The World Is Getting Smaller

Mark Dinning

Zan Yu said, "Once there are so many people, what should be done?"... *

*... "Enrich them," said the Master.

"Once they are enriched, what next?"

"Educate them."

-Confucius (c. 551 - c. 479 BC)


The world’s human population doubled from 1 to 2 billion between 1800 and 1930, and then doubled again by 1975. Sometime in 2011, it’s expected to top 7 billion. This staggering increase and the massive consumption it drives are overwhelming the planet’s finite resources. We’ve already witnessed the devastating effects of overpopulation on biodiversity: Species abundant in North America two centuries ago — from the woodland bison of West Virginia and Arizona’s Merriam’s elk to the Rocky Mountain grasshopper and Puerto Rico’s Culebra parrot — have been wiped out by growing human numbers.

As the world’s population grows unsustainably, so do its unyielding demands for water, land, trees and fossil fuels — all of which come at a steep price for already endangered plants and animals. Most biologists agree we’re in the midst of the Earth’s sixth mass extinction event; species are disappearing about 1,000 times faster than is typical of the planet’s history. This time, though, it isn’t because of geologic or cosmic forces but unsustainable human population growth.
Today’s global human population stands at 6.9 billion. Every day, the planet sees a net gain of roughly 250,000 people. If the pace continues, we’ll be on course to reach 8 billion by 2020 and 9 billion by 2050.

By any ecological measure, Homo sapiens sapiens has exceeded its sustainable population size. Just a single human waste product — greenhouse gas — has drastically altered the chemistry of the planet’s atmosphere and oceans, causing global warming and ocean acidification.
In the United States, which has the world’s third largest population after China and India, the fertility rate peaked in 2007 at its highest level since 1971 before dropping off slightly due to the recent economic recession. At 2.1 children per woman, the U.S. fertility rate remains the highest among developed nations, which average around 1.6. The current U.S. population exceeds 300 million and is projected to grow 50 percent by 2050.
The mission of the Center for Biological Diversity is to stop the planetary extinction crisis wiping out rare plants and animals around the world. Explosive, unsustainable human population growth is an essential root cause of this crisis.

We can reduce our own population to an ecologically sustainable level in a number of ways, including the empowerment of women, education of all people, universal access to birth control and a societal commitment to ensuring that all species are given a chance to live and thrive. All of these steps will decrease human poverty and overcrowding, raise our standard of living and sustain the lives of plants, animals and ecosystems everywhere.

-Center for Biological Diversity


John Law & the Mississippi Bubble

John Law (1671-1729) was a a Scottish economist (and convicted murderer) who pioneered the use of paper money when, after moving to France, he established himself as the Controller General and then subsequently engineered the greatest money swindle in history up till that time - which became known as "The Mississippi Bubble", that ended in the collapse of the French economy.


An entertaining animated short detailing the swindle HERE:

An insightful hourlong video presentation explaining more about John Law and the evolution of his and other moneymaking schemes HERE:

The Corporate States of America

• In the Corporate States of America, health care "reform" consists of gutting all efforts to put real competition back into monopolized markets while at the same time putting into place fines for those who don’t buy insurance from the monopolies.

• In the Corporate States of America, "contractors" outnumber military personnel in war efforts. "Contractors" also are immune from all laws and are able to kill indiscriminately in "security" operations and to carry out extrajudicial killings with drone missiles that also kill large numbers of civilians.

• In the Corporate States of America, practically the entire treasury of the country is put into the hands of the "banks" to rescue them after they bankrupt themselves due to a poor investment strategy based on pure greed.

• In the Corporate States of America, laws are written to provide immunity after the fact when it is discovered that communications companies have assisted the government in spying illegally on the citizens.

• In the Corporate States of America, laws are written by lobbyists and transcribed by the legislature.

• In the Corporate States of America, news is scripted by corporate-owned politicians and transcribed by the media.

• In the Corporate States of America, taxes are for low level employees only.

• In the Corporate States of America, prisons are privatized, and funds paid to private prisons are then plowed back into lobbying for stricter laws and sentencing guidelines, in order to steadily expand the pool of “clients” that can be drawn from the underclass.

• In the Corporate States of America, a corporation have all the legal rights of an individual person with none of the liabilities, and will virtually never face criminal charges no matter what it does.

