RANGER AGAINST WAR: Earth Day 2018 + 8 <

Monday, April 30, 2018

Earth Day 2018 + 8

--waterproof iPhone case, for your
"Lifestyle"

Get out your white suit,
your tap shoes and tails
Let's go backwards when forward fails 
--Everything Old is New Again, 
Peter Allen

We can't return we
 can only look behind
From where we came 
--The Circle Game, 
Joni  Mitchell

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what
you've got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot 
--Big Yellow Taxi,
Counting Crows 

 Harmony and understanding
Sympathy and trust abounding
No more falsehoods or derisions 
--The Age of Aquarius,
The Fifth Dimension
__________________________


We are not feeling too groovy about Earth Day 2018. Here are some reflections on Earth Day + 8.

Almost 50 years after the first official calendar declaration of our responsibility to be better co-inhabitants of our planet, and we have not come too far. Humans as good earth-stewards now seems a quaint notion.

More to the point, savages are us. It seems the Age of Aquarius has left the house, sans forwarding address.

Consider:

--We have music that is no longer melodic. Instead of calming the heart of the beast, its purpose seems to inflame it and incline it towards violence and exploitation

--We use drugs whose side effects are often worse than the presenting problem

--We search for intelligence in the universe, yet fail to develop or recognize it here on earth

--Healthcare is an oxymoron

--Entertainment is violence

--News is entertainment

--Food is not nutritious, and is often the cause of disease. Diet food makes us fat: low sugar food pumps up the fat for the "mouthfeel", and low fat foods up the sugar. Both are efforts to provide us with food that satisfies us in the way that actual food used to

--In all of these things, the ersatz replaces the real

--We breathe contaminated air, and drink contaminated water

--We are "friended" by people who are not our friends

--Corollary: it matters that we are "liked" by them

--Among the younger generations, narcissism is up, and empathy is down


Where have the Flower Children gone?
The Baby Boomers, that largest and monied cohort, now spreads hatred 'round the world on its social platforms, the bilge every bit as toxic in nature and effect as any other environmental toxin. They call it a good.

AARP magazine says the Boomers seek housing in idyllic created and self-contained communities like The Villages in Lake County (FL). The landscape is clear-cut, and golf courses and boutique shops rule the day.

As one drives through these simulacra housing developments, one sees style blocs stuffed together, based upon price lines. How the residents find their way home among the homogeneity after a day tippling at the clubhouse, mystifies.

Marshall McLuhan foresaw that our technologies would not bring us closer, but rather separate us further. The radio or the telephone may bring us information, but we are separated from the reverence involved in creating an actual face-to-face meeting with a fellow. How many echelons beyond reality is the smartphone?

When one no longer sees or feels the actual presence of the other, he becomes less immediate, less actual. Our shared humanity takes a blow.

Atomic bombs, radioactivity, nuclear arsenals and DDT sparked the movement. If civil rights could be mandated and legislated, then surely the health and welfare of those lives could also be addressed.

However, the world goes on and it rides on money. And the quest for money and human well-being do not always jibe. So we have had Exxon Valdez, Bhopal, Deepwater Horizon, and far too many other planetary tragedies to mention, both large and small.

We belong to a global village, of sorts via our technological devices, yet seem no closer to empathetic understanding. Even within our own land of plenty we stand riven and ready at the least provocation to throw our verbal spears 'round the world, thus launching hatred into the already roiling miasma.

One may argue endlessly about the reality of global warming, but one may not deny the reality of resource depletion. Overpopulation is the elephant in the room, and one day, the earth will reach its carrying capacity.

There are 7.4+ Billion humans on the planet now. The number grows logarithmically, and the United Nations estimates the population will reach 8.1 Billion in 2025, and 9.1 Billion by 2050.

--you can't fool Mother Nature

Carrying capacity is a fact, as is the limited availability of drinkable water. Optimistic as one might be, these are two inescapable reins on our life here, and they are inextricably related.

Meanwhile, we with the leisure to debate such matters continue our niche political and religious debates regarding such things as abortion rights. It is of the fashion to always have an enemy.

Thus the brotherhood of man is a poetic chimera.

--Lisa and Jim

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20 Comments:

Blogger Fred Gould said...

