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Messages - Jaded Prole

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Environment / Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
« on: November 08, 2012, 09:24:46 AM »
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is by Bill McKibben

Geopolitics / Re: POTUS WINNER Off Track Betting Parlor
« on: November 07, 2012, 05:08:43 AM »
The sun hesitates
just below the horizon
this morning;
two nations in an unsettled dawn
of fear and loathing

The campaign signs uprooted,
the bunting
torn and trampled
in the grim stillness
of a deepening winter

Geological & Cosmological Events / Re: Frankenstorm SNor'Eastercane Sandy
« on: November 03, 2012, 04:58:04 AM »
Powerful photographs.

Donations for relief can be sent here.

Geopolitics / Re: Official OWS Thread
« on: November 03, 2012, 04:55:44 AM »
 While the Red Cross shows up late and rarely and the bureaucrats dispense aid to wealthier, whiter areas, communities are doing the real work of providing relief led by Occupy Wall Street. They are also taking donations.

This is what survival looks like.

Geological & Cosmological Events / Re: Frankenstorm SNor'Eastercane Sandy
« on: November 01, 2012, 04:53:54 AM »
Manhattan is an island in rising seas. A barrier wall is too little too late.  Levees or dikes walling off the island would make more sense but you already pointed out the difficulty there. I mentioned the storm on as nature refusing to be ignored by the corporate candidates but they will continue to ignore it without massive pressure from the public. Unfortunately the US public is composed largely of idiots in denial. Corporations that make a killing off killing the rest of us rule this country. Politics is seen as team sports and the teams are merely corporate fronts.  Nature itself will change that as the collapsing ecology wipes out the economy and the ability of the system to meet the basic needs of the rising hungry masses.  Unfortunately the conditions for continued civilization as we know it will be a thing of the past.

Frostbite Falls Newz / Re: Frostbite Falls Daily Rant
« on: October 11, 2012, 05:44:39 AM »
It's a nutty time here at the end of this cycle of civilization but I too find it disheartening to see folks pulled in to the nuttiness of alien subculture and religious fanaticism. These give false hope. I'm not sure there is real hope but it isn't there. No one will save us but ourselves acting together. In our area I see bits of that happening via community gardens and the building of real community among those who pay attention -- though there is much craziness there as well. Probably sentience is a  terminal evolutionary flaw.

I'd like to delude myself with bug-out plans but the reality is that post civilization survival is a game for the young and healthy. Though I have the skills to live in the wilderness, I can't live without antihistamines and blood pressure medication. So what is there to do? I do my best to encourage community, to raise awareness and to enjoy life in the here and now. And I write:

Industrial Legacy

Cold July winds
bring misty rain and
the memory of last January's balmy breeze
in this mid-Atlantic port city
as the planet's weather spins out of sync
choking on atmospheric schmutz
ground level denial and the
self-serving lies of our corporate leaders

Excreting our way to the toxic
ash heap of the fossil record
we  continue to bury ourselves

I spend my time
a witchdoctor of words
trying to heal the plague
that I am   that
we are
my own smoking deathmobile
waiting on the tar scab lot
My own toxified and allergic body
ablaze and itching
itch by burning itch
toward insanity     or suicide
on the first wave
of extinction.

For Your Children

When I was a child
the sky was blue
the land was green
there was morning dew
there were birds in the trees
and honeysuckle air
there were butterflies
and wild animals too

When I was a child
I'd play out in the sun
without shades or sunblock
we had so much fun
In the winter it would snow,
snow white as a sheet
it was still safe to play in
and clean enough to eat

When I was a child
there were fish in the sea
there were deer in green woods
oh, how far you could see
when the air was still clear
and you could live off the land
food -- there was plenty
and life was just grand

Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 09, 2012, 02:12:16 PM »
Indeed, fundamentalism is a thought disorder that is immune to rational argument.

Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 09, 2012, 07:19:24 AM »
Oooh, maybe the secrets of physics are hidden in the  Kabbalah! Then again, one can interpret ancient scripts from the Torah to the Vedas and project what one pleases.  It's all bronze age mumbo-jumbo mixed with the propaganda of politics, the context of which is long lost. The only thing I'm faithful to is my skeptical search for wisdom and truth. As tested observation shows, nature evolves into interconnected and interdependent systems based on survival needs. All life on this tainted petri dish is closely related and the path of evolution is continually more known. We may be the only species to project our ideals into the invention of gods but we won't know that until we have contact with other sentient species if that ever happens. Meanwhile I find it spiritual enough to communicate with the life we have here; other people, animals and plants to some degree. The development and evolution of life is an amazing phenomenon but it isn't magic and doesn't require engineering deities. I think you are wasting a great intellect trying to justify and make sense of this stuff.

Pi movie trailer

Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 09, 2012, 04:11:11 AM »
Mmmmm, Soylent Green . . .

