Alexander Hamilton Quill Nader thought safer cars would save us and helped delay by decades the denouement of the evil the automobile does because it designs a dysfunctional society and consumes fuels that are noxious and will plunge the world into a potentially terminal disaster. Nader also gave us George Bush. I am surprised the man still dares to speak. Global Online Privacy
Angelenos Appear to Heed Warnings of Traffic Horror - NYTimes.com: "The intersection of Sunset Boulevard and Interstate 405 was desolate early Saturday, save for a few bored-looking police officers, busy keeping skateboarders from sneaking onto the highway to take photos of themselves doing tricks." When we start seeing cars and oil as a public health menace we will start gathering statistics of deaths, related deaths, war deaths, oil spill deaths and so forth and wonder why we spent half a century, when thing started to go bad, for us to start writing about car-free cities and thinking beyond oil. The picture and headline on this NYT story is worth a look for irony on steroids.
58 held after huge pot farm found n Mexico - World news - Americas - msnbc.com: "Two men were caught in the camp and 56 others were rounded up in the area around what the Mexican government calls the biggest marijuana plantation ever found in the country." Stories like this are not about victories. They are about a tit-for-tat game that we are complicit in because our stupid war on drugs is the model for dumb policy. People will regulate their own consumption of pot with no help from government. They already do. Making it legal will enable us to tax it like we do cigarettes. And stop the slaughter. Since when has thought been so erroneous, illogical and plain wrong?
Hullabaloo: "Oh, and among those who are behind this are agri-business and coal who are terribly inconvenienced by the requirement that they keep their poisons out of our drinking water." Dammit. Regulations help us. The macho, suck it up, uninformed and ultimately wrong conclusion of the knee-jerk anti government folk does not consider that everything they are for is also what agri-business, oil and other massive corporate entities are for. The preservation of our lives is not high on the agenda of these entities and they are what they are because our law protects them from prosecution the way we are liable to be prosecuted. How many ways must this be said before people wake up?
Story of Job - a Demo in Search of a Production - Associated Content from Yahoo! - associatedcontent.com: "Story of Job - a Demo in Search of a Production Suggestive demo excellent material" How many people do you know who would have the nerve to sing the Book of Job. I raise my hand. I always sing texts I do not claim to understand. If I can sing them I reach a level of comprehension deeper than if I simply read the same thing over and over. I have no pride so I do not mind if this is an amateur performance. It opens up automatically so if you want to zap it you need to press the || immediately. You already know that. BTW understanding Job makes you humble, penitent and well disposed toward the universe. Or so I feel.
Default Risk: Wall Street’s Shocking Debt Denial - The Daily Beast: "Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan began laying markers in the sand that they would countenance no new taxes, would demand drastic spending cuts, and would use the debt ceiling as leverage." I spoke to a biggie awhile back and he said there would be a debt deal, with the assurance that comes from one in the know. But I recall that in the Bush era all you had to do was choose the worst possible option and it would come to pass like clockwork. As if these guys had an instinct for evil. We are still in the shadow of the Bush era and only Obama has the potential to dispel it. No wait a minute. Wall Street also has the power to bring DC to heel. But this article says that is not necessarily going to happen.
Obama fundraising report signals juggernaut campaign - The Washington Post: "President Obama has amassed a formidable team of more than 240 big-dollar fundraisers just three months into his 2012 reelection campaign, including more than two dozen bundlers who have each raised at least $500,000." Obama is on the other side from the rest of us. He may not have been when he started but time works its spurious magic and power does the rest. I am higher up than the bottom third of Obama contributors and from the start I have been unaware that anyone over there has heard a thing I have been saying. Which is a very poor record for someone who has been right 90 percent of the time. These people own and drive cars with no consciousness and live in apartments that would rent for double in a month what people make in a year. They call what they live the good life. By what standard? Jesus?
Murdoch's ad apologizes for 'serious wrongdoing' in hacking scandal - CNN.com: "London (CNN) -- Rupert Murdoch apologized to the British public with full-page advertisements in seven national newspapers Saturday, a day after two senior executives resigned over a phone hacking scandal that has engulfed his media empire." Rupert is making a right move in a culture where penitence is next to Godliness. Didn't Ollie North do the same thing? That's one thing we should give Manson. He and the real demonic ones do not even try to apologize. Nobody's going to put an apologetic old man in the clink. But wait a minute doesn't Murdoch have some of the aura of Bernie Madoff? Global Online Privacy
How Rupert Murdoch’s Money Helps Him Makes Friends - The Daily Beast: "Over the past decade, Murdoch and his company News Corp. have spent close to $50 million sowing the seeds of goodwill here in America through well-heeled lobbyists, seven-figure political donations, and large charitable contributions to key nonprofit groups." It's not that they are all criminals. It is because they embrace the values of the haves whuch is why we have excrescences like the Aspen Institute masquerading as mainline intellectual watering holes. Better a diner somewhere methinks. The NYT is the sign and seal of the sell-out of our culture to growth, upward mobility and other non-Veblenian objectives. Murdoch will be a convenient scapegoat while the game goes on.
