Posts Tagged ‘thomas paine’

THOMAS PAINE: “The World is My Country.”

January 11, 2015
Thomas Paine - Author-Patriot, 1737-1809.

“The world is my country. To do good is my religion.”

THOMAS PAINE, author-patriot, 1737-1809
On January 29th people around the world working for reform and free thought will celebrate Thomas Paine’s birthday. This under-sung founding father well represents all those who forged the American nation and brought modern popular democracy into the world. He deserves to be nationally honored post-911 as a great American who fought for freedom, equality, direct democracy, and human rights.

Paine may be the only true revolutionary in our Revolution. His ideals bring common people together as a community. No one is above the law. Justice and fairness shall prevail. Everyone gets to vote. He argued for social security, childcare reform, universal health care, animal cruelty penalties and animal shelters over 230 years ago.

He warned us to watch, guide, and stop the powerful elite if we want humanity in general to succeed. He proposed that any bill that enriches a corporation or grants a corporate charter should be enacted in one session of the legislature, and confirmed in a second, after a vote of the people, to stop corporate raids on the public treasury.

The Revolution might have failed without Tom, or perhaps not even started. He wrote America’s first bestseller Common Sense, taking backroom revolutionary discussion public, which led directly to the signing of the Declaration of Independence six months later. He spent two years in the Colonial Army with Washington, including the brutal winter at Valley Forge where he wrote The Crisis – among the most famous words in the American revolutionary liturgy – to talk the starving, freezing army out of deserting the cause. General Washington personally read them to his men.

“These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of all men and women.”

Paine’s words helped save the army and the infant nation. Sent to France by Congress at his own expense to find aid to save America from bankruptcy, he not only got the aid, but bankrupted himself by buying a desperately needed ship and cargo of muskets, powder and shot (since congress wouldn’t pay for them), saving the army and the nascent nation a second time, literally by himself.

After our Revolution, Paine was made an honorary citizen of France so that he could be elected to the French National Convention to help form their new republic. He wrote much of the first French constitution and his masterwork The Rights of Man, both of which still inform the world. He was certain that democracy was spreading and would soon free all of humanity from tyranny. He was jailed, instead, as too moderate (!) and his health was wrecked.

He asked his old friend Washington for help to get home, but George ignored him to protect treaty negotiations with England for access to the rich West Indies rum, molasses and slave trade. Tom wrote a bitter letter: Washington was a monarch – who ignored honor to friends and allies who helped set America free; and aided the filthy barbarians who had enslaved her instead – solely for the sake of ungodly profit.

Washington’s political party the Federalists was outraged. Tom languished in prison for Washington’s eight-year presidency; and four more, because John Adams carried an old grudge for Paine calling him a would-be king (which he was). Paine’s liberal friend Thomas Jefferson finally welcomed Tom home after fifteen years, but trouble was waiting.

While in exile, Paine wrote The Age of Reason to “avoid politics and controversy,” and rejected religion in it. We can just stare at a tree, he says, and believe in God. Who needs revealed religion? Religionists branded him an atheist, Federalists recalled his insult to their great hero general president, and both went “a-howl in the newspapers over the drunken, atheist, radical Jefferson has let back into the country.”

Tom couldn’t get a job or a pension. All he wanted was repayment for money he gave to the Cause – dollar for dollar – without other reward, but he was only given a small farm in New Rochelle, New York by the state legislature as compensation. He retreated to it in poverty to write letters to the editor and to Jefferson, and articles on controversial topics. When Louisiana petitioned for statehood with a right to keep slaves, he wrote that admitting slaves to a free and equal society was unthinkable. Pennsylvanians must be sent to teach Louisiana about democracy; and don’t call it “Louisiana,” for it honors a king, insulting the republic just won by the people’s blood.

He tried to vote for his friend Jefferson in 1804, but the New Rochelle election board wouldn’t allow it: he was a “French citizen” because of the honorary citizenship permitting him to serve in the Convention. He spent his last days in the courts trying to redress this ultimate indignity, but it was not the final disrespect.

