Tag: future

what happens tomorrow?

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=best-prices-on-levitra-in-florids I am so tired of all the posturing on either side of the political divide. I am so tired of those taking sides, vomiting up, along with their bile, the inevitable “lesser of two evils” mantra. Obama, Boehner… whoever… I’m sick of them all.

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=omprare-viagra-generico-100-mg-consegna-rapida-a-Roma Whether Republican or Democrat, really, haven’t we had enough of epically bad governance? No? No, apparently not… epically bad governance isn’t compelling enough. We still have to try to lessen the stupidity of one side by magnifying the screwball antics of the other.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=order-50-mg-lasix-without-prescription keyrist. i am so tired of it.

source site  photo lU2KY.jpg

follow crossposted at dKos

The 1%ers and the future

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=how-much-dose-generic-accutane-cost (crossposted at DailyKos.com)

http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=vardenafil-senza-ricetta-consegna-rapida Yeah, I know, it’s 2012, and we are about to be deluged with a hailstorm of appeals to the Elmer Fudd Theory of Electoral Victory in the run-up to November’s elections.  Happy new year, everyone; I intend in this diary to summarize the likely events that can be seen as “coming down the pipeline” this year and in the years to come.

In the end, though, I would like to promote a vision of a different sort of society, a society which would start on its new path by recognizing that the future envisioned here is a product of the society as it currently is organized.  A society organized along different lines, then, would approach its future in a more conscious way.

The likely upshot of Election 2012 will be that the Great Progressive Mirage will once again disappear, to be replaced by “election run-up,” and that we will once again be stuck, post-election, with a world of 10% unemployment, 20% underemployment, and a Congress that is half filled by the 1%.

Meanwhile, we can expect more of what we received earlier as we head into 2012. Global warming, for instance, should at some point in the medium-term future cause crop failures and resultant famines.  The atmospheric accumulation of CO2 will also make the oceans too acidic for the formation of coral reefs (among the world’s most genetically diverse ecosystems) and will take a millennium or so to cycle naturally out of the atmosphere.  Peak oil will create an increasing drag on the world’s economy as fuel prices become more expensive and as the environmental costs of mining it increase.  The subsidy provisions of the PPACA will kick in, mandating that everyone buy a “Bronze Plan” or levying financial penalties upon us.  At some point a Republican President (or maybe even a Democratic one) will use the provision in the NDAA which allows Presidents powers of arbitrary and indefinite detention without trial.  The military industrial complex will continue to grow, as the US government continues to “prosecute” wars in a dozen countries with a secret empire of drone bases since the definition of the term “terrorist” is infinitely malleable and since, as Nick Turse points out, “The drone increasingly looks less like a winning weapon than a machine for generating opposition and enemies.”

College will continue to be a financial gamble, as students undergo increasing levels of student loan debt to pay for increasingly expensive college educations with increasingly limited job prospects for graduates.  The global economic growth rate will continue to decline, moreover, as the economy continues to be “financialized” further.

The poverty currently experienced by countries such as Greece will spread to other places in Europe as the Powers That Be in Europe continue to demand austerity planning to reduce government deficits.  At some point this may lead to the collapse of the Eurozone.

We can expect these things because our government and economy, as well as our collective vision of the future, are pretty much the domain of the 1%ers, whose main concern is in maintaining a system based on capital accumulation.  This is how they work: the 1%ers are the (cultural, bureaucratic, and economic) managers of a society in which the accumulation of exchange values drives the society as a whole.  

What matters to the 1%ers is that we continue to have a society in which “the economy,” as well as “the government,” continue to be the province of a relatively small group of people within the overall society.  And it works.  From William Domhoff:

Here are some dramatic facts that sum up how the wealth distribution became even more concentrated between 1983 and 2004, in good part due to the tax cuts for the wealthy and the defeat of labor unions: Of all the new financial wealth created by the American economy in that 21-year-period, fully 42% of it went to the top 1%. A whopping 94% went to the top 20%, which of course means that the bottom 80% received only 6% of all the new financial wealth generated in the United States during the ’80s, ’90s, and early 2000s (Wolff, 2007).

The 1% are the primary beneficiaries of economic expansion, then.  The 1%ers are the managerial elites, the group that provides the expertise and the cultural “glue” to keep the system together as an accessory for its service to the 1%.  The 1%ers are the cultural vanguard of the 1%.  

