The Cuban Communist regime is WAY more advanced and technical that what we are taught in the USA. IF the Communist Regime can survive constant harassment, they might be able to innovate to bring forth Marx’s dream of a classless, money-less, and stateless society. Yet, we have to pump our breaks when talking about Marx because it will take time and change for the world at large to be ready for such a reality, yet, individual nations like Cuba are worthy baton holders of the Communist Revolutionary dream. In other words, working at country level and perfecting systems and processes under Marxist principles is a key stepping stone, and I believe the Cuban Communist state are proof of anti-capitalist systems. Cuba is WAY more professional that given credit for by the Western media, in that they have negotiated deals in traditional fossil fuels and in mining with companies and/or firms such as Canada’s Sherritt International, Russia’s Zarubezhneft, Angola’s Sonangol, Spain’s Repsol, The People’s Republic of China, and Venezuela’s PDVSA. Cuba has a high home-ownership rate and literary rate. Cuba has socialized medicine which has developed Meningitis B vaccines, bone marrow transplants, retinal innovations for eye deterioration, therapies for diabetes, etc. Cuba is actually managed very well, but like any nation external factors such as energy from partners is vital. Cuba also has high potential in sustainable energy.
The current July 2021 Cuban Protests are not simply “Anti Communist” but the confluence of various factors. (Hurricanes x COVID x US Sanctions on Cuba such as halting Western Union remittance payments/Sanctions on Cuban companies x US Sanctions on Cuban Oil partners such as Venezuela x US Intel based “Color Revolution Strategy” by way of the Council of Foreign Relations, Associated Press, misinformation campaigns, and the #soscuba South Florida Cuban Republican movement that has elements touching upon Blue Lives Matter Movement, Anti Black Lives Matter Movement despite Governor DeSantis allowing Cubans to protests but criminalizing Black Lives Matters, Proud Boys such as FBI Informant possibly COININTELPRO leader Enrique Tarrio, MAGA, etc.)
I recommend before reading through this that you skip to watching the videos since people are more visual learners.
(Preface) The Game That Never Stops. Before We Get to Cuba. To Understand Current Coverage of Cuban Protests we must analyze current media relations with state intelligence, the past, and how neoliberalism is the underlying ideology of both the American Center Left and Right Wing:
In the early 1970s, democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende, implemented Project Cybersyn with the help of British Industrial engineer Stafford Beer. The project constructed a then state of the art decision making room that was effectively an early form of Enterprise Resource Planning System, so the Socialist regime could better make decisions in real time based on data acquired from first responders, businesses, weather forecasts, etc. But, Allende, of course, was overthrown in a CIA backed coup that propped up Right Wing Fascist dictator Augusto Pinochet, who was himself a a Nazi sympathizer. The breakthrough Project Cybersyn was destroyed. Pinochet went on to torture his people in soccer stadiums, throw them out of helicopters, and be a pawn to the CIA, even having a close relationship with Britain’s Margaret Thatcher. Many of the victims of the Pinochet Regime have been never been found. Pinochet would later invite University of Chicago economist, Milton Friedman, and a group of Chilean students trained under Friedman known as the Chicago Boys, to reform Allende’s policies and implement free market neoliberalism. Milton was a member of the Mont Perelin Society which was a collective of free market and libertarian economists who would meet in Switzerland. Mont Perelin under the ideology of Friedrich Hayek had ties to the Atlas Network, i.e., the former Atlas Economic Research Foundation, which was created by Antony Fisher. Fisher would establish other think tanks such as the Manhattan Institute of Policy Research with former CIA Director William Casey, but also the Pacific Research Institute. The Manhattan Institute has hosted billionaires such as a PayPayl Mafia member Peter Thiel, an associated of Elon Musk, where Musk himself was called out for a controversial Tweet supporting a coup against Leftist Bolivian President Evo Morales, since Bolivia is rich in Lithium deposits needed for Musk’s electric batteries.
Relating back to the Manhattan Institute of Policy Research (created by the CIA and Austrian economists), it is currently ran surprisingly by former Vice News contributor Reihan Salam, which links in part, if only by proxy the Vice Media Group, which despite championing many progressive causes and having a demographic of watchers who might lean Left or Far Left, Vice might simply be a proponent of progressivism with an underlying neoliberal free market ideology, i.e., it uses Progressivism as a “CIA Freedom Strategy” to expand US economic and geopolitical interests. For example, recently President Biden was interviewed by Margaret Brennan of CBS New’s segment called Face The Nation, but Brennan is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations, another Think Tank, if not the most prominent in the USA, which has a roster of almuni and members spanning CIA Directors, Statement Department Directors, ex military, business people, intellectuals, and even celebrities.
The Council of Foreign Relations dates back to the Woodrow Wilson (a racist) Presidency where Wilson, an elitist, wanted to push for Internationalism, hence why he was vital in establishing the United Nations precursor organization in the League of Nations. Expanding America’s role on the international stage was vital to Wilson, despite many Americans at the time being isolationist. With American involvement in WWI, the stage was set for WWII considering the dire economic situation in Germany and German war debt payments. Regardless, the CFR would later be effectively bought out by Ford Foundation (where Henry Ford himself was a Nazi sympathizer) and The Rockefeller Foundation (who also have funding to Nazi researchers such as through grants to the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Psychiatry and the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics, which hosted unethical doctors such as Josef Mengele and Erich Fischer. Fischer’s ideas would shape the Nazi Nuremberg Laws, i.e., racial laws, and his experiments on the African Herero tribe would foreshadow experiments on Jews, orphans, twins, mixed race peoples, and POWs during the Holocaust).
Effectively the CFR is a private organization funded by billionaires which dictates US foreign policy, which is similar to the CIA, which started as a private organization of Ivy League graduates and lawyers (often sent abroad to set up law offices in Europe especially during WWI and WWII, e.g., Allen Dulles with law firm Sullivan and Cromwell. Note. Peter Thiel of the Manhattan Institute worked for Sullivan and Cromwell). The CFR and the OSS (CIA) have always been in tandum with private business interests.
Margaret Brennan called into question Biden’s commitment to withdrawing troops from Afghanistan, which without her explicitly saying it, is a key area in a struggle once referred to as The Great Game between the UK and Russia but later re-coined as The Grand Chessboard by National Security Strategists Zbigniew Brzezinski, father of Mika Brzezinski of The Morning Joe news segment on MSNBC, when the USA filled the void in Central Asia during The Cold War.
Her questioning called doubt into Biden’s withdrawal strategy in that it would hurt women in Afghanistan, i.e., by applying feminism she is able to take a moral high-ground position even though continued militarism is the intent, i.e., the USA must maintain a strategic foothold in the area because the theory of Brzezinski’s 1997 book The Grand Chessboard states that Central Asia is vital to world control in that it separates West from East, and has since man’s early beginnings been a vital trade route, for example The Silk Road, the spread of Indo-European languages, the spread of religions such as Zoroastrian thought by way of Iran (where with India the word Aryan in part comes from) that influenced Middle Eastern faiths such as Judaism, Christianity, and Island and Classical Greco-Roman thought. Capping Central Asia by having a Western Front bulkhead in Eastern Europe, hence why Ukraine is important, and maintaining the Asia bulkhead in the Far East via Japan, South Korea, and the Philippines to protect the South China Sea against China, helps the USA leverage its power against Russia, China, and Iran. I wrote this previous part about Brennan to show how Progressive ideologies can be used by the state as a cover for ‘business as usual” arguably Right Wing neoliberal policies.
The modern “Freedom Strategy” is similar to all the past CIA operations that used modern abstract art, music, movies (such as the film The Exorcist which caused controversy in Catholic nations but by encouraging lapsed faith, people became more morally accepting of secularism, free market consumption, etc., i.e., they were either so terrified or found it all silly they questioned their faith. Note, William Casey of the CIA had close ties to Pope John Paul II, yet the Pope was nearly killed in a botched assassination attempt by a Turkish national, Mehmet Agca, a member of Far Right organization The Grey Wolves, which was a spin off to the NATO US backed Operation Gladio unit in Turkey known as Counter Guerilla), libertine sexuality (for example, West Germany’s large pornography industry), etc., as propaganda for freedom against The Soviets.
Cuba Is Surviving and Carved it’s own way. Healthcare, Education, Home Ownership, etc.
The Communist Regime in Cuba has two options.
I don’t think the Cuban Communist Regime has to worry about anything. Threats can be mitigated with strategic vision and leverage pre-existing relationships. The Communists need technocratic dynamism.
A) The current Communist Regime needs a major managerial overhaul that can better provide promised services and wanted commodities to the people, likely by applying a technocratic approach to centralized allocation of resources, e.g., capturing data analytics in real time, thinking through the DIKA model (Data, Information, Knowledge, Action). Cuba must upgrade to a newer version of what Castro did by applying market principles within the constraint of Marxist ideology and/or leveraging technology for better Industrial Management practices. It has to rebrand and upgrade, and look to other Socialists or Progressive ideologies that aren’t Marx or Engels such as Robert Owens, Thorstein Veblen, Henri Saint-Simon, Henry George, Etienne Cabet, Charles Fourier, Ricardian Socialists (cooperatives), Pierre-Joseph Proudhon (mutualism, e.g., this could be applied to supporting internet Peer to Peer Sharing in Cuba between Cubans), Eduard Bernstein, etc.
Is it funny that people say “Socialism doesn’t’ work” when there’s so much hostility towards it by the capitalist nations needing cheap resources?
I support Communist Cuba and the Revolutionaries. Sorry, but I do. I am impressed by their determination, resilience, and innovation, yet I do support the protestors in that they should want a better and more flexible Communist regime. Many protestors are fighting for a better regime that lives up to the promises of Castro, despite many saying that Cubans want to get rid of Communism.
There needs to be an invigorated, active, exciting Communist Party that can remind people of the strength of the Cuban people who survived in a hostile world while others wanted it to fail. When Cuba was cut off from the world, the Cuban people innovated creating breakthroughs in sustainable organic farming, medicine, energy, etc. You can still have Socialism but with freedoms and by granting freedoms you can reinvigorate the revolutionary spirit in that the people are working together to make a better society for all.
Investing in capital equipment upgrades but also Software as a Service. SaaS such as Enterprise Resource Planning systems can better capture data so the Communist regime and better allocate resources. Reaching out Software Engineers from trade partners such as Canada and The Netherlands
Emergency, Disaster, and Response upgrades for natural disasters
Micro-Scale Competition. Fostering competition between state subsidized industries is a better way to determine what works for citizens, but also increases productivity, quality, etc.
National internet infrastructure using concepts such as Peer to Peer Sharing.
Using innovations in Clean Technology to produce clothing from recycled goods, organic plastics, but also produce green energy, i.e., solar, wind, bio-fuels, tidal power, etc.
Allowing remittances, i.e., Western Union payments, to Cuba to allow currency flows between nations such as the United States, so Cubans can get cash to purchase goods and services.
Investing in crypto currencies
Continued support for Organic Farming Practices and Permaculture
Reaching out to Green Firms such as Canadian Solar, Peru’s TransBiodisel, Tyton Biofuel pioneering tobacoo to fuel research, Enviva, etc.
Green Education as a part of Marxist education in higher learning institutions.
Reforestation and diversification of tree planting to create a sustainable supply of timber but also a source of sustainable fuel such as tree pulp.
Land distribution of the state to private custodianship on the conditions that farmers support the state and the people. Or..
Henry George Policy where all the is controlled equally but people can profit from what they make from that land, but they pay taxes to support Social Services
Investing in cannabis where cannabis can be used for industrial hemp, medicines, recreation, oils, etc.
Using Cuba’s high tobacco production for biofuels
Patenting inventions made by Cubans for use abroad while keeping Open Sources and Free Use domestically
Establishing a Sovereign Wealth Fund to invest in foreign countries, i.e., let foreign businesses make money for you.
Continue to leverage friendships with Socialist International parties.
Revitalizing the sugar mills with more emphasis on ethanol fuels for domestic use but also export for revenues.
Working with developed nations to acquire COVID medicines, and reverse engineering techniques.
Diversification of the economy particularly in agricultural products
Tapping into Cuba’s core-competencies, i.e., what it does best, e.g., Cuba has a highly literate and educated population with very capable medical professionals, it is known for its love of baseball with a plethora of talent, it has tourism possibilities, etc.
Closer relations to Cuban Import and Export Partners
What is going on in Cuba?”:
A lot is going on with Cuba, but I support the Communist Revolution that occurred in Cuba as an American. I am a Socialist. I have Socialist tendencies, i.e., Power to the People and unity of the people away from an economic system that divides the public and exploits their labor for the benefit of a few rich people such as the historical landed gentry (Hacienda, plantation owners) of Latin America. As of July 2021, Cuban people have taken to the streets to protests the lack of food, power, and COVID vaccines. This is a management issue.
Yet, I do find it interesting that the protests are being broadcasted to the world during a time that is near Cuba’s Independence Day which is July 26th, i.e., the day that Castro rose to overthrow colonialists. Is the timing of these protests intended to have a sort of psychological warfare effect? The protests being so close to the Cuban Revolutionary Day could be a psychological play to help bring neoliberal, capitalist, and corporate reforms to the island nation. It other words, the protests are being used to discredit the Revolution. There are many factors that have gone into Cuba’s current state of shortages, but I find it ironic that many in the United States are decrying Communism when our own system has many problems such as issues of food insecurity, dirty water (such as Flint, Michigan), pollution, crime, homelessness, STD pandemics, gentrification, rising suicide rates, etc.
Floridan Republican Cubans keep creating an excuse for capitalism (a variant of colonialism which is a variant of aristocratic feudalism) as if it the ultimate system that offers freedom and happiness is capitalism, even though Communism (a form of Socialism) has always been on the defensive due to constant embargoes, sanctions, etc. Did these people protests Trump who imposed additional sanctions under Mike Pompeo? No, but they want to blame Joe Biden for keeping those restrictions, even though President Obama attempted to normalized Cuban relations.
There are lots of factors going on in how we in the West see the Cuban crisis. 1) The Associated Press and other outlets, likely through consulting of pro-American think tanks such as the Council of Foreign Relations and Atlantic Council (which are close to the Central Intelligence Agency) aren’t’ showing the full story of Cuba and using the protests to explicitly attack Communism, when in fact there are many Communists in Cuba who simply want new blood in the Communist Party; however, Chinese investments in Cuba are likely the source of this propaganda campaign, yet, this is the fault of the United States for not having better relations with Cuba, i.e., supporting economic self-determination even if both nations have differing economic systems, 2) many South Florida Cubans have adopted Far Right or Republican ideology, so politicians such as Marco Rubio can use the crisis in Cuba to sure up political power for himself while using it as ammunition to attack to growing American Progressive movement of people such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, etc., and 3) the American Left who wants their own American version of Progressive politics such as Medicare for All, are on the defensive as both the Center Left Democrats and Right Wing Republicans try to discredit Socialist ideology for the benefit of Big Business.
DIKA. Data, Information, Knowledge, and Action. How Software-as-a-Service, i.e., SaaS, Can Help Save the Cuban Revolution:
Problems can arise in highly centralized command style economies because it is hard for the government to capture information in real-time, but also it is difficult to gauge demands and allocate the proper resources for supply. When you add on hostility from other nations, many resources are directed towards militarism, which takes away from other areas such as food production, water and energy, welfare, etc. It is not that Socialist, especially Communist nations, cannot work, but rather management and data are vital for successful operations. Any nation regardless of economic ideology, but specifically a Communist nation, particularly one that is Marxist-Leninist, operates like a factory but with various departments, workers, resources, inputs, outputs, etc.
The goal of the any regime is to capture data-information-knowledge-action, i.e., DIKA. Capture data from the ground-floor, properly translate it into information, turn the information in stored knowledge, and use that knowledge to take decisive action.
Therefore, technology particularly Software as a Service, SaaS, is vital for Cuba, and a Decision Support System (DSS) could be built using software such as Enterprise Resource Planning systems, Material Requirements Planning, Asset Management Systems, Warehouse Management, Third Party Logistics (3PL), Remote Monitoring & Patch Access (such as with companies such as Atera), Supply Chain Management, Customer Relationship Management (essential in capturing consumer’s needs, wants, behavior, etc., so the government and better allocate resources), Weather Forecasting Software (which is vital for protecting agricultural yields, but also preparing for Emergency and Disaster coordination efforts), etc.
For example, I work in the Industrial Sector. I have used Enterprise Resourcing Planning systems such SAP Netweaver and Procure-to-Pay Systems. This centralized software consolidates and/or links various departments such as Finance, upper management, procurement, inventory, material planners, Environmental, Safety and Health (ESH), vendors (be they foreign or domestic), quality assurance, and logistics (by way of systems such as Transportation Management systems that links Third Party Logistics, i.e., 3PLs, to track deliveries for Just in Time delivery capabilities), etc. The SAP I used to sync with IBM Asset Management Systems such as Maximo where Maximo was used by departments to put in requests for capital equipment needs, fund them through their allocated office budgets, provide for accountability of goods or services once procured, etc. All the data of types of needs, money spent, which vendors used, who bought them, how much maintenance a product needed, etc., can be captured, and therefore help to plan for future situations.
The Cuban Green Revolution!! Capital Investments in Clean Energy is Vital:
Yet, any nation needs energy, and Green Energy is also vital to giving power to entire nation, i.e., “the factory”. However, this is not as easy it seems. The software must be procured, systems and facilities need to be upgraded so that the software can be implemented, people need to be trained within in it, and people must be able to translate data into information, knowledge, and action. The benefits must outweigh the costs, but you cannot make money if you do not spend money, especially within a high technical globalized economy of instantaneous information, competition, etc. Yet, Cuba does not have to “compete with the world”, but rather the goal is to great a situation that is hospitable to the people of Cuba while still preserving the Revolutionary spirit of Marx.
Zhao (2017), stated, “In 2014, the Cuban government announced plans to generate 24 percent of the country’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030, with an installed capacity of up to 2GW. It was an ambitious goal — and in order to achieve it, Cuba would need capital investments of approximately US$3.5 billion. The government’s designation of technology-specific targets and departments in charge suggested that it did not take the challenge lightly.” (Zhao, 2017)
Further, Zhao (2017), stated, “In the three years since, much has changed geopolitically. For a time, it appeared that the world might be witnessing a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations, culminating in then-President Barack Obama’s historic visit in 2016 and the death of Fidel Castro a few months later. Now, the inauguration of Donald Trump — a U.S. president who has promised a decidedly less-friendly approach toward Cuba — has cast uncertainty over the future.” (Zhao, 2017)
Examples of clean energy solutions includes Heat Recovery Systems such as those provided by Clean Energy Technologies, which acquired the Heat Recovery solutions division from General Electric. This company helps to turn heat waste from buildings, landfills, etc., into renewable energy. Enviva is a company that uses wood pellets to create biofuels from biomass.
Brief Summary of Ideas: Cuba needs to diversify, somehow turn its core competencies into marketable products or services, reassure and broaden its relationships with its Marxist allies, implement SaaS to better capture information from various sectors to better align supply and demand for citizens (within manufacturing, services, agriculture, water, transportation, logistics, energy, etc.), and increase the purchasing power of the Cuban Peso.
Rethinking how the Cuban Regime Inspires Revolutionary Principles:
The Communist regime does not have to give up power, but it can give liberties to its people, which are still in alignment with Enlightenment thought, but the Cuban government can live accreditation or license to workers to freely work while still promoting Revolutionary ideals for the protection of the Cuban people from Imperialist exploitation. Essentially, you do not have control so much, but by giving freedom it can inspire people to remember the legacy of the Cuban Revolution.
The Cuban Communist regime needs to re-inspire people about the importance of unity and egalitarianism, such as showing the failures of capitalism (there is plenty of examples from the West i.e., poverty, homelessness, disease that goes uncured because of private health insurance, etc.), such as the fact that capitalism is built upon the notion of private property rights which therefore gives those who have more easier access to political power and privileges. For example, police within a capitalist system are not simply protecting people’s individual property such as their bodies for harm, but police are fundamentally an extension of property rights meaning they typically target those of low economic means (compounded by a history of racism, sexism, etc.), without always even realizing it. The fact that police in capitalist nations are extensions of property rights means that they often service without knowing it those with the most power, such as real estate developers, the wealthy (who are no immune from committing crimes themselves), etc.
Lack of engineering solutions might be one the biggest hurdles facing nations such as Cuba, but the resourcefulness of the Cuban people makes it possible for them to apply SaaS technologies if given exposure to what is on the market.
Brief Overview of Market Reforms in Cuba:
Cuba has implemented Market Reforms starting in 1993. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Cuba had to hit the drawing board. Cuba decriminalized self-employment implemented freedoms on farmers and decriminalized the US dollar. There reforms had to come largely due to Cuba’s over-reliance on the Soviet Unions for subsidies, the collapse of COMECON (which was an economic union of Communist states such as Russia, Vietnam, etc.), the death of the Cuban/Soviet sugar-for-oil exchange in which Cuba was highly dependent upon sugar and lacked diversification in its agricultural sector, etc.
An Over-reliance on Sugar:
Like many colonial Caribbean nations, Cuba was designed to be a one-commodity type of economy, and the power-structures that grew around these sorts of economies, exacerbated economic disparity, especially along intersectional lines of race. Once nations had liberated themselves from colonialism, they were effectively in the hole economically speaking because embargoes from colonial nations could easily target a nation that was economic dependent upon cash-crops, which lacked industrialized manufacturing etc. This is one of the many natures of capitalism and consumerism. The consumers in capitalism end up having more political sway in that their purchases generate profits via the nature of mark-ups, so since consumers make more money for sellers, sellers are more inclined to low-ball those who provide the materials that make the finish products sold to consumers. Put it this way, there was no OPEC for sugar, so Cuba never had a strong bargaining position on the international stage because other sugar producing nations were struggling to survive and did not unit to create a cartel like how OPEC was a cartel design for petroleum. OPEC as a cartel had political power, such as when Saudi Arabia boycotted oil production in the 1970s over Israel. In summary, Cuba was highly dependent upon sugar but other sugar producing nations never united and lacked the political and military might to bargain their demands.
The period of economic malaise from the early nineties to early two-thousands, was known was the Special Period in Time of Peace, i.e., Período especial, which lasted from 1991 to 2000.
Cuban Import and Export Partners
State Department Restrictions on Cuba.
The Fight for Untapped Natural Gas. Cuban Nationalized Natural Gas versus American Exploration
Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke (2016) stated, the United States Geological Survey estimates that the Cuban portion of the Straits of Florida contains 5.5 billion barrels of undiscovered petroleum liquids and 9.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, with much of these resources in waters only 60 miles off the United States’ coastline.9 The Cuban government’s own estimates are purportedly larger. However, developing these deepwater resources involves inherent risks and substantial challenges. To the extent the development of such deepwater resources is not properly managed, the consequences of potential well incidents or other environmental crises for the United States and, in particular, the economy of Florida, could be substantial.10 Models plotting the trajectory of “virtual particles” from an oil exploration site 22 miles north of Havana have shown that, due to the strong current of the Gulf Stream, oil would reach the aquamarine waters and coral reefs off the South Florida coastline within five to six days of any leak or spill.11 If a major spill were long-lasting or to the extent of continuous leakage, it could have a significant impact on Florida’s economy. On average, 100 million tourists visit Florida each year, contributing more than $80 billion per year to Florida’s economy.12 If Florida’s waters were adversely impacted by offshore Cuban oil and gas exploration and production activities, these numbers would be negatively impacted (Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke, 2016).
Further, Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke (2016) stated, thus, to the extent that U.S.-Cuban relations continue on the path of more dialogue and regulatory change, the U.S. government should consider policy changes that promote greater engagement in the energy sector and that are supportive of effective energy development, with special emphasis on supporting the LNG/CNG trade on the island. Presently, the United States has a policy of general approval for export and re-exports to Cuba of items related to renewable energy or energy efficiency. Additionally, the U.S. government has adopted a case-by-case review policy for exports and re-exports of certain items to meet the needs of the Cuban people, including facilities for supplying electricity and other energy to the Cuban people. This established platform of U.S. policy provides a basis to expand and build upon as a matter of common bilateral interests. (Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke, 2016).
Further, Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke (2016) stated, clearly, the U.S. embargo against Cuba remains a substantial impediment to energy projects involving Cuba at the present time. The sanctions generally prohibit U.S. persons – including U.S. companies and their foreign subsidiaries, as well as other non-U.S. entities that are owned or controlled by U.S. persons – from engaging in transactions with, or involving, Cuba or Cuban nationals (including entities), except where specific transactions are exempt from the regulations or otherwise licensed. Nonetheless, President Obama’s recent policy initiative to re-engage with Cuba, diplomatically and economically, creates significant opportunities for U.S. businesses to enter the Cuban market and potentially to expand economic engagement in the energy sector. (Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke, 2016).
Further, Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke (2016) stated, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) and the Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) have implemented the administration’s policy initiative through changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations (CACR), Part 515 of Title 31 of the Code of Federal Regulations, and the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), Parts 730 through 772 of Title 15 of the Code of Federal Regulations, respectively, which ease many of the embargo’s restrictions on doing business with Cuba. Specifically, OFAC has issued and expanded general licenses that authorize activities otherwise prohibited by the CACR. In addition, BIS has issued, and expanded, a number of license exceptions allowing persons to export or re-export items subject to the EAR to Cuba for certain authorized purposes. BIS has also established licensing policy changes that are largely focused on supporting the needs of, and empowering, the Cuban people and creating increased opportunities for U.S. companies to trade with Cuba. Among other changes, these reforms include the recent general authorization of disaster mitigation and relief services, including potential exports necessary for rapid response to offshore well events in the energy sector that pose a common threat to parallel U.S. and Cuban environmental and national interests (Procaccini, Parven, Segall, Davis & Nweke, 2016).
Cuba Petroleo Union, i.e., CAPET. Cuba’s Oil Sector. It’s Canadian Allies, etc. Joint Ventures in Mining, i.e., Moa Joint Venture
The Cuba Oil Union(Spanish: Unión Cuba-Petróleo) or CUPET is Cuba‘s largest oil company. It is owned and operated by the Cuban national government. The company is involved in the extraction of petroleum deposits as well as the refining and distributing of petroleum products. In conjunction with the conglomerate Cimex, it operates a chain of filling stations selling gasoline in convertible pesos.
Sherritt International based in Canada not only has joint ventures with Cuban oil but also in mining for resources like nickel and cobalt. Relating to electricity by way of natural gas, Sherritt’s primary power generating assets are located in Cuba at Varadero, Boca de Jaruco and Puerto Escondido. These assets are held by Sherritt through its one‑third interest in Energas S.A. (Energas), which is a Cuban joint arrangement established to process raw natural gas and generate electricity for sale to the Cuban national electrical grid. Cuban government agencies Unión Eléctrica (UNE) and Unión Cubapetróleo (CUPET) hold the remaining two‑thirds interest in Energas. Raw natural gas is supplied to Energas by CUPET free of charge. The processing of raw natural gas produces clean natural gas, used to generate electricity, as well as by‑products such as condensate and liquefied petroleum gas. All of Energas’ electrical generation is purchased by UNE under long‑term fixed‑price contracts while the by‑products are purchased by CUPET or a Cuban entity providing natural gas to the City of Havana at market based prices. Sherritt provided the financing for the construction of the Energas facilities and is being repaid from the cash flows generated by the facilities. The Energas facilities, which consist of the two combined cycle plants at Varadero and Boca de Jaruco, produce electricity using natural gas and steam generated from the waste heat captured from the gas turbines. Energas’ electrical generating capacity is 506 MW.
It is interesting to note that Energas is BASED in the United States and falls under Atmos Energy based in Dallas, Texas. Think about that. A Canadian exploration company has a holding company in Texas that does business with Communist Cuba, where CUPET provides raw resources but Energas (under Atmos in Texas, but jointly held by Cuba) processes the resources so the Cubans can resell in their domestic market.
Cuba looking to ally Angola for Natural Gas and Oil Help. Old Friends in a common Communists Struggle. Angola, Russia, Venezuela
Tully (2015) on Business Insider stated, “The Cuban oil company Cubapetroleo, or Cupet, is close to a deal with Angola’s state-run Sonangol to get Cuba’s deepwater energy exploration program up and running three years after work was suspended because of failure to find any oil or gas. two of four areas of the Gulf of Mexico off the Cuban coast based on an agreement between Cupet and Sonangol signed in 2010. Cuba’s program of deepwater exploration was suspended after several foreign companies’ drilling efforts proved fruitless. ” [Source: https://www.businessinsider.com/cuba-is-hoping-to-up-its-oil-and-gas-game-2015-7%5D
“Russia is to begin oil exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, after signing a deal with Cuba, says Cuban state media. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin signed four contracts securing exploration rights in Cuba’s economic zone in the Gulf. Havana says there may be some 20 billion barrels of oil off its coast but the US puts that estimate at five billion. Russia and Cuba have been working to revitalize relations, which cooled after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia’s Zarubezhneft oil concern will work alongside the Cubapetroleo monopoly in the deep waters of the Gulf.” (Merco Press, 2009) [Source: https://en.mercopress.com/2009/07/30/russia-and-cuba-sign-gulf-of-mexico-oil-exploration-agreement%5D
Cuban Revolutionaries Helped Angola
Redefining Cuban Communism:
Business is an inherently social enterprise. Nothing is created out of a vacuum but through an array of social systems, social relations, and processes which culminates in finalized products and services. This is where capitalism fails. Capitalism denies the inherent social nature of itself and shifts the benefits to those who own. Socialism can still have principles such as competition, supply, and demand, etc., but where surplus or profits benefits the common good. Socialism is a broad spectrum. For example, China is Communist and is ran by a party that calls itself Communists, but many call China’s communism into question such as the fact that it lacks social safety nets for many of its people.
China has more a syncretic system where Communism is mixed with corporatism and uses the masses of underpaid labor to create export surpluses for profits where those profits are used for reinvestment to create core competencies, and from there they use the money to acquire foreign assets from across the globe. To maintain their position as the “factory of the world”, the Chinese government, like many countries, employs currency manipulation to undervalue their currency so it is affordable for stronger currencies to continue to buy their products.
How the American Empire Functions:
For example, the United States has a strong currency as far as purchasing power, but there are many factors that goes into this considering the United States is heavily in debt. The United States uses debt (Treasury notes, bonds, T Bills, et.) that is backed by its allies (where America does the same in return, i.e., a sort of racket, i.e., if everyone makes debt and vouches for it then the system doesn’t collapse) to help fund day-to-day operations, but the United States with its vast military power effectively makes itself the “world police”, so by investing in US debt, investors are ensured protection by the Americans (a protection racket). Further, using debt helps to keep the US dollar at a competitive rate, since debt devalues the power of money, so that American exports are competitive on the global market, and since the United States has the premier brand names through the multi-national corporate model, America can make steady profits from across the world based on various business models such as franchise models. Since such an operation requires resources, this further empowers the United States through the State Department embassies to bribe, pay, wheel-and-deal with nations, and if nations are compliant, we can simply use intelligence to implement regime change.
By having debt, extensive trade networks, notable brand name companies, and heavily funded military (which makes it hard for creditors to truly call be debts), etc., the US can extend its geopolitical scope across the world, and trade lanes become military supply lines, meaning America’s military influence is parallel to that of trade giving it influence in host nations, but the cost of most of this is funded by debt in that America by its constitution is required to pay its debts, but also the military has such as ridiculous military that no one would ever call it back. America positioned itself into key roles with the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Bank of International Settlements, that it does not fear any sort of major reprisal that a developing nation seeking debt might have. Weaker forces have not bargaining power in structuring loans or restricting debt.
You Can Create Whatever Socialist Society You Want. Not all Socialist Nations are Marxist-Leninist:
Western European nationssuch as France and Nordic nations have a strong influence of Socialism with socialist parties that play a key role, based movements such as the labor movement, but they mix capitalism and Socialism to create Market-type Social Democracies. You can create whatever sort of Socialist nation you want, and it can be explicitly Marxists or influenced or appreciative at least of some of Marxist’s theories.
There are various ideologies of non-Marxist Socialism. Robert Owens for example, created a unique type of Socialist utopian ideology based on a matter of ethics, i.e., sharing is the right thing to do, and felt that disparity came from an imbalance of goods and surplus. Pierre J. Proudhon, was a Socio-Anarchists, where one could argue that his philosophy meant that erosion of any sort of hierarchical power structures including that of government was the ultimate form of egalitarianism, and his ideas have had impact, if not directly, on movements such as cooperatives, mutualism, voluntary sharing economies, freedom of intellectual property, etc. Henry George, despite not being a socialist in that he did not believe in sharing profits, had a quasi-socialist ideology which argued that everyone should own land equally even though people should be able to keep the profits from their labor they pull from the land and its resources. Henri de Saint Simon, who similarly believed that disparity was caused by an imbalance of goods between people, was an early proponent of technocracy based on a meritocratic model. Ricardian Socialists were known as Market Socialists, i.e., achieving socialism by factoring in supply and demand models. Social Democrats are broad, but I consider Social Democrats to see disparity as arising out of a fundamental disparity between the application of property rights justified by laws of Common Law descended systems. Social Democrats often exist in liberal democracies, even if the modus operandi of such democracy is based on Republicanism (representative forms of government), where such systems are based on private property rights, but these rights create a natural disparity, so the Social Democrat is more in alignment with Welfare States that reconciles capitalism with socialist ideologies. You also have many other forms such as Eco-Socialism (humans are not simply over nature but within nature, i.e., sustainability is vital in any sort of political economy), Christian Based forms of Socialism such as Communitarianism (even though the Catholic Church during the Cold War which was under US led NATO had to make statements denouncing Marxism, which it did due its belief in Reason over Divinity), and Syndicalism (union control of economies which had a major impact in Spain, which means there is a cultural relation to that of Cuba).
So, what would a New Cuban Communism look like? It would have to be aware of the threats that comes from capitalism but reconcile those threats and adopt them within a system that is uniquely their own. Technology, an internet, self-expression, etc., are all important especially for younger generations, yet the Communist regime must re-inspire the youth that Socialist ideology is a world-saving ideology, but everyone has a place within it. Art, aesthetics, and style are especially important here as marketing tools. Cuba has also offered the world humanitarian assistance so doing the same is vital for the Communist Regime so youths can take socialist principles elsewhere, such as volunteering in Africa and other Latin American nations.
But, the guts of the system, i.e., the economic arrangement is the most important. Socialism is freedom but it is a freedom through equality for all and this equality is ensured by sharing the means of production and its profits to discourage class disparity. Encouraging social technologies, decentralization, volunteerism, etc., is important, even if networks are closed off to Cuba under firewalls, etc. Since under Communism all the people own things equally, supporting people to take pride in custodianship of their property is vital and encouraging competition amongst that custodianship is key to creating energy, excitement, etc.
Even if the Cuban Communist regime were to loosen up power, the Constitution of Cuba should ensure that any other political party must be Socialist and meet a certain level of criteria ensuring that it is truly Socialist, especially based on a Marxist framework. However, I am not hating on the singular control of the Communist Party as is, but rather they must adapt and adapt quickly to re-inspire the importance of Revolutionary Ideals.
There needs to be an invigorated, active, exciting Communist Party that can remind people of the strength of the Cuban people who survived in a hostile world while others wanted it to fail.
Hypocrisy from Capitalist (and Fascist) nations:
It is easy to say that “well, Communism doesn’t work”, but we must realize that capitalist industrialist nations such as Japan experienced its own decade long economic malaise referred to as the Lost Decade, which was created by economic speculation, leveraging debt with debt (such as margin trading, i.e., using debt to invest in highly speculative assets), asset price bubbles within real estate, etc. We can also look to the United States in 2008 when a near decade long recession was created by fraudulence on Wall Street relating to speculation of toxic mortgage-backed securities, bribery by credit rating agencies, etc.
Cuba was left without any friends after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but as the nineteen nineties commenced after the end of the Cold War, leaders such as Hugo Chavez of oil rich Venezuela rose to power and Vladimir Putin consolidated power and pushed economic reforms in oil and resource rich Russia. Venezuela and Russia gave Cuba partners to work with to help stabilize their economy. Yet, as we know both Venezuela and Russia even to this day in 2021 still suffer from economic sanctions, so Cuba’s larger friends are economically fighting to stabilize and this tips over downstream to Cuba, who themselves experience various levels of restrictions from nations like the United States such as travel restrictions, embargoes, and the restrictions over cash-transfers, i.e., remittances.
United States sanctions pushed Cuba closer to China:
China as an aspiring super-power that wishes to spread hegemony through cultural influence, business acquisitions, investments in the developing world, etc., could help Cuba. However, China is a politically toxic situation considering getting closer to China will make Cuba seem like an explicit Chinese ally, i.e., it will be bad public relations, considering China’s human right’s violations, ambitions, etc.
Cuba leveraging alliances with nations such as Vietnam, Brazil, India, Russia, France or any other nation that is not China is key, even though China has provided Cuba with much help, similarly to how China funded America’s consumerism since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger opened China to US manufacturing.
Sending delegates abroad to talk to parties or leaders that are members of Socialist International, which is the organization that accredits Democratic Socialist parties across the world including Europe, is key. It is vital in obtaining foreign direct investment or at least building friendships that can translate into training, exposure to innovations whether its manufacturing, healthcare, agriculture, etc.
Socialism is a broad spectrum. Often within the West we conflate Communism, particularly Marxism, or Marxist-Leninism, with “Socialism”. Socialism existed before Marx and Engels, however, Marx and Engels provided a scientific approach, as opposed to what we call a utopian approach, to their Socialist ideology, using qualitative approaches such as historical analysis and quantitative approaches such as critiquing market ideologies, to provide a framework that became the most iconic form of Socialism.
Marx and Engels used a system’s theory approach to their Socialist philosophy, i.e., the interconnectivity of things, on top of exploring through history how economics, class, and power create intersections, where usually those with the most economic power (often granted through the guise of religion, supremacy, etc.), exploit the masses. They distilled the concept of class struggle. Preview(opens in a new tab)
The masses or the proletariat are used by owners and their labor is exploited so the owner can take mark-up or surplus on their labor for profit for the owner’s own benefit, thus giving the owner more sway over the direction of a democracy or any given political entity. Marx and Engels attempted to apply realness as opposed to idealism where idealism was a concept championed by Hegel, whom Marx and Engels liked but disagreed with on certain Hegelian claims.
Regardless, Socialism is a broad spectrum that Marxism so happens to be a part of as a specific ideology. Yet, we have been indoctrinated by capitalist systems within the West to conflate Socialism as explicitly being Marxism, since within Capitalist nations we are ruled by those often with generational wealth or those with “new money” who have no qualms in exploiting the working classes, i.e., slaving.
Let me repeat, Socialism is the spectrum of thought, whereas Marxism is specific framework of thought within that spectrum, yet Leninism or Maoism are specific nationalistic interpretations of Marxism. So, to say that Marxist-Leninism is explicitly Socialism is false, but rather Marxist-Leninism is a specific nationalistic interpretation of Marxism subjectively applied to a nation, which falls under the overarching umbrella of Socialist thought, but there’s different theories of Socialism that are not Marxist, despite the findings of Marx being enduring.
Marx and Engels provided ideas but those ideas are applied subjectively by a particular regime, so to use the supposed failings of orthodox Marxism, specially Marxist-Leninism, just to discredit Socialism is disingenuous, at both a didactic (argumentative) level, but on the “reality level” considering many Industrial Western nations applied Socialist principles across the spectrum into their own political economies, e.g., France, Scandinavia, even the United States (welfare, subsidies to business, etc.).
Marxist-Leninism just so happened to be the most impactful form of Socialist thought, not necessarily because the ideas were all correct, but rather because of the determination of the regime at hand, e.g., the fact that the Soviets were able to industrialize from subsistence farming in post-Czarist Russia to industrialization in relatively short amount of time. The fact that the Soviet model was the most powerful form of Socialism during the twentieth century made it the most marketable form of Socialism, and it was applied by many aspiring nations who wish to free themselves from colonialism, but Marxist-Leninism, later Stalinism, become synonymous within the West as being explicitly the only form of Socialism.
So, to say that Socialism does not work is a falsity and disingenuous (considering coordinated efforts by Western Industrial nations along economic, political, and intelligence sabotage lines are constant), but when you are dealing with an opposing economic ideology that naturally exploits labor as if it just a natural “matter-of-fact”, if anything a natural concept deriving from Darwinist “natural selection”, any sort of shaming is on the table, i.e., predatory behavior is deemed as natural by capitalism, just as seeing human activity as purely transactional is. If humans are merely these bots of labor potential with varying degrees of worth, how does this really give sentiment to the human spirit? How does such systems not make us devalue humans naturally by making humans merely a means to an end for individualistic self-pleasure, especially when capitalist systems layer themselves with notions of divinity by way of religion, i.e., somehow ordained by God through Christ when many tenants of Christ are anti-capitalistic?
I am sure if you bring up such hypocrisy to a capitalist, they will reject such claims by presenting some sort empirical or technical argument, i.e., “Communism just doesn’t work”, but also, they will revert to the deconstructed animus of racial superiority or ethnocentrism that guides they are very being, stripping away all the regalia, propaganda, etc. Therefore, in the United States or other Western industrial nations there is an intersection between libertarians (positing freedom while denying others their own), capitalists, Settler Politics, survivalists, Darwinists, conspiracy theorists, racists, etc. Capitalism in many ways is just an empirical, “intellectual” guise for racism and selfishness. The more a capitalist adds on to his intellectualism and philosophical rants, the more he or she is merely protecting what they hold dear with is an identity of entitlement built upon a system of exploitation.
It is easy to shroud racism with freedom, as we can see in the United States with concepts used by racist regimes such as the notion of “states’ rights”. Those of the majority classes, e.g., those designated white (even though I am not anti-white), even if they are poor and exploited would rather side with the capitalists who exploit their labor as long their intrinsic value of “whiteness” is maintained as being superior. Capitalism is inherently a system built upon propaganda and diversion which seeks to keep the masses preoccupied with over-work, consumption, and a neoliberal viewpoint of identity, i.e., each identity can be exploited for profits while being used as variables in creating tension to shroud the power of the elites.
Do we have convenience in the United States? Yes, we do, but we also have lost of problems that capitalism cannot fix at least ethically and based on humanist principles that preserves a person’s dignity.
The alluring factor to capitalistic-democratic systems is the notions that they promote individualism and personal freedoms. This too can be implemented in socialist ideologies, considering if socialism is an egalitarian principle. Yet, capitalist nations like the United States have leverage personal freedom to promote capitalism, whereas it Communism counties have failed at creating a sense of personal freedom reconciled with a dictatorship of the proletariat. But socialist countries can promote individualism if it aligns to a benefit of the masses and people.
Revising policies and forms, such as AF Form 2030 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificates (or equal) and Standard Form 86 Background Investigation Questionnaire (or equal), relating to questions about cannabis use asked by the federal government (notably the Department of Defense, Office of Personnel Management, etc.) and its contractors.
Providing supporting arguments for how cannabis revenues are a force-multiplier that supports National Security.
Uncovering possible racial disparity in grants of Security Clearances.
Short Title: Revising forms relating to questions involving cannabis and how cannabis is a force-multiplier for National Security
Contractor in this letter is meant to be any business, corporation, self-proprietor, etc., who has received federal funds, thus creating a legal contract between contractor and government, to perform work, services, construction, and/or to provide equipment or materials to the Federal Government, and/or any business, corporation, self-proprietor, etc., who is a part of the Federal Procurement Data Systems (FPDS) and/or registered or having been registered in systems such as the Systems for Award Management (SAM.gov), Central Contractor Registration (CCR), Online Representations and Certification Application (ORCA), etc.
Marijuana or Cannabis (genus of flowering plants in the family Cannabaceae) used throughout this letter are meant to be interchangeable but also include any other word or variant of Marijuana such as Cannabis Indica, Cannabis Salvia, CBD (Cannabidiol), Pot, Hemp, Hash, Hashish, Kief, Keef, Ganja, etc.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Images & Figures 1
Abstract & Highlights 2
Section I – Revising Forms and Policies Relating to Marijuana Questions, etc. 5
Section II – The State Argument, Increases in Cannabis Lobbying, Decreases in Prison Lobbying 10
Section III – Our Canadian Allies 12
Section IV – Veteran Support of Cannabis 13
Section V – Current Pro-Cannabis Legislation & Section 528 of the NDAA FY20 14
Section VI – Other Supporting Arguments (the right to not Self-Incriminate) 16
Section VII – Possible hypocrisies Section 16
Section VIII – Cannabis a Force Multiplier, National Guard Argument 19
Section IX – Welfare Argument 24
Section X – Ideas and Arguments Continued 24
24 Section XI – Race and Civil Rights 26
Images & Figures:
Figure 1 – AF Form 2030 Section II Question Relating to Marijuana ………………………. p. 6
Figure 2 – SF 86 Section 23 Question Relating to Marijuana……………………… …………p. 8
Figure 3 – Center for Responsive Politics estimates of Pro-Cannabis Lobbying Funds….…. p. 11
Figure 4 – Section 528 of the National Defense Reauthorization Act……………………….. p. 15
Figure 5 – Washington State’s Liquor and Cannabis Board Annual Fiscal Report (2019) ….. p. 21
Methodology: This paper uses a qualitative approach of searching various online sources for supporting facts, but also utilizes quantitative data pulled from publications, reports, etc.
Abstract & Highlights:
There is no value added in asking for use of marijuana not attached to criminal convictions such as on AF Force Form 2030 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificates (or equal across the Service Branches), relating to entry or re-entry into the Armed Services, seeking employment with a federal contractor (such as those attached to the Department of Defense), or when a recruit/employee/potential employee either of the federal government or a federal contractor is seeking a Security Clearance (Standard Form 86).
There might exist a disparity regarding rejection of Security Clearances between minorities and white federal employees, contractors, and military service members, relating to criminally charged marijuana offenses or admission of marijuana use not attached to criminal charges. White Americans report a higher lifetime use of marijuana, but black people make up a higher percentage of arrests cases (ACLU, 2020) and this disparity can lead to rejection of security clearances/loss of employment/rejection of employment, thus resulting in lower levels of minority representation, which thus violates the vision of the Civil Rights Act despite many states finding marijuana to be a commodity with economic, medicinal, and therapeutic properties. My claim is supported by a Department of the Air Force Inspector General (DAF IG) Report (December 2020), titled: Report of Inquiry (S8918P) -Independent Racial Disparity Review (No. S8918P).
