Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cooperativism or Balanced Capitalism

It is time for something new.  Unregulated pure capitalism has proven to be as detrimental to the majority as socialism has been in practice. Unregulated capitalism has left us with an extremely concentrated wealth and ravaged other countries resources in ways not unlike early colonialism. We need something different. It's time for a Bourdieu doxa moment of realization. 

I attended a chakra balancing session at my yoga studio the other night. (Go ahead and roll your eyes.) I don't really understand what chakras are or that I believe in them. I just like to try new things. Well, the relevance here is that at the end of the session she started talking about contested dates for the end of the Mayan calendar. She explained that she thought the two dates described a period of shifting and that she thinks we are basically in the midst of a paradigm shift. This reminded me of The Watershed: A Biography of Johannes Kepler that I read in college. The book describes the time period in which Western European thought made a major paradigm shift. The chakra session leader noted the global uprising against our current economic values and asserted we are not happy with the way things are and that she thinks things are beginning to shift. 

I've also been reading in magazines such as Yes! and in online articles and videos about new ways of doing business. Social entrepreneurialism, in particular, catches my attention. There is so much emphasis now on business models more like Tom's Shoes, businesses that benefit the customer, the employees and owner, and the greater community. These businesses thrive best in a capitalist environment and shy away from any taboo labels such as socialist. I think they are portents of what's to come though and what we should all be advocating for. 

Cooperativism or, if that sounds too radical, balanced capitalism is how I would describe my ideal vision for our economy, both globally and at home. Cooperativism is business that is beneficial to all stake holders. Profit becomes only one of goals with value rather than the only goal of value. Our resources and the sustainable use of those resources from extraction to disposal has equal value to profit from product. The life of the product and it's disposal, benefit to community and need has equal value to profit. The health and wellbeing of those that create the product has equal value to the product itself. Most importantly, corporations do not have equal value to the individuals that make up that corporation. 

Things like those single serving coffee makers would be devalued since they create an enormous amount of waste.... 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


So, I actually have things I'd like to say on Facebook but don't much more often than I post here. I have to admit that each time I start to rant about something I feel like I will put a little dent in the universe. And I mean dent in a bad way. Like, does it really help to post my negativity?

Once in a while I like to pick up a new magazine just to look through it and see if anything catches my eye. Most recently I picked up issues of "Urban Farm" and "Yes". The latter really has stuck with me and has become my toilet reading of choice. (Yes, I read on the toilet and if you don't, you're missing out on some quality reading time.)  "Yes"  has kept my attention with articles on state banks and ideas for sustainable and self-created jobs in a down market. The thing is, most of the articles are presenting ideas, alternative options, and highlighting actual achievements rather than just criticisms of what is wrong with our world.

When it really comes down to it, that is what I'd rather be putting out in the universe, but I also have some gripes to get off my chest. So, we'll let this blog slide as my chest getting off place and just remember that it's only one part of how I view the world and my place in it. There, I feel better about dumping on you now in the future. Maybe I'll post a little more often here. Only if you promise not to take me too seriously and know that I have open ears and love a good argument.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Some things that just don't make sense to me....

If folks want government to run like business, why don't they pay government workers like business employees get paid and give government agencies budgets like businesses have (oh wait, government is NOT-FOR-PROFIT)? Why are they against government budget surpluses (they would be great for lean times like this) - that's right states like Oregon don't allow surpluses to carry forward - they literally spend additional money sending surpluses back to the tax payers - that doesn't seem to be good fiscal planning to me)? Why do they require government agencies to be more accountable than businesses (but don't want to fund that accountability)?

If tea party folks believe that they know what the Founding Father's want for us, why don't they advocate for limits to the length of time a corporation can exist? Why do they advocate for more corporate rights than individual rights?

And most of all, why do people who aren't in the top 1% wealthy of our nation agree with them at all?? Don't most people like access to free public education that attempts to do more than train workers, 40 hour work weeks, child labor protections, national holidays (um, family values??), safe equipment, fair wages for labor, a retirement safety net in the event markets crash (including real estate), protections against Potter-like bank practices... I could go on. I just don't get it.

Why don't the Bachmann's and Perry's ask themselves, "If God is communicating through disaster his displeasure, could he be displeased that we are fleecing the poor and rewarding the most powerful and richest?"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

13 Year Old Boys Take Sudden Interest in Politics

I saw this link on a friend's Facebook page last night John Boehner Stays Silent on Weiner Scandal. Laying in bed this morning it hit me, this is a pre-pubescent boy's gift from the media. Can you imagine the Government and Law or history class papers and presentations?

  • The not so creative child: My paper will be on "Weiner's and Boehners"
  • Class clown: For show and tell and I would like to show my Weiner and maybe later my Boehner. 
  • The politically optimistic young student: Sexting scandel may bring Weiner and Boehner together. 
  • The young feminist: My paper is titled: "Why there are too many Weiners and Boehners in politics." 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Not Your "The Graduate" Moment

So after a week of food poisoning induced diarrhea I now have the need to use some Preparation H wipes. I won't go into detail. I just want to say that it would really be no big deal to purchase these wipes if the cashier were a 50 year old man or woman - OK even a 40 year old. Better yet, bring on the 80 year old retiree. 'Cause you know they've been there, done that. But really, a 17 year old boy. You know he's thinking, "Gross, I will never need those." Just you wait kiddo.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Nothing in this blog is intended as a factual statement.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Food Posioning

So, do you really want to know what I'd like to post on Facebook right now, but won't? Something I'd like to share but most people won't want to know? Well, have you ever traveled in the Global South or even just somewhere completely new to you? Were you food adventurous? If so, you probably can find a spot of kinship in what I'd like to talk about. For folks who haven't really traveled outside of the lower 48, who eat only at Western fast food restaurants or haute cuisine when they have left their home area, there's a secret you aren't in on. It's called "the shits."

