Vulture Culturalism and other American Traditions

 By: Jennifer Lawson-Zepeda

Living back in the U.S. after traveling to so many different places, I always have a sense of coming home to the open mouth of a band of vultures. They are flying above me, circling and I know they are there; but I keep moving so they don’t circle in on me and start pecking at my flesh.

What is a Vulture Culture

To describe a vulture culture, it is first necessary to define the behaviors of a vulture. Do a search on Google and you will come with this definition:

vul·ture / ˈvəlCHər

1. A large bird of prey (order Accipitriformes) with the head and neck more or less bare of feathers, feeding chiefly on carrion.
2. A contemptible person who preys on or exploits others.

That definition explains if perfectly for me. But the photo to the left explains it even better. It is an animal consuming itself. And in reality, a vulture culture does just that. The vultures prey on everyone else until an entire society has consumed itself into nothing.

In Western culture, vultures are considered unsavory. They pick apart the decaying animals. They are scavengers.

So a culture that exploits the weakest countries around the world; a culture that exploits its own weak; and a country that picks away at the flesh of those who have fallen on hard times could very well be considered a vulture culture.

The vulture is often used as a symbol of opportunistic exploitation ofthe dead and those who profit from death are thought of as vultures.

A group of vultures is called a wake, committee, venue, kettle, or volt. The term kettle refers to vultures in flight, while committee, volt, and venue refer to vultures resting in trees. Wake is reserved for a group of vultures who are feeding. The word Geier (taken from the German language) does not have a precise meaning in ornithology, and it is occasionally used to refer to a vulture in English, as in some poetry.

(Source: Wikipedia Vulture)

When describing vultures, many divide them into two categories: old world vultures and new world vultures. So let’s do that to provide for a better definition

Old World Vultures

In the article, Slavery and the rise of capitalism: The Making of New World Slavery: from the Baroque to the Modern, 1492-1800, Robin Blackburn describes the emergence of the slave trade from existing slavery in Africa to how it changed under the English colonial system — a system that dominated Atlantic trade and the plantations farming.

He describes how the profits of slavery were central to paving the way for English industrialization.

Transportation punished both major and petty crimes in Great Britain and Ireland from the 17th century until well into the 19th century. A sentence could be for life or a specific period. The penal system required the convicts to work on government projects such as road construction, building works and mining, or assigned to free individuals as unpaid labour. Women were expected to work as domestic servants and farm labourers.

A convict who had served part of his time might apply for a ticket of leave permitting some prescribed freedoms. This enabled some convicts to resume a more normal life, to marry and raise a family, and a few to develop the colonies while removing them from the society. Exile was an essential component and thought a major deterrent. Transportation was also seen as a humane and productive alternative to execution, which would most likely have been the sentence to many if transportation had not been introduced.

(Source: Wikipedia Penal_transportation)

Deportations and Culture Vulturis

Luddites were members of a social movement of textile workers in England during the early 1800s. The movement began in the town of Nottingham in 1811. It was formed during the peak of the Industrial Revolution, which the workers felt threatened their jobs through automation. Their concern led them to destroy multiple textile machines and stage widespread protests. The British government reacted harshly, making industrial sabotage a capital crime and sentencing or exiling prominent figures in the movement, which at one point became quite large, with thousands of adherents.

(Source: What is-a luddite)

Penal transportation or deportations of convicted criminals to penal colonies was done to remove those whose trade had been replaced by machinery, and who took to the streets to riot about their loss of employment. Many were shipped to colonies in the Americas, from the 1610s through the 1770s.

Slavery

Slavery transformed agriculture in the Americas from existence farming, to farming for profit, bringing capitalism to the New World. A new class of people emigrated to the Americas upon discovery…people who were penniless and didn’t own land in their own countries. They had experienced changes in their own country through agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology that changed the social, economic and cultural conditions for them in England.

