Ahh, the beauty of our screen-screed – how the world is just loving being tethered to junk, screen birds, those angry little apps, the You Tube generation, everyone is connected, nothing is more important than Tweets, Texts and Triumphant Trilogies of Self-Aggrandizement on Flickr. What a pathetic mess the world has become, and as I work on my alternative sentencing story for the magazine gig I get paid for, the real fabric being “no new jails” groups – since, in Spokane (and it’s the same in other jurisdictions) the city-county taxpayer ends up spending 70 cents of every tax dollar for criminal justice or injustice – I am both entertained and incensed by “the news,” and even by this blog sometimes, the most recent little bizarre post around, get this: the world is cooling and the ice is there, so goes the climate change/warming science, now get your front row seats to the Day After Tomorrow-Tomorrow Two! I will get to that soon, but really, that way of thinking, sculpted around private property fascists — in the form of a lobby in Washington — groups that are part of the Cato Institute and Hudson Institute, well, it is really a funny world now that the climate science confusers and plump thinkers are now getting their say here. Oh well!
I have been talking to people – cops, corrections officers, politicians, lawyers, activists, and psychologists and criminologists from several universities – and the biggest conundrum is that our criminal justice system costs big bucks and costs entire futures for millions of persons directly into the system and then millions more for those who have people, loved ones, friends, spouses, parents, kids in the system. Read – courts, probation officers, cops, cars, judges, detox units, public defenders, and, yes, jails. This is the system that costs most communities 70 cents of every effing dollar.
So, like other communities in Washington and elsewhere, the cost of doing business the 1960s way, the 1970s drug war (sic) way, has decimated communities of color, has eaten away generations of human beings, has put the futures of youth and convicted and released prisoners into quagmires of hell. Again, in many communities, it’s a prison for profit model, though not in all cities or counties.
For now, the Sheriff of Spokane County wants $260 million for a new jail and the operation costs for it will of course be above that, so that 1,400 beds can replace the current 540-bed facility. He’s for Smart Justice – education, alcohol and drug treatment, mental health support, job training and housing – but he wants the beds for criminals, almost anyone who gets wrangled into the system.
Others in the coalition for Smart Justice without a New Jail want front-end home monitoring ($8 a day for electronic monitoring versus $129 a day for a prison cell), want non-risk offenders to never get busted and booked and dragged into the system in the first place, and want those in jail for fines, who are in fact spending more time in jail waiting for arraignment and trial because they can’t afford the fines they owe than then would have spent with a conviction for those non-violent, non-victim crimes, to never be booked or arrested.
This topic like so many others is not easy to frame now in today’s distracted generation, when younger and younger people are becoming hooked to the mindless consumer, read, free market, crap of the on-line stuff.
Believe it or not, the story about alternative sentencing and diversion justice and such ties into this absurdity of stripping away more and more of our real interaction with people, versus the unreal interactions in the digital globe.
Story after story around the One Percenters killing the public commons, the public good, the agency of communities to organize and clothe and feed and educate themselves. I hear on the alternative radio in Portland stories about the AFL-CIO meeting in September with the Postal workers and union leaders talking about that powerful and profitable organization being gutted by Congress and the Senate and the privatizers. In the same breath, I hear the NPR news about Bezos of Amazon going after the USPS in the form of direct marketing to those behemoths like Target, Kmart, Walmart, making sure to align the screwed up Amazon with the internal workings of the retailers and wholesalers so indeed there will be no middle man but Jeff Bezos and his pencil-necked Coders.
Imagine hearing these postal activists talking about their solidarity, about the power of their rank and file, the power of the Post Office to be there for communities, while, shoot, you think this libertarian, monopolizing Zionist Bezos or anyone in his hierarchy ends up facing the nation or facing the Zionist NPR folk who fool around with faux journalism?
In the end, though, what I know and continue to know is that young people are being screwed because we do not have enough people face-to-face speaking with and listening to youth and adults. We need more people teaching, guiding, reading, training and “taking a village to raise a child . . . support a teen . . . enhance an adult . . . serve the elderly.”
