Thursday, May 31, 2018

Just Another Aspect Of The Commoditization Of Everything

Because, in that context, what is valued is only what a crazy patch quilt of markets now say is valuable. Even when knowing something (you wouldn't know otherwise) might be worth a great deal to you, and the people around you, in your community. This is so now because a privileged few have convinced us of it. Precisely because they've have the ability to do so, in ever more increasing amounts, for some time now. And that occurred because we all let them get away with making it be possible.

Certainly paying for it now, though, aren't we. Still your choice, however, if it continues or not.


When local newspapers shut their doors, communities lose out. People and their stories can't find coverage. Politicos take liberties when it's nobody's job to hold them accountable.

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[Post Note: And as long as we're talking about the Commoditization Of Everything, we need to give a moment to the following bit of "No Feces Sherlock" that are the questions asked by just below: J.V.]

If relationships can be formed, lived, broken and ended online, then that clearly has an impact on the way we relate to each other. And could it mean something for the way we relate to ourselves, too?

[Post Note: Research and development within Capitalism is, of course, working overtime to come up with new products to turn virtually anything the mind can fantasize now into a way to make money. Rest assured, though, that bed rock fundamentals like preloading for full addiction possibilities, won't be forgotten. I mean, can you think just think of it: VR addiction and Cryptocurrency in one package? Wow! The profit processing might bust even Google's ability to add servers fast enough J.V.]
Scottish hospital is ready to treat cryptocurrency addicts

[Post Note: And of course we have the fact that education is made to be a consumer product more and more. One where, evidently, real people trying to pass on knowledge, as well as a host of once valuable social norms, aren't all that valued either. Well, just goes to show. If you don't value the process anymore, why would you value the people still involved doing it? J.V.]

The Average Teacher's Salary In Every State, Mapped

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

If We Could Stop Thinking About Transportation As A Commodity

We could start applying a whole new approach to rational utilization that would startle you. And mostly because it would just be a lot of common sense. As opposed to being forced to solve vast arrays of engineering problems because we live in the very irrational, and chaotic environment, we glibly call a specialized producer, mass production, mass consumption, society; where things have been happening in way too much isolation of each other, decision wise, for far too long. Precisely because, in a very important sense, it is everybody for themselves, and the devil take the hindmost.

And certainly transportation is no exception. And of course, at the very start you have to marvel at how much we transport, that we really don't have to, if only because the more processes that touch a thing, the more it makes money along the way. And of course everybody wants to get their beak wet.

Why else would the leader of Canada gush to our de facto ex president, not that long ago, in a discussion of supposed trade deficits, about just how much money is made, by a multiple, subassembly product, crossing back and forth across our shared border, so that it could become the final, value added product, sold to consumers here, and there.

Then, of course there is this insane dichotomy still existent of thinking its OK to live in one place, and then transit significant distances, to work at an isolated task, in another place where people either work, or live (and then they do the opposite someplace else). And then be totally amazed at how it is now so hard for people to come to agreement on much of anything any more.

If we redefined work to be where you live, precisely because your work would be helping where you live exist in the first place, then you wouldn't need to commute so much in the first place, would you. And if your community could get to the point where it made a large portion of the things needed to keep going, as well as to have some fun too, then so much of all of this unneeded motion for motion's sake, could be eliminated.

More to the point, though, concerning efficiency, is the notion that, again, precisely because we're going to be responsible for maintaining what we all agree needs to be maintained, we will automatically have great incentive to do what Capitalism has always had great difficulty doing, and that is to have standardization, along with modularization, become the norm. You couple that with the added fact that, at that point forward, what gets done happens because a majority decided to put the effort in place to make it happen, and not because a lot of abstract counters, taken from one figurative pocket or another, were moved to another set of figurative pockets. At that point what you have is the ability to make roads that have tracking guides built into them as a standard. Modular tracking transponders made standard in all ground based vehicles. Standardized inter vehicle networking so that each in proximity coordinates with the other. And of course the standardized software to make effective, interlinking coms possible at all. Etc. Etc.

