I guess we can try to get the word out.
Global warming? Sure. More storms, bigger storms. Talk to folks who can vote in 2014 to elect the Climate Congress. I don’t care if the folks you talk to are republicans, democrats or have never bothered to vote. If they know in their gut that global warming is real and not good news, then we need to mobilize them. The quadrennial electoral show is staggering to a finish, but at that finish we will not have a president or congress that understands that we need to address global warming. Our next chance is the midterm election in 2014. That campaign is underway. I started.
Climate Congress 2013 – the Contract with Climate
- Carbon tax
- what else belong on the contract with the climate that a carbon tax does not address?
Hurricane Sandy continues its march to the East Coast
By Paul Schwartzman, Published: October 27 | Updated: Sunday, October 28, 7:47 AM
A hurricane of enormous force continues to march north today, ready to hammer the D.C. region sometime on Monday and disrupt life for millions as it sweeps across eight states toward Canada.
From North Carolina to the coastal edges of Maine, public officials are urging residents to fortify themselves against Hurricane Sandy, which is expected to unleash torrential rains and winds of up to 75 mph, even for those residing as far as 100 miles from the storms center.
Read the whole piece? Why not? See if you can find any mention of global warming in the piece on Hurricane Sandy. I scanned it quickly, lots of talk about shopping in advance of the storm, the campaigns adjusting to be elsewhere, nothing on global warming that I spotted. It’s like Where’s Waldo? Where is the mention of global warming in this article? Let me know if you see it.
Friends are in jail. We don’t know how long they will be there. We don’t what criminal activity is being investigated that leads to these folks being jailed for refusing to answer Grand Jury questions.
Land of the Free. Home of the Brave.
Jump in, you can help. We are the ones we have been waiting for.
The election season is in full hysterical mode. The dems are beating on progressives who are fleeing to Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson, the repubs are beating on the dems with all the corporate money and psycho-linguistic technology they can muster and behind the scenes somewhere we have a bunch of faceless (poor things, they don’t have faces) IT folks who are gearing up to do whatever they are supposed to do with the vote-counting technology to tabulate votes on November 6th.
Michael Connell will not be available to help with the information technology tasks in this election cycle. His private plane crashed and he was killed before he was available to testify about the 2004 Ohio vote-counting, “man in the middle” controversy.
There is lots to worry about in this election cycle even with the tragedy of Michael Connell’s death in 2008. But let’s get real, this election is in the can. Yes, we should all work on getting out the votes for progressive candidates, for local initiatives that might produce change, but the change is not coming by defeating Romney, the change is not coming in this election cycle.
Our best progressive shot happens with the mid term election of 2014. I believe we have three primary branches of govt here in the US of A. The judicial is captured by 4 solidly corporate, reactionary justices, with a conservative swing vote held by Anthony Kennedy. The remaining justices are solidly liberal, but are aging and out-numbered 5 to 4. This is the 5 to 4 court, not the Roberts Court. And it will be the 5 to 4 Court for a very long time. Right wingers do not have to control the Senate to keep a Dem president from appointing a William O. Douglas or Thurgood Marshall type justice to the Court, they only have to obstruct appointments in a manner that the Dems will never do to a Republican potus. Need evidence of that? Samual Alito? Clarence Thomas? John Roberts? Do these names ring a bell? Yes, the dems borked poor Robert Bork, but that was a long time ago and poor Robert Bork had served Richard Nixon too well. Robert Bork borked himself in the Saturday night massacre, he was just a late victim of that miserable public affair.
The pick at the top of the ticket in this election is a hobbesian choice. Both of the candidates are firmly in the control of the big money folks, the have-mores as George W called them. Romney might claim to be the candidate of the 53%, but that’s not true, he is the Emperor of Bain Capital. Read’m and weep.
Obama? Sad sack. I voted for him once upon a time. I didn’t believe in him at that time, but I was willing to give it a shot. The Dems are always saying, please, just give us one more chance. I thought why not? in 2008 and voted Obama. I wanted Dean or Kucinich, but the Bainsters who control our political system are not going to allow that kind of option, so I voted Obama. I used to say that the only republican I ever voted for as President was Bill Clinton, but now I have done it twice. Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice… I won’t get fooled again or something like that, Bushisms are so complex in their inanity that they approach genius.
