A moral imperative

Jonathan Foley is the executive director of the California Academy of Sciences in SF. He’s a pretty amazing guy. Scientist, eco-activist, public evangelist, nature photographer and blogger at The Macrosope. This world could use a hundred or so people just like him. In a recent post on his blog, this paragraph jumped out at me:

Future generations will ultimately judge us, knowing that we consciously left them a degraded world. And we will have to live with that, knowing we are the first generation in history to deliberately leave our descendants a poorer world than we inherited.

This is what burns me up about conservative politicians and the way they moralize about the bleeding heart liberals. They judge people based on a perception of being “takers” instead of “makers” because of their religion of self-sufficiency above all else – really just a cover for fighting the attempts of society to put reasonable limits on their greed – but they are perfectly willing to ignore the effects of their business-first policies on future generations.

Where are their “family values” when we are talking about the lives of our children and those that follow them? This seems to be what Foley is pointing to. The biggest problem with our capitalist economy is the lack of foresight beyond the next few quarters. People are very good at rationalizing away what they would rather not think about. One good way of doing that is to prioritize short-term financial results and ignore the very real world consequences – and enormous costs – awaiting their descendants. We need to keep pointing this out and redefining what morality consists of. Thinking beyond ourselves and our time in this world. Imagining the pain and hardship that awaits our children and fighting to lessen it by making hard choices in the present.

Here’s another really good Foley essay: So, What Can I Do?

I gave this guy some money

This guy Scott Santens has quite a racket going, and he bilked me out of $25 the other day along with lots of other people so he can essentially be assured a monthly income to do exactly what he wants to do. I couldn’t be more happy about it.

What if you got $1,000 a month, just for being alive? I decided to find out.

Scott essentially takes his $1000/mo he’s raked in to evangelize for Universal Basic Income, an idea whose time has come. A new economic paradigm is rapidly approaching in which, due to AI taking over for most human drudgery, it will be impossible and unnecessary for most adults to have a full time job. Most people are convinced that this is a catastrophe, and believe it will become an enormous problem for our society in years to come. Scott sees this as an opportunity for utopia, and I have to say I agree with him. This is one of the best distillations of his case I’ve read so far. I hope he succeeds in spreading this message far and wide and that it really catches fire. If so, I will have gotten more than my $25 worth out of the deal, and the world will be better for it.

Speaks for many

Garrison Keilor

“He will never be my president because he doesn’t read books, can’t write more than a sentence or two at a time, has no strong loyalties beyond himself, is more insular than any New Yorker I ever knew, and because I don’t see anything admirable or honorable about him. This sets him apart from other politicians. The disaffected white blue-collar workers elected a Fifth Avenue tycoon to rescue them from the elitists — fine, I get that — but they could’ve chosen a better tycoon. One who served in the military or attends church or reads history, loves opera, sails a boat — something — anything — raises llamas, plays the oboe, runs a 5K race now and then, has close friends from childhood. I look at him and there’s nothing there.”

Then there’s this:

Somebody not right in the head you know?

Morby

Wonderful little story from How We Die by Sherwin Nuland.  A mother of three was at some sort of public market, and was busy buying something for one of the daughters when another one screamed.  The girl screamed because a man had grabbed her sister, thrown her to the concrete, and was busy stabbing her repeatedly.

Two men tried to stop him; they couldn’t.  The stabber simply shrugged them off.  One of the men repeatedly kicked the assailant in the head; he didn’t notice, he just kept stabbing the girl over and over in the head, neck, and chest.

A larger group of men finally got the man off the girl.  He had been serving time for a similar crime, but was released to a halfway house where some measure of autonomy was granted.  At the first opportunity, he signed himself out, bought a seven inch hunting knife, and attacked the ten year old girl.

Once the mother could reach her child, she could do nothing but watch her daughter die.  The little girl’s face demonstrated no fear or pain; endorphins were rushing through her system, an evolutionary tactic designed to release humans from the grip of fear and panic and allow them to move when threatened with a predator.  Within a minute the girl’s eyes glazed over, and a few minutes later she died of blood loss.

The point that struck me — when Max is finally caught by that lion, it’s not going to hurt, unless he survives.

Thanks, evolution.

All Right, Let’s Just Do This Thing.

Fuck.  This.  Shit.

DemocraticUnderground

We are joined by long-time election fraud investigator and author Richard Hayes Phillips, to discuss all of that and his detailed report about the unusually large apparent voter turnout numbers in many rural WI municipalities and the difficulty citizens have in verifying and overseeing those numbers. As Phillips explains, there are horrible public reporting requirements for both results and for same-day voter registration provisions in the state.

“At a minimum, the problem is a lack of transparency,” Phillips tells me today. “We have no way of knowing how many registered voters there are . If you don’t know how many registered voters there are, you don’t know if too many ballots were cast.” His report finds that, based on the latest state-reported voter registration numbers, there were “193 towns with turnout of 90% or better, 25 towns with turnout of 95% or better, and 7 towns with turnout of 100% or better.” Those exceedingly high turnout numbers are likely lower in reality, due to same-day registration in WI, but the lack of reporting requirements for those numbers is “unacceptable”. – Brad Blog 11/28/16

Moron-in-Chief

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.

On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.

I have a feeling they tried really hard to make him sound intelligent.