Global warming and climate change are real and happening. The proof is all around us. As for resources depletion that too is real and happening. Leadership from our leaders on both is lacking and will, if not addressed rapidly, lead to ruin.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 9:57:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger mike said...

Lisa and Jim;

Thanks for this post. Although I am not a Facebook user, if I were I would friend you both. And would click on "like" for this post if you had such a gizmo, or app or whatever they are called.

Despite your occasional snipe shot at libtards like me, you seem to share our values and concerns.

mike

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:53:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Fred Gould said...

You have me confused with someone else. I am a libtard who has received death threats via e-mail, snail mail, phone and parcel post.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a link that ties this post in with your previous (the border).

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2018/05/01/live-tiger-left-inside-duffel-bag-by-smugglers-trying-to-cross-rio-grande-into-us-officials-say.html


Some jerk wetbacks left this tiger cub in a duffle bag when swimming the Rio Grande. Thankfully, Border Patrol opened the bag and saved the tiger before it died.

avedis

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 2:58:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Avedis - What happened with Serzh Sargsyan in Yerevan? Do you get any news buzz or chatter from East Hollywood?

Hayky

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 4:44:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hayky,
Eench pahses? Tu Hai es?

I only know that Sargsyan said he wouldn't run for office again, but then he did and was re-elected. Then a bunch of rowdy street protests erupted and Sargsyan voluntarily stepped down. The protesters seemed to not his close ties to Putin. IMO, this is stupid on the protesters' part. Russia maintains an infantry brigade and some air assets + artillery, etc. in Armenia. That is a good thing, IMO, when you're surrounded by no good muslims; especially of the Turkish variety.

Kids are stupid and idealistic and they forget history.

I will have to inquire with my East Hollyweird contacts - however, they tend to belong to the liberal genre of immigrant. So this perspective will be skewed toward that perspective; which is still informative.

When the latest addition of AGBU magazine arrives, it will no doubt provide the more conservative sitrep.

Sher pahri

avedis

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 5:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Thanks mike, but a small correction: I do not snipe.

I like to think I am a straight-shooter and direct. Perhaps sometimes I use a big bore rifle when some think a fillet knife might be more, uh, delicate.

But what fun is that? Especially when one is on the right side of things, so to speak ;).

Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 7:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

The only thing I would point out is that I think, in the minds of a lot of the people now submerged into social media, they actually do care about all the things you mention.

And they are even a movement of sorts. Witness how fast an appropriately worded headline can "mobilize" a "protest" on Twitter, Facebook, etc.

It's just that the limits of their imagination can't fathom a protest bigger than an angry tweet, or a problem too big to be solved by the tweet, and within a matter of minutes their over-stimulated brains have been drawn into some other, equally emotionally taxing issue, like their friend's selfie in front of the diner they just ate breakfast at.

One of my friends mentioned that in his business he is finding the young hires starting out find it uncomfortable to call people on the phone that they don't know. An actual live conversation is too intimate and anxious. Better to text them first.

In retrospect I am blessed to have a career where I don't have to worry about this.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 10:45:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David writes:


Witness how fast an appropriately worded headline can "mobilize" a "protest" on Twitter, Facebook, etc. --

Like you say, it's so much prattle, lost in the deafening wall of sound. Oh, and pictures -- don't forget pictures.

Almost all of it angry, against something, and effort to draw lines and keep the followers in march step. (Fascism much?) The important thing is to be aligned correctly, and smiling at the correct images, frowning at the opposition.

But really, frowning is too subtle today. The cacophonous chorus must arise against the ogres on the other side.

It's really not too different from North Korea's wake up call to the wicked, "Where Are You, Dear General".

Good observation on the fear of cold calls. Not that it has not always been a fearful thing, but I suspect two things:


a) The callers know they may be met with vitriol, as common courtesy is gone. They know this because they have meted out such behavior themselves.

b) A study shows the majority of people would rather receive pinpricks than to sit quietly with their own thoughts for 15 minutes. Why might that be?

