Friday, April 30, 2010

Drill Baby, Spill?

It was almost 30 years ago that Ronald Reagan was elected POTUS, and thus was birthed the United Corporate States of America. In 1986 he took the highly symbolic step of removing the solar panels from the White House roof.  His presidency solidified the supremacy of the oil powers, and set us firmly on the path toward 9/11, and the wars Afghanistan, and Iraq. The massive environment disaster in the gulf coast is the outward manifestation of the blackness that has shadowed us ever since.
Long live The Corporation!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

They can't adjust their "schema".

The book I discussed in an earlier post - Deep Survival- is an analysis of how we form mental models or maps of our environment. These mental models are known as  schemas - and our schema determines how we respond to events. The definition of a conservative is one who is uncomfortable with change, unable to modify his/her schema. We certainly saw that last night when the Republicans, again acting like a nest of robot ants, voted in a solid block to obstruct reform of our financial system. Their pattern of sticking solidly together and blocking any victories for Democrats has worked very well to keep them in power in the past. But it has nearly destroyed our country in the process. No Republican so far has had the guts to defy the herd leaders, and work for the good of the country. Too bad. This particular schema will either destroy the Republican party, or the American culture. I hope it's not our culture that goes down in flames.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Drill nowhere - build solar collectors instead

Among the many many compelling reasons we MUST  break our addiction to fossil fuels, is the inescapable fact that offshore rigs and coal mines are highly vulnerable to the kind of disasters we have seen this month. When people talk about developing our own resources, they don't seem to be aware that "our own" resources will be sold on the open market, and may very well go to benefit the Chinese, rather than Americans. The so-called conservatives have not said anything about nationalizing our oil or coal reserves, so far as I can tell. So we pay the costs in lives, and the environmental costs of cleaning up or living with the pollution.  Tax payers subsidize the oil companies and coal companies; the irreplaceable resources go to the highest bidders; the energy companies get richer and richer, and the SOB's don't even bother to throw us the loose change from their pockets for a tip.

OK Tea baggers - This ought to get you riled up good.

How about this new bill that gives the police the power to take you to jail if you are not dressed "appropriately"? According to this Arizona bill - SB1070 - any police officer can arrest anyone at anytime without a warrant if that officer thinks you might be in the country illegally. Representative Bilbray says that police can tell if someone is illegal by the way they dress.  It is now a crime to be poor or to have a different taste in clothes in Arizona.  This bill also  makes it illegal for you to stop your car and pick up someone on the street to work for you. Talk about yer big government nanny state. I can't wait to hear the uproar from the libertarian tea party side about how this law infringes our civil liberties. 

Friday, April 23, 2010

Climate change that threatens civilization isn't enough to worry you?

So we are going to run out of oil anyway. What kind of idiot will dispute that non-renewable resources are in fact limited? I did hear some fruitcake claim that there is an oil machine under the Earth surface magically pumping out fresh oil from..... some magic cook pot? It wasn't clear from his discourse.
So are we determined to destroy the environment before civilization crashes from energy starvation? Or maybe we could start RIGHT NOW to seriously make alternate renewables our FIRST priority.
Hey, a blade of grass can do it. Why can't we?

Oligarchy, I knew it.

Well, the evidence is just piling up. We voted Obama in so he could disarm the titans and now we are waiting to see if he can pull it off. 90%  tax rate on those SOB's should do it. It worked great for Eisenhower.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our mental maps of reality

I have been reading two books by Laurence Gonzales. He wrote the books Deep Survival and Everyday Survival. The underlying question he asks is  why can some people survive devastating disasters while others fold and die under relatively benign circumstances.His idea is that, we don't experience reality directly. We get sensory information coming in from our surroundings and from this the brain constructs a mental image or map of what is going on around us. When we fail to alter our mental map, when we fail to pay close attention to the changes in incoming information, we get in trouble. If you think about it, we often see what we expect to see, rather than what is actually around us. Check out this website and see how aware you are.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The slimy Newt is back!

Back in the mid 90's when Newt was full speed on course to take over the country and create his permanent ruling class, he wrote a famous (infamous) memo detailing how his operatives should use propaganda to manipulate the mindless masses. It appears he is back in the game. His latest slogan is the Secular Socialist Machine, designed to generate fear and loathing toward the Radical Left. Ooooooh..... watch out for the boogy men - those radical leftists! Repeat the slogan, and don't think about whether  it means anything. It's a slogan. An advertising jingle.  Secular Socialist Machine. It really has a ring to it, no? Almost hypnotizing......

