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Education: a lesson in racism and class division

The Bullingdon Club

The pandemic has intensified and laid bare the class divisions and racism entrenched within capitalist Britain. For many children from working-class families, the pandemic has meant rising hunger, isolation without any green space and in cramped and poor-quality housing, and thousands could not even access the bare minimum of online learning. Even before the pandemic began, progress on closing the attainment gap between rich and poor students in England had already halted for the first time in over a decade. RUBY MOST reports

Persistent poverty means poor education

This year’s ‘Education in England’ report published on 26 August by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) depicted the devastating effect that racism and class division have on working-class children’s education. The EPI’s analysis of government data found that:

  • ‘Disadvantaged’ secondary school pupils were 18.1 months of learning behind their classmates when they finished their GCSEs, the same gap as five years ago;
  • ‘Disadvantaged’ primary school pupils were 9.3 months behind, an increase in the learning gap for the first time since 2007;
  • ‘Disadvantaged’ early years pupils remained 4.6 months behind;
  • Those in ‘persistent poverty’ (children receiving free school meals (FSM) for over 80% of their schooling) were 22.7 months behind their classmates, double the gap of those with a ‘low persistence of poverty’ (FSM for 20% of schooling);
  • Gypsy/Roma pupils were 34 months behind their White British classmates at GCSE level;
  • Black Caribbean pupils were 10.9 months behind their White British classmates, an increase of 4 months in the last eight years;
  • Progress in closing the attainment gap for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) has been slowing since 2015.

This increasing inequality in education will come as no surprise to the working-class families who have been on the receiving end of the brutal austerity of the past decade. Stagnating wages, increasingly insecure work, rising food prices, slashed funding for public services, derisory benefits and the racist immigration system which restricts migrant families’ access to benefits and housing, have left many struggling to survive. The inability of the capitalist system to provide decent social housing, secure work and social services means increasing numbers of children come to school without even their most basic needs met. No child can learn while these needs go unmet.

Pandemic hits poor children hardest

The pandemic has accelerated this educational inequality. According to research published on 1 September 2020 by the National Foundation for Educational Research, while the average estimate for lost learning during the national lockdown was three months, teachers in the most deprived areas in England were over three times as likely to report their pupils being an additional month or more behind in their learning, compared to teachers in the most affluent areas. 

The report also showed that online learning is still inaccessible to many, with three-fifths of staff reporting that they either supplied their own camera for teaching online, or did not have access to this equipment at all. Even if schools have the right equipment, 28% of pupils had limited access to the necessary technology to access online learning – a problem which was worse in more deprived areas. 

The report also found that Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) and poorer children were more likely to not attend school, as their parents feared for their safety. Working class families in these ‘most deprived areas’ have been completely exposed to the dangers of Covid-19. Some are housed in cramped and unsuitable temporary accommodation by their local councils making isolating from one another impossible. Many will have parents working in public facing roles who are unable to work from home so they have been more likely to become seriously ill and die from the virus. The virus is still being allowed to rip through the population, and hollow reassurances from the government that schools are safe for all children to return is belied by the fact that by 17 September, just three weeks after full reopening, already at least 1,118 schools reported outbreaks to Public Health England. 

The gross inequality between those able to afford the basic necessities for their children and those who are not, those who have a home where their children can study and those who do not, is set to worsen with the wave of unemployment due to be unleashed over the next few months. The only answer is a determined and independent fight back by the working class.

Students stand up

On 4 August, The Scottish National Party (SNP) government awarded grades generated by the Scottish Qualifications Authority algorithm in lieu of exams cancelled this year due to the pandemic. Nearly a quarter of teacher-recommended results were downgraded, which disproportionately affected poorer working-class pupils. Just a week later, after widespread student demonstrations, SNP education secretary John Swinney announced that the algorithm-generated results would be scrapped, and higher teacher assessed grades could be awarded. 

Insistent that the algorithm being used to generate grades in England would not have the same problems, the Department for Education (DfE) stuck to using an algorithm rather than teacher assessed grades, which they accused of leading to unfair inflating of results. Back on 31 March, education secretary Gavin Williamson ordered Ofqual, the exam regulator, to ensure that results followed ‘a similar profile to that in previous years’. Results were to be standardised against the last three years of results for each subject in each school, so pupils who were set to attain higher grades than those at their school had done previously had their results artificially lowered. The same rule did not apply to small classes, meaning students attending private schools were far less likely to have their teacher-recommended grades marked down.

Despite being warned many times by the Education Select Committee and former senior officials that the algorithm would at most be only 75% accurate, and the process of standardisation likely to unfairly disadvantage BAME and poorer students, Williamson insisted to the Sunday Times on 15 August that there would be ‘No U-turn, no change’. 

On 16 August, hundreds of A level students marched to the office of the DfE and Downing Street to demand Williamson’s resignation, chanting ‘justice for the working class!’ and ‘fuck the system/algorithm!’ after Ofqual’s algorithm downgraded 39.1% of teacher predicted grades by at least a whole grade. Elite private schools benefitted the most from the results and increased the proportion of students achieving A-A* grades by double that of those from state schools. 

After the protests outside the DfE as well as local demonstrations up and down the country, Williamson announced the U-turn on Monday 17 August, pretending he had only just become aware of the problems ‘over the Saturday and Sunday’. Trying to worm his way out of taking any responsibility for the debacle, and cling on to his cabinet position, Williamson blamed Ofqual for the unfair grades, and took credit for the U-turn for which Ofqual was responsible. Ofqual’s chief executive later stepped down. 

Racist police out of our schools!

The recent wave of anti-racist resistance in Britain has once again brought to light the racism of the British state – in particular the racist police force and the disproportionate criminalisation, harassment and imprisonment of BAME people. A report by Runnymede, a race equality charity, published this June exposed an ‘increasing police presence in schools’ leading to black and Asian children being stopped and searched within their own schools, as well as harassed by police in the streets. Under the guise of tackling ‘knife crime’ and preventing so-called extremism, police presence in secondary schools is criminalising BAME and working-class children for minor disciplinary issues. 

The growing attainment gap between Gypsy/Roma, Black Caribbean pupils and their white classmates is a direct result of the racism and discrimination built into the British schooling system. Black Caribbean and Gypsy/Roma children, along with the poorest students, are more likely than their peers to be both temporarily and permanently excluded from school. Zero-tolerance behaviour policies championed by the Tory government also target black children, for such minor rule breaking as kissing their teeth or wearing their hair in braids. 

The inequality in capitalist Britain’s education system is born of its racist and divided class society. An urgent movement for access to a decent education for all must also fight against poverty, racism, poor housing, and for a socialist system which can meet the needs of the people.


Food poverty

Many families have been pushed into food poverty by the pandemic, affecting children’s mental and physical health. Comparing April 2020 with April 2019, The Trussell Trust reported an 89% increase in their distributed food parcels, and an 175% increase by the Independent Food Aid Network. Food banks reported that many families who previously donated to food banks are now themselves coming for assistance. Many families have been forced to change their diets due to financial hardship, changes which will damage their health. Data from July 2020 from the National Food Strategy Review showed more children eating junk food and snacks and fewer fruit and vegetables during lockdown, with a larger effect amongst poorer children. A Northumbria University study showed that before lockdown 25% of children missed at least one meal a day and after schools closed, 35% of children missed one meal and 10% missed more than one a day. More young people and people with physical or mental health conditions are using food banks. The charity Food Foundation found that food insecurity in households with children has nearly doubled since the start of the pandemic.

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Schools Are Preparing for a Mental Health Crisis Amid COVID

A masked girl in a shirt that reads "justice" looks onward
A child takes part in a community event for disadvantaged children ahead of the beginning of the school year on August 30, 2020, in Stamford, Connecticut.

BY: Caroline Preston

The Hechinger Report

The calls started at 6 a.m., and Patrick McCauley was ready, having retreated to the privacy of his garage where he sat waiting for Angelenos to share how they’re coping with the stresses of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the last 14 years, McCauley has worked as a mental health counselor and consultant in the Los Angeles Unified School District. In April, he began staffing a new hotline the district created to reach students, parents and teachers in need of mental health supports and other services as the virus forced people into isolation and cost jobs and lives.

One day he heard from a fifth grader who was terrified that her parents would catch the illness. Another day, a mother wanted advice on her once mild-mannered daughter, who had started throwing tantrums and yelling profanities after the quarantine began. Teachers wanted to know how to respond to students who appeared distraught during Zoom lessons, or what to do about the kids who didn’t log on at all.

McCauley, who has a soothing voice and a surfer’s unruffled mien, listened carefully and reassured the callers that they were experiencing understandable reactions to highly abnormal circumstances. Their testimony amounted to a warning, though, of what schools may face when they restart this fall: kids with a history of mental health problems whose symptoms have worsened, students who maybe experiencing anxiety or anger for the first time, children in households that have become financially precarious and those who are experiencing loss. More and more, schools are recognizing that academic learning may at times have to take a back seat to alleviating those challenges.

“Before we push anything at students academically, let’s ask how they’re doing, with no unrealistic expectations that we can somehow solve all their problems or magically fix everything and make all this go away, but just a lot of acknowledgement, a lot of listening to kids and trying to get them the support they need,” McCauley said.

Around the country, school leaders are trying to anticipate how these mental health burdens will shape what unfolds in classrooms and via screens during a school year in which the trauma is likely to worsen. Some school districts, such as Los Angeles Unified and Baltimore City, are running hotlines to provide guidance and connect families to services. Other schools are offering grief training to teachers, counseling them on how to recognize signs of distress, and encouraging them to attend to their own emotional wellbeing. Still others are setting up virtual “wellness rooms,” inviting community mental health agencies into schools and unveiling new or expanded “social-emotional curricula” to help students process their feelings.

“What’s happening right now is that all children, regardless of their backgrounds, are experiencing a potential stressor,” said Marisha Humphries, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a licensed clinical psychologist. “Schools appear to be very focused on academics and how do we combat summer slide, but I think the first priority has to be how are we going to support children’s social and emotional development. You cannot do effective instruction if children’s social and emotional needs aren’t met. It’s very hard to focus on algebra if you’re anxious or depressed.”