Others chose to emigrate to the United States colonies and the Caribbean, ending up on huge plantations as indentured servants. Blackburn explains what happened:

Initially, it was wage labour which worked the new plantations in Barbados and elsewhere. British emigrants would be contracted to work as indentured servants for three, five or seven years for the plantation after which they would be free to pursue other employment. In 1638 Barbados had 2,000 indentured servants and only 200 African slaves. By 1653 there were 20,000 slaves and only 8,000 indentured servants.
White indentured servants faced enormous hardships on the estates. The work was extremely hard, conditions appalling and life expectancy was short. Escaped servants were made to serve double time for their master. A repeated escape could lead to branding. Like slaves, the servant was regarded as a piece of property and was valued according to the amount of tobacco or sugar which could be expected to be produced before the indenture expired.

The plantation owners faced two problems. As the demand for the plantation exports rose rapidly they needed more and more labour. As emigration from Britain was, by and large, voluntary it could not guarantee to meet the needs of the system. At the same time, stories drifted back of life in the colonies which tended to discourage volunteers for the indenture system. Thus it was the growing demand for secure supplies of labour which produced the shift towards African slavery. In this context, the mid-seventeenth century saw the rapid growth of the slave plantation in the English Caribbean.

The extremely hard conditions of the plantation colonies meant that the owners, and the colonial authorities, always faced the possibility of revolt. Increasingly, laws were passed to enforce racial segregation. Such laws helped to create a form of racial solidarity among the white colonists. Increasingly whites, even poor whites, could identify themselves as a part of the privileged race. The privilege of their colour exempted them from slavery and granted them certain civil rights. The plantation owners’ fear of resistance and rebellion evolved into a more general white fear of black rebellion. In these ways slavery was crucial to forming the new racial identities in the American colonies.

From the dawn of the Industrial Revolution the world’s average per capita income increased tenfold. The living standards of many ordinary people grew. The machine age demonstrated progress and the impact of this change on society was enormous.

A Period of Balance

After World War II ended and we looked back upon the mass death it caused, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, we reconsidered our values. With over 50 million to over 70 million fatalities from that event, we glanced upon the most damning conflict in human history with disgust.

We became curious about how it happened, investigated our motives, rounded up the survivors and begged them for information about what we had done. We couldn’t believe the answers and it was those answers that shocked us into our next phase of human existence.

For a period of time, the ideals of culture vulturalism seemed to fall aside. It was replaced by a new consciousness, where man took an interest in his fellow man. The post- World War II baby boom changed our view of ourselves and where we fit into the world.

A generation emerged that questioned the need for man to consume his weak. A sense of ethics emerged, considering mankind as a whole, a community, something larger than the individual. And with that came a need to question behaviors that caused exploitation. Accept responsibility and enact change.

Civil rights gained importance. Personal freedoms were challenged. The conscious man emerged who questioned why mankind felt comfortable making fortunes off the backs of others was acceptable and we settled into a period of humanism — the responsibility to lead ethical lives both as individuals and for humanity.

With the dawning of industrialism came the covert tactics of CIA operatives. Their aim was removing the ideals for humanitarianism and replacing it with something much more sinister. Something that helped the wealthy exploit people once again.

Campaigns of political repression by right-wing dictatorships throughout the world involved CIA tactics and relationships. Covert operations involving terror and assassination attempts became the mission through campaigns like Operation Condor. These took place throughout the word after a meeting between the leaders of right-wing dictatorships from the Southern cone of the Americas took place:

A few well-known victims of Operation Condor:

Martín Almada, educator in Paraguay, arrested in 1974 and tortured for three years

Víctor Olea Alegría, member of the Socialist Party, arrested on 11 September, 1974 and “disappeared” (head of DINA Manuel Contreras was convicted in 2002 for this crime)

General Carlos Prats, who immediately preceded Pinochet at the head of the Chilean army, assassinated in Buenos Aires in 1974

William Beausire, businessman with dual British and Chilean nationality, abducted in transit in Buenos Aires airport in November 1974, taken to the Villa Grimaldi torture centre in Chile and never seen since.

