Tree-Hugging Dirt Worship

April 6, 2014

New Blog

I am starting a new blog. This blog has been a lot of fun, but it has been irregularly updated and it totally lacks focus. I probably published enough weird ideas that my credibility has been shot with virtually every reader.

Incorrigible Savagery” will focus on freedom issues. The discovery of a tiny libertarian left and Thaddeus Russell’s “A Renegade History of the United States” has given me some new lenses to view the fight for freedom through. “Renegade History” was inspired by Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States,” which credits people’s movements for expanding civil rights, ending slavery, preserving the natives from total extinction, and so on. “Renegade History” says that even the scum of the Earth, acting without organization, have won freedoms for us modern folk. Progress is accomplished by the bad people who are willing to flout convention without being ashamed — like the hookers of old who walked in public without male escorts, dressed in red, and danced where dancing was against the house rules.

Michelle Obama is dressed like a 19th-century whore and is dancing with the President groin-to-groin in public!

Michelle Obama is dressed like a 19th-century whore and is dancing with the President groin-to-groin in public!

A savage is a forest person. Civilized people who fear all Others slapped a lot of negative connotations onto the word, but that’s fine since we’re working from the supposition that “bad” people are the freedom fighters. Protecting the freedom for various peoples to simply exist will be a topic of interest on the new blog. Also, the right for civilized people to turn their backs on Babel and live as savages. Many common traits of savages, such as matrilineal descent and sustainable horticulture, could really help to round out civilized culture. I’m fighting for your right to garden your front lawn and snuff toad venom here, understand?

Regarding this idea of left-libertarianism… imagine a libertarian who acknowledges that class warfare exists. A libertarian who knows that entitlement programs are people’s lifelines and that corporate welfare and imperialism are the really egregious wastes of taxpayer money.

As of right now, there is one post on Incorrigible Savagery, regarding the basis for moral reasoning (it’s fun, there are witches in it).

This blog is not dead. There are likely to be some gardening and beer-making projects in my future that don’t fit the new blog. Plus, there is a need for some corrections and updates to old posts here.

I appreciate all you readers!

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February 8, 2013

Revolutionaries who Keep Revolting

Thomas Jefferson once blazed revolution and a humane, slavery-rejecting philosophy with his pen, only to retire to a 5,000 acre plantation where he liked to walk on the balcony and oversee a cute, dollhouse-like slave society he had built there, largely self-sufficient with its own little mills and shops, and populated largely by his own enslaved offspring.

Ethan Allen was a man I sometimes like to imagine I was named after. During the Revolutionary War, he captured Fort Ticonderoga for the Patriots without bloodshed, by overwhelming the sentry just before dawn, sneaking 83 soldiers into the fort, and surprising the fort’s commander in bed, like he was fucking-A Batman. After the revolutionary war, Allen returned to Vermont and fought for its statehood, even negotiating with the British to lay a back-up plan for establishing Vermont as a province of Canada if New York would not let the territory go. Then, when Vermont was safely established as a state, he retired to a giant property in the woods and wrote Reason, the Only Oracle of Man, advising people that Christianity was laden with all kinds of oppressive bullshit and that God was expressed through Creation. Think about this until you get it: “the eternal and infinite display of divine power forecloses any subsequent exertion of it miraculously.”

I much prefer the sort of revolutionary who keeps agitating to the one who fades away or fossilizes into a power junkie.

Under the rule of George W. Bush, my liberal friends and I were terrified of the rise of TSA, assassinations by drone-based-missile, the suspension of habeas corpus, the dungeons at Guantanamo Bay and black sites, and the torture that happened there… “Dude, Where’s My Country?” asked Michael Moore. We took solace in the Daily Show and Colbert Report, laughing together at the insanity of the fascist US government. I painted signs and stood around in cold, rainy conditions demanding an end to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as part of a leftist peace movement.

Under the rule of Barack Obama, my liberal friends mainly ignored the TSA,  assassinations by drone-based-missile, the suspension of habeas corpus, the dungeons at Guantanamo Bay and black sites, and the torture that happened there, preferring to criticize the President’s conservative detractors. The President coordinated the crackdown on pro-democracy Occupy protesters, and then Michael Moore endorsed the President’s run for reelection. I feel that my own involvement in the peace movement only served a partisan cause, seeing as my outlets for organized protest dried up under Democrat rule, despite expanding abuses against the Constitution and humanity. I resent having been used to partisan purpose by people who came to me as moral authorities advancing urgent, principled demands for peace and democracy. Organizations such as Code Pink and Veterans for Peace will never receive my support in the future, because they took energies activists invested for peace and democracy and turned them into passive support for Obama, a President who repeats, extends and multiplies the abuses of George W. Bush, precisely what we were supposedly working to end. People actually asked me to stop criticizing Obama, believing that Mitt Romney was a worse threat to the Union than the shredding of the Constitution. Where had all of my allies gone?

