Posts Tagged ‘morality’

Malthusian Delusions

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Monbiot is one of those rare writers who sees right through to the truth, every time. His latest diatribehis diatribes being always enjoyable, and always backed up with irrefutable data–assails the rich for blaming the poor for all of our environmental ills.

This is the exact same argument I’ve had with well-meaning enviros time & again. Their belief: that overpopulation is the root of all of our environmental ills. As Monbiot points out with data, the overarching generator of greenhouse gases is rich countries. Poor countries, including the most procreative, barely register. Thus, the root of our environmental problems is gluttony, not population. But the the 70s-era enviros cling to their Malthusian delusions, even as they jet about the world, spewing filth out into every corner of the globe….

License to Kill

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Driver’s License, that is.

Kill an old lady on a public sidewalk and it is ok, as long as you have a valid driver’s license.

The morality problem in this society is sick. And Columbia County Sheriff Dennis Richards is Exhibit A. Human life has no value in his world.

Less Sycophancy, More Fight!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

As someone who regularly testifies before city committees/commissions/council, I routinely get lectured by well-meaning allies, friends, family, etc. that I need to tone it down. Be nice to the politicians. Soothe them. Don’t call a spade a spade. Don’t testify as to how they are doing us and our environment grievous harm. They might get offended.

And call you crazy.

My favorite spade-caller, Glenn Greenwald smashes this sort of limp thinking in his great Salon.com column today.

I’ve also been following with great interest the saga of Harry Markopolos, the whistle-blower of the Madoff ponzi scheme. He drafted up report after report, going back a decade, which pieced together enough evidence to prove the ponzi-ed nature of Madoff’s scam. He did it on his own time; as a volunteer citizen watchdog. But the paid regulators paid him no mind. He irritated them.

He was crazy.

(They said.)

And crazy, irritating people can’t possibly be right. Why? Because they are crazy & irritating.

But Markopolos was right.

Yet all the smart, detail-oriented, professionally decorous people ignored him, from the regulators to the dying mainstream media (DMSM) followed their circular reasoning (crazy + irritating = wrong; therefore crazy + irritating = wrong) and rolled us right off the financial cliff.

Locally, we’ve got Brenda Konkel irritating The Serious Powerbrokers, The Decorous Business Magnates, The Politicians Who Soothe Our Egos. She calls them down for their corruption. She lambastes the regulators for their laziniess. She is doing a wonderful service for the health of our body politic. But she is very much up against it with a Mayor who is very accommodating to developers’ illegal behavior (but who is very adept at Decorousness. Projecting Pleasing Images. Seriousness.). She is up against a pliant city council. And the regulators, who are supposed to help advise the council and mayor, don’t even understand the very laws they have been hired to enforce.

That’s you Mr. City Attorney, Esq.

Taken together, the Madoff-Markopolos affair, along with Greenwald’s analysis and Brenda’s activism in defense of ethics & law (i.e., justice!) captures so much of what keeps driving us over the cliff, after cliff, after cliff. We allow money mongers, warmongers, legal slouches at the regulatory switch (yes you Mr. City Attorney, Esq.) and hate mongers to drive us into financial ruin, immoral & unnecessary wars, and uncivilized social policies because they have become so adept at serving our vanity and its demands that the the messenger be Polite. Nice. Decorous. Serious. The nicer and more pleasing–and Serious–the messenger is to our ego, the more likely we are to follow. Off a cliff.

Just ask Mayor Pave. He’s been led off many a cliff, most of them paved, at the advice of Very Serious City Department Chiefs.

Including you

Mr. City Attorney, Esq.

Meanwhile, anyone who calls these Very Serious People on their paving, their wars, their financial recklessness, their ignorance of the laws they were hired to enforce (yeah, you, Mr. City Attorney), or their illegal backroom deals (way to go, Mayor Pave!) is marginalized. Thrown out of office. Labeled ‘crazy.’ Or irritating. Or worse.

Truth is irrelevant. Appeals to our vanity: everything.

That’s it: Anyone who doesn’t soothe my ego must be wrong. Because my ego is more important than the truth.

Afghanist Nam

Monday, August 24th, 2009

Hey look, here’s another one! The really, really, smart people over at the NYT just figured out what I’ve been saying all along about President Jesus H. Obama’s War.

It is just amazing how the people of the poorest nations on earth have been able to beat the mightiest military forces ever assembled. Not once, not twice, but several times during my lifetime. There should be some courts martial for basic military incompetence. Then there should be some good ol’ fashioned show trials of the politicians who started & stoked these inane wars in the first place. I wonder when the tough guys will figure out that you can’t win wars–no matter how mighty the military–when you don’t have morality on your side.

Conscience Tweak

Monday, June 8th, 2009

If this doesn’t get folks thinking about the moral implications of the typical American’s lifestyle, I’m not sure what would do it.

Think about it: The country finally elects the liberal dream candidate, and what does He do? He just continues with the torture, the black sites, the indefinite detentions and wars of Cheney/Bush. Why? To keep “our” oil safe, pumped and shipped for our consumption. Liberals drive as much or more as Republicans, and He knows it.

And no, the next-gen of groovey-green cars (an oxymoron) won’t change a thing. As long as we continue developing our cities in ways that militate against walking, biking and transit we will be forced to drive more & more, thus negating any gains in fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, Obama’s stimulus package is dictating more of the same; it is filled with highway expansions at the expense of existing, walkable neighborhoods, our air, our water, nature.

We’ve seen this movie before. Between 1973 (Arab Oil embargo in retaliation for our puppet’s war in the Middle East) and 1990 (Gulf War I) we doubled fuel efficiency. Guess what tracked increases in fuel efficiency? Vehicle Miles Traveled. We drove twice as much in that same period.

We doubled efficiency.

Then doubled driving.

Just spinning our wheels in a December ice storm…..

This is looking to be a repeat of the nightmare scenario of the Johnson administration. Great “hope” for a Great Society, crushed by an immoral war. This time we’ve got two going at once. And both are infinitely more immoral than the one that crushed Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Time for a better way.