Aug 262018

Henry Bacon Fisherfolk returning with their nets, Étretat 1890


Let’s try a different angle. How about the world through the eyes of children’s? I don’t want to dwell on John McCain, too many people already do today, but I would suggest that your thoughts and prayers are with the souls of the hundreds of thousands of children that died because McCain advocated bombing them. Or, indeed, 50-odd years ago, were bombed by him personally. I wanted to leave him be altogether, don’t kick a man when he’s down, but I can’t get the image out of my head of him singing “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran”.

To remember that, perhaps the most vile and infamous thing he’s ever done (it’s in the top ten), and then see someone like Ocasio-Cortez say he was an “unparalleled example of human decency”, it’s almost comedy. But not as funny as when in the 2008 campaign the woman in the red dress asked him if Obama was an Arab, and he responded: “No, ma’am. No, ma’am. He’s a decent, family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues and that’s what this campaign is all about”.

That is full-blown hilarious. And hardly a soul caught it, which makes it many times worse. It made him a decent man in the eyes of Americans to defend Obama by declaring that Arabs are per definition neither decent nor family men. Yeah, well, you might as well bomb them all then. But enough about McCain: it’s about the children, and their souls, not his.


The Pope is visiting Ireland this weekend. There is really just one subject on people’s minds, even though the ‘leaders’ say this is one of Ireland’s biggest events in 40 years. What’s on their minds is -child- sex abuse by Catholic clergy. And it’s been -and probably still is- rampant in the country. Like it’s been everywhere the Catholic church is an important force. Which is in many countries, there are 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide. The man claimed he was begging for God’s forgiveness. Not sure that will do it, there, Francis.

The Roman Catholic religion, and the Church, are fronts for the world’s biggest business empire, a multinational at least 1500 years older than the next one, Holland’s VOC -which existed maybe 100 years-. It has played power politics for longer than anyone else, all over the world. Its real estate portfolio alone is worth more than many a country. For that matter, it effectively owns many a country.

There would have to be a huge outcry over the child abuse before there could ever be an investigation. Multiple popes have promised exactly such investigations, and nothing has happened. It would upset the business model too much. And most faithful still believe their priests are decent men, anyway. Yes, there’s that word again, ‘decent’.

If a priest can no longer be maintained in a specific church because he’s been too obvious, too perverted and too greedy, he simply gets transferred to another parish. They’ve been doing this for 1,500 years, they got it down. And when things heat up, they beg god for forgiveness. While the Church gets ever richer.

At a 2% annual growth rate, wealth doubles every 34-35 years. The Catholic Church has been at it for 1,500. Do your math. Or look at it this way: real estate prices have been surging over the past few decades. And that’s the Vatican’s main industry. Anyone want to venture a guess at how much money they have made?

The Vatican is a facade hiding behind a facade hiding behind… Francis Ford Coppola tried tackling the topic in The Godfather III, but he was only mildly successful and not many people believed his portrayal. But, again, this is not about the Pope playing Kabuki theater like all his predecessors, it’s about the children.


In the US, some 500 children are still separated from their parents, if they’re still in the country. Haven’t heard much from Judge Dana Sabraw, according to whose ruling they should have been reunited weeks ago. Where is the Judge? Where are the children?

At the same time, we learn that about 52% of Americans under 18 -i.e. children, some 40 million of them- live in households that depend on some form of welfare. And Americans want to chide European nations for being ‘socialist’. That’s humor too.

But again, it’s about the children. How can they ever reach their potential if there’s a constant cloud of financial worry hanging over their heads, if many of them still don’t enough to eat, if much of what they eat is junk food, which is full of glyphosate to boot, and if it takes $100,000 or so in debt just to get a degree?

And that’s just the kids at home. Abroad, Americans treat children even a lot worse than they do their own. With the shining example of John McCain in mind, they have supplied the Saudi’s with much of the weaponry needed to murder many thousands more children in Yemen. 1.2 million human beings are estimated to have died in Iraq alone. Thanks John. That’s what, half a million children there alone?


In Greece, numbers came out this week that said the number of refugees on the islands is presently 16,000, vs 10,000 a year ago. And yes, many of them are children. Still in overcrowded camps, nothing has changed. It’s like the Catholic Church’s promising investigations. Nothing ever happens. Nobody cares. Well, nobody who has the power to make things happen.

The politicians all think about their careers. If it helps them in the next election to help refugees, children, countries, they will. If not, not. In the case of Greece, people are waking up to what actually happened to this country. Just too late. Matthew Klein wrote in Barron’s:

There was no political will in 2010 to spend hundreds of billions of euros to bail out Dutch, French, and German banks. To Greece’s eternal misfortune, however, there was enough “solidarity” to launder that Northern European bank bailout through the Greek government.

