The apocalypse has been privatized

How nuclear weapons companies commandeer your tax dollars

While Obama’s Iran pact makes headlines, America’s own corporate-nuclear complex remains hidden in plain sight

The apocalypse has been privatized: How nuclear weapons companies commandeer your tax dollars
This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.

Imagine for a moment a genuine absurdity: somewhere in the United States, the highly profitable operations of a set of corporations were based on the possibility that sooner or later your neighborhood would be destroyed and you and all your neighbors annihilated.  And not just you and your neighbors, but others and their neighbors across the planet. What would we think of such companies, of such a project, of the mega-profits made off it?

In fact, such companies do exist. They service the American nuclear weapons industry and the Pentagon’s vast arsenal of potentially world-destroying weaponry.  They make massive profits doing so, live comfortable lives in our neighborhoods, and play an active role in Washington politics.  Most Americans know little or nothing about their activities and the media seldom bother to report on them or their profits, even though the work they do is in the service of an apocalyptic future almost beyond imagining.

Add to the strangeness of all that another improbability.  Nuclear weapons have been in the headlines for years now and yet all attention in this period has been focused like a spotlight on a country that does not possess a single nuclear weapon and, as far as the American intelligence community can tell, has shown no signs of actually trying to build one.  We’re speaking, of course, of Iran.  Almost never in the news, on the other hand, are the perfectly real arsenals that could actually wreak havoc on the planet, especially our own vast arsenal and that of our former superpower enemy, Russia.

In the recent debate over whether President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran will prevent that country from ever developing such weaponry, you could search high and low for any real discussion of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, even though the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists estimates that it contains about 4,700 active warheads.  That includes a range of bombs and land-based and submarine-based missiles. If, for instance, a single Ohio Class nuclear submarine — and the Navy has 14 of them equipped with nuclear missiles — were to launch its 24 Trident missiles, each with 12 independently targetable megaton warheads, the major cities of any targeted country in the world could be obliterated and millions of people would die.

Indeed, the detonations and ensuing fires would send up so much smoke and particulates into the atmosphere that the result would be a nuclear winter, leading toworldwide famine and the possible deaths of hundreds of millions, including Americans (no matter where the missiles went off).  Yet, as if in a classic Dr. Seuss book, one would have to add: that is not all, oh, no, that is not all.  At the moment, the Obama administration is planning for the spending of up to a trillion dollars over the next 30 years to modernize and upgrade America’s nuclear forces.

Given that the current U.S. arsenal represents extraordinary overkill capacity — it could destroy many Earth-sized planets — none of those extra taxpayer dollars will gain Americans the slightest additional “deterrence” or safety. For the nation’s security, it hardly matters whether, in the decades to come, the targeting accuracy of missiles whose warheads would completely destroy every living creature within a multi-mile radius was reduced from 500 meters to 300 meters.  If such “modernization” has no obvious military significance, why the push for further spending on nuclear weapons?

One significant factor in the American nuclear sweepstakes goes regularly unmentioned in this country: the corporations that make up the nuclear weapons industry.  Yet the pressures they are capable of exerting in favor of ever more nuclear spending are radically underestimated in what passes for “debate” on the subject.

Privatizing Nuclear Weapons Development

Start with this simple fact: the production, maintenance, and modernization of nuclear weapons are sources of super profits for what is, in essence, a cartel.  They, of course, encounter no competition for contracts from offshore competitors, given that it’s the U.S. nuclear arsenal we’re talking about, and the government contracts offered are screened from critical auditing under the guise of national security.  Furthermore, the business model employed is “cost-plus,” which means that no matter how high cost overruns may be compared to original bids, contractors receive a guaranteed profit percentage above their costs. High profits are effectively guaranteed, no matter how inefficient or over-budget the project may become.  In other words, there is no possibility of contractors losing money on their work, no matter how inefficient they may be (a far cry from a corporate free-market model of production).

Those well-protected profits and the firms raking them in have become a major factor in the promotion of nuclear weapons development, undermining any efforts at nuclear disarmament of almost any sort.  Part of this process should be familiar indeed, since it’s an extension of a classic Pentagon formula that Columbia University industrial economist Seymour Melman once described so strikingly in his books andarticles, a formula that infamously produced $436 hammers and $6,322 coffee makers.

Given the process and the profits, the weapons contractors have a vested interest in ensuring that the American public has a heightened sense of danger and insecurity (even as they themselves have become a leading source of such danger and insecurity).  Recently, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) produced a striking report, “Don’t Bank on the Bomb,” documenting the major corporate contractors and their investors who will reap those mega-profits from the coming nuclear weapons upgrades.

Given the penumbra of national security that envelops the country’s nuclear weapons programs, authentic audits of the contracts of these companies are not available to the public. However, at least the major corporations profiting from nuclear weapons contracts can now be identified. In the area of nuclear delivery systems — bombers, missiles, and submarines — these include a series of familiar corporate names: Boeing, Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, GenCorp Aerojet, Huntington Ingalls, and Lockheed Martin. In other areas like nuclear design and production, the names at the top of the list will be less well known: Babcock & Wilcox, Bechtel, Honeywell International, and URS Corporation. When it comes to nuclear weapons testing and maintenance, contractors include Aecom, Flour, Jacobs Engineering, and SAIC; missile targeting and guidance firms include Alliant Techsystems and Rockwell Collins.

To give a small sampling of the contracts: In 2014, Babcock & Wilcox was awarded $76.8 million for work on upgrading the Ohio class submarines. In January 2013, General Dynamics Electric Boat Division was awarded a $4.6 billion contract to design and develop a next-generation strategic deterrent submarine. More of what is known of such corporate weapons contracts can be found in the ICAN Report, which also identified banks and other financial institutions investing in the nuclear weapons corporations.

