Charitable Giving, Charlatan’s Self-Waged “War” on Christmas, Christian Extremism, Student Debt, Slave-Like Workers of Global Supply Chain, Apple, Online Shopping...
Charitable Giving, Charlatan’s Self-Waged “War” on Christmas, Christian Extremism, Student Debt, Slave-Like Workers of Global Supply Chain, Apple, Online Shopping...
23 December 2011 (Updated 24-31 December 2011)
Diversity of views and tolerance is often healthy. The manufactured illusion of diversity and tolerance is injurious. Arguably, through mass media, the public, and private, education system, and so forth, western dominant culture achieves the illusion of diversity and tolerance, not only of perceptions and attitudes, but of lifestyles as well. Even the alternative cultural lifestyles considered most “deviant”, across the social spectrum, are branded and marketed through neo-corporatism. The various genre and niche sub-cultures exist under the dominant culture, and often augment, and are augmented by, the dominant culture to varying, albeit marginal, degrees. Insofar as basic morality goes, anyone threatened by diversity, and intolerant of others’ beliefs and so forth, perhaps implies, among other possible implications, a defensiveness which might be interpreted as a lack of confidence in one’s own convictions. This might be attributable to the reality, that to a great extent, many do not arrive at given convictions of their own volition or compunction, but rather, we are inculcated into perceiving an issue, or problem, one way or another within the boundaries of the permissible prefabricated assertions, of which we choose to accept or reject. For instance, if I accept the premise that human beings do not have a right to receive medical care, quality at that, rather they have the “privilege” of receiving such care provided they are able to afford to pay for it, I am less likely to favor universal medical care. My conviction implies that corporations have the right, to make a profit, over, or at the expense of the health and general wellbeing of a flesh and blood person. Perhaps, were I to find myself without medical coverage, without the money to pay, and in need of care, my perception would be quite different, because, among other reasons, my perception would be adaptively based on personal experience––not on a highly centralized, budgeted corporate production of “reality”. What of a society, in which some, if not many people are persuaded to retain firmly held beliefs not through self-education, critical thinking, or life experience, but through their role as spectator of the corporate media to which they subscribe? In certain circumstances, divisiveness might be a form of abuse, or even oppression. Though healthy dissension, and opposing liars, oppressors, etc., is certainly necessary, emotive dictators, and their followers, in combination with corporate media domination, i.e. Fox network and the rest, engage in particular diversions within the social conditioning apparatus as a whole, which, like bulk pop-media generally, is void of any relevance as concerns the real world.
The insistence of some, perhaps many, Christians in preemptively offering a “Merry Christmas” to any and everyone whom they might encounter in their consuming, purchasing, working, and visiting travels is rather trivial. Though from there, a lead-in to matters of far greater importance might be followed. Firstly, it seems, when one celebrates Christmas, in a nation-empire mostly comprised of Christians, (so-called, (perhaps the fundamental teachings of Jesus Christ, and Christianity generally, might proffer a different classification, for some, or many, of the actual meaning of not only the day, for it has been so commercialized, but of also the basic moral theme of Christianity itself, namely the direct support of and for the poor, for they have been so marginalized, with their destitution being derivative of the corporate culture), one is customarily expected to offer a “Merry Christmas” to everyone else, regardless of religious convictions if any, and expect the same to be returned. When in public at large, and in doubt of one’s religious convictions, if any, if at all the notion of which even registers, a kind “Happy Holidays” or similar inclusive greeting suffices, for it is the less narcissistic way to offer seasons, or winter solstice greetings. Perhaps this observation, albeit a trifle triviality, is too generalized and an over-simplification, though it is certainly noticeable for it occurs regularly every time winter approaches. From a perspective which, to articulate the least, follows no organized religious doctrine or practice, one might simply embrace the Yuletide esprit, and put such banalities, and unsurprising observations aside. In doing so, it would be illustrative to mention a bit about the influx of donations to charitable organizations.
