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This Time We’re Taking the Whole Planet With Us

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Posted on Mar 7, 2011
AP / Mahesh Kumar A.

People collect scraps from a garbage dump in Hyderabad, India.

By Chris Hedges

(Page 2)

Globalization is the modern articulation of the ancient ideology used by past elites to turn citizens into serfs and the natural world into a wasteland for profit. Nothing to these elites is sacred. Human beings and the natural world are exploited until exhaustion or collapse. The elites make no pretense of defending the common good. It is, in short, the defeat of rational thought and the death of humanism. The march toward self-annihilation has already obliterated 90 percent of the large fish in the oceans and wiped out half of the mature tropical forests, the lungs of the planet. At this rate by 2030 only 10 percent of the Earth’s tropical forests will remain. Contaminated water kills 25,000 people every day around the globe, and each year some 20 million children are impaired by malnourishment. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now above the 350 parts per million that most climate scientists warn is the maximum level for sustaining life as we know it. [Editor’s note: The preceding sentence has been revised since this article was first published here.] The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that the measurement could reach 541 to 970 ppm by 2100. At that point huge parts of the planet, beset with overpopulation, droughts, soil erosion, freak storms, massive crop failures and rising sea levels, will be unfit for human existence.

Jared Diamond in his essay “The Last Americans” notes that by the time Hernan Cortés reached the Yucatán, millions of Mayan subjects had vanished.

“Why,” Diamond writes, “did the kings and nobles not recognize and solve these problems? A major reason was that their attention was evidently focused on the short-term concerns of enriching themselves, waging wars, erecting monuments, competing with one another, and extracting enough food from the peasants to support all these activities.”

“Pumping that oil, cutting down those trees, and catching those fish may benefit the elite by bringing them money or prestige and yet be bad for society as a whole (including the children of the elite) in the long run,” Diamond went on. “Maya kings were consumed by immediate concerns for their prestige (requiring more and bigger temples) and their success in the next war (requiring more followers), rather than for the happiness of commoners or of the next generation. Those people with the greatest power to make decisions in our own society today regularly make money from activities that may be bad for society as a whole and for their own children; those decision-makers include Enron executives, many land developers, and advocates of tax cuts for the rich.”

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It was no different on Easter Island. The inhabitants, when they first settled the 64-square-mile island during the fifth century, found abundant fresh water and woods filled with the Chilean wine palm, a tree that can reach the size of an oak. Seafood, including fish, seals, porpoises and turtles, and nesting seabirds were plentiful. Easter Island’s society, which split into an elaborate caste system of nobles, priests and commoners, had within five or six centuries swelled to some 10,000 people. The natural resources were devoured and began to disappear.

“Forest clearance for the growing of crops would have led to population increase, but also to soil erosion and decline of soil fertility,” Paul Bahn and John Flenley write in “Easter Island, Earth Island.” “Progressively more land would have had to be cleared. Trees and shrubs would also be cut down for canoe building, firewood, house construction, and for the timbers and ropes needed in the movement and erection of statues. Palm fruits would be eaten, thus reducing regeneration of the palm. Rats, introduced for food, could have fed on the palm fruits, multiplied rapidly and completely prevented palm regeneration. The over exploitation of prolific sea bird resources would have eliminated these for all but the offshore islets. Rats could have helped in this process by eating eggs. The abundant food provided by fishing, sea birds and rats would have encouraged rapid initial human population growth. Unrestrained human population increase would later put pressure on availability of land, leading to disputes and eventually warfare. Non-availability of timber and rope would make it pointless to carve further statues. A disillusionment with the efficacy of the statue religion in providing the wants of the people could lead to the abandonment of this cult. Inadequate canoes would restrict fishing to the inshore waters, leading to further decline in protein supplies. The result could have been general famine, warfare and the collapse of the whole economy, leading to a marked population decline.”

Clans, in the later period of the Easter Island civilization, competed to honor their ancestors by constructing larger and larger hewn stone images, which demanded the last remnants of the timber, rope and manpower on the island. By the year 1400 the woods were gone. The soil had eroded and washed into the sea. The islanders began to fight over old timbers and were reduced to eating their dogs and soon all the nesting birds.


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By Guitarsandmore805, April 5, 2011 at 9:49 am Link to this comment

Old fashion rain barrels were used to collect drinking water hundreds of years ago but today so much water just runs right off roof tops down into the sewer and out to the sea.  Fresh water is lost because we just don’t take advantage of opportunities to collect and save it.

Think of how much sunlight hits the earth each day that does NOT come in contact with a solar panel;  another opportunity lost. Each empty roof top means wasted sunlight.

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By redslider, April 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt, no argument here. Corporate interests are the most serious threat to access to the basic essentials of life (air, water, sunshine, food…), not just for the damage they do to these resources, but for the way they would capture, possess and allocate them - decisions once thought to belong only to God. Welcome to the new Gods walking the surface of our world. The new Titans, afoot on the land.

On the nuclear industry and an idea that might 1) not require use of potable water at all; 2) actually increase the safety of the plants by 98%; and, 3) lead to the obsolescence of the industry itself, see my note at http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=182342685145902

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By Night-Gaunt, April 4, 2011 at 5:30 pm Link to this comment

The owners of those corporations are working to take over the world. If not through gov’t then through their own machinations. Usually both.

We are a water planet but most of it can’t be used by us. There are ways of taking the salt out of it and even generating electricity to do so. But it is still very expensive. Water Wars have been fought and more will be coming soon to a country or county near you. Will it be water for you or for that nuclear plant? Or for that biofuel crop? If we don’t retain rights to water then they will be sold to the highest bidder. And that won’t be good for you and me if you are unemployed or barely employed and can only pay for their cheaper, dirtier water. Where what was free because you needed it to live is now a commodity that others control and they don’t care if you or I live or die.

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By Gary Mont, April 4, 2011 at 2:20 pm Link to this comment

red slider: There are some rapacious buyers and corporate interests eagerly buying up all the water rights they can find on planet.

—-

It is far more economically feasible to wait till humanity destroys the waters of earth, than to consider any exepensive clean-up operations. Waiting costs nothing, and lets you spend your cash on the purchase of all the water rights that’ll be selling for near nothing as the water condition deteriorates.

Then, once you own all the water rights, you can introduce highly-technical and impossible-for-the-common-man-to-reproduce purification technology and charge every man and woman on earth an arm and a leg for the water they absolutely have to have.

This is the ultimate corporate wet-dream come true.

All technology that could be reproduced by a citizen will be outlawed for safety reasons - after a few well-publisized and officially orchestrated poisonings are blamed on each invention as they occur.

Once legislation is in place to prevent the un-authourized production of clean water - for safety resaons of course - water becomes the currency of the future and a hand full of “businessmen” become gods on earth.

The rest of humanity becomes their slaves - willing to do absolutely anything in return for liquid life.

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By Anarcissie, April 3, 2011 at 9:52 pm Link to this comment

If you want to use sunlight to purify water, I suggest skipping the photoelectrolysis steps; just put the water—seawater, let us say—in closed tanks, use solar heat to evaporate it, and condense the vapor.  This is done now.  Apparently it isn’t productive enough, because if it were, the water crisis wouldn’t exist.

The economics of the matter are important because people do not have infinite resources.  This is beside the evils of the state.  You have to consider what you’re going to spend or give up in order to get a certain amount of water.  The hundreds of gallons required to grow your asparagus will make your asparagus very, very expensive in some places, and then no one will be able to eat it.

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By red slider, April 3, 2011 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

There is one matter about water, whether for personal use or community use. There are some rapacious buyers and corporate interests eagerly buying up all the water rights they can find on planet. Why? Because they are looking towards the day when they can bottle and sell it back to us. You say, “Can’t happen, there will always be water.”  I say, that is exactly what we said about forests.  It’s a problem that will need to be addressed. bank on that.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 6:56 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt: Producing water without electricity takes longer.

No doubt. However, I was responding to the problem of economic feasibility, not whether three naked savages dropped into the center of the Sahara Desert could make water using camel guts and spit.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 3, 2011 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

Producing water without electricity takes longer.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 6:27 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: Maybe it’s not a malign conspiracy, though.  Maybe it is actually difficult to produce usable fresh water other than that which falls out of the sky.  I sure don’t know how to do it.

——-

Well, let’s look at it logically.
Water is made of Hydrogen and Oxygen and pollutants such as minerals and industrial waste.

It takes about a dozen volts to break water into its component gases and the same to cause the two gases to recombine into water.

Once water is broken down into its component gases, its mineral, and pollution content are left behind and the 2 gases can be recombined to form pure water.

I forget which is which, but one gas forms around the positive electrode and the other around the negative electrode, making it easy to collect the gases seperately.

The sun can be used to provide enough solar voltaic energy to accomplish both steps without any additional outside energy required.

The concept could easily be self contained and have extremely few moving parts and be operated by a solar powered computer chip - dirty water in one end and clean out the other end. The only manual operation would be the carting off of the left-over solids from the dirty water which might even prove to be valuable.

I cannot see the difficulty in this scenario at all, except of course, that its not an economically feasible idea because it will not make somebody rich.

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By Anarcissie, April 3, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

Maybe it’s not a malign conspiracy, though.  Maybe it is actually difficult to produce usable fresh water other than that which falls out of the sky.  I sure don’t know how to do it.

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By Gary Mont, April 3, 2011 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie: There are many inventions and proposals for how to do this, but in fact it hasn’t been done in an economically feasible manner yet, which is significant given the intense interest of people with talent and money in the project, like the leadership of Israel, Saudi Arabia and several other dry countries. 

——

economically feasible manner

Precisely why nothing has been done to repurify and reclaim water on any sort of significant scale to date. There’s just no money in it. Its still considered politically incorrect to charge people for water at the rates necessary to make the process economically feasible.


Instead, our leaders and their backers have decided to wait till the water is nearly all polluted and then it will be politically correct to sell it like gold to desperate popualtions making it economically feasible to create purification and reclamation plants.

Of course, these plants will have to regulate how much water they purify, as making too much clean water would lower the price and that’s not economically proper. Best to keep the world at just the level of desperation that originally made it economically feasible to begin the process.

Government’s purpose is to insure that the captive populations are easily exploitable by those who already have great wealth, such as politicians, land-owners and the captains of industry and commerce.

Waiting for a government, or corporate business to initiate anything that might save humanity from the onrushing calamity, is a serious waste of time and guaranteed to lead to exactly the scenario I posited above.

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By Anarcissie, April 3, 2011 at 11:44 am Link to this comment

It is not hard to produce fresh water for drinking and cooking, which may amount to a quart or two a day per person.  It is difficult to produce enough water for the agriculture which supports one person, which generally runs to hundreds of gallons.  There are many inventions and proposals for how to do this, but in fact it hasn’t been done in an economically feasible manner yet, which is significant given the intense interest of people with talent and money in the project, like the leadership of Israel, Saudi Arabia and several other dry countries.  We still depend on it falling out of the sky or oozing up from the ground, just as people did 10,000 years ago.

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By Gulam, April 3, 2011 at 1:28 am Link to this comment

Tao Walker,

There is a lot of similarity between the ancient Hebrew experience and the
world that you describe; they were pastoral people living apart from the cities
and their ways. I have spent several days at a time with sheep herding people in
Afghanistan, Palestine, New Mexico, and Utah, and minute to minute their days
are not so very different. This pastoral background effects the culture in
fundamental ways. And, the most fundamental events in the history of ancient
Israel took place in the desert, when they were still living in tents, shepherds.

Martin Luther King spoke of Moses and Joshua standing on a mountain across
from The Promise Land in what is now Jordan, and Moses, who is dying tells the
younger leader how to take Palestine. He orders them to go in and utterly
destroy everything and not to rebuild the cities. The cities that he talks about
are those of the Philistines, the places that the modern Israelis settled first.
Those were a high-culture, rich, Late Brone Age, trading cities, part of an
urban, highly developed civilization that fell and was replaced with another
round of puritans from the desert. Invading Iron Age people ultimately gave us
Bible and the Ilyad. That is the story that the Bible tells, of people wandering
about the fringes of a collapsing high civilization who become tribes united
enough to take the land away from its decadent inhabitants. It is really an
important moment when they are in the tents still watching the cities from a
distance, keeping their distance for the moment.

