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To read more about Episode 241, visit the main episode page.
Michael Moore [00:00:41] Welcome, everyone. This is Rumble with Michael Moore. I am Michael Moore. One of the best things about doing this podcast is that people, just regular, normal, everyday people who are listeners like you, are also songwriters and musicians and poets — so many creative people. And I just love, love, love it when people send me something they’ve written, whether it’s a poem or short story or some music, a song. Every week there’s an influx of this creativity, and in some cases, I really like the song. This last month, this one came in — the one that you’re listening to here as we’re opening the show. So I wrote the guy back, I said, “Hey, I really like your song.” And these two guys who wrote it, Keith Egyud and Scott Evans, they are both the writers and the performers. And I thought, “I’m going to play this one of these days,” and here is that day. It’s just such a good, uplifting song. And they wrote it, they said, because living through the pandemic and the sense of isolation that so many of us have had and the importance of never forgetting that you’re not the only one, you’re not alone. And thus the name of the song, “I’m Not the Only One.” And I love the message. I love the whole tone of it. We can listen to just a little bit more of it here.
Excerpt of song “I’m Not The Only One” [00:02:04] I’m not the only one who’s looking for better. I’m not the only one trying to bring it together. Yeah, I’m not the only one…
Michael Moore [00:02:23] Yeah. There it is right there. So I decided to play it here on my podcast today and to thank, once again, Keith Egyud and Scott Evans for this wonderful tune.
[00:02:34] Man, there’s a lot going on this week. I don’t want to take a lot of your time, I’m gonna try to keep this fairly short today, but there’s just some things that have twisted my head in a Linda Blair sort-of-way. Do you ever just wake up some days and you make the mistake of reaching for your phone and seeing what happened overnight, and you’re like, “Why did I pick up this phone?” It’s like that for me way too much. And as you can see, the only way I can get through it is to try to keep my sense of humor, and I’ve got this podcast where I can unload, and that’s what I’m about to do right now. I want to start with the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Archbishop Cordileone. So this past week, the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco sent a letter to all the Catholics of the Archdiocese of San Francisco. And I’m going to read you just an excerpt of this letter that was read in many churches in the Bay Area here this past Sunday. This is the archbishop speaking, “After numerous attempts to speak with Congresswoman Pelosi, to help her understand the grave ill she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, and the danger to her own soul that she is risking, I have determined that the point has come in which I must make a public declaration that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion unless and until she publicly repudiates her support for abortion ‘rights,’ and confess and receive absolution for her cooperation in this evil in the sacrament of penance.” Okay. Now, if you’re not Catholic, just so you understand, penance is confession. So basically, he’s calling her out for being a massive sinner because she is cooperating in evil, and she will not be allowed to get the host, it’s called the host, the Holy Communion at Mass. You’ve seen this in movies, right? We get in line and you get up there and you hold out your hands or stick out your tongue and the the priest puts the little piece of unleavened bread on your tongue. And he’s saying that she cannot — no priest can give her Communion now. She is forbidden. And she is forbidden until she confesses her sins, and that she “repudiates her support for abortion ‘rights,'” and he’s got ‘rights’ in quote marks. And he’s not going to let her take Communion again until she goes to confession, confesses her sins, and receives absolution, forgiveness for her sins. Wow. The audacity of any of the top executives of the Catholic Church shaming anybody regarding evil considering what the Catholic Church has done — on so many levels too, just starting with the priests and the kids. And everything else — their push in the third world to make sure that condoms are not distributed because that’s an evil. That’s a sin. You saw the, maybe you didn’t see it, that Trump endorsed the state senator in the state of Michigan the last week or two here. And she was asked about the Supreme Court ruling that’s about to come down. They asked her, “Do you also support birth control be made illegal?” “Oh, yes. Oh, yes.” “And same sex marriage?” “Oh, yeah. No, that’s evil.” You understand, right? The ruling that’s coming down, yes, it’s about abortion. But the way that Alito has written this, it basically is meant to cover anything where it involves the privacy of an individual, whether who you’re in love with, who you want to marry, whether you want to control when you get pregnant or not or get somebody pregnant. All of that is up for grabs here in this Alito decision. And this in spite of the fact, according to a Washington Post/ABC News poll that was released earlier this month, 55% of Catholics in the United States want the Supreme Court to uphold Roe versus Wade. They want abortion to remain legal. The vast majority of Catholics. But these priests and these bishops? Wow. I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know. I, of course as you know if you listen to this, I was raised Catholic. I am a recovering Catholic. And I went to the seminary for a year to be a priest. This institution has just gone bonkers. It’s been that way for a long time, obviously, but man.