Get the middle ground, but some good stuff, here on Bill Moyers:
SHERRY TURKLE: The “boring bits” of human conversation. I call it a “flight from conversation.” Because we’ve become increasingly intolerant of the way in which we stumble and make mistakes and kind of have to backtrack, particularly when we’re talking about things that are complicated and hard. And you have to sort of work with somebody and get — this is conversation.
And children have to be taught, and this is why it’s a gift to them to say, “Put down the device and let’s talk.” And so what concerns me as a developmental psychologist, watching children grow in this new world where being bored is something that never has to be tolerated for a moment. You can always go someplace where you’re stimulated, stimulated, stimulated, is that people are losing that capacity. And that’s very serious.
BILL MOYERS: What is it about face-to-face conversation you think people don’t like?
SHERRY TURKLE: Well, I once asked a 16-year-old who was talking about how much he doesn’t like conversation. He actually had just said to me, “Someday, someday soon, but certainly not now, I’d like to learn how to have a conversation.” And I said, “What’s wrong with conversation?” And he said, “It takes place in real time and you can’t control what you’re going to say.”
And this is crucial for what digital technology has given us that has made conversation seem like something that we can avoid. Let’s say the old kind of conversation, which is open-ended, which is that when you type or use digital media, you can edit, you can correct, you can get it right, you feel less vulnerable. I call it the “Goldilocks Effect.”
BILL MOYERS: Goldilocks?
SHERRY TURKLE: The “Goldilocks Effect–”
BILL MOYERS: Goldilocks and the Three Bears?
SHERRY TURKLE: Right. We want to be in touch with more and more people, carefully kept at bay. Not too close, not too far, just right, edited, made — with our communications edited, made perfect. Goldilocks.
Not app time, not screen time, not another rotten story on NPR or in the NYT about the wonders of technology, the wonders of younger and younger people being able to use their pudgy fingers to scroll on a screen to access angry birds and some screwed up web site about how to make your pet dog cool for Halloween – can you believe it, in America the drone nation, we spend $300 million this year on Halloween blood and sweatshop junk to play with our pouches for this fabricated day of sugar and treats?
The news indeed is a reflection of the One Percent and their 19 Percent Legions of Sycophants and We the People Abusers. Then, again, another insipid Zionist, Zuckerberg, not going on camera or in front of the microphone to answer the news that Face the Fascists Book will be assisting in the development of more refined and next-next generation software and gizmos to help the World Wide Police Brother to gain face recognition for the USA-Corporate Gestapo. Yes, Facebook with all those fave photos and profile images, well, Zuckerberg would not comment, or, that is, Face Booked wouldn’t, but the word is that FB and ZuckerZionist is assisting the Global Police Gestapo in getting millions of us in the niftiest of computing systems to be able to collect hundreds of millions of faces and to put names, addresses, and everything else tied to credit, education, family, work, IRS, etc. to us all.
So, it is both disheartening that we’d have this DV dozy, but also funny, apropos and the sign of our times that we’d be having cherry-picking libertarian extremists deny climate change and CO2 as well as all the other rotten intended and unintended consequences of science and free market combined for profits. Science, this story, does not cite. Just more patriarchal fools who give squat about poor people, could care less for those of us under the thumb of private property Nazis and anti-we-the-people and anti-communitarian crazies.
Not that the environmental movement should never be criticized, but the environmental movement is a far cry from the real science being done in tundra, on ice caps, inside glaciers, on coral reefs, in every ecosystem possible, and around climate, jet streams, and the association with polluting the atmosphere. Indeed, a lot of CO2 released and methane burped up, well, in the aerial sea, it’s really more significant than the 389 PPM we are currently at.
So, no more of these dithering anti-humanity weird science articles. I know whose side of the bread is buttered by the corporations. Greenwashing is about corporations co-opting, colonizing and colluding to make even semi-righteous groups full of the corporations’ cancer.
Oh, wow, then we have Bill McKibben railing, slightly, against Obama, and, well, then here at DV, a ridiculously short post on – global warming isn’t happening. Whew, the DV article cites amazingly pathetic sources, almost goofy, including - Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), with their foolish Climate Depot. Imagine, this DC-based free market will save all human beings outfit telling us in their blazing Rolodex Info Center that Fukushima is safe as a McDonald’s playground, that GMOs are the best thing since mother’s milk, fracking is better than jumping jacks, and carbon dioxide is the gift of life. Whew, these articles are amazing in their chutzpah, superficiality, and here citing this wise use, property rights, free market, the world is our oyster and screw anyone else lobby, we know that things are getting askew.
