Prometheus Unbound

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As many of you know, I have been back in the ‘land of the free’ for about a month, where the eagle soars without constraint.  The most enlightening aspect has been my access to  the nightly news and the talking-head ‘news’ shows on the air virtually 24/7.  What have I seen?  Well, I can tell you that the channels I flipped through have been focused almost exclusively on the relatively minor, yet by no means insignificant, miscarriage of justice in the Trayvon Martin murder case.  Again, I am not trying to minimize that clusterfuck by the Florida legal system.  And its implications for further racial divisiveness in this country are clearly evident.  The injustice of the system keeps manifesting itself.  But that may just be another distraction.  Certainly, there are other, bigger fish needing to be fried that are still lying raw and rotting under a fisherman’s tarp on the hot deck.

imagesWhat fish?  How about the story of the US government’s clandestine and illegal collection of any and all data records and metadata across the globe. But all the corporate media circus cares to ask about is the juvenile question – “where’s Waldo?” Waldo, of course, is Edward Snowden. They want to force feed the chattel-citizenry of this land on Snowden’s personal escapade and his public flight from some imagined ‘justice,’ while systematically ignoring the stench of the fetid fish rotting in the corner… the gross illegality, injustice and tyranny of the US Mega-Surveilance State.  We have been driven full-steam ahead, back to the future of George Orwell’s 1984, and the general populace is still unwilling or unable to see through the smoke and the smoke-screens.  They have us fret about the enemy out there that, if it does exist, is not nearly as dangerous as the enemy among us… the Media-Military-Industrial-Surveilance State that is swooping down on eagles’ wings to create enemies where none exist, to gather unto itself the artless or the artful moves of all players on the grand chessboard, including the casual peccadilloes of the average joe-sixpack.  This is what the media goons throw in our faces while refusing to examine or debate the real issues, even if only as a charade.

The media outlets drink from the chalices of their owners and sponsors, and their political appointees; so they do what they are beckoned to do.  They distract, entertain, and ignore the real issues.  We only find these issues discussed online, and those who are discussing them are closely monitored by the State and its data mining machinery.

Perhaps the larger question is, why doesn’t the public respond to this gnawing, fascist inspired tyranny?  I do not think the answer is anymore one of ‘complacency.’  After all the ‘American Dream’ — that nightmare dressed-up in seductive evening wear — has begun to evaporate for much of the populace… like hot breath on a mirror.  I really believe the issue constraining any public ‘blowback’ is one of FEAR.  After the military-style shut-down of Occupy Movements around the country, the armored closing of parts of the city of Boston in search of a lone and wounded nineteen year old ‘terror suspect,’ and our general apprehension at the growing apparatus of a full-blown security state with its tentacles fully extended (just look at our quiet uneasiness with TSA at the airports), I believe it is fear of reprisal that keeps citizens from responding, either by public assembly or other, perhaps more belligerent, means.  Surely, it is far safer to go to the streets and rally against the legal decision in a case of apparently racially motivated murder.  There is no real threat to the hegemony in that instance, at least no clear and present danger.  It is much more dangerous to demonstrate against the king and his court directly.  There the wheels of empire, with its newfound brutality and cynicism, can grind you into dust, and they will.  Just watch how they try to get their long arms around Assange, Snowden, Manning, and others for embarrassing them on the world stage, or those veteran groups assembling at the New York City’s Vietnam Memorial municipal park after official closing hours.  Even Chris Hedges has seen this heavy-hand of the State up close and personal with his own efforts at public assembly and civil disobedience.  The inverted totalitarianism of which Chris has spoken eloquently over the past year is now starting to right itself, baring its teeth and flexing its muscle.  Meanwhile, the hegemon perched atop this malicious hierarchy is only doing the evil bidding of his masters.  It seems that slavery never dies, it merely changes its form… it is a classical shape-shifter… the better to keep us confused and confined.

So what is the citizenry supposed to do?  Nothing?  Just accept our fate, letting destiny take its course.  Is our only recourse to obey the whims of a rolling tyranny?  The virtual world of instant communication across the globe is the strangest of bedfellows.  We can use it to steal fire from the gods, but can we use it to spark and illuminate the masses, or do we simply burn ourselves out as we become embroiled in the increasing terror of the State, a state which knows no limits, a regime that soars like an eagle only to feed on our liver again each and every day.  This has become our fate for defiance of the gods.

I am a sick man… I am a spiteful man. I am an unpleasant man. I think my liver hurts. However, I don’t know beans about my pain, and I am not sure what is bothering me.

