Saturday, May 30, 2015

Syriza and the Commons

In this article Commons Transition wonders if Syriza, in taking on a Commons paradigm, can truly effect the kind of change it proposes. While the State indeed can facilitate the Commons, the latter is truly a movement of the people at community levels. Top-down State initiatives by an elite is counter to the very nature of Commons organization and might be counterproductive?

More on conscious crapitalism

Continuing from this post, Joseph made me aware of this book, The New Profits of Capital. Some excerpts of the article about it Joseph linked.

"During the course of her exploration, the reader discovers that the intentions of those involved in capitalist endeavors for social change are ultimately irrelevant. When all is said and done, it is the pursuit of profit that defines what these endeavors will accomplish. Consequently, if they do not accomplish this ultimate goal, they will not persevere. Either their designers will cease their operations or the marketplace will do it for them. That is the harsh reality of the capitalist system. As history makes plain, attempts to modify this mechanism in a humane direction can only succeed for a limited amount of time. This is true on both the macro and micro scale.

"In a quote that summarizes the nature of the endeavors described in The New Prophets of Capital, Aschoff writes about the Gates Foundation’s work in health care and education: 'instead of alleviating the ills of capitalist markets,' she writes, 'the Gates Foundation’s policies deepen the reach of capitalist markets to provision of basic human needs.' In doing so, these policies and practices also expand and reinforce the growing levels of inequality present in the world. In a similar manner, each of the other examples cited in this text incorporate an element of the movement for social justice into the neoliberal capitalist order. In doing so, they not only limit the possibilities of that movement, but they set it up for the likelihood of creating its opposite, further entrenching the current upward movement of wealth and the subsequent impoverishment of the majority of the world’s population, with all of its consequences."

Friday, May 29, 2015

Laske on dialectic revisited

A blast from the past I was re-reading Mark Forman's interview of Otto Laske. I commented on the interview in this post, copied below.

“You cannot access dialectical thinking if you do not practice it yourself” (38:40).

Prior to that he discussed the 4 phases of such thinking. The first is being able to contextualize a situation structurally. The second is seeing it as a process that includes both presence and absence. The third is seeing the relationships therein, how both identity and difference interplay. The fourth is how the first three lead to transformation.

Forman returns to the question of development as a social theory, noting that there are hundreds of models that report a similar structure to our biological, neurological and psychological makeup. So how then can development just be a social construct? Laske answers that indeed there is a biological basis for formal operating thinking, and that once we as a race attain to it we will of course see such consistent structures. He relates this to the first phase of dialectical thinking. These theories know little of the other phases noted above (44:00).

For all the regressive deficit idiots

What else can I call them, when they obsess on the deficit yet don't accept the facts about the deficit?


Today's Republican Party

Robert Reich frames it best and accurately yet again.


Change the structure, not the content

In this Bryant blog post he notes that genuine transformation requires structural change, not just changing the content within the current structure. In that sense conscious crapitalism is the latter because it still adheres to the capitalist structure of master/servant, leader/follower, boss/laborer, rich/poor and all the other unbalanced, dichotomous, dominator hierarchies inherent to this sort of metaphysics.

Word of the day: Facefuck

Facefuck, first referenced here. A contemporary disease of those who participate in Facebook, while otherwise being firmly ensconced in the emerging wave of Commons and/or Integral values.

More comments to LP

Following up on this post, after LP apologized and tried to explain, I replied:

Citing references and influences in ANY paper is not just an academic exercise. Michael Schwartz noted in another thread that

"Once we move into 'second tier' and 'dialectical' (in the Bhaskarian sense) waves of cognition, but also in being with one another do our projects, as 'totalizing,' present themselves as also open, dynamic, stratified, always already on-the-way, and only activated as such via dialog and in community."

Mark Schmanko also noted in this thread that

"[I]t'd be nice if an explicit gesture of appreciation of some sort were voiced in tandem, mainly because, it's true, in these types of internet spaces we end up drawing from each other's insights a great deal, and much of this is not conscious - I no doubt have learned and refined in so many ways my thinking by virtue of this forum (and to a lesser extent the website)."

Chris Hedges on positive thinking

See this article. A few teaser excerpts:

"The naive belief that history is linear, that moral progress accompanies technical progress, is a form of collective self-delusion. It cripples our capacity for radical action and lulls us into a false sense of security. Those who cling to the myth of human progress, who believe that the world inevitably moves toward a higher material and moral state, are held captive by power. Only those who accept the very real possibility of dystopia, of the rise of a ruthless corporate totalitarianism, buttressed by the most terrifying security and surveillance apparatus in human history, are likely to carry out the self-sacrifice necessary for revolt."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore

Senator Warren inspires us to speak up, to YELL at the top of our lungs, the above sentiment and demand a democracy in the US.

Seattle proves regressives wrong

Again, not at all a hard thing to do. But it's fun to point it out.


If that's democractic socialism

then let's have more of it in the US of A.

Bill Moyers nails it

As he often does.


Regressive Bill to dismantle Dodd-Frank

These scumbags are shameless in their unmitigated support for big banks and hatred for the American people. See Senator Warren on the new Bill to dismantle what little protection Dodd-Frank provides from another financial crises created by the same greedy bastards that brought you the last one.

