10/1/11

The American system of organized irresponsibility


“Those who sit in the seats of the high and mighty are selected and formed by the means of power, the sources of wealth, the mechanics of celebrity, which prevail in their society … They are not men shaped by nationally responsible parties that debate openly and clearly the issues this nation now so unintelligently confronts. They are not men held in responsible check by a plurality of voluntary associations which connect debating publics with the pinnacles of decision. Commanders of power unequaled in human history, they have succeeded within the American system of organized irresponsibility.”

C. Wright Mills • The Power Elite (1956)
cf. Eugene Halton • The Megapower Elite
- Cap tip Jon
This is what our global democratic revolution will understand and oppose with vigor and increasing force. .






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Platform For A Global Democratic Revolution

All governments should be based on democratic ideals
Democracy as the right of all to full equality and rights
The rule of law
And the practice of tolerance helpfulness and non-idolatry
We affirm the following goals:
Full gainful employment to all who desire it
Equal public education for all 
A transition to car-free communities
With the attributes of cities but with face to face local community 
And local democratic governance
The creation of a world where the use of fossil fuels is lessened over time
Because we will have eliminated the sprawl associated with the age of oil ad the automobile

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Anyone paying attention yet?

More than 500 arrested in Wall Street protest | Reuters: "(Reuters) - Police reopened the Brooklyn Bridge on Saturday evening after more than 500 anti-Wall Street protesters were arrested for blocking traffic lanes and attempting an unauthorized march across the span."

'via Blog this'

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Tahrir comes to Wall Street or does it?

Labor Movement Rolls Into Wall Street Occupation | Economy | AlterNet: "t may be too early to draw parallels between the Occupy Wall Street protests at Zuccotti Park (aka Liberty Plaza) and their antecedents in Tahrir Square and Madison. But the movements suggest a general trajectory of grassroots organizing: a spark of protest led by younger activists, followed by the support of labor organizations, bringing up the rear and then moving to the fore."

'via Blog this'

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Karen, Karen - An original political song

I recorded this in Dalton, Massachusetts, at Derek Studio in the late 70s. The duplicate tapes  made were flawed. But this comes through OK. The song is about Karen Silkwood and its POV is clear enough. The audio will come on when you open the page but you can pause it via the normal means.

http://www.talkshoe.com/talkshoe/web/audioPop.jsp?episodeId=542375&cmd=apop

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Charles Sanders Peirce on Our "Atrocious Legal Procedure"

CP 2.635 (1878): "Some persons fancy that bias and counter-bias are favorable to the extraction of truth—that hot and partisan debate is the way to investigate. This is the theory of our atrocious legal procedure. But Logic puts its heel upon this suggestion. It irrefragably demonstrates that knowledge can only be furthered by the real desire for it, and that the methods of obstinacy, of authority, and every mode of trying to reach a foregone conclusion, are absolutely of no value." - Cap tip Gary F.

Dispersed homes will never recover their “value”.

Dispersed homes will never recover their “value”.

Economic viability in the future will be five times greater for those living in close proximity in communities that integrate a good deal of what is now all over the map. Another way of saying this: Energy costs are five times greater in dispersion than in denser areas.

Both the dispersed (metrosprawl) model and the commute-by-car, do-everything-by-car models are unsustainable. Ultimately it may be less expensive to redesign and rebuild communities from scratch, than try to continue propping up today’s default sprawl.

This is the underlying reason for the crisis we are in. Remember we said we needed to move to a post-oil economy?

Current efforts to tie recovery to the resuscitation of the automobile and housing markets are unlikely to do more than sputter. Meanwhile the vision of a truly sustainable economy can be found in the thought of thinkers like Christopher Alexander. Alexander's one mistake was to assume the continued necessity of the automobile.

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Sprawl World: Designing to Defeat Sprawl

Sprawl World: Designing to Defeat Sprawl:

More at the link above.

Almost no economists are capable of doping out the future because they are lost in the benchmarks of the past. We need some sort of transcending of the existing boundaries between disciplines and expert areas before we can even make sense of a post-environmental notion of how to integrate technology with realistic principles of design for human beings.


Designing to Defeat Sprawl

1. Purchase about ten square miles of relatively vacant land near some railroad tracks currently in use or that could be in use with a little work.

2. Advertise the creation of an experimental community to test certain theories about a 21st Century economy.

3. Assemble the range of skills needed to develop a new model of living from the ground up.

4. Ensure that the land can be developed without regard to existing zoning laws.

3. Plan and design an integral human settlement that can sustain itself in terms of energy, economy, healty and education.

4. Sponsor a design competition to based on this outline.

5. Condition One: This community will have few if any motorized vehicles within its perimeter. Residents will get themselves from place to place by foot.

6. Condition Two: This community will have graded ramps instead of stairs to ease walking, exercise, and movement from place to place.

7. Condition Three: This community will scale size and design institutions and commercial establishments to a community of 5-10,000 where residents travel mainly by foot.

8. Condition Four: This community will integrate residences with commercial, recreational, educational, cultural, athletic and other facilities.

9. Condition Five: The community relies on mass-produced modules for housing and the creation of a skeleton for the organization of these spaces.

