I would find that inexcusable and reprehensible.
Or when tons of contaminated “No regulations” peanut butter horribly sickens or kills dozens of kids and adults and the peanut butter plant is not closed down or even fined after it gets inspected and is found to be teeming with scary health and safety hazards.
Or when airlines know about dangerous mechanical problems that need to be fixed, but they don’t fix them because they don’t want to spend the money or lose revenues by taking airplanes out of service long enough to make the planes safe; then a plane crashes and hundreds of people die. You and I would see that as a preventable plane crash that should never have happened, and we would be furious. When you’re doing business, you don’t see things as you and I see things.
Here is how it goes in the corporate value system. Take the example of the preventable airplane crash. When executive officers are made aware of necessary safety enhancements, the first thing they do is call their accountants. The accountants crunch the figures on the costs of these safety enhancements. They take everything into consideration, not just parts, not just labor, but downtime too, because when a business has downtime, it is not Doing Business.
When the final costs are determined, the accountants present the executives with the information. Regardless of the amount, the executives will also want to know how much it would cost them if they do not do the enhancements and there is a plane crash that destroys an airplane and kills everyone on board. The executives call their legal team to determine the amount of payments they’d have to make after the lawsuits that would be waged against the airline for the wrongful deaths of loved ones.
Because the airplane is insured, losing a plane is not that big a deal, especially if it is nearing retirement. There would be some loss of revenue until the airplane could be replaced and put into service. There is also some cost associated with PR and damage control, and legal costs are considered but since they have in-house lawyers those costs are minimal too. Those costs are totaled and added to the total amount of the lawsuit payouts.
Now the projected cost of doing the repairs is compared to the projected cost of a plane crash. If it costs more to make the repairs to the fleet than it would cost to lose a plane and make survivor payouts, then the right thing to do is obvious. Don’t make the repairs. Keep those planes flying. Letting a few planes crash is cheaper. It’s just good business. It would be silly to do otherwise. Doing Business is the highest good. Lives lost are a secondary consideration.
That is the way it is. It is standard business procedure. It is not shocking. It is not bizarre. It is the norm. Companies will always tell you that everything they sell you is safe, that it is what they say it is, that it does what they say it does, and when what you get is not what they said, it would be you simply cannot be surprised. On the contrary, when you get what you pay for then you can be surprised.
Tired of constantly paying for a new cell phone because they break all the time? DVD and MP3 players that croak after a few months or are DOA in the box? Why is this so common and why don’t they get their shit together? Well, here’s why. After manufacturing a thousand electronic devices, if a company suddenly realizes the design has a defect and the devices are more than likely to fail, they are not going to trash them and start over. They are also not going to stop and go back and take the time to replace the known defective parts. Not all of the devices have those defective parts, maybe half or less. They are going to ship them to stores and deal with customer complaints later. That’s why.
Three thousand people a year die in this country from food poisoning. Fifty million people a year in this country get food poisoning and survive. Removing the dang regulations to prevent all that food poisoning was just good business. When a production run of baby food tests with a too high level of some contaminant or another, they might not pull it. They’ll find out how contaminated it is first and unless it’s ebola strength instant death they’ll just ship it out to stores. They know how unlikely it is that food poisoning, serious illness or death will be able to be tracked back to the source. If it happens they’ll deal with it then. Who cares? They have a business to run.
Despicable? Yes. Rare? Unfortunately, no. This is true with defective tires on cars, toxic dyes in clothing, lead in toys, poisonous fumes in carpets and paint, the list is literally endless.
The FDA routinely approves drugs that they know are killing people. A new tablet for indigestion causes a certain percentage of people to have a heart attack and die. They know this before the first box ships. It’s been calculated three ways from sundown exactly how many people will die, how many people will suffer permanent heart damage, kidney damage, liver damage, etc., and out of those how many reports from physicians will be filled out and sent back to them. Those reports are how they do clinical drug trials now by the way. They know only about ten percent of serious adverse reactions to drugs get reported back to them. Everything is on their side. It will take a very long time and tens of thousands of deaths before physicians themselves begin talking to each other and comparing notes and figuring out that the drug is killing people. Time is still on the drug makers’ side because so few of the victims will be alive to sue them over it. When the drug company is finally accused of killing people again they just deny it and walk away. The few really determined victims families and injured survivors who can somehow drag BigPharma into court will still have to fight a long uphill battle against a company that has more money than God.
