Monday, June 30, 2008

Modest Proposal Part 1

Modest Proposal Part 1 - 2008-06-30 11:30



Modest Proposal #1

For efficient use of limited governmental resources and better economies of scale, consider this:

Fold the dept. of education and the Department of prisons into the Department of defense.

That's what change is all about -- doing things differently.

If you watch the MSNBC prison specials on TV and see the high school graduation rates now that No Child Left behind has taken full effect, (or remember, faintly, the word Haditha) -- you must be ready for this. Especially if you are no longer eligible to join the army because of age or infirmity.

We have confused our next generation with words and titles -- and since they are going to have to pay for our retirements and clean up the messes anyway (plural -- spell check has more of a problem with the concept than we do,) I think that a better structure is needed to channel our bovine-ey children.

This will also allow for a better cash flow -- the money is going to be tight and every dollar saved from administrative overhead can better go where it's needed. We know where it's needed -- hell, we've already budgeted it in to our futures.

And, really, it's better for the children and will allow them to plan map out their years in a straighter forwarded way. Not so much better as clearer -- and that's got to be good for them on a lot of levels.

Social security is only going to pay for us if we take care of it now -- and since we are too stupid to budget and live within our means as a society -- we are going to have to either make more money, or charge it off to the next generation. Honestly -- I think we've already made the hard choice -- just not out loud.

What would this look like, and how soon could we see they money? And what would we call it to make it less sinister (like Homeland Security?)

That's for tomorrow's blog -- so stay tuned!

Capitalism and Ponzi


Capitalism and Ponzi - 2008-06-30 09:58




Capitalism is a Ponzi scheme writ large.

It depends on growth at all times or it falls apart.

Imagine years of 0% growth in the United States -- there would be riots.

Growth depends on only two things -- both evidenced by the term productivity -- getting more from more, strip mining; getting more for less, people mining.

Think of a credit card that sits quietly in your pocket. Every year gets 4% added to the bill. That's capitalism. In order to work, there must be 4% more of something to get it balanced.

The way that the bill gets paid is productivity -- you either dig a finite resource out of the ground, or find a person who can do more work for less money.

Some good stuff happens with capitalism -- as the % grows, standards of living grow -- people have a more and better lifestyle in the commonly accepted way it's determined (health, diet, longevity, security.) But it's all based on continued growth.

This would work better if resources were infinite -- planets and stars were waiting to be plucked and abused. But we are getting to the point that we are functionally living in a closed system and a zero-sum game. If we take from one place -- another place suffers.

This is the mother earth concept that is seeming more valid every day. Our children can't be paying our bills for stuff they aren't going to get -- they are not that stupid or bovine -- they will figure it out at some point and make us pay our pounds of flesh.

What this seems to mean is: we need to pay our bills, live within our means, clean up our mess (see pay our bills) and get comfortable with less.

Or figure out a way to star travel.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Cow





The Cow


My broad back bent
from years of carry
the type of weight
fat people take for granted.

Strong as an ox
Bones compressed
Teeth ground to stubs
Acres to go before I sleep.

Dependable, steady
rocky constant
I live without understanding
how substantial I am.

I feel with a slow lumber,
move with careful steps,
and pause the methodical of my life
to ruminate.

Things change
and the sun rises
I do what’s in front of me to do
until they eat me.

by Mike Brady

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Bird Watching

Bird Watching - 2008-06-28 17:03





Bird watching has come of age according to England’s Guardian newspaper. Evidently the same skills and tools that a bird watcher uses to spend an idle weekend of watching birds translate into a security risk in the United States.



            What’s the connection and why the hell would people stare at birds anyway?



            Don’t know, but here is a theory.



            Birder.com notes a few things that a bird watcher needs to get started. They need a guide (maps and stuff,) and expensive binoculars, noting, “Newcomers with a cheap binocular see a fuzzy ball of feathers and don't have a clue which bird it is.”



            These are the very same items a terrorist would need to scope out a military installation or government building.


            And have you ever thought of just what uses those fancy cameras birders use to capture their images could also be a front for? As we all well know, from official government sources, terrorists take pictures of their targets before they blow them up—and for that they use fancy cameras—just like bird watchers. They blow up their pictures -- it's a pattern that they all fall under -- I repeat, a pattern.
            The Guardian notes that birder watcher’s frequent areas that “are sometimes close to military bases, dams and sewage plants.” They note that the US government is now requiring picture I.D.’s and permits for bird watchers at several public areas on the East Coast. It also notes that several public areas have been closed to bird watching entirely.



         The fact is people leave their comfortable homes to walk in the wilds for no other reason than to see and photograph birds. The fact that their trips may soon start to resemble an airport security line make this hobby a little less fun.



         Or, maybe a little more fun; it’s hard to get good feel as to where the fun is in the first place with this bird watching stuff.


"When I look over my shoulder... what do you think I see? another person looking over their shoulder at me."


And a fucking bird laughing from a lipless beak.