I’m freshly home from the holidays and am getting back to my email and my feed reader and the rest of that big ol’ interweb after some good family time.
So, today: a few bits and pieces that accumulated during my absence:
- First up: among the things that happened while I was away was that I got roped into Facebook by some pals who like to play word games long-distance. Those of you who have also given in to temptation may be interested to know that there’s a NWTRCC Facebook group as well as a more generic tax resistance group on Facebook.
- Frida Berrigan notes that the United States remains the world’s leading arms exporter, fueling wars and arms races worldwide.
- Don Bacon comments on the coming increase in the size of the U.S. military and how the military plans to go about boosting its headcount.
- A number of commentators gleefully point out that the brand of shoes recently flung at Dubya during a press conference in Iraq by Muntazer al-Zaidi are flying off the shelves.
- A fascinating new look at the role of the Watergate scandal’s “Deep Throat” by George Friedman sees the destruction of Richard Nixon as a behind-the-scenes power play by J. Edgar Hoover’s rogue secret police against political control of the out-of-control agency — and sees the Washington Post’s reporting of Deep Throat’s revelations not as the act of a paper courageously fighting the powers-that-be and bringing truth to light, but as hiding the real truth in order to take sides in a back stage coup.
- Charles Hugh Smith gives us some more of his insights into the coming expansion of the informal economy. According to Smith, in the still-coming economic downturn “very few can operate a formal business profitably, and so they close their doors and scrape up a living in the informal cash economy. Local government will see its revenues wither and eventually insolvency will force a radical re-thinking of government revenues, expenses and services. Until then, watch for the informal economy to grow and the formal economy to wither.”
- Jesse Walker at Hit & Run looks at alternative currencies and shares some details I hadn’t heard before — for instance this bit about Argentina: “At the depth of the country’s last economic crisis, about half the nation’s provinces issued their own money rather than rely on the central bank. I knew about the barter-based currency that emerged in Buenos Aires at the time, but I didn’t realize the search for homegrown monetary alternatives had been so widespread.”
- ntodd at Pax Americana shares the developmental stages toward Active Peace
One interesting aspect of the five-stages theory seems to be that the next one only becomes visible or understandable to you once you have attained the one before. In this way, each stage represents a “perspective”, both individual and social, and social “organisms” can be said to progress through the stages as well as individual ones.