When you talk of still being one with the earth in your daily experience and life
you are clearly estranged and saddened to watch what goes on. It sounds as if
to a degree you are speaking for all of those hundreds of millions of people in
Africa, Asia, and South America who have been plundered by endless invasions
by the northern forest barbarians. I have wandered about many a city that was
once huge and important, often accompanied by goats and the little boys they
lead. Soon this too will pass, and NY will make fantastic ruins.

Those in the West like to think of themselves as heirs of the civilization of the
Greeks and Romans, and they did inherit some laws and religious traditions
from antiquity, but China and India will group these invasions together with the
Turko-Mongolian invasions in their history books. The Mongols had superior
military transport, weaponry, organization, information, communication, and
seige engines. Ghenghis Khan had brown hair and grey eyes.  Here again the
rulers came from these pastoral cultures, but once they conquer if they become
urbanized they become weak like those they conquered, and the cycle begans
again. The Mongols too wanted to open trade routes and they decreed total
freedom of religion, because it destroyed the structures of the society and
made them weaker and easier to dominate.

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By Guitarsandmore805, April 3, 2011 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

I have been waiting for some scholar to write an article like this for a long time.  Seems we never learn from history (“what we learn from history is that we have learned nothing from history”) and we need someone to hold it up in front of the world like some shiny mirror for all to see.

“Look, see what has happened before, look see that it is happening again”.

For the Fox News crowd Chris Hedge’s fine article will have to be rewritten in real simple “baby talk”, perhaps on the eight grade level (if that) so all can understand.

More of this Chris Hedges, please, only more basic.

Civilizations rise and fall, yes.

We are too proud and too full of ourselves to believe it can happen to us, but it can.

When the housing market was booming the FOX news contributors were saying that this was the new economy and it would go on forever ( and they meant it) - the “ownership society”.  Well, now there are plenty of former owners living in the street and under bridges.  So much for the “ownership society”.

We have had plenty of Enrons’s, Worldcom’s, Bernie Madoff’s, Keeting Five’s, enough to make the most casual observer realize it’s all just a big fraud.

They want your money, and they are going to make up stories until you give them your money.  It’s a racket.  And it’s not patriotic, and it’s not freedom, and it is not Democracy.  It’s a rip off, a scam, a death sentence.

The nuclear power industry is going to kill us.
The arms manufacturers are going to kill us.

The corporations don’t care what happens to any of us.

WE have to rise up and take control back from the philistines, the war mongers, the polluters, the capitalists, the greedy and the rich.

end of rant

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By redslider, April 2, 2011 at 8:12 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont & Night-Gaunt - good points.  and a couple to amplify:

Yes, Hedges is a bit Ameracentric and Eurocentric in his estimation of our importance. In the very sage observations of Sahlins and Service (‘Evolution and Culture’) we are a nation in decline. It is not a matter of if or when, but rather a matter of how. According to those students of Leslie White, our choices are limited: either we are generous and gracious and respectful of the rest of the world, and they will in turn let us decline as elder statesmen, respected in turn as the change of nation and civilization once again goes through its cycle and new dominant cultures and civilizations arise.  Or, we can continue on the path of trying to bully our way in the world, be the world’s policemen, corrupt and exploit others. In that case, the world will simply rip off what they need (violently if necessary) and leave us to die in our own chaotic hubris.  Gracious or mean?  that seems to be the only choice that seems to be in the keeping of the US.  However, there is another player, as I said in an earlier post. That one is stateless and afoot in the land. It has no loyalties to anyone or anything, is immune to borders and has its own, completely self-interested agenda. And it is very powerful and very dangerous.  I’m speaking of course of the Corporate being that now roams this planet at will.  That is not so simple. It is nice to say, “Oh, the world can take care of that, too!”  but don’t be so sure. The infection has already spread to the most remote corners of the planet, and no one has immunity. Corporate hegemony has a life of its own and abandoned its base in the United States some time ago.  That is going to be a tough call, and the world has no free pass in dealing with that beast.  So Hedges is partly right. He simply didn’t identify corporate power as an independent agent in the game.

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By Gary Mont, April 2, 2011 at 6:33 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt: “Nice idea but there isn’t “unlimited water” in the ground. The aquifers are tapped out and not replenishing. Too many dips in there by humans for themselves and agriculture and even nuclear plants are quite thirsty.”

——

Water is incredibly easy to purify. For instance, by using water’s two elements as a source of fuel for all combustion devices from home heating to cars, we could replenish the world’s water without actually trying. Burning hydrogen and oxygen creates pure water as exhaust.

Within a few decades, the waters of the earth would have been recycled through the water-based combustion systems and be well into the process of renewal while we continued to play.

The use of hemp for super-nutritious food (edestine), non-addictive and non-destructive medicines, super durable clothing and furniture fabrics, long-lasting building and construction materials, clean alternate fuels, bio-degradable plastics (bakelite), paper products, and a myriad of other standard items, would go far towards eliminating the profusion of toxins poured into the environmental waters each year by the production of petrochemical versions of the same products.

Making our toys without planned obsolescence would help tremendously in keeping heavy metals and toxins from ending up in landfills, where they pollute the ground water.

None of these things are difficult to do.

However, they are, under the current system, impossible.

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By Night-Gaunt, April 2, 2011 at 5:00 pm Link to this comment

Nice idea but there isn’t “unlimited water” in the ground. The aquifers are tapped out and not replenishing. Too many dips in there by humans for themselves and agriculture and even nuclear plants are quite thirsty.

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By Jimmy, April 2, 2011 at 11:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Its different this time, why? because of what i’m about to tell you.

Google the SODIS method. As long as you can find a stream or lake nearby, you will have clean water. Even better, dig a well. You now have unlimited water, the essential ingredient for life. No oil needed.

Oyster mushrooms - Grow vertically at room temperature. You can use old newspapers, human waste and food waste to generate them. You get increasing returns once you have your first bulk mass. Free gourmet mushrooms - Permanent.

Hemp -  This plant could easily supplant fossil fuels and their associated products. Its never been scaled up. 10% of usa land area to generate local fuel and food. no need for imports straight away, trillions saved on military conflict.

Millions could die alright, its all gone critical, but for the sake of a couple of hours googling and buying some mushroom spawn, you could cover the essentials.

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By Night-Gaunt, March 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm Link to this comment

But the point is we people want to survive. But we are at a juncture where we could lose it all. Sure the earth itself will abide, that isn’t in doubt. Its the fact that humanity led by the USA has been doing its damndest to wreck it in pursuit of petty profit. That thin layer of life that we and millions of species dwell. Though we are losing approximately 100 species a day.

Too many countries still look to the USA for leadership and follow it. Though it is heartening to see that some of them are breaking ranks these days.

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By george szabo, March 26, 2011 at 7:27 am Link to this comment

Interesting if somewhat Americocentric article.. Once again through the use of
historical fact, Mr. Hedges has reinforced the erroneous point that the US is the
world and the world is the US.  Taken as a whole and averaging things out, the
problem seems to be the lack of the US populations ability to grasp or give a
damn about anything else in the world but their Amerocentric ideologies.
Unfortunately this is also reflected in the incredible lack of any intelligence
by the average “dude” or “babe”  not to mention the average Joe trying to make
a go of it in this ever confusing world.
Time for all Americans to begin to wake up to the fact that not all peoples of
the
world want to or think like you or want the same things in life…. Then maybe
the worlds many diverse cultures could work as one, bring about radical
changes
try to get along with each other, begin to not worship at the altar of overt
consumerism and think of this beautiful planet and what we want to leave to
our future generations.
Of course, I being the” King of the World” also believe that the moon is made
of Blue Cheese…. 
The Earth will survive with or without us STUPID people…....

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By Guitarsandmore805, March 20, 2011 at 2:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Who will remain behind that can remember to keep the containment pools covered with water for a thousand years?  Will people be smart enough to remember or will the rods of uranium turn to dust and just start blowing in the wind throughout the world and contaminate the entire planet?

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By TAO Walker, March 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm Link to this comment

The concerns expressed so sincerely below by “Gulam” are certainly valid.  This Old Indian has been here for awhile suggesting, however, that the “in-the-streets” response s/he urges simply will not suffice to meet the Living Need of these latter Days.  It could do nothing, anyway, but temporarily scrape-away the the lower (and expendable) layers of the “dominance”-paradigm’s pyramid scheme.  The invasive retro-viral tormenting ‘entity,’ whose entirely “self”-serving process manifests here as the “civilization” disease, will be left largely undisturbed in its systematic industrial-strength degradation of Earth’s Natural Vitality into the degenerate “energy” (like “nuclear power”) upon which it feeds.

The awful (and ultimately fatal) CONdition “Gulam” decries with a certain eloquence, is fundamentally biological in nature.  Politics can no more address it to any mutually beneficial effect, than lipstick can cure skin cancer.

Any efficacious remedy for an actual organic deficiency in our Living Arrangement has to be actual Living Medicine.  Resorting to the forcible application of various abstract CONceits (like “mass movements” of the make-believe “individual,” for instance) might prolong the agony awhile….but the DEAD END outcome remains dead-certain nevertheless.

The Tiyoshpaye Way is that Medicine.  It is The Way of Natural Persons, ORGANized as Living Human Communities, which alone can pour a sufficiency of the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity into our Living Arrangement….restoring to wholeness and health ALL-concerned.

Can we settle for anything less (let-alone ‘else’), here at the terminal stage of the “civilization” disease process?

HokaHey”

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By Night-Gaunt, March 18, 2011 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

We need to work within Nature but for such a long time the neonate ape has been going his own way and too often regardless of other choices that would do less damage and allow Nature to repair itself. The short of it while allowing the long of it to be the credit to be paid by others long after thier deaths. All humanity but most especially among the 3 billion or so who use up 75% of the earth to live and produce most of its garbage need to turn away from it. To also help and uplift the poor not with the same 19th and early 20th century CONG, but the green tech and lower energy useage we should all be living with. The only carbon foot print should be from our respiration, not our machines.

Too bad Golum is so cynical and against the idea of confederation, not tyranny. It can be done but the old political games must end. Our entire biosphere depends on it.

Right now the worse kind of exploitation has taken control and has the money and material to do what they want. That includes ending the kinds of organizations that have us all by the throats. We see them in operation in our own country in Wisconsin and Ohio an Michigan working to subvert our own local gov’ts and replace them with dictatorships. Not a shot fired to do it.

Only recently did China pass the USA as the Number One polluter, not something one should be proud of.

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By TAO Walker, March 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm Link to this comment

There’s no quibble, from this Old Savage anyhow, with the “reunion with Nature” formulation offered below by “racetoinfinity.”  There does have to be some altogether mutually beneficial and accessible (for and to ALL-concerned) Living Ground upon which that ‘wedding’ takes place, however, and some genuinely effective Way for us ALL (not just “self”-selected Two-leggeds) to get onto it together.

Us surviving Free Wild Peoples are under no illusions about “going backward,” or “forward” either, to that viable alternative.  The “progress” CONceit is just exactly that (and nothing else), after-all, and has nothing at all to do with the Living Virtue of Organic Functional Integrity essential to our currently co-opted Sisters and Brothers getting free of their “self”-imposed arrested development….and back to being Organically Functional participants, as a vital component in Her immune system, in the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth.  Humanity can only realize the TAO of its Kind by fulfilling its given place among ALL Kinds here.

Many domesticates, though, seem to be under the crippling illusion that it’s all (and only) about their own “self” and the virtual subspecies these false IDentities makes-up….that they each and all have (by ‘divine’ dispensation or “human right” or something similarly Contrived and “self-“referential), and can ( and must) achieve, some imagined “individual” or exclusively Human-istic destiny, completely independent-of and without any regard for the effects of that hubristic and solipsistic pursuit on anybody and everybody ‘else’ here.  Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s just biologically insane….and the massively degenerative effects (of that rampant madness) are everywhere in plain sight, for those with eyes to see and the ‘stomach’ to look.

Besides, those of us who’ve always lived wholly in Indian Country, in The Tiyoshpaye Way (and their Organic ‘regional’ counterparts everywhere) have never been at any time ‘divorced’ from our Mother’s Living Arrangement.  We don’t need any “reunion” with Her and one another and All Our Relations.