10. Condition Six: The community will utilize natural power sources to the extent possible and be built around principles of conservation and sustainability.

11. Condition Seven. The community will be designed to withstand any conceivable natural disaster or weather condition.

Our society is a planning disaster.

Our society is a planning disaster. It leeches life from human beings. For this reason, McMansions and their smaller brothers and sisters are a doomed race of dwellings. They genuinely suck, just as the values of the culture that spawned them suck.

Luxury cars that are sold on the noxious premise that they are the last bastion of individualism are likewise doomed in terms of being market-makers
.
We need to identify and celebrate entrepreneurs who understand that our drug-saturated, superstition-drenched culture serves nothing that is human or fine or admirable. We need hard education, smart health and inventive notions of what makes for community.

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Making Sense of Density

Sprawl World: Low density, automobile dependent development:

Making sense of density
Requires simple reason
Telling us that too little
Is a recipe for poverty
Likewise too much
Creates sclerosis
And reifies us all
This defines metrosprawl

The answer lies in creating
From what exists
What next must be
10,000 in proximity
In walkable communities
Rezoned to contain everything
But cars
Thus to spawn new economies
And shelve what is
To make new room
For mass production beyond green
For reaffirmed community
Then we won't need to move
To Mars

On the Corruption of Science

ShortFormContent at Blogger: Corruption of Science: "Peirce himself was often vociferous about the immense gap between the ideal of genuine science and the professional (profitable) practice which he called “Art”, which in our current vernacular is called “technology” and usually conflated with “science” (as in your own term “sci-tech”). "

More at link above.


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ShortFormContent at Blogger: Corruption of Science

ShortFormContent at Blogger: Corruption of Science: "Peirce himself was often vociferous about the immense gap between the ideal of genuine science and the professional (profitable) practice which he called “Art”, which in our current vernacular is called “technology” and usually conflated with “science” (as in your own term “sci-tech”). "

More at link above.

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Understanding the Book of Job May Be The Key

Original Biblical Songs: Job Song Sequence Demo Part One:

Understanding the Book of Job may be the key to comprehending Jesus' use of the shockingly familiar term Abba to refer to G-d. The deity in Job emerges as very close to the deity who confronted Moses in the wilderness and spoke out of a burning bush. This deity does not reveal his name. He or she is who he or she is. I am I. We presume when we use any name to refer to this reality. By using Abba, Jesus reduced to the level of simple absurdity any actual effort to grasp the awesome totality. But all these imperfect meanings of the deity aim at a single suggestion - that we are to regard the totality of what is with a measure of humility and that we are to understand that our proper location in it as that of joyful recipients of awareness - mediated by the likes of Moses' encounter with the bush, Job's encounter in the epiphany and the entire corpus of Jesus' instructions to us as to how we are to live and understand things, minus the ecclesio-creedal overlay.

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One Minute Christian Grass Roots Brass Tacks

One Minute Christian:

"The:01 points to our own time when more and more persons realize that transformation is the essence of life and growth in knowledge and goodness is the aim of all existence.

Anyone willing to learn these simple truths can become a One Minute Christian."

'via Blog this'

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In Yemen We Want A License to Kill and a Democratic Revolution

After Anwar Al-Awlaki Hit, U.S. Full Of New Praise For Yemen's Embattled Government:

This is our apparent global policy. And we are no longer the policeman of the world?

'via Blog this'

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Wait until the pipeline is going full tilt.

Noxious Oil: "Wait until the pipeline is going full tilt. We are building tar ball world unless the President repents all oil allegiance."

I am waiting for tar balls to appear on the banks of the rivers of the great central plains. When we clear away the dross the oil moguls simply concede that we will indeed be moving beyond fossil fuels someday, but that this does not obviate the need to keep on doing the oil, road, car retro thing until all profit has been wrung from its shriveling body. The answer to this is the cyber-community and the cyber-world, a conception that environmentalists have not even blinked at yet.

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But whatever did happen to the horse?

The Turin Horse (2011) - IMDb: "1889. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed the whipping of a horse while traveling in Turin, Italy. He tossed his arms around the horse's neck to protect it then collapsed to the ground. In less than one month, Nietzsche would be diagnosed with a serious mental illness that would make him bed-ridden and speechless for the next eleven years until his death. But whatever did happen to the horse?"

Yes, well we can ask about the horse no doubt. But the question also persists. What happened to Nietzsche? The words in the sentence above are accurate but unsatisfactory as they apply to Nietzsche. What is a serious mental illness? Bed-ridden? Speechless? The man had just completed the forst of vive intended works aimed at revaluing the values that had been willed by people since forever. I can infer that this task alone, given his own false starts, would have induced terminal speechlessness even in a lesser soul. But I am not sure he was as comatose as his keepers would suggest. Were I to do a sequel I would focus on Neitzsche. My test for such a sequel would be my book Abba's Way which is a gloss on Nietzsche's Zarathustra. (If I remember correctly, he was living in Turin, though he was indeed a traveler, a nomad of the universe.)


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The Sensible Economy Brigade

The Slow as Molasses Press