The flier I found at the coffeeshop that day had a vacant air about it, like it came out of nowhere, and it would leave no trace or clue as to where it had emanated from; this was done deliberately
It had the desolate air of a now forgotten bookshop that used to reside in the Coventry neighborhood of Cleveland Heights, Ohio...
and I'm probably wasting my time writing about this but it's always good to learn, and to have patterns you've observed validated
Can I ask?
What do you hope to accomplish?
Are you going to replace Trump with Paul Ryan, the guy who would be next in line if you got rid of both Trump and Pence somehow?
Are you going to have a coup and install Hillary Clinton?
Seriously? These people would be better?
Like, what's your objective?
A communist takeover???
I didn't know who the majority of the individuals listed here were, but I should have known who was the instigator of these shenanigans
(Oh my god, it is ALWAYS THE SAME)
Twenty years ago! Ringing my hands!
So I looked these individuals up, and they are Revolutionary Communist Party goons and leftist "intellectuals", the kind who are too arrogant and a bit too overconfident about their black-and-white vision of the world
Andy Zee- spokeperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party
PZ Myers - a liberal scientist who eschews alternative medicine
Carl Dix - Founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party
Jeremy Scahill - a founder of the Intercept, a publication I am semi-okay with and I do like a few of their journalists, even though the publication sometimes dabbles in problematic waters and Julian Assange did just say they withheld some documents from Snowden from public purview hmmm
Imam Ayub Abdul - Baki - an imam
Rev. Doris Johnson - okay okay I'm bored
In Cleveland, when I was a left-wing activist (that's all I'll claim because I was never an anarchist or anything like that), the Revolutionary Communist Party was the running joke of the community
They had a tendency to take over other people's events, their leader Bob Avakian was nowhere to be found, and their propaganda was unnervingly empty and vacant
What is fascism?
People who don't want you to know they are truly fascists will defer to definitions from Mussolini, or will insist that if it doesn't look like Hitler, it's not fascism, and how dare you use that word? You don't have the privilege!
The essence of fascism, and I think we all agree ( because why else did it creep into the general lexicon in more casual terms "don't be such a fascist!") is a strict nonconformity that is severely punished if you were to deviate from it
( I think Mussolini would agree)
So, people in political circles, do have a tendency to strict adherence to certain ideals
Do you believe enough? Are you thinking correctly?
The same attitudes appear in leftist circles, a very notorious example being the Weather Underground, which was a splinter group of the Students for a Democratic Society from the sixties/seventies, and it was nothing but a clique of the popular kids blowing stuff up (and if you watch the documentary that was made about them several years ago, you get a skewed view of the organization and you don't get to realize how truly hierarchical and elitist the organization was).
I had this experience myself when I was an "activist"
I wasn't from the right "school" ( all the cool activist kids hailed from Kent State, those poor kids having died to give them street cred)
I wasn't from a working class family, but from an immigrant family whose parents rose from poverty to an upper middle class existence ( but that is lost on other middle class kids who work so hard at being working class poseurs)
And if we had discussions at the Food Not Bombs that weren't political, the fascist in charge ( who once unironically told me that "anarchism is believing anything you want") would yell at us until the conversation would steer back to the official dogma
(while fascist in charge went into another room to watch football)
I had another experience with another totalitarian anarchist who swiped a pamphlet from my hand without allowing me to read it for myself ( yeah, maybe it was right wing propaganda, but god damn it, I have a right to figure that out for myself, and not be condescended to by an asshole)
And who before "looking out for me" went around pretending to know the members of the Africa family at the Mumia Abu Jamal protest we were attending (and I tell you, Ramona Africa looked very surprised)
this was also a fellow, like the one aforementioned, who was "the real thing", and he could look down upon you and judge you and decide that you simply weren't worthy enough
I couldn't get into the clique mentality, and while I was pretty active in the activist community ( I went to every demonstration, did all the activities, and even had my own political radio show at the local college radio station), people were surprised when I didn't become a member of the local anarchist collective
Oh my god
That?! anarchist collective? The one run by those assholes?
those pieces of shit I would have to fight IF THEY won the revolution????
