November 26, 2008

Theme Song for Buy-Nothing Day

Amazing Earth how sweet the air
Her children breathe each day
Blest be Her blue inspiring care
May we be worthy we pray.

Amazing Earth with water clear
That washes every sin
Blest be Thy blood O Mother dear
Through Thee our lives we win.

Amazing Earth we greet Thy Son
Who shines on all each day
His fire can burn at highest noon
For forest shade we pray.

Amazing Earth how good Thy food
In garden, grove and field
So full of thanks for Thee we would
Bless each and every meal.

Amazing Earth whose every race
And bug and bird not least
Are called by Her Amazing Grace
In kinship with each beast.

Amazing Earth we count Thy Blessings
Many more than we deserve
A sin to think we own such things
Forgetting Whom we serve.

November 25, 2008

Wall Street Reality TV Disorder

    Paulson just said that solving people's mortgage crises and small business credit crises will really solve the financial crisis, and bring back consumer confidence. 
    But that won't solve the real economic problem. Almost all our actual production (except cars) has emigrated, so there is hardly anything left for local workers to make that thrifty consumers will buy. And even if corporations had jobs to offer here, they would only be making unsustainable products.
    The financial system is not the economy any more than TV is reality. So smart workers and consumers will confer, get real about their local situation, and organize basic production to meet local needs like clean air and water, healthy food, and shelter from the elements. 
    The only way to rebuild an economy is from the grassroots, because if the grassroots can't run their own economies, the pyramid will collapse.

November 19, 2008

Can Paulson Even Make Coffee?

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's testimony yesterday before the House's Financial Services Committee was pathetic. How did he ever manage to get an MBA from Harvard, let alone become a big cheese at Goldman Sachs? If neither of these august bodies, nor the Congress who approved his appointment, noticed that he was incapable of answering even one simple question with a straight answer, what hope is there for the dream of meritocracy? (And aren't they worried about their reputations as institutions of higher learning or investment analysis?)

The automotive CEOs didn't get very far either, partly because they weren't willing to give up their company jets and drive like the rest of us.

None of them realize that true economic value is primarily about meeting people's actual needs--clean air and water, healthy food, etc. Cars can drive us to the store, and investment funds can offer annuities when the economy is in equilibrium. But moneymen and engineers know little about living off the land, which is the only dependable foundation for any of these pyramid schemes. The store has to have food before you can drive to it to spend your pension.

The holy grail of economic growth is nothing but a wild goose chase.
'It's not the money, stupid.' It's the clean air and water, healthy food, etc.

November 7, 2008

Religious and Civil Rights

    I can't help wondering about the motivation of the blacks who voted against homosexuals' civil rights. Was it religion or misogyny?
    (Of course, it can be hard to distinguish between misogyny and fundamentalist religions.)
    But the video url posted to the right makes it clear that not all abominations elicit the same gut revulsion that motivated these voters. Then what is so disturbing?
    I believe it is unconscious misogyny, which is a fancy way of saying those men hate or fear women. 
    To a fundamentalist man who thinks women should be subservient to men like the church is subservient to Christ, I am sure the mere idea of men as lovers means one of those men must be subservient. Patriarchal men (and women) are emotionally allergic to this idea.
    What evidence do I have that fundamentalist men think they should always be tops and never bottoms? The difference in their reaction to gay men and their reaction to lesbians. It's always ok for women to be bottoms. 
    (Of course, the main cause of any modern feminization of men is all the organic industrial chemicals that we have inserted into our environment since 1945.)
    Anyway, it is not totally surprising that black people, whose ancestors were enslaved, might be more allergic to the idea of their men being subservient. But I say to them that oppressing homosexuals tells me they are not yet completely free.
    Women, who are the mothers of all sons, cannot be oppressed and abused without also oppressing and abusing sons, whether those sons are gay or not.

November 1, 2008

Yes on 5, No on 6 & 9

Unlike DA Scully whose bullshit letter to the editor ran in today's Bee, I have no more financial conflict of interest related to these propositions than any other taxpayer.
Now "bullshit" may seem like strong language for addressing a law enforcement official, so let me clarify that I use it as did the philosopher Harry Frankfurt in his recent book.
He posits bullshit to mean words and actions designed to achieve a particular goal, without regard to truth or accuracy. Not that the truth is undesirable nor lying preferred, mind you, both are just irrelevant to the goal of the manipulation.
But, the ends never justify the means, because the means are the ends in the making. For example, if you regularly eat unhealthy food, you will end up becoming unhealthy even if you also eat some healthy food.
Similarly, Scully's demonization of drug users poisons her official and alleged desire for justice, which is after all not the same thing as security. Did the drug of power make her do it?