Perhaps we are like Dostoyevsky’s anti-hero.  But why do we hurt?  And how can Prometheus become unbound, freed from the tyranny of this state and its feeding on my liver?  I too fear… for the future of this people, of all peoples, and  for the planet we now share as we walk gently upon eggshells.

79 Responses to Prometheus Unbound

  1. Murph says:

    Sandy,

    I think your comments concerning the Travon case warrents a bit of further investigation. It is a fact that Travon had Zimmermon on the ground and was beating him. For me, the question was Travon antagonized and was just defending himself and did he flip out and take revenge on a profiling armed man? Was Zimmermon legitimate in confronting him in the first place? That Travon was confronted does not seem to be the issue. Was Travons response to it justified?

    It appears to me that the media hysteria over the trial was deliberate racial baiting and agitation. I don’t think it is all cut and dried as you infer.

  2. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Sandy, it’s time we all, including Chris Hedges, put aside romantic notions of an aroused population rising up in moral outrage and teasing the psychopathic bastards into voluntarily giving up all that power and privilege. It is also long past the time when an armed rebellion could succeed. At the last attempt (1861-65), the government forces were only slightly better armed than the rebels. Unless there might happen to be a closet Jack D. Ripper hiding in the armed forces and commanding enough nukes to wipe out Washington, New York and every state capital. I don’t know, maybe he could spare Honolulu. That possibility seems extremely doubtful.

    We of the pickled livers could show our wrath in polling booths, but giving the Hidden Hands new sock puppets to wear could hardly be expected to give our livers a break. If this were Morris Berman’s blog I’d have to figure out a way to slip in a reference to chopped liver, but since it isn’t his blog … If anyone still believes voting could make a difference, this little parody from The Onion should clarify their thinking.

    There is, however, another not at all appealing solution to the problem. One that the Hidden Hands seem to be about ready to uncork all by themselves. I will have something to say about it in a future comment.

  3. Ron McCafferty says:

    Sandy. This is the 64 dollar question. I ask myself this all the time. When will people see through the smoke screen that is the American Dream, America the Great, yada-yada. I don’t like to question people’s beliefs because it is such a personal subject. But here in the states Christianity has had a profound influence. I personally believe the Bible to be nothing more than myths and fairy tales. But where I live (near Lynchburg, VA) it is Jerry Falwell country. These people believe that their god put those in charge in those positions. How do you combat that?
    How does that saying go? A person is smart, people are stupid. No one likes to admit that they are wrong or have been fooled. And that seems to be the American mentality. They don’t see themselves as fools. Are they are convinced that they know what they know. The people that control the money are in charge and have been in charge. We know that. There does appear to be a global awakening. But I fear that these psychopaths will push the button before they relinquish control.
    My family was just discussing the Trayvon Martin case at dinner tonight. The consensus was that the mainstream news coverage is trivial and contrived. They painted Zimmerman to be the bad guy most likely knowing the whole time that the evidence would provide an acquittal. They would be right there to cover the following rage with the greatest of detail, therefor ensuring advertising dollars. My oldest daughter commented on the fact that Trayvon was illiterate and why are we not focused on that. We know what comes with a poor education. Violence and crime usually.
    But the fact remains that we are forced to focus on the right hand while the left stacks the deck. It is my families hope that people will wake up in their own time sooner than later. There is always that possibility. Somewhere between environmental disaster and resource depletion I think is when it will happen. Thanks for the thought provoking writing. Ron

  4. Ron McCafferty says:

    This may fit your discussion.

    • kulturcritic says:

      “All the news that’s fit to print…” It is highly relevant, Ron!

    • Disaffected says:

      Cool. Might be time for Russia to make a military comeback, now that the US has punched itself out against phantom enemies of its own imagining. Our bipolar world may be about to flip states again, especially if Russia and China ever realize they have common cause in ending US hegemony. When it comes to US military dominance, this old saw describes our predicament as well as any other: When everything’s a priority then nothing’s a priority. Our imagined technological superiority blinds us to the fact that we have a hollow force that’s been running on fumes for quite some time now. The MIC’s primary focus has always been to serve as a wealth pump for the rich. Let the rich fucks who’ve stolen all that wealth hire their own personal armies to go fight their battles. What’s that? They already are, albeit using public funds which they control through bought and paid for pols? Nevermind!

  5. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Sandy, I got yer relevant news right here.