The disparity between charitable giving by the rich and poor is interesting. One would think that proportional to income and asset levels, the rich would donate more money to organizations that care for the poor; for the rich generally so despise the so-called “welfare” state. Profit over people and their well-being is not a natural phenomenon, nor should it be acceptable. In fact, it seems, that the more wealth one has, the less likely they are to care about, and thus give, to counter the plight of the poor, a plight which is directly linked to the corporate-state, of which, of course, they are the elites of. Judith Warner writes in the New York Times that going back decades, it has been understood that “upper-income Americans don’t give away as much of their money as they might and are particularly undistinguished as givers when compared with the poor, who are strikingly generous. A number of other studies have shown that lower-income Americans give proportionally more of their incomes to charity than do upper-income Americans. In 2001, Independent Sector, a nonprofit organization focused on charitable giving, found that households earning less than $25,000 a year gave away an average of 4.2 percent of their incomes; those with earnings of more than $75,000 gave away 2.7 percent.” This disparity tends to increase proportional to wealth. Even though the poor have no money to spend, proportionally, they typically outspend the rich in donating money, and do not itemize these taxable deductions. “The rich do have money to spend. Those who itemize [which most rich do] receive a hefty tax break to make charitable donations, a deduction that grows more valuable the higher they are on the income scale… [Rich] Americans [presumably] pride themselves on their philanthropic tradition, and on the role of private charity, which is much more developed here than it is in
The authors of a 2011 study published by the American Psychological Association “suggest that attention to and recognition of suffering is a prerequisite step before compassion [presumably meaning donating money] can take place.” In other words, to give an example, if the rich do not view poverty as a problem, or presuppose a disingenuous definition of poor, essentially claiming that the bar, that is to say the federal poverty level, is set too low––as some right-wing commentators, or derisorily titled “experts on poverty and inequality” and education, of the Heritage Foundation assert––there will be a higher likelihood that the rich will not be imbued with monetary compassion for the poor. Incidentally, “[i]f the wealthy donate $10,000 to charity and are in the combined 50% federal, state and local tax bracket then their effective sacrifice is $5,000 and society as a whole, without its advice and consent, subsidizes the rest.” Uwe E. Reinhardt, economics professor at Princeton, explains that “[i]t follows, then, that your $10,000 charitable donation cannot properly be called private charity, even though it is so reported in official statistics on charitable giving in the United States. Rather, it is a mixture of private sacrifice and tax-financed public subsidies.”
In early December the
It is important to note, that 75%, or $227.41 billion, of the total 2009 charitable financial contributions was made by individual donors. Unsurprisingly, corporations accounted for a pathetic 4% of total contributions, while 8% or $23.80 billion was due to bequests. It’s rather striking, that in death, individuals donated double the amount of money to charitable organizations in 2009 than corporations. For the past 55 years, religion has received the largest share of total contributions, with 33% in 2009. Education received the second largest share, accounting for 13% of all contributions, while non-individual grant-making foundations took in the third largest share at 10%. Human services, such as direct emergency care and supplies, took in 9%, health was at 7%, while environmental and non-human animal charitable giving amounted to 2%. Considering merely the environmental crisis, it is rather revealing that charitable giving to institutions of religion, among most other recipient organization categories dwarfs that of environment and nonhuman animal charity recipients.
Ostensibly, “a good part of private donations in the
“War” on Christmas?
The fanaticism which routinely occurs each holiday season with increased fervor, at higher echelons of programmed, or manufactured, culture, is a matter that, while a toxic faux, is perhaps more important than seasonal greetings. “In just the last few weeks, the Heritage Foundation billed an Agriculture Department initiative to raise revenue for tree farmers as a ‘Christmas Tree Tax’; Fox News said that standard federal safety warnings were proof that the government wants to ‘tell you how to decorate your Christmas tree’; and conservative activists criticized Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an Independent, for daring to consecrate a ‘holiday tree’—rather than a ‘Christmas Tree’—at the Statehouse.” Separation of Church and State, an ambiguous and arbitrary notion as it is, apparently be damned. The “American Family Association continued its annual effort to denigrate companies that substitute ‘Happy Holidays’ for ‘Merry Christmas.’”
Similar lunacy abounds. Tantrums like these are pathetic, albeit high-funded distractions from real problems that should actually matter to anyone with an iota of decency and consciousness. Perhaps the fundamentalist Christian right should look in the collective mirror of its own, namely that of some parents in their community/networks whom abuse and kill their own children, undoubtedly interpreting and implementing suggestions of “child rearing”––which have in many instances amounted to nothing short of outright child abuse, and in some cases, murder––in the heavily questionable book authored by Michael and Debi Pearl, entitled, To Train Up a Child (1994).
