Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Death of Mars

It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.

Our current on-going disasters in Iraq and Afghanistan are recognized as a lost cause by virtually everyone these days. Everyone except those who have the power to stop them. The "War on Terror" is now recognized by most as what it was obvious to some of us in the beginning; a scam. Osama Bin Laden is still alive more than eight years after he launched the impetus for this fiasco. The recent arrest by Pakistan of an ordinary citizen who took it upon himself to go and find him is as tragic as it is comical.

Have we reached a tipping point? Will Congress deny funding for this fool's errand? I would love to see it happen, but doubt it will. The deficit hawks that scream about large deficits when denying another penny of social spending, will no doubt rubber stamp another 50 billion dollars for the pointless and endless bloodletting. They are the true whores of war, even more so than the mercenary armies they give our tax money to.

No, it will be the public leading Congress on this issue, as is so often the case. People are sick of seeing the U.S. Treasury looted and services cut to support this boondoggle. Even the right-wing chickenhawks that plastered their SUVs with yellow ribbons stopped supporting the war once their Chickenhawks-In-Chief left office in disgrace early last year. Their allegiance to their country only went as far as their partisan political preferences. They were the only true believers and now that they have packed away their Chinese-made flags and ribbons all that is left to look at is the huge price tag in blood (never a concern of theirs anyway) and money, which they do care about. Two years ago it was "we can't cut and run". I think we can all agree on cutting our losses now and going home before our economy implodes for the last time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Short Term Profits, Long Term Problems

There is an endless supply of white men. There has always been a limited number of human beings. If things keep trying to live, white men will rub them out.
~Chief Dan George as "Old Lodge Skins"

Heavily under the influence, to the point of being blinded by, greed, our captains of global industry are barreling down the tracks toward a canyon wall. The docile cargo of the lower classes are finally becoming aware of the existence of the wall, too late to really stop the impact, but not too late to slow the train down enough to make the impact somewhat survivable.

We've all heard about the poisoning of a section of our waters and coast of course, but we haven't really been told of the destruction of large sections of our land through mountaintop removal and other hideous forms of exploitation developed by the extractive industries. When I heard candidate Obama mention "clean coal" I knew that the two major political parties were not that far apart on environmental policy and that King Coal had covered their bets by buying them both off. Our current Secretary of the Interior, "Cowboy" Ken Salazar has been a nightmare for those who thought wolves were finally safe in the northern Rockies or endangered species were actually going to get a break from the relentless assault by the monied interests. The beat goes on, with people placing more importance on the quarterly reports of their portfolios than the long term survivability of the planet.

The 2010 mid-term elections present the choice between keeping the train going at roughly its current speed, or accelerating towards an even worse impact. Where is the real alternative? Where is the long term plan to forge a sustainable economy? As long as we are using the paradigm of quarterly profits, I doubt it will ever arrive and our fate will be sealed.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Every Day Wingnuts

In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
~George Orwell

We all seem to know them. Wingnuts. Or just plain ign'ant folks. If we are lucky, we may only see them when we are in line at the grocery store, or just briefly overhear them spewing their bile at the table next to us in a restaurant. If we are not so lucky, they are our neighbors or people we work with so we have to see them almost every damn day. My question to you is how do you deal with them? I usually take one of two courses. One is to just ignore them because life is too short to use up precious time and energy on a lost cause. The other is to confront the ignorance. I usually only do this when they are either egregiously out of bounds with their comments or I'm in a special mood where I need to educate someone who has been fed the talking points, and is badly in need of some context and background information that they missed from Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, etc.

Of course, the chain emails are the easiest to refute, because you can quickly and devastatingly provide factual links and info against the ObamaKenyanSocialist nonsense. But I do richly enjoy the live contact and seeing a wingnut become quickly flustered when hit with a dose facts from this universe, instead of the parallel one they prefer to dwell in. One thing I don't like is seeing how many other people, who I thought were actually too smart to fall for the bullshit, weren't. Yes, the sad part is seeing how well the corporate media have hidden the real history from so many people who have not had the inclination to find it, probably because of their own deeply ingrained prejudices.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Apathy is Not an Option

From each crime are born bullets that will one day seek out in you where the heart lies.
~ Pablo Neruda

Should the Republicans pick up enough seats in the 2010 mid-term elections Rep. Joe Barton will become chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This is one of the countless reasons why this is not a time for apathy. While the Democrats are certainly not the end all and be all for a better world, at least their measured non-responses are much less worse than outright hostility to progress and complicity in envoronmental armegeddon. Wow, what a choice. But let's at least stave off a biological collapse for another decade or so, shall we?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Free Enterprise Isn't Free

There's a particle of risk involved in every venture.
~Allardyce T. Merriweather

The engine of "free enterprise" that is the "magic of the marketplace" touted as sacrosanct dogma by every U.S. president since Ronald Reagan has hit a rough patch recently. First came the great Wall Street meltdown of 2008, and now comes the immolation of the Gulf Coast economy. Both of these things were the direct and predictable result of 30 years of right-wing assualt on "Big Government" through the deregulation and ineffective oversight of corporations. Most of the damage here can be laid at the feet of Republican presidents, especially the petrochemical nightmare years of Bush/Cheney. Of course, the assualt didn't stop under the Democrats, it just barely slowed down. Barack Obama's obviously false promise of change we could believe in makes us recall Bill Clinton's disastrous free trade policies, which haunt us to this day with lost jobs and lower living conditions for working people on all sides of the border.

Let's avoid the knee jerk reaction to defend Barack Obama from the wolves of the Republican Party. The Democrats, Obama included, are part of the problem. They can't help it, they are in a life and death struggle for funding from the truly soul-less old men that have been gaming the system since the days of big plantations, railroads and Northern industrialization. We must not delude ourselves thinking that anything can change as long as the system of legalized bribery which is our campaign finance laws are intact. Unless some major changes are made there, we are going to be learning just how corrupt, self-centered, and downright misanthropic the ruling class can be for decades to come. And the fallout from their fetishes will last decades beyond THAT. We have no real brakes on the system right now. Corporate lobbyists write the laws for legislators that were once lobbyists themselves or will soon be once they retire from or get kicked out of office. And the mainstream media is in collusion with all of them, since they are owned by those same interests that write the laws.

Our last best hope is for the people of WalMart Nation to awaken and fight for an end to the deadly corporate merry-go-round of death and desolation.

Hello, Sixth Extinction!