ye em-bubbled plutocrats

Following OWS, the Tea Party and the great global crash, you can bet if anyone takes the odds, there’s a billion now spent to re-frame the 1%.

I’d also wager any uptick in next waves of IMF GDPs will be driven by craftedly-proud bankers letting loose more billions they’ve accrued while world budgets argue austerity and plead urgent investment.

Thus, let’s bitch a little before smokes of propaganda dilute our rage.

Let’s write a letter to one of our Wall Street brigands. To begin:

In a nation bereft of royalty by virtue of its republican birth, the American people have done what any other resourceful people would do – we’ve created our own royalty and our royalty is the 1%. Not only do we not “hate the rich” as you and other em-bubbled plutocrats have postulated, in point of fact, we love them.

We worship our rich to the point of obsession.

We love the success stories in our midst and it is a distinctly American trait to believe that we can all follow in the footsteps of the elite, even though so few of us ever actually do.

So, no, we don’t hate the rich.

What we hate are the predators.

time to starve politicians

A 7-step guide to passing a city or town resolution to Get Money Out! of politics
File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat

The two dominant parties have fought each other to stalemate.

— the anti-tax, anti-regulation, anti-government wing of the Republican Party

— the raise-taxes-on-the-rich-but-don’t-touch-my-entitlement wing of the Democratic Party

Nothing really gets resolved, nobody wins, and the stalemate continues.

It is in your name, with your money, that this unproductive game is played.

One way or another, we are all enablers.

“The only way to change their behavior is to stop the flow of political cash to both parties. It’s the only currency that seems to matter to these guys, the only thing that will get their attention, the only message they are likely to understand.”

Starve the political establishment of the money that is used to keep itself, along with the rest of the country, locked in stalemate.

neurotoxins in the fog

Coastal fog importing mercury from the ocean on to the land.

There’s a ‘wash-out’ of methylmercury — a sort of invisible bathtub ring of fog.

These are unheard of levels…

EPA Will Finally Cut Coal Industry’s Toxic Mercury Pollution

1990 —amended Clean Air Act ordered standards for mercury and other toxic air pollution from power plants.

2000 —court decree mandate but the rules were repeatedly delayed.

2006 —Bush rules thrown out by the courts for failing to protect public health.

The health risks of mercury and arsenic are enormously well-documented. In the 21 years since the EPA was ordered to issue these rules, 17 states have independently acted to limit mercury emissions from power plants. Coal-fired power plants alone produce 772 million pounds of airborne toxins every year—2.5 pounds for every American.

Even with this finalized Mercury and Air Toxics Standards rule, power plants will have years to comply. Upgrading power plants to cut air toxics is expected to create 31,000 construction jobs to 158,000 jobs installing pollution controls.

let’s rethink our economy

The ebook is called Betterness.

Umair Haque argues that just as positive psychology revolutionized our understanding of mental health by recasting the field as more than just treating mental illness, we need to rethink our economic paradigm.


Because business as we know it has reached a state of diminishing returns—though we work harder and harder, we never seem to get anywhere. This has led to a diminishing of the common wealth: wage stagnation, widening economic inequality, the depletion of the natural world, and more.

To get out of this trap, we need to rethink the future of human exchange. In short, we need to get out of business and into betterness.

link to .pdf 
link to kindle
link to iTunes

Betterness, by Umair HaqueIn a positive paradigm, the healthiest state isn’t just one that minimizes pathologies, but one that maximizes potential.

The terra incognita we’ve never explored is whether it’s possible for prosperity and human exchange not merely to go less wrong, but more right.

What if, just maybe, the economy is only living up to a fraction of its potential?

arresting the young

abc news logoBy age 23, up to 41 percent of Americans have been arrested at least once…. What?!

Although an arrest doesn’t necessarily mean a child, teen or young adult is a criminal, previous research has connected run-ins with the law with other problems — drug addiction, physical or emotional abuse and poverty, to name a few.

