Sunday, August 27, 2017

Different Priorities

Deciding Prudently,

Hurricane, now Tropical Storm, Harvey is stuck between the gulf and a cold front, therefore pushed back toward the coast, edging east along the coast, and still dumping water hard on Houston, the strongest storm to hit Houston since Alicia, in August 1983. (I skipped out of med school with my roommate, Scott, driving to Austin just ahead of the Alicia, surprising my girlfriend, Jenny (she remembers!) and going for a 50 mile bike ride instead of drowning.)

Industrial Farming is Driving the Sixth Mass Extinction of Life on Earth, says UT Austin Professor, Raj Patel. The soil is the second biggest carbon sink after the oceans, bigger than forests, and we are strip mining the carbon out of it, releasing it as CO2 and methane, and leaving dry desert, which will not hold carbon. The technological solution is a return to traditional small farming practices, which much of the world has used to improve their farmlands for thousands of years. The problem is not with the amount of food, but with the distribution and production practices of monopoly capitalism. The system has to kill the ecosystem and the life forms to concentrate wealth and power in the hands of the few. They have the power. They will not give it up. Grow a garden.

Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades... Scientists and farmers around the world are pointing out that we can regenerate degraded soils by switching from intensive industrial farming to more ecological methods – not just organic fertiliser, but also no-tillage, composting, and crop rotation. Here’s the brilliant part: as the soils recover, they not only regain their capacity to hold CO2, they begin to actively pull additional CO2 out of the atmosphere... As Pope Francis put it in his much-celebrated encyclical last year, our present ecological crisis is the sign of a cultural pathology. “We have come to see ourselves as the lords and masters of the Earth, entitled to plunder her at will. The sickness evident in the soil, in the water, in the air and in all forms of life are symptoms that reflect the violence present in our hearts. We have forgotten that we ourselves are dust of the Earth; that we breathe her air and receive life from her waters.”

"Can we harness American's Retirement Savings to Create Local Sustainable Economies?" (No? How about one little farm for my 401k? OK, didn't think so.)

"The War on Cash", because it really is not yours, and it is almost time for the music to stop, and we have to take the losses. It's our place.
"As governments, whether in the EU or in India or elsewhere refuse to rein in fraudulent practices of its largest banks, forcing people to eliminate use of cash and keep all their liquidity in digital deposits with state regulated banks, sets the stage for the state to confiscate those assets when they declare the next emergency."

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at a press event Monday evening that the Trump administration will not close that  ("carried-interest") loophole for most Wall Street billionaires, saying that it can remain for firms that “create jobs.”... Experts say, the tax rate for carried interest may well go down.... In other words, it appears that if the Trump plan is enacted, private equity executives would not just avoid higher taxation; their taxes would actually decline.

Global Central Bankers, our high priests, have just completed their divine interventions to satiate the Money God. They are saving the world. Things are fine. Poor women have to have babies without men, because there are no jobs for men, you lose money if you get married, and it just gets worse when you get older. Central bankers look at Grand Tetons and smile beneficently. Unemployment is low...

A federal judge this week dismissed a class action lawsuit brought against the Democratic National Committee and its former chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz. But not before confirming what was already widely suspected: That the DNC rigged the 2016 primary to favor the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton. Amazingly, the DNC’s attorneys never bothered refuting the lawsuit’s claim that the primary process was biased against Clinton’s rival, Bernie Sanders.  
Instead, they argued that the DNC has a right to conduct primaries however it chooses, and, furthermore, that Sanders supporters knew the primaries were rigged, therefore relieving the DNC of any responsibility it might’ve had.

Reclaiming Redneck Urbanism, What City Planners can learn from Trailer Parks. Thanks Charles:

Here is our Austin Texas garden this afternoon, after our visit from Harvey. Thanks Jenny!
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Impersonating East Wind

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