Thugs, Thieves and Theocrats

Ed Raymond

Kali stomping on Shiva.

Trump Cabinet Member: “If a Document has a Staple in it, don’t Give it to Trump”    

Among the most fascinating papers in the world would be the transcripts of Donald Trump from the elite universities he attended. What courses did he take? What were his major studies? His speech is free from literary allusions, classical images, historical facts, and intellectual musings. When George W. Bush was president, I never really thought he was dumb, he just never made an effort to learn anything. Donald Trump is a special case as president. He, no doubt, is an uncertified combination of sociopath-psychopath as determined by 27 psychiatrists, psychologists who understand the Manual of Mental Deficiencies. Besides, he is a certified asshole-jerk no one could stand as a neighbor. He has brought hate to many relationships that at one time accepted differences existing among people. He added new hate to political language. He brought the word “thug” to political speech and rally when before it only existed with Mafia bosses around the world.  

“Thug” comes from the killer cult called the Thuggee that was a secret Indian society that were followers of the Goddess Kali known as the Black Mother and the Hindu Triple Goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction. The Thuggee name comes from Sanskrit literature and basically means “deceiver.” The secret society, discovered by British authorities in 1812, murdered as many as 30,000 native Indians and travelers in the 1830s as sacrifices to Kali. The cult had several unusual practices. After strangling their victims, they broke all the joints and limbs so the bodies would decompose quicker after they were buried. The members were trained as children to strangle victims quickly. The strongest rule they had to follow in committing murder: they were prohibited from shedding blood. In today’s cults, AR-15s break lots of bones and shed buckets of blood.  

The Swedish-Based Global Report on Democracy says the U.S. is in Serious Trouble    

After four years of Trump as president, the survey reports the Divided States of America (DSA) is backsliding to fascism when compared to other democracies in the world. We now rank 25th, a slippage from being 14th in 2011. We have slipped down the slope from 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency because of the corruption of Watergate.

In the short span if 56 years Donald Trump encouraged his MAGA cult and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats) to attempt a failed coup and is still preaching the BIG LIE—claiming he won the 2020 election. The Republican Party morphed to the Trumplican Party and passed voter suppression laws, replaced thousands of honest election officials through harassment and replacement, and endorsed the 30,000 lies of their “Orange Genius.”  

Besides the report listing the reasons we are losing our democracy, the United Nations expert on human rights and poverty, Oliver de Schutter, is asking three huge American corporations, Walmart, Amazon, and Door Dash, to respond to allegations reaching the UN. I can’t recall a previous time when a section of the UN investigated the leading economy in the world’s treatment of its workers. The UN wants to know why Amazon, Walmart, and Door Dash are listed among the top 25 employers “with workers relying on the supplemental nutrition program SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid in nine states.” The UN section on human rights and poverty also wants to know how the minimum wage is set in legislation and why there is so much wage theft committed by major corporations, and why inflexible and unpredictable work schedules are used. It is also interested in the number and treatment of undocumented workers, the amount of violence involved in union elections, and the effect of automation on employment.  

De Schutter made this comment about his task: “What these companies do for the most part in not illegal. What they is use loopholes in the system—for example, misclassifying workers as independent contractors (this was Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ favorite ploy!) rather than employees. There are many loopholes in the system that the U.S. government is still responsible for and I’m still expecting an answer from the Department of Labor” He also expressed concern for the 4.1% of workers in the U.S. making $14,850 or less annually classified as working poor.   He is particularly concerned about Walmart, the largest employer in the U.S., because the majority owners are members of the Walton family, the richest family in the world that pays poorly and has a record of aggressive union busting against worker-organizing efforts.  

The Missing $6 Million Gold Toilet is the Perfect Symbol for Greedy Old Plutocrats    

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created a working 18-karat gold toilet years ago weighing 227 pounds as a symbol of the American Dream and American excess. It was installed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and was used by about 100,000 guests before being offered to be installed in the White House. The Trump administration rejected the offer so it was finally given to Blenheim Castle built in Oxfordshire, England (1705-1722) where Winston Churchill was born. Managers of the estate thought the “golden throne” would bring in many paying tourists just to sit on it. Having read most of Churchill’s books, I know Churchill would enjoy it immensely, sitting on it in the morning while having his first cigar and champagne glass of the day.  Cattelan said he had created it as “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent” because whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or two-dollar hotdog, the results are the same toilet-wise.”

