Saturday, July 23, 2011

Slippery Slope Pt. II

If you steal something from a company that engages in slave wage working conditions, and environmentally un-friendly practices, thus cutting into its profits, have you done anything wrong?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Way Forward

I think we have gone past the point of no return. Our environment has suffered and will continue to suffer irreparable harm. We are running out of drinking water. Our food supply is polluted, diseased and oppressive. International governments have prostrated themselves at the foot of profit. We have a corporate controlled media. The police state is ever expanding. For those in the 3rd world, their terrible existence continues to get worse. For those of us in the 1st world, we are sinking into the 3rd. There may be a few isolated nations that have the programs in place to survive the coming decades (Scandinavia) but for the rest of the world that has been suckered into "Globalization" things will fall apart. Our house is infested with termites. Even if we rid ourselves of these pests, the damage has been done. The problems we face arise from the same issues that have wrecked all civilizations over time, only now this is on a global scale. The stakes have never been higher.

We cannot just recycle the same system. We cannot 'reform' the system. It is the system that is at fault, not the players. Unless we can breed sociopathy out of our species the only known systems of human civilization will continue to cycle. We will get a ruling class, they will steal from the people and the planet, they will support the rise of sociopathy, they will collapse, the people will rise up, a new ruling class will appear, forever and ever.

Now the perfect system would be a benevolent dictatorship, but the likelihood of that ever happening precludes me from expounding further on the topic. Theories are fine. But we need realities.

Is there a way forward? Are we doomed to cycle until the end of the times? Are we ushering in that end right now?

Mankind is the only species capable of consciously adapting to its environment. No other animal/plant can do so. We have the power to live and survive in whichever manner we wish. Just because things have always been one way, does not mean we have to accept that it is the only way for things to be. We can change our minds and in doing so change our lives.

I see three things as being paramount for the survival of mankind upon this planet and into the future. They require a changing of mind. If we choose to stand society upon a tripod, each leg must be equally strong and each leg must be made as strong as possible. The legs of this tripod are as follows: The Self, The Community, The Environment.

I will touch briefly on each and come back to them later for more detail.

We must work at improving ourselves, we must overcome our feelings of craving and aversion, our greed, our selfishness. We must embrace love, compassion and selflessness. The Buddha has shown us one way. There are others. Only through the constant improvement of ourselves can we hope to strengthen the other legs of the tripod.

Every action we make effects everyone else around us. We have to realize this. We do not live in self contained bubbles. We must all work together with this in mind. Not everyone can be a doctor, or a scientist. Not everyone can be a farmer or a cook. Not everyone can work in a factory or in an office. This is the great lie we have been sold. We are not equally capable. This is a good thing. This is what gives us such power as a species. We can fill each niche of our society with the most capable people. We can treat them as equals. We can share in our prosperity. We can be a community, not a collection of individuals.

This one is easy. If the planet dies, we die. We must learn to live as a part of our environment, shaping ourselves to live within the ecosystem. People living in the desert can not, should not, and will not be able to live the same life as someone living in the rainforest. Yet we try so hard to give everyone on this planet the same life. We must embrace the environment we live in, find out how to best use it's resources to aid in our existence. We must see it as an equal. For this, not the houses we live in, is our true home.

I have no idea how we can change the world, or how we can change peoples' minds. If we are to survive we must change. The world must be turned on its head, so we can set it straight. It may be tough, it may be painful, arduous, dangerous and improbable. But we cannot give up or give in. No less than the future of mankind is at stake.

Suggested Reading:
Dune - Frank Herbert
The Master and His Emissary - Iain McGilchrist

Saturday, July 9, 2011

We the People...

I had always thought the United States government existed to serve the people, not that the people existed to serve the government. Lately I have seen how wrong I was. It is time we turned it around and created/demanded a government that serves the citizens.
And FFS corporations are not citizens! I don't care what the Supreme Court says. It is disgusting. It reminds me of the arguments against same-sex marriage: 'If you let the gays marry, then what is stopping siblings from marrying, or polygamy, or a man marrying his dog.' Well if you make a corporation into a person then what is stopping animals or machines or hell! rocks from being made into legally recognized people. I would think the main defining characteristic of all this is that you need to be a human being in order to be a citizen and a person in the eyes of the law.

But to get back to the main point and another problem I see with the way things are right now.

