Happy In-Dependence Day

Mister President, do you swear to uphold the economic prosperity and national security of these Great United States? I do.

Madame Speaker, do you swear to uphold the financial security and safety of these Great United States? I do. Then let us join hands in our singing of Hymn 64.

O say can you see

By the dawn’s early light

What so proudly we hailed

At the twilight’s last gleaming.

I am Student Code 3118946C, and I am at my desk, facing the altar. The altar two stories above looks down at the Great Hall filled with student desks, and in the depths the desks begin to fade, shadows folding into a darkness veiling the extent of this religious delusion – how has this cathedral justified its tithes?

The Emcee of Services, Fox News Model in a primpy suit jacket, rises on the altar and lifts her hands, cue the lifting of heads. The choir continues:

Whose broad stripes and bright stars

Through the perilous fight

Will the Class of 2016 step forward. This includes myself, shuffling into small aisles filing to the foot of the altar of Our Savior. We kneel, looking up at an alter two-stories too high for us to see the elected clergy.

Overhead is a darkness of chains clanging, belts whirring, gears clunking, engines churning. You can see the first few layers of conveyors, of mechanical arms and processes rising up and quickly veiled in the darkness and no one is said to know how high the darkness goes.

We subverient are gathered here today to accept our diplomas stipulating debt-repayment plans – I can choose the 20yr plan, the 30yr plan, the 50yr plan, but the debt-collection agency who has purchased me is going to get their gold, they hold my credit score and life-dreams as collateral.

We subservient are gathered here today at the foot of the alter, kneeling with our heads raised, DHS troops patrolling aisles and windows with M16s and riot-gear and night-vision goggles equipped with facial-recognition technology and retina scanners – poor luck if you have a nervous twitch.

O’er the ramparts we watched

Were so gallantly streaming

I will be ushered to another desk. I have graduated from this desk, owned by The Ohio State University LLC., led by hand to this next desk, property of Halliburton Financial Services. I am told Halliburton even has fluorescent lighting. The choir continues its low-key hymn while the Fox Model Arbiter of Democracy continues the ceremony.

Let us bow our heads and recite Prayer 649:

We pledge allegiance to the flag

Of the United States of America.

And to the financial stability

for which it stands

one nation, under surveillance, defended,

With comfort and money for all.

And the rockets’ red glare

The bombs bursting in air

I have been corralled into this school. I will spend the next thirty years paying off loans they sold to a debt-collection agency, and boy do I thank everyone for teaching me how to obey my bosses and file forms and itemized deductions, for helping me pay for the pharmaceuticals I needed to sit still at my desk. I will faithfully spend the rest of my life making payments to an insurance corporation, in the name of a basic human need. I will watch wars on CNN, monitor frightening stock-market dips on Fox Business, learn about The Benevolent Ones on MSNBC. My children will grow up idolizing Disney brats in ritzy hotels and cruiseliners, I’ll ignore civic duty while watching Disney’s ESPN NFL play-offs Super Bowl Sponsored by AIG Countdowns Rundowns Best Plays Ever. My children will follow corporate careers into newer sub-divisions 3000sqft houses in 3500sqft lots, and I will depend my old infirmity on the caprice of a capitalist hegemony that’s made retirement an ideal I need a PIN and good faith credit in the Corporate Federal Government for.

Screens on the back of the altar show videolink to a marble hall, long mahogany table of men and women who may be hedge-fund managers or Joint Chiefs or Senators or CEO’s – no, I recognize the names of The Unelected Masters of Mankind, bankers for the institution that might be public or private in DC or Manhattan or Riker’s Island London Hong Kong, Live From Baghdad the World Bank Free-Trade Geo-Political Positioning it’s all for our Safety and Wealth, it’s what these people are here to defend, for us.

The video-link speaks: It has come to our attention that Student Code 3118946C did not complete Geology 101, prerequisite for the Corporate Finance track. The student’s degree is invalid. Student Code 3118946C, step forward.

The politesse of proper etiquette requires, when being spoken to, to keep my head down, hands folded in the front. Supplicate. Serve. Masturbate Your Masters.

They have been monitoring me. Processing me. Indoctrinating me.

Student Code 3118946C, are you aware that without us you would not find a career? That you would not be able to afford your car, your TV, your tablet, your vacations, your clothes, your debt if it weren’t for the benevolence we serve you with? Do you understand that, without us, you would suffer and die without a doctor to treat you, without a savings account in your old age? Is that what you want, Student Code 3118946C? Do you understand that without us you are nothing?

O say does that Star Spangled banner yet wave

There are sounds of fawning, crawling at the feet of the Masters of Mankind because our neighbors are hungry and poor and we want someone to do something, because we might lose our jobs, be unable to afford the aisles of our favorite supermarket chain. There are sounds of drones screeching, bombs falling, catastrophe. People shouting in a crowded mall because their neighbor looks suspicious. But we are saved by the benevolence and altruism of Humankind’s Dominant Hegemonic Power, the most Powerful Human Beings history has ever seen, watching after us, feeding us, curing our ailments and concerning themselves with our mental well-being.

O’er the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.

Happy In-Dependence Day.

