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kennedy’s announcement speech
Why do men fight for servitude as stubbornly as though it were their salvation? Giles Deleuze
Every empire, however, tells itself and the world that it is unlike other empires, that its mission is not to plunder and control but to educate and liberate. Edward W Said
Welcome back you rowdy bunch of freedom loving heretics!
As regular readers know on 3/28 and again on 4/2 I posted about the likelihood that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. was going to run for President of the US.
On Wednesday April 19, he made it official.
For someone who is philosophically a Christian anarchist, I have a lot of issues with our current form of government. Does that mean I don’t vote? As my numerous posts on the topic attest, I enjoy the ability to exercise my right to engage in free speech and criticize our leaders. If I don’t vote I feel like I don’t have any right to say anything about the outcome of an election. So yes, I vote. I know many think it’s a waste of time, but maybe if all those folks voted, there would be some change. Some change is far better than no change.
As a Christian anarchist I have no desire to engage in hero worship - I bow to no person. There is only one entity I bow to and that is the Almighty Creator of whom I am in complete awe.
As for my problems with our current form of government, I would like to see us drop the unconstitutional fabrication that we are a centralized democracy. The president has been given far too many unconstitutional powers and they need to be taken away. We need to return to the layout our imperfect founding fathers visualized, a decentralized republic with state rights holding sway over the Federal Government. RFK Jr. has said he wants to do that.
I’m a lifelong hunter and fisherman. I love being outside in wild areas. They make my soul sing. I enjoy living a simple life filled more with the wonder of Gods creation than the material distractions of modern society. If that makes me an environmentalist, so be it. Because of the way I am, I’ve spent much of my life fighting to stop the mindless plunder of Gods beautiful creation and our finite resources by a handful of taxpayer subsidized, rape and run, fascist corporations.
In 1980 fate intervened to have me present with about 30 or 40 people at the founding meeting of Earth First, which occurred downstream from the Dewey Bridge on the banks of a wild stetch of the Colorado River (about 35 miles upstream from Moab, Utah). For those who’ve never heard of Earth First, its was the most radical environmental group to ever exist. It came to pass due to a book by Edward Abbey titled The Monkey Wrench Gang, which was about a rag-tag group of people who went around the Southwest US throwing monkey wrenches into the works of mans hubristic, destructive infrastructure. Some of the founders of the group were people that Ed used as models for protagonists in the book. Again, as fate would have it, I knew some of those people, including Ed.
Long story short, the group was infiltrated by an FBI informant who contrived to persuade some of the leaders to help him take down a large communications tower (this was decades before 5G). To avoid leaders being targeted, the group avoided having a formal organization. However, the FBI was waiting near the tower and they got caught in the act. Several Earth Firsters went to prison. Earth First disintegrated. The remaining monkey wrenchers vowed to continue their trade.
I’m telling this story because much this took place around the same time that RFK Jr. joined River Keepers and began environmental litigation for them - which led to formation of The WaterKeeper Alliance. Because our lives essentially centered on the Colorado river, my Earth First friends and I were all aware of the work Bobby was doing a that time. I lived in a tent for nearly a year on the banks of that magnificent river, fishing and foraging for mesquite pods and wild asparagus and cooking over a campfire. It was during those years that I began to formulate my thoughts about the need to decentralize everything.
Apparently Bobby Kennedy, who is my age, was having similar thoughts around that same time.
Kennedy begins his speech by denouncing the fascism that currently exists between corporations and the state. I’ve never heard a candidate even acknowledge this, let alone call it out as something to be dismantled.
He talked about how the current unprecedented polarization serves as a distraction for corporations and billionaires to increase profits.
He talked about how the government and media lies to us.
He denounced censorship, about which he’s had a lot of experience. He was listed as one the “misinformation dozen” during the pandemic.
He said he is not anti-capitalism, he is anti-corporate crony capitalism.
The speech is nearly 2 hours long. He said “this is what happens when you censor someone for 18 years - I’ve got a lot to talk about.”
Here are some of those things.
on the environment
“Good environmental policy is identical to good economic policy.”
“Environmental injury is deficit spending and loads the cost on the backs of our children.”
“We don’t protect the environment just to save birds and fish. The environment enriches us economically, culturally and spiritually.”
“An investment in the environment is an investment in our infrastructure.”
“The air we breath, the wildlife, the fisheries the public lands. Those things are by their very nature part of the commonwealth (something I’ve written about before). They connect us to the 10,000 generations that went before and ultimately connect us to God. God speaks to us in many ways… but nowhere as detailed through grace and color and joy as through creation. When we destroy a species or a special place we are destroying our capacity to sense the Divine, understand who God is and what our own potential is as human beings.”
“During the depression 10,000 people survived by using the Hudson River as a source of food and income.”
on the lockdown
Taking a swipe at Trump, Bobby says the coup de grace on the middle class was Trumps lockdown. Trump claimed he tried to stop it but was overruled by advisors. Bobby said “that’s no excuse”.
“We have 4.2% of the worlds population and 16% of covid deaths.” (I pointed that out in a 2021 post.)
“The economic cost to the US was 16 trillion.” “We spirited 4 trillion from the middle class to the super rich.”
“The lockdown created 550 new billionaires.”
“Existing billionaires increased their wealth by 30%.”
