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I live on an island in the Salish Sea close to the Canadian border. I love human beings but am horrified by the way we are treating our environment. Society is in crisis I hope we can give up on greed and avaricious and create a more sustainable and equitable culture..

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Island County Washington Covid19 Announcement

2 min read

Press Release: March 23, 2020 

Island County Public Health is investigating a potential cluster of COVID-19 cases associated with a long-term care facility on Whidbey Island. Two cases have been confirmed and test results are pending for other residents and employees. These cases are the first confirmed cases associated with a long-term care facility in Island County. Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are now spread widely throughout Island County. All residents must take urgent action to help minimize the health impacts of COVID-19. Mandates and public health recommendations apply to our entire community, in all locations, on both Camano and Whidbey Islands.

Everyone should assume that anyone they come into contact with could have COVID-19. Limit movement outside the home to essential activities only. All citizens should take appropriate cautions to limit public contact. Everyone's cooperation on social distancing is needed in order to preserve critical healthcare resources. If too many people are sick all at once, there will not be enough medical resources to go around. The healthcare system is planning for surge capacity, but that plan is dependent on us staying home now.

Anyone who has been exposed to a confirmed case should quarantine themselves at home for 14 days. People experiencing symptoms need to stay at home for at least 3 days after their symptoms resolve or at a minimum 7 days, whichever is longer.

Kakistocracy [kækɪ'stɑkrəsi]: A system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens.

High Garden Colorado

1 min read

HC017273 Columbine Meadow Rue (Thalictrum) 1 10.79 03-02-2020
HC014069 Prairie Smoke (Geum) - 2.5" Pot 2 8.09 03-02-2020

Waiting for the One

1 min read

I have been voting in Presidential elections since 1972. Occasionally I have been able to vote for someone I felt good about, but rarely have I been enthusiastic about my choice,  till now. Now I have a candidate that shares similar beliefs. 

My beliefs have been consistent  over the years. I believe that human rights supersede property  rights. I believe in a communal society not in a "zero sum winner take all " world. I believe that health care and housing are basic rights that all democratic  societies should offer its inhabitants. I believe that government and public ownership of utilities, transportation systems and critical parts of our national infrastructure is important.

Capitalism with a small c is an important part of our society, but it is not the foundation of our culture. Major reforms are needed to the "corporate sector". Government is not the handmaiden of corporations , corporations   operate at the pleasure of the people and the government. The wellbeing of our society comes before shareholder profits. 

If you want to talk with me about this, I would appreciate the opportunity to help me sharpen these ideas .... tom@tsparks.info

 

Neoliberal & Liberalism some definitions

4 min read

From a paper by Petar Kurecic and Goran Kozina link

1. Neoliberalism is a project primarily aimed at freeing capital from the constraints imposed by these “embedded liberalisms”, and more directly as a process ultimately focused on restoring the class power of economic elites. (Harvey, 2005: 11);

2. Neoliberalism names an approach to governing capitalism that emphasizes liberalizing markets and making market competition the basis of economic coordination, social distribution, and personal motivation. It recalls and reworks the 18th and 19th century liberal market ideals of economists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo. And yet it is new – hence the ‘neo’ – insofar as it comes after and actively repudiates the interventionist state and redistributive ideals of welfare-state liberalism in the 20th century. (Sparke, 2013: 1);

3. Neoliberalism is a simple withdrawal of the state from markets and society via trade liberalization, privatization, reduced entitlements, and government deregulation. (Hess, 2011: 1056);

4. Neoliberalism is an ideological hegemonic project, selectively rooted in the free market and non-interventionist state philosophy of classical liberalism, and internationally propagated by think tanks and intellectuals like Hayek and Friedman in their assault on “egalitarian liberalism”. (Peck and Tickell, 2007);

5. Neoliberalism is a specific policy and program—a process of “creative destruction” that aims to replace the national institutional arrangements and political compromises of Keynesian-Fordism with a “new infrastructure for market-oriented economic growth” set within a globalizing and financializing economy. (Brenner and Theodore, 2002: 362);

6. Neoliberalism is as a form of governmentality, which follows Foucauldian ideas in emphasizing how neoliberal governmental power operates in multiple sites and scales from the state down to the personal level “not through imposition or repression but rather through cultivating the conditions in which non-sovereign subjects are constituted” as entrepreneurial, self-reliant, rational-economic actors (Hart, 2004: 92).