He was refused burial in Quaker ground despite his request, because the Quakers feared someone might immodestly raise a monument to him. He was buried on a remote corner of his New Rochelle farm, and a visiting Englishman later secretly dug up Tom’s bones, took them to England, stashed them under his bed, and forgot about them. Upon rediscovery years later, they were sold and parted out all over England as souvenirs, and the whereabouts of Tom Paine’s bones is today unknown. It begs the question: How frightened of a man must one be to want to hide his very bones?

After Tom began to grow in popularity and accreditation during the threatened nationally self-conscious democracy of the 1930’s and ‘40’s, New Rochelle belatedly admitted his full American citizenship in 1945. In truth, he’s a citizen of the world. Tom Paine’s fierce principled call for human rights and, yes, loving hearts, still echoes and is still needed, for as much now as then, “These are the times that try men’s [and women’s] souls.”

Citizen Paine was the essence of our great democratic republican experiment: we are rebels as well as patriots. On January 29th, or July 4th, when-, or wherever freedom loving people are gathered, lift your cup and toast a great American, friend to all the world, and champion of nature and humanity. Sing out: “Hurrah!” for Tom Paine.                             – © J. Legry ‘08

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.

SIGN THE PETITION BELOW TO HELP UNDO THE DEMOCRATICALLY DISASTROUS Citizens United DECISION:

The Republicans are bought into the craziness at a very deep level. They will not get better. They will explode or fizzle out, but they will not get “well.” These sick puppies prefer revolution and the overthrow of the United States government to honest political dialog and debate. We really need to put these crazies into the booby hatch. At very least, we must stop giving them political credibility.

We Move to Amend. We, the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United, and move to amend our Constitution to:

Firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.
Guarantee the right to vote and to participate, and to have our votes and participation count.
Protect local communities, their economies, and democracies against illegitimate “preemption” actions by global, national, and state governments.

Signed by 379,547 and counting . . .to 500,000

CONTACT: http://www.movetoamend.org/ 

PETITION LINK: http://movetoamend.nationbuilder.com/petition

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2013 in review

December 31, 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,400 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

INDEPENDENCE DAY 2014

July 3, 2013

Thomas Paine, author-patriot, 1737-1809

Thomas Paine, author-patriot, 1737-1809

“The world is my country.  To do good is my religion.” – Thomas Paine, founding father.

World War I public morale poster, captioned "Food Will Win the War.  You came here seeking freedom.  You must now help to preserve it."

Them is Us

POLITICAL MEMORABILIA:  www.zazzle.com/theattic

The United Corporations of America.

Agenda of the Economic Elite. The economic elite have made decades of premeditated carefully orchestrated strikes on the New Deal, democracy as a form of government, and the American constitution, supported by neo-conservative, Libertarian and religious fundamentalist allies – the same sort of coalition that supported the growth of national socialism in Germany (for a fact, grandpa Prescott Bush and the Koch brothers father Fred helped finance the Nazis); and no matter how disguised in civic rectitude, the merger of corporations with the state is still Mussolini’s original definition of fascism.Thomas Paine wrote that a tyranny used to meet an emergency, must return to democracy immediately after the crisis, or it becomes a permanent tyranny.  The ends justify the means permits all manner of abomination.  We can really see its manifestation in the lying Congress, corporate media and Republican Party.  They lie shamelessly in total self-interest.  Country, America, truth, democracy, freedom, justice and We the People mean absolutely nothing to them; they are obsessed with money and power.  Yet they are just minions of the super rich.  The following article introduces our real national enemy. Exposing Our Enemy: The Business Roundtable: The Most Powerful Corporate Business Club Most Americans Have Never Heard ofThe Business Roundtable, an organization representing Fortune 500 CEOs, is at the heart of the Economic Elite’s power center.  Editor’s Note: The following is Part III of David DeGraw’s report, “The Economic Elite vs. People of the USA.” AlterNet previously ran Part I and Part II.  DeGraw writes in the introduction to his report: “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system is now blatantly rigged against us. Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.”

REAL HEROES: Click the image for narrative.

A Choice, Not an Echo

HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY!

Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.


CORPORATIONS + PARALLEL UNIVERSES reprise

September 7, 2011
The Edge.
The Edge.

