Friday, January 13, 2017

An Open Letter to Liberals

An open letter to American Liberals:

You're right of course that liberal governments are lesser evil than conservative ones.

I wish that was enough of a common ground that we could genuinely work together in harmony (it's enough for us to work together on limited actions).

I honestly wish it were entirely enough.

But the problem is that I still haven't heard you call out Obama for his war crimes, or for his failures to address police brutality, or any of a very long list of humanitarian failures.

And before you jump in to defend him - he's only Human, he was hog-tied by the GOP congress and on and on - those things are true to some degree, but if he didn't have a (D) after his name those things would not be stopping you from railing against him on those issues.

And my aim isn't to have you criticize Obama for criticism's sake. Rather, it is the underlying ability to distance yourself from the liberal bubble that renders Trump satan, and Obama gabrielle.

And not because Trump needs my protection, or because I hate Obama (I actually like his personal demeanour, his grace, his appreciation for the arts, for how he's handled himself as the international face of America, ... there's a great many things that I admire about Obama)

...but because I need to have allies that are willing to stop trusting the liberal narrative.

...because the liberal narrative (just like the mirror conservative narrative) keeps people ignoring the underlying causes of everything and supporting false leaders and false goals.

Again - this may not be something you're available for? I don't know? People are where they are, and I spent the entire GW Bush years drinking the liberal kool-aid and lambasting the tinfoil hat wearing ninnys that kept telling me then that LEV (lesser evil voting) was wrong, and that both sides R/D were really on team Oligarchy, and etc.

I remember strongly how I reacted to such information - with astonishment, disgust, scorn, amusement, disbelief, and so on. "How can anyone [who isn't absolutely bonkers] believe that Ds and Rs are equivalent IN ANY WAY WHATSOEVER?!!!"

And having watched what happened to Barack from '08 to today - what's happened to Bernie over the past two years - and learning much more than I ever wish I knew about Hillary over this past year - has utterly destroyed - obliterated - laid waste to my former liberal beliefs.

Now I laugh at my old self and wonder how I could ever have been so naive?

But see, that's the rub. I wish It didn't matter whether you believed in the liberal narrative or not. But - just as you believe that Trump is very likely to accelerate global warming, usher in the most corporatist government in human history, reinstate the most racist and reactionary conservative laws and policies; I believe that Hillary would do exactly the same in all of the ways that really matter under the surface.

In fact, I am quite certain that a majority of Ds in congress will do the same.

In fact, I am quite certain that all Ds and all Rs are effectively on the same page (due to being compromised by their need for corporate funding to various donors and groups), and that the smoke and mirrors of disagreements are circus for our entertainment and distraction (whether any given senator is savvy enough themselves to realize they're actors in a big farce, or if they're unwittingly so, is quite irrelevant at the end of the day).

The most recent case in point is Corey Booker and the other Ds who voted against Bernie's bill to allow us to import drugs at reduced costs through Canada.

Another is Democrats reappointing Nancy Pelosi as their leader. Another is Democrats failing to run Bernie in the general. Another is Democrats using false stories about Russia to resurrect red-scare McCarthyism (a very ugly page from our history) to distract voters from the unbelievably corrupt and disheartening contents of the emails penned by Hillary Clinton, John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and others in Hillary's election campaign (which included, unethically, the entire DNC machine). Another is Obama's creating a 'Ministry of Truth' in his final days.

The list goes on and on and on.

But liberals - want to keep the current system and elect more Ds to office - on the basis that this is a good thing.  The ills as y'all see it isn't that Democrats have failed the working class utterly over the past 30+ years.  It isn't that their policies have effectively done zero for black rights in that timespan.  It isn't that they're complicit in taking corporate money.  It isn't that they've been caught red handed rigging an entire primary for POTUS.  It's just that there aren't enough of them. :'(

I cannot abide that. I cannot support that.

