FEATURE

If You Know ANYONE Working In A Hospital, Forward This On: MIT Posts Free Plans Online For An Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100

The new device fits around an Ambu bag (blue), which hospitals already have on hand in abundance. Designed to be squeezed by hand, instead they are squeezed by mechanical paddles (center) driven by a small motor. This directs air through a tube which is placed in the patient’s airway. Credit: Courtesy of the researchers. By David L. Chandler Massachusetts Institute Of Technology (3/28/20) Clinical and design considerations will be published online; goal is to support rapid scale-up of device production to alleviate hospital shortages. One of the most pressing shortages facing hospitals during the Covid-19 emergency is a lack of ventilators….

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US Senators Accused Of Coronavirus Insider Trading Embody The Moral Bankruptcy Of The Establishment

[Cartoon Note: Inspiration was drawn from one of many online comments seen throughout the past five days. The idea stuck with me, but I do not recall who wrote the original comment. — Mark L. Taylor] By Nathan Robinson The Guardin (3/21/20) There’s something deeply disturbing about seeing someone profit from a disaster, and we’ve already seen a few examples in the present crisis. First it was the guys who bought up over 17,000 bottles of hand sanitizer in the hopes of selling them at a high markup. (After Amazon put a stop to their sales, the pair of hoarders donated the sanitizer.)…


‘We Know This Script’: Naomi Klein Warns Of ‘Coronavirus Capitalism’ In New Video Detailing Battle Before Us

“We know what Trump’s plan is: a pandemic shock doctrine… But the end of this story hasn’t been written yet.” By Jessica Corbett The Intercept (3/17/20) In a new video from The Intercept, author and activist Naomi Klein explains how the Trump administration and other governments across the globe are “exploiting” the coronavirus outbreak “to push for no-strings-attached corporate bailouts and regulatory rollbacks,” and urges working people worldwide to resist such efforts and demand real support from political leaders during the ongoing crisis. Klein, author of the 2007 book The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, notes that President Donald Trump has pushed for a payroll tax…


A Stinking Mess: Toilet Paper Wars And The Shithouse Of Capitalism

Looking out for number one, so you can continue to do your number twos in peace. By Simon Spring Common Dreams (3/15/20) The run on toilet paper has brought the failings of capitalism front and center to the bathroom of every house across Australia, a trend that has now spread to other countries. We are witnessing, in real-time and with stunning consequence, the stone-cold fact that markets are an ineffective mediator of resources, prone to the worst vagaries of herd mentality. Perceived impending shortages of toilet paper owing to the spread of COVID-19 set off widespread panic. We might be…


152 House Dems Join GOP To Reauthorize ‘abusive government surveillance power’

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (3/12/20) With the nation’s attention fixed on the rapidly spreading coronavirus, the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to extend FBI surveillance powers that were set to expire on March 15. The bill, formally titled the USA FREEDOM Reauthorization Act, cleared the House by a vote of 278 to 136, with 152 Democrats and 126 Republicans voting yes. View the full roll call here. The legislation, strongly opposed by civil liberties groups and privacy advocates, is the product of bipartisan negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (D-Calif.), House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep….


How The Democrats Intentionally Lose Elections, And May Do So Again In 2020

There’s More Of Us Than There Are Of Them (So Why Do The Dems Keep Blowing Their Campaigns?) [Editor’s Note: This is one of the most important interviews you can find, if you are wondering why the dems keep losing. And if Wall Street succeeds in pushing Bernie aside, they will be on track to lose again in 2020. Great information on messaging. The information is right in front of them to help the dems win, so why don’t they listen and are content to keep losing? They are smart people. I think it is intentional to keep their corporate…


It’s Groundhog Day (Again) For Democrats

How do you ever win by making unilateral concessions? It’s Negotiation 101, people. Never compromise with yourself. By Mike McCabe Wisconsin Our Revolution (3/4/20) Democrats are awfully hard to figure. I hear what they say they believe in and what they say they want to do. But when in power they rarely if ever do those things. Theirs is a scared party, an apologetic party, a play-it-safe party. When is the last time you heard a Republican apologize for anything? Some years back, establishment Democrats got spooked by the L word. They’ve been going to great lengths ever since to shed…