Research on the emotional toll of the pandemic on kids is relatively scant, given how new the crisis is. But what does exist is worrisome: A study of more than 2,300 kids who endured home confinement during the pandemic in Hubei province, China, found that nearly 23 percent reported symptoms of depression, and nearly 19 percent reported experiencing anxiety. In a review of past studies on loneliness and disease, researchers noted that, even early in the shutdown, more than a third of adolescents reported increased loneliness during the pandemic. Given the “well-established links between loneliness and mental health,” the researchers wrote, children and teens were more likely to experience depression and anxiety, even after quarantine concludes.

Already, in the U.S., up to 1 in 5 children experience a mental health challenge such as anxiety, depression or a behavioral problem in a given year. And yet many children don’t get the help they need. Even before the pandemic, many schools were overwhelmed with helping to fill gaps in health services and helping kids develop emotional coping skills. Now their efforts may be further complicated by the education system’s looming financial crisis, which is expected to bring layoffs for teachers, counselors and other school staff who work closely with students and can provide emotional support. The virus’ resurgence has also made efforts to support students more difficult by prolonging their isolation and ending hopes for an immediate return to face-to-face instruction and counseling in much of the country.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District, where 42 percent of children live below the poverty line, has tried for more than a decade to prioritize its students’ social-emotional needs. Administrators hope that before the district reopens in early September for remote-only learning, teachers and principals will have an opportunity to participate in “restorative learning circles” where they can debrief on how the pandemic has affected them. Then, when virtual learning begins, teachers would model those circles for their students, encouraging them to share their experiences since schools closed in March.

At the top of each school day, teachers would also do a “temperature check” of students, asking them how they’re doing, while mindfulness exercises would be sprinkled throughout the day, said William Stencil, who leads the district’s social-emotional work.

In recent decades, lessons like these have become popular in schools nationwide, amid a growing body of evidence suggesting that children’s capacity to regulate their emotions affects their ability to learn. But the lessons can be a burden for teachers, who have to squeeze them in between the avalanche of academic content they must cover. The pandemic, though, has left adults with little choice about prioritizing these needs.

“We’re going to have to offer an astounding amount of support,” said James Wagner, a fifth-grade teacher at Cleveland’s Benjamin Franklin PK-8 school. “We’re going to have to embed social-emotional learning within every single subject we teach, every minute that we’re with the students.” Wagner, who has taught in the district for 33 years, said he worries about many of his students, few of whom showed up for Zoom lessons in the spring.

It’s not just the virus that is leaving students feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Next door, in the East Cleveland school district, Jerome West said he wants to make space this year for conversations around racial injustice, which some psychologists refer to as “the second pandemic.” This spring, when George Floyd was killed by a Minneapolis police officer, “kids were upset, they were angry, they were enraged, they thought how is this still happening, this is 2020,” said West, executive director of the East Cleveland Neighborhood Center. The nonprofit center provides social-emotional support to the school district, where 99 percent of students are Black.

When schools shut, the group held “wellness calls” with parents, and ran virtual programs for small groups of students, including a You Matter Academy designed to help kids cope with stress. Kids reported feeling lonely, frustrated and concerned that teachers were piling on worksheets and other assignments to compensate for the lack of in-person classes. Parents reported feeling anxious about taking on the role of teacher, but they also appreciated having more time with their kids, West said.

The Philadelphia school district, which will open remotely on September 2, plans to train principals, teachers and other staff on trauma and coping with stress, with a particular focus on racial injustice and social isolation. While the district has done social-emotional work in a piecemeal way in the past, all schools will now ask students to spend 30 minutes greeting each other and talking through their feelings each day, said Abigail Gray, deputy chief of school climate and culture. The district also intends to contract with additional counselors and social workers from local mental health agencies to work directly with students who need additional support.

At some KIPP charter schools in New Jersey, teachers will receive training in suicide prevention, grief counseling and how to spot signs of distress in an online environment. This fall, teachers will also trade “calming corners” in classrooms for an online wellness space where kids can listen to music, fill online coloring books or practice yoga on the school’s virtual learning platform. If students seem upset, a teacher might ping them through the virtual learning platform and encourage them to visit the web tool, said Sheyla Riaz, director of social work for KIPP New Jersey.

As crises go, the pandemic is unusual in that it combines a public health emergency and an economic downturn while isolating kids from school, friends, activities and other support. Each of these emergencies has the potential to create adverse child experiences, known as ACES, that can have long-term consequences on children’s health and wellbeing. Archana Basu, a clinical psychologist and instructor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and a researcher at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, noted that studies after the 2008 recession showed increases in partner violence and child maltreatment, which are among the experiences that can make a child more vulnerable to later health problems.

Basu also expects to see an increase in social anxiety and in students refusing to attend school. And Michael Lindsey, who directs New York University’s McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research, noted that following the death of Floyd, anxiety and depression among Black Americans shot up. Violence, overpolicing and hate “all play a role in the psyche and mental health of Black youth that may make them reflect on whether their lives really matter, it might make them feel hopeless about their futures and if things might change,” he said. “Teachers are going to have to be very understanding and considerate of the frustrations that kids have experienced.”

“It is important to emphasize that this is not just remote or homeschooling,” Basu wrote in an email. “This is really very different. It is crisis schooling.”

This doesn’t mean that every kid will experience trauma from the events of this year; most won’t. Sadness and anxiety are perfectly natural responses to the pandemic and typically don’t become clinical concerns, said Karestan Koenen, a professor of psychiatric epidemiology at the Harvard school of public health. On the whole, kids tend to be more resilient than adults, she said.

“What’s hard in a lot of these situations, after any disaster, is that a lot of people have symptoms of anxiety, depression, even PTSD,” said Koenen. “Some of that is going to be normal reactions to difficult circumstances, and in many people and kids they will resolve over time … But in some people they won’t, and we can’t always predict well where the problem is.” That reinforces the need for universal interventions such as the social-emotional work that some school districts are trying, experts say.

But efforts to intervene and help kids can be expensive. Social-emotional lessons sometimes require curricula schools must purchase and professional development for teachers. Counseling and other one-on-one supports for kids who need greater attention is costly and counselors are already stretched thin: Nationally, counselors serve an average of more than 430 students. Many schools lack social workers, psychologists and other mental-health staff. It’s unclear whether schools will have the money to help kids who need it at a time when falling tax revenues will soon force deep cuts in U.S. public education.

Historically, districts have been relatively quick to shed school counseling jobs. The Philadelphia school system, for example, eliminated hundreds of school counselors and nurses during a 2013 budget crisis. But Jayme Banks, director of trauma-informed school practices, said the district recognized the toll that spreading counseling staff thin had on students, and would prioritize mental health through this crisis. “Lessons were learned,” she said.

In Tennessee, the governor had pledged in February to put $250 million in a trust fund for mental health in schools. But in June, amid predictions of a $1 billion shortfall, that money was cut from a revised budget. Teachers, counselors and parents say they worry how schools will grapple with the increased needs this fall, in a state where youth suicide rates have been steadily climbing.

“It’s the opposite of robust,” said Rachel Bauer, a parent in Memphis, of the support available at the PK-8 school her daughter, Noel, attends. “It’s minimal, basic.”

Four years ago, after her son died of misdiagnosed strep throat, Bauer sought school counseling for Noel, who is now 11. For a while Noel benefited from seeing the counselor once a month, but “there are just too many students who need her as well,” said Bauer. When the year ended, they turned to private counseling, an option unavailable to many families.

Bauer worries that the pandemic will exacerbate feelings of grief and anxiety in kids like Noel who’ve experienced past trauma. This spring, said Bauer, “I saw her spirits dim.”

Still, there are a few places that have made investments in counseling and support. In June, the Dallas Independent School District announced that it would hire 53 new clinicians and reorganize its work helping children with emotional and behavioral needs under a new Mental Health Services Department.

That expansion was prompted by the fact that students were waiting an average of three months to see a clinician, said Leslie Stephens, assistant superintendent of school leadership. “Three months is a long time to say, ‘Deal with it the best you can,’ ” she said.

For now, Dallas schools are planning to open in early September under a hybrid model, with a mix of virtual and in-person classes. Paula Agulefo, a clinician who has worked in the district for 10 years, said she was able to stay in touch with students this spring via video calls.

She spoke with kids who couldn’t sleep, kids who’d started wetting the bed again, and children who’d been chatterboxes but had gone quiet. It was harder to connect with kids virtually but not impossible, she said.

“If they’re watching a Disney movie, I’m watching the Disney movie too. If they’re playing a hand game, they’re telling me about it. I know more about Fortnite than I have ever known,” she said. “Children are very good at allowing you into their world when they trust you.”

Agulefo said she’s optimistic teachers and administrators will find a way to meet kids’ emotional and academic needs when schools reopen. “There’s no blueprint or examples of how this can be done, but we know it has to be done,” she said. “We have to get it done because kids, they have to learn.”

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Six teacher deaths at start of fall semester heighten public health concerns

Photo of Six teacher deaths at start of fall semester heighten public health concerns

Stephanie Kenefic

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Originally posted on RedsInEd.org

As schools across the country begin to reopen this fall, news of teacher deaths due to COVID-19 has heightened concerns for students and school staff safety. Teachers and school staff are faced this year with serious health risks and minimal resources to protect themselves from contracting the virus.

In July, Kim Byrd who was teaching distance learning from the classroom in rural Arizona died of COVID-19. She was sharing a room with two other teachers who also contracted the virus. They had taken many precautions to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

The same month in rural Leon County Florida, Jordyn Byrd, a Black college student working as a custodian to pay his way through college, died of COVID-19.  The school had not reopened to students; administrators were working on sites over the summer. The principal of the school, who is white, also contracted COVID-19 but recovered. In August Jordyn’s mother Jacqueline Byrd, who formerly worked for the same school, also died of COVID-19. 

Karen Bradwell, the mother of Jordyn’s girlfriend, died of the virus as well. Bradwell was an after school program coordinator. The Byrd family tragedy highlights the disparity in COVID-19 deaths in the United States, where novel coronavirus fatalities of Black people is three times that of whites. 

This fall, COVID-19’s toll on educators has continued. Since early August, six teachers in at least five different states have died after contracting COVID-19; the majority of these deaths claimed the lives of teachers under the age of 50 in states such as Oklahoma, South Carolina, Missouri, Mississippi and Iowa. 