Pro-Marijuana Lobbying Funding saw an estimated increase of 16,357.1% from 2011 to 2020, meaning supporting Pro-Marijuana policies is great for re-election campaigns.
According to Pew Research, Americans favor cannabis legalization at 67% (Daniller, 2019).
In states where marijuana is legal and taxed, these marijuana taxes might be funding the Total Force Structure of the United States military, thus making marijuana revenues a force multiplier for National Security, such as construction/infrastructure projects funded by state-accounts or social programs (e.g., educational programs which produce component recruits or officers, facilities used by Active Duty Troops utilizing Tuition Assistance, or educational facilities which house Reserve Officer Training Corps, i.e., ROTC units), which directly & indirectly supports the overall Department of Defense. State National Guard Units are de-facto a part of the federal military due to the Montgomery Amendment, because of Perpich v. Department of Defense, 496 U.S. 334 (1990). Taxation of state legal cannabis is having a positive economic and social effect on the military despite the military’s antiquated stance on marijuana.
Marijuana offers the potential to be a positive external variable towards force multiplication that can help pay for military equipment, etc., where force multiplication is defined in Joint Publication (JP) 3-05.1 (published 26 April 2007) as a capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force, and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment (p. 394).
US States such as Washington State collected a total of $395.5 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2019 up from 2018 numbers (Washington State Treasury, 2020). California has possibly generated $1 Billion since January 2018 (Staggs, 2020). Wall Street analysts estimate cannabis could become an $85 billion industry by 2030 (Business Insider Prime, 2020).
When thinking about aircraft for example when compared to Washington State’s 2019 fiscal year cannabis revenues of $395.5 million.
The F-35A by Lockheed Martin – the most common variant of the weapon system – has/will have a cost of $82.4 million in 2020, $79.17 million in 2021 and $77.9 million in 2022 (Stone, 2019). Dividing WA State Marijuana Revenues by the F-35A cost, we get 4.79 aircraft (FY20), 4.89 aircraft (FY21), and 5.07 aircraft (FY22). In other words, 4 aircraft with $65.1 Million remaining FY20 (.79 or 79% of 1 aircraft cost is the remaining value), 4 aircraft with $73.36 Million remaining in FY21 (.89 or 89% of 1 aircraft cost is the remaining value), 5 aircraft with $5.54 Million remaining in FY22 (.07 or 7% 1 aircraft cost is the remaining value). That is 13 theoretical F-35A aircraft, or (1) F-35A squadron (12 aircraft is a squadron) plus one funded by marijuana tax revenues. Total residual (remaining) balance across the three fiscal years is $144 Million ($48 Million per year), which can lead to additional aircraft purchases, spare part Purchase Orders, sustainment contracts, calibration/maintenance, fueling, training, etc. Granted this is theoretical since most of the marijuana tax revenues goes to education, public health, law enforcement (ironic), etc. However, it is possible that marijuana tax revenue can support the military mission, particularly with Federal Fiscal concerns relating to the debt ceiling, risk of sequestration (government shutdowns, compensation payments to contractors), etc. Essentially the states raising revenue from marijuana for the public good is a cost savings to the Federal government since the states might ask for less money from agencies such as the Department of Education, Health and Human Services, Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, etc.
Interestingly, according to Losey (2020) of the Air Force Times, the State of Oregon where marijuana is fully legal, two bases in Oregon — Kingsley Field and Portland Air National Guard Base — will be among the first to host the F-15EX, the updated and upgraded version of the Strike Eagle now under production. Losey (2020) also states that Jacksonville Air National Guard Base in Florida will receive the F-35A in 2024, the guard said in an Aug. 14 release (end quote). Florida has decriminalized marijuana for medicinal purposes.
There is no substantial evidence that use of marijuana makes it harder for military recruits or people wishing re-entry into the Armed Forces from learning their job specialty, nor is there any evidence proving that use of marijuana not connected with criminal charges or connected with criminal charges possess a security risk, since moderate or casual alcohol use has no proof of increasing security risks. Troops are tested at MEPs, randomly tested while serving, and in lockdown during Basic Military Training.
Waivers for Marijuana use not attached to criminal convictions should not be needed and the requirement for waivers connected to criminal charges tied to marijuana use, should be loosened, especially if a member with charges was charged in a state where marijuana is now legal.
Many states including our largest states have legal marijuana, and these states hold strong Electoral College and Popular Vote power.
Forward: I understand that making bills is not an easy task, but the idea which I am presenting and arguing for in this letter/paper, I feel should follow the strategy of the successful passage of Section 528 within the current year National Defense Authorization Act (in which I feel Section 528 does not do enough but it is a great step in the right direction). I understand that bills must be drafted, be recommended to committees, may require Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimates, be voted for upon the floor, and then be passed by the United Senates before signature by the President (although, if he or she doesn’t sign within 10 days of receipt and Congress does not “sine die”, i.e., for good, adjourn prior to the 10-day limit, the bill becomes law, alleviating the “pocket veto” scenario, i.e., the bill was on his or her desk, while Congress was open, thus the bill becomes law after 10 days). However, I do know that certain sections of laws do not seem to require as much groundwork to be inserted into legislation.
Also, with soon-to-be out of office, President Donald J. Trump, vetoing the upcoming NDAA, this might be a convenient time to insert my idea. If not, my idea could also influence an Executive Order of the upcoming Biden Harris Administration while the legislative process works itself out. Yet, with the Supreme Court majority conservative, the time to act is now. Yet, I think I have a good idea and make decent arguments. For example, marijuana is a cash commodity that helps states generate tax revenues which goes to public works, education, law enforcement, etc., and in direct and indirect ways, legal marijuana tax revenues are supporting the Total Force Structure of the US Department of Defense (Federal Force, State National Guard, etc.). Further, since our laws create disparity among the races and ethnicities of the United States, I feel that the current federal criminalization of marijuana has led to increased administrative burdens since waivers are required for military entry/re-entry, but also possible disparities in the granting of Security Clearances.
Disclaimer: I respect you. I respect our country. I respect authority. I respect the military. Yet, I also consider myself a Progressive. I am a Progressive Veteran and Patriot. I support unwavering defense for the USA and its allies, but I believe in progressive social policy, inclusion, diversity, and welfare that enables people to have a fair shot. So, nothing in this is letter/paper is intended to be perceived as a personal attack to you at all.
Purpose: I am writing you this letter to offer what I consider is a good idea which should be easy to pass until more legislation on progressive policies on marijuana are passed or an Executive Order reflecting pro-marijuana policies is signed by the President. My idea is inspired to (A) continue to support our Government and its Armed Forces (and its prime contractors) by ensuring we have a large selection pool of diverse people with a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy concerning marijuana use not attached to criminal convictions for new recruits, members who wish to seek re-entry to the Armed forces, or external/internal applicants of federal contractors, thus not requiring waivers and not requiring admissions of use not attached to criminal charges on Federal Background Checks, (B) to reform recruiting/hiring policies relating to marijuana use not attached to criminal charges, (C) to show how marijuana tax revenues are a force multiplier that helps National Defense and Security, and (D) to hopefully raise the current minimum in Section 528 of the current NDAA so that more than one criminal charge for marijuana use isn’t a disqualifier for entry or re-entry into the Armed Services.
Section I – Revising Forms and Policies Relating to Marijuana Questions on the SF86, etc. I feel that Congress should pass an amendment or bill, or, the Executive Branch should sign an Executive Order until legislation is signed (or bring back Coles Memo of the Obama Administration with new caveats based on points I am presenting), which will revise military forms, e.g., Air Force Form 2030 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificate (and any equivalent forms among military Sister Branches, including the United States Coast Guard which falls under Homeland Security, the U.S Merchant Marines under the Department of the Navy & Department of Transportation, etc.); revise questionnaires regarding questions asking about marijuana use not attached to criminal convictions; revise recruiting questions regarding marijuana use not attached to criminal convictions that are given either verbally, electronically, and/or written either by contractors working for recruiters, i.e., call center personnel, or actual recruiters/volunteer recruiters of the Armed Services, and revise questions asked on SF86 Background Investigation Questionnaires OMB No. 32006 0005 (or equal), so that only criminal convictions relating to marijuana is asked rather than the current policy of simply asking for “use”.
As you can see above in AF Form 2030, AF Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificate, Section II, the question asks for “use not attached to criminal charges”, but instead states, “have you ever used or experimented with marijuana?”, yet, it has a caveat stating, “prior marijuana use is not a disqualifying for enlistment or appointment, unless you are determined to be a chronic user or psychologically dependent….”, and further it states, “Preservice marijuana use may render you ineligible for certain skills.”.
The question should be revised to only state, “Do you have any criminal convictions related to marijuana, please do not state use not attached to documented criminal charges.”, and there should be special instructions for recruits who are from/have lived in States or municipalities where marijuana is legal and/or decriminalized.
Further, it states a person can be disqualified if determined to be a chronic user or psychologically dependent, which to me seems subjective, because how the Air Force determines this is not stated in the form; studies to determine if marijuana is an addictive substance that is somehow worst than legal Schedule II or III drugs are debatable or non-existent due to federal restrictions on further studies; many States have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes (some of our largest states as far as population, Electoral College Power, economic output, etc.), and most Americans favor cannabis legalization at 67% (Daniller, 2019) meaning the general public deems marijuana to be acceptable.
Further, the statement “Preservice marijuana use may render your ineligible for certain skills”, is an “interesting” statement to put into the form. This question seems to dissuade recruits and seems to state that the Department of Defense is not entirely confident in its abilities to reshape and reform individuals who come from diverse backgrounds, unique life situations, etc. Even if there are limited peer-reviewed studies relating to the effects of chronic marijuana use which might insinuate fractions of a percentage loss in IQ levels, the thing is that the military requires aptitude testing prior to even going to MEPS (Medical Examination Processing Stations) and Basic Training such as the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery (ASVAB), Officer Aptitude Rating Test (OAR Test) of the US Marine Corps, US Navy, and United States Coast Guard, or the AFOQT (Air Force Officer Qualification Test). Thus, cannabis use – not attached to criminal charges or attached to charges – cannot realistically be used to disqualify a person from a certain job specialty when the military gauges mental competency with the ASVAB (or equivalent), and even if the military were to make the argument that cannabis has long-term detrimental cognitive side-effects, the Federal Government has limited the possibilities of expanded research, and the same arguments could be made for environment, educational funding, poverty, income level, etc. Yet, we rightfully do not disqualify candidates because of economic origins, income levels, if they were born in an area with underfunded schools, etc.
When a recruit attends Basic Military Training (BMT), Basic Combat Training (BCT), Officer Candidate School (OCS), Officer Training School (OTS), or equivalent, recruits are often not learning any skills related to their future job skill or specialty. Rather, they are undergoing intensive physical training and learning basic military culture and protocol.
According to Military.com (2019), the timespans of military trainings are 9 weeks (2 months and 1 week) for the US Army, 10 weeks for the US Air Force (it was 8 weeks but an additional 2 weeks were added on), the US Navy is 8 Weeks (technically 7 weeks but it includes an additional week, typically referred to in military culture as Zero Week), the US Marine Corps is 12 Weeks (3 months, not including 4-days of in-processing time), and the US Coast Guard is 7.5 Weeks (a little less than 2 months).
These training times do not include the date a recruit or candidate seeking entry goes to MEPS (Military Examination Processing Station) and travels to Basic Military Training (or equal), etc. So, for 2-months to 3-months, plus the time from MEPS to Training, the recruit is not learning a skill attached to their MOS (Military Occupational Specialty Code) for the US Army and US Marine Corps, AFSC (Air Force Specialty Code) for the United States Air Force or Space Force, or Job Category as Listed in Rating Systems in the case of the US Navy or US Coast Guard.
Basic Military Training (or equal) is effectively a time for rehabilitation and to insinuate that use of marijuana not attached to criminal charges or even attached to criminal charges, especially when recruits are tested for aptitude prior to going to Basic Training, will somehow make a recruit ineligible for a skill is debatable, and it is on the Service Branches to justify with evidence and proof of such a claim. The statement provided in the AF Form 2030 (or equal) seems highly subjective, judgmental, biased, and grandfathered into the present day. For example, the stigma around marijuana is being dictated by older people in higher ranks, e.g., roughly 30% in 1989 supported legal cannabis versus 67% support for legal cannabis in 2019 (Daniller, 2019), in which marijuana was demonized or turned into a drug of caricature, i.e., Cheech and Chong culture, Dazed and Confused imagery, etc. Further, there could possibly be a sense of generational disdain or envy considering older generations who typically see younger generations as “weaker”, might simply be barring access to entry because of their own personal beliefs/experiences which are not backed by science, facts, and the current political realities of the day, but rather propaganda attached to political agendas. While in BMT, I can attest that I did not drink caffeine (which is a stimulant with addictive properties, and is a Schedule III drug that is common for workers, troops, etc., to assist with job performance, studying, etc.), had little to no sugar (no Gatorade, juice, etc.), was forbade from tobacco, etc. BMT was a total mind and body restructuring, so to assume that previous marijuana use either attached or not attached to criminal charges, somehow makes a person ineligible for entry and unable to learn a job specialty is highly debatable. Our Canadian allies permit marijuana use with pilots included (Burns, 2018). I am not saying that US troops should be smoking marijuana (until policy can change after laws are reformed), but forms such as the AF Form 2030 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificate need to be reformed based on the logic I am presenting.
Above you can see the question within the Standard Form 86 (SF86) which is the Federal Background Check or Investigation Questionnaire, which can be found online at (https://nbib.opm.gov/e-qip-background-investigations/) and this form is used for granting Security Clearances. Since marijuana (cannabis) is legal and/or decriminalized in many states, cities, municipalities, and even allied nations to the United States, asking for “use not attached to criminal charges” has no value.
For example, what about Canadian troops (our allies going back as far as the World Wars in which Canada under Major General Rod Keller bravely sacrificed themselves at Juno Beach to achieve Allied objectives at Normandy) who are currently permitted to use marijuana (which is good policy in my opinion), happened to work on a Joint Force effort with the United States, but they require a Security Clearances and Canada defends the sovereign rights of its own citizens?
Regardless, what is one really gaining from knowing a person has used marijuana, especially when it is not attached to criminal charges? Criminally charged use of marijuana might help make better Security Clearance determinations, for any array of reasons (which in themselves could be argued as debatable), because it could insinuate a problem with law enforcement or criminal activity with a gang (which in many communities people are forced to be in as a means of surviving), but if there is no recorded criminal use for marijuana, which restated is legal in many places (some of the most economically powerful places in the United States who also have strong military/federal presences), then this question has no value. I can understand keeping the other drugs on the questionnaire (until policy reform occurs), yet, for marijuana which is helping to fund the public good (education, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc.), it is time to reform or remove this question. There is no proof to my knowledge of someone smoking marijuana becoming a security risk, no different than legal alcohol used moderately as not posing a risk. A Myers-Briggs personality test might have better insight as to whether a person “will spill the beans”, rather than asking for use of a substance that many states find to be acceptable.
Powell (2020) of the Harvard Gazette interviewed Kevin Hill, associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and director of the Division of Addiction Psychiatry at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and regarding marijuana (cannabis), he stated, “It’s less addictive than alcohol, less addictive than opioids, but just because it’s less addictive doesn’t mean that it’s not addictive.” Further. Dr. Hill in the Powell (2020) interview in the Harvard Gazette stated, “Schedule 1 really means two things. Number one, does it have addictive potential? Cannabis does, clearly. But it also means that there is no medical value. I think you are hard-pressed at this point to say that cannabis and cannabinoids have no medical value. So, I do not think it should be a Schedule 1 substance and changing that really would make it a lot easier to study. Funding is a bigger barrier.”
Further, a question asking for marijuana use not attached to criminal charges, especially when many states – some of our most economically dynamic states and largest as far as population – deem marijuana to be legal and socially acceptable, when the Department of Defense, Office of Personnel Management, etc., asks a person about use not attached to criminal charges, yet, makes determinations about a person which insinuates they are possibly a criminal, this seems a violation of Constitutional Rights of a person. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution allows people to not self-incriminate themselves and further parts of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) has similar protections, so asking for use of marijuana not attached to criminal charges, especially when a person who is seeking entry into the military (when they will be tested anyways at MEPs and randomly and/or routinely while in service), re-entry into the military, or seeking employment with a federal contractor (especially if the position requires a Security Clearance), seems a casual violation of a person’s privacy and their ability to not self-incriminate under The United States Constitution. I repeat this is only for marijuana because the many of the States have expressed legality of the drug.
I am only saying marijuana largely since as a nation founded on federalism (a balance between centralized and decentralized authorities, i.e., the Federal Government and States), which is a reason why we have Representatives and Senators, marijuana is fully legal (decriminalized) in more than a dozen states and growing. Currently only six (6) states have marijuana as fully illegal (criminalized), i.e., only 12% of the States. According to DISA Global Solutions (2020), fifteen (15) states (and the District of Columbia where our laws are created & the where the Pentagon is housed) have full decriminalization for recreational and medicinal use (end quote). Guam and the Northern Marina Islands also have full legalization for recreational use. Additionally, out of these 15 states, California has 55 Electoral College votes, New York has 29 Electoral College Votes, Illinois has 20 Electoral College Votes, Michigan has 16 Electoral College Votes, and states such as Nevada and Arizona helped to swing the 2020 Presidential Election, insinuating the momentum for marijuana legalization is gaining more traction.
Even the states with mixed approaches such as Pennsylvania (20 Electoral College Votes) and even the conservative-leaning state of Georgia (16 Electoral College Votes. Note: The City of Atlanta decriminalized under one ounce of cannabis, Source: Hawkins Spizman Trial Lawyers, n.d.) are playing a major role in current 2020 politics, with Georgia going so far as resulting in two Congressional Senate Run-Off elections, meaning in the case of The State of Georgia (an agricultural state), that voting for conservative anti-marijuana politicians is no longer a given, i.e., times are changing. Many of these states are the largest economies of our nation and they hold most of the electoral college votes and provide the bulk of the popular vote due to population, e.g., California (39,512,223 people est.), Florida (21,477,737 people est.), New York (19,453,561 people est.), Illinois (12,671,821 people est.), etc. Thus, the politicians who support marijuana reform, have a higher chance of re-election for a multitude of reasons.
In 2011 according to the Center for Responsive Politics (2020), pro-cannabis lobbying was only a marginal $35,000.00 USD but in 2020 it was estimated the total of pro-cannabis lobbying investments increased to $5,760,000.00 USD, which is a 16,357.1% increase. When compared to lobbying funds for controversial private prisons, according to Center for Responsive Politics (2020), in 2019 total spend was estimated at $4.3 Million and $3.2 Million in 2020. CoreCivic Group contributed $1,310,000.00, GEO Group contributed $1,100,000 etc., to politicians for private prisons (Center for Responsive Politics, 2020). In these Center for Responsive Politics (2020) findings, 19 out of 20 reported politicians (Donald Trump included as well as Georgia Senator David Perdue who is facing a Senate run-off election race) accepted funds from private prisons. 19 politicians were Republicans with only 1 being Democrat (from the State of Texas).
Despite the unfortunate existence of private prisons, the 2020 estimated lobbying donations for this industry amount to $3.2 Million which is 44% less than the $5.76 Million that went to the cannabis industry in 2020. This means that it is less lucrative to take money from an industry (prisons) which tries to further enrich itself by arresting/fining people (resulting in loss of employment, displacement, increased risks of disease and STD transmission, strain on single parents, and inflated costs in poorly audited and administered contracts), than it is to support a growing industry of marijuana which produces jobs, taxes, reduces black market crime, etc. Supporting marijuana is pragmatic, progressive and realist politics.
My idea can be quite simple to do and have bipartisan support, e.g., leveraging Republican support from former House Speaker and House Minority Leader John Boehner, who currently is chair of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an organization which spent $428,000 on pro-cannabis lobbying efforts in Fiscal Year 2020 (Center for Responsive Politics, 2020.). Also, there is former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld who sits on Acreage Holding’s board with John Boehner which is a marijuana investment company which has helped create jobs in Flint, Michigan, according to Breana Noble, Detroit Times (2018). Current Republicans in Congress who supported cannabis legalization are Matt Gaetz (Fla.) — the only GOP co-sponsor on the MORE Act —, Denver Riggleman (Va.) who stated he voted for it because his brother was jailed for a marijuana offense, Don Young (Alaska), Tom McClintock (Calif.) and Brian Mast (Fla.) according to Julie-Grace Brufke (2020) of The Hill. There are also more Republicans as well (see page 17, para 2).
Further, our neighbor to the North in Canada, which is a NATO (North American Treaty Organization), NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command), Five Eyes Partner (intelligence gathering) and AFNORTH/USNORTHCOM member, has full legalization of cannabis across the board and Canadian cannabis firms can be sold on stock exchanges such as Toronto Stock Exchange (which can be sold legally in the United States on exchanges such as E-Trade, owned by Morgan Stanley, by way of the Over-the-Counter Market). On October 17, 2018, Canada passed Bill C-45, which made recreational use of marijuana (cannabis) totally legal (Kestler-D’Amours, 2018). Relating to passage of Canada’s Bill C-45, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau established a Task Force to pave the way for cannabis legalization and used US States such as Colorado and Washington State as a model (Kestler-D’Amours, 2018).
Think about that, Canada, our military ally, a member of the prestigious NATO Alliance, legalized weed by basing their policy on Washington State and Colorado’s pro-cannabis policies, and these US States have a strong military presence ranging from Joint Base Fort Lewis – McChord (JBLM); Camp Murray National Guard Center; Fairchild Air Force Base; Everett Naval Base; Naval Air Station Whidbey Island; Bremerton Naval Base and Submarine Base; the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS); Fort Carson; Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station; Peterson Air Force Base (Home to the US Space Command, i.e., the predecessor of the newly created United States Space Force); Schriever Air Force Base and Buckley Air Force Base.
Relating to Peterson-Schriever Garrison (P-S GAR) in Colorado (where cannabis is legal), the United States Space Command (formerly the United States Air Force Space Command) operates Geographically Separated Units (GSUs) such as New Boston Air (Space) Force Station in New Hampshire (where cannabis is decriminalized); Cape Code Air (Space) Force Station (where in Massachusetts, cannabis is fully legal for both recreational and medicinal purposes); Kaena Point Air (Space) Force Station (where in Hawaii marijuana is decriminalized in a mixed approach); Clear Air (Space) Force Station (where in Alaska, marijuana is fully decriminalized) [Clear Air Force (Space) Station also houses Royal Canadian Air Force Units, where Canadian forces are legally allowed to use marijuana], and Cavalier Air (Space) Force Station (where in North Dakota, cannabis is decriminalized and able to be used for medicinal purposes), etc.
Burns (2018) wrote an article about how the Government of Canada (or, Gouvernement du Canada in French) issued a directive, Defence (the British/Canadian spelling) Administrative Orders and Directives (DAOD) – 9000, which permits Canadian military service members to use marijuana, i.e., cannabis. Under the new policy, members of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) will be prohibited from using recreational cannabis within eight hours of a duty shift, and within 24 hours of work that involves operating weapons or vehicles (Burns, 2018). Cannabis use will additionally be barred within 28 days of duty that includes service on a military aircraft, operation in a hyperbaric environment, or high-altitude parachuting (Burns, 2018). Somewhat understandably, service members will not be allowed to use recreational cannabis during work hours or carry it with them on international operations, either (Burns, 2018). Effectively, Canadian troops are safely allowed to use marijuana within the time stipulations listed above but most likely in the safe zone while on leave or Rest and Relaxation (R&R), so they do not violate the time minimums listed above.
According to the Veterans Cannabis Project (n.d.), 34 States Allow Medical Marijuana, 83% of Veterans support Medical Marijuana Programs, yet 0% of Veteran Administration facilities provide medical cannabis (though HR712 or the separate MORE Act might and should correct this fact).
Further, According to DiGiovanni (2018) decorated veterans are supporting the legalization of marijuana efforts such as retired Lieutenant Colonel Todd Scattini, i.e., The Hemp Colonel, who is a United States West Point Academy graduate, and is the current CEO of Harvest 360 and the European representative of CW Hemp. According to the article by the DiGiovanni (2018) on the Veterans Cannabis Project’s website, Scattini served in combat arms roles, including Tank & Scout platoon leader and Cavalry troop commander. His language skills and passion for foreign service led to positions overseas, including at the US Embassies in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Slovenia (DiGiovanni, 2018). But it was his assignment in 2011, as a senior advisor to the commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan, that opened his eyes to the both the opportunity of hemp and the healing power of medical cannabis (DiGiovanni, 2018).
Current pro-cannabis legalization laws of recent that I have read into are the SAFE Banking Act (S. 1200), sponsored by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), which strives to improve safety for cannabis businesses, employees, and consumers by prohibiting a federal banking regulator from penalizing a depository institution for providing banking services to a legitimate marijuana-related business (Status: Senate – 04/11/2019 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs); Small Business Tax Equity Act (H.R.1118 & S.422), sponsored by Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) which would allow compliant, tax-paying cannabis businesses to deduct normal business expenses and access tax credits that are available to other lawful businesses (Status: Senate – 02/07/2019 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance); Marijuana Justice Act(S. 597 & H.R. 1456), sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee (D-California-13th District) strives to remove marijuana from the list of controlled substances and expunging the convictions of those who have served federal time for marijuana use and possession offenses (Status: House – 04/08/2019 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security); Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades (RESPECT) Resolution (H.Res.163), sponsored by Representative Barbara Lee (D-California-13th District), offers best practices and recommended steps for states and localities to reduce financial barriers to entry relating to cannabis businesses, eliminate constrained licensing frameworks that perpetuate disadvantages relating to cannabis businesses, encourages automated expungement and resentencing for prior cannabis offenses (Status: House – 03/25/2019 Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security); Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act(H.R. 3884. S. 2227), sponsored by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-10th District), is bipartisan legislation that removes marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus decriminalizing the substance at the federal level and enabling states to set their own policies (Status: Senate – 12/07/2020 Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Finance), and HR712 VA (Veterans Administration) Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2019, sponsored by Representative Luis J. Correa (D-CA-46th District) which would direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a clinical trial of the effects of cannabis on certain health outcomes of adults with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, and for other purposes (Status: House – 03/12/2020 Ordered to be Reported (Amended) by Voice Vote).
Relating to H.R. 712, the Congressional Budget Office as ordered by the House Committee on Veteran Affairs on March 12, 2020 (The United States Congress, n.d.), issued a Cost Estimate by Ann E. Futrell on April 13, 2020. On February 1, 2019, VA began a 5-year research study at its medical center in San Diego, California, to evaluate effects of the use of medical cannabis among 136 participants with PTSD and other health conditions (Futrell, 2020). The department plans to spend $1 million to conduct the study (Futrell, 2020). CBO expects that trial would satisfy the bill’s requirement for research. Satisfying the reporting requirement would cost less than $500,000 over the 2020-2025 period, CBO estimates (Futrell, 2020). That spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds (Futrell, 2020). Ms. Futrell’s Cost Estimate was reviewed by Leo Lex, Deputy Director of Budget Analysis.
Further, we have 2020 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Sec. 528. Reenlistment waivers for persons separated from the Armed Forces who commit one misdemeanor cannabis offense. This is a step in the right direction, but it does not go far enough, yet, what I am arguing in this paper is for the federal government (and its contractors) to not ask about use not attached to federal charges, but also, the minimum threshold as specified in Section 528 must be raised considering the relationship of states to the federal government.
Section 528 which was helped passed by House Representative Ruben Gallego of Arizona’s 7th Congressional District (a US Marine Corps veteran who served in Iraq) is great and a proper step forward, yet I feel it doesn’t go far enough (e.g., a misdemeanor can be very marginal), because the military (and its contractors where workers often have to do SF 86 Background Investigation Questionnaires) are still asking if new recruits, former military members who wish to rejoin, or applicants for employment with federal contracts, if they have used marijuana even if it is not attached to any criminal conviction. It seems the military’s forms such AF Form 2030 or equal (and Standard Form 86 or any other agency equivalent) are still asking these statements to new recruits/members who seek re-entry, employees of federal contractors. Regarding, the military it is still requiring waivers (or possible rejections of clearances relating to contractors or troops).
Based on my ideas and evidence presented so far, the military/federal government should not be asking for marijuana use that is not attached to criminal charges, largely (but not limited to the fact) that Section 528 of the FY20 NDAA, it only speaks to convictions by a court of a competent jurisdiction. Considering that the Office of Personnel Management via its e-QIP System which does background checks for the government and its contractors, I feel the question on the SF 86 relating to marijuana use not relating to criminally convicted charges in courts of competent jurisdiction should be removed from the questionnaire since its relevance is waning. Further, people who do have criminal convictions relating to marijuana such a possession should not fear having a clearance revoked.
There does not seem to be coherent and publicly published logic that is readily available to the public and published in a way which is palpable for the general public to understand that details how the OPM or equivalent makes it security clearance determinations, thus preventing the person who may have had their clearances revoked or employment terminated, from having all the cognizant facts to utilize their constitutional right to challenge such determinations, e.g., obtain legal representation, appeal, etc.
Further, since the vast array of questions on Background Checks can incidentally lead to subjective determinations, many good people have possibly suffered simply because of human bias which is not an exceptional look for the Federal Government; however, I am sure investigators do their jobs to the best of their abilities. For example, if a highly paid non-elected GS Civil Servant has had three DUIs, missed alimony payments, has domestic dispute charges, has had frequent travel outside of the United States, and has a higher debt-to-asset ratio (insinuating higher risk of financial default, i.e., bankruptcy), but they get to keep their job and/or get a Security Clearance. Why should a person, such as a recently college graduate, person who has been seeking employment, person from an underrepresented group and/or low-income area, or your average worker have to admit use of marijuana use not attached to criminal charges, when stating use not attached to criminal convictions, could possibly result in getting a Security Clearance revoked, which could mean loss of employment, having to seek another internal opportunity, increased unemployment insurance registration, destitution, falling behind on bills, etc.?
That is why the SF86 must be reformed. SF86 questions relating to marijuana should be changed to only ask about cannabis use for convicted charges, yet, convicted charges should not be a barrier to employment or gaining a clearance, due to 1) the general shift of perception within the public that supports legalization of cannabis, 2) there is no proof that marijuana/cannabis use leads to any sort of Security Breaches, 3) many States where it is legal have a strong federal employment and military presence, etc.I am not saying the Federal Agencies including the Department of Defense or its contractors cannot test for marijuana (until policy shifts), but rather asking for use not attached to criminal charges does not provide any value.
To reiterate, my idea is that the Department of Defense, Office of Personnel Management (who manages the SF86 Screening Process), or any other agency, or contractor to the federal government, can only ask for use for marijuana related to criminal offenses, and not just “use”. Further, recruiters, contractors who work with recruiters (such as call center staff), and the Human Resource Departments of federal contractors should be educated that they legally can only ask for criminally charged marijuana convictions and not simple use, and any statement made voluntarily of use, either in the past or present, that is not attached to a criminal conviction cannot be used against a military recruit, person who wishes to re-enter the military, or applicant to the federal government or its contractors. Further, if a person has had their record cleared, sometimes charges can still show up on background checks and such charges should not be asked for either.
Once a law, amendment to a law (or revision that expands upon Section 528), or Executive Order based on my idea is approved, I also feel it should be retroactively applied to anyone who was rejected for entry or re-entry into the military (or disqualified for a Security Clearance), or disbarred from employment either as federal civil servant or contractor, so when they try again, they do not have to say anything about use not attached to criminal convictions (even if they admitted on a previous government form), and if even they do admit use voluntarily, it does not matter, because…the military (or employer) will test you regardless upon entry or re-entry and while serving (or working) [until policy changes such as full legalization of cannabis]. It as if it did not happen.
Relating to military recruitment, there should be no requirement of a military waiver for marijuana use not attached to criminal charges and any waivers that are on record for people who admitted marijuana use not attached to criminal charges before active duty or even after active duty who wish to rejoin (regardless if they used within the inactive portion of their Military Service Obligation which aligns to Section 528 of the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act, considering the section insinuates that waivers are only needed for “active duty”, i.e., not “inactive duty”), should be expunged immediately.
I added on, “within the inactive portion of their Military Service Obligation” is because once a person separates from active-duty service, they are not getting active-duty benefits, they typically fall under Non-Participating Inactive Reserve Status which is effectively back to Selective Service status of the general public, they receive no BAH (Housing Allowance) from the military, no BAS (Sustenance or Food Allowance) from the military, no uniform stipend from the military, perform no military Physical Tests (PT) or Fitness Tests, likely do not receive Tri-Care Health Insurance from the military, and most fall under the jurisdiction of the Veterans Administration, i.e., once you start drawing Veteran Benefits you can’t receive active-duty benefits.
Further, my idea is good, because The United States only has roughly 300 to 330 Million people; however, we have vast responsibilities covering the globe spanning Eurasia, Eastern Europe, the South China Sea, etc., where our adversaries have populations of 1 Billion and that is not including their own allies. So, to limit the candidate pool because of stigma over something that many states deem to be acceptable, same as many people serving in Congress find it to be acceptable, is simply bad policy of an antiquated time that has systemically embedded itself into negative stereotypes, mass arrests, ruined lives, administrative burdens, and ruined futures, etc.
I see no value to the military (Department of Defense), federal contractors, or the taxpayers who fund the military in asking military recruits, people who wish to seek re-entry into the military, civilian federal employees, or employees of federal contractors, if they have used marijuana, especially if it not attached to any recorded criminal conviction.
For now, the military should only care about criminal charges relating to marijuana – until Congress can reschedule cannabis in the Controlled Substances Act and/or pass legislation such as the MORE Act or equivalent – since criminal charges could possibly create liability issues, e.g., possible outstanding warrants. Criminal convictions pose more of a constraint on logistics and planning for the military, e.g., dates in which recruits can go to Basic Military Training, Officer Training/Candidate School, etc. However, even criminal convictions do not disqualify a person from service (which is good since the military can reshape lives), but simply asking for use without any criminal record has no value and should require no waiver.
Think of it as the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” regarding Marijuana use for initial entry or re-entry into the Armed Forces (or even relating to Security Clearances for troops and contractors). “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was acceptable for decades, but we finally progressed passed that, and now it is time for marijuana, which is a commodity which is traded on stock market via the Over-the-Counter Market which is readily available on commercial exchanges such as E-Trade (owned my Morgan Stanley), taxed by states, creates jobs, reduces black-market crime and trafficking, and was legal for most of our nation’s history. In other words, The Founding Fathers and Revolutionaries had more leeway than people in 2020.
According to Booker (2018) of NPR (National Public Radio), “For the first time in what historians say could be centuries, hemp has been grown and harvested at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s historic estate. In the 1760s, Washington predicted that hemp could be a more profitable crop than tobacco and grew it across his farm. At the time, hemp was abundant in Virginia and elsewhere in the U.S. This summer, horticulturists at Mount Vernon partnered with the University of Virginia and planted hemp once again. “To bring this crop back it just really helps complete our agricultural story,” says Dean Norton, the director of horticulture at the estate. The push to bring back hemp came from a Charlottesville, Va., farmer, Brian Walden, who considers himself a “hemp patriot.””.
Regarding that fact about Mount Vernon, Virginia, i.e., George and Martha Washington’s estate, Mount Vernon is registered with the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, U.S. National Historic Landmarks, and Virginia Landmarks Register. The U.S. National Register of Historic Places is operated by the National Park Service which falls under the Department of Interior, giving further support to the fact that Federal Government does support the growth of marijuana, which in this case, has historical basis considering cannabis was legal for most of the United States’ history.
It is… useless to ask for “use” of marijuana. The military should care for criminal convictions (which is debatable in itself) for cannabis (until the United States reschedules cannabis) because A) the military should only care for use while in Active Status – emphasis on active status – due to readiness, investment, troops get paid, etc., B) the military test randomly all the time such as at MEPS and during active service C) asking for use not tied to criminal convictions encourages people to shy away from the military, and D) the trend of legalization is already here in which many states have full decriminalization for recreational and medicinal use.
For example, if a person lives or has lived in a state, city, locality, municipality, etc., where cannabis (marijuana) is legal and/or decriminalized, but they end up wanting to serve the United States in the military or as a civil servant or contractor, or a former member wants to come back and serve some more, why would a person need a waiver or be asked about “use not attached to criminal convictions”, especially when many states say it is legal and these states contribute to the Total Force Structure of the Department of Defense via the National Guard?
Part of the military is state driven; thus, part of the military is de-facto sovereign (despite the controversial Montgomery Amendment) where the State Governor is Commander-in-Chief (unless under federal orders). Many states with these National Guard Units are fine with marijuana thus meaning the Commander-in-Chief is fine with marijuana; taxes from marijuana might be directly and indirectly funding National Guard units such as roads, air strips, utilities, etc.; state marijuana tax revenues free up federal funds (less money states request from the federal government), and marijuana taxes fund social programs such as education. State marijuana tax revenues thus supports the overall Total Force Structure of the Department of Defense in direct and indirect ways.
States that tax marijuana and distribute funds throughout their state support the Total Force Structure of the military both federally and at the state level (National Guard). Many states with legal marijuana use that money to fund educational programs such as colleges which house ROTC (Reserve Officer Training Corps) units. Since marijuana tax revenue is going to education, this possibly increases the cognitive competencies of workers and potential recruits or service-member who wish to seek re-entry.
A state might fund a community college system with marijuana tax revenues (or, by other means enabled by diverting funds from elsewhere only made possible by marijuana taxes), but a troop using Tuition Assistance might be taking classes at that facility.
A state library system might be sharing resources with a military base library.
A State University system by expanding construction projects produces direct benefits for ROTC units, such expanded fitness facilities, classrooms, etc.
Further, marijuana tax revenue is going to fund law enforcement in these states and local law enforcement works in unison with the military and Military Police when it comes to legal matters such as responding to emergencies. In addition, marijuana tax revenue is going towards public health efforts which also helps to protect the military, civil servants, and workers for federal contractors. Public Health has always been a concern of the military going back as far as the military educating troops about diseases such as a Syphilis during the World Wars. By states increasing public health funding, enabling testing services, providing contraception, tracking viral outbreaks, offering clean needle exchanges, providing family planning services, etc., this provides an extra level of protection to service members, civil servants, and federal contractors.
Further, many Air National Guard Units are cohabiting with civilian airports which are used as runways, and I am confident that tax revenues from marijuana is helping to fund infrastructure which supports the State National Guard Units but also upstream to the Federal forces of the Department of Defense and Pentagon. In support of this claim, Washington State Treasury (2020), led by Duane A. Davidson who reports to Washington State’s Governor and National Guard Commander-in-Chief, Jay Inslee (Democrat), referenced statistics from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Control Board’s Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report. Statistics provided by the Washington State Treasury (2020) included that fact that Washington State collected a total of $395.5 million in legal marijuana income and license fees in fiscal year 2019, all but $5.2 million of it from the state’s marijuana excise, or sales tax. Further Washington State Treasury (2020) stated that the report also shows that the marijuana revenues were $172 million more than that of liquor, and that the marijuana tax income of the state for fiscal year 2019 of $395.5 million grew by slightly more than $28 million from the prior fiscal year. Lastly, based on the statistics provided by the Washington State Treasurer (2020) the General Fund received $116.5 million.
Marijuana tax allocation to public services in Washington State has a positive social benefit, particularly for a state which lacks a state income tax. Relating to how Washington State distributes its revenues generated from taxation on marijuana, in RCW (Revised Code of Washington) 69.50.540, Titled: Dedicated marijuana account—Appropriations, per section (g), at the end of each fiscal year, the treasurer must transfer any amounts in the dedicated marijuana account that are not appropriated pursuant to subsection (1) of this section and this subsection (2) into the general fund. Later sections of RCW 69.50.540 states that revenues that go into the general funds are distributed to counties, cities, and towns where licensed marijuana retailers are physically located, etc.
Speaking back to the $116.5 million in Washington State’s General Fund which was funded by taxation on legal marijuana per RCW 69.50.540 Section (g), I went to Washington States Office of Financial Management which published the Governor Inslee’s 2019-2021 Proposed Biennial Budget. The Military Department (which includes the Air and Army National Guard Units of Washington State) was allocated $14.7 Million in which $5 Million goes to Shake-Alert Monitoring System for the procurement of seismic monitoring stations and global navigation satellite systems which integrates with the overall Shake-Alert System; $928,000 for Tsunami Sirens for Coast Cities which involves the procurement of sixteen (16 each) All-Hazard Alert Broadcast (AHAB) Systems; $750,000 to National Guard Wildfire Pay which pays State Active Duty Wages for service members with firefighter certifications to that of their civilian counter-parts, etc.
Further, while I was searching Washington State’s Office of Financial Management’s website relating to General Fund allocations (which seems to align with marijuana tax revenues allocated through RCW 69.50.540 Section (g)), I found a document Titled: Agency Information Technology Budget Detail, authorized by RCW 43.88.092, Appendix A – IT Projects with OCIO Oversight: Completed for Fiscal Year 2018, where on page 47 of this Appendix, the Military Department (National Guard, etc.) received or will receive a new contract for Next Generation 911 (NG911) Emergency Services IP Network Re-procurement since the current CenturyLink contract is due to expire or has expired. The CenturyLink contract was a transitional system that was awarded before national-standards were implemented and the new NG911 System provides complete call-maker to call-taker Turn-Key services that meets the national standard. [Source: Washington State Office of Financial Management (2019)].
Looking elsewhere on the Office of Financial Management’s website, I found Transportation Projects that directly tied to the U.S. Military, and we can assume that marijuana tax revenues in one shape or another directly or indirectly helps fund these projects.
For Example, per Washington State’s Office of Financial Management’s (2019) documented, titled: OFM Transportation Document 19GOV001 as developed December 10, 2018 – Hwy Mgmt. & Facilities Program (D), one project listed was the I-5 JBLM (Joint Base Lewis McChord) Corridor Improvements under Project No. M00100R.
Further, according to the Washington State Office of Financial Management (2019), on their website in a section titled, 2019-21Governor’s proposed budgets, 2019-29 capital plan, Agency capital project detail, Military Department, I also found National Guard construction projects issued by the Washington State Military Department based out of Camp Murray under RFP-19-GS-006 which was funded by the State Building Construction Account such as $75,000.00 going towards Project No. 40000004 (per the Office of Financial Management) for Anacortes Readiness Center Major Renovation, where the Readiness Center is a National Guard Center that was badly in need of upgrades. Per the Office of Financial Management (2019), The Anacortes Readiness Center is one of the smallest facilities in the Washington National Guard inventory. It has no female restrooms, showers, and locker rooms; lacks office space and classrooms for training purposes; has an inadequate supply room for necessary equipment; and is not ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant. This project will perform predesign for an ADA compliant facility, which will add 6,000 square feet of new space; renovate offices, classrooms, the kitchen, and supply and storage areas; and create a new locker room, restrooms, and showers for female members.
Lastly, at the Washington State Office of Financial Management (2019) 2019-21Governor’s proposed budgets, 2019-29 capital plan, Agency capital project detail, Military Department, I found Camp Murray Building 33 Addition/Alteration funded by the State Building Construction Account funded at an amount of $1,000,000 to $4,000,000.00. Camp Murray is the National Guard Center for the Washington State National Guard and is right across I-5 from Joint Base Lewis McChord, which is a place I am familiar with since I lived in Fort Lewis and DuPont, WA as a pre-teen.
Looking at these projects I noticed some were listed as federal funded whereas others were listed as state funded, meaning that state marijuana tax revenues which affect the state fund (either directly, or indirectly, i.e., freed up funds from one account made possible by marijuana taxes) for construction projects might be helping to fund military infrastructure.
According to a report titled, Oregon Marijuana Tax Statistics: Accounting Information by Oregon.gov (2020), the State of Oregon as of September 2020 collected $15,765,218 of state taxes and $2,445,050 from local taxes, yet only some local marijuana taxes are collected by the state; those collected locally are not counted here. Actual state and local amounts will be known when quarterly tax returns are filed.
So, based on the report listed above, the total of marijuana tax revenues is $18,210,268.00, yet, on the same Oregon.gov website, there is another report titled, Oregon Marijuana Tax: Distribution Information, which calculated a total of $29,832,637 in which 40% went to the State School Fund, 20% Mental Health, Alcoholism, and Drug Services, Oregon State Police (15%), Oregon Health Authority, for Drug Treatment and Prevention (5%), and 20% went back to the City and Local Governments.
Staggs (2020) of the Orange County Register stated that California has raised $1 billion in cannabis tax revenue since the industry kicked into gear in January 2018, according to figures recently released by the state. The bulk of that $1.03 billion in tax money, after covering regulatory costs, has been spent on programs such as childcare for low-income families, cannabis research, public safety grants and cleaning up public lands harmed by illegal marijuana grows (Staggs, 2020). Yet, for concrete numbers, the State of California Department of Tax and Fee Administration issued a public news release by Wells (2020) which stated that total tax revenue reported by the cannabis industry is $172.7 million for 4th quarter returns due by January 31, 2020 and this does not include tax revenue collected by each jurisdiction.
Section IX – Welfare Argument
Speaking to the Stagg (2020) article, in which he speaks of programs for low-income families, I am confident that some troops, especially lower enlisted troops, might be using State Welfare programs to help supplement income, such as WIC (Women, Infant, and Children Special Nutritional Supplemental programs), childcare support services, etc. These programs are sustaining themselves in part with marijuana tax revenues.
The data shows that during the 2018-19 school year, a third of children at DOD-run schools on military bases in the United States — more than 6,500 children — were eligible for free or reduced lunches. At one base — Georgia’s Fort Stewart — 65 percent were eligible (McFadden, Romo, & Abou-Sabe, 2019).
In 2016, the Government Accountability Office published a report recommending that the Defense Department start tracking data on service members’ and their families’ use of food assistance programs such as SNAP and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, or WIC, but aid groups and lawmakers question whether the department is collecting meaningful data (McFadden, Romo, & Abou-Sabe, 2019).
Section X – Ideas and Arguments Continued
It serves no use to ask for use of marijuana not attached to criminal convictions for new recruits, people who wish to re-enter the military, federal contractors seeking employment, federal civil servants seeking employment, etc. I do respect that the military can test while on active duty considering the importance of the mission, but it is time to progress.