Bernardo Leighton, Christian-Democrat who narrowly escaped murder in Rome in 1975 organized by Italian terrorist Stefano Delle Chiaie

Carlos Altamirano, leader of the Chilean Socialist Party, targeted for murder by Pinochet in 1975

Attempted assassination against Emilio Aragonés, the Cuban ambassador in Buenos Aires, in 1975, organized by leader of the CORU, Orlando Bosch

Sheila Cassidy, British physician, arrested in Chile in 1975 and tortured for medical treatment to an opponent of the regime.

Volodia Teitelboim, member of the Communist Party of Chile, targeted for murder alongside Carlos Altamirano, in Mexico in 1976

“Disappearance” of two Cuban diplomats in Argentina, Crecencio Galañega Hernández and Jesús Cejas Arias who transited through Orletti detention center in Buenos Aires (9 August, 1976 – see Lista de centros clandestinos de detención (Argentina)); both were questioned by the SIDE and the DINA, with the knowledge of the FBI and the CIA

Andrés Pascal Allende, nephew of Salvador Allende and president of the MIR, escaped assassination attempt in Costa Rica in March 1976

Orlando Letelier, murdered in 1976 in Washington, D.C. with his assistant Ronni Moffitt

Christian-Democrat and president of Chile from 1964 to 1970 Eduardo Frei Montalva, who may have been poisoned in the early 1980s according to current investigations

former Bolivian president Juan José Torres, assassinated in Buenos Aires in 1976

Héctor Gutiérrez Ruiz, former Uruguayan deputy, assassinated in Buenos Aires in 1976

Zelmar Michelini, former Uruguayan deputy, assassinated in Buenos Aires in 1976

Carmelo Soria, Spanish diplomat, civil servant of the CEPAL (a UN organism), assassinated on 21 July 1976

Jorge Zaffaroni and Maria Emilia Islas de Zaffaroni, maybe members of the Tupamaros, “disappeared” in Buenos Aires on 29 September, 1976, kidnapped by the Batallón de Inteligencia 601, who handed them out to the Uruguayan OCOAS (Organismo Coordinador de Operaciones Anti-Subversivas)

Dagmar Ingrid Hagelin, 17-year-old Swedish girl shot in the back by Alfredo Astiz in 1977 and later murdered

Poet Juan Gelman‘s son and daughter-in-law (whose baby was stolen by the Uruguayan military)

US Congressman Edward Koch, who became aware in 2001 of relations between 1970s threats on his life and Operation Condor

(Source: Wikipedia Operation_Condor)

After a period of social enlightenment many of the idealistic youth who promoted humanism grew up and created families. Education opened up to more than just the wealthy elite during the humanitarian decades. Those who graduated into careers in technology became intrigued with the concept of wealth building and opted into opening dot.com businesses that built quick wealth in ways they had never seen.

Suddenly, the concept of humanism fell onto a back burner. The flavor of the day was investment, wealth building, and consumerism. The brand became important and brands like Nike and Apple took a stronghold.

At the same time, many who had graduated from the drug induced lives of their Hippie youths evolved into drug addiction. And their lives degraded into problematic episodes of criminal activity, or lifestyles revolved around the selling of flesh.

After this phase, many of these people turned to treatment centers cloaked in religious values to promote healing. The birth of the reborn Christian took over the world and Christianity grew. Along with this the idea to promote the staunch conservative Christian moray took hold.

Capitalists and Christians

Between the capitalists and the Christians, a new type of right-winged thinking became a popular movement…the Neo Conservative. He was convinced his values should be mandated for everyone.

In many countries, leaders who hinged on neo conservative values became popular and were voted in to control their countries. They fed into the Christian and capitalistic ideas of the ex humanists. Suddenly, things like human rights became secondary to Christian and Capitalist rights.

New World Vultures

A Christian’s right to pray and force everyone else to endure their need to pray became more important than considering other religions. The concept of using symbolism, like crosses, to promote Christianity in government places became a battle, instead of allowing the separation of church and state. And this moral deterioration continued. No longer did a woman have a right to be an individual who chose her own medical care. Not when Christians felt they had to dictate it to her. No longer did a mother and father have the right to educate their children the way they wanted, not if Christians disagreed with it.

