Friday, May 18, 2012

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Nick Hanauer, Seattle venture capitalist on actual 'job creators'

Cultural 'cuisine'

It was a photograph in Newsweek Magazine, a picture of a dead shark that had drowned because its fins had been cut off and then thrown back into the ocean. Shark fins are considered a delicacy among many people in Asia. Some shark species are being driven to extinction.

Whether it's the butchering of dolphins, whales, tigers, the overfishing of Blue Tuna, the simple human sickness of shooting the endangered rhinoceros or, closer to my home, the ceaseless, mindless slaughter of wolves in America, it's often referred to by its defenders as cultural cuisine.

In Asia this usually means food. “We've been doing this for 500 years.” But cultural cuisine also refers to the junk food we stuff into our minds without thinking much about it … or deliberately avoid thinking about.

No stinkin' abyss for me

In the United States it does matter what kind of society we create, not just for us Americans, but the world in general. At the moment there is no shining city or cities on the hill to step into the vacuum. In fact, the alternatives are fairly grim. We're going to have to get beyond fairly soon the nonsense about the market always knows what's best, the wonders of the global economy or we're going to have to squeeze you into serfdom in order to make you well.

Yeah, so what do we do?

What we do is begin creating those resilient communities throughout America. It could be on a regional basis, city wide, but most likely neighborhood by neighborhood. Yes, small is oftentimes beautiful and appropriate technologies are getting better and better, whether it might be for example solar and wind energy, hydroponics, local food production, 3DPrinting, local currencies and so forth. There is now a wealth of information available and people and communities who have already embarked on this new venture across the globe. The first requirement is to stop saying I don't know what to do.

This is most definitely not about some survivalists mumbling to themselves in a cave while fondling their guns. This is about building open communities that can stand on their own and encourage participation, innovation, growth and cooperation. If it ends up being about mumbling survivalists then we've failed.

William Black explains the basics of “Crony Capitalism”

Additional reading:

Don't Mess withMassachusetts (think about what this means in general for your well being)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Thinking about 'what if'

These people, the .01 percent, are mostly childish idiots.

(Alex Pareeme, writer)

Will work for food

Of course it's ultimately going to be about “jobs” in the 2012 American elections, in the European austerity crisis, watching for unrest in China and the whole world festering....

But who among us will figure out how to tie jobs to something much larger, something that will actually resonate? That would be the real Nobel Prize for Peace.

Leonard Cohen

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Picking a reality that's best for you

Capitalism is probably the first instance of a cult that creates guilt, not atonement.

(Walter Benjamin, German essayist, 1892-1940)

Super PACs may be bad for America, but they're … good for CBS.

(Les Moonves, president of CBS)

We'll show them

We Americans got good and mad just before the 2010 mid-term elections. After all, it had been two years since the global economic collapse in 2008 and life had not returned to “normal.”

Well, we got up from the couch, turned off the TV and voted da bums out, in congressional and state elections. In 2010 the bums happened to be the Democrats. We then turned the TV back on and collapsed back on the couch after our hard work.

The only problem was that we neglected to read the second chapter on how to be good citizens. That's the part that tells you about being somewhat informed, knowing something about the issues and having an inkling about the candidates who promise you they can of course do a better job than the persons currently holding the office. We are now paying a very big price for our intellectual sloth.

Facts and other assorted irritants

Mitt Romney, the likely Republican candidate for president, criticized President Obama the other day on the anemic monthly job creation report—and the report was weak. Romney claimed that we should be creating 500,000 jobs per month! Hm-m. Of course, we haven't had that sort of monthly performance in 30 years but … does anyone know that?

In Who Are the OtherAmericans Now? we once again learn that there are a lot of “poor” Americans and the numbers are growing but, here again, some people point out that “80 percent” of poor people have air conditioning in America. For some apparently this raises the question of how poor the poor really are. What is the sound of one hand clapping?

The economist Joseph Stiglitz says Politics Is at the Root of the Problem and suggests that some of the change will have to come from the street. How will the facts effect the outcome? How will the street affect the change?

Perhaps what we really need is a wantologist to help us get in touch with our correct personal reality. The only requirement is the cash to pay for the service. See below: The Outsourced Life.

Foreigners to the rescue?

Nope, not going to happen. For the time being we're stuck with figuring it out ourselves or at least doing the bulk of the repair work. That new world order is a good ways off. Pepe Escobar has an interesting article entitled A history of the world, BRIC by BRIC (see below). The predator classes in these countries are as ignorant, greedy, shortsighted and misguided as any in the old world order. Their reality could leave us all with a very unpleasant world.

So on to the streets but with a lot less banging of the drums and a much better plan for concrete action.

The art of bloodletting

Additional reading:

Self-made men, debunked (of course you didn't make it all by yourself)

Gadgetopia: Chasing After AnElusive Dream (reason for sharing the wealth of productivity)

The real job creators (no it's not clueless billionaires shuffling money around)