The problem is it was stolen two days after it was installed at Blenheim, causing a real water mess in the castle. After four years of investigations, four men who allegedly committed the disgusting crime are finally going to court. The big question is: did they melt it down into gold bars? I imagine those who waited in line for hours at the museum to use the toilet up close and personal, will want to know. So will the person who cleaned it every 15 minutes while it was on display.  

The gold toilet set me off on another Google search. What would experts on the wealthy think? The Berkeley University’s Social Interaction Lab has researched the attitudes of the rich for years. Its conclusion: “Insane wealth is disorienting. The wealthy do start believing that different rules apply to them. When they drive, they are likelier to infringe traffic rules, and in lab tests show themselves generally to be more greedy and more likely to cheat. Rules are for little people.”   

The super-rich sometimes justify breaking the rules of society because they intend to give their fortune to future humanity. They think they live in a higher moral universe than anybody else. As they age, they find more tax havens, buy more superyachts, mansions, private jets—and forget about humanity because they are never really exposed to the poor. They fly in private helicopters from New York City to mansions in the Hamptons—and never look down on leaky school roofs or garbage in the streets by tenements, or the tents of the homeless. From the penthouse or the helicopter, they can’t see the hungry families either. Zip Aviation charges $5,000 one-way for a helicopter ride to the Hamptons.   The United Nation’s hunger expert Michael Fakhri, a professor at the University of Oregon recently reported to the General Assembly that in 2022 44.2 million Americans lived in food-insecure households and 49 million used food assistance from public and private agencies. The right to food was recognized as early as 1948 when the UN approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2021, only two countries in the world refused to sign a draft of a UN committee that asserted food as a human right. The UN was concerned because research indicated 2.4 billion people, almost one-third of the world’s population were “food insecure,” otherwise known as hungry, in 2020. The two countries? The United States of America and Israel. Think Mitch in Memphis and Bibi in Gaza.  

Why are 49 Million Hungry? We Rank 34th out of 37 Countries in Tax Rates       

One of my sons sent me an Instagram screenshot in colorful red, white, blue and yellow of a blue map of the U.S. with the Bible Belt shown in red with a yellow cross with the words “The Bible Belt is also the Divorce Belt, the Teen Pregnancy Belt, the Gay Porn Belt, the Obesity Belt, the Homicide Belt, the Poverty Belt, the Smoker’s Belt, the Infant Death Belt, the Low Life Expectancy Belt, also the Most MAGA Belt in the Nation.” It’s too bad it can’t work as a bumper sticker because it covers the states that the Trumplican Party controls. We would have to pass Biden’s fair taxes on the rich to cure all the ills represented in the statement.  

 I will never understand why the Democratic National Committee and the Biden administration do not talk and compare 24/7 the tax rates of the 37 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. We rank 34th in total tax revenue as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GNP) at 24.3 %. Only three OECD countries rank lower: Ireland at 22.8% Chile at 20%, and Mexico at 15. 4%. The five countries that are always at the top of the “Happiest” country and people survey: Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and The Netherlands, are all members of the OECD and have tax rates between 40% and 45%. The French pay the highest tax rate at 47% and spend the most money on children. French students, as an example, eat a five-course school dinner complete with all dinnerware which takes about an hour. The kids learn how to socialize, eat all kinds of vegetables grown on nearby farms, manners, and have such healthy food very few are obese. A third of American school kids eat junk in ten minutes and gain weight by the second-helpings.  

It's a Great Time to be Rich in New York City    

While we have 50 million living in poverty and half the households in the country living paycheck-to-paycheck, the rich in the big cities like New York and LA can live like kings and queens. Many agencies will supply the rich with servants that will make life a pleasure. Good chefs are available for $150,000 to $350,000, depending upon whether he cooks for you in the mansion and on the superyacht. Expert laundresses are available at $60 an hour. Housekeepers get about $45 an hour. S

ome rich families have so many household employees they hire an estate manager to run the staff at annual salaries of $350,000. If you need rotating nannies and babysitters, they typically make about $120,000 a year. Dogs need to be walked so a private hike will run about $250 a day. Call Shape Up Your Pup. Meantime, finance and tax managers will be paid millions to save the rich billions by utilizing South Dakota, Delaware, and island “fair tax” havens around the world.