"Carmageddon" watch in full effect - CBS News: "For weeks, authorities have urged residents to avoid getting in their car, lest they trigger what's been hyped as 'Carmageddon.'" When will we throw up our hands and say enough and start the next chapter of economic history. The longer we wait the longer the jams will be.
Yglesias | ThinkProgress: "Part of the answer is, they can’t. It takes many years for private investment to create the incremental productive employment opportunities and for public investment to build the urban infrastructure. The other part of the answer is that they do move, hoping to capture a place in the new economy. Not all succeed." You heard me right. If we start creating new cities of 10K more or less wherever we want we can avoid the lemming flight to existing metropoles and the polarization this creates. We can design what works and create car-free, integral communities. It is all laid out in Christopher Alexander's "Pattern Language".
CNN.com - Books - Raising a holy ruckus - September 21, 2000: "The great tragedy of literalist Christianity, which focuses on the historical Jesus, is that it ends up dividing itself from everyone else and we end up with these horrendous religious divisions that have bedeviled the world" The best way past fundamentalism is people waking up with no help from Hitchens or Dawkins or others who swing a large cudgel against the weak thing that is the actual substance of orthodoxy. When people see that they are actually destined to be part of a much larger whole than any confined community, they tend to doff the creedal armor and become fallible and iffy and actual and real human beings.
I Blame The Patriarchy: "Take Michele Bachmann. She hates gays and fluorescent light, and loves Jesus and compulsory pregnancy, but has no qualms whatsoever about enjoying an influential, self-determined career outside the home as she flits about the political sphere.* It’s almost as though she fancies herself a liberated woman with some personal agency. She has used the feminist springboard to swan-dive into prominence, from which spot she can proceed to gay-bash, suck up to Dude Nation, and demand constitutional amendments prohibiting abortion."
Getting Away with Torture | Human Rights Watch: "President George W. Bush: had the ultimate authority over detainee operations and authorized the CIA secret detention program, which forcibly disappeared individuals in long-term incommunicado detention. He authorized the CIA renditions program, which he knew or should have known would result in torture. And he has publicly admitted that he approved CIA use of torture, specifically the waterboarding of two detainees. Bush never exerted his authority to stop the ill-treatment or punish those responsible." No one is paying any attention to this copious report on Bush and Cheney and others who accepted torture as cool. Abroad it is getting much more play. Par for the course. We have Murdoch and Casey Anthony and debt disaster to divert us.
'Can a White Man Still Be Elected President?' How Identity Politics Are Creating Public Anxiety and Moral Panic | Books | AlterNet: "Over the last generation median income for white American men has stalled as has social mobility, taking with it the very American notion that each year will be better than the next and each successive generation more prosperous." Nobody is grasping the nettle. I will say it again. Our problem is allegiance to pil and the automobile and the society that it assists in creating. That society is dysfunctional. We need a sea change away from reliance on oil and the automobile. Since that issue is now politicized, the change will become harder and harder.
The Dawn of Politics by Adam Kirsch, City Journal Spring 2011: "Yet since ideas have consequences, the ideological victory of liberalism would be nothing to scorn—if it were really assured. Ironically, however, The Origins of Political Order itself gives reason for doubting this." It is silly to debate about progress. Progress is the passage of time interacting with the decisions that our billions make daily when they wake up largely hopeful that today will be better than yesterday. We are the actors. Not fate. We are nearing the end of the era when people wrote grand tomes that reviewers could characterize as complete. Nothing is complete. Chronology sees to that. Or as Dylan once said. Nothing is better. Nothing is best. Etc.
Ways With Words: Judy Golding’s memoir 'fuelled by anger' - Telegraph: "Golding and his wife, Ann, were devoted to one another - to the exclusion of Judy and her brother, David. The title of the memoir is taken from the proverb ‘the children of lovers are orphans’." Yep. Wherefore the nuclear family is a disaster if it is seen as the foundation of community. Community, as Jesus said, is people who believe in the same way of living more or less - tolerant, helpful, democratic, not idolatrous - that sort of thing. A culture without this understanding is disaster on steroids.
That everyone has raised the debt ceiling forever. That the GOP decided to make it Waterloo. That Lindsay Graham said they were stupid to do it. That every adult in he room knows we need to get the deficit down. That anyone with any sense knows that that can only be done by being fair to everyone. That politics does not proceed on these awarenesses but in one of two ways. There is the adult way accepted by seasoned sorts like Obama and Boehner, hardly peas in a pod. And there is the delinquent's way - essentially nihilistic - of those who seek to gain power by essentially zapping a vulnerable democracy until it is totally confused, somnambulant and literally 1984-bound. This is the world of the "truthsayers" Cantor, DeMint and Bachmann. 80 percent lean the other way. So, in the words of someone, let's make a deal and have done with this. Global Online Privacy