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About a week ago I came across this photo among the “curiosities” that make up most of the content of high-traffic websites like the Daily Beast and Huffington Post and boingboing, and it occurred to me that the sort of progressive blogging I try to do doesn’t really amount to much more than putting up a little sign in the middle of the desert.


Are carbon emissions from industrialized economies causing runaway global warming? After millions of pages of scientific research, how much clearer could it possibly be?


Is the American occupation of Afghanistan a senseless quagmire? With nothing to show for it after nine long years, except a ridiculously corrupt government “elected” after a ridiculously crooked “election” and tens of thousands of Afghans slaughtered and millions of refugees scattered all over Southwest Asia, how much clearer could the futility of all of it possibly be?


Is globalization a rising tide that “lifts all boats,” or just a scam for enriching an international elite, demolishing rural economies all over the Third World, and driving down American wages to “compete” with slave-labor in a “competition” where we fall behind by $500 billion in trade deficits every year?




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  1. Sand is a naturally occurring granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles. The composition of sand is highly variable, depending on the local rock sources and conditions, but the most common constituent of sand in inland continental settings and non-tropical coastal settings is silica (silicon dioxide, or SiO2), usually in the form of quartz.

  2. and smooth out most things. It is also made into glass when heated. Enough sand can bury a civilization. So collectively sand is quite powerful. I like the sign.    

  3. …On this past weekend’s “Sunday Show” on KPFA Pacific radio, I was amazed and disgusted to hear two professional job counselors discuss techniques for finding a job in this depressed economy.  

    They were so cheery and positive while admitting, with an upbeat tone, that the only jobs available to most (even highly educated) job seekers would probably be below their earlier employment, most likely in the service and hospitality industries — ie: hotel desk clerks, food service, cashiers.  


    It felt to me a bit like brain washing, programming highly overqualified professionals to become happy wage slaves working for poverty wages.  Even KPFA!


    It made me upset, and I had to call in.  

    I told them that I was outside this mess because of my age; and I give thanks daily that I made it into safety net status early enough.

    I told them that even though finding a job, any job, can be essential for some folks who are suffering tremedously, I felt it essential not to act as if this is a justified or happy event.

    We need jobs, but we also need to recognize what TPTB have done to We the People by causing and creating this situation, this mess, this economic disaster which is destroying lives and people.  Because finding a low paying, wage slave job is not going to change the system which created it.  

    I quoted some of the Declaration of Independence and said, equally important to finding a job, is to recognize that this government is no longer serving the purpose for which it was created — to provide for the common welfare.

    Fine, counsel people on how to find demeaning, low-paying jobs while continuing to look for better ones.  But, above all, do not give them the idea that this is a good thing, a happy thing.  Be sure to let them know that they deserve better than this; it is constitutionally guaranteed.

  4. 1876. The writer observed that the wonderful stone cottages built for the Kaw Indians on their reservations by the government were not well received. The writer noted that each Indian family in this experiment was also given a little piece of land to raise corn and vegetables. What else could they want? The writer even added that these small stone structures were superior to most of the log cabins that the Western Settlers built for themselves as well as the lousy shacks the eastern laborers lived in.

    “But the Kaws preferred their wigwams to the nice stone cottages which the Government provided for them. While they could wrap themselves up in the warm blankets that were given, they cared nothing for the conveniences of a house designed for civilized families, so they turned their horses into the houses, took off the doors and took off the windows…and lodged in their wigwams.”

    And today, tens of millions of people here in the U.S. drive their cars like robots on the freeways heading to “work” so they can return home and watch T.V. to find out about what they missed. And upon this, much of our “reality” is built? A magnificently constructed mirage!

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