CITIZEN BROTHERS AND SISTERS (an open letter):

Politics and economics are increasingly moribund time wasters against the accelerating decay of our earthwide ecosystem.  All the varieties of life upon this planet are imperiled and no rationale, no pontification, no obfuscation, or self-deception can reverse or avoid the consequences of this deadly situation.  Your decisions are critical path for the globe right now.  Your integrity and belief in posterity – if we are to have one – is dependent upon your right action.  Nothing less than full commitment to clean energy and freedom from corporate and ideological insanity can favorably impact the outcome.

It is almost too late to act.  Please try to see the future plain.  Do the right thing. (more…)

ODD SHOTS and IDLE PENSEES #2 reprise

June 5, 2011
Chicken Soup
Chicken Soup

BITS and SCRAPS gathered over time – reprint by request:

Madison 5-1190: Perry Mason’s phone number.

Warsaw can no more be Tartar than Venice can be Teutonic.  The kings lose their labor at this, and their honour.  Sooner or later, the submerged country floats to the surface and reappears.  Greece again becomes Greece, Italy again becomes Italy.  The protest of the right against the fact, persists forever.  The robbery of a people never becomes prescriptive.  These lofty swindles have no future.  You cannot pick the mark out of a nation as you can out of a handkerchief.”  – Victor Hugo, Les Miserables.

Q: Reporter: Is Bin Laden alive or dead? A: Donald Rumsfeld: The answer to that is yes.  – NPR, 1-03.

“It was a time like ours of large impersonal states and individuals who felt lost in them.  A time of consumption, brutality, sophistication and trying to find justification and consolation in religious cults.” – Eugen Weber, “The Hellenistic Age,” The Western Tradition.

“Given a choice between gods or magic, I will take magic and be grateful.” –Doogana the medicine man, Moses, Howard Fast.

“Every tribal god proclaims at every opportunity the glorious future in store for his worshippers.” – G. Bibby, Four thousand Years Ago.

When asked by the reporter what it was like to live in the disputed west bank, a resident replied, “You can feel it and see it in the eyes of the people, in the eyes of the children.  Oh, do you really want to know how it is to live in?  It’s shit.” PBS, 1-03.

“The appearance of the law must be upheld at all times, especially when it’s being broken.”  — Boss Tweed.

“I hate it when a promising rookie turns out to be a terrorist.”  — Buzz Lightyear.

“Do you think getting married will make you decent?  Until I got married I was decent.” – one prostitute to another, Docks of New York.

Edward Gibbon relates that the ancient philosophers thought that Christians seeking martyrdom did so because they were obstinately despairing, of stupid sensibility, or victims of superstitious frenzy.  Dismayed that they tried to coerce the state into creating their martyrship, the proconsul Antoninus Pius (later emperor) said to the Christians of Asia: “Unhappy men! Unhappy men! If you are thus weary of your lives, is it so difficult for you to find ropes and precipices?” 8/03.

Reverend:  “You would replace god with man.”  Anthropologist: “And you would replace man with twaddle.” – Peter Falk to Edward Fox, Lost World.

“You’re getting into the heart of another person’s innermost being, which is something most other websites don’t offer.” – Customer, Loveline.Com, 4/04  – Must be the Ted Bundy special.

“What good fortune for governments that the people do not think.” – Adolph Hitler.

Hands are the most sensitive sensors of the brain; they transmit more information than any other organ.  Maybe that’s why we have to hold something when we say we want to “look” at it?

“When Quanah Parker passed, it was said that his passing was not just his passing, but the passing of the past – as well.” – historian, Real West, History Channel.  – Pass the chips?

New evidence has revealed that there might be an element of truth in what I have to say.

Let’s hear it for self-righteous superstitious indignation!

“If you are dizzy and sick, reach out.  I am your railing by the torrent.  Your crutch, I am not.” – NietzscheThus Spoke Zarathustra, book one.

“That which is now called natural philosophy, embracing the whole circle of science, of which astronomy occupies the chief place, is the study of the works of God, and of the power and wisdom of God in his works, and is the true theology. As to the theology that is now studied in its place, it is the study of human opinions and of human fancies concerning God.  It is not the study of God himself in the works that he has made, but in the writings that man has made; and it is not among the least of the mischiefs that man has made; and it is not among the least of mischiefs that the Christian system has done to the world, that it has abandoned the original and beautiful system of theology, like a beautiful innocent, to distress and reproach, to make room for the hag of superstition.”  Thomas Paine, Age of Reason, p. 37

“According to Livy, the Romans conquered the world in their own defense.” – Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall, Book 1, p. 839, n77.