  6. the Heretick says:

    you are too kind by half, has it ever occurred to you that the American people know and understand what’s going on and like it just fine? that we are just that two-faced?
    yes, there are a few outliers, we few, but i truly believe that the majority, left, right, and center know exactly what our country is, and can’t conceive of another way, basically because they don’t want to.

    yes, there were a few posts where i alluded to the rage of the lower classes, guess it went right by you……….
    that rage is what was uncorked onto Mr. Z, and what Mr. T was dealt in return, so i must disagree about your miscarriage of justice “take” of the situation. the true miscarriage of justice is the economic conditions and way of life which spawn this type of behavior

    which brings us full circle back to the mental state of empire. when people are treated as disposable assets that’s the way they treat other people. after so long as an empire what the people become is subjects, they become so inured to barbarism that it becomes a way of life, internally, externally, over, under, around and thru.

    apologies to the barbarians, at least their way of life was honest and upfront.

    • Disaffected says:

      Great comment! But I especially liked this part:

      which brings us full circle back to the mental state of empire. when people are treated as disposable assets that’s the way they treat other people. after so long as an empire what the people become is subjects, they become so inured to barbarism that it becomes a way of life, internally, externally, over, under, around and thru..

      And this as well:

      yes, there are a few outliers, we few, but i truly believe that the majority, left, right, and center know exactly what our country is, and can’t conceive of another way, basically because they don’t want to.

      Yes, we are indeed locked and loaded, and fully intent on riding this mother down to the very depths of depravity. Should be fun ride down for all involved!

      • the Heretick says:

        the usual suspects. i blame it on the greeks, they started breaking it all down with all their atoms and molecules, so busy…………….
        the kosmos, out there, and inside, until that habit of thinking progresses 2,500 years, or was it 10,000? hail atlantis and all that, and sure they levitated them pyramids into place, praise god, and pass the ammunition!!!!!!!!!!

        but seriously, once you start breaking every thing down into pieces, you start believing in your observations, you develop a sense of alterity, otherness, and before you know there’s subject and object!!!!!!!!!!! us and them.

        it’s a short step from there to enslaving the “others”, and here we are presto/chango.
        not that i think any one group is any better than the other, not that anybodies hands are clean at this late date, please, besides, that’s hardly the question.

        the new reality is that we are seeing the collapse, the long emergency if you will, unfolding around us, slow motion, just like kunstler said, now the grand poobah may have a point, i’ll grant you that, but maybe that will come later, after we suffer a bit of purgatory………………

        or, could be all that catholic school.

        the proper thing to do would be to start digging in, condemn the empty factories, rip them apart piece by piece, and use all the rubble to build underground housing, the new norm. Detroit going bankrupt? then relocate people, humanely and with remuneration, and excavate huge areas, rip the old nasty crap out, and start the incredibly labor intensive process of building something that makes sense, something that doesn’t require huge inputs of energy to run it’s elevators, or to heat when it’s cold, and so on and so on. do it by hand, piece by recyclable piece, in place as much as possible, as if we had brains. but them commies, they always did like the idea of labor camps, especially when you have a population to socialize.

        what?

        but that’s not going to happen, not on a public scale, doesn’t look like it. it truly is a giant machine, you can bet they’re digging coal 24/7 in the powder basin.

      • Ron McCafferty says:

        Here is something that you may find relevant to this conversation.

        http://dissidentvoice.org/2013/07/education-neoliberal-culture-and-the-brain/

        • kulturcritic says:

          Unfortunately Ron, I think this guy suffers from the same delusionary binary thinking that he rails against concerning human nature.

          “If an empathy deficit is more apparent among undergraduates its because they are the legacy of over three decades of unrelenting exposure to our neoliberal ideology of unfettered greed and capitalisms dominant narrative about human nature.”

          He not only criticizes this “dominant narrative about human nature,” he also requires that we endorse it… believe in it…

          “Its unarguable that human nature reveals a continuum of behaviors ranging from the most wretched to the sublime, at times bordering on the saintly. At a minimum, this means acknowledging, in the words of Amin Maalouf that There is a Mr. Hyde inside each of us. What we have to do is prevent the conditions that will bring the monster forth.

          He needs to rethink his own philosophical assumptions.

          • Ron McCafferty says:

            I did not catch that in the first read. Thanks Sandy. Although I may accept that there is a potential Mr Hyde in each person. I am more apt to believe that this is a learned behavior due to environmental circumstances. Have you ever read anything from Dr. James Gilligan? If you have. What do you think of his writings?

