There was once a period of time on this planet that was perfect for growth and prosperity for the human race. For over ten thousand years, the earth’s temperature hovered around a relatively narrow band. The climate was relatively stable. This stability allowed people to reasonably predict when it was good to grow food, and how much needed to be stored until the next growing season. This allowed humans to settle and invest in agriculture. This led to civilization. Seemingly infinite resources promoted an ideology of endless growth. Endless growth resulted in a massive population explosion and the creation of a global village. It is what has allowed the human race to set up shop on nearly every corner of planet earth. As the cradle of humanity, earth was as close to Eden as reality and human nature allowed. Continue reading
Jim Wright over at Stonekettle Station has his usual eloquent take on the so-called Colin Kaepernick incident , in which he describes, in somewhat great length, his opinion on whether Kaepernick should stand (or not) during the playing of the National Anthem. As a veteran myself, I would like to add my opinion, which is this: Continue reading
The problem with Donald Trump is not one of economics and hate. The problem is about legitimacy and trust.
The reason that Trump has risen so high in the polls is that he speaks to the lack of legitimacy with which many people hold the establishment. And why should they hold the establishment to be legitimate? After all, many of these are people who have lost their jobs to government-sponsored globalization, who have lost their homes and retirements to government-backed thievery by the banks, who have seen their futures redirected to a wealthy few through government-backed policies of upward redistribution, and whose every interaction with the government, from law enforcement to the labor department is anything but pleasant. Stoke this daily with hate radio, and you can see why people are primed for a change. Continue reading
Twelve Years a Slave came in the mail from Netflix a while ago. It sat resolutely on the counter for a week or two collecting dust, and then I sent it back unwatched. I will probably never watch it, even though I have written some thoughts about it. The Kindle edition of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ new book Between the World and Me is sitting in my wish list. That I will certainly read some day. Just not today. I have read Black No More, by George S. Schuyler, and Invisible Man, by Ralph Ellison; both provided to me years ago by my wife, who incidentally is usually identified as ‘black’ even though she is in actuality Panamanian by descent. I Don’t Know What to Do With Good White People by Brit Bennett is very much worth the few minutes it takes to read it. I started reading The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois a while ago, but it has been languishing as of late. There are a couple of works about Malcolm X that I am currently reading, but more for my interests in civil disobedience and radicalism than in what they have to tell me about race and racism. Continue reading
In September of 2013, I wrote a blog post in which I labeled Syria as the proverbial canary in the coal mine with respect to global warming. Here we are, almost exactly two years later, and I see that Syria continues in that canary role; this time with the mass migration of people seeking escape from what has become an untenable situation.
Ten years ago, the world witnessed the devastation caused by hurricane Katrina and the mass migration of as many as a million people looking to escape the storm, many of whom became refugees in their own country as a result of literally having nowhere to return. With Syria today we are witnessing the mass migration of millions of people seeking to flee a civil war in which global warming arguably played a role. So what can be learned from these events? Continue reading