Michael Moore [00:07:59] I could talk to this archbishop, I’d say to him, “Do you know how lucky you are to even still exist? Do you realize if this were any other organization, or community club in the United States that you would have been shut down a long time ago. If you were the Kiwanis — seriously, I’m not making a joke here. If the Catholic Church was the Kiwanis or the Rotary Club or any kind of institution like that, and at Kiwanis Clubs all across the country, children were being raped, how would Americans respond? How would people in these towns respond once it became known that this was going on? Well, I can tell you. If you’re from another country and you don’t know us that well right now, every Kiwanis Club in the country would be burned down. Burned down. Closed down. Chained, bolted. That would be the end of the Kiwanis. That would be the end of — just pick anything that’s a group that’s run by men, all men. They wouldn’t exist. They’re so lucky. Do you understand this? And if you are a bishop and you’re listening to this, the fact that you’re still in existence, that you, the bishops who hid all this and who moved priests around knowing what was going on and you still — “just move him to another parish. Don’t say anything.” Yeah. You are the criminals. You knew. You committed crime after crime after crime in covering this up, and in supporting actions in the Third World where they can’t get birth control, where they can’t use condoms, and the growth of AIDS throughout the Third World because of you and what you believed in. And you use Jesus as your shield. Jesus was your beard. Jesus was your cover. “Oh, Jesus. Jesus, Jesus. He cares about the little baby that hasn’t been born yet.” Really? Because Jesus doesn’t say a single word in the Bible about abortion. You made this up. You made people believe this. You as part of a sick male dynasty that wants to control women. You do it within your own institution. They have no power. They have no say. Oh, you make it look like you do care. You’re very patronizing about that. You let women hand out Communion. I know. I know. Yeah, I got it. You’ve gotten away with this for a long time and how dare you say to the Speaker of the House, who represents the majority of American political opinion — her opinions and her beliefs politically are in line with the majority of the American public. And you know, I don’t need to say that of course, I have my own disagreements with Nancy Pelosi and things I wish were better, and I wish they fought harder for the things they do. But that’s not what this podcast is about. This is you, the Catholic Church, and you this Archbishop in San Francisco saying that you’re going to shut her down. She’s like one of the most visible and devout Catholics. There’s none of us who are Catholics that are anywhere close to her and Biden in terms of their utter devotion to what they believe in. They believe in what you believe in, what you say you believe in, but you don’t really, do you? Because you’re criminals. And you know it. The fact that you even think that you could go on TV and dress her down and say that she’s not going to be able to participate in the thing that she believes in until she goes to confession and kneels in front of a man, kneels in front of a priest — who is only a man — and admits her evil. Admits her sin of supporting other women who have a right to their reproductive organs and to do with it what they want. And you, YOU have the audacity to say to her that she has to ask for forgiveness? You, Archbishop, are the one that needs to ask for forgiveness, and you are the one that needs to pay the price for what you’ve done. And just so people understand, it’s nothing personal here with the Archbishop but this guy, Archbishop Cordileone, he has been one of these crazy what they call “right to life”-ers, but they don’t believe — if they were really about “right to life,” they would be taking care of our babies. “We care about a fertilized egg.” You’re so sick when you start talking like that don’t you know that? “We must protect the rights of the fertilized egg!” Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, that’s what you are. And those of us raised Catholic, those of us who are Catholic, we know this about you.