Here is another argument for my idea. For example, does the military ask if you have ever had a beer or glass of wine when wanting to serve? No, they do not, even though alcoholism and social drinking are a part of military life (I grew up around it), even though the reported statistics likely do not state that, because many troops likely do not state the accurate facts for fear of having marks on their record (which might not to be actual policy) or being sent to rehabilitation, which could (even though it is not stated) influence a troop in thinking they might not be successful at promotion levels where character & social politics plays an important role in interviews at board selection committees. Does the military ask if a recruit or person who wishes to seek re-entry ever touched a person in an inappropriate manner? No, they do not, even though – lets be frank – the military does not have the best track record with assault, despite its efforts to combat it. So, we make a big deal about marijuana use not attached to criminal charges, even though prior service or out-of-service marijuana use does not create a bruised eye for the military, yet we do not ask questions or require waivers that relate to alcohol use that is not tied to criminal charges, nor does the military have means to search for improper sexual misconduct that is not reported, etc.
Regarding marijuana, there are stereotypes and stigmas, and even if there were studies, they are likely are so antiquated and outdated, that their relevancy has no sway considering such studies were most likely highly biased based on the times (such as previous times being more racist such as against African Americans and Hispanics, most notably Mexican Americans – note: Hispanic participation in the military is growing and African Americans have served in each conflict of the United States).
Further, stigma in part comes from the social change in the 1960s and 1970s in which the outcome of the Vietnam War was likely blamed in the social consciousness on drug use to hide the mismanagement of the Nixon and Johnson Administrations. The War on Drugs was arguably a strategy to quell the anti-Vietnam War and pro-Civil Rights efforts, even though the real drug culprit was opium, not marijuana, yet, ironically, for nearly two decades we had a legal opium market via prescription drugs (in which company stock were common in every-day Americans 401ks, possibly even military or government Thrift Savings Plans (TSP), i.e., the American public profited from opium addiction which is far more dangerous than marijuana).
The only reason why marijuana is considered a “gateway drug” as you know is because our policies push people to the gatekeepers, i.e., drug dealers (traditionally speaking, since many states with decriminalization efforts have functional, safe, and regulated commercial enterprises where people do not have to go into the black market for cannabis).
Even, Republicans such as former House Speaker and House Minority Leader, John Boehner is profiting from it and that is fine. Are people really going to convince me that he or people associated with him have lost Security Clearances or do not grant commission to Service Academies, or write recommendations, etc.? Presidents from both major parties have admitted using marijuana. Think about that. Our Commander-in-Chiefs have used marijuana but also ironically incarcerated others for it or have disbarred or rejected people because of marijuana. Note: I understand that politics is not easy, but still, there is the moral behind what I am saying.
I am not stating that active-duty troops should be using marijuana until policy changes occurs (which could be modeled on the Canadian model which in itself is based in part from American States where marijuana is legal) but asking newcomers to the military, people who rotated into civilian life and wish to serve again, civil servants or employees of federal contractors, etc., if they’ve use marijuana when there is no criminal record of it is a waste of time. Time is money. Only worry about criminal charges, yet even criminal charges are debatable because of disparities along racial, ethnic, and income lines. To my analogy of alcohol or sexual content, there is plenty of abuse of alcohol at all ranks and there has been plenty of sexual predators who have slipped through the cracks who have no record, but irresponsible alcohol use and assault of any kind, but particularly that of a sexual nature, are way more of a threat than marijuana ever could be, especially since many states have made cannabis legal (and these states have Guard Units that are a part of the Total Force Structure which supports the Department of Defense).
A measure which reforms military Drug and Alcohol Abuse Certificates (or equivalent) across the Sister Service Branches of the Department of Defense for entry or re-entry into the military and which revises forms (questions asked on applications, Standard Form 86s, etc.) of Federal contractors to only ask for criminal convictions relating to marijuana until an Executive Order from the President and/or legislation from the Congress relating to legalization and/or rescheduling of marijuana to a decriminalized category is needed. The measure will reform forms and practices for the federal government and its contractors to only ask for use relating to recorded convictions, rather than asking any question relating to simple “use”. Candidates, recruits, applicants, etc., do not have to state whether they have used marijuana if not attached to criminal convictions, considering the government and many companies have robust drug testing policies.
Asking for marijuana use not attached to criminal charges on forms such as AF Form 2030 Drug and Alcohol Abuse Forms (or equal across Sister Service Branches) and SF 86, are also systemically racist, even if incidental by nature, and thus violates the goals of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has provisions such as Title VII which strives on increase minority and woman representation within government. Title VII provisions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 are expressed in Federal Acquisition Regulation Clause FAR 52.222-25 Affirmative Action Compliance, meaning that federal contractors must follow this clause, which further means that asking questions about marijuana use not attached to criminal charges increasingly violates the goals of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Effectively the Controlled Substance Act is hampering Civil Rights, particularly through the judicial system via policing policies, etc.
According the American Civil Liberties Union’s (ACLU) website section, titled: Marijuana Arrest by Numbers, 52% of all drug arrests in 2010 were for marijuana, and that most people that people are arresting are not kingpins but rather people with small amounts of pot (end quote). Further, the ACLU (2020) issued a more recent report, titled: Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform, which details marijuana arrests from 2010 to 2018 and examines racial disparities at the national, state, and county levels. Two key findings that I will point out in the ACLU (2020) report is that Marijuana Arrests Decreased after Legalization or Decriminalization, yet Racial Disparities in Arrests Persist Even in States That Legalized or Decriminalized Marijuana. Many of these states (which some are the whitest states in America) also have a strong military presence. For example, F.E. Warren AFB in Wyoming, Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota, Hill AFB in Utah, Mountain Home AFB in Idaho, Minot or Grand Forks AFB in North Dakota, Offutt AFB in Nebraska, etc. These states in our current political environment are not immune to the national debates, especially those relating to race, so being an African American or Hispanic American (or, any minority group), it is my impression that troops of
Figure 8 – Use of Marijuana Between Blacks and Whites for Ages 12+ (2018)
color, or civil servants or federal contractors, can be singled out or targeted, thus increasing risk of judicial punishment (thus, loss of security clearances). For example, there is an intersection between Blue Lives Matters and the fringes of the Alternative Right.
There might exist a disparity regarding rejections of Security Clearances between minorities and white federal employees and military service members, relating to criminally charged marijuana offenses or admission of marijuana use not attached to criminal charges. White Americans report a higher use of marijuana over a lifetime as compared to blacks at 50.7% white versus 42.4% black (ACLU, 2020, p. 30), but black people make up a higher percentage of arrests cases and this disparity can lead to rejection of security clearances/loss of employment/rejection of employment, thus resulting in lower levels of minority representation, which thus violates the vision of the Civil Rights Act considering many states find marijuana to be a commodity with economic, medicinal, and therapeutic properties.
The ACLU (2020) issued a report titled, Tale Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform, in which the ACLU presented data sourced from Uniform Crime Reporting Data (p. 15), the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data, i.e., NACJD (p.15) and the US Census Bureau (p. 15) proving disparity between white versus black arrests regarding marijuana, and the findings still found a higher level of arrests for African Americans even in states where it is legal. Further, the report stated that its focus was primarily on African Americans in relation to White Americans, and per the report ,the ACLU (2020) were not able to compare marijuana for the Latin (Latinx) community since the FBI Uniform Criminal Reporting system (UCR) does not racially categorize the Latin (Latinx) community since it is comprised of different races, making it impossible to distinguish between Latinx and non-Latinx individuals in the Black and white populations arrest rates for Latinx individuals the report (ACLU, 2020, p. 11). However, the report by the ACLU (2020) does state that it is critical to continue examining the extent of racial bias in the enforcement of marijuana laws, specifically against Black and Latinx populations, but also that of Native and Indigenous populations, Arab and Middle Eastern populations, Asian populations, Pacific Islander populations, and those with multiple racial/ethnic identities (e.g., biracial populations) (p. 30).
Further, ACLU (2020) stated that The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a federal branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, conducts nationally representative annual surveys of marijuana use over respondents’ lifetime, over the past year, and over the past month. SAMSHA survey data consistently finds that rates of ever use and recent use by race do not significantly differ between Black and white populations (ACLU, 2020, p. 31, para 2). Therefore, the wide racial disparities in marijuana possession arrest rates cannot be explained by differences in marijuana usage rates between Black and white people (ACLU, 2020, p. 31, para 2). In other words, there is something else going on.
In 2018, there were almost 700,000 marijuana arrests, which accounted for more than 43% of all drug arrests (ACLU, 2020, p 7). In fact, in 2018, police made more marijuana arrests than for all violent crimes combined, according to the FBI. Further, it is not clear that marijuana arrests are trending down—they have actually risen in the past few years, with almost 100,000 more arrests in 2018 than 2015 (ACLU, 2020, p 7). On average, a Black person is 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though Black and white people use marijuana at similar rates (ACLU, 2020, p 7). Black people are still more likely to be arrested for possession than white people (ACLU, 2020, p 10). (See Next Page)
Figure 10 – Figure 12 within the ACLU (2020) Report (p. 33), titled: A Tale of Two Countries: Racially Targeted Arrests in the Era of Marijuana Reform.
How do the facts presented by the ACLU (2020) affect the United States Military, federal government, or government contractors, particularly relating to Security Clearances, employment, recruitment, etc.?
Dickstein (2020) of Stars and Stripes presented a story on how African American troops in the United States Air Force and Space Force are not treated the same as white troops based on a four-month investigation by the Department of the Air Force Inspector General (DAF IG), Lt. General Sami Said. Based on data presented in DAF IG Lt. General Sami Said’s 150-page report, which is careful to note that the identification of racial disparity does not automatically mean racial bias or racism is present, Dickstein (2020) extracted the below bullet-points for his Stars and Stripes article:
Enlisted Black airmen and guardians were 72% more likely than whites to be punished through the Uniform Code of Military Justice or through nonjudicial punishment measures. (Dickstein, 2020).
Enlisted Black airmen and guardians were 57% more likely than whites to face a court-martial. (Dickstein, 2020).
Black junior enlisted Air Force and Space Force troops are twice as likely to be involuntarily discharged for misconduct than white troops. (Dickstein, 2020).
Black Air Force and Space Force service members are 1.64 times more likely to be named suspects in Air Force Office of Special Investigations criminal cases than white service members. (Dickstein, 2020).
Black airmen and guardians are twice as likely be apprehended by Air Force security forces than white airmen and guardians. (Dickstein, 2020).
Black officers are less likely than white officers to be designated to attend professional military education courses. (Dickstein, 2020). ** Note: This bullet is interesting because it doesn’t seem attached to crime, suspicion of crime, or punishment, but rather perception regarding race, yet, the DAF IG is saying that the data doesn’t mean that there is racism?”
Looking at the report myself, although there is an up to 2% racial disparity in overall testing rate for black service members from 2015 to 2019, when broken down by rank, the numbers show black E1-E4s are underrepresented in random testing when compared to their white peers, which indicates there was no inappropriate targeting of young black enlisted members for drug testing. Overall, this report revealed enlisted members were tested at a higher rate than officers consistently from 2015 to 2019, as depicted below (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 13).
The Inspector General Department of the Air Force (2020) states, objective investigation data from OSI and Security Forces indicate some of the disparity in NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment) results from a disparity in behavior rather than race (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 11). Accessions data show that members who joined the service with moral waivers are more likely to receive military discipline during their time in service (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 11). Finally, the disparity in population numbers between demographic groups disproportionally impacts the RPT (Rates Per Thousand) data (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 11). Because there are fewer black service members than white service members (ratio of about 1:5 overall and 1:13 for officers), even one additional individual disciplinary action will have a far greater impact on the RPT for black service members (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 11).
Racial disparities in military justice actions against black service members is a complex issue that has been reviewed in-depth by the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps (AFJAG) (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p. 11). A 20-year analysis of Air Force NJP data and courts-martial revealed the following: For every single year between 1999 and 2019, black Airmen were more likely to receive NJP than white service members, in terms of RPT. Black service members were 1.74 times more likely than white service members to receive NJP (Non-Judicial Punishment) and 1.60 times more likely than white service members to be court-martialed (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p.11). For every single year, black service members were more likely to face courts-martial than white service members. Black service members were court-martialed at an average RPT of 3.39, compared with white service members at an average RPT of 2.12. This data reveals that black Airmen were 60% more likely to face court-martial than white service members (The Department of the Air Force Inspector General, p.11).
The report released by the Department of the Air Force (2020), i.e., DAF IG (2020) relating to racial disparity in Air Force disciplinary action, got me thinking because the DAF IG (2020) talks about “behavior”. What are they really saying with this statement? Is this statement a sort of passive way of insinuating that African Americans have issues? And, if so, are we being sympathetic to the struggles of the African American community and its history, but also the current realities, in which there is a historic and present condition of oppression, imprisonment, laws created to explicitly target African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Indigenous Native Americans (First Peoples), etc.? However, I am not saying the Air Force is not taking the proper steps forward to address racial disparity issues, but one thing they could do is the ideas I am presenting through this paper. Also, they might have to better weigh where they are stationing troops of color by establishing some sort of index which accounts for local hate crimes, political atmosphere, demography, etc. Being a veteran of the United States Air Force, I can attest that most of my experience were positive and I received no disciplinary action (no UCMJ Court Martial, no Non-Judicial Punishments, etc.). I walked a straight line. Yet, I can also attest that the general culture of America where dealing with militarism is largely still dictated and catered to the majority (white) class of the United States. There is an intersectionality between country culture, Republicanism, YouTube military videos, trucks, guns, Soldier of Fortune culture, police, etc. In a way, militarism can be co-opted to be a force for silent white supremacy. When is the last time you have seen an authentic Hollywood blockbuster that showed minorities in a patriotic light while factoring in their pre-military living situations, the social pressures they face both external and internal, the systemic oppression external to the military, etc.?
Yet, I assume that a disparity exists because of marijuana in part, though not entirely (reducing the African American experience to marijuana would be stereotypical in itself). To my understanding, alcohol culture is very Eurocentric whereas cannabis smoking is not (though stats prove otherwise), thus, our nation’s view of alcohol is largely dictated by ethnocentrism, supremacy, etc. However, facts provided by the ACLU (2020) shows that white America consumes the same amount, if not more, cannabis than African Americans do, despite the imagery or stereotypes we see on television.
So, where is this disparity, such as that of the DAF IG (2020) coming from? Likely from a combination of factors, such as what I call “amplification”, i.e., minorities stand out, whereas the majority ironically fades into the background. The DAF IG (2020) did mention the same concept. Further, our there is our criminal justice system. Being a teenager from highly policed urban area is much different than a white teenager from a rural, exurban, or suburban environment.
This got me thinking further. Black Americans, i.e., African Americans, did not have fair voting rights for 77% of the time the United States has been in existence as an officially independent nation. In other words, African Americans were disbarred from law creation, and these laws in many ways have had negative consequences on the community, i.e., African Americans were unable to put their cultural viewpoint or how they view certain issues or substances, on the table. Transatlantic Slavery existed from the late fifteen-hundreds to the late eighteen-hundreds (not including the continuation of sharecropping policies, Jim Crow Apartheid Policies, etc.). 2020 to 1776 (Independence Day) is 244 years. 1776 to 1964 (Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed on July 2, 1964) is 188 years. 188/244 is 0.77 or 77%, i.e., African Americans did not have full Civil Rights protections for 77% of the time since the United States declared independence.
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed on August 6, 1965 which means 189 years since 1776, i.e., 189/244 is 0.774 or 77.4%. African Americans did not have full Voting or Civil Rights protections for 77%-77.4% of the time the United States has officially been in existence.
The first record black African slaves were brought to what is now the United States of America, to Jamestown Colony on August 20, 1619 after being kidnapped from Angola (History Channel.com Editors, 2020).
2020 from 1619 is 401 years. 1619 to 1964 (the year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed) is 345 years. 345/401 is .86%. 1619 to 1965 (the year the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was passed) is 346 years. 346/401 is 86.2%. So, the from the time the first Africans stepped foot on US soil (that is officially recorded), descendants of black African slaves have not had full civil or voting rights protections for 86-86.2% of the time from colonial America to the modern era.
1965 to 2020 is 55 years and 1964 to 2020 is 56 years. Many if not most Black Baby Boomers were born without having Civil or Voting Rights, i.e., my father was born in 1959, meaning his developmental years were formed in a segregated environment, i.e., Southern Georgia.
Think about that,86-77% of Black America’s existence, we were disenfranchised without Civil or Voting Rights protections, and by the time we had full legal protections, most of the economic wealth was already consolidated, such as during the eighteen-hundreds. From 1860 to 1900, the wealthiest 2% of American households owned more than a third (33%) of the nation’s wealth, while the top 10% owned roughly three quarters (75%) of it (Tindall & Shi, 2012, p. 589). The bottom 40% had no wealth at all (Fraser, 2015, p. 66).
So, 1619 to 1900 is 281 years and 1776 to 1900 is 124 years. 281/401 (70%) and 124/401 (30.9%), meaning that from the first time a recorded African stepped foot on what is now the United States or from the later date of American Independence, African Americans by the 1900s were excluded from wealth creation for 70% of the time, later down to 30% of the time, and it would take 64 to 65 additional years to even be granted the Civil and Voting Rights protections they were disbarred from for 86-77% of the time of the United States’ existence.
To amplify the levels of oppression, we must realize that African Americans, according to Bennett, Martin, & Debarros (1993) of the US Census Bureau noted that in 1900, African Americans only made up 11.6% of the population (p.4), and by 1910, 90% of African Americans lived in the Southern United States (p. 4), i.e., the worst place for African Americans to live (though after the Great Migrations, the North proved it was not a good place either, and the West Coast was being settled by many ex-Confederates). Our law policy (drug policy included) is inseparable from race in this county unless we do something about it.
A population making up 11.6-13% of the United States population, has not had Voting or Civil Rights protections for 86-77% of the time the US (and its predecessor colonies) have been in existence, and further, this 11.6-13% was disbarred from the largest centralization of wealth from Founding to the Gilded Age (70-30% of the time since the Colonial Era and Independence), and the bulk of this population (90%) by the early twentieth century still lived in the American South, and on average, per the ACLU (2020) a Black person is 3.64 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than a white person, even though black and white people use marijuana at similar rates.
African Americans, similarly, to Hispanic Americans (which is an ethnicity with a racial spectrum, so some get labeled as “white” whereas others not), Indigenous Native Americans (First Peoples), etc., need help, though we have this notion of “we are all equal”, yet I would argue that a stark view of equality is an inequality, because a moral view of equality does not make up for the real lack of equality (structural, legal, perceptual, etc.) that exists.
A bill, amendment to a bill, rider amendment, or Executive Order should be passed which states that Federal Agencies (the Department of Defense included) should reform forms such as AF Form 2030 (or an equivalent among current or previous Sister Service Branches) and forms such as Standard Form 86 for Federal Background Checks, so that these forms only ask for marijuana use attached to criminal charges (though criminal charges for marijuana should not be ranked as a high disqualifying factor), rather than the current policy of asking for use not attached to criminal charges. This should be done immediately and applied retroactively to any person who was denied entry into the military, denied re-entry into the military, denied employment by for a civil servant position, denied employment by a federal contractor, or denied a Security Clearance regardless if for military employment, federal civilian employment, or employment within a federal contractor.
Bennett, C. E., Martin, B. M., & Debarros, K. (1993, September). We the Americans: Blacks [PDF]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics & Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/prod/cen1990/wepeople/we-1.pdf
Fraser, S. (2015). The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power (Edition Unstated ed.). Little, Brown, and Company
Futrell, A. E. (2020, April). Congressional Budget Office, Cost Estimate: H.R. 712, a bill to direct the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to carry out a clinical trial of the effects of cannabis on certain health outcomes of adults with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder, and for other purposes, As ordered reported by the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs on March 12, 2020 (No. 56329). Congressional Budget Office. https://www.cbo.gov/publication/56329
Understanding issues facing African American Owned Businesses from Brand-Image to the Supply Chain
Applying Quality Management to African American Businesses
MGMT 691 Graduate Capstone Proposal
By Quinton M. Mitchell
M.S. Management (Operations Management) 2018
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Worldwide Campus)
The purpose of this research paper is to (1) Explore any limitations to branding products or services created by African Americans as Black-Owned by conducting a literature review which analyzes scholars who argue for and against segregated economies, i.e., protected enclaves; (2) Understand consumer behavior differences between African Americans and other groups by understanding theories such as the Customized Communication Incongruity Theory by Arora & Wu (2012) and Socialization Theory by Ward (1987); (3) Explore how marketing and advertising affects African Americans and how diverse/positive marketing campaigns improves black success; (4) To show positive gains within the African American community but also to explore the hindrances to African American economic productivity such as higher insurance costs, lack of capital markets, sensitivity to economic conditions, etc., and (5) Discuss Supply Chain issues in African American businesses by using black-owned breweries for a test industry to implement concepts just as strategic alliances, best practices and/or to emulate practices such as those used by Japanese Keiretsu.
Table of Contents
Managerial Problem stated as a Research Question…………………………….…….5
To open the community or to close off the community?……………………………7-10
The underlying psychology of branding and marketing pertaining to African Americans…………………………………………………………………….10-12
Disparities between African American Owned Business and White Owned Businesses……………………………………………………………………12-16
How African Americans respond to brand image & issues regarding advertising and media portrayals…………………………………………………………………………….16-20
African Americans in the Supply Chain & the need for Strategic Alliances or Joint Ventures………………………………………………………………………………20-32
Is the Japanese Keiretsu model appropriate for African American Breweries? ….33-39
Figure 1. 2017 Top Black Owned Businesses by Black Enterprises…………….22
Figure 2. Michael Porter’s (1979) Five Force of Competition…….………………32
Figure 3. Zaibatsu vs Keiretsu by Yonekura (1985), cited by Grabowiecki (2012) …………33
Figure 4. Theoretical Model for African American Brewery Consolidation………36
Keywords: African American, #business, #behavior
Managerial Problem stated as a Research Question:
Does the resurgence of labeling products as “Black Owned” has its limitations? Should African American owned businesses think bigger and take a risk by creating brand campaigns that targets a larger non-race specific consumer base? Should smaller African American owned firms join forces through concepts such as strategic alliances, joint-ventures, or even the Japanese concept of Keiretsu? Is it safe to view the black community as a singular entity, or does a complex intersectionality exists within the black-community, and, if so, which ideology, or which marriage of ideologies, is more effective at achieving sustained success for African Americans? In addition, can the establishment of a supply-chain network between African American owned businesses help improve visibility of brands, maximize economies-of-scale, improve service/item quality or value, and increase profitability?
African-American in business have a long history in the United States ranging from entrepreneurs or CEOs who have gone to build empires or sustain already established business empires; to running established firms who have made catered services and products towards African-Americans and the world at large, and the number of African-Americans winning managerial positions in name-brand American firms since the Civil Rights movement. Yet, Black-Owned businesses faces a plethora of issues ranging from access to credit, the risk-reward aspect of certain industries, and the fact that African-Americans, as with most Americans, have benefited positively from, while also being negatively impacted by the effects of globalism, the loss of labor protection, the hyper-competition of corporate multi-national companies.
In addition, Gillian B. White (2017) wrote an article that noted black CEO representation peaked in 2007 but has been slowly dwindling due to removal or retirement. As a result, I am arguing that black-owned businesses who market their products as “black owned” instead should market their products towards all consumers, regardless of the self-empowered notion of supporting black-owned businesses, because the level of product visibility and profitability will increase. Essentially, be black-owned, sure, and be proud of that, but market and win customers regardless of who they are. However, this paper is not an indictment of Black-Owned branding, but rather an argument that the call for branding products as such should of course be from a sense of empowerment, but not to the extreme of exclusivity which could have detrimental effects on capital accumulation and distribution of profits amongst the community. Why have one market, when you can compete with larger companies in multiple markets? To support Black-owned businesses and possibly improve the quality-of-life of certain African American communities, thinking bigger and expanding consumer bases can increase African American economic prosperity. For example, we know that Toyota is a brand of cars that is obviously made in Japan, and the brand is synonymous with quality, but the Japanese benefit from a clever branding strategy where the products does the talking for the culture. The goal of this paper is to provide recommendations to assist black-owned businesses, not from a stance of exclusion, but rather to further normalize products for all consumers regardless of race.
II. Research Activity:
A brief background into African American business ownership from a historical perspective will be presented. In addition, a historical view of race-centric marketing will be presented to strengthen the premise that race and marketing are often in unison. This historical perspective will lead up to my initial business problems facing the community and then I will follow up on conceptual ideas that could generate benefits. Giving dues when needed to the current landscape, I will then offer my recommendation for focusing on brand-image marketed towards a diverse consumer base, which in my opinion, can increase black economic output without labeling itself as “black-owned”, but if a firm decides to brand themselves as black-owned, which is justified considering the complex history of the United States, then there needs to be a strategic re-training of the thought process to challenge oneself to expand what new markets black Americans can or should participate in. Qualitative research will then be discussed to link the marketing of brands to the importance of the supply-chain.
Finally, a summary of the supply-chain as far as key aspects will be discussed and then I will construct a conceptual supply-chain or strategic alliance theory in which an African American business owner could formulate strategic ideas. The goal of this project is to emphasis strategic-thinking while loosely threading upon the quality management philosophies of early scholars such as Deming, Juran, and Crosby, to get Black-owned business owners to think more expansionist-minded, while simultaneously being inclusive towards all communities.
IV. Literature Review
A. To open the community or to close off the community?
Cummings (1999) presents a study comparing African American entrepreneurs conducting business in the ghetto’s protected- market versus the suburbs or larger Metropolitan Statistical Areas and argues that African American firms outperform when operating in larger non-segregated environments. Cummings (1999) provides a qualitative and quantitative study regarding the flaws of racially-segregated economies by touching upon the enclave-theory and protected market theory by referencing researchers such as Drake & Clayton (1945), Cummings (1980), and Light & Rosenthein (1995). In the study, Cummings (1999) states, “Although racial segregation may be a prime factor promoting ethnic and enclave enterprise, it simultaneously undermines business growth and development”. In addition, Cummings (1999) shares findings from Brimmer and Terrell (1971) who states that African American entrepreneurs who depend upon a segregated-protected market have high potential for failure. Moreover, when faced with desegregation and group dispersion, businesses that depend exclusively upon an enclave market are likely to fail (Brimmer and Terrell, 1971).
Rueben & Queen (2015) studied how African American owned businesses suffer adversely from unequal access to capital markets and the prevalence of institutional barriers. Although not universally appreciated, African Americans have a long history of entrepreneurial achievements against odds. African Americans are more likely to start a business, yet, are less likely to succeed (Rueben & Queen 2015). Rueben & Queen (2015) stated that the success of minority businesses to employ more workers and raise the productivity of workers is essential to U.S. economic growth, considering the U.S. labor forecasts (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics 2012, as cited by Rueben & Queen 2015), the 2025– 2050 outlook on the U.S. labor market is expected to grow slowly with most of growth coming from 55 million by minorities and immigrant workers. Further, despite these increases in the number of African American owned firms, African American entrepreneurs tend to participate in industry sectors with less capital requirements for start-up and expansion. However, some of these industries have lower revenue streams. Yet, when African American entrepreneurs operate in high revenue generating industries, their average annual revenue and average annual payroll per employee are significantly lower than their white counterparts (Rueben & Queen 2015).
The yearning to empower black businesses has led to a conflict in policy ideologies as presented by Cummings (1999). The enclave economy theory alludes to the positive outcomes associated with racially or ethnically segregated communities, but considering the criticisms presented by Tabb (1970) such as (1) smaller markets, (2) lower income consumers, (3) higher insurance rates, (4) inability to access credit, (5) higher rates of theft, and (6) limited access to capital, there are parties at be that wish to open the black community to larger markets but from the stance of community re-invigoration, yet not entirely from a segregated mentality. According to Cummings (1999), community-based development initiatives are activities inspired by or aimed at service social groups in a locality. In addition, community-based development initiatives also refer to those efforts organized by people who share a common urban geography (Blakely 1994).
Strategies that come from inwardly focused values and not economic realities are likely not going to make a competitive advantage (Barney & Hesterly, 2015, p 6). This touches upon my argument regarding the general trend in the growth – as far as a calling or social justice movement – of marketing products or services as Black-owned. There is nothing wrong with this, yet there are many assumptions and a diversity of ulterior motives that can occur when there is a calling for a segregate mentality. Such as, considering the social nature of human beings when classified, there can be a limit on the expressive modes – which can be profitable – that a group feels they can participate in. I call this a “culture-trap”, in which the standard or traditional culture is such a firm aspect of identity, that deviating to innovate for an individual, can have detrimental social and psychological effects. In addition, this “culture-trap” not only limits innovation, it can lead to issues such as brain-drain (when intellectuals leave the community in order to associate themselves with more supportive individuals), attrition (leaving the community), and the recycling effect of standard discourses when relating to issues effecting a community. Also, there have been clear examples of black-on-black business crimes or political corruption, in which the culprits have often used the calling for black segregation for their own financial and personal gains.
There seems to be a standard agreed upon set of values for African-Americans when consciously entering the business arena, i.e., a sense of liberation and self-empowerment, and although these yearnings are noble and arguably justified considering the sociopolitical and economic truths of African-American culture (slavery, segregation, red-lining, police profiling, etc.), yet the ultimate goal is, of course, to empower the group, yet it has to be based inevitably on an open-market, non-exclusive long-term agenda – with active but non-exclusive black participation – where products or services are focused on the bottom-line of profitability, penetrating new markets (both physical, i.e., foreign countries, but also unrealized cultural markets, i.e., cultural facets of American culture with black participation but that aren’t associated with black cultural as a whole) and the realization of a multicultural globalist reality based on a post-racialist idea or aspiration.
However, the claims provided by Cummings (1999), Rueben and Queen (2015), and Tabb (1970) are rebutted by Chaplain (2012) who argues that integration has destroyed the black economy. The black community lacked the requisite socio-cultural characteristics to develop a robust entrepreneurial tradition and, second, that integration, as an independent variable, destroyed black-owned business. Chapin (2012) studies the affects of government regulations which highly curtailed African American business growth and this provides more historical background on my study. Since insurance is a major part of entrepreneurship and running a business, Chapin (2012) study can shed light on the emotional reasons many African Americans are compelled to market their goods as black-owned and might give credence to the calling for black separatism. Yet, a major focus for business ownership growth and development in the African American community must be on the strategic expansion of the employer firms (Rueben & Queen 2015).
Chaplin (2012) seems to be of the vein of intellectuals who argue segregation as a benefit to African-Americans; however, Chaplin (2012) is sensitive to history, and only seems to be basing his premise on the fact that systemic injustice such as a society built on “white Affirmative-Action” had a detrimental effect on blacks, even though black communities formulated under this system and showed signs of progress. Yet, Cummings (1999) study on the undermining of business growth and Rueben & Queen (2015) study which shed light on the future growth of minority groups in the United States, I feel that there is a calling for creating a black-owned business mentality, yet, there is also the need for it not be exclusive. Essentially, we need more entrepreneurs and businesses owners, but the underlying motivation must be global and catering towards all people.
B. The underlying psychology of branding and marketing pertaining to African Americans
Jeffrey Steven Padoshen (2008) presents a compelling study into how African Americans value and apprise goods based off unique characteristics of their community. As “minority” groups such as African Americans and Latinos grow in overall proportion to America as a whole, particular attention must be placed on the understanding of their consumption characteristics (Padoshen, 2008). Padoshen (2008) presents a study that investigates word-of-mouth and brand loyalty within the context of durable-goods purchases in the African American community to see if there are effects on purchase decisions when a supplier was at one time linked to the slave trade, and if there’s a preference for purchasing products which come from black-owned companies. Padoshen (2008) provides a historical background into African American communication by referencing Thorp & Williams (2001) who argued that African American uprooting from their African homeland destroyed the means of communication. Further, Padoshen (2008) references Harris-Lacwell (2004) & Gothard (2001) who argued that oral-storytellers remedied these severed means of communications (Thorp &Williams, 2001) within the black community. Padoshen (2008) references Gothard (2001), Thorp & Williams (2001), & Harris-Lacwell (2004), & Miller & Kemp (2005) many times throughout his insightful study. Both Gothard (2001) and Miller & Kemp (2005) defined word-of-mouth communication within the context of the African American community – a major part of African American culture – as having four (4) distinct elements, which is trust, respect, open-voice, and black-to-black communication.
According to Padoshen (2008), African American culture is one in which greater distinctions are made between outsiders and insiders compared to Anglo-American culture (de Mooij, 1998) and significant weight is attached to personal qualities. For many African Americans, premium brand names and symbols are mechanisms that reflect the hard and long portrayal of higher aspirations (Miller and Kemp, 2005). Further, Miller & Kemp (2005) speaks into how African-Americans favor brand-names because it is reflecting a “badge” or “badge of honor”, particularly for a group who was largely relegated to be an outsider, thus, wearing brand-names helps to include these people into the overall larger culture. In addition, Padoshen (2008) states that African Americans have indicated that when purchasing automobiles, brand nameplate, looks and style are more important in their purchase decision than safety when compared to Anglo Americans (Packaged Facts, 2006).
Padoshen (2008) references one of his prior studies (Padoshen & Hunt, 2006) to support his claim that historical treatment of African Americans, similar that of Jews who suffered under the Holocaust, can have generational effects when buying products from sources who are equates with supporting or benefiting from the systemic injustices that kept that their people subjugated. The most important finding of Padoshen (2008) finding is that, African Americans indicate that they are no more trusting of the advice they receive in comparison with that of Anglo Americans. Padoshen (2008) research is an exceptional example of the dilemma facing most African Americans in my opinion, which is that studies – even if objective without any sort of racial bias – assumes a distinct racial and sociopolitical characteristic than that from the larger culture they are technically a part of. This bias, even if assumed on noble grounds to prevent an issue such as systemic injustice, can never lead to a full understanding of human nature. Essentially, we can define a group up to a point, but can never fully know a group, or even a group understanding itself entirely, which isn’t a bad thing – from a business perspective, this is new unrealized markets and ways towards profitability.
C. Disparities between African American Owned Business and White Owned Businesses
Tang & Smith (2013) conducted a study that researched African American business disparity in comparison with White-owned businesses regarding market segmentation, product differentiation, and competition, but their findings suggested that the difference was not statistically significant. Tang & Smith (2013) studied the largest African-American owned employer firms from 1998-2008, as published in Black Enterprise Magazine, in which businesses on the list must be at least 51 percent African American-owned if a private company, or African Americans must own at least 51 percent of the controlling shares if the company is publicly traded and be willing to voluntarily provide financial data. Yet, Tang & Smith (2013) admits a bias in their research as far as selection of candidates from the Black Enterprise Magazine, in that some of the firms on the list may be “front companies”, in that they are non-African American owned but registered as such and that certain actual African-American owned firms may not have given up financial data to maintain a non-disclosure position. From personal experience in government and corporate procurement, where seeking minority, woman-owned, or general small (no-racial assignment) businesses is a goal, I have found this misrepresentation of classification as something endemic in the procurement field.
Tang & Smith (2013) utilized a contingency (environmental)-view to study Black business disparity when compared to White-owned businesses, in which they cite Aldrich’s (1979) definition of a contingency-view as explaining variations in firm performance from the interaction of the organization and environment, in which environments affect firms through the process of making or withholding resources, and the top three environmental contingencies are complexity, volatility, and munificence. Munificence is defined as very liberal in giving or bestowing or characterized by great liberality or generosity (Munificent, n.d.). Tang & Smith (2013), summarizes their utilization of the contingency (environmental influenced)-view, by saying, “When the rest of America catches a cold, Black America gets the flu. In other words, declines and dips in environmental variables like income, GDP, and labor supply will have a greater negative impact on black businesses. The number and type of contingent environmental factors able to influence the performance of established African American firms is undoubtedly numerous.”
A large motivator in conducting their research, Tang & Smith (2013) cited Fairlie & Robb (2012) who stated that it is estimated that closing the revenue gap between minority and non-minority owned businesses would add $2.5 trillion to the US economic output, creating 11.8 more jobs in America; Fairlie & Robb (2008) who stated that performance disparity might stem from issues of start-up capital, owner’s education level, and prior business experience, and Keollinger et al (2007) who stated that African-Americans have lower personal wealth, greater difficulty in obtaining financing, less education, and lack of entrepreneurial legacy. Further, Tang & Smith (2013) cited research by Puryear et al. (2001) which found that African-American owned businesses were the only minority group to report medium gross sales significantly lower than their white comparison sample, and African-American businesses where the least success as rated by their owners. In addition, Tang & Smith (2013) states that some of the studies pertaining to performance disparity between African-American and majority-owned firms, focus almost exclusively on sale proprietors or entrepreneurial firms undergoing the start-up stage (e.g. Buckley, 2002; Puryear et al, 2001; Richtermeyer, 2002); However, the focus on more established business will likely shift from overcoming liability of newness and survivability to concepts such as market segmentation, product differentiation, and competition as the business moves through the typical life-cycle (Hofer, 1975 – as cited by Tang & Smith, 2013).
Overall, Tang & Smith (2013) concluded that (1) the complexity and volatility associated with one of the most difficult US business environments since the 1940s (the Global Recession, in my own words) may increase the performance disparity between established African American and White-owned firms; (2) that existing knowledge about African American entrepreneurial firm performance may not transfer to larger, more established African American businesses; (3) their findings do not suggest that emerging African American firms should avoid entering complex and volatile industries;(4) emerging African American businesses often operate in industries that are more favorable, marked by less complexity and volatility such as construction, wholesale trade, and manufacturing (US Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, 2011), but these industries are characterized as relatively low growth industries (Tang & Smith, 2013); (5) a “strategic choice” approach would imply that despite unfavorable industry characteristics, African American businesses may be able to actively shape their future and control their environment (Child, 1972), responding to threats and opportunities created by environmental change by altering organizational strategies in ways that enhance performance (Pfeffer and Salancik, 1978; Porter, 1980). The task for African American businesses then becomes developing the capabilities or distinctive competencies needed to overcome isolating mechanisms and mitigate industry conditions (Tang & Smith, 2013).
It is on black community-leaders to be open-minded (challenging the culture-trap I referred to earlier and opening new ways of thinking, while community member simultaneously keep open-minds as to not be lead to narratives which might not account for the entire truth) considering Thorps & Williams (2001) claim that authentic leaders who “tell it like it is” have strong community influence as cited by Padoshen (2006); in the African-American community, greater distinctions are made between outsiders and insiders with weight attached to personal qualities (de Mooji, 1998 – as cited by Padoshen, 2008); brand names and symbols are signifiers of higher aspirations and are considered badges-of-honor (Miller & Kemp, 2005 – as cited by Padoshen, 2008), so much so that safety – at least relating to automobile purchases – is largely a non-impactful decision (Packaged Facts, 2006 – as cited by Padoshen, 2008); African-Americans are no more trusting than Anglo-Americans (Padoshen, 2008); closing the revenue-gap between whites and blacks would add $2.5 trillion to the US economic output (Fairlie & Robb, 2012 – as cited by Tang &Smith, 2013); African-Americans have lower personal wealth, greater difficulty in obtaining financing, less education, and lack of entrepreneurial legacy (Keollinger et al, 2007 – as cited by Tang & Smith, 2013); more established firms will shift from survivability and newness to market segmentation, product differentiation, and competitions (Hofer, 1975 – as cited by Tang & Smith, 2013); information on African-American start-up and entrepreneurial performance many not reach established African-American firms, the Global Recession had a negative impact on the African-American community, and African-American firms often operate in less volatile or complex industries with relatively slow growth (Tang & Smith, 2013; US Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, 2011), yet, these unfavorable characteristics – speaking to volatile and complex markets – may be able to actively shape African-Americans futures (Childs, 1972 – as cited by Tang & Smith); the black church, barber-shop and beauty salons and other informal settings fosters open interaction (Gothard, 2001; Harris-Lacewell, 2004 & Miller & Kemp, 2004 – as cited by Padoshen, 2006 and 2008).
V. How African Americans respond to brand image & issues regarding advertising and media portrayals
Kristen Bialik (2018) of the Pew Research Center, noted that (1) more than 40 million blacks live in the United States, making up around 13% of the nation’s population according to 2016 Census Bureau estimates (US Census Bureau, 2016); (2) The share of blacks ages 25 and older who have completed four years of college or more has also roughly doubled during that span, from 12% in 1993 to 24% in 2017 (United States Census Bureau, 2017); (3) There were 4.2 million black immigrants living in the U.S. in 2016, up from 816,000 in 1980, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data, and recent growth in the black immigrant population has been fueled by African migration at 39% of the overall black immigrant population in 2016, up from 24% in 2000, but about half of all foreign-born blacks (49%) living in the U.S. in 2016 were from the Caribbean (Lopez & Radford, 2017, as cited by Bialik, 2018); (4) the wealth gap between blacks and whites decreased among lower-income families but increased among middle-income families. The Great Recession of 2007-2009 triggered a stark decline in wealth for U.S. families and further widened the already large wealth gap between white and black households (Konchhar & Cilluffo, 2017); (5) There has been a steady increase in the share of Americans who view racism as a big problem in the U.S. – especially among African Americans since 2009, when Barack Obama was elected. In 2017, about eight-in-ten blacks (81%) said racism is a big problem in society today, up from 44% eight years prior. By comparison, about half of whites (52%) said racism is a big problem in our society, up from 22% in 2009 (Neal, 2017), and (6) An overwhelming majority of blacks (92%) say whites benefit at least a fair amount from advantages that blacks do not have. This includes nearly seven-in-ten blacks (68%) who say whites benefit a great deal. By comparison, 46% of whites say whites benefit at least a fair amount from advantages in society that blacks do not have, with just 16% saying whites benefit a great deal (Oliphant, 2017).
Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) conducted a study based off a survey sample pool from an online panel of more than three million consumers in the U.S. where the pool was stated as being generally reflective of the overall American consumer base – seeking equal representation among factors such as gender equality and educational attainment, although the sample relating to African Americans had more African American female respondents and when relating to Hispanic Americans had more younger male Hispanic respondents. Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) then compared global brand recognition among diverse ethnic groups by basing their main concerns on Phinney’s (1996) definition of ethnicity and his first aspect of ethnicity which is cultural values, attitudes, and behaviors of groups.
Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) drew conclusions based from survey data analysis and a structural equation model which suggests that associations with global brands as a general category vary across ethnic groups, such as Caucasian consumers showing less of an appreciation of global brands, whereas African Americans and Hispanics show similar patterns to those of prior research such as that of O’Hara (1987) who suggests African Americans & Hispanics have more similarities to markets in lesser developed nations; the research of Alden, Steenfamp, and Batra (1999) who posited that most global brand findings are based on cross-national samples and that the global brand effect is particularly strong in less developed countries, and the research of Darley & Johnson (1993) who presented that African American marketplace behavior and attitudes toward advertising reflect those observed in less developed countries in Africa and Asia, including more positive attitude towards globalization. Furthermore, Dimofte, Johansoon, Bagozzi (2010), states, “U.S. consumers tend to be more diverse than in most mature market economies, with large ethnic-based market segments”, thus enabling Dimofte, Johansoon & Bagozzi (2010) to identify potential differences between Caucasian Americans and ethnic minority market segments.
Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010), understanding the complex issues with gathering, organizing, defining, and measuring global brand research, admits that research on global brands is more limited (Keller, 2007). Minority groups are young on average than the rest of the U.S. population and thus are more attractive to marketers (Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi 2010). Further, O’Hara (1987) & Pitts et al. (1989) as cited by Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) states that African American segment has long been of special interest to marketers, with products adapted for their special needs, especially in cosmetics, personal care products, food, and print media.
Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) indicates that it is generally accepted that consumption behavior, especially a conspicuous brand choice, is to some extent reflective of individual identity and social aspirations, thus, choice of brand especially for product categories with social visibility, constitutes an expression of identity and achievement, or, in other words, self-expressive markers and identity forgers considering global-brands are well-known and widely recognized, which thus makes them more adept and effective at service a social function. Overall, Dimofte, Johansoon, & Bagozzi (2010) summarizes African American and Hispanics generally favored globalization; Caucasians did not think that global brands had higher quality, but Caucasians did feel global brands had consistent quality; African Americans and Hispanics perceive the prices of global brands as higher, but all three groups show a cognitive consistency that global brand is a relevant attribute, and that African Americans and Hispanics favor higher quality although the sale of higher quality goods are best marketed when the aspiration-factor is implied and not emphasized.
Arora & Wu (2012) conducted a study that researched how positive and negative stereotypes were found to impact ad-evoked feeling and brand equity, by theorizing that stereotypes through print advertising generates Customized Communication Incongruity. The results of the study conducted by Arora & Wu (2012) concluded that for positive stereotypes, both males and females prefer positive stereotypes, and positive stereotypes influenced ad-evoked feelings that influenced brand equity for both genders. Further, the Arora & Wu (2012) study concluded that brand loyalty and perceived quality dimensions of consumer-based brand equity were not significantly impacted by negative ad-evoked feelings, with males more agreeable of negative stereotype advertising than females, but both genders still generated negative ad-evoked feelings. The simplest way to summarize Arora & Wu’s (2012) theory of Customized Communication Incongruity, is when an individual sees an advertising that results in a mismatch or distortion of values or expectations. Thus, their study relating to racial stereotype-based advertising is meant to study how people react to media that is arguably stereotypical, and whether this response has effects on brand-value.
The Customized Communication Incongruity Theory by Arora & Wu (2012) builds off schema-based research provided Leoff (2002) who suggested that ads that do no match advertising expectations are more likely to draw consumers’ attention and proceed more extensively than ads that match advertising expectations, thus providing a way for brands to stand out. Advertisers have a strong influence on shaping consumer perceptions as advertisements can either help eradicate the negative perceptions of African Americans, or they can facilitate pervasive stereotypes, which may increase racism (Arora & Wu, 2012). In other words, ad campaigns that break stereotypes can spur continued interests. Arora & Wu (2012) cited Stevenson & Swayne (2011) whose research suggested that as of the late 90s, there were a small percentage of black models used in in magazine advertisements when compared to the general population. Further, Arora & Wu (2012) cites Cohen & Garcia (2005) who suggested that application of negative stereotypes of a racial group, with media as a reinforcement tool, brings discrimination and stigmatizations to the front, and media when based on stereotypes can have adverse effects to self-esteem, self-efficacy, and even level of achievements.
