Chomsky on the intersection between climate, deep state, and rule by the rich

This is more a pointer than a point. I’ll let Noam Chomsky speak for me. In a new Alternet piece Chomsky explores the intersection between climate, deep state, and rule by the rich — three of the four basic food groups here at La Maison chez nous. Add “Obama” and you’ve got a full meal.

Chomsky starts with a point he makes in the context of America’s nuclear era — that our “leaders” don’t really care about the welfare of those they pretend to protect (my emphasis and paragraphing)

Noam Chomsky: The Dimming Prospects for Human Survival
From nuclear war to the destruction of the environment, humanity is steering the wrong course.

A previous article I wrote explored how security is a high priority for government planners: security, that is, for state power and its primary constituency, concentrated private power – all of which entails that official policy must be protected from public scrutiny.

In these terms, government actions fall in place as quite rational, including the rationality of collective suicide. Even instant destruction by nuclear weapons has never ranked high among the concerns of state authorities.

To cite an example from the late Cold War: In November 1983 the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a military exercise designed to probe Russian air defenses, simulating air and naval attacks and even a nuclear alert. … The NATO exercise “almost became a prelude to a preventative (Russian) nuclear strike,” according to an account last year by Dmitry Adamsky in the Journal of Strategic Studies .

Nor was this the only close call. In September 1983, Russia’s early-warning systems registered an incoming missile strike from the United States and sent the highest-level alert. The Soviet military protocol was to retaliate with a nuclear attack of its own. …

Chomsky is an academic and a researcher. This part of the article is up to his usual snuff. Keep those principles in mind.

“Security … for state power and its primary constituency, concentrated private power …”

And:

“the rationality of collective suicide …”

 All you need to know, as the saying goes. Let that marinate. Now the application to climate, the meat of this piece:

But another dire peril casts its shadow over any contemplation of the future – environmental disaster. It’s not clear that there even is an escape, though the longer we delay, the more severe the threat becomes – and not in the distant future. The commitment of governments to the security of their populations is therefore clearly exhibited by how they address this issue.

Today the United States is crowing about “100 years of energy independence” as the country becomes “the Saudi Arabia of the next century” – very likely the final century of human civilization if current policies persist. One might even take a speech of President Obama’s two years ago in the oil town of Cushing, Okla., to be an eloquent death-knell for the species.

[Obama] proclaimed with pride, to ample applause, that

climate change pollution global warming CO2

CO2 via Shutterstock

“Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.”

The applause also reveals something about government commitment to security. Industry profits are sure to be secured as “producing more oil and gas here at home” will continue to be “a critical part” of energy strategy, as the president promised.

Obama loves him some carbon. No matter what else he says, he did say this — yep, that’s what the man said. (If you don’t click, you’re missing something.)

So your bottom line. Obama wants to be the Carbon King among presidents. Also, the Deep State, the conflux between the NSA State and the Private Money–State (hmm, will they make the final four?) don’t care a dime about anyone’s survival but their own.

We can move forward if we accept that fact. Chomsky might agree, though I haven’t asked him, yet.

GP

Twitter: @Gaius_Publius. Facebook: Gaius Publi.

(Facebook note: To get the most from a Facebook recommendation, be sure to Share what you also Like. Thanks.)


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States. Click here for more. Follow him on Twitter @Gaius_Publius and Facebook.

Share This Post

  • Bill_Perdue

    “Nothing will fundamentally change” is a religious concept with no foundation in fact or science.

  • pvequalkt

    wrt labor, we’ll see. But I predict that they’ll formally renew their vows with democrats again. For labor to divorce from their abusive spouse, they’ll first need an alternative. The only fully formed alternative out there is Socialist (I agree with your comment on the Greens. They seem actually to resist inroads by/into labor) and we all know the stigma in this country of THAT word.
    So labor will have to create their own alternative… and they have proven themselves to be unwilling to do so. “Occupy” was an opportunity … not lost so much as ignored.