Layman Pascal mimics Kennilingam

LP posted his 2015 ITC paper here. My initial comment:

Reading the second page of your ITC paper I was insulted that our forum is nothing but "endless repetitions of predictable arguments between 'conventional integral theory' and 'its standard critics.'" And ironically enough, after that straw statement you proceed to re-do a lot of the original material in the forum, albeit in your own style. You've learned that tactic well from Kennilingam. Especially in light of your stated goal of wanting us to work together to create collective impact, which is of course the goal of the forum and one I've long harped upon. Your opening, contrary to your intended goal, throws cold water on it from the outset.


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Solar system vortex

This video depicts that the planets don't just rotate on an axis and around the sun, but the entire solar system is doing so in relation to the galaxy of which it is a part. And so on between galaxies etc.

Senator Sanders' Presidential platform

See this article for the details. A few sample bullet points follow:

The country needs a real jobs program.
Raise the minimum wage and fight for living wages.
Close the pay equity gap for women.
Provide basic government healthcare for all.

Why regressives hate democracy

Thom Hartmann explains in the video below, starting around 4:00. It's basically Calvinism. We can tell those who are blessed by God by their bank account. And those so blessed should be governing our country, since it is God's Will. If you ain't rich it's because you are an evil sinner. Hence oligarchy is God's will and democracy by the unwashed masses is of the Devil.

Robert Reich on reframing

Excellent FB post. Quote:

How choices are presented makes all the difference. The following false choices lead to false conclusions. We need to reframe the public debate around the real choices facing us:

1. “Entitlement” versus “non-entitlement” spending. This false choice makes it seem as if Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries are spoiled children who demand what’s not theirs. It enables opponents to argue “entitlements” should be cut back. In fact, beneficiaries have paid into Social Security and Medicare through their entire working lives, which is why they’re truly entitled to them. A more accurate way of posing the choice: “Promised” versus “unpromised” spending.

The real reason Cheney wanted war in Iraq

It had nothing to do with the lying spin about democracy and nation building. Hell, he doesn't even give a shit about that in the US. There is only one bottom line for this ilk, and this is it.

Post-Hegelian dialectic

See Michael Schwartz's FB post on his upcoming Integral Theory Conference paper. My comment:

I appreciate the comments about Bhaskar's and Laske's “post-Hegelian” dialectic/dialogue being more about P2P work projects. That it's no longer just about one's personal achievement. And that this way of being is marginalized “in the wake of the primacy of 'meta-theorizing' and the like that ends up as a kind of individual expressivism.” I've long made the case that the latter forms of integralizing are really just extensions of formal operations dressed up with the lipstick of postformality, still stuck in the Hegelian version of dialectic.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

End corporate welfare

Robert Reich's ongoing video series continues here with the above theme. Why are we giving handouts to corporations that don't need it, when in so doing we don't have enough money for schools, roads and lower taxes for the rest of us? Especially when only about 12% of government spending goes to welfare for individuals in need, while a much greater percentage goes to the corps who are raking in record profits. Who are the real takers here? And who is government serving?

Robert Reich on the regressives

In this FB post he aptly describes the modern Republican Party. He's right that they are not so much 'right' on a liberal/conservative spectrum. They are regressive.

"What do the multitudinous Republican aspirants for the presidency really stand for? They differ from one another, but only in minor ways. Together they constitute the whacky detritus that has become the modern Republican Party.

"Mix the fears of working class whites whose living standards are falling and whose social status is sliding, with the relentless daily drip poison of Fox News, the radio rants of Rush Limbaugh and his imitators, and the fulminations of religious fanatics, racists, homophobes, xenophobes, and misogynists. Add in an interminable flow of cash from a handful government-hating billionaires, brainless emanations from the institutes they finance, and mindless obedience to them by elected officials who are contemptuous both of scientific truth and of the public good. And you have the modern Republican Party.

Non-teleological economy

Continuing from this post, the last paragraph in that post reminds me of this post from an IPS thread:

The concluding chapter of PE beginning at 235 is perhaps the most significant, as it deals with applying the earlier chapters to capitalism. The way out of it “is not to hypothesize an outside ideal or truth…but rather to engage with the wealth of possibilities….for a novel economy to arise” (238).  He starts by describing capitalism as a restricted economy with ideological components that excludes poverty and the poor for it to be coherent. If one is poor it’s their own fault and not that of the system because it is based on a utilitarian (egoic) rationality that gives precedence to the individual. This utilitarianism applies the excess in its system to individual consumption instead of communal festivals and carnivals as in previous economic systems (241-2). This “led to a desacralization of life” that no longer recognized the qualitative nature of relationships but rather just the quantitative, hence the world became “flat” and narcissistic (243-4).

Quadnunc

Word of the day is quidnunc: \KWID-nuhngk\
noun
1. a person who is eager to know the latest news and gossip; a gossip or busybody.
In integral circles this is known as a quadnunc.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Regressive rationalization


Beyond capitalism and socialism

See this article about an alternative approach from the Capital Institute. Some teaser excerpts:

"The Capital Institute report, titled Regenerative Capitalism, emphasizes that the world economic system is closely related to, and dependent upon, the environment. [...]What is needed now [...] is a new systems-based mindset built around the idea of a regenerative economy, 'which recognizes that the proper functioning of complex wholes, like an economy, cannot be understood without the ongoing, dynamic relationships among parts that give rise to greater wholes.' In practice, this might lead to close analysis of supply chains, investigations of the effects of water use, circular economy initiatives, community economic development work or a host of other sustainability efforts."