Michael Moore [00:13:40] Also this Archbishop, I was just reading about him today, he’s an anti-vaxxer. “Right to life!” He’s an anti-vaxxer. And he has not gotten vaccinated himself. Absolutely stunning. He also was very outspoken — and this guy is the archbishop of San Francisco — fought against same-sex marriage, believes if you’re gay, you’re committing a sin just by being gay. He warned any Catholic school teachers in the Archdiocese to conduct their lives in a way that does not undermine or deny the church’s doctrine. My sister was actually a teacher in his cathedral high school many, many years ago. I don’t know if she minds me saying that. I don’t mean to “out” her, but yeah. I don’t know what to do about this religion I was raised in. Painful on some levels, right? Because the basic stuff we do agree with that — loving each other and being good to people, and don’t kill other human beings. And some people still go to church. They believe in these ideas that you should love your neighbor, that you should be good to even the worst of people on this planet, that you should house the homeless, feed the hungry, heal the sick. Those are the beliefs of this particular religion and some people still want to believe that, still want to try to live their lives like that. But then you come along and you trash this historic woman in our United States Congress because she’s fighting to actually make Roe v Wade the law of the land — forget about these Supreme Court decisions — make it the law, pass it through Congress, and have the Catholic president sign it like he said he would do. Well, let’s hope Nancy Pelosi keeps walking up the aisle to take Communion. I dare the Archbishop to deny her that. And just remember you and your other bishops, you’re so lucky to be walking free. That you’re not in prison. Thank God you’re not Kiwanis.
Michael Moore [00:16:38] I want to pause for a second here and thank the underwriters of today’s episode. And the first one I want to thank is Shopify. And Shopify, as you know, is a long-time supporter of this podcast and has been instrumental in helping me start my own store, The Moore Store. People constantly go, “Hey I want to get that ball cap of yours,” because I wear a ball cap a lot, I guess. And so we came up with this idea during the lockdowns, and we made some ball caps and T-shirts and coffee mugs and other things and I’m going to donate the proceeds to helping bring back civics classes in our public schools, and ending voter suppression. Those are my two causes with the Shopify store. Shopify is a commerce platform online and not only powers my store, but millions of other businesses, small businesses, and nonprofit organizations all around the globe. They help connect you with customers, and it makes the tools and the resources once reserved for only big business now available to everyone, to all of us, online, making it easy for any business or nonprofit or school or whatever to succeed. So whether you’re looking to launch a new idea or grow your existing business or nonprofit, go to Shopify.com/rumble for a free 14-day trial and get full access to Shopify’s entire suite of features. Grow your business with Shopify today and go to Shopify.com/rumble right now. Shopify.com/rumble.
Michael Moore [00:18:15] I also want to thank my other underwriter today, Stamps.com, another long-time Rumble with Michael Moore supporter. I think it’s safe to say that for most of us, we’re busy these days. Yes, even if we’re working from — actually were more busy working from home. Too busy. Swamped. Snowed under. Up to our eyes. You know, pick whatever cliche you want, but there’s just not enough time in the day. Is that a cliche, too? Yeah, that one too. Well, it’s true, though. Some cliches are true. There’s not enough time in the day. And the last thing that you’ve got time for when you’re busy is to stand in line at the post office. Stamps.com makes mailing and shipping quick and easy so you can spend your time doing well, basically, anything else. Stamps.com gives you access to all the post office and U.P.S. shipping services that you need right from your computer. And you get discounts that you can’t find anywhere else, like up to 30% off the postal rates and 86% off United Parcel Service rates. Wow. When we’re out traveling across the country and working on our films, Stamps.com saved us so much time and money. We get things shipped to us and we always get our packages wherever they need to go. So I’m going to have you stop wasting your time and start saving money. When you use Stamps.com to mail and ship, sign-up with promo code: MOORE, all caps, for a special offer that includes a 4-week trial plus free postage and a digital scale. Everyone these days can use a digital scale. No long-term commitments, no long-term contracts, none of that. You just go to Stamps.com, click the little microphone up at the top of the page and enter the code: MOORE.
