You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2008.

 

Ken Kesey’s hipster bus “Further” Circa 1967 Mass Transit on the Run

Hippie-Someone who rejects the established culture; advocates extreme liberalism in politics and lifestyle

That’s one hell of a biased definition of a “state of mind” for a part of a generation that merely didn’t want to be what their parents were; a generation of subdued sheep that seemed to foster consumerism without ethical responsibility. Rock and roll music was the symbiant that created the groundswell to activate a generation.  Most of message was lost to time due to writers and historians attempting to explain what had happened in those explosive years.  The mindset accomplished faded for ages but guess what? The time has come for us to “pay the piper” for three generations of ignoring those ”hippie” concepts of recycling, earth-friendly farming, conservation of natural resources, vegetarianism, and self-awareness to the environment around us.

 

Some wealthy neo-conservatives still think we can pollute our way to prosperity and we as a country give a great example to the new developing countries by showing them how to destroy the environment while enriching the few, using the masses of common citizenry as cheap labor.  We in the advanced civilized world have allowed investment banks and super rich gamers to rig the financial systems as machines to find the best return on investment regardless of human cost and the jury is in-they succeeded to allow “free market” forces to destroy our economy, the strength of our purchasing power, and our commodity prices.   

Foreign economies are saving us from collapse in the short run but in the long run will we be able to keep our current standard of living in this process?  Should we keep our current standard of living?  Until we get away from the old theorems of lifestyle and begin the liberation of resources by minimizing the influence of massive corporate machines in our lives, we will be slaves to their system, paying dearly in dollars and spirit. We the people, need to create our own macro-economies by fostering independent living from those parasitic suppliers that control our lives and destroy our planet. If we utilize solar panels for our homes, they can’t gouge us with electrical costs. If we begin communal gardens, it lessens the impact of food shortages and inflation. If we rehab and consolidate unwanted deteriorated areas into viable housing, we circumvent the extraordinary costs of owning a home and have invested in a very appreciable asset for the future. Communal investing in companies that are eco-friendly or just investing in the things that are localized right in your neighborhood can be initiated. The mere act of riding a bike helps the heart, helps save energy. There are many things both small and large that we can change and do it within our lifetimes, easily. Take the money you saved and invest it to return the best humanized rate you can, starting with your lifestyle.  We have the power, we can make it happen we just don’t realize it yet.  Each generation should build on the successive ones, so that the best ideas and ideologies are retained.  Be a Neo-Hippie for the New Millennia “someone who rejects the established culture.”  It all starts with the circle of economies.  The money goes round and enriches those who provide the work, goods, and services.  Get Macro!  Take care of your circle first and don’t worry about enriching investment banks.  Simple economies of scale succeed because the production that is generated locally, helps keep the income stream local. We can only affect the environment that surrounds us, if that, but small steps lead to giant changes.  To view wealth in an ancient perspective it can be ”the keys to the kingdom of Heaven…..and those same keys also open the door to Hell” (a very old Buddhist saying).  We must choose wisely.  We have a massive responsibility to do so.

The question is when you turn on the energies of your power to be, does it turn you on?  Can you be hipper than a hippie? Can you really begin to change the world, now that it counts even more than ever?  Show me, and together let us go “further” and make our world a better place to live for our children’s children.

 

     The Planet-Destroying “Doomsday Machine”-from the 1960’s Star Trek Television Series

I tend to bring modern perspectives into the past using historical actions that belie the human condition through the ages, as to show us as a species in a vaccuum, without preconcieved “normal” rituals of any particular age. It’s my way of “seeing” if the same actions hold up with or without the sum total of knowledge that we’ve acquired up to this point-that I think rarely turns into wisdom. Yes, this is a long sentence to begin short blog.

Free Markets-There have never been and will never be a “free market.” The first free market transaction took place in the stone age when a large man with a big rock threatened to bash another smaller man’s head in, if he didn’t give him his food. What the large man doesn’t know is that right above him behind a rock is a friend of the man with the food about to drop an even bigger rock on this trader’s head to get his clothes.

Trade has always been carried on by those who think they are getting a bargain and will do whatever it takes to leverage their position by obtaining and possessing more knowledge and technology for the advantage using, enslaving, abusing, or defeating the other guy. That’s Darwinian in nature and real “hands-off” pure free trade. We can move along to whatever age you wish and the same conditions apply. Those armed with better knowledge and technology can demand the better deal, or manipulate a market to enrich themselves whether it be Dutch Slave Traders, a Robber Baron Rockefeller employing Chinese railroad workers, or Dell Computer’s New Delhi computer phone support operators. Greed that is corporatized in this world starts out with no rules unless they are imposed from entities outside those corporations. It reminds me of the above photo of the mindless planet-destroying Doomsday Machine from the original Star Trek series. It does what it is made to do. Swallow everything without regard for any other lifeform. Our corporate machines make the most money it can at the lowest cost. This profitability is a good thing when society benefits from products being invented and good and services being created. If that were the case then all would be wonderful and the blog would end here, but it is not.