I love science


Knots: for an interactivist ontology

Levi Bryant's talk for UmeĆ„ universitet on Wednesday the 27th.

Zen for Millenials

Too true.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Antitrust has been neutered

See Robert Reich's article dated today. There was a time when if you engaged in unfair competition you were criminally punished. No longer. He starts with the recent admission by several big banks to criminal wrongdoing in manipulating currency markets with a mere financial slap on the wrist. But then he details many more instances of how big money virtually gets away with monopolies, with little to no enforcement by antitrust laws. He details how drug companies, cable companies, health insurance companies get away with it because they pay Congress to rig the rules in their favor.

Corporations are people that don't go to jail

Nor do the people that hide behind them. They admit to criminal activity and yet no one goes to jail.


TPP will cut Medicare

See this story for the details. The Administration said no US laws will be changed or overridden due to the TPP. This story says it's a baldfaced lie, given that there will be cuts in Medicare to pay for assistance to workers that lose their jobs due to the TPP. First off, this admits that US workers will lose their jobs due to the trade deal, when the Administration told another lie that there would be no such job losses. And it's laudable that we should assist those that lose jobs, but why must it be paid out of Medicare? Certainly the enormous profits the wealthiest will obtain from the deal can be taxed a few pennies to pay for this?

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Next System Project

National launch webinar.

We need a new economic system

From this article by Gar Alperovitz. Actual democracy, imagine that. That this sort of thing only gets press in Aljazeera says a lot about our media outlets.

"Long-term structural shifts in the political economy have rendered the program of regulation and reform more or less inoperative. [...] Any real change will require not just regulatory redistribution, but a fundamental shift in the dynamics of wealth accumulation. [...] If we want an economy that delivers democratic rather than plutocratic outcomes — we need to democratize the economy."

Apophlegm

Word of the day is apothegm: noun, 1. a short, pithy, instructive saying; a terse remark or aphorism. To be distinguished with apophlegm, which is something that used to be an apothegm but got stale with overuse, hardened into dogma and just obstructs breathing new life. E.g., transcend and include, everyone is partially right (but I am more right), integral _______ (fill in the blank), meta________ (fill in the blank), post-post _______ (fill in the blank), etc.

Julianne & Derek

At the finale of DWTS.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The power of the other 1%

See Ralph Nader's article. It only takes 1% of the population getting active to effect change. And it only requires a modest amount of time and money. Of course, to what they devote their energies must be supported by a majority of the public, like higher minimum wages, marriage equality, etc. We've seen time and again these issues getting enacted when they have those 1%ers fighting for them, giving them voice and public attention. Like Senators Sanders and Warren. That's exactly why they can win. Nader details how such firebrands have inspired popular movements that have indeed become law, like women's suffrage, unions, financial regulation, product and occupational safety, environmental regulation. 

Senator Sanders calls out banksters

When a group of CEOs wrote a letter to the Wall Street Journal to cut Medicare, Medicaid, and  social security, Sanders replied with how these scumbags steal enormous amounts of money by paying regressive legislators to give them tax breaks and bailouts. Such stolen lucre dwarfs what is paid for social programs. Sanders names names and provides details.

How ALEC corrupts legislation

See this news expose of how ALEC works in Georgia, akin to how they work everywhere. Democracy? Not.

Senator Warren on fast track

Here's the good Senator presenting on the notion of allowing a 60-day transparency period before any trade deal is allow fast track.

Regressive blocks TPP transparancy

See this story. Senator Warren proposed that trade deals be made public for 60 days before getting fast track authority. Regressive Senator Hatch blocked it, saying "those who oppose TPA and trade agreements outright will likely continue to use the supposed lack of transparency as an excuse to oppose the bill." Supposed lack of transparency? Really. Just deny the facts yet again? That is their method of operation, after all.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Reinvent education

Here's the latest Robert Reich video on implementing progressive policy. The bullet points:

1. Stop endless testing.
2. Limit class sizes
3. Increase funding and services.
4. Technical training.
5. Make higher education free.
6. Increase teacher pay.

Senate moves forward on TPP fast track

See this story. Several Democrats turned coat and voted with Republicans to let fast track move forward to a vote next week. The following are the traitorous Dems who you should primary if they're in your State.

Michael Bennet of Colorado, Maria Cantwell of Washington, Thomas R. Carper of Delaware, Chris Coons of Delaware, Dianne Feinstein of California, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Patty Murray of Washington, Bill Nelson of Florida, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Mark Warner of Virginia and Ron Wyden of Oregon.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rumer & Val

Winners of DWTS. This is what tango is supposed to look like.

Big banks pleady guilty to criminal charges

And pay fines equivalent to a slap on the wrist with a wet noodle. See Reich's FB blog post today. Yes these criminals will never see the inside of a jail cell while some kid selling a small amount of weed will. Go figure.

