Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Can't see the forest

I'm sure the rise in earthquakes in Oklahoma is just a coincidence. We'll obviously kill ourselves trying to keep the party going. Pray for humanity.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Restore the middle class

A new study suggests the United States is a oligarchy. It's well past time that we began to properly regulate capitalism and restore the middle class.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

We're getting angrier

Can you feel it? The tension is rising all around us. People are getting more frustrated every day. Sometimes I find little frustrations really pushing my anger limits. Why is that?
This article does a great job of explaining the growing stress throughout society. When we feel helpless, the most common reaction is anger.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The jig is up

I read a couple of incredible things today. One was a quote from Warren Buffet, addressing a business class. He was asked why he was a democrat, and the answer took the form of the Ovarian Lottery. Buffet turned the question around, and asked the students, "If you were given the ability to create the world in which you would live before you were born, but you have no idea what card you'll draw in it, how would you construct it?" He believes that most of us have already stumbled into some good luck. We're Americans, and we enjoy a lifestyle that is the envy of much of the world. And it's true that some of us are granted privilege by birth - being white and male sure was an advantage in the last century. But the question nails the framework for which we all should strive. If before you were born, you could lay out how the world would work, only you didn't know how you would be born it to, wouldn't you want the most free and equal world you could imagine? Whether you come out black, white, male, female, gay, smart, to a family of means or not - you would enjoy an opportunity to lead a happy and fulfilling life?
Of course you do. If one thing resonates through our national fabric, it's the concept of opportunity - that each of us should have the ability to make our lives as we see it. Inherit in that is fairness, and Republicans have talked a lot about economic fairness, but in a perverse way as stated by Buffet above. Warren credits government as the only body able to level the playing field, and it does so by regulation and taxation. When the disparities become out of whack, as in the Great Depression and again today, the system is at risk. Elevation of the few at the expense of the many is a losing proposition.
That leads me to the second article, which I found at The evolution of the post carbon institute continues to find and deliver meaningful content. This column from Erik Lindberg is about how he became an ex-liberal. I enjoy his writing, and while I don't always agree with him, this is a great perspective of our predicament. His disillusion is based on reality - seeing and knowing that Powerdown is necessary now - it's hard to support liberal politicians who want the right things, but only can see getting there through more of the same, endless growth.
A lot of that resonates with me. You and I know that life can not continue as it has. The jig is up.We are exhausting all of our resources at the cost of our planet. Our economy is rigged to transfer riches to the top. All of the systems designed to help people are being starved and deconstructed. Politicians keep us divided, while empowering this disparity. Our society is sick - we are distracted with mindless consumerism, while Rome burns. We must change, and now. I must change.
What's interesting to me is how we move forward. It has to start small, but it must carry through to all levels. And we should consider along the way who the winners and losers are. Some will shout about fairness, but consider truly what that means. Imagine for a moment a world - where another family not of your choosing would adopt your child to raise. What kind of world would you want that to be?
It's not a world of greed.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Important things happen every day, and it seems I hardly have time to comment on them anymore. In recent weeks, Detroit went bankrupt, the north pole melted, and Congress continued to fail us on a daily basis. The August recess is looming, and what have they accomplished this year? Really nothing. There was an author on the Daily Show this week with a his new book about just how worthless they are. They literally only exist to enrich themselves now.
FOX News has been bashing workers making the minimum wage. Because it's really their fault, isn't it, that the only jobs available are in fast food? Which is killing us. I understand marketing, but when McDonalds makes you supersize just to get an opportunity to win MONOPOLY, what have we become? Exactly what they want - consumers. You probably have better odds of winning Powerball than finding $1 million on a Big Mac.
America has become a caricature, and yet, all of us are angry and bickering amongst ourselves while the country burns and the rich hum along. They're the job creators, remember? And how's that working out for us?
Luckily, all of it is being documented well on Check out some of these articles:
Climate change is for real - take it from a former denier.
What can we do about it? Here's some hope in Knoxville, Tennessee, of all places.
How about food systems? One Vermont mining town is making a comeback.
A little something on Detroit, because this is a big deal. Capitalism is going bust, because there are limits to growth. But the GOP is still peddling tax cuts and growth as the only path forward. I'd say don't believe the hype, although it's clear we don't. Congress' approval rating is in the single digits. When will we say enough?
The Archdruid has been talking about the myth of progress a lot lately. Follow him for more.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

This is how it ends

Not with a bang, but with a whimper.
I saw the headline this afternoon - ObamaCare delayed! Oh great, just what we need. More time with the broken system we currently have. Sadly, this is how it ends. We slowly give up on doing the big things, reluctantly give away all of our benefits and dignity, and consign ourselves on getting by with less. That part is  inevitable, but I think how we get there matters. Think; prosperous way down.
I know one thing is certain - we're not going to save ourselves by attacking the weakest among us. No one gets out of here alive.
Funny - it seems like all of those wise sayings we've always heard are starting to make sense. Maybe it's time to listen.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Climate change

In the last few weeks, we received confirmation that concentrations of CO2 in our atmosphere have risen above 400 ppm for the first time in 5 million years. It's more than doubled in the last 50 years, a period that we've been burning fossil fuels at unprecedented rates.
Some still cling to the idea that climate change is natural, but that completely ignores science. There is no natural phenomenon that correlates to the dramatic increase we've seen, and that standpoint ignores this indisputable fact: burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
You may recall a group called Their goal was to stop CO2 from rising above 350 ppm, a level that most scientists agree will lead to global temps shooting past 2 degrees C increase for our planet. That could be catastrophic, yet we just blew by that like it was standing still. And we're still rising.
We've only seen 1 degree F change in the last 100 years - but Mother Nature is just getting warmed up.
Again this week, we've seen a massive tornado do damage in Oklahoma. Of course, tornadoes have been happening for quite some time, and this article points out that climate change may, in fact, reduce the number of tornadoes. However, climate change is affecting the frequency and intensity of all storms - whether floods, or blizzards, or hurricanes, and we can expect it to continue. Just here in Missouri the last three years, we've bounced from floods, to drought, to floods, in dramatic fashion. THIS IS NOT NORMAL.
What can we do about it? For one, we have to admit the connection between man and the rise of CO2. And then we must find a way to transition away from burning fossil fuels for energy.
Climate change is big and scary, and it requires us to do things differently. But there's no reason to pretend like there's nothing we can do about it. Doing nothing is the sure path to finding out we were wrong, and paying for it with our lives. I'm sure that will be much worse for business than any action we might take.