Christianity is a theory of everything, and it is the only one that adequately explains modern scientific evidence. In fact, the scientific method was developed by Christians, and the very fact that humans can use their intellects to perform scientific investigation and understand HOW God created and sustained the Universe and life is a piece of evidence in support of the truth of God's existence

Christianity is not part of my world view. One could replace it with Islam, Judaism, or Rastafarianism and this quote would make as much sense to the followers of each. The difference between science and mysticism is that mysticism is based on "faith," that is a leap of assumptions based on loyalty to a mystical story, whereas science is based on testing of observations and critical peer review. Christianity is irrelevant to me as, except to cultural influence, is Judaism. I don't do deities and to quote my co-editor, I don't believe in belief. My own spirituality, such as it is, is based in life and my sense of its interconnection. It would be easier to be a follower of whichever religion appealed to me but following is not in my nature. 

Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 08, 2012, 10:28:50 AM »
 Most animals exhibit communication on some level. In human language, the lingo of the oppressed has to stay ahead of the man which pushes the evolution of language. Also, conquest and, in the modern world, imperialism had a major effect in that the language of the conquerors influenced and was influenced by that of the conquered and colonized.  While it is true that we are all closely related and our species originated in Africa, "Adam and Eve" is a myth; a bronze age parable attempting of explain the birth of sentience that made us different than most animals. That loss of innocence being Christianity's "original sin."  Religion is a  reflection of our cultural and psychological history but it isn't science, much of the time attempts to use religious mythology to explain more complex issues remind me of this old tune.


Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 08, 2012, 07:18:36 AM »
Reclaiming our older, her animal nature is vital but if a revolution is to be successful, the hard part is not changing or replacing the system. The real challenge is changing ourselves and how we relate to each other and to the world. We have to become the new person and yes, we have to base that in love. 

Geopolitics / Re: Presidential Election 2012
« on: October 08, 2012, 06:55:16 AM »
 . . .

Spirituality & Mysticism / Science is Straight from Hell
« on: October 08, 2012, 06:36:10 AM »
Thus spake Republican Congressman Paul Broun of Georgia, a physician and member of the science committee of the House of Representatives, who said recently that evolution, the Big Bang Theory and embryology are "lies straight from the pit of hell." More here.

Conspiracy / Re: Cannibalism
« on: October 08, 2012, 06:10:10 AM »
I've thought we should have a theatrical "Zombies for Romney" appearence following him on the campaign though Zombies at a republican gathering is like hungry wolves in a tofu factory. As for cannibalism, it reminds me of an article I'm working on:

What's Eating You?
The Cannibalist System of Economics

Biologists generally lump animal species into “higher” and “lower” categories. The lower species, like fish or reptiles tend to be born fully developed and on their own from birth. They lack even the remotest self awareness much less species awareness and act on instinct. Most notably, they are likely to eat their young as well as each other. By contrast, the “higher” species tend to have some social, herd or community structure. They cooperate for their survival. Predators from Orcas to wolves work together to hunt prey. Prey protect and warn each other developing defensive strategies. Think of Meerkats keeping a lookout or monkeys howling out alarm. Language itself has been shown to have evolved from this very behavior. Humans have the most complex cooperation skills of any known animal. This, in essence, is what makes us unique and defines our humanity.

Throughout the first few million years of hominid evolution our ancestors spent their lives scavenging for food and trying not be eaten. As Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., professor anthropology in Arts & Sciences writes in his book, Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators and Human Evolution, "early humans, evolved not as hunters but as prey of many predators, including wild dogs and cats, hyenas, eagles and crocodiles.” Our intelligence, cooperation and many other features we have as modern humans developed from our attempts to out-smart the predator.   That was the essence of our existence. As the cleverest survived, we were increasingly wired to be social animals because our survival depended on it. We developed defensive techniques as a group from throwing stones and making noise to sharpening sticks and stone weapons to developing fire. Our ingenuity and cooperation advanced us from from prey to predator.  We developed a collective model of hunter-gather values that sustained us for millennia. Those values included shared work, shared sustenance, protection of the young and respect for the wisdom of elders who passed on knowledge. 

Between ten to twenty thousand years ago, for better or worse, we developed agriculture. Previous to that, we were migratory like most animals, and indeed, many people still are. Agriculture requires remaining stationary which gave rise to villages and early cities. Economic systems are not born as fully devised ideas. They develop out of practical necessity based on the productive base and stage of development of societies; hunter-gatherer, herding, agricultural, expansive slave societies, and later industrial societies. The conditions of life and work define not only economics but family structure and belief systems.

Stationary, urban life has different requirements and realities and thus gave birth to different ethics. Instead of the small tribe or family we saw the rise of clans, city-states and the stranger two streets over. More importantly, the new abundance lead to the concept of “private property” and wealth, the justification and defense of which gave birth to organized religions with elite priesthoods, royalty and or course, armies. Thus egalitarianism gave way to avarice, class division and nationalism. This, as we know from history gave birth to empires, slavery, conquest and increased technological development.