Look, I have been working on environmental justice issues for decades. I’ve spent time down under, in the water, in jungles, on mountaintops, in deserts. The world IS screwed, and it has everything to do with rampant destruction by the One Percenters, the corporations, by the privateers who go in and pollute entire ecosystems and cultures for rapine. To have DV run this piece, well, I have my doubts about why, but, to be honest, critiquing some aspects of the climate change industry and Al Gore, well, why not. But this sort of article is so superficial that it does more harm than anything else, even for the obvious climate change- denying nature in its underpinning.
Read Under a Green Sky, The Climate of Man, Footnotes on a Catastrophe, and, shoot, how many more? To have a few skeptics and Wall Street Journal articles saying all this multivariate science is some sort of conspiracy, some sort of lock-step movement to silence the sciences and scientists, well, pure absurdity.
RARE EARTH” TWELVE YEARS LATER: WHAT WE KNOW NOW
The Rare Earth Hypothesis argues that the emergence of complex multicellular life on Earth required an improbable combination of circumstances described in the book Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe (2000) by Peter Ward and Donald E. Brownlee. By concluding that complex life is uncommon in the universe, the Rare Earth Hypothesis makes addressing climate change an imperative. Peter Ward now focuses his work on the challenge of climate change, with books such as Under a Green Sky: Global Warming, the Mass Extinctions of the Past, and What They Can Tell Us About Our Future. Planetary habitability relies on many factors, including chance. One of the potential causes of a loss of habitability comes from planetary bio-catastrophes, which can be caused by asteroid or comet impact, high levels of transient radiation – and from a planet’s own microbes. In this talk Peter Ward will explore examples from the fossil record where data from microbial cell wall biomarkers shows that microbes produced high levels of oceanic and atmospheric hydrogen sulfide gas, enough, repeatedly during the Mesozoic, to endanger animals, plants, plankton, as well as oxygenic microbes. These mass extinctions are marked by fossil record depletions, isotopic changes in carbon and sulfur, and shifts in elemental cycling and microbial communities. Their aftermath required recovery periods characteristically on the order of one to five million years. Paradoxically, while the mass extinctions of Earth history demonstrate applicability to understanding habitability and its continuance on Earth-like planets elsewhere in the Cosmos, new research, to be recounted in this talk, demonstrates that the mass extinctions had beneficial effects that continue to this day. The most intriguing is the recent discovery in Ward’s lab (leading to a successful patent) is that low dose hydrogen sulfide vastly increases plant growth, which could be a key to addressing human food and energy needs. On the negative side, he will also show that Uranium concentrated into Yellowcake is a product of the concentration resulting from past mass extinctions on Earth.
Peter Douglas Ward, a paleontologist and professor of Biology and of Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, Seattle, also a scientist with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, has written a series of “big ideas” books presenting provocative hypotheses to be explored in the Microbes Mind Forum. Ward’s field research specializes in the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction event, mass extinctions generally, and what the fossil record indicates about biodiversity and a potential future mass extinction event, which he characterizes as The Medea Hypothesis, which was named one of the 100 most important ideas of 2009 by the New York Times. He contends that multicellular life, understood as a superorganism, is suicidal. According to Ward’s 2007 book, Under a Green Sky, all but one of the major extinction events in history have been brought on by climate change — the same global warming that occurs today. The author argues that events in the past can give valuable information about the future of our planet. Reviewer Doug Brown goes further, stating, “this is how the world ends.” Scientists at the Universities of York and Leeds also warn that the fossil record supports evidence of impending mass extinction. Ward’s best-selling book on the origin of life, Rare Earth: Why Complex Life Is Uncommon in the Universe (co-authored with Donald Brownlee, 2000) characterizes the unique attributes that make Earth a habitable planet and remains the most widely read astrobiology book ever written. It was featured in an episode of ABC Nightline and named by Discover Magazine one of the ten most important science books of 2001. While astronomers searching for habitable extra-solar planets (super-Earths) contest the Rare Earth Hypothesis, Ward and Brownlee put forth a compelling argument for treating Earth as rare and exceptional until proven otherwise. Ward’s latest book, The Flooded Earth: Our Future In a World Without Ice Caps (2010) examines the future implications of global climate change. In 2008 he was the main speaker at TED; in 2010 he was named Faculty Lecturer at the University of Washington, the University’s highest annual academic honor.