Slate magazine reports that Larry and Carri Williams, a Skagit County, Wash., couple, have been charged with killing their adopted 13-year daughter. “Carri and Larry Williams starved Hana for days, put her in a locked closet, shower room and forced her to sleep outside in the barn in the cold. She wasn't allowed to use the bathroom in the house, instead a porta-potty behind the barn. In addition, Hana was struck daily with a plumbing tool, a tube with a round ball on the end…When police found Hana, her naked body—30 pounds underweight—was wrapped in sheet in the backyard.” KING 5 news reported that “[i]n the charging documents, Carri Williams talked about how much she disliked her two adopted Ethiopian children”, Hana, and a 10-year-old boy. In December 2010, “Hanna was forced to watch the family celebrate Christmas from outside and only let in when her parents had guests.” The William's “biological children and adopted son have been removed from the home. In the documents, a book entitled ‘To Train a Child Up,’ was referenced. [
In early 2010, Alicia Bayer reported in the Examiner, that “Kevin and Elizabeth Schatz of
In yet another case, “[f]ive years after 4-year-old Sean Paddock was suffocated to death [in 2006] by his adoptive mother, a civil court jury found that his adoptive father [Johnny Paddock] was also responsible for the boy's death.” That Paddock was found civilly, and not criminally, responsible for Sean’s death is of little consolation, especially considering “Paddock wasn't in the courtroom to hear the jury's findings. He didn't attend any of the trial, nor did he send a lawyer. That left lawyers for the Children's Home Society [the agency through which Lynn and Johnny Paddock adopted Sean] to defend him.” On the other hand, “Lynn Paddock was convicted of first-degree murder in 2008 and will spend the rest of her life in prison.” It appears that, “both the Paddocks found merit in the Christian child-rearing advice of Michael and Debi Pearl, who advocate using PVC piping, ‘10 licks at a time,’ to reprimand a [non-behaving] child.” In 2006, Salon Magazine reported, that “for believers in child-‘training’, causing the child palpable harm is antithetical to their mission. Child Training Resources offers this disclaimer with its ‘chastening instrument’: ‘Though each instrument includes instructions for proper use, we highly recommend parents train themselves by reading and discussing Biblically-based parenting books together. Child Training Resources stands firmly against any and all child abuse and is not responsible for misuse of this product.’” Needless to mention, tragically there are many similar cases of sadism which has led parents whom are followers of Michael and Debi Pearl, and others like them, some even more extreme––who it should be mentioned, are arguably responsible to an extent in these heinous acts––to abuse and murder their biological and adopted children.
Another real problem, to take a different tract, is student debt. Kristin Rawls, indebted to Sallie Mae and Citibank for $100,000, attended, and reported on, the Evangelical Christian Wild Goose Festival earlier in 2011. Rawls wrote an article in December, explaining how when she contracted lupus (systemic autoimmune disease), her life was profoundly derailed, and she had to drop out of graduate school. Rawls retroactively expressed what she would have liked to say to the attendees during the summer Wild Goose festival. “You insist on praying for people like me, but you haven’t the slightest idea that I walk among you. I have conversations with you. I hold my own in arguments. I call you out on your bullshit. I am unlucky, but I don’t think ‘downtrodden’ describes me very well. I’m not downtrodden. I’m pissed off. So, no, I do not want your prayers. I do not want an invitation to your church, and I’m not interested in discussing ‘the poor’ as if they are some kind of abstract concept. The things you had to say—the things you’ve built your careers on—are irrelevant in the face of actual poverty. It was shameless, the way you paraded a few token ‘poor people’ around for kicks.” Rawls continues, in her justifiably combative response to Evangelical paternalism, stating “I cannot eat your prayers, and it’s a struggle to buy food these days…You are not helping me. You do not speak for me. I am the new poor. I wasn’t supposed to be. I did all the right things, but we’re seeing the systematic erosion of the bourgeoisie here in
Yet another real matter, pertaining to the real world, of far greater importance than seasonal greetings or Christmassy corporate advertisements, deserving of far more attention and attendance of action, are the unseen workers in the Asian (and Latin American, and so forth) supply chain that enable the continuation, in the interim, of the average U.S. imperial way of life. Being the beneficiaries of sweatshop, or slave labor, while cruelly rationalized within the doctrinal regime, is relational, or an extension of the fundamental basis of industrial, and post-industrial, civilized way of life. Our entire way of life is based on violence, on the use of nonrenewable “resources”, such as oil, the hyper-exploitation of renewable “resources”, such as marine life, and is thus non-sustainable, as well as, arguably, thoroughly morally wrong. Since culturally, we perceive human animals, as well as nonhuman animals, and other forms of life such as trees and rivers as resources to exploit and waste, we rationalize our exploitation, use, and waste, and thus think virtually nothing of our benefit from such exploitation, use, and waste; contrary to perceiving life forms, be they human animals, nonhuman animals, trees and so forth, as say, for instance, a tree, or a particular tree, and entering into a mutual relationship with them.