They formed strong financial lobbies that helped fight against an individual’s right to decide for themselves. They organized in their churches to explain to one another how they should feel politically. This movement was financed by the capitalists who also felt they needed to remove humanism, in order to gain the right to exploit people once again and maximize profit.

And Neo Conservatism grew to a point where it now became acceptable to round up immigrants (like the English had done with those who had lost their trade during the Industrial Era) and deport them somewhere else. Not just somewhere, but in many cases, anywhere, as is regularly done in asylum cases in the U.S. Then, the Capitalists found their right to buy up businesses (such as Romney did with Bain & Company ) and strip mine them for every possible asset they could take for profit and walk away with, before they sold them off and left entire communities unemployed…like the craftsmen during the Industrial Era.

This wasn’t good enough though. So the Neo-Conservatives took this one step further. They brought slavery back. Not slavery as we once knew it, where a person had no freedom and was indebted to the person that took care of them. No.

Today’s slavery is veiled. Instead, the Neo-Conservatives brought slavery back through removing unions and any employee representation in the work place. Once that was gone, they systematically removed employee benefits, such as health care, pensions and implemented employment practices such as “at will employment.
At-will employment is a doctrine of American law that defines an employment relationship in which either party can break the relationship with no liability, provided there was no express contract for a definite term governing the employment relationship and that the employer does not belong to a collective bargaining group (i.e., has not recognized a union). Under this legal doctrine:

any hiring is presumed to be “at will”; that is, the employer is free to discharge individuals “for good cause, or bad cause, or no cause at all,” and the employee is equally free to quit, strike, or otherwise cease work.

The doctrine of at-will employment has been criticized as predicated upon flawed assumptions about the inherent distribution of power and information in the employee-employer relationship and for its brutal harshness upon employees.Regardless, the doctrine is widely credited as one of the major factors behind the strength of the U.S. economy; this thesis has been advanced by leading scholars in the field of law and economics such as Professors Richard A. Epstein and Richard Posner. In particular, at-will employment has been credited with making possible the success of Silicon Valley as an entrepreneur-friendly environment.

(Source: Wikipedia At-will_employment)

Today’s vultures are still picking off the carcass of those they can exploit through other practices. Through Neo-Conservatism, we’ve now accepted the practices of torture. Things like water boarding, pissing on your murdered opponent, holding people in prisons for decades without charging them…all of these things are now acceptable.

We’ve brought back lengthy work hours, many of which rival the hours people worked before unions were created. We’ve enabled the right of the wealthy to steal our 401K plans and watch us on camera. We’ve even allowed them to invade our bodies through testing processes that tell them more about our chemical make-up than we know about ourselves. We’ve destroyed the economy until employees are at the mercy of employers, and begging for work so they can feed their families. And we’ve allowed them to discriminate once again, based on age, race, you name it…only now it’s hidden under rhetoric.

Celebrities, politicians and the well-to-do now have a separate set of laws that they follow than the laws of the land. They are held to more lenient standards when they are caught stealing, driving drunk, killing or any other crime you can imagine.

Repeating our Patterns

Marx outlined many ways in which capitalism reproduces the conditions for capitalism to continue to exist.

“The accumulation of capital pre-supposes surplus-value; surplus-value pre-supposes capitalistic production;

capitalistic production pre-supposes the pre-existence of considerable masses of capital and of labour-power

The whole movement, therefore, seems to turn in a vicious circle, out of which we can only get by supposing a primitive accumulation

An accumulation not the result of the capitalist mode of production, but its starting point”.

(Source: Slavery33, Socialism Today.org)

Marx was well aware that the history of capitalism provided a number of possible sources for the original funds for capitalist investment.

