25 December 2007

The Historical Jesus of Nazareth

The bible is a book of revisionism...meant to take people's power and place them in awe of authority...exactly the opposite of what the real, historical jesus taught. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could recognise that we are all 'sons and daughters of god'? That we all have the capacity to heal and create miracles... Certainly that is not what authority wants us to believe...keep 'em under the thumb...and hopin' for a better world to come, someday... I'm with jesus...kick out the money changers...and question the authority of the pharisees... Throughout His ministry, Jesus violated many of the pharisees' oral laws. He mixed freely with tax collectors and sinners, making Him ceremonially unclean (Luke 7:39). He ate and drank with them, and was called a glutton and a drunkard (Luke 7:34). He ate with ceremonially unclean hands (Luke 11:38). He broke their Sabbath laws by healing people, and gleaning 'corn' to eat (Luke 13:14, Matthew 12:1-2). He forgave peoples' sins, which to the Pharisees was blasphemy (Luke 5:21). He also freely criticised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy and self righteousness (Luke 11:37-52). In the Pharisees' eyes, Jesus was guilty of law breaking and blasphemy. The idea of Jesus criticising them was an outrage (Luke 6:11). They also saw Him as a threat both to their popularity and their authority over the people (Luke 13:17). Because of this they plotted to kill Him. I think it is incumbent upon all of us, as 'sons and daughters of god' to freely criticise the 'Pharisees' (regardless of their religious, military or economic philosophy) for their hypocrisy and self righteousness... To work toward healing the earth and her inhabitants...and to manifest miracles... That is my christmas wish for us all.

United We Stand, Divided We Fall+The North American Union

I'm not with Lou Dobbs, nor am I an anti-immigrant. As a fact, "Imagine" is a dream of mine...but, not in a coercive, fascistic manner. I don't trust the cabal who run this country...I don't even trust Ron Paul...I'm more in the Kucinich camp...although as a practical matter I'm talking up John Edwards... I'd love for there to be open borders and equality and justice for everyone in the world...I'd love for there to be an end to economic, environmental and religious strife..."can't we all just get along?"... It is coercion and inequality I rail against...the top down control...(sh*t floats as well as cream, btw). As for people like Putin...he is capable of having people killed...but as long as the people he supports are in power and the people don't make too many waves everything can be hunky-dory...kinda like in this country only more blatant...(although we did have a president who was the former head of our secret police/KGB/CIA...and now have his son [who was selected to office through judicial fiat] leaving his turds lying about as legacy)... Young people in china don't even care that they live under an authoritarian regime anymore...why should they...they have MTV and Ipods...and commodity...and times where they can act like an individual...why bother with the garbage collectors who are in office? As long as we continue our commute to town each morning and our consumptive greed driven habits, we are giving tacit approval to the policies of any administration...but why should we care about blood for oil, or death squads? We have MTV and Ipods...and commodity...but durn it all...things are getting expensive...and our pocketbooks matter more than our souls... When we all decide we aren't going to take it anymore...and stay in bed one morning instead of making that commute to town, or that trip to the shopping mall...when a general strike happens, perhaps it'll wake up the powers that be...United we stand, divided we fall...and we're falling rapidly.

22 December 2007

Conservation and Solar Energy

I originally had two small solar panels I purchased from an 'Energy Sciences' advert in the back of a Mother Earth News Magazine...about 1980/81...I'd fussed around with a 6 volt windcharger back in the mid 70s...and with these panels, it was a real 'wow' moment. When I built my current home, no mailbox, no phone, no electric...no bills...a postal box in town...those two panels and a large truck battery gave me a light in my bedroom, a light in the kitchen and a light in the 'living' room...a 12volt JVC combo SW/AM/FM dual cassette recorder/player and record player...and a 9 inch 12 volt tv...which gave me three channels...rambo, dumbo and bimbo...18 bucks a year for my property taxes, a root cellar/pantry for refrigeration...no meat unless it was killed that day...(an occasional rabbit/grouse/woodchuck/squirrel)... It was very freeing... My wants grew as my income grew, over time...many people mention to us how green we live...but, thinking back to those times...I really lived green, with a much smaller footprint... Can't turn back the clock, but I remember and kick myself back into shape every now and again. We've become much more spoiled over time. I remember thinking...not what I was doing without...but the luxury of what I had...no bills/no ties...no 9 to 5... Conservation is the key...and quelling our desires. I'm in the process of using more efficient products...such as LED lights...but, they are products, which means...they had to be produced...and there are ramifications in the production of anything. I think I'm lecturing myself as much as posting about conservation and solar energy.