In a culture of cyclical consumption and perpetuate waste, buying merchandise, most of which is made in horrific conditions by the slaving poor in countries largely subjugated by so-call “Free Trade” agreements, and so forth, might be considered patriotic. The entire economy of the
With online ordering increasing, and shopping seemingly becoming more and more perverse each year, new dynamics of moral responsibility and social consciousness (which are arguably, by and large, outright ignored or denied, thus severely underdeveloped) are cropping up. When we order an item from say Amazon.com, (while the real Amazon in the real world, is being destroyed increasingly so on a daily basis, which of course we do not even think about), do we think about the people that prepare our products for shipment or the conditions under which they work? Arguably, most of us do not; for if we do not think about the people that assemble our iPhones, and countless other gadgets, the people that toiled to mine, refine and process the required minerals, metals, chemicals and so forth, their working and living conditions, why would we bother thinking about the workers that prepare items and packages for shipment? With free shipping, and an arbitrary low price on plenty of retail items, most of which we do not need, let alone truly want, conveniently made available for purchase online, to say nothing of the availability of products in-store, conceivably one might think of nothing else after the order is placed, save for the estimated shipping time of one’s latest’s generation Apple iPhone.
A 2009 Global Post report entitled Silicon Sweatshops offers an idea of the scope of the crisis. “By the time a gadget reaches Apple's flagship store on Fifth Avenue in New York City or any other U.S. retailer, it may have passed through the hands of a heavily indebted Filipina migrant worker on the graveyard shift in Taiwan, a Taiwanese "quality control" worker who'll soon be fired without warning, and a young Chinese worker clocking 80-hour weeks on a final assembly line, at less than a dollar an hour.” At 80 hours of work a week, that leaves 88 hours, presumably for eating and sleeping.
Steve Jobs was, and of course still is, even after death, widely celebrated as some kind of technological savant. Whatever pop-culture thinks of their celebrity billionaire technocrat, Jobs certainly caused, and benefitted from, many moral dilemmas, arguably all of which continue, with no resolution being sought––for slave labor, and the benefit thereof, is standard operating procedure for countless companies such as Nike, the Gap, Wal-Mart, Apple and so forth––for quite simply, these mega-corporations would not be the megalomaniacs they are, if other guidelines were followed. “[T]wo sprawling complexes near Shenzhen [
In early 2011, at another factory in
Mac McClelland reported in Mother Jones in July, on a large warehouse in
During McClelland’s visit, “two people got fired within 10 minutes, one for talking to someone while he was working—"Where are you from?" was the offending comment—and one for going to the bathroom too much.”