Fortenberry & McGoldrick (2011) conducted a study on outdoor advertising regarding African Americans and found that there are differences between white and black consumers’ receptiveness to outdoor billboard advertising. These differences are highly significant across each of the items within the scale of receptiveness, measuring awareness, influence on patronage, information conveyance, and overall attitude toward the medium. The receptiveness difference is at least in part a function of education and income, and the differences lose their significance only at the highest levels of both. Maybe surprisingly, the affluent black consumers without college education show higher levels of receptiveness (Fortenberry & McGoldrick 2011).
Yet, Fortenberry & McGoldrick (2011) cites Ward’s (1987) socialization theory, in order to find reasons for why college-educated affluent blacks mimic less receptiveness to billboards similar to that of their white counterparts and concluded that education socializes people to be more critical away from family and personal social bonds, and that the increased income generated by furthering education helps people migrate to areas where billboard advertising isn’t as common or accepted. Lastly, Fortenberry & McGoldrick (2011) cites Morris (1993) and Yoon (1995) who summarized that Black Americans demonstrated a greater degree of openness in discussing the influence of billboards within their society and supported the views that they have strong interest in material possessions.
Yuki Fujikoa (1999) conducted a study to show the effects of vicarious contact via television on stereotypes of African Americans among White and Japanese college students, in which the study provided some evidence that television messages had a significant impact on viewers’ perceptions when first-hand information was lacking. The study suggests that perceived positive portrayals of African Americans on television are effective in reducing negativity (Fujikoa 1999). It is more effective to reduce negative stereotypes of African Americans when we interact with many different African Americans who display counter-stereotypical behavior than when we interact with intimate African American friends (Fujikoa 1999). Since television can show a variety of positive African American models to a relatively large audience, television seems to have a great potential for stereotype reduction. Fujikoa (1999) cites Berg (1990) who stated that stereotypes are not necessarily negative, but they can destructive or bad when used by the dominant group to underscore majority-minority differences or to make some other (e.g. ethnic minority) groups inferior. Further, Fujikoa (1999) cites Berg (1990) who stated that interracial contact helps develop a mutual relationship between members of the two ethnic groups (e.g. White and African Americans), and we may expect an improvement in racial attitudes.
VI. African Americans in the Supply Chain & the need for Strategic Alliances or Joint Ventures
Yet, to reiterate, Rueben & Queen (2015) more than half of the 106,566 African-American (AA) owned employer firms (67,665 or 63.5 %) participate in only 5 of the 22 major North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) sectors: (1) Health Care/Social Assistance, (2) Professional/Scientific/Technical Services, (3) Retail Trade, (4) Administrative Support/Waste Management, and (5) Construction, yet these 5 industries are included in the top 10 revenue generating industries for all firms.
Black Enterprise Research (2016), of the organization Black Enterprise, which defines itself as a total media firm whose goal is providing premier business, investing, and wealth-building resources for African Americans, presented the following list of top-performing African-American firms.
According to the United States Census Bureau (2012) the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is the standard used by Federal statistical agencies in classifying business establishments for collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. NAICS was developed under the auspices of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and adopted in 1997 to replace the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012). NAICS codes from personal experience are important because from a government procurement standpoint, many solicitations are issued based on NAICS codes, so the more a firm has diverse NAICS codes, the more chance they have at being discovered by government contracting agencies, but also the higher possibility of the firm relating their company’s unique products of services to that of government issued solicitations. For example, while in the United States Air Force, while serving with the 325th Contracting Squadron at Tyndall Air Force, Florida, when soliciting for commercial items, equipment, commercial construction, IT products etc., I was required to find sources based on NAICS codes. If a firm didn’t have a NAICS code listed under their profile either in the Government-Point-of-Entry called Federal Business Opportunities or through another market research tool such as the Small Business Administration’s Dynamic Business Search (http://dsbs.sba.gov/dsbs/search/dsp_dsbs.cfm), then than firm might be overlooked.
A brief skim over the top twenty firms as provided by Black Enterprise Research (2016), it seems to align to the research provided by Rueben & Queen (2015) with Health Care/Social Assistance, Professional/Scientific/Technical Services, and Retail Trade (which I will caveat as including automotive parts sales and food services) being represented. Yet, from the view of any onlooker in this paper, there is something missing: there are no actual large name, visible brand names, or brand-name manufacturers on the list, i.e., Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Starbucks, etc.
This leads back to issues facing African-American firms such as (1) unequal access to capital markets and the prevalence of institutional barriers (Rueben & Queen, 2015), (2) issues of start-up capital, owner’s education level, and prior business experience (Fairlie & Robb, 8008 – as cited by Tang & Smith, 2013), and the reality of a historical treatment in which African-Americans entered the business arena when the United States was already on its way to de-industrialization and globalization, i.e., the cost and liability of being a large manufacturer were disadvantageous to African-Americans. So, it seems that African American firms are highly active either as suppliers within already established supply-chains that supplements larger manufacturers – either as multi-year contract suppliers through agreements with larger firms, or as stand-alone units that are smaller than more visible corporate entities such as Fortune 500 companies. African-American firms can generate profits, but as far as dominating markets in comparison with standard Fortune or S&P 500 firms, it seems that African-American firms are used by these firms to maintain smaller demographic specific markets (for example, Johnson and Johnson owing a firm that sells black hair-care products) or helping achieve their larger strategic-goals by making including them as suppliers within their supply-chains.
This insinuates that (1) winning long-term contracts with larger firms is vital and (2) overcoming capital-constraints and operating in a globalist reality is something that needs to be realized by Black business owners. The second statement, can be fulfilled either through government financing programs, such as grants, loans, or obtaining government contracts; private financing from large banks who have a goal of supporting minority-owned business; private financing through black-owned banks, such as Carver Federal Savings Bank (https://www.carverbank.com/), who theoretically can target or work with viable black-owned firms to issue credit for start-up firms or established firms while simultaneously expanding their reserves, and/or luring in foreign-direct investment through acceptable financial institutions, particularly in developing regions such as Africa in which the majority of black immigration to the United States are coming from.
Whitfield & Farrell (2010) conducted a study that suggested that African American executives were less likely to perceived constructive dimensions of organizational culture. Whitfield & Farrell (2010) references Gomez-Mejia & Palich (1999) who stated that a diversity inclusive corporate culture is said to improve innovation and adaptiveness in heterogeneous market segments faced by international companies, and Crook et al (2008) who stated that building diverse supply-chains is seen as an additional effective means of increasing a firm’s performance similar to employer diversity. Additionally, Whitfield & Farrell (2010) references the United States Small Business Association (2001) who stated that minority-owned businesses have been a growing segment of the U.S. economy, nearly doubling as a percentage of the economy from the mid-1990s to early 2000s, and Eroglu, Green Thornton, & Bellenger (2001) who stated that this growth has become a business necessity.
Whitefield & Farrell (2010), concludes their research by stating, “There is some cause for optimism among these findings of perceptual differences. Between the non-minority buyers and the African American supplier CEOs the significant difference is that these suppliers see the buyer culture as less constructive. The African American CEOs see less passive defensiveness and less aggressive defensiveness than the buyers. For the African American, the views are different from Caucasians but not extreme or opposite. The Hispanic minority CEOs perceptions are more divergent from the perceptions of Caucasian buyers. For the Hispanic supplier CEOs, the buying organization culture appears defensive to cultural diversity.” In summary, regardless of what color the supplier or buyer is, when purchasing firms that are white-owned or black-owned, or for suppliers who are black-owned or white-owned, there is an easier framework to conduct business.
Selecting a specific industry and developing a specific-supply chain model for a firm is theoretical for this paper. Speaking for the need to implement standard Supply-Chain concepts such as Enterprise Resource Planning systems (SAP, Peoplesoft, Oracle), utilizing third-party logistic firms, speaking to supply-chain concepts such as Statistical Delivery rates or Quality control, or issues of warehousing, doesn’t necessarily offer coherent strategies for improving African-American firms. Instead, the research I have pulled insinuates that African-American firms are profitable yet tend to operate in the role of supplier to larger firms, considering the capital constraints are often to daunting to be an effective large scale manufacturer or conglomerate, and/or African-American firms tend to operate as stand-alone entities functioning within the larger economy and catering towards customers either on a non-exclusive first-come first-serve basis regarding their products (restaurants, logistics companies, healthcare services, or IT services), or operation on an exclusive-basis in which products or services are catered towards unique cultural taste such as barbershops, cosmetics, etc.
For African-American owned firm to reach economies-of-scale – considering the institutional barriers, capital constraints and business realities – strategies such as strategic alliances or joint-ventures between African-American owned firms could be implemented to join forces thus facilitate maximizing economies-of-scale. This strategy could reconcile the realities of the modern American business environment which is defined by expensive labor costs, the potentiality of collective-bargaining or unionism, and free-trade in a globalist reality. By developing strategic alliances or joint-ventures between African-African firms, even if firms are unrelated to each other as far as the products or services they offer, this could help pool human and financial capital, limit tactic knowledge, facilitate mutual marketing of each other’s products, etc. Essentially, since African-Americans were introduced to the free-market of the mid-to-late twentieth century, when being a stand-alone manufacturer was becoming a more daunting task, African-American firms can combine forces, under single incorporation, in order to have more a visible and real impact on the economy. Former separate CEOs could then serve as board-members and by pooling together each other’s profitability under one roof this could help this theoretical firm get public financing which would then create more capital to expand into Afro-centric markets but also markets that aren’t racially exclusive. This compounding effect would not only have a social effect on the general public because people would be able to associate a large-scale firm with African-American success but could help create capital that could be targeted on innovation that would otherwise be non-existent if firms operated as stand-alone units.
For African American firms to reach the level of profitability that can have a global effect but also a community-empowering effect, the goal must be about winning a competitive advantage. A firm has a competitive advantage when it can create more economic value than rival firms (Barney & Hesterly, 2013, p 8). In addition, Barney & Hesterly (2013) states that competitive advantage is when a firm creates more economic value than rival firms, and economic value is simply the difference between the perceived benefits gained by a customer that purchases a firm’s products or services and that full economic cost of these products of services. In order words, the customer must think a product or service has more value (Benefits > Cost = Value) than that of competitors, but the firm is liable of sustaining this perception of higher value by providing quality services or products.
To achieve competitive advantages, not at the expense of other Black-owned businesses, African American firms may benefit through strategic alliances, joint-ventures, or the Japanese concept called Keiretsu. In a joint venture, the companies start and invest in a new company that is jointly owned by both parent companies (Marzec, 2016). A strategic alliance is a legal agreement between two or more companies to share access to their technology, trademarks, or other assets. A strategic alliance does not create a new company (Marzec, 2016).
Regarding the concept of Keiretsu, Minor, Patrick, & Wu (1995) referenced both The Economist (1991) which stated that the most inclusive definition for keiretsu is that they are families of firms with interlocking stakes in one another, and Cohen (1985) who stated that keiretsu were encouraged by guidance, tax incentives, financial guarantees, direct subsidies, and protection from foreign competition. Further, Minor, Patrick, & Wu (1995) explains that keiretsu were the descendants of the pre-war zaibatsu, which were vast mining-to-manufacturing conglomerates based on the banking system, but the zaibatsu were disbanded, yet restriction on cross-shareholding were lifted; One of the unique aspects of keiretsu is that from 20 per cent to 40 per cent of stock is owned by member companies of its own keiretsu, and 60-80 per cent of the keiretsu stock is never traded; Horizontal, or bank-centered, keiretsu bring companies together to work on long-term projects that would be financially impossible for a single firm. These projects often turn out to be highly profitable because foreign competitors cannot take advantage of such partnerships where antitrust laws are more stringent (Boarman, 1993), and the vertical, or supplier keiretsu, forms when major manufacturers, such as an automobile maker or manufacturer of household electrical appliances, contract with suppliers for sole sourcing in exchange for production agreements excluding other buyers. Japan’s keiretsu, Korea’s chaebol, and Mexico’s grupos have played an important role in their countries’ development since the Second World War. These industrial conglomerates, bound by family ties, long-standing friendships, common ownerships and interlocking directories, and closely allied with their national governments, have spawned and linked industrial clusters in agriculture, minerals, basic industry and manufacturing – raising national productivity and their nation’s international competitiveness (Minor, Patrick & Wu, 1991).
Regardless of the organizational structure of Black-owned firms there always needs to be an emphasis on quality. High-quality goods and services can provide an organization with a competitive advantage (Evans & Lindsay, 2014, p 4). Further, Evans & Lindsay (2014) summarizes the Three Gurus of Quality Management – Deming, Juran, and Crosby – by saying, “Despite their significant differences to implementing organizational change, the philosophies of Deming, Juran, and Crosby are more alike than different. Each view quality as imperative in the future competitiveness in global markets; makes top management commitment an absolute necessity; demonstrates that quality management practices will save, not cost money; places responsibility for quality on management, not workers; stresses the need for continuous, never-ending improvement; acknowledges the importance of the customer and strong management/worker partnerships; and recognizes the need for the difficulties associated with change the organizational culture” (p. 64).
Many of the African American firms on the Black Enterprise Research list, such as automotive parts suppliers, can be defined as contract manufacturers. According to Evans & Lindsey (2014) a contract manufacturer is an organization that performs manufacturing and/or purchasing and/or pushing need to produce a product or device not for itself, but as a service to another (Evans & Lindsay, 2014, p 43). This segment could be a good test to try out a strategic alliance, or, on a grander scale, a Keiretsu. Yet, in my own research, in I attempted to build an Excel spreadsheet based on the Black Enterprise Research (2016), to organize the data to find similar African American owned automotive part businesses. I did online searches into the businesses and conducted System for Award Management searches of the particular businesses’ registration and NAICS codes, but I felt the data of Black Enterprise Research (2016) wasn’t that viable for my model, however, it is valuable for basic information purposes.
As a result, I decided to propose an idea about what a black-owned Keiretsu in the brewing industry would look like. So, let’s talk about beer and wine – a favorite subject to many, even though there are other far more intensive fields (engineering, sciences, technology, high finances) that could have an impact, yet, I don’t have the technical acumen on these subjects, so any suggestions would be theoretical.
Brewers Association (2017) conducted a study that was based on two national surveys conducted by the Brewers Association on two national surveys: the annual Beer Industry Production Survey (BIPS) and the Brewery Operations Benchmarking Survey (BOS). The Craft Brewing Industry Contributed $67.8 Billion to the U.S. Economy in 2016, more than 456,000 Jobs
Small and independent American craft brewers contributed $67.8 billion to the U.S. economy in 2016. The figure is derived from the total impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the three-tier system (breweries, wholesalers and retailers), as well as all non-beer products like food and merchandise that brewpub restaurants and brewery taprooms sell. The industry also provided more than 456,000 full-time equivalent jobs, with more than 128,000 jobs directly at breweries and brewpubs, including serving staff at brewpubs (Brewers Association, 2017).
Mark Snider (2016) of the USA Today did an article about the advancement of African Americans in craft brewing. Snider (2016) interviewed Kevin Blodger, of the Brewers Association, who chairs a diversity association at the organization, who stated, “While the numbers aren’t huge, I think there are more people of color starting to own breweries, work at breweries and be part of breweries. – there is not much advertising budget. It is a word of mouth thing, and if you look at the people that were originally involved in craft beer, it was white men. And we tend to associate with people that look like us.” Appealing to minorities will help sustain craft beer’s double-digit growth, which for several years has outpaced the comparatively flat overall U.S. beer market. Sales of craft beer rose 10%, or $23.5 billion, in 2016, amounting to a 21.9% share of the total market, the association says (Snider, 2016). Further, more blacks are imbibing craft beer. In 2016, African Americans made up 12% of weekly craft beer drinkers, up from 10% the year before, according to the Yankelovich Monitor survey (Snider, 2016). Interesting in the same article by Snider (2016), Garrett Oliver, an African American brew-master at the Brooklyn Brewery, stated, “why is craft brewing such a monoculture?”, yet, in the same article, Mark and Sharon Ridely – African American owners of Brass Tap Brewery (in predominately black Prince George County, Maryland – states that their brewery attracts a majority of out-of-town white customers from the nearby convention center but they do see a good minority population.
I personally feel that this all goes back to my argument of a “culture trap”. The overall culture of African Americans has not been exposed to the potential profitability of the craft-beer market. So, Mr. Garrett’s frustration might not be a systemic issue as far as blatant discrimination or disallowing black beer-brands, but more so traditional marketing towards African Americans has led them away from the industry. This possibility is both an internal and external issue that cannot be easily boiled down as discrimination, considering consumers are largely responsible for driving sales. Essentially, if they don’t know, they simply don’t know, or if it’s not popular – considering the arguments from researchers presented earlier in this paper – they may not choose to participate or buy craft-beers because it’s not seen as a status-symbol, etc.
Anheuser Busch InBev NV (AB InBev) is a Belgium-based company engaged in the brewers’ industry. The Company owns a portfolio of over 200 beer brands. The Company’s brand portfolio includes global brands, such as Budweiser, Corona and Stella Artois; international brands, including Beck’s, Leffe and Hoegaarden, and local champions, such as Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, Quilmes, Victoria, Modelo Especial, Michelob Ultra, Harbin, Sedrin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, Cass and Jupiler. The Company’s soft drinks business consists of both its own production and agreements with PepsiCo related to bottling and distribution arrangements between its various subsidiaries and PepsiCo. Ambev, which is a subsidiary of the Company, is a PepsiCo bottler. Brands that are distributed under these agreements are Pepsi, 7UP and Gatorade (Reuters, n.d.).
After reading that last paragraph, it easy to see the sheer reach of AB InBev from shelf-space to what we see every single day, from daily sports games to major sporting events such as the Super Bowl, NASCAR, Stanley Cup, PGA master’s Tour, NBA Finals, etc. With rise of the Hispanic population in the United States – which a great thing that helps fulfill the American Dream – I have noticed a rise in beer sales catered towards Hispanic-Americans from Modelo, Pacifico, and Tecate. This is great, but I do notice that it might be another example of a missed opportunity for African-Americans who either assume themselves entirely to be represented within the larger context of society, or to simply not think that this market is for them. Owning a space within the beer industry can have a positive economic effect not only on the black community, largely considering that to many black leaders in urban communities that alcohol or other products are sold within the community by outsiders.
Yet, based on the example of Anheuser Busch InBev NV (AB InBev), the sheer scale of large corporations makes it harder for smaller businesses, i.e., corporations can prevent new entrants into markets with new entrants being a concept presented by Michael Porter (1979). The five forces of competition by Porter (1979) include (1) Threats of new entrants, (2) Bargaining power of suppliers, (3) Bargaining power of customers, (4) Threats of substitute products or services, and (5) Jockeying for position among current competitors in the industry under question. According to Porter (1979) the weaker the forces collectively, however, the greater the opportunity for superior performance. Further, Porter (1979) states, the seriousness of the threat of entry depends on the barriers present and on the reaction from existing competitors that entrants can expect.
If barriers to entry are high and newcomers can expect sharp retaliation from the entrenched competitors, obviously the newcomers will not pose a serious threat of entering (Porter, 1979). Regarding barriers of entry which relates to the threat of new entrants (which would be a consolidated black brewing business for my model), Porter (1979) provides six major sources for barrier of entry which are (1) Economies of Scale, (2) Product Differentiation, (3) Capital Requirements, (4) Cost disadvantages independent of size, (5) Access to distribution channels, and (6) Government Policy. Interestingly, the second major source for barriers of entry as provided by Porter (1979) which is Productive Differentiation relates to the beer industry, with Porter (1979) stating, it is perhaps the most important entry barrier in soft drinks, over-the-counter drugs, cosmetics, investment banking, and public accounting. To create high fences around their businesses, brewers couple brand identification with economies of scale in production, distribution, and marketing (Porter, 1979).
The Porter’s (1979) theory relates to the Tabb (1970) statement regarding African American businesses in which Tabb (1970) stated inability to access credit and limited access to capital as being a hindrances. Capital Requirements are Porter’s (1979) third major source of barrier to entry. Essentially, African American breweries must hurdle over larger firms’ brand-identification that is bolstered by their economies of scale, distribution, and marketing, but also African American firms need better access to capital. However, Porter’s (1979) sixth major source of barrier of entry which is Government Policy, might be to the advantage of African American owned firms (breweries within my example), by utilizing Equal Opportunity regulations under the Civil Rights Act to challenge practices in retailing such as “pay-to-play rules”, which can help African American firms fight for shelf space which is vital in brand identification. Further, Government Policy such as Small Business Administration loans might be an asset to minority ran businesses or breweries.
Bray (2016) stated that shareholders of SABMiller and Anheuser-Busch InBev on Wednesday approved a deal valued at more than $100 billion to create a giant in the beer industry that would control some of the world’s best-known brands, including Budweiser, Corona, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Stella Artois. The takeover of SABMiller by its larger rival, Anheuser-Busch InBev, was approved by shareholders despite objections from some SABMiller investors. The combined company would account for 27 percent of beer sales worldwide and would have annual revenue of about $55 billion. The deal would also give Anheuser-Busch InBev, already the world’s largest brewer, a substantial operation in Africa, where it has little presence, and greater dominance in Latin America (Bray, 2016).
VII. Is the Japanese Keiretsu model appropriate for African American Breweries?
The beer market, as pertaining to African Americans could benefits from a Keiretsu model. If there are already large corporations – arguable white-owned – even though the intention of these large partnerships, strategic alliances, or corporations built on buyouts exists, then maybe African American owned breweries should join forces to compete. Imagine a scenario where black-owned breweries, self-made home-brewers (who could be outlets for market research by testing their beer directly with the public, friends, or even at church festivities), and bottlers came together, either by combining forces, by mergers and acquisitions thus alleviating Economics of Scale and possibility limitations to Capital Requirements as provided by Porter (1979), etc. On top of this, imagine these firms coordinating over warehousing space (which feeds into the supply-chain concept of Just-In-Time ordering and 3PLs – Third Party Logistic companies), entering into joint contracts with bottling companies where they could possibly get advantageous pricing for buying more volume, entering into future’s contracts with hops or grain suppliers, sharing workers from brewers or people in offices who do administration work, but, most importantly – yet, not essential – is all of this were coordinated through a black-owned bank who could issue loans and help expand reserves. Yet, even though I do feel this idea could work, yet, when regarding matters of black-owned banking as unifying factor to issue new debt or underwrite equity on the investment side of things, there are some concerns, which are presented below.
Grabowiecki (2019) provides information relating to keiretsu by mentioning that there are two types of keiretsu with the first being horizontal (Kinyu, i.e., financial based), non-hierarchical types (descending from prewar zaibatsu and generally associated with trading houses, e.g., Sogo Shosha), less tightly coordinated, which are connected by credit relations with a common bank and give preferential treatment to partners or joint ventures. Further Grabowiecki (2019) states that Vertical (Shihon, i.e., capital) keiretsu, on the other hand, are networks of subsidiaries operating within large corporations and subordinated to them by means of capital and long-term production-distribution relations (Grabowiecki, p. 182); has a pyramidal structure of shareholding and of personnel transfers (from core company to first-tier suppliers, from first-tier to second-tier, and so on) (Grabowiecki, p. 183) and clearly centralized executive managers (Grabowiecki, p. 186, para. 3).
Further, Grabowiecki (2019) references Gerlach & Lincoln (2004) and Flath (2005) by stating where the vertical keiretsu operates within an industry, broadly defined, the horizontal keiretsu consists of firms from virtually every major industry in the economy, with especially strong representation in the key industries of the postwar high-growth period that was the era of its greatest strength (heavy industry, petrochemicals, materials processing, and banking and trading (p. 182). There are only six horizontal keiretsu which are Mitsui, Mitsubishi, Sumitomo, Fuji, Sanwa, and Dai-Ichi Kangyo (Grabowiecki, p. 182-183 who cites Lynn & Rao, 1995).
In other words, a horizontal keiretsu is a type of conglomerate or a large business who has their hands within many industries, sometimes unrelated industries, and the first firm, personally, that comes to mind is General Electric. General Electric has multiple business-lines ranging from traditional lighting, healthcare, aviation, power, and renewable energy. General Electric (GE) is an example of a firm pursuing an unrelated diversification strategy, in which Barney & Hesterly (2016) states that when less than seventy percent of a firm’s revenues are generated in a single-product market and when a firm’s businesses share few, if any, common attributes, then that firm is pursuing a strategy of unrelated corporate diversification.
Yet, since most African American owned breweries likely lack equity or the presence of underwritten shares (stock, bonds, commercial paper, notes, debentures), the concept of keiretsu, specifically that of a vertical capital driven type, would not work. However, the keiretsu precursor in the zaibatsu would. Keiretsu, formal joint ventures, and strategic alliances seem more in line with larger more established firms, but a “micro-zaibatsu” could prove promising. Interestingly, a horizontal keiretsu on a micro-scale would work better where now separate African American owned breweries would form a “family”, zaibatsu, or “cartel”, set up a holding company in a state such as Delaware for tax-purposes, but the parent company would do coordination of operations, supplier relations, marketing, wholesaling, advertising, etc. The profits from retail would flow into in the holding company.
Sharon Nunn (2017) stated that the number of black-owned banks operating in the U.S. has been dropping steadily for the past 15 years and fell to 23 this year, the lowest level in recent history, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That has left many African American communities short of access to capital and traditional financial services, according to some banking experts. The 2008 recession hit the black banking sector especially hard, and if the current rate of closures of about two a year, as well as the industry-wide reluctance or inability to start banks, continues, black-owned banks could disappear entirely within the next eight to 12 years. Such banks comprise just a sliver of the overall U.S. financial sector, with collective assets of $5.5 billion, versus $16.3 trillion in the industry overall (Nunn, 2017). Yet, Nicholas Lash, a professor at the Loyola University Chicago, emphasized the decline of black-owned banks as being slightly insignificant presented by Nunn (2017), stated, “Size-wise they’ve been small. – So, their total impact on black communities cannot be very, very large.”. I find these last set of statements interesting but true. Let’s be honest, most Black Americans bank at everyday – white, if you wish to call them that – banks, which is also indicative of how much embedded African-Americans are already into the standard way of American life, from student loans, mortgages, investment banking, credit cards, etc.
This further calls the argument for black separatism into question, with the largest argument being that African Americans are already…Americans embedded with in a system, as with many others regardless of group. Yet, like my argument about furthering strategic-alliances, joint-ventures, or, in my opinion of Keiretsu, it also seems that black-owned banks need to join forces considering the completing fact stated by Nunn (2017), which is, “A prolonged period of low interest rates and intense competition, as bigger banks slowly move into under-served areas, have combined to contribute to the black banking sector’s decline, even after the recession’s end.”
Tanasia Kenney (2016), of Atlanta Black Star, presented five black breweries: (1) Black Frog Brewery of Toledo, Ohio, founded by United States Armed Services veteran, Chris Harris – which has marketability across racial spectrums considering the military veteran status, [http://www.blackfrogbrewery.com/]; (2) Cajun Fire Brewing Company of New Orleans, [http://www.drinkcajunfire.com/home.html]; (3) Harlem Brewing Company, [http://www.harlembrewing.com/]; (4) Harlem Blue Brewery [http://www.harlemblue.com], and (5) 18th Street Brewery of Gary, Indiana [http://www.18thstreetbrewery.com/]. Further, as detailed by Snider (2018), there is Brass Trap Brewery of Prince George County, Maryland, the Brooklyn Brewery, and Baltimore’s Union Craft Brewery. In addition, there is a black-owned winery based out of the famous Napa Valley, California, called the Brown Estate.
Higgins, Toms, & Uddin (2016) presented a study into the British beer industry regarding the industry’s usage of tie-arrangements, and the effects of risks and allocation of surplus between brewer and tenant. Further, Higgin, Toms, & Uddin (2016) studied how the British employed a model in the 1990s that was defined by vertical integration controlled by larger brewers over estates of tenants or directly-manage pubs, where the manger is technically an employee of the brewer and is only salary but does not incur most of the risk, however, doesn’t benefit from most of the profits. Yet, this model was challenged by regulators and brewers had to divest portions of their “tied estates” aka pubs or retailers. The new model brought a hybrid-systems where tenants managed pubs and licensees were paid based on percentages of property owned and beer sales margins (Higgins, Toms & Uddin, 2016). In other words, pubs, and retailers instead of being direct fronts from brewers at the end of their value or supply chain, instead gained a level of autonomy, to win more profits, but also, they incurred more the possibility of risk which could hurt profits.
Hybrids facilitate cooperation and reduces transaction cost (Higgins, Toms, & Uddins, 2016). Long-term inter-dependencies and relations contracting occurs in hybrid contexts that are neither hierarchical nor purely market based; personal relationships, reputation, and trust can also be important and counteract the purely cost driven motives that might underpin network governance (Higgins, Toms, & Uddins, 2016). Lastly, Higgins, Toms & Uddins (2016) states that sharing human capital binds networks together and improves their performance, as does the products technical specifications, thereby creating process improvements, and product development opportunities.
Imagine if these companies somehow worked together, while simultaneously operating like a Keiretsu (entering mutual contracts as far as marketing, distribution, bottling, information sharing, and warehousing), but having their finances controlled – at least partially at first – by a black-owned bank. Imagine a beer and wine conglomerate called…John Henry Beverages Global, which is a beer conglomerate, founded by black entrepreneurs, with initial funding and underwriting performed by a black-bank with supplementary financing from traditional banks (Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase – who would only be willing to voucher for debt only after profitability forecast are shown – but who could benefit on assisting a minority firm). A collective of breweries who hold cross-shares in each other but is marketed as an all-inclusive beer and wine holdings group that caters to all Americans (marketing itself upon on the Black American experience that inspired the nation as a whole – i.e., the Legend of John Henry which has an aura of hard-work in the face of adversity). Additionally, products can be sold in emerging markets, such as Africa where in certain nations beer is popular and sports such as soccer has a large following which offers an advertising and sponsorship opportunity.
According to Maureen O’Hare (2017), Nigeria overtook Ireland as the world’s second largest Guinness market, and Cameroon is the fourth-biggest market for Guinness and the beer is also brewed in Kenya, Uganda, and Namibia. Africa, with its $13 billion beer market, is the biggest source of beer sales for the owners of Guinness, the British multinational Diageo.
Labeling a business as black-owned is not a bad move at all, considering the historical plight against African Americans. For example, African Americans did not have fair voting rights for 77% of the time the USA has been an officially independent nation. Trans-Atlantic slavery existed from the late fifteen-hundreds to the late eighteen-hundreds. 1776 (though September 17, 1787 was the official signing of the Constitution) to 2020 is 244 years. 1776 to 1965 (the year the Civil Rights Act was signed) is 189 years. 189/244 is .7745 or 77.45%, meaning African Americans since a declaration of American independence did not have voting rights for almost 80% of the time we have been officially in existence. Yet, the first recorded African slaves were brought to Jamestown, Virginia in 1619 after being abducted from Angola (The History Channel, an A&E Network, 2020). 2020 from 1619 is 401 years and 1619 to 1965 is 346 years. 346/401 is .862 or 86.2%. Thus, for only 55 years since 1965 (my father was born in 1959), African Americans have been able to have a political say in the 401-year history of what we become the official United States of America. You can further add weight to these numbers/percentages by adding this following fact by O’Donnell (2019) who stated that by 1890, the top 1 percent of the U.S. population owned 51 percent of all wealth. The top 12 percent owned an astounding 86 percent. The lower 44 percent of U.S. population—almost half the country—owned just 1.2 percent (O’Donnell, 2019). The sheer weight of not having voting rights mixed with the sheer volume of wealth owned by a few white hands, and adding on additional European immigration (Hispanic included depending on how they identify) and brutal Jim Crow Laws has resulted in the African American community statistically being left behind, and, sadly social ostracized for it. Lastly, add the fact that African Americans since the 1900 to 1990 only made up 11.6 to 12.1% of the population, yet, in 1910 – the Jim Crow Era – 90% of African Americans lived in the American South (Bennet, Martin & Debarros, 1993, Census.gov, p.2).
Yet, even when facing the residual effects of the past which still lingers on, the ability for the African American community to incubate wealth and prosperity is a noble task which must be taken seriously, e.g., promoting self-confidence in academic environments which values African American history/achievement and continuing to support Civil Rights legislation over fair access to federal contracts, minority small business set-asides, and equal opportunity regarding employment/job recruitment. However, the black community must not only incubate wealth, but it must also have an open-economy model which continues to gain loyal consumers across racial lines, national boundaries, etc. The claims that segregation was better for African Americans might have some truth to it but the economic scale I would argue would always be limited with that approach.
Bennett, C. E., Martin, B. M., & Debarros, K. (1993, September). We the Americans: Blacks [PDF]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office on behalf of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics & Statistics Administration, Bureau of the Census. Retrieved from https://www.census.gov/prod/cen1990/wepeople/we-1.pdf
Davis, J. F. (2016). Routledge studies in the history of marketing: Pioneering African American women in the advertising business: Biographies of MAD black WOMEN Taylor and Francis.
Dimofte, C. V., Johansson, J. K., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2010). Global brands in the united states: How consumer ethnicity mediates the global brand effect. Journal of International Marketing, 18(3), 81-106. 10.1509/jimk.18.3.81
Evans, J., & Lindsay, W. (2014). Customer Focus. In Managing for Quality and Performance
Excellence (9th ed., p. 148). Mason, OH: South-Western, Cengage Learning.
Minor, M. S., Patrick, J. M., & Wu, W. (1995). Conglomerates in the world economy: Comparing keiretsu, chaebol and grupos. Cross Cultural Management: An International Journal, 2(4), 35-45. doi:10.1108/eb008399
Reuben, L. J., & Queen, P. E. (2015). Capital constraints and industry mix implications for African American business success. The Review of Black Political Economy, 42(4), 355-378. 10.1007/s12114-015-9210-9
Steven Podoshen, J. (2008). The African American consumer revisited: Brand loyalty, word-of-mouth, and the effects of the black experience. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 25(4), 211-222. 10.1108/07363760810882407
Disclaimer: This post is for personal note, which I just so happen to be sharing. This post isn’t to encourage any unauthorized research or to spread misleading medical information. I’m simply theorizing in public about information I read from actual academics in order to find correlation in their research and to enhance my understanding of medicine, biology, chemistry, virology, etc. This paper is more of a set of notes, so I apologize for poor citations, improper citation format, etc. My view is that, I just want to connect the dots and figure out issues and formalities often get in the way.
Forwards: I’m not a medical or science professional, though I took some classes while in college. Yet, the more I read into the basics of RNA (AGCU), DNA (AGCT), proteins, enzymes, cell functions, etc., the more I seem to understand that fighting viruses (which are typically single strands of viral RNA code with a protein shell) is that you have to chemically “trick”, induce, or fortify healthy cells and trigger them in shutting off certain functions when exposed, but also turning on certain functions when exposed. These functions can range from preventing or discouraging endocytosis (when a cell “eats” a virus to incorporate into its body – cytoplasm, vacuoles, etc. – but the virus hacks the health DNA code), turning off or on certain proteins and enzymes, and triggering immune responses to seek and destroy the virus.
Also, in layman terms (meant for myself) vRNA (viral RNA) like most RNA has a phosphorous backbone and four chemicals, so it’s not entirely a “physical hack”, but more so a “chemical-secretion melody” that the virus “plays” or delivers (think of the chemicals as keys on a piano and when played make a tun) to infect a cell (re-tune or re-harmonize it) to encourage its replication, i.e., it tricks the healthy cell to stimulate ribosome production of viral proteins, enzymes, etc. The viruses are programmed to seek out certain proteins, antibodies, and/or enzymes in order to “pick” a cell’s lock or attract to it and lock in. Thus, if you’re shutting off and on things to fight viruses you might get residual physiological effects such as an immune system running on overdrive and attacking healthy bodily functions such as healthy renal (kidney) function.
I was studying viruses largely due to the Coronavirus dilemma and did some reading into anti-viral research that are using various methods such designing anti-viral mRNA (messenger RNA) which can possibly be loaded into nanoparticles such as poly [lactic-co-glycolic acid] nanoparticles; discouraging the attachment of sugar molecules to viral proteins (such as limiting OST complexes); understanding current medications such as Arbidol (used for influenza and studied regarding Zika – a distant cousin of Hepatitis C, West Nile, Dengue Fever, etc.) , NGI-1 (OST inhibitor), Remdesivir(Ebola), Apoptozole (Hsp70 inhibitor); utilizing protein inhibitors such as NSC 630668-R/1, VER-155008, MAL3–101, MKT-077, Pifithrin, and Apoptozole; preventing NS proteins which have roles in viral replication which includes NS1 (modulates host immunity), NS2A, NS2B, NS3 (protease), NS4A, NS4B, NS5 (polymerase); inhibiting spike protein and its role in virus binding and entry; potentially inhibiting Hsp70 protein (a protein required for folding, which was studied during the Zika outbreak) with drugs such as Apoptozole; harvesting, incorporating, or simulating already naturally occurring in-body anti-viral enzymes such as ViperinddhCTP (which prevents viruses from copying their genetic material and thus from multiplying); utilizing 3D8 scFv (catalytic enzyme) which has hydrolyzing (breaking up, i.e., cleaving) capabilities and protects the host from multifarious viruses regardless of genomic composition; using Ribonucleases (RNases) (June Byun, S., Yuk, S., Jang, Y. et al.) which represent another antiviral therapy approach to degrading viral RNA genomes. etc., and maybe using saline or magnesia-based medicines to encourage hydrolysis since rNA is hurt by alkaline, and saline (salt water) and magnesia have opposite pH levels to human blood (around 7 pH) which is acidic and where viruses can thrive.
(General Ideas in my head)
Develop Anti-viral Medications which build off studies on Arbidol (NS protein inhibitor used for Influenza), NGI-1 (OST inhibitor to prevent sugar protein connections),Remdesivir, Apoptozole (inhibitor of Hsp70 studied during Zika), or other drugs and develop a vaccine based on a protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen (MIGAL) based on mRNA (Moderna Therapeutics) that stimulates or introduced harvested naturally occurring anti-viral hydrolyzing enzymes/ribonucleotides such as Viperin (Penn State Study) which produces ddhCTP (which prevents viruses from copying their genetic material and thus from), catalytic antibodies such as 3D8 scFv antibody (National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration, Korea study) while simultaneously discouraging the proteins vital for viral growth such as inhibiting Hsp70 (Stanford University) and host functions such as oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) complex (attaches sugar molecules to proteins vital for some viruses) (Stanford Unveristy) in order to trigger immune responses to mark the viral code for destruction (Moderna Therapuetics methods).
mRNA coded to (1) encourage Viperin ddCTP to prevent viruses from copying genetic info (2) inhibiting proteins essential for viral protein growths and receptor attachment such as NSC 630668-R/1, VER-155008, MAL3–101, MKT-077 (inhibits breast cancer cells), Pifithrin (potent anti-tumor treatment), and Apoptozole (inhibits Hsp70 studied during Zika) (3) inhibiting OST complexes which attaches sugar molecules to viral proteins and (4) triggering immune responses to mark the viral code for destruction
Using wearable Insulin pumps with Anti-viral medications to monitor the bodies white blood cells and immune system to release the anti-viral serum.
Viperin (ddhCTP enzyme studies against viruses)
ScienceDaily.com (2018) stated how Penn State scientists in conjunction with researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine identified the mode of action of viperin, a naturally occurring enzyme in humans and other mammals that is known to have antiviral effects on viruses such as West Nile, hepatitis C, rabies, and HIV. This discovery could allow researchers to develop a drug that could act as a broad-spectrum therapy for a range of viruses, including Zika. Viperin is the enzyme that facilitates a reaction that produces the molecule ddhCTP, which prevents viruses from copying their genetic material and thus from multiplying. This discovery could allow researchers to develop a drug that induces the human body to produce this molecule and could act as a broad-spectrum therapy for a range of viruses. A virus typically co-opts the host’s genetic building blocks to copy its own genetic material, incorporating molecules called nucleotides into new strands of RNA. The molecule ddhCTP mimics these nucleotide building blocks and becomes incorporated into the virus’s genome. Once incorporated into a new strand of the virus’s RNA, these “nucleotide analogs” prevent an enzyme called RNA polymerase from adding more nucleotides to the strand, thus preventing the virus from making new copies of its genetic material. “Long ago, the paradigm was that in order to kill a virus, you had to kill the infected cell,” said Cameron. “Such a paradigm is of no use when the virus infects an essential cell type with limited capacity for replenishment. The development of nucleotide analogs that function without actually killing the infected cell changed everything.” https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180620150150.htm
Viperin, a member of the radical S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) superfamily of enzymes, is an interferon-inducible protein implicated in the inhibition of replication of a broad range of RNA and DNA viruses.
Craig Cameron, professor and holder of the Eberly Chair in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Penn State and an author of the study. email@example.com
Anthony S. Gizzi, Tyler L. Grove, Jamie J. Arnold, Joyce Jose, Rohit K. Jangra, Scott J. Garforth, Quan Du, Sean M. Cahill, Natalya G. Dulyaninova, James D. Love, Kartik Chandran, Anne R. Bresnick, Craig E. Cameron, Steven C. Almo. A naturally occurring antiviral ribonucleotide encoded by the human genome. Nature, 2018; DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0238-4
[Note: in lieu of antiviral medications, can technology such as wearable Insulin pumps be worn to provide constant or timed doses of anti-viral medications?]
[Note: How are antiviral medications made? It seems by loading antibodies into nanoparticles such as poly [lactic-co-glycolic acid] nanoparticles (3D8-PLGA NPs)]
3D8 scFV Catalytic antibody research in anti-viral research
Korean researchers associated with National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration; Ajou University School of Medicine, and Sungkyunkwan University, supported by Cooperative Research Program (PJ010201) of the Rural Development Administration of Korea, studied the factors that influence the enzymatic stability of the catalytic antibody 3D8 scFv in various biochemical and physical environments. Based on its enzymatic stability, 3D8 scFv holds good potential for development as an anti-viral therapeutic.
Our study provides an understanding of the factors that influence the enzymatic stability of the catalytic antibody 3D8 scFv in various biochemical and physical environments. Based on its enzymatic stability, 3D8 scFv holds good potential for development as an anti-viral therapeutic.
Most recently, the possibility of developing preventive anti-viral probiotics was demonstrated by generating a transgenic Lactobacillus that secretes 3D8 scFv that protected mice against infection by gastrointestinal murine norovirus (Hoang et al., 2015). The mechanism of action of the anti-viral effect of 3D8 scFv is believed to be due to its ability to hydrolyze the nucleic acids (the genome and/or transcripts) of invading viruses during the early phase of infection.
The fact that 3D8 scFv protects the host from multifarious viruses regardless of genomic composition makes 3D8 scFv a candidate for potential application as an anti-viral agent.
A virus is a small parasite (zombie or android or replicant) that cannot reproduce by itself. Once it infects a susceptible cell, however, a virus can direct the cell machinery to produce more viruses. Most viruses have either RNA or DNA as their genetic material. The nucleic acid may be single- or double-stranded. The entire infectious virus particle, called a virion, consists of the nucleic acid and an outer shell of protein. The simplest viruses contain only enough RNA or DNA to encode four proteins. The most complex can encode 100 – 200 proteins. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21523/)
All viruses utilize normal cellular ribosomes, tRNAs, and translation factors for synthesis of their proteins. Viruses also often express proteins that modify host-cell processes so as to maximize viral replication. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21523/)
Cellular organisms use messenger RNA (mRNA) to convey genetic information (using the nitrogenous bases of guanine, uracil, adenine, and cytosine, denoted by the letters G, U, A, and C) that directs synthesis of specific proteins. Many viruses encode their genetic information using an RNA genome. Some RNA molecules play an active role within cells by catalyzing biological reactions, controlling gene expression, or sensing and communicating responses to cellular signals. One of these active processes is protein synthesis, a universal function in which RNA molecules direct the synthesis of proteins on ribosomes. This process uses transfer RNA (tRNA) molecules to deliver amino acids to the ribosome, where ribosomal RNA (rRNA) then links amino acids together to form coded proteins. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA
To understanding how proteins are made, according to ScienceMueseum.org.uk (n.d.) to make a protein, a cell must put a chain of amino acids together in the right order. First, it makes a copy of the relevant DNA instruction in the cell nucleus and takes it into the cytoplasm – a bit like taking a photocopy of the instruction manual from the manager’s office out to the assembly lines in a car factory. Here, the cell decodes the instruction and makes many copies of the protein, which fold into shape as they are produced. (ScienceMueseum.org.uk, n.d.). The first part of the DNA double helix in the cell nucleus unwinds and unzips. The DNA instructions are copied according to ScienceMueseum.org.uk (n.d.) when the DNA instruction is revealed, flanked by ‘start’ and ‘stop’ codes. The cell makes a copy of the DNA in the form of an RNA molecule. The RNA copy is trimmed, and then enters the cell cytoplasm to be decoded. It is now called messenger RNA (mRNA). All proteins are made up of combinations of 20 different amino acids. The RNA code (like DNA) is written in just four different chemical ‘letters’ – bases. The RNA copy made in the cell nucleus is usually much longer than the one that is decoded in the cell cytoplasm. After a cell makes an RNA copy of a gene, it snips out the introns and sticks the exons together to make messenger RNA (mRNA). Once in the cytoplasm, the mRNA is snatched up by tiny protein-assembly machines called ribosomes. Each ribosome works its way along the mRNA, reading the code from ‘start’ to ‘stop’, selecting the correct amino acid building blocks and ejecting a growing protein. It takes just one 50th of a second for the ribosome to select and add each building block. At this rate, a cell can assemble a small protein like insulin in just a few seconds. http://whoami.sciencemuseum.org.uk/whoami/findoutmore/yourbody/whatdoyourcellsdo/howdocellsmakeproteins/howareproteinsmade
Notes: Protons, Electrons, Neutrons > Atoms > Elements (things which expresses same number of protons) > Molecules (Pairings of more than one element, and this categories includes polymers such as RNA and DNA) > Compounds (A combo of multiple molecules) > Substances (Proteins, Enzymes)
RNA is not stable under alkaline conditions unlike DNA. RNA is used to transfer the genetic code from the nucleus to the ribosomes to make proteins. It’s compositions and base sugars are a phosphate backbone, adenine, guanine, cytosine, uracil bases. RNA directly codes for amino acids and acts as a messenger between DNA and ribosomes to make proteins. (Thoughtco.com, Helmenstine, 2020). https://www.thoughtco.com/dna-versus-rna-608191
(Note) So, if many viruses are RNA based (single strand containing sugar phosphate ribose as opposed deoxyribonucleic sugar phosphate) and they can’t exist under alkaline conditions, then does increasing alkaline conditions eradicate or destabilize the virus? If it has a phosphate backbone, can you “break” it’s back, potentially with alkaline? Such as using alkaline hydrolysis.
