Tracker Pixel for Entry

Thugs, Thieves, and Theocrats

Gadfly | November 11th, 2023

By Ed Raymond

“Trump Cabinet Member: ‘If a Document Has a Staple in It, Don’t Give It to Trump.’”

Among the most fascinating papers in the world would be the transcripts of Donald Trump from the elite universities he attended. What courses did he take? What were his major studies? His speech is free from literary allusions, classical images, historical facts, and intellectual musings.

When George W. Bush was president, I never really thought he was dumb, he just never made an effort to learn anything. Donald Trump is a special case as president. He, no doubt, is an uncertified combination of sociopath-psychopath as determined by 27 psychiatrists and psychologists who understand the Manual of Mental Deficiencies.

Besides, Trump is a certified asshole-jerk no one could stand as a neighbor. He has brought hate to many relationships that at one time accepted differences existing among people. He added new hate to political language. He brought the word “thug” to political speech and rally when before it only existed with Mafia bosses around the world.

“Thug” comes from the killer cult called the Thuggee, a secret Indian society that were followers of the Goddess Kali known as the Black Mother and the Hindu Triple Goddess of creation, preservation, and destruction. The Thuggee name comes from Sanskrit literature and basically means “deceiver.” The secret society, discovered by British authorities in 1812, murdered as many as 30,000 native Indians and travelers in the 1830s as sacrifices to Kali.

The cult had several unusual practices. After strangling their victims, they broke all the joints and limbs so the bodies would decompose quicker after they were buried. The members were trained as children to strangle victims quickly. The strongest rule they had to follow in committing murder: they were prohibited from shedding blood. In today’s cults, AR-15s break lots of bones and shed buckets of blood.

The Swedish-Based Global Report on Democracy Says the U.S. Is in Serious Trouble

After four years of Trump as president, the survey reports the Divided States of America (DSA) is backsliding to fascism when compared to other democracies in the world. We now rank 25th, a slippage from being 14th in 2011. We have slipped down the slope from 1974 when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency because of the corruption of Watergate.

In the short span of 56 years Donald Trump encouraged his MAGA cult and the GOP (Greedy Old Plutocrats) to attempt a failed coup and is still preaching the BIG LIE—claiming he won the 2020 election.

The Republican Party morphed to the Trumplican Party and passed voter suppression laws, replaced thousands of honest election officials through harassment and replacement, and endorsed the 30,000 lies of their “Orange Genius.”

Apart from the report listing the reasons we are losing our democracy, the United Nations expert on human rights and poverty, Oliver de Schutter, is asking three huge American corporations, Walmart, Amazon, and Door Dash, to respond to allegations reaching the UN.

I can’t recall a previous time when a section of the UN investigated the leading economy in the world’s treatment of its workers. The UN wants to know why Amazon, Walmart, and Door Dash are listed among the top 25 employers “with workers relying on the supplemental nutrition program SNAP (food stamps) and Medicaid in nine states.”

The UN section on human rights and poverty also wants to know how the minimum wage is set in legislation, why there is so much wage theft committed by major corporations, and why inflexible and unpredictable work schedules are used. It is also interested in the number and treatment of undocumented workers, the amount of violence involved in union elections, and the effect of automation on employment.

Oliver de Schutter made this comment about his task: “What these companies do for the most part is not illegal. What they use are loopholes in the system—for example, misclassifying workers as independent contractors (this was Microsoft’s Bill Gates’ favorite ploy!) rather than employees. There are many loopholes in the system that the U.S. government is still responsible for and I’m still expecting an answer from the Department of Labor”

He also expressed concern for the 4.1% of workers in the U.S. making $14,850 or less annually, classified as working poor.

He is particularly concerned about Walmart, the largest employer in the U.S., because the majority owners are members of the Walton family, the richest family in the world, that pays poorly and has a record of aggressive union busting against worker-organizing efforts.

The Missing $6 Million Gold Toilet Is the Perfect Symbol for Greedy Old Plutocrats

Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan created a working 18-karat gold toilet years ago weighing 227 pounds as a symbol of the American Dream and American excess. It was installed at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and was used by about 100,000 guests before being offered to be installed in the White House.

