Category: Ruminations

The End of Progress

FAIL01
The ArchdruidReport examines the end of progress.

One thing I like about Greer’s posts is that he declares a pox on both houses, progressive and liberal. He respects history more than opinions, which is a helpful reminder for people on both sides of the aisle to be more objective.

The jury is still out on what we do about it, but if you want to know how we got where we are and why we seem to be stuck there, JMG should be required reading
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A New Socialism

TruthOut.

A socialism for the 21st century must include and stress the importance of micro-level social transformation at the base of society in the workplace. Ending exploitation in workplaces is that transformation. Instead of workers producing surpluses for others to appropriate and distribute, they must now do that for themselves collectively.

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Bombers and Police and the Law, Oh My!

Scale Versus Afghan Police Training with Italian Carabineri

We are beginning to see significant concern expressed in the non-MSM concerning the legal aspects of police behavior when alleged criminals are apprehended. While the events in Boston are the latest trigger, the concern applies to all law enforcement activity, at both federal and local levels and dating much further back and to the entire War On Terror’ fiasco.

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Changes in Time and Place

Times, they are a-changin’
Nothin’ I can do about it now

To see a World in a Grain of Sand,
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the Palm of your Hand,
And Eternity in an Hour.

– William Blake: Auguries of Innocence.

I read blogs and articles and books which provide lots of information, yet there is always a little niggling thought lurking in the back of my mind: What does this have to do with my life? Here? Now? Objectively, I know it all does effect me, but it seems to be at arm’s length, almost abstract and I’ll always feel this way until I am personally the person unemployed, foreclosed, wounded, PTSD’d, imprisoned, etc. On the other hand, the biggest thing on my mind on a given day might be juggling work and two doctors’ appointments, which are important to me but register only a shrug to the other seven billion people on the planet.

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Coping With Winter


ranch

My uncle Ray and his two brothers, Wallace and Warren owned a ranch in the upper Rio Grande Valley in Colorado.
Pump in the front yard, outhouse in back. Ice cut from winter lakes & stored in ice-house to cool ice-boxes in the summer.
This was pre-REA, so they had their own generator and shut it off at 11pm – after that it was kerosene lanterns or darkness.
The phone was party-line and hand-cranked. Folks used to have concerts, each playing piano/fiddle/harmonica/accordion/whatever.
Music online before the Internet!
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Mitakuye Oyasin

That Lakota phrase reflects the Great Truth – We Are All Related.
The denial of that truth, the failure to honor it is at the root of most of our self-inflicted problems.
It permits us to commit all sorts of evils, injustice, rapine, fraud, bigotry.

Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have views we have internalized to become our beliefs; we each have our individual-specific ‘confirmation bias’; our own intellectual filters which affect what we see and how we see it.
If we’re lucky, we get a little glimpse of the truth, and for most of us that’s about all we can tolerate at any one time.

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The Cockleburs of Culture

cockleburs
Fortuitously or otherwise, events public and private have combined recently to focus my attention ever more closely on downsizing, reducing and simplifying my life, making it more satisfying, more useful to myself and others, eliminating the unnecessary, distinguishing between what I merely want and what I need.

Having spent the last 50 years doing high-profile IT work, much of it ‘bleeding edge’, having worked 140-hour weeks for months at a time, having been on-call 24×7 most of those years, the artificiality of that work was never questioned, certainly not by me. Yet the work and the life it consumed were essentially ‘virtual’ compared to the reality of making cheese, building furniture or houses, knitting scarves, raising children, tending the ill and elderly. Manipulating bits and bytes was interesting, challenging and financially rewarding but ultimately unsatifying.

I’d call it a mid-life crisis, except that that phase came and went decades ago. What’s happening now is deeper, more basic to the experience of modern America. In the process of reconstructing my world, I began to realize how plugged in I am – how plugged in we all are – to the Zeitgeist.

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