I have a queasy feeling after the NSOTU (not the state of the union speech, as folks on twitter call it).
Barack Obama is vastly more qualified than anyone I've seen on the political scene, and I know I'm not alone in saying that. He's a strong liberal-- who opposed the Iraq War when it took courage to do so, who verifies conservative truths when appropriate. I shudder to think what we'd be going through if we had President Clinton or Pelosi, or god forbid, McCain or Huckabee.
But my sense is that we needed to have a recession in 2001 after the tech bubble-- the one that put me and so many other Silicon Valley workers out of a job.
I didn't think that then. After I drove home from work each night to news of yet another decrease in the interest rate by the Federal Reserve, I cheered-- I was that much less likely to be laid off by a company that was clearly headed out of business. Better to be laid off later than sooner: something would come up.
But now I see, or rather believe-- because who among us can know what is going on with certainty in the economy-- that by putting off a stronger recession than we experienced, we guaranteed that when it did come, it would just be stronger.
The low interest rates stimulated housing price rises, which gave people the opportunity to borrow off the increased value of their homes. Which kept the economy going. But I can't help believe that we all knew somehow in our guts that we were living on borrowed time.
Bullshit was all around us. An essay I read recently, I think by Paul Rogat Loeb, speaks of the tragedy of the lies that we expect and thus no longer enrage us- the phony surveys by large corporations that are really sales pitches, the recording that plays while we are on hold that tells us we are valued, valued , valued, valued customers.
My sense is that any stimulus borrowing that does not build natural capital, or reduce it's reduction, will just lead to an economic collapse later that is all the more severe.
How bad can it get? When record drought is all around, when the ice caps melt, when forests die because of beetle infestations, when record heat waves lead to blackouts and nuclear plant shutdowns, when petroleum is more expensive, well.......
it could get worse than it is.
And right now, it's worse than it's been in a long time; and we're only a third or halfway through. And as the stress hit the economy, more stores, clubs, institutions may collapse, thus stress-testing nearby institutions and populations, which may then themselves collapse.
One of the cheesy advertisements that continually appears on the freebie internet services reflects this. It is a (useless) outfit that wants to glean and refer people for online degrees from various sources. It has a dozen icons for you to choose among and click. Want to move up in the world?
How do I become a: medical billing specialist, social worker, criminal investigator, health care manager, graphic designer, project manager, public relations specialist, counselor, author, accountant…? Glance over this list once again and recall the last time you had need of the services of any of them.
If we based such solicitations on what we consumed rather than how we hoped to idle away our lives, the list would read: How can I become involved in: supplying cloth, growing food, supplying fuel, making tools, making shoes, supplying dish washing detergent, milling lumber, etc.
(Exceprt from the website link in title) http://milesfrombabylon.blogspot.com/2009/01/nanotopia.html Click Here to Read More..
We are thrilled to announce that Asheville will be joining over 175 cities worldwide hosting Twestivals to raise awareness and money for charity: water!
charity: water is a non profit organization bringing clean, safe drinking water to people in developing nations by funding sustainable clean water solutions in areas of greatest need. Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean drinking water. That’s one in six of us. Twestivals are organized 100% by volunteers and 100% of the money raised will go directly to support charity: water projects.
Check back soon for updates. For more information please email us at avltwestivalgmailcom or follow us on Twitter. Click Here to Read More..
Root Shock in Asheville: Urban Renewal Hits Home A Weekend of Event, Exhibits and Conversations
The "Twilight of a Neighborhood" project documenting the history of Asheville's East End community, continutes with a weekend of events in February.
Friday, February 27 at 7:00 PM The Humanities Lecture Hall, UNC Asheville *Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove ROOT SHOCK 2009* Book sale/signing & Reception to follow....... Saturday, February 28 from 2-4:00 PM Holly Library, A-B Technical Community College *EXHIBIT: Twilight of a Neighborhood: Asheville's East End, 1970 *Opening & Reception for Andrea Clark
Saturday, February 28 at 7:00 PM Diana Wortham Theatre -- Pack Place *Conversations with Community Elders/YMI Reception for Drs. Mindy T. & Robert E. Fullilove* Diana Wortham Theatre -- Pack Place
Sunday, Mar. 1 from 2:30-4:00 PM Ferguson Auditorium, A-B Technical College *PUBLIC FORUM: ROOT SHOCK Today & What We Can Do About It *Moderated discussion by a distinguished panel, including Dr. Mindy Fullilove
/Event sponsors: Buncombe County Public Libraries, UNC Asheville, The Center for Diversity Education, The Stephens-Lee Alumni Association, The YMI Cultural Center, The Urban News, Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, and the NC Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Arts/ Click Here to Read More..
I own and operate the Smith Mill Creek Permaculture School. Smith Mill Creek runs along Patton Ave., and drains into the French Broad River, which eventually drains into the Mississippi. I'm at smithmillcreek -at- gmail dot com