The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Do People Matter Most Or Does Property?

As you’ve probably read, there was a terrible fire in Britain, and hundreds of people were left homeless.

They were living in a council hi-rise building, Grenfell Tower. It had no sprinkler system, and the cladding which had been put on it, to make it look nicer, because rich people live nearby, was combustible.  The incombustible version of the cladding would have cost, total, about five thousand pounds more than the flammable version, and the council is the richest council in Britain, with a huge budget surplus.

So the fire went thru the building like a gasoline fire on cardboard, and at least 58 people died.

Clearly, very unimportant people.

What has happened since the fire is fascinating, however.

Corbyn suggested requisitioning unoccupied flats nearby and housing these homeless people in them.  This is the richest part of London, despite having a poor area in it, and as you’re probably aware, rich London has a lot of unoccupied homes. Almost 20,000 that authorities are aware of.

While a majority of British, to their credit support Corbyn’s idea, there’s been a great deal of resistance, and, of course, the Tory government is making no effort to follow his suggestion.

And Corbyn points out, further, that not helping these new homeless people is deliberate helplessness:

“It cannot be acceptable that in London you have luxury buildings and luxury flats kept as land banking for the future while the homeless and the poor look for somewhere to live.”

And in an interview on ITV on Sunday, Mr Corbyn said the flats could be requisitioned by the government or bought using compulsory purchase orders.

“Occupy it, compulsory purchase it, requisition it – there’s a lot of things you can do.

“But can’t we as a society just think, it’s all very well putting our arms around people during the crisis but homelessness is rising, the housing crisis is getting worse and my point was quite a simple one.

“In an emergency, you have to bring all assets to the table in order to deal with that crisis and that’s what I think we should be doing in this case.”


“Every day at Heathrow, planes get delayed. Hundreds of people get stranded at airports all over the world,” he said.

“Hotels are found for them immediately, they are sorted out. Four-hundred-or-so people, still most of them have not got somewhere decent, safe or secure to stay in.

“Somehow or other, it seems to be beyond the wit of the public services to deal with the crisis facing a relatively small number of people in a country of 65 million.”

What is irritating is just this, that so many problems we have are easily solved and we choose not to solve them. There are plenty of empty houses, requisition them.

Some years back I saw a statistic that Europe had twice as many empty homes as homeless people, and America had five times as many.

And yet there are homeless people?

As for the housing crisis in many cities, well, at the least rent wouldn’t be rising so fast if we had kept rent control in place; and prices wouldn’t be rising so fast if we didn’t allow homes to stay empty for long periods or to be owned by foreigners who don’t live in them.  As for increasing the housing supply, we could just build more housing, but don’t.

Oh yes, public housing is often terrible, but that, again, is because we don’t prioritize it: we underfund it, don’t repair it, etc… You can’t credibly say it’s all on the poors when you don’t even put in a sprinkler system; when you won’t spend 5k to put on inflammable vs. flammable cladding.

Every time public housing or co-ops open up in most major cities there are huge line ups and waiting lists for them.  There’s demand, but no supply.

Our society runs on a simple ethic: nothing can be allowed to happen if someone important doesn’t get rich doing it.  Having the government build housing isn’t nearly as profitable as building hi rises for Chinese ex-pats who pay millions per apartment and then, half the time, don’t even live there.

Is profit more important than people? Are property rights more important than whether people are sleeping outside?

The answer to both these questions, as we all know, is “yes, profits and property rights matter more than people’s welfare.”

But should they?

That’s the question that the British are in the middle of answering. And, to their credit, it seems like there’s a good chance that for the first time since Margaret Thatcher was elected, they’re considering changing their answer back to “human welfare comes first.”

(Also, check out the pictures of Corbyn in this article. His personal warmth, if combined with policy that works, means he will own Britain when he is Prime Minister. Because he actually does care.)

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The Sort of Behaviour That Gets You a Robespierre


You Can’t Stay in the EU or Single Market And Be For Labour’s Manifesto


  1. V. Arnold

    Well, don’t we already know the answer to that question?
    This is a seminal moment for England; will they will; or will they won’t do the right thing?
    Waiting with baited breath for the answer…
    I’m not optimistic…

  2. Inflammable and flammable are near-synonyms. Better to use combustible and incombustible.

    — Your friendly neighborhood grammar Nazi.

    Otherwise, excellent analysis as always.

  3. V. Arnold

    The Barefoot Bum
    June 19, 2017
    You gave me a belly laugh, but couldn’t agree more…

  4. The Stepehn Miller Band

    If you’re The Rich, Property obviously matters most. If I was a Local Montanan, instead of defending Putin, I’d be furious about this and doing everything I could to mitigate it. Peter in the last thread told us that Public Land is only valuable for the Natural Resources and if there is any aesthetic value, why of course, it belongs to The Rich and this is how The Rich prevent you, to include The Locals, from gaining access to these pristine wilderness areas. The article is dated 1999. I can only imagine it’s gotten much worse in the past 18 years.

    Rich Newcomers Closing the Wilds of Montana

  5. V. Arnold

    TSMB; well, you piece of shit; why didn’t you post on that thread?

  6. The Stephen Miller Band

    Governor Candidate Gianforte Sued State In 2009 Over Access To River

    Consider me a Weirdo, but I support Public Access versus Private Access by The Rich to include wealthy Russian Oligarchs who have befriended and compromised wealthy American Oligarchs.

    The incident provided fodder for Democrats who sought to extend their narrative that Gianforte is a wealthy transplant who won’t look out for the average Montanan, while highlighting Bullock’s work to strengthen the state’s stream access laws.

    Spokesman Jason Pitt denied that the Montana Democratic Party shared their research with the sympathetic Montana Cowgirl blog.

    Where have all the Cowboys gone? They’re either dead from Lung Cancer, or they converted to Communism Russian Style. And here we were led to believe all these years that outfits like The Black Panthers were anti-Ameircan Commies when it was The Cowboys all along.

    “Montanans have been locked in a battle against wealthy out-of-state land owners buying up land and blocking access to places Montanans have literally enjoyed for generations,” Bullock said, noting his work as attorney general on public access protections. “Ironically, the same time he was bringing this lawsuit in 2009, I was working with the legislature to get the first stream access law passed in 24 years.”

  7. It depends on whether your wealth is people or property. The Civil War indicated that in general, the US constitutional system will be in terms of property – unless there is a great deal of money to be made.

    (Lactose Intolerance: )

  8. The Stephen Miller Band

    For The Rich, People are Property, for the rest of us, the answer should be easy, but it’s not. Many people will support efforts to protect property before people even when they’re not property owners themselves. America is adroit in getting people to support actions that are not in their own self-interest let alone in the interest of the general public. It’s a Class War and you’re, we’re, losing Big Time because you, we, don’t recognize it as a War. But THEY do.