Michael Moore [00:20:39] So as I’m sure you’ve seen on the news in the last few weeks, there is a tragic baby formula shortage. Baby formula. Just when you thought you’d gotten through everything in this COVID era, now to be known as the monkeypox era, along comes the fact that we can’t even guarantee that there will be food for babies. Unbelievable, isn’t it? What kind of country are we, seriously, that we would run out of baby formula? Not everybody can breastfeed their baby for a whole variety of reasons, not the least of which is an economic system that has people working themselves to the bone, where we don’t have any kind of paid child or family leave like they have in all the other democracies and the ones that aren’t democracies. They think it’s important that when you have a baby, you — whether you’re the mother, the father— you should maybe spend some time with the baby, get all the good feelings from that. You know, some of these countries, if you have a baby, you get six months off with pay. Not us, though, because we love babies so much. You know, “right to life.” Yeah. We love them so much that we got to make sure that fertilized egg gets out there, because when it gets outside the mother’s womb, there may not be any food to feed it with in the richest country on earth. Stunning, isn’t it? How many times have you shaken your head watching the news the last couple of weeks that we would be out of baby formula? How many times have you just turned the TV off because I can’t — what’s the next thing you’re going to tell me? How low have we sunk as a country? And the thing is, we can’t blame the foreigners because 98% of the baby formula that American parents buy is produced in the United States. Right here. But because we are big believers in capitalism and letting companies do whatever the hell they want to do, 90% of all the baby formula made in this country is made by Abbott and three other companies. That’s it. They control 90% of the market. Abbott alone makes 43% of all U.S. baby formula. You don’t have to agree with my politics of economics or whatever, just ask yourself a common sense question — do you think it’s safe that one company would control nearly half of anything? Half the computer chips we need? Half the electricity that’s got the lights on in the room here right now? I mean, just pick anything. It’s doesn’t sound right, does it? In fact it sounds dangerous, don’t you think, if you let the control of anything be in the hands of so few rich people? And just for our own safety, just for our own homeland security, wouldn’t you make sure that not only that there would be enough baby formula being made, but that it would be being made by a lot of different people? And perhaps if there was true competition, the thing they say they believe in, you know, the competitive marketplace, free enterprise, which of course, they don’t believe in any of that. Anybody who says they’re a capitalist, what they believe in is control, world domination. They don’t want competition. They want to eliminate the competition. They want to buy out the competition. If they could, their nirvana would be to be the only baby formula company in the world. That is a capitalist wet dream right there. So we don’t have any competition. We don’t have any real, you know, spreading this out across the country and numerous, numerous people making the baby formula. We have this situation here.
Michael Moore [00:24:47] And, you know, just again, to be clear, if you’re not really buying what I’m saying here in terms of why it’s set up this way, if you think this was just an accident — during the pandemic between 2019 and 2021, Abbott’s profits soared by 94%. On top of that, the company increased dividends to their shareholders by over 25% during the pandemic. And then at the same time announced a stock buyback program that was worth $5 billion. And since the passage of Trump’s 2017 Republican tax law, Abbott has saved billions more in taxes. And it has seen its effective tax rate decline to levels well below the statutory rate of 21%. In 2019, Abbott paid only 9.6% in taxes of their income. 10% in 2020. 13.9% in 2021. So how did this whole scandal happen to where a couple of months ago here in February Abbott Nutrition recalled baby formula originating from their plant in Sturgis, Michigan? Well, well, well. Sturgis, Michigan. What do we in Michigan now Sturgis for? Well, they’re in St. Joseph County. St. Joseph County is a… Let’s just say it’s an area known for its racial diversity — with the exception, of course, that all the white people live on one side of the river in the wealthier town, and the black people live in the poorer town. So on one side, you’ve got St. Joseph for the white people, and one side of the river you’ve got Benton Harbor. Benton Harbor, you may have heard of them in the news in the last year or so, is the latest Michigan City to be poisoning its people through its water because of the way both the state and the federal government treat majority black cities. The same thing happened to them that happened to Flint, happened to Detroit, happen to Pontiac — if you’re a black city, at some point, if a Republican is in the governor’s chair in Lansing, in the state capital, your city has been literally taken over and the state has fired who you elected to be your mayor and your city council, and the governor then appoints the new manager, the person that’s going to control the city essentially unelected. So that’s what we know about St. Joseph County and its racism and the way the wealthier white people are treated versus the way black people are treated. And Sturgis is a town that’s in St. Joseph County. I’m trying to think what else do I know about Sturgis… If I remember correctly, if it’s not the first, it’s one of the first cities that set up an electric system back in the late 1800s. One of the first to do it in Michigan. In fact, I think that’s their nickname, The Electric City. So that’s what we know about Sturgis, Michigan.