Many Americans are unaware that much of the responsibility for nuclear weapons development, production, and maintenance lies not with the Pentagon but the Department of Energy (DOE), which spends more on nuclear weapons than it does on developing sustainable energy sources.  Key to the DOE’s nuclear project are thefederal laboratories where nuclear weapons are designed, built, and tested. They include Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory(LANL) in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories in Livermore, California.  These, in turn, reflect a continuing trend in national security affairs, so-called GOCO sites (“government owned, contractor operated”). At the labs, this system represents a corporatization of the policies of nuclear deterrence and other nuclear weapons strategies. Through contracts with URS, Babcock & Wilcox, the University of California, and Bechtel, the nuclear weapons labs are to a significant extentprivatized. The LANL contract alone is on the order of $14 billion. Similarly, the Savannah River Nuclear Facility, in Aiken, South Carolina, where nuclear warheads are manufactured, is jointly run by Flour, Honeywell International, and Huntington Ingalls Industries. Their DOE contract for operating it through 2016 totals about $8 billion dollars. In other words, in these years that have seen the rise of the warrior corporation and a significant privatization of the U.S. military and the intelligence community, a similar process has been underway in the world of nuclear weaponry.

In addition to the prime nuclear weapons contractors, there are hundreds of subcontractors, some of which depend upon those subcontracts for the bulk of their business. Any one of them may have from 100 to several hundred employees working on its particular component or system and, with clout in local communities, they help push the nuclear modernization program via their congressional representatives.

One of the reasons nuclear weapons profitability is extremely high is that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Department of Energy, responsible for the development and operations of the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities, does not monitor subcontractors, which makes it difficult to monitor prime contractors as well. For example, when the Project on Government Oversight filed a Freedom of Information Act request for information on Babock & Wilcox, the subcontractor for security at the Y-12 nuclear complex at Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the NNSA responded that it hadno information on the subcontractor.  Babcock & Wilcox was then in charge of building a uranium processing facility at Y-12.  It, in turn, subcontracted design work to four other companies and then failed to consolidate or supervise them.  This led to an unusable design, which was only scrapped after the subcontractors had received $600 million for work that was useless.  This Oak Ridge case, in turn, triggered a Government Accountability Officereport to Congress last May indicating that such problems were endemic to the DOE’s nuclear weapons facilities.

The Nuclear Lobbyists

Federal tax dollars expended on nuclear weapons maintenance and development are a significant component of the federal budget. Although difficult to pin down precisely, the sums run into the hundreds of billions of dollars. In 2005, the Government Accountability Office reported that even the Pentagon had no firm numbers when it came to how much the nuclear mission costs, nor is there a standalone nuclear weapons budget of any sort, so overall costs must be estimated. Analyzing the budgets of the Pentagon and the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, as well as information gleaned from Congressional testimony, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies suggests that, from 2010-2018, the United States will spend at least $179 billion to maintain the current nuclear triad of missiles, bombers, and submarines, with their associated nuclear weaponry, while beginning the process of developing their next-generation replacements.  The Congressional Budget Office projects the cost of nuclear forces for 2015-2024 at $348 billion, or $35 billion annually, of which the Pentagon will spend $227 billion and the Department of Energy $121 billion.

In fact, the price for maintaining and developing the nuclear arsenal is actually far greater than either of those estimates.  While those numbers include most of the direct costs of nuclear weapons and strategic launching systems like missiles and submarines, as well as the majority of the costs for the military personnel responsible for maintaining, operating, and executing the missions, they don’t include many other expenses, including the decommissioning process and nuclear-waste disposal issues involved in “retiring” weapons.  Nor do they include the pensions and health-care costs that will go with retiring their human operators.

In 2012, a report from a high-level committee chaired by former Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General James Cartwright concluded that “no sensible argument has been put forward for using nuclear weapons to solve any of the major 21st century problems we face [including] threats posed by rogue states, failed states, proliferation, regional conflicts, terrorism, cyber warfare, organized crime, drug trafficking, conflict-driven mass migration of refugees, epidemics, or climate change. In fact, nuclear weapons have on balance arguably become more a part of the problem than any solution.”

Not surprisingly, for the roster of corporations involved in the U.S. nuclear programs, this matters little.  They, in fact, maintain elaborate lobbying operations in support of their continuing nuclear weapons contracts. In a 2012 study for the Center for International Policy, “Bombs vs. Budgets: Inside the Nuclear Weapons Lobby,” William Hartung and Christine Anderson reported that, for the elections of that year, the top 14 contractors gave nearly $3 million directly to Congressional legislators.  Not surprisingly, half that sum went to members of the four key committees or subcommittees that oversee spending for nuclear arms.

In 2015, the defense industry mobilized a small army of at least 718 lobbyists and doled out more than $67 million dollars pressuring Congress for increased weapons spending generally.  Among the largest contributors werecorporations with significant nuclear weapons contracts, including Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and General Dynamics. Such pro-nuclear lobbying is augmented by contributions and pressure from missile and aircraft companies that are primarily non-nuclear. Some of the systems they produce, however, are potentially dual-use (conventional and nuclear), which means that a robust nuclear weapons program increases their potential market.

The continuing pressure of Congressional Republicans for cuts in domestic social programs are a crucial mechanism that ensures federal tax dollars will be available for lucrative military contracts. In terms of quality of life (and death), this means that underestimating the influence of the nuclear weapons industry is singularly dangerous.  For the $35 billion or more the U.S. taxpayer will put into such weaponry annually to support the narrow interests of a modest number of companies, the payback is fear of an apocalyptic future. After all, unlike almost all other corporate lobbies, the nuclear weapons lobby (and so your tax dollars) put life on Earth at risk of rapid extinction, either following the direct destruction of a nuclear holocaust or a radical reduction in sunlight reaching the Earth’s surface that would come from the sort of nuclear winter that would follow almost any nuclear exchange. At the moment, the corporate-nuclear complex is hidden in our midst, its budgets and funds shielded from public scrutiny, its project hardly noticed. It’s a formula for disaster.

Why So Many Americans Defend the Failed Capitalist Experiment


2015.14.9 BF Buchheit

(Photo: Isaías Campbell)


Capitalism has worked for big business and for the people with stocks and estates. But for the past 35 years our economic system, stripped of sensible regulations, has poisoned the nation with deadly inequality and driven much of middle America to an ever-wideninglower class.

Yet for much of the nation the delusion persists, against all common sense, that deregulated free-market capitalism works, that it equates to true Americanism, and that people have only themselves to blame for their failure to thrive in this expanding world of wealth. The reasons for this delusion are not hard to determine.

1. The Rich are Easy to Understand: Capitalism Justifies Selfishness

Studies have consistently shown that increased wealth causes people to turn inward, to believe more in their own “superior” traits, and to care less about the feelings and needs of others. This anti-social attitude blends well with the Ayn-Randish “greed is good” message of unregulated capitalism.