  9. Tomonthebeach

    As an American, I cannot fathom how it is that there is no government system in the UK to immediately step in and provide emergency shelter for those made homeless by calamity. That May took so long to even get to the scene of the disaster shows that she is indeed as heartless as Donald Trump – although even Trump probably would have tweeted something about it by day’s end.

    Once the housing situation gets resolved – Ian’s way or some other – a special commission should be established to investigate how lax standards and/or enforcement enabled such a preventable calamity. London building codes and enforcement appear to be either completely lacking or completely dysfunctional, but probably both. A lot of people should go to prison for looking the other way, falsifying records, or granting waivers. Politicians too should be held accountable for tolerance or reckless disregard for human safety.

  10. The Stephen Miller Band

    Money buys many things including Power. The Rich have all the money therefore The Rich are All Powerful. Here’s a Prime Example. This is a microcosm of the macrocosm, whether it be in Europe, Russia, China or America, this is happening everywhere at an exponential pace. There’s really not much you can do when THEY buy The Government and make it their own.

    Two Of America’s Richest Men Secretly Tried To Sway Montana’s Judicial Elections

    The Montana Growth Network was launched that year by Jason Priest and Ed Walker, then both Republican state senators. It went on to spend $900,000 on the state Supreme Court race, more money than the Sheehy and McKinnon campaigns combined. Because the group was organized as a 501(c)(4) nonprofit under the federal tax code, it was not required to disclose its donors. Any interest those donors had in the race was obscured, as was any potential conflict that the group’s favored candidate, McKinnon, might later face on the bench.

    Three years passed before the identities of the billionaire businessmen funding the ads came to light, following an investigation by Montana’s Commissioner of Political Practices. The December 2015 probe found that the Montana Growth Network had violated state election laws and forced the nonprofit to disclose its funders.

    The largest portion of the group’s money came from two of America’s richest men. San Francisco billionaire Charles Schwab, the founder of the eponymous discount brokerage firm, donated $300,000. James Cox Kennedy, the Atlanta-based chairman of media giant Cox Enterprises, gave $100,000. Schwab is worth a reported $6.4 billion, while Kennedy is worth $10.2 billion — ranking both of them among Forbes’ wealthiest 400 Americans.

    The probe also revealed that the two billionaires had a direct stake in a case moving through Montana’s courts at the time of the 2012 election. While neither are residents of Montana, they both own large estates there. The two properties include streams and rivers to which the owners would like to restrict access. But Montana has some of the most liberal laws for recreational waterway use in the country: The state’s 1972 constitution allows broad public access to those waterways.

    “The stream access law allows public access to the stream to do whatever you want to,” said John Gibson, president of the Public Land/Water Access Association, a volunteer organization. “You can go down there and throw rocks or wade or swim or float or whatever, inner-tube, trap, whatever you want to do under high water mark. A lot of people simply just go down there and play — kids do in the summertime.”

    Schwab and Kennedy don’t like that law — at least as it applies to their land. They’ve spent more than a decade challenging it in court, sometimes with the support of other wealthy out-of-state landowners. By 2012, they had already lost at least three cases before the Montana Supreme Court.

    More at link.

  11. The Stephen Miller Band

    Here’s a great comment from that linked article. I agree with it mostly except I’d say America was never truly a Democracy in fact but as far as appearance is concerned, America had no problem portraying itself as a Democracy. Now, it doesn’t even bother to portray itself as such.

    This is a perfect example of what is covered in the MUST-READ non-fiction book of the year, by Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right”, 2016. Mayer writes this is exactly what is currently happening all over the country, at the state level. Of course they still work (& pay to keep) Congress in their silk-lined pockets, but that’s not good enough anymore. No…no they have to have even more money and more power. Therefore, they are now aiming at state courts and especially the state Supreme Courts. We as citizens in this country MUST take action against this relatively small group of ultra-rich (approximately 400 individuals) and many many corporations. Once they have control of the state Supreme Courts in the corner (& under their golden thumbs), fugitaboutit…we are cooked…we are DONE…as a democracy.

  12. The Stephen Miller Band

    Peter said you cannot sell Federal Land to the Highest Bidder. Technically, he’s correct, so, if you’re The Rich, what you do instead is have Federal Land transferred to the States and Local Municipalities that you have bought & paid for and once that transfer takes place, you then purchase the previously Public Land for a pittance. The following article explains the process. This is a Kleptocracy, Folks. Just like Russia. Now, why do you think The Rich are so fond of Putin? Because he understands & appreciates Kleptocratic Oligarchs and supports them so long as they give him a piece of the action. Think The Mob and Las Vegas.

    Why are The Rich doing this? Because Property, not People, matters most.

    House GOP Rules Change Will Make It Easier To Sell Off Federal Land

    Here’s a great comment from that article. This is the Blue Print hiding in plain sight.

    In Wyoming, we are facing this issue right now. The legislature wants to pass a constitutional amendment that they hope will convince people that if lands are transferred to the state, they will be managed properly. Every meeting of committees working on this amendment has been attended by hundreds of people opposing it. The response has been to try to prevent those people from testifying about their opposition. A long story short: more than 70% of Wyoming people oppose transfer of federal land to the state because they know public access will decrease and that management will be less responsible. The state legislature wants to push through the amendment anyway. Because Wyoming government is largely funded by fossil fuel revenues, the legislature tends to favor those who pay the bills, and can ignore the will of the people who do not pay an income tax and don’t want to. If the state can manage or own federal lands, they will be exploited for profit and public access will suffer. Management for wildlife and fire suppression will also suffer. This is just one more effort by the GOP to take away resources from the general public and allow them to be used to enrich the already wealthy.

  13. realitychecker

    Very misleading framing for the post, IMO.

    Every human needs some property, even if it is personal property, like a bed, a weapon, a wardrobe.

    The problem is not that people own things, it is rather that this corrupted and delusional society makes it too easy for people to accumulate unreasonable amounts of property, and, often, to do it through cheating in some form.

  14. Adam Eran

    One further irony: Although the U.S. has five times as many empty homes as homeless, it’s actually cheaper to house the homeless than to have them sleep under bridges. The costs of police and emergency room visits mean housing the homeless can save 50% – 80% of those costs, according to homeless advocates who have tried “Housing First” in places like Salt Lake City. It’s not just more compassionate, it’s cheaper to do the right thing. The kind of casual sadism of current policy does serve to enforce “labor discipline,” though (“You had better take whatever crappy job is on offer or you’ll be punished!”).

    To me, though, the most galling sadism is the presumption that we (in the U.S.) know who deserves medical treatment.

  15. It is always Property Rights over Human Rights.


    Anytime there is a complaint, we get a few crumbs tossed under the table.

  16. The Allies beg to differ with – Nazi Germany stepped over the line, and even they Allies had to give greater recognition.

    Most wars are over property right stepping over the line – and public pressure grows if it goes too far. In the end, people are needed to enforce rights it is only on the margins or where no one cares.

