I already did. It's us who decide, not Monsanto!!!
They say the economic crisis is over, but we all know it is not. As many analyst point normal people are cutting spending more and more, simply because they cannot afford to spend. Credits are hard to get, not to mention that they are dangerous - if another wave of the crisis hit us (as they say it will), people might get seriously hurt. Financially and probably physically. So basically, we all try to spend as little as possible and to survive until better times. Right? Well, not entirely. Or not exactly. Look what interesting article appeared on NY Times.
Cheap Debt for Corporations Fails to Spur Economy -
"Companies like Microsoft are raising billions of dollars by issuing bonds at ultra-low interest rates, but few of them are actually spending the money on new factories, equipment or jobs. Instead, they are stockpiling the cash until the economy improves.
The development presents something of a chicken-and-egg situation: Corporations keep saving, waiting for the economy to perk up — but the economy is unlikely to perk up if corporations keep saving.
This situation underscores the limits of Washington policy makers’ power to stimulate the economy. The Federal Reserve has held official interest rates near zero for almost two years, which allows corporations to sell bonds with only slightly higher returns — even below 1 percent. But most companies are not doing what the easy monetary policy was intended to get them to do: invest and create jobs.
Corporations now sit atop a combined $1.6 trillion of cash, a figure equal to slightly more than 6 percent of their total assets.
Conditions have become so good that some companies are borrowing money they will not have to repay until the next century."
To sum it up, the government uses taxpayers money to create a financial environment that is supposed to ease the corporations and let them create jobs, new projects and generally - prosperity. Corporations just take the money and save them for profit. Or for the winter. Isn't this one of the miracles of capitalism? Ok, I'm not an economist, maybe I use the term wrongly, but since the government doesn't invest directly into the business, I call it capitalism. And in any case, USA was supposed to be the pillar of capitalism, I guess I just might use that word. Anyway.
So, you, dear American readers, don't you feel slightly robbed? Even without being American, I do feel like this. Simply because money are global these days. So we all work for the money of corporations. The very same money that they happily save for the unknown future.
What I can't understand, however, is...even if they fix their current financial situation, what will happen if the next wave of the crisis hits, and they still basically borrow their money. Obviously if the situation is very bad, the government might raise the taxes to collect money, just like happened in many places around Europe. They raise all the taxes. They raise all the credit interest rates. And then what happens with our dear corporations still living on credit. Is it just me, or the whole situation is absolute nonsense? I mean, money are sign of prosperity, but without prosperity, money are nothing. They just lose their value. If you don't invest into new infrastructure, new jobs, new projects, those money are nothing. They come and go. That is unless you don't plane to go with them to a nice sunny place without extradition.
So where's the catch? Is the whole situation made to enrich corporations (yes, I admit it sounds a little bit like conspiracy) or there is something we don't see? For example, we know that China lends money to USA, why would corporations prefer to borrow money, than to use their own? And to repay those money after century? Why? How? Because the economy is so unstable right now, how do they know that just after 5 year the credit rate won't jump to the roof. Or maybe they expect drastic devaluation of the currency? If yes - WHY?! If that's the truth (not that we'll know it), it raises some very interesting questions and possibilities.
In any case, I think the government ought to take care of taxpayers money and to either raise the credit rate or to make sure the big guys use those money for something useful. If they all save the money to move to China, that's hardly useful for the taxpayers, isn't it?
And while we're at China, check out this:
More Countries Adopt China’s Tactics on Currency - "As the Obama administration escalates its battle with Chinese leaders over the artificially low value of China’s currency, a growing number of countries are retreating from some free-market rules that have guided international trade in recent decades and have started playing by Chinese rules.
Japan and Brazil have taken measures recently to devalue their currencies, or at least prevent them from appreciating further against the Chinese currency, the renminbi. The House of Representatives last week overwhelmingly passed the first legislation to allow the United States to slap huge tariffs on Chinese goods unless China allows the renminbi to appreciate, another mechanism for making Chinese goods more expensive here and American exports more competitive in China.
In Europe, policy makers have begun to fret that, despite the debt crisis that sent investors fleeing just a few months ago, the euro has now risen sharply again against the dollar, potentially weakening exports by making European goods more expensive.