15 December 2007

Detoxifying and Cleansing

In the first week of the cleanse you are encouraged to consume a plant-based diet. A move away from animal products will decrease your harmful exposure to toxins by as much as 50%. In the second week of the cleanse you are encouraged to consume an organic, raw (uncooked) plant-based diet. In the third week, a liquid diet of raw fruit juices and raw vegetable juices . A move away from whole live-food to a live-juice fast will give the digestive organs a complete rest. If you'd began sprouting some seeds when you began the second stage, you should have many live sprouts to add to your diet...which can include radish, fenugreek, alfalfa, clover...and another group of larger seeds such as mung bean, adzuki bean, red lentil, and green lentil. I would also add sea greens to the green veggie juices, as well. Good health to you all...do some research. Take care of your ass...for it carries you.

14 December 2007

Have a Nice Day! (No, Really!)

I just finished 'The Road', by Cormac McCarthy

I have a very depressed hermit friend...I mean, truly hermit...who has no electricity, not even a 12 volt bulb...candles...a small cabin which up until a year ago had only a mexican blanket for a door...this in 30 below zero weather...an army cot and a dog...cuts firewood by hand for that day...often green. Artist, with beautiful drawings and paintings lying about on his floor, as if they were throw rugs. Anyway...he told me once that whenever he gets truly depressed he reads about Aushwitz...so that he realises he has it pretty good. I've never known it to cheer him up.

11 December 2007

It warmed up enough to wear shorts today. And Little Blackears came to the door to see if her cat friend, Pogo, would come out and play.

07 December 2007

The Military Avoids Responsibility and Dumps on the Troops...Or...Support the Troops, Hate the Veterans

Click on the heading for an article in The Nation, which appeared in the 15 Oct 2007 issue, following up on an article appearing on 9 April 2007. Another topic I wish to raise...is about the many returning OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom) and Afghan theatre combat troops who have Traumatic Brain Injury, PTSD, and even combat physical wounds who have been denied medical discharges and instead have been drummed out of the service as having a pre-existing 'personality disorder'...after having been vetted through physical and mental testing at the time of enlistment, further physical and mental testing through basic and advanced trainings, and even further being found physically and mentally able to fight in this 'war on terrorism'... I'll tell you some people with personality disorders...GW Bush, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld...ad nauseum... This is a dysfunctional nation, with dysfunctional leaders and representatives and a dysfunctional media...a dysfunctional economic system and a dysfunctional political system...and the wounded troops are the ones with pre-existing personality disorders which are not recognizable until tested by combat? Puke...that portion of the military personnel manual should be expunged...anyone with a 'pre-existing personality disorder' should not be allowed to serve...therefore, anyone who served did not have a pre-existing condition.

