nibbling around the edges

We live in a time of great happenings.  War, revolution, climate change, food insecurity, space flights, modern medicine, and the internet.  Events are pulling communities in a multitude of directions simultaneously.  In a billion small ways the people of the Earth are rising to the challenges of our times, but our large institutions, the places where power accumulates, have done almost nothing of value for many years.  The large institutions, the domains of the rich and powerful, have regularly made crisies worse and contributed very little towards solutions.  The systems in which the few govern the many are failing.  Our communities demand more action than just the nibbling around the edges that our powerful institiuons will do as a way to pretend they care.  Nibbling around the edges is an excuse for not doing anything useful and an effort to pull wool over our eyes.  Nibbling around the edges will not solve the climate crisis.

 

it is time to root out corporatism, racism, and the fossil fuel and war industries from our communities.     Praise to the activists in New York who just threw a big monkey wrench into the fracking machine.  It is when we actually practice democracy that we shall rise to the great challenges of our time.

The US as a rogue nation

It seems like everyone on the planet is sick of the stupid games that the American Government plays.  A nation steeped in genocide and slavery and the violence necessary to keep such a stupid game going has created a domestic politics that makes useful engagement with everyone else on the planet nearly impossible.

Torture and climate change probably lead the list of American missteps, but policies around nuclear weapons, healthcare, privacy, destroying villages in order to save them, racism, trade and aid policies that are welfare for wealthy American lobbyists/campaign contributors, the world’s largest arms industry, spying on everyone, killing for oil, propping up dictators, arming Israel, and helping US banks and the financial industry loot the world also rank pretty high on the list of stupid things done by the American government, that currently leave Washington DC heads spinning as the US faces the global resistance to American madness.

Killing for peace is not working. The empire is bankrupting us and has not made us any safer.  Unfortunately in the US the domestic politics of failure in military adventurism results in ever greater violence and lunacy on the part of the rich and religious fundamentalists, further feeding the rolling disaster.  The militarization of American police forces, matching the violence blasted from American weapons around the world can not bring us to healthy communities.

Unfortunately for the American ruling class and fundamentalists just as drone warfare is getting us nowhere in Asia,  police violence backfiring here as well.  And on that hopeful note I bid you good day.

 

Speaker Mattiello is wrong again

To the Editor,

I have followed the RhodeMap RI process pretty carefully, including going to many hearings and submitting extensive written comments. I do not think the plan adequately addresses economic inequality, food security or climate change, but it is by far better than most RI state planning documents.

When RI House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello voiced his opposition to the plan, joining with the Tea Party, the Koch brother funded American Legislative Exchange Council, and their puppet, the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity, Speaker Mattiello demonstrated a complete lack of understanding of how racism, economic inequality, and climate change are harming Rhode Island, and specifically harming our economy.

As long as the Democrats on Smith Hill continue to support Representative Mattiello as speaker Rhode Island is going to be in for some very hard times.

Greg Gerritt

 

Analyzing the headlines on December 2 2014

This morning’s headlines in the Providence Journal were so inspirational.  Here is my reaction to a few.  greg

“I-195 deal hinges on tax breaks”

How these developers can honestly call themselves capitalists is beyond me.  How dare the rich ask for tax breaks.  Hypocrites.  But even more it is an indictment of the system.  That land can not be redeveloped without assistance calls into question the whole system.  it calls into question the need for ever higher real estate values to fuel the economy, and makes very clear that higher real estate values are a big problem for our communities not the solution.  We need to use that land for food production and understand that demanding ever higher prices each time land turns over is crazy.

 

“Passenger traffic on descent at Green”

This has been going on for 8 years or so, and will continue.  What makes it so interesting is that while traffic at Green goes down (maybe because I have given up flying?) the state keeps spending more money there. Ridership on RIPTA is continuing to soar. We did a bit last year finally, but getting money for public transit is very tough.  I guess poor folks do not count.  The rich ride airplanes, so Green gets money, while the folks ride buses so we can under invest there.

“Obama wants cameras on 50000 police”

It is the violence by the government, at all levels of government in the United States, that drives the violence in our communities.  We are a nation founded on genocide and slavery.  Killing the poor and people who are others has always been the way of the rich and the white.  If we want to stop violence in  the streets, cameras on cops is not enough.  You might have to disarm them and send them home.

“Seeking housing not shelters”

We have known for years that housing helps people deal with all their other stuff, and saves us a ton of money in other services, but we continue to underfund housing, which helped the banks pull off the bubble we bailed them out on as well as increasing individual crises.  The rent is too damn high for the wages paid in america.  For 200 years the US government helped the poor create housing or provided some.  The rich decided they could steal better if the government stopped competing with them or helping the poor, so they ran a 50 years campaign against funding for housing.    it worked, homelessness is out of control and the banks are still abusing us.

 

“Limited pool of contenders”

They are having a hard time finding a new Secretary of Defense.  The fact that we have lost every war we have fought with the exception of Grenada in the last 50 years means that anyone with a brain would not want the job since we seem to have a Washington elite that can not keep sticking its foot in  it.    As noted above, cameras on cops is not enough.  This country needs to close the Pentagon and spend most of that money doing things like building housing and transforming our energy,transportation, and food systems. I guarantee our streets would get calmer. We could also stop killing for oil which might help with the next item.

“New limits heat up UN talks in Lima”

it is so ridiculous that the people of the planet have been prevented from stopping climate change by the criminals who run fossil fuel businesses, pay off politicians, and use the US government to protect their pipelines.   Citizens United is a near death sentence for democracy and the money interests are looking for the short term reward figuring the rest of us will pay the piper with our treasures and our lives.  We need to stop burning fossil fuels, go totally green, and shrink the economy to a size that fits on the planet better.  If we practice equality, and disarm the rich so they do not steal again, there is enough for all the people  and the wild things.  We are losing the wild things, 50% since 1970, and losing our ability to live on the planet.  Lima is a place to stop the madness, though I have my doubts that that is even on the agenda.