Material and Human Potential Compared

 

In a world where infinite growth is the measure of national and worldwide prosperity, and material wealth a ruler to quantify a value of one class or person over another, evaluating a group or individual’s success and place in history by status, fame, notoriety, infamy, or dominant control based in the material, in a space of finite material, is true folly.

 

There is only one thing infinite that we may use to value the progress made as a group, or the life of an individually before their passing. From the least among us, to the most capable, from the smallest town, to the largest country, the only fair assessment we can make, compares us to our potential.

 

Staggering here is, considering we’re already born with a terminal disease called life, and throughout history all the most powerful governments and empires have fallen, by comparing ourselves to our potential, we will always fall short. This is the infinite measure, when the material is finite.

 

To the physical human, there is little real material need, but created by the human is want. Want being partly cause by a lack of possible achieved potential. Though some have started to limit fulfilling wants, coming to understand the flaw in the present material gauge of success. The only possible gauge, the only area in which the bar can always be raised, is our moral ethical and intellectual potential.

 

Individuals, groups, and all humanity, have real unlimited potential, which we must strive to meet. Take note however, the only way in which we are closing in on our potential, is by using up all of our potential personal and group resources before looking towards our real potentials. Maybe when material has lost some of its glitter and meaning by it absences, we will finally look at all that could have been.

 

Sadly, even if it comes to pass in our future, that we gain this understanding and finally begin striving to reach our true potentials, we never will. This achievement by each human or our entire species won’t happen. It won’t happen because of the selfishness of this time in human history for the material. Our time is the destroyer of future Humans and Humanities chance to see what could have been, simply because of our worship of the material wealth and those with it.

 

Our Gamed System’s Lack Of Vision

These folks, our elected and appointed elites, need advice with our gamed system. It’s a shame the advice both the main party ideologies seem to have, is from other folks just like themselves. They are bound by beliefs and set practices that bar them from thinking creatively. This has caused us as “just regular citizens” of our country, and many others around the world to suffer. Of course, being regular citizens we know there are many ways to suffer. One of those ways is, the public having to respond to the politicians reactionary policies of fear, as they slam their breaks on sensible policies for our future. No matter what party you do or don’t belong to, we’re always recovering  from political whiplash at the very least.

If they’d only ask someone normal for an idea or opinion, as the present paid advisers, lobbyists, PAC, and Super PAC Spokespersons seem bent on destruction. The legislative powers approve some changes this foolishly, but disallow or don’t even consider other changes which of benefit. They’re plagued by old set practices from a time when our system of governance wasn’t so debased .

Goodness forbid, they might use a few advisers with life experiences, opposed to those with agenda’s, connection, and contracts, to give an honest appraisal. Then pick their minds for a wealth of knowledge, that’s reality based, All at less cost to their all so important elections to privilege, because they actually seem informed. Especially considering, how comical many elected officials look being as out of touch as they are. This might help, you never know. Certainly little else has made a real difference. Then, maybe we could actually address some of our mounting issues, and work on some of these, all around, burdens all.

Personally, I have little hope or sight of this ever happening. You see, every time I look at our politics I have this curious vision problem. I laughingly call my problem a “dystopia”. Today when I look at the political glass, it is neither half full or half empty, but cracked and leaking. I want the best for my fellow Americans, but I can’t see it coming back around. There’s just, no vision.

War Resource

What’s on my mind most today is actually kind of humorous, if only because, the debate they discus is no debate at all. It’s simply fluff distraction, and frankly a moot point with lessons from history. This fake debate is, “Are the Wars being waged in the middle east, southwest Asia and Africa, by western powers, or with their help and moneys, to support, help, and protect people, to push government change to western style democracies, or are they for resources ?”

I’ve had an issue with our network and mainstream news media for some time. It’s really disturbing to me, as I also write a WordPress page “Future News Headlines”. I think of it as a satirical parody of Newspaper Headlines, their manipulations misrepresentations and agenda’s, in a tag-line. So I see a few Headlines, in my daily reading. Really, some are just too much. So, I wanted to comment on this war debate, mentioned to begin with. Just to get my thoughts down.

I believe we can say of Wars, the preponderance whether they begin for resource or not, end for resources. Through time we’ve fought for food, land, tributes, slaves, and in our world patriarchy, women. These haven’t changed through time. No, as we’ve advanced to list of things we fight for has grown. Yet still, all our wars are about resources.