06 December 2007

An Open Letter to the Minnesota DNR "Planners"

As a proud member of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, and a concerned citizen who lives near the areas of concern, I believe these comments, which are written very eloquently, need to be considered as testament to closing the OHV/ATV trails in the Mississippi Headwaters and Smoky Hills State Forests. *** Former Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth called off-road vehicle (ORV) abuse one of the “four threats” to the health of public lands.· Poorly managed OHV use damages hunter, angler, and other quiet-user experiences, adversely affects wildlife habitat and behavior (including big-game and fisheries), and impacts water quality.· OHV-caused soil compaction triggers a cascade of negative effects ranging from impacts on water quality to a shift in plant and animal communities. After vehicle tires compact loose soil, rain or snowmelt can no longer percolate fully, and the subsequent surface runoff generates hillside erosion. This is of particular concern in the MHSF and the Smoky Hills.· Steep hills and sandy soils make the MHSF/Smoky Hills area vulnerable to off-road driving damage and significant erosion already has occurred from illegal driving near and through the river and wetlands and on hillsides by lakes.· Closing OHV trails on state land in the forest is reasonable because hundreds of miles of OHV trails are already available on nearby county lands and in other state forests.· According to a 2000 Minnesota DNR “Awareness and Satisfaction Survey,” the statement that survey respondents disagreed with most was: “The DNR should establish more sites on public land for motorized off-road vehicle recreation.”· According to a 2002 “Minnesota Deer Hunters’ Opinions and Attitudes Toward Deer Management” survey, the typical Minnesota firearms hunter hunted with a group, used a tree stand at least some of the time, and did not use an ATV. Most hunted for the sport and to be with friends and family.· Multiple studies and surveys have shown that OHVs scare away big game and do not improve hunters’ success.· Former Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation biologist Alan Christensen, states flatly: “Roads are the single biggest problem on the landscape…It’s well documented and everything else pales in comparison.” · The approach of sharing public land sounds reasonable, but in practice it has often failed. What usually happens is that those who prefer quiet recreation are driven from areas where off-road driving becomes popular. So where’s the multiple use?· Data shows that the people of Minnesota who do not use OHVs vastly outnumber those who do (even among deer hunters in the north central and northeast part of the state). Those who recreate in non-motorized ways on public lands outnumber those who ride OHVs in terms of both the number of people and number of recreational days, and Minnesotans react negatively to suggestions that the DNR should supply more OHV trails in public satisfaction surveys when questioned about how DNR should cater to recreation tastes.· When hunting skill and effort is reduced to twisting a throttle, hunting and habitat disappear. Motorized hunters have to continually reach further. And thus it spreads. Like cancer cells, if the use of ATVs continues to grow unabated they’ll eventually kill the host. In this case, the host is hunting. *** It's absurd in this nation's time of crisis with global warming, dependence on foreign oil, and obesity/health problems...not to mention budget constraints and debt...that we are even considering wasting money and fuel and our environment by allowing increased use of ATV/OHVs...walking is probably the single best approach to some of our nation's health problems. I'm astonished and appalled...at the gratuitous pandering to the lobbyists who represent wasteful industries...and to people who wish to destroy our natural resources for their own chills and thrills. I invite you to come and witness the environmental degradation. I invite you to come and listen to the noise pollution.

