Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Invisible Govt - R. Koehler 
Last month I went on an extraordinary, epic journey through the Andes mountains of Peru and Ecuador. The aim was to record the stories of the largely hidden people on the frontline of climate change, and see how communities and governments are trying to adapt.
I began at 16,000ft on the snows of Mount Cayambe in Ecuador where the glaciers are in full retreat, and ended in the oilfields of the Amazon. In between, I came across water conflicts, deserts growing, rivers shrinking, extreme temperatures and diseases spreading, individuals who have seen the snows disappear in their lifetimes and are fearful for their future, and governments seriously worried that they will soon be unable to feed or provide water and power for their populations.
Climate change has fallen off the political agenda in rich countries since the shambles of the Copenhagen summit last year, and the headlines have been dominated by global recession. But while politicians fail to act, the phenomenon continues unabated. In the past week, the three major institutes that calculate global warming have said 2010 will at least tie for the hottest year yet recorded, and it is widely expected that global carbon dioxide emissions will hit record levels.
This year summer temperatures in Russia and central Asia were 7.8°C above average for a whole month, the Pakistan floods affected more than 20 million people, and temperature records were set in 17 countries from Finland to Iraq, Burma and Colombia. Again, there was a near-record melting of Arctic sea ice and the UN has recorded more than 700 extreme-weather related disasters. - John Vidal
Daily Show on Wikileaks - 
Right wingers in America like Mike Huckabee are calling for the execution and/or assassination of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.  What’s interesting, really interesting, is that these cries for violence got a whole lot louder when Assange announced he had files on one of the biggest banks in the U.S.   Look at power knocked onto its heels. Look at it.  The voices you hear so loudly belong to monsters of hate and violence. Bloodthirsty hypocrites. With a crucifix in one hand and a predator drone in the other. The reactionary mind is the scourge of the earth. –Raul Baker
Bernie Sanders on the floor of the Senate: "Today In America We Have The Most Unequal Distribution Of Wealth Since The Great Depression!" 
A bitter, losing fight against the power of money - Rupert Cornwall 
Russian permafrost in permanent melt: BBC
The creation of a permanent, insecure and frightened underclass is the most effective weapon to thwart rebellion and resistance as our economy worsens. Huge pools of unemployed and underemployed blunt labor organizing, since any job, no matter how menial, is zealously coveted. As state and federal social welfare programs, especially in education, are gutted, we create a wider and wider gulf between the resources available to the tiny elite and the deprivation and suffering visited on our permanent underclass. Access to education, for example, is now largely defined by class. The middle class, taking on huge debt, desperately flees to private institutions to make sure their children have a chance to enter the managerial ranks of the corporate elite. And this is the idea. Public education, which, when it functions, gives opportunities to all citizens, hinders a system of corporate neofeudalism. Corporations are advancing, with Barack Obama’s assistance, charter schools and educational services that are stripped down and designed to train classes for their appropriate vocations, which, if you’re poor means a future in the service sector. The eradication of teachers’ unions, under way in states such as New Jersey, is a vital component in the dismantling of public education. Corporations know that good systems of public education are a hindrance to a rigid caste system. In corporate America everyone will be kept in his or her place.
The beating down of workers, exacerbated by the prospect that unemployment benefits will not be renewed for millions of Americans and that public sector unions will soon be broken, has transformed those in the working class from full members of society, able to participate in its debates, the economy and governance, into terrified people in fragmented pools preoccupied with the struggle of private existence. Those who are economically broken usually cease to be concerned with civic virtues. They will, history has demonstrated, serve any system, no matter how evil, and do anything for a salary, job security and the protection of their families. 
There will be sectors of the society that, as the situation worsens, attempt to rebel. But the state can rely on a huge number of people who, for work and meager benefits, will transform themselves into willing executioners. The reconfiguration of American society into a corporate oligarchy is conditioning tens of millions not only to passively accept state and corporate crimes, but to actively participate in the mechanisms that ensure their own enslavement. 
“Each time society, through unemployment, frustrates the small man in his normal functioning and normal self-respect,” Hannah Arendt wrote in her 1945 essay “Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility,” “it trains him for that last stage in which he will willingly undertake any function, even that of hangman.”  - Chris Hedges  

1 comment:

Whitey Lawful said...

Mike Huckabee and what is popularly known as 'right-wing' are an imposter Right and a moderate Left. While those of the 'far-right' don't support Mr. Assange's commie politics; they generally acknowledge that his orginizations 'leaks' are insynch with our paleoconservative understanding.