Other studies have determined that money pushes people further to the right, making them less egalitarian, less willing to provide broad educational opportunities to all members of society, and certainly part of the reason that our investment in public infrastructure as a component of GDP dropped by 60 percent from 1968 to 2011.

2. The Would-Be Rich: Dollar Signs Dance in Their Heads

Capitalism allows profit-seekers to view students as sources of revenue, and to drain money from the public school system. Jeb Bush likened schools to milk cartons in a supermarket aisle: “I wish our schools could be more like milk…You can get whole milk, low fat milk or skim milk…chocolate, strawberry or vanilla…milk alternatives, like soy milk, almond milk and rice milk…Who would have ever thought you could improve upon milk? Yet, freedom, innovation and competition found a way.”

Bush’s milk alternative is the charter school business. David Brain, head of the tellingly named Entertainment Properties, called it “a great opportunity set with 500 schools starting every year. It’s a two and a half billion dollar opportunity set in rough measure annually.”

But the money didn’t start rolling in until the public school system began to be starved. The U.S. Department of Education reported that $197 billion is needed to repair the nation’s K-12 public school buildings. The public system is going broke, deprived of tax dollars that go to charters. State budgets are providing less per-pupil funding for kindergarten through 12th grade than they did six years ago – in many cases far less.

And the results of the capitalist school experiment? Still coming in, although evidence is quickly accumulatingthat many charter school systems are mired in fraud and secrecy, and shaping up as a prime example of the folly of treating human beings like products to be bought and sold.

3. The Rest of Us: The Media Keeps Telling Us That Capitalism Is the Only Way to Live

The mainstream media’s unwillingness to state the truth about inequality has led people to vastly underestimate the wealth gap in our country, guessing that the poorest 40 percent own about 10% of the wealth, when in reality they own much less than 1% of the wealth. Out of every dollar, they own a third of a penny.

Conservative writers overwhelm us with their capitalist-loving mantras:

—–Income inequality is simply not a significant problem. (The Wall Street Journal)

—–Income inequality in a capitalist system is truly beautiful… (The Washington Post‘s George Will, quoting John Tamny)

—–Capitalism has worked very well (Bill Gates)

—–A free market system…ensures a fair, democratic process (Sarah Palin)

—–Let the market do its job (Chicago Tribune)

Many of them believe that the state of America is reflected in the stock market. But the richest 10% own over 90 percent of the stocks and mutual funds. No problem for the Koch Foundation. They comfort us with the knowledge that If you earn over $34,000 a year, you are one of the wealthiest one percent in the world.

4. Anyone Above the Lowest Class: It’s Empowering to Look Down on Someone

Members of the sinking middle class in our pathologically unequal society may well find it convenient to blame people in lower economic classes, who are unlikely to fight back. Guidance for such condescension comes from libertarian write Charles Murray, who apparently doesn’t understand the family stress caused by the lack of educational and employment opportunities. He accuses the poor of having a “genetic makeup that is significantly different from the configuration of the population above the poverty line.” And, he adds, “Married, educated people who work hard and conscientiously raise their kids shouldn’t hesitate to voice their disapproval of those who defy these norms.”

This inspires people like Paul Ryan and Scott Walker, both of whom compared the safety net to a “hammock,” and John Boehner, who explained the thinking of poor people: “I really don’t have to work…I think I’d rather just sit around.”

The critics of struggling Americans should be reminded that the cost of the entire Safety Net is only about ONE-SIXTH of the $2.2 trillion in tax avoidance that primarily benefits the rich.

A good American capitalist like Republican Senator Lindsey Graham would say, “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally…It’s a game we play.”

It’s a game for the people looking down on a troubled nation.

Gabor Maté: How Capitalism Makes Us Sick

An interview on health and politics

Doctor Gabor Maté is the award-winning author of the books When the Body Says No, Hold On To Your Kids, and In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts. He was recently invited to speak at a conference of the Saskatoon Tribal Council, which includes seven Saskatchewan First Nations. I took the opportunity to interview Dr. Maté about his writing and the intersection between health and politics.

Can you tell me about your new project?

I’m intending to write a book tentatively called Toxic Culture: How Capitalism Makes us Sick. That’s the working title. My contention is that the very nature of the system in which people live their lives is a significant source of illness. Now there are obvious factors like environmental pollution, toxins, and then of course there are the social determinants of health that you write about in A Healthy Society: the impact of poverty, the impact of inequality, the impact of history and continued racism. There’s an article in the Saskatoon Star Phoenixtoday about sentencing practices in the courts of Saskatchewan. People who are identified as Aboriginal are likely to get double the sentences of people who are not identified as Aboriginal. That’s going to have a health impact.

But I’m going to go beyond even that and say that even the people who are not on the wrong end of economic inequality or systemic racism are still made ill just by how we live our lives. The stress that we live under, the competition, the aggressiveness, the uncertainty, the loss of control that we experience in our lives. The gender inequalities, these are not just social phenomena, they have an actual impact on community health. The isolation people are experiencing.

When you think of the individuals who wind up with a double prison term, obviously that has a great impact on their own health. What’s the impact on their family’s health and the community around them?

Families are further deprived of contact and further broken. Children are further deprived of their parents. There’ve been studies in the U.S. on drug sentencing laws and what the impacts are on the children of the people who are jailed. And of course in the U.S., too, the people who are so called coloured or minority are more likely to be jailed for a longer time. There’s nothing equal about the criminal justice system that way, nor about the impact on families.

On the individual level, you can take monkeys and isolate them and then you measure their dopamine receptors and find they are reduced significantly. In other words there’s less receptor for the motivation and incentive chemicals in their brains. Then you put them back into society, those dopamine receptors can come back, unless they’re bullied and underlings in which case they don’t come back. So, the way we treat people has a physiological impact. When you stick them in jails when you treat them with isolation, when you ostracize them, you are hurting them. And furthermore, who is it that’s jailed? Dr. Bessel van der Kork, a trauma expert at Boston University, has said that 99 per cent of the people in the criminal justice system are traumatized children.

I recall hearing of a study showing that more than 95 per cent of inmates have a mental illness.