    You people need to think – as opposed to babble. One key difference is too marginal utility, perhaps this is why Marx holds such sway over the far left, and Hitler has such sway over the far right – they don’t get marginal utility – though Marx, to his credit, pointed out the noone did.

  17. Ian Welsh

    Corbyn is suggesting paying people for properties they don’t use. This doesn’t come under taking anything from anyone they actually need, or even use.

    It used to be a principle of law that if you weren’t using it, anyone else could walk right in and claim it.

    We should probably bring that principle back.

  18. Ché Pasa

    Well, Ian, that was the principle underlying the theft of Native American lands. The savages weren’t “using” it, so civilized white people were justified in taking it, and massacring the Indians if they resisted.

    Let’s not go back to that principle. OK?

  19. A1

    How are most local police departments funded? In my area through property tax. That should answer the question.

  20. Ed

    Errr, there are plenty of police departments like Ferguson that are funded by fines and asset forfeiture. I know of two local jurisdictions that make the bulk of their money off speeding and parking tickets.

    So yes, you’re going to get the police siding with the rich. You’re also going to get them, in many places, acting like the Mob in shaking down those who lack the pull to push back. Either way, the poor lose.

  21. Brian

    The reaction to Grenfell in the UK, where now even some people you would expect to be hostile to Corbyn are suddenly calling him a leader, is interesting to me.

    Based on my personal observations and reading of history, it seems that most people in most societies generally adhere to the boundaries of acceptable discourse and opinion – call it group think, herd mentality, cultural hegemony or what you will. The acceptable parameters of opinion on social questions can remain set in stone for long periods of time… until suddenly they aren’t any more. An event or chain of events happen, and suddenly the conventional wisdom starts to break down and people begin asking new questions.

    A month ago it looked like Thatcherism had as strong an ideological death grip on British society as ever. And now, suddenly, it seems to be breaking down very quickly and with little prior warning.

    Maybe the UK is suddenly at a tipping point of some kind where enough people are ready to jettison old ways of thinking to consider alternatives? I hope so.

  22. J. Nelson

    Wow. That the “Local” and National Authorities are “unable” – or Unwilling to Take Action to Remedy these issues is Truly Appalling. What would Britain have been like if they had acted like this during the Blitzkrieg in World War II? “Sorry, Your building has been bombed and you have no place to live- Just Go to the Subway and Stay There for a Few Years”? I think Londoners- and England in general “stepped up to the plate” and found housing for those displaced during the war. Now, in these current “peaceful” times, it is, or seems to be , all about Profit, Headlines and P.R.
    As many people died , and hundreds more affected, in this Multistory Residential Fire, as had been Killed and Injured in the Terrost Attacks over the last year. Could the Owners- Managers – Contractors – and all those involved in the Design and Management of this (and perhaps similar) Building be seen as “Home Grown Terrorists”, or what is also called the “Internal Threat”? Sounds like Safe Building Practices were Ignored or Avoided, in order to save a Few Thousand- or a Few HundredK Pounds. Although not a “Overt Act” with “intent to harm”, it could be seen as an “Unintentional Act” through Negligence.
    What would be the Reaction if a Recently Build major Bridge over the Thames Collapsed during Heavy Traffic? The Builder, Designer, Engineers would all be sought out to find out what type of flaws or deficiency occurred, and might face at least Civil Fines and Penalties. Just “Letting Off” those involved in the Design, Construction and Maintenance of these Buildings, would be “Criminal” in it’s own right. Thanks for letting me share my 2 cents (or Shilling).

  23. Synoia

    Inflammable and flammable are near-synonyms.

    Not at all. Flammable is not a word in English. Is is a a word in the US English dialect.

  24. Synoia

    Condemn empty dwellings and rent them out? Splendid idea. There goes the whole of Belgravia in London.

    Local Government have powers to condemn buildings as “blighted.” A small change to the legal definition of “Blighted” would make a difference.

    Empty dwellings are a blight on the health of the local economy. People spend locally, empty buildings not at all.

  25. Willy

    The Mises people use the term “malinvestment”, mostly to describe well-intentioned government efforts which leads to wasted capital and economic losses.

    Some British use the term “buy-to-leave”, to describe when rich investor/speculators, often from abroad, buy property and leave it empty, caring nothing about the housing shortage since it’s not their country.

    In Vancouver, foreign born Chinese speculators would at least rent out their investments, although they drove prices up out of the range of many native workers. Natives used the racist pejorative “Hongcouver” to describe that situation.

    Progressives need to come up with more catchy and accurate words which describe all the various kleptocratic-caused market and social failures. If they’re out there and I’m just being ignorant, maybe they should be more popularized?

  26. Webstir

    To paraphrase Keyser Soze:

    “The greatest trick the nobles ever pulled was convincing the peasants that property rights are inviolate.”

  27. bruce wilder

    I looked at the pictures of Corbyn linked in the OP. That article in the Daily Mirror of all places was explicitly and emphatically pro-Corbyn and anti-May. Interesting turn of the weather vane on the politics.

  28. nihil obstet

    The issue is always “what people matter?” Property rights are the modern propaganda for accumulating power (access to resources and control over other people) in the hands of a few. The U.S. fetish about property dates from the colonial period. Laws justified the taking of lands from natives, who, after all, didn’t have deeds. And the most important property, the one that constituted freedom for the colonial elite, was slaves. The settlers, planters, bankers, merchants who profited from these properties mattered. The natives and the slaves didn’t. The poor settlers wanted the land and hoped to emulate the rich. We’re a little more sophisticated about it now, but it’s the same principle. The Washington Consensus spread this extreme idea through the IMF, World Bank, and the various trade deals that the U.S. dominated. This is not to imply that elites in other countries didn’t welcome the supports for elite rule.

    According to conservatives including libertarians, the “core responsibility” of the modern state is to enforce property rights. An extensive police force is maintained to protect empty houses from use by the unauthorized, but there’s no government force maintained to protect access to food, shelter, health care in the U.S., medicine, utilities, so-called intellectual property to everyone. Police forces are necessary. Other services are too expensive. And the conservatives and libertarians call the extensive state apparatus for enforcing the now incredibly complex web of “property rights” small government!

    We need to figure out how to get people to see the issues involved in a society based on property rights. Until recently I’d have said that it was impossible — being poor is so damned shitty in the U.S. that clinging to the notion of property rights has been a feature of self-defense. I think that may be changing as increasingly the elites have moved to gain almost absolute power in a way that clearly violates any notion that property is freedom. But now the rampant use of civil forfeiture, adhesion contracts for basic services, and the change from selling products to leasing them so that we are always reminded how powerless we are because of property and contract law.

