Archive for the Community Category

What Use [Are] People?  Oh, And Happy Father’s Day! (June 18, 2018)

Posted in Community, Consumerism, Kleptocracy on June 18, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “They function as consumers yet do not engage as citizens.”

J          “Exactly.  Someone remarked that Americans should be described as ‘consumers’ propelling an economy but not as ‘citizens’ participating in a Republic.”

K          “The kleptocracy does not desire citizens but does demand consumers who demand unreflectively the things they supply.”

J          “The kleptocracy or the kakistocracy?  What happens when they have consumed all they can afford to consume?  Are they consumed?”

K          “When they have spent all they can spend and have borrowed and borrowed and borrowed and borrowed all they can borrow, they are spent . . . and exspentable.”

J          “It is a very real question.  If they could not consume, would they be allowed to exist?  Do they exist?”

. . .

J          “They would be starved.”

K          “Aren’t 80 percent of them being starved?”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at “Is The American Consumer Irrelevant? (December 12, 2011)”, “The ‘Superfluous Consumer’ (July 27, 2015)”, “Kids As Consumer Durables (August 6, 2007)”, “Consume, Don’t Invest? (November 9, 2009)”, “Henrietta And Henry O, Two Young Lovers: The Contemporary Gift Of The Magi (December 27, 2010)”, “On Community (June 3, 2013)”, “On Roiling And Rolling Collapse (March 9, 2015)” and “The Taxonomy Of The American Economy (May 21, 2018)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Fathers are people too, sort of

I consume, therefore I am

I consume, ergo sum

Bugging Out To N.Z.:  The Movie, Part 2.  Oh, And Happy Valentine’s Day! (February 12, 2018)

Posted in Aviation, Class, Climate, Collapse, Community, Contracts, Global Climate Change, Kleptocracy on February 12, 2018 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “Those who want to bug out to New Zealand seem to believe the island is ‘PLAN B’ on this planet.”

J          “And yet the thoughtful folks who think about it observe that ‘There is no PLANet B’ in our universe.”

K          “Not even Mars.” 

. . .

K          “When the funds run out to guard the compound, the guards will walk off the job.”

J          “I would clear the runway and clear the plane to land, visually if necessary.  The first aid kit, fire extinguisher and other supplies on the plane would come in useful.”

K          “The P.I.C. should pack a readily available t-shirt proclaiming ‘Don’t shoot me, I’m only the pilot’ to stand apart and then stand apart when they land.”

J          “When the kleptocrats deplane, they can be debriefed and disabused of their old ideas.  They need to know that the rules have changed.”

K          “The rules may be the same, just the participants will change.  They depart a land where ‘Might makes right’ and land in a land where ‘Might makes right’ also.  The difference is the group with the might has changed mightily.”

. . .

K          “If I were the pilot, I would let the Kleptocrats know that the manifest has changed and take my family and friends.” 

J          “The ‘theory of efficient breach’ provides the inconvenienced Kleptocrats with a cause of action against the pilot for their inconvenience.”

K          “That is a succulent use of a theory that was concocted to allow the wealthy to breach a contract that nuisances them and avoid punitive damages and the likelihood that the other party would be able to pony up the lucre in the ‘pay to play’ legal system.”

J          “I would cherish the opportunity to inform the Kleptocrat: ‘Sue me’ and then part with: ‘I’ll see you in court’ as we run up the engines and begin to head down the runway.”

. . .

K          “I asked him to forward the draft contract when they e-mail it to him.  Is he as pilot obligated to be ready to leave in four hours or six hours or eight hours?  How many family members is he allowed to take with him?  However, when the Collapse comes, all contracts are advisory and voidable.  The pilot can amend the manifest and take his family and friends to the promised land.  That could be the plot twist for the third plane that actually completes the flight.”

J          “We might ‘Immanentize the Eschaton’ in the new land, the New Z-land.”

K          “Perhaps the most prudent strategy for the locals is to bivouac next to the compound, befriend the guards and be ready for the transition.”

. . .

K          “Before takeoff, China will already have taken over both islands.”

J          “Unless an earthquake devastates and cracks the runway first.”

. . .

[Listen to this excerpt from Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot (1994) ]

[See the e-commentary at “Bugging Out To N.Z.:  The Movie (June 26, 2017)” and “Immanentize the Eschaton.  Say What? (August 22, 2016)”.]