And then too, you could demand that only one, all you get back is water, fuel to power them by; either directly, or indirectly, by either electricity made from that fuel via fuel cells, or the batteries to store it with. A fuel that would allow this same sort of rationalization to take over the world of power generation, and transmission; because high voltage transmission lines could well be eliminated too if we could either deliver it via automated cryo trucks, or pipe it via coordinated rights of way via our now truly standardized roads (along with the other pipes, both informational, and more substantive).

We will have that incentive, but it will only work, redefined or not, if we also come to the understanding that this will require engaging with each other on a much more inclusive basis; and that we make negotiating compromise, and finding a way to cooperation, the priority it only seems to get to be when great tragedy strikes, and the selflessness that is in us, comes out. It seems to me that if we can do it then we should be able to do it as a matter of everyday life. That this might also be the only way our species might survive ought not escape us either.

Just some more things to think about as you contemplate some very important decisions. Big decisions you know in your heart dear reader that are coming. And remember. Choosing to do nothing but what you have been doing is a choice all its own.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Between Carbon Spewing Generators, And Too Much Lawn Maintenance Equipment

We are contributing to a travesty to nature that is just, or ought to be just, as conscience troubling as contemplating the damage our cars, and boats, and planes, and a host of other toys, have already done to a combined set of circulation systems that are essential to life as we know it.

But then we also have to realize, beyond the desperate need we have to seek out fun anymore in the first place, that behind everyone of these instruments of applied information is the livelihood of a good number of people. And then more people connected, directly and indirectly, to the servicing the needs of the first group; and then more people indirectly connected in ever greater bits of remove, but sill there for appreciable transactions. Behind every one of them; great pyramids of transaction linkages that mean livelihood input for someone else.

How could you even conceive of making changes to this sort of arrangement without understanding implicitly that you can't do it piecemeal? That you have to do it in a comprehensive manner. And if you accept that how can you settle for anything less now than complete, fully comprehensive, and integrated change, across the full spectrum of what constitutes our social/productive organism. Especially when the nature of the change in what constitutes our grasp of instrumentality now.


In many cities, summer means outdoor concerts and street fairs. It also means the polluting generators that power them. So how bad for the environment are they?

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[Post Note: Public transit would be a good idea as well because we could then demand more environmental compliance from what makes the transportation go; as in something a lot more clean. But the problem, again, is that we've already answered the question this next posts asks here: Namely the people who are already making money on the way things are now. And it is not just profit above all else entrepreneurs, but also the folks who work for them. So we are thus damned if we do and damned if we don't. Not a situation a society can long live with; especially if it values some semblance of quality of life, to go along with surviving at all in the first place, of course. J.V.]


Fare-free transit could help incentivize single occupancy vehicle drivers to shift to more environmentally friendly buses or trains and help ease financial strain for low-income households.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

This Is How You Start Getting Yourself Out Of Doing "Business As Usual."

First listen to both the practical, and the heartfelt side of things.

Then mediate carefully on all you can learn from both.

You need to exercise your mind. Your body. And your sense of that which is greater than mere logical abstraction. Because only through discipline can the heart affect any of the empathy we need to nurture so carefully. For empathy is the cooperation of two opposing forces.

Then, as another, quite practical, and spiritual man once said, try to live the change you would seek to see manifest in the world.

If it is truly balanced it will be sustainable. It if is not it will show us the many metaphorical levels by which individuals, groups, and whole living systems, can espress the process of bleeding out.

Japan's divestment campaign pits Buddhist priest against banks

Saturday, May 26, 2018

To Whatever Degree The Current Occupant Of The White House Is A Master Of The Deal

And that is certainly a questionable amount in any case, but whatever the amount is, you can be sure of one, and only one, thing: That the deal he intends to do, at any given moment, is meant to benefit only one person. And you know in your heart who that person is.

Things couldn't be more clear in any case, though, given how desperate this occupant is now to look good for PR purposes because Gods, and Higher Purposes, know he's been looking pretty bad lately. And the Chinese, as well as the North Koreans, are pretty good at taking advantage of someone who is desperate, and they hold some great cards to give him what might seem like a big PR boost; and some big seeming accomplishment in Foreign Relations would really fit the need right now (why else were his sycophants suddenly chanting for a Nobel Peace Prize when the first inklings of a peace deal were announced).