29 November 2007

The YouTube/CNN Republican Debate

I watched the Republican/YouTube/CNN debate yesterday...oh my. I'm so not with those people. It made me want to run away to another country, for certain. Skewed priorities...antagonistic to the rest of the world. The only two candidates that seemed to have a semblance of compassion and understanding were Huckabee (surprise) and Ron Paul...(although all the answers on criminalising abortion were a bit frightening) Frankly...if the Dems field Hillary (which is the Republican wetdream) this country is going to hell without the handbasket. I've been watching CCTV9 NewsHour (even the graphics are ripped off from Lehrer's PBS program)...China just sent thousands of troops to darfur as peacekeepers, China has a spacecraft orbiting the moon...China is investing heavily in alternative energy...China is reaching out to Europe, Africa, The Middle East...China plans on placing a space station in permanent orbit soon...China and Russia plan on building a permanent moon base...China and Russia plan on sending men to Mars...The Chinese Space Program is akin to JFKs imperative...of course, China isn't squandering their wealth on foreign interventionism... The USA is a dying ember...glowing with anger...destroying the last vestige of what was thought to be a mighty oak. Two of the questions in particular stood out to me in the debate. One youtuber held up a 'Holy Bible" and asked if each of the candidates believe every word of this book...a little equivocation from a few...saying 'allegorical stories aren't literal'...but for the most part...all of them said, it's the inspired word of god. Another question...with a confederate flag hanging on the wall...what do you thing of this symbol? Racist, Proud, Tradition?... Roe v Wade is going down...especially if the court gets any more packed with 'conservative idiots'...the same conservatives who were speaking about Reagan's limited government (he increased the size of government and instituted programs antithetical to many of their ideas...)...about Reagan's 'budget cuts and tax cuts'...Reagan ballooned the debt from 700 billions to nearly 4 trillion dollars...while increasing the tax on the working class (FICA doubled)...and raiding the very trust fund he and greenspan devised...common for reporters to still say that SS is a pay as you go system...while the Reagan tax increase was to allow boomers to put money into a trust fund to cover their future benefits, not to cover deficit spending to support the increased wealth of defense contractors and crony capitalists...Scam...the media is in cahoots. No one calls 'em on the reality of Reagan...and since the Republicans don't want to run on Bush's legacy...they'll take the Reagan fall back...and the 'consumers' are going to fall for it. Puke.

25 November 2007

Fear, Privatisation and the USA's Prison Population

The USA is the world's undisputed leader in locking up people in prisons or jails. That includes Russia and even China, with more than three times our population. We build more prisons than schools. Per capita and by sheer numbers we have the largest prison population in the world. The public and private prison construction gravy train keeps rollin' along...if you build it, they will come. ~The nations prison population has increased eightfold since 1970...it keeps going up even though crime rates are at 1973 levels. ~For the same crimes, American prisoners receive sentences twice as long as English prisoners, three times as long as Canadians, four times as long as the Dutch, five to ten times as long as the French, and five times as long as Swedes. JFA Associates, a Washington think tank that conducts research and policy analysis in the criminal-justice and corrections fields commissioned a report entitled, "Unlocking America: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population"...in which a major trend fueling the prison surge is underlined...It is the rising portion of the prison population involving mostly nonviolent drug offenders imprisoned for technical violations of their parole or probation. According to the report, more than half of all annual admissions to state prisons involve such parole or probation violators. From the report: "For those suggesting that by incarcerating people for non-felony crimes or noncompliance with the terms of probation or parole we are preventing more serious crimes to occur...there is no scientific data to support such a claim." It turns out that not only is war good business, but so is crime...will they turn out to be the USA's only businesses? A tip of the hat to Ruben Rosario...from the StPaul Pioneer Press.

03 September 2007

Selling Out or Settling In?

I've been hurtling through the universe, nestled in this underground cabin, for the past 23 years...Outhouse, handpump in the kitchen...a photovoltaic electrical system which has been augmented over the years. Tomorrow we dig out the west side of the house and begin 'The Project'...an addition which should turn out to have interior dimensions of 8 and 1/2 by around 13 feet or so...really depends on how easy/difficult it is to tuck whatever we can into the space...a bathroom, complete with running water and an on-demand hot water system...tub/shower/stool/lav...and a laundry space for a washer and dryer...friend coming by at 0800 tomorrow...with his digging machine. Another truck coming with 1 and 1/2 inch rock...and yet another truck coming with lumber and materials. Hope to have it buried and 'disappeared' within the month. Perhaps we'll have a hot tub bath for the winter solstice (dare I say before the solstice?)... Perhaps our laundromat visits are coming to an end. I'll keep y'all posted with all the details as time goes by.

31 July 2007

A Bit About Me

It really gets down to the journey...the unknowable, the unseen...the rejuvenation, becoming young again and again. Through language and ideas, love and respect. Elemental...sharing the fire of our ancestors, telling the stories, being in awe...breathing the molecules that passed through the nostrils of Cleopatra and out of the gasps of dying Somalian babies...the sand of the beaches beneath my toes...the soil of the earth nourishing my body...the dirt beneath my wheels...diving deep and resurfacing...becoming one with the wave...hydration, completion. Outside the box...it's where we all must think...or all is lost. Who I'd like to meet: Musicians on the beach...no matter the instrument, accompanied by the pulse of the earth and moon. Myself on other paths.