What’s more, we just might know something inescapably fundamental, too, about what our tame Human Relatives need to do to get here….

ALL Together….Now!

HokaHey!

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By Gulam, March 18, 2011 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Where in the world are these last few posts coming from? Americans are still by
far the leading polluter in the world and there is no serious hope in sight of
improving on this. American are still occupying Iraq,  Afghanistan and are
moving toward war with Iran, Pakistan, and Libya. Nothing has really been
learned since they destroyed Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. The arrogance and
racism, the exceptionalism in American and Israel expresses itself more directly
every day. But, despite it all Americans on the left talk about how in their
reality everybody is growing into one big happy family on this planet. They say
all we need to do is spread this personal consciousness awakening that is
happening in California, which as we all know is the arsenal of democracy, or is
that Texas?

This is one way to paper over the on-going war crimes and provide insulation
against your corporate guilt, but it is a petty thin cover. The Nazis and the
Soviets both had an official public facade of innocent optimism. The Americans
and their camp followers are not busily building whole persons and creating the
new world consciousness, they are the destroyers, like the Mongol hoards, who
also wanted to open up free trade and also freed the conquered from religious
laws and gender restrictions in order to weaken local authority and more easily
control the people. It is these armies and their propaganda arm, the aid
industry,  who consciously undermine and destroy all traditional values and
culture in country after country around the world. Before the Russians and the
American twins began playing tag-team invasions with Afghanistan the
Afghans exported food with a zero carbon footprint.

The American mission worldwide is to take paradise and put up a parking lot.
How can bloggers here go on and on so about their human values and rising
consciousness while being accessories to mass murder, and complicit with war
crimes of all kinds? They are just soaking up righteous indignation and
providing a buffer against real political action and revolution, giving guilty
people something to think is constructive to do instead of taking more real, if
messy, actions. Why make serious rebellion in the streets when you can go to a
rock concert or a prayer meeting, if you intention is not to force change but to
salve your conscience?

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By racetoinfinity, March 18, 2011 at 6:38 am Link to this comment

@ By TAO Walker, March 16 at 9:50 pm

——-

The arrogant narcissism and blinders to the bigger biosphere (and even deeper and bigger) views of the planet are all mainly based on the being stuck at the ego-(narcissistic path.)-level, where man has not only differentiated himself from nature (healthy), but DISSOCIATED himself from nature (and thus Nature) into linear atomistic reductionist flatland.  The way out is forward to a re-union with nature on a new level, not backwards; we started to do it in the late 60s/70s, but it was fought with big Kock-a-mamie money paid to retarded souls like Rove.

Maybe I’m just taking part of your post out of context; if so, pardonnez-moi, but I still wanted to post this about Chris’s column.  Cheers.

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By Gary Mont, March 17, 2011 at 11:35 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker:
“By staying receptive to promptings from Her Living Arrangement, a sincere Person will just naturally recognize the genuine “blaze-marks” along The Way.  It gets lots easier, too, walking together with our fellah ‘n’ gal Natural Persons.

This Old Man sure hope this helps.”

—-

Your answer was unexpected, but it was the specific response I wanted. The path that chose me long, long ago, keeps me on it simply by making everything transparent.

I may indeed see you along the way sir.

HokaHey

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By TAO Walker, March 17, 2011 at 7:56 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont need look no further than his own essential Human Nature, as a Natural Person, and that of his family, friends, and neighbors where he is living and breathing every Day, for the ‘place’ to take that first sentient step onto The Good Red Road and into the Hoop of Life Herownself.  The only “price-of-admission” is his (and their) unconditional spontaneously affectionate respect-for and undivided precious attention-to our Mother Earth, All Our relations, and one another.  So if anybody tries to sell “tickets” of any sort (like that guy in Sedona, with his killer faux “sweats”), they deserve to be ignored.

By staying receptive to promptings from Her Living Arrangement, a sincere Person will just naturally recognize the genuine “blaze-marks” along The Way.  It gets lots easier, too, walking together with our fellah ‘n’ gal Natural Persons.

This Old Man sure hope this helps.

HokaHey!

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By Gary Mont, March 17, 2011 at 7:18 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker:
“This Old Man, with apologies for any linguistic deficiences, nevertheless invites Gary Mont and All-concerned to make the effort to follow the Trail being cleared here, to the recovery of their Natural Heritage as Whole Human Persons….“Free at last!” from the captivity of the terror-stricken “self.””

Is it permitted to ask for a direction, a starting point, a seeker’s portal?

A search for the “Tiyoshpaye Way” gave me an enourmous seclection of disparate information and an inordinate number of folks using the term for various things like business, research and education. There’s even a newspaper.

It also, thankfully, gave me the proper pronunciation of the term - my mind dislikes reading something it cannot mentally speak.

After a couple hours, I decided that none of the selections my search presented, were representative of the particular aspect of the Tiyoshpaye Way you were promoting, although a large number were definitely of Western Indian content and a few of these contained some discussion of earth healing and human community.

It would be appreciated if you could point me to the correct trail to begin?

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By TAO Walker, March 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

“Night-Gaunt” puts a perceptive ‘finger’ on a major factor in the “self”-CONtrived dire threats to their own existence faced today by the subspecies homo domesticus….their originally-“self”-induced-but-by-now-effectively-CONgenital immaturity.  Attributing this largely to their being an allegedly “young species,” however (as an excuse for their destructive behavior?), needs some qualification if it’s to be of any use in understanding how things’ve come to be how they are today.

It needs to be noted that “neoteny” (the artificially-forced retardation of an organism’s natural growth and development) is a significant feature of the invading retro-viral entity’s immuno-suppression regime.  This works by enabling (by co-opting some of the Human element) and then furthering actively (by turning this supposed-to-be protective component against its ‘Hostess,’ our Mother Earth) the disease process by which the entity systematically degrades Her Natural Vitality (as expressed in Her Living Arrangement, including us Two-leggeds) into the sorts of degenerate “energy” the thing “powers” its own undead “super-self” with….think “nukular.”

Nowhere are the debilitating effects of this alien “neoteny” program more obvious than among theamericanpeople….an ersatz “nation” of “self”-obssesed perpetual adolescents, at-best (but who’re are very rarely if ever really at even this drastically-lowered-bar “best”).  The vast majority of ‘em these days only grow older (and even then kicking-and-screaming brattily about it) but never grow-up.  They are the intended end-product of an industrial-strength operation that began with the outbreak of the “western” strain of the “civilization” disease over ten-thousand years ago.

On the other hand, us surviving Free Wild Peoples have been fulfilling the Organic Function of Humanity within Her Living Arrangement since “time immemorial.”  This present “case” is in-fact only the latest and most destructively virulent (and figured to be the last, one way or another) of several appearances of the “civilization” syndrome in our midst. 

So “Night-Gaunt” evidently sees the same crippling CONdition in domesticated Humankind as has always been plain to us from here in Indian Country (and its ‘local’ equivalents everywhere).  To address it to any mutually beneficial effect, however, it is essential to recognize its artificially-induced nature….as a symptom of a disease generated by an invasive tormenting ‘entity.’

It should be helpful, too, to remember that there still exist Living Communities of us Elder
Brothers and Sisters, who enjoy sufficient natural immunity to’ve been able to resist the infection’s would-otherwise-be-fatal outcome here….and who simply DO what we ARE.

HokaHey!       

On

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By Gulam, March 17, 2011 at 6:40 pm Link to this comment

Night-Gaunt said:  “Can we as an entire species work together on this entirely
human created problem or fail?”

The last thing that we need to do as a species is to get together when the
secret to our success has been our endless ability to devise alternative survival
strategies depending on changing conditions. Civilization has always been a
constant ebb and flow between urban and nomadic, pastoral peoples, and this
has produced constant revitalizing through new leadership and discipline. 
Every semblance of unity on a planetary basis is a grave survival threat, putting
literally all our eggs into one basket. Thank goodness the UN is just an
American front for that and has so little substance.

Every universal appeal or “right,” every international regulation - the whole
shooting match is a stalking horse for tyranny. The Americans talk
internationalism, because they plan to run the show. Like a hole in the head we
need international bodies that can fingerprint and tag everyone and ride herd
over the whole. We need more than anything to turn on the USA and stop its
attempt to corner everyone and force them into “working together.” It is these
liberals who will pave the way with naive chatter about working together, then
the conservatives will come in and force you “together.” It was working
together with the Americans that got the Japanese into their mess; it was
Admiral Perry’s American fleet who forced them to become trade oriented in the
first place. They did not dream up the idea of putting a sting of reactors along a
major fault by themselves; they got expert help.

As should be abundantly clear now from the results of the the safe nuclear
industry in Japan, all these modernist clowns who want to guide us aboard the
Starfleet are just hucksters selling a fraud, and a very dangerous one it is too. 
This silly idea that a few Anglo-Vikings are some kind of divine generation that
together with a new Israel are going to lead the world into a unity is looking a
little threadbare. They are ignorant and shallow enough to have blown away
enough oil to have lasted for many hundreds of years of serious, steady
development, but already half that finite resource has been pissed away in an
orgy of urban pick-up trucks, over-heated gigantic public spaces, and Strategic
Air Command Bombers circling forever over head. 

The whole planet has gotten closer and closer to a point where we really are
working together, and just a little longer and we will kill ourselves off. The best
that we can hope for is a monumental economic crash that will dash for
centuries any hope of working together, along with sufficient enmity to keep
the sea lanes mined for generation.  Who is going to lead this “together” of
yours, you Americans, with all the respect that you now have in the eyes of the
world?

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By Night-Gaunt, March 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Euthenics, the way of a good environment. That is what we need to concentrate on for all. But first to understand what that is. One where nurture is aided to the natural that was born. Stress is either removed or lessened to the point to where it is fleeting instead of chronic as it is today.

We are still a young species and have come to the point to where the whole biosphere is in danger of becoming very harsh and very difficult for humanity, and other life, to exist here. Expect many extinctions, maybe even humanity if it isn’t careful. We are still in our childhood and this is a growing moment as all such species would eventually reach if they came this far. Will we make it? Will we tumble down and scramble for some level of existence in the future but not near the lofty heights we have already reached? Such is our dilemma, only now it is the whole world at risk as well.

Can we as an entire species work together on this entirely human created problem or fail?

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By TAO Walker, March 17, 2011 at 4:14 pm Link to this comment

Getting the Original Natural Language of Organic Functional Integrity into “modern” English is still hard enough for those born-to the ‘tongue.’  This Old Indian was not, though, and so only learned some of it the-hard-way, which maybe accounts for some of the difficulty Gary Mont mentions (as have other participants here) in parsing these admittedly unfamiliar formulations….even though the actual words employed are mostly in common usage, if maybe not always strung-together in the CONventional way.

The Tiyoshpaye Way has nothing whatsoever to do with any “religion.”  It is grounded entirely in the integrated biology of our Living Arrangement.  There are no hierarchical institutinal set-ups, no privateering pyramid schemes, in Indian Country.  Our Way is The Hoop of Life Herownself….The Circle of Natural Persons ORGANized as genuine Living Communities, fulfilling ALL together, with the generous support of All Our Relations, the given Organic Function of Humanity as a vital component in Earth’s immune system.

If no known “civilization” has ever been anything but more-or-less destructive of Earth’s Natural Way, as suggested (quite accurately) by Gary Mont below, the Natural Fact that “civilization,” as such, presents here in our Living Arrangement as nothing but an ultimately would-be-terminal (except for Her natural immune function) disease process, probably explains it.  Such abstract CONceits as are the stock-in-trade of those CONstructs which go by the generic term “religion,” not only CONfuse and obfuscate what’s really going-on here, they are actually symptomatic of the syndrome’s effects on its Human infectees.

This Old Man, with apologies for any linguistic deficiences, nevertheless invites Gary Mont and All-concerned to make the effort to follow the Trail being cleared here, to the recovery of their Natural Heritage as Whole Human Persons….“Free at last!” from the captivity of the terror-stricken “self.”

HokaHey!