We try to trick ourselves or allow others to try to trick us into believing, a secondary motivated concern is the  known primary. This new primary reason for war, always turns on some humanitarian action. We do this and try to believe it, or have others convince us into believing it, because the alternative has the dominating power looking like the aggressor it actually is. That’s usually us, the Western powers.

We want to believe in our perceived righteous cause. We want to believe we have the moral high ground. We don’t make it there anymore, however. Yet few of us as individuals, actually use raw resources. But among us identified as “people” are those who do use raw natural resources. Those raw natural resources might include the sons and daughters of each citizen as fodder.

The flat fact appears, they are all wars for resources benefiting the élite, before they benefit an overall population. War’s financed by élite financing and supplied by business owned and controlled by the élite. And also, all citizens are resources to get what those élite on top most need. More money and power. But to argue, peace, freedom, and democracy are anything but a cover story, when we have history to refer to, is lying to yourself, not facing reality, and not looking at the whole picture. Peace freedom and real democracy are wonderful beautiful ideals to strive for, even if they aren’t primary concerns when we’re taken to War.

But hey, those are my thought. I don’t expect they’re yours.

BRICS Union’s Golden Future

B= Brazil  (Gold)

R= Russia (Gold)

I= India (Gold)

C= China (Gold)

S= South Africa (Gold)    South Africa alone, holds <40% of world gold reserves.

Complaining about the Generations

I’m almost amused. Almost. I was thinking about how the generations, when adults, always complain about those generations in their youth. I think it’s been so, for a very long time. You can even hear the common statement of the group of elders, in your head if you try. Just go for cliché. “Oh, The world is going to hell, with the way these kids are today.” There’s also always some sort of discussion about Behavior, Disrespect, Lack of values, even Criminal Activities.

Yet each generation of our children grow into their teen years raised on a media diet that exposes the elder generations greatest worry concern and deepest fear. Installing, almost willingly through media indoctrination, exactly those issues and actions that grasp the attention of their elders, as weapons for a rebellious youth.

Youth will always rebel, and unfortunately most youth, because of their youth, have little wisdom. Rebellion without wisdom is a dangerous and volatile mix. Add a little depression and you have a bomb. Take take as a loose example, the Newtown, Connecticut shootings, at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

We as the elder generation, concentrate our scorn on the language of youth. A truly expressive even productive way to event frustration and anger. Stifling most chances for our aging youth, to relate the internal stresses rampant in those years, to those whom should listen and guide. But those who are to listen allow the disaffected youth, close to unfettered access to their deepest fears, through news, serial programs, movies, and video games.

We have created many and increasing hardships on youth and young adults. By a changing work force. By divorces, unwed mothers, and absentee fathers. By failures in education due to standardized testing and ever-increasing budget cuts. A choice lessening the draw of college students to teaching. A career path seen to have unfair remuneration standards, with little to no prestige and ever decreasing gratitude, and a growing need for out-of-pocket expenditures for proper lessons.

These actions, whether it’s the language restrictions that stifled communication, media exposure to a cultures greatest fears, the parental guidance for the young that’s missing, due to a changing work force and new family types, the growing lack of quality comprehensive primary and secondary education, because of a lessening in activities, facilities, materials, assistance, and standards, or a fall in those who would glory in teaching, if they weren’t crapped on, has taken a toll on our children.

That almost amusing part is, each one of these actions on the younger generation that’s caused damaged, cast aspersions, or drove one to a violent outburst, were either voted on, chosen by, or allowed by the adults. And strangely, those same adults, are the ones who often complain about, or criticize the next generation. And even more odd and disturbing, those same adults again, were those who as adults should have protect and guide those youths to adulthood.

 

A Disposable Future

IMAG0708 I wanted to write something of my thoughts, about what I feels is an odd change in us and our thinking. Personal and corporate. I’ll start with family. My mother is careful with all she has. When I think about her kitchen, there are things my eyes are drawn to, that have been around for decades. An example of that is a set of knives. I’ve used knives as a professional, and these are great.  They are also, over 40 years. old. I find that amazing, because I think we all know now, that the Ginsu with all the wonderful advertising  through commercials and infomercials, are a waste of 20 bucks. That’s still true, no matter how much free plastic they give you with it. To send it back under its lifetime warranty, a waste of time. Why a waste of time?  Because all you get back is another crappy knife. I think this shows nicely, the change we’ve gone through, in what is actually a very short time.