Bumper sticker of the week:

There is no PLANet B

The “I” Gene; The “We” Gene: Searching For The Genie In All Of Us (April 3, 2017)

Posted in Awards / Incentives, Book Reference, Community, Genetics, Genius, Song Reference on April 3, 2017 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “As the philosopher and geneticist John Prine observes, ‘You are what you are, and you ain’t what you ain’t’ in this life.”

. . .

K          “Someday someone will discover that each of us is born with either a dominant ‘I’ gene or a dominant ‘We’ gene.”

J          “The ‘Tom’ gene versus the ‘Huck’ gene.”

K          “The ‘Fear’ gene versus the ‘Hope’ gene.”

J          “The ‘Take’ gene versus the ‘Give’ gene.”

K          “The ‘Reagan’ gene versus the ‘La Follette’ gene.”

J          “The ‘Do not let them immanentize the Eschaton’ gene versus the ‘Do let them immanentize the Eschaton’ gene.”

. . .

K          “As the play plays out, epigenetics play a part.  We need to ‘mind our p’s and q’s’ and also mine our ‘a’s’ and ‘g’s’ and ‘c’s’ and ‘t’s’ for insight.”

J          “Nurture can temper nature.  A person with access to more resources is able, if so inclined, to give things away, material and spiritual.  A little more truck allows us to be a little more Huck.” 

K          “And yet Nature is providing all of us with dwindling resources.”

J          “So, if Tom is a huckster once in a while, is Huck a tomster once in a while?  . . .  No.  Maybe not.”

. . .

K          “So many of the events today are calculated and calibrated to induce fear and trigger the Tom and the Take and the Reagan gene in all of us.”

J          “Research is likely to be advanced if we elect politicians who believe in science and perhaps more importantly in the scientific method.  They should give a Crawfoord for any advance in understanding.”

. . . 

[See the e-commentary at “Immanentize The Eschaton.  Say What? (August 22, 2016)”, “Humanity’s Motto:  To Enslave And To Colonize (January 27, 2014)” and “A Taxing Explanation (August 22, 2011)” and the discussion of Martin Luther King’s famous Riverside Speech fifty years ago on April 4, 1967 at “Bush Escalates World War III (January 15, 2007)”.]

Bumper stickers of the week:

I, Tom, fear; We, Huck, hope.

I, Tom, fear and take; We, Huck, hope and give.

I, Tom, fear, take, vote for Reagan and do not let them immanentize the Eschaton; We, Huck, hope, give, vote for La Follette and do let them immanentize the Eschaton.

What if they made a “WePhone”?

“I Me Mine” Beatles (1970)

“America is, and always has been, undecided about whether it will be the United States of Tom or the United States of Huck.  The United States of Tom looks at misery and says:  Hey, I didn’t do it.  It looks at inequity and says:  All my life I busted my butt to get where I am, so don’t come crying to me.  Tom likes kings, codified nobility, unquestioned privilege.  Huck likes people, fair play, spreading the truck around.  Whereas Tom knows, Huck wonders.  Whereas Huck hopes, Tom presumes.  Whereas Huck cares, Tom denies.  These two parts of the American Psyche have been at war since the beginning of the nation, and come to think off it, these two parts of the World Psyche have been at war since the beginning of the world, and the hope of the nation and of the world is to embrace the Huck part and send the Tom part back up the river, where it belongs.”  George Saunders, “The United States of Huck” The Braindead Megaphone (2007).

“Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority.  The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong.  All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them.  The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others.  His culture is based on ‘I am not too sure’.”  H.L. Mencken

This Land Is A) Your Land, B) My Land, Or C) Our Land? (January 11, 2016)

Posted in Collapse, Community, Courts, Hypocrisy, Judges, Judicial Arrogance, Judiciary, Justice on January 11, 2016 by e-commentary.org

. . .

K          “That land is our land, it is not your land.  Time to vacate.”

J          “Agree.  This land is not your land; this land is not my land; this land is our land.  Period.  Time to indict.”

K          “Or is it the Paiute people’s land?”

. . .

J          “Seems that Ammon Bundy is a valet fleet manager from Phoenix, Arizona who condemns the federal government and yet received a $530,000 loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration for his business.”

K          “Entitlement is the American way.  His dad Cliven Bundy refused to pay the federal government for years for under-market grazing fees on public land.”

J          “They say that the nut does not fall far from the sagebrush.”

. . .