Michael Moore [00:28:09] What we know now about it, is that it has this massive factory run by Abbott Nutrition that makes, or did make, baby formula. This one factory in little Sturgis, Michigan, population 10,000 people, produced up to 25% of the entire nation’s baby formula. But it was contaminated. And that led to at least, at the beginning, four hospitalizations of babies, and the death of at least two infants. Now, how do we know about this? Why wasn’t the FDA doing – why weren’t they doing their work inspecting this? This has been going on, actually, this kind of behavior at Abbot for years. But it wasn’t until last year that a 34 page whistleblower report — in other words, somebody inside, and I’m hoping it was somebody from Benton Harbor, decided to start taking notes, snapping pictures, and put together a 34-page whistleblower report that was entered into the record by the House Appropriations Committee in April, just a month or so ago. This is what this whistleblower, and thank God for all whistleblowers out there who when you see things wrong and you do good to collect the evidence and you give it to the right people, this one person discovered falsification of records at Abbott relating to the testing of seals — the seals on the formula — and how the factory executives would sign verifications without adequate knowledge, failure to maintain accurate maintenance records, shipping packages with fill weights that were lower than what was on the label. “You don’t need to fill that up. I know it says it’s got so many ounces… cut back a little bit. We can make more money.” It shows that Abbott continually released untested infant formula. The executives there in the factory, they hid information during a 2019 FDA audit. Abbott failed to take corrective measures once the company knew that their testing procedures were deficient, and there was an atmosphere of retaliation against any employee who raised concerns about the company’s practices. And the root of all this contamination was allegedly known by Abbott for nearly seven years. The flow pipes in the factory, they were pitted, they were full of these pinholes that allow bacteria to enter the system, and at times it led to bacteria not being adequately cleaned out in the cleanup process. And this in turn caused the baby formula product to flow through these pipes and pick up that bacteria that was trapped in the defective areas of the pipe. FDA learned of this last September – September 2021. Here we are, we’re going into June, and it still isn’t fixed. “Well, they’ll be back online in a couple of weeks.” Well, I don’t know if we want them back online in a couple of weeks. Has this been checked out? If you have a baby, are you gonna say, “oh, give me the formula that was made in Sturgis, Michigan. If you could. If you could.” No one’s going to say that. Last September, September of ’21, the FDA had heard there might be something wrong so they go there and they do this inspection. But then the very next month, October, last October, the whistle blower submitted his or her report to the FDA. They did not interview the whistleblower until late December of 2021. Then the FDA didn’t bother to go in and inspect the plant until the last day of January of this year. So now five months have gone by. And then they didn’t issue the recall for another two or three weeks into mid-late February of this year. Wow. And still they turned a pretty profit. They made a ton of money.
Michael Moore [00:32:45] Why do we let this go on? And why is it that I’m just telling you about this now? You should not be getting your news from me. I mean, not that there’s anything wrong with me, but I’m just saying, where’s the media? Why don’t we know this? Why haven’t we been told this? All we hear is, “‘Oh, the baby formula shortage continues.” Yeah, but what’s the story? What’s the story behind the story? Why aren’t we told this stuff? And why isn’t there already a statue being erected to this whistleblower in Sturgis, Michigan? Or outside the FDA headquarters in D.C.. Because this is really our only frontline of protection, isn’t it, to have good people who are employees of businesses that are cheating the American public and that are putting the American public’s children, their babies, in danger? Because they want to hurry up. “Hurry up. Don’t fix the pipe. It’s good enough. We got to make money here.” Wow. No, no, no. I don’t know what to say.
