The books of the Bible are generally divided into two types; books of revelation, which reveal the history of God’s people, and books of prophecy, which predict events that had not yet happened at the time of the writing of those particular books. Thus, the Book of Revelation (Apocalypse) is actually a book of prophecy, not revelation.
I have long thought that the first chapters of the book of Genesis, understood to be a book of revelation (i.e., history), is actually a book of prophecy. The first humans were given the earth as a Garden of Eden and told to care for it. But having eaten from the tree of Knowledge of good and evil, God expelled them from the Garden. I see this as an on-going event. The more we use our knowledge as a tool to destroy the earth and kill our fellow humans, the further we are removed from the Eden-like qualities of the earth. Eventually, perhaps in the not-too-distant future, we will have made the earth a place which cannot support human life and we will bring ourselves to an extinction event – or close enough to it that it may not matter if we are technically extinct or not; there may be so few of us left that we are never again the dominant species on earth.
Oh, sorry, you are probably not comfortable with references to the Bible and God, particularly if you are “on the left” of the political spectrum. It’s a common and hypocritical stance for those on the left to vociferously defend the right of the Muslim to follow his faith, to express earnest admiration for the Buddhist and to loudly proclaim that the atheist has it right, while denigrating and mocking anyone, particularly any American, who professes any sort of Christian belief. I weary of it, quite frankly, and get annoyed at the childish references to “Dog” or “The Flying Spaghetti Monster” used in place of the word “God” that litters the comment sections of progressive websites. While I agree that most Christians in America are practicing a faith that doesn’t resemble in the least the teachings of Jesus, and is in fact antithetical to those teachings and in some instances actually dangerous to society as a whole, and while I don’t belong to any church myself, I think to cut off all discussion of faith or religion guarantees that we will not ever reach a meaningful dialogue with those who practice the more inhumane versions of Christianity (without going into details, which I feel no need for in this post, these forms of Christianity are what I refer to as Sharia Christianity, and its adherents are the sort of people who would inflict their strict interpretations of the Bible on the United States collectively). We certainly aren’t going to convince them to come anywhere near our viewpoint by mocking them before a conversation even begins. Just my opinion, for what it’s worth.
So let’s put this in more scientific terms.
We have a planet which has allowed us to evolve into the species we are today: homo sapiens sapiens, or “wise, wise man”. (Yeah, we thought we were so smart that we felt compelled to put the ‘wise’ in there twice. Although who we thought we were impressing with this name – gorilla gorilla, perhaps? – is beyond me.) We did not get very far into our evolution before we started finding ways to bump off rival human tribes and the other species with whom we share the planet. We have reached the point where we are destroying the very things we need in order to survive on the earth. We are the only species which has guaranteed its own extinction and which has turned against its own herd in such vicious, unrelenting fashion.
Nature is subtle and nuanced; yet we treat it as though it were all a crude game that we can manipulate and rig. By all evidence, we will continue to do this until we die out. We choose to pollute our water, the air we breathe, and the food we eat. Perhaps you and I do not personally dump toxic waste into the rivers, but we have allowed ourselves to become so stressed by the elites and big companies that run this country that we don’t protest much when they do it. We are too busy trying to hang onto the poorly paying jobs we have (90% of the new jobs created this year are part-time. And they are all poorly paid), or trying to figure out how to stay in our homes, or pay for the kids’ educations and the like that we can’t pay too much attention to the myriad other ways we are being beaten down, abused, and poisoned.
We are also dealing with a Triple-Crown of phenomena on these issues. First, we have been stupid enough (and it is stupidity and ignorance and lack of enough curiosity to check into these matters ourselves) to let politicians, the wealthy, and big corporations dupe us into blaming each other for every ill in our society. A huge number of Americans blame their poor neighbors for the “budget deficit” rather than the big banks and the war/weapons/spying programs spending. Secondly, we have almost complete media black-out on the issues. The media is owned by only a handful of companies, which are almost entirely comprised of the biggest arms manufacturers in the world. The reporters and television personalities toe the line and only report what they are told to; there is no longer an adversarial press in this country. The third phenomenon is that of the complicity and mendacity of our elected government officials. With only one or two exceptions, our state and federal representatives have taken the bribes offered by big corporations and the MIC. They not interested in the well-being of the American populace. They want to be re-elected until they can finally retire to collect the reward of sitting on a board of directors or as an executive in a big company – a reward offered by the very companies that write the Congressional bills our elected officials vote into law.
