The Death of the Fringe Suburb - NYTimes.com: "By now, nearly five years after the housing crash, most Americans understand that a mortgage meltdown was the catalyst for the Great Recession, facilitated by underregulation of finance and reckless risk-taking. Less understood is the divergence between center cities and inner-ring suburbs on one hand, and the suburban fringe on the other.
It was predominantly the collapse of the car-dependent suburban fringe that caused the mortgage collapse."
"Abandonment also implies a giving up of one's life for another. It suggests the spirit of Jesus' request that we take no thought for the morrow. It means a giving up of one's self to a task, a pursuit, a goal. Understood in this way, abandonment has two strategic implications. "
"Adam felt like a double outlaw and very alone. He needed to get out of the apartment before anyone came in, so he could at least mimic having spent a day at school. He had no idea whether his exit with no excuse would have repercussions. Or if he could or would return tomorrow.
He hustled to the elevator and rode down with Carl who had the good grace to treat his truancy as normal and ask no questions."
Looking at the ’Big Picture’ by Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com: "While this is really a subject for another column, by way of warning I have to say it isn’t just the same old neoconservative gang of intellectual hoodlums and dubious "scholars" who are trying to pull this one off. As the war cries get louder, you’ll see the "liberal" hawks take wing once again, flying in perfect formation with their neoconservative cousins, the whole flock cawing and shrieking like vultures over a battlefield."
Even if this is overblown it argues for a massive effort of Occupy-oriented folk to ensure that the hawks are kept in their GOP cage and to make that cage as constricted as possible. I do not think war is prevented by arguing that liberals are as bellicose as conservatives. To the extent it is true it must be changed.
Looking at the ’Big Picture’ by Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com: "As disastrous and destructive as such a war would be for ordinary citizens, such a course would benefit the ruling elite in this country in innumerable ways. The "unity" our political leaders and their court intellectuals find so sadly lacking in their subjects would return with the first bombing raids, as both parties join hands and march down the road to war. What an inspiring sight it will be, as the wartime "emergency" breaks Washington’s infamous "gridlock" and brings about a sudden Grand Compromise consisting of higher taxes and draconian cuts in "social services" – with no concomitant cuts in the military, naturally."
What this declension ignores is what we can call the Pinker reality, the reason why most Americans have no interest in the continuation of our ground war efforts. The economic constraints and an enlivened democratic public opinion should serve to modify if not stop entirely a march toward what we can also call with some certainty another McCain War. It may be the great contribution of two disastrous wars based on neo-con premises that they were sufficiently horrendous to forestall a third.
Looking at the ’Big Picture’ by Justin Raimondo -- Antiwar.com: "More recently, the neoconservatives have merged Teddy’s bombast and Wilson’s hubris to create a monstrous hybrid that combines all the worst impulses in American intellectual life: in foreign affairs, this amounts to a messianic militarism that openly proclaims "global hegemony" as the proper goal of American foreign policy. I would argue that this reflects the origins of neoconservatism on the far left and its evolution into a kind of Trotskyism turned inside out, with George W. Bush’s wars fought in the name of a "global democratic revolution" displacing, in their hearts, the old Leninist dream of an international communist revolution."
The distinctive element in the current struggle is hardly the zeitgeist of Bush wars with their shock and awe, macho notions. The distinctive element is the idea of nonviolent change due to the growing resolution of all sorts and conditions of human beings. This is something new under the sun and cannot be easily fit into the scenario suggested in the above paragraph.
Veblen: "No matter which of these books we open, we find the idea that life in a modern industrial community is the result of a polar conflict between 'pecuniary employments' and 'industrial employments', between 'business enterprise' and 'the machine process', between 'vendibility' and 'serviceability'-in short, between making money and making goods. There is a class struggle under capitalism, not between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, but between businessmen and engineers. Pecuniary habits of thought unite bankers, brokers, lawyers and managers in a defence of private acquisition; in contrast, the discipline of the machine unites workers in industry and more especially the technicians and engineers who supervise them."
Clean air, water rules spark different responses - CBS News: "The Associated Press compared the companies' congressional testimony to company reports submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The reports to the SEC consistently said the impact of environmental proposals is unknown or would not cause serious financial harm to a firm's finances."
World changing, civil society advancing - Arab News: "The transformations that have been taking place are set to influence the world. Therefore, changes that have swept the region will contribute to the emergence of a new universal language that can expose hypocrisy. In this volatile world, the statement of the American scholar Paul Kennedy about the emergence of a new international force and the consequent rearrangement of power politics is worth remembering."
Our global democratic revolution is not just a few folk imagining things. It is part of a sweep of history that will dismantle the world we have. It will be described as economic but it is more than that. It is moving us toward the local and toward adaptations of what we have so that the local is renewed. The buses we will take will be different than today's buses, more hospitable, more personalized, and they will ride on interstates increasingly devoid of trucks and automobiles.