Puts me in mind of the work being done by Paul Stamets and others, using mushrooms and bacteria to decontaminate the environment.
When I had a secretarial business, I made it a point never to accept work from a wealthy person. If a saw a person get out of a BMW or Mercedes, I always sent them away saying I was booked up: if a person got out of a beat up VW bug, I made time to do their work. Trying to work for rich people just wasn't worth the time or the aggravation they were going to cause me. "Poor" people always expressed appreciation for your efforts and paid immediately; rich people were sure you were trying to rip them off, so they complained about the work, looked for ways to find fault, and all too often tried to get out of paying the full price.
I was among the millions who marched against the US attacking Iraq. Now I'm among the 99%ers protesting the Wall Street Fat Cat 1%ers who would gladly relinquish me of my last dime.
Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." We always assume she is talking about what a few "good" citizens can do; but think about the "bad" ones -- most recently Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and earlier Ronald Reagan, Eliott Abrams, Oliver North, John Poindexter -- they certainly changed our world.
It takes so much effort to try to counter the few bad apples and, regrettably, it seems they too often have already spoiled the barrel before we have time to mitigate the damage that they are doing.
This reminded me of the works by the late Professor Chalmers Johnson, who wrote the trilogy, American Empire. I found an interview with him in which he discusses how empires decline and fall. He discusses the Roman Empire, but brings the subject to modern times with the demise of the Soviet Union in 1989-1991. He said that rigid economic ideology was the primary reason for the dismantling of the Soviet Union. They needed to change and reform their system, but because of political and economic ideology they could not -- the same is happening to the US.
Since gazing into a crystal ball often fails to tell us of coming disasters (category 5 hurricanes, tornadoes, oil spills, 1910-like fires), and the federal budget is where the states go for help, requiring a balanced federal budget is a bad idea.
For more reasons why it's a bad idea, read this: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/o…
Even Alan Simpson is appalled by his party's unwillingness to increase taxes:
"The stuff that’s going on in my party, where the—pettiness overcomes the patriotism—it’s just disgusting to me," he told ABC News. "Reagan raised taxes. We’ve never had less revenue to run this country since the Korean war."
The Republican intransigence on raising taxes makes me wonder if they don't really want to drown the entire country in the bathtub, not just the government.
Sadly, going to war for multinational conglomerates is nothing new.
From: War is a Racket, by U.S. Marine Major General Smedley D. Butler, 1935 “…I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class thug for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902–1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”
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