Resolutions For My 65th Birthday

My 65th birthday is coming up, and I continue my practice of writing down my birthday resolutions, compatible to New Year’s resolutions. The act of personal growth is ongoing. Here they are:

I will continue to conduct myself with self-love, self-esteem, and self-respect, forgiving myself of my errors and mistakes, accepting all blessings and compliments that come my way, as I am worthy of them, and bearing myself with pride and dignity.

I will continue to be faithful to Jewish religion, traditions, culture, and the Jewish community.

I will continue the work of education and cultural development, attending classes, libraries, galleries, seminars, museums, etc.

I will continue the business and art of writing, attending readings, workshops, conferences, etc.

I will continue my political and social activism, in politics, the unions, etc.

I will practice moderate exercise.

These are my resolutions; please hold me to account for them. God bless you all.

Hemperiffic LLC
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The Mason Missile, July 24, 2022

Greetings, Americans!

On August 1, I’ll have my 65th birthday, and I’m looking forward to this milestone. I feel like my best years-and I’ve had some good years, some not so great-are coming.

Over the years, there has been a new idea about aging; life doesn’t end at a certain time, you don’t have to look forward to decrepitude. In the words of the poet Robert Frost, I have “miles to go before I sleep.”

Issues of class and race remain in the forefront, whether or not the news media brings them up. So many times I hear of working-class people complaining about some alleged “benefits” someone just a little less fortunate than they are have attained, or about some other branch of the working class that attained said benefits from being in a union; it’s mainly someone’s biased perception, or someone told them something at a bar or in line at the store, and such anecdotes get passed around, and sometimes the commercial news media is no help.  The attitude is, “I don’t have that good stuff, so why should they have it also? Let them be miserable like I am!”

It’s people like these who are the audience for such fascist charlatans as t—p, who direct working people’s anger at some other target than who is really putting them down-the plutocratic class, as dangerous as the oligarchs around Putin, who have subsidized political campaigns, media platforms, so-called “research institutions,” etc., to turn our politics, our economy, and our very thinking processes in their favor. It’s the undoing of decades-centuries-of faithful work by labor organizers, suffrage campaigners, activists for the rights of people of color, LGBTQ+s, workers in fighting for their most basic human and civil rights; and the removal of legal protections for working people, women, and minorities, and the end of restrictions on how far the traditional dominant classes-in race, gender, or class-can continue to dominate.

One thing that occurs is the hero-worship of such figures as corporate executives, and of the so-called Founding Fathers” who wrote the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. Corporate execs are simply people on top of vast private bureaucracies, passing down orders to those below them, hiring and firing people whom they employ for the work of their hands and brains (for as little money as possible), getting as much work out of as few workers as possible trying to attain a slightly higher quarterly profit, using money from tax breaks to stash in offshore tax havens and buying up the company’s stock to raise the value of the stock. These are not forward-thinking geniuses concocting new ideas and technologies in their basements; otherwise, they would see that fossil fuels are tearing apart the environment, eventually leaving the planet inhabitable; and that their employees can take only so much abuse and not do anything against it.

As for the Founding Fathers, the geniuses behind the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: they were indeed great men of that time, but in that time, they owned slaves, and lived off their unpaid labor; they were mortal human beings, with all the feeling that men have; and they were primarily upper-class men of that society, and that turned the decision-making apparatus of the new country in favor of that class; there was chattel slavery for African-descended people, property qualifications kept low-income whites from voting, and women were mainly totally excluded from any role in society outside of the home. Plus, the Revolutionary War economy was primarily agrarian, mainly in the South, and manufacturing was more of a supplement, focused on small localized shops worked by master craftsmen.

And in THIS era? Lower-income people, of all colors and genders, and after much grassroots agitation, won the right to vote; and the small shop for manufacturing has been replaced by multi-state, multi-national, highly beaucratized corporations, which can safely ignore shop-floor workers in their local branches (if the workers don’t have unions), who are only answerable to their boards of directors, who care nothing for the quality of the product and all about the next quarterly profit, and have evolved into financial capitalism, where banks and hedge-funds make all the primary decisions about the economy-if there is no popular intervention, either through the ground-level activism or through a government actually on the side of the people.