The Trump administration rejected the offer, so it was finally given to Blenheim Castle built in Oxfordshire, England (1705-1722) where Winston Churchill was born. Managers of the estate thought the “golden throne” would bring in many paying tourists just to sit on it.

Having read most of Churchill’s books, I know Churchill would enjoy it immensely, sitting on it in the morning while having his first cigar and champagne glass of the day.

Cattelan said he had created it as “one-percent art for the ninety-nine percent” because whatever you eat, a two-hundred-dollar lunch or two-dollar hotdog, the results are the same toilet-wise.”

The problem is, the toilet was stolen two days after it was installed at Blenheim, causing a real water mess in the castle. After four years of investigations, four men who allegedly committed the disgusting crime are finally going to court. The big question is: did they melt it down into gold bars? I imagine those who waited in line for hours at the museum to use the toilet up close and personal, will want to know. So will the person who cleaned it every 15 minutes while it was on display.

The gold toilet set me off on another Google search. What would experts on the wealthy think? UC Berkeley’s Social Interaction Lab has researched the attitudes of the rich for years. Its conclusion: “Insane wealth is disorienting. The wealthy do start believing that different rules apply to them. When they drive, they are more likely to infringe traffic rules, and in lab tests show themselves generally to be more greedy and more likely to cheat. Rules are for little people.”

The super-rich sometimes justify breaking the rules of society because they intend to give their fortune to future humanity. They think they live in a higher moral universe than anybody else. As they age, they find more tax havens, buy more superyachts, mansions, private jets—and forget about humanity because they are never really exposed to the poor. They fly in private helicopters from New York City to mansions in the Hamptons—and never look down on leaky school roofs or garbage in the streets by tenements, or the tents of the homeless. From the penthouse or the helicopter, they can’t see the hungry families either.

Zip Aviation charges $5,000 one-way for a helicopter ride to the Hamptons.

The United Nations’ hunger expert Michael Fakhri, a professor at the University of Oregon, recently reported to the General Assembly that in 2022, 44.2 million Americans lived in food-insecure households and 49 million used food assistance from public and private agencies.

The right to food was recognized as early as 1948 when the UN approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In 2021, only two countries in the world refused to sign a draft of a UN committee that asserted food as a human right. The UN was concerned because research indicated 2.4 billion people, almost one-third of the world’s population, were “food insecure,” otherwise known as hungry, in 2020.

The two countries? The United States of America and Israel. Think Mitch in Memphis and Bibi in Gaza.

Why Are 49 Million Hungry? We Rank 34th Out of 37 Countries in Tax Rates

One of my sons sent me an Instagram screenshot in colorful red, white, blue and yellow of a blue map of the U.S. with the Bible Belt shown in red with a yellow cross with the words “The Bible Belt is also the Divorce Belt, the Teen Pregnancy Belt, the Gay Porn Belt, the Obesity Belt, the Homicide Belt, the Poverty Belt, the Smoker’s Belt, the Infant Death Belt, the Low Life Expectancy Belt, and also the Most MAGA Belt in the Nation.”

It’s too bad it can’t work as a bumper sticker because it covers the states that the Trumplican Party controls. We would have to pass Biden’s fair taxes on the rich to cure the ills represented in the statement.

I will never understand why the Democratic National Committee and the Biden administration do not talk and compare 24/7 the tax rates of the 37 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. We rank 34th in total tax revenue as a share of Gross Domestic Product (GNP) at 24.3 %. Only three OECD countries rank lower: Ireland at 22.8% Chile at 20%, and Mexico at 15. 4%.

The five countries that are always at the top of the “happiest” country and people survey: Finland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and The Netherlands, all members of the OECD and with tax rates of between 40% and 45%.