 

Rational Global Warming Skepticism and How Liberals and Conservatives Are Doing Everything Wrong

I have no valid reason to trust the US Federal Government. It is run by two demonstrably corrupt political parties and has deceived us into multiple wars, spied on us while denying it, conspired against us, destroyed college and health care (yes, I’m speaking about subsidies and loans, there are much better, non-market solutions); the War on Drugs, imperialism, free-trade acts – I have no valid reason to trust the Federal Government, and no valid reason to trust the political parties and bureaucrats who control it.

I have no reason to trust the media.

I have no reason to suspect that, in 50 years, scientific consensus will be that human activity has had a negligible effect on the Earth’s climate and that global temperatures are rising because we’re still emerging from the last big ice-age; or because the sun’s heating up; or because atmospheres on rocky planets are inherently unstable (Hey there, Venus and Mars). Scientific paradigms shift.

I have no valid reason to trust the politicians, bureaucrats, media, or scientists who tell me humans are heating the planet. But just because I am suspicious of motives and skeptical of current paradigms, doesn’t mean I can’t be concerned about the very real possibility that humans are heating the Earth’s atmosphere.

You can be skeptical of human-driven global warming and still be concerned about it. Human-driven global warming is a valid possibility and a valid concern. Just because you distrust Democrats and the Federal Government, doesn’t mean you can’t be concerned about global warming.

Hypothetical Scenario: An asteroid is hurtling towards Earth. Scientific consensus says this is bad for children and all living things, because the asteroid will decimate the planet. The dissenting opinion is that Yeah, hey, there’s totally an asteroid, but fat chance in hell it’ll actually hit us.

Not worth chancing hell. It’s valid to be skeptical of the asteroid-decimation paradigm, but irrational not to act on the very real chance that it’s true.

Why should I trust the Democratic Party’s motives behind climate change? Why is The Obama opening Alaska up for more drilling? Why is The Obama’s darling free-trade bill going to send more of our manufacturing to developing nations? Why did The Clinton’s free-trade deals export all our manufacturing? Don’t people understand the US has much stricter environmental laws than China and Taiwan? and that in the name of reducing emissions we should be keeping manufacturing here, in the US, where we can limit these emissions?

Oh, right, but Corporate America can reap ludicrous profit by exporting manufacturing…

… reasons to distrust the powerful, and to distrust their motives.

I am concerned that Earth’s dominant hegemonic power will use global warming to justify the expansion of its own power, both foreign and domestic. Never let a good crisis go to waste. I have little reason to assume the ruling class wants more power for anything but their own benefit.

I want the Federal Government to do as little as possible. I do not want the Federal Government to regulate power-plant emissions, automobile MPG’s, or lightbulbs, and every time a Liberal argues for more Federal regulation, I want to pull my hair. We need to regulate these things, and we should be regulating them at the state level.

(Manufacturing emissions should remain Federally-regulated, because in manufacturing there is a real risk of the Race To The Bottom phenomenon. If NJ tightens power-plant and car emission regulations, power-plants and car salesmen aren’t going to flee to Alabama, because NJ is still going to need cars and lights. If there is no risk of Race To The Bottom, the responsibility must remain with the states.)

Liberals have to understand that a large percentage of the US population distrusts the US Federal Government for valid (and wise) reasons, and that environmental regulations can develop much quicker at state and local levels, at least because democracy is more nimble in smaller groups.

Now for Conservatives: It doesn’t matter if you disagree with the overwhelming scientific consensus, human-driven global warming is a valid theory and a valid concern because it has yet to be disproved (if it ever will be). If there is a chance we’re destroying our atmosphere, for the sake of the entire freaking human population, you do not prevent human-species-saving actions.

Conservatives are not going to prevent environmental regulations from tightening because a large portion of our population wants tighter environmental regulations. By refusing environmental regulations at the state level, Conservatives are forcing Liberals to Federally regulate.

Conservatives, by refusing environmental regulations at the state level, are contributing to the growth of the Federal Government. Want to downsize the Federal Government? Then you need to give people the regulations they want at the state level.

Los Angeles? Where?

If Liberals would stop trying to Federally strong-arm the entire freaking country and shift their voices into passing state legislation, and if Conservatives would stop refusing environmental legislation at the state level and stop sucking-face with coal, then we could stop heating the Earth’s atmosphere without having the Federal Hegemony assume more power.

What the Federal Government Should Do:

  1. End Free-trade agreements
  2. Regulate Manufacturing Emissions
  3. Pour Billions into public research. Don’t subsidize green companies. Use that money (and a whole lot more money) to develop the technologies we need to be sustainable – solar power storage, graphene production methods, energy efficient housing, electric and self-driving cars, and of course, how to transmit energy to Earth from orbiting solar-arrays.

What States Should Do:

  1. Everything Else.
  2. And nuclear power.

What We All Should Do:

  1. Stop Consuming So Much! Everything you purchase has a CO2 cost. Value frugality over consumerism. In fact, kill consumerism. Instead of purchasing more crap whenever something breaks, use your human brain to figure out how to repair your dishwasher, your blender, your furniture, your laptop, your clothing.
  2. Buy locally. Shit that ain’t shipped from China doesn’t need oil to cross an ocean.