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May 24, 2011

Annals of Predictable Nonsense

I must admit I’m still an optimist because I continue to hope the current crop of humans will, if presented with enough evidence, finally learn to think rationally about their current predicament. Silly me. A case in point is the disgusted essay I e-mailed to a colleague on Sunday a few hours after he begged off listening to me ventilate about what has become the dominant mantra of my old age: we humans are our own worst enemies:

What’s the best fix? A New Economy, a New UN, or a Somewhat Larger and Cooler Home Planet?

I’ve been following world affairs since shortly before Germany invaded Poland in 1939 (I was born in 1932) and can’t remember when the Earth’s human population was larger or more divided. One thing that huge population makes us more vulnerable to is all forms of natural and man-made disasters. Do the Insurance Companies (or their policy holders) really believe they can cover the floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis we’ve already experienced in this most turbulent of centuries?  Beyond that, there are several seemingly intractable political disputes (Israel vs the PLO, India vs Pakistan) for which any “solution” seems out of the question. Then there’s the grotesque Drug War. My own nation continues to endorse it and seems utterly committed to it, even as its failure directly threatens the political and economic stability of Mexico. But hey, both nations are still pretending it doesn’t even exist (or could still be “won”).

That’s just for starters; I’m also personally aware of multiple behavioral anomalies that help reduce “stress” (Obesity, & Hoarding) which have become prevalent, but are never discussed realistically in the media, which, despite their childish partisan squabbling, seem firmly committed to denial of the world’s most pressing social problems (overpopulation, global warming, lack of medical care, rip-off student loans, etc.) while continuing to pay inordinate attention to individual foibles like shameless sexual behavior, especially when exhibited by celebrities or politicians. 

Meanwhile state and federal budgets have become largely fanciful, but the rich are somehow getting richer while being taxed less; even as the middle class is being forced out of their homes by the same banks that sold them fraudulent mortgages while repackaging them as incomprehensible “derivatives” they then sold to the National Banks of smaller, even more gullible nations (which American taxpayers, the most indebted of all, may yet have to bail out).

On both the international stage and here a home, the “rule of law" has become a sick joke best understood as whatever rogue cops and crooked corporations can get away with. Oh, yes. We just heroically avenged 9/11 by invading a "sovereign" nation that's also hysterically religious in order to kill the chief 9/11 architect they were sheltering. Then we disposed of his corpse in a way that's guaranteed to maintain a level of Muslim hatred that could keep the FBI & other federal "protection" agencies busy for another decade or more.

So what’s the best option for coping with this bad behavior? Is it really possible to replace an economy in which people have lost all faith with a system they "can believe in?" Or would a new UN be a better choice? That may be a more logical place to start because it might control its member nations for at least few years before failing. In the meantime, everyone could get a fresh financial start.

As I was posting the bitter lamentation above, I heard the first TV reports of devastation in Joplin, a city what used to be Route 66 and may soon join Fukushima, as a prime example of the human complacency that is our biggest problem.

This morning (Tuesday) it’s even worse. I quickly found a bitterly sarcastic piece by Bill McKibben, well known advocate of the idea of Global Climate Change and was hardly surprised at the angry stupidity it provoked.

Perhaps there’s hope for me yet… now if I could only accept the even better-known and more contemptible stupidity of the drug war…

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at May 24, 2011 04:37 PM