  • pvequalkt

    The academics, Like Chomsky, and the liberal pundits, like Moyers, do serve a vital role.
    Before you can craft change you must first adequately define your problem. This is where these provide a vital service.
    But you are quite correct. We (the minority left) have a pretty good handle on the problem. Now we have to figure out how to:
    1) educate a quorum of religious proles so that they also realize their problems
    2) craft a winning strategy to fix it.
    Labor organizing, even in the current small numbers you noted, is a start. But eventually it’ll have to grow by 2 orders of magnitude. And that will require leaders and coalescing around ideas and those leaders.
    What I see now is the very beginning… where scattered, disjointed and small gatherings occur but flounder in attempts to coalesce into something nationwide. Frankly, I don’t see workers nor voters in general being ready and willing to alter their thinking just yet. We’ll see in November; but I don’t see the makeup of congress changing. If the senate goes R, it’ll still be a pluto-fascist body doing the money’s bidding.
    I see labor focusing on the minimum wage solely; and in some cities and states they may make some hay… though never nationally. As long as labor thinks they are making progress on ONE issue, they will never coalesce into a fully formed political movement. The money knows this. I know this.
    Labor will, again, formally declare for dems. Nothing will fundamentally change.

  • pvequalkt

    I disagree. The problems are resonant.
    1) pols only care about DOING that which pleases the money
    2) an electorate only cares about that which the media tells them to care.
    and the more money a candidate raises, the better he is able to inculcate voters’ “caring” about his (donors’) issues –OR– the better he is able to lie to foment good will that he has no intention of fulfilling.
    audacity hopey changey, a skilled (rehearsed) speaker, can talk a good (sounding) progressive-ish line. Ditto for dems, in general. So they can get their “message” out with lots of money. But when they get elected and it’s time to back up the words with deeds, they betray their own rhetoric… though they, for the most part, pretend angst over “being forced to” do so.
    and, the conundrum…
    3) voters do not punish the electeds for their many betrayals (that do not involve sex nor illegal nannies).
    audacity hopey changey commits arbitrary premeditated murder every Tuesday; cut sustenance programs multiple times; cut taxes for the rich multiple times; refuses to prosecute the $20T bank frauds; etc, etc, etc. And we re-elected him.

  • cambridgemac

    LOL.

  • cole3244

    i see it took you a few days to go and get your rw talking points so you could advance the con agenda of disrespecting carter all over again.

    with political positions like yours you are part of the ongoing problem not part of the solution and i thank for convincing me even more that my initial reaction to your comments was correct.

    i will wait with great anticipation for you to go and get your next round of talking points from those that you serve.

  • cambridgemac

    You haven’t responded to my observations about Carter’s foreign policies or economic policy. Here are some more. Carter began the policy of deregulation, not Reagan; his thinkers (both in govt and in academe) laid not only the foundations, but successfully prosecuted the case that led to the break of AT&T, No new thinking on deregulation was done by Reagan’s folks; they just continued on the trajectory that Carter laid down and that we are groaning under now.

    To be sure, both Presidents achieved some good in foreign affairs: both reined in Israel (temporarily); and Reagan began nuclear disarmament in the wake of the USSR’s transformation, a policy that CLINTON halted. Nonetheless, both vigorously and successfully sought to expand the US Empire, and we have been reaping the blowback ever since.

    The differences between them come down to energy policy, the environment, and unions. Carter wasn’t pro-union in any significant way, but the busting of PATCO would never have happened under his watch and it opened the floodgates to union busting.

    It is ironic that on a page devoted to Chomsky (!!) you “dispute” a contention that there were substantial similarities between Carter and Reagan. I put dispute in quotes because you resort to name-calling without any facts or argument. For more information about those similarities, see Ronald Reagan’s Reign of Error (1983), by Mark Green.

  • Camp X-Ray

    Hello: The old socialist, anti-capitalist will soon be gone to this earth. Besides, I love fossil fuels, especially cheap fossil fuel for my 1960s muscle cars.

  • Bill_Perdue

    There have always been academics and liberals who criticize this or that aspect of a system rife with racism, empire building, hatred of women, immigrant bashing and hatred of gays, union busting and Obama’s ever accelerating attacks on the Bill of Rights. Those liberals and academics are not the enemy, like Democrat and Republican politicians, but they also offer nothing of practical value to creating real fundamental, socialist change.

    They are joined by vast numbers of American workers who learned those lessons in their daily lives. I first discovered that during the Vietnam war when we leafleted Ft Lewis and Seattle area high schools and spoke with literally thousands of terrified and enraged young men who knew what would happen to them in Nam. They ended up organizing themselves and being a key element in ending the war by simply not fighting.