RNA hydrolysis is a reaction in which a phosphodiester bond in the sugar-phosphate backbone of RNA is broken, cleaving the RNA molecule. RNA hydrolysis occurs when the deprotonated 2’ OH of the ribose, acting as a nucleophile, attacks the adjacent phosphorus in the phosphodiester bond of the sugar-phosphate backbone of the RNA. When the RNA is double-stranded or involved in nucleotide base pairing, it is more stable and spontaneous cleavage is significantly less likely. In these instances, cleavage is done using catalytic enzymes. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RNA_hydrolysis
(Note) Human blood has a Ph level of 7.35 to 7.45. A base on PAR with this (not that I’m saying this would be effective at all) is pure water at around 7, with Saltwater at 8, Baking Soda at 9, and Milk of Magnesia at 10. So, if virus thrive in acid environments such as blood, but they’re adverse to alkaline then does utilizing saline solutions or magnesia-based solutions help anti-viral medications or in anti-viral medication routines, i.e., taking saline or magnesia supplements after talking antiviral medications (those utilizing mRNA or encouraging anti-viral enzyme ribonucleotide production)?
Extreme alkaline and heat treatments to kill viruses as studied by Lemire, Rodriguez, and McIntosh (2016) of the Foreign Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory. Note: The only problem with this is that extreme alkaline and heat treatments can’t be performed inside the body, however alkaline is a base, and certain bases such as saline, magnesia, and even baking soda aren’t toxic to the human body in limited doses. Yet, alkaline hydrolysis could be used in spraying techniques for contaminated surfaces in public areas.
Lemire, K.A., Rodriguez, Y.Y. & McIntosh, M.T. (2016) concluded that Treated DNA, while denatured, remains suitable for most common molecular biology procedures including PCR, transformation of E. coli, and molecular sequencing. The procedure ensures not only the inactivation of a variety of virusesbut also the degradation through hydrolysis of potentially contaminating infectious+ssRNA viral genomes. Further, their results determined that the new procedure reduced intact RNA beyond the limit of detection by real-time RT-PCR and inactivated viruses by in vitro culture infectivity assays. The authors also state the hardships in research by stating that diagnostics and research of high-consequence animal disease agents is often limited to laboratories with a high level of biosecurity that restrict the transport of biological material. Often, sharing of DNA with external partners is needed to support diagnostics, forensics, or research.
RNA and DNA are differentially susceptible to enzymatic degradations; however, such procedures are susceptible to unintended DNA damage and/or failure due to enzyme or cofactor instabilities. Therefore, we describe the development and verification of a robust and simple chemical and physical method to selectively degrade RNA from purified DNA preparations. The procedure employs incubation of DNA in 0.25 N sodium hydroxide at 65 °C for 1 h followed by neutralization and boiling for 10 min to hydrolyze contaminating RNA and inactivate animal disease viruses from DNA preparations. Additional critical quality control elements include use of a synthetic control RNA (SCR) and an SCR-specific real-time RT-PCR to track effectiveness of the procedure in a parallel treated control sample, and a pH check of reagents to ensure proper neutralization of alkaline conditions.
RNA is uniquely unstable in alkaline conditions because bases can easily deprotonate the hydrogen from the hydroxyl group on the 2’-carbon atom (Fig. 1). This deprotonation causes the oxygen to become negatively charged leading to a nucleophilic attack on the adjacent phosphate atom leading to the cleavage of the phosphopentose backbone of RNA.
This autocatalytic degradation is a property of the RNA phosphopentose backbone itself, the use of alkaline pH combined with heat treatment has been used to selectively degrade RNA from RNA:DNA or RNA:cDNA hybrids
Huber (2017) interviewed Judith Frydman, PhD, senior author of the paper and a professor of genetics and of biology at Stanford relating to proteins and Zika. Per the articles by Huber (2017), one of those factors is a type of protein called Hsp70, which helps proteins fold correctly and performs a wide range of housekeeping and quality-control functions in cells (Huber, 2019). Based on a series of experiments in mosquito and human cells, the Stanford study found that certain Hsp70 proteins are required in multiple steps of the Zika virus’ lifecycle. By blocking Hsp70 with an Hsp70 inhibitor drug, the researchers were able to prevent virus replication, as recently reported in Cell Reports. “The virus has a much higher demand for Hsp70 than the host cellular processes,” Frydman said. “We can exploit the viral ‘addiction’ to Hsp70 for treatment to prevent the virus from producing the proteins it needs to replicate and infect cells. But most importantly, we show Hsp70 inhibitors can be administered to animals at therapeutically effective doses. To my knowledge, this is the first drug that actually works for Zika-infected animals, protecting them from lethal infection and disease symptoms.” (Huber, 2019). https://scopeblog.stanford.edu/2019/02/06/blocking-zika-new-antiviral-may-treat-and-prevent-infection-a-stanford-study-suggests/
Taguwa et al. (2019) stated we find that for ZIKV, similar to DENV virus, Hsp70 functions at distinct steps of the ZIKV life cycle: virus entry, formation of the active replication complex, and particle production. (Taguwa, Yeh, Rainbolt, Gestwicki, Andino, & Frydman, 2019). https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/pdf/S2211-1247(18)32055-2.pdf
How do you find inhibitors? Haystead (2018) “fluorescent-linked enzyme chemoproteomic strategy (FLECS)” “FLECS is a Universal assay that enables purine utilizing proteins of diverse function to be screened against small molecule libraries.” “The FLECS screen is a variation of proteome mining technology utilized in the discovery of the Hsp90 inhibitor SNX542221. Proteome mining was designed to screen all purine binding proteins (the purinome) expressed in cells/tissues en masse against large directed chemical libraries, matching early chemical starting points with targets 22,23. The power of this approach enabled not only hundreds of diverse enzymes to be screened at a single step but also enabled the selectivity of a particular hit molecule to be determined simultaneously. The same assay could also then be used in subsequent iterative campaigns to monitor or improve selectivity as one strived to improve the molecules potency and bioavailability.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6642669/
Yet, HsP70 inhibitors could have effects on renal (kidney) functions.
Haystead (2018) Like NSC 630668-R/1, MAL3–101 is quite large and has a number of labile ester groups. MKT-077 targets the NBD and inhibits proliferation in tumor cell lines, however, severe renal dysfunction in patients was observed in phase I clinical trials. Pifithrin, binds to the SBD of both Hsc70 and Hsp70i disrupting client protein interaction in vitro. In tumor cells the molecule promotes caspase dependent cell death in tumor cells only suggesting it has some specificity to Hsp70i in vivo, although p53 binding has also been shown, which could explain its antitumor actions 18. MKT-O77 and Pifithrin have potential reactive groups that render them covalent modifiers, which may contribute to side effects in vivo. More promising inhibitors of the Hsp70 class are second and 3rd generation MKT-077 analogs JG18 and JG40. Their mechanism of action and specificity lies in interaction with Hsp70 co-chaperones such as NEF https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6642669/
Haystead T. (2018). Fluorescent-Linked Enzyme Chemoproteomic Strategy (FLECS) for Identifying HSP70 Inhibitors. Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.), 1709, 75–86. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4939-7477-1_6 [Note: NIH grants R01-AI089526-04 to T.A.J.H. and a Department of Defense Transformative Vision Award to T.A.J H.]
Relating to simple sugar’s relation to viruses, Huber (2017) detailed a Stanford and Yale research team who studied OST and its relation to viruses such as Zika. Specifically, they demonstrated the importance of the oligosaccharyltransferase (OST) complex that attaches sugar molecules to proteins. They found flaviviruses did not infect their genetically engineered cells without OST.In the new study, published today in Cell Reports, the Stanford researchers collaborated with scientists at Yale University to test the effectiveness of a drug called NGI-1, which inhibits the activity of the OST complex.They showed that low concentrations of NGI-1 could be used to block the viruses from replicating without harming the host cells — successfully reducing the infection by 99 percent when treating cells immediately after they were infected by Zika or dengue virus, and by 80 percent when administered 24 hours after infection. Their study also indicated that the viruses are unlikely to become resistant to NGI-1. “When you target a host function rather than a viral protein, it’s usually much more difficult for a virus to develop resistance,” Carette said in the release. So, instead of traditional approach of attacking an individual virus directly, the researchers focused on the cellular factors of their human hosts that are essential to many viral infections. (Huber, 2017)
The Cell Report’s (2017) publication of the study spoken about by Huber (2017) conducted by A.S. Puschnik, C.D. Marceau, Y.S. Ooi, K. Majzoub, N. Rinis, J.N. Contessa, and J.E. Carette (2017) stated NGI-1 is an aminobenzamide-sulfonamide compound that targets both OST isoforms and therefore may exhibit antiviral activity against flaviviruses (Figure 1A). To test its inhibitory properties, we infected HEK293 cells with luciferase expressing DENV or ZIKV, treated cells with increasing concentrations of NGI-1, and measured viral replication 48 hr post-infection (hpi) (Figures 1B and 1C). The work was funded in part by the NIH (grants DP2 AI104557 and U19 AI109662 to J.E.C. and RO1CA172391 to J.N.C.), the David and Lucile Packard Foundation (J.E.C.), a Stanford graduate fellowship (A.S.P.), Boehringer Ingelheim Fonds (A.S.P.), and the NSF-GFRP (C.D.M.).
Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al (2018) stated that Arbidol (ARB, umifenovir), used clinically for decades in several countries as an anti-influenza virus drug, inhibits many other viruses. Further, Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al (2018) stated that Zika is a distant relative of the hepatitis C virus, which lies in a novel genus within the Flaviviridae called Hepacivirus.
Upon binding to one or more cell-surface receptors, flaviviruses enter cells via endocytosis (note: the taking in of matter by a living cell by invagination [cell eating or drinking, often by encircling) of its membrane to form a vacuole [compartments], i.e., the cell membrane encircles the foreign entity and stores it in a pouch in its inner cell). Once the endosomal lumen is acidified, the viral surface glycoproteins undergo a conformational change, which induces fusion of the endosomal membrane with the viral envelope, releasing the viral genome into the cytoplasm (Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al, 2018).
The ZIKV genome is single stranded, positive sense RNA and over 10 kb (kilobase) in length. Like all flaviviruses, the RNA genome encodes a genome-length polyprotein precursor, with proteins arranged in the following order: 5′-C-prM-E-NS1-NS2A-NS2B-NS3-NS4A-NS4B-NS5-3′. The polyprotein is cleaved (split and divided) by cellular and viral proteases (an enzyme that catalyzes [increases the rate of] proteolysis), the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or single amino acids) to yield the viral structural and non-structural proteins (NS) (Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al, 2018). Structural proteins include Capsid (C), precursor Membrane (prM), Envelope (E), and Non-Structural proteins (NS). Many NS proteins have roles in viral replication and include NS1 (modulates host immunity), NS2A, NS2B, NS3 (protease), NS4A, NS4B, NS5 (polymerase) (Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al, 2018).
Lastly, Fink, S.L., Vojtech, L., Wagoner, J. et al, (2018), Arbidol (ARB, also known as Umifenovir, PubChem CID 131410), is a synthetic antiviral drug developed 30 years ago to combat seasonal influenza virus11. Since that time, ARB has been shown to inhibit viruses from many different families including orthomyxo12, paramyxo13, picorna14, bunya15, rhabdo16, reo13, toga17, hepadna18, hepaci11,19,20,21,22, and filoviridae23. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-27224-4
Park (2020) stated that National Institute of Health scientists were studying Remdesivir, a drug, in order to combat the coronavirus. Remdesivir (developed from Ebola) showed encouraging results among animals infected with two related coronaviruses, one responsible for severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and another for causing Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Yet, instead of Remdesivir, Park (2020) stated that Moderna Therapuetics vaccine is packed with mRNA, the genetic material that comes from DNA and makes proteins. Moderna loads its vaccine with mRNA (note: messenger RNA) that codes for the right coronavirus proteins which then get injected into the body. Immune cells in the lymph nodes can process that mRNA and start making the protein in just the right way for other immune cells to recognize and mark them for destruction, and, Dr Stephen Hodge (President of Moderna) elaborated on the mRNA by stating, “mRNA is really like a software molecule in biology. So our vaccine is like the software program to the body, which then goes and makes the [viral] proteins that can generate an immune response.” https://time.com/5790545/first-covid-19-vaccine/
MIGAL (Galile Research Institute) is developing a coronavirus anti-virus based on its studies into Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV). Jaffe-Hoffman (2020) quotes, Dr. Chen Katz, MIGAL’s biotechnology group lead, who stated, the scientific framework for the vaccine is based on a new protein expression vector, which forms and secretes a chimeric soluble protein that delivers the viral antigen into mucosal tissues by self-activated endocytosis, causing the body to form antibodies against the virus.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a method widely used in molecular biology to rapidly make millions to billions of copies of a specific DNA sample allowing scientists to take a very small sample of DNA and amplify it to a large enough amount to study in detail.
The thermal cycler (also known as a thermocycler, PCR machine or DNA amplifier) is a laboratory apparatus most commonly used to amplify segments of DNA via the polymerase chain reaction (PCR). Thermal cyclers may also be used in laboratories to facilitate other temperature-sensitive reactions, including restriction enzyme digestion or rapid diagnostics. The device has a thermal block with holes where tubes holding the reaction mixtures can be inserted. The cycler then raises and lowers the temperature of the block in discrete, pre-programmed steps.
Flow Cytometry In this process, a sample containing cells or particles is suspended in a fluid and injected into the flow cytometer instrument. The sample is focused to ideally flow one cell at a time through a laser beam, where the light scattered is characteristic to the cells and their components. Cells are often labeled with fluorescent markers, so light is absorbed and then emitted in a band of wavelengths. Tens of thousands of cells can be quickly examined, and the data gathered are processed by a computer. Cell counting, Cell sorting, Determining cell characteristics and function, Detecting microorganisms, Biomarker detection, Protein engineering detection, Diagnosis of health disorders such as blood cancers
[Note: seems similar to Fluorescent-Linked Enzyme Chemoproteomic Strategy by TAJ Haystead]
An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, also called ELISA or EIA, is a test that detects and measures antibodies in your blood. This test can be used to determine if you have antibodies related to certain infectious conditions.
Recirculating chillers deliver a flow of temperature-controlled fluid. They are enclosed circulators featuring robust cooling systems used for demanding continuous-use lab applications.
A vortex mixer, or vortexer, is a simple device used commonly in laboratories to mix small vials of liquid. Vortex mixers are quite commonplace in bioscience laboratories. In cell culture and microbiology laboratories they may be used to suspend cells. In a biochemical or analytical laboratory they may be used to mix the reagents of an assay or to mix an experimental sample and a dilutant.
An antibody (Ab), also known as an immunoglobulin (Ig), is a large, Y-shaped protein produced mainly by plasma cells that is used by the immune system to neutralize pathogens such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses.
Notes on Labs, Universities associated with Projects, Equipment Suppliers, and Organizations:
National Institute of Animal Science, Rural Development Administration; Ajou University School of Medicine, and Sungkyunkwan University on 3D8 research
National Institute of Health on Remdesivir
MIGAL (Gallile Research Institute) on IBV research and protein expression vectors
Reagent and Vaccine Services Section (RVSS) of the USDA National Veterinary Services Laboratories’ (NVSL) FADDL located at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) relating to Alkaline Hydrolysis and Heat Treatment to kill viruses
Equipment used for the OST NSI-1 Zika Study by the Stanford Research and Yale Team
Renilla Luciferase Assay system (Promega) for Luciferase expression measurement
Disclaimer: This post is for personal note, which I just so happen to be sharing. This post isn’t to encourage any unauthorized research or to spread misleading medical information. I’m simply theorizing in public about information I read from actual academics in order to find correlation in their research and to enhance my understanding of medicine, biology, chemistry, virology, etc. However, it is my impression that we as species have all the tools to cure most diseases but it seems like researchers aren’t connecting as much as they should since their research typically focuses on a specific task.
I’m not a medical or science professional, though I took some classes while in college. Yet, the more I read into the basics of RNA (AGCU), DNA (AGCT), proteins, enzymes, cell functions, etc., the more I seem to understand that fighting viruses (which are typically single strands of viral RNA code with a protein shell) is that you have to chemically “trick”, induce, or fortify healthy cells and trigger them in shutting off certain functions when exposed, but also turning on certain functions when exposed. These functions can range from preventing or discouraging endocytosis (when a cell “eats” a virus to incorporate into its body – cytoplasm, vacuoles, etc. – but the virus hacks the health DNA code), turning off or on certain proteins and enzymes, and triggering immune responses to seek and destroy the virus.
Also, in layman terms (meant for myself) vRNA (viral RNA) like most RNA has a phosphorous backbone and four chemicals, so it’s not entirely a “physical hack”, but more so a “chemical-secretion melody” that the virus “plays” or delivers (think of the chemicals as keys on a piano and when played make a tun) to infect a cell (re-tune or re-harmonize it) to encourage its replication, i.e., it tricks the healthy cell to stimulate ribosome production of viral proteins, enzymes, etc. The viruses are programmed to seek out certain proteins, antibodies, and/or enzymes in order to “pick” a cell’s lock or attract to it and lock in. Thus, if you’re shutting off and on things to fight viruses you might get residual physiological effects such as an immune system running on overdrive and attacking healthy bodily functions such as healthy renal (kidney) function.
I was studying viruses largely due to the Coronavirus dilemma and did some reading into anti-viral research using various methods such designing anti-viral mRNA (messenger RNA) which can possibly be loaded into nanoparticles such as poly [lactic-co-glycolic acid] nanoparticles; discouraging the attachment of sugar molecules to viral proteins (such as limiting OST complexes); understanding current medications such as Arbidol (used for influenza and studied regarding Zika – a distant cousin of Hepatitis C, West Nile, Dengue Fever, etc.) , NGI-1 (OST inhibitor), Remdesivir(Ebola), Apoptozole (Hsp70 inhibitor); utilizing protein inhibitors such as NSC 630668-R/1, VER-155008, MAL3–101, MKT-077, Pifithrin, and Apoptozole; preventing NS proteins which have roles in viral replication and include NS1 (modulates host immunity), NS2A, NS2B, NS3 (protease), NS4A, NS4B, NS5 (polymerase); inhibiting spike protein and its role in virus binding and entry; potentially inhibiting Hsp70 protein (a protein required for folding, which was studied during the Zika outbreak) with drugs such as Apoptozole; harvesting, incorporating, or simulating already naturally occurring in-body anti-viral enzymes such as ViperinddhCTP (which prevents viruses from copying their genetic material and thus from multiplying); utilizing 3D8 scFv (catalytic enzyme) which has hydrolyzing (breaking up, i.e., cleaving) capabilities and protects the host from multifarious viruses regardless of genomic composition; using Ribonucleases (RNases) (June Byun, S., Yuk, S., Jang, Y. et al.) which represent another antiviral therapy approach to degrading viral RNA genomes. etc., and maybe using saline or magnesia based medicines to encourage hydrolysis since rNA is adverse to alkaline, and saline (salt water) and magnesia have opposite pH levels to human blood which is acidic and where viruses can thrive.
Understanding proteins is everything in virology. For example, NS1 is a functionally complex protein and is a central player in the virus’s response to host defense mechanisms and the establishment of efficient viral gene expression. Because of its importance to virus replication and virus-host interactions and the fact that it is highly conserved across influenza virus A strains (Dipanwita, et al, 2009) [Source: Dipanwita Basu, Marcin P. Walkiewicz, Matthew Frieman, Ralph S. Baric, David T. Auble, Daniel A. Engel Journal of Virology Jan 2009, 83 (4) 1881-1891; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01805-08. https://jvi.asm.org/content/83/4/1881%5D
Dipanwita Basu, Marcin P. Walkiewicz, Matthew Frieman, Ralph S. Baric, David T. Auble, Daniel A. Engel Journal of Virology Jan 2009, 83 (4) 1881-1891; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01805-08. https://jvi.asm.org/content/83/4/1881
June Byun, S., Yuk, S., Jang, Y. et al. Transgenic Chickens Expressing the 3D8 Single Chain Variable Fragment Protein Suppress Avian Influenza Transmission. Sci Rep7, 5938 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-05270-8
(Introduction) I think that my research and take into this matter is unique in comparison to that of other researchers in that I have tied in research to the film and book, Starship Troopers, and how it relates to how the world is unfolding. For example, I was one of the first (the first to my knowledge) to compare the Trump Administration’s relationship with Vladimir Putin to the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance written about by Robert Heinlein. Further, I was one of the first to compare Russia’s and China’s relations regarding the Belt and Road Project to the fiction of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Shadow and Shadow of the Hegemon, similarly to me comparing the LGBTQ demographic to the book, The Forever War, by Joe Halderman. I’m also approaching this from an unbiased perspective, since in many independent researcher circles, which some might consider conspiracy, they tend to have a type of identity bias, i.e., right wing predominately white conspiracy theorists unable to look at their side but point the finger solely at immigrants, Jews, etc. My goal is to show the entire picture and it is my belief that identity is futile since the world runs on power and this power is dispersed through various cabals, which I call the ACSZ Network, i.e, the Anglo-Continental Zionist Saudi Network, and each of these letters can be understood separately but also how they work in unison. Even though I may not agree with these next people’s personal beliefs, I must admit that their work was in part an inspiration and I’m building upon them or linking them together since to me they’re only seeing a piece of the puzzle. These people include Adam Green from Know More Knew whose specialty is studying Zionism and the Noahide Movement in relation to US politics, Israel’s violations of International Law, and the exportation of US technology to Israel; Jay Dyer from Jay’s Analysis who has studied the roots of liberalism be it libertarian or Marxism and explaining the evolution of philosophy, and Matthew North who was one of the first to analyze the Joe Rogan Podcast. With all of these people, to my knowledge, there wasn’t analysis of Starship Troopers. Further, pre-existing analysis on Starship Troopers were often only film reviews or if they were political such as that of Sargon of Akaad it was analyzed with a bias defending the classical liberal elements in the book and with a right-wing or Alt Right final spin. My reservations with these sources are 1. Adam Green focuses solely on the Jews, even though it is important research, yet, it tends to keep the light away from other groups involved, 2. I disagree with Jay Dyer’s low-key Russian apologetics, which adds insult to injury, considering he converted to Russian Orthodoxy. I do consider him a Russian asset even if by proxy, who represents the casual normailzation of Russia in American mainstream life and he does this through what my friend (who is white) says is American’s white supremacy calibration filter, i.e., Russians are not longer seen as a threat because American White Supremacy feels under threat. Essentially, he analyzes the West but doesn’t do a fair pound-per-pound analysis of Russia – including its agendas, abuses, conspiracies, etc, and 3. Matthew North, despite being a savant at what he does and for his age, to me tends to slip into actual conspiracy mode when he deviates from his analysis of Alex Jones, Joe Rogan, Zionism, the history of Neocons, etc. Also, even though it is not a crime, all three men are white males – which is fine – but I do suspect that this reality influences their final conclusions, thus, whatever truths they may have might disregard the realities as seen from different types of people.
I think Joe Rogan is a good guy and this post isn’t to shame or hate on the guy. However, I’m sorry for his hardcore fans but the JRE Podcast isn’t as organic or natural as it seems. It’s a the crux between propaganda, conspiracy, culture creation, and cleverly selected predictive programming. However, I overall enjoy it, but I know how to discern authenic from fabricated, and the Joe Rogan Podcast is both but at times I sense an agenda. I don’t agree with all of his guests in that he has platformed the voices of some kooky people in the right-wing, yet, it’s his right to at least hear these people out. I think the future is bright: Women’s equality, space travel, green energy, automation, 5G and beyond, cures for diseases, peace among nations and cultures, using fossil fuels for rocketry instead of warfare, etc.
Yet…Is a Joe Rogan a Neoplatonist or into Hermetic Occultism? He may not be and probably doesn’t know what these are, but little does he know (presuming he doesn’t) is that his interests where inspired by 60s counter-culture but the roots of these ideas though seemingly scientific trace roots back to the days of alchemy, the occult, esoteric thought, etc. In a funny way, this Neoplatonist term when associated with Joe seems quite accurate and with Joe being Italian and his interests in things which are arguably esoteric, plus his syncretic libertine philosophy, I get the image of Joe in the medieval Renaissance as a court jester or actor as a cover for a spy who was a former Italian city state military conscript who associates with Christian, Jewish, and Islamic esoteric, occultic, Kabbalist, and hermetic thinkers in the courts of nobles in places like Florence, Sicily, Padua, Verona, or Modena, etc. Talking over intoxicants about the Divine Rights of Man, The Decameron, magic, early ideas about science such as those of Leonardo Da Vinci, and scheming what would later become a democratic revolution of the later libertarians and Marxists.
(Notes from the Author). Pictures to argue my point will be put throughout this post but also will be consolidated in a section below. I do not dislike Joe Rogan but there’s something else to the podcast and Joe has no control over the beliefs of this guests. However, if you were to merge the general ideas of many of this guests, it oddly paints a picture. From the right-wing to left-wing but mixed with technocracy, militarism, Deep State assets, corporate agendas, etc. If you merge Elon Musk, Jordan B. Peterson, Sam Harris, the kookier guests talking about the paranormal or ghosts, and then look to history such as the evolution of esoteric thought from the Renaissance to now and the US or Soviet government’s experiments during the MK Ultra Ultra of the CIA’s Office of Scientific
What is a Neoplatonist or Neoplatonism?
Neoplatonism is a philosophical system, originated in the 3rd century a.d. by Plotinus, founded chiefly on Platonic doctrine and Eastern mysticism, with later influences from Christianity. It holds that all existence consists of emanations from the One with whom the soul may be reunited (Dictionary.com, n.d.). The origins of Neoplatonism can be traced back to the era of Hellenistic syncretism which spawned such movements and schools of thought such as Gnosticism and the Hermetic tradition (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, n.d.). Calonne (2017) in his book, The Spiritual Imagination of the Beats, in a section about counter-culture poet Allen Ginsberg, states, “Plotinus emphasized an “unknowable” one that can only be experienced through mystical experience, and his Neoplatonic successor Porphyry (232-305 CE) and his disciple Iamblichus (ca. 245-325 CE), author of the On the Mysteries of the Egyptians, elaborated on Plotinus’ system. Iamblichus introduced the concept of theurgy (ancient Greek theos = God; ergon = work) – magical rituals intended to invoke the gods’ help to free the soul from the body – while Proclus influenced the Pseudo-Dioynsius the Aeropagite” (p.95).
Wildberg (2016) states, “the Neoplatonists shared with the majority of intellectuals of the ancient world, including most pre-Socratic thinkers as well as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and their followers, is that mindful consciousness (nous, often translated as thought, intelligence, or intellect) is in an important sense ontologically prior to the physical realm typically taken for ultimate reality (Mind over Matter).” Further, Wildberg (2016) states, “the Neoplatonists assumed as axiomatic that nothing could come to be here below that is not prefigured paradigmatically in the intelligible realm.” Sarti (2004), “Italian scholars played a key role in the rise of Neoplatonism as they became familiar with and translated into Latin previously unknown writings of Plato, brought to Italy in the early 15th century by Greek scholar from Byzantium. Marsilio Ficino translated the entire available body of Plato’s writings and founded the informal group known as the Platonic Academy, which met in Florence under Medici auspices from the 1460s to the early 1490s and was revived briefly in the 16th century. Interests in Plato’s thought existed largely outside the universities. Thus, Neoplatonism was associated with a kind of counterculture and intellectualism that challenged established authority” (p. 439).
For the sake of this paper, the term Neoplatonism will be defined as a philosophical framework regarding metaphysical exploration based around an attempt to unite or merge systems, beings, ideology, forms, etc., into a unitary structure, and where physical sciences aren’t distinguished from metaphysical practices.
Yet, when I write about Neoplatonism I’m trying to paint for the reader a framework that many believe in which is essentially magic and metaphysics as a means of discerning the mysteries of reality, as opposed to physical sciences based on real-world observations, the Scientific Methods, etc. Essentially, many Neoplatonist in hard sciences or social sciences see technology, economic ideology, gender, sexuality, drug experimentation, computer coding, Artificial Intelligence, etc., as a form of magic or magick. For example, a Neoplatonic scientist in today’s time isn’t merely performing an operation or procedure but a ritual, or a modern pharmaceutical formula or computer code isn’t merely that, but its possibly a spell or incantation, or possibly an algorithm in finding the name of God, for example the film, Pi, by Darren Aronfsky . Or, a meme artist online engaged in cyber warfare, e.g., the concept of Chaos Magick, i.e., spreading disinformation is performing a sacred ritual with sigils and symbols in order to change the minds of others or to “will things” into existence. Or, in a darker sense, performing rituals that stands as an antithetical to social norms might be a way to Enlightenment. To them there’s no difference between the physical and metaphysical since all reality permeates from a singular source. Imagine, merging the idea of alchemy with what we consider to be hard physical sciences.
Robert Anton Wilson’s “chaos magick” approach which is defined as Discordian, punk, postmodern, etc., is very Joe Rogan, who in turn is very Hunter S. Thompson, and Thompson and Wilson were both associated with the Esalen Institute, which is a place Joe Rogan gets his talking points, but this place hosted people who were associated with the arena where the military, universities, culture creators, scientists (both American and Russian), psychologist, etc., intersected. Chaos Magick was an alternative to Thelema and Wicca and was founded by Austin Osman Spare (1886-1956) and has been utilized by people such as Aleksandr Dugin but also William S. Burroughs (heir the Burroughs Corporation’s early computer fortune which exists today as Unisys)
This might sound very odd, but just look to the Joe Rogan podcast, or look to real-life government or state-funded research into metaphysics and esoteric phenomena such as the PEAR (Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research) Lab at Princeton; Project Stargate between the CIA/DIA and Stanford Research Institute sounding the study of Remote-Viewing, Extra Sensory Perception, etc.; the Oxford Phasmatological Society associated with Balliol College, etc.
Arguably, despite the continuation or influence of Neoplatonism into the modern day, the most notable ideology that is associated with Neoplatonism is Kabbalah (some would debate this), which tends to be associated with counterculture, Los Angeles lifestyle, celebrity culture, etc. Harold Bloom (not to be confused with Howard Bloom on Joe Rogan Episode #1119) in the past commented on what he considered to be the contamination of the Kabbalah by the outsiders or counter-culture elements, and the next quote by Bloom (1975) that I will share has much in common with themes that will appear throughout this paper.
Bloom (1975) stated, “Popular handbooks of Kabbalah are not always very exact in their learning, and tend to be dangerously eager to mix Kabbalah up with nearly everything else in current religious enthusiasms, from Sufism to Hinduism. But this too by now is a Western tradition, for Christian popularizations of Kabbalah starting with the Renaissance compounded Kabbalah with a variety of non-Jewish notions, ranging from Tarot cards to the Trinity. A singular prestige has attended Kabbalah throughout its history, and such prestige again is worth contemporary consideration. Accompanying this prestige, which is the prestige of supposedly ultimate origins, is an extraordinary eclecticism that contaminated Kabbalah with nearly every major occult or theosophical strain in the Renaissance and later in Enlightened Europe.”
Further, Bloom (1975) stated, “There are no competing titles on Gnosticism today, or on understanding Neoplatonism, and it is important that the continued popularity of Kabbalah be considered in any estimate of the phenomenon of the current survival and even revival of ancient esotericisms.” This previous statement by Bloom (1975) concerning competing modes of Gnosticism still in existence (at that time in which we wrote) seems to have been an assumption considering the lasting impact and resurgence of ideas which can trace roots back to Neoplatonist ideas, and in even though he acknowledges a contamination of the pure Kabbalah, that is not proof that Kabbalah hasn’t been used for applications outside of those in which it was originally intended, i.e., political strategy, lifestyle cults, or science, etc.
Joe Rogan is basically a synthesis between Hunter S. Thompson, the Esalen Institute and the politics of Robert Heinlein’s syncretic “3rd Way” political philosophy. Whether Joe realizes it or not is heavily influenced by Neoplatonist thinkers either directly or by proxy. Terrance McKenna for instance, whom Joe Rogan has reference regarding the Stoned Age Theory, and according to Calonne (2017), “Terrance McKenna believed the Neoplatonists were “psychedelic philosophers”. Their idea of an ascending hierarchy of increasing more rarified states is a sophisticated presentation of shamanic cosmology that one experientially discovers when
Part 1a – Getting Starship Trooper’s comparison out of the way: Background and ties to Disney.
Before I get to Joe Rogan, I want to compare the film Starship Troopers to themes that are relevant to our unfolding real world but also themes that appear on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. Heinlein’s syncretic political ideology mixed Left Wing Marxism and Fabian Society ideas, Libertarianism, Fascism, technocracy, transhumanism (mech suits appear in the novel, similar to the US Army’s current real development of the Powered Exoskeleton), and Darwinist militarism which is best described in the book and film, Starship Troopers.
The film was released in 1997 with joint production by Tri-Star and Touchstone Pictures. Tri-Star falls under Sony, but Touchstone Pictures falls under The Walt Disney Company, and international distribution of the film was done by Disney’s Buena Vista International. Relating to other topics in this paper, notably Joe Rogan, ideas of transhumanism, etc., it is well known that EPCOT by Disney stands for Experimental Community of Tomorrow, yet, Disney has a real-world research division, Disney Research with labs in Zurich, Switzerland and California, that studies Artificial Intelligence, automation, wireless communications, human-computer interaction, displays, data mining, machine learning, and behavioral sciences. Further, Joe Rogan got his acting start with a developmental deal with Disney, but recently, on Joe Rogan’s podcast he interviewed Robert Downey Jr., i.e., Tony Stark/Iron Man, and this character in the Avenger’s franchise falls under Marvel which therefore is owned by Disney. Robert Downey Jr., before his appearance on the podcast, was spotted on YouTube (which is owned by Google) advertising, The Age of AI. I don’t think Robert Downey’s appearance on Joe’s podcast right as this transhumanist documentary came out was coincidence. [Note: https://web.archive.org/web/20130806011435/http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/technology/disney-research-pittsburgh-scientists-are-aiming-for-human-like-robots-689388/]
The society presented in Starship Troopers, the film, is shown as technologically advanced. In our real world as we continue to evolve within technocracy with concepts such as facial-recognition technology, AI assistants, electric and self-driving cars, digital money, genetic criminal forensic databases, augmented reality entertainment, drone warfare and logistics, hyperloop travel, e-commerce, enterprise resource planning tools, smart cities and houses, it makes you think as to whom in this society is running the technology. The society is a 3rd way syncretic society that mixes free-market capitalism of Civilians with the government subsidy of the Federation. This model is basically what the United States has been since World War II, i.e., corporatism and fascism, with the fascism element hiding under propaganda such as American Exceptionalism, patriotic imagery, and its annoying habit of marginalizing Marxism, when it fact Marxism via government allocation is a central tenant in how the US apparatus functions.
Tech companies are the ones who are leading the charge of integrating technocracy since their corporate structures are the apex of government investment and free market economics. However, these tech firms are currently working with Israel. US firms set up shop in Israel via bilateral cooperation with firms such as Microsoft, Facebook, cyber security etc. This is in part consensual but also the result of Israeli espionage with its vast apparatus of assets within the United States, his hacking capabilities, and its exchange programs such as the Talpiot Program which takes elite Israeli Defense Force alumni and then sends them to the United States to work for high tech companies or consulting firms such as Boston Consulting which is the alma mater of Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which is an institution that would later involve Jeffrey Epstein – the sex trafficker and high profile networker who had ties to Victoria Secrets, the French modeling industry, the British Royal Family, the Clintons and Trump administration, but also the Israeli’s via his Jewish heritage but also his via his girlfriend/fixer, Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell’s father, Robert Maxwell was a disgraced media mogul who had ties to Israel’s Mossad, Britain’s MI5, but was accused of also working with the Soviet KGB. Ghislaine Maxwell herself also was a character in the days of Iran-Contra via her ties to Adnan Khashoggi, the uncle of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi and Dodi Fayed, the boyfriend of the late Princess Diana, i.e., a family member to Epstein’s friend, Prince Andrew. Epstein had ties to Bitcoin, MIT, Bill Gates, and the list goes on.
The technology in Starship Troopers, the film, are being developed by Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, Peter Theil, Bill Gates, etc., but as stated, these firms have ties to Israel. Israel is effectively the center of the Earth with political ties in most major nations which it achieves via the powerful Chabad Lubavitch community. The Chabad Lubavitch community has a proselytizing agenda known as the Noahide Laws, which is a subversion of Christianity that fosters Christians to worship Israel and follow the Noahide Laws. This strategy has been effectively in the developing world but also within the United States by linking White Anglo-Saxon Evangelical Christianity explicitly with the Zionist cause. Regardless, Adam Green of Know More News, has gone into expansive details about the Israel takeover of US technology. The simplest way to explain the research done by Adam Green, is that Israel, despite its small size and dispersed global ethnic community, is making itself the “switchboard” of the world as it develops further into a global technocratic model. Companies he helped analyze were Converse, Amdocs, Clearview, Qualcomm Snapdragon computer Chips, Google, Wix, etc. This will give Israel what is effectively something equivalent to the Samson Option, e.g., if Israel doesn’t get its way it can use technology to conduct industrial sabotage, similar to what we saw in the US-Israeli joint Suxtnet attacks on the Iranian nuclear facilities. Here are some links to important research done by Adam Green of Know More News and I recommend people donate to his citizen journalism efforts.
Further, before I move on to get to the central premises of this paper, I want to say that Tony Stark is Howard Hughes, and Howard Hughes was essentially a Deep State playboy industrialists with companies spanning defense, telecommunications, travel, entertainment, energy, and real estate. In other words understanding Howard Hughes actually helps support this paper because he effectively was a lynchpin between different industries (defense, tech, culture, etc.), and this process still goes on in our day, however, it seems to be through an array of tech moguls such as Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Peter Thiel, etc. For example, Amazon and Microsoft fighting over Pentagon contracts for cloud-based solutions, yet both firms have ties in entertainment, the military, logistics, etc.
Powerful companies that exists today that absorbed Howard Hughes’ companies/divisions are Raytheon (Hughes Aircraft which helped build the Galileo telescope, air-to-air missiles, NASA Lunar equipment, H-4 Hercules, stinger missiles), AT&T and DirectTV (Hughes Electronics), Delta (Hughes Airwest), L3 Harris (Hughes Microwave Tube Division), Boeing (Hughes Helicopter), ACDelco (parts of Hughes Electronics after GM bought them), Baker Hughes (Hughes Tool Company), Palomar Technologies (Howard Aircraft Technology Products Division creating Automated Wire and Die Bonder equipment), Nextstar Media Group (acquired Hughes’ radio station, KLAS-TV, a CBS affiliate station), Venetian and Sands Casinos (the former Hughes properties were in part acquired by Sheldon Adelson, i.e., Trump’s megadonor), and Howard Hughes Corporation (a real-estate firm that builds master planned communities).
Speaking of Howard Hughes, Joe Rogan Experience Episode 1425 with astronaut Garrett Reisman supports what I’m talking about throughout this paper. Reisman admitted to accidentally comparing Elon Musk to Howard Hughes since Hughes was an eccentric. Yet, in this podcast, Joe Rogan and Reisman profess their love for the show Batttlestar Galactica, which is interesting because the show has religious elements to it which are based on the Old Testament, the Torah, as far as the concepts of the 13 Tribes of Israel. Why is this important? It is my opinion that Israel with its current relation with the United States regarding bi-national tech transfers (and, theft), cyber security, surveillance, etc., has for a long time played a role in the intersectionality between things which are esoteric (centering around Kabbalistic thought in this case) and hard sciences. Based on research done by Know More News with Adam Green and his discoveries about the Noahide Agenda, it seems that our technocratic 3rd way future (which seems like a loose version of Starship Troopers – minus the aliens), would have a world religion based around Judeo-Christianity, i.e., Noahide Laws. There’s a high level of Jewish ownership in technology such as the CEOs of Facebook, Google, 23 and Me, etc. We also know with Jeffrey Epstein that he was involved in funding scientific research, studying Bitcoin with accused rapist Brock Pierce, and being involved with the Massachusetts Intitute of Technology.
The Neoconservative movement (which overlapped the MK Ultra Era and the growth technology) was also highly Jewish (Milton Friedman, Barry Goldwater, Henry Kissinger, etc.), which seems odd considering the levels of real antisemitism within far-right politics, yet, this makes sense because antisemitism helps the Jews solidify power, and as we can see in American Right-Wing politics, it’s really an infusion of Anglo-Saxon identity politics mixed with Evangelical Zionist Christianity. In other words, these two groups supplement each other despite the perception of issues in mainstream life. Another odd link between this podcast with Joe Rogan and Garrett Reisman regarding Battlestar Galactica (which is infused with religion) is that supposedly US Army Psy Ops Officer, Michael Aquino, helped consult the production of the original series, and Aquino was associated with the Church of Satan of Anthoy LeVay (who was Jewish most likely, i.e., his ideology may be inspired by Kabbalist thinking similar to that Crowley he was friend of Sammy Davis Jr., who was Jewish). When people hear Satanism they instantly think some conspiracy but it is a real organization, similar to the Chaos Magick organization of the Illuminates of Thanateros.
Relating to Michael Aquino (a US Army Psy Op Officer), who will appear later in this paper, according J. Andy Ilias (2016), “In 1972 he joined the 306th PSYOP Battalion (Strategic), USAR at Fort MacArthur, California, and for the next seven years served as Research & Analysis (FA) Team Leader, Operations Officer, and finally Executive Officer. In the 306th – whose members ranged from eccentric Hollywood personalities to dour L.A.P.D. officers – he oversaw highly-classified Basic PSYOP Studies for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, PSYOP support for the training of units such as the 12th Special Forces, and use of the 306th’s atmospheric World War II-era bunkers for space combat scenes in the original Battlestar Galactica television series.” However, regarding Aquino, I’m not sure what to make out. It’s treason to wear a military uniform (false valor) if not in the military and claim commemorations, so he must be real. A part of me wants to believe that his eccentricity is part of a psy-op, i.e., no one would believe in any agenda because it seems so out there, but that makes him more influential and powerful in affecting real life events, movements, policy, etc.
Part 1b – Getting Starship Trooper’s comparison out of the way: Similarities in the film to that of the 2016- political situation, demographic changes, the rise of technocracy, etc.
The film adaption by Paul Verohoeven, as odd as it sounds, is a possibility of our future. A synthesis of Plato’s The Republic or Huxley’s Brave New World society, as if designed with Orange County Disney precision and Rand Corporation consulting, that merges Left Wing ideologies such as multiculturalism and globalism [something I call C.I.M, for Corporate Intersectional Marxism] made possible by the power of multi-national corporations and free trade that develops a global monoculture (the Terran Federation), feminism (Dizzy Flores played by Dina Meyer and Sky Marshal Tehat Maru played by Denise Dowse. Tehat Maru seems to draw a parallel to Kamala Harris, with the Maru last name seeming Indian in nature, and Kamala is of half-Indian heritage), gender equality (the co-ed shower scene; women and men are allowed to hit each other), and Marxism (Citizens) but with Right Wing Ideologies such hierarchy, fascism, libertarianism, i.e., Civilians – at least in the American form since the US libertarian movement was often associated with movements like the John Birch Society, militarism, etc. Let’s not forget the film has Nazi inspired Hugo Boss uniforms. There’s a funny (dark humor) scene in Starship Troopers the film where it is stated that Mormon extremists set up a colony in an Arachnid Zone at Port (or, Fort) Joseph Smith, but the colonists were brutally killed by the aliens. This scene relates to Joe Rogan in his talk with Geoffrey Miller in Episode #1173 where Miller pokes fun at Social Justice Warriors and talks about the Amazon series, The Expanse. Miller goes to state that in the series the first human space colony was developed by Mormons because they’re forward thinking and pronatalist. So, now only does this talk between Joe and Geoffrey relate to the scene in Starship Troopers but the condensing tone towards Social Justice Warriors, i.e., the political left, alludes to the acceptance of right-wing skepticism when dealing with the left. [Visual Notes: https://youtu.be/x1Ic6iSiOuM; https://youtu.be/J206CKoG1R0]
1b.1. Latin American Intersectionality with the Right Wing, 3rd Position Politics and how the racial dichotomy of the film emulates America’s demographic changes: It is also important to note that the main characters are white Argentinians from Buenos Aires, despite the book version of Juan “Johnny” Rico being of Filipino heritage. First off, Paul Verhoeven purposely typecast white Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place looking actors in order to poke fun at whitewashing in film, but also to show reach of Western standards upon the rest of the world. Secondly, it is my personal belief that Robert Heinlein chose to write Juan Rico as a Filipino because during his era of the early-to-mid twentieth century, the United States had an imperial and colonial relations with The Philippines and you can read my previous paper, Tears on the Western Horizon: How the Las Vegas Shooter’s Filipino Connection Unveiled the Philippines’ fight for the future and its shadowy past by Quinton Mitchell, which can found in a link below.
Regarding the fact that the characters of the film adaption are white Argentines, this relates to our reality particularly in the United States as the “native” White population slows in growth and Hispanic often Mexican population grows. Yet, despite these two groups seeming at odds, it’s only natural that over time in many ways they will merge to a varying degree and whiteness in the United States will be like the concept of whiteness within South America. This transfusion and admixture were made possible by corporate free trade globalism, particularly with free trade agreements such as NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. Despite tensions and xenophobia, there already exists within Latin American culture an embedded conservatism which will soon find commonality with white Republicanism regardless of class. For example, many Hispanics and working-class white people are in construction, both cultures are patriarchal, Hispanics due the nature of their earlier hard-labor jobs are dispersed across the nation such as the agricultural areas of the American Midwest and American South, and like most immigrants in US history the new immigrants and their citizen children will emulate the behaviors of the establishment in order to fit in and prove themselves.