Communities lose beloved teachers 

Demetria “Demi” Bannister, a 28-year-old third-grade teacher in South Carolina, had spent no more than two weeks in her classroom before she had been diagnosed with the virus. Bannister was diagnosed with COVID-19 on a Friday and died three days later, according to a school district spokesperson. 

In spite of Bannister’s alarming death in August, school districts continued to ignite public health concerns and reopen across the nation. 34-year-old AshLee DeMarinis, a special education teacher in Missouri, died on September 6 due to complications from the virus. DeMarinis, who had asthma, spent three weeks in the hospital on a ventilator before ultimately losing her battle with the virus. Thomas Slade, a high school teacher in Vancleave, Miss. also died on September 6 from complications due to COVID-19. 

In Mississippi, a 42-year-old teacher and assistant football coach, Nacoma James, died in early August after continuing to coach football throughout the summer. At the time of James’ death, Mississippi had the highest number of COVID-19 cases, yet Governor Tate Reeves opted to reopen schools against the advice of top medical experts. Reeves’s decision to reopen schools, decried by the Mississippi Association of Educators as “reckless and irresponsible,” places education workers in an impossible position that will undoubtedly claim more lives as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country. 

On August 30, 62-year-old Theresa Horn, a special education teacher at Tahlequah Public Schools in Oklahoma, died after contracting COVID-19. Tahlequah Public Schools responded by announcing two days of virtual learning, followed by a return to in-person instruction shortly thereafter. Since Horn’s death, Tahlequah Public Schools has announced near-daily reports of new COVID-19 diagnoses and community exposure among students and teachers. 

In Iowa, a longtime special education teacher died after contracting COVID-19 in early September. The teacher, whose name was not released to the media, represents the first known COVID-related death of an Iowan educator. In Iowa, school districts must follow a statewide mandate to conduct 50 percent of classes in person. 

All six of these teachers have been memorialized in outpourings of support and grief from students and educational workers alike. The loss of a teacher in any community constitutes a traumatizing experience; the death of a beloved teacher forced to work in unsafe conditions compounds the tragedy. 

Political motivations unmasked

While school reopening is often framed in terms of “student needs,” it is clear that student needs regarding safe and consistent education continue to be unmet and ignored. There is no doubt that for most students in-person education is much more preferable to remote learning, which exacerbates systemic inequities with regard to technology access and housing crises. However, the deaths of these six teachers–and the haunting reality that the death toll will not stop at six–represent a public health emergency which must be immediately addressed by state and federal governments.

Reopening schools is by and large not a response to the needs of young people in the United States. The historic neglect of public schools is evidence enough that education is not the motivator for this political decision. Public schools in U.S. working-class communities are criminally under-resourced, often lacking basic necessities such as soap in student bathrooms or clean drinking water. Teachers and staff who work in these institutions are underpaid and overburdened, serving far more students than their suburban counterparts. These conditions were disturbing well before the COVID-19 pandemic emerged, and reopening schools in communities ravaged by the virus creates a scenario in which community spread is inevitable.

The true motivation for reopening schools is an attempt to force working-class people back into the workplace. It is an attempt to ameliorate the disastrous failure of the U.S. government to adequately address the crisis through public health and economic relief measures. The United States government, which has eroded social safety nets throughout the previous four decades, is unwilling and structurally unable to provide for families in need throughout the duration of the pandemic. 

Unions fight back

Strong unions are the last line of defense for education workers. It is important to note that four of the five states where teachers have died from COVID-19 in 2020 are so-called “right to work” states which restrict the ability of workers to form unions and engage in collective bargaining. Unions with political power, on the other hand, are better able to advocate for educational workers’ and students’ needs.

In Syracuse, NY, teachers successfully lobbied for a delayed reopening; Syracuse City Schools are now conducting remote learning until a review of the situation in October. Until the Syracuse Teachers Association began to organize in response to teacher and student health, SCSD planned to reopen in September along with other suburban districts in the region.

“Remote education is not perfect, but it is a reasonable choice to help bridge the gap in districts where educators and parents are not yet confident that reopening buildings is safe to do,” remarked NYS United Teachers President Andy Pallotta. 

State and federal governments in the United States have demonstrated a consistent, criminal negligence towards public schools. In light of this situation, unions are a crucial tool for the working class to protect the health and safety of children, families and the community.

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Review: American Pimp

TREVOR LYNCH • 

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American Pimp is a 1999 documentary directed by the Hughes Brothers, the half-black, half-Armenian twins who also directed Menace II Society and Dead PresidentsAmerican Pimp fallen into obscurity and is now hard to find. But it deserves to be better-known, especially among race-realists. American Pimp is just under 90 minutes. It consists primarily of interviews with black pimps and their prostitutes.

The film opens with clips of white people sharing their views about pimps, which are universally negative: disgusting, immoral, exploiters of women, parasites, gaudy, tasteless, extravagant, etc. It is hard to know if we are supposed to think these are all negative “stereotypes” for which white people should be ashamed. As the movie unfolds, however, we see that these descriptions are all true—and then some.

American Pimp also intercuts clips from so-called Blaxploitation films such as The Mack and Willie Dynamite. Again, it is hard to tell if we are supposed to think that these films are sinister parodies and exaggerations of the truth about pimps. But the documentary goes on to demonstrate that the truth about pimps is far more clownish and sinister than the movie portrayals. Beyond that, the very term “Blaxploitation” strikes me as faux-victimhood whining, since these films generally glamorize and glorify ghetto black behavior for the entertainment of ghetto black consumers.

Judging from the film, the typical African-American pimp is ugly, dark-black, unspeakably foul-mouthed, utterly cynical and materialistic, and has hideous, gaudy tastes in clothes, cars, and jewelry. Gold teeth are optional.

Only a couple of the pimps interviewed speak anything close to standard English. The rest are mush-mouthed bix-nooders whose every third word is “bitch” or some version of “motherfucker.” Usually, they end their sentences with “Ya know whum sayin,’” to which my truthful answer is “no.” It seems odd that this spark of self-knowledge doesn’t seem to lead to self-improvement in their communication skills. Sadly, there are no subtitles for the ebonically challenged, although the French and Spanish subtitles might come in handy.

If, however, one looks beyond the ghetto patois and clown-costumes, the truth is that most of these pimps aren’t stupid in the low-IQ sense. It takes some brains to run any kind of business, and some of the things they say are actually witty. Thus they probably have IQs above the African-American average of 85. This is useful, because if low-IQ is taken out of the equation, it highlights other racial differences, particularly moral ones.

Pimps aren’t necessarily stupid, but all of them are “moral imbeciles.” They manifest the Dark Triad of narcissism, sociopathy, and Machiavellianism.

The gaudy and extravagant peacocking of pimps is obviously narcissistic. The constant parade of expensive clown costumes and tasteless pimpmobiles is one of the most entertaining aspects of American Pimp.

The exploitation of women is obviously sociopathic. One of the funniest sequences of the film is where pimps explain the cut that whores get from their work. They are unanimous: “zero percent.” One of them asks, “How can I give you 100% of my pimpin’ unless you give me 100% of yo’ money?”

Pimps also take pride in their use of manipulation to control whores. Primarily they use false promises and emotional manipulation. But they aren’t above beating them. One pimp, who is now a Christian minister, claims that if you don’t beat a whore, she’ll start thinking that you don’t care about her. Although I didn’t manage to catch it on my recent viewing, I recall one pimp says that he “didn’t steal nothin’ except bitches’ minds.” (Clearly my ear for ebonics has gotten rusty.)

American Pimp doesn’t offer much insight into the psychology of the sad hookers who allow themselves to be exploited. By the looks of them, they are mostly below-average in the looks and IQ departments, although the vacant faces could be products of drug use. A large percentage of these women are white. Most of them want to have—or think they have—relationships with their pimps, which bespeaks a huge capacity for self-deception. Many hookers end up dead due to drug overdoses. Others are murdered. Still others end up in mental hospitals. One white hooker ended up married to her pimp. Although most of these women lack much potential, a decent society would protect them from such predators.

The most articulate pimp in the movie styles himself Gorgeous Dre. His real name is Andrè Taylor. He is clearly smarter than the average pimp. He’s also better looking and better dressed. Dre has a great patter about character, manliness, and integrity. One can almost forget he is a ruthless bottom-feeding sociopath. Later in the film we revisit him in jail. He has been arrested for pimping and sleeping with a sixteen-year-old.

I was rather hoping Dre would be sentenced to life, and maybe shanked in the joint. But it turns out that he did less than a year. He has put his first-class bullshitting skills to good use. He is now a “life coach” and a “community organizer” in Seattle, working to make it easier for black people to commit crimes.

Near the end of the movie, we meet a white pimp, Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlight Bunny Ranch and other legal Nevada brothels. Hof is clearly a major pervert, but he seems free of the black pimps’ Dark Triad traits. He is a businessman, not a parasite. The women who work for him do so for salaries. They are not manipulated and bullied into giving all their money to him. It is far more humane than the black system, but should a decent society allow even this sort of prostitution?

It is tempting for white people to view black pimps as pathological. But I think black pimps are authentic expressions of blackness. As outlaws, pimps reject white norms entirely. They can do what comes natural to them. Polygamy, the exploitation of women, and peacocking are all quite common in pre- and post-colonial Africa. So it makes sense that they would emerge spontaneously in black diaspora societies among subcultures that reject white norms.

I highly recommend American Pimp as an entertaining tour of the heart of darkness in America today. It definitely deserves a Blu-ray edition with improved picture and sound, as well as English subtitles.

Posted in Education, Literature, PoliticsComments Off on Review: American Pimp

The Hoax of the Twentieth Century

The Case Against the Presumed Extermination of European Jewry

ARTHUR R. BUTZ •

 TABLE OF CONTENTSLIST OF TABLES

Preface to the 2015 Edition

Acknowledgments

Preface to the 1976 Edition

A Short Introduction to the Study of Holocaust Revisionism

Chapter 1 • Trials, Jews and Nazis

Chapter 2 • The Camps

Chapter 3 • Washington and New York

Chapter 4 • Auschwitz

Chapter 5 • The Hungarian Jews

Chapter 6 • Et Cetera

Chapter 7 • The Final Solution

Chapter 8 • Remarks

Appendices

Supplements

Illustrations

References

Meet Eli Rosenbaum, the Justice Department’s Nazi HunterAmerican taxpayers still paying for World War 2

PHILIP GIRALDI

The Battle for Auschwitz – IIISRAEL SHAMIR

The Battle for Auschwitz

ISRAEL SHAMIR

“The Hoax of the Twentieth Century”

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, EducationComments Off on The Hoax of the Twentieth Century

Yes, Muslims are allowed to befriend Christians and Jews!