When the rich get too rich...

I remember vividly the scene in Pearl Buck's book The Good Earth. The desperate poor are struggling to survive in the city, where enormous wealth co-exists with starving multitudes. An elderly woman counsels the others, saying to wait. She has seen this before. When the rich get too rich, there will come a way. Soon thereafter happens the revolution and the uprising she had predicted.
The economic disparities we see in the US now are dangerous to stability and to democracy. The founding fathers well knew how hereditary ruling classes become corrupt and incompetent. Thomas Pain wrote his pamphlet  Agrarian Justice and proposed the inheritance tax as a way to compensate the working class for their labors, and to equalize the distribution of wealth.
This current situation threatens us all.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Is anyone surprised?

The Bush administration knew that many of the detainees who were (still are?) being held at Guantanamo prison camp were innocent of any offense. These people were tortured no doubt? Because the Bush administration needed some evidence to justify their imprisonment? Where were all of those staunch supporters of the constitution when this horror was going on? Where was the outcry? Now the tea partiers are whining about paying taxes, and government takeover of health care (but keep your government hands off my medicare!). Random imprisonment and torture is not so bad, I guess.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The man has class.

Anna Post, who is the great-great granddaughter of Emily Post, the icon of manners and taste, gives our current president high marks for good manners. How nice that the person who represents the United States of America is someone we can take pride in. For a change.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Surprise, anyone surprised?

ExxonMobil (XOM) holds billions of dollars invested in overseas tax shelters. This is the company that earned record  profits year after year after year during the Bush administration. And they begrudge us a few crumbs from their table.
Shame on them and shame on us for not fighting our addiction to  their drug. 

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

This kind of answers the question

We see all these sex abuse scandals that are  going on, and evidently have gone on for centuries or more. We see the absurdity of a group of old white men with no families or (acknowledged) children telling millions of people how to conduct their sex lives and reproduction. Even as far back as Martin Luther, the corruption and decay of the institution was clear, clear enough to inspire the Protestant revolution. Yet still the Catholic church commands enough power to remain a state unto itself, immune from normal laws and expectations, and unquestioned as to its value in our world. ( Well, I question it, but evidently no one else does. Why is the Pope such a good man, anyway? What has he ever done to improve life for humans on Earth?)

So this lady has a kind of answer to that puzzle, anyway.

Monday, April 5, 2010

God is clearly on the Democrat's side

From Fox "News" comes this headline

McCain Aide: Palin Thought Candidacy Was 'God's Plan'

So why did God hate McCain so much? 

Deliver us from evil

I watched this documentary last night. It was made in 2006, but the topic is even more in the news now. It's an exposé of the Catholic church as an empire of corrupt evil old men, who either  condone or directly participate in the almost ritual abuse of power. The  structure of the church discourages the normal healthy attachments that keep humans sane. The concept of celibacy, as unnatural as it is, serves to concentrate wealth within the empire. These are strange old creepy men, dressed up in gilded bejeweled robes, chanting and performing strange rituals. Why do people keep giving them money, and the power they seem to command?

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter - a pagan celebration

Rabbits and eggs are the classic emblems of sex and fertility. Even the word "Easter" comes from the same root as oestrus, meaning frenzied passion. It coincides with the arrival of springtime,  mating season, flowers, and other sexy things.

Gotta love it.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

How are they going to try and spin this?

So a graph of the latest figures for jobs creation is dubbed the bikini graph.  The last year that the government was in the inept hands of the neocons, Bush, Cheney, et al, America was falling off a cliff as far in terms of jobs losses. Within weeks of Obama taking office and beginning to govern,  the terrible momentum is arrested and within months, the turnaround begins.

War is a Racket- always has been and still is

All the so-called conservatives  are screaming, throwing bricks, and peeing in their pants about the cost of the health care bill. Why are they so quiet about the 16 billion plus dollars going down the toilet every month to send our children halfway across the planet in order to kill people they don't know?
Maybe because someone is making some big money off these wars? Major General Smedley Butler was one of only 19 people to win the congressional medal of honor - twice.  He told us over 76 years ago that war is waged by the poor for the benefit of the rich. When will we stop being suckered by the cynical crooks who play on fear and patriotism to feather their nests? War is a Racket. Read it. It's as true now as it was then.

8 million dollars is not enough!

WellPoint hikes CEO's pay package -

They have stopped even trying to hide their rapaciousness. They are not even pretending to be anything besides corporate pirates, going to any lengths to steal as much as they can before the house of cards falls in on them.