    I see the same thing today in the radicalization of working people enraged by the attack on their standard of living, by unemployment and poverty and the the attempts of Democrats and Republicans alike to bust their unions or prevent them from organizing. You can see it at picket lines at McDonald’s and Walmart, in the organizing efforts in mining and trucking and a dozen other industries. And you can see it in the steadfastness of the antiwar movement in the face of the Obama regimes illegal wars of aggression from Libya to Pakistan.

    What those those movements need above all it to be organized and educated in how to fight to win, not just criticize.

  • Jim

    I agree with a lot of your point of view, but apparently you have not read a lot of Chomsky’s writing. He’s dealt with the “action” side pretty extensively, for an academic. But that’s not his chosen role. He is an essential educator, explaining brilliantly the NEED for actionn, and as such has no peer.
    Bill Moyers comes close, but on a different level- he speaks to the non-academic, and I must admit, his latest is pretty explicit:
    “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

  • eggroll_jr

    A rising tide raises all boats. A rising temperature kills all crown species. The super-rich suffer like the rest of us from a delusion that when its all gone, like the ancestral pueblo people who lived in Bandelier New Mexico, we can just go somewhere else. Maybe northern Norway to plant orange groves? Ain’t happening.

  • 4th Turning

    Do you happen to have Rod Serling’s ph.# or email address? I’ve got several
    white-hot story ideas.

  • cole3244

    if you don’t see the stark differences between carter and reagan you are either naive or foolish because our country would be in a much better position in all matters especially environmentally if we had listened to him.

    he was telling us the truth and what no pres has done since then and we are paying the price now and will pay the ultimate price in the future for our grave mistake in not taking him seriously when we should have.

  • cole3244

    if you don’t see the stark differences between carter and reagan you are either naive or foolish because our country would be in a much better position in all matters especially environmentally if we had listened to him.

    he was telling us the truth and what no pres has done since then and we are paying the price now and will pay the ultimate price in the future for our grave mistake in not taking him seriously when we should have.

  • 4th Turning

    No future tense here. And still families and neighbors cannot relate to the big picture.

    More than 10,000 miners have died from black lung in the past 10 years, compared to 400 miners who have died from accidents over the same period…

    Tomblin expressed disdain for the national Environmental Protection Agency, stating that, “I will continue to do everything that I can to fight the EPA and its misguided attempts to cripple this industry.” WVa gov.(Then went begging hat in hand after
    chemical spill ruined drinking water for 300k.)

    Did you follow the odyssey of Carter’s solar panels after Reagan jerked them off
    the roof with his first executive order?

  • cambridgemac

    Carter brought us the Pershing Missile and reinforced the USA’s first-strike policy; supported rightwing terrorism and atrocities in El Salvador and Nicaragua; supported genocide in East Timor; and that’s just a start. He was a neoliberal before most people knew the term. The differences between him and Reagan were small. Real, but small. I was 24 when he was elected and knew from studying his buddies like Bert Lance that he was going to be a problem. He was worse than I expected. In retirement, he became a better man. Too late.

  • pvequalkt

    I discount everything where “Obama ordered…” or “Obama signed exec. order…” Many of those supposed actions stopped at the end of his pen.
    And he didn’t actually end all torture. He MAY have stopped the military from torturing, but they already had due to the A.G. pics. And it was the joint chiefs who ordered it back then. The CIA still pays the boeing subsidiary torture/rendition airline to fly people somewhere… and it ain’t for no birthday parties.
    And, finally, as CIC, Obama has the authority to order any military installation be shuttered that he wants to. He doesn’t need congress nor Rs nor anyone. He just says to the chairman of the joint chiefs “close it” and it closes. period. Further, he can order those held there to be xferred anywhere he wants. That’s part of what a CIC can do.
    That he has not given that order CAN be taken as one of two things ONLY. Either he’s terrified of the political backlash and fearmongering from BOTH parties in congress or he just plain doesn’t wanna… in spite of his obvious desire to be seen as wanting to. Note he hasn’t said word one since he issued his cynical EO. This indicates he really doesn’t wanna.
    Nice list, though. Sounds good. Sounds like something his press secretary would puke up on demand. And your doppleganger below has the same list. Talking points much?

  • 2karmanot

    The sooner the better.

  • 2karmanot

    Superb snark

  • RepubAnon

    The real problem is that politicians only care about the next election cycle. Long-range planning tends to lose elections without an electorate (that’s us) who cast their votes based on long-range planning rather than the latest terrorist threat level or culture war scare.

    Consider Jimmy Carter: way ahead of the curve on energy conservation in the 1980s – denigrated today.