“The lockdown was a gift to the rich.”
“The ones that benefited the most were social media companies who conspired with Trumps White house to censor people like me.” (And me.)
“3.3 million business shut down.”
“41% of black owned businesses had to close down permanently.”
He quotes the 7th amendment which says no person can be denied the right to trial in the case of an injury exceeding $25. “There is no pandemic exception.”
“The Constitution was built for hard times.”
“During the civil war Lincoln tried to ban habeas corpus and the courts said you can’t do that. It’s the Constitution, it’s the heart and soul of our country.”
Trump folded to the bureaucracy. Bobby tells story of how his uncle stood up to the war powers bureaucracy and told them we were not going to bomb missile bases in Cuba. “You need a president who can stand up to the bureaucracy.”
“The NIH, EPA, DOJ, FDA, CDC, USDA are all captured by industry”, as I’ve pointed out numerous times.
“We are at constant war because the military industrial complex owns the CIA.”
Then he goes into some detail talking about how costly the health care system is and how bad the outcomes are and the reasons for huge jumps in chronic disease.
“The autism rate has gone from 1 in 10,000 in my generation to 1 in 38 today. Why aren’t we asking what happened?”
“When I am the president of the US I am going to end the chronic disease epidemic. If I haven’t ended the chronic disease epidemic by the end of my first term, I don’t want you to reelect me.”
“It’s not in our national interest to push Russia close to China. It’s not in our national interest to risk nuclear war with a country that has more nuclear weapons than we do.”
He then goes on to describe how we’re using the Ukraine population as cannon fodder to drain resources from Russia.
“Biden should tell us exactly what we are doing there.”
“113 billion spent on Ukraine so far. 57% of Americans cannot put their hands on $1,000 in case of an emergency. One quarter of Americans go to bed hungry. 1.5 million veterans are living below poverty line. 33,000 veterans homeless. 23 veterans a day kill themselves. The war on the poor is a blood war (in Ukraine).”
Bobby then talks about a friend sitting nearby whose food stamp allotment has been cut from $285 per month to $25 per month. “30 million Americans got a similar notice.”
“The same month (as the cut in food stamps) the Biden administration announced its dropping medicare for 15 million Americans. The same month the Biden administration announced it’s printing 300 billion new dollars to pay off the Silicon Valley Bank bailout. The same month the Biden administration announced 750 million more in aid to Ukraine. We have money to bail out banks. We have money to give to foreign countries. What about some compassion for Americans in need of help?”
“The war in Iraq cost 8 trillion. Trump and Biden’s lockdown cost 16 trillion. Does anybody wonder why we don’t have a middle class in this country anymore?”
“Between 1900 and 2008 we printed a trillion dollars. Between 2008 and today we’ve printed 10 trillion. 10 centuries of wealth to pay for bailouts and lockdowns. How is that paid off? Inflation. Inflation is a tax on the poor. $25 in food stamps at at time when food costs have gone up as much as 50 to 78%.”
on the military
“We have 800 bases around the world.”
“Our founders warned that trying to be an imperial nation abroad will destroy democracy at home. It will turn us into a garrison state, a national security state, and a surveillance state. You cannot be an imperial nation abroad and a democracy at home.”
He quotes his grandfather, “We need to arm ourselves to the teeth at home and make ourselves too costly to conquer and build the economy because the economy is the source of strength, not bullets and weapons. It’s having a strong middle class. As long as our major exports are weapons and war we will never have a middle class in this country.”
JFK realized the function of intelligence agencies was to supply the military industrial complex with ongoing wars. Bobby quotes his uncle, “I want to take the CIA and shatter it into a thousand pieces and scatter it to the winds.”
“While we spent 8 billion bombing roads bridges and hospitals (in the Middle East), the Chinese spent 8 billion building roads, bridges and hospitals.”
“Brazil and Saudi Arabia have just switched from the dollar to the yuan.”
the attempted shut-down of his speech
At this point his speech is interrupted by a bell and what sounds like a recorded announcement over the building intercom system that something has occurred and the building needs to be evacuated. Bobby looks dubious and turns to some of his friends. The interruption goes on for a minute or two. It becomes apparent that someone is trying to shut him down. He then points to the intercom and says “nice try” and continues with his speech.
He goes on to explain how we’ve put trillions of dollars into the Middle East and now our entire strategy is collapsing and that the demise of the US may follow.
“I’m going to close those (800) bases and invest at home.”
He talks about how his risky lifestyle has not tailored him to be a presidential candidate.
“I don’t want the Democratic party to be the party of fear and war and censorship.”
“I’ve spent a lot of time suing agencies like the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, the EPA. I know how they work.” Trump got Scott Gottlieb to leave Pfizer’s board and run the FDA. This writer reminded everyone in 2021 that Trump tapped the lord of all big pharma swamp lords, Alex Azar to run HHS. Bobby said, “That’s not draining the swamp.”
Then he takes a round about swipe at Pete Buttigieg whose campaign his son worked on. He explains that people like Trump and Biden don’t approach agencies like the Department of Transportation and say, I’m going to change this agency. He talks about how people like Buttigieg are appointed by Biden (and other presidents) to run the DoT because they will play it safe and not rock the boat.
“I am not safe. The vested interests are not safe. My job is to keep you safe.”