Here’s something a little less serious and maybe a little more humorous. My Facebook memories for November 18th from 2012 through to 2017.
Edified by My Cat
Edified by my cat. She was banging at the deck door where the neighbor’s cat stood mocking her silently. My kitty was banging the door in an attempt to tear it off its hinges. The other cat just sat there all Charlie Chaplin-like. So I ran to the deck with a toy light saber in hand, opened the door, and chased the interloper away. My cat followed me out peering defiantly in to the darkness in a posture akin to one held by someone saying to themselves, “That’s what I thought.” She followed me back in. I sat down with my laptop to continue working. Then she jumped up on my computer, looked at the deck door, looked at me, back at the deck door and then hissed. She snuggled me a minute as if to say “You done good” (my cat has terrible grammar).
I had the weirdest dream last night. Picture this, Mr. Freud. A subtle, in so far as I can tell, unwritten Radiohead song (strong acoustic and drum presence) playing in the background. I am a female, East-Indian physics student at a university during the Apocalypse, e.g. riots, chaos, etc. During one of the stranger conversations I had with my female colleagues I quoted some fictitious physicist saying, “Purity in the theories of physics is not limited by physics but by our DNA.”
Is that what it’s like for females all of the time?
Losing My Religion
Teaching my kids catechism tonight. My son Alec observes the following during the group conversation:
Me: yes Alec?
Alec: [alluding to a previous discussion we had concerning the uncertainty of “Heaven’s direction” (90 degrees up from wherever you happen to be standing on Earth) making the direction of Heaven to an Australian the complete opposite to that of a Canadian] you know how all our “ups” are different but everyone’s “down” leads to the same place?
Alec: we at least know where one place is…
Democracy in Chains written by historian Nancy Maclean has written one of the most important books published within the last 100 years. If you want to see what the enemies of democracy are up to while Trump deliberately distracts everyone then give this a read; while everyone has been distracted by Trump’s antics (and he’s doing it on purpose because if there’s one guarantee its liberals will lose their shit at the least provocation), the Republican Party has garnered 24 of the 30 votes necessary to call a constitutional convention. The last convention was held by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, etc. back in the 1770s.
The objective of the new convention will be to repeal certain amendments. For example, they want to repeal Amendment 17. Amendment 17 was considered a victory by progressives back in the 1930s because it got rid of the practice of appointing senators and introduced the current system of having the People themselves vote for them. By repealing Amendment 17 the practice of appointing senators would be reintroduced and I can assure you that the will of the People will be utterly ignored. What you’ll see is an increase of corporate influence and interference over the organs of government.
You guys: if democracy fails in the United States it is only a matter of time before that sickness spreads to other countries. Quit falling for the distractions, put aside your petty differences, and come together.
Note: for context you need to also read a book published by Mark R. Levin (an influential thinker from the far right in the United States, e.g. The Liberty Amendments). You can see ALL of the amendments that the Right wants to push through. Another amendment is to make it illegal to pass budgets that create deficits. This sounds great in principle (i.e. don’t spend money you don’t have, etc.), however, this will be the Trojan Horse leading to the repeal of social programs like Social Security and Medicare.
One way or another, the United States will not look, feel or be the same following the next presidential election.
It is indeed remarkable how strongly a person will believe X is true based on the slimmest (or even complete lack of ) evidence while at one and the same time deny Y is true that actually has empirical and observational evidence in support of it.
My American friend Lane wondered why Canada turned out so different than the United States. While conducting some research for a Canadian Studies class I teach, I came across the following paragraph explaining why Canada followed the direction it did (despite forces pushing it in other directions):
“What was revolutionary in Canada was not so much the arrival of democracy at its conception. Democracy arrived as a broad program of social, political, economic, and administrative policies consciously and intellectually designed to bring together opposing religions, languages and races. What was radical was the idea that a fair democracy could be based not on a definition of race as an expression of a nation state, but on what today we would call diversity; fairness was the key to diversity and diversity to fairness. The second revolutionary fact was that the Canadian movement was based on the rigorous use of political restraint, precisely the opposite of reform and revolutionary movements in Europe (1848) and the United States (1776-1783). Third, the reform movement here would manage to hold on to power while the others collapsed” (Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine & Robert Baldwin by John Raulston Saul (p.5-6)).
Canada’s English elite in 1848 genuinely believed in the importance of a race-based authoritarian form of government (dominated by the English minority); however, two leaders emerged–Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine (a Quebec politician) and Robert Baldwin (from Ontario)–who challenged the notion we had to live in two solitudes or warring tribes by bringing French and English together; these two men faced considerable pressure to give into the temptation to use violence to advance their political vision for the country; nevertheless, they had the courage and foresight to support, unequivocally, a principle of fairness where all of Canada’s stakeholders (relative to the 1840s) were given equal security under the law; and they created a country (and political process) where people were willing to make decisions based on one another’s opinions and well-being instead of one’s origins or tribe.
LaFontaine and Baldwin are my heros. The world needs more of Canada.
Btw, LaFontaine was Canada’s first prime minister (pre-Confederation).
Martin Luther King Jr. observed he’d (and the civil rights movement) placed too much hope in white people, in that, after some freedoms had been won and initial progress made they abandoned African Americans. King argued white people were more concerned about stability than justice.
I’m a white dude. I also consider(ed) myself a moderate. I contemplated King’s words and I wonder: am I part of the problem? By wanting to just introduce piece-meal reform of the existing system, am I actually getting in the way of something better?
I’m not entirely sure how to answer this. I definitely wouldn’t prefer living under some sort of communist system; I’ll take class systems and freedom of mobility over that every time. But I’m not exactly in favor of an economic system that pools so much wealth into so few hands that it actually contributes to political instability and human suffering.
So, what exactly do we replace capitalism with? Capitalism lite? I like Hedges because he identifies the symptoms of what’s wrong. But, man, where are the people who can genuinely articulate what we can replace the extant system with? And what would prevent that system from simply being dominated by some sort of elite eventually?
I just want people to be free, happy and secure. What political system allows us to achieve that? Democracy and the rule of law are definitely great steps towards this. Hmmm. Maybe reforming the existing system, meaningfully, can achieve some semblance of a more equitable, just society?
Sobering. So we have a choice: democratically and as voluntarily as possible make the ‘Great Transition’ to a post-carbon based economy (and grow our economy in that direction, ie. hey conservatives we can still grow an economy, jobs, etc. through renewables…it is possible…fossil fuels aren’t the only way (look up ‘false dichotomy)) or we can maintain the status-quo and coast blindly in to a future fraught with risk where governments will be forced to take Draconian measures to limit our climate impact.
What little room/time we had to maneuver gradually to a solution has been lost. If we would have taken climate change seriously in the 90s (which scientists did as corporations spent money on media campaigns to obfuscate the issue and confuse the public to prevent action) we would have ultimately been in a better position to make the transition we need to make today.
You do not have to be a psychic to read the future. You just need to be scientifically literate.