In short, the made-up idolatry of the corporate class and the earliest leaders of this nation has to cease, and we must make up OUR OWN minds to take responsibility for the well-being of this country and those of us in it. And we must avoid the two traps of despair (“They’re gonna take back the House and Senate, and the election hasn’t happened yet!”) and overconfidence (“The Republicans are running the most stupid and reactionary candidates, who’s gonna vote for THOSE guys?”). The task of defeating them will require much effort, for they are wealthy, organized, and indifferent to anyone else’s rights or well-being; but our nation’s history is studded with the struggles of put-down, put-upon people organizing, alongside of other similarly-repressed peoples, and with their efforts, they won their rights-the rulers of our society didn’t just cheerfully give in to them. They did it in the past, and we can and must do it today.

Stay safe, stay strong, and stay together! Slava Ukraini! America will be free! Bye!

Hemperiffic LLC
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The John Mason Talk-Walk, July 22, 2022

https://thejohnmasontalkwalk.buzzsprout.com/1937652/11011754

I speak about the need to combat climate change, and to urge people to take part in the political process. I also speak of recent legislation in Congress.

Hemperiffic LLC
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Change In Plans

Due to the extreme heat that Philadelphia, like the rest of the nation, is experiencing, the Tax The Ultra-Rich NOW! Fest, scheduled for Sunday, July 24, ill be postponed to a future date. I will inform all of you when the new date is. Thanks.

Hemperiffic LLC
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Tax The Ultra-Rich NOW Fest!

Hey, kids, the Tax The Ultra-Rich NOW Fest will take place at Philadelphia’s City Hall, from 12-3:00 PM, on Sunday, July 24, 2022. The event is sponsored by the PA Budget and Policy Center. (https://krc-pbpc.org/event/join-us-at-our-tax-the-ultra-rich-fest-sunday-7-24-at-philadelphia-city-hall/) 

This is an event demanding that the oligarchic class, the billionaires who dominate our economy and politics with their corporate campaign donations, pay their fair share of taxes, so that we can all have decent services like highways, police, fire, schools, etc. At the event, there will be “Mr. Rigs,” a giant inflatable fat cat, and guest speakers.

I’ll be there, will you?

Hemperiffic LLC
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The John Mason Talk-Walk, July 16, 2022

I speak about the need for Medicare For All, the right to abortion, and the need to unite against the ruling oligarchy.

https://thejohnmasontalkwalk.buzzsprout.com/1937652/10971577-the-john-mason-talk-walk-july-16-2022

Hemperiffic LLC
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Boo, Hoo, Hoo, Brett!

Associate US Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh recently was eating dinner at Morton’s Steakhouse, a swanky restaurant in DC, while outside, protestors were outside the restaurant protesting his voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that prevented states from penalizing abortions.  The managers of the restaurant hustled Kavanaugh through the back door-before he had his dessert- and sent out a statement decrying the demonstration, saying it infringed on his “right” to eat a dinner at a restaurant. (https://dc.eater.com/2022/7/8/23200165/crashed-brett-kavanaugh-dc-dinner-mortons)  

(https://www.alternet.org/2022/07/brett-kavanaugh-steakhouse-skitter/)

Right after the preliminary decision, written by Justice Samuel Alito, about repealing Roe v. Wade was released, there were protests outside of Kavanaugh’s residence and that of Chief Justice John Roberts, and there was so much tut-tutting from the establishment media. (https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/05/abortion-brett-kavanaugh-john-roberts-samuel-alito-supreme-court-roe-protest/) 

The protests were totally non-violent; but the attitude from establishment figures is that
“It’s not nice to protest your oppressors oppressing you. Be good boys and girls, and don’t bother them.”  But please remember that, ever since Roe v. Wade was enacted, it has been a rallying cry for anyone trying to limit the rights of women to control their own bodies and lives, in the name of “protecting the sanctity of human life inside the womb,” never mind what happens to the baby after it’s born. Abortion clinics have been targets of self-righteous thugs who, in the name of a righteous cause, terrorize women trying to go inside the clinic, and threatening doctors and nurses doing the job, often murdering them, to “protect human life.” (https://www.vox.com/2015/12/1/9827886/abortion-clinic-attacks-mapped) 

