Trading Blind

26 May 2015

Just read this article on theTrans Pacific Partnership: “Stop Calling the TPP A Trade Agreement – It Isn’t.”

The central point states, “TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments. TPP lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. Enabling tobacco companies to sue governments because anti-smoking campaigns limit profits has nothing to do with trade. Enabling corporations to sue states that try to regulate fracking has nothing to do with trade.”

If this is true, I’m even more deeply afraid for the future of this country. Of course, I have no way of knowing if this is true because, as a citizen, the text of the TPP is hidden from me.

That fact also adds to my fear for the future of this country.

Cassandra

Some Day

22 May 2015

David Horsey’s “CEO Salaries Defy Gravity and Any Sense of Shame says pretty much everything I’ve been muttering for a long time now. I don’t begrudge people good salaries, but when a few whose accomplishments suggest only modest talent start making hundreds even thousands of times more than many other people working diligently and hard for a tiny fraction of those bloated salaries, then something is wrong.

Today’s salary nobility, almost as closed a group as the nobility of Europe, parallels the excesses of pre-Revolution France, I suddenly realized why the revolutionaries swept up and murdered the children as well as the adult nobility. The closed club, whether by birth or by college connections or by whatever, creates a searing, blinding anger in those locked outside those doors. This level of inequality creates an atmosphere where I could envision myself knitting beneath the guillotine and not batting an eye when Muffy and her Harvard legacy brother were dragged to the blade behind their father and mother.

Cassandra

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Is there a global warming pause — or not?

8 May 2015

Originally posted on Summit County Citizens Voice:

nmaps A new study examines the language and psychology of climate science and the idea of a global warming pause.

Are climate scientists psyching themselves out?

Staff Report

FRISCO — Talk of a global warming pause, or hiatus, has been widespread the past few years, as the rate of increasing temperature slowed slightly since the 1990s.

But multiple lines of evidence show that global warming hasn’t paused at all, which means that talk of a pause is misleading. Recent warming has been slower than the long term trend, but this fluctuation differs little from past fluctuations in warming rate, including past periods of more rapid than average warming.

View original 541 more words

More Than One Hockey Stick Graph

5 April 2015

I just ran across this old article by investment advisor Michael “Mish” Shedlock. Clearly, there’s more than one hocket stick graph to worry about.

“What Level of Human Population Is Sustainable?”

Not looking good, folks. Not looking good.

Cassandra

Clear and Present Idiocy

12 February 2015

There’s stupid and then there’s Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker stupid. Ironically, the best thing about Kochs shill Walker is arrogant clumsiness. He and his staff are such blunt instruments that it’s actually easy to see what’s up.

This article shows others think so too: “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Tripped up by Truth”

In this proposed budget, Walker whacked the education budget and made a few itsy-bitsy changes. For example, he edited the University of Wisconsin budget by 300 million and the university’s mission statement, blotting out “the search for truth.”

Well, I guess for a person like Scott Walker, truth is irrelevant. So why would anyone search for it?

Walker also wants to shift the purpose of the university from enriching people’s lives to meeting “the state’s workforce needs.” That too is consistent. I gather he wants us peasants–and loafers like teachers and others amongst us who still believe in a search for truth–to shut up and obey our corporate masters without question. And that will certainly be easier if no one searches for the truth, a pesky, anti-corporate, anti-superrich asshole concept if there ever was one.

Unfortunately for Walker and Company, some of those in Wisconsin and elsewhere can still read and think.

I’d continue, but I need to go sort through the selections in my pitchfork and torch collection.

Cassandra

Guys and Dolls

6 February 2015

I once dated a young man who liked thin women. When school and business separated us for three months, I decided to surprise him by losing weight. Implementing a regimen of exercise and strict dieting, I lost 25 pounds. As I lost weight, I noticed male heads starting to turn. I still remember one man in a grocery store. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw him stop to watch me push a grocery cart. Without thinking, I also stopped, turned, and glared at him. He looked startled and then paced away.

Although I still remember that incident all too clearly, I didn’t pick up on the lesson until my boyfriend made his reappearance. I put on a new, tight black dress for the occasion and drove to the airport. This time I watched for and consciously noticed male heads turning as I entered the airport. Rather than glaring, I smiled, anticipating my boyfriend’s delight.

Indeed, he smiled when he deplaned. He looked at me appreciatively and said, “Wow, good start! Another ten pounds and you’ll look like something!”

I said, “Yeah, a corpse. My doctor told me I’m already ten pounds underweight.”

He was not convinced. I was.

