A Look at Special Session; Soaring COVID Rates; Remedies for 50 Years of Neo-liberal Looting of Our Wealth

We also offer encouragement to form your own group of friends to work together and support each other in election advocacy, and we respond to comments on last week’s post on reparations.

I want to apologize. Retake has blogged from the WordPress platform since we started in 2016. I always get a notification from WP whenever someone comments on a post. Until recently. I wondered why there were no comments of late, so I went into the administrator comment page and found dozens of unapproved comments. They are all approved now. Sorry I didn’t catch this sooner. Read on.

Today we offer links to videos of our Health Security Act Zoominar and my interview with Eric Griego, Working Families Party, along with notices of other worthwhile online opportunities. But before we dive in, I respond to a comment on the post where I asserted it was time to pay reparations to African Americans and perhaps to cancel all consumer debt as relief for the wealth theft of the past 50 years.

Black Lives Matter
Does Not Mean Other Injustice Doesn’t Warrant Redress

In Saturday’s post I offered a brief commentary suggesting that African Americans deserved reparations for their enslavement and subsequent subjugation under Jim Crow. I also stated that Indigenous peoples were just as deserving of reparations for the genocide we visited upon them. I then suggested that maybe we should consider cancelling all consumer debt for 80% of Americans as redress for 50 years of economic exploitation resulting from neoliberal policies that shifted trillions of our money to the wealthiest 1%.

One reader commented: “Isn’t that a bit like saying All Lives Matter,” and I can see the reader’s point. I think that if the US ever does do the right thing and offers reparations to African Americans, that action should include Indigenous peoples. Our treatment of Indigenous peoples has been every bit as bad as our treatment of African Americans. I don’t think this is a compromising the BLM movement at all, but am interested in more reader comment.

I do think the comment is germane to the consumer debt suggestion, and I think the a fix could be to consider reparations and relief separately. This creates a distinction between the centuries-long enslavement and genocide of African Americans and Indigenous peoples, and others who have been exploited economically. These are two categorically different levels of oppression and should be treated separately. Having said that, the transfer (read: theft) of trillions of dollars should not be skipped past. The degree to which right-wing think tanks, Wall St., and their purchased pawns who were supposed to be OUR representatives should be front and center and those industries who oppressed, should be held accountable.

So, readers, does the separation of these two possible initiatives, one reparations and the other economic relief, address the conflation of issues? What do you think of this handling of the issue and the concept of using reparation and relief to address systemic economic oppression? How can the banking industry and other Wall St companies be held accountable? How do you respond to objections to reparations that go something like this: “I never enslaved anyone. Why should my taxes pay for something that happened 170 years ago?”

Health Security Act Zoominar:
What It Is, Why We Need It & What You Can Do!

The panelists have decades of health policy research and advocacy. In this informative discussion, you will be brought up to speed on what the Health Security is and isn’t, how it can ensure quality, affordable healthcare for virtually every New Mexican while saving over $16 B in its first five years. We need to pass this in 2021 and we need you to help.

Retake Conversation with Eric Griego,
Working Families Party, NM Executive Director

Eric Griego shed light on the successful ousting of five Senate DINOs in the June primary and laid out strategy for the November election. Eric is a former NM State Senator so he knows his way around the Roundhouse and elections. A very worthwhile listen.

News In Brief: Another selection of important pieces.

Race in America with Pramilia Jayapal

Register for the above event here.

THURSDAY, JULY 16, 3:00 p.m. ET – Race in America: Prison Reform 
Common, Artist and Activist Scott Budnick, Founder and President of the Anti-Recidivism CoalitionJarrett Harper, Campaign Ambassador for Represent Justice.  Hosted by Michele Norris  Register for this event here.

A Look Back At Last Week’s Posts
Catch Up On What You Missed

So much news, so little time. Last week we began a new feature, “News In Brief” with links to three important articles from online publications that you might have missed. We also gave the floor to NM Voices for Children to review what transpired during the Special Legislative Session. examined the neoliberal looting of America and the astounding scale of American consumer debt and how we got there, and lastly, a sad, but important report that considers the possibility that the original “worst case” COVID scenarios could be just around the corner.

If you have time to review just one of these posts, I’d choose Thursday, about the fleecing we’ve taken from neo-liberal policies that germinated in the 1970s and began crushing us and enriching “them” in 1980. It is crucial we understand how this happened to us and what we can do to reverse this hideous wealth theft. Read on.