  • Bill_Perdue

    “Obama visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office. ” That’s a bad thing. Ask the Ukrainians.

    “Closed a number of secret detention facilities.” Not the big ones at Baghram AFB or Guantanamo.

    “He refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program.” He supplied them the with tanks, artillery and missiles they use to murder Palestinians civilians, like the attack on Gaza in Dec 2008 – Jan 2009, just as he was coming into office. He’s done nothing real to stop the Apartheid wall or the illegal settlements through the West Bank.

    “Obama ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual.” “On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention” Not exactly. Obama ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/criminal-justice/six-reasons-the-dark-side-still-exists-under-obama/

    “In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund…” In response to the Arab and muslim spring he assisted in NATO in attacking Libya to get cheap oil prices, sided with the Egyptian Military when they ordered the murder of hundreds of members of the Muslim Brotherhood, attacked Yemen and attacked, through royal Saudi intermediaries, Bahrain.

    “Ended the Iraq War.” Obama had nothing to do with it. “The U.S.–Iraq Status of Forces Agreement (official name: “Agreement Between the United States of America and the Republic of Iraq On the Withdrawal of United States Forces from Iraq and the Organization of Their Activities during Their Temporary Presence in Iraq”) was a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between Iraq and the United States, signed by George W. Bush in 2008. It established that U.S. combat forces would withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 30, 2009, and all U.S. forces will be completely out of Iraq by December 31, 2011.” Wiki

  • 4th Turning

    Is it silly of me to wonder whether Pres. Cheney and V. Pres. Rumsfeld didn’t create
    hundreds of service member suicides, thousands more with debilitating ptsd, and grievous
    physical injuries? Etc.?

    http://www.addictinginfo.org/2013/02/15/a-long-list-of-president-obamas-accomplishments-with-citations/

    Improved Foreign Relations and American Status Abroad.

    Obama visited more countries and met with more world leaders than any previous president during his first six months in office. http://bit.ly/hZycda

    As he promised, he gave a speech at a major Islamic forum in Cairo early in his administration. http://nyti.ms/dKvY4g

    He did much to restore America’s reputation around the world as a global leader that does the “right thing” in world affairs, at least according to the rest of the planet. http://bit.ly/h743y7 http://bit.ly/ho4TCr

    He re-established and reinforced our partnership with NATO and other allies on strategic international issues. http://1.usa.gov/e7QuDj

    Closed a number of secret detention facilities. http://nyti.ms/rpUc9l

    Obama improved relations with Middle East countries by appointing special envoys. http://1.usa.gov/tiGAGe

    He pushed for military to emphasize development of foreign language skills. http://bit.ly/AxUCLV

    Offered $400 million to the people living in Gaza, called on both Israel and the Palestinians to stop inciting violence. http://bit.ly/9axfWh

    He refused to give Israel the green light to attack Iran over their possible nuclear program. http://bit.ly/xVmSZK

    He worked to make donations to Haiti tax-deductible in 2009. http://huff.to/6YkAVY

    He established a new U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue. http://1.usa.gov/eX28DP

    Issued Executive Order blocking interference and helping to stabilize Somalia. http://1.usa.gov/hxdf8U

    He established new, more reasonable policies in our relations with Cuba, such as allowing Cuban-Americans to visit their families and send money to support them. http://n.pr/hY3Kwa http://nyti.ms/emQBde

    He ordered the closure of the prison at Guantanamo Bay. It was Republicans (and a smattering of Democrats) who prevented him from following through. http://bit.ly/eW6CVF

    Obama ordered a review of our detention and interrogation policy, and prohibited the use of torture, or what Bush called “enhanced interrogation.” He ordered interrogators to limit their actions to the Army Field manual. http://bit.ly/g6MTuC

    He ordered all secret detention facilities in Eastern Europe and elsewhere to be closed. http://bbc.in/h6N9ax

    He released the Bush torture memos. http://bit.ly/hWJ5z0

    On his second day in office, he signed a detailed Executive Order that banned torture, reversed all Bush torture policies, and put the United States in compliance with the Geneva Convention. http://1.usa.gov/dL6Zve http://nyti.ms/hzWWys

    In response to the emerging “Arab Spring,” he created a Rapid Response fund, to assist emerging democracies with foreign aid, debt relief, technical assistance and investment packages in order to show that the United States stands with them. http://bit.ly/zfmGv9

    Passed the Iran Sanctions Act, to prevent war, and to encourage Iran to give up their nuclear program. http://1.usa.gov/wLtNjb

    Ended the Iraq War. http://tgr.ph/ru0tyS

    He authorized and oversaw a secret mission by SEAL Team Six to rescue two hostages held by Somali pirates. http://bit.ly/y8c9Fz

  • Bill_Perdue

    Unions are being changed by the radicalization and the old Democrat-dependent leadership is being challenged across the country. He’res a list of sources on how deeply and quickly things are changing.

