That’s right I’m party-free. Oh you didn’t know you could do that? I’m not sure you can in every state but I bet you can. In California all I had to do was write “decline to state” in the political party box.
I think this is an important step for everyone to do, conservative, liberal, or other. It seems like too many of us have taken sides against each other, dividing American citizens into easily controlled groups.
Does that sound crazy, easily controlled groups? Yeah maybe it is, but there are a growing number of us free agents. I just wish there were more true revolutionaries running for office. Who knows maybe if enough of us say enough-is-enough there will be.
I was listening to Kunstler’s podcast (#122) tonight and he gave a fairly good explanation of how parts of the financial world work; including the reality that many financial institutions could be holding toxic assets. The truth is that an asset is only toxic if it brings the show to an end.
Take my mortgage for example. My home’s value has been fairly stable for about a year, bouncing along the bottom. I’ve been hoping it would creep back up and meet me half way so I can refinance or sell. I’m an optimist.
But sadly it just took another downturn. I suspect it’s partially due to the the time of year and all the talk in the media about the possibility of a double-dip recession. Who knows what the cause is, but it definitely gives me a moment of pause but doesn’t change my plan.
I’ll keep paying this mortgage until I can’t. I’ll also keep noodling over low-cost simple housing options and looking for ways to move in the right direction. Tiny houses are great therapy for that.
The other thing I take solace in is that while nobody can predict the future, we can all tell when we’re walking on thin ice if we’re paying attention. So I’ll take each step with care and keep that rope tied tightly to my belt. I might take a dip in the ice-cold water but I’ll always be able to pull myself to shore.
Now I may be the most liberal guy you’ll ever meet, in fact I’m so liberal I don’t listen to the ‘liberals’ because they are usually just as full of propaganda as the conservatives. Instead I make up my own mind based on the facts. So this post may come as a surprise because it sounds the other guys.
This news is coming from the horses mouth too, Obama’s Defense Secretary, Robert M. Gates. He’s asking for the military budget to continue to grow at 1% a year, plus the costs of the war.
PLUS THE COST OF THE WAR!?
Yep, and when you add up the tab it shows that Obama will spend 6.1% more than Bush on the military. I assume this also takes into account news that the Pentagon is shutting down an entire military command (Reuters) in an attempt to ease the concern over increased spending.
So my question is, and now it seems like a good time to ask it again, has America gone insane?
We, the united American people, really need to drop our petty differences and political parties and unite against these greedy bastards and take our democracy back before they totally screw things up.
On a related note, curious to see what’s really happening in Afghanistan? Here’s a little documentary style show from a liberal online TV station. Looks like the Taliban has the ‘good guys’ chasing their tails.
This is really disturbing if this extends to more than one incident. Could BP be pressuring local law enforcement officers to work for them on their behalf?
I have an incredible amount of respect for law enforcement officers and considering the strain they are under already, as budgets get slashed and people laid off, we can’t allow anyone to pressure them into doing their own bidding.
The Brown Shirts were a paramilitary group started by the Nazi party in Germany and used during the 1920s and 1930s to help pressure the public to support the fascist party agenda. If our law enforcement officers are being pressured by BP to act as their private security force while on duty this is far worse than what the fascists did in Europe in the last century.
The original brownshirts were hardcore fascist party members happy to support their evil agendas. I can’t imagine any American law enforcement officer willing to protect BP.
Yeah yikes… on the surface this looks like a good thing, but in fact caters to those who profit from the increasing protecting of intellectual property [source]. Information wants to be free, so these folks stand in the river with their buckets attempting to stop the flood. Now they have Obama et al standing there with them.
What pisses me off more is that now our public tax dollars are being spent trying to stop the inevitable instead of working to protect the lives of regular people.
This would be the ultimate act of democracy and could really help protect our shared energy future. What if Americans took ownership of our natural resources and stopped allowing energy companies to drill for profit? When the U.S. Government (in essence the American public) allows natural resources to be extracted from our soil we are essentially selling these resources to profiteers.
From the look of things, it seems we’re not getting a good deal. Actually it looks like we’re taking it up the proverbial A$$. This is most certainly true when the oil gangsters screw up, like with the Deep Water Horizon catastrophe; but it happens every single day, every time we fill up at the pumps, every time we flip on a light or cell phone.
I’m not suggesting we implement some kind of socialist system. That would fail miserably too due to the same centrally focused power structure models. What we need is decentralization, total transparency, and strategic use of current resources to transition us to a renewable energy future.
I’m suggesting that we DEMAND that our representatives in Washington D.C. get to work, working for the American public and get us a better deal or turn the oil corps into giant non-profits (or something).
In other words, turn the energy companies into small open book businesses with the public’s interest in mind, not some off-shore billionaire stock-holders.
I know I’m grasping at straws and this is just scraping the surface of a potential solution. I guess I’m just sick of seeing the American public being taken for a ride by the Oil Mafia. I’d also like to think that we’re all working together to build a better future for our kids. I know that’s my number one priority.