Everything I find, is a popularity contest
And the road to hell is paved with good intentions
So the combination of my general skepticism of Trump hysteria ( because i don't believe Trump to be any worse than George W Bush or Slick Willy Clinton) and my long-time disenchantment with leftist protest politics make me weary of political fliers like this one
And political events like this one
And political "enthusiasm" like this one
And doing the investigation into it just led me back into history repeating itself useless self again
And threatening its fascism at every turn
( and I will retain my definition of fascism, because it's correct)
Moly Bdenum wishes she was as vicious as Fluorine on the Periodic Table of Elements
I'd been saving expensive beeswax candle wax for years and I have a bag full of the scraps. A friend of mine used to collect toilet paper rolls and old toothpaste boxes to use as molds for recycling candles ( but she wasn't as picky and she recycled old paraffin candles).
I stick with soy and beeswax, but preferably beeswax (because soy is genetically engineered and I tend to avoid its existence as much as i possibly can)
I have the supplies to make crafts like soap, so I got out some old pots to melt the wax and pour it into the toilet paper rolls with the wicks standing in them, but that didn't really work at first; I figured out you have to pour just a little bit of wax and let that harden to form a base and a seal so that the remaining wax you pour into the tubes doesn't stream out from underneath. Duh, right?
I also decided to repurpose some old spice bottles (well , current ones but the moths ruined the spice a long time ago; I just never threw the contents out). I panicked, because I thought the paper rolls wouldn't work (even though they worked for my friend). And as you know, I figured that bit out, but trying out some glass spice bottles wasn't a bad idea either, and worked really well.
I also repurposed a bottle that used to contain fake coffee and a mason jar - it's so fun to find new uses for things!
(Seriously, I get a high and am totally filled with joy! It is crazy empowering )
I also had a brick of store-bought "beeswax" ( it said beeswax on the package, but didn't really smell or actually seem like it; I used it anyway).
Even though I added scent to it, the scent couldn't cover up the awful synthetic chemical smell of the faux beeswax. And when it finally cooled and hardened, it took a weird dip and spiral into nothingness
I will do this again
I will have to, until I run out of the precious wax
It will continue on and on , into infinity
Taking on new forms, shapes, and changes
In different times
Inspired by different reasons
Cassandra Mal Farken is not poor. Poor people don't experiment with crafts, they are too busy trying to survive.
The economic ideologies of capitalism and socialism and communism all have their confusing detractors and proponents, claiming THIS ideology has claimed millions of lives and THAT ideology has made us slaves and blah blah blah
And anyone saying that the important thing is just "to do what's right" is also fraught with sketchiness, because what is "the right thing?", who's to say "what is right"? and there's just no dang person you can trust; any argument has no meaning at all
It's all an attempt to obfuscate matters from the REAL GOAL Americans should be considering in pursuit of a better life.
And what would THAT be?
To imitate Europeans when it comes to social welfare and values
What does that mean?
Well, we'll see.
For as long as I have lived in my American city, my greatest dream was that it should one day come to resemble a European one.
That there would be blocks full of cafes with people sitting in them, talking and expressing opinions over diminutive, unpretentious cups of coffee (and alcoholic beverages too, those are sold in European cafes, not American ones of course). And none of this American tendency to offer gobs of gawdy, inferior options to distract from the fact that Americans just can't make a decent cup of coffee. The quality that is evident in a simple, well-made cup of coffee, and it's lack of necessity towards becoming a myriad of inferior frappucinos and pour over's and whatever the hell else have you
Lots of little shops and activities, random corner produce markets, random corner grocery stores ( that sold higher quality processed foods, and not GMO and trans fatty acid laced products); reliable and safe public transportation that can get you almost anywhere without having to walk fifty miles between stops and that isn't a "joke" and reserved for mostly poor people; "free" healthcare for all citizens, paid for by taxes; better education and an emphasis on learning and greater respect for teachers; free college education for meritorious students, and destigmatization of vocational schools and apprenticeships for occupations like plumbers and electricians; someone to fucking clean up the garbage that everyone litters, and armies of public receptacles for all recyclables, not just glass and aluminum cans, but including things not as common like styrofoam and tetrabrik ( and for picking up compost too, done in many cities).