“We’re really asleep at the wheel right now when it comes to these problems with our young people.”

obeying its hacked pilot

DEBKAfile (Hebrew: תיק דבקה‎) is a Jerusalem-based English language Israeli open source military intelligence website.

Can you believe this story?

Iranians not only unlocked the Sentinel’s secret software but also penetrated the command and control center running the drones from CIA Headquarters at Langley in McClean, Virginia.

Iranian electronic experts subsequently reprogrammed the directives guiding the satellite and the RQ-170 stealth drone by falsifying the images appearing on the screens at Langley.

As if Roy Rogers whistles to Trigger! As far as I’m concerned, secrets are secrets and propaganda is cheap. More likely this story is an interception of news that’s fed to Iranian locals.



But let’s not be complacent folks.

Technology requires democracy’s whip.

December 10, 2011

Reporting from Washington — Armed with a search warrant, Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke went looking for six missing cows on the Brossart family farm in the early evening of June 23. Three men brandishing rifles chased him off, he said.

Janke knew the gunmen could be anywhere on the 3,000-acre spread in eastern North Dakota. Fearful of an armed standoff, he called in reinforcements from the state Highway Patrol, a regional SWAT team, a bomb squad, ambulances and deputy sheriffs from three other counties.

He also called in a Predator B drone.

do we know what we want?

Did we ever have a vision for all of us?

A Song that Says It’s Naughty To Magnify the Small

Seeking authoritive morality
To lead us to our vision
To live less fallibly,
To stop failure’s incision,
Is our repetitive dream
Just beneath the known,
Stitched each day like a seam
That binds us to the hope we’re shown.

For we all know of our yearning
And the imperative of our need,
We all see reality’s turning
Love in the face of greed.
Yet horror is left unsaid,
Caustic blame that’s never fair,
Graphic agony that fuel our dread,
Encumber our want to care. 

So we leave what’s worst alone.
We delegate our shores:
Join weakly to intone
Our dream, as if we’re whores
Who curb the rhythm of life,
Weak contending under threats.
Do we believe, reviewing strife,
We’ll see the instant violent nets
Closing in to disrupt our plan?

Whether passionate or tame
Each within our animate race,
We have a duty that drives the whole
From which a few prognosticate.
We walk from mountain to shoal
Where too few will legislate
Our vision and leaning to need.
And here our souls, our surety,
Our governance written by the freed
Shall carry our will and purity.

It must, it seems, be still recalled
Each finds no place to hide,
Nor fails work when called
To liberty never denied,
Not lost in conformity, hidden in nerves,
Nor lost to cult or loosely tied
In populist slogan that swerves
And sways through our dangerous day.

When trouble cloaks, becomes persistent,
When fears annoy, won’t go away,
When emptiness become consistent,
When hopes are lost in perplexities
Or controlled by causes remote,
The curious seek the complexities,
Others entrench in the rote.

Many seek comfort in diversion,
Ostensibly relaxing, secured
In claims of light reversion
To simpler things, like what’s inured
To lifting the self, distinct from the rest:
Pursuing, demanding to keep
Preserving and lofting the best,
‘Til our better efforts must leap
Away from ideas that heal.

This is the price denial must keep.
Is this the ache tired citizens feel?
Confronted by fear and by threat,
Bent in the forum of civic concern,
Impotent sketches of slow defeat, and yet
Is there no other way for people to learn
That when most of the world is worried
And agony’s millions alert; 
challenge dramatic and flurried,
Our future either gentle or curt,
Ambitious roam in and through,
Peace still rough and tumble,
Tomorrow is squeezed on me or on you,
No practical plan to escape the rumble,
If cosmic, natural, or imperial;
These caustic options are revealed,
Will we retreat to the ethereal?