• In the Corporate States of America, elections are investments.


Unequal Union

"Economists long ago tried to justify the vast inequalities that seemed so troubling in the mid-19th century—inequalities that are but a pale shadow of what we are seeing in America today. The justification they came up with was called “marginal-productivity theory.” In a nutshell, this theory associated higher incomes with higher productivity and a greater contribution to society. It is a theory that has always been cherished by the rich. Evidence for its validity, however, remains thin. The corporate executives who helped bring on the recession of the past three years—whose contribution to our society, and to their own companies, has been massively negative—went on to receive large bonuses. In some cases, companies were so embarrassed about calling such rewards “performance bonuses” that they felt compelled to change the name to “retention bonuses” (even if the only thing being retained was bad performance). Those who have contributed great positive innovations to our society, from the pioneers of genetic understanding to the pioneers of the Information Age, have received a pittance compared with those responsible for the financial innovations that brought our global economy to the brink of ruin."

-Joseph E. Stiglitz

(excerpted from:" Of the 1%, by the 1%, for the 1%" - Vanity Fair, May 2011)

The "Media"

"Our only political party has two right wings, one called Republican, the other Democratic."*

... "Republicans are a bit stupider, more rigid, more doctrinaire in their laissez-faire capitalism than the Democrats, who are cuter, prettier, a bit more corrupt - until recently - and more willing than the Republicans to make small adjustments when the poor, blacks, and anti-imperialists get out of hand. But, essentially, there is no difference between the two parties."

*-Gore Vidal

Pledge Of Allegiance

Exxon Mobil's 2009 profits totaled $19 billion, yet according to its SEC filings, the company received a $156 million rebate from the IRS, plus, IT DIDN'T PAY ANY FEDERAL TAXES.

Bank of America made $4.4 billion in profits last year. This was after it received a $1 TRILLION BAILOUT from the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department, and A $1.9 BILLION TAX REFUND from the IRS.

General Electric has made $26 billion in profits in the United States over the past five years. It's also received a $4.1 BILLION TAX REFUND from the IRS. GE HAS CUT A FIFTH OF ITS AMERICAN JOBS in the past nine years, and is boosting jobs overseas - where tax rates are lower. And where it can continue evading U.S. taxes.

Chevron's IRS REFUND LAST YEAR TOTALED $19 MILLION, but it's 2009 profits came to a whopping $10 billion.

Boeing received a $30 billion contract from the Pentagon to build 179 airborne tankers. It also received a $124 MILLION REFUND FROM THE IRS.

Valero Energy made $68 billion in sales and received a $157 MILLION TAX REFUND check from the IRS. Over the past three years, it has received a $134 million tax break thanks to the oil and gas manufacturing tax reduction.

Goldman Sachs paid 1.1% OF ITS 2008 INCOME TAXES and received a $800 billion bailout from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Department. Yet it made a PROFIT OF $2.3 BILLION in profit for the same year.

Citigroup profits last year totaled more than $4 billion. But it paid zero dollars in federal income tax, and RECEIVED A $2.5 TRILLION BAILOUT from the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury.

Conoco Phillips' profits from 2007 through 2009 totaled $16 billion. BUT IT WAS STILL AWARDED $451 MILLION IN TAX BREAKS.

Carnival Cruise Lines' profit over the past five years totaled more than $11 billion, BUT ITS FEDERAL INCOME TAX CAME TO JUST 1.1%

Willing Prisoners

Joe Bageant

"Them that don't know don't know they don't know."*

"If you hang out much with thinking people, conversation eventually turns to the serious political and cultural questions of our times. Such as: How can the Americans remain so consistently brain-fucked? Much of the world, including plenty of Americans, asks that question as they watch U.S. culture go down like a thrashing mastodon giving itself up to some Pleistocene tar pit.

We create institutions whose function is to pretend to know, which makes everyone feel better. Unfortunately, it also makes the savviest among us -- those elites who run the institutions -- very rich, or safe from the vicissitudes that buffet the rest of us.

Directly or indirectly, they understand that the real function of American social institutions is to justify, rationalize and hide the true purpose of cultural behavior from the lumpenproletariat, and to shape that behavior to the benefit of the institution's members.

