Today: a grab-bag of readings from around the web —
- “We Don’t Need Them” by Joe Carpenter — “I’ve never understood the idea of speaking truth to power. The truth, surely, is that in almost all countries of the world, political and economic systems are designed to benefit only the rich and powerful, at the expense of those with less money and power. This is how the world works, and I see no reason to think that the powerful don’t already understand that. After all, they designed it, they maintain it.… ¶ They are very few and we, here in the U.S. alone, are roughly three hundred million. We don’t need to rush out to tell the few that they are abusing the many. They already know that. We need to stand upright and walk out to tell the many that they are being slowly devoured by the few, for — incredibly, they do not know. We need to look to our next-door neighbors, and to their next door neighbors and to the folks all along the block. We need to tell the truth to each other — for we are the answer.
- Hunter at Daily Kos writes: “I know it is true, there is some confusion over whether the United States was a signatory to the Do Not Melt The Skin Off Of Children part of the Geneva conventions, and whether or not that means we are permitted to melt the skin off of children, or merely are silent on the whole issue of melting the skin off of children. ¶ But all that aside, there are very good reasons, even in a time of war, not to melt the skin off of children. First, because the insurgency will inevitably be hardened by tales of American forces melting the skin off of children. Second, because the civilian population will harbor considerable resentment towards Americans for melting the skin off of their children. Third, because it fucking melts the skin off of children.”
- Andrew Bard Schmookler of None So Blind is trying to make the concept of “evil” respectable in liberal intellectual circles again, particularly with respect to criticisms of the current administration in Washington. “I’ve come lately to believe that the concept of evil captures a vital human reality. So vital that its disappearance from the cognitive maps of many modern sophisticated people is a dangerous development — dangerous because when people do not recognize the nature of the forces they are up against, they will be less able to deal with them effectively.”
- Catherine Pulsifer at Wendy McElroy.com has some tips on how to lower your electricity bill.
- Ben Tripp at Counterpunch tries to visualize the monetary cost of the war: “Every month, the United States spends enough money killing Arabs of various kinds so that, if we instead decided to paperclip all those dollars together, we could not only reach the moon, we could come all the way back again with another chain of dollars, and still have enough dollars left over to go all the way around the equator ($262,954,560) 3.8 times… And that is every month. ¶ …Where are all these dollars coming from? You can’t slip that kind of loot out of mom’s purse. These dollars are coming from foreign governments and financial institutions. The USA has borrowed all this money from people that don’t even use dollars at home! How many Chinese yuan does it take to reach the moon? We’re about to find out. Since G. W. Bush took office (and he did take it), his government has borrowed $1.05 trillion. That is to say, over one thousand billion. Remember how many a billion is? $1.05 trillion is more than the total borrowed by every administration ($1.01 trillion). The mind implodes. Half of this nation’s debt in 224 years, the other half since Junior Bush got the top job. Remember how far away the sun is? We have spent enough dollars to get us all the way to the sun with plenty to spare for sunscreen.”