Instead we forge and we hammer a shield,
Our victory is long before battle!
Improve our goals, real and chattel,
Our humane gifts, compassion curled
In strength we have found here together,
Not towers of rare and inspired,
Not magic stoked with mystic feather,
Not experts endorsed when hired
To mimic hope until we’ve agreed
We’re merely tokens, opinions in court,
Gleaned response, polled queries of need:
How wise is this answer? “Sell it out short:
Gluttony must keep us invisible
To hope no one sees what we’ve gained.”

Is our best so rare, indivisible?
Is common the safest, in truth or if feigned?
Is purpose hiding in cranky abstract
Giving too little and too little great?

Each day we give lies to this pertinent fact,
“We cannot ignore conspiring fate.
If you will use us, Abuse us, All Right,
As long as the pay is on time,
We’re better here, far from the worst.
We comply to the game, call it sublime,
Knowing those lessor are cursed.”

Please notice it’s we paying the bill 
And drawing us to face it.
In all our lives: We’re able to fill
Our needs, our dreams, if we chase it.
Our world is huge not the smaller it’s claimed.

We seek and find cooperative deals,
Partners help the small and the great;
Break risk to join in repeals
Of all but continued good fate.

Unhook from the habits that lock us to loss.
Unhook from the stories invented for wars.

Be part of the ideas we toss
To each other to pry open doors
To industry, commerce and governing fair;
With leadership to guide our plans
Bring us tools, not threats and high tare.

Like our ancients, our families, our clans,
We clock blood for this day to endure,
Progress made by ignoring patter
And keeping from trouble or cur.
Why should the trivial matter?
Why stay for only approval?
We each have deeper concerns than that.
Why justify, scorn, force removal,
Instead of solution, fair and democrat?

Why plan or plot any false hope,
Or prop goals in mutual rigidity,
Leaving us detached and static,
Tied to life’s constant turbidity?
Find the gate through strife’s erratic!

Why sell dreams, or myth or song
In automat lyric airwaves?
Why tune to hawking that’s wrong,
Mere drama, politics, close shaves?
When as clear as the sky that’s curving the light
Our beckoning insists to us all,
And annoys as strong as the great that we see?

It’s our promise shadowed on history’s wall:
The past we’re from and the hopes of the free.

It’s initiative growing in faith’s provocation
That fear and diversion won’t bury.
There’s no reason to leave the care of this nation
To sponsoring, to agents, nor hustle nor hurry;
Not sly, nor secrets hid in the back
as grief is alliance with less.
We win when we work on our lack,
Joined in our plans for the best
Becoming our lives every day.
Choose the highest, the moral, the true.
Let each of our lives find this way.

Let forums see the eagle flew;
Has never left grace to defeat,
Is never blind in bright sun
Nor bent in cataclyst’s heat.
We nest in the innocents’ life,
Soar in the query of truth,
Stillness above the strife.
We signal bright justice, temper our youth,
Always for better and always the part
To secure our contentment to peace,
We bring to the gates of our heart,
Our symbol’s strength in the fleece
That’s soft in the depth of this land.

No empire or keeper of keys
Can know better than any
That motive and hope is our way:
The insistent calls of the many,
Bringing our best to the day.

Needs lots of work!! – 1985 Brian Hayes

We human beings ought to stand before one another as reverently, as lovingly, as we would before the entrance to Hell. —Kafka

cult of promo

Focusing on personal instead of structural failings is a problem that is endemic to modern, mainstream journalism. 

Some of these allegations are true; some I know to be false.

I know that attacking individuals makes sexier journalism (and is often appropriate), but the truth is that America’s industrial cities got into deep trouble because of decades of federal and state policies that deprived minorities of good jobs and homes, encouraged the building of the suburbs at the expense of the cities, encouraged big industry to abandon urban communities and concentrated the poor and unemployed in the cities.