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By radson, March 16, 2011 at 9:50 pm Link to this comment

ALL Aboard: Welcome aboard the Lebensraum Express ;call sign -NSSM 200- destination ,variable ,either Utopiaville or the center for Family Planning.Shortly after boarding you will be assigned a specific wagon depending on your physical design and intelligence factor ,along the way you will be asked to read a booklet entitled ‘Social Darwinism’ and a petite questionnaire will follow.In due time a hot meal will be served by our lovely staff and will consist of the finest from our generous supplier ;which you all know by heart by now ;yes of course Monsanto! afterwards a movie will follow a real classic ‘Dumbsveld and the Flying Pig Flu’
enjoy.

where’s eugene by the way ,oh! he got replaced by genetics.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2011 at 8:40 pm Link to this comment

Gulam, March 16 at 6:59 pm:

Destroying the family structure creates social fallout….

Which family structure?  There are hundreds of them, even within the relatively narrow confines of Western Civ.

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By Gary Mont, March 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker:
“Gary Mont, who is evidently put-off by the socially ‘traditionalist’(?) views of “Gulam,” asserts below his willingness “to entertain any suggestions….” of alternatives not based in the defining motives and methods of the idiotic “dominance”-paradigm’s CONgeries of CONceits.  Does that commitment hold-up if the viable alternative turns-out to be THE END of the “civilization” disease altogether….including all of those among its side-effects (cold comfort and crippling CONvenenience, for instance) to which so many have become so addicted?”

—-

In truth, there is very little I find palatable about “society”, or “civilization” as we know it today in the west - or for that matter, in much of the past and much of the world.

As far as I can tell, no civilization to date has been human-oriented, or considers the earth itself as a living being - in a very physics-oriented manner - worthy of respect and care. Without both, a civilization is guaranteed to become another archeological curiosity, no more, and perhaps less.

I am in no way certain that these mass-worker enclaves/slave-camps called cities are even a slightly viable way of life for humans - I know I cannot stand them, and avoid them as much as possible.I do think they stifle evolution entirely.

You; walker of the way, appear to be promoting a social construct which takes both humanity and the earth into account to a degree far beyond physical - as if the two are inseperable in fact.

I’m not all that comfortable with anything spiritual - that world and I seem seperated by a gulf I have been unable to cross. I am generally a faithless individual - literally, a lone wolf.

In my elder days now, I tend to avoid the spiritual, having spent a large number of years digesting most of the religions of earth and finding them, without exception, to be frauds based upon a small portion or sampling of a vast collection of earlier writings or stories.

I am however, always willing to learn something new and will give almost any idea a look over. Do you have a website where I could examine this concept in detail?

The end of the connivance called civilization holds no fear for me at all - I’ve never really been a member - and while I would no doubt momentarily miss some of the comforts it has provided, I’m certain similar comforts could be derived from within an open-ended community if I later deemed them necessary.

I must admit however, that your rather esoteric mode of communications tends to make me spend so much time determining what you mean in each sentence, that I seldom can perceive the whole of your comments. My failing assuredly, however I think further investigation of your base concept, would likely aid in my understanding.

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By TAO Walker, March 16, 2011 at 5:50 pm Link to this comment

Of all those weighing-in here on this particular Chris Hedges polemic, “Gulam” is at-least bringing-up some of the fundamentally biological features, and toxic fall-out, of the mostly “self”-inflicted predicament that is the pervasive sub-text of this discussion.  Of course even “Gulam” gets hung-up in the myth of “civilization”....in-effect touting it as the ‘bottom-line’ what Humanity and Human Life is all about here.  Once this homo-centric “dominance”-paradigm is accepted as the ‘basic rule,’ it is only a matter of ‘time’ until those captive to its habits get (often in-part via the “feminist” CONceit, to-be-sure) to the very same DEAD END staring homo domesticus in its collective “face” right now.

The adamant insistence rampant amongst the “individual”-ized members of that virtual subspecies, that their own peculiar “thing” is all that’s really happening here, all that has any credible meaning or genuine “value,” is usually seen (even by them) as a sort of insanity, when some “individual” or “self”-chosen random collection of them, asserts and insists-upon the compliance of ‘others’ in such an arrogant and ridiculous formulation.  So it looks like almost seven billion co-opted people can indeed be wrong….to answer the meant-to-be only rhetorical query posed in that old ad campaign.

Gary Mont, who is evidently put-off by the socially ‘traditionalist’(?) views of “Gulam,” asserts below his willingness “to entertain any suggestions….” of alternatives not based in the defining motives and methods of the idiotic “dominance”-paradigm’s CONgeries of CONceits.  Does that commitment hold-up if the viable alternative turns-out to be THE END of the “civilization” disease altogether….including all of those among its side-effects (cold comfort and crippling CONvenenience, for instance) to which so many have become so addicted?

‘Cause The Tiyoshpaye Way is The Medicine for that would-be Earth-killing syndrome….and for all those of its symptoms presently plaguing the domesticated peoples.

HokaHey!

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By Gulam, March 16, 2011 at 2:59 pm Link to this comment

Destroying the family structure creates social fallout; it is not unlike taking
apart the structure of the atom. Lots of energy is released, but the instability
unleashed is ultimately lethal and more costly in the long-run than any useful
energy that is put to use. The story secular Western writers now tell of our
future is that we will totally trash this planet but go on to conquer the stars, in
spaceships manned by gender neutral crews commanded by Jews, as in Star
Wars and Star Trek. This is the future for which the modernists are preparing,
with their faith in science and its promise of free nuclear power and ultimate
freedom.

The modern liberals scream bloody murder when their faith is challenged, but
their faith in feminism is even more irrational and magical than Biblical
miracles, and one can find criticism of it in nearly every work from antiquity. All
of the great empires and civilizations of the world were not based upon the
torture of women. There is probably no Muslim nation on earth, where women
are raped as often per capita as in the USA, no place where they pole-dance
and walk the streets in such numbers. It is ludicrous to think that American and
European women have suddenly discovered a great truth that has eluded
mankind for the last 100,000 years.

It is a straight up situation, double the workers = double the energy need. All
that has here been offered as a counter-argument is more Napoleonic freedom
rhetoric. Take the women out of the home and suddenly all of child rearing
must be done by the state, and we all know how well large institutions like
orphanages care for children. By every scientific measure American students
are falling behind the rest of the world. You have a sudden epidemic in the
West of people so fat they waddle down the sidewalks, all because industry now
makes most of what they eat in factories, from government-subsidized corn,
wheat, and soy. Both of my grandparents households ate mostly vegetables
from home gardens. I had several great-grandfathers who went to college, both
of my nephews never finished high school, but their sisters have college
degrees. Women of earlier generations operating in their own sphere of
influence were far more important and influential to the society at large than
this whole generation of female lawyers will ever be. When the economy
collapses America will be filled with angry young men who have spent their
lives killing Orcs and flying attack helicopters on a computer screen. Did I
mention that there are plenty of real guns for them to use when they get really
angry. 

Materialism, feminism, and sexual deviancy were THE classic temptations that
the prophets railed against: becoming like the nations that worship material
grandeur and sensuality, while leaving behind the simple ways of the earth and
the healthy families who, along with their fellow creatures, live upon it. Already
in the US young singers refer to America as the “whore of Babylon.” They get it. The Americans invade poorer countries not to free the people but as destroyers
of all classical, ancient culture and faith. Look what they have done again and
again to real people and places. The Americans are the only people to ever
attack civilian cities with nuclear weapons. These nuclear plants in Japan are
the product of a period of intense American domination. Is this not the point of
origin for most of of the world’s worst economic and environmental problems?

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By Gary Mont, March 16, 2011 at 12:30 pm Link to this comment

Actually anger is the least of my reactions to this sort of retrogressive and anti-productive reasoning.

Sadness overwhelms all other emotions.

As a man, I find it personally insulting to suggest that utopia is only for men and dependant on the enslavement of women, however, I’m certain by the tone of complete belief in the assertion that every possible aspect of human social failure is due to allowing women into the workplace, that the poster is beyond any reasoning on this topic nand that is the source of the sadness.

So I will no longer give this topic voice.

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By Anarcissie, March 16, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

I suspect Gulam got beaten out at work by a female competitor, although as you note he may be a victim of religion.  Or both.  Or he may be some sort of troll, perhaps a paid one, to whom the subject is unimportant as long as anger and disruption ensue.

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By Gary Mont, March 16, 2011 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Gulam:
“The decision that doubled energy consumption and fatally distorted the American economy, sending pollution soaring, was dumping the family
sturcture and putting American women into the work force.”

—-

You know, I really, really wish you were right.

It would be so easy to fix everything, if all we needed to do was to enslave the female half of the planet once again.

Keep ‘em barefoot and pregnant and the old utopia of male dominated family structures - petty kings and their private in-home slave-subjects - will return and we’ll all be happy once again…..

Sadly, I can only assume that you’re extremely religious - the flavor matters little - and this fixation is based solidly on your religious indoctrination.

Otherwise, you would note that your “fix” only works for half the planet. The other half has to become slaves for your utopia to exist.

Guess what. The Fascists want the same thing. They would love to enslave half the world to get all that free labor that makes industrial profits soar.

Methinks most of them would be especially happy if the half enslaved was all female too.

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By Gulam, March 16, 2011 at 1:03 am Link to this comment

The decision that doubled energy consumption and fatally distorted the
American economy, sending pollution soaring, was dumping the family
sturcture and putting American women into the work force. Liberal Americans
will not discuss something so dear to their Enlightenment faith, but this is just
raw numbers. Twice as many cars, plus fast food, child care, and vastly
expanded medical and retirement facilities to take over care that was once done
in the home, and presto you have a bloated economy, that does nothing but
service its own needs and that nobody can control, going through precious,
limited oil reserves like a Freshman at a party with free beer. All the best jobs
went to the wives of men already high on the feeding chain, so they had money
enough to do silly, extravagant things. Inequality grew rapidly, racial disparity
soared. Now America has to make more weapons than the rest of the world put
together in order to take by force the resources necessary to keep the monster
balloon economy in the air a few more months.

That particular social and economic blunder is one that every ancient
Civilization knew was a mistake, because the family is just so amazingly
efficient an institution that no other social system can compete with it for long.
A woman in the home was a central element in the Confucian order in China,
and she will return there, after only a brief but tragic interlude, as soon as they
need to drastically cut job demand. A statue of Confucius was quietly raised in
Beijing recently.

Americans, who believed in traditional religious patriarchy until very recently,
had the feminism poison pill from Enlightenment religious dogma shoved down
their throats by those claiming to be secular, but who are in fact ardent
worshippers of materialism, Mamon. Industry was solidly behind this doubling
of the work force, and academia and the Church were willing acolytes, but these
utopian social re-designs never last for long. Hillary is not the cutting edge of a
whole new world of women soldiers, but part of the last fling of barbarians from
far beyond the civilized world who, like the Mongols, really did not have a clue
how to build a durable civilization, despite their war machines.

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By Litl Bludot, March 15, 2011 at 11:09 pm Link to this comment

“Fascists seek to organize a nation according to corporatist perspectives, values, and systems, including the political system and the economy   ,,,,,,In virtually all respects, however, these corporatist policies aimed at benefiting social groups and business interests deeply engaged in right-wing politics.”

This is a fascist state and has been since the end of WWII.  It was long in power when Eisenhower made his military industrial complex speech and then hid for the rest of his life.. Now we can add the word “prison” to the term. Of course most of you Truthdig readers will know that we have more people in prison per capita than any other country on earth. Our justice system is great.

There was a democratic facade in that the US 20th century fascists knew that it’s less messy, more efficient to keep the people fed and relatively content by the illusion of prosperity, progress, new things to in which to pollute your mind and the planet.  The fascists now in power have become mindless thugs capable of anything, perhaps you’ve noticed the ongoing sociocide of Iraq and Afghanistan, perhaps not.  This show will soon arrive in town for all to enjoy.

The current frontman is your president Obama-most recent in a long line of powerpimps.  His color has made him the most exempt from criticism by the hypocritical, easily morally blackmailed, liberal intellectual snobs—-you know,  those who had no problem in demonizing the red neck imitating Dubya for crimes now openly (but with charm and grace) committed by Obama,,,war crimes, torture, graft and corruption on a scale many times that of Bush. 

Not to worry the fascists, almost all of the US “liberals” are spineless intellectual frauds, and will vote for Obama no matter how bad things get.  Of course, they know this.  They’ve been feasting from the duplicity of the US liberal hypocrisy for many years now.