    ILWU
    International Longshore and Warehouse Union dockworkers – watch for new
    west coast strikes http://www.ilwu.org/

    Railroad Workers United http://railroadworkersunited.org/

    LaborNoteshttp://labornotes.org/magazine

    Chicago Teachers Union http://www.ctunet.com/ – they successfully beat back scabs like Obama and Emanuel

    Teamsters for a Democratic Union http://www.tdu.org/

    National Nurses United – http://www.nationalnursesunited.org/ – fastest growing union in the AFL-CIO

    United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America http://www.ueunion.org/index.html

    Wal Mart Strikers http://www.ufcw.org/ and http://corporateactionnetwork.org/campaigns/black-Friday

    ——————

    The Greens, if they last, will probably have to split before they turn against capitalism and for socialism. The Green have interconnected problems – they lack a program to end capitalism and they lack roots in the workers movement. If they don’t develop both they’ll be a historical footnote.

  • pvequalkt

    Workers, probably. Unions seem to be held in thrall by democrats who will NEVER participate in change (in spite of their rhetorical lies).
    Your mention of the socialist in Seattle who won on her $15/hour min. wage platform indicates that SOME workers have figured things out… and maybe the socialist part(ies) can be the catalyst… but NOT in red areas because of the social stigma of “socialism”. It’ll have to get really awful in the south before those guys will elect anyone other than Rs and Ds (nicer Rs).
    With the ecological disaster(s) descending upon everyone, I had hope for the Greens (Jill Stein was a superior candidate in 2012), but they show little inclination to capitalize on the situation to coalesce a meaningful political movement.
    Like I said… we cannot seem to get out of our own way.

  • Bill_Perdue

    The effort to organize and educate workers will get easier as economic collapse gets worse. Workers and unions are the only social forces with enough weight to effect fundamental economic change.

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/14/the-end-of-qe/

    http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/11/22/blowing-bubbles-with-paul-krugman/

  • pvequalkt

    I don’t really think Obama gives a crap one way or another about carbon or anything else. I think he only cares about the money that he so dutifully serves. He’ll become our richest ex prez. And he’ll start some sort of “foundation” for the charade of humanitarianism like, you know, bill Clinton. He’ll need to try to undo all the hatred he’s engendered around the world from murdering thousands of random folks celebrating weddings and living in unfortunately located homes and on the wrong street corner at the wrong time.
    It was reported that an Afghan policeman, a real one, shot and killed 2 western journalists because he had kin so murdered.
    Obama has created probably hundreds of thousands of those guys.

  • pvequalkt

    A good comment.
    This is what was so disappointing and disillusioning about “Occupy”. they remained militantly apolitical at a time when we all needed a spark to catalyze your union (labor) and socialist movements. What remains of organized labor had an opportunity there that THEY very stupidly and publicly eschewed by remaining with their abusive D masters.
    We cannot seem to get out of our own way, even when the seas part in front of us/US.
    However, there IS another way than yours forward. Total. Economic. Collapse. And in a race between TEC and world ecological collapse, I think the latter will only place. Remember what happened to the sun king and to Nicolas and his family when things got just miserable enough for their former adoring subjects… We’re all riding that vector. And if we don’t yank our melons out of our sphincters before, collapse will wake us up… one would hope.

  • 4th Turning

    In a one-hour documentary on Sunday, Ann Curry will be reporting on an angle of climate change that is scarcely found on TV news: that “there is virtually no debate among climate scientists”–climate change is real and “largely caused by human activity.” Curry will travel to areas high and low in the world, from the Arctic to the Florida seas, and speak to eyewitnesses of the devastating consequences of climate change, NBC News announced Thursday.

    In a year that has seen a controversially low number of climate change reports from TV news networks, Curry’s report is among the few this year to draw a direct connection to human influence. Huge climate change reports and potentially catastrophic findings have been largely ignored by networks like CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. NBC News, however, was among one of the only networks this week to give significant attention to a UN report released Monday on how climate change is dramatically impacting the planet.