This situation remained essentially unchanged with some variation until the Renaissance when the accumulated wealth of a growing merchant class challenged the hereditary and religious elite for power. As productive technology increased and accumulated wealth became power, common people were forced off the land and into factories and mills to meet the need of early industrialists. This first occurred in England’s infamous textile mills. As a few became very wealthy, the model spread. The Nation State, based on the rule of the propertied, was born in the 18th century and developed through the 19th.  Colonialism based on conquest gave rise to Empire in order to satiate the new need for raw materials and cheap, expendable labor including slaves. As wealth continued to grow, larger businesses ate smaller ones and the cannibalistic corporate model became dominant. This continuing and growth eventually led to today's multi-nationals which have consumed governments and become the dominant power.  As before, the changed life realities led to a new economic system and the, political structures that support it. The global economic system has progressed from a system based on productive material growth to one based on the fictitious capital of debt, investment and abstract schemes that siphon social wealth to an elite gluttonous rentier class.

That old herd protection instinct that makes us human remains as well bringing with it a long history of resistance to oppression which continues to this day. Chattel slavery gave way to wage slavery. Women demanded and won equality. Colonies won independence. The concept of “citizen” and the idea of popular rule born of the Enlightenment remains a thorn in the side of elite dictatorship. It has had to be countered with nationalism, the association of religion and patriotism, emotion-laden cultural wedge issues and pseudo-philosphies like Aryanism, Dominionist Christianity and “Objectivism.” Libertarians influenced by the pseudo-philosophy of “Objectivism” decry any attempt at cooperation for the common good as “collectivism” meaning cooperation by anyone but the economic elite. The recent behavior in our own Virginia state government and the nonsense issuing from extreme-right Republicans nationally are good examples of these desperate attempts to bolster support for the present corporatist system despite its obvious failures and to derail any rational discourse that would lead to needed change. Still, internationalism, human solidarity, anti-corporatism and the struggle for ecological sanity,  and economic and social justice continue to grow based on the hard realities. As we saw in Richmond last spring, even intransigent extremists sometimes back down when angry citizens rise up.

Ethics remain shaped by economic systems and their social conditions as much today as they were when we stopped hunting for meat and veggies and settled down to cultivate them. The cultural and political divisions which divide us today and which are starkly manifest in election rhetoric, embody a conflict between a recognition of our need to return to a traditional ethios of community and the social responsibility inherent in our herd-animal nature, and the greedy, self serving aspects of our nature promoted by the corporatist system which seem in many ways a throwback to that of lower species. In part, this may be a struggle between short term interests of immediate gain versus long term interests or consequences, an understanding of which is more complex and requires more mature thinking.

As a larger culture, we have come to idolize the heroic “self-made” individual in a disconnected, anti-social way. It's not rare to hear someone say, “Why should I pay for roads, schools, medicine, etc. that I don't use?” and “I've got mine and to heck with everyone else.”  Like lower animals we snarl over our possessions and are ready to kill to defend them seeing no connection to where they came from or the reality of our interdependence -- even on nature. Corporate interests build on and  promotes these aspects of our culture for their own benefit via media and front groups.  Responsibility to the rest and the notion of the "common good" are rejected and labeled as “socialism” in a hollow attempt to frighten people. They justify throwing families out into the cold for their inability to pay rent; locking workers into in low-wage poverty and children to hunger and ignorance to boost profits and stock values. Their policies and rhetoric condemn many to permanent poverty, unemployment, illness and homelessness and then demonize them as lazy or sinful. We proudly sacrifice our loved ones to wars we have no real interest in based on the latest flimsy lies. Some would sacrifice the entire ecosystem and life itself to satisfy their insatiable appetites and many cheer them on. During the last mid-term election,86 percent of incoming freshman Republicans signed an oil industry–sponsored pledge to oppose all climate regulation. This attitude continues to define the Republican party platform and, given what's at stake, it may be the greatest threat to our future.  This is in essence, eating our own kind, not even for survival but on a whim. Someone else's whim. Thus our system can best to called the Cannibalist System of economics.

This Cannibalist system, having ravenously consumed so much of the world's resources and dispossessed a growing majority, has now become a disembodied appetite of its own, a golem which threatens to consume us all as the resulting climate change destroys the ecosystem. Fortunately, if only because enough of us aren't being fed, many are waking up to the changed reality of a failed and increasingly destructive economic model. The present culture war over cooperation or Cannibalism is coming to the fore in the rhetoric and philosophical divide of the present election cycle. While both candidates support the economics of Cannibalism, the Democrats at least acknowledge the need for a functioning society and safety-net while the Republicans have adopted the extreme-right Libertarian antisocial ideal of Pure Cannibalism.   

If we are to survive the historically unprecedented level of predation of this beast we have created, we will have to relearn the best ethical instincts and survival techniques of our ancient history. Even though we have been reduced in some ways to that of the lower animals by this system, we are a sentient species not totally bound by instinct. Awakening to our common tribe, our real interdependence, and relearning the importance of sustaining each other, together we may be able to vanquish the predator and their legions and consciously build a more cooperative, ecologically sustainable, truly human civilization worthy of the name. Admittedly the odds aren’t good but time is running out and we have little choice. As the 99%, we have the power. We must find the will.

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