“Then as now the most effective labor-saving device was stealing.” – Eugen Weber, Western Tradition.

Young Martin Chuzzlewitt: “I’m going to America.”  Mr. Pinch: “Not America! Your situation isn’t that desperate!” – Chas. Dickens.

“The contemporary world of learning is made up almost altogether of mean, starved, envious, strident, stingless fools and fops, ignorant and arrogant, who swarm about their betters with a fly’s equal inclination to dung or honey.” – Carl Van Doren on Swift, 1948.

Glen Manning is not a well man, mentally or physically.” – movie scientist’s assessment of the mutated, insane, irradiated The Amazing Colossal Man.

“Oh, problems in moral philosophy always provide a few chuckles!” – little green robot, Sonic the Hedgehog.

“Oh, the places we will go!” – Doctor Seuss.

548 Primrose Lane – Robocop’s home address before all the bad stuff went down.

More HUMOR at: www.zazzle.com/FatLemon

FatLemon Productions
FatLemon Productions

ILLUMINATI APPLY IN REAR

April 8, 2011

Oops!

Did you ever notice that a lot of the religious conspiracy stuff clouds the water so that you can’t see the political conspiracy stuff as well?

Here’s my take on Dan Brown’s Angels and Demons, the Illuminati, so forth: AW, C’MON!
Lincoln’s, et al Holy Blood, Holy Grail (predicating a pregnant Mary Magdalene) is based upon Pierre Athanase Marie Plantard’s Priory of Sion legend, by which he claimed from the 1960s onwards that he was a Merovingian dynast and the “Grand Monarch” prophesied by Nostradamus. Plantard played along with this story for a while, but in 1986 parted ways, dismissing Holy Blood, Holy Grail and his own documents as false and irrelevant. In October 1993, a judge had Pierre Plantard’s house searched. The search turned up a hoard of false documents, including some proclaiming Plantard the true king of France. Plantard admitted under oath he had fabricated everything. He was threatened with legal action and therefore disappeared to his house in southern France. He was 74 years old. Nothing more was heard of him until he died in Paris in February 2000.
Holy Blood, Holy Grail authors maintain that only through “speculative synthesis can one discern the underlying continuity, the unified and coherent fabric, which lies at the core of any historical problem.” To do so, one must realize that “it is not sufficient to confine oneself exclusively to facts.”
“Mike Hockney” [the pseudonym of a ghostwriter engaged purportedly by the Illuminati to reveal in coded fictional form, various esoteric mysteries with which they are concerned – giggle, snort, LOL] says he’s got the real skinny. “Mike Hockney” writes confusingly enough in The Armageddon Conspiracy: “There are intersection points between the three mysteries , certain key facts that all three have in common [it really doesn’t matter for our purposes which three mysteries]. Even if a seeker has become entrapped in one of the fake mysteries (both of which are as highly compelling as the real mystery), he will still have opportunities to switch to the real mystery if he makes the right choice at an intersection point. He will make the right choice only if he has the strength to abandon all of the work he has performed on either of the fake mysteries. This, in fact, is part of the test. Virtually no one makes the right choice because abandoning years of hard work is simply too difficult for most to contemplate, especially when they believe they have been making good progress. There is another trap: it is possible to move from one fake mystery to the other fake mystery, bypassing the true mystery. Several seekers have encountered this misfortune.” – oh, la. Mysteries for days.
My favorite founding father Thomas Paine [who was a deist, believing god gave everything a jumpstart but was thereafter hands off] writes in the Age of Reason:
“Mystery is the antagonist of truth. It is a fog of human invention that obscures truth, and represents it in distortion. Truth never envelops itself in mystery, and the mystery in which it is at any time enveloped is the work of its antagonist, and never of itself.”
“When men, whether from policy or pious fraud, set up systems of religion incompatible with the word or works of God in the creation, and not only above, but repugnant to human comprehension, they were under the necessity of inventing or adopting a word that should serve as a bar to all questions, inquiries or speculation. The word mystery answered this purpose, and thus it has happened that religion, which is in itself without mystery, has been corrupted into a fog of mysteries.”
“As mystery answered all general purposes, miracle followed as an occasional auxiliary. The former served to bewilder the mind, the latter to puzzle the senses. The one was the lingo, the other the legerdemain.”
The Illuminati (“enlightened”) is a name given to several groups, both historical and modern, real and fictitious. Historically, it refers specifically to the Bavarian Illuminati, an Enlightenment-era secret society founded in 1776 that only lasted until 1784. In modern times it is used to refer to a purported conspiratorial organization which acts as a shadowy “power behind the throne”, allegedly controlling world affairs through present day governments and corporations, usually as a modern incarnation or continuation of the Bavarian Illuminati. In this context, the Illuminati are believed to be the masterminds behind events that will lead to the establishment of a New World Order.
However, as David DeGraw, Alternet, writes: “It has now become evident to a critical mass that the Republican and Democratic parties, along with all three branches of our government, have been bought off by a well-organized Economic Elite who are tactically destroying our way of life. The harsh truth is that 99% of the US population no longer has political representation. The US economy, government and tax system are now blatantly rigged against us. Current statistical societal indicators clearly demonstrate that a strategic attack has been launched and an analysis of current governmental policies prove that conditions for 99% of Americans will continue to deteriorate. The Economic Elite have engineered a financial coup and have brought war to our doorstep. . . and make no mistake, they have also launched a war to eliminate the US middle class.”
At the center of this group is the Business Roundtable, an organization representing Fortune 500 CEOs that is also interlocked with several lead elite organizations. Most Americans have never heard of the Business Roundtable. However, it is the most influential and powerful Economic Elite organization. READ MORE: http://www.alternet.org/economy/145996/the_business_roundtable%3A_the_most_powerful_corporate_business_club_most_americans_have_never_heard_of
To hell with bunk mysteries. It isn’t some jury-rigged Jesus-freak conspiracy group that has declared war on the rest of us, it is the corporatists. It is time to fight back against them, clear-minded and with full vigor from every side. Let Freedom Ring!