People that call for unrestricted free trade assume that the market forces will solve all their problems with whatever social bloodletting that occurs (as long as they have their piece of the pie first) and if one disagrees with that harsh concept, then they must be a communist, a socialist, or a pansy-ass liberal. Without rules we allow our society to become the blood-thirsty beasts that we are, taking whatever position we can to achieve the upper hand and take full advantage-of course we would use our ethics and morality to guide us. Go take a tour of a maximum security prison to see how naturally benevolent our species really is when conjuring images of a kinder, gentler, dog-eat-dog world.

We have allowed the institutional markets to create “products” that have no purpose other than to produce income, regardless of what markets they destroy. If one can jack-up speculation on commodities by pouring billions into a limited market, than we as a country watch as our way of life is destroyed by our allowing the “free market” to cleanse this stain of humanity by raising the cost of goods beyond the population’s ability to afford them. In the past, cash positions were used to dictate prices to the futures markets and now it is the opposite with the tail wagging the dog, as the Doomsday Machines have zeroed in on how to wring-out profits by manipulating destructive price actions. There’s no doubt there are shortages that contribute to price increases, but the machines don’t care about relative supply-less than 1% of those who buy future’s contract deliveries take delivery anyway. In the long term, whoever makes it through, will perhaps benefit from those who take the opportunity to cash-in on a way around the effects of speculative marauding and create alternatives. Until then, buckle up and hold on to your cash. It’s going to be a wild ride unless conditions change and we face up to the fact that we’ve allowed a system of financial institutions to destroy ourselves in order to reinvent ourselves-instead of tempering our excesses. Change is inevitable, the quicker, the more blood that will be shed the more human misery that will take place. That’s a human constant. Machines have sped up all processes of life, there is no stopping Moore’s law, so whatever “final frontier” that has yet to be exploited, will be quicker than ever in our history.  The real Terminators are the machines of financial destruction that we allow to be invented without “human” structure.

     The Hindu Deity Krishna

An article in the Online Times from Matthew Parris brought this issue to my attention.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/matthew_parris/article4023121.ece

“….on Monday a new law came into force requiring fortune-tellers, clairvoyants, astrologers and mediums to stipulate explicitly that their services are for “entertainment only.”

Well, trades descriptions legislation is anciently established; but in the realms of the spirit, prophecy, invisible worlds, ghosts and human souls, it has generally been felt that the whole thing is too cloudy for law. By bringing access to other spiritual dimensions into line with access to (say) a British Airways club class lounge, and by deeming in law – for that is what this measure does – that claims about worlds undreamt of in your philosophy, Horatio, are false, Parliament has taken a serious step in principle, even if the measure itself is trivial and most clairvoyants are only jokers anyway.

What, for instance, about the “faith” community? Perhaps it’s there in the legislative small print already. There will have to be an exception in law for “religions”. Whereupon clairvoyants will presumably rename themselves spiritualists. And spiritualists will presumably claim the status of a religion. Whereupon lawmakers will stipulate that a “religion” has to centre around a deity. Whereupon Buddhism will cease to be a “religion..”

To the casual observer, “what’s the harm?”  To the overall philosphy of “enlightened thought” there trouble in River City and it’s not the kind of pool one is used to shooting in the backroom.  To kneel in a confessional and be absolved from “sins” is no less akin to being in a Native American sweat lodge in the presence of a Shaman, or meditating quietly with a group leader, or being in the presence of a someone who claims to be clairvoyant and speaks in tongues, or polygamists banding together in closed communities in the name of their one and only God.  Why should a person who claims to have a connection with God have to put a sign up that says “for entertainment purposes only?”  Because no one has locked-up publishing and motion picture rights and can prove their God’s signature entitles them to claim that they, and they only, have an exclusive right to act as if they have the best intentions or whether they are collecting tax free money to further their own beliefs at the expense of the good intentioned parishioners across the street, that they believe are lost souls.  Where can the line be drawn?  At what point does this become nonsense?

To close, I can say it no better than Mr. Parris so I will quote his last paragraph:

…Well you see the philosophical marsh into which this new principle leads. Is Parliament aware of any harder evidence for the efficacy of faith-healing than for the reliability of clairvoyance? I’d like to hear it. Otherwise, let the collecting boxes in church display a sign “for entertainment purposes only” and let Catholics buy candles to light “for entertainment purposes only”; and let trips to Lourdes be sold “for entertainment purposes only”. And let the raiment of the priest administering the Sacrament be embroidered likewise.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.