We’re not playing kids’ games here, this is serious. The rights of women, and also of workers, people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ+ people, are on the line. The people who oppress us have no respect for us, and have shown that they would literally murder us to advance their fascistic agenda. If you think I’m being overly dramatic, just remember that the previous white House inmate-you know, that guy!-was dismissed as a media freak-show by the republican establishment, and someone whom the party had to get away from or else he would bring the party down with him; but he won the nomination, and the party leaders, especially the ones who attacked him, ended up his biggest bootlickers, and he sent the party, and the country, down into a dark, dismal place that we’re still trying to get out of.

Let’s not try to attain a pat on the head from people who prefer neatness and order over human and civil rights! The best way to deal with bullies and thugs-in the playground or in the Supreme Court-is to stand up to them, and let them know they don’t frighten us.

Hemperiffic LLC
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Twitter Is Musk-Free

Elon Musk has given up his plan to purchase Twitter. ( https://www.cnbc.com/2022/07/08/elon-musk-notifies-twitter-he-is-terminating-deal.html)  

His idea was to purchase Twitter and end the ban on Donald whatshisface using it as his sounding board, in the sacred name of “free speech”-for a Putin wannabe who sent a raving riotous mob to nullify the votes of the American people. Musk and Twitter will go back and forth about who is to blame for the failure of the deal, just two corporate giants at each other.

The current crop of tech moguls, like Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, and Jeff Bezos, cannot be credited for their companies’ successes; they have been due to the labor of educated technicians and engineers, all the way down to the workers in Amazon’s warehouses and trucks, and Tesla’s  assembly lines. All these guys did was hire them, makes billions from their efforts, and fire them if they’re useless to them.

And with their profits, instead of reinvesting in their workers or upgrading their facilities, or donating to great charities (like the Robber Barons of the late 19th Century did with the money they wrung out of their workers), they carry out such vanity projects as their own private space programs-Musk with SpaceX, and Bezos with Blue Origin-and they purchase other firms, such as Bezos swallowing up Whole Foods, the Washington Post, and MGM Studios.

Let’s stop idolizing these corporate overlords; without their workers doing the mental and physical labor for their companies, the bosses would only be talking to themselves. The workers are the real heroes of the American economy.

 

The John Mason Talk-Walk, July 8, 2022

https://thejohnmasontalkwalk.buzzsprout.com/1937652/10927299-the-john-mason-talk-walk-july-8-2022

I  speak about the need for genuine gun control and the need to organize and vote to prevent a fascist regime.

Hemperiffic LLC
hemperifficllc.com

 

 

Me And The World, July 3, 2022

I’m approaching 65 years, and now I’m qualified to receive Medicare. (I’m also covered by the VA system.) What I really would like is Medicare For All, as proposed by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont). Congressmember Pramila Jayapal (D-Washington) has proposed in the House its won version, the Medicare For All Act of 2019. Health care should not be a luxury for rich people, or something that causes you to go into bankruptcy, which has happened to many families. ON top of the burden of trying to heal from an illness of injury, we have the extra stress of trying to pay for hospitalization and medicines. This has GOT to stop. As a start on how you can take part in the movement, please look up the web site  https://medicare4all.org/. 

This week, I’m scheduled to have my appointment for my medical marijuana card; it would be helpful for such problems I have as PTSD, depression, and low-level autism. What I would LOVE to see is decriminalization, for recreational use, of marijuana in Pennsylvania, which has been taking place in other states in the Union. For those states, sales of legal weed has been a tax-gathering bonanza, and Pennsylvania just HAS to get in on it, to pay for schools, hospitals, roads, etc.  To see what you can do on this issue, contact the Marijuana Policy Project,  https://www.mpp.org/.

(I’m discussing some issues in my life in the broader context of national events; we don’t live in isolation, since people share the same problems, like homelessness, unemployment, inflation, etc.)

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