Here is an interesting video that makes the point that the electorate really is trying to choose between pepsi or coke for potus. Tastes better, less filling, tastes better…
Leaves a bad taste. Thanks to Slate, David Weigel, and Luke Rudowski at We Are Change for this work.
I will be back in a day or two to talk about Climate Congress 2014 – The Contract with Climate.
Top of the list? Carbon Tax, baby! A twofer. We jam the environmental destroyers, the petro-bainsters and we fix the deficit in one fell swoop. I love a fell swoop.
Activist, anarchist, writer, organizer – Scott Crow – is going to be in Olympia for a few speaking engagements over the next few days. He will be at South Puget Sound Community College on Oct 25th at noon, Room 102, Building 26
Then he will be at Last Word Books on Friday, Oct 26th at 7:30 pm. and one more time in Oly on Monday, Oct 29th at Lecture Hall 2, The Evergreen State College at noon.
Want to understand anarchism? Learn more about it. It’s not what you may think.
Want to continue to misunderstand and misrepresent anarchism? As Bobby Dylan said, “you are going to have to serve somebody…” Choose today, who will you serve? You are going to have to serve somebody.
Black Flags and Radical Relief Efforts in New Orleans: An Interview with scott crow
Three quotes for the day, courtesy Liberty Quotes.
“It is by the goodness of God that in our country
we have those three unspeakably precious things:
freedom of speech, freedom of conscience,
and the prudence never to practice either.”
— Mark Twain
[Samuel Langhorne Clemens] (1835-1910)
“If we dont believe in freedom of expression for people we despise,
we dont believe in it at all.”
— Noam Chomsky
(1928- ) American linguist and political writer
Source: Guardian, 23 November 1992
“I believe in my right to be wrong,
and still more in my right to be right.”
— Owen Lattimore
Get out there, get it right. If change is coming, you are bringing it.
for those with an open mind who want to know more about anarchism:
Noam Chomsky is widely known for his critique of U.S foreign policy, and for his work as a linguist. Less well known is his ongoing support for libertarian socialist objectives. In a special interview done for Red and Black Revolution, Chomsky gives his views on anarchism and marxism, and the prospects for socialism now. The interview was conducted in May 1995 by Kevin Doyle.
RBR: First off, Noam, for quite a time now you’ve been an advocate for the anarchist idea. Many people are familiar with the introduction you wrote in 1970 to Daniel Guerin’s Anarchism: From Theory to Practice, but more recently, for instance in the film Manufacturing Dissent, you took the opportunity to highlight again the potential of anarchism and the anarchist idea. What is it that attracts you to anarchism?
CHOMSKY: I was attracted to anarchism as a young teenager, as soon as I began to think about the world beyond a pretty narrow range, and haven’t seen much reason to revise those early attitudes since. I think it only makes sense to seek out and identify structures of authority, hierarchy, and domination in every aspect of life, and to challenge them; unless a justification for them can be given, they are illegitimate, and should be dismantled, to increase the scope of human freedom. That includes political power, ownership and management, relations among men and women, parents and children, our control over the fate of future generations (the basic moral imperative behind the environmental movement, in my view), and much else. Naturally this means
a challenge to the huge institutions of coercion and control: the state, the unaccountable private tyrannies that control most of the domestic and international economy, and so on. But not only these. That is what I have always understood to be the essence of anarchism: the conviction that the burden of proof has to be placed on authority, and that it should be dismantled if that burden cannot be met. Sometimes the burden can be met.
If I’m taking a walk with my grandchildren and they dart out into a busy street, I will use not only authority but also physical coercion to stop them. The act should be challenged, but I think it can readily meet the challenge. And there are other cases; life is a complex affair, we understand very little about humans and society, and grand pronouncements are generally more a source of harm than of benefit. But the perspective is a valid one, I think, and can lead us quite a long way.
Beyond such generalities, we begin to look at cases, which is where the questions of human interest and concern arise.
RBR: It’s true to say that your ideas and critique are now more widely known than ever before. It should also be said that your views are widely respected. How do you think your support for anarchism is received in this context? In particular, I’m interested in the response you receive from people who are getting interested in politics for the first time and who may, perhaps, have come across your views. Are such people surprised by your support for anarchism? Are they interested?