You may not want to think that your local politicians don’t care about you, but if you live in Wisconsin, Ohio, or certain other states, surely you can’t be deluded about it any longer. Even in my state, Maryland, the governor has recently become enamored of some of the very things he ran against in his recent and successful bid for a second term, such as fracking. And you may not want to believe that our Congress in Washington, DC has completely sold us out, but it is a simple fact. They are throwing their lot in with the wealthy and the big companies and the rest of us do not matter. Don’t believe it? Ask yourself why Congress wrote and voted for, and Obama signed into law, the NDAA, and did so two years running, about which Chris Hedges writes:
The three branches of government may want to retain the ability to use the military to maintain control if widespread civil unrest should occur in the United States. I suspect the corporate state knows that amid the mounting effects of climate change and economic decline the military may be all that is left between the elite and an enraged population. And I suspect the corporate masters do not trust the police to protect them[…]
If Section 1021 stands it will mean that more than 150 years of case law in which the Supreme Court repeatedly held the military has no jurisdiction over civilians will be abolished. It will mean citizens who are charged by the government with “substantially supporting” al-Qaeda, the Taliban or the nebulous category of “associated forces” will be lawfully subject to extraordinary rendition. It will mean citizens seized by the military will languish in military jails indefinitely, or in the language of Section 1021 until “the end of hostilities”—in an age of permanent war, for the rest of their lives. It will mean, in short, obliteration of our last remaining legal protections, especially now that we have lost the right to privacy, and the ascent of a crude, militarized state that serves the leviathan of corporate totalitarianism. It will mean, as Forrest pointed out in her 112-page opinion, that whole categories of Americans—and here you can assume dissidents and activists—will be subject to seizure by the military and indefinite and secret detention[…]
“There’s nothing that’s built into this NDAA [the National Defense Authorization Act] that even gives a detained person the right to get to an attorney,” Afran said. “In fact, the whole notion is that it’s secret. It’s outside of any judicial process. You’re not even subject to a military trial. You can be moved to other jurisdictions under the law. It’s the antithesis of due process.”[…]
Congress allows the wholesale spying on every American through the phone and email systems in the US. They have never charged the big banks with fraud or any of the crimes of which they are guilty – and now the statute of limitations is up for most of the criminal activities with which they brought down the global economy in ’08. Congress defunds the EPA, the FDA, and all the regulatory agencies rather than making sure these agencies do their jobs. Why are they giving subsidies to the oil industries that poison our water and destroy our land instead of pursuing any sort of green technologies? Why are they giving them subsidies at all? The big oil companies are making more profit than any other companies in history. Why are we invading and destroying country after country around the globe – and bankrupting our nation in the process – in an effort to steal their resources rather than just engaging in honest trade with them? Congress is letting Monsanto, Sygenta and Bayer fuck around with the DNA of the very food we eat, letting Halliburton, Exxon, et al dump toxic chemicals in our water, and ensuring we have no access to the courts for redress when it turns out these companies are killing us. Congress is still talking about the chained CPI as a way to cut back on the Social Security we paid for and is starving the aid programs for people who are hungry and have been forced from jobs and homes instead of any having any discussion about cutting war-spending or shutting down any of the 850 military bases we run around the globe. Congress, the Supreme Court, and the current administration – they may not be actively trying to kill you, but they sure don’t give a shit if you die.
The numbers coming out of Congress and printed in the papers regarding job creation and the financial state of the country are complete and utter fabrications. One might notice that each month’s jobs reports are “corrected” later or that every article contains gross inconsistencies within its paragraphs. One might notice that the jargon is becoming harder to decipher as the “financial writers” struggle to maintain the illusion that all is well when, in fact, the wizards of Wall Street are playing their games of worldwide grand theft with sheer bravado and a vengeance not seen even during the Great Depression.
The US Treasury is operated in complete accordance with the policies and wishes of the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, with absolutely zero measure of counter-balancing dissent, and thus the US Treasury acts solely and entirely on behalf of the private Federal Reserve and its (the Fed’s) Owner/Member Banks over, above, and at the direct expense of any needs or protections for the US citizenry at large; thus the citizens have found themselves lacking any governmental ally whatsoever in the war for survival against the financial oligarchy.
Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was pleased to announce in May that, though the US has again, for the second time this year, hit its Congressionally mandated “debt ceiling”, the Treasury is able to have that not be a problem because of certain unelaborated, mysterious, some might even say miraculous, reasons, as follows: “The U.S. bumped up against its borrowing limit Sunday, forcing the Treasury Department to employ ‘extraordinary measures’ to make sure the government keeps paying its bills. Congress agreed to suspend the nation’s $16.4 trillion borrowing limit the last time they approached it, in January. In a letter to congressional leaders, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the extraordinary actions should allow the government to meet all its obligations at least through the Sept. 2 Labor Day holiday.” – Chicago Tribune, The Hill
None of the publications, not even any of those that bothered to comment on the fact of the US hitting its debt ceiling in the first place, even bothered to ask exactly how the Treasury Secretary mysteriously manages, once again, to have that debt (or its ceiling) simply disappear, i.e., what, dear sir, are those extraordinary measures of which ye speak – be they magical incantations of the sort we might rely on for the long haul, or be they mere flimflammery? They are most happy to wield these mystical powers, inexplicable though they may be, particularly as that old black magic is so obviously and unambiguously good for the global financial cartel of US megabanks, who are now receiving a bare minimum of acknowledged, direct, and on-balance-sheet (US-national-debt-increasing) transfers a total annual sum approximately equal in size to the entire stated Pentagon/DOD budget (each being greater than or equal to $1.2 Trillion per year). And even that accounts for only the acknowledged and on-balance-sheet transfers, a tiny subset of the full amount of financial assistance and largesse actually being extended exclusively to those same megabanks by their (privately held) Federal Reserve. Hitting the debt ceiling yet again, were it noticed by anyone, might help create some public interest in questioning why, exactly, we might be giving a handful of megabanks at least as much money as we give the Pentagon, which itself is utterly ridiculous, and/or might bring some in the financial sector or the public sphere to actually question the long-term sustainability of the economy and the US itself under such management. And the Treasury Secretary can’t have that happening, obviously, so it remains in the articles as the never explained ‘extraordinary measures’.
The pain the banks are inflicting across the world are also affecting us here at home – these are equal opportunity takings, after all, and we Yanks are not immune: there are now over 100 million people in the US living under the poverty level while the Fed continues to print an astonishing amount of cash each month which it simply gives to a handful of banks.
Changing subjects, let’s now look for a moment at the poisons our Congress has decided are acceptable for us to ingest. This would be the same Congress that purportedly looks out for our welfare and puts the interests of the public as its top priority.
The gas and oil extraction practice called ‘fracking’ is known to poison waterways and underground aquifers, cause earthquakes, and ruin the land leased to the fracking companies.
The Wilderness Society Feb. 2011 report [http://beyondoil.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/drilling-in-america-february-2011.pdf ] states that by the end of 2009 there were already 2.6mm oil and natural gas wells, of which 1mm were active, and 2,000 active drilling rigs, plus 4,000 Gulf of Mexico platforms adding over 40,000 new oil and gas wells each year. The US has more drilling rigs and wells than any other country on earth, and is the top natural gas producer in the world and the number three oil producer, despite having less than 2% of world’s oil supply and less than 4% of world natural gas. The US accounts for 23% of world oil usage and 21% of world natural gas usage; so no amount of drilling will ever close that gap. Ecowatch, Feb., 2013 [ http://ecowatch.com/2013/land-leased-oil-and-gas-industry/] reports that at the end of 2011, the top 70 oil/gas companies held extraction leases on 141mm acres in the US, more land than California and Florida combined. 90% of all US oil and gas production is via fracking. Environmental and other restrictions and regulations governing fracking on the Bureau of Land Management Federal leased land (federal public lands account for 1/3 of above total) have simultaneously been loosened. NRDC, from a 2011 report, states that as of 2009, the US already housed 2/3 of all the oil and gas wells ever drilled in the entire world. [http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/dlovaas/drilling_us_has_been_there_don.html]
Post-production out-of-service wells are almost as problematical from an environmental toxins standpoint as the ones in active production and are often used as a permanent underground storehouse of the toxic wastes from the production phase. Yet the BLM allows them to then be simply and completely abandoned with no more liability to the extraction company, end of story. And federal oil and natgas regulations on drilling, chemicals, disclosures, study periods, environmental impact, etc., have continued to be weakened each year to today.
Then there is the problem of methane leakage from the natural gas fracking operations:
Researchers with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have reconfirmed earlier findings of high rates of methane leakage from natural gas fields. If these findings are replicated elsewhere, they would utterly vitiate the climate benefit of natural gas, even when used to switch off coal.Indeed, if the previous findings — of 4% methane leakage over a Colorado gas field — were a bombshell, then the new measurements reported by the journal Nature are thermonuclear:
… the research team reported new Colorado data that support the earlier work, as well as preliminary results from a field study in the Uinta Basin of Utah suggesting even higher rates of methane leakage — an eye-popping 9% of the total production. That figure is nearly double the cumulative loss rates estimated from industry data — which are already higher in Utah than in Colorado.