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By Leefeller, March 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

You know the faith of the tea bag is annoying me, most of this negative anti Unionism and anti Social Security comes from the Tea Bag evangelicals.  Discussing issues with manipulated deluded minds of Tea Bags has reached its apex and I am not going to be nice anymore!

So, any deluded moronic Tea Baggers out there,.... no more Mr nice guy, the gloves are off, tolerance is absent like smarts from a Republican. ....Wait a minute…. I just realized I am on the wrong thread. .....sorry guys!

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By Gary Mont, March 15, 2011 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

I wrote:
“I’m afraid the only way to escape the trap we have built, is to dismantle the social construct itself and build one that works. This is not outside our
capability.

—-

To which Gulam replied:
“Oh, but this is outside human capability, at least that would appear to be the lesson of both history and faith. That is the whole point of the entire Western religious tradition.”

—-

Oh we have the capability. We could easily create a functional cash-less society that takes into account the limited resources of the planet and the needs of the people living on it. We have the technology, the manpower, the know-how, and the time.

However, I also said in the same post:

“However, I doubt we are adult enough to pull something like that off without first beating ourselves up trying to save the unsavable financial based, cash-is-God system that we all seem to love so much.”
—-

As far as humanity pulling its ashes out of this guaranteed total melt-down looming closer and closer on the horizon is concerned, I’m utterly devoid of faith.

On the other hand, I have absolute faith in the expectation that humanity will continue to shore up this absurd adversity-based psuedo-economy until such time as it is far too late to save anything.

At that time, we will no longer have the capability or the wherewithall to do anything but lament our collective stupidity and eat each other.

You might note also, that in my opinion, religion is one of the primary reasons why humanity will not get past this test. As long as we have a ghost in the sky to pray to for salvation, we will not consider saving ourselves.

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By Gulam, March 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm Link to this comment

“I’m afraid the only way to escape the trap we have built, is to dismantle the
social construct itself and build one that works. This is not outside our
capability.

Oh, but this is outside human capability, at least that would appear to be the
lesson of both history and faith. That is the whole point of the entire Western
religious tradition. Moses comes down off the mountain, sits astride the golden
calf, and takes a vote on what morals and principles the people want to live by?
“OK let’s see a show of hands from everybody who thinks it is OK to have sex
with siblings? Oh yes, that always works just great. No, no, no. The people will
not automatically chose right and good on their own and they will never ever
get the chance, and anyone who thinks they will is naive indeed or living on a
totally different world than this one.

The Vietnam War simply ran its course and made billions for many industries; it
ran on for year after bloody year long after the stupidity of it was evident. It is
not who wins or loses but that the game is played that counts. The contracts
are paid in any case. After watching Lyndon Johnson and the Democrats start
and expand Vietnam carnage, after America under Carter sold arms to both
sides in the Iran-Iraq war, after the untold complicity of the Clintons with the
machine and the complete capitulation of Obama, to think that Americans are
going to work and vote themselves out of this mess and that liberals are
capable of leading them into a world both sane and positive - this is just plain
silly. Right now we are talking about looking about to save what and who can be
saved before the crash and the next holocaust.

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By Anarcissie, March 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm Link to this comment

Of course anarchy / anarchism is a kind, or kinds, of politics.

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By Gary Mont, March 15, 2011 at 3:53 pm Link to this comment

Apologies.

Last post was in reponse to Anarcissie, not radson.

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By Gary Mont, March 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

radson:
“Criminal exploitation is a kind of politics, not (in my view) an absence or alternative to politics.  I believe the name it is usually called by is ‘kleptocracy’.”

—-

By this logic, you must also see anarchy as a form of politics. In my opinion, politics is not a profit oriented process. That would be a business. C’est la vie eh.

==================

radson:
“If we are entering a period when fascist and other authoritarian movements are likely to occur, then it would be prudent to think about how to deal with the situation.  I think this will involve getting beyond thinking of bad names for things we don’t like.”

—-

If I have been resorting to name-calling, I apologize. I hadn’t noticed, but then, I have been posting late at night mostly.

I’m afraid the only way to escape the trap we have built, is to dismantle the social construct itself and build one that works. This is not outside our capability.

The monetary model does not work well after a very short period of time and should be scrapped for a purely resource based, human oriented concept in a closed system.

However, I doubt we are adult enough to pull something like that off without first beating ourselves up trying to save the unsavable financial based, cash-is-God system that we all seem to love so much.

I’d be willing to entertain any suggestions other than those that propose we continue to try and repair the current system, as I do not believe that is possible. Since all attempts to repair the monetary society are monetary based solutions, I see it as trying to put out a fire using gasoline and paper.

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By radson, March 14, 2011 at 11:49 pm Link to this comment

If having to rely on the criminal aspect of society ,somewhat like the Soviet System under Stalin ;then the Planet better shutter ,and not only the windows .But if only definitions you are seeking ,those that have two meanings ,is it not wise to let the breeze in.

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2011 at 11:08 pm Link to this comment

I wasn’t speaking idealistically about politics.  I was giving a definition of the word which I think corresponds with most of its usage and denotes a coherent area of human experience.

Criminal exploitation is a kind of politics, not (in my view) an absence or alternative to politics.  I believe the name it is usually called by is ‘kleptocracy’.

If we are entering a period when fascist and other authoritarian movements are likely to occur, then it would be prudent to think about how to deal with the situation.  I think this will involve getting beyond thinking of bad names for things we don’t like.

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By radson, March 14, 2011 at 10:01 pm Link to this comment

prgill:Thank you for your kind words ,and ‘yes ‘you are right concerning Tao’s contribution with regards to his complicated ‘style’ of expressing himself,it had me thinking for many moons ,which in essence has helped me to evolve in that regard.I believe in giving credit where credit is due.

cheers

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By radson, March 14, 2011 at 9:46 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie:your last post is rather interesting and the Fact that opportunists ;political for that matter will always be waiting in the wing should be noted to all who vie for a change in the existing ‘quagmire’.As the enormity of the situation has ,not yet ‘sunk-in’ and is in the process of unfolding ;the position in the sinking ship of ‘affairs’ will become more clear .Some may praise the pyramids others may praise it’s construction ,yet very few acknowledge the ‘iceberg’.

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By Gary Mont, March 14, 2011 at 9:18 pm Link to this comment

Note: one of the missing posts did indeed appear some 36 hours later. I simply did not wait long enough I guess. Then again, it was a weekend…

—-

Anarcissie:
“Politics is the theory and practice of determining (in a community) whose will shall prevail, and how.  Since humans are highly social, willful beings, they’re pretty much stuck with it.”

—-

In its purest form, I agree. However, as the founding fathers understood well, poltics was also the perfect medium for criminal exploitation if not constantly watched by its subjects and permanently corraled by laws which limited its scope.

Once these laws are tossed aside as they were by the Bush Administration, there are no checks against politics becoming a simple criminal exploitation scam.

My point is simply that once a large enough number of individuals become vastly wealthy, it is natural that they combine forces in order to try and infiltrate and control the political field in an attempt to alter the laws for their own benefit. This is what Fallaci meant by the absence of politics. Once the wealthiest members of a society have full control of government, there remains only pure exploitation as purpose and no true political agenda is left, except as means to profit.

While it always appears as though humanity is so diverse and at odds one to the other, and thus must have an externalized authourity to decide direction and direct decisions, this is a fallacy perpetrated by social engineering. Poverty is not a coincidental situation, nor do people choose poverty. It is the means by which people can be made desperate enough to do the labor, fight the wars, and create the atmosphere of crime necessary for legal exploitation and wealth building by the moneyed families and land owners. It has always been a part of human civilization because it always works to create wealth for the few who rule.

=========================

Anarcissie:
“Oriana Fallaci once said that fascism was the absence of politics, but even absolute submission to the authorities is a kind of politics. a choice one makes.”

—-

If you consider that deciding to obey, when one has a gun at one’s head, rather than refuse and die, as choice, then yes, obedience to fascism and other dictatorial forms of population control and exploitation is a choice one makes.

==========================

Anarcissie:
“In a polity going into decline, as the U.S. appears to be, I’d expect to observe various kinds of authoritarian political movements promising salvation, including especially fascism and religious fundamentalism.”

—-

Well, religious fundamentalism is certainly making noises about becoming politically involved, giving huge fuel to the seperation of church and state argument, but fascism cannot actually offer anything but complete destruction of everything. That is why fascism must always wear a disguise and pretend to be one of the legitimate political groups already vying for office.

A poltical campaign offerring to send your children off to die in its permanent wars, while it steals every last penny you ever earn working in its members’ slave mines, is hardly likely to attract a great number of voters to its side.

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By Anarcissie, March 14, 2011 at 3:10 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont, March 14 at 2:13 am:P

Seems every second post I make gets tossed out as “off-topic”, so I’m going to have to log in from now on. The first repsonse to this did not get posted, so….

Anarcissie:
“Why can’t a political movement be ‘a symptom of a diseased society on the verge of collapse?’  (Going with the organic metaphor for the moment, although it also troubles me.)”

Politics is, in my opinion, the most expensive waste of public funds ever invented. ...’

Politics is the theory and practice of determining (in a community) whose will shall prevail, and how.  Since humans are highly social, willful beings, they’re pretty much stuck with it.

Oriana Fallaci once said that fascism was the absence of politics, but even absolute submission to the authorities is a kind of politics. a choice one makes.  In a polity going into decline, as the U.S. appears to be, I’d expect to observe various kinds of authoritarian political movements promising salvation, including especially fascism and religious fundamentalism.

I don’t know why you were faulted for posting off-topic.  After slagging out the writers of the articles, most of the people who comment here wander off onto a variety of subjects, some of which are occasionally interesting.

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By Gary Mont, March 14, 2011 at 1:31 am Link to this comment

Gulam:
“That is well said indeed, and it explains why it was so hard as a kid to get our heads around the difference between the Nazis and the Communists, since their reported behaviour was so similar.”

—-

Every human institution is subject to corruption through infiltration by those who recognise the fact that a well established institution has a popular integrity that will allow corruption to work in secret long enough to profit.

This goes for all religions, corporations, governments, associations and organizations.

(The give-away is that the institution will initiate massive security so it can work in secret.)

The more “trust” such entities have earned over time, the more attractive they are to criminals.

One might do well to wonder where organized crime has been investing its ill-gotten gains for the last fifty years of the War on Drugs.

Institutions such as long established Insurance Companies are extremely attractive to OC take-overs as they have no overhead, sell nothing, and make billions - and have the private ear of the federal government.

The first Prohibition in the USA was not ended by a wave of angry mothers as the ersatz history claims. It was ended by convoys of Tycoons who had realized that the mobsters were using their booze capital to buy up their businesses.

As soon as Prohibition One was ended, the well-grafted Fed initiated Prohibition Two - labelled the War on Drugs - and its lasted the better part of a century now. That’s a lot of tax free capital to toss around.

Fascism and the MAFIA are almost like brothers, as they’re both business associations without legal restrictions.

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By Gulam, March 14, 2011 at 1:02 am Link to this comment

Gary Mont said:

“Fascism is not actually a political movement of any sort. Its a business plan,
plain and simple. It always wears the label of whatever political party it
infiltrates and overthrows, in order to maintain a facade of legitimacy, but its
goals are always the same - complete exploitation of the subject population, by
any and every means available.”

That is well said indeed, and it explains why it was so hard as a kid to get our
heads around the difference between the Nazis and the Communists, since
their reported behaviour was so similar. Yes, fascism is all about putting
yourself and whatever clique you are in first. Once faith is gone, faith that there
is purpose and order in the world as we found it and in the wisdom
accumulated by our species over a wide area over the past one hundred
thousand years, then the self-enlightened must fall back on language and race
to define themselves. These new ad-hoc social movements, the isms and even
the nation-states are creatures of our own making, out-of-control monsters
with a logic of their own. Who else but mad monsters would build a string of
nuclear reactors along the geological ring of fire?

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By Gary Mont, March 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

Seems every second post I make gets tossed out as “off-topic”, so I’m going to have to log in from now on. The first repsonse to this did not get posted, so….


Anarcissie:
“Why can’t a political movement be ‘a symptom of a diseased society on the verge of collapse?’  (Going with the organic metaphor for the moment, although it also troubles me.)”

