We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up

Saturday, March 27, 2010

PPPs - Partnership or Plunder?

by Dexter Whitfield from New Left Project [Britain]. The author lifts the veil from some privatization schemes to reveal the realities of public plunder. He concludes his essay with the following:
The global financial crisis has created a unique opportunity to radically redefine the role of government, the public sector and welfare state. But the political neoliberal consensus has electively limited the debate to the budget deficit and public spending cuts whilst curtailing debate on increasing government revenue. There is little vision or ability to think about the future within the main political parties. 

Jamie Oliver Turns the Spotlight On Our Own Homegrown Heroes

from Civil Eats. 
The series kicks off with Oliver bounding into town like an impudent puppy, tussling with the school cafeteria cooks and shaking his shaggy head in disbelief at the agribiz atrocities they blithely dish up: breakfast pizza; sugary pink milk; dehydrated, chemically “enhanced” mashed potatoes whose reconstitution Oliver likens to the mixing of cement. The “lunch ladies,” as he calls them, stare at him in disbelief when he suggests that they ought to try making meals from scratch using unadulterated, wholesome foods.

An Unaccustomed Truth: American Commander Admits Afghan Atrocities

by Chris Floyd from his blog, Empire Burlesque. He finds in the NY Times a rare and astounding admission by a US General appointed by the Nobel Peace Prize winner.

U.S. Turns a Blind Eye to Opium in Afghan Town

from the NY Times. Another astounding admission reported by this source--the US military protects the illicit drug industry in Afghanistan (just like it does in Columbia, and as it did in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia)! So, is it really a "War on Drugs"? Or is it a "War FOR Drugs" and drug lords? You decide.

Comparing Military Spending

from the Cato Institute. See the data that this libertarian think tank furnishes regarding military expenditures of the US compared with other countries in NATO. Well, after all, it is The US Empire. The Cato Institute, critical of this discrepancy, naively believes that "today’s U.S. military chiefly fights other people’s wars, and builds other people’s nations."

Time out (click on cartoon to enlarge)

CIA report into shoring up Afghan war support in Western Europe

from WikiLeaks. There is a growing concern among the rulers of The Empire that people in Europe are increasingly in opposition to their countries' participation in The Empire's war in Afghanistan/Pakistan. Read this leaked document to find out more.
Western European publics might be better prepared to tolerate a spring and summer of
greater military and civilian casualties if they perceive clear connections between outcomes in Afghanistan and their own priorities. A consistent and iterative strategic communication program across NATO troop contributors that taps into the key concerns of specific Western European audiences could provide a buffer if today’s apathy becomes tomorrow’s opposition to ISAF, giving politicians greater scope to support deployments to Afghanistan.
So, how does the CIA's "comunication program" function? See this and this for starters.

Letters to Jackie, But What About Jack? How to Avoid the Heart of the JFK Assassination

by Russ Baker from Who, What, Why. One of US's best investigative journalists looks at the way mainstream media manages news connected with the JFK assassination.

JPMorgan, Lehman, UBS Named in Bid-Rigging Conspiracy

from Bloomberg. Is your town, country, and state slashing their budget by cutting back on medical and mental health service to the poor, school lunch programs, closing prisons and schools, raising college tuition, laying off teachers, cutting library hours, raising taxes, etc?  Read how some of the financial wizards contributed to the social-economic carnage inflicted on our economy.

Friday, March 26, 2010

'Even War Is Good for Economic Growth'

an interview with Noreena Hertz from Der Spiegel. It surprised me to see this article posted until I realized that the interviewee was only asking for a kinder, gentler form of capitalism--what she calls "cooperative capitalism"--an oxymoron if I've ever heard of one. Still she makes some cogent remarks about the existing economic system.
GDP only measures a small part of economic success. Some really important aspects are ignored. Take sustainability, for example. It's absurd that a country can have high growth rates because it has a lot of polluting industry. The quality of the air, health, progress made by women, child care and social cohesion -- these are all important economic factors. GDP does not show how innovative an economy is. Nor does it show if the products being produced will be successful in the long run or will be out of fashion tomorrow. But, up to now, there has not been a substitute for GDP.