Where is the moral responsibility, the social conscious, when “Santa’s workshop is literally fueled by coal: an estimated 70 to 80 percent of all toys sold in the
Perhaps while we are deciding how we’ll spend our gift cards from Abercrombie and Fitch, Gymboree, Hanes, Ikea, Kohl’s, LL Bean, Pier 1 Imports, Propper International,
and Walmart, we might consider the International Labor Rights Forum’s 2010 Sweatshop Hall of Shame. In addition to the corporations mentioned above, there was an “Honorable Mention to the American Apparel and Footwear Association, a national trade association representing apparel and footwear companies. This association has exhibited a flagrant disregard for workers’ rights by primarily focusing on maintaining trade with
Similarly, before mindlessly making our consuming decisions, including though certainly not limited to apparel, we might consider that, American Eagle, Carrefour, Cintas, Dickies, Disney, Guess, Hanes, New Era, Speedo, Tommy Hilfiger, Toys “R” Us, and Wal-Mart, all had the distinction, some of them with the later repeat distinction, of being inducted into the 2008 Sweatshop Hall of Shame. Then again, we might be willfully or otherwise ignorant of these corporate transgressions which have continued going back many years; or, being aware, we might simply ignore them, knowing that our relative comforts, our way of life, comes at the expense of the entire rest of the world. Knowing that this way of life has peaked, or will very soon peak, perhaps we trudge on, seemingly oblivious, at perhaps our species’ peril, so that we might cling to the moment, however fleeting, to fill the void that has become our existence, with material possessions and gadgets designed to distract us and keep us pacified. For we willingly labor and willfully pay for any and all things marketed to us, as our fabricated personalities convince us we want or need this or that––though the true costs befalls untold numbers of unseen others, the true expenses are levied on the real world and our nonhuman animal relatives––in absentia from our true, broken selves, from the ones we indistinguishably proclaim to love, and the real world which we by and large treat worse than our precious cars, or other computer machines, or prized possessions. We relate more to machines than ourselves or each other, for we are no longer capable of relating to ourselves or each other, let alone nonhuman animals or the natural world in general. We have more interest in spectacle than in reality. We have more interest in distraction than orientation. For if we had our bearings, surely we would be horrified upon awakening, and certainly we would take action to remedy our present destructive course; would we not?
Perhaps there is a sinister desire, to keep pushing Natural Law, not merely to the bending point, but until it breaks. Perhaps, on the whole, the imperial citizens of the U.S. Empire Inc., be it consciously or subconsciously, are perversely curious about self-destruction. Or, perhaps we have been made too stupid and greedy to want, or even know how, to care; to be bothered with the many grave problems we face, and to extremely large degree our culture perpetrates. Seemingly, the average individual imperial life, acts like a microcosmic corporation. Instant momentary gratification, profit over everything and all else, even while the very life-source that sustains us is destroyed, so that we can continue on course, destroying experience upon experience, denying reality upon reality––favoring instead, quasi-realism, if any practical understanding of life at all is even remotely sought. This could be end times, but in the
Years could go by, and we wouldn’t even know, that as of 1996, in the
“27,000 Americans commit suicide; 5,000 attempt suicide; some estimates are higher. 26,000 die from fatal accidents in the home. 23,000 are murdered. 85,000 are wounded by firearms. 38,000 of these die, including 2,600 children. 13,000,000 are victims of crimes including assault, rape, armed robbery, burglary, larceny, and arson. 135,000 children take guns to school. 5,500,000 people are arrested for all offenses (not including traffic violations). 125,000 die prematurely of alcohol abuse. 473,000 die prematurely from tobacco-related illnesses; 53,000 of these are nonsmokers. 6,500,000 use heroin, crack, speed, PCP, cocaine or some other hard drug on a regular basis. 5,000+ die from illicit drug use. Thousands suffer serious debilitations. 1,000+ die from sniffing household substances found under the kitchen sink. About 20 percent of all eighth-graders have "huffed" toxic substances. Thousands suffer permanent neurological damage. 31,450,000 use marijuana; 3,000,000 of whom are heavy [users]. 37,000,000, or one out of every six Americans, regularly use emotion controlling medical drugs. The users are mostly women. The pushers are doctors; the suppliers are pharmaceutical companies; the profits are stupendous. 2,000,000 nonhospitalized persons are given powerful mind-control drugs, sometimes described as ‘chemical straitjackets.’ 5,000 die from psychoactive drug treatments. 200,000 are subjected to electric shock treatments that are injurious to the brain and nervous system. 600 to 1,000 are lobotomized, mostly women. 25,000,000, or one out of every 10 Americans, seek help from psychiatric, psychotherapeutic, or medical sources for mental and emotional problems, at a cost of over $4 billion annually. 6,800,000 turn to nonmedical services, such as ministers, welfare agencies, and social counselors for help with emotional troubles. In all, some 80,000,000 have sought some kind of psychological counseling in their lifetimes. 1,300,000 suffer some kind of injury related to treatment at hospitals. 2,000,000 undergo unnecessary surgical operations; 10,000 of whom die from the surgery. 180,000 die from adverse reactions to all medical treatments, more than are killed by airline and automobile accidents combined. 14,000+ die from overdoses of legal prescription drugs. 45,000 are killed in auto accidents. Yet more cars and highways are being built while funding for safer forms of mass transportation is reduced. 1,800,000 sustain nonfatal injuries from auto accidents; but 150,000 of these auto injury victims suffer permanent impairments. 126,000 children are born with a major birth defect, mostly due to insufficient prenatal care, nutritional deficiency, environmental toxicity, or maternal drug addiction. 2,900,000 children are reportedly subjected to serious neglect or abuse, including physical torture and deliberate starvation. 5,000 children are killed by parents or grandparents. 30,000 or more children are left permanently physically disabled from abuse and neglect. Child abuse in the
It’s the eve of 2012. The digital age, for all its terror, is the info age, and as such, we have unprecedented access to volumes upon volumes, in libraries after libraries, of practical and meaningful information of the world in which we live. We know. We have the information at our fingertips. Acting on the power of our collective knowledge and awareness is paramount. The machine must be stopped. At this juncture, resistance is the only option. It’s 2012, and time is running out. As a species, we will not make it very much farther into this century if we do not radically alter, if not abolish, the corporate-machine-state. We, the 99%, or whatever other qualifier we like, are our only hope.