        • the Heretick says:

          “There is sufficient evidence that our potential for empathic engagement is being subverted by the dominant economic system and its ideology.”
          geez, yathink? i really can’t figure out what this guy is saying other than it’s a dog eat dog world, and it’s getting worse. that and that he sees young people as more narcissistic than their parents.

  7. Malthus says:

    You hit the hail on the head. Everybody is scared shirtless even while the crap keeps rolling down the city canyons, out into the prairies and mountains. This as surreal as it can get and its getting worse. Not even Pol Pot, Hitler, and Stalin altogether could not have come up with such a world view as do our wonderful capitalist business school mutants money grubbing their merrily way to fame and fortune stepping on everyone like so many broken egg shells. Everyone is in a state of shock, traumatized to the hilt, terrified of speaking or gathering in any kind of protest. Any one who read Orwell saw this coming a long time ago and the real problem others read it and took it as a guide for dominance, and have run with the ball all the way to the bank.

  8. Disaffected says:

    The national media is all a-twitter this morning over Whitey Bulger (who?) and the Boston Bomber appearing on the cover of Rolling Stone (I wonder if this means he’ll be releasing a CD anytime soon?), among other inanities. And the beat goes on…

    • Disaffected says:

      I remember when I first got back to the states after a 3 year tour in Germany in the early nineties. I had spent the entire tour TV-less other than Armed Forces Network in the common areas (which believe it or not, wasn’t bad, as it was entirely commercial free other than AFN public service announcements) and never missed it a bit. The transition coming back was jarring to say the least. I remember spending the first night in a hotel room in Charleston SC just overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the bullshit coming through the cable. Should have eschewed the TV habit right then and there and been done with it for good. I try to imagine what I could have done with all those hours, but what’s the point? That’s the tragic beauty of the media hologram here in the US. It manages to cast a spell on all but the most monastic eventually, just by it’s sheer omnipresence. The all encompassing social hologram is here to stay, and try as we might, short of possibly moving to Siberia (that’s an inside joke Sandy) or the plains of sub-Saharan Africa, ain’t no one going to escape it going forward.

      BUT, hate to say it, I no longer “fear” for our future. Our future is what we make it, and our choices thus far have been pretty damn definitively bad for our long term outlook. And this is what I think is at the core of Guy McPherson’s and others’ like him message: In spite of all the decrying of our capitalist masters’ roles in our current plight done on this and similar sites, the plain fact is that humans, like the rest of the planet’s species we’re so eagerly destroying, simply don’t get any mulligans when it comes to truly existential choices. Choose badly and your numbers will be reduced or you will go extinct. Which we have and increasingly continue to do, and will, soon enough. That’s not a “tragedy” in any sense of the word, it’s merely an inevitable and entirely foreseeable outcome from self-indulgent current choices made. In the end, whether human extinction arrives in 2030, 2100, 2200, or 2500, does it really matter? Stupid choices (continuing to be) made now matter. That’s the message.

  9. Our civilization is like a star in the cosmos. The reality is that it has already exploded but we’re just too close to it right now to fully appreciate the grand cosmic breadth of it all. I’m sure in due time an alien civilization will appreciate it though 🙂

  10. kulturcritic says:

    Looks like the who’s who of music’s memory lane here… thanks guys!

    • Disaffected says:

      Us old folks do like to reminisce about back in the day… I always wonder what the Wilbury’s might have done had Lefty not croaked so early on.

  11. the Heretick says:

    ” And how can Prometheus become unbound, freed from the tyranny of this state and its feeding on my liver? I too fear… for the future of this people, of all peoples, and for the planet we now share as we walk gently upon eggshells.”

    we can’t, that’s the short answer, we can only wait for it all to fall apart, which it’s doing as we watch. those who have the gumption (and the means) can physically relocate themselves. but really, with the IRS and our brand-spanking new ACA law, there’s no escape. even if you bury yourself in the woods you will come up on some database somewhere as not having paid the required tribute. reminds me of some old kantner/slick lyrics

    Words/Music: Kantner, Slick, Crosby

    Last electric Sunday mornin’ waitin’ in the park for the dawn
    Listenin’ to all the animals in the Park and in the city beyond
    Flashin’ with my lady. Sky goin’ black to blue
    She said I got a surprise for you
    A child is coming
    A child is coming
    A child is coming to you

    What you gonna do when Uncle Samuel comes around
    Askin’ for the young one’s name
    And lookin’ for the print of his hand for the files in their numbers game
    I don’t want his chance for freedom to ever be that slim
    Let’s not tell ’em about him —

    It’s gettin’ better
    Like a mornin’ to be born

    A Child Is Coming Lyrics – Paul Kantner

    there you have it, teach your children and all that.

