Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Neoliberalism Has Ruled For Decades - Is That Nightmare Over?

Preface
Below is an email I sent family and friends yesterday, explaining why this is my last essay on this blog.  Individual Sovereignty started a bit over thirteen years ago.  It's time to change horses... but first---
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Introduction
Only a bit over six minutes in length (too brief to be a complete explanation), this clip to some degree explains the neoliberal coup.  Pay particular attention to Jimmy Carter's short statement.  Carter was elected President largely because of the efforts of David Rockefeller and Z. Brzezinski (author of The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives).
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The Email (Title:  Maybe, Maybe Not), edited
The end of neoliberalism?---
 We can always hope.  It should have collapsed after Pinochet in Chile, or at least after the Crash in 2008.  Corporatists, politicians, economists of a certain flavor, the Corporate Media, and others keep it hanging on... without naming it.

Neoliberalism has brought us lost jobs & manufacturing, income inequality, austerity, increased susceptibility to disease, environmental destruction, increased military interventionism, privatization, Neofeudalism, and a weaker, less resilient economy... among many other ills.  

Prominent Neoliberals include/included:  Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Walter Lippmann, Kissinger, Carter, Brzezinski, David Rockefeller, Milton Friedman, Reagan, Thatcher, H.W. Bush, both Clintons, Gore, M. Albright, Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, Obama, Biden, Larry Summers, T. Geithner, Pelosi, McConnell, most all Mega Bank CEOs, etc.  The Cheney-Bush-Wolfowitz cabal was NeoCon, and the difference between that & NeoLib is almost nil.  Trump isn't a NeoCon or a NeoLib.  He has no ideology at all.  The closest one would be straight-up Fascism.

As you can see, the term "neoliberal" transcends the old labels of Repub, Dem, Conservative, Libertarian, & Liberal.  That's not only my opinion.  Many articles have been written on the subject in numerous, prestigious publications... The New Yorker, The Atlantic (founded as The Atlantic Monthly), NYT, The New Republic, The Guardian, etc.  Here are a few of those pieces---
https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism  (neoliberalism on both the Right & the Left)

Neoliberals are all across the political spectrum, and have been for decades.  I believe anyone not fully aware of the details in all the above is behind on the learning curve in politics.  So, after posting this--- maybe in the next few days--- on Individual Sovereignty, I'm going to leave that blog and start a new one.  [The theme of it will be something along the lines of "Ecology and World Survival".]  I've concluded that neither the Right or the Left (on Main Street) truly understands the unquestionably dominant economic and political philosophy/ideology in the world (including the USA) today--- neoliberalism, and the fact that it has displaced all the old labels.  I'm growing weary of trying to explain it.  Time to move on.  ☺
p.s.  Neoliberalism is not "new", and it's not "liberal".
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Not only my opinion.  Stay Well
p.s.  Many thanks to those who have followed this blog for years, and to those who visited however briefly.  Within a month or so, I hope to have the new site up and running.  I'll post a link on this blog when appropriate.  If you have any interest in Human Ecology and Environmental Science, please have a look.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

"Planet of the Humans" - Overwhelmingly Right on the Mark

Preface
This isn't really a Michael Moore film (link below).  He was only an Executive Producer, not the Director or primary Producer.  This is a Jeff Gibbs documentary; he was co-producer of "Fahrenheit 9/11" & "Bowling for Columbine".  He's a long-standing and legitimate environmentalist.  [Side Note:  my own environmentalism started about 1970.]

Because it's critical of primarily mega-sized Green Energy projects, the political Left already is attacking the film.  "Misleading... dangerous... destructive."  More than Mega Green Energy, though, this documentary is disapproving of the developed world's pursuit of seemingly unlimited growth and ever-expanding consumptionThose are Sacred Cows, and almost no one is willing to risk challenging them.  Too bad, because they need to be challenged above all else.  The problem is not only fossil fuels.  Pursuing infinite growth (including infinite population growth) and expanding consumption on finite Earth is dooming us to disaster.

