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man4allcats' Journal - Archives
Posted by anotheryellowdog in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Sun Jun 27th 2010, 02:29 PM
Can We Make The World A Better Place?

The question has been asked "What would you do to make the world a better place?". The world is certainly a big and diverse place, and making it a significantly better place is therefore no mean feat. Still, in times such as these when not only corporations but the world's governments themselves, even those such as the United States that supposedly represent beacons of democracy, are deeply and universally corrupt, it is a question worthy of consideration. We live in a time and an international society that is utterly lacking in accountability. Our reckless use of technology is overheating our planet to such an extent that life is becoming unsustainable for many species, and little is being done to reverse this process. Wealthy nations and the aristocracy of those nations walk over the rights of the underprivileged not only in their own countries but also of the poor in nations throughout the world. Despite unprecedented advances in medicine, agriculture and alternative power technology, untold millions throughout the world are dying for lack of available healthcare, food, water and energy. At the behest of corporate control, the governments of large and powerful nations employ armed force to invade and occupy smaller nations to wrest control of the mineral resources of those nations. The political leaders of these governments acquiesce to the demands of corporations with a vested interest in such gains precisely because corporate wealth made it possible for these politicians to assume power.

Corporations Call The Shots

Corporations have in fact become the government and are thus able to abrogate any sort of regulatory oversight governments once exercised over the corporate pursuit of profit. In this perfect storm of deregulation, accountability is nonexistent. Accountable to whom? In the democratic ideal of "We The People" the citizenry was the government. If laws were violated, the people's elected representatives dealt with the offenders according to the rule of law. Enter the corporatocracy, where the concept of "We The People" is nothing more than an archaic curiosity. In such a world, big business answers to no one. They make their own rules subject to one and only one overriding principle - the pursuit at all costs of unbridled profit.

And We Are In Their Crosshairs

Consequently, ever more powerful hurricanes, fueled by overheated oceans, reek havoc on our coastal cities whose citizens are then displaced and their properties scooped up by rich developers. Oil that might have been used to heat our homes in winter, to produce electricity to cool them during summer's intense heat and to power the machines of our society now gushes unchecked from a hole punched in the ocean floor and instead pollutes our coastal ecosystem beyond any ability to repair the damage. A corrupt banking industry has wrecked our economy, wiped out people's savings, destroyed their lives and left them homeless. Big Pharma greed and a for profit healthcare system that arguably costs more to run than it takes in have resulted in a broken healthcare system that has left millions uninsured and without access to medical care. Our soldiers are dying in wars waged over mineral rights, and our civil rights are being trampled in an effort to cover up all these ugly truths. To insure that it all got done, our elections were rigged when necessary to place the appropriate corporate shill in power. When that approach ultimately became untenable, a sort of electoral null hypothesis or "no difference" strategy was invoked. In this scenario, voters are still given a choice, albeit a mock choice, between a conservative big business party and a liberal populace party, but in fact once elected the candidates for both parties represent the exact same interests; not the people who elected them but rather the corporate interests whose money put them in power. The coup d'etat is thus complete.

Democratic Socialism: A New Beginning

Again then, the question is how to fix it and thus make the world a better place. The United States is big enough and influential enough that just fixing this country's "it" would help the entire world. The "it" referred to here is capitalism run amuck. Naomi Klein discusses it at length in her book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise Of Disaster Capitalism." In my view, the only effective way to deal with this situation is to begin nationalizing the big corporations to force them into control. Government itself would ultimately benefit from a complete shift to a platform of democratic socialism and an abandonment of the capitalist ideology that has proven itself unsustainable.
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Posted by anotheryellowdog in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Fri May 08th 2009, 01:26 PM
Check it out at 3QD:

Excerpt of "Salon" article by Jeff Greenwald as cited in 3 Quarks Daily:

Anyone who followed the early "Star Trek" with regularity knows how charismatic Spock was. If there were two characters I wanted to be as a young man, they were Spock -- and James Bond. Both displayed total self-confidence, and amazing problem-solving skills. Both traveled to exotic destinations, and were irresistible to women. And both shared a quality that my generation lacked completely: composure.

While Bond had his weaknesses (anything in a bikini), Spock was virtually unflappable. The most startling marvels in the cosmos were "fascinating." Disasters were "unfortunate," perhaps even "tragic." The raised eyebrow, the lifted chin, the vaguely sarcastic mien -- these were coins of the realm to my pubescent friends. How did we weather the terrors of grade school, and survive the irrational outbursts of parents and teachers? By invoking Spock. Who served as our logical, enlightened counterpoint to the madness of the late 1960s? Who else but Spock?

"I am a first-generation 'Star Trek' fan, and I've long argued that many of my deepest political convictions emerged from my experience of watching the program as a young man growing up in Atlanta during the civil rights era," declares Henry Jenkins, co-director of the MIT comparative media studies program and author of "Convergence Culture." "In many ways, my commitment to social justice was shaped in reality by Martin Luther King and in fantasy by 'Star Trek.'

Obama, Jenkins points out, positioned himself in the primaries as a man "at home with both blacks and whites, someone whose mixed racial background has forced him to become a cultural translator." In this sense Obama even surpasses Spock, whose struggle to reconcile his half-human, half-Vulcan genes is a continual source of inner conflict.

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Republicans are undoubtedly now ruing their circumstances. Even John McCain must surely be wondering whether things might have turned out differently had he chosen a credible running mate. For the Republicans, all the Monday morning quarterbacking in the world won't change what has occurred, but for them this outcome must surely beg the question "How did this happen?" The short and convenient answer is that Palin was indeed a disastrous choice. While that answer is true in so far as it goes, I think it misses the larger picture. Eight years ago, the Republicans made a similarly disastrous choice with a similarly incompetent individual in the person of George W. Bush, and they then proceeded to compound that error four years later by again making the same tragic miscalculation. The moral to this story might be that you simply don't put incompetents in responsible positions. Had the Republicans chosen an intelligent, democratically minded candidate in 2000, they might not be in this situation now, and further much of the horror of the last eight years may well have been avoided. Though we have all heard many stupid things; sorry but there's just no other way to put it, come out of that camp during those years, it would nevertheless be foolish to deny that there are many very intelligent, very talented people among the Republican ranks. Ultimately then, one has to ask why they made such choices. I believe the answer is finally that they lost sight of who they are as Americans and of what America is in terms of the principles upon which it was founded. Blinded by greed, arrogance and a lust for power, they attempted to sell off democracy to the highest bidder, and like Judas himself, in the end they paid a price far greater than any short term gain they may have realized.

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Posted by anotheryellowdog in General Discussion (1/22-2007 thru 12/14/2010)
Thu Oct 23rd 2008, 02:25 PM
Vermonters could bring it off:

More citizens from Vermont, per capita, have been killed in Iraq than from any other state in the union. If its citizens care to hold the primary perpetrator of this injustice responsible, they need only elect the progressive party candidate for state attorney general this year. It turns out that Charlotte Dennett has pledged that, if elected, she will appoint Vincent Bugliosi, author of The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, as special prosecutor.

Bugliosi has been accompanying Ms. Dennett on appearances before newspaper editorial boards and in radio interviews. In a press release issued by the campaign, he said, "I have never received such a passionate response as I have to this book. Most Americans are deeply offended that George W. Bush has not been held accountable for his many crimes. . . the most egregious of which is the murder of 4,000 American soldiers and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians. My book lays out the framework of how he can be brought to justice in any state in this country."

- emphasis added -

more here...
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