06 July 2007

Insanity and Inanity...

Can you say 'dustbowl'? That is what will happen when a heavy feeder like corn is grown, over and over and over on much of our ag land... BTUs in for BTUs out in corn production doesn't make sense...it's just a taxpayer subsidy for ADM and the like...(oil companies are getting into corn ethanol, as well)... Now...biodiesel produced by algae farms have some promise. 10 thousand gallons per acre versus 300 gallons per acre for corn. However, we need to remember that every solution has its own set of problems. Conservation would do more to fuel the economy and save energy than anything...efficient plug-in hybrid diesels and efficient appliances...and energy efficient buildings. We could plug in all our electric/hybrid cars to charge at night, when there is excess capacity...and not have to build one more power plant. We could increase the efficiency of our appliances and lighting and heating/cooling and actually be able to decommission some coal plants and eventually replace them with carbon neutral sources. Plus...we'd be making products the world's consumers would buy... but it takes courage and a strong entrepreneurial spirit to accomplish these goals...politicians with ties to corporate/capital cronyism are not interested...they are just interested in leveling the global playing field...and busting american labour.

A National Crisis...one of many.

Certainly folks can see the difference between a health issue revolving around bad eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle...which is passed on to the children...which is fueling a crisis in this country (and much of the world)...and someone who is 'pleasingly plump', so to speak. There are very skinny, unhealthy people...with meth addictions, alcohol addictions, and eating disorders...who would not be good candidates as adoptive parents either. This is not a body image issue...this is a national health issue. I am in favor of a national health care system...and am working towards that. But with that comes responsibility for our own health through our eating habits, drug use (prescription and non), alcohol use, smoking, etc...We live in a society which is in crisis, in so many ways...it is both socially and personally responsible to take good care of ourselves and our families...and by extension, our communities. We are living on a physical plane...we experience life through our senses and bodies...I certainly would like to make my experiences, and those of my grandchildren, active and reality based, tasting the true fruits of nature. Numbing ourselves through addictions, of any type, makes our experience here on earth a haze...shrouded in unreality. Sitting on the couch watching the outdoor channel about kayaking down a wild river, is not kayaking down a wild river. Watching the Home and Gardening channel is not the act of gardening. Reading about what natural foods are best for us, falls by the wayside when we drive through Mickey Dees. And as others have pointed out...it's not just what you eat...but what is eating you. Now, if some of you take this as proselytizing or being sanctimonious...so be it.

01 July 2007

Sunday Paper

To the casual reader, the articles seem unconnected. Sushi chefs in Japan using raw horse meat and venison to compensate for the lack of tuna, due to the depletion of the fisheries. Lake Superior at its lowest level since 1925, the water temperature 4.5 degrees F warmer than average, the steel pilings holding the shoreline deteriorating for some unknown reason. Perhaps microbes in the water? The United States at the very bottom of 21 wealthy nations in guaranteeing workers vacation time. Finland is tops with 35 days per year, the US...zero. The owner of the Minnesota Vikings giving large campaign contributions to both political parties, hedging his bets for a publicly financed stadium. Four wheelers causing increasing damage in forested lands. The US Congress lacking the political will to raise mileage standards on autos and light trucks, not even able to agree on 35 mpg by the year 2020. Europe setting a fleetwide standard of 44 mpg by next year. Questions raised about steroid rage causing a professional wrestler to choke his young son to death, then kill his wife...and, after placing bibles by both their bodies...hanging himself from his exercise equipment.

05 June 2007

How Do You Run Away From "It All"?