RELATED LINKS:

 

 

Tea Party Target

 

 

THIS IS NOT A DRILL

January 26, 2011

The Last Bald Eagle, a Patriot's Dream

This is not a wail of sorrow, but a call to action and the elements of a plan. The Catch-22 is that each one of us, cliché, has to ACT, and oh, I wish it wasn’t so, because it’s nice just lying around, drinking beer, Chablis, so forth, munching chips, caviar, watching Oprah, whatever.

BACK STORY:

I became a genuine environmentalist while in the Navy in the second half of the Sixties. I did some South Seas reef diving and became a bogus shell collector, proud to take only “live” shells, boiling them clean when I got home, thinking that the conches smelled like particularly good seafood. The conches taught me what I needed to know. I found one lying on the sandy bottom, spotted more, and soon harvested five. Score! I took them home, and while they were boiling, did the research – which strikes me as humanity’s general approach to nature, learning about it after we’ve shot, stabbed, strangled and/or overbuilt it. On this occasion I learned that conches eat the brittle star, which eats live coral, exposing the reef to erosion, which exposes the island to the waves, which erode the island – no more island. I had helped to destroy the balance, enabling one species to overwhelm another, breaking the co-dependent chain that sustains all. My ignorance gave the planet deeper grief than could be guessed. Multiplied by a legion of ignorantly indifferent shell collectors, the islands were doomed. Adding greed and superstition to the equation, which institutionalizes and exalts ignorance, we have the entire human race’s approach to the planet today. Personal note, I never took another live shell.

Global warming, global dimming, and overpopulation beset us. We are overheating the planet, interfering with its rainfall, changing the ocean currents, destroying the bottom of the food chain, and breeding like rabbits. But, not to worry, it’s all in some cockamamie book or other; written by ancient nomadic desert dwellers that knew nothing about science, who maintained – unreasonably – that’s it’s all out of our control. Some supreme invisible sky being is “planning” everything for us and in the end, if you believe this drivel, all will come out just hunky-dory. It’s all for the best, just ask Pat Robertson, or any other nut bag right wing true believer.

