Tag Archives: climate change

It’s a great time to be a conservative

7 Jan

Last Wednesday at noon the republicans took control of the house with the vow to slash domestic funding and decrease the federal deficit.  They came in with a strong list of new rules. One of the biggest changes was “Slash as you go” instead of “Pay as you go.” This means that for every dollar in government spending you add, you must slash a dollar somewhere else. They also forbade anything that would add to the deficit.

But these are republicans, rules? principles? You’ve got to be kidding. Cue massive hypocrisy.

The biggest target in republican’s cross-hairs is the weak sauce healthcare reform. Unfortunately for them, the Congressional Budget Office (the non-partisan organization that crunches the numbers for everything the government does or is considering doing) came out and stated that repealing the health care reform would add $143 billion onto the deficit. That’s a mathematical fact provided by an independent accounting organization.

But then again these are conservatives. Reality and facts are what you want them to be.

The new speaker of the house, republican John Boehner simply replied “The CBO is entitled to their opinion.” The republicans tacitly admitted they knew the CBO was right because they then passed one of their first acts: giving themselves and exemption to their rule of “slash as you go” so they could kill healthcare and add $143 billion to the deficit. Bravo…. (Oh, and don’t forget, even when they kill healthcare, the republicans are planning on keeping their free healthcare that they get as US congressmen.)

But healthcare hypocrisy is not the only reason to celebrate! The republicans plan on gutting every protective legislative body they can. The FDA regulates businesses that make sure the food your family eats or the drugs you take aren’t poison? Kill it. The EPA regulates corporations that would dump toxic sludge in your neighborhood rivers? Kill it.

Yes ladies and gentlemen, they are going after protective legislation with a battle ax.  The goal is to put us back to the turn of the 20th century, where you were either dirt poor or one of those robber barons, where snake oil salesmen went from town to town bilking people of their money in return for poison, where tainted meat and vegetables made their way easily onto your dinner table, where environmental protection was only a dream. This is the goal.

Speaking of environmental protection, it’s official, there will be no improvement in the fight against global warming; the most dangerous and pressing issue facing us today. If we do nothing we may all die. We may very well push our planet out of the the knife edge thin “Goldilocks zone” where the conditions for life are just right, into a run away greenhouse effect that is currently cooking the planet Venus.

But that won’t happen. You know why? JESUS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, denying reality (be it scientific or what the CBO says the numbers are) is mandatory for membership in the republican club house. A shinning example is John Shimkus. Johhny boy is trying to become the chairman of the committee responsible for oversight on those groups that regulate pollution, toxic waste, and the greenhouse gases that are cooking our planet. But have no fear! Even though all the observable evidence tells us that we are racing for the cliff edge, nothing bad will happen. Jesus won’t let it. God made this earth for us and he wouldn’t make it so we could corrupt it…. (original sin? releasing evil into the world? No? Guess he’s not big on reading his own book, but then again republican and hypocrisy are synonymous)

But the party continues! Now that the republicans are in control of the house they are promising non-stop investigations and witch hunts, even against organizations that don’t exist anymore.

Yet do you want to know the #1 reason right now is an amazing time to be a conservative? The icing on the cake? The piñata of goodies?

Because Obama is your bitch and no matter how bad your policies fuck up the country and the future of the world, ultimately he is president and there is a “D” by his name.  Obama just hired William Daley to be his chief of staff, replacing Rahm Emanuel. (Rahm who said liberals, ie the people who voted for Obama and make up the democratic base, were “fucking retarded.”) If you think Rahm is right wing and pro-establishment, get a load of Daley! Daley’s a right wing corporatist who works for JP Morgan and who wants to kill the consumer protection agency! There is no fucking way Obama is a liberal or has any intention of fighting the status quo! He is the status quo.

So republicans are vicariously living through Obama while pushing through their “kill all government agencies that don’t help the rich get richer” policies that, if they fail or fuck everything up, they can easily lay at the feet of the democrats just in time for the 2012 elections when they can do it all over again for another four years… Goddamn it’s a good time to be conservative!

Is history still applicable today?

4 Dec

I’ve been thinking about this for a while, but am only now writing it down. I love history, I went to school to study it. In the lower level history courses, the levels populated by disinterested freshman who rather be back in bed, a common question was “how is this still relevant?” By the time you get up in to the higher level history courses you stop hearing this question. It’s always taken for granted that history is relevant. People are people and things never change, right? Well this is what I’ve been wondering about because as I’ve watched the first decade of the 21st century unfold, I’m no longer sure this is true. Come to think of it, the 20th century was the real game changer, the 21st century just sealed it.

So what changed in the 20th century? Well, before that time everything was pretty much the same. Armies fought wars with swords, then muskets, then rifles and cannon. Regardless of the weapons and uniforms being used the most basic principles of moving and feeding large groups of people remained the same. Communication was also relatively unchanged. Yes the time between when a message was sent and when it was delivered slowly decreased, especially after the invention of the train, but none the less there was still a substantial lag. The printing press was a huge leap forward, but until the 20th century lots of people still couldn’t read. Printing made books and news papers more available, but they still didn’t reach a universal audience. Before the 20th century, governments had a monopoly on information and the way discourse was framed.

So what changed with the 20th century? Well, everything. In the first 66 years we went from the first powered flight to walking on the moon. We went from horse drawn carriages to the atomic age. Within the that century we went from mail cars on trains to e-mail. From cash to credit. Mass media, the automobile, intercontinental flights, satellites, computers, the internet, GPS, cell phones, rock and roll, the entire world changed.