If I may try to answer such an all inclusive question...I 'ran away' to this place back in 1980. Knew no one, came alone. I, like the Hopi, was looking for a place which I didn't have to fight for...a place no one else much wanted. The abundant water, oxygen giving forests, and lakes which felt little pressure from overfishing were a bonus. I had much in common with the 'old-timers', many of whom lived pastoral lives and some who still spoke the language of their native scandinavian countries...having a font of natural knowledge in the guise of Ojibwe elders, who knew methods of harvesting wild food and herbs was another bonus. Gravity and attraction brought me in touch with other hippie homesteaders at various stages of their growth. The nearly three decades that have passed since then have wrought many changes. Some have left their homesteads for the 'glitter and the rouge' of other places...many of the younger generations of Ojibwe have rejected their elders' path...the pastoral farms have been bought up by ag interests...center pivot irrigators and row crops have replaced small dairy and sheep farms in the valley...second and third homes have been built for the 'trickle down' wealth from Reagan/Bush/Bush policies and Clinton's .com/globalism and stock market booms. The price of land has escalated from 100 bucks per acre...to thousands of dollars per acre. Small subdivisions are sprouting on 40 acre parcels near lakes and forests. We've been relatively immune, but weekends find noisy, polluting, gas guzzling 4 wheelers 'enjoying' the forest roads at 60 mph...green for forests and blue for water all they are able to discern. Our homestead is an eden to us. If I was deaf and didn't leave home ever...I'd have little idea of what was happening beyond a mile of us. We've traveled extensively, and have often thought we may leave here to find a place away from what we see as a growing fascism and militaristic imperialism in this country...not wanting to be a part of an empire with troops in 130 countries of the world, and yet portraying itself as the arbiter of freedom and the perpetual victim. But...being an observer of history...a traveler through time and space...I can set myself apart from the complicity of all that...make my stand here and try to create as much change by example and by speaking out as I can. I know this place...deep in my psychic soul...the trees and the waters and the animals know me...we are friends, kindred spirits...and that is all I can ask for.

30 March 2007

Musings from a gray day

As spring rains settle the snow into the soil, restoring and recharging...awakening the dreams. Remember the child within you.

07 February 2007

What are we waiting for?

History is not evolution. Evolution is a matter of environment and chance, acting over millions of years. But history is a matter of environment and choice, acting within lifetimes, and sometimes within years, or months, or days. History is Larmarckian...if we choose to establish certain methods of doing business it will be so...And if we choose others, so shall that be. Think outside the box. Who cares if the rest of the world dumps us? We need to rebuild within the US...yep...it'll be tough, but it could bind us together as community and rid the world of the scourge we've become...and the system of economics that has failed...because it is not sustainable. It is false...and temporary. It could cause the rest of the world to do likewise. Sustainability is what we need to strive for...not this blip of existence supported by a resource that is finite and quickly disappearing. This is not to invite catastrophe...precisely the opposite. If we are aware of the consequences and act rather than react, voluntarily...the consequences would be different than having it thrust upon us in a time of real strife and disaster, which could/would make it a National Katrina. That is the opportunity which was squandered in the wake of 9/11...and is most unforgiveable. It will come...whether we go into it willingly and bonded together...or it happens to us as 'an act of god' for which we are all ill prepared.