The rich who benefit most from natural destruction, and all who help them, are intentionally committing high crimes and misdemeanors against life on this planet; they would be felonies if committed against human beings – “but we gotta kill those forests to feed all those babies” (lining fat pockets). Until it ends. Completely.

The numbskulls are corrupting our laws and tossing aside every value other than material profit and individual power, still subdividing farmland, planting high-rise condos on our waterfronts, eating the spoils of the global holocaust, and taking immense pride in their ability to waste gas and ruin the air in a Hummer, which they have somehow mentally transmuted to the end-all of human existence. Well, they’re about to find out how right they are. I hope those Hummers come with deep space life-support.

Many people care more about some redneck bastard’s paternity on Jerry Springer, than the planet’s survival (literally, “some redneck bastard”). Money, sex, drugs, and cheap thrills prevail – as commodity, as constant pastime, as life pursuit. It’s obvious that we’re much too stupid as a species to prevent our own extinction; it’s just too bad we have to take most other species with us when we go – bad sports us.

Alas, it was such a beautiful planet. Now, it’s on its way to becoming a lifeless and barren husk. Don’t think of it as desert, think of it as Palm Springs after all the water runs out. Mars is us.

According to the best science, we’ve got ten years left to take this issue on seriously and save our butts. It may well be less, no one can accurately predict the rate of decay. It will take most of us to accomplish any earthly salvation, but if we don’t confront and dispose of our garbage: religion; overpopulation; short-term economic self-interest; and our ostrich-like tendency to duck and cover in order to avoid seeing our approaching doom, we’re screwed.

We must stop over consumption, kick capitalism into a servant’s status in our democratic life, and curb the excesses of individual and tribal (read also national) self-interest, and put the societal kibosh on religious fanaticism – it is a mental disorder, pure and simple. Impossible, you say? That’s my point: good luck wishes and the spin of prayer are about all we seem willing to invest in our own survival. If it is impossible to resist, I want to use a different word than extinction, which the movies have helped us to accept as, oh, yes, inevitable, that. Suicide must apply, instead – insane self-extermination.

SOME FACTS:

WAYS TO REDUCE CARBON FOOTPRINTS: Abstracted:Not So Carbon FriendlyJennifer Anderson, Portland Tribune. Sound Off – www.portlandtribune.com

ACTION: Measure: Lifetime carbon dioxide saved in Metric Tons)

  • ·        Recycle newspaper, magazines, glass, plastic, and aluminum cans – 17 tons
  • ·        Replace old refrigerator with energy-efficient model – 19 tons
  • ·        Replace 10 incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient ones – 36 tons
  • ·        Replace single-glazed windows with energy-efficient windows – 21 tons
  • ·        Reduce miles driven from 231 to 155 per week – 147 tons
  • ·        Increase car fuel economy from 20 miles per gallon to 30 – 148 tons
  • ·        REDUCE NUMBER OF CHILDREN BY ONE 9,441 tons 

Data from U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s personal emissions calculator and calculations by OSU statistics professor Paul Murtaugh. Annual totals based on lifespan of 80 (female expectancy U.S.) Source: Paul Murtaugh.

Under current conditions, each child in the U.S. adds about 9,4441 metric tons of carbon dioxide to the parents’ carbon legacy during his lifetime. That’s 5.7 times more than the average childless person. A child born in China has a fifth of the impact of a child born in the U.S. The carbon legacy and greenhouse gas impact of having a child is almost 20 times more important than other ecologically minded lifestyle choices like driving a fuel-efficient car, recycling or being energy-efficient. The same conclusions roughly apply to fresh water consumption.

MORE RAGING GOOD NEWS:

DROWNING – In 1994, the Smithsonian‘s Wilson Quarterly stated, “Some of the environmental changes may produce irreversible damage to the Earth’s capacity to sustain life.” The island of Tobago in the Caribbean is being inundated by 3-4 feet per year (ten times faster than ten years ago) and is expected to lose 30-40 feet per year in the next ten. “Science and technology may not be able to prevent either irreversible degradation of the environment or continued poverty for much of the world.”