Especially now, when technology has given virtually everyone the ability to publish to large audiences, we have an obligation to use that ability to find and tell stories that advance our common understanding of the truth as well as our common welfare…

…the news does not belong exclusively to any specialized group of information workers. As the media business continues to fragment under the enormous pressure of changing technology and culture, it is critical to focus on how to include as many voices as possible in telling the stories that matter…



do we know we’re doomed?

Has there ever been an era so bleak?

There is an ever louder babble of apocalypse-predicting subcultures, amplified and partly sustained by the internet: peak-oil doomers, who believe the world’s energy supplies will collapse and mass famine will follow; Christians who anticipate an imminent day of rapture when believers will ascend to heaven and non-believers will perish; interpreters of the ancient Maya calendar who, contrary to mainstream scholarship, are convinced that the world will end on 21 December 2012; and traditional survivalists, stockpiling tinned goods and constructing rural “survival retreats” to sit out armageddon….

Václav Havel: “Politics and Conscience”

To me, personally, the smokestack soiling the heavens is not just a regrettable lapse of a technology that failed to include “the ecological factor” in its calculation, one which can be easily corrected with the appropriate filter.

To me it is more, the symbol of an age which seeks to transcend the boundaries of the natural world and its norms and to make it into a merely private concern, a matter of subjective preference and private feeling, of the illusions, prejudices, and whims of a “mere” individual.

It is a symbol of an epoch which denies the binding importance of personal experience including the experience of mystery and of the absolute and displaces the personally experienced absolute as the measure of the world with a new, man-made absolute, devoid of mystery, free of the “whims” of subjectivity and, as such, impersonal and inhuman. It is the absolute of so-called objectivity: the objective, rational cognition of the scientific model of the world.

Modern science, constructing its universally valid image of the world, thus crashes through the bounds of the natural world, which it can understand only as a prison of prejudices from which we must break out into the light of objectively verified truth.

The natural world appears to it as no more than an unfortunate leftover from our backward ancestors, a fantasy of their childish immaturity.

this abusive trend

1) Turning our markets into playpens for predatory behavior didn’t happen overnight, and it will not be fixed overnight.

2) But until we have public servants strongly focused on justice for all, we can expect the crime spree to go on.

3) After all, what we’re all learning is that, at least for large banks, crime pays.

are we infinitely stupid??

We’re being domesticated, because fewer and fewer and fewer of us have to be innovators to get by.

Einstein was once asked about his intelligence and he said, “I’m no more intelligent than the next guy. I’m just more curious.” Now, we can grant Einstein that little indulgence, because we think he was a pretty clever guy.

Maybe Einstein’s ideas were just as random as everybody else’s, but he kept persisting at them.

And if we say that everybody has some tiny probability of being the next Einstein, and we look at a billion people, there will be somebody who just by chance is the next Einstein.

But it might even be the case that that small number of innovators just got lucky.

And this is something that I think very few people will accept …the possibility that we are infinitely stupid.

There is no try

SOPA is bad bad law

Dear Congress,
It’s No Longer OK To Not Know How The Internet Works

We get it. You think you can be cute and old-fashioned by openly admitting that you don’t know what a DNS server is. You relish the opportunity to put on a half-cocked smile and ask to skip over the techno-jargon, conveniently masking your ignorance by making yourselves seem better aligned with the average American joe or jane — the “non-nerds” among us. But to anyone of moderate intelligence that tuned in to yesterday’s Congressional mark-up of SOPA, the legislation that seeks to fundamentally change how the internet works, you kind of just looked like a bunch of jack-asses.

If you hate Big Government, fight SOPA.

Nobody who opposes Big Government and favors deregulation should favor the Stop Online Piracy Act, better known as SOPA, or H.R. 3261. It’s a big new can of worms that will cripple use of the Net, slow innovation on it, clog the courts with lawsuits, employ litigators in perpetuity and deliver copyright maximalists in the “content” business a hollow victory for the ages. v

We don’t need SOPA. What we do need is for Congress — along with lawmakers and regulators everywhere, right down to public utilities commissions and town councils — to at least begin to understand what the Internet is, and what it does for everybody, before it starts making laws protecting one business at the expense of all the rest.