To the drug company, it really doesn’t hurt a bit. They are making so much money selling people drugs they know do damage and cause death that it’s not even funny. Who’s going to stop them?
And folks, all drugs do some damage, that’s just reality, not a news flash, a fact doctors knew back in the 1940’s and people in general have always known. When you ingest anything that is not food, there will be a downside.
The bottom line is there is nothing whatsoever standing in the way of drug companies putting out anything they want. No matter what happens, they will get rich. And the FDA is there to support Doing Business, not to look out for you.
Dead mouse in a soda can? A rat in your KFC box? Duh. You have no idea what you may have eaten and never knew. It’s only when it’s obvious enough to see it that you’d ever have a chance to know. They know. It happens. So what? What are you going to do about it? Nothing. They are home free. Every once in a blue moon somebody will take one of these huge corporations to court and win, but it ain’t easy. And the media without exception portrays the injured American as a money grubbing slime ball and the corporation as the victim.
The examples of these kinds of things are voluminous beyond number. But you get the idea. It’s not the exception, it is the rule.
Now back to the subject at hand. Here’s the point. In case anyone out there hasn’t noticed it yet, the most extreme, the most radical, the most insanely pious devotees of Doing Business have managed to take over our government. They go way beyond rat droppings in your cupcakes. These people are insane. Their religious zealotry and idealism has been bunker-bustered into the hallowed halls of the federal government through all three branches. Their doctrine is being taught in colleges and universities as economics, even though it flies in the face of long held and proven standard economic theory and practice. Their economics are faith based, not evidence based. These guys are the penultimate believers in Doing Business.
In the year 2000 this faith based economic system became our official state religion. Executive level government employees who refused to convert were dismissed from their careers and replaced by true believers. Jobs weren’t given based on merit, but on true belief and willingness to serve. Dedicated, experienced government workers who had upheld the fair and honest business practices that kept things honest and reasonably accountable got laid off.
Lawyers and lobbyists worked hard to support Doing Business, and the congress turned into a whore house of business deals and business gifts like free trips to European Golf vacations and corporate jets. Lobbyists handed out checks from people Doing Business to our elected representatives on the floor of congress, on live TV, as if it was perfectly normal and not criminal bribery. Our process of government was shamelessly bought and sold in acts of Doing Business as we watched in disbelief and horror.
Those first four years were the moment the church of Doing Business had prayed for all their lives. The believers were in ecstasy. Their arrogance and hubris beamed from their grinning faces. God was behind them all the way and they knew it was true because God was rewarding the followers of the scriptures of Doing Business with staggering profits and wealth. Their taxes were slashed and slashed again, all regulations were swept away, fraud was named a fair business practice and not a crime. At last they were free to live the American Dream and prosper and Do Business with all the stops pulled out. Anything goes, and indeed, everything is gone. To the radical true believers the world was being saved right before their delirious eyes; they saw themselves as heroes and prophets, men amongst the most favored of God. “Our children will sing songs about us”.
The holy doctrine of Doing Business was jack-hammered into every department of government while those of us out here who do not believe in their strange religion felt sickened and horrified by the systematic destruction being wrought before our eyes, before the eyes of the whole world. These crusading zealots were and still are on a mission, one they worked hard to get started for many years. Now they have America in their hands and they are going to convert it, no matter what it takes, by force if necessary. They have Business To Do in the Middle East and they wasted no time pushing America into war. They told us it would take six weeks and pay for itself and the people there would shower our troops with flowers. But it was just the beginning of Total War, endless war, and with any luck, a world war of biblical proportion. That was the plan they wrote and published a year prior, and it was God’s work.
Here on homeland soil, George W. Bush had his own To Do list to accomplish. One of the earliest items he began to preach was globalization, public/private partnerships, privatization, which all mean the same thing. Doing Business by selling off public land, public resources and everything we think of as ours to rich people Doing Business all over the world. They’ve sold pretty much everything, including our rights and our prosperity and our freedom and our health, the list is too long to mention here. Surrounded by ebullient, applauding true believers of his doctrine, the Patron Saint of Profit quickly blessed the torrential storm of contracting out to private business what the government is there to do. He privatized as much of what the government does as he could, including the most sensitive and top secret things as well as the defense of our nation. Why do those things ourselves when we can Do Business and pay contractors exponentially more for doing work that we can’t check or keep track of or verify? It was brilliant and perfect and great for America, he told us. The truest believers wanted to shrink the size of the government down where it would be small enough to drown it in a bathtub.
