Here’s Why Debt Reduction Negotiation Won’t Work

Politicians just don’t tell the truth. They claim that budget deficits will destroy us and yet constantly fail to make any meaningful reductions. Why?

It’s because they know that the whole Capitalist system requires ever increasing debt to survive and that we’re now at a point where no country can ever pay its debt. Ever.

To better understand the real problem, imagine that 1 dollar is the equivalent of travelling backward in time for 1 second.

That means that 60 dollars would represent going back in time 1 minute. Accordingly, 1 hour ago would equal 3,600 dollars. You get the idea.

That means 1 million dollars would take you back 12 days. That’s still pretty easy to imagine.

One billion dollars, however,  is equal to 31,000 years ago. Whoa! That’s a surprise. It’s MUCH larger than it sounds.

So what must 1 trillion dollars look like?

One trillion dollars would take you back to 30,000 B.C.  The oldest known cave paintings are about that old.

What’s truly shocking is that our current deficit is around 16 trillion dollars, which is like going back in time to 420,000 B.C.

Considering that Man didn’t start using tools until around 200,000 B.C., you can see that this is now an un-imaginable sum. That’s why we’ll never fix it. The hole is so deep and the system is so dependent on it getting deeper that no human will ever see sovereign debt eliminated nor meaningfully reduced.

So why do politicians keep demanding that we cut spending? It’s simple:

All governments are now owned by corporations and these corporations make more money when there’s less competition. Functioning government programs are essentially providing services that could be better raped if they were privatized. Cutting government spending is an efficient way to drive them out of business.

It’s a matter of pure greed. Medicare, for example, operates with only a 3% administrative cost. Private health insurers operate at closer to 30%. That’s a ten-fold increase in profits to some large corporation if Medicare can be privatized.

It’s all about the money. It’s always about the money. Corporations and their Republican puppets just can’t ever seem to get enough of it.

That’s why they wan’t to reign in the deficit. It’s certainly not because they’re concerned that somebody else won’t get paid.

Why I’m Voting Republican

My, my, how some things never change. This video was created for the 2008 presidential election cycle and was actually filmed in 2007.

That’s 5 years ago.

Compared to their current messaging, it’s as if nothing has changed in the last 5 years. This video even predicted kid soldiers being sent to Iran. That kind of unwavering predictability isn’t natural.

That tells me one of two things: either the Republicans are the most unimaginative, non-observant yet obedient drones that have ever existed or they are simply stooges for some greater power ($$$) that has a clear and rigid agenda for them to fulfill.

Maybe it’s a little of both. Regardless, they are perfectly willing “to just follow orders.” That, of course, never, ever leads to negative outcomes.

Young People Aren’t Stupid (They’ve Just Quit Listening to Idiots)

11 year old Birke Baehr knows what’s up. So do most of his buddies.

Large corporations spend huge amounts of money trying to persuade people to act against their own best interests but it isn’t working any more. Even a child can see through the thin veneer of deception.

Worldwide, people are waking up and rejecting the idea that if it’s good for business, it’s good.

Long overdue, power and authority are being challenged and for the first time in a long time these bully industries and institutions are being re-evaluated on their actual worth to society, not just their worth to stockholders.

I take that as a good sign. That change of thinking is unstoppable and it might even be enough to save us from ourselves.

Tell the Senate: Say NO to Big Oil’s Keystone XL Bill Once and For All

This is what happens to pristine wetlands

In the ongoing coverage of the plan to build the Keystone XL pipeline to pump crude tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, a key issue is too often ignored: the ecological horror caused by the oil’s extraction. The vast tar sands surface mines of Alberta are among the most destructive industrial projects in human history, having already transformed more than 260 square miles of wetlands and forest into a post-apocalyptic moonscape.

Because few Americans will ever see this scorched-earth degradation firsthand, here is a selection of  images taken by Canadian photographer Garth Lenz  as part of his series, The True Costs of Oil.

You can sign the Sierra Club’s petition to Congress today by clicking here

It takes a lot of oil sand to produce oilOn average, it takes four tons of bitumen-laden earth from surface mines to produce just a single barrel of oil.

That is not a typo: four tons = one barrel.

To get to the sand, workers first scrape off all trees, soil, grasses, and wildlife, then dig down as deep as 250 feet. Syncrude’s mine near Fort McMurray, now more than 30 years old, has gobbled up 73 square miles of land and is the biggest mine of any kind in the world.

You can sign the Sierra Club’s petition to Congress today by clicking here

It takes huge vehicles to move huge amounts of sand

The tar sand is transported in cartoonishly big vehicles, like this Caterpillar dump truck, which can carry up to 100 tons. The largest mining truck in use in Canada, the Caterpillar 797B (not pictured), can haul up to 400 tons in a single load. Its tires are 12 feet in diameter, and the driver sits 21 feet above the road.

You can sign the Sierra Club’s petition to Congress today by clicking here

Waste ponds are the result of using only 10-15 percent of the ore for fuel

Only 10 to 15 percent of the harvested sand contains bitumen—the ultra-viscous tar-like substance that eventually gets processed into gasoline. The rest gets dumped into tailing “ponds,” which are actually unlined, sludge-filled lakes so big they can be seen from space and so toxic that workers use propane cannons to scare away birds that try to land in them. The oil industry estimates that about 3 million gallons of tailing-pond runoff leaks into the Canadian groundwater supply daily.

You can sign the Sierra Club’s petition to Congress today by clicking here

Tar sands pollute much more than coal

Extracting and processing tar sands requires three to four times more energy than conventional oil drilling. The tar sands fields of Alberta are already Canada’s single greatest source of carbon dioxide emissions, and the country has plans to double that output within 10 years. A relatively new extraction process, called steam-activated gravity drainage, does less damage to the landscape but will hasten climate disruption by opening up access to deeper tar sands deposits in an area the size of Florida.

You can sign the Sierra Club’s petition to Congress today by clicking here

Jonathan Haidt Explains Our Contentious Culture

Bill Moyers: “Our country is more politically polarized than ever. Is it possible to agree to disagree and still move on to solve our massive problems? Or are the blind leading the blind — over the cliff?”

In this video, Bill and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt talk about the psychological underpinnings of our contentious culture, why we can’t trust our own opinions, and the demonizing of our adversaries.

“When it gets so that your opponents are not just people you disagree with, but… the mental state in which I am fighting for good, and you are fighting for evil, it’s very difficult to compromise,” Haidt tells Moyers. “Compromise becomes a dirty word.”