The streets would be lined with bike paths adjacent to the plentiful sidewalks. Bikes would be encouraged and would be a legitimate way of getting to a substantial destination, like a grocery store, a school, or your job.
No pretenses to Empire and a distinctive slash to the military budget ( there is always money for fending off our essentially non-existent "enemies" but never for the public welfare). European nations obviously have a history of colonization and pretenses to Empire, but not at the moment, no they don't.
Wow! and that people would dress better.
See? When you're out at a cafe, or safely walking the streets to your local grocery store, or taking the safe bus because it will get you to where you want to go, you're going to be seen. Instead of it being a stigma to take the bus, I wish it would be a comfortable, safe, fashionable experience
Not going out in pajamas, or bland neutral beiges with anonymous blue jeans all the time
I have always wondered how high fashion shops survive in this country, because most people really don't give a crap how they look ( unless they live in new york city).
No wonder the clothing stores are stocked with the blandest of clothes, with only a minuscule smattering of something stylish for the small percentage of people who would be naturally inclined to give a crap
The next major question people should be asking themselves is "How close is Cleveland coming to this?"
NOT how close is it to becoming the "next Brooklyn", or the "next Austin", or Portland,Oregano (HAHA) but how close is it to becoming EUROPEAN...
There are lots or restaurants and stuff. There are more coffeeshops, but they're such complicated, overpriced affairs that they will only induce any influence when there a gazillion of them, and it's not so much about their billions offerings but about their importance as places to gather causally with your friends to discuss important matters ( I once had a roommate who insulted me by saying that I thought having more restaurants in a city was a way to save the city; this bougie asshole who had grown up with a maid in new york city was just projecting of course)
Bike paths are making an appearance, but they're not very effective, and sometimes, they're just a picture of a bicycle painted in a car lane. YEAH OKAY There is also this annoying admonition to ride in the streets and not on the sidewalk, and i will duly continue utilizing sidewalks until the entire city is strewn with bike paths that no one ever uses, because it is too fucking dangerous to ride in the street. Okay? That is fucking dangerous, and I think it's stupid to try to pit a human body on a metal frame with wheels against a many-tonned monstrosity going at a greater velocity and with more force; it's just dumb. (hey, this city is about waste, right? waste street space with bike paths people are not used to using. i'm surprised it hasn't happened sooner.) I mean there should be fucking bike paths EVERYWHERE, just like the sidewalks that hardly anyone uses
The bike paths in Europe are not pictures of bicycles painted on car lanes; they are actual mini lanes a safe distance AWAY from eh main thoroughfare
Yeah, they made a new rapid station in little italy, and some cool cats take the bus to work (and the poor people who have always taken the bus to work or wherever ), but that's a trend that will just have to keep slowly, yet inexorably moving through the mud. Cars reign supreme in this country, but there are also apparently lots and lots of lots and lots of just unused cars for as far as the mile can see; nobody is buying them
well, they got rid of the major thrift store in our neighborhood, and you know, europeans aren't big on thrift stores ( I think most foreigners aren't big on it) - they're big on nice new clothes they wear for a long time. or they used to be. thrift stores want to be department stores, and there's the savers in fricking Fairview Park, which kinda seems like a wealthier area ( the trifecta of frugality: Aldi's, Marc's, and Saver's.)
Speaking of Aldi's that's European too. In Slovenia and Austria, it's known as "Hoffer", and it's exactly like the ones here with some dissimilarity in the products they offer.
(But for America, I think we should keep thrift stores and cheap stores, because they wanna get rid of the Family Dollar now in my neighborhood and that's just the last bell toll for the lower income people here)
People are starting to live downtown, in the city, which is where they should be,, which is what that place is for, and they should stop taking up all the space in the surrounding environs; leave that to the animals, and the farmers, GOD DAMN (the Amish, you know?)
Yeah, they started picking up recycling some years ago. They've been doing this in Europe FOR YEARS now, and they even collect things like tetra brik and styrofoam, (they'll even collect your compost in some cities). But here, in this third world country, they only collect the basics. (Maybe in another fifteen years they will diversify the recycling). And once in a while, as you traverse these city streets, you see a container for recyclables ( again, another sign of the lack of pedestrian traffic).
