We Can’t Prevent War By Starting War

Trump has united Iran against America. The Pentagon’s unprovoked drone assassination of the Iranian general responsible for the defeat of ISIS should confuse most Americans. But the fact that General Soleimani was murdered while negotiating a peace deal signals that America ’s oligarchs are finally ready to ignite World War III. The attack corroborates General Wesley Clark’s revelation that the “War on Terror” involved invading and overthrowing seven Middle-Eastern countries in five years – finishing with Iran. Since the War on Terror began, America has surrounded Iran with over 40 military bases, mirroring the intentions set by the Brookings Institution’s 2009 regime change strategy guide: “Which Path to Persia? Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran.” And ever since the Mossad’s ill-advised deployment of the STUXNET virus and the resulting cyber war that followed, Iran has proven capable of defending itself with a deterrent far more effective than nuclear arms.

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Your Luxury Is Our Displacement

Missoula’s battle against gentrification rages into 2020. WGM Group is pushing for a development of unaffordable condos on 4th Street near Missoula’s Hip Strip. The plan involves destroying several century-old houses to construct in their place, a glassy eyesore for the enjoyment of the very rich. The proposed development is on property currently owned by former Griz and Roughrider Quarterback Cole Bergquist. Mr. Bergquist happens to be the realtor put on probation “for unprofessional conduct” after selling the University’s Salmon Lake Lodge to Paws Up in 2017. Since he owns these historic 4th street buildings, Bergquist now wants to displace Missoula’s neighbors from these historic homes to erect multi-million-dollar condominiums that no locals will ever be able to afford. To maximize profits, Bergquist is asking City Council to rezone the property and surrender public right of way around it, in-turn displacing locals, leveling history, and uprooting neighborhood foundations.

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Reclaim Your Cognitive Liberty

Western society has only recently begun to accept the merit of indigenous wisdom that stretches back to time immemorial concerning psychedelic plant medicines. And though psychedelics have become trendy throughout pop culture in recent years, the psychedelic experience itself remains a mystery still for society at large. But the psychedelic experience is as central to understanding our humanness as having sex or birthing children or accepting responsibilities. And yet it is illegal. This prohibition deliberately thwarts our collective potential, renders the citizenry infantile and undermines America’s freedom of religious expression. Our culturally immature empire allows its inhabitants to wander the sanctioned playpen of ordinary consciousness, but boundary-dissolving hallucinogens that provide a sense of unity with our fellow humans are somehow forbidden. If we are not sovereign to make free choices over our own consciousness then we are not free in any sense of the word.

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The Antidote To Despair

America is plagued by an array of pathologies that arise from hopelessness, despair, and the seizure of civil society. The suicide epidemic is a direct manifestation of a society ravaged by corporate pillaging. Neither of the two corporate-owned political parties address our systemic problems, and the obscene concentration of resources in an incredibly small number of hands reveals America’s greatest hypocrisy. Competition disappears before our eyes as Amazon secures total monopoly over online commerce and distribution. If Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods and the Washington Post didn’t frighten us, their wider move into the global business of law enforcement and security certainly should. Our antitrust commissions abdicate their responsibilities by allowing this level of consolidation of power to continue when 70% of the population can no longer generate enough income to afford basic necessities. Until our corporate coup d’état is reversed these diseases will only grow.

 

And Then They Came For Me…

While panhandlers and “transients” rapidly become a more common site on our streets, many municipalities nationwide are vying to criminalize homelessness altogether. They forget that while today its “them” tomorrow it could be us. 70% of Americans are just one paycheck away from becoming homeless. 20% of American children live in poverty. And 1 out of every 6 Americans now depends on anti-poverty programs like SNAP. There are now more than half-a-million homeless Americans wandering our streets everyday. But wealthy business owners continue to propose punishments for being poor in a system with ever-fewer income opportunities. How long do we need to travel down this road before we see where it leads? With human labor becoming increasingly obsolete, it is only a matter of time before the rest of us find ourselves unemployed and in-turn homeless. Our system has deteriorated into a ruthless game of musical chairs, lending itself to the mentalities upon which concentration-camps are born.

Choking on the LogJam: Checota’s “Charity” Chokecherries

Experimental evidence from UC Berkeley strongly confirms that rich people are more likely to break the law while driving, cheat in a game of chance, lie during negotiations and endorse unethical behavior, including stealing at work. Conversely, take someone who is rich and make them feel poor, and they become more generous. But clever fat cats merely exploit the window dressing of charity to further enrich and empower themselves. Nick Checota’s LogJam Foundation is a good case in point. While Checota’s $50,000 Public Library wealth transfer is being framed as a “donation”, the real incentives for parking money in foundations involve huge tax benefits. And despite Logjam’s claim that they are “committed to the sustainability of the community”, they demonstrate an utter contempt for said community by depleting the Missoula Redevelopment Agency piggy bank by $16.5 million. This week’s $50k “donation” seems little more than a public relations smokescreen to obfuscate the biggest taxpayer giveaway in Montana State history.