Friday, October 30, 2009


This statement was made before a Georgia legislative committee considering granting Georgia Power the funding IN ADVANCE! to pay for a new nuclear reactor (unneeded, expensive, dangerous, too long a lead time to be relevant to climate change, a pre-positioned nuclear device to a terrorist - etc;) The legislature, in its great wisdom, passed the measure.

The apparently irresistible lobbying and campaign contributions that seduced national legislators into signing onto privatization and deregulation schemes over the past decades brought us to the economic melt-down we are now just beginning to enjoy.

The push for SB31 is more of the same. I hope you’ll consider that history and two other things in your deliberations:

Nuclear power is the wrong horse;

This bill is an industry fantasy and a consumer rip-off.

The drawing depicts how the pro-nukers carefully consider all the facts before setting policy. The Paley Commission, in the 50s, made the recommendations listed after doing a study on future U.S. energy needs and policy makers promptly reversed them.The motivation then seemed to be to mask nuclear weapons development behind a facade of "peaceful nuclear energy too cheap to meter." - not the first, nor sadly the last, manipulative promise to be made by gummint & nukers - boys and their toys.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

taxpayers at work

The media highlight easy targets like street crime... keeps us all frightened, hunkered down in our homes and cars. Can't get organized there... can't do street demos from the bunker. The storm trooper Right and many advertisers will get on their case if media strays beyond the permitted parameters and individual journalists labor under the threat of termination for "over-inquisitive" reporting. Health care for all is WAY too expensive but aircraft carriers? oh we gots to have'em... our very survival is at stake.

Military spending, from the point of view of the rulers, has three advantages: it's not obvious how much an aircraft carrier should cost so profits can be exquisite; military spending empowers mostly our favorite class (whereas spending on education creates more jobs and empowers those who might eventually question class privilege); then of course the military, like the police locally, can intimidate other nations and/or subdue them when the local dictator fails to do their job - all to keep/make an advantageous situation for international corporations, esp. U.S.-based (access to resources and cheap labor on terms that profit same along with local cooperative elites), and to squelch any stirrings of profit-threatening real democracy.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Opening Salvo

There are two dimensions that interest me: one is power relationships, clarity about which I have found in the writings of Noam Chomsky and Michael Parenti, among others. Chomsky's book Hegemony or Survival details our stark choices in his title. Basically the wealthy corporate class rules via its ownership of the media, disproportionate influence on congress (can you say campaign contribution?) and the other branches of U.S. government, the Executive and Judicial. They also populate the boards of universities and other institutions. Their influence is way out of proportion to their numbers, necessary in their view to continue their primary occupation, to maintain and expand their Power, Profits and Privilege.

The other dimension, being, is expressed most clearly to me in the teachings of Eckhart Tolle - A New Earth and The Power of Now. His analysis reveals the dysfunction that creates the scenario sketched above. The basic assumption/belief that we are separate, vulnerable entities leads us to seek the safety of power, of money and of thoughts that leave us feeling superior to others, actions that allow us to dominate others and fantasies that block us, first of all from the vulnerable feelings generated by our belief, and second from the felt fact that we are interconnected. The simplicity of Tolle's definition entails all the wisdom we need: "To feel, and thus to know, that you are,... and to abide in that deeply rooted state is enlightenment."