America’s Homeless Middle Class

via America’s Homeless Middle Class

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2020 NEW YEAR: Michelle’s selection of quotations from books read during 2019, listening to YouTube and chosen quotes via Google. Blackdog has taught me that engagement with bibliotherapy teaches me coping skills hence each New Year I put together quotations.

2020 New Year

Quotations selected from books read; YouTube speakers and selections of quotations via Google.  Twitter too.

Not seeking perfection and avoiding the linear mind in favour of the more scattered approach means there is no order to these quotations.


“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” ~ Erich Fromm

“Consistency is the playground of dull minds.”
Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

“A primary justification for a basic income is social justice”.  – Guy Standing

“Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.” ~ Erich Fromm

“I love information.  I can never get enough.  I get bored easily.”  ~ Eric Topol

“Wars are times of intense technological transformation, because societies invest – sometimes with extensive borrowing – when and where matters of life and death are at stake.” ~ George Friedman 

“One of the great famines in human history took place during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. [At the same time] Western journalists were reporting how marvelously Chinese society was working. We know so little [about what happens in China].” ~ George Friedman

“Anger does not make history. Power does. And power may be supplemented by anger, but it derives from more fundamental realities; geography, demographics, technology, and culture.” ~ George Friedman

“The thing you have to remember is, oil and gas are commodities, and the more we use them the more the price goes up, like any commodity.   Solar, wind – they are technologies, so the more you use them, the more the price goes down.” ~ Thomas Friedman

“The threat of environmental crisis is the ‘international disaster key’ to unlock the New World Order.” ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

“Peace is not unity in similarity but unity in diversity, in the comparison and conciliation of differences.” ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

“When future generations judge those who came before them on environmental issues, they may conclude “they didn’t know”: let us not go down in history as the generations who knew, but didn’t care” ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” ~ George Orwell

“All tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force.” ~ George Orwell

“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.  ~ John Steinbeck

“I am convinced that imprisonment is a way of pretending to solve the problem of crime.  It does nothing for the victims of crime, but perpetuates the idea of retribution, thus maintaining the endless cycle of violence in our culture.  It is a cruel and useless substitute for the eliminationation of those conditions – poverty, unemployment, homelessness, desperation, racism, greed – which are the root of most punished crime.  The crimes of the rich and powerful go mostly unpunished.”  ~ Howard Zinn

“Governments like it that way. They want their people to see war as a drama of opposites, good and evil, “them” and “us,” victory or defeat. But war is primarily not about victory or defeat but about death and the infliction of death. It represents the total failure of the human spirit.” ~ Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East

“Journalism can be lethal”  ~ Robert Fisk, The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East


“I do not think that war is always wrong: sometimes it is necessary to stop a dictator, prevent massive human-rights abuses, or expel an invader. But I have also seen that in the modern world, civil wars are the greatest threat to humanitarian security.”  ~ Jonathan Powell

“A child born today will group up with no conception of privacy at all.  They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themseles an unrecorded, unanalysed thought.  And that’s a problem because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be”.  ~ Edward Snowden
“Richard Nixon got kicked out of Washington for tapping one hotel suite.  Today we’re tapping every American citizen in the country, and no one has been put on trial for it or even investigated.  We don’t have an inquiry into it.   ~ Edward Snowden


“Anybody can become angry — that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way — that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy. ~ Aristotle

“Capitalism did not defeat communism because capitalism was more ethical, because individual liberties are sacred or because God was angry with the heathen communists.  Rather, capitalism won the Cold War because distributed data processing works better than centralised data processing, at least in periods of accelerating technological change.  The central committee of the Communist Party just could not deal with the rapidly changing world of the late twentieth century.  When all data is accumulated in one secret bunker, and all important decisions are taken by a group of elderly apparatchiks, they can produce nuclear bombs by the cartload, but not an Apple or a Wikipedia”. ~ Yuval Noah Harari, Homo Deus

“There is a saying that if you get something for free, you should know that you’re the product. It was never more true than in the case of Facebook and Gmail and YouTube. You get free social-media services, and you get free funny cat videos. In exchange, you give up the most valuable asset you have, which is your personal data.”  ~ Yuval Noah Harari   “The last thing a teacher needs to give her pupils is more information. They already have far too much of it. Instead, people need the ability to make sense of information, to tell the difference between what is important and what is unimportant, and above all to combine many bits of information into a broad picture of the world.”  ~ Yuval Noah Harari, 21 lessons for the 21st Century

“In 2012 about 56 million people died throughout the world; 620,000 of them died due to human violence (war killed 120,000 people, and crime killed another 500,000). In contrast, 800,000 committed suicide, and 1.5 million died of diabetes. Sugar is now more dangerous than gunpowder.”  ~ Yuval Noah Harari