Those exports have been one of Europe’s few sources of growth, and President of France said over the weekend that he was pushing for a new system of coordinating global currencies as wealthy nations did in the 1970s, before a free market orthodoxy took hold. "
Very interesting, huh? Is this the end of WTO as we know it, or what? I recommend you the article, it gives some very clear hints about what's going on in world markets. There was one interesting question raised in the article - why instead of subsidizing cheap exports China doesn't focus on internal market. The logical next question that the article avoids is what we'll consume if China does that and on what prices. Because like or not, all the cheap stuff, or ok, almost all the stuff we use come from China. If they stop producing, what do we consume? You can't raise a factory in a day, so what happens then? Interesting, huh?
And the last article for the day:
U.S. Identifies Vast Mineral Riches in Afghanistan -
"The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials. The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.
Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.
Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.
At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said."
Do we believe this will bring prosperity to Afghanistan? No.
More likely it will provide genuine economic profit for the US company that will develop them or for China if they manage to get the piece of cake out of US hands. But for Afghanistan itself, apart from a minority of people who will get very rich (from corruption), there will be only crumbs. I think that happens in every poor country where they discover something valuable. Poor countries are usually poor precisely because they cannot (or someone won't let them) manage their resource. So the good news for Afghani people might turn quite bad, actually. The only way out for them probably could be to try juggle with the two giants - USA or China - for the benefits of the country. But that will take extremely nationalist and brave and non-corrupted government. Which they don't have for now. So let's see what the future will bring for them. It will be certainly interesting show.
As much as I have good feeling towards Hungarians, I can't hold my indignation of the happening in Hungary right now. I'm sure you all have heard about the toxic spill. The videos from Hungary show such sinister red color, it's hard for the media to avoid them. In short:
"At least seven people are known to have died as a result of Monday’s spill. It happened when the reservoir wall collapsed, sending hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of red toxic waste gushing from the alumina plant in Ajka. The waste flooded three neighbouring villages, of which Kolontar was the worst hit.
The wall has continued to deteriorate and Hungary’s prime minister says it is “likely” it will collapse again.
The caustic sludge seeped into local rivers, wiping out fluvial plantlife and fish. But fears it may have serious consequences in the Danube have eased."
and also "One of the animal rescue volunteers explains the problems the animals face: “The mud has a high alkaline content with a pH level of 13.7. This means the sludge soaks into their skin and the skin then splits next to the burnt areas.”" source
So we're talking about huge environmental catastrophe that already killed people and destroyed their property and probably life. That's clear and everybody is very worried and they/we all offer support to Hungary and so on and so on.
Why I decided to blog about it? Well it's very simple. Because it amazes me, how irresponsible humans can be. So, you have a company working with toxic substances, you have a storage. You invest some money in safety, but of course, you prefer to make economies, especially in times of crisis. So you polish everything, put your best smile on, pay some money to the right people and enjoy your savings. And hope for the best. However, when the best doesn't happen, you say it's not your fault. Quite on the contrary, it is precisely your fault. The one who pays, the ones who take the money and everyone else who is involved in the process or knows about it or simply doesn't care, because the requirements are so impossibly high. Yes, but they are not. And such cases prove it.
I can understand ignorance to safety requirements on personal level. When you risk only your life, it is your choice. But when we speak about "hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of red toxic waste", it's different. It's no longer one or two lives we're talking about. It's about the lives of whole villages of people, about their lands, their houses. And now, it's all ruined. It's all red. But not good, happy or healthy red - no, this time, it's toxic red. And while blood can be washed from the ground or it can feed the soil and bring new life, toxic waste cannot do that. All it can do is to kill. To burn and to melt. And that's what you get, when you think you're smarter than physics (or chemistry). That's what you get, when you say "the business is already on their knees, we shouldn't impose additional burden in the form of new safety requirements and we have to close our eyes for the current ones".
I'm very mad, because when I post on the EU, I keep on reading such statements from people who really believe that the business is more important than human life. Because such accidents are rare. Well, they may be rare, but that won't make the people who died because of it feel better or less dead. And anyway, what does it matter that the incidents are rare if we're talking about such a big spill, the consequences of which will stay for years or decades or who knows.
We had two major environmental disasters this year. And my guess is that these are only warnings. Because the bigger the scale of human endeavors, the bigger the possible danger for everyone, if something goes wrong. And the worst is that every time such accident happens, it is not certain company or government that are blamed, not on the long term. It is science and technology. And why? Because it's easier. Because it's much much easier to blame human progress, than to admit that it is humans themselves who are the problem. That science cannot do harm, it's humans who do it. And we are all humans and we all participate in that process one way or another. It is us who have to take the responsibility for better and safer life. It is us who have to say - life is more important than money.