By Mahmoud El-Yousseph

Muslim critics and haters never cease to amaze me! Quite often, they say the most bizarre things about Islam and Muslims on radio talk shows and hate groups websites. Here are some examples:
“Allah is not God,” “Muslims are not Americans,” “Muslims hate dogs,” “Muslims are against gays and lesbians,” and my favorite is, “Muslims are not allowed to befriend Christians and Jews.” They cite this verse below from the Qur’an to make their point.
[5:52] “O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for guardians. They are protectors of one another. And whoever among you takes them for guardians is indeed one of them. Verily, Allah guides not the unjust people.”
Since the Qur’an was revealed in Arabic, which is my native tongue, let me first explain that the term wali (Arabic ولي , plural Awliyā أولياء) means guardian or protector and not a FRIEND. The word Awliya in its different forms appears in the Qur’an over 200 times whereas the word friend (Sadiq or Sahib) is mentioned 17 times and in several chapters in the Qur’an. With his wisdom, God Almighty did not use the term friend in that verse as opposed to guardian because the two terms are NOT interchangeable. Plus, God is perfect and He makes no mistakes.
One might ask why the Qur’an mentioned not to take Christians and Jews as guardians and protectors? The answer is simple. Since Christians and Jews are different in their beliefs from Muslims, one’s allegiance should be to the Muslims. There is NO restriction on having friends who are Christian or Jews and that is not what the verse in the Qur’an implied or meant.

For example, US law states’ access to classified information may only be granted to employees who are United States citizens. Also, people who are seeking top secret level clearance can be denied clearance if the spouse or cohabitant is a foreign national. That does not mean foreign nationals are bad or not trustworthy. No! It means America is best protected by its own people. Australia, Great Britain, Switzerland, and China for example do not allow non-citizens to join their military. See, no one dares to mock or attack any of those countries. So, it’s not only the Qur’an that takes  safety and security matters very seriously.
If you are still not convinced, the Qur’an further explains who else Muslims should not take as guardians. The Quranic verse [5:23], God forbids Muslims from taking their fathers, sons, wives, or any member of their tribe as “protectors” if they are not Muslims.
Finally, the Qur’an commands Muslims, ”God does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being ‘RIGHTEOUS’ toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, God loves those who act justly [60:8].”
Muslim critics do not want you to know that Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) married a Christian woman named Maria and a Jewish woman name Saffiyya. So, if Islam would allow the Prophet (PBUH) to marry a Christian and a Jew, then does it make sense that Muslims are not to be friends with Christians, Jews, or anybody they wish to be with? Whenever you are in doubt about anything about Islam, take it from the horse’s mouth as the saying goes- pick up a book about Islam, ask your Muslim classmate, coworker, or neighbor. No question is a dumb question but to argue that Muslims are not allowed to befriend Christians and Jews is utterly insane.

Posted in Palestine Affairs, ZIO-NAZI, Education, Human RightsComments Off on Yes, Muslims are allowed to befriend Christians and Jews!

Invisible Rainbow: 5G Electromagnetic Radiation and the Evolution of Life on Planet Earth

By Robert J. Burrowes

In his recently revised and updated book The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life, scientist Arthur Firstenberg has made both science and history comprehensible by explaining the importance and significance to life on Earth of a vital consideration that has long been ‘invisible’: electricity.

Indeed, as Firstenberg makes clear, if we want to understand life on Earth, we cannot do so without understanding the role that electricity plays in making life possible, healing it and, if abused, threatening us all.

Firstenberg’s book is unusual on at least two counts. Based on decades of scientific research, he carefully explains each point in language accessible to the non-scientist while documenting his case with exceptional clarity and detail complemented by a 138-page bibliography.

If you want to really understand this issue, and what is at stake, you will be doing yourself a favor by reading this book.

The Universe, Electricity and Life: In Brief

As Firstenberg’s subtitle promises, his book includes a history of electricity and its role in the Universe but particularly on Earth.

Almost all of the matter in the universe is electrically charged…. The stars we see are made of… charged particles in constant motion. The space between the stars and galaxies, far from being empty, teems with electrically charged subatomic particles, swimming in vast swirling electromagnetic fields, accelerated by those fields to near-light speeds. Plasma is such a good conductor of electricity, far better than any metals,  that filaments of plasma – invisible wires billions of light-years long – transport electromagnetic energy in gigantic circuits from one part of the universe to another…. Under the influence of electromagnetic forces, over billions of years, cosmic whirlpools of matter collect along these filaments, like beads on a string, evolving into the galaxies that decorate our night sky.

The Milky Way, the galaxy in which Earth is located, is a medium-sized spiral galaxy that is 100,000 light-years across; it rotates around its center every 250,000,000 earth years, generating around itself a galactic-size magnetic field. Filaments of plasma, 500 light-years long, generate additional magnetic fields.

Our sun, also made of plasma, sends out an ocean of electrons, protons and helium ions in a steady current called the solar wind. This wind bathes the Earth before diffusing out into the plasma between the stars.

The Earth, with its core of iron, rotates on its axis in the electric fields of the solar system and the galaxy, in turn generating its own magnetic field that traps and deflects the charged particles of the solar wind wrapping the Earth in an envelope of plasma called the magnetosphere. Some of the particles from the solar wind collect in layers we call the Van Allen belts where they circulate 600 to 35,000 miles overhead.

The sun also bombards the Earth with ultraviolet light and X-rays. In addition, atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (known as cosmic rays) shower the Earth from all directions as well. It is these cosmic rays from Space and the radiation emitted by uranium and other radioactive elements in Earth’s crust that provide the small ions that carry the electric currents that surround us in the lower atmosphere.

It is within this electromagnetic environment – a fairly constant vertical field averaging 130 volts per meter – that all life, including Homo Sapiens, evolved on Earth.

In fair weather, the ground beneath us has a negative charge and the ionosphere above us a positive charge. ‘Electricity courses through the sky far above us, explodes downward in thunderstorms, rushes through the ground beneath us, and flows gently back up through the air in fair weather.’ This happens in an endless cycle as about 100 bolts of lightning, each delivering a trillion watts of energy, strike the Earth every second.

Every living thing is part of this circuit. The current enters our heads from the sky, circulates through our meridians, and enters the earth through the soles of our feet. This current provides the energy for growth, healing, and life itself. See ‘Putting the Earth Inside a High-Speed Computer’.

The strength of the atmospheric electrical current is between 1 and 10 picoamperes (trillionths of an ampere) per square meter. Dr. Robert Becker found that 1 picoampere is all the current that is necessary to stimulate healing in frogs…. It is these tiny currents that keep us alive and healthy. See ‘Planetary Emergency’.

The fundamental point about all this is simple: The Earth is incredibly delicately balanced with a great many forces making up this balance and thus making life possible.

One of the many ways in which we have been disrupting this balance is by disturbing the global electrical circuit, that evolved over eons and sustains all life, without paying genuine and sincere attention to what we are doing and what this means for the Earth and all of its inhabitants, including us.

Given the profound implications of generating ‘electric pollution’, some might label this behaviour insane. It is certainly unaware.

Human-Generated Electricity on Earth

It was in 1746 that scientists were finally able to ‘capture’ electricity so that a start could be made on using it directly for human ends. Sure, the wider implications of its use were not considered but it offered opportunities not previously available. And when the damage from its use, on humans and other living organisms, started and then rapidly picked up pace, the association between the spread of electricity (particularly through the telegraph wires in the mid-nineteenth century and electric lighting a few decades later) and the adverse health and environmental impacts were not made, or ignored when they were. And so diseases not previously recorded in the medical literature started to appear: anxiety disorder, influenza, diabetes, heart disease and cancer.

But it wasn’t just us that was impacted; so were the other living organisms of our planet.

And now we are bathed in the 60-cycle current in our house-wiring; the ultrasonic frequencies in our computers, Wi-Fi routers and modems; the radio waves in our televisions; the microwaves in our cell phones and the electromagnetic radiation generated by everything from baby monitors to ‘smart’ devices of all kinds, as well as the vast network of satellites, transmission towers and power lines all endlessly but variably impacting, adversely, virtually every human being on Earth. And if 5G is deployed, there will be nowhere on Earth that is safe for humans, insects, birds, animals and plants.

We will have fundamentally altered the very conditions that made the evolution of life on Earth possible.

An exaggeration?

Here is the briefest sample of the damage existing human-generated electromagnetic radiation is causing life on Earth.

Forests

Apart from being logged mercilessly, burned down to create cattle or soy farms or palm oil plantations, destroyed by the endless proliferation of mining for various mineral resources including coal and oil, damaged by dam construction, wildlife poaching and the extraction of resources like rayon, viscose and modal to make clothing, and adversely impacted in many other ways, forests are being destroyed by electromagnetic radiation inflicted by humans. While acid rain and global warming have been blamed for much of the ‘forest die-off’ that has occurred over the past 40 years, the evidence that electromagnetic radiation has been the real, or at least primary, cause is rather overwhelming once the full circumstances of the damage are seriously investigated. While Firstenberg cites many very compelling examples, the case of the Amazon rainforest makes the point rather starkly.

In 2005, it was noticed that trees were dying without obvious cause. This has been blamed on global warming which caused an unusual drought in that year.

However, on 27 July 2002, the US-financed and Raytheon-built System for Vigilance of the Amazon (SIVAM), a $US1.4 billion system of radars and sensors, began its monitoring activities in a two million square mile area of remote wilderness.

Ostensibly to deprive drug traffickers and guerrillas a safe haven, it also ‘required pretending that blasting the rainforest with radiation at levels that were unprecedented in the history of the world was of no consequence to the forest’s precious inhabitants, human or otherwise’. So the system’s ‘25 enormously powerful surveillance radars, 10 Doppler weather radars, 200 floating water-monitoring stations, 900 radio-equipped “listening posts”, 32 radio stations, 8 airborne state-of-the-art surveillance jets equipped with fog-penetrating radar, and 99 “attack/trainer” support aircraft’ can track individual human beings and ‘hear a twig snap’ anywhere in the Amazon.