It's a failed political philosophy - with a world near ready to catch fire and burn out of control possibly eradicating all Human life, irreparably damaging this planet's ecosystem and biosystems, it's gone from bad-policy to extinction-threatening-policy.

I'm tired of watching good friends and family support an evil system - one that bombs 7 nations simultaneously, is the largest arms dealer to the world, has a military 10x the next 10 biggest combined, poisons our inner cities with lead and bacteria, openly lynches black and native peoples publicly and makes excuses for it, etc., etc.

At the core of american liberalism is the acceptance of democrats as our only and best hope.

That's a sickness.

I may not have all of the answers - but I sure as hell know that aiding the cancer is not one of them.

Science vs. Nature

I was just listening to Naomi Klein "This Changes Everything" - and she's talking about "Geo Engineering".

And a lot of parallels strike me between that discussion (is GE a reasonable approach - is there some level at which it is reasonable - what will happen should the world's feedback systems become a serious mess for human survival without it, etc.) and GMOs and the many concerns that they bring up.

I have many friends on both sides of both debates.

I feel like neither side is wrong, so much as both have something important to contribute if the other would just listen.

Naomi Klein's description of seeding the outer atmosphere with sulphur dioxide, and similar to the ocean, and more to seed clouds that we can help control the rain distribution, and so on, and i'm thinking "Hey, this is also the discussion about western medicine and its failures."

I know that my science friends will roll their eyes and dismiss everything that is essentially about creating health without using scientific interventions such as we commonly name "medicine" in the west. Pills mostly, but surgeries as well.

And I'm not saying that western medicine doesn't have its uses - it's amazingly wonderful aspects. On the other hand, I'm seeing my own body and many other people's become a mess with folks trying to figure out how to manage them with pills and surgeries and the medicines tend to be more and more and more. They don't seem to do a good job of ending, but rather one starts a medication to address one imbalance, only to then need another to address a new imbalance, only then to need yet another for another imbalance (each additional imbalance at least contributed to by the previous medications taken).

We all know it's true - we watch those godforsaken ads on TV about some new pill and then for two minutes straight some poor bloke is talking as fast as humanly possibly to squeeze in the endless list of side effects that may be caused by the pill in question.


My point, and Naomi Klein's point is that western scientific approaches tend to be very intrusive and dependency-creating.

So once we start with some form of Geo Engineering, we're likely to cause other imbalances (less rainfall in our best food valleys, for example), that then need additional highly intrusive GE interventions to try to manage, that then beget other imbalances.... and the cycle doesn't end until the patient is dead.

Now, yes, for a Human, the patient is always going to die anyway. But for Earth... this is ... a whole different ball game.

Instead of losing one patient, we're talking wiping out the Human race (at a minimum).


I'm tempted to wax philosophical here and remind myself that oh-well, if we all die we all die.

But honestly, I'd really rather not be the cause of the death of Earth.

And ultimately - the only reason we have for trying to intervene in all of these already balanced feedback loops we call the biosphere or weather or climate or nature is because we're already interfering viz. carbon emissions.

The solution isn't to ignore the root cause, and find new pills to shove down the patient's throat to manage symptom after symptom, but to address the original cancer - our addiction to carbon fuels.


Anyway, all of this has parallels with GMOs Yes, we can engineer various things - but will we ever end up with crops that are more robust in the long term, less energy intensive, etc?

I know my science-y friends are screaming "YES!" - but I'm worried about the unintended - the unforeseen consequences.

It would help enormously if I saw humanity as being responsible when things go wrong - saw us as having good feedback systems in our own societies that dealt with illness - in this case pollution or bad science or what not, but the reality I see is that as humans - our social structures are incredibly bad - awful - miserable at taking responsibility for when things go wrong and even worse at fixing them or addressing the messes they create.

So I am not - NOT - reassured about GMOs, nor about GE, nor about western medicine & pharmaceuticals, despite also seeing that all of these has great potential for good - the good is swamped by our long, long track record for irresponsibility as a species.

And to me, that's the part I need my science friends to become literate about.