Time to make a call to your representatives.

technocrat #fail

oh why are boots law?

Bubbling under the surface of politics is the foreclosure crisis — where the power of big finance is brushing up against the rule of law. The party leaders seem to have decided it is essentially a giant — but unavoidable — tragedy. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney said foreclosures have to clear for the housing market to reset. The Obama administration, meanwhile, has spent only about $2 billion of the $75 billion authorized for the Home Affordable Modification Program.

But the foreclosure crisis is not only a few million personal tragedies.

It is a few million crime scenes.

“Until we focus on justice, we can expect the crime spree to go on. After all, what we’re all learning is that for large banks, crime pays.” —Matthew Stoller

one bully less

Arrogance makes news.
Shutting down ignorance, not so much.

Release Date: December 15, 2011

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
Contact: 202-282-8010

“The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is troubled by the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) findings of discriminatory policing practices within the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).

Discrimination undermines law enforcement and erodes the public trust.

DHS will not be a party to such practices.

Accordingly, and effective immediately, DHS is terminating MCSO’s 287(g) jail model agreement and is restricting the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office access to the Secure Communities program.

DHS will utilize federal resources for the purpose of identifying and detaining those individuals who meet U.S. Immigration Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) immigration enforcement priorities.

The Department will continue to enforce federal immigration laws in Maricopa County in smart, effective ways that focus our resources on criminal aliens, recent border crossers, repeat and egregious immigration law violators and employers who knowingly hire illegal labor.”

pray away charlatans?

Silly and true:

The clinic, which Bachmann co-owns with his wife Michele, was exposed last summer for practicing a form of discredited ‘pray away the gay‘ therapy by a Truth Wins Out hidden-camera investigation – a charge both Bachmanns had previously denied.

Ex-gay therapy is rejected by every respected medical and mental health organization in the nation, including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Psychological Association.

outside ‘the system’

All the definitions of our economic system are developed by the people in power.

It’s astounding we’re not arguing only incompetence.

Today, only elites have the power to build large scale rule-creating institutions, to access modern networks of dispute resolution and arbitration, and to operate under good commercial law.

We can see what this has done by looking at the informal sector: elites have shaped the rules and institutions to their benefit and marginalized the majority of humanity in the process.

manchurian facebook

A) Your Facebook profile is your biography.
B) Your preferences are a product.
C) This man is not your friend.

Four months after Mark Zuckerberg first introduced it to the media, Facebook’s Timeline feature was rolled out in early December in New Zealand. Why New Zealand?

Perhaps because the country makes for a relatively small control group and is marginal enough not to become an international center of outrage once it becomes clear that the company’s innovations, as is so often the case, are destined to kill your privacy.

right wing wrecks this country

Why will anyone support Republicans?

Based on the long-term historical record, by pretty much any economic measure, it’s progressive policies that deliver superior growth, prosperity, fiscal responsibility, opportunity, individual liberty, and a vibrant, robust economy and society.

How can that be? Aren’t Republicans the ‘party of growth’? NO !

→ Progressives deliver more prosperity.
→ They deliver it to more people.
→ And they do it without busting the budget.

1) Wisdom of the Crowds. Democrats’ dispersed government spending — education, health care, infrastructure, and social support — puts money (hence power) in the hands of individuals, instead of delivering concentrated streams to big entities…

2) Money that goes to millions of individuals is much less subject to ‘capture’ by powerful players…

3) Social programs since the New Deal serve as automatic stabilizers for the economy, providing the kind of anti-cyclical fiscal policy…

4) When people feel they won’t end up on the streets, they feel free to move to a different job that better fits their talents — better allocating labor resources.