  29. wendy davis

    british police confirmed 79 dead yesterday, although witnesses and survivors are asking why the true numbers haven’t been coming out…why, indeed? but as far as property v. people, here’s ‘The Constitution and Property Rights’, but of course the founders were elites, and didn’t want the Rabble anywhere close to the levers of power…

    “It is sometimes suggested that the Founders did not consider property rights important because the term “property” was mentioned only once in the Constitution.
    The truth is that the Founders were concerned about a range of human values, but property rights were high on their list. Their Constitution and Bill of Rights protected property in many ways:”, and so on.

    but think of Occupy being crushed (at least ostensibly at first) for camping on ‘The Commons’. you can’t DO that! (what they really feared was Occupy creating intentional communities, of course.) then: ‘hanta virus! rape! drugs!, yada yada.

    think ‘broken widows’ policing during any sort of protest; property is sacrosanct, including to the bidness community. ‘riots’ against police impunity for assassinations of citizens everywhere, was license to arrest, mace, shoot w/ rubber bullets as it was against the protestors at standing rock. there? they weren’t actually on tribal land, but ‘property’ that had been sold, rented, to the wasichus. a lie, but nonetheless, convenient. more as i have time; i have a far less (ahem) reverent link to bring.

  30. Ian Welsh

    Ah yes. “Principle X was once used by hypocrites to do justify things, therefore we must throw out Principle X”. Well done.

  31. wendy davis

    ‘The Constitution: A document of, by, and for the rich for control of the laws by which a government operates’

    in a similar attack on ‘the commons’, post 1900 mexican revolution, the ejido concept was enshrined into law to make farming the land more egalitarian for the campesinos. president salinas quite purposely and neo-liberally, unwound the ejidos in mexico in preparation of NAFTA; then enrique peña nieto did so even more ruthlessly, both causing hideous consequences for the agricultural peasants, especially in chiapas. the rationale was similar to what ché pasa had described in irony about the stolen lands of the first americans on turtle island: the land wasn’t being used for maximum efficiency! the day that the ruinous attack on mexican agriculture went into effect, of course, the zapatistas came down from the mountains and created an actual bottom to top…democracy. but of course, the IDF was involved w/ bombing and strafing their new home/s in the mountains.

    and the Imperium has been hard at work for the past decade arranging soft coups in the global south, because: collective ownership, even quasi-socialism…can’t stand. in the ever-burgeoning case against venezuela, ‘our oil’ is in their underground oil pools. iirc, Wikileaks from as far back as early chavez told the tale of the cia, ned, and usaid working to bring him down. how many assassination attempts did he survive? the main reason his administration survived insurrections from the rightists until his death was that ordinary citizens loved what he’d done for them, and the military stood behind him. you might think of that when speaking of revolution, imo.

  32. Ultra

    Steven Miller Band: Two Of America’s Richest Men Secretly Tried To Sway Montana’s Judicial Elections…

    This isn’t the first time that this has happened in Montana. Two large copper companies (Anaconda & another company) practically controlled the entire state government of Montana and its judiciary. The CEOs of these copper companies were sometimes the governors of the state. To stop this extreme influence-peddling, Montana finally passed a law that made all corporate contributions to political campaigns illegal. This law remained in effect for about 75 years until the U.S. Supreme Court overturned it shortly after the Citizen United decision. Now Montana has out-of-state billionaires attempting to control its government.

    There are similar problems elsewhere. The U.S. currently has a billionaire president, while Illinois has a billionaire governor. This billionaire governor will likely be opposed by another billionaire candidate for governor, as he is the only candidate who can’t be outspent by the incumbent governor.

  33. different clue


    “English” is slowly evolving into separate languages. What you call “English” is actually the Englandish dialect of English. What is or isn’t a word in Englandish is entirely irrelevant to what is or isn’t a word in Ameringlish.

    Flammable! Flammable! Flammable! If “flammable” isn’t a word in the Englandish dialect, that is Englandish’s problem, not ours. And if “flammable” is a word in Canadinglish, then it isn’t Canada’s problem, either.

  34. The Stephen Miller Band

    Ultra, exactly. What most people don’t realize is that this is The Final Stretch for The Rich. They are sprinting for The End Zone. The Goal Line is just a few yards away and when they score that Game Winning Touch Down, you can be damn well sure they will be spiking the ball. It’s too easy for them. They’re playing against a bunch of Weaklings who have no fight in them. The Little People are so baffled and confused, so neutered in every way, so purposefully blind & stupid, that they not only move out of the way so The Rich can score that Game Winning Touch Down, but go so far as to block any rogue uppity assholes amongst them who may think about tackling The Rich before they cross the Goal Line.

    Citizen’s United was the Nail In The Coffin of The Little People. John Ossoff has raised nearly $24 million for his Special Election bid and he is by no means an FDR Democrat. In fact, at this point I don’t even think an FDR Democrat is enough. We’re well beyond that now as a solution to this disease. It’s a moot point anyway since there aren’t even any FDR Democrats left. Ossoff is so Blue as in Blue Dog Democrat, he’s Dead On Arrival as far as going to bat for The Little People.

    At this point, this is all out Class War and it can’t be won by The Little People if The Little People cannot for the life of them, quite literally considering the pending Republican Senate Healthcare legislation, see the True Problem here. The Problem is The Rich & The Rich’s Little Eichmans. Collectively, they have so altered the American System of Governance that it now fully & directly serves their narrow purposes at the expense of The Little People. The System serves The Rich and The Rich only. It cannot and will not be reformed. It must be deposed and ultimately replaced and the only way that is ever going to happen is to remove the impediment that prevents it — The Rich & their Little Eichmans. Until then, any griping by the more cognizant Little People is mere Whistling Past The Graveyard.

    Look at The Democrats response, and The Mainstream Media’s response, to the Hodgkinson Shooting. They all came together as though they are one. Because they are. Their opposition is feigned. That was last week though, and this is this week. This week they can go back to pretending they existentially oppose The Rich’s agenda reflected in the Republican Senate Healthcare Legislation. But it’s pretense. The legislation is good for The Rich so therefore it will be successful in making its way to Trump’s desk.

    Barack Obama & Hillary Clinton and all The Democrats have shown their True Colors. They are as much responsible for this predicament as is any Republican Shitbird including Donald Trump. They’re in it together because together, they are for & by The Rich.

    This is The Stephen Miller Band and I, hopefully soon we, approve this message.

  35. The Stephen Miller Band

    This is a great frank & forthright documentary by one of the heirs to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, Jamie Johnson.

    Born Rich — Featuring Ivanka Trump

    My wife’s Montessori School has lost its funding. Her Montessori School served Refugees. She can’t find any of The Rich who will fund her Altruistic Project (not even Obama who now has his own Foundation in case you didn’t know). So, she has to close the doors and the Refugees will now be victimized once more after they have just learned to trust again. They love my wife and she loves them and she is broken-hearted, and now forever jaded against The Rich, that these Refugees are being fucked over once again. They will be left to their own devices in a sketchy part of town where Arch Criminals lay in wait to exploit these vulnerable people. No doubt a certain percentage of them will be made into Terrorists in the years to come and it could have been avoided if The Rich hadn’t stolen all of our wealth.