I believe this says something about where we are going, as we slip into our self imposed future. A disposable future . The rise of the infomercial age and beyond.

I remember when you bought something, not already thinking about your next something.  This is caused by, the changed expectations we now have for our purchases. Actually planning to spend  money on the same type of product again, as soon as we buy or finance our new “Thing”. Why?  We know, even though no one said a word, that what we spent our money on won’t last.

Cellphones are on two year contracts, which is good because you can’t  rely on it lasting longer. Televisions are made to last 5 years. Cars 5-7 years, for a regular driver. Clothing’s made to fall apart, permeates the market. But that’s really not the manufacturers.

In the late 70’s early 80’s advertising and marketing professionals, created this market of lowered expectations. It appears, as our consumer confidence waned in American made goods, it became easier to allow the overseas manufacturers to flooded our markets with goods. Not all of these products were poorly made, but a great many were.

Then pop culture, with its quickening pace and the jaded new generation of consumer, gained purchasing power. Consumers who grew up with no expectation of reliable goods. When they met our economy full on, the mix of the two, consumer and manufacturers, truly lowered the perceived standard of quality and construction. As a  business, why strive to make a quality, long lasting product at a good value, if none of your customer have that expectation of a product?  You meet the quality the consumer expects, and keep your costs, and the consumers cost, down. The theory being, if your customer only expects to buy crap, and does so, give them crap.

Remember, the only responsibility business has is to their stockholders, even if they are considered “persons”. A concept, I never seem to be able to wrap my head around.

I think with crappy products, we as Americans should be happy all these poorly made goods don’t come from here.  (most of our manufacturing base is gone). We need to stop wasting our money, encouraging this behavior from consumers, corporations, and manufactures. I like the idea of buying American, but that’s not now possible in our new world economy. So, I’d like us to be “Smart Consumers”. When I say that, I’m not so much thinking about big-ticket items, as I believe most of us at least try to make quality decisions there. Trying, is all I ask.

Where I think we fail is in everyday items. I make jokes about dollar stores. I shop there myself, but still I feel the same. I see a ton of things that will be tossed away. Why not buy a pancake spatula that will last, and won’t melt the third time you use it? Doing this is only causing  you go spend another dollar for a new one. And trust me, that new one will do just the same as the first. I really feel, we would be better off making more quality goods and more quality durable goods. Even if they cost more, like the old Curtis Mathes Televisions.

I’d like a manufacturing base returned to us, that was more than building machines of war. I’d like to have a better export to offer, than Hollywood movies. I’d like to bring back an expectation in reliable goods, and fill that niche with our countries high quality manufactured goods. I believe we would succeed in the world market, even with higher priced product, because of the quality and durability. It’s possible, because we know we can back those goods, with a promise of quality and service. Because of our pride, knowing we make the best products. There is pride in being able to say, “Yes our products are the most expensive in the world, but unlike the others, ours are darn well worth the price”. I don’t want us to continue down the path we’re on, to our self imposed, “Disposable Future”.

Regarding the Advancement of Fundamental Jihadism

 

I find it amusing, after looking at both countries, that the US and Russia have the same view of radical Islam. Both countries have the same concerns, regarding the advancement of fundamental jihadism. Yet, both hold polar opposite policies and practices, in dealing with the issue. An almost counter productive situation. Created by a lack of communication unity and joint purpose between the two parties.

Since we have the same desired result, It would behoove both nations to combine into a unified front. This joint effort, would expand the efficacy of each countries anti-terrorism policies and practices. The possibility of this unified approach, is merely a dream. Even though the partnership would be affective, it’s ignored by the US. As cooperation doesn’t advances the United States imperial practices. Nor does cooperation destabilize governments or geographical regions. Cooperation would finally be lost, as the US seems follows all its anti-terror efforts by occupation.

This is the rub between the two nations. This is what stops the communication. This is where the two sides don’t see eye to eye, as decisions are taken on halting the expansion of jihadist terrorism.

Our practice as a nation, is to dominant an area physically. Using first our air power. Followed then by, the movement of military hardware and troops into the region or area in question. This is obviously a practice that takes place outside the national boarders of the United States. It seems however this practice expands recruitment for terrorist groups, and creates conditions that could expand the possibility of blow back, against the citizens of the United States.