—-

Politics is, in my opinion, the most expensive waste of public funds ever invented. In fact, GWBush just proved that a nation like the USA has no real need for a federal government, by replacing the US Fed with his family’s henchmen and con-artist friends for nearly a decade.

For nearly a decade, the USA ran itself quite well while the fake fed went about its true tasks of rewriting the laws to allow fascist profiteering, destroying documents that implicated family friends and associates in various crimes, robbing the national treasuries of Afghanistan, Iraq and America, and setting the stage for a hundred years of war against a completely manufactured, invisible enemy.

However, fascism is not actually a political movement of any sort. Its a business plan, plain and simple.

It always wears the label of whatever political party it infiltrates and overthrows, in order to maintain a facade of legitimacy, but its goals are always the same - complete exploitation of the subject population, by any and every means available.

A Fascist association is always composed of a nation’s most resepected and wealthy citizens. It is, in effect, an invasion and conquest by the very people charged with preventing an invasion and conquest by a foreign power. This is why they almost always succeed in taking over the reigns of power.

Fascism occurs only after a nation has reached a point where many hundreds of people have become so wealthy that they can command the rewriting of the laws of the land. They do this in order to protect their wealth and insure their families a future free of poverty, but they do so without the realization of the consequences of their actions. Growing up rich, they have never had to think of much besides ways and means of turning one dollar into three dollars repeatedly.

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By brianrouth, March 13, 2011 at 8:18 pm Link to this comment

http://tinyurl.com/65ok47a ‘War is the pornography of violence

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By brianrouth, March 13, 2011 at 8:15 pm Link to this comment

here is a homage to Chris Hedges http://tinyurl.com/65ok47a

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By brianrouth, March 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm Link to this comment

This is a homage to Chris Hedges http://soundcloud.com/brianrouth/war-is-the-
pornography-of

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By Adam, March 13, 2011 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sam Harris wrote a rebuttal to the comments in your book on his website. I was wondering if you plan on making a counter rebuttal?

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By sallysense, March 13, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

hiya again tao walker… and to fully clarify my last post to you…

if you remember… your comment to me followed my posting of a letter of mine sent to officials and the president…

and as far as the poetry goes… am continuing to send complimentary copies of a book of my poems to veterans and v a hospitals and old folks homes and poor kids libraries and elsewhere…

and also send letters etc…

we’re all only human beings…

whose conscience can say that we’re not being hypocritical… if all we do is observe and critique… and leave it at that ?...

so just what is it that you’re trying to say ?... smile

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By sallysense, March 13, 2011 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

(or on yet another level of just observing and critiquing things)...

(the commenter’s creed ?)...

i do my best to better things by sharing my opinions!...
so i’ll leave it up to others to give bad events good riddance!...
don’t look for me near worthy deeds in need of hands to help them!...
but follow these columns as things get worse and watch me comment again!...

best wishes’n'ways for today to dawn on… smile

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By sallysense, March 13, 2011 at 11:43 am Link to this comment

hiya tao walker… just came across your question here (to me) now… you asked me to explain this…

“do you ever wonder how many commenters limit themselves to just observing and critiquing situations which otherwise might have ended up a lot differently… had not so many other folks limited themselves to just observing and critiquing occurrences in the first place ?”...

...

well… hopefully the following example will help towards explaining it somewhat to you on a firsthand type of basis… (it takes into account the following previous comments between you and me)...

...

(this is again (the third time) directed to you regarding your comment referring to me in the “manning might face death penalty” ear-to-the-ground article of march 2nd)...

“this country is home to many different people… which humans are you referring to?... which humans are you not referring to?...

this country is home to many different ways of living… which modes of being are you referring to?... which modes of being are you not referring to?...

and which portrayals in your post don’t apply to you?... and which portrayals in your post do apply to you?”...

...

have not as of yet come across any answers from you for these questions…

and if by some chance my reading has overlooked them… would you please direct me to where your answers are…

and if there are none… consider this…

the questions give conscientiousness itself a chance to actively participate… beyond just observation and critique…

the questions also give conscientiousness a chance to ignore them… and just continue to observe and critique things…

hopefully this example has helped towards explaining it somewhat on a firsthand type of basis…

best wishes’n'ways for today to dawn on!... smile

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By katsteevns, March 13, 2011 at 6:04 am Link to this comment

There ARE political movements here that are a symptom of a diseased society, but they get nipped at the bud. I can only name a few of the leaders:Malcolm X, MLK, Jr., RFK, JFK, John Lennon, the Black Panthers, the anti-war movement of the 60’s, the nuclear freeze movement of the 80’s, the communist party, and numerous others before, during and since.

The US has dealt out more pain and suffering around the globe in the past 200 years, killing more people and destroying more countries than any other nation.
So, it is only apt that she will suffer the most when as things go bad. The US has very little culture and history to fall back on compared to most other countries, especially since most of our history is has been distorted to accommodate the status quo.

Ideally, ones best bet would be to emigrate. Unfortunately, most can not afford to do that and, like me, will go down with the ship. When the US runs out of resources that can be plundered and turned into dead capital, then human life itself will become a commodity as we can see is happening already in the prison system.

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By Gary Mont, March 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascism has no true political agenda. Its a purely business based association entirely driven by a desire for unrestricted profit, similar in many ways to the MAFIA.

It adopts the title of whatever political party it can infiltrate and control, no matter what the ideals of the political party might have been - liberal, conservative, socialist, communist… the political agenda of the “host” party is of no consequence to the fascist. Such a host is simply a disguise.

Fascism is based upon the idea that a population is a resource and that those who have wealth should be able to utilize the popualtion for whatever purpose they might desire.

Deception is the primary methodology of the fascist regime - tell the public what you want them to believe and no more. In fact, education of the general public beyond that which is necessary for the operation of the industrial machinery is considered dangerous.

The Fascist psuedo-government hopes to induce massive poverty in order to create desperation in the population. When desperate, the citizens will work at any task for almost any wage - the industrialist’s wet dream come true is slavery.

Fascism is the people who were made wealthy by a political system, dismantling that political system to protect and increase their own wealth at the expense of the population. It is in effect, an invasion and conquest of a nation by that nation’s most respected citizens.

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By Anarcissie, March 12, 2011 at 8:14 pm Link to this comment

Gary Mont, March 13 at 12:08 am:

‘Fascism is not a political movement.
It is a symptom of a diseased society on the verge of collapse. ...’

Why can’t a political movement be ‘a symptom of a diseased society on the verge of collapse?’  (Going with the organic metaphor for the moment, although it also troubles me.)

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By Gary Mont, March 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

cont from pt1

This process has plagued human civilization since the beginning and is likely to continue unabated as long as humans exist on earth, because the lesson can never be learned. The new civilization that springs up from the ashes of the old, is always based on personal worth according to accumulated wealth and is thus, guaranteed to fail in time also, through identical causes.
Today we have reached the point where facism has taken hold of and now controls all the important aspects of western civilization. After the theft of the American Election system by the Republicans under G.W. Bush, the last legal restrictions against uncontrolled fascist profiteering were eliminated and the corporate/fascist theft of public money has continued unchecked by anyone to the tune of many trillions of dollars a year.
Within a few years, America will find itself utterly bankrupt and either revolt or dissolve, while all of its billionaires will migrate to various nations around the world to spread the disease. Once again, another human civilization will become merely a curious land of ruins where future antiquarians (if we are lucky enough to get another start) can wander and ponder and try to fathom how such a vast nation could come to such an abrupt and ignoble an end.

They will of course, never discern the truth, even if it were written in stone for all to see.

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By Gary Mont, March 12, 2011 at 7:08 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Fascism is not a political movement.
It is a symptom of a diseased society on the verge of collapse.
What we are seeing today - the corruption of institutions and the uncaring greed of our most respected citizens - is nothing new at all. It is in fact, the standard process by which all human civilizations fail, because all human civilizations have been built on the premise of status through wealth.
Because we measure human worth by how much money and power a person has, all human endeavours seek power and wealth as their true goals. All other aspects of social interaction take a back seat to this drive to accumulate that which will allow us freedom from law and need and fear, and allow us access to the “good life” available in a money-based system only to those who possess money in abundance, and it is this drive that insures the failure of civilizations, past and future and present.
As people accumulate wealth and power, they associate primarily with others of like position, and through association, develop plans and methods of using their individual and combined wealth to create an environment where they can all become even wealthier and more powerful. After all, everyone is simply trying to insure their children have the best possible chance to survive and succeed and for the wealthy, these goals become far easier to accomplish, especially in concert with others of like mind and power and the cloak of secrecy such power affords.
Eventually, the wealthy devise methods of altering laws and creating legal means through which greater and greater profits can be derived from their wealth and connections, such as usury, or interest, where money earns an income by being kept out of circulation and stored in banks.
The introduction of laws giving corporations the same rights as individuals is a fine example of the wealthy using their power to overturn and eliminate the laws that were created to prevent the very rich from stealing the nation’s wealth and taking over the nation’s government.
Soon, the wealthy have legally taken control of all the institutions of a society and begin to drain the general public of its final wealth, to the point where a depression or recession seems likely. Once the wealthy control the government itself, the process becomes almost unstoppable and the probability of economic collapse becomes apparently inevitable. This in turn creates a greater desire in the wealthy to accumulate even more wealth - to insure their survival beyond any economic upheaval - which in turn escalates the problem and the process.
When the wealthy take over government and run it like a business intent on profiteering only, it is called fascism, even though all fascist movements apply disguises to maintain the appearance of an acceptable political movement. Nazi - for example stands for National Socialist Party, but is an entirely fascist or corporatist movement in its designs and purpose and has no Socialist ideals whatsover.
Eventually, through every means available to them, the wealthy will literally drain the wealth of the nation into safe holding places like non-taxable off-shore bank accounts, depriving the general population of the ability to purchase the very things that made the wealthy rich and powerful in the first place. When the wealthy have taken all the nation’s currency out of circulation, the only place left to get more wealth is from each other beginning the downward spiral to dissolution.
This is the period that history always describes as decadence, where the rich are vastly powerful and the general public is absolutely impoverished, and which is usally followed by either a complete revolt by the impoverished citizens, or the complete collapse of the entire social structure and dissolution of the civilization.
Where possible, the wealthy will then leave the area taking their wealth to other nations where they will repeat the process without ever realizing they are the cause of destruction.

end p1

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By Gulam, March 12, 2011 at 6:12 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for taking me seriously prgill. My primary point regarding feminism
was that patriarchy is so efficient that it always wins out over the long haul,
and successful societies inevitably operate by it from a process of natural
selection. Moses followed “what really is” not some magical projection called a
god; his laws are practical.

After the Second World War had Americans simply carried on with traditional
ways, no enemy could have touched them for generations. The oil that
Americans had under their own land would have lasted many decades had it not
been consumed in an orgy of material excess. Instead of following the standard
model supported by of all of the world’s major religions, modern capitalists
chose, like their fellow materialists the Communists, to use the Enlightenment
rhetoric of liberation to rearrange the social order. By “liberating” women,
putting them into the work force, the West embarked upon an unstable course
of continually increasing consumption that could only be sustained by taking by
force the resources of the rest of the world. This made their need to dominate
other nations inevitable, their destruction of the environment was accelerated,
and their family structures were undermined. Feminism is the key to bringing
on rapid decline; it opens he door to destruction on many fronts at once, but
the big one right now is that it more than doubled the American consumer’s
consumption on oil, and that is a of not the biggest glutton for petrolium on
the planet. Once generated the wildly exaggerated demand created by a
bloated economy drives an insane need to dominate energy and raw material
reserves.

Americans and their European co-conspirators force feminism on the rest of
the world by force of arms, because it drives an economy into the kinds of
consumer demands that only they can satisfy. The Americans required the
conservative Afghans to reserve 25% of their legislative seats for women, a rate
rarely seen in any American state. Both at home and abroad the wealthy class
in the West uses feminism as a means of domination. This shift in wealth into
the hands of a smaller number of families weakens any nation by cutting the
size of the middle class and raising the number of people in an upper-middle,
sub-elite class whose loyalty to the masses is diminished by distance. It is
easier for those at the very top to steal vast sums from this upper-middle
class, because unlike the lower-middle class, the working class, they are less
skeptical of the system and have been taught that it is smart to play the stock
market and use complex investments.