In addition to everyday people, Gibbs interviews authors in this field, academics/scholars in sociology, anthropology, engineering, ecology, et. al., as well as experts in industry, social psychology, the Law, and environmental activism (such as Bill McKibben and RFK, Jr.).  On top of that, he includes relevant News and/or Briefing clips of well-known politicians (Bloomberg, Gore, Obama, and others), plus industry spokesmen.

The only error I've found in the film so far is a brief segment that seems to claim sewage sludge is not "biomass".  It is biomass, Mr. Gibbs.  In my view, that's a minor error.  Overall, this is a "turning-point" film that's right on the mark.  I suspect that John Muir (Conservationist and Founder of the Sierra Club), Bucky Fuller (genius inventor and author of "Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth"), Roger Revelle (pioneering climate scientist who studied global warming as early as 1957), and Barry Commoner (Biologist/Ecologist and author of "The Closing Circle", 1971, in which he said that the U.S. economy needed to be restructured to be in harmony with Nature) all would agree.  I'm guessing the critics of this film know little to nothing about any of those great men.  Point being:  I suggest everyone should ignore the neophyte environmentalists (& others) who are criticizing this crucial film.

A significant portion of the doc legitimately criticizes the burning of whole trees (after they're shredded/ground into chips) in biomass power plants.  Trees are the last thing we want to use for that purpose.  They convert atmospheric CO2 into O2; burning them creates CO2.  Hello.
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Below is an email (slightly edited) I sent to family & a few friends encouraging them to watch this film.  The title of the email is in quotes.
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"Probably the Most Controversial and Important Film You'll See This Decade"---
Shortly after it starts, if you think you know what it will be about... you don't.  Plus, don't miss the postscripts interspersed among the film credits at the end.  Finally, if the orangutan scenario close to the end doesn't get to you, you're not very human... or humane.


A few things this doc illustrated to me (or reminded me of)---

1.  Paul Ehrlich (author of "The Population Bomb", 1968) was correct; it's only his timeline that was a bit off.
2.  The political Left gets propagandized probably just as much as the political Right... & often buy into it.
3.  Industrial-sized Green energy has monumental problems.
4.  The Powers-That-Be (including those on the Left) are tinkering around the edges of humanity's greatest physical/material problem.
5.  Just as important as (or perhaps more important than) our sources of energy are:  our consumption & lifestyle; and our attitude toward life other than humans, as well as toward Nature in general.  This philosophy in the developed world of ever-expanding consumption and infinite economic growth (along with infinite population growth) needs to be discarded.  Even dolts know that Earth is finite, not infinite.
6.  Many things, if not most, are gray rather than black or white.
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Not only my opinion.
Think out-of-the-box.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Despite Ongoing Propaganda, COVID-19 Numbers STILL GOING UP

Preface
Numbers below are as of April 28, 2020 at 6:00 PM, Mountain Time, USA.  Compare them to those of my April 25th Post.
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USA:
Known cases--- 1.03 million
Deaths--- 58,947 (over one quarter of the world's total)

The numbers keep going up.  Nothing has peaked.

WORLD:
Known cases--- 3.08 million
Deaths--- 214,000

The total number of known cases (and deaths) keeps going up.
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A few facts to keep in mind---
1.  Most people who catch it suffer to varying degrees, and recover.
2.  Too many younger & younger folks (and others) are catching it and dying.
3.  COVID-19 is at least 10 times deadlier than the flu.  [So far this flu season in the USA, over 20,000 people have died from that bug.]
4.  Is it now safe to congregate in large groups?  No.  No.  No.
5.  Much more testing is needed in order to get a handle on this whole situation.
6.  Should people still wear masks?  Yes, definitely.
7.  Should all other precautions still be taken?  Yes, no question about it.
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Trump and Crew are wrong on almost everything they say about this new virus.  Don't believe them.  Their pronouncements primarily are nothing but Edward Bernays style propaganda geared toward the next election.