They don't clean up the trash though, and the city is a major pigstye, representative of an attitude of not caring, yes, nobody cares: NOT european
The bad aspect about all this are the people screaming "gentrification!"
Well, that's the country we live in
Everything has to be so complicated. Instead of just having a plain old little corner coffeeshop, it has to be this mega affair with coffees from fifty different countries and fifty different ways of brewing it. It has to be fancy fancy fancy
Do the property values go up in neighborhoods where the shops are not fancy?
Our country is a reflection of our values - profit over people ( yep, capitalism), people are expendable ( I mean, look where they want us to ride our bikes!!!), people are just objects, make everything obsolete, nothing is sacred, and milk the people for all they're worth, and as you're doing it, have them live in neighborhoods that resemble pens in factory farms; just big enough to move around in, just enough to provide the bare minimum, but not enough to enjoy life in.
Reflected in our food, in our clothes, in our neighborhoods, in our public transportation, our reliance on cars, and our horrible lack of genuine, spontaneous social interaction.
( And by the way, i am a FREQUENT customer of local coffee establishments, and very much enjoy them,so i wish them no ill will and only the best, but I am hoping one day for the unassuming corner coffee shop to make an appearance, run by an old codger who serves you one kind of coffee and you better like it)
Aida Moray lives in a daily existential crisis where she cannot decide if she should leave this country forever or go back to Europe so as to not abandon her parents.
The history of corporate malfeasance follows a familiar pattern that can become a reliable guide to making decisions about products to buy, what to put into your body, basically how to live your life
A healthy skepticism goes a long way, and science becomes a religion when you are bullied into "believing " something without being given evidence or the chance to question it
The latest revelations in Hollywood regarding Harvey Weinstein and his sexual harassment escapades are also an example of this type of pattern - the abuse (or the crime) had been going on FOR YEARS, and many people knew about it, but for whatever reason ( and there are many), individuals chose to stay mum, and the same thing happens in corporations regarding
The story of fluoride has some of these elements, and some that are unique TO IT
But essentially the story is the same and the story always goes...
...that someone always knows...
The basic pattern of a major industrial, food, or pharmaceutical scandal includes the following:
- A lot of money is at stake
- People's reputations are at stake, and they can't admit that they bought in so deeply to a lie
- Government regulatory agencies are complicit, either through sheer incompetence, or just plain direct collusion
- The offending industry has a research think tank that masquerades as an independent, unbiased research institute whose findings amazingly support everything the industry advocates and helps them defeat lawsuits and enact legislation protecting their interests; hell, allows them to even change the common and scientific consensuses of the biological necessity of some of their products! For instance promoters or fluoride would like people to consider fluoride to be an "essential nutrient"
- A myth has been injected into the realm of "common knowledge" and is now considered bona fide fact; to question it is to seem insane
- Multiple distractions, distracting from the main theme of the offending chemical's specific crimes. In the case of fluoride, people know nothing if its' extreme reactivity, its uses in industry, its uses in creating the atomic bomb, its environmental destruction and adverse health effects to the people who had to work with it being downplayed by industry.
- The studies that promote the offending substance are "good", while the ones which demonstrate an adverse effect are "bad"; you have no idea how many times I have heard that, and you are expected to just abide by this arbitrary assessment of what is "junk science"
- People's lack of knowledge about the past inhibits them from forming conclusions that would make them immune to industry propaganda;"history" is written by the winners, in more than one arena
Tobacco is our most famous case of industry knowing that its product was dangerous, even as it was purveyed to the innocent masses with ads featuring DOCTORS and movie stars enjoying their puffs and assuring us that it was perfectly safe to do so. It's a fascinating journey to read industry exposes, and how industry's players ( I will refer to any food, pharmaceutical, chemical, basically corporate interest, as "industry") sometimes overlap into different fields, and how they use the same methods to enact their scams (later on in the book The Fluoride Deception , some of whose pages are featured above, the role of Dr. Robert Kehoe will be explored, and how he helped push leaded gasoline as well as fluoridation in water, touting and pushing the "health benefits" of both additives; today it is illegal to have lead in your gasoline).
And today we mostly agree that smoking is bad for your health...