“The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extirpation, the enslavement and entombment in mines of the aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a warren for the commercial hunting of black skins, signalized the rosy dawn of the era of capitalistic production. These idyllic proceedings are the chief moments of primitive accumulation.”

Today’s culture vultures have no less guilt than those of yesterday. They are brazen about their lack of morals and ethics which makes me wonder…

Is another Holocaust on the horizon? A holocaust of a new kind…where maybe the poorest of the poor are considered for extermination? Or, will the most impoverished become today’s Luddites, fighting back and being deported out of sight?

Once again:

Vultures prey on everyone else until an entire society has consumed itself into nothing.

It doesn’t have to be that way, though!

 

29 Comments on “Vulture Culturalism and other American Traditions”

  1. [Quote=Article]Is another Holocaust on the horizon? A holocaust of a new kind…where maybe the poorest of the poor are considered for extermination? Or, will the most impoverished become today’s Luddites, fighting back and being deported out of sight?]

    That’s exactly what I see on the horrizon – as the planet’s resources deminish and the police state tightens its grip (and the infrastructure for that has been laid out nicely over the last couple decades) dissenters will begin to “disappear:” it will likely start with people deemed “undesirables” who don’t have the means to fight back, but will steadily encompass larger and larger segments of the population – continuing until the state has disposed of its surplus population (unless something kills the beast first…).

  2. Azazel,

    I think we agree on this. After all, the instrumentation has already been set up. We have a new autonomy in our police forces under the guise of homeland security.

    We have a new theory that the Holocaust didn’t even exist in some far-right nutcase circles; where Congressmen even vie for five minutes of fame by denying the Holocaust ever took place.

    Denial, dumbing-down, to the point that the Kardashians and Paris Hilton are the new fucktard mindsets that America idolizes. Every celebrity now has a line or perfume, clothing…you name it, instead of talent. Names like Blue-Ivy are even trademarked for perfume and clothing branding when a baby comes of age. THIS is the mindset of a new generation of wealth.

    To hell with you if you don’t have money. If Beyonce wants to hire guards to keep everyone off the floor she births her baby, then screw all the other mothers. After all, who cares! They aren’t rich. They don’t deserve to have their relatives visit.

    As far as deportations? It won’t be long before wealth may be the factor for removal. Been on welfare too long? You’re OUT! Homeless? You go now! It’s a new Hitlerism on the horizon. How well can you exploit your fellow man? Wow! That much? You ARE a go-getter! Welcome to America!

    Like Hitler, those of you who yell out spirited opinions backing Marx or Trotsky are undermining the war effort. This IS a war! Make no confusion about that! We are fighting a battle to prove who has the most cold-blooded courage; the greatest ability to spy on your fellow man; the most apt at whipping up venom and hysteria against those who don’t endorse capital gains.

    Does anyone REALLY wonder where this is going? Stormtroopers? We already have them, of sorts. Prominent industrialists? Yup, got them too. Seen the gal who created Spanx lately on Forbes? Hitler Youth? How about Young Tea Partiers?

    In 1934 Hitler had complete control over Germany. In 2012, people like Carlos Slim have complete control over Mexico.

    But dictators always suffer one weakness. Fear! Fear they may be ousted by others who wanted their power. Hitler used the tactic of divide and rule. Homeland Security does to.

    But what if these greedy elite developed a dislike for each other. Which one would have the potential to remove any their competitors?

    You see, there IS a solution. We simply aren’t playing our trump cards!

  3. Jen, are you on prozac?

    Of course if this is too personal, I apologize. You don’t have to answer.

  4. phd,

    I love answers like yours. Know why? Because I know I’ve hit a nerve. So much so, that you feel compelled to attack me rather than what I’ve written. Thank you for your opinion. It means so much to me. Sort of like the dirty dish water I throw out and miss so much. Like the pink slime they now fill my hamburger meat with that rots the meat after two days.

    BTW, the Trotsky comment was about a new Socialist party forming in Los Angeles who follows his theories. I’m sure you weren’t aware that this was arising again and probably thought I was dating myself.