The regressive agenda

This graphic pretty much sums it up.


US police killings

See this wiki. US police killed more people in the first week of 2015 than UK police have killed in the past ten years. What does that tell us?

Ralph Nader on Senator Sanders

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

What a TPP cleared advisor says

Michael Wessel is a 'cleared advisor' on TPP and here are some excerpts of this article here. See it for many more details.

"I’ve actually read the TPP text provided to the government’s own advisors, and I’ve given the president an earful about how this trade deal will damage this nation. But I can’t share my criticisms with you. I can tell you that Elizabeth Warren is right about her criticism of the trade deal. We should be very concerned about what's hidden in this trade deal—and particularly how the Obama administration is keeping information secret even from those of us who are supposed to provide advice."

Ain't it the truth


Why regressives cut infrastructure spending

See this article for the details. The bullet points follow.

1. The regressives refuse to spend money on States that don't vote Republican.
2. Drown government in a bathtub.
3. Privatize the infrastructure.
4. Private activity bonds.
5. Repeal labor and environmental laws.

Cliteracy

Which I'd thought of that neologism. Very important work at this link.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Bust up the big banks

Reich does it again.

Senator Warren v. President Obama on the TPP

Senator Warren's office put our this report called Broken Promises. It highlights decades of failure to enforce labor standards in free trade agreements, including the Obama Administration. It notes how the President's rhetoric is strikingly similar to previous Presidents on what such agreements would accomplish, and all of them have failed to live up to the rhetoric. The report documents several details on how this is so, so please read it. These trade deals are a huge giveaway to multinational corporations and not much else, despite the lying spin.

The politics of love and justice summit

Integrating spirituality & activism to build a sustainable, caring world. See this website. The blurb:

A FREE ONLINE GLOBAL SUMMIT, May 19-21, 2015

Join an emerging movement of “spiritual progressives” who are committed to bridging divides and infusing more Spirit into social change – and help co-create new global standards based on loving kindness, ethical behavior and reverence for all.

Are you frustrated by “politics as usual” and looking for an alternative that is based on oneness, respect for life and lasting care for our planet? If so, you’re not alone! The world of politics too often seems separate from matters of heart and soul. We suffer dearly for this with polarized brawls, soundbite posturing and a reluctance to find the shared common ground that unites us all. And when this happens, it’s easy to feel powerless to create the kind of shifts that are so desperately needed in our world today.

What's important?

For those of you who are tired of my political ravings.


Sanders' petition to break up the big banks

See this website to sign. The blurb:

Sign on as a Citizen Co-Sponsor to Bernie's Bill to Break Up the Banks

If it's too big to fail, it's too big to exist. That's the bottom line. The greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street drove this country into the worst recession since the Great Depression. In the midst of all of this grotesque inequality sits a handful of financial institutions that are still so large, the failure of any one would cause catastrophic risk to millions of Americans and send the world economy into crisis. I introduced legislation in Congress that would break up too big to fail banks. Can you sign on as a citizen co-sponsor of my bill to show your support?

- Senator Bernie Sanders

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Louis C.K. on mild racism

I remember those times.

Stein on education

Here are a few excerpts of this Zak Stein blog on education. Kennilingus might consider this being infected with the mean green meme anti-capitalist conspiracy theory. For the rest of us not so ideologically blind it is of paramount importance.

"Elsewhere I have discussed the dominance of reductive human capital theory (RHCT) as an orienting meta-theory of education in late-capitalist societies (Stein, 2013). We are also witnessing the simultaneous widespread hijacking of education by forms of fundamentalism, extremism, and nationalism, which are designed to perpetuate violence and terror, and which create humans with grotesque personalities that are bound and imprisoned in ideology."

Just the facts maam

See the following 3 charts comparing the Bush and Obama administrations on spending, the deficit and job creation. Any questions?



Doesn't matter

This cartoon reflects how I often feel about meta-matters.


Balder's music

See Ambo's post on Balder's music here. He featured the following selection.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

The church has a good idea

This might actually work to get attendance up. Granted everyone will be on their devices during the service, but who cares as long as they put something in the collection plate.


Hartmann & Grayson on TPP

The video below was recorded just before the Senate voted again on TPP fast track, which passed this time. They discuss how the turncoat Democrats got it through.

The US on minimum wage

Once again we lag behind. We used to be a great country, but since we went oligopoly not so much.



Powerlessness

In this FB post Robert Reich talks about how we feel this, that we don't have a voice, that only money talks. But we must band together, coordinate, communicate, get involved. If we do we have a fighting chance to make a difference. But make no mistake, we're in the fight of our lives for our very lives, and we must treat it as such to overcome the oligarchy. See the link for his pep talk.

Friday, May 15, 2015

More priorities

So what's up with the below? Apparently those in charge don't give a shit about the infrastructure that made America great at one time. Again, what does this tell us about the US?


Priorities

This graphic tells our sordid tale.


Student destroys Jeb Bush

See this clip of a student overwhelming the unprepared Bush. He didn't expect to have to defend and articulate his position, which he most certainly did not.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Expand social security

Robert Reich does it again in one of his short videos explaining how if those earning over $118,500 were paying into social security on that income it would be viable forever. And it's only fair. There is no good reason why paying into social security should be capped at that amount.