Instead, people massively seek some form of escape, they prefer to denounce progress, than to take responsibility for that progress. And in the end, we all suffer. Because only trough awareness you can modify reality according to your will. When you're not aware, not interested or not willing, you are used to modify reality according to someone else's will. And I personally don't want that.
So the short and simple moral is - some slogans sound good, but that's all they do. Business should exist adapt according to the requirements we impose on it. It is not an entity on itself, it is nothing but a tool. A tool for our survival and fulfillment. So if or when we see a danger or a new important quality it should have, the business ought to adapt. And if one company cannot do it, another will do it. And the best will survive.
Please, stop telling us how it is impossible to have clean, healthy and safe business in every field. That's simply not true. The purpose of progress is to adapt to the new needs of humans. If a new need arise, it will find a way. We only have to will it and it will happen.
And this already has happened in so many fields. Only the so called energy-intensive or dirty industries have the privilege to be almost always exempt from environmental regulation. And it takes years to impose new regulations and to induce some positive change. It is not because it is impossible, it's because they say it is too expensive. However, expensive for one industry means creating new jobs and profit for another industry. I don't see why the one is more important than the other. As long as the new regulations are transparent and useful, it's not for the government to decide who will make money and who wont. (Btw, read here for the corporations and their investments)
Again, don't forget that there's no such thing like collective responsibility, we all should care, we all should be interested and we all should get involved. We have to create the life we want.
P.S. For a dessert, you can enjoy two articles about more irresponsibility towards environment that I read recently.
Battle over climate science spreads to US schoolrooms
- 11 March 2010 by Debora MacKenzie
However, worries over the consequences of tinkering with the ocean ecosystem have held up plans to attempt this. And now, in a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers claim that such a plan could risk putting a neurotoxin into the food chain.
Iron seeders have targeted the large swaths of ocean surface with high levels of nitrate and low chlorophyll, where an injection of iron could potentially turn a dearth of plankton into a bloom. But too many phytoplankton can be a bad thing, especially when it comes to members of the genus Pseudonitzschia. This alga produces domoic acid, which it spews into the surrounding seawater to help it ingest iron [ScienceNOW]. Sea lions off California have gotten sick from the toxin. In Canada, three people died in the 1980s from eating shellfish that themselves had eaten Pseudonitzschia.
It's a cold October day outside and I wonder how to start my new blog season. I took quite a long break, but I had to, I was starting to lose my faith in what I do. And I was very tired. Going to Mexico and then to Spain took almost a month from my summer (20 days to be precise) and if we include the work I had to do...well, obviously, I didn't have a lot of time for blogging. And of course, it's very sad to write and not to get any response. I kind of forgot why I do that. Not to discuss, but to give another point of view. So, today, I will past here what I wrote in another forum.
What's all about. Very often, I read messages or posts of people who renounce technology and want to get back to the basic way of living, without technology and without complications. It sounds so good, like a dream. But some dreams are never meant to be. Utopia is impossible and trying to get there will only cause pain and despair. That is why I responded to one particular message, calling for another retreat in the Nature, where we'll grow our food and live without electricity and so on. Enjoy:
I spend a lot of my time outside the city. I like gardening and caring for animals (like livestock). What you said about technology sounds very nice, but it only sounds so. Maybe it's very fun and easy for a big man to plow the earth or to mow the hay, working from sunrise to sunset, but for a 45kg female, it is not. It's a nice hobby to fight with stress, but it is not a nice lifestyle. It basically takes all of your time and leaves you exhausted and intellectually starved.
And because here also the electricity tends to go out for hours at times, I can tell you what is life without electricity too. Your food rots, your water is cold and in the winter, the room temperature falls every minute. And when the sun goes down, you also go down, because writing and reading on candles sucks big time. Not to mention how isolated you feel in the darkness. Well, if you don't have sex, that is.
Even if you personally like this way of living, I write this for those that lurk and read the messages and think, hey, that sounds so good (and spiritual). It's not good, it's backward. It sends you back to zero - just like in fairytales, but without the romantic part.
This life is not for everyone. I know many people who think like this, that technology is bad and that we have to become more natural again, but you forget something. Even the wheel is technology. The saddle, the toothbrush, the soap are technologies. Without technology, we're not much different than animals - alone and unaware of what unbelievable Universe is out there for us to grasp. Without technology, even a little cut on the finger can kill you. Even though with technologies, it still can kill you very effectively. Anyway.