    THANK YOU!
    Jen

  5. @ phd,

    One does not need to be mentally disturbed to recognize the patterns of exploitation and virtual enslavement of the working classes – if anything, being keenly aware of these things may actually drive one into depression (which pills like Prozac merely medicate the symptoms of – like most of the “solutions” sold to us in our unhealthy modern society…).

  6. There isn’t enough prozac to deal with what is coming down the pipeline. But if jthere were, would any rational person subject themselves to the effects of one of corporate America’s finest inventions to control public opinion?

  7. I didn’t feel I was attacking you, Jen. And nothing in your article “hit a nerve” — It’s not like I’m in the slave business.

    I just thought your moods are a little strange.

  8. phd,

    That you are still nursing respect for Prozac, to treat “strange moods” tells me you and I probably wouldn’t share a robust discussion on mental health, anyway.

    You see, I’m of the cloth that pharmaceuticals for mental health and their side effects are destroying the lives of those taking them; much like science journalist and author, Robert Whitaker.

    Beyond that, I think people without strange moods are about as blasé as they come. So, we probably aren’t dancing on the same floor, you know?

  9. So I take it this is a no?

    No disrespect Jen, but you seem a little manic-depressive to me. I’m not saying you should take prozac, I was wondering whether you are on it or not. I’ve noticed quite a few people around me who take fluoxetine seem to experience these ups and downs..

    It’s like they go through episodes of euphoria, followed by unexplained melancholy. During their low-phases they get annoyed and take offense at the smallest things. It’s like they are constantly on the defensive in these periods…

    Please don’t beat me up.

  10. BTW, phd, you seem a little hyper sensitive yourself. Can I recommend some Abilify to help you with that edginess? ROFL Just watch out for the side effects:

    Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; itching; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); abnormal thinking; chest pain; confusion; fainting; fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat; fever, chills, sore throat; increased sweating; involuntary movements of the tongue, face, mouth, jaw, arms, legs, or back (eg, chewing movements, puckering of mouth, puffing of cheeks); loss of control over urination; loss of coordination; muscle tremor, jerking, or stiffness; new or worsening mental or mood problems (eg, anxiety, depression, agitation, panic attacks, aggressiveness, impulsiveness, irritability, hostility, exaggerated feeling of well-being, inability to sit still); one-sided weakness; seizures; severe or persistent restlessness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or attempts; swelling of the hands, ankles, or feet; symptoms of high blood sugar (eg, increased thirst, urination, or appetite; unusual weakness); trouble swallowing; trouble walking; unusual bruising; unusual tiredness or weakness; vision or speech changes.

  11. Jen, I’m glad there’s no hard feelings. And I didn’t say what I said based on this article alone. I’ve been following your stuff here for quite a few months now you know.. And I’ve been close to getting my nuts mashed by you a few times.

    Remember when you assaulted me and discredited my Ariyan hypothesis on the grounds that I was a racist nazi-sympathizer? If that wasn’t one of your “moods” then I don’t know what it was. 😉

  12. LOL Azazel…doesn’t that list just make you want to run out and grab some? Every time I hear that commercial, and the fast way they run past all of those side effects, I’m left speechless. But the one my doctor told me that put it on the category of HELL NO was the potential for liver damage. I’m not sure if the commercial says that.

    Besides, I’m amused by anyone who would call themselves “phd,” and say this, “No disrespect…but you seem a little manic-depressive to me.”

    Why would any clinician working in mental health feel that manic depression is something of “disrespect?” Things that make you go hmmmm…

    It’s right up there with this blog http://www.stormfront.org/forum/t375685/

    A lovely little white racist forum where they are amazed over white females with black hair and blue eyes. Some things just make you bend over and laugh.

  13. Wow… Looks like some white supremecists need to get laid FAST!

    And personally, I don’t understand why these guys are so obsessed with eyes and hair anyway – most guys I know look for… other qualities (if you know what I mean *wink*) in females to denote attractiveness.

  14. phd is my initials. it’s ph.d. as in f.d. It doesn’t imply I’m a doctor.