Michael Moore [00:34:00] You know, I had so many other things I wanted to get into today, but I’ve already taken up more of your time than I promised. So we’ll talk about what Joe Biden said about, “yes, we would send troops to Taiwan.” No, we aren’t. And no, we won’t. Sorry, Taiwan. We’re not getting into some kind of war with China. That’s just not going to happen. So everybody better figure that out. Work it out, let people have their freedom. China, don’t invade Taiwan. But I hate to tell you, we’re not going to be sending our troops there. Nobody listening to this right now can honestly tell me that they would love to sacrifice their young boy or their young girl so that Taiwan is protected from China. Anybody want to just say, “Yes, I’d be very willing to give up my son’s life so that the people of Taiwan will be free.” No, you don’t want to do that. It’s the 21st century, my friends. We have to find new ways to deal with this. I wanted to before we close, and my apologies for going so long here today, I just want to say a few words to those of you who are graduating from high school, and for those of you who are going to enter your senior year this coming September. First of all, on behalf of all the adults in this country, I want to offer my apologies. You have had a very difficult two or three years here, and I’m proud that you’ve hung in there. But it wasn’t right. It wasn’t fair. And this has to get fixed. We have to make this up to you somehow, because I fear that you’re going to be this kind of lost generation — it’s two or three or four years now, and the pandemic isn’t over. And the ways that you’re going to pay for that, because you missed out on an education that you should have received, but you also missed out on living life as a teenager. When this started, what were you, 15? 16? 17? It’s not right. And I’m sorry. I want to apologize, but I want to do more than that. I want our government to take care of you. You should be able to go to college right now, free of charge. And anything that you do in, let’s say, the next ten years of your adult life, you shouldn’t have to pay for anything that involves enlightening yourself, anything that has to do with education, whether it’s buying a book, taking class, learning Spanish, we should make that available to you because we cheated you out of at least two, if not more, years of your high school education. And you got cheated out of just being with each other, of being teenagers, of being 16, 17. If I were president, I think I would suggest that the kids in high school right now, they get an extra year or two for free. And I don’t mean to say you’re going to stay in high school now until you’re 19 or 20. Maybe some learning, but the rest of it should be, you know, I don’t know, form a band or start a hip hop group. Do whatever it is you want to do, let’s make that happen for you. Whatever that is, that would make you happy, let’s do that for you. Let’s provide the funds for that. You deserve that. And not just the high school kids — all the kids. Come on. It’s the right thing to do. So to you graduates who are graduating this week, next week, congratulations for pulling it off. Apologies from the rest of us that you had to go through all this and and just know that I, and maybe millions of others who hear this on this podcast, we’ll stop for a moment and say, “You know, we owe them something.” Let’s figure out what that something is and let’s make it available to them. These are our kids. I know it sounds like a cliche, this is the future, but it is the future. And I’d like the rest of my life being lived in a nice future with mentally healthy individuals and people who are not behind the others because they didn’t learn X, Y or Z in school because school was a screen on top of the dining room table. Not right. So have a good time here during graduation week. Be careful. Be safe. Be smart. Respect others, but have some fun. Please. And that’s going to be it for today.
Michael Moore [00:38:39] Oh, wait a minute. That’s right. Oh, my God. My sister told me, she’s a lawyer, she thinks it’s possible the Supreme Court may release this decision right after Memorial Day weekend. It’s possible that they just want to get this out of the way before too much steam builds up. Because now, for the first time in over a year, in the poll yesterday, the majority of Americans are going to vote for the Democrat in the midterms and not the Republican. Republicans have been ahead this whole time until this thing by the Supreme Court got leaked. And so all I can say is everybody, we will do something as soon as it gets close to this decision coming out. We all have to get out in the streets. We have to get off the couch, everybody. It’s. That’s right. There it goes. That’s the siren. Battle stations! Battle stations! Battle stations — everyone who loves their democracy, and everyone who believes that everyone has equal rights, everyone has the right to control their own body. We must do battle to stand up for the rights of women. We must do battle to protect our democracy. If we let this get by and we don’t have the response that we need to have, we will rue the day that we did not fight back. Everybody, please. Now. Now. That’s thanks to my producer and editor, Angela Vargos. Everybody else who’s helped me here, everybody who’s listening. I will have right here on my podcast platform page a couple of groups you can click, see what they’re planning, plan to be involved, do something locally, but don’t do nothing. That’s a mistake. Onward.