Congress Launches Investigation Into Gas Drilling Practices

from Pro Publica. 
Two of the largest companies involved in natural gas drilling have acknowledged pumping hundreds of thousands of gallons of diesel-based fluids into the ground in the process of hydraulic fracturing [1], raising further concerns that existing state and federal regulations don't adequately protect drinking water from drilling. 

Earthquake and Tsunami in Chile: The Militarization of Natural Disasters

from Americas Program Report. I got a warning from Norton about this site being unsafe. Well, it is not true. But, if you are still worried about a message like this, you may also access this article here
At times of catastrophe, government institutions, public services, and private enterprise often fail. It seems as if there's a general collapse, to a great extent because the spread of the market economy has eaten away at the fabric of social ties. Relationships of trust and proximity—the relationships in small neighborhood shops where workers took food and paid for it at the end of the month—fell apart when big supermarket chains moved in. Communal spaces, plazas, taverns, and neighborhood festivals have been lost to urban speculation and the privatization of everyday life.

Truth Has Fallen and Has Taken Liberty With It

by Paul Craig Roberts from ICH. This former member of the Washington establishment has discovered what happens when one doesn't follow the capitalist party line. I find problems with some of his views, but overall they are on target. He does not seem to understand that capitalism has shifted to a global development rather than merely a national phenomenon. Thus it is no longer "what is good for General Motors is good for America", but rather the new theme for capitalism is "what is good for The Federal Reserve, Goldman-Sachs, Deutsche Bank, etc, is good for capitalists regardless of what country they reside in. Many of them have homes in three or four countries. They are true globalists. Because he did not get on board with this new theme, he has been removed from mainstream media which are owned by, and serve the capitalist ruling classes.

Time out (click on cartoon to enlarge)

(You may need to enlarge it further after clicking on it.)

The Collapse of Journalism/The Journalism of Collapse: New Storytelling and a New Story

by Robert Jensen from Dissident Voice. 
There is considerable attention paid in the United States to the collapse of journalism — both in terms of the demise of the business model for corporate commercial news media, and the evermore superficial, shallow, and senseless content that is inadequate for citizens concerned with self-governance. This collapse is part of larger crises in the political and economic spheres, crises rooted in the incompatibility of democracy and capitalism.

We need a jailout, not just a bailout

by Danny Schechter, originally from Media Channel but carried on Creative-i.
...it’s shady business as usual with more businesses going out of business. And alongside this failure is a growing meltdown for what used to be the middle class and working class.
 Quite reasonably, the public is becoming angrier because jobs are not coming back. And quiet as it is kept, they may not be coming back.

Hundreds of thousands about to lose unemployment benefits

from The Economic Populist. 
There is no stopping it this time.
Last month Senator Jim Bunning created a stir with his stand against extending unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed through borrowing. After a lot of political grandstanding, it ended after a couple days when both sides agreed to a temporary 30-day extension.
The 30-days are almost over and nothing has been accomplished. D-Day is approaching for the unlucky millions of long-term unemployed.

The perfect crime

by Chan Akya from Asia Times Online. The article refers to the rating agencies who have gotten away with "the perfect crime".  And he explains why.
Clearly, what has passed as financial market regulation for the rating agencies has been tempered by the need for the very same governments in the bond markets to continue their borrowings.

In other words, there is a conflict of interest in the US and highly indebted European governments being in charge of reforming the credit rating agencies in the first place, given their own borrowing needs, which would be adversely affected by potential rating downgrades should the demands for "truth" in credit ratings become too onerous or even inflexible. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Pentagon church and the people

by William J. Astore from Asia Times Online. He makes an excellent point when he writes:
When it comes to the United States' military affairs, ignorance is not bliss. What's remarkable then, given the permanent state of war in which we find ourselves, is how many Americans seem content not to know. 
But his metaphor of the Catholic Church is not quite right. The reality is more like this: a hidden capitalist class behind the stage performs a play called, "Constitutional Representative Democracy". They direct the play for the audience of the American people and the world. It is very much like a Hollywood production in that it is filled with political spectacles, intrigue, sex scandals, tension, romance, feel-good stuff, and heroes. If anyone (of significance) in the audience doesn't like, or questions the play, the forces commanded by the Pentagon (also CIA, FBI, police, etc.) move in and remove them, often violently. The Pentagon is simply the goon squad for the capitalist class. And no one dares question the Pentagon.