      • the Heretick says:

        LOL? i’m being serious here. 😉 everything is being put under one umbrella

        see? it’s all in the movies. hooray for Hollywood!
        the truth is that we may very well be in a situation where some valuable knowledge is lost forever, hmmmmm, may not be all bad.
        nevermind that, it’s still not so soft totalitarianism. once again, that’s the problem with universal ideals, they’re universal. how much of our moral and ethical standards themselves are a product of our absolutist mind-set? are we truly appreciating the potential for unintended consequences?

        resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated.

        • kulturcritic says:

          WARNING: you have been assimilated by IBS!! LOL

          • the Heretick says:

            or IBM, or the FBI. so that’s either Interactive Business Systems, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or both.
            but it’s no joke that we are so data driven, it’s a big jump from hand tools, power tools, and motorized vehicles, to our machines having something akin to a worldwide nervous system, just that in itself, it’s thought provoking, not quite Borg yet, but significant.

            “So what is the citizenry supposed to do? Nothing? Just accept our fate, letting destiny take its course. Is our only recourse to obey the whims of a rolling tyranny?”

            what to do, what to do, just try to personally get out, north maybe, as you have done.
            the society is too dependent on the machines at this point, they don’t know how to turn it off. therefore, i see it being violent, finally, if and when collapse really happens, dunno. not something i want to see happen, go thru, but our “leaders” think they can manage their way out, wind it down, but it’s not going to work.

            i think the social problems we have in the US, and world wide, are the beginning, they’ve always existed, but since the people have been taught to be predatory, it’s a hard tide to go against.

            the race is not always to the swift, or the battle to the strong………..
            but that’s the way to bet.

            “The virtual world of instant communication across the globe is the strangest of bedfellows”

            the reign of the almighty UPC, until the power fails, only acoustic instruments then.

    • Disaffected says:

      If you relocate you’ll miss all the fun. The way I look at it now, I’ve done (and quite honestly, continue to do) my fair share to contribute to the current mess, so it’s only fair that I share in the just desserts. Even so, it’s quite possible I’ll miss out on full retribution this time around, but if that’s the case, I still believe in the saying “what goes around comes around.” If not in this lifetime, then in the next; if not in this universe/reality, then in another. I’m not sure how it all works out in the end in detail, but I’m pretty damn sure there ain’t no free passes no matter what.

  12. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    While we’ve been tripping down memory lane and bemoaning the predations of the Borg, Santa may have been out behind the cottage testing some new water skis he might stuff in your sock, if you’ve been good boys and girls.

    I’m assuming Santa had the foresight to jack up the cottage and put pontoons on it.

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      I see wordpress isn’t supporting IMG links. Here is the webcam image link.

      Santa’s back yard

      • the Heretick says:

        what is that a picture of anyway? looks Arctic.

        no worries, the CFR are all over it
        http://collapseofindustrialcivilization.com/2013/07/18/the-cfr-and-their-deranged-vision-for-arctic-exploitation/
        sadly, the winners may be the few who get themselves way high up in the Canadian Rockies, above all the pollution where they can get fresh water, shit rolling downhill, as they say.

        maybe the first people will survive, far enough back in the forests that nobody can find them, while there are still some left. the kids plan on getting out, somewhere further north, it’s the heat you see, the heat of the sun, especially for very fair people, redheads and such, the two-second sunburn.

        the heat has hit north this year, but it will head back south and then spread back north again, i’m predicting late heat this year, 110+ in the south, 100 degrees in a bunch of these big cities, “nationwide heat wave” sort of thing.

        i’m surprised this spring has been so mild, like i said before, there were a couple good years before the dustbowl. w’ell see, we’re due for some sort of extreme, or so they say.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Heretick, I know you had a less than wonderful childhood, but did they not tell you that Santa lives AT THE NORTH POLE! That image came from a webcam on a buoy at the pole. As for extreme weather, some folks have not had to wait.

          You can head for the far north if you like, but my guess is it will not prove to be a hospitable home. But then again, I doubt that anywhere will be.

          • the Heretick says:

            well, i did say it looked arctic.

          • the Heretick says:

            monsoons, too much rain, then none, what is suspect is happening around here, no spring, no fall, dry winter, rainy season, hot season.

          • kulturcritic says:

            What a documentary of the year!!