Yes, absolutely, and the basis of mental illness is trauma. And so, what you’ve got is already traumatized people being further traumatized by the jail system. We don’t have quite the horror stories that you do in the United States with the private prisons, but it’s pretty horrible in Canada.

When you think of the period of their life where people are imprisoned, that’s the period of their life where they’re kept traumatized and kept from growing. I also think of HIV in Africa where you have the death of people in their working and child-rearing years and the effect that has on communities. When you take all the young men from a community what does that do to their economic chances, for their chances to have a generation of kids that aren’t traumatized as well?

Exactly. And nearly 30 per cent of the people in jail in Canada are Aboriginal, even though they only make up 4 per cent of the population.

In Saskatchewan it’s closer to 80 per cent.

What percentage of the population of Saskatchewan is Aboriginal?

Fifteen to 20 per cent.

And they make up nearly 80 per cent of the jail population. So, why are they in jail? Because they were traumatized in the first place, individually and as a people. So they turn to drugs, for example, as a way of soothing their pain. So what do we do? We punish them. We not only punish them, we further traumatize them. Then, under the current rules, we’re going to keep them in jail longer. If we’re going to spend more money on enforcement, and jailing people, there’s less money for programs and rehab in jail. Hence we’ve got this so-called correctional system that doesn’t correct anything.

So, clearly that’s a really great example of downstream thinking; we’ve got a problem, we’re going to lock it up or respond to it in a way that’s after the fact. What would be a way to move further upstream in regard to the crime that does exist?

Well, a lot of crimes are committed because we’ve made something criminal that’s very arbitrary. There’s no criminality in possessing liquor, but there’s criminality in possessing heroin. Why? Heroin is far more benign than liquor is when it comes to health impacts over the long term. It’s not a crime to possess nicotine, or cigarettes, but it is a crime to possess cocaine. Why? I’m not recommending cocaine or heroin to anyone, I’m just saying, if you’re going to talk about health effects, neither can compare with cigarettes.

A lot of our prison population may wind up in prison for a crime in the first place, but they later return due to parole violation or failure to pay a fine, so you have administrative, process crimes, that you or I could pay our way out of with a fine or a lawyer, and they just have to do the time.

And the crimes are committed because certain drugs are illegal, and they have to pay big bucks for it, and to get the big bucks they have to commit the crime to get the money. So, first of all, we create a lot of crime, just by arbitrary decisions about what constitutes criminal behavior.

What’s the quote? “The law in its wisdom prohibits both rich and poor alike from sleeping under bridges.”

That’s right. Anatole France said that.

It prohibits the rich and poor alike from injecting cocaine.

The rich don’t have to, they can buy powdered cocaine.

Right, and nobody notices because they can do it in the safety of their own home.

Exactly. Now in the U.S., the possession of crack cocaine was punished ten times as heavily as the possession of powdered cocaine. Who used crack cocaine? Poor blacks. Who used powdered cocaine? Rich whites. The effects are the same, it doesn’t matter, the one is not worse than the other.

Then, if you look at who becomes alcoholic, who commits crimes of violence, these are people that were traumatized. And they were traumatized quite systemically and deliberately by official government policy. It wasn’t an aberration, it went on for over a hundred years, and in many ways it’s still going on.

So an upstream approach would be to put a lot of the resources and energy that now goes into law enforcement and incarceration into programs that would help young families not repeat the trauma of generations. Educational departments and health departments would have to spend a lot more money. But we would save that money downstream in economic activity, in less crime, greatly reduced health care costs, etc.. Of course, nobody thinks long term. Departments only think in terms of budgets over the fiscal year. So no bureaucrat is going to get a benefit from thinking 15 years down the road.

When I talk about Upstream, that’s the most common objection: Canadians have a four-year political cycle at most. When you look at First Nations communities they have a two-year political cycle for Indian Act chiefs and councils, which makes it even harder for them to have any longitudinal success. That’s true, but there are examples in the past of long-term thinking despite short political terms.

Medicare here in Saskatchewan is a great example. Political terms were no different, but they were thinking 50 years out. So there are problems in the electoral system, but there are also problems in the demand. What could happen for us as a society to actually create the demand for long-term thinking from our political leaders. How do we change their way of thinking by what we reward?

That’s a very idealistic question, because it assumes that political leaders are not just in theory, or not just by intention, but in actual practice there to serve the needs of the people. That’s a fair assumption, but is it true? If you actually look at the policies of political leaders over the generations, whose interests do they actually serve? Are they serving the interests of the people, or are they serving the interests of a small group of people who hold the levers of the economy. I could make a reasonable case that underneath the veneer of political democracy lies a political dictatorship: very few people in charge running the system for their own benefit. So, if that’s the case, there’s no use in hoping for leaders to be any different, because if they’re any different they won’t get elected, because the media that’s controlled by the same elite will never let them have any kind of a voice.

And even if they do get elected they’ll be hamstrung at every opportunity.

If by accident someone’s elected with a slightly different point of view they’ll be totally hamstrung, and whatever they do will be quickly reversed. So even Medicare, which is this Canadian icon, has undergone significant dismantling over the last fifteen, twenty years. And it’s not going to die by a single blow, it’s going to die by a thousand cuts, and the pressure to privatize is increasing. So when you say, how are we going to get the public to put the pressure on politicians, well the other thing is, of course, the public works with the information that’s given to them by the system. And as much as there’s the Internet and people can do any kind of research they want, most people are not motivated to do that. Most people are depoliticized, most people are resigned to leave significant decisions to their politicians.

Although in principle we have freedom of choice, without awareness and consciousness it’s not meaningful to speak about freedom of choice.

And the Internet, whether it’s the amount of information or the way it’s accessible, it may actually be causing people to remain more on the surface than actually digging into ideas.

Which means there are very few conscious people in this country. Ask the average person about any complex issue. It’s fine to have a democracy, but if you have a democracy with a fundamentally unaware population, then the people who are very aware of their interests and have the capacity to control the flow of information that reaches most people, are in an unassailable position. So then, who are these people that are going to challenge the politicians? They’re people who don’t have the information that they can challenge anybody with. And yet what is remarkable is that despite all that propagandistic control, on some significant issues people actually manage to come to some conclusions. For example, at least there seems to be a strong general understanding of climate change. But that hasn’t translated into any kind of political electoral movement. When the next election happens, we’re still going to elect people who have been supporting policies that contribute to climate change. If you poll people, yeah, climate change is an issue, but if you look at how it affects political behavior, it doesn’t affect it very much.