Special Session: All Cuts, No Revenue Increases. It Could Have Been Worse, But We Need to Do MUCH Better in 2021. Plus Huge Court Decision Stops Dakota Pipeline Cold

Tuesday, July 7. We present NM Voices for Children’s excellent analysis of the Special Budget session, with information on where the cuts were made and what was spared. The post also provides links to some tremendous Fact Sheets with each analyzing the federal relief legislation and its impact on various populations and sectors.

We also offered two charts that tell the sorry tale of US response to COVID and the perilous place we are in, plus a “News-in-Brief” link to a report on the court decision to halt the pipeline.

At the end of the post, another Playing for Change video: “Pride of Everyday People,” our tribute to the essential workers.

Click here to read the full post.

The Looting of America, Not the Looting Seen on TV,
the Looting of Our Collective Wealth

Thursday, July 9. The recent rioting and looting we’ve experienced is a symptom of pent up rage against a machine that has turned us into cogs, and for blacks and other people of color, disposable cogs, who if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time, they die.

With an assist from Jeff Silesky, who researched an array of economic indicators and from the New York Times report, “Neoliberalism Is Looting America,” we examine the real looting of America, the 50-year looting of most Americans’ wealth and how the exorbitant rise of key costs (healthcare, housing, college) has left us heavily reliant on consumer debt with high interest exacerbating debt and padding the banking industry profit. It is a truly ugly picture that needs to be addressed.

Click here to read this important post.

Is the Worst Case COVID Scenario the American Future?

Saturday, July 11. In this post, we offer a host of Actions & Opportunities that are still in play. We also offer “In Brief” links to two articles on how we should pay reparations to African Americans and on a Bernie Sanders’ outrage over a Congressional Budget Office report indicating that we are robbed of almost $400B a year due to the 1% failing to pay taxes that are due. Together those three articles echo the theme of Thursday’s post.

We followed up on this theme with brief commentary asking whether or not we might address the wealth transfer described on Thursday by cancelling all consumer debt. Finally, we offer a guest post from Seth Abramson. He posted a very well-written prediction that is, tragically, likely to transpire. We presented his brief, powerful, canary-in-the-coal-mine call for sane action.

Click here to read the full post.

In solidarity and hope,

Paul & Roxanne

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3 replies

  1. As long as there is room for more lilies on the pond, the number of lilies will continue to increase. We all know the equation, which is a ‘best case’ scenario. That is, one infected Lillie infects JUST ONE more Lillie.

    Unless one is a simpleton, or very drunk, it is a foregone conclusion that infection rates will continue to increase, at a minimum, one to one.

    The only caveats are: a human is immune – very low probability; a human is susceptible, but asymptomatic and has few if any severe symptoms. This is not a safe situation for anyone else, however, since cross-contamination can occur.

    I have looked at this, scientifically, behaviorally and mathematically, and I see NO Exit. It is only a matter of time before the entire nation is a petri dish. Isolating your open channels of infection, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, open wounds, sexual organs, and/or isolating your entire SELF by becoming a hermit, are your only choices.

    This is a crap shoot, mediated by your ability and LUCK to isolate yourself from a contaminated source. Period. Full stop.

    With desperate, deviant, sadistic and delusional madmen in charge of public policy, C19 will become the Nuclear Winter of ‘murkan history.

    I am not kidding here. The only factors are – how long it takes to reach unavoidable mass infections; how long will it take to develop a viable, relatively safe, and statistically favorable vaccine that (1) can be made and distributed in significant quantity to protect ALL those not yet infected and, (2) that vaccine has a protection factor well above 60 percent AND has a staying power of at least 18 months.

    Unfortunately, this renders discussions about elections, reparations, relief and social and environmental justice issues pale by comparison.

    Remember, we are talking about providing energy, food, water, disease care, a semblance of security, and a means to allow everyone not DEAD to acquire these essentials. There are 330M of us, 85 percent crammed into larger cities, where the essential services are complex in sustainability and delivery.

    I have not even mentioned the psychological and spiritual factors that are at play here, and essentially DRIVE everything else because we ARE NOT robots.