This is a trial by fire, an initiation of sorts, and a sign of a real traveller. When you have experienced "traveller's diarrhea" you belong to an exclusive club. People who have traveled can talk extensively to one another about their bowel activity without embarrassment. In fact, it is a bonding experience. I don't mean your run of the mill "Monteczuma's Revenge" from a bit of disorientation and new food. I'm talking about cramps that have you in tears and well, here's the thing (don't read this if you are sensitive or prudish) you don't know if you're pissing or shitting. You may also be puking your guts out at the exact same moment, not sure whether to sit onto or hang over the toilet.

More than likely you are also experiencing this in a strange environment. When I say that I mean, not a classy porcelain commode with a nice door and toilet paper. You may not have a door, in fact, you may have an audience. You may not have anything akin to toilet paper and you may not even have more than a concrete pad with two "footprints" indicating where you are supposed to stand.

If you know what I'm talking about, and you've been there, then you understand when I say I can't wait for a hot bath in order to soak things that are not terribly comfortable from a week worth of food poisoning. When I say I am so happy to be able to eat  more than a spoonful of applesauce or a banana.

What really sucks is that when travelling for any length of time, this kind of experience can be a good thing and can get your internal bacteria primed for really enjoying the local fare. When you're not even travelling, but you've eaten delicious homemade cheese that travelled far just for you. When you've delighted in the knowledge that this cheese was made with love and care, organic milk and organic feed. When this cheese was made with live cultures and it literally tastes alive, full of life and good for you, but you are in Seattle and you should know better than to eat this straight without cooking it. It's just hellish. There's no payoff. There's no cuisine that I'm prepping for. I can't benefit from a flora of new bacteria that will allow me to continue explorations as there's no exploring to be done.

Damn. I'm going to go soak my ass now. Night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Fascism Doesn't Become Us

I'm not the first to say it... what's happening in Wisconsin is basically a victory of fascism in the United States. Corporate ownership of schools or cities is not the solution and it's not democratic, it's fascist.

What's wrong with schools:

OR, read some Jonathan Kozol - he's been explaining this impending crises for several decades:

Mr. Kozol explains in Savage Inequalities that how our schools are funded perpetuates poverty. I can't say it better than Mr. Kozol so read this book. Then ponder on the fact that he wrote it 20 years ago.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Baby & Bath Water

Shoot yourself in the foot.
Cut your nose off to spite your face.

You pick the metaphor. This is what breaking unions comes down to. Look, of course there are some issues with unions. I have friends and relatives who are managers and have their hands tied with union employees, unable to fire some people that need to be fired. I know there are corrupt union leaders just as there are corrupt CEOs. Perhaps it's time for some unions to step up and say, OK, we need to make some concessions in terms of how we operate. It is never time to break unions. I don't understand how we can agree to allow the existence of organizations such as WTO and simultaneously want to get rid of unions.

Unions are a sign of democracy. Thank you unions for the 40 hour work week, overtime pay, health care benefits, vacations (some of the shortest in the "developed" world by the way). Thank you unions for workplace safety. Thank you for so many things I don't even have to know about because they no longer exist because of union folks. I am not union, but thank you because I benefit from your work.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Long for FB

I tried to post this on my status, but I was denied because it's too long. FB limits the literary, academic, and verbose.... :  )

“The Justice Department and the president have taken the position on behalf of the United States government that discrimination against gay and lesbian people in all cases is presumptively unconstitutional,” he said. “It’s the first time the United States government has ever embraced that position, and if the courts agree, it will help to eradicate all of the various forms of discrimination that gay and lesbian people suffer around the country.” - New York Times quoting Tobias Wolff. 

Major victory!

Monday, February 21, 2011

The List

I just watched "Food Inc." and it's inspired me to write my own little list of things. We've been convinced to be afraid of many things lately - such as terrorists, Muslims, illegal immigrants etc. Here's the list I think we should really be worried about:

  • Copyrighted seed production/ownership
  • Monsanto
  • Deregulated and privatized water
  • Water rights being sold to multi-national corporations
  • Water/food security in general
  • Capitalism being considered synonymous with democracy
  • Laws that allow college students to carry weapons on campuses - hello, have you been to college or to a campus party? 
  • Textbook production - the fact that Texas influences it so much
  • DNA copyrighting
  • Fox News 
  • Bills proposed to remove funding of public television and radio
That's just a start. I'm sure I'll add more later, but now it's time for bed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Thinking about starting another blog called "Blah-g". Tee hee.

Really, I just have a lot to say. A LOT. I have an inner dialogue that yoga can quiet a bit. Silly meditative tapes at night before bed can give a bit of respite. Therapist listens and I just blab away - that helps a bit. I journal, OK I have a journal and I sometimes use it. I have three blogs. I post all the time on FB. I still have more to say... Could this be a specific kind of deficiency or condition?

I don't even care if anyone is listening! And, yes, I talk to myself.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Yeah, I Probably Can't Say That on FB

Ever see pictures on FB of folks that you used to know and think:
 - wow, do I look that old?
- I so dodged that bullet.
- I can't believe I had a crush on him/her.
- wow, she/he hasn't changed one bit and that's not a good thing.

OK, that's just mean and I won't say those things on FB...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Glenn Beckians are the Enemy of the State

I just wanted to say that I think folks who subscribe to Glenn Beck is one of the most insidious characters in modern history. Right up there with Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. What they promote is anti-American. There. Just that simple.