Again, at the cost of electromagnetically damaging every living organism in the rainforest.

To reiterate though, the Amazon is not the only forest in the world adversely impacted by electromagnetic radiation with many studies examining the issue, wherever they are conducted, consistently revealing forest damage by electromagnetic radiation from civilian and military installations (and even recovery when, as happens occasionally, the local radiation stops).

Insects

In 1901, Marconi sent the world’s first long-distance radio transmission from the Isle of Wight, off the southern coast of England. By 1906 and now host to the greatest density of radio transmissions in the world, the island was almost empty of bees. ‘Thousands, unable to fly, were found crawling and dying on the ground outside their hives’. And healthy bees, imported from the mainland, began dying within a week of arrival. ‘Isle of Wight disease’ was then reported in European countries, South Africa, Australia and North America over following decades with almost everyone assuming it was infectious. Despite various suspected diseases and parasites accused over many decades, each was eventually ‘cleared’ of causing the problem.

But in the second half of the 1990s,  problem again accelerated and acquired the name ‘colony collapse disorder’ in 2007 as bee populations were decimated in many parts of the world. And despite the resistance of beekeepers (who are largely convinced that infectious diseases are driving bee losses and that toxic pesticides are necessary to kill mites), some scientists were starting to investigate the impact of electromagnetic radiation on bees. The simplest experiments involved placing a cell phone inside a bee hive: ‘The results of such experiments, considering the complete denial by our society that wireless technology has any environmental effects at all, have been almost unbelievable.’

‘The quickest way to destroy a bee hive, investigators have found, is to place a wireless telephone inside it.’ Landmark research conducted originally in 2009 and then subsequently, which involved placing two cell phones in a hive for 30 minutes at a time every few days, demonstrated that electromagnetic fields interfere with cellular metabolism: bees practically could not metabolize sugars, proteins or fats and, as in humans but far more rapidly, their cells become oxygen starved. Three months, at this modest level of exposure, would destroy a hive.

One particularly nasty development that occurred in the (northern) Winter of 2006-2007 that is considered by some the likely immediate cause of the disastrous colony collapse disorder at the time, is that the US military’s HAARP – High-frequency Active Auroral Research Project – in Alaska reached full power with the installation of the last of its 180 antennas at that time. HAARP is the most powerful radio transmitter on Earth and ‘turned the ionosphere itself – the life-giving layer of sky to which every creature is tuned – into a gigantic radio transmitter’. Why? HAARP was being used for US military communications, particularly with submarines.Wireless Radiation: Stop the 5G Network on Earth and in Space, Devastating Impacts on Health and the Environment

Even in 1988, when HAARP was still being planned, physicist Richard Williams, a consultant to Princeton University’s David Sarnoff Laboratory, called the project ‘an irresponsible act of global vandalism’ given the power levels that were to be used.

In fact, according to other researchers, the HAARP project has also been used to research and develop electromagnetic weapons, such as directed energy beams. See ‘HAARP: Secret Weapon Used For Weather Modification, Electromagnetic Warfare’.

But whatever its functions, even though now transferred to the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Ulrich Warnke points out that the frequencies of HAARP superimpose unnatural magnetic fields on the natural resonant frequencies of the sky, the daily variations of which have not changed since life appeared on Earth.This is disastrous for bees because they ‘lose an orientation that served them for millions of years as a reliable indicator of the time of day’.

Of course bees are not the only insects adversely impacted by this recent human obsession with electromagnetic radiation. Experiments with other insects, such as ants and fruit flies, again simply using exposure to cell phones rather than any specialized equipment, revealed equally instructive results. A few minutes exposure for a few days, for example, dramatically reduced the reproductive success of the flies. And exposed to phones turned off, in standby mode and then turned on, ants displayed a variety of behaviors including leaving their nest and taking all of their eggs, larvae and nymphs with them.

As an aside, experiments of this nature also revealed ‘intensity windows’ of maximal effect. This means that ‘the greatest damage is not always done by the greatest levels of radiation. Holding your cell phone away from your head may actually worsen the damage.’ And even a cell phone that is turned off but has the battery in it, is ‘clearly and obviously dangerous’.

Birds

The disastrous effects of radio waves on birds were first noted in the 1930s. It was immediately obvious, for example, to diverse groups of people who worked with pigeons – those involved in pigeon racing and those still using pigeons for military communications – when the birds lost their way during the rapid expansion of radio broadcasting. But by the late 1990s, as cell phone towers proliferated and vastly greater numbers of birds were unable to fly home, pigeon-racing plummeted compelling pigeon-fanciers to revisit an issue they had earlier set aside. Unfortunately, it was too late. In 1998, shortly after Motorola’s launch of 66 Iridium satellites had begun providing the first cell phone service from Space, 90% of pigeons being raced in various locations in the United States over a two-week period vanished.

Of course, it is not just pigeon populations that are being decimated. Wherever dramatic bird population declines are being studied and electromagnetic radiation is considered as a possible factor (which is not always the case), the results usually reveal a link even if the damaging impac
t is variable.

If electromagnetic radiation totally disorients pigeons, how do migratory birds navigate? Often enough, they don’t.

For example, in 2004, scientists at the University of Oldenburg in Germany were shocked to discover that migratory songbirds they had been studying were no longer able to orient themselves for their migratory journeys. Conducting a simple experiment – surrounding the aviaries of Europea robins with grounded aluminium sheeting to remove the influence of electromagnetic radiation – the immediate and positiveimpa
ct ‘on the birds’ orientation capabilities was profound’, they noted in a study published in 2014.

One series of studies was conducted by wildlife biologist Alfono Balmori Martínez in Spain for more than a decade from the 1990s, after noting the dramatic increase in leukemias, cancers, headaches, insomnia, memory loss, heart arrhythmias and acute neurological reactions suffered by people near a new installation of antennas adjacent to a local school.

His subsequently published research revealed, among many other points, the following:

  • kestrels vanishing from breeding sites after antennas for mobile telecommunications were installed, nest abandonment by storks near the radiation beams from telephone masts,
  • rock doves dead near phone masts,
  • plumage deterioration and locomotive problems in magpies at points highly contaminated with microwave radiation,
  • a dramatic decline in sparrow populations in irradiated areas, which matched a European-wide trend with, for example, sparrows in the UK declining by 75% between 1994 and 2002.

Balmori’s conclusion was simple: ‘This coincides with the rollout of mobile telephony.’

One of the problems peculiar to birds, already identified by Canadian researchers in the 1960s, is that ‘feathers make fine receiving aerials for microwaves’.

By the way, have a ponder what happens when a bird (or animal, reptile, amphibian, fish or even insect, for that matter) is radio tagged so that its behavior can be monitored. It exposes the creatures to immediate radiation, in comparison to that from distant cell phone towers, thus adversely impacting their functioning and altering their behavior! Firstenberg characterized this procedure, politely in my view, as ‘scientific folly’. Other scientists have documented many serious, adverse impacts from radio tagging but the practice is far from over with most wildlife scientists simply assuming that tagging has zero impact.

Amphibians

The ongoing serious decline of frogs, toads, salamanders and other amphibians all over the world has been notable since at least the 1980s. Not something you think about?

Well, amphibians have been falling silent for a range of reasons but, once again, electromagnetic radiation is a key one. Notably, even iconic species, such as the famous and highly protected Golden Toad, named for its brightly colored skin and resident of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica, have gone extinct without any real fight to save them.

Puzzling to most scientists was the fact that amphibians have been vanishing even in ‘many pristine, remote environments that they thought to be unpolluted’. And they were pristine, except for the ‘invisible pollutant’ that permeated even these environments: electromagnetic radiation.

Needless to say, the usual range of scientific studies has long since proved that exposure of amphibians to electromagnetic radiation is ‘incompatible with [their] survival’.

As Firstenberg notes:

Environmentalists, for the most part, like the rest of modern humanity, have one terrific blindspot: they don’t acknowledge electromagnetic radiation as an environmental factor, and they are comfortable with placing power lines, telephone relay towers, cell towers, and radar stations in the middle of the most remote, pristine mountainous locations, never realizing that they are intensely polluting those environments.

The key question is this: Will humanity, and not just environmentalists, wake up to the threat posed by electromagnetic radiation in time?

Humans

In this brief review, I am not going to discuss the extensive evidence of the damage to human health caused by electromagnetic radiation. But there is not a significant, modern human disease – diabetes, ‘influenza’, cancer, heart disease, strokes, obesity… – and a host of other mental and physical ill-effects (including anxiety, memory loss, impaired motor function, attention-deficit, sleep disturbance, reduced lung capacity, higher white cell counts and headaches as well as a disturbed balance in the boy/girl birth ratio) that can be fully understood without understanding the impact of living in a disturbed electrical environment. Again, Firstenberg spells it out in gruesome detail.

However, to briefly mention two examples: Firstenberg explains how electromagnetic radiation damages the mitochondria – thus inhibiting cellular metabolism – with disastrous consequences for those many individuals impacted. However, they are only rarely medically diagnosed as such. And the effects of radio waves on blood sugar are extremely well documented but none of this research has been done in the United States or western Europe.

As an aside, you might be interested to know that a large, rapid, qualitative change in the Earth’s electromagnetic environment has occurred six times in Earth’s history, as noted by Firstenberg: in 1889 power line harmonic radiation began (accompanied by the 1889 pandemic of influenza), in 1918 the radio era began (accompanied by the ‘Spanish’ influenza pandemic), in 1957 the radar era began (accompanied by the Asian flu pandemic), in 1968 the satellite era began (accompanied by the Hong Kong flu pandemic), and twice more coinciding with changes that you can read in the book.

Since a few months before the book was published in February 2020, however, the deployment of 5G technology has been proceeding in earnest, as discussed below. Interesting that during this time people have also been impacted by a ‘virus’ labeled COVID-19, don’t you think?

Anyway, as you probably guessed as well, electromagnetic radiation causes biological damage to fruit trees, crops, farm birds and animals too, with adverse implications for the human food supply (apart from the shocking impact from the mass killing of pollinators such as bees).

What is the State of Play Now?