My response to yet another 350.org article by McKibben:
Can we officially put a moratorium on Bill McKibben’s yammering and writing and voice repeated ALL the time as spokesperson for the world of environmentalism? He is just the same flaccid person in the same lost movement. His writing is all the same, and his laments are pathetically neutered. If Bill is the environmental movement’s spokesperson, then, that says it all.
We have massive wars, massive exploitation of the planet in the form of over-harvesting and monocultures and water wasted on microchips, faddish food and junk for consumerism ; we have rampant poverty; we have massive accumulation of wealth and power into the hands of fewer and fewer people; we have population growing 50 percent by 2050 and cities and regions incapable of delivering services to the majority of us, the 80 percent. We have class warfare, attacks on freedoms, massive spying and massive data mining and those effed up Coders and Techies working on every face in the world — thanks, Zionists who use, love, bow to Zuckerberg’s F-You-Book — to be stored in a data field so every single one of us is cataloged and captured.
Look, there are real issues around energy companies polluting rivers and streams. The nuclear energy mafia is gearing up for more of its particles of death. We have plenty of crap in the form of solar panels in Germany (akin to solar panels in Alaska in terms of weather, sunlight) which is basically a huge transfer of money from the poor who cannot afford solar who then pay on their electric bills a subsidy to the rich who can put up solar panels) and all the GMO and nanoparticle technologies occurring, and Bill and his well-funded game is the VOICE here?
I doubt that Bill’s read this report: Global Warming: Second Thoughts Of An Environmentalist by Professor Fritz Vahrenholt
Quoting his conclusion:
Ladies and gentlemen! I have decades of experience with renewable energies. I am of the opinion that renewable energies can be developed into an important pillar of future energy supply in Europe. I also believe that we can generate renewable energy at a cost of 10 € cent/kWh in the future.
I also believe that we can develop innovative storage technologies. I also believe that we can build a European grid network, which can transport renewable electricity from the locations where they can be produced efficiently – wind mainly in northern Europe and solar power mainly in southern Europe – to the consumers. But for that we need time.
I am worried about the acceptability of renewable energy. For if we add renewable energy capacity too quickly and too much, and the citizens realize that this is associated with prohibitive costs, supply shortages, power cuts and in the end leads to the migration of the electricity-intensive industry with their jobs, it could result in a dramatic loss of acceptance for renewable energies.
Why do we not have more time for this transition? Because we have a fear-driven energy policy in Europe. The real driver for this energy policy is the fear of climate catastrophe. Only through this fear one can explain that we are importing wheat from other nations, which is turned into bio-ethanol. Only fear can explain that we subsidize ridiculously expensive photovoltaic technology in sun-starved Germany; that we use 20% of agricultural land for biogas and bio-fuel; that we sacrifice in Germany forests to build wind power plants there. The victims of this excessive policy are nature, the poor, industrial energy-intensive jobs and the competitiveness of the German economy.
But I also have some good news:The cooling sun and the realization that CO2 is a much weaker climate-changing gas than the IPCC wants us to believe, give us time to develop, with sound judgment and reason, a more efficient and less carbon-based energy future in Europe. For this, all energy sources need to contribute: efficient fossil fuels with a higher proportion of natural gas, including shale gas, energy saving, inherently safe nuclear power plants, renewable energy sources and technologies that we will develop in the course of the century. The power of the sun as fusion energy on earth would be one of them.
End of quote –
Bill McKibben and Counterpunch:
The Keystone XL campaign, stage managed to appear grassroots while completely avoiding grassroots direction and controlled by massive foundation funding (the largest philanthropic foundations in the US now funnel their money through the Tides Foundation– and Tides has managed to garner complete control of the funded anti-tar sands movement on both sides of the border, while Rockefeller is the primary millions of dollars funder for 350.org)is now wielded by power to keep us busy.