    Unless we are braindead, we KNOW the extinct R party will gerrymander the election, obfuscate, threaten, create false flag disasters, cheat, lie, steal, extort, bribe, rape, murder and challenge to the death the removal of their stranglehold on this fake nation. Gentleman Joe could win by 30 points and Covid 45 will not leave. It knows prison or assassination awaits it.

    I am more altruistic than virtually anyone. I founded my career and my personal life around it. We should not be talking about these other things right now, except in the abstract. Because they are abstractions, just like they always have been. Why do I say this?

    Because if they were not abstractions, they would not be problems RIGHT NOW.

    Why is C19 front and center right now? Because it was treated as an abstraction. Health care has always been an abstraction. It would cost the supremacists too much, whereas dis-ease care enriched the elites, just as EVERY OTHER problem has enriched them.

    I am preparing for a bizarre civil war within the next 60-90 days. Right now, we should be making sure everyone who wants to vote VOTES EARLY and in person. Everything else should be oriented toward forming a network of alliances that will provide for the palpable safety of everyone in those networks given the worst case scenarios that are likely to occur.

    If we get through an election above water with the fascists, AND we figure out how to remove the vermin contaminating virtually every quarter of our public political life, and we survive the rednecks and their armies, and we survive C19 somewhat intact, and there is enough food, water, energy and security to let us get to a place where we can configure a discussion, THEN we can talk about reparations and relief, and a thousand other things.

    My best wishes go out to all of you, and my thoughts are with you.

    Mick Nickel

  2. Reparations for Indigenous Peoples first. The SCOTUS ruling regarding the treaty that returns most of Oklahoma and all of Tulsa, may allow the loss of resources to be compensated to the the Creek Tribe. This would mean oil companies can be sued for “stealing” minerals and fluids that rightly belong with this land. I expect the lawyers are already drawing up the lawsuit.
    Then we can consider the reparations to slaves and their descendents brought to this continent.

    But be advised, last fall, Congress authorized the printing of more than $700 billion dollars, which was done with agreement by the Federal Reserve in October 2019. That money is now gone, and a second mass printing will be required before another round of payouts to unemployed and Covid closed businesses.

    The net result of this is the dollars in your pocket and mine, in everyone’s bank accounts, are worth much less. This is the Devaluation phase of our national breakdown. At the same time we are seeing rises in prices in food, and soon in utility costs, and health care. Its a double whammy, long predicted: Devaluation and Inflation together lead to economic collapse. If you can move your money to a foreign currency detached from the US, or to precious metals or bitcoin, consider doing this. Most of us have a few assets invested in time-limited instruments, and will be poorly impacted by the economic collapse and loss of value of our dollars. If your security is vested in a pension, study up and good luck. More than 59% of pensions are underfunded.

    This is not pretty and does not end well. It may be worth the penalties to access your funds now, and move these to economies (German marks, Swiss Francs, Austrailian dollars, or such. Do your homework. We are entering the Venezulian/Brazilian phase of our economy. This is why the elites are so committed to robbing us now, before the final act — which could come as early as December 2020. For more, consider reading PeakProsperity.com bulletins and Youtube videos which I have followed for 20 years. Or read the new book by James Howard Kuntsler: Living in the Long Emergency, a follow up to his book in 2005, The Long Emergency which describes the collapse and all that comes with it.
    Best to all.

  3. Hi Paul, Roxanne, and Everyone,

    I really liked the image in yesterday’s blog post about how it’s not enough to talk about it, we must take action. Bravi to everyone who believes that we’re at the point where only action will change things.

    In this spirit, it’s my view that talking about how to make up for centuries of injustice is certainly important, and I don’t criticize anyone for doing so. Yet splitting hairs about whose lives matter and how to address all of these injustices seems to get us off the real topic, which is how to transform our society into a more just one that respects everyone’s rights equally. Giving people money to address past wrongs is not necessarily going to change hearts and minds, although I agree that reparations can be part of the solution.

    Similarly, we cannot just forgive debt without changing the economic basis for how our society operates. Capitalism on steroids has let us to this point, and if that system continues, then forgiving people’s debt in the short term won’t solve the underlying problem.

    In conclusion, I believe it’s going to take a major shift in consciousness, accompanied by replacing the horrible systems that perpetuate poverty, discrimination, and other horrid injustices in American society. This has been going on from before the founding of the United States and is therefore no small task.



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