You wouldn’t think it would be much of a surprise that with each passing year of his term in office, more and more Americans hated what he was doing. They hated the corruption. They hated the lies, the manipulation, the insulting religiosity and attack dog mentality of Bush supporting republicans. They were shameless and without conscience. They were out of control. They were doing incalculable damage, and somehow his followers couldn’t see anything wrong. But objective and ordinary working class people were getting screwed and abused and ripped off and lied to and thrown under the bus, and they knew everything about it was wrong. The congress people who had rolled out the red carpet to these corrupt, insane zealots made America sick. The 2006 congressional elections made it perfectly clear. Congress people were thrown out of there in droves.
The zealots couldn’t believe it. They were completely taken by surprise to find out that they weren’t our dearest heroes who we adored and admired and agreed with. We saw them as criminals and scum, and they were sincerely shocked. But it didn’t matter that we didn’t want what they had to offer, and it didn’t matter that we threw that batch out and put a new one in. Nothing changed. Nothing at all. It didn’t even change when the whole republican party was thrown out the back door and spit on and told to go away and never come back. In fact, after Obama took office, things got worse and haven’t stopped getting worse. The zealots never went away. They stayed out of sight just long enough to regroup and repackage the same message in a different way that people wouldn’t recognize. Tea Party, people would support that. They want a Tea Party really bad. They want change they can believe in. These people were going to give us everything we wanted. They were not going to stop doing God’s work no matter what the people want. The more angry the people get, the more the zealots dig in.
The War on Terror has morphed into more creative expressions of doing God’s work, now including the terrible threat of terrorists that come from right here at home. Especially dangerous are those who are not in alignment with their radical religious beliefs, their political views, and even their personal opinions. Millions of Americans have been secretly investigated and their names added to lists of suspected terrorists, and those people can no longer get on an airplane. Last time I looked it was nearing one million names. Today they have to feel everyone’s tits and crotch at the airport in order to keep us safe.
Fundamentalist extremist whack-jobs have driven America well into the belly of their beast. That belly is sacred too, by law. Anyone who doesn’t agree with them is considered a likely terrorist. We live in a police state. Police no longer need warrants. We are no longer free. We are openly at war in at least four countries and secretly killing people in over 70 more countries. If these people don’t like you, wherever you are, they’re doing the business required to take you out. America is brain dead and only a respirator is keeping the body warm. We need a miracle.
So when these people say that the human needs of Americans are superfluous and public money spent on health, education and human needs is wild and frivolous spending, they aren’t kidding. Those who can’t find jobs should not be rewarded with unemployment checks, they need to get up and Do Business. Those who cannot afford health care need to shut up and go Do Business. Old people are worthless and don’t deserve anything. Doing anything to help those who do not Do Business is just plain evil. Social security is evil. Medicare is evil. Negotiating for lower prices for essentials is evil. Unions are evil. Taxpayers do not deserve to receive the benefit that comes of paying taxes. The most deserving recipients of tax benefits are those who are Doing Business. And the more successful and prosperous they are at Doing Business, the more they deserve the abundant rewards from our tax coffers.
Those who are unemployed, underemployed, elderly, disabled, sick, young or students are not doing anything to deserve benefits from the government. These are the people who deserve to bear the costs and tax burdens of the most prosperous, and so they are. When the big banks blew all of our hard earned money gambling in con games for the rich, the government proclaimed they were too big to fail and gave them trillions of dollars while Americans got kicked out of their homes. To them this was noble and compassionate, for these big banks had Done Business in a big way for a long time and now in a moment of need they deserved to be helped.