Thom Hartman on TPP's ISDS

That is, investor state dispute settlements. This means that a corporation can sue a country if that country's laws keep the corp from making a profit. And countries have already been so sued under ISDS sections from previous trade agreements. Hartmann provides some examples. In one case a corp admitted it had broken a country's laws and yet the ISDS tribunal, made up of corp lawyers who alternately represent said corps, awarded the corp millions of dollars to break the law!  Let no law stand in the way of profits. And that's our tax money paying for their lawbreaking. So whom are the takers?

Education

Also sounds like kennilingus.


Liberal and conservative acomplishments

Liberals a gazillion, conservatives zero. Note that some of these accomplishments were by liberal Republicans, an extinct breed.


Fox's poor shaming

Jon Stewart repeatedly slaps that excuse for news in the face with their own comments proving the case they apparently cannot see.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Crowdfunding for Nepal villiage

From Balder's FB post:

I have decided to start a crowdfunding campaign to help out a badly damaged village in a remote region of Nepal. I am working with my brother-in-law to raise money to help meet immediate needs in this village (see the details in the campaign below). Many of you have already contributed generously to Nepal, which is greatly appreciated; but if you are able to help out again, even in a very small way, I can assure that the money will go directly to a place that has not yet received any international aid (because of its remoteness). If you are not able to contribute, please just share this link and spread the word. We are trying to raise $2500 before the end of May.

http://gogetfunding.com/nepal-village-earthquake-relief/

Evan Thompson on the mind

See his recent blog post here. A few excerpts consistent with themes in this blog and IPS forum:


"Asking how the brain generates the mind may not be the right question. [...] Instead, we should ask how the brain facilitates the mind. [...] Part of the problem, however, comes from thinking of the mind or meaning as being generated in the head. [...] You need a brain to think, but thinking isn’t in the brain, and the brain doesn’t generate it; it facilitates it. The brain generates many things—neurons and their synaptic connections, ongoing rhythmic activity patterns, the constant dynamic coordination of sensory and motor activity—but none of these should be identified with thinking, though all of them crucially facilitate it. Thinking is an action of the whole person in its environment."

The progressive agenda

See this website. I've copied and pasted it below. Go to the bottom and sign if you're in alignment with it.

1. Lift the Floor for Working People »

  • Raise the federal minimum wage, so that it reaches $15/hour, while indexing it to inflation.
  • Reform the National Labor Relations Act, to enhance workers’ right to organize and rebuild the middle class.
  • Pass comprehensive immigration reform to grow the economy and protect against exploitation of low-wage workers.
  • Oppose trade deals that hand more power to corporations at the expense of American jobs, workers’ rights, and the environment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Invisible Infrastructures

Zak Stein blogged another section of his upcoming ITC paper, this one a familiar refrain of late in my blog: "The Invisible Infrastructures That Shape Our Lives and Why Social Justice Demands They Be Made Visible." I guess for the kennilinguists Stein has joined the MGM conspiracy against capitalism. Some excerpts:

"Because of standards enforced by labor contracts in factories in China, as well as inaccuracies in measures of raw material’s toxicity levels, whole populations are being poisoned and exploited, and its all being done by the book. That is, industry standards and scientific measurements are being used, often very carefully, yet their very use sanctions and legitimizes injustices—this is a very civilized form of barbarism (Harvey, 2005)."

Senator Warren interview on the TPP

See this article. An excerpt follows. See the article and interview for much more.

"Look, I have three objections. The first is that the president is asking us to vote to grease the skids on a trade deal that has largely been negotiated, but that is still held in secret. The second is that we know that corporations under this deal are going to get to sue countries for regulations they don't like and that the decisions are not going to be made by courts, they're going to be made by private lawyers. And the third problem is that he wants us to vote on a six-year, grease-the-skids deal."

Senator Warren's petition on the TPP


Monday, May 11, 2015

Opra, positive thinking and neoliberal capitalism

See this interesting story. I was surprised when I went to an environmental group meeting yesterday and as part of their practice they imbibe this neoliberal positive thinking crap. It's so counter to an ecological awareness as to be an oxymoron. Same goes for conscious crapitalism. A few excerpts:

"Janice Peck, in her work as professor of journalism and communication studies, has studied Oprah for years. She argues that to understand the Oprah phenomenon we must return to the ideas swirling around in the Gilded Age. Peck sees strong parallels in the mind-cure movement of the Gilded Age and Oprah’s evolving enterprise in the New Gilded Age, the era of neoliberalism. She argues that Oprah’s enterprise reinforces the neoliberal focus on the self: Oprah’s 'enterprise [is] an ensemble of ideological practices that help legitimize a world of growing inequality and shrinking possibilities by promoting and embodying a configuration of self compatible with that world.'"

Common Goods

A new book coming out discussing the spirituality of the Commons. See the link for the blurb. Also recall this article I referenced at Ning IPS, "Theopoetic/Theopolitic" by Keller and Caputo. An excerpt:

Keller: "Progressive theopolitics [...] does need concurrence on the formal criteria of progress: the actualization of social, ecological an
d planetary relations of justice with sustainability. [...] The more theology absorbs the methods of deconstruction and pluralism, the more the opposition between secularism and religion can itself be deconstructed. [...] Indeed ironically it may have been Hardt and Negri, those radically democratic and secular socialists, who kicked me into the evangelical register."