7. “Neoliberalism defines a certain existential norm…. This norm enjoins everyone to live in a world of generalized competition; it calls upon wage-earning classes and populations to engage in economic struggle against one another; it aligns social relations with the model of the market; it promotes the justification of ever greater inequalities; it even transforms the individual, now called on to conceive and conduct him- or herself as an enterprise. For more than a third of a century, this existential norm has presided over public policy, governed global economic relations, transformed society, and reshaped subjectivity.” (Dardot and Laval, 2013: 3);

8. Neoliberalism seeks to disaggregate communities into discrete units, each with an economic value. (Narsiah, 2010: 390).

9. Amid widespread privatization, cuts to public expenditure, and reduced social transfer programs, violence has become both a conduit of societal bigotry and an attempt by beleaguered states to regain their footing (Goldberg, 2009). Violence from above comes attendant to both “roll-back” neoliberalism, where regulatory transformation sees the state narrowly concerned with expanding markets to the peril of social provisions, and “roll-out” neoliberalism which concentrates on disciplining and containment of those marginalized by earlier stages of neoliberalization (Peck and Tickell, 2002). (Springer, 2011: 549).

 

Some usefull defintions: 

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning 'equal'), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.

Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, 1830

Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, 1830

Liberalism is a political and economic doctrine that emphasizes individual autonomyequality of opportunity, and the protection of individual rights (primarily to life, liberty, and property), originally against the state and later against both the state and private economic actors, including businesses.

an·o·dyne
/ˈanəˌdīn/

adjective

not likely to provoke dissent or offense; inoffensive, often deliberately so.
"anodyne New Age music"

gno·mic
/ˈnōmik/

adjective

expressed in or of the nature of short, pithy maxims or aphorisms.
"that most gnomic form, the aphorism"

enigmatic; ambiguous.
"I had to have the gnomic response interpreted for me"

Culture Hegemony

1 min read

 

From Wikipedia:

In Marxist philosophycultural hegemony is the domination of a culturally diverse society by the ruling class who manipulate the culture of that society — the beliefs and explanationsperceptionsvalues, and mores — so that the imposed, ruling-class worldview becomes the accepted cultural norm;[1] the universally valid dominant ideology, which justifies the social, political, and economic status quo as natural and inevitable, perpetual and beneficial for every social class, rather than as artificial social constructs that benefit only the ruling class.[2] 

The Myth of a Wilderness Without Humans | The MIT Press Reader https://thereader.mitpress.mit.edu/the-myth-of-a-wilderness-without-humans..

Allan Moore on Super Hero Culture ala Twenty First Century

2 min read

Source: Allan Moore World Nov.19,2019

 I think the impact of superheroes on popular culture is both tremendously embarrassing and not a little worrying.   While these characters were originally perfectly suited to stimulating the imaginations of their twelve or thirteen year-old audience, today’s franchised übermenschen, aimed at a supposedly adult audience, seem to be serving some kind of different function, and fulfilling different needs. Primarily, mass-market superhero movies seem to be abetting an audience who do not wish to relinquish their grip on (a) their relatively reassuring childhoods, or (b) the relatively reassuring 20th century. The continuing popularity of these movies to me suggests some kind of deliberate, self-imposed state of emotional arrest, combined with an numbing condition of cultural stasis that can be witnessed in comics, movies, popular music and, indeed, right across the cultural spectrum. The superheroes themselves – largely written and drawn by creators who have never stood up for their own rights against the companies that employ them, much less the rights of a Jack Kirby or Jerry Siegel or Joe Schuster – would seem to be largely employed as cowardice compensators, perhaps a bit like the handgun on the nightstand. I would also remark that save for a smattering of non-white characters (and non-white creators) these books and these iconic characters are still very much white supremacist dreams of the master race. In fact, I think that a good argument can be made for D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation as the first American superhero movie, and the point of origin for all those capes and masks.

