Tag Archives: environment

Politics and the people

I’ve rarely had any enthusiasm for any candidate for federal political office, Democrat or Republican, because I know they have all be bought off by the power elite whose agenda is to dominate and exploit at any cost.

What I have been passionate about is a movement to promote social justice, economic equity, personal freedom, ecological restoration, community empowerment, peaceful relations with all, and human unity.

Surprisingly, in the current Presidential campaign, a candidate has emerged who seems to have the courage and ability to lead the political arm of such a movement. This recent message from Tulsi Gabbard speaks for itself:

This desperate coordinated campaign by the establishment elite and its backers in the corporate media can only mean one thing: They’re afraid of us. Afraid of the clear evidence that our movement is growing stronger every day, our message getting louder and harder to ignore:

The New York Times, CNN, the DNC, Hillary Clinton, her proxies; They’ve shown they’re afraid of our movement to dismantle the for-profit American war machine, to finally make Big Pharma pay for its predatory policies, to decriminalize marijuana and reform our broken criminal justice system, to make polluters pay for the devastation they’ve caused to our planet, our air, our water. 

They’re afraid of a Party reform agenda that will root out the corruption and rot, and re-establish the Democratic Party as the big tent party that looks out for the little guys. The Party that is truly of, by and for the people.

Are you up for it? 

Neither Tulsi nor anyone else can be our “savior.” It is still up to “we the people” to save ourselves, but part of that involves promoting a standard bearer who expresses our needs and desires and will work to implement policies that promote the common good.

Donald Trump promised to do a lot for the people, but has delivered very little. In fact, he has done much to damage us further. While he has made some moves to shift US foreign policy away from endless regime-change wars and covert interventions, his actions have been erratic and mutually-contradictory. His tax policies have increased income and wealth disparities, his energy policies have further damaged the environment and ecological balance, his immigration policies have done nothing to address the root cause of the refugee crisis, his trade policies, while seemingly well-intended, have damaged many American businesses, especially the small and medium sized enterprises he purports to champion.  

We can do better. We need a leader who can unify the people in common cause. I think Tulsi Gabbard is that leader.

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What we can and cannot afford

Can we afford health care for all, free education for all, housing for the homeless, food for the hungry, a decent and efficient national system of transportation, a clean and healthy environment, a fair and equitable distribution of our collective production, and a true democracy in which people decide their own fate and how their money is to be spent? Politicians of all stripes tell us we cannot. “Where will the money come from?” is their plaint whenever such measures are proposed.

But other countries have many of those things. There is a vast number of countries that have free or almost free universal health care, as can be seen in this list. And here is a list of 11 countries that have BOTH free universal health care AND free college. The list includes not only affluent countries like Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, but relatively poor countries such as Greece, Argentina and Brazil.

Anyone who has traveled in western Europe knows that Amtrak is a bad joke compared HSRinChinato the extensive and efficient rail systems in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and elsewhere. China too has much better trains than the U.S. and has been rapidly expanding its transport infrastructure. According to Wikipedia, China already has “the world’s longest high speed rail network” which is “also the most extensively used, with 1.713 billion trips delivered in 2017 bringing the total cumulative number of trips to 7 billion.”

Way back in 2005 I rode from downtown Shanghai to the airport at  Pudong on the maglev train that reached speeds up to 431 kmph (268 mph).

Yet, when President Trump calls for an almost $80 billion increase to the military budget, hardly anyone asks, “where’s the money going to come from?” and the measure easily gains Congressional approval.

Here are the things we cannot afford:

  1. We cannot afford continuation of the Empire with its deployment of military forces around the world and endless overt and covert warfare.
  2. We cannot afford continuation of the interest-based, debt-money regime that forces unnecessary expansion of economic activity and centralizes power and concentrates wealth in the hands of a super elite.
  3. We cannot afford continuation of the environmental destruction and climate change that is caused by the fossil fuel based economy.

The $727 billion U.S. military budget for 2019 dwarfs all other segments and amounts to 61% of all discretionary spending. To trump2019_discpie_unbranded_largeput it in perspective, the U.S. spends many times more on military than any other country. According to the National Priorities Project, the next highest military spender, China, spends only about one third as much on its military.

I have written extensively about the defects inherent in the centrally controlled interest-based, debt-money regime, which is driving the endless expansion of debt that makes economic growth an imperative. See, for example, my article, Money, debt and the end of the growth imperative.

Ultimately, if we do not take appropriate action, nature will decide our fate. See the work of Joseph Tainter and Jared Diamond, starting with this interview of Joseph Tainter by Jim Puplava.

In a future post I will elaborate upon these points, but for now I recommend viewing the recent Jimmy Dore show at https://youtu.be/yHpN7X9iK3o.

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Understanding the “big picture” of change

The past several decades have seen the emergence of diverse movements that seek to address specific problems and provide general improvements to society. Environmentalists have been trying to stop pollution, climate change and resource depletion; civil libertarians seek to stop the abuse of basic human rights and the erosion of democratic institutions; humanitarians are trying to end hunger, disease, and degrading treatment like human trafficking, genital mutilation and genocide, to name a few.  And yet, the juggernaut rolls on, destroying more forests, polluting more water, concentrating more power and wealth in fewer hands. The need for change is obviously becoming more urgent, but why isn’t it happening?

This latest post by Tom Atlee helps to frame both the fundamental problem and broad approaches to transformation. Please give it your careful attention– then take appropriate action.

Surveillance and parasitism harm society’s collective intelligence