          • kulturcritic says:

            What did Guy say, “nature bats last”

            • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

              Yeah, it’s a rule of the game. The never mention subclause is that she may bat as long as she likes and with any size bat she chooses.

              • Ron McCafferty says:

                That’s funny, Sandy. Not literally mind you. I am always saying that when push comes to shove nature and the Earth will rid itself of the disease that is humanity. Time is on Earth’s side. When we destroy our ability to sustain life, we will die. The Earth will still be here and it will heal over time. I cannot help but wonder why these powerful people are so blinded by greed. I think they need to put on a new reality show. One where they are given what they need to live by the work of their own hands and where they literally have TOUCH the dirt where their food comes from. The ones that don’t evolve into a better understanding of how this world works and what they were doing was damaging. Well, we would have to figure out what to do with them. I say we put them up to a vote. Sound democratic?

    • Disaffected says:

      That ain’t the half of it! I hear Santa’s selling off the whole toy business lock, stock, and barrell to WalMart, and putting all his equity in methane hydrates, oil, and arctic vacations ventures. Word has it that Mrs Clause (that bitch!) is divorcing his fat ass, so he said fuck it, went into retirement, is hitting the gym full time now with all his newly found free time, and plans on enjoying his retirement in the Arctic Riviera. The elfs, unfortunately, are not expected to fare so well. Unemployment benefits are non-existent for North Pole residents, and the market for experienced toy makers is mostly saturated by a few humans and a whole lot of robots and machines, all located within largely tropical pacific rim nations, none of which are particularly hospitable to elfs of extreme northern European descent. Insiders report that once kids got wind that WalMart was providing 90%+ of their Christmas booty anyway, the gig was up for the formerly “jolly old Christmas elf and his crew.” Sad, but true.

  13. Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

    Frackalypse Now

    • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

      I said back on the 18th that I would have more to say about the Hidden Hands and their mucking around in the Temple of Doom. As is pretty well known, the frackin gas industry has been losing its ass on every therm produced. What to do, what to do? Well, what they always do, of course. They stuck their hand in the sock puppet-in-chief and had it declare the power industry must replace coal with gas. All in the name of amelioration of the climate change that isn’t happening (and if it is happening we couldn’t possibly be responsible). Congress, a bargain at any price.

      Sounds like a wonderful idea, except for all the water that gets ruined. Like most wonderful ideas, there just might be a flaw or two. CH4 (methane) combustion does, at least in theory, produce less CO2 than coal. But, it still produces quit a bit and by the estimates of some scientists, based on very recent discoveries, we may already have more than enough to really screw things up. What CH4 produces essentially none of are particulates and aerosols. These things, the aerosols in particular, act as an atmospheric parasol to shield the surface from incoming radiation. CH4 is also a greenhouse gas that is up to 100+ times more efficient than CO2 as a heat trapper. I am quite confident that during the Frackalypse a lot of CH4 is going to leak out into the atmosphere.

      According to what appears to be diligent research by a non-scientist (which means he can afford to tell it like he sees it) Mike Hillard, this interglacial period is a couple of degrees cooler than previous interglacials over the last several hundred thousand years. When he saw that he went looking for a cause and decided it had to be agriculture. Matured crops and stubble reflect a lot more light than forests or darker soils. We’ve been geo-engineering for 10k years. The deserts we created along the way are also great reflectors.

      After the industrial revolution, we started pumping out the green-house gases, which are now at least one-third higher concentration than the peak of any previous interglacial. The sulfates produced by coal burning are not the bulk of aerosols or even the principle source, but every little bit helps. So, I am suggesting that if we had always burned gas instead of coal that the earth might now be even a little bit warmer. Snow is the best reflector of light and it is rapidly disappearing. In the Arctic Ocean to be replaced by water, one of the best absorbers.

      This is a scenario in which there are no happy endings. Saving their frackin asses probably means that sooner rather than later that …

      • the Heretick says:

        i suspect they’re fracking, right in the city where i live. there is this new type of rig i’ve seen several places, small, very short, looks like a tilt-up, but then they aren’t having to go as deep as an old time oil well are they? just down into the rock above the old deposits, wring the last bit out. or reworking an old well, check the casing, reuse it, say the tests are good. the way it is.

        the water supply for the cities comes out of lakes anyway, not too good for the few people who actually have wells though. actually, i did notice a story about a small town hereabouts having to drill some new wells, hmm. clean water is the most important thing, can’t live w/o it.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          Shale gas extraction involves long lateral bores and some very nasty chemicals in the frack solution. I wouldn’t put it past the bastards to frack right under your lakes. Even if they don’t do that, they have to dispose of the crap somewhere.