Despite its enormous health hazards and implications for military violence, as well as its potential for intrusive surveillance, which is also extensively documented. See the following important articles:

How Big Wireless Lobbied Governments to Build 5G for Citizen Data Collection and Surveillance – and the vulnerability of satellites to cyber attacks with potentially horrific consequences –

Hackers could shut down satellites – or turn them into weapons’ – the deployment of 5G has begun. From the elite perspective, it is critical to implementation of the so-called fourth industrial revolution.

Techno-Tyranny: How The US National Security State Is Using Coronavirus To Fulfill An Orwellian Vision.

This means that the existing fleet of functional satellites orbiting Earth, which totaled 2,666 on 1 April 2020 – see ‘Satellite Database’ – but has already grown by a couple of hundred since then, will be vastly expanded to tens of thousands in the near future.

For example, the Elon Musk corporation SpaceX has already launched 538 satellites into Space and is planning to launch another 60 every two weeks into the ionosphere. See ‘538 Satellites and Counting’. Again: ‘The ionosphere is a source of high voltage that controls the global electric circuit, which in turn provides the energy for life.’

Moreover, on 26 May 2020 SpaceX filed an application with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the USA for 30,000 ‘next-generation’ (‘Gen2’) satellites. ‘If and when [SpaceX’s] Starlink signs up millions of paying customers, it is possible that nothing will survive – no humans, no animals, and no insects. It is likely that it will be blamed on COVID-19, unless this world wakes up in time.’ See ‘Putting the Earth Inside a High-Speed Computer’.

But SpaceX is not the only satellite corporation although it has a large scheme compared to most of its major competitors, except OneWeb (UK/USA) which submitted a plan to the FCC in the USA on 27 May 2020 for 48,000 satellites.

Some other private corporations or government agencies that have satellite constellations they are planning to expand include Boeing (USA), Spire Global (Luxembourg, Scotland, USA), Iridium (USA), Orbcomm (USA), Globalstar (USA), Telesat (Canada), Eutelsat (Europe), the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Earth Observing System (USA), the Pentagon’s Space Development Agency (USA) with plans for hundreds or potentially thousands of satellites in seven layers – see ‘National Defense Space Architecture (NDSA), Systems, Technologies, and Emerging Capabilities (STEC)’ – the Russian Satellite Communications CompanyGLONASS (Russia) and the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System (China).

Yet other groups, such as Amazon, are planning major constellations – see ‘Amazon to offer broadband access from orbit with 3,236-satellite “Project Kuiper” constellation’ – and Facebook has an experimental satellite license.

In addition, the new corporation Lynk (USA) has been deploying ‘cell-towers-in-space’ satellites and boasts ‘We will connect all 5.2 billion mobile phones on the planet, everywhere.’ How? ‘Subscribers receive coverage from terrestrial towers when they have it and satellite towers when they need it, all from their existing phone.’

As has been noted before this, the slowly-evolving night sky that creatures from Earth have observed for billions of years will be rapidly obliterated in what will presumably be the first instance of astronomical pollution. Stars visible to the naked eye will vanish from view.

On 23 March 2020, the ‘Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020’ became law in the United States. See Secure 5G and Beyond Act of 2020. It’s purpose?

To require the President [within 180 days] to develop a strategy to ensure the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems and infrastructure in the United States and to assist allies and strategic partners in maximizing the security of next generation mobile telecommunications systems, infrastructure, and software, and for other purposes.

So 5G technology is now being rapidly rolled out with elite agents in the telecommunications industry advertising bigger and faster downloads. They just don’t mention that it will kill us.

‘Why not?’ you might ask. ‘Won’t it kill them too?’

Yes, but they are insane which, in this case, means that their minds are incapable of paying attention to, and considering, the ‘big picture’ (including all of the ecological and social variables impacted by their decisions) because their focus is on limited imperatives, such as profit. This is why all of those scientific studies that have consistently exposed the extreme dangers of electromagnetic radiation over recent decades have not only been ignored but great effort, including through the corporate media, has been made to prevent public discussion of the impacts based on the knowledge in this research.

For brief explanations of this insanity,

see ‘The Global Elite is Insane Revisited’

and ‘Love Denied: The Psychology of Materialism, Violence and War’

with fuller explanations in ‘Why Violence?’ and Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice.

This insanity is why the global elite, through its corporate and political agents, is endlessly manipulating us into fighting their wars – even dragging us to the brink of nuclear war – destroying the climate and the environment, driving the collapse of biodiversity, and generating a vast range of political, economic and social crises without ever considering the fundamental outcome – its deleterious impact on all life – of their behaviors. 5G is just the latest manifestation of this insanity.

Of course, all of these crises could be resolved if we were dealing with people who were sane. And if most of us were not readily distracted from paying attention to reality.

See ‘The Disintegrated Mind: The Greatest Threat to Human Survival on Earth’.

Resisting the Deployment of 5G

Given the military and surveillance implications of 5G, if you think that governments are particularly concerned to investigate and consider the extensive evidence of the enormous hazards of 5G, you might find it sobering to read the dismissive three paragraphs given to the subject in the European Parliament’s official report on 5G.

See 5G Deployment: State of Play in Europe, USA and Asia’.

The reality, as touched on just above, is that elite interests are shaping what happens. You still don’t think so?

In 2002, Gro Harlem Brundtland, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the former Prime Minister of Norway, ordered people entering her office in Geneva to not carry a cell phone. Why? Because cell phones gave her a headache. The following year Brundtland was no longer the Director-General of the WHO. ‘No other public officials have repeated her mistake.’

See The Invisible Rainbow: A History of Electricity and Life.

Nevertheless, the resistance to 5G is rapidly gaining pace with concerned scientists and activists setting the pace. For example, you can see a ‘List of Cities, Towns, Councils and Countries that have Banned 5G’.

And if you wish to join those resisting the deployment of 5G, options include signing the International Appeal: Stop 5G on Earth and in Space, supporting legal challenges such as this one in Denmark – see ‘State of Play and Danish Suing FiveG Network’– and simply getting rid of your mobile (cell) phone. See ‘End Cellphones Here on Earth (ECHOEarth)’.

Moreover, if you wish, you can campaign strategically to halt the deployment of 5G. You can read a list of strategic goals, as well as how to develop a local strategy to prevent/halt the deployment of 5G, at Nonviolent Campaign Strategy.

Separately from this, if you would like to join the worldwide movement of people working to end all violence, you can do so by signing the online pledge of The Peoples Charter to Create a Nonviolent World.

Conclusion

So what is Arthur Firstenberg’s chilling conclusion?

‘You cannot contaminate the global electrical circuit with millions of pulsed, modulated electronic signals without destroying all of life.’

But, as outlined above, since ‘controlling’ electricity in 1746, humans have been increasingly contaminating the global electrical circuit and it has culminated in what will now be the final electromagnetic assault on Earth.

Which means that unless we can halt the launch of these 5G satellites and the rollout of the technology ‘on the ground’ we will be ‘destroying all of life’. And while some groups advocate measures to protect ourselves as individuals, inadequate though these must be in the unfolding circumstances, no amount of measures to individually protect ourselves from this electromagnetic radiation will protect ‘all of life’ in the wild.

According to Ross Adey, the grandfather of bioelectromagnetics and atmospheric physicist Neil Cherry, we are electrically tuned to the world around us and ‘the safe level of exposure to radio waves is zero’.

There is virtually no time left to understand and act powerfully on that knowledge. What will you do?

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Resist ruling class drive to reopen schools

RCG in London demand mass testing and PPE

On 22 May, the Independent Sage committee — which was set up in response to the lack of public or scientific scrutiny of the activities of the government’s own Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) — published a report warning that the wider reopening of schools on 1 June risks spreading Covid-19 and causing a potential ‘second spike’ in the pandemic. Until the virus can be accurately monitored and controlled through a nationwide programme of community based testing and contact tracing, there must be no increase in numbers of pupils in school; the unions and educational staff must organise to ensure their essential demands are met. RUBY MOST reports

A growing number of councils are announcing that they will be advising schools in their local authority against the government’s plan to increase pupil numbers from 1 June. The government’s plan is that from this date:

  • Nurseries, childminders, and other early years’ providers should open to all children
  • Primary schools should open to all nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils
  • All schools teaching secondary age pupils should bring in some face to face learning with years 10 and 12 from 15 June
  • Schools must also remain open for children of ‘key workers’ and vulnerable children from any year group.

The prime minister’s old elite boarding school Eton will of course face no such demand to reopen, and will continue its programme of education online, including podcast versions of assemblies. Several multi-academy trusts have used their ‘autonomy’ from local authorities to fall in line with the government’s demands. The push to increase pupil numbers in state schools is part of the ruling class offensive to force more of the working class back into work, whatever the human cost.

Councils, unions, doctors reject reopening

On 15 May the British Medical Association (BMA), the union for doctors and medical students in Britain, backed the National Education Union (NEU)’s five tests before an increase in pupil numbers should be considered safe. The five tests are:

  • Much lower numbers of Covid-19 cases (with a sustained downward trend and extensive testing and contact tracing to keep it that way)
  • A national plan for social distancing (including acceptable parameters for physical distancing and social mixing in schools, and appropriate PPE as needed in each school setting)
  • Testing on a comprehensive and regular basis for children and staff
  • A whole school strategy for protocols to be followed when a case is found in a school, to test the whole school or college and for isolation to be followed
  • Protection for vulnerable staff and those living with someone vulnerable to allow them to work from home, and protection for vulnerable families.

Thousands of NHS staff also signed an open letter to health secretary Matt Hancock, published in April, calling for ‘strict widespread testing for suspected Covid-19, rigorous contact tracing and scrupulous adherence to quarantining’ before a wider return to schools should be considered.

Councils across the north of England from Liverpool, Hartlepool, Rochdale, Wigan, Stockport, Bury in Greater Manchester, and an increasing number of others have so far rejected the government’s order to increase pupil numbers from 1 June. Some have said they will push back the date of increasing pupil numbers as the infection and death rates in their local authority remains too high. Those with the worst infection and mortality rates are of course the areas with more low paid, insecure, BAME workers, those most oppressed sections of the working class who are being made to bear the unforgivable human cost of this pandemic as a sacrifice for profit. So far the unions have offered fine words and no fight, determined instead to ‘work with’ the same government trying to force members back to work. Those workers will have to fight on if the councils and unions back down in the face of government pressure.