5) With a stable platform beneath them, people strike out on their own to develop the kind of innovative, entrepreneurial ventures that are the true engine of long-term growth and prosperity.

6) Education to infrastructure to scientific research have been demonstrated to pay off many times over in widespread public prosperity.

7) Dispersal of income and wealth provides the widespread demand (read: sales) that producers need to succeed, to expand, and to take risks…

stop censoring the web


Congressional anti-piracy bills could cripple the Internet.

Stop their corporate-funded votes. Complain.

Tim O’Reilly said the following about SOPA and PROTECT IP Act:

We’re in one of the greatest periods of social and business transformation since the Industrial Revolution, a transformation driven by the open architecture of the Internet. We’re still in early stages of that revolution. New technologies, new companies, and new business models appear every day, creating new benefits to society and the economy.

But now, fundamental elements of that Internet architecture are under attack.

These legislative attacks are not motivated by clear thinking about the future of the Internet or the global economy, but instead are motivated by the desire to protect large, entrenched companies with outdated business models that are threatened by the Internet. Rather than adapting, and competing with new and better services, they are going to Congress asking for protection.

If they succeed, they will vitiate [clobber] the Internet economy.

Corporate dominance is out of control, folks.

Real pirates are multinational companies that falsely claim ownership.

Some music royalty firms have claimed infringements in ‘silent movies’ !

For cryin’ out loud, our values are upside down.

Keep The Web Open.

managing our last days alive

There are things we can do to make our own situations better at the end of life.

Let’s get real about our last days alive.

“We use healthcare resources far out of proportion to any other country on the planet.”

It’s understandable. Nobody wants to think in advance about life ending.

In our satisfied state of denial, we want to believe medical advances will keep us healthy until we die in our sleep at a ripe old age.

But death doesn’t always come on our terms, and failing to face up to other possibilities can put crushing burdens on loved ones — not to mention that soaring end-of-life medical costs are at the center of the national budget crisis.


changing half our planet

Global climate change will modify plant communities covering almost 50% of Earth’s land surface.

“While warnings of melting glaciers, rising sea levels and other environmental changes are illustrative and important, ultimately, it’s the ecological consequences that matter most.”

Nearly 40 percent of land-based ecosystems will shift from one major ecological community type to another. For example, forest to grassland, tundra to grassland…

NASA’s projections paint a portrait of increasing ecological change and stress in Earth’s biosphere.

Many plant and animal species face increasing competition for survival, as well as significant species turnover, as some species invade areas occupied by other species.

Most of Earth’s land that is not covered by ice or desert is projected to undergo at least a 30 percent change in plant cover – changes that will require humans and animals to adapt and often relocate.

Reclaiming a desert into a forest by Atul Kulkarni

peerage of plutocrats

Whether they maintain primary residences in New York or Hong Kong, Moscow or Mumbai, today’s super-rich are increasingly a nation unto themselves.

Alan Greenspan made a forceful case that the U.S. economy had become “very distorted.”

In the wake of the recession, high-income individuals, large banks, and major corporations had experienced a “significant recovery”; the rest of the economy, by contrast—including small businesses and “a very significant amount of the labor force”—was stuck and still struggling. What we were seeing, he argued, was not a single economy at all, but rather “fundamentally two separate types of economy,” increasingly distinct and divergent.

When the high priest of capitalism himself is declaring the growth in economic inequality a national crisis, something has gone very, very wrong.

What is more relevant to our times, though, is that the rich of today are also different from the rich of yesterday.

Our light-speed, globally connected economy has led to the rise of a new super-elite that consists, to a notable degree, of first- and second-generation wealth. Its members are hardworking, highly educated, jet-setting meritocrats who feel they are the deserving winners of a tough, worldwide economic competition—and many of them, as a result, have an ambivalent attitude toward those of us who didn’t succeed so spectacularly.

Perhaps most noteworthy, they are becoming a transglobal community of peers who have more in common with one another than with their countrymen back home.