    I said this earlier and I’ll say it again. Like a New Drug, we need a New God. One that does what it should. I need to invent it. I think I will. Because these Abrahamic Gods are for the birds. The Abrahamic Gods are for & by The Rich, and since the concept of God is incredibly formative, it’s important we invent an empowering God to match and defeat the Abrahamic Gods of The Rich. A God that will remove The Rich & their Little Eichmans from The Realm for good.

  36. > We should probably bring that principle back.


    > Ah yes. “Principle X was once used by hypocrites to do justify things, therefore we must throw out Principle X”

    Doppelt genau.

  37. The Stephen Miller Band

    The plain fact is that the planet does not need more successful people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every kind. It needs people who live well in their places. It needs people of moral courage willing to join the fight to make the world habitable and humane. And these qualities have little to do with success as our culture has defined it.

    Earth in Mind, David Orr (p. 12)

  38. Peter

    I’m surprised that no one has thrown a net over Commie Corbyn and hauled him off for free treatment. His grand schemes for nationalizing the UK for his Stalinist utopian collective is interesting in that it targets the oil industry for a special position in his new regime but hardly even mentions nationalizing the green/solar industries that are supposed to replace oil.

    Corbyn’s latest outburst of wealth baiting and loony solutions may give false hope to some people on the dole and their advocacy industry but these people wouldn’t even be able to pay the taxes on these properties. Calling for the undermining of the tax base that makes the council house program possible may be clever political gamesmanship but I doubt it will put Corbyn’s Labour in the driver’s seat.

  39. > The plain fact is that the planet…

    And obviously many roads to kill them… editors, commentators, readers etc. We produce a surplus of people who try and kill creative individuals, and nurture non-creative individuals who think they are creative.

  40. Ché Pasa

    “Principle X was once used by hypocrites to do justify things, therefore we must throw out Principle X”

    Hypocrites=entire nations, governments, empires, leading to coercion, war, theft, false promises and genocide.
    When the principle leads to justification of such actions, it isn’t sound and one ought not to adhere to it or call for bringing it back.

    Instead, one should seek and adopt better principles. It’s not hard. Nor is it a philosophical or moral slippery slope.

    The issue of rehousing the Grenfell Tower survivors shouldn’t be that difficult. In an emergency like this, requisitioning vacant housing for the temporary use of Grenville Tower survivors makes sense. Compensating property owners/leaseholders should happen as a matter of course, but there’s no reason the compensation should be more than £1.

    But that’s quite a different thing than the “principle” that “anyone” can walk right in and claim property you aren’t “using.”

    The concept of private property, for example, is far from universal. Communal “ownership” of land, housing and much else is still relatively commonplace, and hybrid “ownership” that is partly communal and partly private is even more common.

    The supposed sanctity of private property is a reaction — primarily — to the concept of royal ownership of all property, or lacking a monarch, state ownership, both of which could lead to gross abuses.

    The common thread is property ownership.

    Get past the concept of ownership or its equivalent, focus on purpose (not “use”, purpose).

    Problems aren’t necessarily solved, nor are they necessarily made worse.

  41. wendy davis

    the u.s. apparently has some of the strongest ‘intellectual property’ rights on the planet. in one key area, perhaps the greatest attacks on the people and ‘the commons’ has been monsanto and other ‘developers’ of genetically engineered seeds and other ‘foods’.(cargill, syngenta, bayer, until recently ‘genes’ weren’t considered patentable, since they’re naturally occurring. but court decisions in the 1980s, iirc, GE food was patented, and over the course of several years, ‘seed-saving’ of those infernal seeds was deemed illegal.

    monsanto has even sued farmers for their ‘accidental stealing’ of their patented seeds as wind often carries seeds into neighboring fields (as does the poisons required to grow round-up ready seeds)

    but in further ongoing attacks on ‘the commons’ and seed sovereignty, monsanto, are now consolidating through mergers and acquisitions. several have been approved, the most current still in limbo w/ the trump administrations anti-trust division (if there is one yet) is bayer/monsanto, which would give them a huge market share of seeds, herbicides, and pesticides. well, of course, forbes, gates, and the purveyors of wall street commodification claim that they are safe, of course (no hyperbolic screeching allowed anymore: ‘the argument is over!’

    but if one just considers their poisons, why was the ‘monsanto clause’ slipped into the 2016 update of the toxic substances control act in 2016? why have so many nations blocked all GMO food and seeds from import? oh, yes, ‘stem global hunger with transgenic crops! but oops, nafta shoved monsanto maize down into mexico, and by 2014 wind-borne gene-flow and small scale seed-saving had affected high percentages of mexico’s traditional 59 maize varieties.

    will human dna be ‘patentable’ in the future?

  42. The Stephen Miller Band

    We produce a surplus of people who try and kill creative individuals, and nurture non-creative individuals who think they are creative.

    Very true. The following commercial is all the proof you need. The Rich & their Commodity Regimes seek to co-opt Creativity, to usurp it, in the cradle so to speak so they either neutralize it entirely or adapt it & shape it to their own sadistic, destructive means & end. That young, unbridled potential scientific innovation that greatly mitigate the impending Environmental Crisis must never be left to its own independent, objective means & end. The Doctrine of Full Spectrum Dominance demands that all potential reports to headquarters for processing.

    Phil Mickelson Promotes Exxon Mobil

    The only part I don’t agree with you about is the We part. There is no We. There is Them & Us. That’s how They see it. And if You & I want to do anything about this Clusterfuck By Design, it’s the way You & I need to see it as well.

  43. The Stephen Miller Band

    A Principle that is so easily coopted & usurped by Hypocritical Bastards to sow & reap Destruction is really no Principle at all.

  44. wendy davis

    i’d meant to add henry kissinger’s dictum: ‘control the oil, you control nations; control the food, you control the world’.

  45. There is a “we” that you are part of – and I am not. The is a “we” that I am part of – and you are not. And you not part of the creative class, sad to say.

  46. Peter


    It’s going to be tough for activists to transfer their hate of Monsanto when it is swallowed by the cute little Bayer aspirin baby. Monsanto is making money again riding large increases in demand for their seeds from farmers worldwide. Even with all the problems reported about these GM crops farmers want them, including those in Europe. If these Monsanto seeds didn’t produce some measureable advantages for farmers they would eventually seek other seed sources but they are ordering more GM not less.

    Mexican farmers are using some Monsanto seed but their corn products for human consumption are all grown and produced locally. The local Flint corn varieties are still there producing this crop while the Monsanto Dent corn is mostly used for animal feed.

    The Russians had good economic reasons for blocking the introduction of GM seed there. They plan to be the primary supplier of organic produce to that growing market in Europe.