Government fails the test

There is no nationwide tracking and tracing scheme, which Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove insisted on 17 May would be ready to launch the same month, after initial plans to roll out community-based testing and tracing was abandoned in mid-March. The government has now pushed back the launch of the NHS test and trace app to say it may possibly be up and running at the end of May, and that it might not be needed to provide a testing and tracing service. Asymptomatic parents, staff or children could easily spread the virus in schools before it is detected.

There is nothing like the level of required testing being carried out; the government has failed its own arbitrary pledge to test 100,000 people a day by the end of April, with figures so far only reaching the target by including multiple tests on the same person, and home tests which have been posted out but not yet processed. The government’s advice is that only children or staff who develop symptoms, and their families, will be able to be tested once pupil numbers increase from 1 June, which is no help for stopping the spread of the virus.

The government’s own guidance admits that social distancing will be impossible with the youngest children, but claims that schools will be able to keep transmission rates low by avoiding contact with symptomatic people, hand washing, and getting rid of any toys which are hard to clean. Schools have been made responsible for producing their own risk assessments and social distancing measures. Reported examples of social distancing measures which some schools have released to families include toys and books being removed from classrooms, children having to do their own first aid and personal care, children as young as four having to sit at desks one metreaway from others all facing the same direction, and only being allowed to use the toilet at set times. The question of how this will work with real children, who need comforting when they hurt themselves, and cannot be expected to learn anything without books to read or friends to interact with, is one of many the government refuses to answer. The advice states that PPE will not be needed in the school setting unless a child develops symptoms and cannot be kept two metres apart from staff until they are taken home to isolate. These measures are ludicrous and the plan to increase pupils is dangerous, reckless and must be resisted.

Conflicting evidence

Chaand Nagpaul, the chair of BMA, in the letter of support to NEU’s Co-General Secretary Kevin Courtney said the BMA’s Public Health Medicine committee found the scientific evidence available on children’s susceptibility to and ability to transmit Covid-19 ‘conflicting’, citing one paper from New South Wales which ‘suggested that children were much less susceptible to serious illness but were more likely to have asymptomatic infection’, and a newer study from Berlin led by virologist Dr Christian Drosten which found ‘looking at viral loads in children suggest they are just as likely to be infected as adults, and may be just as infectious’.

The Office for National Statistics published data on 14 May from 10,705 swab tests, which found ‘no evidence of differences in the proportions of individuals testing positive for Covid-19 between different age categories’. Clearly this, along with evidence pointing to a possible link between Covid-19 and a rare inflammatory condition affecting children (up to 100 in Britain), are reasons to take every possible precaution before increasing the number of children in school.

Why reopen schools now?

When Johnson’s government reluctantly ordered schools to close from 20 March, to all but children of ‘key workers’ and vulnerable children, it marked the beginning of the lockdown measures which are finally starting to bring down the death rate and new infection rate for coronavirus. The government was forced to U-turn on its reckless and disastrous ‘herd immunity’ strategy, the aim of which chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on 13 March was to allow the virus to spread to at least ‘60% or so’ of the population, after Imperial College’s modelling predicted it could kill 250,000 people and overwhelm the NHS. Vallance is the former president of research and development at British multinational pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a company which has admitted to bribing doctors, encouraging the prescription of unsuitable anti-depressants to children, and concealing data about life threatening side effects of its drug Avandia. GSK is in talks with the British government to produce 1 billion doses of coronavirus vaccine efficacy boosters. At the daily government briefing on 28 May Vallance suggested that social distancing of two metres may not be required, if other measures are considered, such as people being back to back with each other — this is not based on public health considerations, but business. Johnson said reducing the distance would be ‘particularly valuable in transport and clearly the hospitality sector’. Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty contradicted this message, reinforcing that it is essential that even if people are meeting outdoors under the relaxed lockdown rules, that they should stay two metres apart.

When the extensive list of ‘key workers’ was published, more than 24 hours after the announcement that schools would need to remain open for these pupils, it was so broad that school leaders feared too many children would be sent to school, with insufficient space to keep them two metres apart, or staff to look after them. Businesses like pet shop chain Pets at Home used the vague guidance to argue their staff were ‘key workers’, and sent them letters so they could send their children to school and come in to work. Education Secretary Gavin Williams tweeted on 21 March that only parents whose ‘work is critical to our Covid-19 response’ should send children to school, but the broad guidelines remained. This would have allowed the blame to be placed on individual parents for selfishly sending children to school so they could work if numbers of children attending reached an unsafe level. 

This did not happen, and many parents kept their children away from schools as advised, in fact very low numbers attended, including many children classed as vulnerable.

But the ruling class is clamouring to force the working class back into its allotted role. This is the primary function of state schools under capitalism.

Inequality in the time of coronavirus

Williamson and Gove, along with a right-wing media frenzy against ‘militant’ education unions preventing teachers from ‘doing their duty’, are using vulnerable children as a sickening ploy to force them to back down.

The same children, millions of whom now live in poverty after years of crushing austerity, have been utterly failed by the government throughout the lockdown, with entrenched inequalities becoming magnified by the effects of the pandemic. As a result of the government’s incompetent attempt to run its free school meals voucher scheme, a recent Food Foundation report, conducted a month after lockdown began, found 5.1 million people living in a household with children have experienced food insecurity since the measures were introduced. The report found that almost a third of children entitled to free school meals had not had any substitute through the government’s scheme. Run through an online portal created by private company Edenred, the scheme has seen delays of weeks at a time, with some parents still not receiving a voucher since the lockdown began, and many who did receive vouchers found they failed at the till, leaving families humiliated and hungry.

It should come as no surprise that, according to new survey data published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, of those from the poorest 20% of households are the least reassured about the safety of sending their children back to school — only a third of the poorest families were willing, compared to half of the wealthiest families. The wider reopening of schools is gambling with the lives of the working class and must be resisted.

Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! No 276, June/July 2020

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Today’s Science Deniers: What We Owe Galileo After 400 years

by SUSAN BABBITT

Photograph Source: Dimitris Kamaras – CC BY 2.0

On June 22, 1633, a sick and beaten old man, on his knees, had to “abjure, curse and detest” his view that “the earth moves and is not the centre of the world.” It was “one of the most deplorable acts of the Inquisition”, relevant to our times, according to astrophysicist Maria Livio in a new book, Galileo and the Science Deniers[1] He’s right, but not because of “fake news” and “alternative facts”. Galileo’s relevance hits much closer to home.

He thought abstractly. In his Discorsi he imagines how a body would behave acted upon by no force whatsoever. It is hard to do because friction is ubiquitous, slowing down every motion. Galileo had “a truly phenomenal power of abstraction”, according to Livio. It was part of his science.

He had capacity for philosophy and art. Galileo did not see mountains on the moon. He saw blemishes and reasoned they were mountains. His artistic experience, with light and perspective, helped him. Galileo had an extraordinary grasp of Aristotle. And Galileo took poetry seriously.

All this is in the book. But Livio does not follow Galileo. Worse, he is unaware. He says there should not be “two cultures”: science and humanities. But there is more to the connection between art and science than simply declaring them connected. Art and science were torn apart by a vision of human beings. José Martí, leader of Cuba’s last war of independence, found the European view so damaging he declared it a greater danger to Latin American independence than US power itself.

It undermines truth.

Livio writes that René Descartes’ individualism enabled the “Galileo phenomenon”, by which he means resistance to truth-denying convention. Descartes’ individualism, though, was unscientific. He was great, true, but for his question – how to know? — not his answer. Descartes and David Hume, also mentioned uncritically, were wrong. We study them for this, to go beyond, as Galileo with Aristotle.

Descartes separated mind and body. Hume gave us the “fact/value distinction”, saying we know what is but not what ought to be. No truth about value. They’ve been refuted, which is progress. Or it should be, if we expected truth from philosophy, which Galileo did. It means some philosophers were wrong, like some great scientists were wrong. Cuban philosopher, Raúl Roa, argued in 1953 that the uncritical acceptance of European liberalism, solidified by the rise of US global power, was “the world’s gravest crisis,” separating art and science, feelings and intellect, body from mind.

Art gives truth. Toni Morrison’s Beloved is a work of fiction. The story is fiction. But when you feel Sethe’s reality as a dehumanized slave, and you understand her choice to kill her children out of love, you get truth. It is true about slavery that it can make it reasonable (not morally right, a different question) for a mother to kill her children out of love.

It is a truth about slavery, and colonialism and imperialism. It is why philosophers in the South, like Roa, and others – Juan Marinello, José Carlos Mariátegui, Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz – did not split art and science. They knew, as Galileo did, that sensitivity and imagination permit naming what you see. Galileo did not see mountains, and many, in a dehumanizing world, do not see human beings, or some.

Descartes’ appealing (mistaken) picture presumes individuals are discreet entities, unified by some coherent story we pursue our entire lives, but which can never in fact be coherent. Dostoevsky knew this. Whatever his politics, Dostoevsky’s understanding of the human condition was closer to Marx and Lenin than Descartes. It was because he observed human beings and he trusted intuitions.

He described his writing as “experimental”.[2] He felt ideas, but ideas “only flash; and what’s needed is full embodiment, which always comes about unexpectedly and suddenly”. That is, he follows no script but instead, like a good improvisor, has a feel for direction, grounded in real life.

Dostoevsky’s characters are contradictory. They face contradictions. In The Idiot, Ippolit, expecting death, makes a surprising declaration: “So be it! I will die looking straight into the well spring of force and life”. He speaks truth. In fact, we all die “looking straight into the well spring of force and life”. We die day by day, moment by moment, as we live. It is the nature of existence: decay, decay, decay.

We avoid this truth in ways Ippolit identifies and rejects. He decries “Christian morality”: “the happy thought that, essentially, it is even better that you’re dying. (Christians like [the prince] always get to that idea: It’s their favorite hobby horse).” The “hobby horse” is obsession with silver linings. Ippolit does not buy it. It is what Lenin called “philosophies of hope”, dependence on invented futures.