Not only my opinion.  Stay Well
p.s.  For any new readers here, while not a virologist or epidemiologist, I do have an extensive background in Biology and Environmental Science.  Unlike Rush Limbaugh ["It's just a common cold, folks."], I generally know what I'm talking about in those and related fields of knowledge.  😊

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Latest Numbers of USA & World COVID-19 KNOWN Cases, and Deaths

Preface
Numbers below are as of April 25, 2020 at 3:30 AM, Mountain Time, USA
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USA:
Known cases--- 927,000
Deaths--- 52,400 (over one quarter of the world's total)

One to two days ago, known cases were a bit over 800,000; deaths were close to 50,000.  The numbers keep going up.  Nothing has peaked.

WORLD:
Known cases--- 2.79 million
Deaths--- 196,000

The total number of known cases (and deaths) keeps going up.
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Unless someone is talking about a relatively limited geographical area, anyone who claims that covid-19 has "peaked" is wrong.  It certainly isn't true for our entire country.  The numbers keep going up.
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Not only my opinion.  Stay Well

Friday, April 24, 2020

Trump Outdoes His Former Ignorant Statements

As reported on Democracy Now (today)---

"And then I see the disinfectant... knocks it [the virus] out in a minute...is there some way we can do that... by injection... inside [the body]... almost a cleaning."  ~ DJT

The above statement was toward the end of Trump's announcement about new research to be done on covid-19 by Homeland Security.  Perhaps it was more of his gaslighting, meant to confuse people.  Or, perhaps it was simply another measure of his utter ignorance regarding human biology in particular, and Science in general.  In any case, these kinds of outrageous announcements might encourage uneducated people who may be feeling desperate to try it on their own.  Hopefully, that will never happen.

In all my years of following American politics, I've never heard anything more stupid than this bit by DJT.  Absolutely unbelievable.  This is the man who has access to the nuclear war trigger.  Think about that.  Not only that, he's the man who asked, "Why can't we use them [nuclear weapons]?".

Shortly after The Don's imbecilic remark, Lysol issued the following warning:
"...under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion, or any other route)."

Even a four-legged donkey (or a puppet for the Financial Sector) should be able to beat Trump in the next election... that is, if there's any common sense at all left in the American people.

Not only my opinion.  Stay Well

Friday, April 17, 2020

"Now That We Have Passed The Peak In New Cases..." ~ DJT


Our "genius" President apparently has no clue as to how to read data; and, it looks as though his advisors don't either.  Or perhaps they informed him otherwise and, as usual, he's not listening.

Mr. President:  as a country, we aren't even close to the peak in new cases.  Why?  Because we have no idea how many people have been exposed to, and are carriers of, covid-19.  Why?  Because the paltry amount of testing you keep bragging about is nowhere near the amount needed.  We don't have to test every person in our Land, but the less than one percent of the population tested thus far is inadequate for making the statement you made regarding the peak of new cases.  "Peak" means the highest possible number, Mr. Pres.  In case you're ignoring it, the number of cases goes up every single day.  Hello.

On top of that, and again, in case you're ignoring it, the number of deaths in a 24-hour period (not total deaths) went from 2,400--- 100 per hour--- to over 4,500.  Nothing has peaked yet.  It's a fairly safe bet that at least hundreds of thousands of people that we don't know about are infected with this virus.  My best guess:  that number is in the millions.  Very shortly, the total number of known cases in the USA will be over one million.  That number will continue to increase.  We have no natural immunity to this new virus, and so far, no vaccine either.

Just because the increase in cases has become arithmetical (rather than exponential/ geometric) in 2 or 3 cities does not mean that's what will happen countrywide tomorrow, next week, or next month.  Plus, when we consider the gross lack of following precautionary measures (social distancing, masks, disinfection, etc.) that's going on outside those few cities mentioned above, the whole situation gets very bleak.  Before too long, the chance of another exponential surge in new cases is extremely high.  Such a surge will be due primarily to our Leaders' poor response to (and attitude toward) the pandemic.  Too many people (including our "Leaders" in DC) still are taking this whole thing way too lightly.  That pretty much guarantees another exponential increase in both cases and deaths... soon... very soon.  If everyone doesn't start taking this pandemic seriously, that exponential/geometric increase will continue.

Wake up... or, stop lying.

Not only my opinion.  Everyone Be Well