Part two of Ryan Meili’s interview with Gabor Maté is HERE.

Ryan Meili is a Saskatoon family physician, author, medical educator, and founding director of Upstream: Institute for A Healthy Society.

Is Gentrification a Human-Rights Violation?


A Brooklyn-based group is arguing that the displacement of longtime residents meets a definition conceived by the United Nations in the aftermath of World War II.

No one will be surprised to learn that the campaign to build a national movement against gentrification is being waged out of an office in Brooklyn, New York.

For years, the borough’s name has been virtually synonymous with gentrification, and on no street in Brooklyn are its effects more evident than on Atlantic Avenue, where, earlier this summer, a local bodega protesting its impending departure in the face of a rent hike, put up sarcastic window signs advertising  “Bushwick baked vegan cat food” and “artisanal roach bombs.”

Just down the block from that bodega are the headquarters of Right to the City, a national alliance of community-based organizations that since 2007 has made it its mission to fight “gentrification and the displacement of low-income people of color.” For too long, organizers with the alliance say, people who otherwise profess concern for the poor have tended  to view gentrification as a mere annoyance, as though its harmful effects extended no further than the hassles of putting up with pretentious baristas and overpriced lattes. Changing this perception is the first order of business for Right to the City: Gentrification, as these organizers see it, is a human-rights violation.

Gentrification, human rights—these are broad terms for complicated ideas.  To understand how these activists could claim that the manifestation of the former is a violation of the latter, it’s helpful to consider the history of both. The modern concept of human rights took shape in the years immediately after World War II, when world leaders came together to devise a doctrine that would serve as a legal and intellectual buttress against another Holocaust. In 1948, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The document identifies several universal rights, including education, healthcare, and freedom from torture. Nowhere, though, does it say anything about gentrification.

Nor could it have. That term didn’t come into use until nearly two decades later, when Ruth Glass, a British sociologist, coined it to describe the growing phenomenon of young bohemians moving into a section of London that had fallen into neglect and disrepair. At the time, there was a theory that gentrification was a natural process that inevitably played out when artists and other adventurous types struck out for the urban frontier. Later in the decade, that perception changed, and this boundary-pushing came to be viewed as the result of some larger forces. As Neil Smith, the late influential geographer, put it in Gentrification of the City, a 1986 collection of essays, “It is apparent that where urban pioneers venture, the banks, real-estate companies, the state, or other collective economic actors have generally gone before.”

Smith’s work is an important touchstone for the members of Right to the City, who view gentrification as the result of a “systemic” effort to drive up profit margins for real-estate developers. Through rezonings, tax abatements for developers, and the privatization of public spaces, local governments and federal agencies often work to change low-income neighborhoods at the encouragement of developers, they argue.

It is the resulting displacement of people who can’t afford increased rents that, in the eyes of these activists, amounts to a human-rights violation. (Homeowners, at least economically, stand to gain from the changes, since their property values often rise as a result.) Drawing on Le droit à la ville, a 1968 work by the French sociologist Henri Lefebvre whose title translates to “The Right to the City,” the organization argues that all people, including the disenfranchised, have the right to remain in their apartments and homes and shape the political and cultural landscapes of their communities. The UN Declaration of Human Rights alreadyasserts that everyone has the right to be protected against “interference with his… home.” Lenina Nadal, the communications director for Right to the City, says the group hopes to build on this idea. “It is an ideal time to  expand the idea that inhabitants not only have a right to their home, a decent, sustainable home,” she said, “but also to the community they created in their city.”

At first, the alliance consisted mostly of community groups from Brooklyn and other obvious magnets for wealthy young professionals, such as the Bay Area and Los Angeles. But in the past few years, it has garnered interest from places like Lexington, Kentucky, and Springfield, Massachusetts—the sorts of smaller cities where people have traditionally gone to escape the economic pressures of the Bostons and New Yorks. Right to the City promotes the idea that gentrification isn’t something limited to big cities on the coasts.

The organization is up against the fact that there isn’t even a consensus that gentrification is bad in the first place, much less bad enough to be classified as a human-rights violation. What some see as gentrification, others see as revitalization. Real-estate development, after all, often brings jobs, resources, and infrastructure improvements to neighborhoods that were previously starved of them, potentially benefiting low-income residents. In Stuck in Place: Urban Neighborhoods and the End of Progress Toward Racial Equality, the sociologist Patrick Sharkey studied black neighborhoods that grew whiter between 1970 and 1990. “There is strong evidence that when neighborhood disadvantage declines, the economic fortunes of black youth improve,” he wrote, “and improve rather substantially.”

But what happens to those people who can’t afford to stay in these “revitalized” neighborhoods? Thomas Angotti, a professor of urban affairs and planning at Hunter College, told the website Curbed that there’s a refusal in public-policy circles to “incorporate displacement into the analysis of the discussion.” Right to the City wants to rectify this. A report by Causa Justa, a San Francisco-based community group and a member of the alliance, found that the separation of low-income families from their communities can result in higher transportation costs, the loss of jobs and income, and, for children, a decline in school performance—in other words, a compounding of the problems that cause people to live in poor neighborhoods in the first place.

Right to the City is organizing a series of “renters’ assemblies” in cities around the country, with the ultimate hope of building support for policies that protect low-income renters, particularly renters of color, from getting priced out of their communities. It is one way that the organization is trying to influence the national discourse about gentrification, much like the Occupy movement did for income inequality and #blacklivesmatter did for race and policing.

Bernie Bias: The Mainstream Media Undermines Sanders at Every Turn

The pattern is to ignore, downplay and mischaracterize Sanders’ positions.

Photo Credit: via Sanders campaign

Who knew, when Bernie Sanders announced a run in the Democratic primary, that not only would he meet with hostility from his main opponent’s chief surrogates, but that the media would acquiesce and even collude to such a great degree?

When analyzing the quantity and content of the vast majority of what is said and written about Sanders, his campaign platform, and appearances, one finds a running theme across the so-called liberal media. The New York Times has been called out by more than one analyst, myself included, for its complete lack of serious coverage of Bernie Sanders.