“Nothing captures the biological argument better than the famous New Age slogan: ‘Happiness begins within’.  Money, social status, plastic surgery, beautiful houses, powerful positions – none of these will bring you happiness.  Lasting happiness comes only from serotonin, dopamine and oxtoycin.” ~ Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens, A brief History of Humankind
“We are all living together on a single planet, which is threatened by our own actions. And if you don’t have some kind of global cooperation, nationalism is just not on the right level to tackle the problems, whether it’s climate change or whether it’s technological disruption.”  ~  Yuval Noah Harari
“Students who acquire large debts putting themselves through school are unlikely to think about changing society. When you trap people in a system of debt, they can’t afford the time to think.” ~ Noam Chomsky
“That’s the standard technique of privatization: defund, make sure things don’t work, people get angry, you hand it over to private capital.” ~ Noam Chomsky
“A lot of the diagnosis and monitoring functions will be done through little devices – smartphones – by the patient with computer assistance. So it’s a real big change in the model of how we render healthcare.” ~ Eric Topol

“I have had my genome fully sequenced and have learned a great deal about which medications I would respond to and which might or would induce major side effects, along with knowing many medical conditions for which I’m particularly susceptible.”  ~ Eric Topol

“The IP system is an artificial construct that excessively rewards owners of intellectual property, granting them monopolies over inventions and ideas, that in many cases, are the product of generations of thinkers and/or publicly funded research”.  ~ Guy Standing  Across Europe, not just in the U.K., the old Beveridge and Bismarckian variants of the welfare state have been dismantled.  In their place has been erected a mish-mash of means-tested, behaviour-tested social assistance, with a growing tendency to force young unemployed into workfare schemes, which are helping to depress real wages.  ~ Guy Standing

“I don’t see basic income as a panacea, but we must have a new income distribution system.  The old one has broken down irretrievably.  ~ Guy Standing.
“If I care for an elderly relative without payment, it is not work, is not counted in national income, and, as it is not labour, is not counted as work.  Should my neighbour pay me to do precisely the same tasks, it would contribute to economic growth.”  ~ Guy Standing
“What distinguishes a commons is that it is not private property, does not have a price, and is oriented towards ‘use value’ rather than ‘exchange value.’  It does not exist to generate profits.”  ~ Guy Standing
“The word “collective” is not so often used because it has been basically used by socialists and communists and has a different history. The word “cooperative” means the workplace itself is organized cooperatively, rather than in the conventional capitalistic, hierarchical form.” ~ Richard D. Wolff
“Poor people, especially those of color, are worth nothing to corporations and private contractors if they are on the street. In jail and prisons, however, they can each generate corporate revenues of $30,000 to $40,000 a year.” ~ Chris Hedges
“It is the cult of self that is killing the United States. This cult has within it the classic traits of psychopaths: superficial charm, grandiosity and self-importance ; a need for constant stimulation; a penchant for lying, deception and manipulation; and the incapacity for remorse or guilt.” ~ Chris Hedges
“A society without the means to detect lies and theft soon squanders
its liberty and freedom.” ~ Chris Hedges
“The task we must set for ourselves is not to feel secure,
but to be able to tolerate insecurity.” ~ Erich Fromm
Happy New Year:  2020
Michelle Clarke
Book written last year and published
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Decapitated body found in unoccupied house in Cork City identified: Homelessness stark for ple; avg age of death 45 yrs but this cruel murder. Why? Who?

The body of a murdered man found in Cork city may have been that of a homeless man in his 60s, according to Irish police.

Source: Decapitated body found in unoccupied house in Cork City identified

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In tribute to The Big Issue vendors we lost in 2019

We were saddened to report on the death of 13 much-loved vendors this year

Source: In tribute to The Big Issue vendors we lost in 2019

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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Evictions, the vulnerable in Dublin 4. Nothing has changed since 2006: Boxing Day 2019 I met a brave woman who faces eviction from her home (a flat in a Georgian house D2) of 78 years which is her age.

