Who owns America today? … Perhaps the greatest threat to … the tea party is that they appear to be arguing a case that, for all practical purposes, has already been settled for the majority of Americans. The America of the Founding Fathers roots – a modest, decentralized, and agrarian nation – is gone, or is at least being pushed to the demographic margins, inhabiting the great red swath of the country’s middle. Politically, the America of today is as much a product of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt as James Madison and Thomas Jefferson – of the sprawling government programs of Medicaid and Social Security as much as the Second Amendment and its provision for nongovernment militias. Though he was speaking of … the Civil Rights Act specifically, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s comment Sunday morning on “Fox News Sunday” appears to be broadly relevant to the tea party as a viable political movement: “The philosophy was misplaced in these times,” he said. “The philosophy got in the way of reality.” – Christian Science Monitor
Dominant Social Theme: It’s ovah! The blue states have won. Federal government activism is gloriously ascendant.
Free-Market Analysis: Working closely together, we Bell staffers have developed a most un-libertarian, hive-like mentality. These days, buzzing in our brains are recollections, often, of the compelling Claudius books by Robert Graves. What comes to mind, however, is not so much the pomp and decrepitude that Graves brought to life as the books’ over-riding, semi-tragic perspective that the Republic was gone and could not be brought back.
Indeed, the theme of Roman republicanism-now-lost hangs over these books and in our humble opinion lifts them into the realm of great art. Not only does Graves have an apparently thorough grasp of ancient times, but he is able to bring these times to life and to inhabit them with living, breathing creatures who are often among the most maleficent and fascinating since Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford, wrote his great character-driven plays (Hamlet, Othello, Macbeth, etc.).
The Big Picture: Why Is It So Hard to Stop the Oil Gusher, and Why Was Such Extreme Deepwater Drilling Allowed in the First Place?
hat tip: Washington’s Blog
Sunday, May 23, 2010
The government failed to properly ensure that BP used adequate safety measures, BP and their contractors were criminally negligent for the oil spill, and BP has tried to cover up the problem. See this.
But why hasn’t BP stopped the leak?
Some people assume that BP hasn’t stopped the oil leak because it’s people are wholly incompetent.
But there is another possible explanation: the geology – as well the deepwater pressures – at the drilling site makes stopping the leak more difficult than we realize.
Does the Geology of the Spill Zone Make It Harder to Stop the Oil Spill?
We can’t understand the big picture behind the Gulf oil spill unless we know the underwater geology of the seabed and the underlying rocks.
For example, if there is solid rock beneath the leaking pipes, with channels leading to various underground chambers, then it might be possible to seal the leaking risers and blowout preventer, with the oil flowing somewhere harmless under the floor of the ocean.
The New American
by Joe Wolverton, II
Friday, 14 May 2010
Since the days when Mark Antony’s grandfather patrolled the coasts of the Mediterranean searching for the distinctive gilded-stemmed masts of their lightweight vessels, pirates from Cilicia (modern-day Cukorova, Turkey) had vexed Roman shipping lanes.
The pirates brigandry was particularly irksome for generations of Roman political leaders because the peace and stability of the massive Roman populace depended on the free, uninterrupted movement of goods from the other parts of their vast empire. Without this crucial supply of commodities, storehouses would empty, the people would go hungry, and riots would enflame the streets that run serpentine among the Seven Hills.
In 68 B.C., the Cilician pirates ratcheted their attacks on Roman interests up a notch. The bustling port at Ostia was their target. These brazen buccaneers sailed in and set the port on fire. The amber glow could be seen at night from the alleys and rooftops of Rome herself. The people were petrified with fear.
Rampant fear followed news of the assault: fear of famine, fear of death, fear of unsafe passage along the now-ancient roads connecting Italy’s coasts, rich with the bounty of the world, to the teeming interior, principally its capital — the Eternal City of Rome.
The turmoil that has stricken Greece has spread to Romania and Ireland. This crisis may be spreading worldwide as the debt crisis continues, there have been reports that it may spread to Japan, one of the biggest economies in the world. Gerald Celente says that this is the greatest bank robbery in history and it is the banks that are doing the stealing.
by Chuck Baldwin
Posted on May 19, 2010
People all over America are discussing freedom’s future. In short, they are worried. In fact, many are actually talking about State secession. In coffee shops and cafes, and around dining room tables, millions of people are speaking favorably of states breaking away from the union. Not since the turn of the twentieth century have this many people thought (and spoken) this favorably about the prospect of a State (or group of states) exiting the union. In my mind, this is a good thing.
Even many of those who oppose the prospect of secession understand the increasing tyrannical nature of the current central government in Washington, D.C., and that something must be done about it.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines tyranny as “1: oppressive power . . . 2: a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler . . . 3: a rigorous condition imposed by some outside agency or force . . . 4: a tyrannical act.”
Even a casual observer would have to conclude that most of the actions proceeding forth from DC today match at least Webster’s 1st and 3rd definitions of tyranny. Besides, who would argue the advantage of the tyranny of an oligarchy over the tyranny of a monarchy? A tyranny of many cannot be distinguished from a tyranny of one in most cases–especially not by those poor souls who are at the point of the spear of Government’s cruelties.