Seven Feet Not Only Possible, But Likely

It’s been widely acknowledged that the IPCC estimates from 2007 are too conservative when it comes to sea level rise. Unofficial updates to that research, publicized in March 2009 at the Copenhagen Climate Congress, said at minimum the world is likely to see half a meter, with more than a meter well within the realm of possibility. A new piece in Yale Environment 360 goes beyond that.

The world’s major coastal cities will undoubtedly receive most of the attention as sea level rise threatens infrastructure. Miami tops the list of most endangered cities in the world, as measured by the value of property that would be threatened by a three-foot rise. This would flood all of Miami Beach and leave downtown Miami sitting as an island of water, disconnected from the rest of Florida. Other threatened U.S. cities include New York/Newark, New Orleans, Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, Tampa-St Petersburg, and San Francisco. Osaka/Kobe, Tokyo, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London and Nagoya are among the most threatened major cities outside of North America

Preserving coastal cities will require huge public expenditures, leaving smaller coastal resort communities to fend for themselves. Manhattan, for example, is likely to beat out Nags Head, North Carolina for federal funds, a fact that recreational beach communities must recognize when planning a response to sea level rise.

Which brings up the appalling fact that many cities are developing public housing in floodplains. It may be just in time for property developers to cash in before the land goes under. Will we, the dense public, be invited to bail out subsequently sinking subsidized housing? Will we eventually build seawalls thirty feet high at public expense to protect uninsurable money pits?

SUFFOCATING – We may not have to worry about that. If the Arctic becomes six degrees warmer, half the world’s permafrost will likely thaw, probably to a depth of a few metres, releasing most of the carbon and methane accumulated there over thousands of years say experts on permafrost. Methane is a 25 times more potent warming gas than carbon dioxide (CO2). This why some climate scientists call for a rapid phaseout of fossil fuels, recommending that emissions peak by 2015 and decline three per cent per year.

Meanwhile, energy experts believe a new generation of low-cost, thin-film solar roof and outside wall coverings being made today has the potential to eliminate burning coal and oil to generate electricity – if governments have the political will to fully embrace green technologies. Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/09/20-2

We have to stand up to those fossil fuel giants and make them stand down. They are working against all life as we know it. There is NO excuse for it.

GROWTH and DEVELOPMENT – As to population, experts predict twice as many people in the United States by the year 2050. More babies are being born today than during the so-called “Baby-Boomer” generation and we ain’t seen nuthin’ yet! The ridiculous taboos around the issue of human population – usually “politically correct” arguments of small practical value – are a direct threat to our own dear, precious, misdirected, unthinking selves. We’re breeding ourselves out of room.

No brainer: unchecked growth demands greater and greater amounts of shrinking resources. The scale of many of our dilemmas – e.g. public health and housing – is attributable to too many people competing for too few resources in too small a space. Get a clue! It would seem, therefore, that some education and some action on this issue might be in order. Yet, religious institutions militantly urge membership to procreate, and sponsor armies of child-producing sectarian immigrants. Business leadership focuses on lower wages, larger markets and plentiful cheap labor. Timorous local, state and federal elected leaders bicker over tax-funded population education, and resist tax-funded birth prevention. We argue over sex education, birth control, and abortion while our overcrowded house burns down. But we can get kiddie porn on the Comcast cable monopoly!

The nation has conducted the biggest prison-building program in history, even as the hard crime rate falls. This may be due to “effective community policing,” but it is also systematic suppression of a youthful surplus male underclass without family wage jobs. Statistically, economic development largely benefits a relatively small group of players: nine-tenths of the people grin and bear eroding livability, falling wages and rising prices in a rat race fueled by non-productive speculation. We have, created whole new crimes – e.g. “simple” marijuana possession – and longer “minimum” sentences to keep our disaffected unemployed off our city streets.

For many leaders, there is no apparent alternative. Most business, elected and mainstream media leadership extols an almost mystical faith in “growth,” pursuing mythical future taxes that can never catch up with the infrastructure stresses the growth produces – particularly as corporately manipulated voters cut off tax money via “popular” ballot initiatives, and corporate lawyers run loops around the bureaucrats, do-gooders and the long-suffering public.