That was over forty years ago, and the Barbie doll was the American ideal even then, and too many girls and boys in America are still deluded about the human form.

Some time ago I read a study where young American men were asked which they found more attractive, a normal size woman or a store mannequin. Most chose the mannequin, an advertising model with dimensions quite similar to the ubiquitous Barbie doll.

I remember wanting to congratulate American advertising people for their ability to override human nature and convince a large number of young American men to desire fantasy creatures totally incapable of conception. According to everything I’ve read, the unindoctrinated human male tends to be more drawn to plump women, i.e. women capable of becoming pregnant and bearing their children. That’s nature’s way of sustaining the human race.

For those who don’t already know, were Barbie alive, she’d live only a few minutes because her neck wouldn’t hold up her head. Even if she were on life support, she wouldn’t have periods. Real women need a reserve of fat in order to conceive.

Oh well, the planet’s overpopulated, so I hope men continue to lust after this ultra-slim unicorn of a woman and leave the country on forever quest for this ideal. Outer space perhaps?

For those who aren’t hopelessly enmeshed in propaganda, there is some hope, as shown in articles like this one:

“They Gave Each Kid a Barbie and a Doll with Real Proportions. What They Say Next Really Says It All”

Thigh gaps are disgusting.

Cassandra

Up in Flames

12 January 2015

Sometimes now bursts of flame pierce the night views in along the edges of the Great Plains, making flat, rural, even remote  landscapes look a bit like scenes from Blade Runner. While Blade Runner‘s one of my favorite movies, I hoped I wouldn’t have to live in such a dystopian landscape.

I suppose the good news in this article is that others have noticed the waste inherent in fracking: “Wyoming Companies Flared $11M Worth of Natural Gas through Most of 2014.”

The bad news, of course, damage and waste continue.

The irony of most oil and gas men being “conservatives” is not lost on me. Conserve what?

Cassandra

Welcome to the Company Store

7 December 2014

Over the last few years, I’ve read several predictions of a future America under feudal rule after the inevitable resource/population/climate/food crunch bites hard. Having no reason to think them wrong, I spent time thinking what American feudalism might look like. A couple of days ago, I realized my musings added nothing because American feudalism already thrives here: America–the Land of the Free (to buy anything and everything) from the Companies’ Stores.

My falling behind reality came from my naively envisioning American feudalism in its old heredity forms. That’s unAmerican. Our aristocracy practices equal opportunity employment to the bright, the driven, the well–if narrowly–educated, and to those willing adhere to the company line. Corporations are the royalty.

Our corporate overlords provide our sustenance and demand only loyalty to the brand, to the right of the firms to dictate to their minions in Congress. Far too many docile and greedy serfs consume happily, blaming those beneath them for their misfortunes while the company stores marginalize, vilify, and legislate against those unwilling to buy company goods.

Don’t believe me? Example: “Energy Firms in Secretive Alliance With Attorneys General”

Another: “The Road to Serfdom: American Feudalism Comes to Detroit”

Yet another with a conservative twist: “The Case for “Serfdom,” Rightly Understood”

And one with a liberal view: “America: Home of the Bewildered Serf and Land of the Feudal Lords”

Still don’t believe America’s run by corporations–and a few super rich white guys” Take a look at this: “NBC/WSJ Poll Reveals American’s Priorities; Guess How they Match With GOP Lawmakers’ Priorities”

I was proud of myself when I finally put a name to what’s happening today, but obviously I was late to the party. I admit that and accept another’s term for our serfdom: Neo-feudalism.

Cassandra

Viva Mexico!

7 December 2014

Unsurprising News:

“Saudi Arabia Opposes Gender Equality in Climate Change Policy”

That only one country “fought till the end to retain gender as being paramount in the implementation of climate change policy” was equally unsurprising but that this country was neither European or North American surprised more than a bit.

All that’s left to say is Viva Mexico!

Cassandra

A Fantasy EPA Official Speaks

29 November 2014

One of my favorite profs in grad school always prefaced my name with “The Ironic Miss.” Indeed, irony and satire, still rate high with me.

Hence I love this little bit of satire from The Newsroom. Of course, I’d love it even more were it truly ironic and satirical. I fear our “reality” may be closer to irony and satire than this.

For the current carbon dioxide level, click here.

Cassandra

Addendum: Mother Jones fact checked this. Good article. As I said, the “satire” is mostly true; one gets more irony and satire reading some “news” and blog articles offered up by deniers. Still, all are pretty funny, funnier still if one is old and childless.


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