While refusing to even critique the Obama administration– to the point of barring Ralph Nader from speaking in front of the White House even though the organizers originally invited him at their first White House appearance– Keystone XL has been pushed along as the proverbial canary in the coal mine, despite how ludicrous such a notion is given new developments.
Let’s recap how the fight against the Keystone XL has gone, and also recap how the well- funded, giant NGO machinery has responded to such publicly. After a few hundred people were arrested in front of the White House in a prearranged media stunt coordinated with DC police, Obama himself announced that a decision on Keystone XL had been postponed (in the US north). That was over a year and a half ago. The portion of the KXL that was temporarily blocked was entirely within the United States, as were the large sections given the go-ahead for construction in the south.
Effectively, this meant that Keystone could be built, piecemeal, and the protests against it could continue without actually opposing the Obama administration, and even claim a false “victory” over the pipeline when it was not halted, and in fact was even still being constructed.
This works very well for the two sides on this conflict:
The Obama administration desperately needs to be left out of the discussion, or at least seen as a possible ally. All the while, TransCanada is continuing to plunder the earth and the climate for the energy companies and all of the various other pipelines are being constructed. It also allows the well-funded, middle class oriented and primarily white NGO movement that is wrapped around Bill McKibben and big Foundation money to avoid a discussion topic they cannot handle:
Not talking about the administration allows the great lie: We can “transition” away from fossil fuels, use “green” energy, leave the power structure the way it is and somehow– in time to prevent run-away climate change, to boot– have the exact same United States, economy, consumption patterns, war machine, super exploitation of the land in the rest of the planet, domestic colonialism and more.
Yet, a few hours ago as of this writing, McKibben was praising John Kerry for stating that the climate threat is real to islanders in the Pacific whose entire nations are disappearing. No mention of his war-mongering in the case of Syria, even though that’s 98% of the media coverage of this great statesman at the moment.
What will happen to those who carry signs denouncing John Kerry and US war crimes to the 350.org demonstrations? Will they be told “Kerry is our friend on climate, ignore the war crimes?” and then asked to remove them from visibility? The foundation money says yes.
And now that the big NGO crowd is in bed with these war criminals and this US administration, where do we take real resistance in the little time there may be left? Can we set a people’s agenda, one that is not wedded to the Democratic Party in the US?
This in response to Alternet’s reprinting of Tom Dispatch’s Bill McKibben essay – “Will Obama Ever Stand up to the Oil Industry or Just Keep Bending?”
Here, one of Ken Meyercord’s October 28th, 2013 sources for his essay, “The Climate Change Bug”:
At the heart of CFACT, our goal is to enhance the fruitfulness of the earth and all of its inhabitants. CFACT accomplishes this through four main strategies:
- Prospering Lives. CFACT works to help people find better ways to provide for food, water, energy and other essential human services.
- Promoting Progress. CFACT advocates the use of safe, affordable technologies and the pursuit of economic policies that reduce pollution and waste, and maximize the use of resources.
- Protecting the Earth. CFACT helps protect the earth through wise stewardship of the land and its wildlife.
- Providing Education. CFACT educates various sectors of the public about important facts and practical solutions regarding environmental concerns.
Beware of these groups, these blogs, and these so-called leading edge climate science experts. Go to the web site and read who and what they are! Nuclear energy is perfection; genetically engineered Franken-crops are god’s work and indeed the only burger-bun to have; that the corporation will save humankind. Sick stuff.
And, to continue my tangents, science and private and government interlinking is killing us. Read the stuff on Gardasil, “Gardasil’s effects on the lives of young women and their families.”
Article on Vaccine Victims Sueing Merck.
The movie, The Greater Good, is a documentary I have been tracking. Think boys now, and girls as young as 11, having this HPV vaccine forced upon them. Really, government-science-Merck, killing our children and/or taking them into absolute hell into adulthood. I’ve already been talking about GMOs and the purponderance of soy in ALL food, and gluten in almost ALL food. You know, allergies and intollerances. So, ANY think tank, ANY lobby, any group with a bunch of “scientists” on it advocating for nano-technology, irradiated food, genetic engineering, geo-engineering, forced drugs, anything, well, ya might be safer eating bacon burgers daily, smoking free-base cocaine for dessert, and downing pints of tequila in the morning. And be safer than putting your life in the hands of Gates-Bezos-Zuckerberg-AMA-APA-USDA-etc.-etc. These One Percenters hire on hired guns in the 19 Percent crew — doctors, scientists, engineers, wonky economists, MBAs, what have you. It’s their industry versus our sanity, health, and welfare. So DV runs this climate change folly, and then, bam, the Fukushima article above it. At least at least DV also puts in Chris Williams and Robert Hunziker.
