Journalist Ben Hallman digs into the FinCEN Files - a massive data cache of secret information detailing the ways the world's largest banks launder money for corrupt elites and criminal networks, wrecking the lives of regular people and communities across the globe.
Read all the ICIJ's reporting on the story here: The FinCEN Files
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is also, paradoxically, the drink.
There’s a funny thing that happens when tyrannical rulers train their populations to accept untimely and unnecessary death as an everyday occurrence: the populace becomes ever more likely to rise up en masse and put their lives on the line battling those hired to police them and, eventually, making their way to the throats of the rulers. The same mistake the French and then the US military and its civilian chess-masters made throughout their colonial misadventures in Indochina are being made on the streets of every major and minor city in the world.
The people will win. Even against the other people, because the other people are worshipful tools of the tyrants. Against the cops, because we vastly outnumber the cops, and they seem to be nothing more than a subset of the worshipful tool people anyway. Against the military because, in the last analysis, even the military is divided between worshipful tools and real people. And once we get past all these tools, we’ll win against the rulers, because the only thing protecting them will be their technology, and they need people to make that technology work. And, being the people, we have those people on our side.
In short, the more they take from us, the less we have to lose. And when the people have nothing to lose, the people can’t lose.
The evil idiots who presume to be in charge of everything crossed the line ages ago. This week in Milwaukee they shot another unarmed, entirely innocent black man in front of his children, partially paralyzing him. In Glasgow, Scotland, a Ugandan refugee starved to death. The Greeks have been dumping refugees alive into the sea. Oh, and the death count from Covid-19 under Donald Dump’s distracted negligence is over 175,000. They’re coercing people to choose to work during the plague or be forced out onto the street. They’re dumping refugees in the desert to die. They’re putting as many poor people as they can into prisons and jails. They’re cutting down the few forests that aren’t on fire, depriving indigenous peoples of homes and livelihoods. They’re letting the food supply decay in the ruins of Iowa, as farmers go without aid, a policy of massacre-by-negligence which seems to have begun with the Dick Cheney administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina.
Crops are failing, empires are... read more
Welcome to the Moment of Truth: the thirst that is the drink.
Reading the journals of others, I’m always struck by the way their strengths in one area make up for weaknesses in another. “I wasn’t interested in the majestic mountain ranges, but the old volumes in the village’s small library held me in their thrall.” Or, “My brother’s studies of the classic works of Linnaeus held no interest for me. I lived for the rush of wind as I schussed down the berg.” Or, “I never could get the hang of archery. No, for me, all joy burst forth from the sea as I landed a fish for supper.”
I could never do that memoir schtick. For one thing, I’m too dishonest. And for another, for every weakness of mine, instead of a strength in another area making up for it, there’s an additional weakness. For example, “I never liked other kids much, and they didn’t like me, but at least I had some science fiction to read, which bored me a little less, but was small consolation for a lonely life as child pariah.”
“Oh, blah blah blah, Jeffrey, who wants to listen to you read your creative writing assignment?” I had a boss who used to complain about people’s creative writing assignments being read on NPR. That was the only good thing about my boss. See, I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine. I picked up a shovel and I went to the mine. I hauled sixteen tons of number nine coal and the straw boss said, “Well bless my soul.”
That’s one thing I like to pretend. That I worked in the mines. That I had one fist of iron and the other of steel. The getting another day older and deeper in debt part, well, that I don’t have to imagine. That happened this morning, as it does every morning.
Yep, that’s why I voted for Trump. Because he said he was going to open the mines back up, bring coal back. Not cuz I’m racist. I mean, I am racist, but let’s be honest: Obama made it hard not to be racist, with his audacity to be black and president at the same time, presiding while black, defying the laws of white physics. And white people invented physics, and don’t you forget it. I mean, can you imagine a bunch of Black people achieving a fake moon landing? They’d never get that hoax off the ground. You know why? Because their Jesus doesn’t have German science on his side.
It’s... read more