Lenin shouldn’t be buried with Stalin.[3] In the heat of political organizing, preparing revolution, he urged revolutionaries toward Hegel, not Kant. He knew the value of abstract thinking, which is always integral to political organizing, to any organizing, just as it’s needed to identify mountains. Hegel was a relational thinker. Marx was influenced by Hegel although he turned his dialectic upside down.

Lenin knew the nature of truth has practical consequences. According to Livio this very question concerned Galileo his whole life. But Livio doesn’t address it. He tells us there is progress in the Humanities, as in science. But if he believed it, as Galileo did, he’d ask — about Galileo’s question – who got it right and who didn’t.

Marx got it more right than Descartes. Dostoevsky’s characters, realistically, lack the mythical unity Lenin called “hocus pocus of priests”, the real “opiate of the people”, namely, a “yearning for harmony” of self and community that distracts from the reality of existence, which is contradictory. “Les extremités se touchent”,[4] Ippolit says. Unity of opposites.

It matters to how we live in the world, or ought to. Ippolit declares that his impending death does not in fact distinguish him from the wild, rich, sensual Rogozhin who leads an “immediate, full” life. He even declares that Rogozhin knows it. It is probably true. Most of us know, in quiet moments.

Galileo believed that “facts which at first seem improbable will, even on scant observation, drop the cloak which has hidden them and stand forth in naked and simple beauty.” This includes facts about truth and existence, which is causally interdependent. We can know from science, from philosophy that respects science, and from art showing reality as it is, even if it hurts.

In Galileo’s time, there was “almost religious acceptance of [Aristotle’s] general approach to science.” Today, the “almost religious acceptance” is of Descartes’ individualism and Hume’s denial of moral and philosophical truths. Galileo was not one for such “hocus pocus”. For this, his story matters now.

Notes.

1) Galileo and the Science Deniers (Simon and Schuster 2020). See review here  

2) Cited in Richard Pevear, “Introduction”, The Idiot (Vintage 2002) 

3) E.g. Tomás Krautz, Reconstructing Lenin: An Intellectual biography (NY: Monthy Review Press, 2015) 

4) The extremes meet. 

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Who’s Protecting the Moon?

By Nina Beety

“Thank God men cannot fly, and lay waste the sky as well as the earth,” – Henry David Thoreau

The moon is in trouble. And so are we.

Bruce Gagnon:

NASA is not really looking for the ‘origins of life,’ as it tells school children today. Instead, it is laying the groundwork for a new gold rush that will drain our national treasury and enrich the big corporations that now control our government. It is beyond time for the American people to wake up to the shell game underway.[1]

Americans haven’t awoken, despite the environmental damage these projects already inflict and the peril to Earth’s future and that of other planets. That damage will dramatically escalate with the U.S. Space Force and Artemis Accords.

The moon is key to the U.S. and other countries for commercial mining, military bases to control access to Earth and space, and for launching military and commercial conquest of space. On April 6, President Trump issued an executive order directing the Secretary of State to “take all appropriate actions to encourage international support for the public and private recovery and use of resources in outer space”.

“Americans should have the right to engage in commercial exploration, recovery, and use of resources in outer space, consistent with applicable law. Outer space is a legally and physically unique domain of human activity, and the United States does not view it as a global commons.” [2]

The Artemis Accords are being drafted to establish legal justification for commercial space resource extraction, exploitation, and ownership [3] (reminiscent of the Bush administration memos by Yoo, Bybee, and Bradbury on torture). They would be an international pact for “like-minded nations”, foregoing the United Nations treaty process.

Vice President Mike Pence:

“The United States has always been a nation of restless pioneers, from those Americans who crossed the western frontier to settle in California to those who first stepped onto the Moon. We are ever striving to explore uncharted lands, reach new horizons, and venture into the unknown.

Today, we are renewing the legacy of those courageous space pioneers and all they represent. As part of our re-engagement in human space exploration, the Trump administration’s policy is to return to the moon by 2024, ensuring that the next man and the first woman on the moon will both be American astronauts. From there, we plan to put men and women on Mars.

To accomplish this next big leap, we will develop the technologies to live on the moon for months and even years. We will learn how to make use of resources that the moon has to offer. That includes mining oxygen from the lunar surface and rocks to fuel reusable landers, extracting water from the permanently shadowed craters of the south pole, and developing a new generation of nuclear-powered spacecraft that will help us fly further and faster than ever before. [4]

Former Nazi Major General Walter Dornberger, head of Hitler’s V1 and V2 program, told Congress in 1958 that America’s top space priority ought to be to “conquer, occupy, keep, and utilize space between the Earth and the Moon.”[5] The Apollo missions were the first phase — on-site assessments to gather samples, run experiments, and test human interaction with the lunar environment.

Since 1959, lunar missions and crashes by the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, India, Israel, and European Union have left over 413,000 pounds of debris and toxic substances on the formerly pristine lunar surface,[6] including 96 bags of bacteria-laden human excrement dumped by the Apollo missions.[7] Apollo also left a nuclear generator on the moon.[8]

Governments have intentionally hit the moon 22 times as part of experiments and conducted 17 other post-mission crashes. The U.S. did the majority — 16 post-mission crashes and 14 intentional strikes, including the 2009 LCROSS hit, equivalent to 1.5 tons of TNT, to blast 350 tons of rock and dust and create a six-mile-high cloud for data gathering and public relations. That mission cost $49 million, and NASA’s Ames Research celebrated with an all-night party.[9] In the 1950s, the U.S. even planned to drop an atomic bomb on the moon — Project A119 – but cancelled it as too risky.[10]

Why should the moon be protected? There are many reasons.

The moon

  • stabilizes Earth’s rotation
  • has a major role in maintaining the Earth’s magnetic field
  • regulates the climate
  • creates the tides
  • affects plant cycles and likely affects all biology and human cycles in profound ways
  • regulates the procreation of some creatures, including coral [11]

The light of the moon is essential for life, and the moon may well be a stabilizing force for every living being on the planet,

The moon is also a sovereign body with its own rights, and it belongs to no one. It is revered by Earth–based indigenous peoples and has been considered a living, sentient being by people worldwide throughout human history. The moon and earth’s self-protective systems demonstrate far more intelligence, wisdom, and life than “civilized” society understands.[12]

None of this matters to NASA, the U.S. government, other countries, and related businesses. Laser-focused on their mission objectives, with virtually no checks or public oversight, they wield the ultimate in “big toys.” The United States alone budgets millions of tax dollars every year to develop space technology for future outposts and has spent billions on the Artemis Program. For their space program, the overarching priorities are American supremacy, empire, and profit — the unflinching mandate of manifest destiny projected into space.

The United States is by far the biggest threat to space and the moon.

When you don’t initiate the boys, they burn down the village. — African saying

The 1979 United Nations Moon Treaty prohibits military bases and national appropriation of territory but only minimally protects the moon environmentally. It enshrines depredation “on the basis of equality” — “The Moon and its natural resources are the common heritage of mankind.” [13] Former astronaut Harrison Schmidt, who formed his own company to mine the moon, complained the treaty would “complicate private commercial efforts.”[14] He was not alone. The U.S. did not sign, and only 18 nations have ratified it.

“…the United States does not consider the Moon Agreement to be an effective or necessary instrument to guide nation states regarding the promotion of commercial participation in the long-term exploration, scientific discovery, and use of the Moon, Mars, or other celestial bodies. Accordingly, the Secretary of State shall object to any attempt by any other state or international organization to treat the Moon Agreement as reflecting or otherwise expressing customary international law.” [15]

Companies such as Bechtel and Bigelow Aerospace [16] are securing contracts from the FAA and other agencies to own land on the moon and mine the moon. Helium-3, used for nuclear fusion, may be worth $3 billion per metric ton, and there are millions of tons of helium-3 in the moon’s upper layer. This is one cause of the new gold rush to the moon.[17] Lunar water deposits are being assessed to see if they can provide drinking water for military and commercial bases there. Moon tourism is being pursued internationally.[18] A Japanese startup even wants to put billboards on the moon.[19]Trump Signs Executive Order to Support Moon Mining, Tap Asteroid Resources

There are direct and immediate impacts to Earth from these space programs. They accelerate climate change and will eventually torch the climate if allowed to continue. Each fossil-fuel-burning rocket launch not only uses toxic chemicals and causes toxic fallout. They also put particulate matter and exhaust into the atmosphere, and destroy part of the ozone layer.[20]

For example, before leaving Earth’s atmosphere, each shuttle spewed thousands of pounds of metals and other chemicals into the air, including lithium, nickel, mercury [21], bismuth, manganese, aluminum, iron, and zinc. “People think of a shuttle launch as a short-term, finite event, but each launch expels a huge amount of debris into the atmosphere with the potential for long-term effects on the surrounding ecosystem. The plume contains hydrogen chloride, a strong acid. After launches, the pH of the [nearby] lagoons may plummet for a short time, rendering the water nearly as caustic as battery acid.” — John Bowden, environmental chemist at Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., 2014 [22]

The Earth and its atmosphere have never experienced the sheer volume of launches planned. Dramatically worsening this are the thousands of rockets to put Wi-Fi and 5G satellites into earth orbit that began last year by Elon Musk/SpaceX and others.[23]

This is sheer insanity.

Congress continues to divert more taxpayer dollars into these extremely costly space projects — the next moon visit could cost trillions. This resource extraction from taxpayers robs cities, counties, and states of critical financial resources to solve real problems right here, especially now, while ignoring the planetary environmental cost.

Where are the environmentalists, the biologists, the ocean scientists, and consumer advocates?

We must break out of the NASA trance. Everything that is done to the moon has repercussions to Earth. “National security” is protecting Earth and the moon.

Human history with empires and invaders that subjugate and plunder is being repeated again, with an addiction to “command and control” permeating these space programs. These values and policies are opposed to life, peace, and a future. The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space just sponsored a webinar on these plans “War in Space — Weaponising the final frontier”.[24]

The film “Independence Day” got it wrong, and Pogo got it right – the enemy is human. Tell children the truth: astronauts are not heroes.

Humans must repair Earth and themselves first with all available creativity and resources, and the COVID19 shutdown has worsened everything. If humans are incapable of fixing the dire messes they’ve created on Earth, incapable of stopping wars, incapable of living cooperatively with their neighbors, then they cannot go off planet or contaminate anything else.

The future is at stake. The moon must be defended. Shut NASA and these space ventures down.

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