There’s no conspiracy to be found here, however.  We swim in 1%er cultural norms as if we were fish in water.  Political action has to go through candidates, publicity through the mass media, mass action through money (everyone has to be paid, and even grassroots political movements have to be financed).  Business, through property law and monetary creation and government regulation and the tax code, is organized so that its main beneficiaries are for-profit corporations.  Our lives as participants of the system are encapsulated in the concept of the curriculum vitae (the “course of one’s life” in Latin), in which we list an accumulation of “things we did” and “experiences we had” to increase our exchange-value as workers.  All the 1%ers have to do, then, is to insure that a system rigged in favor of the 1% actually works for the 1%.   So where do we go from all this?  Look below the fold.

Climate Change and National Security

What the detractors, whether they believe the obvious or not and the flock just follows what they’re told, are effectively locking the brakes on what we once were and envied around this planet.

Innovators in moving forward with the new idea’s, interstate roadways, infrastructure, flying, etc. etc. etc. and with the same innovative workforce that made the advancements a reality with everyone following in trying to catch up.

Now those everyone’s are leading and we aren’t even following much, like as to energy innovations and a cleaner planet, even so called third world countries are moving ahead of us on the obvious human advancements!

False Gods



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False Prophets are a dime a dozen. From the clergy to politicians to flim-flam banksters, charalatans are monkeys in a barrel, if you have eyes to see and ears to hear.

The problem is while many are on the lookout for False Prophets, most do not question the Gods behind the religions of these socio-economic-religious shysters.

DOGMA spelled backwards is AM GOD. Dogma is strict adherence to the teachings of the Priest caste. When God is replaced by Religion-as-God, things turn sour.

But further, when you look at the great religions of Western Civilization – Judaism, Christianity and Islam – that, based upon the history of inhumanity practiced by these “great” religions, one must question the veracity of the God behind all these religions. And if one is fearless in the face of billions of believers, the God of the Victors who wrote the History and made the rules is a FALSE God.

Book Review: Leighninger’s Long-Range Public Investment (2007)

Book Review: Leighninger, Jr., Robert D. Long-Range Public Investment: The Forgotten Legacy of the New Deal. 1st ed. 1 vol. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 2007.

(crossposted at Orange and Firedoglake)

(Inscription found on the Claremont, California post office)

No future for you

This is an attempt to assess how political life has been foreshortened by the fact that “the horizon of the future has contracted.”

(Crossposted at Orange and Firedoglake)

Slouching Toward Renaissance



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Rebellion and Revolution are so yesterday. No sense to rebel and revolt today. Those strategies of yesteryear are doomed to fail in the present day. Power is greater and people are as dumb as ever. Trust in Big Daddy. Bear hugs and poontang. Shiny and happy. Better safe than sorry. Where is democracy in the modern age? Politicians do the opposite of what voters want. People clamor for change because things aren’t so hot right now. Politicians sell change like celebrities sell soap. They don’t even use the stuff. It’s all show biz. Kabuki-square-dance-mambo-tap. Ignore the footwork but enjoy the big smile.  

Rebellion and Revolution fail today because State Power, which, contrary to propaganda, is not demotic, public power, but private, corporate/military power, has gone quantum. Exponential. People get focus groups, free-speech zones, opinion polls and Tupperware parties. Think G.I. Joe versus Mr. Whipple.

The only way out of our indentured servitude of consumer debt and ambivalent obedience is not through revolution, but renaissance. Revival. Reboot. Re-imagine. The freedom to dream and create.

Reform: Past, Present, Future, or Somewhere in Between

Once upon a time, we saw progress, particularly technological and medical progress, as both miraculous and uniformly desired.  The romanticized meta-narrative of the the Twentieth Century was that it was the age of startling innovation and that indeed humanity might find its salvation in the latest invention to improve the human condition.  The most common utterance at the time to describe this phenomenon was what will they think of next?  The airplane and the automobile revolutionized travel and with it the spread of information and population dispersal.  Penicillin was considered a wonder drug upon its introduction and indeed many lives were saved when it began being used on a wholesale fashion to combat infectious disease.  The first pesticides were considered miraculous because they greatly increased the yield of crops, with the hopes that their introduction would increase the food supply and in time make widespread hunger a thing of the past.  It was believed that our own ingenuity would be our salvation and in time, there was no telling what long-standing problem would have a easy, understandable solution.

Later, however, we began to cast suspicion on any advance lauded in messianic or wildly optimistic terms.  To our horror we discovered that the drug which took away morning sickness also created tragic, hideous birth defects in babies born to women who took it.  Then we read that the pesticides that, though they meant to increase the food supply, actually created major problems in the ecosystem around them—problems that skewed the natural environmental balance quite unintentionally but quite undeniably.  In attempting to eradicate one pest, we often caused a huge increase in population of another organism, creating a brand new problem in the process.  The system of pest control as set up by Mother Nature then was seen as more desirable as the one shaped by human hands.  And this idea began to take shape in the minds of many to the degree that this belief has many adherents in this age.  Take a stroll down the aisles of your local Whole Foods if you need a visual demonstration.      