To put this in a slightly different perspective for the sake of contrasting the idiocy, imagine people coming to control of our government who had this same kind of over-the-top belief in and love of football, and their vision was a world of pro football stadiums holding pro football games in exclusion of everything else. Nothing else mattered. Everybody just needed to get up and get out there on that pro football field and play with everything they’ve got and all of the world’s problems will be solved. The fact that grandma can’t even get out on the field and shouldn’t have to doesn’t matter to them. There is no room in their radical vision for any deviation. It is this or it is nothing. If you can’t play pro football, you don’t count. You’re out. Nobody cares about you. That would cut out roughly half of America on the basis that we have babies, children, pregnant mothers, sick people, injured people, disabled people, students, people in hospitals, old people and people important to us who don’t do mainstream things at all, like artists, writers, film makers, poets and spiritual leaders. But still, out of the remaining half of the people, how many would honestly have a chance of success out on their playing field with all of their insiders, important connections, huge dollars and humungous pro players who can easily play pro football and win? Are we really going to send pregnant women and people in wheelchairs out there? How about kindergartners?
The whole world cannot be about just one thing that some group of guys decide everybody else has to believe in as much as they do. That is the definition of insanity. It makes no sense. It is impossible. Plus, it is just really, really creepy. But that’s what selfish, arrogant radical extremists believe and they don’t care who doesn’t like it. They decide they are right and you are wrong by decree. You don’t get to have your own side. To them there is no other side. They are not sane or reasonable people. They have no respect for the vast majority of the people in this world because very few people are able to get up on their private, exclusive playing field and join their game. And very few people are willing to give up what they love and believe in to redo the world in the vision of insane people who hate everybody who is not what they think everyone should be. That’s simple reality. This is not hard. The fundamentalist radical response is that they will create their own reality. Don’t they all try? And don’t they all fail? But that’s never stopped them from trying once again to kill their way to happiness. What they do is not about reason or reality or facts, it is about belief. They cannot be reasoned with. Reason and evidence will never touch them. These people do not believe in the sanctity of life. They are organized criminals and killers.
Are you getting the picture? It begins to make a lot more sense when you understand that what they seem to be saying is not really what they’re saying. When they talk about national security and freedom and democracy, they are coming from a very specific and different place than we are. They are the exact opposite of everything we believe in. And they have robbed us blind, they have robbed the world blind, and they are galloping the globe spreading their religion with bombs and bullets and they are sure they are heroes. They want to destroy this country and they want to destroy the European economy too. This horrendous destruction is serving them well. They have worked very hard to destroy everything we have all worked so hard and so long for, everything that has meaning and value to us. All of that has always been in their way. And in ten little years they’ve taken almost everything away. All that’s left is grandma’s monthly social security food money and what’s left of a social safety net, and they’re working on that right now.
If nothing else, know this. These people don’t care about you. They don’t care about us at all. They don’t care if we die of hunger or if we are homeless or if we can’t afford to see a doctor. They don’t care. We are here for them to exploit and use and manipulate, and yes, even slowly poison to death with food and drugs and polluted water. It’s all good. It’s Doing Business and we’re all losers in their eyes. The question is, what are we going to do about it?
The first thing to do is to recognize the truth that they are very different than we are. This is something they have always known that we didn’t know. This is something they have used to achieve their wildest successes without us understanding what was happening or why. They have always known how different their values are from ours. They know it very well. They know how we think. They know how we feel. They know what we want and what we believe in. They know what bothers us and what scares us. They also know that we didn’t know the kind of people they are. We believed they were just like we are. We were not well informed. That gave them one hell of a business advantage. Most of us could never believe that anyone could be so evil as these people, especially not our own government. Even today, with everything coming apart at the seams, many find it impossible to believe that they have been lied to and used and manipulated by people who know exactly what to say to appeal to our values and decency in order to screw us blind. It is time to climb up onto the back of that elephant in the living room to finally see the simple reality that the whole rest of the world can see. Our leaders are the most dangerous radical fundamentalist extremists on Earth.
It’s not exactly that these “leaders” are lying to us, they are often telling the absolute truth. It’s just that it means the exact opposite of what we think it means. It is a cruel and sorry deception that is sadly our fault for not knowing about their kind. Their kind has been killing, enslaving and robbing humanity since before Christ was born. It is time for America to realize that we have nothing in common with these people. When America understands who and what these people are about, they will not be lied to anymore. It’s really that simple.
There is nothing we can do to change these people. They cannot be changed. They are who and what they are. The only way that we can affect change is to educate others about this simple reality that is hidden in plain sight. Not knowing the difference between your friends and your enemies is extremely dangerous to your health.