CHOMSKY: The general intellectual culture, as you know, associates ‘anarchism’ with chaos, violence, bombs, disruption, and so on. So people are often surprised when I speak positively of anarchism and identify myself with leading traditions within it. But my impression is that among the general public, the basic ideas seem reasonable when the clouds are cleared away. Of course, when we turn to specific matters – say, the nature of families, or how an economy would work in a society that is more free and just – questions and controversy arise. But that is as it should be. Physics can’t really explain how water flows from the tap in your sink. When we turn to vastly more complex questions of human significance, understanding is very thin, and there is plenty of room for disagreement, experimentation, both intellectual and real-life exploration of possibilities, to help us learn more.
RBR: Perhaps, more than any other idea, anarchism has suffered from the problem of misrepresentation. Anarchism can mean many things to many people. Do you often find yourself having to explain what it is that you mean by anarchism? Does the misrepresentation of anarchism bother you?
CHOMSKY: All misrepresentation is a nuisance. Much of it can be traced back to structures of power that have an interest in preventing understanding, for pretty obvious reasons. It’s well to recall David Hume’s Principles of Government. He expressed surprise that people ever submitted to their rulers. He concluded that since Force is always on the side of the governed, the governors have nothing to support them but opinion. ‘Tis therefore, on opinion only that government is founded; and this maxim extends to the most despotic and most military governments, as well as to the most free and most popular. Hume was very astute – and incidentally, hardly a libertarian by the standards of the day. He surely underestimates the efficacy of force, but his observation seems to me basically correct, and important, particularly in the more free societies, where the art of controlling opinion is therefore far more refined. Misrepresentation and other forms of befuddlement are a natural concomitant.
So does misrepresentation bother me? Sure, but so does rotten weather. It will exist as long as concentrations of power engender a kind of commissar class to defend them. Since they are usually not very bright, or are bright enough to know that they’d better avoid the arena of fact and argument, they’ll turn to misrepresentation, vilification, and other devices that are available to those who know that they’ll be protected by the various means available to the powerful. We should understand why all this occurs, and unravel it as best we can. That’s part of the project of liberation – of ourselves and others, or more reasonably, of people working together to achieve these aims.
Sounds simple-minded, and it is. But I have yet to find much commentary on human life and society that is not simple-minded, when absurdity and self-serving posturing are cleared away.
RBR: How about in more established left-wing circles, where one might expect to find greater familiarity with what anarchism actually stands for? Do you encounter any surprise here at your views and support for anarchism?
read the whole piece? Please do so. Time with Chomsky is almost always time well spent.
I like some aspects of free markets. As a craftsman who has made a living at times in my life building and remodeling houses, I like the idea that I can trade my time and skills in a relatively free manner for money or other goods that I want or need. More and more I find I don’t really want too much stuff. I have a houseful of stuff. It comes and goes. I don’t buy much in the way of new stuff. We are awash in consumer goods in the US and if you turn off regular television and cable and stop reading the newspaper, your consumer programming falls away pretty fast in my experience, so I just am not all that familiar with the stuff that the consumer culture thinks I should be craving.
I think consumer culture and rampant capitalism is the downside of the free market. I like Medicare. I like Social Security. I like public education. I think it should be free and include higher education. I think that means I like socialism.
But try to sell socialism to the US electorate with the consumer capitalists in charge of the media. It’s going to be a tough sell.
I am throwing up this piece by Gar Alperovitz. I will watch it in a day or two. Maybe he has some thoughts about new economic systems that I will find appealing. Maybe you will find something here also. Hope so.
A couple of items on things oceanic came to my attention this week.
NYT had a story on collapse of the cod fishery:
The Shocking News About Cod
The ideal fish for human consumption would mature quickly and reproduce in staggering numbers.
This does not describe the Atlantic cod. Cod mature late at 4 to 6 years old and they can live as long as 25 years. Female cod do, in fact, produce astonishing numbers of eggs. But older cod lay two or three times as many eggs as younger cod. This means that a healthy cod population must include relatively large numbers of older fish.
A recent survey of cod catches in Northern Europe shows exactly the opposite. Extrapolating from survey numbers, scientists at a British government fisheries agency estimate that there are nearly 200 million 1-year-old cod in the North Sea but only 18 million 3-year-olds. As for older cod, the numbers are shocking. The survey team estimates that in 2011 there were only 600 12- to 13-year-old cod, a third of which were caught, and not a single fish older than 13 has been caught in the past year.