But I will say this.  Old ways of doing things are not necessarily better ways of doing things.  Though we may have swung the pendulum from one side to another in the course of half a century or so, we shouldn’t lose sight of the true balance of things.  Anyone who has walked down a street where automobiles are not available and where all traffic directed down a major thoroughfare is pulled by horses knows the filth and the stench that fills the air and collects on either side of the roadway.  It is for that reason, among others, that the horseless carriage was developed in the first place.  We must not ever assume that the motives of those who came before us were summarily evil or distasteful simply because they did not have the ability to measure what they did by the power of hindsight.  Any of us could look like geniuses if we had that in our favor.  We often look for an easy enemy when the true hard work is to work to reach the point where we recognize that there are no easy answers and no easy targets.  Demystifying the past does not imply that we ought to summarily scrap its lessons.  The mythology of past ages needs to be removed, but those who view past behaviors and past events without rosy gloss can find many helpful examples for contemplation, provided, one doesn’t heave it into the trash can in one go, assuming the whole bunch is rotten all the way through.        

The larger point I am making is that it is tempting these days to assume that the advances of the past are purely evil, based on their unforeseen and unintended consequences wrought by best intentions.  We have gotten to the point now that we are reluctant at times to modify the world around us even in the slightest, lest we upset the fragile balance of energy, life, and movement that defines existence as  any being currently alive.  While we are humans, we are also animals, too.  Our will dictates the shape and pace of the world around us, of course, but so also does our very existence.  Global Warming is the buzzword phrase of the moment and while I do believe that human decision making has modified the climate and weather patterns for the worst, I do also know that the environment has a way of being adaptive that we often do not grant it, nor fully understand.  We see things through such selfish, human terms at times, and even our best intentions do not disguise the fact that everything often relates back to us in the end.  We were created selfish.  Self-preservation is what consumes us above any other preoccupation.  Still, this is an impulse we must fight against if we ever wish to live in peace with each other.  We have more in common than we admit, but it’s often the very things we don’t like to admit even to ourselves.  There is a limit to our understanding, and in fifty years from now, perhaps we’ll set aside Global Warming for the latest theory that defines our guilt and gives us a rallying point that demands we be unselfish not towards each other, but towards all living creatures.      

Whether we are kings and queens of the beasts is a matter for debate, but we do have the benefit of higher brain function, and this is what makes us so much more influential than the average mammal.  We seem to confuse at times the fact that we are both animals and also beings beholden to reason, somehow simultaneously separate from the fray.  We exist in our own orbit and while it is wise to understand that the earth does not strictly belong to us, we do modify it by our very presence.  When a butterfly can create a ripple effect just by flapping its wings, imagine what the average person creates by stepping outside on his or her way to work on the morning.  I’m not saying that we ought not be aware of our carbon footprint and we ought not recognize that being less wasteful and more protective of nature is worthwhile, but that one can micromanage one’s degree of social consciousness to an extent that ending up miserable is the inevitable byproduct.    

In a broader context to that, I notice how we lament the slow progress of reform and regulation.  Our split loyalties are often to blame for this as well.  If we were able to reach a happy medium between the supreme authority of old ways and the supreme authority of new ways, then we might actually get something done in a timely fashion.  So much of Liberalism and Progressivism these days is conducted from a defensive posture, with the belief in the back of the mind that no matter what is set in play, it will inevitably blow up in the end and create more problems.  Well, with all due respect, this is merely part of being alive.  Any decision made will create future problems that no one could ever predict at the outset, but this shouldn’t paralyze our needed efforts, either.  

Again, reform is a constant process of refining, re-honing, and revision.  It’s foolish to expect that one bill, one policy statement, or one innovative strategy will come out perfect and never need to be updated to reflect changing times.  Rather than seeing this established fact as frustrating or limiting, we need to modify our expectations.  As President Obama said last week in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, “…[W]e do not have to think that human nature is perfect for us to still believe that the human condition can be perfected.  We do not have to live in an idealized world to still reach for those ideals that will make it a better place.”  We are imperfect.  Our ideas, no matter how immaculately crafted at the time, are imperfect, and the passage of time will render them more imperfect.  