Dissent from Republicans is patriotic! End this pointless Republican bloodshed and give us a Democrat for commander-in-chief!

At some point, it became easier to locate conservative or rightist allies against rising fascism than leftist or liberal ones. While Michigan’s Democratic Senator Levin was crafting the 2012 NDAA to allow for the Federal government to kidnap Americans and throw them down into oubliettes forever, our Libertarian US Senate candidate, Scotty Boman, was promoting the nonaggression principle and an end to the War on Drugs. Ron Paul was the only major party Presidential candidate of 2012 to oppose creeping totalitarianism, with no Democrats opposing the hit-list wielding President Obama. Editorially friendly to Ron Paul and the 2nd Amendment, the Oathkeepers organized the military to prepare to resist orders to slay or oppress American citizens. While discovering right-wing resistance to fascism was eye-opening, it hardly made me feel like part of a tribe, speaking a common language, united with common purpose.

A few leftists have rejected the placebo of a Democrat President who embraces Wall Street and the military/intelligence shadow government, and continue to fight for peace and liberty. They have distinguished themselves as having rare intelligence and integrity, as most leftists have indicated a willingness to be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay to be raped and tortured if they only can get some health coverage that includes contraception.

Naomi Wolf is an author and journalist perhaps best known for “The Beauty Myth,” an exposé of the unrealistic standard of beauty promoted by cosmetics manufacturers. “The End of America” chronicled the march to a “closed society” or dictatorship under W. Bush. Wolf took a minute to support Obama in 2008, for, like myself, she had not analyzed Obama’s Senate votes with enough suspicion (and Obama did promise to reverse many of Bush’s evil policies). However, she could not ignore that Obama failed to halt any of Bush’s scandalous policies and she continues to report on the slide into fascism to this day.

Here is a snippet of Wolf’s analysis that I think sums up the difficulties of trying to win back US democracy through the ballot and partisan politics: “It’s hard to know how much power any American president has at this point in time. We’re much more like many Latin-American ‘democracies’ in which there is a nominal head of state who cannot really take on the military-industrial complex. But he could certainly have tried harder than he has.” (source)

Chris Hedges is another author/journalist with a background in war reporting, perhaps best known for “War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning.” Hedges is the lead plaintiff in a suit against the US government, alleging that the 2012 NDAA provision which authorizes the authorities to toss Americans into oubliettes violates the terms of our Constitution. Such authority is used in dictatorships to eliminate pesky journalists, activists, union and church leaders, and it clearly violates both the Constitution and the spirit of the American experiment. Hedges and his co-plaintiffs all continued fighting for democracy after Obama took on Bush’s mantle: the heroes of this story include Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers, Noam Chomsky, public intellectual, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, a not-particularly-leftist Icelandic MP whose government advised her not to travel to the barbaric United States, Tangerine Bolen, journalist, Kai Wargalla, Occupy organizer, and Alexa O’Brien, an IT maven who helped organize Occupy Wall Street but was accused of being a high-level cyber terrorist in cahoots with Al Qaeda. Many of these people worked on Wikileaks or support Bradley Manning. So far, they have won an injunction forbidding the government to kidnap Americans, which the government protested and is taking to appeal.

Journalist Alexander Cockburn kept up his criticism of the Obama Administration until he died in 2012, much to the shock of his fans, who had not known he was sick. His magazine Counterpunch publishes both fearful, we-must-support-Obama articles and articles after Cockburn’s own heart.

There are a lot of leftists still fighting the good fight, but you have to hunt for them. And so, friends, the left limps on with a sorrily tame and pro-establishment Daily Show, grousing impotently about the multiple-Sandy-Hooks-scale crime of the drone assassination program, but mainly focused on the stupidity of conservative Christians who don’t appreciate what Obama is trying to do. Leftists truly opposed to dictatorship and war have distinguished themselves as a principled minority, especially such people as I just named, who have remained active (not so much like myself). I guess for every Ethan Allen who was cheering Jon Stewart against W. Bush, there were about nineteen Thomas Jeffersons who talked the talk and then stepped back to a more comfortable place once the true enemy (the GOP) was safely in check.