Throughout history the fundamentals of things stay the same, except the technology changes. Technology is exponential. It starts off slow and builds on itself. For most of our history technology has advanced so slowly the line would look arithmetic. However, there comes a point where the exponential rate of change starts to become visible. It’s at this point the advances become striking. The 20th century was that breaking point.

In the 20th century technology reached a point where it began to change the fundamentals that had dictated human events for centuries.  The first decade of the 21st century was a one-two punch that finalized the change the 20th century started. What were those two punches?

The first was 9/11. Religious terrorism managed to harness the power of scientific advances to wreak mass death. This shifted the political landscape forever. It introduced us to terms like preemptive strike, indefinite detention, secret prisons, sleeper cells, improvised explosive device, water-boarding, The Patriot act, warrantless wiretaps, among others. The power of government to violently intervine, even against its own citizens, drastically expanded.

The second punch was economic. The world economy crashed and we were introduced to the bailouts. Tax payers had to foot the bill for bank’s risky behaviors, all while millions of people lost their jobs and the banking executives took multi-million dollar bonuses home to the Cayman islands. Then we find out that the banks are foreclosing on people’s homes, even if they have made all their payments (Florida is especially bad, where they have so many foreclosures they’ve set up a “rocket docket.” Often judges will see 200 cases a day and will never bother to look at the documents, trusting the banks are telling the truth when it turns out they’ve been lying. *surprise*) The way banks operate now, you can never be sure your money will be there, or that the government won’t show up to do the banks bidding and throw you out of your own home, regardless if you’ve made payments.

At the same time technology has had a drastic impact on how politics operates. The 24 hour news cycle has really helped to kill journalism and government is increasingly in control again of how issues are framed:

On the other hand, the spread of information has been democratized. The internet, alternative news outlets, twitter, reddit, facebook, these are all extremely powerful tools that have never been used before in history. With the advent of cell phones and smart phones people have the entire wealth of human knowledge (the internet) in the palm of their hand. With cameras in those phones they can record any event in front of them and upload it to the internet within minutes. Just recently The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency created a challenge, hiding 10 red balloons in secret locations across the entire US and offered $40,000 to the first team to find all of them. Using social networking, it took a team from MIT 9 hours to locate all 10 balloons.

These leaps in technology have put levels of power and information in common people’s hands that were previously unthinkable. What scares me are the steps ever increasingly authoritarian governments are taking to limit this power or to at least spy and keep track of it. These governments also benefit from the increased technology. Never before have they been able to keep tabs on their citizens the way they can now. It makes me wonder how resistance groups would be able to operate if the government became too authoritarian. I imagine the old models developed in occupied countries during WWII would not work given what current technology can do.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the world will never be the same because of climate change.

(I don’t think I need to tell you how bad things will get once climates shift, people are unable to grow food like they used to, sea levels rise submerging coastal cities, and storms intensify.) The data points to increased human activity, primarily starting in the 20th century.

In essence, things are changing at a pace and speed never before seen in history. Technology has reached a level where it changes the fundamentals of how we live our lives, how governments relate to their citizens (and vise versa). The economic situation has changed drastically as a result of the risky practices of the late 20th century. And finally, our planet itself is changing immensely as we destroy our ecosystem with ever increasing speed.

Is history still applicable today? I’m honestly not sure. In specific instances it can prove a useful guide, and we still need to be ever vigilant so as not to allow old crimes to be reperpetrated, but overall I think it has lost some relevance ever since the 20th century.

America is fucked

9 Dec

I have officially lost all hope in the United States. The worst part is that I feel helpless to do anything about it. Public healthcare is dead, much to the delight of the evil healthcare corporations and their bought and paid for republican supporters.

60 % of all bankruptcies in the US are because of healthcare bills!

Despite that alarming fact, nobody gives a shit! We just don’t! American’s have been so beaten over the head by their politicians since Watergate, that there is no such thing as a shocking scandal. We have been desensitized to corruption, greed, war, and hypocricy. Nothing is new! It’s like politicians can do the most insane shit that would never fly in other contries, and then they can look straight into the camera and DARE the American populace to do something about it. They have no problem doing this because they know we won’t lift a finger!

Sure, a small group of citizens will be outraged, make a few signs, and go shouting around out in the cold, but the majority of people will do NOTHING. The worst part is that the most active block of citizenry is the least informed!

That’s right, the Tea Baggers. They are the biggest group of clueless fucktards that I have EVER seen. I wish these idiots were politically dead, being so extreme, but they’re not. They’ve taken the republican party hostage and pushed out moderates. Facts don’t mean shit to them. The saddest part about this whole thing is how they’ve been duped by the evil corporations who are trying to screw them over, especially on healthcare!

My prediction for the future of America: Big corporations will become increasingly more and more powerful. Democrats will lose power to Teabaggers over an economic crisis that grew out of hand under Bush. Liberals will start to lose culture wars as the religious fanatics push back hard, spurred on by the election of “reality doesn’t matter” teabaggers. Nothing real will be done about global warming. The big businesses have that in their pockets with elaborate PR campaigns. Lowland countries will go underwater, but we won’t care until Florida starts going under due to the polar ice caps melting. Religious nuts will also manage to overturn Roe v. Wade and destroy a woman’s right to control her body. Science will be pushed out of the classroom along with abortion-reducing sex education. News agencies will fall even more into corporate hands than they have already. (Unbiased mass media already doesn’t exist)

I could go on, but I don’t want to. Basically everything that progressives have worked hard for is going to be for naught. The standard of living and opportunity will continue to plummet as America looses her place among rivals like China. I’m depressed and cynical. I feel there is no hope, and that resistance is futile. This was once a country with great potential founded by liberal deists, now it’s a joke, a hopeless corporate joke.