Obama squeezed between Israel and Iran

by Pepe Escobar from Asia Times Online. More political theater in Washington.
This "crisis" between Tel Aviv and Washington is a non-event. On the other hand, no one knows exactly whatever hardball Obama and Netanyahu played behind closed doors for three-and-a-half hours in Washington. Did Netanyahu "spit into Obama's eye", according to Israeli Labor Party member Eitan Cabel? Or was this was just more kabuki designed to obscure a not-so-silent drive towards an attack on Iran - where once again fresh American blood will be spilled to placate a non-existent "existential threat" to Israel? 

Bolivia Creates a New Opportunity for Climate Talks

from Toward Freedom. 
To advance an agenda based on effective just solutions, Bolivia is therefore hosting a Peoples' Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth on 19-22 April, and inviting everyone to participate. Unlike Copenhagen, there will be no secret discussions behind closed doors. Moreover the debate and proposals will be led by communities on the frontlines of climate change and by organisations and individuals dedicated to tackling the climate crisis.

School lunch boosts mean painful cuts

from the San Francisco Chronicle. If it's the health of US children versus the profits of agribusinesses--guess who wins? On the other hand, there are some positive news in this report.

Obama Democrats VS Tea Party Republicans: A Fake Fight Over Fake Reform

by Bruce A. Dixon from Black Agenda Report. 
The fifteen month running battle between Obama Democrats and tea party Republicans was never much more real than televised professional wrestling. Like the opposing wrestlers, both sides work for the same bosses, for Big Pharma, Big Insurance, and the biggest medical providers. 

Time out (c;lick on cartoon to englarge)

And you may need to use "ctrl" and "+" to enlarge further.

The Logic of Abundance

by John Michael Greer from his blog, The Archdruid Report. 

I am only posting this article because it is a very good representative example of the current thinking of mainstream environmentalists. It presents many accurate observations about the consequences and possible solutions to energy decline, but the core problem with dealing with this issue is obscured by assigning the basic problem to "the logic of abundance". This is like saying that a person's discomfort is caused by a headache when, in fact, the person has a headache because there is a tumor growing in his brain. Thus the prescribed treatment is aspirin instead of surgery. 

To move from metaphor to reality, the problem with a so-called belief in the "logic of abundance" is due to the denial of capitalists that energy sources are declining. They are forced to deny reality because of their addiction to profits which depend upon an economic system that requires ever greater amounts of energy. The fact that intelligent people like Greer cannot identify this 800 pound gorilla in the room is puzzling to me. Is it because the security of their careers require it, they are just myopic, or what?

As Glaciers Melt, Bolivia Fights for the Good Life

from Yes! website. Contrast this article with the one above.
The concept of vivir bien (live well) defines the current climate change movement in Bolivia. The concept is usually contrasted with the capitalist entreaty to vivir mejor (live better). Proponents argue that living well means having all basic needs met while existing in harmony with the natural world; living better seeks to constantly amass materials goods at the expense of the environment.

Russian official mocks NATO concern for Afghan poppy growers

from Ria Novosti (Russia).
...NATO spokesman James Apparthurai announced today that the alliance cannot allow a situation where people in one of the world's poorest nations are left without means of livelihood and receive no compensation.
Such concern seems ironic in view of the fact that there has never been any concern expressed by The Empire about the coca farmers' welfare in South America.
Afghan drug production increased dramatically after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the Taliban in 2001, and Russia has been one of the most affected countries, with heroin consumption rising steeply. An estimated 90% of heroin consumed in Russia is trafficked from Afghanistan via Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
It is my recollection that heroin production was banned under the Taliban before the US/NATO invasion.

UN Human Rights Council slams Israel in 4 resolutions

from UN Watch. You never see reports like this--one of many-- in US mainstream media.

Pissing away them Kokopelli blues

by Joe Bageant from his blog. At the Cantina Tolteca in Mexico, this retired journalist reports on his visions and musings concerning the state of human life under capitalism .

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Flogging the Scientists (9:43m video)

from Ecosocialism. A critical look at some of the recent disinformation efforts by mainstream media re scientific findings regarding climate change.

Are Americans Giving Up On The Environment?

from Mother Jones.
A survey released yesterday shows just 34 percent of the public is worried  a "great deal" about the environment, down from 40 percent the year before. Meanwhile, a poll published today reveals Americans are less troubled about pollution, global warming, deforestation, and animal and plant extinction than at any point in the past 20 years.