How much methane leaks during the entire lifecycle of unconventional gas has emerged as a key question in the fracking debate. Natural gas is mostly methane (CH4). And methane is a far more potent greenhouse gas than (CO2), which is released when any hydrocarbon, like natural gas, is burned — 25 times more potent over a century and 72 to 100 times more potent over a 20-year period.[…]
As a further threat, we have the GMO (genetically modified organisms) industry giants such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, and Bayer playing God with the DNA of the foods we eat, and by extension, with our DNA. We have little understanding of how this interference will affect us in the long run, despite industry claims that no harm will come from eating GMO crops (a claim disputed by the scientific communities here and abroad, at least by the scientists not paid by Monsanto to obfuscate the facts). Our bodies have evolved to handle certain foods, and this evolutionary process takes millenia. I suppose we could eventually adapt to eating, say, arsenic without being poisoned to death by it, but we could not force this adaptation in one generation. What Monsanto is doing is forcing us to handle altered DNA into our bodies as “nourishment”. The DNA of these crops is altered, for the most part, to allow the plants to accept Round-up (a powerful weed-killer descended from Agent Orange) without the death of the plant itself. Thus, the fields are drenched in Round-up to kill the weeds and pesticides to kill the bugs (unfortunately killing the bees and other pollinators along the way – too bad, sorry about that), while the corn, soy, beets, or whatever the crop is, will grow, produce fruit and be taken to the market. You are not only getting a product that has altered DNA, you are getting a product that has been inundated with weed-killer and pesticides.
The GMO product itself is engineered to be resistant to these poisons so you can spray the shit out of your field (after fertilizing it with super toxic ammonium hydrate and phosphorous, of course) and not worry about weeds or bugs. They’re all dead. And the land takes decades to recover, so it’s now dead. And the crops they produce uptake the poisons (and has poisons coded into its altered DNA) so we sure as hell shouldn’t be eating the shit or continuing to allow these soulless corporate gollems to directly poison us and our land, sea, and air. The media largely covers the topic of GMO’s to paint any protests against them as some sort of hysterical reaction from nuts and conspiracy theorists.
Congress is heavily lobbied by the companies and has written (and passed for the second time) what is called the Monsanto Protection Act.
Congress extends Monsanto Protection Act
…Called “The Monsanto Protection Act” by opponents, the budget rider shields biotech behemoths like Monsanto, Cargill and others from the threat of lawsuits and bars federal courts from intervening to force an end to the sale of a GMO (genetically-modified organism) even if the genetically-engineered product causes damaging health effects….
It was one of my own Md. Senators, Barbara Mikulski, a “progressive” [sic] “Democrat” [sic] who made sure that the original Monsanto Protection Act was inserted into another bill and passed into law.
None of anything I wrote above matters much if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (the TPP) trade agreement goes into effect. (I have written about the TPP several times. See under ‘trade agreements’ on the menu bar to the right.) Obama can’t wait to approve this monster and is seeking fast-track status for it from Congress. The TPP will end the sovereignty of any nation that signs it. We will be under the rule of corporate lawyers, who would be able to override the laws of every signatory country to the benefit of big business and big banks. At that point, there is no longer a need for Congress or a Constitution.
I wanted to end this post on a positive note, since it’s all been such a downer. However, I find there is nothing more to say – certainly nothing cheerful. The odds are overwhelmingly against us and the forces aligned against the common man are powerful and ineffably evil. I can only hope you have someone to share your campfire with as we enter a strange sort of feudalistic new Dark Ages, for unless the entire world is able to somehow unite and fend off those who are engineering our demise for the sake of monetary profit, our fate is fairly well sealed.
Obama, Congress advance plans for deeper social spending cuts
[…] Meanwhile, Treasury Department figures released Thursday show that the federal deficit, supposedly the reason for austerity measures, has plunged to the lowest level since Obama took office, less than $700 billion in fiscal 2013:
The EPA’s controversial new Protective Action Guides (PAGs) allows exposure to very high doses from radiation releases before the government would take action to protect the public: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2013/09/16-3
Congressional approval for new gas and oil drilling: http://www.nola.com/politics/index.ssf/2012/07/house_approves_bill_to_greatly.html
Speculation on the food markets leading to hunger around the globe: http://www.nationofchange.org/six-shameful-facts-about-hunger-1372075687
Speculation on the ethanol market – This topic brings a lot of things together, farm subsidies, gmo corn, fossil fuels, predatory bank speculation, cornered commodities, and a fucked-over public.
Increasing militarization and surveillance state in the US:
– FBI biometric data program:
– “Extinction Crisis”: 21,000 of World’s Species at Risk of Disappearing
‘Canary in the Ocean’
– Roughly 80 percent of all the packaged foods sold within the United States contain chemicals outlawed in other parts of the world. http://rt.com/usa/banned-additives-food-outlawed-089/
– Unlimited Arsenic and Other Poisons Dumped Daily Into US Waters
– Effects of fracking: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/06/25-4
The fact that the Fukushima reactors have been leaking huge amounts of radioactive water ever since the 2011 earthquake is certainly newsworthy.But the real problem is that the idiots who caused this mess are probably about to cause a much bigger problem. Specifically, the greatest short-term threat to humanity is from the fuel pools at Fukushima.
– Gulf of Mexico: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/06/130621-dead-zone-biggest-gulf-of-mexico-science-environment/
Genetic Roulette http://geneticroulettemovie.com/