Monday, March 28, 2011


I don't feel my beliefs are represented in Congress pretty much at all. Here is a small list of a few suggestions, although I reserve the right to add to these subjects at any time. I suspect this will not be popular with many, if any. Am I really the only one who thinks this way?

The Fair and Sustainable Platform:

  • All people deserve access to health care. Coverage should not be determined by profit-making companies. In fact, making money from a pool designed to assist with medical bills is amoral. It means somebody is getting charged too much or paid to little, or not enough people are getting the medical care they need.

  • Different wages for different jobs, yes. A difference in salaries greater than 300 percent, such as the typical janitor and the CEO of the company he works for? No. Income inequality, especially to that degree, is just asking for trouble for everyone in that society. Look it up.

  • Access to higher education should be within reach for anyone who is motivated to succeed. I think that the freedom and resources for learning to read and write is an intrinsic human right. I feel this is a true human right, unlike reproductive freedom.

  • No pork-laden bill passing in Congress. The bill, and that's it. I suspect lobbying was originally designed to bring matters to the attention of lawmakers, so they could have appropriate information before voting on a bill. Today, the lobbyists for too many industries are more like party hosts, supplying extraneous fripperies instead of facts and information of substance. Maybe the whole idea needs to be scrapped and reworked.

  • Accountability. Yes, this is difficult to police. Without it, corruption will rule the day. That's even harder to live with, isn't it?

  • Defense spending more in line with global standards. All countries live on the globe, and all countries should share in watchdog activities, within their financial means. Our pro bono UN policeman job is bankrupting the US. Are they going to rescue us when we can't pay the bills? That's a foolish expectation.

  • Stop sending jobs for Americans to other countries - this should be more expensive to do, not less. Since it's not...we are exploiting people less fortunate than us.

  • Corporations do NOT deserve the same rights as individuals, who are real people. Actually, maybe they should have less rights than illegal immigrants, who are, in fact, human beings.
  • No tax cuts for gas and oil companies, among others. Spend that money to help citizens pay for heating costs, since there aren't enough jobs to go around.
  • We are stewards of the earth, not rapists. Let's preserve a little for future generations, otherwise known as our children and their children, et cetera.
  • Resources also need to be preserved for the sake of preparedness. Since when was having a back-up plan for survival foolish?
  • Our infrastructure in this country is old, and getting older all the time. How many jobs could be provided for by turning our attention to aging bridges and such? Oh, right...this isn't MY idea. It was done before.
  • Separation of church and state (i.e., government) was a pillar for the establishment of this country, which gave residence to many who fled religious persecution. A theocracy was not developed by the crafters of the constitution. A democracy was the plan.
  • It's irresponsible and arrogant to assume we can control the containment of radioactive waste thousands of years into the future. Basically, we are creating energy we feel entitled to at the expense of future generations, to whom will fall the responsibility to oversee the safety of these radioactive by-products from our reactors. I firmly believe that our ingenious, adaptable minds can come up with a cleaner, more fair way to generate energy. Please shut it all down. Today.
  • Also, it's environmentally responsible to keep a tight check on energy waste itself, and show a little restraint. Our ancestors certainly didn't need the amount of energy the citizens of our country seems to demand these days. A little reduction in the consumption on everybody's part could actually be better for us. It makes you think of others. Is that a bad thing?
  • One thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to empathize and bury our dead. Does that mean we actually care about other people? If so, then shouldn't we make sure the folks in our midst who can't take care of themselves are assisted by those who can? I'm speaking of older people who don't have family left, children, and people with disease or defects that prevent them from being as functional as the rest of us. Are we still people if we just cast them to the side, not helping provide them with food, shelter, and a little human kindness? Programs that help people in dire straits are not entitlement programs, they are social safety nets. These need to stay funded, not get cut first when bloated budgets need to be trimmed down.
  • Finally, the big bad wolf. Stop reproducing so much. How is infinite growth in a finite space sustainable? IT'S NOT. IT WON'T WORK INDEFINITELY. The whole population, at some time, will be paying the piper on this one. Guaranteed. The problem is, I guess we all have to decide to not be the fecund beings we are, since involuntary sterilization would cause a riot bigger than the Civil War. Of course, a massive die-off due to overpopulation may also cause a riot. Which path will we choose?
Okay! Time to start throwing the tomatoes! I'm ready to duck or debate!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Couldn't have said it better myself...

This guy is so good at putting my nebulous thoughts into succinct and stimulating prose!

But the mainstream left has a naive world view: "People are good, but passively ignorant. A few Bad People are hiding the Truth. If we point out the Bad People and reveal the Truth, the good people will Wake Up. Then we will be able to Change the System from within, to make a Better World for Everyone."

My view is more like this: People are well-intentioned but Actively Ignorant. We are masters of believing whatever makes our lives feel Meaningful, and then finding evidence to support it. If you threaten the stories that make people's lives feel Meaningful, they will kill you. But if you reinforce these stories, they will reward you, even if you exploit them. This leads to giant systems that feed on Active Ignorance, the way a fire feeds on dry sticks. Like a forest fire, the present system is fundamentally destructive and unstoppable. The best we can do is to channel the destruction so that people who are Paying Attention will have a good chance to survive.

posted at by Ran Prieur, March 25, 2011

Friday, March 25, 2011

From Peter Lame, on Facebook:

Question for the "Tea Party": What took you so long to get angry?

You didn't get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and
appointed a President.

You didn't get mad when Dick Cheney allowed energy company officials to dictate energy policy and push us to invade Iraq .

You didn't get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed for political reasons.

You didn't get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.

You didn't get mad when we invaded a country that posed no threat to us and spent over 2 trillion (and counting) on said war.

You didn't get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.

You didn't get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.

You didn't get mad when you found out we were torturing people.

You didn't get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies
that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.

You didn't get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.

You didn't get mad when we didn't catch Bin Laden.

You didn't get mad when Bush ran up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.

You didn't get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital.

You didn't get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.

You didn't get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend over a trillion dollars in taxbreaks.

You didn't get mad with the worst 8 years of job creation in several decades.

You didn't get mad when over 200,000 US citizens lost their lives because they had no health insurance.

You didn't get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement and home values.

No . . . You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick.

Illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick . . .

Oh, Hell No!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Rather, homegrown biking accessories. I think I need to make these panniers, but I'm afraid the bike will be too heavy for me to ride without falling off!!