Anyone out there willing to write a piece on the sickness around HPV, Gardasil?
Back to the very interesting Peter Ward:
So, these are new data Rob Berner and I — from Yale — put together, and what we try to do now is track the amount of carbon dioxide in the entire rock record – and we can do this from a variety of means – and put all the red lines here, when these — what I call greenhouse mass extinctions — took place. And there’s two things that are really evident here to me, is that these extinctions take place when CO2 is going up. But the second thing that’s not shown on here: the Earth has never had any ice on it when we’ve had 1,000 parts per million CO2. We are at 380 and climbing. We should be up to a thousand in three centuries at the most, but my friend David Battisti in Seattle says he thinks a 100 years.So, there goes the ice caps, and there comes 240 feet of sea level rise. I live in a view house now; I’m going to have waterfront.
All right, what’s the consequence? The oceans probably turn purple. And we think this is the reason that complexity took so long to take place on planet Earth. We had these hydrogen sulfide oceans for a very great long period. They stop complex life from existing. We know hydrogen sulfide is erupting presently a few places on the planet. And I throw this slide in — this is me, actually, two months ago – and I throw this slide in because here is my favorite animal, chambered nautilus. It’s been on this planet since the animals first started — 500 million years. This is a tracking experiment, and any of you scuba divers, if you want to get involved in one of the coolest projects ever, this is off the Great Barrier Reef. And as we speak now, these nautilus are tracking out their behaviors to us.
But the thing about this is that every once in a while we divers can run into trouble, so I’m going to do a little thought experiment here. This is a Great White Shark that ate some of my traps. We pulled it up; up it comes. So, it’s out there with me at night. So, I’m swimming along, and it takes off my leg. I’m 80 miles from shore, what’s going to happen to me? Well now, I die. Five years from now, this is what I hope happens to me: I’m taken back to the boat, I’m given a gas mask: 80 parts per million hydrogen sulfide. I’m then thrown in an ice pond, I’m cooled 15 degrees lower and I could be taken to a critical care hospital. And the reason I could do that is because we mammals have gone through a series of these hydrogen sulfide events, and our bodies have adapted. And we can now use this as what I think will be a major medical breakthrough.
This is Mark Roth. He was funded by DARPA. Tried to figure out how to save Americans after battlefield injuries. He bleeds out pigs. He puts in 80 parts per million hydrogen sulfide – the same stuff that survived these past mass extinctions – and he turns a mammal into a reptile. “I believe we are seeing in this response the result of mammals and reptiles having undergone a series of exposures to H2S.” I got this email from him two years ago; he said, “I think I’ve got an answer to some of your questions.” So, he now has taken mice down for as many as four hours, sometimes six hours, and these are brand-new data he sent me on the way over here. On the top, now, that is a temperature record of a mouse who has gone through – the dotted line, the temperatures. So, the temperature starts at 25 centigrade,and down it goes, down it goes. Six hours later, up goes the temperature. Now, the same mouse is given 80 parts per million hydrogen sulfide in this solid graph, and look what happens to its temperature. Its temperature drops. It goes down to 15 degrees centigrade from 35, and comes out of this perfectly fine.
Here is a way we can get people to critical care. Here’s how we can bring people cold enough to last till we get critical care. Now, you’re all thinking, yeah, what about the brain tissue? And so this is one of the great challenges that is going to happen. You’re in an accident. You’ve got two choices: you’re going to die, or you’re going to take the hydrogen sulfide and, say, 75 percent of you is saved, mentally. What are you going to do? Do we all have to have a little button saying, Let me die? This is coming towards us, and I think this is going to be a revolution. We’re going to save lives, but there’s going to be a cost to it.