Since joining the staff at the New York Times, Maggie Haberman has written about Sanders on fewer than a handful of occasions, while she has written about the other candidates in the race more often. While it is understandable that Hillary Clinton would be the subject of more numerous articles, it makes no sense for Martin O’Malley to have more articles written about him than Sanders, given the pecking order that emerged right from the start, yet that is what has transpired so far.

In articles that address various aspects of the Democratic side of the primary, Senator Sanders’ ability to succeed is always described in doubtful terms, even as Hillary Clinton’s troubles in the polls are being described. The New York Times has published fewer than a dozen pieces that are Sanders campaign-specific and each is problematic in the way he is portrayed. Most often, Sanders’ age and hair are highlighted, and the incorrect moniker “socialist” is applied. (Socialist and Democratic socialist are not interchangeable terms.)

While the age of a candidate might matter to some when thinking about a candidate’s experience or mental capacity, Bernie Sanders is 73, only six years older than Hillary Clinton. His mental capacity has never been a subject of contention. One can only conclude from the repetition of negative references, that writers are attempting to condition readers into thinking of Sanders as the “unkempt” elderly stereotype.

Most presidential candidates have been older than 60. Think of Ronald Reagan. The distance between 67 to 73, in human years, isn’t that significant from either the experiential or health standpoints. If anything, Sanders’ breakneck schedule, accounting for work in the Senate, crisscrossing the nation to hold rallies, and appearing on cable news shows demonstrates a high level of mental and physical energy.

The most harmful way anti-Sanders media bias has been manifested is by omission. In this respect, the New York Times is joined by the vast majority of the mainstream media in not typically reporting on Sanders, especially on policy. Overall there is  a version of a “wall of silence” built by the media when it comes to serious reporting and analysis of his policies; or when analyzing or reporting on the policies of his opponents, a failure to mention Sanders’ in contrast, especially when his is the more progressive position. This behavior hasn’t gone unnoticed by readers. You can see numerous complaints from readers about the Times organization’s bias toward Sanders. You see it in the New York Times comments section, on the Facebook pages and comments sections of all the major publications, and just about everywhere else. Readers complain about the lack of substantive coverage as well as the bias in what little is published. The Times’ Jason Horowitz’ piece, “Bernie Sanders Draws Big Crowds to His ‘Political Revolution” drew over 1600 comments, double what the most popular columns usually fetch, with most in protest over the obvious bias of the piece and the Times’ egregious lack of coverage of Bernie Sanders news.

Bernie Sanders’ campaign has centered around economic justice and his plans to reform banking, taxation, trade, stimulate the economy, promote manufacturing at home, and institute jobs programs. I’ve yet to see side-by side comparisons of the top two Democratic candidates’ prescriptions for the US economy. Most economists and economic writers chose to publish pieces on the Clinton economic plan before she gave her speech. Few wrote about it after, and with reason: The speech didn’t deliver much in the way of specifics, and was vague about policies that the voting public expects. Sanders’ version of an economic plan has yet to garner serious analysis and discussion. Both Clinton and Sanders base their economic prescriptions on economist Joseph Stiglitz’ most recent work, Rewrite The Rules. Paul Krugman has, on three occasions, talked up Hillary Clinton’s economic platform, specifically on wages, without so much as mentioning Sanders. Clinton favors a minimum wage of $15 per hour in New York City, and $12 an hour nationally. Sanders has called for the minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour for everyone. The Times had reported, in May, that Stiglitz’ work would likely greatly influence Clinton’s platform. If it has, one wouldn’t know it, judging by subsequent writings.

Plan for Racial Justice

While news outlets were reporting on the disruptions of Sanders by the Black Lives Matter movement, few followed up on the story as Sanders began to respond positively. Sanders gave a major speech to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference on July 27. It received very little attention from the press. And within a week, Sanders delivered his answer to Black Lives Matter, by way of a plan. The New York Times has yet to make mention of Sanders’plan for racial justice, link to the senator’s website, or publish it outright in an article. And the media has ignored the fact that the racial justice plan has received praise among a number of Black Lives Matter leaders, including activist Deray McKesson.

Clarence Page recently wrote about Sanders in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune. He took a tack that many in the press now use: comparing and contrasting Sanders to Donald Trump. Given the kinds of controversy Trump has kicked up with his racial statements, and the treatment Sanders has received over his racial justice bona fides, it is no surprise that many of Sanders’ supporters are angry. Page begins his op-ed with: “The farther the left and right wings in politics move toward extremes, an old saying goes, the more they resemble each other.”

In any other context, that kind of contrast might have been fair, but not in a piece about Trump and Sanders. In his third paragraph, Page writes: “In recent days we have seen how both Trump, now a seasoned reality TV star, and Sanders, a self-described Democratic socialist, have faced sharp criticism within their separate political tribes for omitting or offending key constituencies.”

While it is true enough that Trump has been making racially offensive statements about all constituencies that aren’t key to his campaign, that same accusation does not apply to Bernie Sanders, who in stark contrast to his main opponent, has never, in 50 years of documented political activism and public office, uttered a racially offensive statement, or favored policies that are detrimental to minorities.

Page praises Sanders’ plan for racial justice, without any discussion of its points and then goes on to characterize the diversity of Sanders’ supporters: “But his impressively huge crowds have been even less diverse than his 95-percent-white home state of Vermont.” There’s not been a study or poll of the crowds at Sanders events. From what I could see of Sanders’ Los Angeles and New Orleans rallies, the crowds seemed to match the diversity of the locale. Of note is the fact that there hasn’t yet been a large-scale poll of the black community on its support of Sanders following the publication of his plan for racial justice.

Over a month after the publication of Sanders’ plan for racial justice, the media continues to portray him as someone who is racially wounded, when to begin with, that “problem” came into existence the day of the Netroots Nation disruption under the guise of eliciting needed policy from all candidates, even those who are considered friends. As the top Democratic candidate continues to owe such “needed policy,” Hillary Clinton continues to enjoy relative insulation from the perception of having any racial wounds, in spite of a record of promoting policies that have led to the very reasons for the birth of Black Lives Matter.