Boxing Day or as some call it St. Stephen’s Day, the day of the Leopardstown Races, I was walking through what I call my smart urban village, called Upper Baggot Street, which had shed its clothing of Tech workers and elites for those people who have lived their lives in this area.  There is always a story to be heard.  The Waterloo was open to business and I sat down with a few people for a chat about life and their lives.  The management in the Waterloo, because of the day that was in it, made the kind gesture of a free Americano.  Thank you to them.  I started talking about my dream for the Royal City of Dublin hospital (Upper Baggot Street) only to hear of yet another story of hardship.  This woman lives in a “flat” in a Georgian house which has offices – she is at the top of the building so she is a very good example to a Taoiseach like Leo Varadkar who puts great emphasis (swimming in the Forty Foot, rather than visiting the homeless) that here is a person who is fit both mentally and physically; she has worked her entire life and yet she is to be evicted from her home of 78 years.  Where is the Justice?  Where is the action?  I am writing to the usual people for help.  My preference is always Fr Peter McVerry and Alice Leahy.  Then I will write to Dermot Lacey, Councillor in the area.  Eoghan Murphy is next on the agenda and then of course there is a person I consider an actor rather than a procrastinator and that is Jim O’Callaghan, Fianna Fail.   

Let me take you back to 2006 because it looks like I was writing about the same type of evictions then and the big question to be answered is what has been done to provide solutions?



Evictions, the vulnerable in Dublin 4.

4th March, 2006: 23:31
by Michelle Clarke – Social Justice and Ethics

There is a very saying. Come progress, come poverty.

During the last census in Ireland, it was spoken about in the Joe Duffy Liveline. It outlined the wealth and the illusion of the everlasting Tiger but people doing the census forms told Joe Duffy of the poverty they experienced in many houses on their rounds.

Two weeks ago I was walking with my dog on the Canal, off Baggot Street, when a lady in distress sitting on a park bench crying – I stopped spoke to her and listened intently to her story. The lady told me come October 10th 2006 at 10.00 p.m. the Sherriff was coming on behalf of the landlord with an order of ejection.

It intrigued me that the word ‘EVICtion… not being used now. I took some particulars off the lady and made no promises. Two days later I met a barrister friend of mine. He asked me how long she lived in her flat. I said 27 years. He replied she has rights under the 1980 Act section 17.

I made some more enquiries. The lady has mental health problems and phobias e.g. she will not open her post. She has no electricity for 5 years in the heartland of Georgian Dublin 4.

I ask tonight where are the government agencies to support this lady who is vulnerable in relation to mental health. Who protects the Vulnerable?

On a Wednesday evening I phoned 4 government agencies and in this I include Threshold, Social Services, Citizen Rights Bureau….The answers were all similar….it is too late we cannot help. But what intrigues me most is that nobody mentioned the 1980 Act?

I then phoned the solicitors on behalf of the Landlord – I spent a long time negotiating the cancellation of the Ejection Order which was to happen in 4 days. They lady now has a reprieve until the middle of January. The Ejection Order was cancelled.

Herself and her little dog have a roof over their head for Halloween and Christmas.

They got the Ejection order because this lady feared opening her post for two years.

Where is the new Disability Bill? I ask this question tonight to Enda Kenny, to Pat Rabitte, Joe Higgins, David Norris, and above all Bertie – of Course and also to Minister McDowell who represents this Constituence and is Minister for Justice Equality and Law Reform?

What really saddened me was the week before her ejection she was full of anxiety and stress. In tears she tried to access a Government Agency, on a Tuesday evening, but she was refused by the door porter because she simply did not have her PRSI number or ID.

I am not a lawyer but could someone out there clarify this lady’s rights in January 2007. Many houses are being revamped in Dublin 4 – progress, greed and money but morally this lady has rights above all these things within the terms of the Constitution of Ireland.


Ignoring history
This quotation to me personally goes back to our Famine, our emigration, our coffin ships, our civil wars and the conflict in the North of Ireland. Now we have wealth and the illusion it will never end……

‘Those who do not remember the past, are codemned to repeat it’
George Santayana 1803-1852
Spanish Born Philosopher

This story had a happy ending thanks in the main to the assistance of Ruari Quinn and a team he worked with.   It is hard to believe that nearly 13 years going forward there are still elderly people, who have paid taxes all their lives, living the life of sadness because elderly people are facing the threat of eviction at a time in their lives when they are most vulnerable.

Michelle Clarke, Social Justice and Ethics

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Edward Snowden Speaks Out For Julian Assange And Chelsea Manning – OpEd

Julian Assange of WikiLeaks has been silenced. Assange was prevented from communicating with the outside world in his final 13 months at the Ecuador embassy in London, where he had obtained sanctua…

Source: Edward Snowden Speaks Out For Julian Assange And Chelsea Manning – OpEd

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Citizen Journalism Ireland: Year 2010, August 20th. Mental Health: The Stigma; the inadequate provision of primary care. At last: 28/11/2019 a National Hotline will operate. Freephone number 1800 111 888. People power works.

via Citizen Journalism Ireland: Year 2010, August 20th. Mental Health: The Stigma; the inadequate provision of primary care. At last: 28/11/2019 a National Hotline will operate. Freephone number 1800 111 888. People power works.

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