Sunday, August 31, 2008
It's all over the web: In Minneapolis/St. Paul today police broke into four homes and stopped motorists across the cities, claiming groups such as "Food Not Bombs" and "RNC Welcoming Committee" were "conspiring to incite riot."
I'm amazed they've gone so far, as this is sure to stir up opposition and open revolt against the glitzy set now converging on the land of ten thousand Johnsons. Ya, you betcha!
This hypermilitarization of the local constabulary has crept upon us bit by bit since Seattle. We even see it here in Santa Cruz, CA, the type city for "Chill out, Dude," where laid back was defined. Black-clad and bumpered police appear at the slightest provocation, resplendant with zip-tie handcuffs, pepper spray applicators, stun guns and secret orders from on high ... high finance, that is.
In a world dominated by imagery at the expense of reality, the jack-booted thugs are designed purposefully to strike fear in the hearts and minds of a 9/11-stupored citizenry, just as they were in Nazi Germany shocked by Krystallnacht and the Reichstag fire. No coincidence there; the Current Occupant and the Shadow Government have read their history well.
When do we call a halt to this growing repression? How do we call a halt? How do we return our government to the will of the people when our government is dominated by corporate interests and willing to use force against its citizens to maintain control?
Friday, August 29, 2008
The folks at GrizzlyBay.org have the straight poop (the kind that smells like pepper spray) on McCain's pick for Vice President, proving that the art of gullibility is not yet dead.
Read it and Veep!
Sunday, August 03, 2008
Shipping Costs Start to Crimp Globalization
Who'd a thunk it? A rising tide really does lift all boats, including the cost of transportation.
It no longer makes economic sense (as if it ever did) to ship pulp from trees in Alaska to Japan to be made into rayon to be shipped to Korea to be made into cloth to be shipped to Malaysia to be made into shirts to be shipped to warehouses in the United States to be shipped to Alaska to be purchased, worn out and thrown away in landfills in old clearcuts.
The economic processes that have supported globalization, up to now, have ignored both ends of the resource cycle. Trees, minerals, oil, topsoil, water have always been considered "free" for the taking, to be used to produce private profit, while the results of resource exploitation, pollution, deforestation, habitat loss, diversity loss, have been left to society and government to deal with.
On the other end of the economic alimentary canal, waste products from industrial production have always been left to be dealt with by the country (the people, the plants and animals) where production occurs, thus screening the results of production from the awareness of consumers. Buying that plastic whatsit from WalMart has no visible effect in the life of the consumer. When it is no longer desirable, it is thrown "away," as if there was some "away" for it to go.
Finally, with the decline of artificially cheap energy, the consequences of such an ignorant, wasteful economic system are coming increasingly to view, and, better yet, invading the bank vaults of those who have made billions in profits exploiting the Earth. Once they realize how wasteful it is to play the walnut and pea game on a global scale, they'll start bringing production back closer to consumption. And once the by-products of production must be dealt with close to the point of consumption, all sorts of opportunities politely present themselves for closing the loop between raw materials and waste products.
Marx explained this all completely, in 1903, but everyone was too caught up in fighting "Communism," if that's what it was, to pay any attention. Marx was writing about the separation of agriculture from the cities, creating a separation between production and consumption and a subsequent loss of soil nutrient at the production end. By keeping production and consumption close together, "wastes" are easily returned to the point of production as "resources," closing the loop in the production/consumption cycle.
Surprisingly enough, there are social consequences to the separation of consumption from production, as Marx pointed out, consequences that we are now seeing on a global basis in resource wars waged to prop up governments suddenly finding themselves on the excremental end of the resource stick.
'Twas ever thus,' quoth Mr. Natural.
As with everything Yin and Yang, the twin specters of climate change and Peak Oil are also the twin promises for the future of the human species, if we have one at all. As real economics comes to bear on human economics, we will once again find our place at home and give up the shell game of Globalization as a tawdry carnival trick.
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Lawrence Livermore Laboratories reveals this startling image of a gang of thieves stealing energy from unsuspecting victims in the united States. The name of the gang?
Out of approximately 97 quadrillion BTUs (Quads) produced in 2002, 55.9 quads (58%) was lost, mainly as waste heat. The two chief culprits of the gang were Electrical System Energy Losses and Internal Combustion Engine Inefficiency. These two nefarious characters have robbed stockpiles of natural resources and energy storage to the tune of thousands of Quads, contributing to climate change and pollution.
How do we stop this gang dead in its tracks? We call in Sheriff Conservation and his posse of Public Transit, Hypercar Technology, Walkable/Bikable Communities. Solar Energy, and Local Production for Local Consumption. And we stop providing subsidies for the Lost Energy Gang that lets then rum rampant through our energy world.
If we can cut the Lost Energy Gang down to half its size, we can increase Useful Energy by 90%. That's 25 Quadrillion BTUs of free energy, every year, more than is produced by all the oil imported into the united States.
It's simple, it's easy, it's cheap.
It's just plain stupid to keep wasting precious energy when we know how to stop it.
Be on the alert! The Lost Energy Gang is casing out your car, your home and your workplace right now!