06 February 2007

The lies of GW Bush's Budget Proposal

Bush's new budget includes cuts of 65 billion dollars over 5 years to the poorest recipients of medicare...plus increases in medicare monthly deductions from Social Security recipients. His budget includes 101 billions of dollars in new weapon systems for the coming year alone...176 billions in weapons systems total for the year...and a defense budget of over 600 billions of dollars (not including supplementals for Iraq/Afghanistan war on terrorism). His increase does not provide enough to fully fund the 98,000 person increase in the Army and Marines that he's asking for. His budget steals 1 trillion dollars from the Social Security trust fund monies coming in between now and 2012...at which time his budget will be 'balanced'...without mentioning that 200 billion dollars that 'balanced' year will be coming out of the SS trust fund. Lies and obfuscation...and the media is complicit. Cut monies from the least among us...while stealing their money to increase the wealth of Defense Contractors... It's an outrage and should be brought to the attention of your representatives in both houses of Congress. Eisenhower was so right in warning us about the MI complex... *** "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." "I like to believe that people in the long run are going to do more to promote peace than our governments. Indeed, I think that people want peace so much that one of these days governments had better get out of the way and let them have it." "In most communities it is illegal to cry "fire" in a crowded assembly. Should it not be considered serious international misconduct to manufacture a general war scare in an effort to achieve local political aims?" "In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist." ~~Dwight D. Eisenhower

26 January 2007

Corporate/Capitalist Historical Perspective

A little historical perspective could allow everyone to have some understanding of what is going on in 'our world'... Thorstein Veblen's, "The Theory of the Leisure Class"...Robert Heilbroner's, "The Worldly Philosophers"...both make the point (in different time references) that monopolists/oligarchists/international bankers are not much different from barbarians because they use brute force (often the military of our nation), cunning and competitive skills to make money from others, and then live off the spoils of conquests rather than producing things themselves. There are alternatives to the current, corrupt, crony capitalism...which can bring about some peace and prosperity to the entire world in just manners..."Natural Capitalism" by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins and L. Hunter Lovins describes some methods of doing this... The fact that transnational corporations and their agendas have come to dominate cultural, political, and economic life on a global scale can hardly be disputed. These powerful corporations have used national governments and government-created international bodies to create a legislative and institutional regime that accedes to and actively promotes and implements a "free-market" ideology. There are tremendous costs to the political, economic, and social fabric of the entire global community as corporations have become ever more capable under this ideological regime in extracting wealth and generating huge profits on a worldwide basis. Poverty, social and political disintegration, and environmental degradation are the main consequences of this global corporate ascendance. (And war)... The ability of corporations to penetrate the political and cultural sectors of our society is hardly a late twentieth century phenomenon. Despite the founders' efforts to contain corporations by explicit and revocable state charters, emerging industrialists in the post-Civil War era became powerful enough to sway legislators and the judiciary to act in their behalf. Not only did corporations generally gain rights in perpetuity, but the Supreme Court declared corporations to be legal persons entitled to the same rights as ordinary citizens, in addition to limited liability. By the late 1920s capitalism had largely emerged triumphant over worker and community interests, despite Teddy Roosevelt's attempts to reign them in. Consumerism has been instilled as the only legitimate avenue for realizing individualized "freedom." A form of democratic pluralism existed among the civil, governmental, and market sectors of society in the post-WWII era, but any such sectorial accommodation was mostly an aberration that came about only because of the necessity to solve the twin crises of the Great Depression (caused by corporate-led economic excess) and WWII. Any social accord that may have existed was shredded as corporations, backed by the Reagan administration, renewed their assault on the working class and relentlessly pursued self-interested global strategies, continued through Bush I, Clinton, and now Shrub... Over the last two decades, middle-class jobs have been lost, median pay has stagnated, and austerity has been imposed on the less fortunate as a profound upward redistribution of wealth and income has occurred. Globally, the structural adjustment measures forced upon developing nations by the World Bank and the IMF to qualify for loans, ripped the fabric of those societies and have actually increased indebtedness to First World bankers... Trade agreements and administrative bodies, such as NAFTA and the WTO, are designed to eliminate local restrictions on investments by international firms and barriers to the free movement of goods between nations... The freedom for capital to move freely among nations has also fueled rampant financial speculation unrelated to productive investment. Unconscionably, American taxpayers have been forced to bailout those engaged in extracting wealth from the developing world. "Free market" ideology is used to justify the gutting of the social and legal structures of nations. But it is a disingenuous view... Free market activities posited by Adam Smith involve local, individual economic actors, none of whom have the power to control the marketplace... Unregulated, unfettered market activities by huge economic entities can result in market coercion. For example, monopolistic firms can externalize costs...that is, they are powerful enough to force societies to pay for the social and environmental side-effects of their activities. For example, labor and environmental regulations are often ignored with impunity...society picking up the pieces. The impact of corporations acting as legal persons cannot be overemphasized... Corporations overwhelm actual citizen political participation and free speech by the extent and intensity of their political lobbying and media controlling efforts. Corporations and the rich, in a form of legalized bribery, basically fund political campaigns... They also heavily sway public opinion through public relations front organizations, conservative think-tanks, and the control of the major media. The dependency of the media on advertising dollars virtually guarantees presentation of views that are compatible with corporate interests, not to mention the fact that the huge media empires are themselves transnational corporations with no interest in harming broader corporate interests. Foxes building hen houses.