 Emphasis Mine

Neo Liberalism Definitions

4 min read

From a paper by Petar Kurecic and Goran Kozina link

1. Neoliberalism is a project primarily aimed at freeing capital from the constraints imposed by these “embedded liberalisms”, and more directly as a process ultimately focused on restoring the class power of economic elites. (Harvey, 2005: 11);

2. Neoliberalism names an approach to governing capitalism that emphasizes liberalizing markets and making market competition the basis of economic coordination, social distribution, and personal motivation. It recalls and reworks the 18th and 19th century liberal market ideals of economists such as Adam Smith and David Ricardo. And yet it is new – hence the ‘neo’ – insofar as it comes after and actively repudiates the interventionist state and redistributive ideals of welfare-state liberalism in the 20th century. (Sparke, 2013: 1);

3. Neoliberalism is a simple withdrawal of the state from markets and society via trade liberalization, privatization, reduced entitlements, and government deregulation. (Hess, 2011: 1056);

4. Neoliberalism is an ideological hegemonic project, selectively rooted in the free market and non-interventionist state philosophy of classical liberalism, and internationally propagated by think tanks and intellectuals like Hayek and Friedman in their assault on “egalitarian liberalism”. (Peck and Tickell, 2007);

5. Neoliberalism is a specific policy and program—a process of “creative destruction” that aims to replace the national institutional arrangements and political compromises of Keynesian-Fordism with a “new infrastructure for market-oriented economic growth” set within a globalizing and financializing economy. (Brenner and Theodore, 2002: 362);

6. Neoliberalism is as a form of governmentality, which follows Foucauldian ideas in emphasizing how neoliberal governmental power operates in multiple sites and scales from the state down to the personal level “not through imposition or repression but rather through cultivating the conditions in which non-sovereign subjects are constituted” as entrepreneurial, self-reliant, rational-economic actors (Hart, 2004: 92).

7. “Neoliberalism defines a certain existential norm…. This norm enjoins everyone to live in a world of generalized competition; it calls upon wage-earning classes and populations to engage in economic struggle against one another; it aligns social relations with the model of the market; it promotes the justification of ever greater inequalities; it even transforms the individual, now called on to conceive and conduct him- or herself as an enterprise. For more than a third of a century, this existential norm has presided over public policy, governed global economic relations, transformed society, and reshaped subjectivity.” (Dardot and Laval, 2013: 3);

8. Neoliberalism seeks to disaggregate communities into discrete units, each with an economic value. (Narsiah, 2010: 390).

9. Amid widespread privatization, cuts to public expenditure, and reduced social transfer programs, violence has become both a conduit of societal bigotry and an attempt by beleaguered states to regain their footing (Goldberg, 2009). Violence from above comes attendant to both “roll-back” neoliberalism, where regulatory transformation sees the state narrowly concerned with expanding markets to the peril of social provisions, and “roll-out” neoliberalism which concentrates on disciplining and containment of those marginalized by earlier stages of neoliberalization (Peck and Tickell, 2002). (Springer, 2011: 549).

 

Some usefull defintions: 

Egalitarianism (from French égal, meaning 'equal'), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that prioritizes equality for all people. Egalitarian doctrines are generally characterized by the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.

Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, 1830

Eugène Delacroix: Liberty Leading the People, 1830

Liberalism is a political and economic doctrine that emphasizes individual autonomyequality of opportunity, and the protection of individual rights (primarily to life, liberty, and property), originally against the state and later against both the state and private economic actors, including businesses.

Open-Source Intelligence Gathering Training (OSINT) | SANS SEC487 https://www.sans.org/course/open-source-intelligence-gathering