I don't remember when exactly I began questioning fluoride, but I haven't been using fluoridated toothpaste for decades now, and I avoid city tap water like the plague (okay, I'll drink it in a restaurant, because you have no choice there, or in a premed beverage, because those people have no qualms, but tap water is usually uber disgusting without lemon and ice). I just turned forty, and I don't have any cavities, so not bad for decades avoiding fluoride as much as possible ( I also lived in two European countries for three years and drank THEIR WATER which was good tasting and fabulous). I have also never visited a dentist in my entire life.
I was given the book "The Fluoride Deception" by the at-the-time executive head of the environmental organization who once employed me. The author of the book had sent her a copy, and she gave it to me because she saw my interest in the subject matter ( I had given a presentation about it during our "briefing time" that we had everyday before we began calling people for donations to our cause).
I find it ironic that we received this book given that it states that fluoride pollution is a much greater threat than one of the usual named culprits, the rotten egg stink-nugget sulfur dioxide, a chemical we were constantly railing against in our campaigns
There are books that purport to offer an unbiased examination of both sides of the fluoride controversy, but we can already detect the true pro-fluoridation bias in one of these books:
Denmark is one of many European countries that does not fluoridate its water. You might be surprised to learn that the majority of European countries don't do it. Kaj Roholm was from Denmark. He was the leading scientist in his time who studied fluoride's effects on the body, and he unequivocally stated that it was useless and detrimental. You will notice in this book's version of the influence of his work, Kaj Roholm is "recognized for the careful foundation he laid for their specialty" (fluoride toxicologists), a very vague assertion of his influence, but ultimately his "original values have been revised" . Then they go on to mention the admiration had for him by Harold Hodge, the man who tricked the poor woman at the beginning of this article to test her cutting edge neurotoxicology technology on fluoride, thinking it would just be a a modest, unassuming test run, because "we all know" fluoride is an inoffensive substance and just fine for your brain...
The authors explain the lack of difference in tooth decay between fluoridated and non fluoridated countries is the pervasiveness of fluoridated products and what they call "a halo effect" (which by the way, I looked up the expression, and it means a cognitive bias, so, um. YEAH)
You can't prove this. When the old bones of the ancient citizens of Rome were unearthed, ( and this was in a National Geographic article I saw a long time ago), the researchers marveled at how good their teeth were! Straight and intact! Quite the departure from the modern day tooth maladies that plague the majority of us. Was natural fluoride the reason? Or was it their diet, which wasn't processed in the way our food is processed today?
At any rate, even the authors of this book relent and state that forced fluoridation would be unnecessary if people were aggressive in using fluoridated products. They speak as though this should be a mandatory requirement. Why the fuck should I do that if I don't want to?
My god, is there no such thing as free will?
At any rate, these are just two books that go into the history and an analysis of the debate over fluoride. There are many more, and there are so many facets to this exciting saga, I heartily encourage people with a genuine interest in the subject to read both sides and carefully consider their arguments with common sense, and not just take what the CDC or the ADA or any establishment agencies have to say about it, because they are always in cahoots.
So I'm not really gonna end this with a sickeningly neutral "make up your mind", because while you should make up your own mind, I will say that I am of the non-fluoridation camp, and I firmly believe this camp of ideas to be one that is correct and the one that is the most embattled for its truthfulness and its threat to procure the downfall of a myth and an industry.
What I really should say is to keep the following thing in mind: like the rape victim who feels he/she is alone and that no one will believe them, when they do come forward, they usually find that the perpetrator has committed their crimes many times before, and "industry" tends to follow the same pattern.
Suggested further reading:
"The Fluoride Wars: How a Modest Public Health Measure Became America's Longest-Running Political Melodrama" by R Allan Freeze and Jay H Lehr
"The Fluoride Deception" by Christopher Bryson
"The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics That Keep It There" by Paul concert, PhD; James Beck; H S Micklem, DPhil
Go find your own pro fluoridation books
Children's books about "science" are always good
"Fluorine" by Heather Hasan
"Fluorine" by Tom Jackson
These two even mention fluorine's many industrial uses, like how it's used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons
Nara Andrugio loves collecting and eating different flavors of toothpaste and visiting what she calls "Deliverance Country"