J          “My take is that they have not taken any hostages and are secluded from the public.  Even if they were Black or Muslim, the authorities likely would wait them out.  Bad things happen when decisions are made hastily.”

. . .

K          “Look at the sentences handed out to Dwight and Steven Hammond.  I do not trust the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  On any given day, the Ninth Circuit can – and does – do anything it wants to do.  The Ninth Circuit will uphold the will of Congress; the Ninth Circuit will down vote the will of Congress.  The Ninth Circuit could have held that the Sentencing Guidelines do not apply under the circumstances under the Constitution.  The Ninth Circuit wanted to put the Hammonds in jail.”

J          “There is no law.  However, the Hammonds poached animals on public land and then burned the evidence.  That is a violation of law that should occasion a reasonable sentence if we could transfer the matter to a country and a court system that respects the rule of law.” 

. . .

[See the article by Russ Choma titled “How the Leader of the Oregon Armed Protest Benefitted From a Federal Loan Program” in “Mother Jones” magazine.]

[See the e-commentary at “Pay Your Bills, Bundy! (April 28, 2014)” and “Do Your Job Or Quit Your Job (September 14, 2015)”.] 

Bumper stickers of the week:

The Calculus of Community:  “Our” land =/= “Your” land.

Namaste y’all

Lights Out: Renegade Nuclear Plants (September 21, 2015)

Posted in Collapse, Community, Energy, Internet, Nuclear Power, Society on September 21, 2015 by e-commentary.org

. . .

1          “A friend wrote ‘electricity’ on the board and then wrote an equal sign (=) and then wrote ‘civilization.’  After discussing the precariousness of the electric grid, she drew a slash through ‘electricity’ and then described the consequences of life without electricity.  And then she punctuated the presentation by drawing a slash through ‘civilization.’  The most existential threat is not a loss of the ability to play video games or chill beer, it is all the nuclear power plants that will not be cooled in a systemic power failure resulting in nuclear winter.  Lights out.”

2          “And radiation favors and savors aviation.”

. . .

1          “My hypothesis is that some consequences are so certain and so grave that we cannot even think about them let alone talk about them.”

2          “Everyone is struggling just to get through the day.  Putting an existential catastrophe on one’s psychological plate is too overwhelming and thus not done.”

1          “Anther hypothesis I entertain is that dark video screens and tepid beer lead to misbehavior.”

. . .

[See the e-commentary at Girding For The Going Grid (October 11, 2010).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Electricity = Civilization; No Electricity = No Civilization

Is the grid going or is the grid going?

National Preparedness Month Weekly Themes:
• Week 1: September 1-5 Flood
• Week 2: September 6-12 Wildfire
• Week 3: September 13-19 Hurricane
• Week 4: September 20-26 Power Outage
• Week 5: September 27-30 Lead up to National PrepareAthon! Day (September 30th )

“In my view, nuclear power represents an unjustified faith in the power of human societies to control extremely complex technologies over the very long term.  Any activity requiring a great deal of complex and cooperative control will do badly in difficult economic times.”  Stoneleigh / Nichole Foss

The “Free Rider” Challenge (July 14, 2014)

Posted in Community, Pogo Plight on July 14, 2014 by e-commentary.org

. . .

C1          “Sounds like an endurance bicycle race or some such sporting event.”

C2          “Does it cost to play?”

. . .

C1          “Before this year, they did not list the names of all the unsuccessful applicants publicly in addition to the names of those who were drawn for the group permits.  Revealing.”

C2          “They rarely draw from those who don’t apply.”

. . .

C1          “Fables guide many of life’s choices.  When I first heard the story of ‘The Ant and the Grasshopper,’ I was certain that we would be told that the diligent ants invited the profligate grasshopper inside for a cold beer and a warm meal.  And then she announced that . . . the ants booted the grasshopper off the island if you will.”

C2          “Sort of an O. Henry twist for a young impressionable mind.  We were inculcated with the tale told to folks about ‘The Little Red Hen’ who sought without success to enlist others to assist her sow the field and then declined their entreaties to join in her bounty.”

C1          “At this time, we are all fat, not too smart and somewhat blissfully clueless.  And we are so profoundly unprepared.  Before things get even more squirrely, we need to get in touch with our inner ant.”

. . .

[Bastille Day]

[See the e-commentary titled On Community (June 3, 2013).]

Bumper stickers of the week:

Be prepared.

Look out for bicycles.