Zionism’s dark forces don’t want the lights on

by Alan Hart from his blog. He is a former ITN and BBC Panorama foreign correspondent and has specialized in Middle East affairs. He is author of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews.

Debt Dynamite Dominoes: The Coming Financial Catastrophe

by Andrew Gavin Marshall from Global Research. I have my doubts about posting this article in that I'm not sure of its net effects. The author presents a vast amount of well documented information regarding the growth of neo-liberalism, its various disasters, the growing fascist-like management of dissent and opposition by the financial elites who run this system, etc--all of which is true, but I am concerned that he mostly contributes to an overwhelming and immobilizing fear. He leaves only "hope" at the end of this piece. 

It is worthwhile in that it provides perspective and urgency about opposing the further development of this neo-liberal totalitarianism, but no tools to stop it. I think that most of us on the left have already a fair understanding of the dire situation. What we need are ideas to show us the way out. Such ideas have been presented by the exponents of Inclusive Democracy and The Simpler Way, but these need much further development.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Lies, Damn Lies, and the Media

by David Swanson from After Downing Street. I think that this is a very important article in emphasizing the critical need for a citizen's independent media. IMO, that critical need has existed for the last 40 years. Little progress can be made for the people against the juggernaut of corporate capitalism until we turn off the corporate boob tubes in all its forms and establish our own media. We also need to take over public education or establish our own educational institutions.
We need independent media. Is that not yet crystal clear? The strongest grassroots community organization in the country, ACORN, has been swatted away like a fly through the endless airing of fraudulent, badly edited, and irrelevant, but salacious video clips. Elected officials or electoral candidates succeed or fail at the whim of the media cartel. And the biggest lies of all are buried so deeply beneath the hot news stories that they're almost impossible to see. Does or does not Iran possess nuclear weapons? That question hides the insidious assumption that if a nation possesses nuclear weapons, then our nation can and should launch an illegal war of aggression against it. Or at least our nation should have a debate over how best to take action against our "enemy," a debate that will represent us all because it will include two political parties.

This is the biggest lie of them all: the system works. Vote for this corporatist war party or that warmongering corporate party, and you will have played your role well. The system works.

What's Up with Rahm?

by Carl Bloyce from Black Commentator. Access requires registration, but they provide a quick and easy free 10 day registration. 

This article provides more detail on Emanuel Rahm, Obama's influential Chief of Staff.  As I see it, Obama was carefully vetted by the ruling class to head up their government. Rahm looks like his chief handler. This is the way "democracy" works in the US (and many other places).
King could have cautioned Obama, who got elected largely because he opposed the war in Iraq, that there might be problems giving so much power to Emanuel who supported the invasion and occupation. Observers were so enamored with the idea of Obama putting together a “team of rivals” that they failed to note that Emanuel’s views on the conflict in the Middle East are quite contrary to Obama’s Cairo speech about reaching out to the Islamic world.

Overlooked was the fact that the President, so broadly supported by people working to end the war in Iraq, was placing at his right hand someone who had worked quite hard to undercut peace sentiment inside the Democratic Party.
Obama did not give any power to Rahm. The latter is there to manage Obama. As progressives, we must stop looking at politics and power through the lens of conventional capitalist democratic concepts. Stop thinking about Washington politics in terms of the two capitalist parties. There are differences, but only negligible ones largely over tactics. Note that Obama's health plan, an anemic one at best, was completely stalled until he went to the primary governing board of the capitalist class--the Business Roundtable and pleaded with them. See this, this, and the other articles from the series by David DeGraw.

More on those "neutralized" special interests

by Glenn Greenwald from Salon.
...corporate control of the Government is one of the most serious problems, if not the single most serious problem, the nation faces.

Inspector General Blasts USDA’s Lax Oversight of Organic Laws

from Politics of the Plate. 
That faint, “We told you so” ringing in your ears might be coming from the folks at the Cornucopia Institute, the Wisconsin-based watchdog group that has being complaining for years that the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) enforcement of federal organic laws was, to put it kindly, pathetic, clearly favoring industrial operations who bent (or broke) every rule they could to out-compete small, conscientious farmers who hewed to the letter and spirit of organic policy.