  47. Ché Pasa

    What should happen is that those who hold vacant housing in Kensington volunteer their empty premises for the use of the Grenfell Tower survivors until such time as the emergency passes, and proper, safe, preferably new council housing is found or built within the borough.

    Of course, that won’t happen. Instead what will probably happen is that perhaps half the survivors will be re-housed somewhere in Greater London preferably as far away from their Betters as possible. The rest will be left to fend for themselves, encouraged to “go back where they came from” by the Britain Firsters.

    New Labour and the Tories agree that the purpose of government is to serve wealth and power not the poor or downtrodden, specifically not refugees and immigrants from primitive foreign lands.

    What will probably happen, once Grenfell Tower is torn down and the site repurposed for yet more luxury flats to be held for price appreciation, is that all the thousands of tower blocks meant for the less advantaged will be found “unsafe,” the tenants dispossessed, and the blocks demolished in order to enable the construction of yet more luxury flats all over Britain.

    As for the previous residents? Too bad, so sad.

    Until the power and authority of our neoLibCon rulers is broken, that is how crises of this sort are supposed to be handled.


  48. EmilianoZ

    We sure aint winning the class war. Vae victis.

  49. wendy davis

    @ Ché Pasa

    ‘Response team tries to reassure former residents they will be rehoused locally, even as relief effort still falls short for some’, the guardian

    but a different piece had noted: “Last night, when the Guardian approached them for comment, the DWP confirmed that normal jobcentre rules – including financial sanctions routinely issued to claimants who miss appointments – had been suspended indefinitely for former Grenfell Tower tenants and other local residents who claim unemployment benefits.

    A local resident who said he was acting on behalf of the community claimed that the DWP only later moved to clarify the position because of pressure on social media. “Once it became clear that there was media attention focused on them, they have finally done the right thing,” he said. “Why should it take shame for them to act? Where is their humanity?”

    isn’t that special?

    if you click into wsws, you’ll find ‘London residents speak on Grenfell Tower fire’, watch, then click thru their short video, you’ll see related interviews on the right sidebar. well, rats; it’s a different list now, but some titles may seem worth exploring. one told of being permitted to being housed temporarily in a different high-rise, which idea even caused panic and trauma, naturally.

    they told people to stay inside? good gawd all-friday.

    @ Peter: soon as i can…

  50. wendy davis

    @ Peter: from counterrcurrent news jan. 2017: ‘In Europe 28 countries have banned GM crops: The list of countries with some sort of ban on GM crops is as follows:

    Azerbaijan, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, the Netherlands, Northern Ireland, Norway, Poland, Russia, Scotland, Serbia, Slovenia, Switzerland, Ukraine, and Wales.

    In the Americas 4 countries have bans in place: Belize, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
    There are also 4 countries in Asia who have banned GM crops: Bhutan, Kyrgyzstan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
    And two countries in Africa who have done the same are: Algeria and Madagascar.
    biotech crops are grown in 28 countries.

    ‘Bayer AG: Corporate Crimes’; yes, just baby aspirin, those adorable folks.

    from a different corporate watch page from 2005:
    ‘There is a well documented ‘revolving door’ between Monsanto employees and officials from US Government regulatory bodies (particularly the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This has effectively enabled Monsanto to bypass the regulatory process and get marketing consent in the US for their GM and other products with minimal safety checks [34]. US influence has made it much harder for other counties to implement more rigorous regulatory standards. Monsanto have also had direct influence within the Clinton administration and continue to have with the Bush administration [35].

    Monsanto employee Linda Fisher was nominated by Bush in May 2001 for a key position in the US Environmental Protection Agency [36]. Monsanto have used their close links with the US government to influence policy decisions in the UK, Europe and the EU. The revolving door between Monsanto and the UK government is less easy to demonstrate, however, there are several links between prominent advisors to the Labour government, Bell Pottinger Good Relations (a PR company employed by Monsanto) and Monsanto’

    i have more, but if i put in too many words ian’s software kicks my comments into moderation. later, pehaps. dunno what you intend to mean about mexican maize, though.

  51. Peter

    It’s good to see a competent group taking over the housing needs of these displaced people. They all seem to be sheltered with a few complaints about being housed in B&Bs below their usual dole standards. A few were whining about being moved out of the area for resettlement as if the dole can produce nearby housing on demand for their convenience.

    I wonder if many of these people will want to move back to a twentieth floor apartment in one of these poverty Projects especially if they think someone might be cooking meth below them. Another bit of information released was that this Project was a haven for the UK version of the illegal alien’

    The cause of this fire is unknown and while the cladding fire looked dramatic I’m not convinced it was a big factor in the fire’s spread but we’ll have to wait for the official report to decide if all the instant blame and political haymaking was justified.

  52. Peter


    The European countries that banned the growing of some GMO crops were allowed to do this over the objections of the EU with an opt-out clause. Even the scientific and agricultural centers in these countries stated there was no proven scientific or health reasons for the bans. The bans were political, economic and social posturing for local audiences.

    The Europeans import 30 million tons of mostly GM corn and soy every year to feed their meat animals so they don’t seem too concerned about the possible harm from ingesting GMOs.

    You or I may not like it but human civilization is moving onto the final stage of terraforming the earth into an agriculture planet where Monsanto and other GMO producers lead the way to total utilization of the available land. They will supply the consistency, and growing output needed to feed ten or more billion people.

  53. The Stephen Miller Band

    Peter, I have an idea for a movie and you can be the star.

    Thank You For Eating GMO

    Are you Game?

    Do you know Asoka by any chance? If so, tell it I said hello.

  54. Peter


    A better subject for your movie might be the search for someone who doesn’t eat GMO’s today. My favorite non GMO MOM’s cereal now has a GMO warning on the box since they were gobbled up by Kellogg’s of Battle Creek.

    I miss Asoka’s curious comments, they at least put some space between your serial ranting.

  55. darms

    Property. People die…

  56. cripes

    While Peter waits for the “official report” to determine that the cladding really wasn’t responsible for the inferno that killed nearly one hundred people, he wants to be sure the survivors aren’t given accommodations any better than they were accustomed to prior to the disaster. People on the dole aren’t really people like Peter.

    Surely, you can’t make housing “materialize” nearby just because there was a little fire that killed half your family and neighbors. Having proximity–in the aftermath of losing everything–to all the people and connections built over a lifetime is way overrated.

    It won’t be long before he tells us this was a great opportunity to “develop” the area and move those drama queens somewhere near the Scottish border and enroll them in job programs where there aren’t any. Worked so well after Katrina.

  57. > Property. People die…

    But you can transfer ownership – done all when time.

    (In other news: hardcore Republicans are not willing to give up tax borrowing with a message from God.)

  58. Hugh

    Only somewhat off topic but Ossoff, who represented the continuation of the Democratic/Clinton strategy of winning by tacking right and appealing to Republican white collar suburban voters, lost in Georgia. Will the Democrats learn the right lessons from this horrendously expensive botch? Of course not. The Democrats stand for nothing, learn nothing, forget nothing.