      • Disaffected says:

        Good work Phlogger! That said, let me rain on your parade for a moment if I may. I’ve watched Gasland I & II, as well as all the excellent Michael Moore exposes of different subjects, but which all expose the same underlying issues. The point of which is always that regulatory efforts are all completely bought off and corrupted now, and further, that any attempt to expose industry malpractice immediately runs into those same corrupted regulators, who – surprise, surprise – find in favor of industry every time. That said, I’m not sure what documenting much of this actually accomplishes any more, other than possibly serving as a historical record. In a word, as a society, we’ve agreed to be fucked. To use the Johnstown flood as an example: the dam IS gonna break any day now, either move, or accept the consequences. And guess what? Even fully informed, now as then, many people will willingly just accept the consequences. That’s just the way it is.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          DA, how dare you rain on my parade? I spent a lot of time organizing that parade! 🙂

          Are you assuming that I’m trying to inspire some undertaking to sabotage the Sensational Terran Unterraforming Project (STUP)? Nay, I have no such desire. It couldn’t work anyway. I watch and study it because it is the biggest thing happening here. The biggest thing that has ever happened here. The Stupor Bowl pales in comparison. I choose to disagree that “we’ve agreed to be fucked.” To my mind, the proper wording is we demanded the ultimate fucking as our god given right. How else the Rapture gonna happen? When you have lots of free time why wouldn’t you spend it admiring humankind’s greatest handiwork. I certainly don’t do it for the sake of history. History is a strictly human activity and compared to me, Guy McPherson is Pollyanna. I just write some commentary for the benefit of those that don’t have as much free time. It really is awe inspiring.

          • Disaffected says:

            … we demanded the ultimate fucking as our god given right.

            I like that one! Nice turn of phrase. We do seem to have a knack for digging our hole deeper and deeper, don’t we. Almost like we’re intentionally suicidal now that we know the jig is shortly to be up.

          • kulturcritic says:

            me too, Phlogger 😉

  14. the Heretick says:

    you seem to really like to quote from “notes from the underground”, i must admit i came away from it quite cold, but that was long ago and it may have gone right over my head. for myself, “The Idiot” made a greater impression on me than any other of his books.

    here is a link where hedges describes exactly what has happened to our country.
    http://truth-out.org/video/item/17716-chris-hedges-the-liberal-elite-has-betrayed-the-people-they-claim-to-defend#comment-972502583
    the democratic party has betrayed a large part their supposed heritage.

    “…a friend of mankind with shaky moral foundation is a cannibal of mankind, to say nothing of his vainglory; insult the vainglory of one of these numberless friends of mankind, and he is ready at once to set fire to the four corners of the world out of petty vengence”
    ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Idiot

  15. Disaffected says:

    Heretick,

    I’m in the process of reading the article, but the very phrase “the liberal elite has betrayed the people they claim to defend,” should ring some alarm bells immediately. In a supposed “liberal democracy” why should anyone need “defending” in the first place, never mind anyone with the word “elite” attached to their title? Elites, by definition, never defend anyone other than other elites, and even then, only with a strict quid pro quo expected.

    Basic rule of thumb: Elites NEVER protect anyone other than themselves pro bono, and non elites should never expect otherwise.

    • the Heretick says:

      oh, i don’t know, back in the day something was expected of them who held the reins of power, such as old prince ‘arry and his chopper gig in afpak, it was expected that gentlemen would do their duty, i’m sure there’s a phrase for it. the white man’s burden?

      you know my dear DA, “The world is changing faster than ever, creating new opportunities for those who stand ready to seize them.”
      http://www.cognizant.com/?utm_source=Google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=cognizant&utm_campaign=brand_brand_oldsite&gclid=CMWmh426xLgCFUxo7AodnREA5Q
      notice the bright shiny faces, new models for meaning making.

      there is a school of thought that it takes highly educated people to manage a society such as ours, that the cognoscenti are what keeps it all ticking, looks like they are making it all fall down. nevertheless, these people put themselves forward, they run for office, it’s their responsibility. i think that they really do go from one news cycle to the other keeping the population in a constant state of uproar.

      you’re probably right, the lower classes are on their own, they only really care when there is political hay to be made. the process i described for renewing our cities (in an earlier post), doing it by hand and building structures which would stand for hundreds of years, never going to happen, not a lot of money to be made by politically connected contractors.

      i’m going to catch up on my Dexter.

