Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Seeds of Change
It’s a rainy day, and I am working on several projects at once. For one, I am chronicling my efforts today for this post. But first, a peak at some of the recent news from the web regarding the financial collapse, er, bailout. It would appear that the honeymoon is over for the President’s team of financial wizards, despite the G20 mutual admiration society’s posturing in Europe last week. If you listen hard, you can hear the swine grunting vigorously at the federal trough as they gobble up what is left of the credit extended to our offspring, just as Geithner intended. Just trying to garner the last crumbs into the financial swill to be fed to the uber-rich before they bunker down in their gated communities as the lights go out for the rest of us. Not everyone is amused.
From Mike Whitney on Counterpunch: “…Bernanke's approach to the crisis has been wrongheaded from the get-go. It makes no sense to commit nearly $13 trillion to prop up a grossly oversized financial system while providing less than $900 billion stimulus for the real economy. The whole plan is upside-down. It's consumers, homeowners and workers that create demand (consumer spending is 72 per cent of GDP) and yet, they've been left to twist in the wind while the bulk of the resources has been directed to financial speculators who are responsible for the mess. Middle class families have seen their retirements slashed in half and their home equity vanish, while their jobs become increasingly less secure. The Fed and the Treasury should be focused on debt relief, mortgage cram-downs, jobs programs and open-ended support for state and local governments. Rebuilding the financial infrastructure for extending more credit to people that are already underwater is beyond shortsighted; it’s cruel. The financial system needs to shrink to fit the new reality of a smaller economy.”
From Charles Hugh Smith on Of Two Minds: “Like superstitious cargo-cult believers in remote South Seas islands who hoped to spark a return of the World War II plenty with appeals to stone radios and other talismans, the U.S. citizenry hoping for the return of debt-based, cheap-oil "good times" are doomed to the bitter realization that superstition is no substitute for an appreciation of the extreme fragility of the supply chain--both physical and financial--which feeds our consumerist economy.
Chris Hedges, from Truthdig, writes, “America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs.”
The New York Times is talking about a Great Depression. And, everyone has pretty much laid the heist of half the world’s financial assets at the feet of the most prestigious banks and financial institutions on the planet.
Even the San Francisco Chronicle opines that “ The Goal of the Bailouts is to Keep the Elites from Losing,” in a recent headline featured on LATOC.
What?? Mainstream newspaper questioning the fraudster brain trust?? What’s going on? I sense a disturbance in the force. Bernanke and Geithner announce more details of their plan, and everybody reacts as thought they just cut some cheese. The scorn is just beginning and, let’s face it, it couldn’t happen to nicer guys…
Well, we can’t spend too much time imaging the financial criminal class reaping their just rewards because the lights are dimming for the rest of us. In the long run, that’s okay. After all, as was pointed out in “The Day the Earth Stood Still” if the earth is to live, we have to declare the party to be over. But, “living simply so that others may simply live” has not, so far, been a message that the dumbasserie has embraced. Much remains to be done, if we are to survive this holocaust… er, transition. George Ure referred this morning to the electrical grid being invaded by foreign software. Just a reminder that it could all go down anytime. Have you prepared for what you will do when the lights go out? Will you still have heat? Be able to cook? How about water? The public water systems run by pumps, don’t they? The stores, banks, gas stations – all run on electricity to add up the bill, order supplies, pump gas into the trucks that deliver the food. It would all get real quiet, too. And nobody would be telling you what was happening on the television news. No television. Newspapers don’t get written or printed without electricity either. So, what could be causing the outage – somebody tripped the wrong switch? Cyber warfare? Nuclear explosion? Alien invasion? The Second Coming of Christ? Who the hell would know and how would they get the word out?
It’s all grist for the mental mill as I plant my seeds in little plastic cups. I can’t wait any longer. I’m getting them going inside to transplant later out in the garden or the greenhouse. Cold hardy broccoli, lettuces, chard, kale, carrots, onions, garlic, asparagus, artichokes, peas, and beets are already started. Companion plants that enhance their growth or ward off insects are my next project: chamomile, lavender, marigolds, basil, coriander, dill, mint, thyme, and rosemary. Cold sensitive tomatoes, cucumbers, beans, and squash will have to stay in the greenhouse or get put in the cold frame.
So much to do… so little time.
Got to check the chicken coop.
How did this get in here? It's a loaf of cheese bread. Thought it would be the hen house. Oh, well...
And, finally, a picture of Belgium's perfectly beautiful meat pie!