What does that have to do with children? Apart from the thousands of refugee children stranded on Greek islands and the mainland, Greek children themselves often no longer have access to sufficient food, healthcare, education, no matter how hard parents and others try. But at least Germany and Holland et al can boast about their growing economies.


We’re getting this wrong, we’re getting it all upside down. Children are not objects to treat and use to further political and corporate agendas. They are the future. Abuse them, maim them, kill them, under-feed them, under-educate them, and you end up with a screwed-up, abusive, underfed and under-educated world.

In that report about US children living in welfare dependent households there’s an interesting number: while 52.1% of under-18’s live in such a household, only 18.8% of over 75’s do. In other words, wealth is heavily skewed towards baby boomers and older. And that is somewhat defensible, since people need money for retirement, but it’s not if it means condemning others to food stamps.

This paints the portrait of a broken society, and -predictably- the weakest are the victims. Children. But the most heartbreaking, even if that is a hard point to make when we’ve already seen how many have been bombed, comes from Nauru, Australia’s ‘private’ prison island for refugees. As Australians think about how much their property has surged in price this week, their government(s) are responsible -in their name- for this:


‘Begging To Die’: Succession Of Critically Ill Children Moved Off Nauru

A girl suffering “resignation syndrome” and who is refusing all food and water has been ordered off Nauru by an Australian court, as a succession of critically ill children are brought from the island. At least three children have left the island since Thursday, and reports from island sources say at least three more children, as young as 12, are “on FFR” – food and fluid refusal.

The current crisis on the island is overwhelming medical staff, who are referring dozens of children for transfer off the island, only to have their decisions rebuffed by Australian Border Force officials on the island or department of home affairs bureaucrats in Canberra. Two children were moved off the island with their families on Thursday.

Early on Friday morning, a 14-year-old refugee boy suffering a major depressive disorder and severe muscle wastage after not getting out of bed for four months, was flown directly from Nauru to Brisbane with his family. There are concerns, doctors say, he may never be able to walk normally again.

Later on Friday, in the federal court, Justice Tom Thawley ordered another girl – given the designation EIV18 by the court – to be moved to Australia for urgent medical treatment. Court orders prevent publication of the girl’s age – other than the fact she is a child – her name or country of origin. [..] The girl has been inside the supported accommodation area of the regional processing centre for three weeks, and has been refusing food and water for much of that time.

Before she, too, fell into acute depression and “resignation syndrome”, and refused to eat or drink anything, she had been one of the brightest and most articulate of the refugee children on Nauru. “Before she got sick, she was the best-performing student,” a source familiar with the girl and her condition told the Guardian. “She had a dream to be a doctor in Australia and to help others. Now, she is on food-and-fluid refusal and begging to die as death is better than Nauru.”

Can you be a worse human being than John McCain was? It’s not easy. But some people are still trying. Hard to fathom how Australians can be so silent about this. Where are the protests in the streets of Melbourne and Sydney?

Caring only about your own children while throwing the rest away with the bathwater is neither feasible nor viable. You’re bringing up children destined to fight and hate each other. For no reason that I can see at all. Do you enjoy the world of John McCain, where children were bombed for 50 years in two dozen or so countries? Or do you think that’s not such a good idea?

McCain could succeed only because his country, and the world around him, failed. Don’t set up your children, and all children, to fail in the same way he did.



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    Henry Bacon Fisherfolk returning with their nets, Étretat 1890   Let’s try a different angle. How about the world through the eyes of children’s?
    [See the full post at: Bathwater]

    Dr. D

    Ocasio-Cortez says McCain was an “unparalleled example of human decency”, not for Vietnam, which might be understandable, but looking at his recent 30 years of unparalleled warmongering. Nice going Progressives! At this rate, Cortez will be able to keep up with the 1 million a year killed by Socialism for 100 years. But then, she does have the stamp of the CFR, as did McCain for sure.

    While it’s fun to talk about the children, and brings it home as they cannot have responsibility of action the way adults do, keep in mind that every parent — and sometimes both — will suffer as badly, in poor eating, in overwork, and endless, unfruitful worry over money. Of course, yes, the U.S. is already well on the way to being a Soviet state, and the real victims aren’t entirely those who are on food stamps and related care, but anyone who works. The all-in support of welfare, Medicaid, etc, has been calculated to be as high as $35,000/year. Better, actually, as you cannot be fired, which most working people are. You also have health care, which working people effectively do not. So you need to go from the streets to, I dunno, $40k with benefits to compare to being on the dole, and I kid you not. I have no idea why anyone works at all. It says something about how independent, how responsible and how proud they are as citizens, because it sure ain’t the math. The math says Social Services should come and take your kids if you’re NOT on welfare, for unconscionable risk and unreasonable abuse. So most are, as the article points out, and the U.S. makes it as terrible, as Kafkaesque, and as slave-like as possible, removing all outlets to work, to progress, or to advocate for yourself. In a way it’s worse than slavery, as it’s sort of warehousing lives-of-sentence without possibility of parole. Some charity! And people advocate for more!