Two hundred years ago no one would have thought sheer volume of available facts in the digital information age would produce informed Americans. Founders of the republic, steeped in the Enlightenment as they were, and believers in an informed citizenry being vital to freedom and democracy, would be delirious with joy at the prospect. Imagine Jefferson and Franklin high on Google.

The fatal assumption was that Americans would choose to think and learn, instead of cherry picking the blogs and TV channels to reinforce their particular branded choice cultural ignorance, consumer, scientific or political, but especially political.

In a nation that equates democracy with everyman's right to an opinion, no matter how ridiculous, this was probably inevitable.

But when Americans too poor to buy health care nevertheless vote to retain the corporate auction process, that is cultural stupidity.

Cultural stupidity might not be so bad, were it not self-reproducing and viral, and prone to place stupid people in charge.

Neither populist, nor authentic movement, the Tea Party may yet prove historic, however, by seriously fucking things up more than they already are. Spun entirely from manufactured spectacle (and thus void of cohesive political philosophy or internal logic), the Tea Party lurches across the political landscape bellowing at the cameras and collecting the victims of cultural ignorance in sort of a medieval idiots crusade.

Meanwhile, here we are, American riders on the short bus, barreling into the Grand Canyon."

-Joe Bageant

*(excerpted from: "AMERICA: Y UR PEEPS B SO DUM?")
Read the entire article HERE:

Defenders of the Decline

"The struggle for human rights is a continuum with no beginning and no end. I don’t think there’s any such thing as “postracism.”

The militias are, in my opinion, the modern manifestation of the Klan’s tradition of violence and white rule. The militia agenda, in some respects and in many areas, is far more drastic than the Klan could have ever conceived. The Klan, by and large, was considered patriotic and supportive of the US government, whereas the militias want to overthrow the American federal government by force and rewrite the Constitution so that only Caucasian whites would have citizenship.
It would be, in effect, a 100 percent fascist, Nazi concept of America.
The Tea Party people are the counterparts of the first Nazi Germany storm troopers when Hitler had only a handful of them.
They’ve got the same sort of psychology and personality and potential for evil.

It goes without saying that the tendency of so-called law enforcement was—and this is municipal, state, county, and federal—to smile upon militias as good ol’ boys letting off steam who don’t mean anyone any harm. But one could imagine what would happen if the NAACP or Anti-Defamation League or B’nai B’rith or La Raza started wearing fatigues, carrying military weapons, and practicing warfare with live ammo. They’d all be behind barbed wire by sundown.

The prohibition against private armies is in there, it’s just not being enforced. I think we’re putting our nation in grave peril by allowing it to continue. I was saying things like this on a local radio station a while back, and the head of the area militia called in. I asked him, “Well, do you consider yourself well armed?” And he said, “Well, I certainly do.” Then he recited every weapon in his arsenal and was very proud of it. I asked, “Who are you planning to kill?” And he said, “Anyone who tries to take away my guns.” If the incumbent national administration happened to impose the constitutional statutory laws against private armies, I don’t know if we’d have a virtual civil war on our hands or not. These people are fanatics. My concern is not just racism—these people are large-scale counterrevolutionists, and by that I’m referring to the American Revolution. They are terrorists simply biding their time.

During the Great Depression, the American dream, the ultimate goal of society, was to have a “chicken in every pot.” Now it’s owning two automobiles and a runabout boat and all sorts of other things. During the middle of the 20th century, the US Chamber of Commerce’s slogan was “Build the Middle Class.” That is something worthwhile. Now, a half century later, we’re face to face with the phenomenon of the middle class being precipitously plunged into something less than middle class. And the flight of industry and capital to other low-cost labor markets in the world has left America to wither on the vine, so much that instead of worrying about “rust belts” we would do well to start worrying about a “rust continent.” To my mind, that is nothing less than high treason. Capitalists decided they were going to escape from two centuries of bloody, painful struggle to improve labor conditions. They packed it up to go to places where they didn’t have to worry about child-labor laws, workman’s comp, unemployment insurance, retirement insurance, safety regulations, or environmental protection. This means the Industrial Revolution is starting over again with no holds barred. What that means for the future remains to be seen. It has the potential of making us a third-world debtor, flash-in-the-pan, has-been nation."

-Stetson Kennedy

Read the entire article HERE:

Serf City Here We Come*

"Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you're so clever and classless and free
But you're still peasants as far as i can see"

-John Lennon ("Working Class Hero")