By Chris Hedges
Posted on May 17, 2010
Cultures that do not recognize that human life and the natural world have a sacred dimension, an intrinsic value beyond monetary value, cannibalize themselves until they die. They ruthlessly exploit the natural world and the members of their society in the name of progress until exhaustion or collapse, blind to the fury of their own self-destruction. The oil pouring into the Gulf of Mexico, estimated to be perhaps as much as 100,000 barrels a day, is part of our foolish death march. It is one more blow delivered by the corporate state, the trade of life for gold. But this time collapse, when it comes, will not be confined to the geography of a decayed civilization. It will be global.
Those who carry out this global genocide—men like BP’s Chief Executive Tony Hayward, who assures us that “The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume’’—are, to steal a line from Ward Churchill, “little Eichmanns.” They serve Thanatos, the forces of death, the dark instinct Sigmund Freud identified within human beings that propels us to annihilate all living things, including ourselves. These deformed individuals lack the capacity for empathy. They are at once banal and dangerous. They possess the peculiar ability to organize vast, destructive bureaucracies and yet remain blind to the ramifications. The death they dispense, whether in the pollutants and carcinogens that have made cancer an epidemic, the dead zone rapidly being created in the Gulf of Mexico, the melting polar ice caps or the deaths last year of 45,000 Americans who could not afford proper medical care, is part of the cold and rational exchange of life for money.
The corporations, and those who run them, consume, pollute, oppress and kill. The little Eichmanns who manage them reside in a parallel universe of staggering wealth, luxury and splendid isolation that rivals that of the closed court of Versailles. The elite, sheltered and enriched, continue to prosper even as the rest of us and the natural world start to die. They are numb. They will drain the last drop of profit from us until there is nothing left. And our business schools and elite universities churn out tens of thousands of these deaf, dumb and blind systems managers who are endowed with sophisticated skills of management and the incapacity for common sense, compassion or remorse. These technocrats mistake the art of manipulation with knowledge.
Big Brother’s got that ju-ju, Gaia’s got the blues — hologram, carry me home
By Joe Bageant
May 13, 2010
“Information Clearing House“
I’ve spent most of this week watching American television and movies. I leave the TV on all night long. I toss and turn with my bad back, and bad lungs, catch a rerun episode of Two and a Half Men, or CSI, and conk out again. Then I awaken to the U.S. morning talk shows. It’s a grueling regimen, only for the strong. Or the lonely. For periodic relief, I switch to Mexican television (be patient, I really am going somewhere with this). Mexican TV is not one iota better than US television, but is veeerrry heavy on the booty. More than heavy. Astronomical. Think all-but-bare tits and ass close-ups every fifteen seconds, straight through commercials, dramas, comedy shows, history shows, and even the news where possible. Every show but the bullfights and that old nun who comes on at ten PM, who invariably drives me back to the U.S. channels.
Ahhhh … Safely in the American national illusion, where all the world’s a shopping expedition. Or a terrorist threat. No matter, as long as it is colorful and wiggles on the theater state’s 400 million screens. Plug in and be lit up by the American Hologram.
This great loom of media images, and images of images, is so many layers deep that it has replaced reality. No one can remember the original imprint. If there was one. The hologram is a hermetic snow globe, a self-referential circuitry of images, and a Möbius loop from which there is no logical escape. Logic has zilch to do with what is going on. The smallest part holographically recapitulates the whole, and vice versa. No thinking required, we just cycle and recycle through an aural dimension. Not all that bad, I guess, if it were not generated by forces out to fuck every last pair of eyeballs and mind plugged into it.
The investing class has put thousands of billions into movies, TV and other media to keep the hologram lit up over the past six decades. Which is to say, keep the public in an entertained stupor, awed, mislead, and most importantly, distracted. But the payoff probably runs in the trillions.
December 23, 1776
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 by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated. Britain, with an army to enforce her tyranny, has declared that she has a right (not only to TAX) but “to BIND us in ALL CASES WHATSOEVER” and if being bound in that manner, is not slavery, then is there not such a thing as slavery upon earth. Even the expression is impious; for so unlimited a power can belong only to God.
by sherry mann
originally posted at ALoveBasket.com
My children woke up excited to get ready for school. They put on their green shirts, old jeans, and tennis shoes. They packed their gloves, milk jugs (for watering the plants), hand shovels and weeding tools.
Today was like no other day of the year. It was Earth Day!
The first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) had some 20 million demonstrators involved. Today, Earthday.org, which seems to serve as the central hub of Earth Day events, lists “31,464,418 Acts of Green and counting.”
Well, isn’t that nice.
Matthew Sleeth, an emergency room physician was asked by his wife Nancy, a question that would change his life forever. “What is the biggest problem facing the world?” After thinking of all the problems of war, disease, terrorism and poverty, he finally replied that “The world is dying.”
After much reflection and many life changing decisions, Dr. Sleeth released the Green early in 2008. The Green Bible is bound in environmentally friendly materials: a cotton/linen cover, recycled paper, soy-based ink, and a water-based coating. It claims to highlight “over 1,000 references to the Earth in the Bible, (compared to 490 references to heaven and 530 references to love).”
There are many essays in the opening of the Bible by leading conservationists and theologians. In the sidebars, Wendell Berry and others are quoted to offer further encouragement for the stewardship of the Earth.
While the publication may have good intentions, there are some biblical scholars who (perhaps justifiably) criticize the Green Bible. Here is an excerpt from Laurence Vance’s article, “Is God Green?”