The secular social model has followed where its Enlightenment logic led. Who
were the models, the heroes of the Enlightenment? Plato’s Republic was a
fascist nightmare written at the end of Greek democracy, in which the family is
destroyed completely and children are raised by the state. Aristotle, a student
of Plato, was a teacher of Alexander of Macedon, the tyrant, homosexual, and
raging alcoholic who brought an end to freedom for the citizens of Athens and
for those living from there to Tajikistan. He forced monotheistic Zoroastrian
Persia back into the pagan world just as British, Russian, American and NATO
armies have been forcing secular, “Enlightenment” materialism on the religious
Muslims of Central Asia. Western propaganda presents the wars in Afghanistan,
Pakistan, and Iraq as a liberation for Muslim women, but when Napoleon took
Egypt, women lost rights that they had had for centuries under Islam. At this
point America and Europe are intellectually and morally bankrupt. Feminism is
not the cause but a symptom, evidence that the apogee of the West is past and
that her people wait to be led by other men.

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By prgill, March 12, 2011 at 5:42 pm Link to this comment

Gulam, your comments bother me. They are intelligent and reasoned, but repeated here like so many talib-an talking points.

[If I am not mistaken “taliban” in Pashto is the plural of “talib” or student. I use it here as an adjective to speak of a sophomoric view. As sophomore is a student but not yet wise. Thus “sophomore”= “sophos” (wise) + “moros” (foolish).]

If you knew anything about what is happening in Europe and America and among our brothers (and sisters) in Palestine and North Africa you would understand that there is a great move underfoot to reconcile the three religions of the Book.

If the world trading system were to collapse tomorrow as Bin Laden and his ilk wish, so that the dispossessed of the earth can rise up and assume their rightful place among men, Europe and North America would would go on as before, only with lower expectations and greater hardship.

The point of Chris Hedges article is that continuation of the materialist, consumer society fostered in the years following the Second World War will lead to ecosystem failures on a scale unprecedented since the great dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. That is the problem, not the morality of our films (which you don’t have to watch), the sanctity of the family (which is a problem best left for another discussion) or the morality of our women.

You spoke of this in your first post (March 7th). Your point about continuing in our traditional ways shows a lack of understanding about what our ways may be…, but you wrote intelligently (in my opinion, of course) about using Enlightenment rhetoric to rearrange the social order even suggesting that liberating women to work was a strategy to advance material consumerism. But then you blew it. You stated, in effect, that feminism was a cause for the decline of the West because of its impact on the family social structure.

I think feminism, more than anything else disturbed the cozy and mediocre dominance poor societies manage to impose on those who bear your children. Feminism and what you see as decadence are in fact the public face of the contraceptive revolution, a revolution that liberated women to master their own bodies, to chose their mates when they were ready and to bear healthy and sustainable children.

This my friend is not a problem that needs to be solved on our side of the world. You should probably sweep before your own doorstep.

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By de profundis clamavi, March 12, 2011 at 2:35 pm Link to this comment

Uh, Chris,

The Ghost Dance and the rebellion that was crushed at Wounded Knee in 1890 was the last gasp of resistance of the Plains Indians, especially the Sioux, not the Cherokee, whose Trail of Tears had already driven them to Oklahoma nearly 60 years earlier.

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By Gulam, March 12, 2011 at 1:12 pm Link to this comment

The “we” in Chris Hedges’s title is certainly the USA and its
followers. Surely dismantling the Union and waking Americans
from their dream is the most constructive course for mankind
as a whole to take at this time? The Americans have almost
single handedly brought in this entire course of nuclear madness
with its long-term consequences, they destroyed much
of Southeast Asia with carpet bombing and chemicals,
they dominate Europe, Central and South America in violent
and unappreciated ways, and they alone produce more than half the world’s
weapons. The Americans threaten everyone, they have done much more per
capita than everyone else in degrading the environment through the excessive
burning of oil, their arrogance degrades the general discourse constantly, their
New York United Nations is a Western-dominated pretence, and the vulgarity of
their media productions is a blight on public morals. Surely they are the enemy
not only of all mankind but of all creatures on the earth.  All it would take to
bring them down is a conscious and intentional flight from, if not a planned
attack on, their dollar. If a serious shunning of Americans on all fronts
culturally and politically is not in order at this point in time, it is difficult to
imagine what a nation would have to do to justify such general rejection by
others. Given the cooperation between American anthropoligists and their
military in South Asia, how can any poor nation allow their aid and education
people access if using scholars as spies is their policy?

Chris Hedges is all doom and gloom, because when push comes to shove, his
values are not religious ones. His anchor, the logic at the base of all his
arguments, is the same Enlightenment freedom rhetoric that Napoleon and
Stalin used, the claim that they have a right to take over the world because of a
totally bogus claim to defend personal liberty and the little guy. Hedges sees so
little hope, because his hopes are in America and in yankee exceptionalism and
power. Any real Christian leader would be telling Christian Americans how
much they have in common with Islam and how much less environmental
damage we would be doing if we imitated their ways more and not the other
way around.

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By Ted Swart, March 12, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

To MarkP, March 12 at 2:45 pm

Most of what you say is correct.  But see below.
You say:
” MarkP: Ted, even if we were to prove that human CO2 output is the only reason for global climate changes (which I highly doubt), how would that help in resolving the current situation? As far as I know, we currently have no solution to “fix” the problem. The only thing we could possibly do is stop the burning of fossil fuels on a global level over a number of years, slowing our use until we reach a VERY low number when compared to today’s CO2 output numbers.
If global warming is the result of both human CO2 output, as well as natural changes that mother Earth is going through anyway, we still have no fix that we could implement.
If global warming is completely a result of Earth’s natural changes (which I also highly doubt), we certainly have no means to combat these changes on a planetary level.
So again, what’s the point of who is right, and who is wrong at this time?”

The point is simply this: If the AGW hypothesis is faulty then we ought to act accordingly and not waste time energy and money on a pointless attempt to reduce the C02 content of the atmosphere. Think of it as a fertilizer and not as a pollutant. 

“Shouldn’t the real discussions be on how we (as a species) are going to continue our agricultural production of worldwide food supplies, and how we’re going to conserve and regenerate our fresh water supply? If our fresh water reserves are dwindling, and our polar ice caps are indeed melting, shouldn’t we concern ourselves with how to capture this fresh melt-water, and store it for use by the people’s of the world?”

Of course we should concern ourselves with such things and we should stop polluting the oceans with plastics, stop denuding the Earth of its remaining forests, stop overfishing etc etc. But you have to admit that there has been an inappropriate emphasis on CO2 reduction at the expense of other issues.

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By MarkP, March 12, 2011 at 9:45 am Link to this comment

MarkP: What difference does it make if if one side or the other is right about global warming?”

Ted Stewart: Unfortunately it does make a difference which side is right and which side is wrong. The protracted nature of the debate arises form the fact that AGW supporters refuse to face the fact that their hypothesis may well be and almost certainly is flawed. None of the AGW skeptics of any substance says that there has bee no warming. What they do question is the claim that extra CO2 is the cause.
Resolving the difference is very important since—as you rightly suggest—we need a concerted effort to rectify the damage we have done and continue to do to the environment. And this concerted effort can ill afford to to waste money, time and energy on battling a non-existent problem with impotent weapons. Tinkering with the atmosphere’s CO2 content will do hardly anything to affect the Earth’s climate.

MarkP: Ted, even if we were to prove that human CO2 output is the only reason for global climactic changes (which I highly doubt), how would that help in resolving the current situation? As far as I know, we currently have no solution to “fix” the problem. The only thing we could possibly do is stop the burning of fossil fuels on a global level over a number of years, slowing our use until we reach a VERY low number when compared to today’s CO2 output numbers.
If global warming is the result of both human CO2 output, as well as natural changes that mother Earth is going through anyway, we still have no fix that we could implement.
If global warming is completely a result of Earth’s natural changes (which I also highly doubt), we certainly have no means to combat these changes on a planetary level.
So again, what’s the point of who is right, and who is wrong at this time? Shouldn’t the real discussions be on how we (as a species) are going to continue our agricultural production of worldwide food supplies, and how we’re going to conserve and regenerate our fresh water supply? If our fresh water reserves are dwindling, and our polar ice caps are indeed melting, shouldn’t we concern ourselves with how to capture this fresh melt-water, and store it for use by the people’s of the world?

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By prgill, March 12, 2011 at 9:14 am Link to this comment

A remarkable article and and equally remarkable discussion.

I have spent the better part of Saturday reading, and exploring new subjects raised in the discussion forum to say nothing of reading Hedges article and references (“A Short History of Progress” and Jared Diamond’s “The Last Americans”). I find myself “empowered” and uplifted by this virtual community and ready to kick some ass.

At the same time, the logistics of “making a difference”, even locally, is a bit overwhelming.

To Psychobabbler, your plan to tilt the world’s axis by 15 degrees would not only create jobs, but solve the population problem. We could then all say together, “Yippy Yay, we did it!” Brilliant. The only problem is, this would be a “technology trap” and we would probably not be any the wiser for the experience and probably go back to our own way. Nope. That is not the healing way.

Very important points, Alias329. In my view, Chris errs in trying to dramatize something that is already so dramatic it needs no help. His text then appears melodramatic and Messianic. (I kinda’ like his opening paragraph and reference to Shelly’s “Ozymandias”, also used in Jared Diamond’s essay, “The Last Americans” and quoted by RayLan).

Hedges’ tone is also mentioned by Plainsman who speaks of Hedges’ “grandiloquent expression”.

TAO WALKER, thank-you for sharing your definition of the Tiyoshpaye Way. You say many things that are worth remembering and conclude that when Mother Earth’s great purification ceremony is completed those who survive are those who will have “consciously and conscientiously” organized themselves to live in the Tiyoshpaye Way.

The Tiyoshpaye engages a part of our Living Arrangement, in all its various climactic and geophysical expressions, as an Integrated Organism.  Its “size” varies according to the needs of its particular ‘range’ for the precious attention whole healthy Human Communities give to the Living Arrangement.  In helping to maintain and sustain the Natural Harmony and Balance of any given “eco-system,” the Tiyoshpaye will naturally also be nourished, clothed, and otherwise provided with the organic support necessary to our health and wholeness.

It would be great if we could get people to think and act the Tiyoshpaye way wherever they are. But most Americans (79%) today live within the boundaries of “ubanized areas” and 30% of these live in core central cities. This same problem is multiplied 22-fold when one considers that the world population of 6.8bn is 60% urbanized.

What we need is to find Tiyoshpaye ways that work in our urban communities. (You can see this in Detroit where urban residents have taken up gardening but how about cities that have grown organically over hundreds and sometime thousands of years? How about dense urban concentrations like New York, Chicago, London, Paris or Bombay? How could the Tiyoshpaye way be adapted in these settings?

I suspect the Tiyoshpaye Way has as much to do with the “wild natural living arrangement” embodied in the mitakuye oyasin ethic mentioned by Radson as it does the openness and wildness of the space in which a Tiyoshpaye may range.

And finally, Radson, thank-you for mentioning Mitakuye Oyasin which led me to Mary Black Bonnet’s contribution to the website, Life as a Human, Mitakuye Oyasin — We Are All Related.

Radson, Tao Walker needs no defense. I believe however that his language is appropriate to teaching people how to think outside of the box. By challenging and stimulating people to think about how somebody can say such outrageous things, be so complicated, Tao Walker is challenging people to think about who they are. He is doing us all a great service.

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By TAO Walker, March 11, 2011 at 5:41 pm Link to this comment

Perhaps “sallysense” will be good enough to explain to us how her own “observations” and “critiques” merit exemption from the indictment her latest observational critique below seems to aim at those (she alleges) of other participants here.  Maybe it’s her penchant for getting them in, occasionally, under the guise of “poetry”?

People who erect “straw-man” arguments, to “correct” the supposed shortcomings of others’, oughta be pretty careful with matches.

HokaHey!

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2011 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment

racetoinfinity—Environmental and ecological discourse was as apocalyptic in the 60’s and 70’s as it is today.  Books were published in the 1970s that explained that by 2000 9/10 of the human race would have died off and the remainder would be subsisting miserably in caves.  The apocalyptic mode ensures that nothing will be done, so nothing significant was done then, and nothing is being done now, beyond some feel-good exercises.  And, of course, the customary apocalyptic ranting, which I expect to continue indefinitely.