    Property is a contingent concept which is treated as if it were eternal. You own a great house on the beach, and then the next big hurricane comes in and washes both house and the land it sat on out to sea. Where is your property then, So you move inland, buy property there. You build a big plant on it and fill it with new machines, but in time the building falls into disrepair, the machines become obsolete. What does property mean if it is worthless? But you still have the land, but you don’t pay taxes on it and the county repossesses it. So even if you owned the land outright, your ownership was more in the nature of a temporary rental.

    You think because you own your house that it is yours, but this is only true to a much more limited and temporary extent than you think. Your house, its contents, you, your society, and the land itself are impermanent. An ancient Roman looking out from his villa on to all he possesses and declaring, “This, all this is mine” would, to us, prove rather the opposite. He is dust. His slaves, villa, and possessions are dust or buried under twenty centuries of dust. Even his society which ultimately sanctioned his ownership is dead and gone.

    And that’s the heart of the matter. Property is a social convention, not some immutable law of nature. Things go seriously south when we delude ourselves into thinking that property is some eternal law that is individual and has little or nothing to do with society. When this happens, you get great inequalities in wealth and in justice. You get Grenfells and the casually callous responses to them.

  59. Ivory Bill Woodpecker

    Shorter Peter:

    “Are there no prisons? And the workhouses, are they still in operation?”

    Also, many of the world’s conservatives claim to be Christian. Apparently, they never read Matthew 25:31-46.

  60. Ché Pasa

    The aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire is certainly evocative of the Katrina aftermath, including the Panglossian efforts make whatever happens to the survivors (never mind the dead) seem doubleplusgood.

    In Britain at least they know that “inquiry” means coverup – no report for years, no truth for decades. Whether or not the cladding was responsible for the spread of the fire (of course it was), the determination will not be officially made until most of the survivors are dead.

    It’s not just the former residents of Grenfell Tower who are out of their homes, many of the council flats in the vicinity have been evacuated as well. Purposeful? Of course.

    Rehousing has been chaotic and no doubt will continue to be. The link to the site that shows just how much vacant housing there is in Kensington is illuminating, particularly with regard to houses and flats that have been vacant for a decade or more.

    Over the next few months, provided the Tories hold on to power, we’re likely to see the dispersal of the survivors and many other social housing residents from the area; there will be no attempt to utilize vacant housing in Kensington, as none of the property owners/leaseholders will volunteer their properties for use by… erm… those people. The government will not force the issue.

    Many of the foreign-born survivors will be encouraged to leave Britain altogether.

    People will lose, property will win in a classic case of crisis utilization for implementation of pre-planned political and social engineering goals. It worked like a charm in New Orleans. No reason it won’t work in London.

    The only way to stop it is for the victims and survivors to rise up, at considerable risk to themselves, against the madness and take matters into their own hands. Government does not represent them and has no intention of doing so.

  61. Ché Pasa

    On the other hand, BBC just announced:

    68 apartments in a luxury block near Grenfell Tower have been acquired to house fire survivors.

    So we’ll see, won’t we?

  62. The Stephen Miller Band

    Hugh, in answer to your question about the Dems.

    The Dems Are Dead

  63. wendy davis

    @ Peter

    i’m writing up a longish response to your most recent comment to me. i’ll bring it when it’s finished…or finished enough.

  64. Peter


    This appears to be a new social housing project and won’t require any confiscation of private property. Corbyn is still a loon with the UK version of the snowflakes as his mob.

  65. Willy

    How could one like Nader but hate Corbyn?

  66. Peter


    You seem to be a puffed up self-righteous snowflake who projects their BS opinions onto other people. Not being very perceptive you mistake my criticism of an individual for class hatred or worse. The residents of this Project have the right to complain but not all complaints are equal nor do they all deserve a response.

    Being stuck in one of these vertical ghettoes for a lifetime is a chilling thought but if these people are similar to the poor in the US many are disabled and cannot work their way out.

  67. two beers

    In descending order of importance:

    1. rich people
    2. rich people’s property
    3. other people*
    4. other people’s property*

    * in many cases, other people’s property is more important than other people.

  68. The Stephen Miller Band

    5. The Planet that sustains all of it.

  69. Webstir

    Does anyone on this thread even know what property is? It’s often useful to define one’s terms before attacking/defending a position. So please, all comers. What is property? How is it created?

  70. The Stephen Miller Band

    I’ll start. Property is Theft. No doubt about it.

  71. wendy davis

    @ Peter: my response to your most recent comment to me. longish, of course, but as they say: ‘needs must’. not even a fifth of it would have accommodated ian’s software moderation. but it also added another diary to my anti-gmo oeuvre at the café. 😉

  72. Willy

    Squirrels seem to think my attic is their property because it’s in their forest (which nobody for miles around is encroaching on). Instead of doing the hard work of digging and maintaining their own burrows, they’d rather just move in and sharpen their teeth on my wiring, because it’s easier.

    From the animal standpoint, property is territory they’re trying to have some control over.

    From the human standpoint, property is legalized territory.

    From the kleptocratic standpoint, your property is territory they’re trying to gain control over, without your being able to put up a fight.

  73. Webstir

    Yup. Property is law. It is nothing more than a bundle of rights and duties that “society” agrees should be protected/imposed though the government force; and which bundle varies depending on the type of property under consideration.

    Now, if property is law, the question that follows is: Who makes the law? This is where you really get to the rub. The people make the law. The people are the government. And yet, everyone whines and cries about how unfair the allocation of property is.

    Well people, fucking vote and change system of allocation. Make people more important property. It’s your property. Tell your government how you want it allocated and it shall be so.

  74. Willy

    Vote for what?
    Voters have no control. Isn’t that what this is all about?

  75. Peter


    Good question about property. There seems to be at least two major different kinds, let’s call them simple and complex property. My home is my castle seems the simplest and it is protected in the bill of rights. The corporate/business area of property is another animal covering many things from factories and equipment to copyrights.

    What irks me is that some people talk about the unfair power of complex property owners and then directly attack the holders of simple property. Stalinists such as Corbyn and many of his admirers seem to have this agenda as a core belief. People who have some simple property are evil just like the oligarchs just because they have worked to buy property while others have not.

  76. Webstir

    Dude, put a sock in it. There is no property “question.” There is a right and a wrong answer. And since you appear so keen on educating everyone on the different “types” of property you just pulled out of your ever-bullshitting ass, I won’t tell you that in a legal sense there are only two “types” of property generally: (i) Real and (ii) Personal — typically broken into three categories of Goods, Quasi Goods, and Intangibles. And I won’t direct you to a link that explains the myriad different ways that Article 9 of the U.C.C. classifies Personal Property here:

    I’ll just let you continue to hijack an important topic so that you can commie bash, ok?