    What kind of an idiot would use PhD as their nickname? Give me a break.

  15. I just read through your blog entry, and I’m really sorry Jen. I was being an insensitive jackass the way I brought up the subject.

    I think you’re really brave to talk about it so openly. And I do hope you find the strength to overcome whatever is bothering you.

  16. phd,

    I’m HARDLY sensitive about suffering PTSD. I’m right out there with it…LOL. I’ve been writing about it since I returned and I’ve been through intensive therapy to grow to understand it.

    The only thing I might caution you on is labeling those who might suffer some sensitivity over their psychological disorder. Because, there are many who feel the effects of archaic attitudes over mental health. And you could hurt a person like this.

    As for me, I survived being held hostage behind a locked room for four months by people who tortured, starved and dehydrated me in a foreign country. I have the physical scars to prove it as well as the mental ones. I’m not ashamed. I’m proud that I survived and honestly, I would challenge anyone to come out of this with as little damage as I have. Others are not so fortunate. And this is why I write about my experiences…so they don’t feel so isolated. Thank you for being a standup person for apologizing though.

    Azazel, those people need more than to get laid. They need a reality check! I always blow their minds because they have such a backwards idea of race. I’m Argentine American, which means I’m the Latina they hate and the white gal they want to know. ROFL That’s how pathetically stupid racism is!

  17. It seems to me that “Neo-conservatism” is becoming its own religion. It’s not really about Christianity. Christianity is simply a tool for “jumping people in” so to speak. If this progresses I see a time in which the veil of Christianity is dropped entirely. It was never about this.

    It is, as you point out about power and resources. Does it have to be this way? No it does not. However, it is highly likely it WILL be this way. What we have here that Germany, Italy, Rome and and the Byzantines did not is a measure of isolation. It provides a better more fertile ground for this ideology to grow.

  18. “But what if these greedy elite developed a dislike for each other. Which one would have the potential to remove any their competitors?” Jennifer, this is exactly what has been going through my head. Although comparing the US to the rise and fall of the Roman Empire has become a cliched statement, the parallels are too close to ignore. It wasn’t so much the enemy at its borders that killed it so much as it was the corruption at its highest levels. Near its end, the emperor and other positions of importance changed on an average of every two years through assassination. Having conquered and with no expertise left for military strategy or social development, all that remained was desire for power.

    The corporate leaders are sociopaths. You cannot appeal to their moral compass because they don’t have one. They have no conscience, no feelings of guilt or remorse. At the present time, they are united through convenience, but what about when they begin to squabble with each other for primary positions? We already see this “win at all costs” with the rapidly disintegrating Republican party that once retained its power through a unified front, but that now claws each other apart just for the glory of nomination. How long before they begin assassinating each other?

    It doesn’t have to be that way, but it is. The wheels were set in motion fifty years ago, even while the world was waking up to a dawning era of civil rights and humane treatment. This era is still taking baby steps. It’s a toddler on the road to discovery. It’s a wheel set in motion. Even though it runs into stumbling blocks, falters and hesitates, it’s gathering momentum. It is alive and the vultures prefer the weak, the sick and the dying. When they have gobbled the last pound of flesh they can from their victims, i think they will turn on each other.

  19. Jennifer, have you ever considered writing down your experiences as a story? You know like a narrative of all the day to day events that occurred during your captivity, and also during your time on the run.

    If you’ve already done this, I’d be very interested in reading about your experiences in some more detail (other than the fact that you survived captivity and that you now suffer from PTSD)

    So will you indulge us with some of your tales? From what you’ve stated thus far I imagine you must have quite a life story. Please do tell us.

  20. Good job, Jen.

    I agree with most of the notions here.

    I obviously don’t like fundamentalists. But they are the abnormal consequences of corrupt government. Practically every fundamentalist cult results from the corruption of a large organized religion. In government it works the same way. The mishandling of the government causes these psychos to come out of the “closet” and spread their anger.