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By Anarcissie, March 11, 2011 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Litl Bludot, March 11 at 11:01 am:

another way of saying it.

http://www.counterpunch.org/levine03092011.html

I stopped reading where the author started advocating bringing back the draft.  By then I was tired of his loose use of the term ‘fascist’ which indicated that he was more interested in name-calling than analysis.

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By oldwob, March 11, 2011 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Here is one of the books Chris recommends that makes a
very convincing argument for climate instability
leading to collapse.  Downbeat, but luckily handguns
are plentiful and cheap right now.  I’m stocking up wink
http://books.google.com/books?
id=EuE0RmNLlp4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=Clive+Hamilton+“
Requiem+for+a+Species.”&source=bl&ots=ABhFSkGDIE&sig=ZX
gV7I

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By sallysense, March 11, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

do you ever wonder how many commenters limit themselves to just observing and critiquing situations which otherwise might have ended up a lot differently… had not so many other folks limited themselves to just observing and critiquing occurrences in the first place ?...

best wishes’n'ways for today to dawn on!... smile

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By Litl Bludot, March 11, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

another way of saying it.

http://www.counterpunch.org/levine03092011.html

Perhaps you can understand it better from this guy. As of now, I don’t have much hope for you people. There are just a few who can still have outrage, still see the tragedy, the rest of you are cattle waiting for the slaughter, and the fascists know it.

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By racetoinfinity, March 11, 2011 at 5:59 am Link to this comment

We’ve known about ecology and health of the biosphere and that we are “Spaceship Earth” with definite limits, and that our new role after the industrial carbon age was/is to be the caretaker of the biosphere, the steward.  This budding awareness was one of the “horrors” of evolutionary awareness that was fought against by the reactionary corporatist power structure now firmly in place.  Had the aware ones of the 60s and 70s prevailed, we might not be facing the nightmare Hedges describes.

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By brianrouth, March 11, 2011 at 4:45 am Link to this comment

you might like this audio with Chris Hedges
http://soundcloud.com/brianrouth/the-empire-of-illusion

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By katsteevns, March 10, 2011 at 6:32 pm Link to this comment

Psychobabbler wrote:

“Religion discourages objective thinking.

It demands trust in leadership.

I try to respect peoples traditions always, but this is all very dangerous to innocence now.”

The word “patriotism” could be substituted for “religion” very nicely. In fact, patriotism is the religion of the USA.

@RayLan
Involuntary taxation to fund the advancement of science is equivalent to the priest holding a knife to your throat as he brings the offering plate around. ....Science can take a flying leap.

@Caute
It is obvious by now that Americans, on the whole, have a tradition of coupling too quickly and for all the wrong reasons.

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By Psychobabbler, March 10, 2011 at 6:18 pm Link to this comment

I have a plan. We will need truck loads of spoons and magnets to change the
direction of gravity 15 degrees. Plenty of jobs will be made available in
construction immediately for tilting housing and roads. This would also change
the direction of earths rotation away from the sun to cool it down a little. Then we
will switch gears and come back.

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By alias329, March 10, 2011 at 5:05 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wovoka, the founder of the Ghost Dance movement, was Paiute, not Cherokee.
Also, environmental degradation is but one of dozens of competing theories,
rather than the consensus theory, on why Mayan civilization declined following its
Classical period. And, in any case, that whole “retreated into primitivism” assertion is just unfounded silliness typical of journalism. If you’re going to diss Thomas Friedman, then you had better be better than Thomas Friedman.

These lapses in accuracy undermine your credibility, and compromise what is
otherwise an incredibly important message.

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By Hsaive, March 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Patents for Global Warming mitigation a Jr. High School project?
http://beforeitsnews.com/story/463/491/CONCLUSION:_If_Contrails_are_Powder_then_Chemtrails_Dont_Exist.html

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By Lafayette, March 10, 2011 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

CH: The global economy is built on the erroneous belief that the marketplace—read human greed—should dictate human behavior and that economies can expand eternally.

But economies have always expanded. Which is why the history of mankind goes back so very far.

It will continue to expand and any argument for environmental cataclysm is grossly exaggerated. Which does not mean that we need unhook ourselves from the carbon molecule. Indeed, we must do precisely that small miracle. But threatening humanity with extinction is no rational arguments. Humanity could care less.

ABOUT US

I see little will to do so in the US. Our production of electricity is still dependent upon petroleum and gas supplies, when we have a proven technology (nuclear energy) that pollutes differently. It does not pollute the atmosphere, which is the most important.

Why’s that? Ask K-street, they know why ...

For as long as energy policy is being influenced by business lobbies, the US will have no intelligent attitude towards sane ecological managment practice.

But, isn’t this the same as regards any number of subjects where, whenever business puts its finger into the pie, the people get screwed?

MY POINT

The above summarizes well the nature of our warped political system. And it is senseless to blame our political class for as long as we continue to elect them.

We have met the enemy and he is us.(Pogo, by Walt Kelly)

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By RayLan, March 10, 2011 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

Leefeller
ROFLMAO

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By RayLan, March 10, 2011 at 2:40 pm Link to this comment

@Anarcissie
“Insisting on one true belief, demonizing unbelievers and skeptics, worshipping an infallible priesthood, promoting authoritarian politics—those are religious and absolutist.  To say nothing of predicting the imminent end of the world, which has been a favorite for several centuries and gives rise to a curious resonance between Progressives and Evangelicals. “

Right - absolute denial in no different from absolute belief. But then science is not about belief.

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By Leefeller, March 10, 2011 at 1:39 pm Link to this comment

Not sure, but I may have saw a real live canard at the circus once? . This carnarding around is what some people do quite well, and most of them appears to do it much better than I.. I tried canarding once and found it unpleasant, sort of like C.Curtis.Dillons scientific experiment of farting in the wind.  I do not recommended it,..... but;  to each his own!  I have a cousin who went to Stanford,...... this explains some things.

Anacassie, Again to each his own,  now I have never seen an inflatable Priest but I suspect they work a lot better then the real ones!  Each person is different, so they must make all kinds of inflatable dolls,..... but I have only ever saw those girl ones.

I am so elated to have discovered this forum is finally over,..... because without the formal announcements I would have never known!

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By redslider, March 10, 2011 at 1:36 pm Link to this comment

For some, ‘Certainty’ seems to mean “I ain’t moving until you prove this volcano I live on is going to blow.”  Or, as one lemming said to the next, “Did you bring your beach towel?” 

Not that poetry ever persuaded anyone of anything, for me it means http://holopoet.com/Poems/certainty.html

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By Ted Swart, March 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm Link to this comment

To C.Curtis.Dillon, March 10 at 4:59 pm

You are probably right that this particular forum is in the process of closing down and I just wanted to end our interaction by saying that you did such an excellent job when it comes to describing the nature of science in action that this is what I will remember about you.

I tried to track you down so that we could have a more meaningful one-on-one but a search on “Curtis Dillon—physicist—Stanford” got me nowhere.  There are just too many Curtis Dillons—and that may not even be your actual name.

Since you did not give an actual quote on the CO2 issue I could not make head or tail of what you have written and I don’t even know if you were referring to me.
For the record, I do not think that CO2 has no effect on the climate. But I do think that the magnitude of the effect is probably grossly overstated.  And I do not think that we have a good handle on the magnitude of the effect—certainly not good enough to separate natural causes of warming from the burning of fossil fuel cause. Above all, the notion that we can forecast the Earth’s climate hundreds of years into the future with sufficient accuracy to make sensible suggestions about what we should or shouldn’t do with respect to our CO2 production rate is simply a case o hubris gone mad.
I find myself in an odd position on all of this since I think that our reckless denuding of fossil fuel reserves—with huge numbers of hideous SUVs dotting the globe—is utterly indefensible. But, as I said in another contribution this forum, attempting to do the right thing for the wrong reasons is not a healthy thing to do.
What you write—with respect to AGW—seems to me to indicate that you have not really perused the better quality contributions from honest and thoughtful skeptics on this issue.
Best wishes.  Ted Swart

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By Anarcissie, March 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

RayLan, March 10 at 2:13 pm:

‘This canard that ‘believing’ in (acting on) scientific evidence is absolutist and religious - because science isn’t certain is just ignorant of both the nature of decision making and how science works….’

Insisting on one true belief, demonizing unbelievers and skeptics, worshipping an infallible priesthood, promoting authoritarian politics—those are religious and absolutist.  To say nothing of predicting the imminent end of the world, which has been a favorite for several centuries and gives rise to a curious resonance between Progressives and Evangelicals.

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By itpdude, March 10, 2011 at 12:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Another uplifting piece from Hedges.

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By C.Curtis.Dillon, March 10, 2011 at 11:59 am Link to this comment

This thread is probably dead so my words are like farting into the wind. I see some still question the wisdom of my dead to nuts assessment of what’s going on and why we should not react to stop what we are doing. I particularly like the comment about how we have no knowledge that CO2 is causing the problems and then, a few sentences later, he pronounces, without any supporting evidence, that CO2 is absolutely not the cause of what’s happening. A slight disconnect I see. That particular commenter is either one of the stupid ones I talked about in my first comment or he has an agenda we don’t fully understand. In either case I don’t give his credentials much credence given his reactions. He uses the classic method of attacking the messenger, not the message.

My statements about kicking the fallen man didn’t get through as I suspected they wouldn’t. Those who have absolute certainty about their position are unlikely to accept anything short of a baseball bat up side their head when it comes to changing the course we are on. There is plenty of evidence that CO2 raises temperatures (from historical records taken from ice cores) but they are certain that was a coincidence and one we should ignore.

As for my reliance and belief in the scientific method, it has been part of my life since before my Stanford days and will go to the grave with me. I’ve known many scientists in my life and they were, with very rare exception, dedicated to finding the truth. I never saw one of them fiddle an experiment to get the results they thought their funding source wanted to see. Yes, they did research that was of interest to their funders but that’s only natural as it is difficult to get money when you are pursuing something no one is interested in. So they would follow the money only to the extent that they would do research in the areas of interest to those with the $$$. They never would fudge the results.

But, as many here have noted, we are a bunch of lemmings running frantically at the cliff without an understanding of why we do this or the consequence of our actions. The earth will keep spinning without our presence and will, in a few million years, find another species to elevate to master. Hopefully that choice will make better decisions about the planet’s future than we have.

And no, I wouldn’t kick the man when he’s down. As I said in my post, use caution when applying the impulse response method. That is out of compassion for the consequences that particular approach always brings.

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By Leefeller, March 10, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

I don’t know about you, (well some of you I do!) but those uppity scientists thank they are such smarty paints, they act like they think they know even more stuff, than the those Mormons!
Let’s face it Einstein was Jewish , so according to some smart people here on Truthdig that would make Einstein one of those Zionists, which is sort of like the N word? .  Now Galileo Galilei was Catholic which I don t think makes him a Zionist, but may be worser,  I think Galileo was Italian, so that means he wasn’t even American.  What about Charles Darwin and his Evolution thing?  Everyone knows the world is only 3000 years old and that Thomas Jefferson did not exist, I learnt that from the smart people of Texas!  Gotta love those Republicans,........ no smarty pants stuff coming from them.  Republicans can really show you now smart they are, with out making you feel so stupid.

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By Lafayette, March 10, 2011 at 10:54 am Link to this comment

CH: They retreat into isolated compounds, whether at the court at Versailles

This is an apt fact of history and relevant to TeaPartiers.

Louis XIV, who built Versailles, in the latter half of 17th century, said “L’Etat, c’est moi”. Translation: Me, I am the state.

In the following century, his heir, Louis XVIth, would be guillotined, not at Versailles but in Paris. (Sic transit gloria mundi.” Thus transits the glory of this world.)

The TeaPartiers are the heirs of Reckless Ronnie and their time is coming as well. Like the Kings of France they somehow convince themselves that they are preordained to reign and that their dogma is not only righteous but the only political faith worth having.

Their moment at the political guillotine (metaphorically) awaits them as well. Too much of the wealth went to furnishing all the Kings of France and their minions a lush lifestyle, whilst the poor were condemned to the misery of poverty.

The resemblance with the present circumstance in America is less stark but just as obvious. History repeats itself, only differently each time.

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