 


Are you?

By the Soil and the Sun.

Sanders: no superpac $ & reverse Citizens United

Here he said he will not accept any superpac money. And he will use a litmus test for Supreme Court nominees that they will reverse Citizens United. Big money in politics is a major problem he is committed to eliminate. And this makes him stand out from any other candidate, including Hillary. He also differentiates himself from Hillary on a few more issues in the linked article.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Maher's new rule on Texas crazy

And how Rand Paul has joined them along with the rest of the regressives.

Sanders on democratic socialism

In this clip Sanders defends being labeled a democratic socialist. Some weak-kneed liberals like Norman Goldman thinks it's game over because Sanders admits this. Goldman has bought the regressive framing of the word 'socialist' hook, line and sinker. Whereas Sanders rightly takes the meaning of the word back by framing it more accurately and truthfully. Which is exactly what we as progressives must do. Same with taking back the meaning of the word 'freedom,' as Lakoff has so aptly demonstrated here. Interestingly, Lakoff's progressive version of freedom is much akin to Sanders' version of democratic socialism.

Zak Stein on better metaphors

Here's Stein's blog post on the topic. He reiterates many of the themes in this IPS thread. E.g., using the mind-as-ecosystem metaphor:

"Ecosystems are composed of a wide variety of independent and yet co-evolving species, so there is not one central 'unit' that can serve as an overall measure of the ecosystem. Rather, to understand an ecosystem you must take multiple measurements in a variety of places across a variety of time scales. Ecosystems are also sensitive and actively responsive to the larger environments in which they are nested. They can be easily disrupted and thrown off balance, but they are also generative and creative, self-regulating, and self-transcending. They are adaptable, open systems, and are constantly in a state of dynamic equilibrium. As ecosystems evolve they display non-linear growth, with jumps, dips, regressions, and daily and seasonal changes and rhythms. Their growth is not simple and linear, but messy and dynamic."

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Income growth chart

See this story for the details. So what does this chart tell you?


Colbert rips Koch a new one

See this story. Time Magazine had a gala celebrating the 100 most influential people. Colbert and David Koch were among those in attendance and so honored. Colbert said the following when addressing the entire group:

"Of course, all of us should be honored to be listed on the TIME 100 alongside the two men who will be slugging it out in the fall:  President Obama, and the man who would defeat him, David Koch.
Give it up everybody.  David Koch. Little known fact -- David, nice to see you again, sir.Little known fact, David's brother Charles Koch is actually even more influential.  Charles pledged $40 million to defeat President Obama, David only $20 million.  That's kind of cheap, Dave.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Brunch with Bernie

The following video is Senator Sanders' weekly visit on Thom Hartmann's show today. First up, the Senate votes to kick 27 million people off health insurance with their regressive budget. He continues on their atrocious budget, which demonstrates their agenda. And yet our mainstream media doesn't even bother to report on it? Oh, that's right, they're owned by the very interests that buy the Republican Party to create such budgets.

FEC laws are not being enforced

In the following video interview with Federal Election Commission chairwoman Ellen Weintraub she makes clear that the regressive Republicans on the commission will not allow current election campaign laws to be enforced. Does that not tell you something?

Senator Warren & Mayor de Blasio on the progressive agenda

See this article for the details. Regressives will have some of these agenda items as lying talking points, but Warren and deBlasio have proven they mean it. Regressives have also proven they never do anything to implement this agenda, just fight to defeat it at every turn. The bullet points follow.


Make work pay by increasing the minimum wage, empowering unions to bargain collectively, ending abusive scheduling practices for hourly workers, getting people the overtime pay they deserve, ensuring equal pay for equal work and making sure employers follow the law and respect the rights of workers. 

End the squeeze on working parents by passing a paid family leave requirement and investing in child care, after-school programs and extended learning days. Let families with children have a chance to balance careers with quality time together. 

Dysfunctional egoity & capitalism

I was re-reading some posts from the older IPS Religion and Politics thread. This one and a few following posts are copied below.

Balder: I picked The Listening Self back up from the library and I'm reading the relevant sections.  I think you would appreciate them -- he's talking about Merleau-Ponty's intertwining in relation to the body politic, schemas, Marcuse, Foucault (whom he praises for his inclusion of the "body" in political thinking, but criticizes for having too narrow a vision of body and not adequately conceiving of the "lived body"), Lacan, Habermas (whose communicative praxis he embraces, but whom he criticizes for too shallow a conception of self), etc. [...] this evening I thought I'd at least share a section of The Listening Self that includes Levin's political reflections.  I've scanned the relevant pages and have saved it in Google docs, which you can view here.

Me: I only had time to read a few paragraphs this morning but a couple of things stood out. He argues for a new form of subjectivity, much like we're seeing in other posts above. And that narcissism is a necessary stage in development but that we need to now go beyond it into empathy, another common theme.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Organizing the new economy

The Real Economy Lab is working to do just that according to this article.