Over at Vox, coverage of Sanders by everyone but Ezra Klein has mostly been overtly negative. Dara Lind address a portion of the race issues in her interview of comedian Roderick Greer, who came up with the Twitter hashtag BernieSoBlack. But that piece contained much more than an explanation of some funny hashtag, and all of it was slanted in the direction of stripping Sanders of his civil rights achievements, even as the piece was titled to indicate Greer’s frustration at Sanders’ supporters. Attacking Sanders’ supporters and portraying them as racist or borderline racist has been a running theme in the press. Since his record on civil rights cannot be impeached and he has never committed a racial faux-pas, the only way to attack him on race is through his supporters, and that is how in piece after piece, Sanders’ record is being sullied.

The attacks on Sanders began with a curious refusal to give him any credit for taking part in the civil rights movement, and have been followed up by pieces designed to paint him as dispassionate about human rights and racial justice. Few are those who cite Sanders’ longstanding near-perfect rating by the NAACP and ACLU, or mention those, like Senator Cory Booker, who have spoken up in defense of Sanders’ lifelong record with the African-American community.

Since when don’t records matter?

Up until Bernie Sanders, a politician’s record has always been the measure by which evaluations are made. This is of particular import here because Sanders’ main opponent, Hillary Clinton, also has a very long record and it isn’t being scrutinized. When Clinton met with protesters in New Hampshire and she was confronted with policies of hers and Bill Clinton’s that have harmed the black community, little was made of it in the press. All chatter about Clinton’s behavior at that meeting has practically come to an end, and she has yet to publish her own policy proposals for racial justice.

Sanders has focused his tenure as a public official on economic justice. That doesn’t mean he paid no attention to racial justice. His stump speeches, with few exceptions, make mention of the racial disparities in our society. One example that comes to mind is Sanders’ appearance in front of the Council of La Raza, where he spent several minutes addressing racial disparities harming African Americans.

The characterization that Sanders’ position on solving the problems of racial injustice is through addressing economic inequality is patently false. Sanders has long been on record as saying that racial inequality is a separate problem that needs to be addressed in parallel. Almost to a voice, the U.S. mainstream press corps avoids any mention of that in order to cement the perception that Bernie Sanders isn’t serious about redressing America’s original sin.

At a time when economic and racial inequality are at their deepest, we are again at a similar moment in time as when the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was speaking out in favor of racial unity to fight poverty and inequality. In one of his last speeches, “The Three Evils of Society,” King described the conditions we find ourselves in today. His prescription came in the form of his Poor People’s Campaign, uniting the nation’s whites and blacks to fight for economic justice. It is painful to hear and read those who are intimately familiar with King’s speeches joining in the same behaviors as the rest of their colleagues in the media in praising Bernie Sanders and putting him down all at once, at times even using the very same Martin Luther King quotes included in Sanders’ plan for racial justice.

To Martin Luther King Jr., racial, educational and economic justice were always inexorably tied. To James Baldwin, racial, educational and economic justice were indivisible from each other. It takes a rare cynic who is well versed in the writings of Baldwin and King to use them as bludgeons against Sanders, all the while withholding salient facts from the public, so it can do its job as described in Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time:

“And here we are at the center of the arc, trapped in the gaudiest, most valuable, and most improbable water wheel the world has ever seen. Everything now, we must assume, is in our hands; we have no right to assume otherwise. If we—and now I mean the relatively conscious whites and the relatively conscious blacks, who must, like lovers, insist on or create, the consciousness of the others—do not falter in our duty now, we may be able, handful that we are, to end the racial nightmare, and achieve our country, and change the history of the world. If we do not now dare everything, the fulfillment of that prophecy, recreated from the Bible in song by a slave, is upon us: “God gave Noah the rainbow sign, No more water, the fire next time!”

In the absence of fair media coverage, how do we create the consciousness of the others? How do we achieve our country? How do we avoid repeating history?

Rima Regas is a Southern California-based writer and commentator with a passion for progressive politics, and social and economic justice. Her career has included stints as a congressional staffer, graphic designer, technical writer and editor. Follow her on Twitter @Rima_Regas and Blog#42

Dodging potholes in New Orleans: 10 years after Katrina

By Hannah Bonner On August 31, 2015

Post image for Dodging potholes in New Orleans: 10 years after KatrinaWhile the richer parts of New Orleans have mostly recovered, the Lower Ninth Ward is still in disrepair and has lost more than half of its residents.

“New Orleans is an illusion,” says local Lower NinthWard resident and writer J.F. “Smitty” Smith. “There’s the reality of New Orleans and the illusion of New Orleans. Most of what you see is the illusion.” A local mother of two in a snow cone line in Tulane reiterates Smitty’s words when she acknowledges, “New Orleans has many layers.”

It’s impossible not to notice how the sediment of New Orleans has settled post-Hurricane Katrina. Not just literally in the marshes and wetlands, but also figuratively in the sifting of culture and reconstruction. Walking through the tourist destinations of Bourbon Street or the French Quarter, Hurricane Katrina has been re-appropriated into a silver ring in the shape of a wave from the storm or a colorful photograph of oaks and cypress trees submerged in sable water.

Yet, upon entering the Lower Ninth Ward, after you pass by Brad Pitt’s (in)famous Make It Right-homes and drive deep into the grid of crumbling houses still branding X-codes, trash heaped in abandoned lots, and the potholes (that force one to drive under ten miles an hour simply to avoid bottoming out), you see the side of New Orleans that does not decorate the pages of a Conde Nast travel magazine. Ironically, it’s the part of the city that is in dire need of visibility and exposure beyond the alcohol fueled haze of Bourbon Street.

This tension between reality and fiction is teased out in Trouble the Water, a 2008-documentary film that follows a New Orleans couple’s struggle for survival after the levees broke. The couple, Scott and Kimberly Rivers Roberts, capture candid, first person footage of the storm’s aftermath juxtaposed with New Orleans’ tourism center’s glossy promotional video of po-boys, brass bands, and alligators – the smiling, sparkling jazz singer in the video deflects and underscores the harsh realities that pervade New Orleans.

Harsh realities such as those parts of the Ninth Ward that are still in shambles and the wetlands that continue to erode at a dramatic rate (erosion the size of a football field, on average, every hour), with nary any national coverage in sight. While Barbara Bush may have believed in 2005 that the people of New Orleans “had it better” sleeping in NOLA’s airport in the days after the storm, there could be a loud collective agreement that many never had it better – and still don’t.