    Still, the Sunday shows and nightly news dedicated a total of just 27 minutes, and one hour and 42 minutes to climate change, respectively, in all of 2013. Another study showed that only about 4 percent of the majority of segments on CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News and ABC World News even mentioned the words “climate change,” “global warming” or “greenhouse gases.”

    Which is exactly why Curry’s project is so important.

    “If climate scientists are right, we could face a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions,” Curry said. “We owe it to our children to put politics aside, and weigh the latest scientific evidence for ourselves.”

    The documentary, “Ann Curry Reports: Our Year of Extremes – Did Climate Change just Hit Home?,” will air Sunday at 7 PM and across NBC News platforms including “Meet the Press,” “TODAY” and “Nightly News.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/04/ann-curry-climate-change-network-news-nbc-abc-cnn-fox_n_5090207.html

  • Bill_Perdue

    What’s always missing from Chomksy’s essays is a perspective for ending the increasing reliance on a police state to quash unions and especially workers organizing new unions, students, environmentalists, the anti-war movement and anti-racist groups. He simply has no clue about real solutions.

    The end of the police state will come when the US ceases to be banana republic run by political prostitutes in the service of the rich. It is not possible to reform the current political order of a two party plutocratic duopoly that is fundamentally and irremediably undemocratic. It’s not reasonable to expect change by reform. It won’t happen.

    For that to happen there is really only one way forward – the creation of massive labor and socialist parties that sees elections for what they are – a scam – and that will use electoral activity to organize and educate. That has to be combined with a perspective of organizing and supporting mass actions movements around the Democrat/Republicans interminable resource wars, unemployment, Obama’s insulting and anti-work proposal for a minimum wage. opposition to fracking, drilling and Keystone and the racism, misogyny and homohating built into the system that upholds the rule of the rich by trying to divide and conquer. Given the fact that the rich are not going to allow reforms and are instead trying to take back reforms like Social Security and Medicare the prospect for building the left and especially the union left on a massive scale look good.

    Following the happy defeat of a Democrat in Seattle by socialists campaigning for a decent, or at least more decent, minimum wage and the defeat of almost a dozen Democrats in local Ohio elections by union backed candidates (they don’t call themselves a Labor Party but they are) similar efforts are underway from coast to coast. In Novemeber we’ll be able to assess how much probress the left is making. http://labornotes.org/2013/12/2013-review-aiming-higher-labor-tries-new-angles-and-alliances

  • Hue-Man

    And what is Big Oil doing to protect people as malaria and other tropical diseases move (back) into formerly temperate zones (read North America and Europe)?

    I listened to this story on ABC (Australia) this morning: http://www.abc.net.au/worldtoday/content/2014/s3978326.htm

    “Almost three-billion people are now at risk of dengue fever – that’s about 40 per cent of the world’s population.”
    “Fifty years ago there were only nine countries which reported dengue, but now more than 125 are reporting. There is also an estimate of 390 million who are affected of dengue and particularly Asia Pacific.”
    “There’s no vaccine or cure for dengue fever. For anyone who has had the disease, reinfection is often more severe, because antibodies in the bloodstream enhance the symptoms.”

    “But why such a rapid increase?
    The Red Cross believes the evolution of the mosquito is partly to blame. It has now an expanding habitat, it can also live longer and that’s influenced by the changing climate. It’s also because of population, people, because we move a lot, we live in high dense urban areas incidentally in environments that people live, sanitation is also not very well established, facilities are not there.”

    Drill baby drill.

  • 4th Turning

    Some kind of rural v. urban thing also seems to be at work here, too. I live
    in a basically law-biding rural area. Deputies from local families, graduated
    local h.s. The one time I had to make the call, they were extremely
    professional and even sincerely sympathetic toward the perps
    who in my case were mentally messed up. Locals have nothing but
    their own experience as a basis for their opinions/conclusions and
    really can’t fathom what has happened in the “cities”. They see the
    breakdown of law and order mostly through that “end times” lens
    and are putting it all in the lord’s hands. The democratic vote will
    be for more authoritarian-not less-same as in moscow.

  • Ford Prefect

    The public in ABQ protested and were subjected to a police riot that ran pretty late into the night. Ultimately, I think communities have to gain control over their own police departments. The solution is more democracy, more than anything else. We may not be able to change anything in DC at this point, but we can do a lot more locally to advance the public interest.