"The mind-map will serve as an interactive and evolutionary tool for the new economy ecosystem. It will bring clarity and support consensus through a systemic view of actors and objectives within the new economy, acting as a foundation for convergence and coalition. It will highlight ways the various tribes might work together and will serve as the basis for networking and collaboration towards pervasive change."

Robert Reich on raising the minimum wage to $15/hour

It's the least we can do.

Matt Taibbi on Bernie Sanders

See his article here. An excerpt:

"But Sanders genuinely, sincerely, does not care about optics. He is the rarest of Washington animals, a completely honest person. If he's motivated by anything other than a desire to use his influence to protect people who can't protect themselves, I've never seen it. Bernie Sanders is the kind of person who goes to bed at night thinking about how to increase the heating-oil aid program for the poor.

Oh snap!


Regressive rhetoric is all spin and no substance

This cartoon sums up their trickle-down lie. It sounds good but like Lucy they always move the football when you try to give it a kick.


Theopolitics

Recall this post from Ning IPS referencing "Theopoetic/Theopolitic" by Keller and Caputo. The linked thread on religion and politics is quite good. IPS forum has a virtual wealth of research, ideas and exceptional exposition worthy of encyclopedic publication. An excerpt:

Keller: "Progressive theopolitics [...] does need concurrence on the formal criteria of progress: the actualization of social, ecological and planetary relations of justice with sustainability. [...] The more theology absorbs the methods of deconstruction and pluralism, the more the opposition between secularism and religion can itself be deconstructed. [...] Indeed ironically it may have been Hardt and Negri, those radically democratic and secular socialists, who kicked me into the evangelical register."

Sanders on Obama's sales pitch for the TPP at Nike

The President plans to give a pep talk for the TPP at Nike and Sanders is rightfully furious. Nike is infamous for shipping all those shoe manufacturing jobs to Vietnam and decimating our own workers. And they did it to make even more money, realizing they could get away with paying cents on the dollar to foreign workers with workplace safety laws that are considered criminal in the US. There are also no worker-union representation in Vietnam. So the President wants more of this type of economy with the TPP, using Nike as an example of how such trade deals work? Does he think we're that stupid?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

50 shades of who gives a shit

This honest trailer sums up why I did not and will never see this useless piece of shit.

The Progressive Agenda

NYC Mayor Bill deBlasio unveils that he is working with progressive leaders to unveil The Progressive Agenda next Tuesday. See the video below. Progressive taxation will be the cornerstone, like getting rid of the carried interest loophole for hedge fund managers. The Buffet Rule will be another, that millionaires should pay their fair share of taxes. Another includes raising the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour. I'm looking forward to hearing the rest.

Shaping Sound

Performed last night on DWTS elimination show.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Economic Policy Institute on the TPP

From this EPI article:

"Expanded trade, particularly with trading partners that are poorer and more labor-abundant than the United States, is likely to lower the wages of most American workers. While expanded trade is generally 'win-win' at the country level, expanded trade redistributes so much income within countries that it’s possible to make the majority of residents worse off—and this is indeed the likeliest scenario for the United States."

Conscious Crapitalism

Corbett's latest at Integral World, relevant to many of the themes in this blog.

Rumer, Val & Artem

Here's their trio dance.

Rumer & Val

They stole the show last night on DWTS, getting perfect scores in both of their dances. Deservedly so. Here's their rumba.

Still more on hierarchy

Continuing from this post:

Wilber also doesn't acknowledge that dominator hierarchies are based in not only individual but male dominance. He accepts the spiral dynamics notion that levels alternate between individual and communal preference. Whereas for Eisler the individual focus, typically also male focus, is a regression rather than an alternating advance. Hence we get formal operations* being not only metaphysical in that it separates the binary poles, but also favors the male dominant side of said poles: male over female, heaven over earth, absolute over relative and so on.

Another thing from Wilber's comment about Jacques' work, even though a company might be hierarchically organized in terms of job responsibilities, from laborer to CEO, each person "can operate on any level in the hierarchy they are capable of." This recognizes that while there is hierarchy, no one part or person of it is at one particular level. The company is more a democratic mereology.

Take back the meaing of socialism

Continuing from this post, I was listening to Norman Goldman yesterday. He noted that Senator Sanders lost the nomination by admitting he was a democratic socialist because the regressives have successfully framed that word to mean something evil. It's true that they have, but we are responsible for taking back the real meaning of those terms.

This Lakoff's article discusses how progressives must take back the meaning of the word freedom. So it is with the word socialism.  Sanders did so in this recent interview when he is questioned about the term. He said it means better participatory democracy, publicly funded education (beyond grade school) and healthcare, better retirement benefits, a better minimum wage and environmental protections, and actual democracy instead of oligarchy. Interestingly, it's pretty much the same meaning Lakoff frames for freedom.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Willow & Mark

My fav from last week's show due to Mark's highly creative choreography and Willow's ever increasing dance talent. And yet Willow was voted off the show after that performance! That is what's wrong with DWTS: Way worse dancers stay on because its more about popularity and celebrity than it is about dancing.