Underemployment Hits 20% in Mid-March

from Gallup website. Many workers are only able to find part-time employment.
It is also often suggested that a growth in part-time jobs may indicate future growth in full-time work -- that companies hire part-time workers before committing to hiring new full-time employees. While this is sometimes the case, it may not be so at this point in the U.S. economy: Gallup data show that one in three part-time employees who are wanting full-time work are currently "hopeful" about finding a full-time job in the next 30 days -- not much of an endorsement of the idea that today's new part-time work will progress to full-time jobs.

Are Americans Too Broken by Corporate Power to Resist?

from Alter Net. "The following is the transcript of a recent interview with Bruce E. Levine by OpEd News' Joan Brunwasser. Levine is a clinical psychologist and author of Surviving America’s Depression Epidemic: How to Find Morale, Energy, and Community in a World Gone Crazy"

Over half your news is spin

from Crikey (Australia). I have not read the full report, but the source seems solid. And, it mirrors my own impressions of US mainstream media. This is one of the primary means that the ruling class uses to "manage consent."
...after analysing a five-day working week in the media, across 10 hard-copy papers, ACIJ and Crikey found that nearly 55% of stories analysed were driven by some form of public relations. 

Secrets of the Tea Party

from In These Times. The author explores several contradictions in the background of one of their leading organizers--Dick Armey.

Armey was employed as a lobbyist by leading international “consulting firm” DLA Piper. In that capacity, from 2005 to 2009, Armey promoted the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, otherwise known as Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which the State Department has branded a terrorist group. Armey lobbied his former colleagues on behalf of legislation that would have provided taxpayer support to the MEK.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Climate Crisis or the Crisis of Climate Politics?

from Institute for Anarchist Studies. This is a particularly important paper presented by two PhD candidates at the U. of Leeds. Both have a long involvement with ecological and social struggles. I copied and pasted it onto Word, enlarged the print and printed it.
This apolitical space means groups such as the Camp for Climate Action have failed to find the antagonism they need in order to develop a fully anti-capitalist perspective, and as the UK Anarchist Federation state, “there is a very real danger of the Climate Camp being turned from a genuine movement for social change into a lobbying tool for state reform.” As capital restructures itself around so-called “green” policies, the emerging climate movement risks unwittingly bolstering this restructuring, ushering in a form of “green capitalism.”

An attack on health care in the guise of reform

from World Socialist Web Site. I hadn't heard before that there were cuts to Medicare in the bill. I usually find this source reliable.
The main features of the bill include hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare, and the requirement that individuals and families obtain insurance or pay a fine, thus providing a new influx of cash-paying customers for private insurance companies. Businesses are under no obligation to provide their workers with insurance, paying only minimal fines if they do not.
Also, on the same subject an article by Chris Hedges: The Health Care Hindenburg Has Landed
Another source provides a summary sheet of changes, from FDL Action: Fact Sheet: The Truth About the Health Care Bill

Blair's fight to keep his oil cash secret

from Mail Online (UK). Or, why political leaders in capitalist societies become war criminals.
News of the secret deals fuelled fresh accusations that Mr Blair is 'cashing in on his contacts' from the controversial Iraq war in what one MP called 'revolving door politics at its worst'.

They will increase concerns that Mr Blair is using his role as the West's Middle East envoy for personal gain.

The revelations also shed fresh light on his astonishing earnings, which include lucrative after-dinner speaking, consultancies with banks and foreign governments, a generous advance for his forthcoming memoirs, as well as the pension and other perks he enjoys as a former Prime Minister.

Greece: The Curse of Three Generations of Papandreous

by James Petras from Dissident Voice. The author provides excellent historical background on Western ties to Greece starting from the end of WWII.
The political history of the Papandreou family is a Greek tragic-farce; the tragedy of a people who fought the good fight again the Nazis and their collaborators only to be savaged by the rising new Anglo-American rulers. 

To Rob a Country, Own a Bank, Pts 1-4 (videos)

by William Black. I posted Part 1 on Friday, but here are all the segments of the interview which average around 10 minutes each. William K. Black teaches economics and law at the University of Missouri — Kansas City. He was the Executive Director of the Institute for Fraud Prevention from 2005-2007.

A spy unsettles US-India ties

by M K Bhadrakumar from Asia Times Online. Once again the CIA is deeply implicated in terrorism and other sordid activities.