If you see one leftist standing on the corner with a protest sign, you know that that person is 100% committed like a Christian martyr. If you see ten leftists there, you know that you are dealing with a generally dedicated group of people. If you see 100,000 leftists in the square, most of them are just tourists caught up in the group spirit, and you won’t be able to find them tomorrow. The best tribe you could ever be a part of, is no tribe.

June 17, 2012

Alternatives to Crumb-Sharing

Filed under: Soapbox — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — paragardener @ 11:27 pm

There is a horrifying wealth disparity in America, where a few hundred families dominate all of politics, business, and even “charitable” foundations. Meanwhile, other folks can’t find any way to make money, and they’re losing homes left and right. The basic, default left/Socialist solution to wealth disparity is to tax the rich more heavily and disperse their money with entitlement programs, or perhaps job-creating enterprises (how about a bullet train?).

That’s not a horrible solution. It’s not always politically feasible, Goddess knows, and there are a few problems it creates, such as resentment from those who don’t quite qualify for the program that would help them, or are too proud to take a “hand-out.”

I believe that much of our wealth disparity problem stems from operating our markets under the wrong rules, and not from some inherent tendency of markets to concentrate wealth. I want to suggest alternatives to sharing tax-crumbs around, just to stimulate some thought. Perhaps we could stop thinking of “redistributing the wealth” (which is fine) and start thinking of “economic justice” (which is better.)

* More forgiving bankruptcy laws. Bankruptcy is available as an escape from total debt entrapment. In 2005, Congress imposed a means test (that is to say, a poverty test) on Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Why? So that those who fail the means test can become resentful of those who are even worse off? At the same time, it required credit counseling before filing for bankruptcy. Hopefully, all of the credit counselors approved by the government are honest dealers. They also complicated the matter to the point where bankruptcy lawyers have to bill you more hours to get through the process.

Congress should have moved in the opposite direction — how about forgiving student loans through bankruptcy, instead of keeping people in debt chains for their entire lifetimes?

* Usury is a crime. Civilizations that have developed banking generally limit interest rates — indeed, neither Christians nor Muslims could loan at interest, period, for over a thousand years. Having no laws against usury is akin to legalizing theft or rape. Credit cards at 20% interest and payday loans at 200% interest are crimes that suck the middle and working classes.

* End debt-based money. A bank makes a loan, and creates the money for that loan out of thin air… however, they don’t create the money to repay interest on the loan at the same moment. The borrower must scramble to get that money from somewhere, which, as in a Ponzi scheme, works just fine as long as more suckers are buying into the system.

Did you know that the Earth is not an infinite space, but rather like a marble in space? All Ponzi schemes end, and debt-based money leads to times of repo activity, such as the Great Depression.

Money should be issued directly by way of the government printing the money it spends, or we could use silver, gold, or kilowatt-hours as money.

* Jubilee. The Old Testament describes the Israelites returning all land to its previous owners and freeing all indentured servants every 49 or 50 years. Lately, a world-wide forgiving of debts seems necessary if we aren’t all to become indentured to the banks, both individuals and nations. Current bank-oriented monetary policies put debt into the world faster than they put money into it. Clearly we need to wipe that debt, much of which is unpayable anyways. Some of this debt even comes tied to austerity measures (rolling back crumb-sharing programs), a strategy proven to make it harder  to pay back debt (because the economy doesn’t grow as well under austerity.)

* Prosecute fraud. Fraud is still a crime. Bankers who commit fraud shouldn’t get a fine for breaking a regulation, or be allowed to sign a “no wrongdoing” settlement. They should be prosecuted as fraudsters, and far fewer municipalities and pension funds would be going broke. Instead, our current government believes in bailing fraudsters out when their schemes go belly-up!

* Unionization. It allows people to effectively negotiate the terms of their employment — working as a unit, like the corporations we all have to deal with. ‘Nuff said.

 

Well, there are six ideas there for making “the free market” a fair market. They would hardly remove the need to sometimes give somebody a helping hand, but I believe that these kind of reforms would make the economy a lot more friendly to the 99%, and lessen poverty and the need for giant entitlement programs. These are just skeletons of ideas that demand a lot of development — of course, they’re not original and plenty of people are working on them.

Sharing crumbs around is not enough — demand JUSTICE!

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