  • 4th Turning

    Hey, feel very much the same. Just attempting to keep the discussion
    discussionable. Mostly trying to identify what the public (my neighbors/
    family who at least watch the sensational news stuff) actually sees when
    it watches these increasing numbers of dramas play themselves out.

  • caphillprof

    yes, Hawaii is mostyl a vertical experience

  • Ford Prefect

    Of course I’m bothered by it. Why else bring it up?

    As of 2010, Americans were eight times more likely to be killed by cops than “terrorists.” Given the rate of increase of these incidents, it’s probably a good deal higher now. What really stings for me these days is wondering if I would even call the cops if I needed help from them. I’m not sure I would and that’s a terrifying thought. I don’t feel safe any time I think about it.

    About a week ago, a cop in Albuquerque shot a homeless man in the back from a very “safe” distance with his M-4. That was just summary execution for illegal camping, apparently. What do such predatory actions say about the institutional culture of law enforcement? Bothered doesn’t even come close to describing it.

  • 4th Turning

    There are 270 million guns owned by American citizens, according to the survey data.

    (Those who legally own assault weapons — 3.5 million to 4 million, by one estimate)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2012/12/15/what-makes-americas-gun-culture-totally-unique-in-the-world-as-demonstrated-in-four-charts/

  • 4th Turning

    Are you at all bothered by the clonish-looking black uniformed swat teams/riot police that seem to materialize now from out of nowhere in displays apparently of what is suppose to represent over-whelming force? Kiev? then able to evaporate next day only to turn up a week later in crimea. Unbelievable numbers and black, military looking vehicles zipping around boston after the bombing. I feel less safe by this hollywood re-creation and vaguely uneasy
    with all of it-nsa, cia torture docs, etc.

  • 4th Turning

    Is Diamond Head above the projected 2050 high water mark?

  • Ford Prefect

    Oh, they’re perfectly aware of that. Why else do cops increasingly shoot people any casual observer can see is not armed, all while claiming, “I thought I saw a weapon”? LEAs seem to be training their people to assume everyone is armed and dangerous, even when they clearly aren’t. Either that, or there’s been a complete lapse of discipline in the ranks (also a possibility). In any case, the growing assumption of LE seems to be viewing us all as enemies.

    The flip side of this, of course, is that most of the weapons are in the hands of right-wingers. That represents a double-threat to non-righties (which is to say any non-nutter, regardless of political affiliation), due to the threat of unofficial violence inherent in that. Why else pass “Stand Your Ground” laws, if not to legalize vigilantism?

    In a sense, all that Second Amendment crap provides a lovely justification for state violence against innocents, or people simply exercising their rights in a peaceful manner. It’s the means of threat inflation.

  • caphillprof

    I suspect the one thing that the Deep State isn’t counting on is all this Second Amendment stuff. The populace is armed.

  • Ford Prefect

    The point about the Deep State cannot be overstated. It exists largely independent of what we typically envision as “the government” and it’s populated with unelected, unaccountable people. As such, elections can’t have much effect on that. This is especially true since the parties are captive to the Deep State and populate ballots with acceptable candidates and control the funding mechanisms of our elections.

    So what is to be done about this? It’s not just climate change. It’s energy, the Permanent Warfare State, official corruption, the standard of living and so on. Given the level of state violence visited upon the Occupy movement, we can expect that to be even worse next time, since no one paid any price at all for it.

    So what to do? A popular uprising will take place at some point in the future, as worsening living conditions force more and more people into the kind of desperation that forces them to let go of their fear of reprisal–see every non-stage managed revolt since forever. But that will take a long time, as humans can endure a lot of pain until that moment comes. As such, people are usually late to these things. The problem here is, there isn’t much time left.

  • caphillprof

    As a sidebar: Bill Clinton was a poor boy from Arkansas who was bright enough to get into the Ivy league and Oxbridge, he campaigned as a populist, won the presidency, vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard, presided as a triangulating DLC (“Republican in sheep’s clothing”) “Democrat,” left office, became wealthy as Croesus, moved to Westchester County and got his daughter married to Goldman Sachs.