      • Disaffected says:

        “Code Halos.” What a concept! Merging the digital with the faux sacred. IT people are ALL JUST SO full of shit! I work in the midst of a large enclave of the fucking eggheads everyday.

        • Phlogiston Água de Beber says:

          I wonder what could have gone wrong? Back in the day, before I was forced into retirement, we were all so highly regarded (in my fucking dreams).

          • Disaffected says:

            Well, I’m a borderline egg-head myself, so there ya go. But I guess my real point was that management keeps IT around and spends tons of money on it (kind of like a science project, really), but they NEVER use any of the data it provides. And on the odd occasion that they actually do, they normally misinterpret and MISUSE it. IT’s just like all the neat, cool, tech stuff that everyone keeps around just to say they have it and never actually use (The now voice command stereos and GPS Nav systems in cars (never mind the fact that all that shit’s already on your I-Phone). Just when, exactly, was it that figuring out where you were going became so fucking hard?) I’ve begun calling my particular organization the “— secretarial pool,” since its staffed by a lot of not very bright “old-school” types who have been taught since day one that it’s all about working long hours and doing a lot of manual paperwork. Business, as it ever has been, is still all about appearances. A lot of paperwork flying (with binders filled to the gills sitting on shelves as a monument to your dedication), sitting in meetings scrawling notes like you actually give a shit about anything being said, and face time with customers proving that you actually care when you don’t. (Most of my time spent talking with customers is spent interpreting their inane ramblings into some sort of coherent statement about what it is they actually WANT.) Leverage technology to get twice the amount of work done in half the time (especially when your supervisors don’t understand much of the output) and you’ll be labeled as lazy and a malcontent. Add an MBA to the equation and the conclusion is still the same as it ever was: the business of most business people is just looking busy, nothing more. Remember that, and you’ll go far.

            All of which makes a perverse kind of sense when you consider the following:

            As for the corporate IT provider link that HT provided above (“code halos”), all that is just so much marketing hype, meant to sell marginally useful services to corporations who have fewer and fewer marginal dollars to spend (in the name of PROFITS, don’t ya know) on such shit. There was a time I was an IT “true believer” myself. Alas, the revolution’s come and gone and life is pretty much the same. Yeah, it’s accelerated sales and thus “economic churn,” but the results are the same as ever. The giant corporate money pump is sucking dollars out of local working economies into the global casino economy at an ever accelerating rate, and the words “more with less” have now been emblazoned on the foreheads of all working class shlepps. The true purpose of IT everywhere? To automate everything that possibly can be automated, so that real live humans can be “retired” in the name of profits. Period, full stop.

  16. Disaffected says:

    Hedges’ religious roots always betray him. He’s a true believer through and through, so his disappointment with authority figures is always front and center. Too bad we can’t get the rest of the religious community to listen to him, which speaks volumes about the supposed “religious” community itself. All politics and power brokering.

    That said, he speaks truth to power as well as anyone out there. And he hits it on the head about the liberal class, whether or not they ever fancied themselves as our “protectors” in the first place. I suggest that in the aftermath of WWII at least, all that has been little more than political posturing. “Political branding,” and nothing more. Certainly in the aftermath of Reagan all of politics has been revealed to be nothing more than that. Positioning on the left-right scale, with the Conservatives bringing in the big brawn in the form of big money to not only win that political tug of war, but to redefine its terms altogether. What was formerly moderate right is now extreme left, and so on. Tell young people Obama is nothing more than a right wing conservative who labels himself as a democrat for branding purposes and they look at you like you’re crazy. And for good reason. They’ve never known anything different. They’re all too young to give a shit anyway.

    All of which is a moot point. Politics, like the rest of American life, has been redefined in simpler terms. Following conventional capitalist philosophy, it’s all about “winning” now. Winning is, by definition, now the only thing. Break every law on the books along the way and it’s all OK, as long as you win in the end. A fact that any honest to goodness religion ought to directly counter, but Christianity, in all it’s malignant forms, has adopted the same mantra. Win and you go to heaven, no and in the afterlife. Lose, and, well… just don’t lose!

  17. Disaffected says:

    Music for a mid-summer night in anywhere USA (or anywhere else for that matter):

  18. But it also conveys the sensation that he is most likely being cautious now.
    We will discover that people will be more enthusiastic and thorough with their function. Scorpio urges us to research issues
    before creating a move.

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