Read the whole article? Important stuff.
Paul Pickett in Oly shared this new NOAA app that shows sea level rise and coastal impacts. We have been talking in Oly about actions by the Washington State Department of Ecology. DOE has blocked a shoreline plan in Jefferson County that prohibited pen fish farming. This is the industrial practice of raising fish such as Atlantic salmon in pens. We don’t healthy fisheries if we can raise fish to eat in pens. Ecology is also stepping in on the the Olympia shoreline plan in ways that may help the Port of Olympia and thwart environmental action that has wide public support. We are talking in Olympia about how regulatory agencies can be captured by the industries they regulate and what we can do about it.
I think we have to ask the right question and that question is “why would regulatory agencies thwart reasonable environmental actions?” The answer is profit, capitalism; economic interests are in control and dictate to us all. Disaster capitalism. Disaster, capitalism. Disaster. Capitalism.
Here is the sea level rise app. NOAA is not a regulatory agency per ser, more of a pure science agency. It’s harder to capture science agencies than it is to capture regulatory agencies who are able to weigh science against economic interests.
It’s kind of tragic and ironic that we are both depleting the ocean and increasing the ocean’s coverage of the planet at the same time. The Greenland ice cap is melting. Start looking hard at the sea level rise application and plan accordingly. There are going to be some opportunities for profit in the coming troubles.
- Displays potential future sea levels
- Provides simulations of sea level rise at local landmarks
- Communicates the spatial uncertainty of mapped sea levels
- Models potential marsh migration due to sea level rise
- Overlays social and economic data onto potential sea level rise
- Examines how tidal flooding will become more frequent with sea level rise
Being able to visualize potential impacts from sea level rise is a powerful teaching and planning tool, and the Sea Level Rise Viewer brings this capability to coastal communities. A slider bar is used to show how various levels of sea level rise will impact coastal communities. Completed areas include Mississippi, Alabama, Texas, Florida, and Georgia, with additional coastal counties to be added in the near future. Visuals and the accompanying data and information cover sea level rise inundation, uncertainty, flood frequency, marsh impacts, and socioeconomics.
The NOAA Coastal Services Center would like to acknowledge those organizations that provided direct content used in this tool or feedback, ideas, and reviews over the course of the tools development. Specifically the Center would like to acknowledge the following groups.
Here is the link to the main page for this NOAA app.
Let’s assume that a person really wanted to understand a foreign philosophy, a different way of setting up a society. If that was the case, I would recommend listening to Suzanne Guerlac talk about the philosophy of Henri Bergson.
This is a dense program, but Suzanne is articulate and the interviewer asks probing intelligent questions, so if you have an hour where you really want to listen closely, I heartily recommend this program. It is especially powerful when Suzanne starts talking about how the evolution from a closed society to an open society is not an easy evolutionary transition, that Bergson thought it would take some sort of fundamental change in way of being to occur. Imagining that sort of thing is difficult. Yet those moments occur. Think Solidarity in Poland. Think the fall of the USSR, the sudden destruction of the Berlin Wall. In those moments, I suspect that an open society emerged, however briefly, before a closed society reasserted itself. Fits and starts. Evolution and change may not be orderly.
So, open societies. What would that look like? Listen hard to Guerlac’s discussion of love and livingness as something new, not love that arises with an object that is loved by a subject who loves, but when love arises in reference to all living things. Pretty amorphous stuff. And for those of you who need a lot of structure, this is not going to be your cup of vegan broth. But if you want to stretch a bit, and you want to commit the energy, I think this program will stretch you.
Against the Grain appears to be a wildly intelligent program. My friend Gar Lipow is the latest guest. Gar is talking about climate change and economic exploitation. Suzanne is so last week.
If you make it through the Open Society talk and thinking in time ala Bergson, and you want to think more about open societies, you could check out the mp3s at Audio Anarchy . The Anarchy Tension series is a good place to start if you have an open mind. You may come to the conclusion that this is simple utopian sophistry, that might be true, but it may also be true that if/when an open society emerges, this could be one of the ways that it will happen. This might be the shapeless shape of a certain kind of open society.
See some of you there.