Perhaps we know there's no there, there. Entertainment obscures that painful belief.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018 at 12:09:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

The way I see it, the increasing political agitation is a result of the media sugar diet our civilization is addicted to. We're like political diabetics -- so insensitive that the only way for the elites to shake up the old voting blocs is to convince people that quite literally this election is a unique existential crisis. Vote for us or accept totalitarianism. And then the next one will be just as dramatic. Anything less and, they fear, they wouldn't be able to attract any attention at all.

Saturday, May 5, 2018 at 2:02:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,


I could not have said it better:


"We're like political diabetics -- so insensitive that the only way for the elites to shake up the old voting blocs is to convince people that quite literally this election is a unique existential crisis. Vote for us or accept totalitarianism.


We have become addicts to the rush of the outrage. Some see the most vitriolic as being savants, right near messianic in their fury. To me, it is a vile exploitation of the poor reading saps who then spend precious hours sending the bile along on its way.

ISTM a stance of curiosity and reason before something which is proclaimed as new is the only correct posture, if truth is what you're after.

Further: if one harbors hatred in one venue, even though one feels it is righteous, one is merely feeding the collective sorrow of the world. It is blindness to think otherwise.

This is why the apoplectic liberals appear so foolish and blind to me today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018 at 6:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa,

Indeed.

I suppose it's living through multiple of these dramatic elections and seeing both parties, in their own way, push the country a little farther down the spiral towards authoritarianism that convinced me there.

To take a recent example that's been in the news, Trump is now being excoriated for pulling the U.S. out of the Iran deal. America should stand by the treaties it signed in good faith!

Nobody yet has explained to me how it was legal for Obama to enter into that treaty in the first place.

And Republicans in the Senate grumbled a bit for political reasons but did not stop him, because ultimately, they don't mind, either.

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 10:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,
the US did not sign the Iran deal in good faith.
HBO by passed the constitutional requirement of the advise and consent requirements of the constitution.
but what the hell, we've fought how many wars with out declarations of war.?
we are a nation incapable of defining our national goals.
jim hruska

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 11:38:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Dave said...

Jim,

Well there you have it.

How does one pretend to be governed by the law when those responsible for enforcing it cheerfully look the other way -- and go unpunished for it by the voters, no less?

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 12:01:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim hruska said...

David,
these days i wonder why we even have a DOS secstate.
all that is needed is a gopher.
the fact is that we are so riven that neither party can govern.
jim hruska

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 12:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Jim

Clearly there is no need for a SecState or even a DoS when the military and the CIA can just take care of any diplomatic issues on the side as they may arise.

In terms of the lack of national goals, that is sadly true. Even the current administration cannot seem to make up its own mind on such things, so I suppose it is a perfect reflection of the nation.

Thursday, May 10, 2018 at 7:23:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

David,

Even the NYT deigned to run an opinion piece recognizing that that this lauded Iranian nuclear deal has no there there. It is precisely a bunch of bureaucratic piffle.

Oh, and piffle that Obama now comes out and defends, as though the end of the world is coming. In this case, the U.S. holds the cards and the high road.

Trump's Courageous Iran Decision

Of course with such praise, their must come the slap. This time it's in the form of the speculation that the president is a dotard with no idea of what he would like to do.

I say: let's wait and see. New stuff is happening, stuff which could not be achieved in decades of the traditional disingenuous negotiations in which disdain and distrust was simmering under the surface.

We now shout our disgust from the rooftops of our Twitter feeds. There's nowhere to run to, nowhere to hide. We demand it ... and yet condemn it when it is employed by others not us.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:18:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Lisa

The wisdom or lack of it of the Iran deal wasn't my point.

Let's say hypothetically that it was a terrific idea.

Even so, constitutionally, what right does the president have to bind the U.S. to a treaty without the advice and consent of the Senate?

The same right that the president has to declare war, so far as I can see.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 12:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

We are in agreement, David.

Mr. Obama had created neither magic nor legality in his with Iran. Yet the press now treats this -- thing -- as something sacrosanct.

Because you know, if Mr. Trump negates it, he is nigh on WW III.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 7:08:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous David said...

Well, as I believe I've said before, I suspect neither party actually cares about the creeping growth of the authoritarian police state as long as they get to be the ones pulling the levers.

Friday, May 11, 2018 at 11:06:00 PM GMT-5  

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