CHRIS HEDGES: “We are entering the twilight phase of capitalism…We fight for the sacred.” / Tech billionaires reportedly stock up on ‘apocalypse insurance’
 / and NASA Worldview: The UK, Ireland, North Sea, Norway & Sweden, Gulf of Mexico & Florida, Baja CA

The UK, Ireland, North Sea (three above)


CHRIS HEDGES: Revolt Is the Only Barrier to a Fascist America

January 22, 2017 /  “We fight for the sacred.”      [excerpt] 

We are entering the twilight phase of capitalism. Wealth is no longer created by producing or manufacturing. It is created by manipulating the prices of stocks and commodities and imposing a crippling debt peonage on the public. Our casino capitalism has merged with the gambling industry. The entire system is parasitic. It is designed to prey on the desperate—young men and women burdened by student loans, underpaid workers burdened by credit card debt and mortgages, towns and cities forced to borrow to maintain municipal services.

Casino magnates such as Sheldon Adelson and hedge fund managers such as Robert Mercer add nothing of value to society. They do not generate money but instead redistribute it upwards to the 1 percent. They use lobbyists and campaign contributions to built monopolies … and to rewrite laws and regulations. They have given themselves the legal power to carry out a tax boycott, loot the U.S. Treasury, close factories and send the jobs overseas, gut social service programs and impose austerity. They have, at the same time, militarized our police, built the most sophisticated security and surveillance apparatus in human history and used judicial fiat to strip us of our civil liberties. They are ready should we rise up in defiance.  These mandarins are, if we speak in the language of God and country, traitors. They are parasites.

When a tiny cabal seizes power—monarchist, communist, fascist or corporate—it creates a mafia economy and a mafia state.  Donald Trump is not an anomaly. He is the grotesque visage of a collapsed democracy. Trump and his coterie of billionaires, generals, half-wits, Christian fascists, criminals, racists and deviants … the scum now elevated to the highest level of the federal government. They embody the moral rot unleashed by unfettered capitalism. …

What comes next, history has shown, will not be pleasant. A corrupt and inept ruling elite, backed by the organs of state security and law enforcement, will unleash a naked kleptocracy.  Workers will become serfs. The most benign dissent will be criminalized.

The ravaging of the ecosystem propels us towards extinction.  Hate talk will call for attacks against Muslims, undocumented workers, African-Americans, feminists, intellectuals, artists and dissidents, all of whom will be scapegoated for the country’s stagnation. Magical thinking will dominate our airwaves and be taught in our public schools. Art and culture will be degraded to nationalist kitsch. All the cultural and intellectual disciplines that allow us to view the world from the perspective of the other, that foster empathy, understanding and compassion, will be replaced by a grotesque and cruel hypermasculinity and hypermilitarism.  Those in power will validate racism, bigotry, misogyny and homophobia. …

Our only hope now is an unwavering noncooperation with the systems of corporate control.  We must rebuild … democratic institutions from the ground up. …

Politics is a game of fear. Those who do not have the ability to make power elites afraid do not succeed. The movements that opened up the democratic space in America—the abolitionists, suffragists, labor movement, communists, socialists, anarchists and civil rights and labor movements—developed a critical mass and militancy that forced the centers of power to respond.

The platitudes about justice, equality and democracy are just that. Only when power is threatened does it react.  Appealing to its better nature is useless. It doesn’t have one.  …

The days ahead will be dark and frightening. But as Immanuel Kant reminded us, “if justice perishes, human life on earth has lost its meaning.”

We fight for the sacred. 

We fight for life. It is a fight we must not lose. To be a bystander is to be complicit in radical evil. …

I do not know if we can build a better society. I do not even know if we will survive as a species. But I do know these corporate forces have us by the throat. And they have my children by the throat. I do not fight fascists because I will win. I fight fascists because they are fascists.

Norway & Sweden (two above)

Gulf of Mexico & Florida

East of Florida / January 26, 2017 / detail (above)

Baja CA

detail off coast of Baja CA

detail of tip of Baja CA (above)

Tech billionaires reportedly stock up on ‘apocalypse insurance’
 /Jan. 26, 2017

Tech billionaires and other super-rich Americans are reportedly investing in “apocalypse insurance” in the highly unlikely event of a crack up of  civilization, whether it be from a major natural disaster or governmental collapse. The New Yorker interviewed several of these influential tech leaders who’ve stocked up on guns and ammunition, purchased property in isolated locations and have even gone so far as to have laser eye surgery in case they can no longer purchase contact lenses.

“I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time,” one head of an investment firm told the magazine. “And I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.” He went on, “A lot of my friends do the guns and the motorcycles and the gold coins. That’s not too rare anymore.”

… Antonio Garcia Martinez, a former Facebook product manager in San Francisco, reportedly bought acres of land on an island in the Pacific Northwest, the magazine reported. He reportedly said that he purchased thousands of rounds of ammunition, generators and solar panels.

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