Relating to conservatism, this influx and eventual assimilation means a possible resurgence in religion since Catholicism is cultural for many Hispanics; militarism since many immigrants and their children see the military as a way of to climb the economic ladder, etc. Many Hispanics already identity as white prior to coming to America and even too many racist white Americans, despite the perception, Hispanics are often included and there’s been evidence of many in the Alt Right as being Hispanic. To paint a visual picture, think to Jeb Bush and his wife who is from Mexico and their children who are engaged in the political arena. Or, think to the relationship of South Florida Cuban communities to the Republican Party dating back to the Cold War. This is unrelated but based on demographic changes going more Hispanic in nature, despite white backlash (since, white people might benefit from this immigration), the USA and Mexico are heavily reliant on each other and this reliance has generated a multi-billion-dollar international drug market. I see a future where the old Italian La Costra Nostra is replaced by the major Cartels of Mexico (Gulf, Juarez, Sinaloa, and Tijuana) setting up shop regionally in the United States. The same organizational corruption that persisted throughout the twentieth century will be here in the future, as drug cartels their money to bankroll state politicians, mayors, Senators, Attorney Generals, military commissioned officers, etc., to create a system where they effectively rule.
The appearance of Carl Jenkin’s character played by Neil Patrick Harris who has an English last name to me indicates that this world was made possible largely because of the idea of Americanization via the multi-national corporation. Of course, the people speak English because the film is for an American audience. The fact that 3 of 4 of the main movie characters are of white Argentine heritage has historical relevance because Latin America, as most of us know, was a safe haven for fugitive Nazis (even Pablo Escobar employed Carols Ledher – a Columbian with German heritage, who was a Neo Nazi) , but Latin America prior to WW2 was home of many Italian and German immigrants.
Later in the Cold War, with the USA fighting Communism by staging bloody revolution to overthrow democratically elected leaders, many of the Right Wing Generals were of Germanic heritage or had close bonds with fugitive Nazis and these Nazis were often known to the CIA because the Nazis were seen as allies against Communism. This Nazi CIA connection dates to the immediate times after the Allied Victory in which certain German Nazis were given clemency in return for their intelligence services which would go to form the modern German intelligence service, the BND. These Latin American leaders included Juan Peron with his wife Evita, but Juan and Evita’s bodyguard for a time was Otto Skorzeny, Hitler’s Commando and later creator of the Nazi Alumni association, Die Spinne, and founder of right wing military contractor based in fascist Spain, The Paladin Group, which had ties to political assassinations). Other fascist leaders with relations or links to the Italian-German communities of Latin American included Augusto Pinochet of Chile, Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay, and Italian and German Brazilian Junta leaders with Emilio Garrastazu Medici, Ernesto Geisel, and Augusto Rademaker Grunewald.
1b.2. Occult, Paranormal, and Masonic relations to Technocracy There’s also technocratic elements triggering comparisons to Elon Musk with SpaceX and his Hyperloop Project (the scene where Johnny Rico played by Casper Van Dien says goodbye to Carmen Ibanez played by Denise Richards), but there’s also esoteric transhumanist elements to the film (relating the Counter-Culture movement, Esalen, Joe Rogan, The Burning Man EDM culture, etc.), such as ESP – Extra Sensory Perception – as seen in the character Carl Jenkins played by Neil Patrick Harris. This paranormal element in the film seems to harken back to the real-life theosophy inspired Occultism of the Nazis such as the Far Eastern archeological works supported by Heinrich Himmler’s SS (Schutzstaffel) think tank called the Abnenrbe. The Russians, whom also had an impact on technological research within the West via the Russian Cosmist thinkers, also were interested in paranormal pseudo-science.
Young (2012) states, “Much has been written about occult researchers and activities during the Third Reich in Germany, but the Soviets, apparently, also developed their own equivalent to the Nazi Ahnenerbe, the search for ancestral Aryan roots and ancient occult artifacts. The Russian equivalent was centered on the mysterious “Red Merlin,” Alexander Barchenko, a medical school dropout, writers of occult adventure stories, and follower of the French esotericism Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre, a popularizer of the legend of Agatha, a subterranean paradise hidden in a network of caves somewhere in Central Asia. Barchenko persuaded the OGPU secret police section head, Gleb Boky, to sponsor paranormal research in government laboratories and to undertake a mission to Central Asia in search of the magical kingdom of Shambala, where powerful secret knowledge was hidden that could win the war for the Bolshevik cause.” (p. 190-191).
Masonry, Martinism, and other Esoteric Organization’s ties to Syncretic Political Ideologies, Russian Cosmism, and how it fits into the Starship Trooper’s arugment: Since, I’m talking about 3rd Way politics, 3rd positions politics, the 3rd Wave of Alvin Tofler, etc., in relation to the syncretic society shown in the film Starship Troopers, that which was written about by Robert Heinlein in the book version of Starship Troopers, but also the political ideology of Joe Rogan (whom I consider a Neoplatonist via his psychonaut advocacy & Discordian approach to reality), I want to bring light to quote in the previous paragraph above from Young (2012), which states the Alexandre Saint-Yves d’Alveydre. I found online his name associated with the Synarchism movement (a type of 3rd Way model) but also something called Martinism and the first thing I noticed was the Star of David.
One of the orders within Martinism is Elus-Cohens where Cohen is Hebrew for priest, but this seems to denote not a Jewish control of the group but rather Christians using Hebrew. It seems that after the Bavarian Illuminati of Adam Weishaupt fell from grace, the Illuminate quest fell upon the French Martinists, but they were in a landscape of many Masonic Lodges and Rosiscrusian orders. Martiniism in my estimation is a form of Christian Mysticism which like Masonry, Hermeticism, etc., relates back to Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola in the Renaissance who helped to merge Christianity with Neoplatonist thought in something akin to a Christian variant or alternative of Jewish Kabbalah (with the Jews thinking they’re chosen and await the Moshiach whereas Christians believing in Jesus Christ and await Revelations and Jewish conversion). Mirandola’s works and that of others helped shape Hermeticism, ceremonial magic practices, frameworks of medications and levels or degrees, etc., and would go to influence Masons (highly involved in Revolutionary thought of the 1700s), Rosicrucian, Martinisits, but also more “dark ark” frameworks (which seem to get mixed in with the “Light forms of Masonry”) such as later Crowley Thelema, Chaos Magick, The Order of the Golden Dawn, Theosophy, and even the Church of Satan. Masonry can be confusing because it seems that in the Enlightenment Period onward, there were constant disputes between sects, reconciliation, and schism within sections. Yet, they all had a common Enlightenment brotherhood and the more I read into Neoplatonism, the more Masonic degrees makes sense because degrees are the levels in Neoplatonism and are steps to The Monad (the One, or true God), divine shapes, divine forms, etc.
Regarding conflicts, for example, the Grande Orient de France (Continental Masonry) broke from the United Grand Lodge of England between 1870-1890, largely because the Grand Orient wanted to admit atheists which defied Masonry’s requirement to believe in God, i.e., The Grand Architect. It’s complicated because the mission statement of masonry seems quite harmless in that it’s a social club based around a belief in a higher power and trying to build the perfect man. Yet, the conspiracy comes into play because Masonry did play a role in political revolutions and members are individuals with their own actions such as criminality. Masonry due to its secretive nature is arguably a good source of intelligence gather and information sharing, and this seems to be the case for Masonry throughout the British Empire, but also the rogue Masonic lodge in Italy, Propaganda Due, which was involved in the Vatican banking scandal of the Bank de Ambrosia, and its affiliations with CIA Stay Behind Units (terrorist groups) during the Cold War’s Year of Lead in Italy.
Regardless, factions within the Grand Orient de France brought back a belief in God and Scottish Rite practices and reconciled with the English and formed the Grande Loge Nationale Française. However, as already stated, there were the Martinists within the Bavarian Illuminati tradition with its sects and they were frowned upon by the Grand Orient Lodge. So, it’s easy to get confused by Masonry because you national lodges, smaller regional lodges, rites, orders, Deist branches, atheist friendly branches, etc.
Yet, relating to their esoteric beliefs and practices and their relationship with Enlightenment Democracy (Democritus) and Liberty (Libertas), it can be seen in the French revolution that the Jacobin Movements – partically that of Robspierre’s Montagards – with their radical ideals on secular (atheist) democracy (the Cult of Reason, Reign of Terror) and emphasis on class (then of the Ancien Regime) would later merge or adopt the ideals of Marx and Engels’ post-Hegelian ideology of Marxism pertaining to dialectical materialism, i.e., class struggle of the proletariat, bourgeoisie, and petty bourgeoisie, which can be seen in the later text by Marx, The Paris Commune.
However, the Americans would adopt the Girondin branch of the Jacobin’s movement ideas which were more moderate, based on property rights, and would lead to the adoption of federalism, Adam Smith’s capitalism, the Protestant Work Ethic with roots in Calvinism (popular in Scotland where Adam Smith is from), etc. The masonic brotherhood against monarchy is why France supported the Americans and Americans went to France and both are related nations but implemented democracy differently. This next sentence as mental notes for myself to summarize and create correlation: (Grand Orient de France > Jacobins > Montagnards > Marxism > Social Democracy and Continental Philosophy such as Critical Theory, Existentialism, Deconstruction) (United Lodge of England and American Lodges > Jacobins > Girondins > Capitalism > Analytical Philosophy & Pragmatism)
So, with all of this being said about Masonry, Martinism, etc., we to stay on track about the basis of this paper which relates to Joe Rogan’s syncretic political ideology which merges left-wing and right-wing and how it emulates the society seen and written about in Starship Troopers. In Starship Troopers we have the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance, but based on the data previously presented about Martinism, it is known that Martinism entered Russia in the 1790s. So, if Masonry and related movements have played a role in shaping US Democracy and that of other nations, and the policy of the United States is based on a 3rd Way position, i.e., free-market global capitalism on the auspices of spreading democracy, then the current Russian entry into American life as seen by the Trump Administration, to me emulates that of the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance. Similar to how counter-culture is based from Neoplatonic ideas, the USA and Russia both have their renditions of Zionism, which has historically references in the Christian Kabbalah of Masonry and Martinism. Essentially, via this Masonic viewpoint, Israel is a sacred nation, though Christians and Jews see it from differently angles, but it’s a mutual arrangement with Jews needing Israel to be reunited and the Fourth Temple built, but Christians needs this for Revelations. The Jews don’t believe in Jesus or Christian revelations whereas the Christians believe Jesus is the Messiah and will come back during Revelations. Both the United States and Russia have ties to Israel as well, so keep that in mind throughout this paper.
Relating to Martinism within the text by Young (2012) relating to the Russian Cosmists, which thus relates to futurism, technocracy, cybernetics, the occult, and influences on American science (i.e., Jack Parsons, Jet Propulsion Lab, etc.)/counterculture – as visualized in Starship Troopers – it was stated in Chapter 10 of text, titled: Promethean Theurgy, “George L. Kline has termed “Promethean theurgy.” The ideas, that philosophy should be a form of action, not simply reflection, from Marx, and from Nietzsche, that with the death of God, humanity must create its own destiny” (p. 177). Further, within this same chapter but in section dedicated to Occultism, Young (2012) quotes Maria Carlson, a writer on the Silver Age Russia, whom states, “Occultism, in a bewildering variety of forms, was a popular intellectual fashion of the period. Most educated readers had at least a nodding acquaintance with spiritualism and Theosophy, but there was also Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Martinism, Hermeticism, as well as manifestation of “common” or “boulevard” mysticism, such as somanbulism, chiromancy, Tarot, phrenology, mesmerism, astrology, fortune-telling, and dream interpretation.” (p. 187).
The CIA’s and DOD’s Experiments into…ESP. Yes, ESP, Remote Viewing, etc. ESP and Remote Viewing in the film, Starship Troopers, relates to the real-world government funding into paranormal research. The CIA recruited people who claimed to have possessed paranormal abilities, such as ex-Israeli Defense Force, Uri Geller. Pruitt (2018) states, “The roots of Project Star Gate go back to 1972, when a classified report made waves within the U.S. military and intelligence communities by claiming that the Soviet Union was pouring money into research involving ESP and psychokinesis—the ability to move objects with the mind—for espionage purposes. In response, the CIA began funding its own top-secret research, headquartered at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park, California.” Further Pruitt (2018) details how the CIA shutdown the project but it was transferred to the Defense Information Agency at its location in Maryland at Fort Meade. I find this interesting because Fort Meade is also the home to the Defense Information School (alma mater of Jonathan Young of Ancient Aliens, and potentially a source of some resources utilized by Alex Jones and Joe Rogan). Fort Meade isn’t far from decommissioned base, Fort Detrick, which was home to the U.S. Army Biological Warfare Laboratories (USBWL), one of the main agencies involved in the MK Ultra projects with the CIA’s Office of Scientific Information (now known as the Directorate of Science & Technology).
Further, Pruit (2018) stated, “The shutdown of the program that year did not mark the end of the government’s interest in psychic phenomena. In 2014, Jacobsen writes, the Office of Naval Research launched a four-year program (costing some $3.85 million) to explore the use of premonition or intuition—what is popularly known as a “sixth sense” or even a “Spidey sense,” in honor of the web-throwing superhero—among sailors and Marines. And Dr. Edwin May, the former Star Gate research head, has continued to argue on behalf of ESP as a legitimate tool for military and domestic intelligence long after the program was shut down. In 2015, May told Newsweek that his most recent ESP study, funded by the non-profit Bial Foundation, “is probably the best experiment in the history of the field.”
Aliens are a prominent trope on the Joe Rogan Podcast, but aliens are often associated with the counter-culture conspiracy movement. It’s my personal belief the aesthetic design of the most common alien image, the grey, is just a symbol which represents – like an icon such as the Mickey Mouse shape with Disney – the Deep State experimental psychological and technological research conducted after World War 2. The imagery of the aliens, such as those found at Roswell are meant to trigger an instant associate with the Holocaust which was known for this violation of medical ethics, but the alien also offers a biological explanation for the possible origins of humanity away from divinity thus making the general public more conducive the upcoming technological age. Alien culture aligned to the psychedelic “Far Out” culture of the 1960s and 1970s and is a multi-dimensional or purpose symbol that represents a lot of concepts. Robert Heinlein was accused of racism because the Aliens were euphemism of other human cultures such as the Chinese, or, as a comparison to our modern political arena regarding Muslims. Since aliens (think the term “illegal aliens”) can be analogous to “alien cultures”, i.e., the bugs in the film are often in desert landscapes, equivalent to the Clash of Civilizations since the Global War on Terrorism between Israel and the West versus Islam.
Joe Rogan’s podcast, especially in its earlier years, often talked about conspiracy theories (arguably a tool of the Cold War intelligence community for disinformation purposes) spanning Extra Sensory Perception, Theosophy, and Aliens while also advocating for psychoactive drugs such as mushrooms and LSD (which relates Joe to Esalen but also the older MK Ultra experiments of the Cold War such as those conducted by Sidney Gottlieb, the CIA’s chief chemist and a military liaison consultant to Lockheed; and, David Ewan Cameron, a President of the American Psychological Association who was accused in child sex abuse, which instantly draws a mental comparison to the child abuse in Chile under the Pinochet regime occurring at Colonia Dignidad created by pedophile, Paul Schafer. This facility was also used by Pinochet for torture and internment of political dissidents). Relating back to theosophy, Joe Rogan hosted Robert Schoch on Episode #1124 who admitted to his grandmother being a Theosophist, meaning she was likely a follower in the days of Madame Blavatsky.
There’s a historic overlap between technocracy and the Occult, as explained in George Young’s (2012), The Russian Cosmists, but also the fact that scientists such as Jack Parsons – a Crowley Thelema follower – of the Jet Propulsion Lab consulted Russian cosmist, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, and I will quickly loop this reality into the previous statement in the previous paragraph regarding Robert Schoch’s reference to Madame Blavatsky (founder of Theosophy) on Joe Rogan’s podcast in order to show the technocratic and esoteric underpinnings to the podcast itself.
“Civilization cannon evolve further until “the occult” is taken for granted on the same level as atomic energy” (Wilson, 1973, as quoted in Young, 2012, p. 187). “Occultism, in a bewildering variety of forms, was a popular intellectual fashion of the period. Most educated readers had at least a nodding acquaintance with spiritualism and Theosophy, but there was also Rosicrucianism, Freemasonry, Martinism, Hermeticism, as well as manifestations of “common” or “boulevard” mysticism, such as somnambulism, chiromancy, Tarot, phrenology, mesmerism, astrology, fortune-telling, and dream interpretation.” (Carlson, 1993, as quoted in Young, 2012, p. 187). “In the wider society, all branches of the socialist movement shared the First Object of Theosophy, viewing themselves as a vanguard of universal human brotherhood.” (Young, 2012, p. 188]
Part 2a. Analyzing 3rd Way syncretic political ideology between Rogan and Starship Troopers, the book by Heinlein (1959) and the film adaption, (1997)
Joe’s interests such as that in transhumanism, the unity of mankind, perennial philosophy such as all religions being euphemisms of a common metaphysical belief, space, technology, his syncretic political ideology that merges libertarian and Marxist, his affinity for out of body experiences akin to a practitioner of medieval hermeticism against staunch Catholic dogma, Jungian psychology, and his interests in paranormal and gnostic (hidden) knowledge might make Joe a Neoplatonist Philosopher without knowing it. In a funny way, this seems quite accurate and with Joe being Italian and his interests in things which are arguably esoteric, plus his syncretic libertine philosophy, I get the image of Joe in the medieval Renaissance as a court or street jester as a cover for a spy who was former Italian city state military conscript who associates with Christian, Jewish, and Islamic esoteric, occultic, Kabbalist, Averronist, and hermetic thinkers in the courts of nobles in places like Florence, Sicily, Padua, Verona, or Modena, etc.
The movements Joe has adapted to his unique personality span from atheism, skepticism, scientific progress away from theism, Satanism one could argue with his “Do What Thy Whilst” mentality, and comedy which in many ways is a form of philosophical analysis of questioning reality. Joe often talks about aliens, paranormal, transhumanism, psychoactive drugs, science, but also hosts guests associated with the Far-Right but also the political Left. Joe’s ambiguous syncretic politics merges both Marxist and Libertarian thought which are opposing but related dialectical positions (dyads) from a common (Monad) theory of democracy. When you merge those opposing forces you get the true source of political power from the standpoint of democracy which his 3rd Way, which interestingly is the way the United States runs, with it being both free market capitalist but also government subsidized, and this mixture creates the 3rd way Neoliberal Corporatism we live under.
Third Way politics is the socially acceptable brand of Centrism which was applied to most Western liberal democracies after WW2 but gained prominence as a term to my knowledge under the tenure of Bill Clinton. It’s effectively corporatism that mixes right-wing capitalism with left wing Marxism to effectively create a society dominated by government subsidized corporations able to spread power globally via the reach of multi-national corporations, who in turn help the government’s military extend defensive lines across the globe as trade lanes expand. Further, it helps to bolster the exchange of US Dollars in global transactions keeping the United States dollar (based on credit and productivity not hard assets) as the prime reserve currency, i.e., more dollars used and people equate with a higher value, means people will protect their dollars and ensure their investments in dollars are ruined (think of it as dollar addiction or dependency). However, Third Way might be the socially acceptable manta of modern liberal democracies, it has a dark-cousin, twin, or doppelganger in Third Positions politics, and this dark-cousin might be the precursor to our clinically clean managerial systems.
“Called the Third Position, it seeks to overthrow existing governments and replace them with monocultural nation states built around the idea of supremacist racial nationalism and/or supremacist religious nationalism. Third Position neofascists have organized in the U.S., Europe, and the Middle East, and they maintain some kind of loose network, at least for the purposes of discussing their shared ideas and agenda, but in some cases involving meetings and even funding.” (Berlet, 2016).
It’s highly possible that Third Way politics is simply a socially acceptable form of Third Position politics, considering Third Way developed in the USA during the World War 2 as Franklin Delano Roosevelt amplified Keynesian economics (demand side economics, i.e., the government creating credit to stimulate economies and manage inflation) to justify the government subsidizing big business (the Defense Industry, i.e., Military Industrial Complex), but after WW2, intelligence communities with support from both Democratic and Republican leadership, recruited Nazi scientists, pre-existing American Behavior scientists such as those inspired by the works of BF Skinner, Russian defectors known as White Russians, French Critical Theorists, Frankfurt School theorists, and academics in sociology and psychology – many Jews who fled Germany and Italy – such as those located at the New School’s University in Exile. By taking the social theories that helped created Nazism and Communism, the Americans were able to synthesize these and apply them to the liberal capitalist democratic model to create a powerful syncretic 3rd Way form of management, i.e., global corporatism. These studies essentially distilled Nazi and Communist thinking into fields such as managerial studies, process and system design, organizational and operations management, communication studies, etc.
However, Robert Heinlein through the medium of science-fiction was able to create a type of simulation for what a 3rd Way society taken to its extremes would look like. A Platonic state merging right and left to establish a global system based on classical ideas such as the right to vote within a Constitutional Republic, i.e., the sovereign franchise. “Historic examples ranged from absolute monarch to utter anarch; mankind has tried thousands of ways and many more have been proposed, some weird in the extreme such as antlike communism urged by Plato under the misleading title The Republic. But the intent has always been moralistic: to provide stable and benevolent government.” (Heinlein, p.181). “All systems seek to achieve this by limiting franchise to those who are believed to have the wisdom to use it justly. I repeat ‘all systems’; even the so-called ‘unlimited democracies’ excluded from franchise not less than one quarter of their populations by age, birth, poll tax, criminal record, or other.” (Heinlein, p. 181). “The sovereign franchise has been bestowed by all sorts of rules – place of birth, family of birth, race, sex, property, education, age, religion, et cetera. All these systems worked and none of them well. All were regarded as tyrannical by many, all eventually collapsed or were overthrown” (Heinlein, p. 181). Major Reid when discussing the purpose of the system the people in Starship Troopers (the book) live, Johnny Rico states that the difference between their system and others that have failed is their system focuses on responsibility (p.183, para. 3), i.e., service, civic duty, the ability to die for the nation, as a requirement to gain access to the sovereign franchise (the right to vote).
Yet, despite this 3rd Way Neoliberal Corporate State being effective, as far as concentration of political power goes for the managerial, bourgeoisie, technocratic class, it is still quite infantile, and is on a continuous evolutionary path of emboldening the dialectical positions which creates it, while simultaneously creating new versions of the system that merges both positions that constitutes it. Since WW2, the USA could be divided into generational decades with each having a type of agenda for prepping the current for the new. In other words, the drastic shift of culture from WW2 through the early 80s, was prepping people for Globalism, corporatism, the speed or insanity of fast-paced often disorienting informational dissemination, and, now as we’re playing with the next level of global-integrated-technocracy. The same way how the chaos of WWI created the League of Nations or WWII gave us the Bretton Woods System, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and United States, I would assume that in order to fully integrate and organize the new world, or, the Fourth World (Reich), there will have to be less sovereign states and larger economic blocks. However, this may not happen if pre-existing international bodies such as United States reforms its antiquated bodies such as by including more nations in the United Nations Security Council with permanent voting power, e.g., India, Brazil, Germany, etc.
These phases or eras are the equivalents of evolutionary adaptations within the 3rd Way model as the 3rd Way model itself continues to grow and be the de facto for of political organization. This viewpoint seems related to Francis Fukuyama’s theory presented in his book The End of History¸ which posits that the liberal democracy is the penultimate form of political organization, especially with Communism meeting its demise in the late nineteen-eighties. The current system and where it’s going seems to be an organizational model inspired and plausibly still dictated by esoteric ideas even though these ideas are shrouded with modern philosophy such as Analytics, psychology, sociology, pragmatism, evolutionary biology, system design, process design, organizational and operations management studies, etc. It sounds silly but take the term Black or Dark Magic for example, drop the magic, and input Technology to create Dark Technology. Many scientists of the Age of Reason and beyond were influenced by Neoplatonists or esoteric ideas.
A Marxist might disagree with this, as will a libertarian, since they’re unable to see how the game is rigged against them, such as the Democratic party being Liberal socially but Statist economically, or Republicans and Libertarians often being conservative socially and liberal economically, i.e., rigged on purpose, but little do they know, they’re simply actors in a managed dialectical stage equivalent to that of the Myth of Sisyphus or the concept of eternal recurrence in the Nietzschean sense (with Nietzsche relating to the concept of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution), where the action of each by itself or onto to the other continues to push the 3rd Way model into full, New World Order, existence. Nothing ever really kills the other but as they fight, they exchange information or habits or systems by default. Both can’t exist without each other, despite the claim they can, and the victory of one over the other isn’t a replacement, but a hedge and temporary stewardship over the direction of the inevitable merging of opposing forces. The light needs dark, and dark needs light. That New World Order existence that will come, emulates the vision’s provided in Starship Troopers, which has already stated, relates to the talking points and style of Joe Rogan, whether he realizes it or not.
The term New World Order is so overused in conspiracy that to hear it would draw the criticism of most. Yet, it is a term that has been used by mainstream politician when advocating their vision of a better world. Regardless, based on the idea of evolution but also mixed in with esoteric ideas, the way our world is unfolding is arguably the grand creation of the Grand architect based on a zealous devotion of democracy not matter its form that will create a united global humanity centered around technology. In a way, we already live in it.
2b. The Classical, Italian Renaissance, and early Democratic ideology underlying Joe Rogan’s syncretic worldview. Understanding Joe’s esoteric inspired worldview. Is Joe Rogan a Neoplatonist and Hermetic Occultist?
As Liberal Marxist and Conservative Right Wing libertarians war with each other in the echo chambers of cyber space, both sides forget that these two dialectical forces, interestingly, have common roots as far back as the Italian Renaissance as people rediscovered Classical Era thoughts such as Neoplatonism, which is a school of philosophy developed by Plotinus who built off of Plato’s ideas (author of The Republic). Plotinus developed an ideology pertaining to a belief in the Monad or the One in which all existence emanates from a singular source and there’s a Demiurge (lesser god) and lower essences between the One and humanity. According to Wildberg (2016), “During the Renaissance, ancient Greek learning, and Neoplatonism in particular, experienced a dramatic revival in the West in the wake of the work of Gemistus Plethon (1355–1452), Bessarion (1403–1472) and, above all, Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499), whose translation and interpretation of Plato and Plotinus in the second half of the 15th century influenced not only the philosophy, but also the art and literature of the period. It may even be true to say that even more than the writings of Plato and Aristotle themselves Neoplatonic ideas have continued to influence Western thinkers of the idealist persuasion, such as the Cambridge Platonists (who were really Neoplatonists), Leibniz, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Bergson and Teilhard de Chardin, to name but a few.”
Basically, the demiurge is a “demi-God”, albeit powerful and the creator, but this god is subservient to the One, and since all levels of reality and emanations of forms within these levels descend from the One, each subsequent step is less perfect, such as our material world being less pure than the spiritual world; hence, hermetic practices or ceremonial magic such as alchemy or ritual – which vary in theory and application – can “help” humanity achieve a higher level thus be closer to the Monad (the One).
Before, Plotinus, we had the eras of ancient philosophy such as that of Socrates, Plato, & Aristotle, but the lesser-spoken-about but equally important, pre-Socratic philosophers and Seven Sages, played an important role. Pre-Socratic schools such as the Monist School of Milesa or the Ionian School comprising philosophers such as Heraclitus, Anaximander, Anaximenes, etc. This is also the era of the legendary Pythagoras, who is arguably the father of cryptography with his emphasis on numerology, developed the concept of metempsychosis (reincarnation – a modern scientific analogy would be transhumanist ideas or cloning), but this overall period in Greek history was at the crossroads of other empires such as Persia, those of the Levant such as Phoenicians, Canaanites, and Hebrews, Egyptian, etc.
Other thinkers such as the Post-Socratic, Epicurus of the Cynic School, would have a major effect on Enlightenment Era Thinkers with his ideas around free will and the pursuit of happiness. Epicurus could be the godfather of hippies and communal living alongside Pythagoras. Ideas such as those from Persia had rubbed off on the Greeks such as the concepts of magi, which is the forerunner to magic, and possibly the concept of astrology. It could be argued that esoteric thought was an agglomeration of exchanged spiritual theories from the civilizations on the fence of East, West, and Egypt. These areas had always had historical ties such as migration or conquests, such as the Jews being in Babylon and Persia, the Hittites, the Phoenicians of the Levant being dominant before the Greeks, etc.
One Pre-Socratic philosopher, Anaximander, for example believed in Material Monism or the idea that all physical reality was built upon an underlying singular fundamental element or force (arche – water, fire, air, earth, ether, etc.). So, to summarize, if we were to mix the notions of dialectics, Monism, evolution, perennial philosophy, and Neoplatonism, one can see an emphasis on merging dialectics back to a singular “divine” “pure” source. Wilderberg (2016) states, “Although one might think that the phenomenon of evolution militates against Neoplatonic theory, it is actually compatible with it; to some degree, it is precisely what we should expect as the empirical upshot of such metaphysical assumptions. Moreover, in distinction to the Forms posited in the old Academy of Plato and his immediate successors, the Forms of the Neoplatonists, far from being mere schemata, definitions, or ghostly blueprints of the natural world, are rather noetic entities teeming with conscious life. They actively and dynamically interrelate in such a way as to constitute a living noetic cosmos;”. Thus, this merging of dialectics to achieve a higher-level can be seen in 3rd Way politics, economic blocs over opposing nations, transhumanism (man meets machine), and, even transgenderism, with the latter having classical roots in figures such as the Greek entity of Hermaphroditus. These trends today are looking like where our world is headed.
Neoplatonism played a role in inspiring democracy, science, and enlightenment ideas with advocates such Giordano Bruno, a Catholic priest that practice Hermetic occultism who was burned at the stake for his ideas such stars having their own planets and possibly life (Joe Rogan, aliens, get my drift). Another thinker is the aristocrat turned thinker, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, who wrote the Oration on the Dignity of Man in 1486. Mirandola was a Christian Kabbalist with interests in magic and helped reestablish esoteric practices in the West by building his own or building upon other’s ideas, which would later evolve to some degree – since esoteric thought isn’t linear – into the Occult, Rosicrucian, and Masonic ideals.
Democracy was inspired by these esoteric ideas but arose simultaneously as early capitalism in the Italian city states arose, and this capitalism would have a profound influence on early banks but also guilds and Masonic Lodges. Anyone is this era during the time of Kings who wanted democracy were liberal and there wasn’t much distinction because democratic and liberal ideas were still developing, particularly that of economic theory. Classical Liberals and early egalitarians (later Marxists) were one but splintered on Masonic Lodge lines during the times before and after the American and French Revolution. Both of these revolutions were democratic revolutions away from nobility, but the differences of opinion on Masonic and/or Enlightenment thought, caused the English and American Lodges to tilt towards capitalism, merchants, and federalism (smaller government), but the French Lodges in Jacobin France seemed to have leaned towards egalitarian, collective, proletariat driven, centralized models, and this would thus evolve elsewhere after the time of Hegel’s idealist philosophy into the concept of Marxism with Karl Marx and Fredrich Engel’s, both New Hegelians, providing analyses on dialectical materialism, i.e., class struggle.
Esoteric ties to the Frankish Noble Bloodlines of Italy, England, Germany, etc.: This section might seem out of place, but it’s really to show the relationship of esoteric through to political power. Understanding esoteric throught in relation to history and political power can help shed light on why it still exist today. An interesting side note is that Giovanni Mirandola’s family (the Pico) were related to other notable powerful Italian and/or Frankish, German, and Italian families such as the Este via Giovanni’s brother, Galeotto I’s marriage into the Este Family. This is interesting because the Este are a the junior branch of the Young House of Welf, and the Welf Dynasty, following the descendants of Welf I (or, IV in the Elder House of Welf genealogy which died out), would go to inherit Duchy of Brunswick Luneburg, which would later evolve into the House of Hanover, i.e., the Kings of the England during the Georgian period. Welf I was the son of Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan. Alberto Azzo II’s great-grandfather was Adalberto the Margrave, i.e., Aldabert III, of the Obertenghi Family, whose family was granted large swaths of land during the time of Benegar II of the Italy, a descendant of Charlemagne, through his mother Gisela, the daughter of Louis the Pious. The Orbertenghi Family fell under the House of Boniface founded by Boniface the I who was appointed governor of Italy by Charlemagne himself after Charlemange’s son, Pepin of Italy died, and his grandson, Bernard of Italy, rebelled again Charlmange’s son, Louis the Poius. Boniface also was the Count of Lucca.
Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan and Kunigunde of Altdorf. Kunigunde’s mother was Imiza of Luxembourg, the daughter, Frederick of Luxembourg, the son of House of Luxembourg scion and member of the house of Andennes-Luxembourg, Siegfried (born. 922), whom lastly was the son of Frankish duke, Wigeric of Lotharingia (areas in modern day Belgium, Luxembourg, parts of Northern France, Southern Netherlands, and the Lorraine borders of Germany and France).
Wigeric’s second wife was Cunigunda, granddaughter of Charlemagne’s direct descendant, Louis the Stammerer, i.e., Louis II of the West Francia. Relating back to the Giovanni connection to all of this, as stated the Mirandola House married into the Este (Italian Welf) House. Welf IV (I of the Younger House) inherited his mother’s uncle’s (also named Welf) rights to Bavaria, i.e., elevating him to Welf the I of the Younger House. He had a younger brother, Fulco, who retained power in the family’s Italian seat via their father in the areas he owned in Veneto, around Mantua, Padua, Treviso and Verona. When Fulco and Welf’s dad died, Fulco kept Este and his brother kept Welf. Galeotto I, Signore of Mirandola, brother to Giovannai Mirandola, married the daughter of a descendant of Niccole III d’Este.
Later down the line, Alfonso d’Este (21 July 1476 – 31 October 1534), Duke of Ferrara, married into the Papal Family via his marriage to Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. Pope Alexander VI was one of the most notorious Popes known for his infamous, Joust of the Whores. “When we think of the popes who have presided over Catholicism in recent decades, it’s difficult to imagine them inviting 50 dancers to slowly strip while they ate dinner. It’s even harder to picture one of them throwing chestnuts on the floor for these dancers to snatch up, before handing out prizes for the guy who could have sex with the most women in one sitting. But Alexander VI was a Borgia before he was a pope, so his turn in the cassock was always going to be debauched.” (Cubis, 2017).
Welf I’s son Welf II had married the powerful Matilda of Tuscany and the Mirandola (Pico) family nearby had been vassals of Matilda, insinuating this possibly where the Mirandola line became associated more so with the Welf Este line. Welf I’s descendent, the famous Henry the Lion, settled the disputes between the Bavarian Welfs and the Italian Estes, giving up claims to his familial Italian possessions, yet, these Italian and Germany blood ties would be crucial during the Guelph (Italian for Welf) versus Ghibellines (those loyal to the Holy Roman Emperor) during Italy’s struggle to retain autonomy away from the Germanic, House Hohenstaufen (interrelated with the Welf’s, e.g. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa and Henry the Lion were cousins). The Guelph factions, siding with the Papacy, in Italy fought those loyal to the Emperor, and the conflict started during the Investiture Controversy as the Pope and Emperor battled over who had more power. Essentially, the Guleph factions commanded in part by Este Nobles, used the tensions between their cousin German Welf family, to help fight the Hohenstaufen imperial overlords (Frederick Barbarossa, i.e., the Frederick the I, and Frederick the II).
Henry the Lion, Duke of Bavaria and Saxony (of the Welf Clan related his Este cousins in Italy) married Matilda of England the daughter of Richard II, thus interlinking the Welf-Este Clan to England when they finally ascended the throne of England as the Hanoverian kings. Yet, during the times of Hohenstaufen rule of the Holy Roman Empire, the Welfs and Hohenstaufens fought viciously over rulership, and Henry the Lion had been stripped of his Saxon lands and Bavarian lands, but later after reconciliation obtain some lands back such as those around Brunswick. Henry the Lion’s son, Otto IV, would become the Holy Roman Emperor but was excommunicated by Pope Innocent III. Otto IV died without issue, so his brother, living in England due their mom’s English royal ties, named William of Winchester, took over, but his son, Otto the Child officially came to the rule Brunswick Luneburg.
To rewind a bit, an interesting fact is that Henry the Lion went on crusade in 1172 and met with the Knight Templars and Knights Hospitallers. Another interesting fact is that as already stated the British nobility has Hanoverian blood (Welf-Este) but the during the Victoria area a nearby German family in Saxony based in Gotha married into the British family, meaning the British family is highly German, but with a vast diversity spanning Italy (arguably back to the fall of the Rome during the Gothic invasions), Viking French (Norman Conquests), Scandinavian, etc. Think about this if you were to pull out the themes: royal blood lines, the Franks, Knight Templars, Occult practicing relatives, etc.
The house of Este still exists today in Prince Lorenz of Belgium, Archduke of Austria-Este and the house of Welf exists today in Prince Ernst August of Hanover, meaning these people are distant relatives to the current British royal family. The British nobility during the times of Queen Elizabeth had John Dee as an advisor to Elizabeth and he was into Hermeticism, Rosicrucianism, etc. So, the heritage of the occult and esoteric thought goes back much further.
GALEOTTO I, Signore della Mirandola e Conte di Concordia 8.11.1467, *Mirandola 1442, +by malaria Mirandola 7.4.1499, bur San Francesco, Mirandola; m.Ferrara 1468 Bianca Maria, natural and legitimate daughter of Niccole III d’Este, Lord of Ferrara, Modena and Reggio by Caterina de Taddeo (*18.12.1440, +Mirandola 12.1.1506) [Source: http://genealogy.euweb.cz/italy/pico1.html]
3. How Joe’s esoteric syncretic worldview aligns to politics, counterculture, defense and intelligence (the Deep State or Military Complex) and entertainment.
Joe Rogan’s talking points have been linked to the Esalen Institute, which is known for its counter-culture roots but granted it did host many notable thinkers in the fields of psychology and psychiatry. This place hosted or was associated with people such as (1) Aldous Huxley, the author of a Brave New world. Esalen co-founder, Dick Price, while attending Stanford was inspired by Aldous Huxley’s talks on Human Penitential, and Price’s co-founder, Michael Murphy, would go to establish the Human Potential Movement, which is something Joe advocates for with his fitness beliefs. Also, Joe does have a habit of using Darwinist-terms such as Alphas and Betas when describing people, and though it seems like coincidence, if you apply this to Huxley’s book, Brave New World, it aligns with the social orders of the novel. As a side note, slightly related, the NXVIUM cult by Keith Raniere, styled itself as a “human potential company” (International Cultic Studies Institute, n.d.), and Roger Stone was on NXVIUM’s payroll (Edevane, 2018), and has close ties to Alex Jones who in turn is close to Joe Rogan. (2) Julius Huxley is noted for coining the world transhumanist and this relates to the Human Potential Movement, but transhumanism was expanded upon by Iranian-American and New School NY professor, MS-2030, real name, Fereidoun M. Esfandiary. MS-2030 would consult companies such as Lockheed Martin.
(3) Joseph Campbell, a mythologist who studied archetypes in myths, and who was inspired by Carl Jung. Before I go on about Jung, relating to Transhumanism out of the New School, the New School was also home to the University in Exile, who were refugee professors who studied the sociology of the Nazis and Communists, but they were brought to America on the assistance of the Rockefeller Family. Do your own reading into the Rockefeller Dynasty. Leo Strauss, the noted developer of Neoconservatism ideology in the USA, which was later associated with Rockefeller’s University of Chicago, was in this cast of characters. One main member relating to Joe via Joe’s Esalen inspired talking points was Max Wertheimer, whom helped develop the concept of Gestalt psychology which later developed by Fritz Perls et al., as Gestlat therapy and Perls was a notable associate of Esalen. [Visual Note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8y5tuJ3Sojc. Full video of Fritz Perls’ session with Gloria from the film “Three Approaches to Psychotherapy” (1965), posted on YouTube on 9/12/13]
Jung’s psychoanalysis which centered on dream interpretation and archetypes, was inspired in part by the Tibetan Book of the Dead and Plato’s idea of eidos. Joseph Campbell would inspire George Lucas when writing Star Wars. Star Wars is now owned by Disney and Disney gave Joe is first major acting jobs. Lucas also employed cult members from the Synanon cult for his senior film thesis, THX 1138, and Synanon was referenced by author Philip K. Dick, notably as an allusion in A Scanner Darkly (which interestingly in the film adaption has Alex Jones). Further, the Joseph Campbell archives are curated by Jonathan Young, an alumni of the Defense Information School and contributor to History Channel’s, Ancient Aliens, (4) Terrance McKenna, the noted advocate for the “Stoned Ape” Theory and for use of psychoactive drugs, (5) Alan Watts, known from introducing Eastern ideas into the West, (6) Ray Bradbury, the creator of Star Trek (6) Deepak Chopra, the founded of Quantum Healing, which has been derided as pseudo-science, (7) Fritz Pearls, the originator of the Gestalt Therapy method, which is an existential/experiential form of psychotherapy, (8) Hunter S. Thompson, the gonzo journalist who inspired Joe Rogan and his friend, Josh Ronson, (9) Lt. Col. Jim Channon, who was involved with the Human Potential Movement for the US Army and established the concept of the New Earth Army – a program that would study to see if soldiers could use paranormal abilities, etc.
The Esalen Institute is a counterculture retreat not far from San Francisco and developed in the times of the Cold War where defense, intelligence, CIA and FBI before the Church Commission exposed their secret operations (including MK Ultra, and the Cultural Revolution were developing. Joe has stated that as a child he lived in San Francisco.
4. Joe in San Francisco and Los Angeles: An objective quick view of the importance links to San Francisco and LA to this paper relating to Starship Troopers, Joe Rogan’s worldview, and the overlap of Counterculture, Defense, Esoteric Thought, and Entertainment.
In the book of Starship Troopers, Juan “Johnny” Rico leans about the origins of the Terran Federation. The Russo-Anglo-American alliance fought a war with China. This eerily emulates the real-life scenarios of Trump’s yearning for improved Russian relations but also the United Kingdom’s brand of MAGA with Boris Johnson when relating to Brexit. Further, the far-right President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro (of Italian and German descent), has a power style like the Caesarism of Putin, Johnson, and Trump, looks like Johnny Rico played by Casper Van Dien. Another interesting note is that in the novel by Heinlein, it is stated that San Joaquin Valley and San Francisco were destroyed, and this area interestingly is part of Silicon Valley, which is interesting because Americans view the center of power as being in Washington DC, yet, with the power of tech companies (Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc.), the real power (minus the power of law and treaty) is in San Francisco. “Major Reid, our instructor, was a blind man with a disconcerting habit of looking straight at you and calling you by name. We were reviewing events after the war between the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance and the Chinese Hegemony, 1987 and following. But this was the day that we heard the news of the destruction of San Francisco and the San Joaquin Valley; I thought he would give us a pep talk.” (Heinlein, p. 177, 1959).
The San Francisco area in this Counter Culture era gave rise or was involved in the following: (1) MK Ultra projects such as Operation Climax, (2) Bohemian Grove with Cold War neocons members such as Reagan – who was into the paranormal – and Richard Nixon, (3) birth place of groups such as the Symbionese Liberation Army [famously involved in the “Stockholm Syndrome” kidnapping of Patty Hurst), the Black Panthers, and Aryan Brotherhood, but all with links at San Quentin Penitentiary, (4) The Church of Satan of Anton LeVay (5) the speculative fiction of Philip K. Dick who used psychoactive drugs, stated he was harassed by the FBI, but also saw the rise of early Silicon Valley which possibly inspired his fiction such as that regarding transhumanism, e.g., Blade Runner, Ubik, etc., but also, the likely fact that Nazis, such as in his book The Man in the High Castle – also based in San Francisco, “did win the war” since many former Nazi intel agents, i.e., the Gehlen Organization of Reinhard Gehlen, and Operation Paperclip scientists were let off the hook and worked for the US government such as a notable Otto Von Bolschwing who settled in San Francisco area working for an early Silicon Valley tech start up.
(6) Stanford University with its ties to Silicon Valley via the Stanford Research Institute with locations in the Bay Area but also Menlo Park in Southern California Military Industrial Complex, but also Stanford is renowned for its school of Psychology [including the Palo Alto School, i.e., the Invisible School. Stanford’s psychology progress is where Esalen Institute founder, Michael Murphy, was an alumni before being an Army psychologist but also co-founder, Dick Price, (7) the kink community [note: sites such as Kink.com, have been called the Abu Ghraib Prison Camp of sex for its intense pornography by female directors such as Lady Donna, harkening to the idea of pornography as a psychological weapon to debase or deconstruct the subconsciousness so it can be rebuilt, similar to the concept of pornography within David Cronenberg’s postmodern horror masterpiece, Videodrome], (7) LGBTQ community, (8) site of Jeremy Mishlove, the only person to obtain a Doctorate in Para-Psychology from US Berkley, and he hosts the current show, New Thinking Allowed, a show spanning tops from remote-viewing, ESP, paranormal activity, Indo-European studies, Vedic and Hindu Shamanism (something which was of interests to the intellectuals of the Nazi movements such as) and has hosted Alt-Right Iranian scholar, Jordan Reza Jorjani.
(9) The location of notable serial killers in the San Francisco area proper but also in nearby Santa Cruz, such as the Zodiac Killer and Golden State Killer. A plausible suspect in the Zodiac Killings was a man named George Hodel, and he is the likeliest suspect in Southern California’s Black Dahlia’s Murder – a murder mimicking the art of Man Ray’s piece, Minotaur. Man Ray (a surrealist, like that of Salvador Dali, who liked Hitler and was a pervert and misogynist), John Huston, and Hodel were friends that bonded over womanizing in the local Hollywood scene. Hodel was associated with Hollywood (likely as an abortion doctor with his medical training), hosted parties for celebrities and actors such as John Huston.
Interestingly, Huston played an incestuous tycoon in Roman Polanski’s Chinatown, but in real life, George Hodel was accused of incest with his daughter. Further, Roman Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered by Charlie Manson’s followers, but John Huston’s daughter, Anjelica Huston was questioned by police during Polanski’s underage sex arrest before he fled the United States.
Hodel hosted orgies, relating to the Sex Magick Occult scene of the 40s and 50s, like that of Crowley Thelema follower and famed rocket scientists, Jack Parson. Parsons was an associate of Heinlein and L. Ron Hubbard via the La Manana Literary Society. Southern California was where the Rand Corporation (manned by Neoconservatives, i.e., Trotskyites turned Republicans such as Albert Wohlstetter), Defense and Aerospace Industry (Jet Propulsion Lab, Howard Hughes, Vandenberg AFB, Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, etc.), Disney and Hollywood, Intelligence, hippies, Orange County John Birch republicans, Neo Nazis such as in Anaheim, Lancaster, and Huntingdon Beach, and, yes, the Occult aligned].