The Russian practice of fighting terrorism, takes place inside its own boarders. It focuses on internal control, to keep its population safe. It works on a basis of intelligence, and seeks to not expand the terrorist threat, with its practices and policies. It works to avoid blow back, against its members citizens.

As I’m a cynic, these two great nation will never come together. The two nations will never see eye to eye, even though both share the same concern, where Islamic Jihad and terrorism are concerned. It’s truly a shame, really. Both countries could take lessons from the other. Also, as the concerns are the same, the joint effort would have a greater effect. With each side tempering the other and contributing to its practice, we would have twice as effective a front against terrorism as we do now.

I’d add to this cooperation, a decrease in overall spending for each nation. Something both nations could use, as crude oil prices fall for Russia, and the fiscal cliff approaches for the United States. But alas, these things will never come to pass. The destabilization and conflict, are set to continue. Now I can only watch the opportunity falter fail and fade. One that may have achieved real success, in the war on terror.

 

 

 

Entitled to Consumption

Our reality is tainted by our own sense of entitlement to luxury. Even a view into the deprived lives of those in third world countries, or the suffering of refugees, from countries at war, has little to no effect on our sense of entitlement, and it’s practice of consumption.

Before Starbucks, advertisements pleaded for assistance. The claim, for just the price of a cup of coffee you could make the life of an impoverished child a bit better. Now post Starbucks creation, millions of children are still starving, and the price of a cup of coffee is 3-5 dollars. The strange thing in this situation is the coffee Starbucks uses for its 3-5 dollar cup of coffee, came from a country were non-profits seek to aid impoverished and suffering populations.

Our world is ripe with these counter intuitive situation, under which people and families struggle to survive. Petroleum and Mining are two major players, in conflicts between a local populations need, and the power of multinational conglomerates. This situation of suffering populations makes no difference to the entitled. This is proved true by all the gas guzzling SUV’s on our roads today. Funny though, most will never take their off-road work horses off paved roads. The roads we’re lucky enough to have, yet every driver complains about.

This is yet another oddity I find elsewhere, when looking at our perceived entitlement to consumption. The oddity is a relatively new phenomenon I call, “The Upgrade Entitlement”. This is almost a competition between associated consumers to see who’s electronic technology is the newest. Just think of all those lines of consumers with quality working telecommunication devices, queuing to replace all their working devices. However, the devices the upgrade entitled have, and will re-purchase, rely on rare earth elements from mining and close to slave labor for manufacturing device components. But the issues are either ignored or unknown to the upgrade entitled.

Another type of entitled consumption, that’s usually forgotten, is that of the recreational shopper, fashion slave, clothing horse, or shoe collector. A simple look at the tags inside the clothing shows the issue with this type of compulsive entitled consumption. The News of recent, also tells the tale. One of workers locked in at clothing manufacture sweat shop, when fire broke out. The fire causing a loss of life tragedy.

I use these three areas as examples, but they are not the only examples. I have commented on consumption in other opinion pieces and need to reiterate, there is nothing wrong with intelligent consumption, as we are all consumers. The issue here is consumption for consumptions sake, with no acknowledgment or understanding of real value, or a balancing of want with need. So I write, and hope maybe one person might be affected, and change their personal habits. I also plead with my readers,  please take an intelligent look,  at value based consumption.  As opposed to the ever present, mindless habits of the entitled consumer.

Returning to a Point, Before Fear

I have always loved people. People of all kinds. I don’t place rules on people. By that I mean, predetermine expectations that beliefs habit or culture must match my beliefs, or accept my ways as better and something to strive for.

For me, the present ways of the world are confusing. War and conflict, death and destruction, divide and conquer are the ways I speak of. With what seems to also be a struggle for resources, hidden behind the banner of American style democratization, hiding unspoken at the core of the present, confusing way. A phenomenon I see as the, I must get mine before you get yours, mind-set.

This phenomenon is caused, I feel, by a self-imposed fear. Not so much of the individuals fear, although it has affected that too, but a national fear. A fear that’s been easy to tap into, after The United States physical geography was compromised by attack. It was said at the time, “we can’t let a good crisis go to waste”.