 A personal anecdote. As I made my way across the street to a rally and protest demanding the release of Bradley Manning, accused Army whistleblower of the Wikileaks Afghanistan and Iraq war logs, at Quantico VA in March 2011, a white woman (I would have been surprised, perhaps somewhat naively, if it was someone other than a white person) screamed at me from her SUV as her husband drove along at a snail’s pace: GET A LIFE! One might take this entirely assuming and antagonistic comment to mean, among other potentialities, that to have a “life”, one must not be “political”, one must be patriotic (which is to say one must support ones own country (in our case empire) even when say the U.S. commits ecocide, genocide, colonialism, torture…, one must certainly not be dissident of governmental, and thus, corporate power, ironically so, because corporate-governmental power is routinely traitorous to its own citizens; many U.S. veterans of current and past aggression might attest to this reality. Apparently, it did not occur to this lady that I might have been a journalist, photographer, or writer, serving a functional, daresay even an institutional role, or if it did occur to her, none of the mentioned “lives” merit her definition of a “life”, nor did my presence at the protest rally. In fact, it was my presence in and of itself which she seemed to find so abysmal. Some people might think that Manning is a traitor for allegedly leaking internal documents which provide evidence of what many free thinkers already knew, and know; namely, the
 This would imply a progressive and highly selective interpretation of the Bible, and Christianity generally; in a manner of meaning, one would be able to genuinely express kindness, helpfulness, and concern for others, in a truly altruistic sense. For example, from the Holy Bible: New International Version, taking an excerpt of Psalms, Book 1, Psalm 2 significantly out of context: “Why do the nations conspire (rage) and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One (Jesus)”. Matthew 4:23: “Jesus went throughout
 Some qualifying remarks and a bit of elaboration is needed here. Hypothetically, if I am atheist, I have no problem wishing someone in particular, based on my awareness––to the extent, if any, that I have even a rudimentary understanding––of that person’s religious conviction, a Happy or Merry, Rohatsu, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and so on. If someone wishes me a “Merry Christmas” I’m to assume they are Christian and celebrate Christmas, and assume the same, or different, of me, the latter instance meaning they are merely letting me know they do celebrate Christmas, or, they do not celebrate Christmas yet assume I do, or do not assume I do and are simply wishing people a standard Christian greeting. Again to suppose, if I were atheist, in either case I might simply respond with a “Happy Holidays”. Not out of spite, but perhaps by virtue that the preemptive greeting was assuming, or perhaps there is some other reason. Or, I might respond in kind, with a “Merry Christmas.” Yet a third option, would be not to say anything in response at all; similar to how many people simply ignore a person whom greets them with an unassuming “hi” or “hello”, refusing to respond or even acknowledge the other persons presence, thus existence (a social discourtesy that is prevalent enough, year-round, that one seriously considers willfully not initiating a courteous, simple, unassuming greeting at all). In either case mentioned, it would seem that this sort of exchange would be harmless.