Robert Heinlein had a major impact on both hippies associated with the left but also libertarians often associated in American political history with the right-wing. His book, Stranger in a Strange Land, has concepts such as a world religion based around neo-paganism and polyamory, i.e., free love and communal living. His book The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, inspired libertarians. Heinlein in his youth was an advocate for the Social Credit of the Socialist author, Upton Sinclair, which is Universal Basic Income, a concept spoke about on Rogan’s podcast by Andrew Yang and Elon Musk. During the Cold War, due to Heinlein’s navy experience, he shifted more right-wing and advocate from a world government. His syncretic society formulated in Starship Troopers, threading upon Plato’s The Republic (similar to Huxley’s Brave New World), has Civilians are the equivalent to libertarians (who can’t vote) and Citizens which are the equivalent to Marxists or statists who can vote because they served in the military.
Joe’s Military Support and Connections: Joe often styles himself as a supporter of the military while having the hippie anti-war mentality. Many of his guests are veterans, intelligence assets such as Mike Baker, and Joe is often wearing shits with the American Flag often in imagery one could mistake as a Blue Lives Matter rendition of the flag, Black Rifle Coffee, etc. I’m not judging him on this at all but it’s obvious that Joe of course supports the military (as do I and I’m a veteran). Since his podcast is so popular, I like to think of Joe Rogan as a “MK Ultra 2.0, military recruiter that’s cool for the kids, who plays video games, talks about “chicks”, gets high, and is in the liking of the New Earth Army with ties to the Hollywood-Military and Tech elite”.
The New Earth Army, as seen in the film, The Men Who Stare at Goats. The Men Who Stare at Goats was written by Jon Ronson, who is a friend of Joe’s friend, Alex Jones, going so far as producing Alex Jones’ conspiracy movies. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Alex Jones obviously was an asset (either by choice or by incrimination) to support Trump with his right-wing synthesis of White Supremacy and Right Wing Zionism leading up to 2016 by tapping into Jones’ base of often angry, white male, Christian Right conspiracy theorists that grew under the tenure of Barack Obama.
This relationship to Jones who is in the MAGA Camp (also, associated with Trump associates Jim Corsi and Roger Stone) seems to be a big reason Joe Rogan throughout the Obama Era and after Trump’s victory was platforming the Intellectual Dark Web with a crew spanning Sam Harris and Stefan Molyneux (advocates of Racial IQ theory), Harvey and Eric Weinstein, Gavin McInnes (an icon in the hipster Alt Right and founder of the Proud Boys), but also, Jordan B. Peterson known for his Jungian approach to self-help but whom became an icon of certain members of the Alt Right with his opportunistic rejection of feminism, redefining gender, etc.
Relating back to Esalen and Lt. Col. Jim Channon, Channon was a member of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. US Army Airborne relates to US Army Special Forces (Green Berets) out of Fort Bragg, NC., which engages in unconventional warfare, such as the 1st Special Forces Command (Airborne) and US Army Airborne, Special Forces, also mans the US Army’s Psychological Warfare Operations. The entire US Army Special Forces, as well as that of other branches, falls under United States Special Operations, based out of MacDill, AFB, Tampa. The Special Operations Command has a unit the falls under it called the 193d Special Operations Wing based out of Harrisburg Air National Guard Base. Their mission is as follows, “Flying the EC-130J Commando Solo, a specially-modified four-engine Hercules transport, the 193d Special Operations Squadron conducts information operations, psychological operations and civil affairs broadcasts in AM, FM, HF, TV and military communications bands. A typical mission consists of a single-ship orbit offset from the desired target audience – either military or civilian personnel. The Air Force Special Operations Command’s 193d Special Operations Wing, Middletown, Pa., has total responsibility for the Commando Solo missions.” Further, “The 193d SOW’s primary wartime and contingency operations mission is to broadcast radio and television signals to target populations from an airborne transmitter, jamming existing television and radio signals where necessary. Messages are not developed within the wing itself, but are provided by staff of the United States Army‘s 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne), based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina”
Think about all that… Ancient Aliens with links to the Defense Information School; the US Army Special Forces had ties to Esalen, albeit probably minimal, yet, still US Army Airborne and Special Forces units utilizing Lockheed C-130s to fly mission to broadcast radio and television signals, or, the fact that Joe Rogan has associates with people in US special forces and the intelligence community, or, the fact that Alex Jones has had military personnel on Info Wars. This all seems like a clever ruse on the general public by using conspiracy culture and popularity to build large bases but then to slip in messages, manufacture consent, or covertly reinforce themes to groom or steer the public in general directions, or, to even exacerbate political tensions. There’s an odd connection or correlation with these and they all merge with concepts such as psychological operations, counter-culture, asymmetric communication mediums such as direct-to-audience podcasts, the defense industry, entertainment in Hollywood spanning Disney to the video game industry, universities doing research into sociology and psychology, etc.
Then comes the curious case of Army Officer and Temple of Set (a Satanic organization) of Michael Aquino. Not sure what to make of this guy. Part of me doesn’t want to acknowledge him in anything I read or write about because that would accuse me of conspiracy, but it seems that’s the exact reason of why Aquino exist. To dissuade people with an, “Oh, it’s just an eye roll conspiracy”, but he was real. From my viewpoint, he built off the work of Air Force General Edward Lansdale’s pioneering psychological warfare of the 50s, simultaneously as a Dr. William S. Kroger of UCLA, a doctor who developed hypnosis techniques with the gynecology field, got hypnosis approved by the American Psychological Association, but William S. Kroger would later go to consult the FBI on actual crime cases. Other mental notes to keep in mind is that Lansdale conducted his Psy Warfare in the Philippines, the original Juan Rico character from Heinlein’s book was Filipino, and the Philippines was home to MK-Ultra sites, and as far as the later fact, I’ve discussed this is my paper, Tears on the Western Horizon: How the Las Vegas Shooter’s Filipino Connection Unveiled the Philippines’ fight for the future and its shadowy past by Quinton Mitchell. (link: https://mitchellrg.com/2019/11/21/tears-on-the-western-horizon-how-the-las-vegas-shooters-filipino-connection-unveiled-the-philippines-fight-for-the-future-and-its-shadowy-past-by-quinton-mitchell/)
Michael Aquino helped develop the lexicon during the Pentagon’s Era of studying counter culture to win the Cold War, such as the work of Lt. Col. Jim Channon, depicted in the film, The Men Who Share at Goats (produced by Joe Rogan’s friend, Josh Ronson), for current postmodern psy-op techniques aka “Info War”. Aquino has been on Alex Jones “Tip of The Spear” aka the symbol of US SOCOM, Info Wars.
Alex Jones seems to have has been coopted, but not as bad as Joe and Alex’s blackmail likely involves prostitution and drugs considering he associates with drug users in the Rogan Crew but also the Sex Swinging of his friend Roger Stone. Alex Jones’ powerful asymmetric direct-to-audience podcast (a psychological operation) seems to be in support of the US SOCOM (Special Operations Command), Roger Stone, Zionist, Chabad Lubavitch, Jim Corsi, Trump, etc. In other words, the Zionist Kosher Nazi Right Wing sect of the Intel and politics community, dating back to the Reagan, Nixon, the Neoconservatives associated with the University of Chicago, CIA Director William Casey, John K. Singlaub’s Western Foundation during the Iran-Contra Affair, The World Anti-Communist League (which had ties to Nazi sympathizers after WW2), and the John Birch Society days, with its web of paid Alt-Right YouTubers like Styxenhammer666 (an Occultist whose stated that memes area form of magic), Rebel Media with a cast spanning ethno-nationalist Lauren Southern (who interviewed Aleksandr Dugin), Mike Cernovich, The Drudge Report, Sargon of Akaad (who did a video on Starship Troopers but shifted highly right-wing for his own propaganda), Project Veritas, Jay Dyer (possibly, considering his Anti-Western rhetoric, adoption of Orthodoxy, and interview of Aleksandr Dugin), etc.
Alex Jones, arguably Alt Right, has threatened “revolution” with “Patriots” if Trump is removed by stating the US has Operation Gladio-esque Stay Behind Units. This sounds far-fetched but the US does have State Defense Forces (inferior to the Active Duty and National Guard) which under the support of Ronald Reagan grew. Investigations reported they were full of out of shape or Neo Nazi elements, like the European SBUs involved in Cold War atrocities in Germany, Italy (Year of Lead), and Turkey (Abdullah Catli – assassin linked to the assassination attempt on John Paul). Jared Kushner has ties to the production company which made The Purge full of Alt Right imagery, paramilitary, etc., but he also had ties to Josh Raffel, whom according to Rodriguez (1997), “A Hollywood publicist who cut his teeth promoting low-budget horror hits like Get Out and The Purge films is now selling the achievements of Jared Kushner’s new role in the White House. US president Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor has reportedly hired Josh Raffel to lead communications for the White House Office of American Innovation, according to the Hollywood Reporter.”
Young. G (2012). The Russian Cosmists: The Esoteric Futurism of Nikolai Federov and his followers: Oxford University Press. [Young quotes. 1) Wilson, C. (1978). The Occult: A History. New York: Random House.]
Other sources not quoted but for general interests:
“Active or self-directed evolution, then – holistic, anthropocentric, and teleologically determined effort – are some of the terms that scholars have applied to most Russian Cosmist” (Young, p. 9)
Before I begin, I want to say that this analysis of Horse the Band isn’t to insinuate they have any connections to the right-wing. I think they’re simply storytelling and telling a story as if where a bad guys vs good guy epic. Horse the Band is an American metalcore band from Orange County, California, that became known for their 8-bit video-game influenced sounds which labeled them as Nintendocore. In personal opinion, I would call them Avant-Garde metal employing postmodern themes, such as transhumanism, simulation and simulacrum, 80s cyber and Cold War pastiche akin to the visions of William Gibson’s Neuromancer, merging high art with low art, and digitization, with the electronic synth elements serving as a device to suggest the informational overload of contemporary life.
The band does a good job of analyzing the informational overload of postmodernity, where this era is defined largely by the domination of images or symbols which creates a self-destroying and self-replicating chaotic reality. In such a state of reality it’s hard to distinguish truth (fake from real; organic from synthetic), thus bringing upon existential (nihilistic) questions of being. Horse the Band doesn’t seem to be perpetuating a sense of cosmic dread through postmodern means with ill-intent, but rather they’re musing, feeling and thinking with music to attempt to answer the old philosophical question of, “What is the meaning of life”. But they’re also just having fun.
Their album, A Natural Death, in my opinion is their magnum opus, despite, their follow-up album, Desperate Living – which is good – getting higher rankings from music critics. Math metal is arguably seen as a type of nerdy aggressive male space and I think the bands on stage antics and style has relegated them from larger audiences. It is a type of Revenge of the Nerds, Reed College weirdo or M.I.T style of metal, thus engendering possible accusations of being for suburban, garage conspiring, computer hackers in some rainy Tech corridor such as Portland or Seattle, yet, their demeanor seems ironic, self-aware and assured, and artful. This relates to the underlying theme of artistic movements such as Dada. Essentially, they act quirky as to challenge audiences or listeners not to take life too seriously, i.e., to destabilize metanarratives, which is the key tenant of postmodernism.
Postmodernism sought to challenge the stiff and empirical mindedness of Modernism of the early twentieth century. Modernism posited a belief in structuralism, the ability to know truth, behavior sciences, and made bold objective truth claims such as science will liberate humanity, or skyscraper urbanism will be the future utopia. Yet, these claims were challenged harshly after WW2 since objective truth claims were blamed for the deaths of millions of humans and all in the name of “progress”. Speaking to the Dada art movement of early twentieth-century Europe, alongside other schools such as Italian Futurism or German Bauhaus, Horse the Band’s, A Natural Death, seems in alignment with Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Metropolis shows a future advanced urban society based on Modernist and Futurist themes, yet, the film could be argued as one of the earliest warnings of transhumanism and the film is known for its famous female Satanic robot. The fact that Fritz Lang chose a female robot seems interesting. Feminism is often at the forefront of globalist movements such as the Green Movement, or, there’s the banner call of the Future is Female. But, that future also possibly holds transhumanism. Transhumanism seems to be cross-juncture between feminism (particularly with its focus on gender as being a spectrum, not a biological axiom), the New Age movement, the Green movement, globalism, AI and IoT (Information of Things), and transgenderism, etc.
Essentially, transhumanism is related to all these topics, in that it represents a type of “inevitable progress”, and the female form of Fritz Lang’s robot and the real movement of the Future is Female – in a future that will be globally integrated with IoT – indicates the symbolic importance of femininity within this paradigm shift. In other words, femininity as presented and argued within the larger sociopolitical debate makes it synonymous with shifting, merging, androgyny, the evolutionary notion of progress, or, in alchemy language…it’s a malleable “substance”. The female form is also the window into life, so femininity has an esoteric element involving shifting, birth, renewal, etc.
A Natural Death seems to be a concept album with a linear but fuzzy storyline. It seems to involve a main female and male character through three linear storylines but all are related and the concept of time travel comes into play. One story arch deals with the violence of the American Frontier with songs such as Murder, Broken Trail, Crickets, and Rotting Horse. Another is set in the modern day such as in New York City, a club as insinuated in Sex Raptor, an occult sex ritual as insinuated in his Purple Majesty, and the Beach which seems to be the scene of a goodbye between the main male and female protagonists. The other story arch deals with the ancient past in Hyperborea or a land under threat from Hyperborea, but towards the end of the album we’re in a space travel setting akin to 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Films or books that come to mind that might have been inspirations are (1) Eyes Wide Shut, (2) 2001: A Space Odyssey, (3) Conan the Barbarian by Robert E. Howard, but also HP Lovecraft, (4) The Legend of Zelda and Mario Bros., (5) the American West, (5) the comic hero, Red Tornado – further the albums transhumanist elements, (6) and Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series where a Wild West character is central to the plot involving a tower that serves as the bridge between different realities and worlds.
The songs relating to this paper are Hyperborea, Murder, The Startling Secret of Super Sapphire, Face of Bear, New York City, His Purple Majesty, The Red Tornado, Rotting Horse, and I think we are both suffering from the same crushing metaphysical crisis. Other songs could be inserted to help construct a larger storyline, yet this paper is about the Russian, transhumanist, and/or esoteric underpinnings which reflect themselves, oddly, within real-life scientific advancement, geopolitics etc.
1. Hyperborea (which I’ll argue as being related to the Hyperborean mythos of Russian Cosmism later in this paper). Yet, within the narration and plot of the album, the song depicts a type of unnatural winter storm roll in with the lyric, “Numbness swept down from the east.”, i.e., Numbness swept down from Russia. There seems to be the first appearance of the female main character of the overall album’s plot but based in a past life or past representation. The concept of time-travel will appear later in the album, so this reference along with others from other lyrics seems to shed light that this album is largely a romantic adventure, similar to Link with Princess Zelda. “She sulks from silver towers, she could save a life.”. Towers, princesses, Princess Zelda, and Hyperborea possibly being similar to Hyrule from the game’s franchise. Yet, the male lead character in this harsh wilderness, while making references to a female in a tower (a princess or maiden), also has to tap into something equivalent to Conan the Barbarian’s Riddle of Steel. Don’t trust man, don’t trust girl, don’t trust animals, trust in steel.
There seems to be antagonist, briefly referenced in the opening song with the lyric, “He says he hates us and he’s afraid to try–and I know why.” but this same character might be manifesting himself later on as the “Purple Majesty” who seems to have a type of mental grip on the female. The albums deals with notions of time-travel, reincarnation, eternal recurrence, deja vu, or even possibly, parallel universes. The album involves a romantic relationship between a male protagonist with a female who first appears, as insinuated in the first song, with being a princess in a tower, but in the modern day this female character gets involved with “His Purple Majesty” in a sex ritual, yet, both are reunited towards the end on a cosmic journey towards transcendence. The album deals with love and death, and the male character is first heard has having to tap into his inner strength with the lyric “trust in steel”, yet, he seems to be bouncing back and forth in between time, thus comes in the transhumanist, postmodern, digital effects and themes.
Interestingly, some random facts found online, Robert E. Howard, the author of Conan, had Hyperborea as the land northeast of Conan’s home of Cimmeria. Howard was also a contemporary to HP Lovecraft who incorporated some elements of that into his Chutulu mythos. Friedrich Nietzsche referred to those who followed his philosophy as “Hyperboreans” in The Antichrist, where he states, ““Let us face ourselves. We are Hyperboreans” (Goodreads, n.d.). The Cimmerians were a real Indo-European group, likely from the Steppes, who lived in near the Caucus bridgeway near Armenia (the strip of land South of Russia to Northern Iran and Northeast Turkey) and were related by proxy to the Scythian tribe, and later migrated into Europe in lands know considered Slavic but with traces in Celtic and Germanic
2. Murder seems to fast forward in time to the American frontier during an Indian raid on white settlers.
I cut open the white man And take from his woman too If it were up to me, all the white faces would bleed Bleed and bleed and bleed, it’s truth
Murder, it’s murder Murder, it’s murder
Empty plains echo with empty screams There’s a wagon on the highland A father and his girl, both are heading south I tie the boy and the horses
Then you use the skills of the wolf I don’t use a bullet Get close enough, I can use my knife My knife
I cut open the white man And take from his woman too If it were up to me, all the white faces would bleed Red’s a better color, it’s truth
Let the blood out, let it flow Cut the blood out, let it flow Kill the blood out, let if flow Like a river let it flow
Let it flow like a river Let it flow like a river Let if flow like a river into the sea
3. The Startling Secrets of Super Sapphire which has an almost eighteenth-century American East coast, Atlantic, and Gothic nature to it, similar to the stories of HP Lovecraft which are abound with Mayflower East Coast characters found in situations of cosmic dread. Lovecraft is credited with the founding of cosmic horror where older themes of ghouls and ghosts are replaced by physical yet beyond comprehension creatures such as aliens. Lovecraft was a cosmicist, not be confuse with cosmist, and this view held that humans are insignificant to the cosmos and there’s forces in the cosmos beyond human reason such as inter-dimensional beings. Though Lovecraft popularized science-horror or cosmic-horror, writers such as Mary Shelley with Frankenstein used natural sciences as a device within horror before Lovecraft. The song seems to depict a character, whom I consider to be a Captain Ahab figure or Old China Trade Opium Merchant from the Port of Salem (Skull and Bones connection with the Russell and Forbes families), who comes across a sacred artifact (Sacred Sapphire), only to be come possessed by it. “The sapphire is the birthstone of the month of September. The name sapphire is derived from the Latin word “saphirus” and the Greek word “sapheiros,” both meaning blue. Some believe that the name sapphire is derived from its association with the planet Saturn. The name can be roughly translated to mean “dear to the planet Saturn” in many different languages” (Jewels for Me.com, n.d.). Saturn as a planet plays a role in cosmology. The halo is obvious with its significance in culture (angelic halos, wedding bands, etc.), but to many Saturn seems to represent the “Morning Star”, i.e., Lucifer or Moloch. Saturn’s mysterious black hexagon pattern at its northern pole has also sparked many comparisons with religious objects such as the Jewish Tefillin, the six sides and six triangles of the Start of David (which is up for debate it seems but there is the quote of Amos 5:25-5:27), and the Islamic Ka’bah . Yet, Saturn when connected to Saturn Day is reflected in Roman culture, thus our modern culture, yet, it’s also reflected in Hebrew such as Shabbatai שבתאי, meaning restful one, which corresponds to the Jewish Sabbath. When Rome conquered Greece, Saturn became synonymous with Chronos, thus being attributed to Chronos’ power of time, and this time attribute is also found in the Hebrew notion of Saturn. Horse the Band’s album as seen in the song “I think we’re both suffering from the same metaphysical crisis” speaks of time-travel, event horizons, etc.
4. Face of Bear (the national animal of Russia)
Winters coming days die short at the end of autumns reign hunger becomes ravenous hibernation never waits soon the silent slumber for now October’s feast fearless and graceful crashing through dead leaves
DON’T FEED THE BEARS OR THE BEARS WILL FEED ON YOU
all the forest fauna frozen feeling fear flinching at the moment face to face with face of bear all the forest creatures vanish from sight their betters come with hungers that cannot be denied
A few lines downs…
DON’T FEED THE BEARS OR THE BEARS WILL FEED ON YOU
I’ll die with the honor i choose I’ll fight face of bear and lose
FACE TO FACE WITH FACE OF BEAR (x6)
5. New York City. Puts a romantic plot within the storyline between a male and female character. In other song, title, The Beach, we hear a female character crying. Yet, there seems to be a reunion within New York City based on the lyrics:
We embrace in the heart of our city On wet broken sidewalks we’re free
Further, the song seems to insinuate that Horse the Band is actually coming from a pro-Western viewpoint despite the Russian references. Towards the end of the song accompanying the lyric, “We embrace in the heart of our city. On wet broken sidewalks we’re free”, there’s effects of fireworks. Fireworks are a hallmark of American Independence and freedom. If the plot structure is truly a series of interlocking storylines of the same characters through time and space, it seems that narrator in Hyperborea is actually warning of Hyperborea and the antagonist within this song, in my opinion, might later on manifest himself as the “Purple Majesty”.
6. His Purple Majesty There seems to be something awkwardly Lolita and Crowley Sex Magick about this. There’s a lyric by a female character who states, “I’ll do anything you say”, with a coyness about it. The color purple appears a lot within Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, and the ceremony master is wearing a purple robe. According to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston in a , during an event titled: Color Tells A Story, it was stated, “This somber palette gives way to a rainbow of neon lights as Bill’s night careens out of control, with glimpses of violet and royal purple cropping up at the most perilous moments.” The color purple represents royalty, thus the word majesty makes sense, but it also represents sexuality, magic, you could even throw “Sex Magick” in there, eroticism, mystery, etc. Going over the lyrics again the song seems to depict a ceremonial sex scene. “But she wanted. But she needed. Perfect sex in purple robes. He said, ‘Hold my hand while I touch you’, he said, ‘it will feel better that way’. She said, ‘I’ll do anything you say.'” But, later, it’s said, “she let him INSIDE even though it feels WRONG. It was all the symptoms of love but bleeding a black horror, a horror”. So… How does the Crowleyian Sex Magick of his Purple Majesty relate to Russia, let alone transhumanism? Well, one of the Russian Cosmist was Konstantin Edouardovich Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) and a young Jack Parsons had correspondence with him and Werner Von Braun to ask for advice for his early rocket science curiosities. Parsons is known for being into the Occult and became involved with the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.) of Aleister Crowley. Sex Magick was a practice and Parson’s engaged in orgies with wife. Parsons was friends with L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, and was associated with the science-fiction writer’s guild, Mañana Literary Society, where Robert Heinlein – the author of Starship Troopers – was also a member. In Heinlein’s Starship Troopers a future alliance called the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance is formed. So, from Horse the Band’s Russian references, particularly through this song “His Purple Majesty”, we first come to Crowley Sex Magick before coming to Crowley himself, Jack Parsons, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Russian Cosmism which is transhumanism, and also Robert Heinlein who speaks of the Russo-Anglo-American Alliance.
7. Red Tornado, is based on the DC Comic book hero. This song firmly links the album to transhumanism, considering Red Tornado is an android. Here are some of the lyrics:
Circuitry and sympathy Are two different things But they come together In a robot who dreams Round and round And round he goes
Later in the song:
His emotions spin at destructive speeds That he needs to control The cumulonimbus inside the machine He’s half robot and half tornado So sad the cyborg cyclone seems Drifting through the sky A willful wisp of machinery Not born but devised Still the cyborg cyclone cries Coolant drips from his eyes Plastic hands on his heart That slowly… Tear him apart
Oddly, my theory, is this album channels the esoteric and technocratic struggle between East and West. It peels away the normal surface to reveal the seedlings of pseudo-science, mad scientists, and occultists who influence “above-ground” political discourse and technological development. The Western form of Technocracy as an application could be best understood through Zbigniew Brzezinski, with this book titled: Between Two Ages America’s Role in the Technocractic Future. A few quotes from this book are listed below.
“The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities.” (Goodreads.com, n.d.)
“In the technotronic society the trend would seem to be towards the aggregation of the individual support of millions of uncoordinated citizens, easily within the reach of magnetic and attractive personalities exploiting the latest communications techniques to manipulate emotions and control reason.” (Goodreads.com, n.d.)
This might sound odd, but it’s no oddity that John Dee, the minister to Queen Elizabeth, coined the term British Empire and he himself was a magus that practiced Hermeticism and alchemy. Whether it’s the British Empire, Russian Empire, or American Empire, besides or underneath pragmatic or realist policy is a supplemental esoteric ideology (example, Masonry in regards to British Imperialism or American Manifest Destiny; Masonry or Russian Cosmism under pre-Revolutionary Russian conquests, post-Revolutionary Communism, or post-Communist State Oligarchy & Ethnic Nationalism, i.e, Aleksandr Dugin, the Hyperboreans.
The album on purpose or by accident, though seemingly without any nefarious intent, touches on the current Russia versus USA geopolitical struggle (psychological operations included) involving characters such as Aleksandr Dugin with his concept of Chaos Magick and his Eurasianist ideology, Lev Gumilev’s Neo-Eurasianism, and Valery Dumin’s Hyperborean neo-paganism. All three of the men were analyzed in the book, The Russian Cosmists, by George M. Young (2012), a professor from the University of New England.
The album seems to be a clash of both East versus West and touches upon science, Gnosticism, and esoteric thought. The tension and aggression in the album through the guttural death growls meshed with melodic instrumental solos and computer effects depicts a type of “Chaos Magick War” of factions of both East and West that are warring with each other, thus revealing a deeper, ancient, eternally reoccurring, and more sinister end-game. Yet, this end-game outside of the view of the public is arguably rigged, i.e., a Manichean Dialectic. I say rigged because there is proof of transfer of information between both East and West during the Cold such as now revealed Esalen Institute exchanges as talked about in Atlas Obscura’s piece titled, How a Fame New Age Retreat Center Helped End the Cold War, by Sarakh Laskow (2015). Even the US establishment such as the Rockefeller Dynasty (who gave seed money to both Apple and Intel via Laurence Rockefeller of Venrock Capital) spoke briefly of merging with Russia. Ivy Lee (uncle of author, William S. Burroughs), was a founding member of the Council of Foreign Relations and the Rockefeller’s media fixer. Lee favored peaceful relations with Russia which he wrote in Present-Day Russia (1928), page 214, published by Macmillan & Co., which is archived at sources such Foreign Policy magazine which was reviewed by William L. Langer, but also the University of Chicago Press Journal which is referenced in Schuman (1929) in American Journal of Sociology 35, no. 1 (Jul., 1929): 144-145.
Further, David Rockefeller opened one of the first Western bankers in Russia during the Cold War. According to JP Morgan Chase & Co. (2017), “In the 1970s, Chase added nearly 40 new branches, representative offices, affiliates, subsidiaries and joint ventures outside the United States, including two historic firsts in 1973: Chase opened a representative office in Moscow, the first presence for a U.S. bank in the Soviet Union since the 1920s” (p. 13). Further, JP Morgan Chase & Co. (2017), “In 1973, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller visited China and met with Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-Lai. Chase became the first U.S. correspondent to the Bank of China since the 1949 Chinese Revolution.” (p. 13).
The concept of “from chaos comes rebirth” is symbolic of the phoenix symbol which is often associated with Dugin’s Fourth Political Theory, but is also symbolic to the regalia of the color purple (remember the song: His Purple Majesty) which according to legend was used the Phoenicians, i.e., where the word Phoenix has possible etymological origins here. The Phoenicians were a Canaanite peoples from the Levant region near modern Lebanon, Syria and Israel, who worshipped Baal. Baal was a deity equivalent to Zeus in Greece, who controlled weather, and was represented by a Bull which signified fertility and strength. This figure seems to be the same or related to the concept of Moloch, the deity known for child sacrifice. A rendition of this Baal figure was worshiped by the ancient Hebrews as Baʿal Berith and/or El Berith, when the Jews had broken their covenant with God during the times before the ascension of Gideon. Baal thus seems to have fallen out of favor and was assigned to the role of Beelzebub.
In my novice research into Russian Cosmism and the Occultist underpinnings of Transhumanism, this album, A Natural Death, seems very on point. By Transhumanism, and one could argue transgenderism, I’m talking about alchemical-materialist-evolution based in part on the Neoplatonic notion of The One, which relates to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution which posits that all life evolved from a singular primordial source. Neoplatonism and Darwinism, though seemingly from different fields of study, e.g., metaphysics versus natural biology, yet both posit that all life came from a single source. I personally believe in evolution of some sort, but that’s not important. Darwinism sees evolution as a sign of strength and vigor required for survival, whereas Neoplatonism seems to argue that merging concepts is a way to return to the source or The One. Thus, these two ideologies are related and support each other. It could be argued that Darwin himself was an Occultist and Neoplatonist. Merging is fitness if we were to say Neoplatonic Darwinism. This is the underlying logic of transhumanism, and arguably the prepping for transhumanism with transgenderism, and it is seen as the next evolutionary step, i.e., involving the alchemical merging and manipulation of matter. From a Neoplatonic viewpoint, this seems to be the reason why Occult movements tend to focus on the dark arts or dark fashion. To them, they see what we consider evil as not being evil since its an emanation of the one, or natural doesn’t create morality, so by performing black ceremonial magic, they are in effect merging reality as they see it.
On the album there are the songs such as Hyperborea and Face of Bear, where Hyperborea relates to the Russian esoteric movement that believes Russia is the ancient mystical source of humanity, while Face of Bear relates to the national animal and symbol of Russia. With Horse the Band being called Nintendocore, the two main franchise games of Nintendo that comes to mind is Mario but also Zelda. Zelda seems important to the paper because the fictional land of Hyrule seems loosely based on a Hyperborean concept, with the Zelda franchise taking place in a European medieval setting that blends Celtic, Nordic, possible Slavic, and Anglo-Saxon Germanic elements. The Zelda franchise had the famous game, Ocarina of Time, which involves the main character Link, using a magical musical instrument to go back and forth in between time in order to awaken the Seven Sages, so the villain of the game, Ganandorf, can’t obtain the sacred Tri-Force. The lyric by Horse the Band in the second to last song on the album states, “Initiate! Instruments set to yesterday. At the Speed of Light, across empty plains of time”. Also, within Ocarina of Time, the concept of the Seven Sages seems to relate to the Seven Sages of actual Classical Antiquity which included Thales. Within the Zelda universe, especially relating to Ocarina of Time, the elemental properties of the Tri-Force itself seems to be the equivalent to the Greek concept of the arche, which were the elemental constructs the Classical thinkers used to determine the origin of matter, reality, etc. For example, Thales’ arche was water whereas for Anaximander, apeiron was the arche, which was a concept outside of matter, like the concept of ether.
The finale end song (it’s the second to last on the album) of “I think were both suffering from the same crushing metaphysical crisis” reminds me of 2001 A Space Odyssey with concepts such as transhumanist evolution through metaphysics or theoretical physics, with the main character evolving into a new form of being (the Star Child) and connecting back to a higher source, i.e., the One, or The Grand Architect of Grand Masonry.
The song starts off with “Dilation of chronal aperture in 3 2 1”, with the narrator sounding like a NASA rocket launch conductor. Chronal indicates time, whereas aperture is a window in which lights passes, such as a space through which light passes in an optical or photographic instrument, especially the variable opening by which light enters a camera. Paez (2019) states, “It is commonly accepted in energy medicine circles that a “healthy” chakra has a clockwise spin, it’s aperture is opened to the appropriate amount and has no energetic cords or other imbalances interfering with its function. The health of chakras can be controlled and improved through mental as well as physical means.” So, there seems to be an obvious Hindu Aryan mysticism via references to yogic practices of India.
Dilation of chronal aperture in 3 2 1
Activate! Initiate instruments set to yesterday! At the speed light across empty plains of time On a ship of jewels and gold All of time unfolds
A seven click blip For a fifteen-eon trip Crafting déjà vu Event horizon boom Days resind and lapse Birth after death Tomorrow is the past Event horizon boom Cities shrink and fade into the ice age Dinosaurs now new Event horizon boom
Time is broken!
How small we compared to space and time? (played in reverse) Time after time Time after time Time after time
All these machines that dream Make me want to scream There’s no bears or wild things The future not what it seems Causality denied All of time is now mine The crisis we both share Is you are me when I was there
Time after time It’s almost time Time to say goodbye At the end of time.
The song depicts a journey through space-time where the travelers – assuming a male and female (the songs Beach and His Purple Majesty involves a female character) – are experiencing déjà vu, but on the journey after seeing the future, it seems that Artificial Intelligence (the lyric: All these machines that dream, make me want to scream) have replaced all organic life (there’s no bears or wild things, the future not what it seems). Out of all the animals that are not there, the band singles out bear, which was stated previously is the animal of Russia. So, in theory, are they really saying, Russia is no longer there? The journey seems to go to the outer edges of the known the universe or towards a black hole since the term, Event Horizon, is mentioned twice. The event horizon is the boundary defining the region of space around a black hole from which nothing (not even light) can escape (Swinburne University of Technology, n.d.). It also can be used as the very outer edge of known space, indicating an expanding universe.
The song Rotting Horse with its drab lowly guitar playing, channels the sullen windswept brutality of the American frontier of the eighteen-hundreds, and this song seems to emulate the Wild West, Cowboys versus Indians, artwork on the album’s cover. Since time travel is a theme here, this period of time could have been just one of the visions or multiple realities the protagonist experienced. The repeating guitar with ominous background effects that seems to encompass both angelic choir organ keys, layered with electronic dissonance, touches upon in my opinion the temporary nature of life and the process of decay.
Russian Cosmism is effectively Russian transhumanism. It’s an umbrella of thinkers so you can’t really insinuate that all the Cosmists believed the same thing, or that they would advocate for how their ideologies have been appropriated over time. Yet, Cosmism is like Transhumanism found in the West, yet, since the West and Russia are culturally different, largely around religion, their independent transhumanist schools have notable differences. The Russian Cosmist branch of Transhumanism was inspired by (1) the introduction of Neoplatonic, Masonic, and Occultist ideas into Russia, (2) the wavering oscillation (depending on which specific Cosmists were referring to) of Traditionalism with modernist ideologies such as Marxism, and (3) from a sense of Russian Orthodox exceptionalism either in a global egalitarian “progressive” fashion or from an ethnocentric nationalism, emboldened by a ‘chip on the shoulder’ attitude towards concepts such as American Exceptionalism. Western Transhumanism, being influenced by Neoplatonism was also influenced by the socio-political and religious realities of Catholicism and Protestantism, whereas Russia was inspired or constrained by the solidarity of Orthodoxy.
It could be argued that after the schism between Catholicism and Protestantism, the West was more inclined to take on the Scientific Revolution (with modernity following), since Protestantism wasn’t purely religious, but was also a response to intellectual, economic, and personal freedoms away from the Holy See. For example, Giordano Bruno was a Dominican Friar who was a philosopher, mathematician, poet, and Hermetic Occultist. He was also a Neoplatonist and intrigued by the works of Pythagoras. His ideas, then heretical, were the possibility of life on other planets and that the universe has no true center. Bruno was later burned at the stake for concepts now considered either cannon or possible. Going back to the intellectual progression during and after the Protestant Reformation, the three concepts of intellectual, economic, and personal liberties were vital in sparking scientific secular innovation within the shift from mercantile capitalism to industrial capitalism.
Transhumanism in the West in my opinion is strongly related to the political systems of Protestant nations, as typified by the British Empire (which included the United States), and these systems are democratic, pluralist (ironically insinuating the philosophical arguments around dualism), individualist, and capitalist models. The philosophical underpinnings of Western Transhumanism is diverse spanning Continental Philosophy of German idealism of Hegel, the Hegelian criticisms of Nietzsche and his resulting extreme existentialism (which thus links to the Darwinist notion of the strongest survives); the French postmodernists which their emphasis on deconstruction, merging concepts for analysis, and analyzing post-capitalist social conditions such as expanding upon Marx’s work on alienation; the Analytical School of Britain with thinkers such as Bertrand Russell or Gilbert Ryle’s critique of Cartesian Dualism; Game Theory and American pragmatism. Continental philosophy serves as the catalyst for deconstruction and merging, whereas American pragmatism and British Imperial Analytics inspired topics such as machine-logic, the Turing Test, and Game Theory. The Occult underpinnings traveling aside these philosophies ranges from Neoplatonism, Kabbalah, Christian Qabbalah, Averroism, Zoroastrianism with concepts such as magi, i.e., magic.
Underneath all these philosophies tracing backwards people at some point would cross upon Plato, and thus the later Plotinus, who is the founder of Neoplatonism and our concept of modern metaphysics, ceremonial magic within the West, etc.
Having read the book by Young (2012), I noticed in the progenitors of the Cosmist school of that concepts such as androgyny and body enhancements appeared more than once. For example, Vladimir Solovyov, in response to the hard technocracy of Cosmist Sergei Fedorov, argued that instead of the physical resurrection of all humans as called for in Fedorov’s “Common Task”, Solovyov instead wanted a spiritual resurrection of Sophic inspiration and syzygic unity, i.e., synergy, between male and female essences. Young (2012), states, “Instead of regulating nature, whether external or internal, Solovyov views the great human task as one of incarnating divine love on a universal scale. In one his major works, The Meaning of Love, he develops the idea of a Christian androgyny that would embrace all humanity” (p. 109, para. 2); “Already within itself physical love bears the death-defeating force, the seeds of life and immortality – our task is to realize in full what now exists only as an ideal in Plato and in potential in our everyday lives. Wholeness, “all-unity”, in love means androgyny.” (Young, p. 103, para. 2); “To them he bequeathed the doctrine of sophiology, the centrality of the eternal feminine in Christian spirituality.”
Pavel Alekandrovich Florensky provided a framework for mathematical theory, semiotics, and linguistics, but also cyborgs to Cosmism, building off the autocratic technocracy of Fedorov, the androgynous sophic synergy of Solovyov, and the sophic infused political-economy of Sergei Bulgakov. Young (2012) states Florensky, ”was another Cosmist who believed that the Communist future could possibly (but not necessarily) lead to a revival of medieval objectivism, collectivism, and constructive vision, and a turning from the illusionary individualism and self-destructive atomization that had characterized prerevolutionary modernity” (p. 124), and, Florensky’s natural inclinations may have led toward a kind of figurative levitation, up and away from everyday earthly realia and into a world of Platonic realiora (Young, p. 125). Relating to back Transhumanism, Florensky speculated on early cybernetics, with Young (2012) stating, “And in a 1919 article titled, “Organoprojection”, Florensky discusses the projection of artificial organs, continuation of our bodies, to extend human capabilities throughout the cosmos. Projected organs and body parts can operate and act on the world beyond the limits of our present physical bodies. “Magic, in the circumstance, could be defined as the art of altering the limit of the body with respect to its customary location” By a continuation of flesh and machinery we can extend our organs to reach as far as we can imagine, and operations now considered magical can become routine” (p. 131-132).
The Neoplatonic concept of “The One” could also be argued as being found Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. As previously mentioned, Tsiolkovsky links to Western Occultism and Technocracy through his correspondence to a young, Jack Parson, the pioneering rocket scientist who was inspired by Aleister Crowley and The Occult. Parson has a crater on the dark side of the moon, which to me reflects a commonality between the two nations who first made it into space, the USSR and the United States. Back to Tsiolkovsky’s relationship to Neoplatonism, Young (2012) states, “An idea at the heart of most of his nontechnical writings is that of the “atom spirit” (atom-dukh) inherent in every particle of matter in the cosmos, recalling Fedorov’s idea that all matter as dust of the ancestors” (p. 151).
Further, later but fellow Cosmist, Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky had a Neoplatonic view of Plotinus and/or a Material Monist perception in the liking of Anaximenes to reality. “Vernadsky rejects any separation of matter from spirit, but defines all present life as “living matter” and holds that all presently nonliving matter shares with all life a fundamental unity that includes the potential to change from inert to living matter and from living matter back to inert, from being presently alive to being alive formerly and once more alive in the future – a twentieth century scientific analog to Pythagorean metempsychosis” (p. 157). Further, “Vernadsky recognized that a unified view of nature, the idea of the interconnectedness of all, has for millennia been at the heart of much religious and philosophical speculation, and so at the deepest level he found no conflict between scientific and spiritual views of the world. He noted that of all the world’s religions he had studied, the one he felt closest would be the ancient Greek hylozoistic pantheism of Thales, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus, which finds life to some degree present in all matter” (p. 157).
To understand the basic theories of Thales, Anaximenes, and Heraclitus, to name a few, I referenced Stanford’s Encyclopedia of Philosophy and Wikipedia, for the sake of time.
Heraclitus (610 BC-546 BC), of the Ionian School, was a pre-Socratic Greek philosopher taught by Thales (one of the Seven Sages), known as The Obscure and The Weeping Philosopher, believed in the unity of opposites and analyzed the nature of dialectics. He was committed to a unity of opposites and harmony in the world. He was most famous for his insistence on ever-present change, or flux or becoming.
Anaximenes was of the pre-Socratic Milesian School of philosophy, included Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximenes. Anaximander was the teacher of both Anaximenes and Pythagoras (yet, Pythagoras had other teachers such as Pherecydes of Syros). Anaximenes practiced Material Monism, which is a Pre-Socratic framework which believes in the physical world and all its objects as being composed of a single element. This concept of Material Monism is related to the idea of Dialectical Monism, which affirms that everything is one but the one is represented by dual manifestations.
Yet, this would also way later inspired Dialectical Materialism of Marxism where everything is comparisons of materialist distinctions such as classes, cultures, genders, etc. Yet, dialectics based in part on the Classical thinkers listed above, way before Marx, would go to inspire the overarching Illuminus thought of Renaissance Europe which thus had an effect on early democratic theories, which then fractured into the dialectic expressions of Libertarian and Marxism. Both Marxism and Libertarian thought (cousin ideologies) are arguably based from the Jacobin schism between Girondins and the radical Montagnard’s of Robespierre, with the both being aligned to Masonry (British Lodges versus the Grand Orient Lodge of France), which itself expresses Monism via the concept of the Grand Architect and Neoplatonic ritualistic ceremony to achieve “levels”. Speaking of levels, this is basic concept in video design.
Anaximenes was the first to state that substances can change form, and he also believed that the universe was in constant motion, insinuating notions of flux or evolution. Pythagoras, is known for many things such as his ideas on mathematics, communalism, asceticism, and mystical symbology such as tetractys which would inspired numerology and cryptography, but also the concept of metempsychosis which is a philosophical term in the Greek language referring to transmigration of the soul, especially its reincarnation after death. In other words, the souls in immortal and transfers to other bodies.
Platonic Realism of Plato is the philosophical position that universals or abstract objects exist objectively and outside of human intelligence. In other words, there are universals such as shapes, forms, numbers, fractals, etc., way beyond human intelligence, and in a way we’re just seeing emanations of these, and matter as we see or can understand it, aren’t the purest forms, and these purest forms are beyond reason to humans.
Later, regarding Plotinus, who’s teacher was Ammonius Saccas (of the Platonic tradition), Plotinus taught that there is a supreme, totally transcendent “One”, containing no division, multiplicity, or distinction; beyond all categories of being and non-being. His “One” “cannot be any existing thing”, nor is it merely the sum of all things (compare the Stoic doctrine of disbelief in non-material existence), but “is prior to all existents”. Plotinus identified his “One” with the concept of ‘Good’ and the principle of ‘Beauty’.
We can see an overarching theme which is the material singularity of all things, dialectics, the merging dialectics as being closer to “The One”, but also progress, flux, transfiguration, metempsychosis, reincarnation. Thus, transhumanism has (1) a current hard science aspect inspired by Darwinist evolution; (2) an esoteric tradition; (3) political support within the Illuminus roots of Libertarians and Marxists, and (4) roots within both Analytical and Continental Philosophy. Interestingly, what happens when you mix Marxism and Libertarian? You get a corporation and they’re pretty good at research and development for products instrumental in Transhumanism. Marxism serves as the social glue of the organizational culture but also its hierarchical structure, though it may imitate diversity, this diversity is often a sign of representing the the diversity of the world it is exploiting. Libertarian is where the profit above all else comes into play, but also corporations like free-trade, i.e., globalism, as it searches for new markets and strives to reduce cost especially that of labor. The fact that Marxist and Libertarians are still arguing despite not realizing their common heritage as a unified liberty movement, is simple willful ignorance solidified by concepts such as race in post-colonial nations, e.g., libertarian movement in the USA is often post-Republican white and morally conservative, which actually defies the principle of respecting others personal liberties, and the notion of free-trade actually encourages immigration. Marxist in post-colonial nations still have an affinity for material fetishism often provided by the corporations they protest.
While reading The Russian Cosmists, relating to Hyperborea it was stated, “Along with Gumilev, another prominent unorthodox scholar with at least some direct connection to the Cosmist movement is Valery Demin, a proponent of a Russian version of the “Arktos” theory designating the Hyperborean extreme north as the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans, and perhaps all other peoples. Demin’s 1997 Moscow University doctoral dissertation was titled “Philosophical Principles of Russian Cosmism,” and he is the author of more than twenty books and one hundred shorter works, including essays in Cosmist collection, about the peoples, legends, history, and prehistory of the far north” (Young, p. 229). Regarding Valery Demin, Young (2012) states, “Basing their theories on the writings of Herodotus, Pliiny, Ptolemy, and other ancient authorities, and supported by modern research including Fedorov’s speculations on the origins of civilization in the Pamir Mountains, and Bal Gannadhar Tilak’s writings on the far norther origins of the Vedas, Demin and the Hyperboreans argue that the arctic, which had a much milder climate some 40,000 years ago, was a kind of northern Shambala, or perhaps a prototype for Plato’s Atlantis; in any case, the original homeland of a happy, healthy people who lived far beyond present lifespans”.
Relating to Horse the Band with their opening song on A Natural Death called Hyperborea the work Arktos is referenced in the book by Young (2012). Looking up Arktos, I come to Arktos Publishing, which is known as the main far-right publisher in contemporary times. Arktos Publishing is known for distributing the Alekansdr Dugin’s The Fourth Political Theory, but its editor was Jason Jorjani. Jorgani was a professor at the New Jersey Institute of Technology who was fired for his association with the American Far-Right. His focus of study (his obsession) is that of Iran, which relates back to the Cosmist ideology of Sergi Fedorov, with Young (2012) stating, “The ancient Iranians, to whom Fedorov believes the Slavs are related, were continental rather than insular and peninsular in outland, land tillers rather than land seekers, and in their close relationship to the earth recognized that life is won only by constant struggle against nature. Evil, for the Zendo-Slavic peoples, is not an inescapable condition of existence, as in India, but can be overcome by concerted human effort.”