The French pay the highest tax rate at 47% and spend the most money on children. French students, as an example, eat a five-course school dinner complete with all dinnerware which takes about an hour. The kids learn table manners, how to socialize, eat all kinds of vegetables grown on nearby farms, and have such healthy food that very few are obese. A third of American school kids eat junk in ten minutes and gain weight by their second helpings.

It's a Great Time to Be Rich in New York City

While we have 50 million living in poverty and half the households in the country living paycheck-to-paycheck, the rich in the big cities like New York and LA can live like kings and queens.

Many agencies supply the rich with servants that will make life a pleasure. Good chefs are available for $150,000 to $350,000, depending upon whether they cook for you in the mansion or on the superyacht. Expert laundresses are available at $60 an hour. Housekeepers get about $45 an hour. Some rich families have so many household employees they hire estate managers to run the staff at annual salaries of $350,000. If you need rotating nannies and babysitters, they typically make about $120,000 a year. Dogs need to be walked so a private hike will run about $250 a day. Call Shape Up Your Pup, (516) 456-8141.

Meantime, finance and tax managers are paid millions to save the rich billions by utilizing South Dakota, Delaware, and island “fair tax” havens around the world. 

Recently in:

Alicia Underlee A midnight wedding ceremony at the Clay County Courthouse in Moorhead on August 1, 2013 was more than a romantic gesture. Eighteen couples made history on that day by exchanging vows in the…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Need more events? Check out our July 2024 and August 2024 calendars. (They're cleverly split up to save you some scrolling.)MaySpring CrowsNow - June 28, Spirit Room, FargoForty artists display works centered around a crow theme.…

Our opinion: Has Fargo lost its cool?By Sabrina On April 24, The Forum reported that Zandbroz Variety would be closing its doors after 33 years, and the announcement hit like a ton of books. Upon hearing…

By Ed Raymondfargogadfly@gmail.comIs It Possible to Move from a Tent on a Sidewalk to a Garage in the Sky? There have been wealthy people who added a car elevator to the mansion for their Bentleys so they could unload groceries…

By Rick Holiday wine shopping shouldn’t have to be complicated. But unfortunately it can cause unneeded anxiety due to an overabundance of choices. Don’t fret my friends, we once again have you covered…

By Rick In this land of hotdish and ham, the knoephla soup of German-Russian heritage seems to reign supreme. In my opinion though, the French have the superior soup. With a cheesy top layer, toasted baguette…

By John Musicians in the Fargo-Moorhead area are often supportive of each other. They will attend each other’s shows, collaborate on projects, play as openers for each other, so on and so…

Now playing at the Fargo Theatre.By Greg Carlson gregcarlson1@gmail.comPalme d’Or recipient “Anatomy of a Fall” is now enjoying an award-season victory tour, recently picking up Golden Globe wins for both screenplay and…

By David L. If your Spidey senses are tingling, it may be because Marvelocity: The Art of Alex Ross is coming to the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. The traveling exhibition, developed by the Bess…

By John Showalterjohn.d.showalter@gmail.comHigh Plains Reader had the opportunity to interview two mysterious new game show hosts named Milt and Bradley Barker about an upcoming event they will be putting on at Brewhalla. What…

By Annie AUSTIN, Texas – As a Chinese-American, connecting to my culture through food is essential, and no dish brings me back to my mother’s kitchen quite like hotdish. Yes, you heard me right –…

By Sabrina Hornungsabrina@hpr1.comNew Jamestown Brewery Serves up Local FlavorThere’s something delicious brewing out here on the prairie and it just so happens to be the newest brewery west of the Red River and east of the…

By John Showalter  john.d.showalter@gmail.comThey sell fentanyl test strips and kits to harm-reduction organizations and…

JANUARY 19, 1967– MARCH 8, 2023 Brittney Leigh Goodman, 56, of Fargo, N.D., passed away unexpectedly at her home on March 8, 2023. Brittney was born January 19, 1967, to Ruth Wilson Pollock and Donald Ray Goodman, in Hardinsburg,…

By Jim I am an old man. I have been a politics junkie most of my life. I have been involved in many campaigns, but have not run for office myself. Each time someone has suggested I do that, I tell them…