In It’s Blatant Actions Against Sanders, The Corporate Democratic Establishment Revealed Their Weakness & Desperation

“We’re taking on not only the corporate establishment, we are taking on the political establishment.” — Bernie Sanders By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (3/5/20) Climate activist Greta Thunberg was recently the target of a crude, sexually abusive graphic sticker put out by X-Site Energy Services, an Alberta, Canada oil field company. The sexual abuse launched at the 17 year-old has prompted an online petition (which you should definitely sign, here) and a call for the company’s bullying board to resign. Displaying poise and wisdom far beyond the oil company management team, Thunberg had the perfect response to such abusive behavior,…


RECKONING: America Is About To Get A Godawful Lesson In Why Health Care Should Never Be A For-Profit Business

COVID-19 is going to swing a big hammer at the glass house of American health care. All anyone can do is hope they don’t get cut in the process. And then vote to change the damn system. By Mark Sumner Daily Kos (2/27/20) For four decades, American corporations have been caught up in a whole series of refinements that are intended to improve efficiency and productivity. Our processes are lean. Our efficiency is six-sigma. Our productivity has mysteriously run far ahead of employee compensation in a way that has made CEOs billionaires while leaving workers on food stamps. It’s a…


Here They Come Again: The Kind Of Neoliberal Democrats Who Actually Prefer Trump Over Sanders

Here’s the question: to what extent is the Establishment’s commitment to democratic institutions greater than their commitment to current forms of capitalist hierarchy? It seems like we are about to find out. By Adolph Reed Jr. Common Dreams (2/11/20) Twenty-four years ago, I published an essay titled “Liberals, I Do Despise” in the Village Voice, which Common Dreams reprinted as an enduring oldie in 2009. The title was a play on an old doggerel, in this case rendering it: Liberals and flies, I do despise The more I see liberals, the more I like flies. I wrote the essay in disgust after Bill Clinton concluded…


The Classic Faustian Bargain Of New Intrusive Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

  “The real psychological truth is this: If you’ve got nothing to hide, you are nothing.” ― Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism ***** What happens to our pics on social media and what does that have to do with the persecution of the Uighars in China? (Scrape, scrape, scrape…) What is Pokémon Go really about? (Talk about child abuse.) Who was really behind Google Earth? (One shouldn’t be too surprised.) How much info do they really have about us? (Waaaay more than we volunteer.) Can there be a hidden microphone in your new home security system that isn’t revealed in the…



Chris Hedges: What Is Happening To Julian Assange Will Happen To The Rest Of Us

This global security state is a terrifying melding of the corporate and the public. And what it has done to Assange it will soon do to the rest of us. By Chris Hedges Truthdig (2/10/20) David Morales, the indicted owner of the Spanish private security firm Undercover Global, is being investigated by Spain’s high court for allegedly providing the CIA with audio and video recordings of the meetings WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had with his attorneys and other visitors when the publisher was in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The security firm also reportedly photographed the passports of all of Assange’s visitors. It is…


Clearview AI: Secretive Company Providing Law Enforcement Facial Recognition Tech That ‘Scrapes’ Photos Off The Net & Eliminates Your Privacy

  This will not remain limited to law enforcement. The Daily / New York Times (2/10/20) A secretive start-up promising the next generation of facial recognition software has compiled a database of images far bigger than anything ever constructed by the United States government: over three billion, it says. Is this technology a breakthrough for law enforcement — or the end of privacy as we know it? Link To 31-Minute Audio ACLU Slams Facial Recognition Company That Scrapes Photos From Instagram & Facebook — Clearview AI, the facial recognition company that claims to have a database of more than 3 billion photos scraped…


‘Consistent With A Mass Extinction’: New Study Warns Climate Chaos Driving Rapid Decline Of Bumblebees