Russian Neo-Nationalism links to this esoteric Iranian link, with Young (2012) stating, “George Vendasky, for example, sees Russian pre-Christian pagan religion as a development from both Zoroastrianism and Mithraism. And Aleksandr Dugin and other current Russian neo-Eurasianists and neonationalists point to ancient Russia’s religious and cultural kinship with ancient Iran to support their calls for a new Russo-Iranian Eurasian continental alliance to counter NATO power and culture”. (p. 83).
Zoroastrianism was the religion of Iran; Jason Jorjani of the Alt-Right is a scholar of Iran via Arktos Publishing and frequently appears on New Thinking Allowed, a YouTube show, hosted by Jeffrey Mishlove (the only person to get a paranormal doctorate from UC Berkley); Iran is synonymous with the word Aryan and the concept of Aryan links the Eurasian landmass from Europe, Hindu India, the Western Chinese desert and Tibet. This region is considered the Grand Chessboard as stated by Zbigniew Brzezinski, with the USA, Russia, and China vying for supremacy in the resource rich region, thus, this is why esoteric ideology often accompanies militaristic expansionism, e.g., Nazis appropriating the Swastika and sending missions to Tibet, Dugin with his Eurasianism, etc.
Indo-European studies often correlates to the Alt-Right and past regimes such as the Nazis, but also Cosmist as revealed by Young (20120; Iran is within the grand vision of Aleksandr Dugin’s Eurasianist ambitions; and the band Horse the Band (ironic since the horse was likely first domesticated by peoples of the Steppes) has Russian references in songs such as Face of Bear and Hyperborea, with the later being a real “Grand Origin” movement based on Russian nationalism.
This was intended to be a short piece…but, these days there’s way too much info to distill but it’s important to try because the connections are…harrowing. I’m all for connecting dots but I do try listen to as many sources as possible to help create a clear picture.
This paper will first start off with real current events regarding many weird scandals such as NXIVM and Epstein that are happening today. This isn’t meant to be a conspiracy, because it’s not a conspiracy. The events of today in relation to the foreign policy of the predominately Zionist MAGA administration, and, that of administrations previous, has re-opened the blurry history of how we got here today. They reopen what I call is the history of the ACZ (Anglo-Continental-Zionist) Network, which was the fundamental force in shaping the 20th century to the present. So, we will start in the present and then go back into the past to reveal how this world works. As a disclaimer, this paper is not antisemitic and I do not condone such hatred, despite having a personal disappointment in the Jewish participation in the unfolding world to come. The ACZ network as I call it is a collection of groups that you can see once you look through the smokescreen of tension and various ideologies (leftism, libertarianism, fascism, white supremacy, Zionism, etc.).
However, since the Zionist portion is predominately Jewish, this article can’t avoid that fact. It is not most Jews involved in these vast political intrigues, though there is the likelihood that many everyday Jews cannot see the truth since there is an emotional, religious, and ethnic tie, which has been solidified by a brutal history of treatment against their people. We’re dealing with factions of power in unison in which some are White Anglo-Saxon Protestant, others Jewish, others are European Catholic (families of the ancient regime of France, Uradel of Germany – the Holy Roman Empire, Italian noble houses, etc.), but also the nouveau riche (the new money). So, now let’s begin.
From the Bronfman Dynasty that owned Seagram’s we get links to Ira Einhorn (the Unicorn Killer) through Phyllis Lambert-Bronfman of Montreal likely because she believed in the early Green Movement as a philanthropist, but the Einhorn case seems irrelevant to the biggest two in the Bronfman connection which are Jeffrey Epstein (Lolita Express) via Edgar Bronfman Jr. (worth $2.5 Billion), the former head of Warner Music Group, and son of Segram’s CEO, Edgar Bronfman, Sr., and Keith Raniere (NXIVM) through Clare and Sara Bronfman (half-sisters for Edgar Jr.). The Sara Bronfman connection to this reveals so many odd connections that it could literally be its own seminar or seems like an edited-out plot to the film, Taken (2008) with Liam Neeson, in which the character by Neeson has a daughter abducted in France, just to save her from a degenerate Middle Eastern sultan or shah.
Sara was involved with the Independent Libya Foundation during the Arab Spring and after the death Muammar Gaddafi, and from this endeavor she married Swiss-Libyan entrepreneur, Basit Igtet, the Special Envoy to the Libyan National Transitional Council who is involved in the re-integration of rebel forces in Libya. The fact of the matter, regardless of where you take the facts, is that the Benghazi situation all started from the chaos at the CIA Annex in Libya. Igtet held important roles such as holding peace talks between NATO and Abdul Fatah Younis who was in the Gaddafi cabinet but later turned rebel leader. Igtet has ties to Qatar.
To add another level of real absurdity to this NXIVM case, the Dalai Lama’s camp is involved with NXIVM, though it seemed like the desperate ploy by Raniere and the Bronfman’s to give credence to their sex cult. The source by Dhonden (2017) is from Tibet, which could mean that this source has some bias for reasons unknown, yet, Dhodnen (2017) stated, “Sara Bronfman met the Venerable Lama Tenzin Dhonden in Idaho in 2007. He visited the heiress in Albany in 2008. Sara encouraged Lama Tenzin to invite His Holiness the Dalai Lama to Albany to meet and work with Keith Raniere. The Dalai Lama agreed to a four-day visit in April 2009”. Yet, this claim is partially backed by the Associated Press (2019), in article properly titled, Self-help guru was really a cult leader, who pressured women into sex, states, “Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, entering a Dalai Lama event at the Palace Theater in downtown Albany on May 6, 2009”, with a photograph credited to Patrick Dodson.
Both Epstein and Raniere have loose ties and/or interests to science (Epstein’s science work with MIT and his summits on his island) and/or science-fiction (Asimov’s Second Foundation & Donald Barr’s Space Relations – Epstein taught at Donald Barr’s school before fired for misconduct), and NXIUM employed Nancy Salzman, a nurse trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Hypnotism. It sounds strange but hypnotism is accepted by the American Medical Association, and a key progenitor of Hypnosis as medical practice was Dr. William S. Kroger of UCLA and Cedar Sanai Hospital, whom, consulted and taught the FBI and LAPD (Oliver, 1995). The central thesis of most of his major work dealt with Hypnotism, Female Health & Gynecology.
Think about that, while I also insert some notes I’ve picked up over the years, before I get back on track regarding the Bronfman family…We have sexual predators and con artists, both men and women (yes, women can be predators too), taking legitimate research into hypnotherapy and gynecology which were pioneered out of colleges such as UCLA, Northwestern, etc., and, applied to legitimate government business such as that of the FBI, who create cults, often for the benefit of the elite ACZ one percent, based in part on Kabbalah, New Age, Western (European) Occult ideas, and science-fiction … Just think about that.
We’re dealing with bullshit artists who are essentially pimps and madams, with links to the Transcontinental one percent (ACZ Network), where characters in these sex-rackets are on the periphery of heavy geopolitical events such as Libya, who use an array of New Age self-help techniques on vulnerable populations, based in part on their claim that they have access to “gnosis”, i.e., sacred knowledge, revived in post-WW2 Counter-culture (which has a recorded history of manipulation by the state), where these gnostic ideas were theoretically developed far-back in the early Occult circles, notably during the classical revival of the Renaissance with thinkers such as Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, that comprised Jewish Kabbalah, Christian Kabbalah, astrology [in part adopted by the West due to their close proximity with the Persian Empire which owned Babylon], Neoplatonism, Paganism, and other classical or ancient ideologies spanning Hinduism (which bled to Buddhism), the Iranian Indo-European Magi, the Greek theories of Pythagoras or Plato, Egyptian mythology, the Roman Cult of Mithra, etc. We’re dealing with bullshit artist who claim to have secret-knowledge to have sex with people by manipulating their emotional states, and these bullshit artists are often on the periphery or within the black-books of the elite.
I’m not saying that Dr. Kroger was involved (his obituary indicates a genuine researcher) but it’s plausible his research into Women’s Health and Hypnotherapy as far as publications and citations goes have probably been studied by people with ill intent (bullshit artists who want to sound more professional than what they actually are).
Speaking to the Phyllis Lambert nee Bronfman link, who is the aunt of Edgar Jr., Sara, and Clare Bronfman, she was married to Maron Leon Lambert, a banker and art collector. According to the New York Times Archives (1987) he was the great-grandson of Baron James de Rothschild and the great-great-grandson of Samuel Lambert, who established the family-owned Banque Lambert in 1840. It merged with Banque de Bruxelles in 1974, forming Banque Bruxelles Lambert, one of Belgium’s largest banks.
Edgar Bronfman, Sr., was longtime president of the World Jewish Congress. As President of the World Jewish Congress, Bronfman is especially remembered for initiating diplomacy with the Soviet Union, which resulted in legitimizing the Hebrew language in Russia, and contributed to Soviet Jews being legally able to practice their own religion, as well as emigrate to Israel (perform Aliyah). Russian is the second most spoken language in Israel. This idea of End-Times Aliyah is a real-thing, supported by many Jews but also by Christian Zionist movements. According to Julian (2019) of Jewish Times, Rabbi Pinchas Winston stated, “We’re clearly reaching the end of history. For all we know, Moshiach is here right now NOW, about to reveal himself any moment in time,”. Moshiach is the long-awaited Jewish Messiah needed by Jews for their prophecy but also within Christian Zionism since their interpretation of End Times can’t be complete until Israel is all Jewish (no Palestinians).
Further Julian (2019), Rabbi Pinchas stated, “And that door closes, between making Aliyah before Moshiach comes, and making Aliyah after Moshiach comes,” the point being, he says, in one’s spiritual status depending upon when one arrives in the Holy Land, relative to the arrival of the Messiah.”
The Bronfmans are related to the Lehman Family of Wall Street, in addition to being related to the Hellman Family, via Isaias Wolf Hellman (October 3, 1842 – April 9, 1920) who was a German-born American banker and philanthropist, and a founding father of the University of Southern California. He was president of B’nai B’rith in 1872. His sister-in-law, married Mayer Lehman. The Bronfman’s are related to Mayer via Arthur Lehman (the Bronfman line) who was Mayer Lehman’s brother. Other related families in these Lehman Bronfman Lambert lines are also the Morgenthau Family, which included Henry Morgenthau Jr., US Secretary of the Treasury, who was the first and only Jew to be first in the presidential line of succession during the FDR Administration.
This Russia, Israel, USA, Jewish connection is important because that what MAGA effectively is, once you look who is behind Trump. Trump is an actor and chaos agent, a master of distraction, but he’s also the biggest Zionist president we’ve had so far and is connected to Russian oligarch money (Trump Soho, Felix Sader, Lev Leviev “The King of Diamonds”, the list goes on) but also Chabad Lubavitch which is all over the world, but notably within in Crown Heights, New York City. It’s a transnational network built around common ethnic and business networks, i.e., many US Jews are of Russian or Pale Settlement ancestry, same as many British Jews, and regardless of what country they live in, many but not all can agree on the idea of Israel.
Chabad is close to Putin in the Kremlin and Trump in the White House, so Trump’s attempt at peace with Russia seems strongly influenced by Zionism and Israelis – who have the IT capabilities for targeted industrial scale hacking to infrastructure, or in other words, the hacking of elections. If they can hack an Iranian nuclear facility, they can hack the DNC or GOP (Stuxnet, Unit 8200, Talpiot Program, etc.).
The Russia-gate fiasco is partially very true but also very fabricated. It’s a confusing narrative that twists facts but then manipulates them so the general public can enter a managed narrative. Just because the neoliberal, globalist, and military-complex funded media used the American public in what is akin to a real-time conspiracy theory, doesn’t mean that all the facts of Trump relating to Russia are false, which is something Trump supporters have a hard time grasping, and even anti-war liberals have a hard time acknowledging since they’re cautious of wars. It’s easy to believe all of Russia-gate if you hate Trump, while it’s easy to disbelieve if you like him. It’s that simple. That itself is the point. To create disbelief both ways so no one can logically work to the truth. The state used the public to twist the facts to manufacture consent to reimpose tensions against Russia, because that tension is essential for control, but it benefits both country’s regimes (emboldens the USA military-complex while also helping Putin centralize power).
However, there’s a real threat from this tension, but there’s also a sense of agreement among both nations through circles that are beyond the purview of the general public and even most lower ranking government bureaucrats, i.e., your average office worker. The interesting thing about Russia, outside of the fact that MAGA is effectively the unison of the USA, Russia, and Israel, is that the neoliberal elite itself has shown favoritism for Russia but seem to rely on theatrics between the two. A merging or potential alliance between the two seems inevitable, yet, there’s a struggle about how that relationship will look and work. Regarding historical examples of globalists that favored Russian integration, the media-fixer for the Rockefeller Family, Ivy Lee (uncle of author, William S. Burroughs), was a founding member of the Council of Foreign Relations. Lee favored peaceful relations with Russia which he wrote in Present-Day Russia (1928), page 214, published by Macmillan & Co., which is archived at sources such Foreign Policy magazine which was reviewed by William L. Langer, but also the University of Chicago Press Journal which is referenced in Schuman (1929) in American Journal of Sociology 35, no. 1 (Jul., 1929): 144-145.
Further, David Rockefeller opened one of the first Western bankers in Russia during the Cold War. According to JP Morgan Chase & Co. (2017), “In the 1970s, Chase added nearly 40 new branches, representative offices, affiliates, subsidiaries and joint ventures outside the United States, including two historic firsts in 1973: Chase opened a representative office in Moscow, the first presence for a U.S. bank in the Soviet Union since the 1920s” (p. 13). Further, JP Morgan Chase & Co. (2017), “In 1973, Chase Manhattan Bank Chairman David Rockefeller visited China and met with Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-Lai. Chase became the first U.S. correspondent to the Bank of China since the 1949 Chinese Revolution.” (p. 13). So, Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger opening China makes a lot of sense, as does the early business dealings of American Reagan supporters and industrialist, J. Peters Grace (an American Knight of Malta), of W. R. Grace and Company, which was one of the first American firms allowed to do business in Communist China, which thus prepped for the globalization we see today. Then you can add on the Walton Family, Clintons (Winthrop Rockefeller was a Governor of Arkansas), etc.
Further, relating to the false narrative of the Russia versus American narrative which relates to banks, according to Quint (1992) of The New York Times, detailed that after the Berlin Wall fell, the Federal Reserve and Russian Government under Boris Yeltsin created an advisory group called the Russian-American Bankers Forum to modernize the nearly one thousand Russian banks at the time which were financed by the Communist regime before the collapse. The group was headed by a blue-chip list of retired American businessmen, including David Rockefeller, former chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank; John R. Opel, former chairman of I.B.M.; Cyrus R. Vance, former Secretary of State, and John Whitehead, a former co-chairman of Goldman Sachs & Company (Quint, 1992).That itself shows a level of power certain people have that is way above the understanding of most people on Earth.
The strategy seems to be to create tension to control narratives, but both sides are in unison, and we’re seeing the sneak peek of an eventual alliance under Trump (with internal resistance seeming largely from his propensity to make the USA lose leverage by what is akin to groveling), but there’s one notable group with connections between both, yet I’ll let you figure out which one that is.
Member organizations of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) are the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) – which has partnered with Google and other Silicon titans over censorship, B’nai Brith, etc. So, the Bronfman Family, which is large, is related to the Rothschild Families, notable the French ones, and the Lehman Families, to name a few. France is important for a vast array of reasons considering it’s a powerful nation that is a Masonic cousin to the United States as far as democracy goes albeit our differences in how those democracies look, but relating to this post this is where Epstein acquired some of his young victims through ties to the French fashion industry.
This French branch of the Rothschild family was connected to their banking acquisitions of the Baku oil fields of Azerbaijan which were later sold to Royal Dutch Shell in 1911. With their English Rothschild kin they invested in De Beers diamonds of South Africa, which was then run by racist Mason of the British Empire, Cecil Rhodes (where we get the namesake for the Rhodes Scholarship and the former apartheid state, Rhodesia – which has become an iconic symbol in white supremacist movements, i.e., Dylan Roof).
Think about that…Jewish elites have profited from black misery and that of people of color across the globe, but white people are typically the face of it, but it’s really a unison between the elites that are both “white” and Jewish, yet conflict between the 99% of these two groups helps establish a “dialectical smokescreen” to divide the public.
Relating to Epstein and France, Breuninger (2019), stated, “Epstein, who was a former friend of Presidents Donald Trump and Bill Clinton, was accused by federal prosecutors in New York of sex trafficking of minors and sex trafficking conspiracy. He was arrested by FBI agents in early July as he stepped off his private plane at an airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, which had flown in from Paris. Epstein reportedly owned an apartment in a high-end Paris neighborhood near the Arc de Triomphe.” We should all know by now, that Epstein worked with French modeling agent, Jean-Luc Brunel.
France is where the Rothschild held the Surrealist Ball at Chateau de Ferrières. One notable guest of the Rothschild party was Salvador Dali and I can analyze the depravity underneath his artwork of surrealism, but I will save that for another post. Regarding the party, Singer (2015), in an art and décor forum, not a conspiracy website, stated, “Few people are as fully qualified (and equipped) to host a party as the legendary Rothschild family – but even they managed to surpass expectations on December 12th, 1972 when guests from Audrey Hepburn to Salvador Dalí joined Marie-Hélène de Rothschild at Château Ferrières for a Surrealist Ball.”
To understand the sheer power of what I call the ACZ Network, we can look at one piece of the vast power which goes back to the Baku Oil Fields of Azerbaijan, which were freed up through what we in the modern-day call “regime change” and “asymmetric warfare”. Wall Street and the banking houses of Europe funded the Bolshevik’s, while also funding what we consider to be the political right, so both sides could be controlled, yet the banks would capitalize from arms deals but also clearing up land that held profitable resources.
Kaplan (2019), in Chapter 32, titled: Arbitration in Russia: Investment Law – Inception and Evolution, by Olga Boltenko, in Section B, titled: Nationalization of Oil Concessions in Azerbaijan, page 7, states, “foreign capital dominated the oil industry of pre-revolutionary Russia. On the eve of the World War I three companies (“Russian General Oil Company”, “Royal Dutch Shell” and “Partnership of Nobel Brothers.”) held 86% of all share capital and controlled 60% of oil production. In 1903, 12 English companies with capital of 60 million rubles were functioning in Baku region. In 1912, Anglo-Dutch Shell obtained 80% of the shares of the Caspian-Black Sea Society “Mazut”, which had belonged to De Rothschild Frères.”
When you step back objectively and see WWI and WW2 away from the political ideologies, what we you really see is a strategy of the ACZ Network. For example, King George, Kaiser Wilhelm, and Czar Nicolas were all cousins through Queen Victoria. Through the Anglo-American aspect of the ACZ network funding revolutions, it destabilized Russia and killed cousin Czar Nicholas and his bloodline. A modern equivalent to medieval warfare.
Yet, when WWI officially started after the chaos in the Catholic Hapsburg, Austro-Hungarian Empire, the German Empire, which had recently won independence from the Hapsburgs, and under the leadership of Otto Von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm (both Germany and Austria being the core of the old Holy Roman Empire), were drawn into a war with their allies the Ottoman Turks, but the allies won the war. This defeat dethroned Kaiser Wilhelm of the Prussian branch of the Hohenzollern Dynasty (where Prussian militarism dating back to Frederick the Great would becoming inseparable from German nationalism), destroyed the Ottomans, and gave the British and British Rothschilds the land of Palestine (future Israel). This then set the stage for WW2 by charging the Germans exorbitant war-debts that created populism and tapped into the essential antisemitism needed to populate Israel with Jews – before the war, and after the war, i.e., after the Holocaust.
The ACZ Network did the same thing with Hitler in WW2 and with intelligence agents, banks, right-wing elite circles such as the Cliveden Set and the tabloid propaganda of Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere. Regarding Viscount Rothermere, he was used by a spy (sex kitten) from Nazi Germany who was Jewish, though British and American intelligence were likely using her. Stephanie von Hohenlohe, born Stephany Richter was of working-class Jewish roots and she married Prince Friedrich Franz von Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst. In her early twenties, Richter had an affair with the married Archduke Franz Salvator, Prince of Tuscany. He was the son-in-law of Emperor Franz Joseph I through his marriage to Archduchess Marie Valerie of Austria. Pregnant with Franz Salvator’s child, she persuaded Friedrich Franz von Hohenlohe-Waldenburg-Schillingsfürst (1879-1958), a German prince of the Hohenlohe family, that the baby was his.
According to Goodreads (n.d.), in reference to Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories from History—without the Fairy-Tale Endings (ISBN-10: 1594746443) by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie (2013), “She also developed other influential relationships, including with Harold Sidney Harmsworth, 1st Viscount Rothermere, and promoted British support for Germany while living in London from 1932. The British, French and Americans all suspected her of being a spy for the German Government. During the 1930s, she was awarded the Gold Medal of the Nazi Party for her services.”
After Hitler stared invading other countries after the appeasement of Neville Chamberlain, Hitler presuming he had support within the elite circles of the USA and UK (Cliveden Set, Henry Ford, Nancy Astor the Viscountess Astor, etc.), the Allies turned on Hitler. It was always the goal. Hitler was conned by the Soviets working the West, despite Hitler thinking he had a tentative peace pact with Russia via the Molotov Pact negotiated between foreign ministers Joachim von Ribbentrop and Vyacheslav Molotov. Hitler was an idiot who thought because he had some sort of racist connection to the British, with one of his heroes being Cecil Rhodes (who was backed by the Rothschilds),and he thought he was probably going to start a war, expand Germany, become a part of some global fascist network (considering fascism was a theoretical attempt at democracy supported by many elites), but then enter some of peace-deal with the Allied Powers, while simultaneously killing innocent Jewish people. Sorry Hitler, that wasn’t going to happen. This is important because for any current Neo-Nazis out there, they’re simply the vestiges of something they don’t understand. They were the tools created to be chaos agents to bring upon the world they claim they’re against, yet, Neo-Nazism is a powerful tool in creating the essential boogeyman for the state to fight against.
Nazism just like Bolshevism were plausibly “managed assets” by the ACZ Network, by creating or coopting “organic” movements, to destabilize the nations of Europe and give the Anglo-American, Continental, and Zionist Network a firm grip to effectively run the world. It’s a game of chess. The Cold War, which divided the world in halves, with the amount of military spending that resulted from this struggle, really helped prep the world technologically to the world we see today, where many Defense research projects helped to create the technology we see today, i.e., the World Wide Web, GPS, satellites from the space race, smart phones, etc. Is it a coincidence that Communism was largely implemented in poorer regions which had a propensity for overpopulation? Communism under this theory was a “better model” for managing the developed world by controlling populations, while also consolidating raw resources.
Czar Nicholas wasn’t a popular person to his people or to his royal relatives who found him to be brutish, boorish and draconian, i.e., an unenlightened despot. The West had a plug into destabilizing Russia during the first set of revolutions there, which were the Jews, where many suffered under the tyranny of the Czar, but the following anti-Semitism that arose towards the rise of Stalin, would later help serve as another catalyst for the creation of Israel (though Stalin did create the Jewish Autonomous Oblast in the remote sections of Siberia). “The tsarist regime had confined Jews to the Pale of Settlement and had severely restricted their opportunities in agriculture, the professions, military service, and education.” (Gitelman, 2010, para 1). However, support for and against the revolutions in Russia within the Jewish community wasn’t a simple stance of support but like with any group there were supporters and victims. This is where white nationalists seem to make a mistake, well, an additional mistake beyond their supremacy. They tend to blame Communism explicitly on the Jews, though there were many Jewish victims of Communism, just as there were victims due to fascism, and Marx himself is noted for making certain antisemitic remarks (and, Marx was funded by Engels who was the son of wealthy British industrialists, adding to the theory that Marx was also intended to be a controlled asset).
“In the Russian Empire, the year 1917 brought two revolutions, one that ended hundreds of years of tsarist rule and the other that inaugurated nearly three-quarters of a century of Bolshevik or Communist rule. Almost all Jews in the Russian Empire and abroad welcomed the first revolution, which came in February (new style, March), but initially, few were enthusiastic about the takeover of power by the Bolsheviks eight months later.” (Gitelman, 2010, para 1).
According to the History Channel (2018), ““Pogrom is a Russian word which, when directly translated, means “to wreak havoc.” Pogroms typically describe violence by Russian authorities against Jewish people, particularly officially mandated slaughter, though the word has been extended to the massacres of other groups as well. A result of widespread and long-term anti-Semitism, Jewish people became the scapegoat for the misfortunes of others or were blamed for violent or political acts.””
WWI set the stage by effectively killing off competing monarchs within the Big Three (England, Germany, and Russia) where England came out on top, whereas WW2 sealed the deal to lay the order we see today.
The Holocaust did happen, and it was sad event in the history of humankind where 6 million humans of an ethnicity were erased from the Earth because of antisemitism, yet, that sadness, as controversial as it sounds, was essential for the hardcore religious Messianic ambitions of certain Jewish Rabbis to establish Israel. It seems that many European Jews were accustomed to their European homes and many had assimilated or married into European families over the centuries, which tends to go against a very Orthodox view of Judaism with its sense of Chosen tribalism. WWI helped England and the British Rothschilds get the land of Palestine, but WW2 created Zionist Nationalism to help populate the country and then stewardship of global diplomacy was given to the United States, where in the Cold War onwards, the Americans could continue the quest of the Grand Chessboard, a thesis later distilled by Zbigniew Brzezinski (1997), The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives.
“Six major political groups came to the fore among the Jewish population from 1917 through 1921. The largest was the Zionist movement, which claimed 300,000 adherents in 1,200 localities. It may be assumed that many of them were politically inactive because all it took to become a “member” of the movement was the purchase of a symbolic shekel that identified one as a supporter of establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. The popularity of this cause was greatly enhanced late in 1917 when the British foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour, wrote to Lord Rothschild on 2 November, “His Majesty’s government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.” (Gitelman, 2010, para 4).
I know these are controversial statements, but it seems from the most radical religious Zionist standpoint that the Holocaust was in part…a sacrifice of the “impure”, in order to create the Chosen Land. Many Jews of means were able to escape, whereas many who were not were sadly exterminated. Anything is plausible when dealing with religion and zealotry. Did Abraham not raise his dagger above Isaac on the rock as commanded by God?
It’s a very controversial statement, but creating Israel needed a lot of behind-the-scenes dealings with prominent Jewish families maneuvering themselves into positions of power in the courts of Europeans and Americans. Israel was essentially a gift for loyal service to the elites of The West. After WW2, the US establishment saw the lightspeed rise of the Neoconservatives in the Cold War, whom were mostly Jewish (Henry Kissinger, Barry Goldwater, Milton Friedman, many thinkers associated with the RAND Corporation, the University of Chicago, and the New School of Social Research, i.e., The University in Exile, with the likes of Leo Strauss), and this is a big reason why the United States’ foreign policy is so dependent upon Israel.
The original more left-leaning politics of Jewish Americans on the Eastern Seaboard of the late eighteenth and early twentieth centuries (playing a role in unionism, the establishment of the ADL and ACLU), shifted cleverly to right-wing under Neoconservatism. Further, it could be argued that the Cold War was essentially a type of managed-dialectic or theatrics that served the global elite in dividing the world in half so it could be better managed. Certain countries in the Cold War that were on the fence, such as Turkey, India, and Israel served as backdoors where Western and Soviet elites could communicate indirectly.
Essentially, the Nazis were created by manipulating Old World antisemitism in Germanic lands that dated back to the First Crusades (Peter the Hermit, Godfrey of Bouillon, the Rhineland massacres of 1096, and imagery of Teutonic Knights) but mixed that with economic malaise created by the West via draconian economic sanctions. By creating a boogeyman and tapping into people’s hatred, this strategy was used that to create Zion, and this was something supported by the American and British Elites, either from pragmatic standpoints such as Israel serving a strategic role as oil-markets developed (Iran with the Shah under the regime change of the CIA with characters such as Kermit Roosevelt and David Rockefeller; Saudi Arabia, the Getty Family, etc.), but also literal religious standpoints, considering Christian Evangelism was growing in England and the USA, mixed with a sense of supremacy, i.e., being racially ordained to create the promise land.
The world we see is essentially built first on the “shadow infrastructure” of British Empire, which was then given to the Americans, and both the English and Americans with the help of Zionist Jews and factions of European Continental Nobles, created the order we see today. People like Jeffrey Epstein in the company of Prince Andrew, stories of rough sex by Dominque Strauss-Kahn of the International Monetary Fund (an international institution that effectively loan-sharks developing nations), the orgies of the people such surrealist and arguably misogynist Salvador Dali, are peaks at how the ACZ functions in its spare time.
Terms such as the New World Order is partially misleading because it’s really a collection of various factions with their own intentions but a lot of mutual interests that work in unison. Some of these are what we see every day: The Vatican which was coopted over centuries but notably in the modern era under Pope Gregory who received loans from the Rothchild Banks, the Bilderberg Group, Davos, Royal Banking havens such as Luxembourg and Liechtenstein, Wall Street-City of London-European Banking Houses, Knights of Malta, CIA, BND, MI5, Mossad, Five Eyes Partners, Council of Foreign Relations, The British Royal Society, the Ivy League and Oxford-Cambridge who staff most of the managerial intelligence roles, World Jewish Congress, etc.
Abstract: The Las Vegas Shooter had wired money to The Philippines before he conducted one of the largest, if not the largest, mass shooting in modern US history. However, the legacy media isn’t doing as good of a job that it can when it comes to linking dots relating to the island nation of The Philippines. The Philippines has a brutal history of colonization but is also in important regional hub for American defense policy. The island is also notorious for human trafficking and has played a major role in American “Hearts and Minds” psychological operations with revelations regarding the MKUltra Project.
The Las Vegas Shooting unveiled a real-world struggle where the Philippines is in the cross-hairs. FBI, ATF, Homeland Security, DOJ regarding guns; DOD regarding counter-terrorism; a Jihadist cell in which the now deceased founder was technically on the side of the US during the Soviet-Afghan War; Chabad missionaries and increased US and Israeli cooperation.
Keywords: Philippines, Noahide, Terrorism, Abu Sayyaf, Psy Ops, Psychological Operations, US Special Forces, Las Vegas, Israel, Guns, USA, ATF, FBI, Homeland Security, Trump, etc.
Table of Contents:
Trump and The Philippines
A History of Gun Smuggling
The Las Vegas shooter’s Filipino connection
Chabad, Noahide, and The Philippines (also, a History of Bondage)
Islamic Terrorism, US Counter-terrorism
Psy-Ops, Vampires, and the works of OSS CIA Maj. Gen. Edward G. Lansdale
The Black Dahlia & The Philippines
MK-Ultra in The Philippines
The Curious Case of Candy Jones, The FBI and Hypnosis?
1. Trump and The Philippines: After the events of the Las Vegas Shooting which occurred on October 1, 2017 it didn’t seem as if the mainstream media or the alternative media were digging into the Filipino connection regarding the massacre. The simple fact that Marilou Danley is from the Philippines and was there during the shooting, seems that more questions regarding the Philippines would’ve arisen. Shortly after the Las Vegas shooting, President Donald Trump visited The Philippines to discuss security and drug enforcement with President Rodrigo Duterte, whom, according to Reuters (2017), “Duterte is known for his often profanity-laden tirades against the United States, chiding Washington for treating the Philippines “like a dog,” despite the two nations’ longstanding relationship. The Philippines’ leader announced his “separation” from the United States during a visit to Beijing a year ago, declaring he had realigned with China as the two agreed to resolve their South China Sea dispute through talks.”
However, in an official press release from The White House regarding Trump and Philippines and his trip to the island nation, it was stated the vast scope of US taxpayer money going to the Philippines.
There was $85 million in counterterrorism-related equipment, training, and support to the armed forces of the Philippines; President Trump announced an additional $14.3 million for the community of Marawi City to address the humanitarian needs of 360,000 displaced persons; the two leaders noted that the United States has provided approximately $65 million to enhance the Philippines’ maritime security capabilities; President Trump announced $2 million to support drug demand reduction programs in the Philippines, and President Duterte thanked President Trump for the delivery of more than $1 billion in United States foreign assistance to the Philippines over the past eight years (White House.gov, 2017).
Further, there’s gambling and casino links between the Vegas and the Philippines. Donald Trump has a Trump Tower Manila. Trump is also very popular in the Philippines.
Higgeibottom (2019) states, “As once-close allies show dismay at Trump’s presidency, the Philippines has held true. In fact, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center poll of 25 nations… Donald Trump is trusted by 78% of Filipinos – a higher proportion than any other country. That means Filipinos trust the U.S. president more than Americans do. Only 55 percent of Americans this year said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of trust and confidence in their leaders, according to Gallup. And that’s at a 10-year high. Meanwhile, 69 percent of Israelis, 28 percent of Britons and only 9 percent of French people had confidence in the U.S. president, according to Pew’s report.”
Yet, Higginbottom (2019) does state, “Trump doesn’t get all the diplomatic credit here. Filipinos have long looked on their former colonizers favorably. Richard Heydarian, author of The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy, sees it as a sort of “”collective amnesia” from a bloody past with Americans.” Lastly, Higginbottom (2019) states, “But after the U.S. foiled the revolution, it governed with a relatively soft hand compared to the Spanish. The U.S. left — in relative terms, of course — possibly the most “benign imperial legacy in Asia,” explains Heydarian. Educational opportunities increased with American-funded programs. And the country was protected militarily from others in the region. “The U.S. is broadly seen as a knight in shining armor” to Filipinos, Heydarian says.”
I believe the Las Vegas shooting inadvertently unveiled a larger “deep-state” struggle regarding the importance of the Philippines to the USA where legal and illegal gun sales are common. Where the state and black-markets (including the illegal sex industry and gambling) meet in overt and covert operations to balance power in The Philippines. The fact that Jihadist terror is a real thing on the island nation means the USA has justification for a presence there in a kind of “you need us” mentality, but this justification is part of a larger DOD strategy regarding China. Controlling and co-opting black markets is vital for the intelligence, and there’s a chance that the Las Vegas shooter, or at least his girlfriend were somehow connected, even if they were low hanging fruit.
2. A History of Gun Smuggling: There’s an extensive history regarding arms trafficking between the United States and the Philippines, but there’s evidence of arms dealing revolving around Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada, thus bringing the Las Vegas Shooting into mind.
In a New York Times archive piece from the Cold War, Gerth (1985) states, “George A. Rodriguez, an official with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms who until recently headed its program to combat international trafficking in arms, said: ”The recent trend is an increase in international arms trafficking to the Philippines. It involves Filipinos in the United States, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Reno, Las Vegas and Chicago.””
The article by Gerth (1985) details how the Philippines at that time saw a rise in private armies under President Ferdinand E. Marcos and mentioned an American official who stated he wanted to remain unidentified. The unnamed American official stated the private armies were being trained in special warfare tactics. The article by Gerth (1985) also references James A. Kelly, who served under Ronald Reagan’s anti-communism presidency as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs (East Asia and Pacific.).
Kelly was concerned of the role that private armies would play in the country’s stability having feared coups and turf wars. George A. Rodriguez, in the article by Gerth (1985), stated, “”Some of it is random, but several of the investigations involve money people. One of the guys getting guns is a leading industrialist in the Philippines who is very close to Marcos.”
“Philippine military officers are
also reported to be implicated. A Justice Department official said
American-based Filipinos were involved in smuggling M-16’s to Philippine
military officials.” (Gerth, 1985).
“A Filipino businessman in
California said he had been asked by a member of the President’s palace guard
to send guns to Manila hidden in a golf bag. The businessman, who asked not to
be identified, also said a Philippine military official had used a private
detective agency in the United States as a front to buy guns legitimately.”
In 2011 or 2012, the Justice Department issued a press release, 12-027, under its Criminal Division Component, stating that three Filipino nationals were arrested for trafficking assault rifles into the United States.
According to the Department of Justice. According to the United States Justice Department (2014), “Three Philippine nationals have been arrested on charges of violating the Arms Export Control Act, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney André Birotte Jr. of the Central District of California and Steven M. Martinez, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles Field Office.” According to the complaint, the case is part of an FBI investigation of transnational Asian organized crime groups involved in the illicit trafficking of firearms (United States Justice Department, 2014). Lastly, the United States Justice Department (2014), stated, “– items specifically designed, developed, configured, adapted or modified for military application – into the United States from the Republic of the Philippines, including 12 fully automatic Bushmaster M-4 .223 caliber rifles, a .50 caliber sniper rifle, an M14 7.62mm assault rifle, a single-shot grenade launcher, a rocket propelled grenade (RPG-7) launcher, a mortar launcher, an AK-47 rifle and ballistic vests. None of the defendants had a license to import these items into the United States.”The three men in the DOJ bust were Sergio Santiago de Leon Syjuco, aka “Yogi,” 25, of Muntinlupa City, Philippines; Cesar Paolo Inciong Ubaldo, aka “Arvi,” 26, of Paranaque City, Philippines; and Arjyl Revereza, 25, of Manila, Philippines.”
However, a counter accusation was made against the FBI involving possible unethical tactics involved in the bust.
According to Pimentel (2013), “Defense attorneys had feverishly asked the judge to dismiss the case arguing the undercover FBI agent engaged in “outrageous government misconduct” and entrapped their client. Federal Deputy Public Investigator Richard Goff traveled to Manila and found: “On several occasions, the undercover agent invited [the defendants] to …brothels in and around Manila in order to reward them for their efforts and encourage them to continue looking for weapons. [The undercover agent] ordered prostitutes and paid for himself and others to have sex with the prostitutes.” Court documents show the place the deals were being conducted in was at brothel houses Air Force One and Area 51, which was later raided by the Philippine government where they found underage prostitutes. The FBI agent had sought $15,000 in reimbursement related to the investigation.”
The quote by Pimentel (2013) is backed by Sullivan (2018), who stated, “Several FBI employees have been recalled from cities across Asia in recent months while the Justice Department’s inspector general examines allegations related to parties and interactions with prostitutes, The Wall Street Journal reports.” Further, Sullivan (2018) states, “Although the vast majority of the FBI’s approximately 36,000 employees are based in the United States, the bureau maintains a large presence of special agents and support staff in embassies across the world who work with foreign law enforcement agencies on matters of mutual interest. These permanently assigned international personnel are augmented by FBI global response teams based in the United States, which frequently deploy overseas to conduct investigations.”
To keep the FBI in mind involving the previous quotes surrounding guns and prostitution, lets add gambling to the mix to show the scope of the FBI in the Philippines.
Reuters (2013) stated, “The FBI sent agents to Manila as part of a probe into millions of dollars of payments made by Universal Entertainment Corp to a government consultant in relation to the firm’s casino project on Manila Bay, the Philippine gaming regulator said.” Further, regarding this FBI probe into Manila based gambling operations which also included the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Reuters (2013), stated, “Reuters was the first to report in mid-November on the money transfers totaling $40 million to Rodolfo Soriano, an aide of Naguiat’s predecessor Efraim Genuino. The payments were made in 2010 when Universal was lobbying for concessions from the government for its casino project.
Back to guns…
In a separate case, Immigration & Customs Enforcement (2016) stated, “A Long Beach woman and her son have been named in federal grand jury indictments that charge them with illegally shipping hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of firearms parts and ammunition to their native Philippines – munitions that were concealed in shipments they falsely claimed to be household goods.” The press release by ICE details how Marlou Mendoza, 60, and Mark Louis Mendoza, 30, were given indictments by a grand jury and Ms. Mendoza was arrested at LAX airport, but her son in 2016 remained at large. Eerily similar to the money wire-transfer in the Las Vegas shooting case between the United States and The Philippines, it was stated, “The money laundering charge against Mark Mendoza alleges that during the first six months of 2011, he transferred more than $650,000 in proceeds generated by the illegal ammunition exports from an account in the Philippines to a money remitter in Los Angeles.” (Immigrant & Customs Enforcement, 2016).
“Mark Mendoza, who was the president of a “tools and equipments” company known as Last Resort Armaments, ordered more than $100,000 worth of ammunition and firearms accessories, much of which was delivered to his parent’s Long Beach residence over a six-month period in 2011. The items Mark Mendoza ordered included parts for M-16 and AR-15-type rifles, which are listed as defense articles on the United States Munitions List. Pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act, items on the Munitions List may not be shipped to the Philippines without an export license issued by the Department of State.” (Immigration & Customs Enforcement, 2016).
Relating to the task-force that pursued the Mendoza’s, according to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (2016), “A Joint probe by HSI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) that began in 2011 after U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers uncovered a cache of ammunition and firearms parts in an outbound crate being shipped by Marlou Mendoza that had falsely been declared to be household effects. In July 2011, CBP and the Philippine Bureau of Customs (BOC) intercepted and seized three separate shipments from Last Resort Armaments containing approximately 180,000 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, and more than three dozen receivers for AR-15 and M-16 assault rifles. In November 2012, specials agents with HSI and ATF special agents executed a search warrant at a location associated with Last Resort Armaments, seizing more than 120,000 rounds of .22-caliber ammunition, along with AR-15 trigger assemblies, magazines, sights and rifle barrels.”
The United States Embassy in the Philippines in a press release detailed the gun-trafficking arrests of Elizabeth Grino and Ronie Velasco within the Philippines through coordinated efforts by the Philippine National Police, US Homeland Security, ICE, and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearm bureau (ATF). According to the press release, “Grino and Velasco were caught during a buy bust operation in Makati City on June 8, 2017 after a number of illegal sales of the Glock fully automatic firearms selector switches (SEARS) to buyers in the United States. They were arrested for violation of the Philippine Republic Act (RA) 10591, Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act, a no-bail offense. PNP, ATF, and HSI Manila are working together to have charges filed against the two, who are representing Royal City Tactical, for the manufacturing and shipping of the Glock fully automatic SEARS to the U.S.” (U.S. Embassy Manila, 2017).
So, think about all of this… These ICE, FBI, and DOJ cases happened before the shooting, with the US Embassy releasing information on US-Filipino gun sales in 2017, a few months before the shooting – a shooting where a Filipino woman that dated Stephen Paddock had received a large sum of money via international wire-transfer from a man with a large cache of guns.
3. The Las Vegas Shooter’s Filipino Connection: It’s important to know that Marilou Danley has Australian citizenship but was living in the United States. She still resides in the US in Los Angeles in a home worth over $2.3 million dollars (Radar Online, 2019). Elton-Pym (2017) stated that she was reportedly in the Philippines at the time of the attack, but some of her personal ID may have been used to book Mr. Paddock’s Vegas hotel room.
All we really know about Stephen Paddock is he was a gambler, maybe with a drinking problem, lost a slip-and-fall lawsuit against the Cosmopolitan casino, had a pilot’s license, had a computer with no hard-drive in his hotel room, had a few professional jobs but made millions in real-estate, had a father with a criminal history, was a germophobic, and according to Ms. Dailey in an article by Mitchell (2018) became interested in guns (which she stated was a hobby), became distant where the relationship lost intimacy, but Paddock was constantly looking out of windows.
““Danley, according to police, said during their early September stay at the Mandalay Bay Paddock was “behaving strangely” and looking out the windows toward the Las Vegas Village venue where the three-day concert would be held later in the month. “The two were staying in room 60-235 and she observed Paddock constantly looking out the windows of the room which overlooked the Las Vegas Village venue,” the report states. “Paddock would move from window to window looking at the site from different angles.”” (Mitchell, 2018)
However, something more disturbing probably led Mr. Paddock’s paranoia. According to Mitchell (2018), “Computer forensic analysis of Paddock’s Dell laptop “revealed numerous internet searches for open air venues” and “several hundred images of child pornography”. On top of this disturbing revelation, lastly, Mitchell (2018) stated that Investigators also found Paddock “was indebted to no one and in fact paid all his gambling debts off prior to the shooting.”
According to Jason Silverstein (2018) of Newsweek, “The documents reveal Danley told investigators they would likely find her fingerprints on Paddock’s ammo once they looked into it — which turned out to be true. She also said she sometimes helped with loading the magazines for some of his weapons. It was not clear from the documents why exactly Danley was handling the weapons or if she did anything else with them.”
“The records also show Paddock purchased most of his guns and ammo online in the 12 months leading up to the attack, and that he used anonymous communication tools and destroyed some of his digital footprints. Investigators found three cell phones in Paddock’s Mandalay Bay hotel suite. One was locked, and an FBI agent wrote that this phone was likely the one that would contain “any information related to a potential conspiracy.” Authorities previously revealed that they also found a laptop with no hard drive in the room.” (Silverstein, 2018).
According to Winter, Dienst, Williams & Blankstein (2017), “Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock wired $100,000 to an account in his live-in girlfriend’s home country, the Philippines, in the week before he unleashed the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to multiple senior law enforcement officials.”
“Danley, 62, who had traveled to Hong Kong on Sept. 25, could fill in some of the blanks after returning to the United States on Wednesday, the officials said. She arrived at Los Angeles International Airport escorted by FBI agents late Tuesday; multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.” (Winter, Dienst, Williams, & Blankstein, 2017).
“There were 16 Currency Transaction Reports, or CTRs, filed for Paddock in recent weeks. The Treasury Department and the IRS mandate that casinos file the reports for “each transaction in currency involving cash-in and cash-out of more than $10,000 in a gaming day.” (Winter, Dienst, Williams, & Blankstein, 2017).
The piece by Winter et al. (2017), however, paints Steve Paddock, the shooter, as a high-stakes gambler, who claimed to have been injured in a slip at a Casino and he sued the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Paddock was also Seven Stars Tier Status holder which is a premier package for high-roller gamblers. Yet, after the slip incident, and with Paddock losing his lawsuit, it seems something happened, and then he did the shooting.
However, there’s still a lot of shade around this, but the fact that his girlfriend was in the Philippines, doesn’t implicate her to some larger international conspiracy, but rather sheds light on the Philippines as is, which is actually the focal point of issues such as Terrorism, guns sales, human trafficking, and having a long history of US Special Operations which involves Psychological Warfare campaigns.
According to Herbets (2018) on October 1, 2018 a judge had ordered the release of 300 pages of FBI documents relating to the shooting and it shed light on the probable cause the FBI had which was Paddock’s emails.
“According to one of many requests for access into shooter Stephen Paddock’s email account, investigators found that he may have been emailing himse