    Which is why I remind people that fundies and corporations are BOTH the enemy.

  21. phd,

    Here is the interesting side of what I went through. While my husband was applying for asylum, from 2006 to 2009 when they deported him right before his hearing, I was asked to testify about what happened when he entered this country. The immigration court really didn’t need my testimony. They were supposed to subpoena the videos and recordings of our interrogation upon entering the U.S., as Judge Henry P. Ipema had ordered. But they ignored his order…and yes, they really ARE that powerful that they can ignore a legal order mandating evidence be provided for an asylum case! So they brought me to the stand to testify. But instead of asking about my husband’s case, they asked questions for fifteen minutes about the book I had been writing named, Save Me Salvador, The attorney asked the name, wrote it down, asked what it included and I told him it discussed what had happened to us in great detail.

    As for writing about my experiences in El Salvador…there is a social responsibility I feel that I have to protect a few people there. I am trying to write about it without endangering their lives. As what we went through in Managua, I really don’t give a shit about the greedy s.o.b’s that held my husband incommunicado there. I do want to expose them and Ortega’s fake Nicaraguan refugee law. Because what my husband went through their was equally as distasteful as what he experienced here, in the U.S. Our story demonstrates the corruption behind immigration in socialist and capitalist regimes.

  22. Nicaragua claimed in 2008 that their LEY 655, or ‘humanitarian’ refugee law was apolitical and humanitarian in nature. They claimed that Nicaragua had a long tradition of providing international protection to refugees and worked with UNHCR over the years. Here’s some propaganda from when that law was passed.

    “Recently, asylum-seekers from Angola, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Pakistan and Somalia have arrived on Nicaraguan shores, and the country’s refugee law will help officials identify and assist those in need of international protection.”

    When the UNHRC, ACNUR and the Salvadoran Embassy investigated my husband’s case after they had disappeared him, asking why he was being illegally held, they found over 30 people from all over the world being held in Managua, in the same conditions. Why?

    The DGME officer — Pablo Morales and his staff were demanding bribes to release refugees. I was warned by a man at UNHRC that these were the conditions that made people like my husband a victim:

    – The target (or his relatives) should be able to pay a bribe.
    – The target should be vulnerable. If the immigrant is alone, ignorant of the asylum procedures and without an attorney they are victimized.
    – Their should be a backup-story for the DGME officials, in case tings go wrong and to cover up things.
    – When things get too dangerous for DGME, the emergency plan should be able to execute fast.

    And we met all of these conditions, so he was held incommunicado for 11 days, before his release; and that was after he was held for 3 years in complete isolation to torture him in the U.S.. Here is what I’ve learned through my efforts to find my husband after he walked inside the Managua Immigration facility with his passport in hand, two days left on his 90 day tourist visa, and a letter from King Quality bus line proving the day he entered the country and that he had two days left on his visa to request asylum. They arrested him illegally and held him incommunicado, and he saw Americans there among many others, from Somalia, Peru, Cuba, Vietnam, Mexico and many other countries.

    Each time I called the “Dirección General de Migración y Extranjería” at 505 22443989 I was getting a different answer. One time a woman told me they sent him to “Western Union” for $200, and that he wasn’t deported, when I told them he wasn’t on any flights and knew my husband was in Nicaragua they told me he had been sent home.

    My husband would have called me from the airport if he were deported. My husband would have answered his phone and called me if he went to Western Union. They lied.

    So…you see why my story is not something some people in the U.S. would want to get out.

  23. He was killed there, last year. As I said, I’m writing about what happened to us, including all I endured in El Salvador while living on the run. I have since met the man I am engaged to now and I’m trying to recover my life.

  24. Concerning the different levels of Justice for higher vs. lower social classes of society, remember the Chevrolet ignition problems that caused 124 deaths?

    “General Motors’ $900 million plea deal with the U.S. government after the automaker concealed a deadly ignition-switch defect linked to the deaths of 124 people has rekindled a debate over how tough federal prosecutors should be when fighting corporate wrongdoing.”

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