Fractional Fictional Reserve Banking

from Washington's Blog. Some insights about fractional reserve banking and the fact that is largely doesn't exist anymore because the financiers have discovered Uncle Sam, the sugar daddy.

Timeout (click on cartoon to enlarge)

Tipping Point: Near-Term Systemic Implications of a Peak in Global Oil Production - Part 1 - Summary

This summary of a report by two organizations was posted on The Oil Drum by Gail Tvrberg. 
We have passed or are close to passing the peak of global oil production. Our civilisation is structurally unstable to an energy withdrawal. There is a high probability that our integrated and globalised civilisation is on the cusp of a fast and near-term collapse.

So What Passes for Food These Days?

by Olga Bonfiglio from Energy Bulletin. She provides an excellent, concise summary of the not-well-known facts about most of the food people eat that is produced by a few agribusiness giants.

The Supreme Court's "Make Believe Law"

by Prof John Kozy from Global Research. The author cuts through the mystique of the US Supreme Court to reveal the rule of law for what, in my opinion, it is in the US--a part of the elaborate stage show called the US Government which distracts us from the realities of naked class domination by the owners of an economy that is produced by the sweat and creativity of working people. The author provides some essential lessons about this institution that were likely missing from your school curricula, i.e., your educational indoctrination. 

High-stakes Eurasian Chess Game: Russia’s New Geopolitical Energy Calculus

by F. William Engdahl from Global Research. I think few people have as good a grasp on international power politics as does this author.
US attempts at the military encirclement of Russia included not only the Rose and Orange Revolutions in 2003 and 2004, but also the highly provocative Pentagon missile ‘defense’ policy of placing US-controlled (not NATO-controlled) missiles in key former Warsaw Pact countries on Russia’s direct perimeter. As a result, Moscow has developed a remarkable and complex energy pipeline strategy to undercut a clearly hostile US military strategy that has used NATO encirclement, missile deployments, and ‘color revolutions,’ including the attempted destabilization of Iran during summer 2009 with a ‘Green Revolution’ or what Hillary Clinton flippantly dubbed the ‘Twitter Revolution.’ All of these US moves have attempted to isolate Russia and weaken her potential strategic allies across Eurasia. 

The Anti-Venezuela Election Campaign

by Mike Weisbrot from the Guardian.
In Washington DC, if I try to broadcast on an FM radio frequency without a legal broadcast licence, I will be shut down. When this happens in Venezuela, it is reported as censorship. No one here will bother to look at the legalities or the details, least of all the pundits and editorial writers, or even many of the reporters.

Euro not for Europe's Poor

from IPS news service. 
"It is not Greece that is suffering but the Greek working people, the people who are always at the bottom of the pile," he told IPS. "If you want to have a reduction of the deficit, the first thing to do should not be to hit the most vulnerable parts of society, the low-paid civil servants and the working class. You should hit big capital, the people who profited out of the extreme neo- liberal organisation of the markets."

With cheap food imports, Haiti can't feed itself

from the Washington Post. Hillary Clinton apologizes for her support of neo-liberal policies that have devastated Haiti's agriculture!
Decades of inexpensive imports - especially rice from the U.S. - punctuated with abundant aid in various crises have destroyed local agriculture and left impoverished countries such as Haiti unable to feed themselves.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Politics and Peak Energy

from The Oil Drum.  This website features lively discussions on energy related issues by, in most cases, highly trained people in the technical sciences. Their expertise in these sciences informs the discussion in valuable ways, but it is clear that energy related problems are also related to political matters. Unfortunately their understanding of fundamental political issues is informed by the same conventional understanding of political affairs that has indoctrinated most of the American population through the educational system and mainstream media. Thus one finds statements like these:
  • Our only hope for a drastic course correction is to support grass-roots movements to elect leaders who clearly understand energy and the growing tension between an economic system based on continued growth (especially population) and declining energy.
  • For me the answer is...find a new no-growth economic paradigm. 
Such comments are made very casually and suggest that someday we should be offered the choice to vote for "leaders who clearly understand...the growing tension between an economic system base on continued growth...and declining energy" or we will be able to vote to change the "economic paradigm".

Operation Enduring Occupation

by Dahr Jamail from his blog. Jamail provides a survey of analysts' opinions regarding the publicly announced withdrawals of US troops from Iraq, and how government and media deception will manage the minds of the American public.