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (2/7/20) The rising frequency of extremely hot temperatures tied to human-caused global heating is creating “climate chaos” that drives widespread declines of bumblebees, some of the planet’s most important pollinators, according to a new study published in the journal Science. Researchers at the University of Ottawa in Canada and University College London in the United Kingdom developed a new measurement of temperature based on species’ heat tolerance. “We have created a new way to predict local extinctions that tells us, for each species individually, whether climate change is creating temperatures that exceed what the bumblebees can handle,” explained study…


A Radical Message Of What REAL Resistance In This Nation Will Take If We Are To Survive

“It is our job to make people in power feel fear. That’s our job. … You know why they are so scared? Because they know even better than we do how corrupt and fixed the system is. … They understand how hated they are and that makes them weak.“ This talk by Chris Hedges has been posted in the Commoner Call before, and is well worth the time, but it is being re-posted now specifically for Hedges’ call to resist. After the bumbling debacle of the Iowa caucus and the corrupting influence of oligarch Michael Bloomberg’s millions in the primary process,…


“We hope it’s not the right answer” — Climate Models Are Running Red Hot, And Scientists Don’t Know Why

“We got some really strange results.” By Eric Roston Bloomberg (2/3/20) There are dozens of climate models, and for decades they’ve agreed on what it would take to heat the planet by about 3° Celsius. It’s an outcome that would be disastrous—flooded cities, agricultural failures, deadly heat—but there’s been a grim steadiness in the consensus among these complicated climate simulations. Then last year, unnoticed in plain view, some of the models started running very hot. The scientists who hone these systems used the same assumptions about greenhouse-gas emissions as before and came back with far worse outcomes. Some produced projections…


The Real Obstacle For Sanders Is Not Trump. It’s The Big Money Democratic Establishment

One of Bernie Sanders’ greatest advantages in the race is that many of the most unlikable hypocrites in America despise him. By Hamilton Nolan The Guardian (1/31/20) Even in our pitifully broken semi-democracy, rich people shouldn’t be in charge. The math is against them. There are, by definition, comparatively few rich people, and many middle- and lower-class people. In a two-party system where one party represents the interests of the rich and the other party is meant to represent the interests of everyone else, logic says that the rich people party should lose most of the time, based on sheer…


‘A Very Stable Genius’ — A Conversation With Book Authors Carol Leonnig & Philip Rucker

  Washington Post Live (1/24/20) Watch as The Washington Post’s White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker and National Investigative Reporter Carol Leonnig discuss their new book, “A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America.” Link To 54-Minute Video ***** WashWeekPBS Extra: Discussing “A Very Stable Genius” With Writer Carol Leonnig Washington Week (1/24/20) Moderator Robert Costa was joined by The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig. She shared insights from her newly published book “A Very Stable Genius,” co-written with the Post’s Philip Rucker. Link To 10-Minute Video


Beneath The Peaceful Veneer Of Virginia’s Gun Rally: ‘I Have a Dream of a Boogaloo’

Tyler Lloyd, an attendee at the Virginia State Capitol “Lobby Day” gun rally on Martin Luther King Day. (Right Wing Watch 1/21/20) “Yeah, I really wanted a shooting.” By Kristen Doerer Right Wing Watch (1/21/20) RICHMOND, Va.—The “Lobby Day” gun rally at the Virginia State Capitol was winding down and the crowd slowly dispersing when I came across a young man holding up a sign reading, “I have a dream of a Boogaloo.” I stopped in my tracks.​ “Boogaloo​”​ is extremists’ short-hand term for what they see as a looming civil war​. More discreet displays of the term were to be found for…


UW-Green Bay Historian Harvey J. Kaye Warns Dems: Only A Progressive President Can Save America

If Democrats don’t embrace their progressive legacy the party is toast — and so is America. By Chauncey Devega Salon (1/23/20) The Democratic Party has a very difficult choice to make. Will it choose a progressive candidate such as Bernie Sanders as the 2020 presidential nominee, in the hope that his populist vision will vanquish Donald Trump? Or will the Democrats instead choose Joe Biden, a former vice president, a “centrist” and “moderate” who wants to find ways to compromise with Republicans in order to “heal” the nation, and a “calming” presence who symbolizes a return to the supposed state of normalcy that…