If the US gov't exists for the people and by the people, then we all technically own this country. Our taxes bought and paid for all the land and all the infrastructure of this nation. And yet we have to pay property taxes! We are basically renting land that we bought from ourselves (the gov't) from the gov't (who should be serving us). I don't see how this is at all legal. I can't go to your house, sell you your TV and then charge you a monthly fee to use it. It is your TV, you own it! Even the TV you had to buy from someone else who previously owned it. (Retailer/Manufacturer) But the land... we already owned it. Private citizens bought land from the collective property of our citizenry, (also known as the USA) for their own use. Now that we have sold this land our gov't expects them to pay a monthly fee to retain ownership. If you stop paying your property taxes they can take your property. This just seems obscenely criminal on so many levels. I may be wrong though. This could all be ok, I don't have all the facts and would love to be enlightened from either side of the debate. I will admit I have a lot of personal bias after watching my mom struggle to pay her property taxes. My family bought in to a rural community 30+ years ago. We have always been middle class. Now this area is hugely developed and attracting a lot of upper class people. So the property value and taxes have sky rocketed. But my mom is still in the middle class. So now she has to pay taxes on a house she never could afford to buy today, instead of taxes on the house she did buy 30+ years ago. Insanity!!

Solving the Deficit

So with all this talk about the debt limit, and fixing the deficit and how the only way we can save the country is by destroying the safety net, I thought of a solution to all these problems. I like to call it: Soylent GreenEnergy. We just need to invent a way to turn people into fuel. Then we can take all those expensive elderly and those lazy poor and put them to some good use! Now we can eliminate Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It's a win-win solution. Well... it is so long as you are wealthy. But that is the whole point the Republicans have been pushing lately, that we need to sacrifice the poor to protect the wealthy. I'm sure I could get the Koch Bros. to help finance the research...

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Slippery Slope pt. I

Which is worse? The parent who hits and scolds their child in public, or the one who does it in the privacy of their own home while publicly denouncing the former?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Continuum

It is hard to to believe the insanity of the folks in Washington, DC these days. It beggars belief. I could go on and on about how dumbfounding the actions of our elected officials all. Whether the blatant sociopathy of the Republicans or the insidious complacency of the Democrats. It just seems too improbable that things have ended up this way. It got me to thinking, if we are living in an oligarchic plutocracy, where every law passed and decision made is for the benefit of moneyed interests, what better system could there be? I see it as a continuum. I wish I could make a chart to better show this, but it goes something like this: The Common Good - The Corporate Good - The Corporate Great. In this case, the Dems represent the Corporate Good and the Repubs represent the Corporate Great. The Repubs are standing incredibly far from the Common Good, espousing policies that will do incredible harm to our society and our environment, and bullying anyone who disagrees. From this perspective the Dems policies look fairly sane and reasonable. But the 'reasonable' alternative to insane destruction does not have to be good or smart. It just does not have to be insanely destructive. It can just be plain old destructive. In this way, our only alternative to utter destruction, is to be saddled with policies supporting the Corporate Good. Anything that would provide for the Common Good doesn't even get mentioned. When the Repubs win, they win big (see BUSH II) for the plutocracy and when they lose, and the Dems win, then it still is a victory for the plutocracy. In this way, we, the citizen, can never win. We can only choose between great evil and evil. What is seen as the sane counterpoint to crazed ideas, would seem insane if we started from the viewpoint of the Common Good. But since the Common Good is wholly ignored we become blinded to this fact. We believe that we are seeing a battle between the Left and the Right, between Liberals and Conservatives. When the reality is that we are shown a battle between what the rich and powerful want and what they believe they can get. Nowhere are our concerns addressed. It is time we shone some light on the Common Good end of the continuum. Hopefully if we can concentrate enough light over there, the Corporate Great end will go dark and the Corporate Good will gather shadows.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I am a Black Swan

You can never know what effects your actions may have. One small step today may have reverberations deep into the future. The only thing that one can control is the shape and volition of their actions. By acting from a base of Love and Compassion you can be assured of a positive change in the world around you. We owe it to the 13+ billion years of history that led to this moment to make sure that we do all we can to shape a future that will provide for all things. From the furnace of the stars to the mind of man is one continuous line of evolution. We cannot break that line.

I am dipping my toes into the stream for the first time, but I hope to send out larger and larger ripples of positive energies and Love. We cannot allow our society to be ruled by sociopaths. The brave and intelligent among us must rise up and reclaim our future for all mankind, for all life on earth and for the planet itself.

I hope to keep working my way into the world, bit by bit, but the time to stand by and be idle has passed.

Bhavatu Sabba Mangalam