For a few years now I’ve suggested changing track when it comes to the hydrocarbon debates. It’s not that I’ve changed my mind about Global Warming. Global Warming is very much a reality and may be happening even faster than experts have predicted. When it comes to the discourse, however, the lines are pretty well drawn. Those who do not accept the validity of Global Warming, for whatever reason, are unlikely to change their minds. That does not mean that such people cannot be brought into the movement for change that can perpetuate global warming policy.
The fact is that the same chemicals contributing to global warming are also contributing to other negative consequences for our society. Such consequences include the destruction of our future, not through cataclysmic climate change, but equally cataclysmic destruction of the intellectual capacity of our future.
According to research done by the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, pre-natal exposure to high concentrations of air polution can result in a five point IQ deficit. Now, I’m not sure of the predictive value of a five point IQ deficit, but the fact that air pollution can have such effects bares consideration.
Controlling carbon emissions is not just about keeping the earth from heating up, but also about keeping the brains of our children from cooling down.
Really, I can’t. It does not come as a surprise to me that vast resources were put into play to maintain the integrity of the economic elite by the power elite. In less than a year, those who actually created the economic crisis appear to be back on their feet. According to Nobel Laureate, Paul Krugman (one of the few economists I’ve read who has made accurate predictions about the crisis and what it would take to resolve it), it is business as usual for these banks. In essence, they create money in dubious and ridiculously unstable ways, steering their investors into lucrative, short term profits with the a renewed certainty that their largess will be covered by the us, the American taxpayer.
In essence, we the people are the financial insurance for firms like Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Morgan Stanley et al. Why shouldn’t these companies accrue huge, short term profits when their long term losses are covered by Taxpayer Financial Insurance. I have an idea. Why can’t we, the taxpayers charge the financial institutions for the insurance that we provide? Every other insurer is paid for the risks of providing the insurance, but the American taxpayer gets nothing but grief from this arrangement.
In the meantime, what is going on with the American taxpayer, on whose shoulders the profits of America’s largest banks rest. Why, we’re still struggling to make ends meet, keep our homes, find jobs and keep ourselves above water. There is no working class or middle class bailout as such. For working Americans, the recession is very real and very current.
It’s a shame that we are still tied to the invalid theory that wealth will ultimately trickle down from the top tier of society to the workers. We were told this during the twenties, only to have the country nearly destroyed by the Great Depression. We were then sold this rancid fruit by the infamous Reagan Revolution and his descendants (which apparently includes President Obama), which includes Republicans and Democrats. In that time the American worker experienced nothing but sagging wages, loss of benefits, decreased job security and one recession after another. This was bolstered by a self destructive reliance on credit to create an illusion that our economic conditions were improving.
As always, working Americans must wait for the scraps to fall from the tables of the rich for our sustenance!
Have you ever been a part of a group in which secrets were being shared? Where were you in relation to those secrets? Were you the person sharing the secrets? The person learning the secrets? Or were you out of the secrets loop? Perhaps you were the subject of the secrets. Regardless, where you are in relation to the secrets being shared is a definitive characteristic of one’s status within a group or sub-group because secrets are a mechanism of power.
The same is true at the national or societal level, though admittedly the dynamics become much more complex. In any given society there are those who learn and share information, those who receive the information, those who are the subjects of that information and those who are not. What’s more, this flow of information is typically directed upward along the social hierarchy, with those at the top, whom we can call the power elite receiving the most information and those at the bottom receiving the least.
Those at the top of the ladder have access to the most sophisticated technologies and infrastructure for gathering, disseminating and analyzing information while those at the bottom are mostly dependent upon the elite to share their information. And this is where secrecy comes in. The more the power elite can control the dissemination of information to the lower tiers of the society, the more power they can incorporate into their social groups. Indeed, one measure of power may very well be one’s ability to control the flow of information. Power may very well be defined as the product between how much information one can glean from other groups and how much information can be kept secure from the knowledge of other groups.
The Bush Administration knew this very well. They ran a tight ship of secrecy, making sure that very little leaked from the inner sanctums of their power groups. Everything was subject to strict control, to the point where Vice President Cheney actually invented his own Top Secret categorization. To avoid sharing information the Bush team claimed executive privilege. When that didn’t work, Cheney actually defined himself as part of the legislature, not the executive, therefore not subject to judicial demands for executive information while at the same time claiming executive privilege. The Bush Tango around releasing information was almost a thing of beauty.
At the same time, no other administration placed so much emphasis on gathering information on as may people as is humanly possible while excluding as many from the flow of information as could happen. It was under the Bush Administration that Total Information Awareness was developed, shot down by Congress, then forgotten, then renamed and passed on to the NSA. Those laws designed to protect the privacy of American citizens. No problem. Ignore them, undermine them, undercut them and make sure no one knows what we are doing. Those who do know, such as the gang of eight legislators in the House and Senate intel. committees, impose the strictest secrecy enforced by law, or political maneuvering to guarantee that no one knows the extent of the information being gathered. Otherwise, order the CIA to conduct program without even telling Congress. If Congress asks questions lie.
Now we have a new administration inheriting the power infrastructure from what may, by the algorithm defined above, be defined as the most powerful in the history of this country. Will Obama take a step back and scale down these huge discrepancies of power. He has promised that his would be a transparent administration. In some ways maybe it is. On the other hand, the infrastructure, the rationalization, the experts are all there for his use, and Obama does not seem interested in dismantling such a colossal power structure. If Lord Acton was correct about the corrupting effects of power, then we must admit that Obama has inherited the most corrupting infrastructure in history. Power institutions do not have a history of disempowering themselves.
This is a very important and divisive issue. It is crucial that we hear stories of all involved. Unfortunately it seems that those who have abortions remain silent about their experiences and motivations. This is a very deliberate process of stigmatizing and shaming women into not sharing their experiences and thereby limiting the discourse.
Read the article below by Cecilly Kellog, a very brave woman for challenging the prevailing stigmas. The comments are also interesting.