Supreme Court Could Rule That You Will Be Forced To Subsidize Private Religious Schools

By Nina Totenberg Morning Edition / NPR (1/22/20) The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Wednesday in a major case that could dramatically alter the line separating church and state. At issue is a Montana state constitutional amendment that bars direct and indirect taxpayer aid to religious institutions. Conservative religious groups and advocates of school choice are challenging the “no-aid” provision. They have long sought to invalidate state constitutional amendments that prohibit taxpayer funding from going to religious schools. Given that Montana is one of 38 states with a “no-aid” provision, the court’s eventual decision could have far-reaching consequences. The case…


‘Middle Class’ Biden Has A Real Corruption Record That Makes Him The Wrong Candidate To Go Up Against Crooked Trump

Nominating a candidate like Biden will make it far more difficult to defeat Trump. It will allow Trump to muddy the water, to once again pretend he is the one “draining the swamp”, running against Washington culture. By Zephyr Teachout The Guardian (1/20/20) But Biden has a big corruption problem and it makes him a weak candidate. I know it seems crazy, but a lot of the voters we need – independents and people who might stay home – will look at Biden and Trump and say: “They’re all dirty.” It looks like “Middle Class” Joe has perfected the art…


Fall From Grace: How Boeing Was Downed By False Economy Of Money-First Corporate Values

By Meghna Chakrabarti & Grace Tatter On Point / WBUR (1/14/20) Boeing used to have high safety standards. One recently revealed employee email said the company now has a “culture of ‘good enough.’” What will it take to turn Boeing around? Check out our past coverage of Boeing: ‘We’ve Made Mistakes’: Boeing Officials Face Lawmakers, Families On Capitol Hill Congress Takes Up FAA, Boeing And Aviation Oversight In Hearings U.S. Joins List Of Countries Grounding Boeing Planes After Ethiopian Airlines Crash Guests Lori Aratani, transportation reporter for the Washington Post covering airports and airlines. (@loriara) Cynthia Cole, a test and systems engineer…


The Bipartisan American War State: The Liars That Over & Over Send Our Children Off To Pointless War For Profit

“We have a government that is so easily dominated by psychopaths and sociopaths.” [Editor’s Note: This whole video is worth the time, but if nothing else, watch the opening video mash-up of the Republican and Democratic lies that have repeatedly thrown the nation into wars for corporate profits. The take-down of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s recent kow-towing to Trump’s war actions are revealing of the bipartisan evil we face. — Mark L. Taylor] The Real News (1/10/20) Two Iraq war veterans explain why Congress has failed to stop the endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and say the United States…


Wisconsin Community Shows How Christian Evangelicals Worship Trump More Than Jesus

Large numbers of voters across rural Wisconsin flipped from supporting Obama to Trump – now the dividing lines over him are even deeper By Chris McGreal The Guardian (1/15/20) Pastor Franz Gerber is worried that so many members of his congregation appear to idolise Donald Trump more than they worship Jesus. The preacher at the Praise Chapel Community church was among those who voted for Trump in rural Forest county, Wisconsin, which swung heavily from Barack Obama to the Republican in 2016 and so helped deliver a state that put the president in the White House. Gerber now has some regrets about his vote…


Former GOP Strategist Rick Wilson Pens New Rules For Republicans Who Have Decided To Worship ‘Sniffles The Clown’ Trump As Their God

By Sarah K. Burris Raw Story (1/8/20) Former Republican Rick Wilson unleashed an epic rant against Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) Wednesday night. As part of the mockery of the South Carolina Senator, Wilson outlined new rules for Republican officials to follow under the leadership of President Donald Trump, who he called “Sniffles The Clown.” “The assertion by Lindsay Graham that today’s bizarre performance by Sniffles The Clown was on par with ‘Tear Down This Wall’ is part of the Saddamification of the GOP,” said Wilson. “What are the new rules?” he asked. Never be the first guy to stop clapping…


US Border Officer Uses Nazi Nuremberg Defense To Explain Involvement In Separating Families: “We were all told to do this.”