The bottom line then becomes the truth that he could care less what this seeming accomplishment in Foreign Relations might actually do to our economic and national security. He could care less because all he cares about is looking good while he gets everything else that childish, impulsive excuse of a mind, can come up with. Believe it.

Congress sounds bipartisan alarm as Trump deals on ZTE

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Korean leaders hold surprise second summit as Trump says Kim talks could go ahead

Thursday, May 24, 2018

How Many Bait And Switch Promises Will It Take Before Working People Get It

The rodents who make these promises certainly don't give a rats ass about what will ultimately have to be born by working people; after these people get what they want.

And now the former leader of the rat hordes (and most of his minions), of a house that actually used to represent something, is slinking off the sinking ship, and heading back to the money making circuit to wait for you to forget what he has done. And because him, and his cohorts, will undoubtedly create a great deal more chaos, economic and otherwise, you will, in all likelihood, forget. Forget enough at least so that when he rebrands himself two or three years down the road you will be poised to be re-sucker punched again.

Ain't this process just grand.

Harley-Davidson workers stunned by plant closure after tax cut

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Companies need to do more to attract workers, but are still reluctant to raise wages.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

The Questions Here, Really, If You Understand Just How Way Past Its Use-By Date Capitalism, Are:

How do we redefine government. And then how do we redefine work. Because we absolutely have to do both. We have to do that because:


In a nutshell boys and girls that means we have new kinds of tools now that Adam Smith would never have ever been able to even begin to conceptualize, much less think to anticipate for. For example, in his time, a lever, if big enough, and you had enough big guys to pull down own it, could partially lift a big rock. Today a lever, in the form of a switch, can set forth the end of everything; as we know it anyway. Can you see that difference now? I sure hope so. For all of our sakes.


The idea that the government should provide a job for anyone who wants one is both radical and impressively well-liked.

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[Post Note: If we redefined work, and we redefined government, you could build your own home as big as both you, and your community deemed appropriate (given whatever density, and location realities are ongoing in your area; the area that you wanted to live in precisely because of the people there and the location). And you would be able to do that because your commitment to keeping your community going would give you access not only to all of the expertise needed, as you did your own building, but also all of the materials it would require, because you, and the rest of your neighbors, would already have participated in the planning process that made sure there would be enough resource for an acceptable number of new dwellings each year. Just as you all would have participated in the planning for any other demand necessitated supply stream. And yes, sometimes that might require a lottery to see who gets the new production slot, and/or you and your neighbors would agree to give certain individuals preferential slots as incentives for doing extra, creative stuff, for the community. No matter what, though, it would be you, and your neighbors, who would be making the big planning decisions, and not some faceless bureaucrat, in an isolated governmental department. J.V.]

How Big Of A House You Can Buy For $200K In Major US Cities, Visualized

Labor Solidarity May Have Become A Cliche A While Back

But if we don't get it back, and soon, working people themselves will become the biggest cliche there ever was. And I mean for all working people.

Las Vegas casino workers vote to authorize strike

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Bad Enough That They've Made It So Hard To Organize Anymore

Now, in the latest example of how the Supreme Court has been shamefully politicized, we get a decision that basically makes it possible for an employer to demand, as the price for a job, a very specific, and very limiting, legal remedy, a priori, to pretty much anything the employer might do that would require legal action to seek redress for.

And you thought only rich people made their latest acquisitions sign prenuptials.

And even with all of that they reserve the right to pay us the very limit of barely enough to get buy on.

But why wouldn't they when they have successfully blocked all of the normal avenues that organized labor used to use to give it some negotiating clout, as to the pricing of the skills offered. Even now, when labor is in shorter supply than it has been for a while, real wage increases are still stagnant. And you, dear reader, to the extent that you are a working class stiff (hourly, or salaried), have allowed it to happen because you have forgotten so much labor history. And the fact that you have swallowed a lot of bologna about unions just being bad in, and of themselves; when the truth is they are like any other social institution humans might make: If the people who create them stay deeply involved in what is done with these organizations, they have at least a decent chance of performing as intended. Slack off, however, in attending to what is being done, with your organization, in your name in effect, and you will find them susceptible to whatever temptations are presently in existence in the current operating environment. And boy, isn't that just not such a good thing to be thinking about now.