I think this was the final huddle, for an agenda based in fear. Fear of a loss of influence, power, and control of a World Stage, as other more populous countries become stronger economic powers. The thinking and logic behind resource control, which is our foreign policy, allows for metering national economic advancements, in up and coming economic powers. The thinking here is, controlling  resources allow for the limitation of imports on those resources. Resources that could create large revenues for advancing economic powers.

This action has been pushed by China quietly gathering access to reserves of Rare Earth resources. The reason behind that being directly related to the underlying actions in our democratization, dare I say Crusade. A crusade that actually has little to do with the main stated purpose of Freedom and Democratization .

I’ve said all this not agreeing with the violence on the part of any nation. Violence which I believe to be somewhat caused by our example. Holding a policy position, while actions are taken that don’t  move towards that policy position, is a method of influence our leaders have used in the past many times. Now I expect everyone to utilize the same method, in achieving their goals.

I love my country. I would never accept someones physical control of our nations land. By that I can also understand those who don’t appreciate our occupation. So, I feel in moving our foreign policy forward ,while maintaining our place as a  world power, with a voice that’s listened to, requires a change in the implementation our foreign policy. I know and recognize there are powers within the United States, who will fight against any change of direction in our foreign policy, as it means monetary losses themselves and their friends.

Returning to a point where we had control of ourselves, requires that the public for a start,  recognizes that fear is being used as a method of quiet control here at home. Fear that guides the public into unquestioning acceptance of our nations actions abroad. Actions taken in all our name. Actions where war and conflict, death and destruction, divide and conquer are the method used for the implementation of our foreign policies. A policy, as I’ve stated of, “I must get mine before you get yours”, resource control, under the guise of spreading freedom and democracy.

Morals and ethics, even when they take effort and sacrifice to achieve, will serve you better when it comes to respect, than raw force and power.

In Need of a Lecture

I see, a point of breaking has been reached. I wonder about the logic, behind the reaction. I have to question the  decisions taken around the world, presently. I’m not sure we can leave anyone out at this point. Nor can we not acknowledge the position we hold and the part we play. We can’t, in understanding our place, refuse to place responsibility where it belongs. Understanding our place, admitting our culpability, and exposing the culpability of others, where justified, while changing our own policies, would be a strong step forward. Policies we’ve held for sometime, have only been expansionary, as we occupy to increase in our influence.

I’m not sure of this incidents timing. I’m forced here to look at this, knowing that the stated reasoning for “counter attack “ could be any number of convenient, pre-prepared reasons. Reasons the could be used at anytime, with no one questioning the logic, here in the west. So why now? Answer. It further destabilizes the region.

We have the same policy strangely with Saudi Arabia. You see political and social oppression for physical gain, is practiced there. As it is in Israel. We support them both, generally without question.

With the advance of history, and the years, we’ve lost any moral high ground ,we were once able to claim. We only help to advance those in the world, if they subscribe fully to our system democracy. And those who we influence, rightly or wrongly, have exactly zero experience with democracy of any kind. Let alone, an americanized version.

What freedom is it that we are trying to provide? From what I can tell, freedom is the freedom of markets, not freedom for the people. Freedom for the people would mean they could take all the time they needed to get their own country in order. When our brand of freedom really means, allowing corporations to come in and steal resources for pennies. Pennies, when compared to the resources real value. Resources the country we’ve targeted for freedom, might have built its future on. Resources stripped from them with sweetheart deals, bribes and payoffs, for air tight contracts. Left behind for those people’s freed? Toxicity and Destruction, for generations to come.

I can’t support a foreign policy and economy based in corporate greed and military expansionism. That doesn’t even come close to the moral high ground, our country should be working to regain. That is, if we are to be part of the world in the future. We must understand our number has weight, but there are other countries with larger populations. Throwing our weight around may work for now, but continuing to do, as we have, paves our road to the future with more and more bumps and ruts .

We are struggle to stay on top. We should be struggling to regain what our decision makers have thrown away. with their poor choices, over the last dozen years. Whether you think the words just or ignorant, the mistake was to not take the words spoken by George W. Bush, “We are going to mount a crusade”, to their fullest extent. Now here we are 12 years later, on the verge of war on all fronts. Why? Because we won’t change. Because changing means admitting our policy errors, and what’s been wrought from those errors.

If our country had a mom, we’d be getting such the lecture about our behavior.

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