That’s right my fellow American citizens, our political offices are now officially available to the highest bidder, thanks to the Supreme Court. No need to hide those illegal campaign contributions. Just pour your money in and buy the political offices you want… you’ll just need a few hundred million dollars.
A major ruling Thursday by the U.S. Supreme Court could change how advertisements for presidential and congressional elections are funded, possibly opening the floodgates of money from corporations, unions and other groups.
By a 5-4 vote, the court overturned a 20-year-old ruling that said corporations can be prohibited from using money from their general treasuries to pay for campaign ads. The decision, which almost certainly will also allow labor unions to participate more freely in campaigns, threatens similar limits imposed by 24 states.
I don’t think I’m overreacting when I say that American politics is now officially for sale. We’ve known politicians have been for sale for a long time… that’s not news. What is news is that the highest court in the land just made it legal for huge injections of cash into campaigns. The only ethical guy left in the Supreme Court, Justice John Paul Stevens, seems to agree… although he says it much more eloquently than I.
Strongly disagreeing, Justice John Paul Stevens said in his dissent, “The court’s ruling threatens to undermine the integrity of elected institutions around the nation.”
So now what?
Sounds like Stevens said it all and I really hope this one wakes America up. We must restore integrity to our elected institutions.
News came out this week from the AMA (American Medical Association) that they are taking a fresh look at their position on pot. For the longest time they’ve held the position that marijuana had no medical value. Here’s what they are now saying… which may open the door for research.
I’m not going to hold my breath on this but it seems like a step in the direction of legalization. But I imagine that the large business interests still standing in the way just like heart did back in his day. Below is a funny cartoon describing one opinion on how marijuana prohibition got started in America.
So to answer my own question… I think marijuana will eventually be legalized and regulated but I imagine we’re still a long way from that happening.
The main problem is that commercial hemp in general would present a major competitor to existing large corporate powers. We see this same issue standing in the way of a better health care system and we’ll see it every time competition appears in any space. It’s really too bad that America can’t move forward strategically unless is happens to coincide with the current economic power structures. Who knows maybe the internet and social media will wake the people back up and get the majority off their butts and demand action… but until then I suspect we’re in for more of the same.
The evidence is overwhelming and pollution and the economy are not partisan issues. No matter what personal or political beliefs each of us holds dear we’re forced to face these challenges together. We’re stronger together.
Humanity is consuming natural resources at an increasingly rate. Waste of all kinds is being produced at alarming rates. Pollution is spiraling out of control around the globe as nations require more energy and consume more natural resources to produce more consumer goods. But lets not focus on mother nature for a minute and instead turn to the immediate impact on humanity.
The economic meltdown was triggered by an over-extension of credit at every level. The abundance of credit fueled an artificial increase in the economy, like air filling a balloon. When the balloon popped, banks stopped lending money and corporations began to fail because the margin they had built their business on had disappeared. This collapse triggered repercussions throughout our economy. But all this should go without saying, we all know what happened.
The underlying problem seems to be that the American dream has shifted from real freedom to one built on visible material wealth. Borrowing money has become the norm. Mortgages, auto loans, and credit debt seem perfectly natural today and it’s almost unheard of that someone actually owns their home and is debt free. Over consumption has destroyed freedom through its reliance on debt. The majority essentially live an existence of voluntary indentured servitude simply because there’s no obvious alternative.
The Story of Stuff tells this story and quite clearly shows how consuming at an unsustainable level steals our freedom. The film is not about eliminating commerce but simply encourages us to do a better job of living within our personal and planetary means. By labeling The Story of Stuff propaganda and banning it from your school you are in effect condemning your students to a life of debt, not to mention a world filled with trash and a future full of trouble.
Please reverse your decision and give your students a chance. The Story of Stuff is not propaganda. It is a lesson in protecting freedom and our future.
I saw this CBS video the other day that focused on Obama and the economy. One of the things he said strait-out was that he’s working to avoid total economic collapse and a depression. This is not news of course but to hear him dance around the d-word was a bit of an eye opener. It’s one thing to hear our media talk about it and another to hear him say it.
I hope the work he’s are doing today will actually help us avoid more trouble. But I’d argue that we the people shouldn’t wait for the official announcement of a full-blown depression or our own personal financial demise. We should change our lifestyles today, live frugally, and prepare ourselves for the possibility of harder times. Here are some things you can do right now to prepare:
Always work to improve your personal health.
Buy bulk dry food (beans, rice, grains) and always have a reserve.
Learn to cook creatively with beans and rice.
Learn to bake from scratch.
Switch from coffee to tea, it’s so much cheaper.
Plant a victory garden.
Raise chickens, if your community permits them.
Downsize everything you can.
Sell possession you don’t use or need via craigslist, garage sales, and ebay.
Create additional revenue streams by monetizing hobbies, blogging, etc.
Prepare a worse case scenario plan (job loss, homelessness, etc).
For optimism’s sake lets say we’re not headed for the second great depression. In any event this advice is good advice. By preparing for the possibility of a depression today the worst result is that you’ll be better positioned for the future.
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change that survives.” – Charles Darwin