“Ah, so he was just doing his job? Where have we heard that defense before?” [Editor’s Note: Just a quick reminder to members of the military and police: as the Nuremberg Trials after WW II made clear, doing something wrong simply because you are ordered to do so is no legal — or moral — defense. There is an understanding and legal requirement that soldiers and police refuse to carry out criminal orders. Don’t be a Nazi — be a good citizen first — listen to your conscience, not corrupt commanders. — Mark L. Taylor] By Julia Conley Common Dreams…


DOCUMENTARY — Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky And The Media

  At yet another time of deceit and manipulation toward war, it is essential to understand how the corporate owners of the economy & government manufacture the consent of the population to send their children off to die in yet another useless war. Encore (11/16/17) Manufacturing Consent explores the political life and ideas of world-renowned linguist, intellectual and political activist Noam Chomsky. Through a collage of biography, archival material and various graphics and illustrations, Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick’s 22-award-winning documentary highlights Chomsky’s probing analysis of mass media and his critique of the forces at work behind the daily news….


Rumble With Michael Moore Episode 10: Reconsidering The Important Legacy Of Ralph Nader

  Rumble With Michael Moore (12/29/19) Michael Moore and Ralph Nader have a complicated relationship. So during his trip to D.C. to witness the impeachment of Donald Trump, Michael was surprised when he bumped into Ralph while visiting the office of Flint’s representative in Congress. They ended up having their first real conversation in nearly 20 years. Ralph agreed to let Michael record it for this podcast. Rumble Reads: Ralph Nader and Mark Green’s new book “Fake President” is here. Read more about the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact here. Follow Ralph here. Send in a voice message to Michael….


Craziest Op-Ed Of 2019 Arguing Trump Will Inspire A Religious Revival Is Far More Than It Seems

By Mike Lofgren Common Dreams (12/27/19) “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.” —Matthew 24:24 Just when you thought the soon-to-expire year had long since reached peak stupidity, Newsweek published a piece that set a record for preposterous ideas, confidently but incoherently argued. At first glance, it also appeared to demonstrate the lengths the supposedly mainstream media will go in giving equal time to fringe points of view—what is pretentiously called the national conversation. But it may actually be the result of a more ambitious agenda than just a…


Wealth Of World’s Richest 500 Zoomed 25% In 2019

  By Sarah Ruiz-Grossman Huffington Post (12/27/19) The world’s richest 500 people increased their collective wealth by 25% in 2019 ― a stark reminder of worsening income inequality, particularly in the U.S. The 500 wealthiest people held a net worth of $5.9 trillion dollars ― collectively up $1.2 trillion over this year alone, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Topping the list of richest people were familiar names: Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates, French luxury group head Bernard Arnault, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The 400 richest people in…


‘The Afghanistan Papers’: Bipartisan War On Truth Revealed In The Washington Post Series

“The American people have constantly been lied to.” — John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). By Meghna Chakrabarti, Geoffrey Line & Stefano Kotsonis On Point / WBUR (12/23/19) The Washington Post’s massive investigation that U.S. officials misled the public about the Afghanistan War for almost 20 years. We talk with one of those same officials on what they said then, and what they think now. Guests: Craig Whitlock, investigative reporter focusing on national security for the Washington Post. (@CraigMWhitlock) Ryan Crocker, diplomat-in-residence, Princeton University. He has served as U.S. ambassador six times: Afghanistan (2011-2012), Iraq (2007-2009), Pakistan (2004-2007),…


Climate Emergency: The Earth Is In A Death Spiral & Only Radical Action Can Save Us

  Extinction Rebellion graphic. Even the bodies that claim to be addressing our predicament remain locked within destructive frameworks.  By George Monbiot The Guardian (11/14/19) It was a moment of the kind that changes lives. At a press conference held by climate activists Extinction Rebellion last week, two of us journalists pressed the organisers on whether their aims were realistic. They have called, for example, for UK carbon emissions to be reduced to net zero by 2025. Wouldn’t it be better, we asked, to pursue some intermediate aims? A young woman called Lizia Woolf stepped forward. She hadn’t spoken before, but the passion,…