So we end up with a lot of factors in play here. Labor got complacent, Capitalism has become infinitely more corrupt. And technology put a dagger into the notion that you can apply electricity to an organizing methodology developed when the lever, the wheel, the inclined plane, wind and water power, semi organized agronomy, and repeatable type, were pretty much the only major technologies in existence, and not have it have create really bad consequences. Especially where skills as commodities are concerned, and information itself, as a socially created thing in the first place, becoming private property. Coveted private property for now information is more golden than gold ever was.

Which brings us to why continuing with "Business As Usual" is a very bad deal for working people any more. And it will only be by organizing en mass, as working people, that we will be able to get a real society back.

Students are beginning to realize that organizing en mass may be the only way to demand safe schools. Teachers are beginning to realize that organizing en mass may be the way to demand schools be given the full breadth of resources they require to get the job done.

But that is still too limited. Too limited because the change sought here, though absolutely worthy in their own rights, seeks to accomplish that limited change as an isolated problem; when in fact you can not address much of anything of import now without it being part of a more comprehensive, and integrated set of changes, across the board of what is a very, very, complexly interrelated economic society.

That. That is what we have to understand now as working people. Assuming of course that we still value a Democratic society. One run by a well informed electorate who understand that government run by the rule of law has to be one that we just naturally have to be "deeply involved in" (to quote myself from the fourth paragraph above), certainly in a way that Capitalism's singular penchant for isolating people can't ever provide. So we have to provide the foresight to design it that way, from the ground up ourselves; precisely because this will be a grass roots lead revolution. And we will find a way to negotiate a Grand Compromise that will give us an alternative that can work.

What The Supreme Court's Decision On Forced Arbitration Means For You

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[Post Note: Let's be clear here. If you think the current occupant of the the White House has any inclination to truly work for working people, let that notion die the death it needs to die, for you, because nothing could be further from the truth. J.V.]

Trump signs orders targeting federal workers, union activities


For John Feeley, the ambassador to Panama, moral failings at home seemed to compound tactical failings abroad.


A Florida high school senior is spearheading protests planned for Washington, Orlando and beyond on the second anniversary of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

[Post Note: Even if we assume they are sincere in this, their own dependency on money insures that the party that most cruelly let Organized Labor down will have a hard time making corruption go away. One might argue, in fact, that their piecemeal, and hardly very integrated reforms, will serve only to mollify whatever part of working America they're able to still resonate with, without actually changing much of anything of substance; leaving things ripe for a reformulated Right to thwart later on, as they have always done in the past, when people aren't paying so much attention again. This will also give the reformed Right time to work their big pocket connections to not only try and thwart the economy itself while the Dems are, supposedly, back in the majority. but also to find new faces with which to do what they've already learned to do in weaponizing information. J.V.]

Turning up the heat on Trump: Dems say 'culture of corruption' to be focus of midterms

AP investigation: A Trump fundraiser's secret lobbying effort to win $1B in business

Saturday, May 19, 2018

This Is What Happens When You Give Somebody Too Much Power

And you don't call him out on it. Fortunately, the guy depicted here got called out on it, eventually, but it wasn't by a margin that would give any reasonable person a whole lot of confidence it would always happen again. Not at all.

And make no mistake. the guy depicted here wanted it to be a club he could intimidate people with.

Is there a fool at all out there who thinks the current guy in office wouldn't be intimidating with every trunchion he gould get his hands on? Where "trunchion" in this case is every weaponized institution the, let us just say reality challenged, current occupant could turn to his own self serving interests? If nobody called him out on it?

Donald Trump Toys With Abuse Of Office In Beef Against Washington Post | Rachel Maddow

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President Donald Trump Violates Norms, Is Met With 'Tepid' Response: Boot -- Morning Joe -- MSNBC

DOJ seeks probe of FBI conduct in 2016 campaign after Trump 'spy' claim