Notes Nov 14 2007
November 13, 2007 § Leave a comment
The Independent – The human population arose from a single migration out of Africa 55,000 years ago, which replaced all other humans in Europe and Asia, a study shows.
Scientists have confirmed the “out-of-Africa” model of human origins with a study that combines genetic evidence with physical data from more than 6,000 skulls around the world.
From Garrison Keilor
Poem: “I Used to Be but Now I Am” by Ted Berrigan, from The Collected Poems of Ted Berrigan. © University of California Press, 2005. Reprinted with permission.(buy now)
I Used to Be but Now I Am
I used to be inexorable,
But now I am elusive.
I used to be the future of America,
But now I am America.
I used to be part of the problem,
But now I am the problem.
I used to be part of the solution, if not all of it,
But now I am not that person.
I used to be intense, & useful,
But now I am heavy, & boring.
I used to be sentimental about myself, & therefore ruthless,
But now I am, I think, a sympathetic person, although
I used to be a believer,
But now, alas, I believe.
Thinkig this morning
- War rather than diplomacy
- Financial manipulation without social contract
- Education without education
- Health without welfare
- Energy without radical conservation
- Agriculture large system vs small system
- Housing as financial rather than as construction in the lead
- Transportation based on stupid planning.
- Unfair economic distribution as corporations capture the profit from the commons (science, tech, land, air waves..)
- Poor tax structure hurting all but a few
- Not broad education that would provide the skills necessary, but that requires social solidarity as a nation, a social contract, rising expectations. What we have is a hollowed out nation. Where did the profits go?
- Financial managers taking a cut in every transaction
- The very wealthy who can shield profit and themselves, often by moving assets overseas.
- Reverse trend in tax and wealth concentration
- Return to vigorous diplomacy and a graceful approach to world problems
- Education as an enabler for the actual jobs we can create (may be some surprises here)
- Health as an enabler and run not as a corporation
- A social contract, like Roosevelt’s New Deal speeches
And new language, social and cultural underdevelopment needs to be addressed.
From Scott Horton excerpt Is the Roll-Out Sputtering by Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine)
That is to say, the rush to strike against Iran in the coming 16 months is downplayed, the need to adopt a different approach akin to the leverage applied on North Korea is seen as a safer bet. Israelis don’t expect the diplomatic track to work miracles, but they recognize that it can’t be avoided, and that, skillfully managed, it can produce results.
The key problem is that U.S. diplomatic skills and abilities seem to have reached a modern low point in the Bush Administration. That’s both because of the incompetent leadership of the diplomatic team, and because Bush’s own dismissive attitude towards diplomacy undermines any approach. In light of all of this, the successes achieved w
As for Bush’s attack on pork, Levey and Gerstenzang write: “The critique is a new one this year for a president who inherited a budget surplus and presided in his first six years over deficits that have ballooned the national debt to more than $9 trillion. ..”
Nobel laureate economist Joseph E. Stiglitz writes for Vanity Fair: “When we look back someday at the catastrophe that was the Bush administration, we will think of many things: the tragedy of the Iraq war, the shame of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, the erosion of civil liberties. The damage done to the American economy does not make front-page headlines every day, but the repercussions will be felt beyond the lifetime of anyone reading this page. . . .
“Since 2001, Bush signed at least 50 spending bills passed by Republicans that exceeded his budget requests, according to House Appropriations Committee records. He did not veto a single one.
“Nor did he veto any bills to protest the explosion of earmarks under Republican Congresses.”
ith the French are virtual mana from heaven.
In recent weeks, and none too soon, residents of the balmy Southeast have been told to start saving water. The rules get tougher with each dry day. Gardens must be allowed to turn brown unless they are a family vegetable patch. Showers should be brief; faucet drips are taboo. Farms, understandably, are exempt. Perhaps less understandably, so are most golf courses.