More on hierarchy

Continuing from this post:

I see the same idealistic dynamic or restricted economy involved in such integral models when based on the same kind of egoic-rational consciousness and its hidden metaphysical premises including a mereology based on the kind of set theory inherent to that consciousness. Whereas we see a different sort of democratic mereology in Bryant and the speculative realists, which I'd suggest is influenced by this other kind of emerging reasoning beyond the metaphysical formal operations inherent to capitalism. And in many cases, integral theory in its support of such an idealistic economic system, as it tends to unconsciously use the same kind of consciousness structure from participating in and enacting not democracy but plutocracy.

I do though appreciate Wilber here talking about actualization hierarchies:

Sanders' campaign planks

See them here. The last is significant in terms of promoting the Commons:

"We need to develop new economic models to increase job creation and productivity. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to corporations which ship our jobs to China and other low-wage countries, we need to provide assistance to workers who want to purchase their own businesses by establishing worker-owned cooperatives. Study after study shows that when workers have an ownership stake in the businesses they work for, productivity goes up, absenteeism goes down and employees are much more satisfied with their jobs."

Senator Sanders is a proud democratic socialist

As well we should be too. In the following video he compares the US to Scandinavian countries that are democratic socialist, which moves them to the top of the World Happiness Report every year. So what does that phrase mean when we remove it from idiotic regressive framing? Better participatory democracy, publicly funded education (beyond grade school) and healthcare, better retirement benefits, a better minimum wage and environmental protections, and actual democracy instead of oligarchy.

Real/false reason, dominator/actualization hierarchies

Re-reading this Lakoff interview I'm reminded of Eisler saying that when we enter a phase of emphasis on the individual, typically white and male, it is a regression rather than an evolution. In her terms, in that case a dominator hierarchy takes over instead of an actualization hierarchy. Lakoff frames it differently, noting that the regressive is into a dysfunctional and authoritarian father, whereas the progressive balances the family structure with nurturing parents in partnership. Same with how democracy is viewed: in the former it's all about individual merit and in the latter it's the public-private partnership. This is consistent with my contention that a pathological dominator hierarchy takes over with the model of hierarchical complexity (and resultant models of development based thereon), given its basis in the sort of metaphysics inherent to this capitalistic regression with its individual over-indulgence and deficient rational/false reasoning.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Robert Reich on Speaker Boehner's fallacies

See Reich's FB post here. Boehner says that money in politics doesn't have influence, that it's all about the competition of ideas. Reich shows though that Boehner is all rhetoric, since if the latter meant it then he should have no problem with full disclosure of campaign contributions, public financing of elections or a Constitutional Amendment to get money out of politics. But Boehner and the regressives are all against such measures. So it isn't just about the competition of ideas. They are liars and thieves.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Supreme Corp Chief Justice admits it's ok to buy elections

We know full well that was the intention of the regressive judges on the US Supreme Corp in Citizens United and McCutcheon. In their recent ruling in Williams-Yulee, Chief Justice Roberts ruled with the 4 Democrats that States can prohibit judges from soliciting campaign contributions because it's a conflict of interest. The other 4 regressives actually voted to allow this, quite telling of their oligarchic agenda. But Roberts as Chief apparently felt some duty to his legacy to not be as stark raving corrupt as his Republican brethren so had to make a distinction here. As he wrote in the ruling opinion, while it's not befitting for a judge to do it it's fine that "politicians are expected to be appropriately responsive to the preferences of their supporters." That is, to their financial backers, not particularly their overall constituency. While such behavior corrupts judges it cannot in any way affect the outcome of a politician's policies. Uh huh.

Sam Harris and Noam Chomsky

Harris makes his email exchanges with Chomsky public here with the latter's permission. They both thinks it is a failed effort at communication between them. As do I. Also see this and following posts and following for some discussion.

Legal opinion on the TPP

See this article wherein a group of legal experts wrote a letter to Congressional leaders on the legal grounds of the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) portion of the TPP. It undermines democracy and equal rights to legal representation in that it creates an entirely separate legal system available only to foreign investors freed from the domestic legal system. There is no appeal to the ISDSk tribunals rulings, and it is governed by the very lawyers who represent the member multinational corporations, a humongous legal conflict of interest. This tribunal is not only not bound by legal precedent but by any law whatsoever. Yeah, that would work. For the corporations only, that is.

Friday, May 1, 2015

The Center for a New American Dream

Their Mission:

The mission of the Center for a New American Dream is to improve well-being by inspiring and empowering all of us to shift the ways we consume. Since its founding in 1997, New Dream has raised awareness of the negative impact of a hyper-consumer culture. Our focus on the connections between consumption, quality of life, and the environment has made New Dream unique among environmental and progressive groups.



Aetna raises minimum wage to $16 per hour

See this story. Aetna's CEO says that by so doing it will economically work out in the long run due to reduced turnover and increased productivity. But more importantly, it's morally the right thing to do, providing a living wage so that minimum wage workers don't have to incur societal costs with food stamps, etc. You see, we the people, when we get active and participate, can initiate change for the better.

Bernie Sanders for President

Here's Sanders' first interview after announcing his candidacy for President. Given that Warren won't run, I'm all in for Sanders. He rightly notes that this is not about him but about us, we the people. And that it's up to us to mobilize and take action to enact a fair and just society. One obvious step in that direction is getting Sanders in the White House. Join his campaign here.

Tesla powerwall

The Commons is here and now. Are we?