 Arguably, anyone whom is against universal healthcare, if not most unfortunately ignorant of the matter, if not outright sociopathic, has behavioral proclivities of a textbook sociopath. This is certainly indicative of the insanity of the general culture we accept and live in, and under. Though in fairness, arguably most citizens are, (or would be had they an understanding of universal healthcare in plain terms) in favor of universal healthcare, which if actually legislated and put into effect, might bring about, basically an extension of Medicaid to the some 45 million uninsured U.S. citizens, including, as of this writing, this author.
 Warner, Judith. "The Charitable-Giving Divide." The New York Times, August 20, 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/22/magazine/22FOB-wwln-t.html (accessed December 26, 2011).
 Jennifer E. Stellar, Michael W. Kraus, Vida M. Manzo, and Dacher Keltner, "Class and Compassion: Socioeconomic Factors Predict Responses to Suffering," American Psychological Association (October 19, 2011): 9, http://www.apa.org/pubs/journals/releases/EMO-class-and-compassion.pdf (accessed December 26, 2011).
 David Morris, "The Giving Season: Why the 99% Are Actually More Philanthropic Than the 1%," AlterNet (December 23, 2011), http://www.alternet.org/story/153560/the_giving_season:_why_the_99_are_actually_more_philanthropic_than_the_1 (accessed December 26, 2011).
 Uwe E. Reinhardt, "How Private Is ‘Private Charity’?," The
 Leon Neyfakh, "Why we give to charity," The Boston Globe (December 04, 2011), http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2011/12/04/why-give-charity/yk1Kk9Ovbhp5VHQxPP7BsM/story.html (accessed December 26, 2011).
 Charity Navigator, "American Red Cross." Last modified 2010. Accessed December 31, 2011. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3277.
 Gardiner Harris, "American Red Cross Fined $4.2 Million," The
 Engber, Daniel. "The Business of Blood." Slate, Sept. 11, 2006. http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2006/09/the_business_of_blood.html (accessed December 31, 2011).
 See Note 8
 Stephanie Strom, "Donors Weigh the Ideals of Meaningful Giving," The
 The Annie E. Casey Foundation , "Children in poverty (Percent) – 2010." Last modified 2010. Accessed December 31, 2011. http://datacenter.kidscount.org/data/acrossstates/Rankings.aspx?ind=43.
 "One in five American children now living in poverty according to new report,” Daily Mail (17th August 2011), http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027013/Child-poverty-1-5-American-children-living-poverty.html Accessed December 31, 2011
 The Washington D.C. based right-wing ‘think-tank’ that considered Bush Sr. not extremist enough and published an article in July 2011 that pontificated that poverty in the United States is virtually non-existent, that the “average poor person…has a living standard far higher than” what constitutes the Heritage Foundation’s definition of poor––whatever nonsensical definition that might be. For example, the authors paint a picture that most of the over 45 million people living in poverty, have cable TV, an Xbox, air conditioning, and so forth. a While the so-called ‘welfare’ state (i.e. food stamps, Medicaid, Medicare, etc.) is a hybrid of solution and problem, while not mentioning the corporate welfare state at all, nor the number, and overall percentage, of flesh and blood persons that are employed and still on welfare, and so forth. The same authors penned another extremely distorted article in December, in which they piously claimed that “amid all the chatter [about poverty], hardly anyone talks about the greatest driver of poverty: the rapidly rising number of babies born to unmarried mothers.” b Lastly, forget decent and meaningful employment and a livable wage for parents, which probably should be in the range of about $20 per hour (the Federal minimum wage is a dismal $7.25 per hour effective as of and since July 24, 2009), apparently, marriage––presumably not LGBT marriage–rather the “sacred” time-honored traditional institution of marriage between a husband, or "master of the house”, and a wife, or the woman married to him, is “America’s Greatest Weapon Against Child Poverty”.
a Robert Rector, and Rachel Sheffield, "Air Conditioning, Cable TV, and an Xbox: What is Poverty in the United States Today?," The Heritage Foundation (July 19, 2011), http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/what-is-poverty (accessed December 26, 2011).
b Robert Rector, and Rachel Sheffield, "Poor or Not? Marriage Makes the Difference," The Heritage Foundation (December 11, 2011), http://www.heritage.org/research/commentary/2011/12/poor-or-not-marriage-makes-the-difference (accessed December 26, 2011).
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