But there is a difference between expecting individual or communal perfection on a case-by-case basis and not striving to improve the lives of those around us.  A century from now, if there is a blogosphere, I’m sure many people will laugh at the nonsensical barbarism of a previous age where every citizen of the Earth did not have health care coverage from cradle to grave.  But in this hypothetical example, it would be easy for them to make this judgment if they made it based on a naive, cavalier understanding of our times.  If they viewed them purely through the lens of their times without understanding the events, beliefs, and myriad of factors which led us to undertake the great struggle before us, then their own perspectives could not be taken seriously.  Again, we might be wise to understand why we always seem to crave an enemy.  Voltaire mentioned that if God didn’t exist, it would be necessary for humanity to invent Him.  Likewise, if enemies didn’t exist, it would be necessary for us to invent them.  That the very same people who speak of unity and can’t understand why we don’t have it are among the first to construct an antagonistic force and project all of their frustrations upon it is the deepest irony of all.  Our most powerful enemy is us.        

“Unfair to Crazy Conspiracy Theories”

Simulposted at http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

    Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

    Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

    Yes, it is – and that’s why it’s unforgivable.

    Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole – but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.

nytimes.com

It’s Time to Start Preparing Our Children

What we are experiencing here in America, and the world over for that matter, is the inevitable collapse of the consumerist culture. For years we have gorged ourselves on the upside of consumerism but now we all must suffer the downside of this system. The consumerism system relies on three things. The first is that the system must be in a constant state of economic expansion. The second is that the planet must have an infinite supply of resources to supply the ever expanding amount of goods needed to support the ever expanding economy. The third is that the people must be trained to live in a state of constant consumption. See the Story of Stuff to learn more about that and watch Money as Debt for an explanation of how the ever expanding wad of credit that fuels the consumerist economy has no real value.  

Deja Vu Edition: The Coming Chaos

The Democrats are either very naive and  nearsighted or they are willing participants in their own party’s destruction. Perhaps they are a mixture of both. If the Democrats win the election this fall, (personally I think Obama is the odds on favorite), then they are going to be saddled with a plethora of problems. As we reach the breaking point for serious global issues. By not fixing accountability for these long ignored problems on this runaway neocon fascist train, the fallout for ignoring those problems will fall squarely on the leader in charge. You would think that the Democrats would understand this: by not pursuing impeachment and fixing accountability where it belongs, the media will vilify and blame them for all the problems that they will be handed.  

854 million people in the world go hungry

“Right now most of the world is living under appalling conditions. We can’t possibly improve the conditions of everyone. We can’t raise the entire world to the average standard of living in the United States because we don’t have the resources and the ability to distribute well enough for that. So right now as it is, we have condemned most of the world to a miserable, starvation level of existence. And it will just get worse as the population continues to go up… Democracy cannot survive overpopulation. Human dignity cannot survive it. Convenience and decency cannot survive it. As you put more and more people onto the world, the value of life not only declines, it disappears. It doesn’t matter if someone dies. The more people there are, the less one individual matters.”

That’s from Bill Moyers interviewing Isaac Asimov in 1988.

fascinating video here – I had never seen this particular show before, did not know it existed until tonight.

What was true 20 years ago has not changed. It has become worse.


From Moyers web site today

   * More than 854 million people in the world go hungry

   * Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes – one child every five seconds

   * Poor nutrition and calorie deficiencies cause nearly one in three people to die prematurely or have disabilities, according to the World Health Organization.

   * 35.5 million people in the United States – including 12.6 million children-live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger.

   * Undernourishment negatively affects people’s health, productivity, sense of hope and overall well-being. A lack of food can stunt growth, slow thinking, sap energy, hinder fetal development and contribute to mental retardation.

   * Economically, the constant securing of food consumes valuable time and energy of poor people, allowing less time for work and earning income.

My concern is that these conditions will be getting much worse, (and from the data see I suspect changing quite rapidly as well), as climate change interferes with normal growing cycles, disease vectors and availability to obtain clean water for billions on this planet: what is an ‘inconvenient truth’ for us is a death sentence for perhaps billions who will not be able to cope.

The political upheaval we see today is nothing compared to what the future holds as climate change destroys the crucial infrastructure of areas where billions live.

Asimov said 20 years ago in the interview ..

.. you get the feeling somehow that Americans somehow are smarter somehow .. that what we consider a decent econmic system, freedom, free enterprise, that that alone “will do it for us” .. but not if we are lazy.

.. mixed in amongst the interview strikingly accurate views of the future

And then, he smacks George Bush for making comparisons between Harvard and Yale ..

..

..

That’s George http://cinziamazzamakeup.com/?x=dove-comprare-viagra-generico-100-mg-a-Verona Herbert Walker Bush, and Mike Dukakis he was talking about.

———–

I wish Asimov were still with us, to hear his wisdom again about where we are now.

We need bold leadership right now to address the issues that face us, and there are still too few voices.  

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