Visual reminders, ongoing neglect

The government census shows that as of July 1, 2014, the Orleans Parish of Louisiana had a total population of 384,320 – nearly 60 percent of which were black or African American, by far and away the largest demographic based on race alone, with white at 35 percent and Asian in third with just over 3 percent.According to the Data Center, “ten years after Katrina, more than half (40) of New Orleans’ 72 neighborhoods have recovered over 90 percent of the population they had before the levees failed.” However, the Lower Ninth Ward is one of four neighborhoods that has “less than half the population they had prior to Katrina.”

Previously, the Lower Ninth Ward — mostly African American working class — had one of the highest home ownership rates in the city. The lack of urgency in repairing the neighborhood in lieu of its high home ownership rates and the fact that many have still not returned after their initial displacement, suggests an institutional racism at work in the city’s (and country’s) historical epicenter. In the days and months after racially fraught events in Baltimore, Charleston, and McInney, TX, it sadly comes as no surprise that the violence of racism isn’t just in our churches or at our pool parties – it’s in the very topography and architecture of our country.

The visual reminders of Hurricane Katrina and the government’s ongoing neglect are a constant in the Ninth Ward: from painted street signs proclaiming “This is a neighborhood, not a trash dump”, the deplorable roads (evocative of a developing country), to the eerie silence that descends with the gloam of evening in what used to be an area known for its pot-lucks and collective community, not its poverty. The specters of our negligence waft through the air.

Toni McGee Causey confirms this immediate neglect in the days following the hurricane in his story “Where Grace Lives”, from the collectionDo You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans?. He writes:

I cannot understand how media crews could show the devastating events down at the Convention Center and the Superdome, and FEMA or our federal government did not ‘know’ the people were there. How do we live in a country which can drop aid to everyone else in the world, and no one could drop water and food to the people trapped there?

Acclaimed writers Jesmyn Ward and Kiese Laymon probe these faulty blue prints of our socio-economic and political system in their respective books Men We Reaped (2013) and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America(2013), as does Smitty in his first book Exiled in Paradise (2012) and director Spike Lee in the chilling four part requiem-like documentary When the Levees Broke (2006).

But words cease to console when your home is in disrepair and the country where you’re supposedly a citizen (though many were labeled “refugees” in the initial weeks after the storm and those who traversed Gretna Bridge to escape from the Convention Center were turned away by police officers with guns and snarling dogs, unable to walk into another district on American soil) does nothing to rebuild, restore, or recover your home, your job, your livelihood, your history.

Dodging potholes

Thom Pepper, the executive director of Common Ground Relief, moved from Miami to New Orleans fourteen months after the storm hit. Common Ground’s approach of working with and among the community as well as the services it provides were a major draw for Pepper, as was the city itself that reminds him of “Miami in the 70s.” Common Ground was an essential organization for a lot of the reconstruction of the Lower Ninth Ward (including local legend Fats Domino’s house). Yet, today, Thom would argue that the biggest problems of New Orleans are “policing and potholes.”

In his book 1 Dead in Attic (2006) Chris Rose describes the potholes, trash, and refrigerators that festered and proliferated in the months and year after Hurricane Katrina. He notes:

on many streets, refrigerators are duct-taped shut and lined up along the curbside, calling to mind nothing so much as the image of empty Mardi Gras parade ladders all in a row. All these structures, just waiting for something to happen. Only problem is, there are no cleanup crews following these imaginary paragraphs to remove the debris. So they stand, sturdy sentinels, fortress walls. We should rename the streets around here Whirlpool Way, Amana Avenue, and Kenmore Court, because that’s what it looks like. The streets are paved in appliances. Where trees once stood, they are sometimes the only shade on a block. Where are they going to put all these things? I don’t suppose they can be used to buttress our wetlands as they do with discarded Christmas trees every year, huh? Do we even have any wetlands?

This passage, written only a few months after the storm, feels tragically current. “There’s a lot of debris down here,” Pepper says, referring to the Lower Ninth.  “Since July 2012 we have probably picked up 400 cubic yards of illegally dumped material not including another 1000 illegally dumped tires. Contractors are doing demolitions of houses all over the city and rather than going to the dump, they bring the debris to the Lower Ninth. We’ve been yelling at the city to come down here and pick this stuff up for years.”

While Pepper acknowledges that the city has “gotten a lot better, it’s really only been in the past year that they’ve developed these hot sheets that you can fill out and give to the police department reporting the location of dumped waste.” He pauses and then adds, “that’s almost ten years after Katrina.”

Now we can not only dodge potholes, but also fill them with various paraphernalia as actor Steve Zahn comically does on HBO’s Treme – the contractors’ waste becomes Zahn’s artistic fodder and our neighborhood detritus. Sans cable TV, the joke wears thin.

The stars we need

Filmmaker, rapper, speaker, and New Orleans native Kimberly Rivers Roberts (aka BlackKoldMadina with Born Hustler Records) adds, “New Orleans needs more programs that target low income families – that educate them and help them get jobs. That’s the real problem.”

While Common Ground aims to do this through its work with local residencies and school programs and Roberts through her motivational and inspiring talks (and informative soon-to-be released documentary Fear No Gumbo), there still aren’t enough resources (or money) to reach all the people in need and the endangered environment of New Orleans – or, at least, that’s what the government’s continued inaction would suggest.

In late June, dining on the epicurean appetites of Southern cuisine (red beans and rice with sausage), the sun sets low on the brow of the river in the NinthWard, partially obscured by the concrete levees. A few Cyprus stumps rise from the brackish water, mere shadows of their former selves. The hum of mosquitos still swells in the onset of dusk. The yucca bushes flare.

As the light seeps out and Fats Waller wafts through the air, one can’t help recall another line from Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans? when resident Strangebone was asked about the post-Katrina sky. “You’re able to see the stars,” he replied. “It’s wonderful.” Somewhere in the city there is violence and heartache and a band blaring and a red plastic cup frothing with beer. But there are also still the stars, immutable and visible – for some, that’s all we have, for some, that’s all we need.

Hannah Bonner is an MA Film Studies student at the University of Iowa. She has an essay on her trip to Nepal forthcoming in Misadventures Magazine: A Women’s Outdoor and Adventure Magazine.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,700 other followers