16 January 2007

Thanks, Katrina Vanden Heuvel...

In presenting his plan for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq this week, current Representative and now Presidential candidate, Dennis Kucinich, noted that "after the first Gulf War, Iraqis reestablished electricity within three months, despite sanctions. Four years into the US occupation there is no water, nor reliable electricity in Baghdad." He also pointed out that Iraqis receive a paltry 5 percent of subcontracts while US contractors make billions of dollars and "millions of Iraqis do not have a means of financial support, nor substantive employment." Kucinich's example cuts to the heart of the gross corruption, waste and profiteering that marks the failed Iraqi Reconstruction effort – over $50 billion spent on private contractors with little return and billions unaccounted for. Not only did the Republican Congress turn its back on its Constitutional responsibility for oversight, it even attempted to surreptitiously oust the one individual who was uncovering some of the corruption – Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, Stuart W. Bowen. So what did President Bush offer on Wednesday night as a solution to rein in the waste and fraud of the Iraqi Reconstruction effort? "A reconstruction coordinator in Baghdad to ensure better results for economic assistance being spent in Iraq." Seriously.

14 January 2007

Cynicism and Division

Cynicism of government is rampant, but not about 'dictatorship', coup de etat...that's the scam of the oligarchy...keep everyone divided and screaming 'liberty and freedom'...while giving them a global war on terrorism which will last for a century...and the false sense of freedom to choose between Levis and Wranglers, Coke or Pepsi, Walmart or Target...NASCAR or ATVs...American Idol or Survivor...FOX News or ....oh you get the idea. Yep...land of the free, where there are more people in prison than anywhere in the world...where our healthcare does much less with twice the money per capita spent...(and I don't mean government programs).... Meanwhile...watch out...the bad brown people are gonna get us. Help...can't we have a bigger and badder military eating up 450 billions of dollars each year...and private contractors eating even more...can't we kill more of these brown people who genuflect differently than we do?

10 January 2007

Framing the Debate

We live on our 50 acres of land within the bounds of a state forest (made up mostly of lands forfeited in the 30s due to non-payment of property taxes)...within the last 4 years an ATV trail has been developed traveling through the woods, helter skelter with no regulations...erosion, noise pollution, mucking through wetlands, etc...we've organised meetings to, at least, establish a trail which is hard packed and doesn't cause such a problem...the ATVers also interfere with horsefolks, walkers, runners...etc. Multiple use is impossible. To frame the debate I'm beginning to suggest to concerned citizens that folks who recreate by wasting fuel which is imported from the middle east, at the same time exacerbating global warming...are aiding the terrorists, not supporting our troops and are selfishly aiding in the destruction of our forested areas/wetlands while spewing pollutants into the air...and disturbing the quiet of the rest of folks who would like to enjoy the beauty of the woods... I'd like bumperstickers that say...if you love to waste gas, move to Saudi Arabia...they have plenty...and it's already a desert there.... (Tools are not toys.) These folks should be shunned and denounced as anti-american.

Winter is passing

It has been since autumn that I’ve written anything.  I feel...no, I know that a coup has been stag d in this country. But, from my vantage...