Here Are The Corporate Bribers Hosting Joe Biden’s Big Money Manhattan Fundraisers

By Alex Kotch Sludge (12/19/19) The president of an investment bank that collapsed from selling junk bonds. A shadow lobbyist at private equity giant Blackstone. A law partner who defended a Saudi Arabian banker against criminal charges. A lawyer who represents bankers accused of securities fraud. A financial executive who inspired the character Gordon Gekko, a personification of limitless greed. These are some of the wealthy Manhattan elite who will be hosting fundraisers for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden early next month as he prepares for the first Democratic presidential caucuses in February. One event, a reception, will take place…


Ralph Nader Lays Out Nancy Pelosi’s Missed Opportunities With Impeachment

“It’s truly tragic.” Democracy Now! (12/16/9) Donald Trump is set to become the third president to be impeached when the Democrat-controlled House votes Wednesday on two charges related to his attempts to pressure Ukraine to investigate his political rival Joe Biden. The vote will send the charges to the Republican-controlled Senate, which will then hold a trial on whether to remove Trump from office. Witnesses who could be called to testify include former national security adviser John Bolton and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney. Early Monday, the House Judiciary Committee released its full report on Trump’s impeachment…


‘Democrats Must Do Better’: As Poverty Spreads, Corporate Dems Ignore Progressives & Vote With GOP To Pass Bloated $1.4 Trillion War Budget & Funding Of Trump’s Wall

  “We must fund the government without funding hate.” — Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI) By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (12/17/19) The leaders of the Congressional Progressive Caucus condemned the $1.4 trillion spending package that passed the House Tuesday, calling the legislation a massive giveaway to the Pentagon and a green light for President Donald Trump’s “immoral mass detention policies.” “The bill before us today will not stop the abuse and wrongful detention of people in custody, nor will it prevent the Trump administration from misusing federal funds to advance their horrific mass detention and deportation agenda,” Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Mark Pocan (D-Wis.),…


America’s Rich Socialist Tradition Is As American As Apple Pie — Especially In Wisconsin!

  By Nathan Robinson The Guardian (12/10/19) It is often claimed that the United States differs from Europe in that it lacks a socialist tradition. The title question of Werner Sombart’s 1906 book Why Is There No Socialism in the United States? was answered nearly a century later by Seymour Martin Lipset and Gary Wolfe Marks’ It Didn’t Happen Here: Why Socialism Failed in the United States. It is common to say that socialism “failed” here; this is true insofar as socialists never became a substantial force in American politics. But it overlooks the fact that we did, for a short time, have…


‘So If You’re Poor, You’re Dead’? Watch These Brits Gasp When They Find Out The Deadly, Crippling Cost Of Corporate Run Medical Profiting In The US

“Brits can’t fathom the barbarity of America’s healthcare system.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams Britons in a video released Tuesday expressed incredulity and shock at the high cost of healthcare in the United States and thanked the United Kingdom’s publicly-funded and administered National Health Service for sparing the country’s people such exorbitant prices. “So if you’re poor, you’re dead,” one young woman tells the interviewer from Joe Politics after hearing an asthma inhaler in the for-profit U.S. system costs between $250 and $300. Two different men appear shocked when told Americans can be charged $2,500 for an ambulance ride. “For real?” one…


The ‘Audacity Of Nope’ — Actually, Barack, We Do Need To Tear Down The System

By John Atcheson Common Dreams (11/21/19) There are two ways to practice politics: you can either follow polls or shape them.  For four decades now, Democrats have been poll followers, and Republicans have been poll shapers. Recently, President Obama urged the Democrats to continue being poll followers, saying, “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it.”  The evidence suggests he’s wrong about that, but even if he isn’t, Democrats need to change the mind of the average American, not be led by it. Here’s why. “The system” was designed by and for corporate America and…