Archive for May, 2016
Read this: I have posted several articles on how capitalism in American does/ doesn’t work with democracy. In the following article from Time Magazine, Rana Foroohar tells us that “The U.S. system of market capitalism itself is broken.” It has become a zero-sum game where little or no new wealth is created and the majority of effort focuses on moving money / wealth from one place to another. This has become the leading catalyst of rapidly spreading inequality. As Bernie Sanders says, most of it (wealth) moves from the poor and middle classes to the 1%. Foroohar concludes that capitalism is truly sick, “What is required now is lifesaving intervention.” Below I borrow a lot from Faroohar’s article and of course add my little touch of sarcasm.
Aren’t we Americans all capitalists? Actually “only 19% of Americans ages 18 to 29 identified themselves as ‘capitalists.’ Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: There is “a major new report on how manmade global warming is making Americans sicker—and it’s only going to get worse”. The report, released by the Obama administration, involved hundreds of experts in various fields, covering several years. The detached consensus is that “as the climate continues to change, the risks to human health will grow, exacerbating existing health threats and creating new public health challenges, and impacting more people in more places” and “every American is vulnerable”. In typical neoliberal fashion, all sense of urgency seems to have been well contained.
The article linked below from salon.com, by Reynard Loki, lists 9 ways that Climate Change will affect human health. Each area is dealt with in expanded detail along with external links. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: As usual, Norm Chomsky makes us rethink what we often lazily take for granted. He poses the question, “Who Rules the World” and immediately refutes what is probably our most common answer. That quick, assumptive response is often “the states” or “the great powers”, but he says this may be misleading. Regardless of the level of supposed democracy, decisions and politics “are heavily influenced by internal concentrations of power, while the general population is often marginalized”. Chomsky emphasizes that, to understand who rules the world, we cannot ignore the “’masters of mankind,’ as Adam Smith called them: in his day, the merchants and manufacturers of England; in ours, multinational conglomerates, huge financial institutions, retail empires, and the like.” Basically what we know as multinational corporations. He describes “the ‘vile maxim’ to which the “masters of mankind” are dedicated: ‘All for ourselves and nothing for other people’. This doctrine or policy is intricately entwined with ‘class war, often one-sided, much to the detriment of the people of the … the world’.”
In the two articles below found in The Nation magazine, Chomsky makes many points clarifying policies and tools used by “the masters (to) hold enormous power”. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: We hear often that 97% of scientists agree that Climate Change is real and that it is largely caused by human activity. I quote this “fact” quite often, but I must admit I am counting on the authority of people or articles I have read or heard and don’t check them out further. At the same time I see conservatives who totally disagree (and I think, obviously they don’t know what they’re talking about). With all of this, it appears that in spite of overwhelming scientific agreement, “only about 50% the general public think that scientists have reached a consensus on human-caused climate change”. What’s the answer? Is it true and what does it actually mean when we quote this very one sided Scientific Consensus (97%) on Climate Change?
For authority on this area of science the article linked below from http://www.wunderground.com looks to three scientific organizations as authority: The American Geophysical Union (GSU), The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: Inequality is all around us and as it spreads it’s ugly head pops up in seemingly unintended places, but one has to wonder about that. At the very least it is a product of simply not caring. It is pretty commonly accepted that starving government programs (excepting the military) is a tactic utilized constantly by the right in order to feed public contempt for government. As profitable corporations pay no taxes or receive giant refunds and the flight of potential tax revenue as corporations and the wealthy hide money in off shore tax havens has resulted in most of our government programs becoming grossly and intentionally underfunded. The result is: conservative or liberal, we are all frustrated with our government whenever and wherever we interact with it. This is not really news but a closer look at certain specifics illustrate that loss of basic constitutional rights (for the poor of course) can proliferate as a result.
The article below from The Nation Magazine, by Sara Mayeux focuses on our starved legal system where typical austerity focuses cuts on programs that can least afford them. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: So we keep hearing that Bernie Sanders is just too radical to get elected by the American people. Many in the media, particularly from the right, are constantly feeding this idea. Even the Clinton campaign, as well as Hillary herself, want to keep reminding us that this is so. I have my ideas, but instead lets get a couple other opinions, including a commonly perceived radical. After all who could possibly better identify another radical?
The article linked below in salon.com, by Sean Illing briefly examines this idea of “radical Bernie Sanders”. Illing quotes Noam Chomsky (assumed here as our consensus radical) from a recent interview where he says Sanders is “considered radical and extremist, which is a pretty interesting characterization, because he’s basically a mainstream New Deal Democrat. Read the rest of this entry »
Read this: During this primary season I have had many conversations with friends and acquaintances regarding the Hillary vs Bernie dilemma. In many cases that individual will explain why they are supporting Hillary, while at the same time admitting that they actually support almost every policy position of Sanders. There are many rationalizations for this, but often the main ones seem to be: electability, the ability to get things done and of course the desire to have a woman in the White House. These are valid concerns and I try not to attack these justifications, because I have been there. I understand. After all, as part of this web site name suggests, I too am guilty. But I think these are like one side of a coin and wonder what could the other side look like. For me the time has come, if not well past, to stop that “safe” way and stubbornly strive for what is needed, really reach for the stars, because while we are being careful, safe and patient, the players on the other side have been aggressively subverting and eliminating any semblance of progress toward equality and fairness “We The People” had accomplished. And of course we can’t forget that other question: What are we leaving for future generations?
Rather than giving more of my argument on the Bernie vs Hillary debate I will point to someone else’s comments. Read the rest of this entry »
Watch this: In today’s political world the majority of the tools needed for political change are all owned and controlled by the top 1% and of course corporations. The same group that is often causing and benefiting from the situation that we the people feel needs changing. Even voting is manipulated to minimize any real effectivity. The tools that are inviolate for the powerless are ideas and their bodies. The ideas will inevitably lead to some form of action and then even those with no political capital have the ability to use their bodies in defiance of situations or laws deemed unjust. In a democracy this marriage of ideas and civil disobedience should be practiced continuously and by the majority of those with little power or leverage, the bottom 90%.
The YouTube video below, created by the environmental group breakfree2016.org shows many examples of civil disobedience utilized by people around the world, with little or no power, as they fight the battle of Climate Change with very few tools except their ideas, their voices and their bodies. Read the rest of this entry »