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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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im·mis·er·a·tion
/i(m)ˌmizəˈrāSHən/
noun
economic impoverishment.
"rapid modernization had an impact on the level of urban immiseration"

Irreversible Noise | Unpredictability + Rationality https://irreversiblenoise.wordpress.com

"Anomie" or a condition of normlessness

2 min read

From Wikipedia:

Anomie (/ˈænəˌmi/) is "the condition in which society provides little moral guidance to individuals".  Anomie may evolve from conflict of belief systems  and causes breakdown of social bonds between an individual and the community (both economic and primary socialization). In a person this can progress into a dysfunction in ability to integrate within normative situations of their social world - e.g., an unruly personal scenario that results in fragmentation of social identity and rejection of values

Anomie In literature, film, and theatre 

In Albert Camus's existentialist novel The Stranger, the bored, alienated protagonist Meursault struggles to construct an individual system of values as he responds to the disappearance of the old. He exists largely in a state of anomie,[21] as seen from the apathy evinced in the opening lines: "Aujourd’hui, maman est morte. Ou peut-être hier, je ne sais pas" ("Today mum died. Or maybe yesterday, I don't know").

Fyodor Dostoyevsky expressed a similar concern about anomie in his novel The Brothers KaramazovThe Grand Inquisitor remarks that in the absence of God and immortal life, everything would be lawful.  In other words, that any act becomes thinkable, that there is no moral compass, which leads to apathy and detachment.

18 Lessons of the Quarantine

1 min read

From Benjamin Bratton

It is impossible for any serious person not to see parallels between the inadequate governing responses to both the coronavirus crisis and climate change. Where effective planetary-scale planning and governance should reside, there is instead a screeching void. The various national and regional Green New Deals all imply a shift in the role of governance. Instead of just reflecting the general will, governance is now also the direct management of ecosystems (inclusive of human society)

Deep Assignments: A Ballardian Mix by Urbanomic | Urbanomic | Free Listening on SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/urbanomic/deep-assignments

Cameroonian saxophonist Manu Dibango

1 min read

Just look at the supporting artists on this track:

  • Bass – Robbie Shakespeare
  • Bata, Bells – Daniel Ponce
  • Drum Programming – Nicky Skopelitis
  • Drums [Simmons Drums] – Sly Dunbar
  • Guitar, Bass – Bootsy Collins
  • Mastered By – Howie Weinberg
  • Piano – Herbie Hancock
  • Producer – Bill Laswell
  • Production Manager – Michael Knuth
  • Recorded By [Recording Assistant] – Peter Sturge
  • Recorded By, Mixed By – Bob Musso
  • Saxophone, Vocals – Manu Dibango
  • Synthesizer – Bernie Worrell
  • Turntables – D. ST

This  represents some of the finest musicians of the 80's, a time often belittled by critics.

God Bless Manu Dibango taken by the COVID-19 virus. His musical legacy blesses all of us.

From an Interview With Jonathan Lethem

2 min read

JONATHAN LETHEM

 

My parents were Vietnam War protesters; I grew up in the era of Watergate; the first president I remember is Nixon. I remember being instructed as a child that I shouldn’t go to school and blurt that Nixon was evil. Not that we didn’t know he was evil at home, it just might not be such a good idea for me to say it. I felt he was evil like Dracula. It was like being taught not to curse when you go to your grandmother’s. So when I found that Rod Serling and Philip K. Dick and Thomas Pynchon also agreed with me that the president was probably an evil robot programmed by a computer, it was merely a matter of pleasurable recognition that someone was naming the world.

 

In that sense, I’m a native. When you say I don’t appear paranoiac to you, I figure you mean I don’t traffic in the thin membrane of social paranoia. Why bother? We live in a fallen universe. We can at least be kind to one another and not jump on one another’s slightest errors or moods. In a desperate situation, pick your battles.

 

From: The Paris Review 

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.