HOPE, THOUGH – We can turn the whole thing around right now if we have the courage to do it. We can join action committees, raise our voices in common cause to insist on green jobs, rebuild our decaying infrastructure and repair the damages of unchecked “growth and development;” there’s plenty of money, and posterity in that. Let’s clean up the Super Fund and Brown Sites – there’s work there for generations and we can charge the polluters for the damages – why shouldn’t they pay for their own destructive mess? Franklin Roosevelt improved our National Parks; they all need a spruce up right now. We can make the corporations pay us to reforest the slopes and lands they have butchered in their quest for the almighty dollar. We can make them pay a fair price for the minerals and resources they tear out of public lands for $5 per acre; why are we giving away our gold in the ground without a public cut? Cries for private enterprise are all well and good, but the public has a collective need for a life free from want and fear – have we forgotten that? Why should we let one class of narrow-minded, mean-spirited, selfish people stand in the way of the rest of humanity and planetary survival? What is this, Easter Island all over on a global scale? Let’s build those damned statues, gang, it’s all they’ll remember us by, whoever they may be. What a race of wusses we have become. Bawk-bawk-bawk, hear the chickens squawk.

RELATED:

“We have it in our power to remake the world!” – Thomas Paine, American author, patriot, founder.

NOTABLE FINAL THOUGHTS:

In 1956, C. Wright Mills wrote in the Power Elite:

“Two things are needed in a democracy: articulate and knowledgeable publics, and political leaders who, if not men of reason, are at least reasonably responsible to such knowledgeable publics as exist. Such a public and such leaders – either of power or of knowledge – do not now prevail, and knowledge does not now have democratic relevance in America.”

The rich are generally blind or indifferent to the social consequences of ignoring the welfare of the general citizenry. In the end, we all pay for their selfish indifference. If we, the people don’t get smart pretty quickly, we, the people will perish much sooner than expected, and NOT due to any particular plan, but simply because of plain old human selfishness and self-deception. The rich will succeed in killing us; our only consolation is that we will take them with us. Won’t we?

The time for each one to reach one, each one to teach one, is NOW.

“Act. There may be no result in your lifetime, but without action, there will be no result at all.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Worthy and Effective Progressive Volunteer Action Groups:

 

  • AVAAZ
  • http://www.moveon.org/?skip=1
  • Center for Biological Diversity
  • MOVETOAMEND

     

    Eve of Extinction

     

    2010 in review

    January 2, 2011

    The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

    Healthy blog!

    The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Fresher than ever.

    Crunchy numbers

    Featured image

    A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

    In 2010, there were 60 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 117 posts. There were 131 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 62mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

    The busiest day of the year was August 14th with 71 views. The most popular post that day was YOUR ENEMIES ARE UP.

    Where did they come from?

    The top referring sites in 2010 were allhatnocattle.net, zazzle.com, mail.yahoo.com, statistics.bestproceed.com, and stumbleupon.com.

    Some visitors came searching, mostly for it’s not fascism when we do it, iww, thomas paine, international workers of the world, and republican fascists.

    Attractions in 2010

    These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

    1

    YOUR ENEMIES ARE UP August 2010

    2

    REPUBLICAN INSURANCE NAZIS August 2009
    1 comment

    3

    EASTER ISLAND BLUES February 2010
    3 comments

    4

    DENIAL NO LONGER AN OPTION September 2010

    5

    “THINK MANCHURIAN CANDIDATES” January 2010
    2 comments

    HAPPY NEW YEAR!

    BOOM!

    VOTE!

    October 28, 2010

    VOTE!

    Tom Paine, author-patriot, 1737-1809

    TEABAGGER MEMORIAL

    Liberty crowning defiant American democracy.

    VOTE!

    HAPPY LABOR DAY!

    September 4, 2010

    The United States used to build things.

    You must help to preserve it.

    "Play it again, Sam!"

    Republican Plutocrats Create Bank Failures.

    True Progressives

    Unite at the Ballot box.

    Impeach the Supreme Court Five.

    “We have it in our power to make the world over again!” – Thomas Paine, American author-patriot-founder.

    Lest we forget:

    INDEPENDENCE DAY

    GULF DISASTER Breaking News

    BECK’S CROCODILE TEARS