  77. Webstir

    I’m not buying the victim stance. I think Ian would agree, and has said as much before, that when things get bad enough (and they will get bad enough) the 99% will wake up to the progressive message. This time, they bet on Trump to take down the establishment (nobody ever said the proles were smart). Next time they’ll take a whack at the democratic socialist message. The progressive primary challengers are already queuing up to take out many establishment dems during the midterms. Methinks the worm is already turning.

  78. Willy

    What did you think about the content of the video?

  79. Cripes


    Since every word you write is lies encased in yet more lies, I have no time to deconstruct your mendacity.

    Yes, I sneered at your transparent and odious classism
    After a few days of your juvenile taunts about whiners on the dole, and the statist Stalinism of…well…anyone who suggests that property rights of absentee speculators just might have to take a backseat to human rights occasionally, you throw tantrums.

    Everyone here knows that all your caterwauling about welfare takers and overtaxed “producers” is barely concealed worship of the Randian death cult.

    I’m sure there’s room for you there where you’ll be appreciated.

  80. The Stephen Miller Band

    Peter is a Little Eichman, the worst of The Little Eichmans, and will be deported to Russia in due time where perhaps he can room with Snowden or one of The Rich he serves so well.

    Speaking of Property, there’s this. Toronto. WTF? I suppose The Little People who fulfill all the basic needs of The Rich for a increasingly diminished pittance are supposed to live in Cardboard Boxes in the alleys until the Police arrest them for loitering. Slaves in antiquity were treated better.

    FYI, Peter works the cube over from Asoka. Same method. Different side of the same coin. They serve the same Master.

    Putin’s Sitting There He’s Smiling
    As The Rich Enable His Beguiling
    The Time Has Come
    For The Poor As One
    To Send The Traitorous Rich Packing

    Think NYC Real Estate is Scary? This City Might Be Worse

  81. The Stephen Miller Band

    when things get bad enough (and they will get bad enough) the 99% will wake up to the progressive message.

    The Progressive Message is too little too late. By that time, and this time really, a much more Radical ACTIONABLE Message is in order and quite frankly absolutely mandatory to avoid Massive Carnage the likes of which we haven’t seen in the Western World since WWII.

    The Rich want to get it on and We The Little People need to have an intelligent strategy to deal with The Rich once and for all. And I mean ONCE AND FOR ALL, otherwise, it will keep popping up its psychotic head like a Prairie Dog Companion in perpetuity.

    This is what Radical means. Get to The Root and The Root is The Rich. Radical is positive, not negative. Radical is a key essential requirement for Social Evolution.

  82. Ché Pasa

    68 flats in the “luxury block” under construction in South Kensington purchased by the City of London Corporation to be added to the stock of social housing — they were not built as social housing, but as “affordable housing” within an extremely expensive housing block.

    It’s a start. But only just. And of course, some of the current residents of Kensington Row are whining about what “those people” will do to their property values, yadda yadda, because for them, nothing is more important.

    120 flats were destroyed or made uninhabitable in Grenfell Tower. An unknown number of housing units were damaged or destroyed, their residents evacuated, in surrounding low rise buildings. The number of households needing re-housing is still being determined– but it is well more than 68.

    Note: the housing units acquired in Kensington Row are new construction, unfinished at the moment; they are not among the 1,400 or so vacant housing units in the borough, most being held for speculation, some of which have been vacant for more than a decade.

    The principle should be Mutual Aid in an emergency like this. As anyone could become a victim of such a catastrophe, it’s incumbent on everyone who can to help the survivors with whatever aid they can provide. That’s precisely what happened when thousands of people donated food, clothing, services and money to spontaneously organized relief efforts — in the absence of government efforts the first few days after the fire.

    So it should be with housing for the survivors.

    Whether it will be remains to be seen. That the London Corporation stepped in to prime the pump is worthy of note, however.

  83. Peter


    Hijacked? You’re playing the victim while displaying like another snowflake with anger management issues and lecturing to impress the rubes.

    I may have oversimplified property but that was in response to simpleton statements such as ‘property is theft’ or no one should own a home because they have to pay for it. This is the type of useful idiot talk of Stalinists who apparently think everyone should spend their life paying rent to the state.

    Commie Corbyn wants to confiscate these investment properties or part time residences because that is a safe political pandering position, few people will defend the investors. Corbyn also knew all along that this would never happen, they did lose the last election and even his own party would have balked at this power play.

    Anyone who buys a home is an investor and even the wealthy who pay high taxes and maintain their property are following the rules and deserve protection from opportunistic politicians. I doubt the people to be housed in these posh properties would be able to pay the large taxes they now generate so this would undermine the tax base that finances much of the Council House programs.

  84. The Stephen Miller Band

    From that article I linked to above. I submit all of The Little People should come together right now and vacate cities like New York, London, Vancouver & Toronto. Let The Rich do it all for themselves. I bet you any money, if The Little People did that, The Rich would institute Hot Slavery versus Cold Slavery at that point and engage Law Enforcement and The Military at that point to enforce it. They’re that WICKED.

    It’s not an investment; it’s money laundering. Wealthy Chinese and Russians ‘wash’ their money (hide it from their government or legal authorities) by buying up overpriced real estate and then eventually reselling it, gaining ‘clean’ cash. They may end up losing some money in the sale, but that’s the transactional cost of money laundering. The fact that some money goes back to the sellers and local governments is why they tolerate this going on; they know full well that most of this money is dirty. It’s an outrage and it’s a crime.

  85. cripes

    Anyone who clams that $2 million dollar outhousess in Toronto and $97 million dollar penthouses in Manhattan purchased by blind LLC’s, funded by blood money and Uzbekistani dictator’s nephews and left empty, with median incomes MAYBE 40,000-50,000, driving housing costs so high that people can’t live in their own city, …is just the normal working of a healthy market IS AN IDIOT, A LIAR OR BOTH.

    It’s theft, crime and parasitism.
    And the politicians who enable it profoundly unpatriotic.

  86. Peter


    There are laws and regulations that are supposed to uncover these instances of illegally transferred money used to invest in the US. A Mexican drug lord’s brother’s ranch and horses , that were acquired with laundered drug money, were confiscated last year in Texas so the laws do occasionally function. Your commie guilt by association attack on legal property holders is typical of your ilk who preach the ends justify the means beliefs. The fact that some of the wealthy investors are brown or yellow people and that fact is highlighted just shows that racially tinged xenophobia is a handy tool for some people’s agenda.

    When an area becomes desirable the regular people who own the property profit nicely when they sell. The local governments enjoy much larger tax revenues from properties newly valued at a million or millions of dollars which can be used to address the social housing issued gentrification produces.

    Your spiel about out-houses shows you don’t comprehend the simple fact that the value of these properties is often in the land and its location not the buildings which can be replaced. You conveniently omitted any mention of the gentrification and displacement happening in San Francisco driven by Silicon Valley IT wealth.

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