    What about Barrack Obama? He was a poor Hawaiian/Indonesian/Kenyan boy who was bright enough to get into the Ivy league, campaigned as a populist, won the presidency, vacationed on Martha’s Vineyard and presided as a Moderate Republican. My friends think he won’t become wealthy after leaving office. We used to think he wanted to be President of Harvard but I think that’s now probably impossible. We don’t see Goldman Sachs marrying the daughters. I’m thinking his best bet would be to put his presidential library in Honolulu and to take his pension and move to the Islands.

    What do you think?

  • pappyvet

    We are faced with the fact that there are more dangers facing us than there is a willingness to address by those who have the immediate power on this planet to make changes.

  • 4th Turning

    The Bulletin’s authoritative climate change coverage—from 1978

    “We are surprised and alarmed when an unusually severe winter or an unusually prolonged drought occurs, because our ‘tribal’ memories tend to be too short to recall past years when things were equally unusual. Furthermore, the dim history of periods at the dawn of civilization, when it was considerably warmer or colder for thousands of years on end, have not survived at all as a tribal memory. That longer record is still being laboriously reconstructed, ” wrote meteorologist William Kellogg, of the National Center for Atmospheric Research outside Boulder, Colorado.

    But Kellogg didn’t write those words for the IPCC. He wrote them for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists—more than 36 years ago, in February 1978.

    In his 10-page Bulletin cover story, “Is Mankind Warming the Earth?”, Kellogg wrote that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had been increasing ever since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, and this gas (along with other gasses produced by industry, transportation, and commercial agriculture) had the effect of creating a greenhouse. The consequent rise of the Earth’s surface temperature was causing “as large a ‘climate change’ as we are likely to encounter in the foreseeable future,” Kellogg wrote.

    The quotation marks around the phrase climate change are interesting; this was probably one of the earliest uses of the term in a general interest publication.

    http://thebulletin.org/bulletins-authoritative-climate-change-coverage%E2%80%94-19787019

  • cole3244

    as i have said before our last chance was carter, since then we have elected charlatans only interested in protecting the status quo at the expense of the 99% and our very existence.

    there is no hope on the horizon as anyone likely to be nominated will only carry on the drive to extinction in the name of democracy and the interests of the money people that are driving our country and planet into the proverbial ditch.

  • 4th Turning

    Timeline

    IT IS 5 MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT

    DoomsdayClock_black_5mins_regmark.jpg

    2012: “The challenges to rid the world of nuclear weapons, harness nuclear power, and meet the nearly inexorable climate disruptions from global warming are complex and interconnected. In the face of such complex problems, it is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address these challenges.” Political processes seem wholly inadequate; the potential for nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia are alarming; safer nuclear reactor designs need to be developed and built, and more stringent oversight, training, and attention are needed to prevent future disasters; the pace of technological solutions to address climate change may not be adequate to meet the hardships that large-scale disruption of the climate portends.
    http://thebulletin.org/timeline

    Nuclear concerns have always comprised the bulk of factors moving the hand on the clock. But in 2007, actual climate for the first time rivaled nuclear climate for greatest threat. In moving the clock to 11:55, the BAS made a hard case for the destructive power of climate change. The organization now considersglobal warming to be only slightly less threatening to the future of life on Earth than nuclear holocaust. Citing the melting of ice in Greenland, desertization of once-fertile areas, pollution of the air and oceans and other ecological nightmares, the BAS believes that climate change will ultimately lead to widespread nuclear wars over habitable land that will end up destroying whatever is left of the Earth.

    The predictions are dire, to say the least. In addition to nuclear and climate concerns, the scientists of the BAS also point to emerging technologies in the area of bioscience and nanoscience as contributing to the symbolic “five minutes to the end.” The ultimate uses of recent, giant advances in both genetics andnanotechnology have yet to be determined. Genetic engineering may cure cancer; it may also create a super-human weapon. Nanotechnology may build an elevator to space or perform more precise surgery than ever thought possible; it may also result in a bomb the size of a gnat.

    But all is not lost. See The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists Web site to read about some of the BAS-recommended changes the world can make in order to move the Doomsday Clock back.

    The closest the clock has ever been to midnight is 11:58 p.m., which was in 1953, the year both the United States and Russia tested hydrogen bombs. Hydrogen bombs are more powerful than the atomic bombs developed by the Manhattan Project physicists

    http://science.howstuffworks.com/environmental/earth/geophysics/doomsday-clock.htm

  • Indigo

    Speaking of semiotics, what year on the panic-button scale does that map represent?

© 2014 AMERICAblog News. All rights reserved. · Entries RSS