Thursday, November 08, 2012

O' Reilly Channels Marx

In a despondent moment, Bill O Reilly revealed his thoughts on why the Dems won. "People want stuff," he said. Of course he insinuated it was only darker skinned people who had this primal desire and that they wanted it given to them, but he did find himself espousing materialism. I have not worked up the courage to go see what Rush or Glen Beck are saying. Is recreational pot a Mark of the Beast? It was obvious by his tone that he, like Romney, believes himself to have a more elevated nature, that for him, "stuff" is just a by-product of his more glorious, refined qualities. That's what civilization is, right? getting off the jungle floor and learning how to exchange. It is also interesting that the post Citizens United landscape looks so similar to the pre. Progressive pundits are trying not to notice though they can't help ribbing old Sheldon Adelson for wasting so much hard earned cash. The cognitive map is drawn through a deep matrix of sources, with campaign advertising playing the most marginal of roles. A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest, says St. Paul(Simon). The stock market is signalling its displeasure with the cliff and oil prices are jerking about spastically, along with consumer confidence. The New Republicans want to "close loopholes" to bring us into equilibrium. Would they go after off-shore accounts? Swiss Banks? Futures markets?

Monday, November 05, 2012

Time to Re-boot Bill

"If you put a price on carbon, through a direct tax or other methods, it would enlist markets in the fight against global warming." Bill Mc Kibben Poor Bill has ended up as the de-facto spokesperson for the US climate movement, a position he probably does not relish. It has been a while since I picked on him, but in that debate about whether some strategies do more harm than good, his is a case in point. He writes good books and speaks all over the country and has built a formidable organization. He and his supporters surrounded the White House and forced the Keystone XL issue on the Democrats. Put the issue on the front page for a few moments. All good. But in his effort to appeal to that amorphous mainstream citizen, he has to describe "change" within the parameters of liberal democratic capitalism. Regulate the corporations, legislate the rules, elect the progressives, end the subsidies, etc.. In other words, use the same strategies which haven't worked since he wrote his first book, only do them harder, better, whatever. He still says: put a "price on carbon". That's the problem Bill, there already IS a price on carbon. But it's a tragic joke, a random, arbitrary number created by the very market you wish to "enlist". Why don't you come up with a number, Bill. Now explain how you arrived at it. Cite the studies, where so many have tried to come up with those damage costs- spread far and wide and endlessly into the future- and tell us what the externalities are. Now show "the leaders" this wide range of estimates and wait for them to pick one. But be prepared to wait another decade. To his credit, he is not putting all his efforts into a Global Climate Treaty any longer. He now wants to start a boycott and divestment movement against Big Energy. I just hope he comes to see that rather than "enlist" energy markets, he should be de-bunking them as the ideological constructions and irrational scams which they are.