    Anyway, the point is that the parent of these children are in the same, or worse situation. The parents know what they’re up against and to fear, the children largely don’t.

    “Still thou art blest, compar’d wi’ me — the present only toucheth thee:
    But, Och! I backward cast my eye on prospects drear!
    An’ forward, tho’ I canna see, I guess an’ fear!”


    “….I dunno, $40k with benefits to compare to being on the dole, and I kid you not….”

    Invert the pyramid.
    Its all trickle down to the elites.
    Remember the elites are the ones that made the systems so that the systems would be to their own benefit.

    Ken Barrows

    Just a few points,

    “Welfare” may include a child receiving Social Security benefits for a deceased (or retired or disabled) parent. It is basically an insurance policy Social Security gives you. We could mandate getting your own damn insurance policy, true enough.

    If you have Medicaid, the sky’s the limit potentially. If you want to be very sick, you will receive a lot of benefits, but it’s not really useful to count that in determining how the welfare recipient has it made. Now if a person gets Social Security Disability because she has a sufficient work record, she could pull down more than $1,500/month. If she lived alone, she wouldn’t get food stamps (SNAP). If she has a child or two, maybe. For kicks, check this out:

    If she has been lazy all her life and doesn’t have a sufficient work record, she could apply for SSI. If she prevails on her claim, it’s $750 per month. But to get it, she cannot have more than $2000 in countable resources (including everything in the bank). Doesn’t qualify for SSI? TANF (for those with children) is even stingier.

    There’s also subsidized housing. You get to pay 30% of your income for rent. In a large American city, that could save you $10,000/year or more.

    The “up to $35,000” won’t apply to many, possibly the Reagan welfare queen driving around in a new Cadillac.

    It is certainly true that without government subsidies having a child is prohibitively expensive. Maybe we should not give more to anyone who has a child. Of course, then we’d have to pay for an alternative. Or watch children suffer. Sterilizing people is another option.

    It is understandably very painful to see your money go to the undeserving. But seems to be that some of these “welfare” articles are exaggerating to express that pain.


    “…. It is understandably very painful to see your money go to the undeserving…..”

    Antonyms for undeserving


    Doc Robinson

    “Caring only about your own children while throwing the rest away with the bathwater is neither feasible nor viable. You’re bringing up children destined to fight and hate each other. For no reason that I can see at all. Do you enjoy the world of John McCain, where children were bombed for 50 years in two dozen or so countries? Or do you think that’s not such a good idea?”

    “McCain could succeed only because his country, and the world around him, failed. Don’t set up your children, and all children, to fail in the same way he did.”

    That was worth repeating. Thanks for posting it, Ilargi. Yet, however well reasoned and logical the arguments about the children, it seems unlikely for someone to “Love thy neighbor as thyself” (or “Love the neighbor’s children as one’s own) without some type of opening, or dropping of defenses, or heartbreak that we allow ourselves to feel, some recognition of connection at a deeper level.

    With so many Christians (for example, as one religion of many) in the world, relatively few seem to allow themselves to understand and follow the “Love thy neighbor as thyself” commandment from the Old Testament, despite Jesus later clarifying this “greatest commandment” by using the Parable of the Good Samaritan (illustrating who can qualify as one’s neighbor). Other religions have similar teachings, of course.

    I think that humanity needs to have a critical mass of those who “get it” and care enough to break the cycles of abuse and violence in our families and communities and countries. I think that essays like “Bathwater” are good reminders that can help with this.


    Cairo today – an example of a Failed State

    All the nonsense one reads about unfortunate “asylum seekers” begins to make sense. Not the skinny horse, mangy dog and skinny guys

    V. Arnold


    Well done you, Ilargi. One of the best essays I’ve read re: McCain’s death and the state of the world in 2018, with emphasis on the U.S..
    As a U.S. citizen, long gone, I’m not hopeful in the slightest; with a hat tip to Ocasio-Cortez as a reminder of why I’m so pessimistic.
    With sycophants like that; hope dies…

    Rather I turn to our circle of friends, who take care of each other through thick and thin.
    I’m thankful for that positive piece of this life.

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