Technology is not outside our nature. It is our nature. It is our way to modify the world around us. If it is destructive, it is because we are destructive. If it is irresponsible, it because we are. It is what we are. And as I believe I said before, if we went the magical path instead of technological path, magic would be just as destructive and irresponsible. It's human nature that perverts and destroys, not tools.
And technology is not invalid to human state, current human state is invalid to technology. Sometimes I think how fast I type on the keyboard. How do I do that - I don't even think about words, I just think and the words appear on the screen. And this is something I (and not only I, lol) learned in just few years. What more could we learn in decades, because of the technology. Are they limits of human brain and what it can learn to do? Technology is not our enemy, it is our best friend, if we want it. It's up to us to decide if we'll use it to make our life better, or we'll allow the others to use it to make our life worst.
And I want to remind you what was life before - dirty and painful. Yes, the air was pure from our EM waves. But it's never clear from Sun's or Universe's EM waves. And what was the society like? Slave and masters, nobles and peasants. Sure, the ones on the top will always have the time for spiritual developments. But the ones of the bottom will always be miserable and broken. Now at least, technology evens this a little. Sure, there is top and bottom now too. But at least even without billions, we can make our practice and progress and contact each other and learn. And that's not little, you know.
And finally, I always will remember what I read in one Osho book. Spirituality is not outside of the society, outside of the world. It's inside it. When you are alone, you're as spiritual as you like. Only when you interact with other people, you discover your true face. Only in challenges, we know our true limits. The same counts for little societies too. It's very easy to gather some people and to lie each other how good and enlightened you are. And when you get outside of your nice comfort zone, you get angry and low and usually quite aggressive. Yes, there are people who are different. Hopefully, a lot among us here, are like that. But history shows this tends to happen a lot.
So I just want to say (as always), don't get angry and frustrated with technology (or science). Humans are the real problem. And if you want to really make a difference to the world, you must use all of our knowledge and technology to educate people about their true selves. Otherwise, you'll deny the last 3000 years of evolution and start over again. We're supposed to learn from our history, not to repeat it.
P.S. Giants flares cannot be predicted by science for the moment (didn't watch the video, sorry, but it's kind of my profession). There is always a possibility that the Sun wipes our technology out, or something even worst. Don't meant to depress anyone, but Universe is quite interesting place. So there's no use of hiding, it will get you anywhere if it wants to. We can only enjoy the show :)
P.S.P.S. What's the problem with pornography? I like watching it sometimes and I don't consider myself as a bad person. They are just movies, like any others. Only the actors are naked and the plot is stupid. And the end is always the same, ROFL. As long as they show consenting adults that do not harm themselves, I don't see any problem with it.
And I want to make something else very clear. Women do not exist to provide for men, for their family or their children. We, just like men, have our own goals, purposes and priorities in life. And while children are very high in our priority list, they are not ALL! And as for marriage, this is already an anachronism. So "(when in fact it's motherhood, husband loyalty and family stability)" is utterly wrong.
Saying this you underestimate women as human beings, and that's unacceptable. Husband loyalty as a purpose of women? That's quite a sexist statement, actually. Loyalty is something to be earned, not a duty. And what's the connection between loyalty and good sex?
Why do you put such limits on human soul - be it male or female? Creating a family and/or children is just a side product of being alive. It's good, because it continues our species, and gives us the fulfillment to make something better out of our flesh and past mistakes and achievements, hoping that our children will be better than us. But it is not our purpose.
This is what actually differs us from animals. Not that we can use tools or that we're very intelligent (which we may not not be, actually, if you think about dolphins). But that we have different purpose from staying alive and creating offspring. We have a soul, which need to study, to enjoy, to understand, to experience. Our desires, while a stumbling rock on the way to spirituality are actually what drives that spirituality. It's like in the tarot cards - the first card, the fool, is both our initial condition and our goal. But without walking the full circle, by developing your abilities and understanding them and the world, you cannot reach the blissful state of being the enlightened fool. The semi-god that understands the world, knows how to manipulate it, has the power to do it, and yet, s/he is happy as a child and free from every chain the world might trow at him/her. Like Nietzsche said humans are a bridge between the animal and the god. You decide at which direction to go, but you must be very careful not to deceive yourself about that direction. Because it's very easy to go wrong.
If you believe leaving technology behind is the way, ok. I disagree, but after I give you my arguments, I'll accept your way even if I think you're wrong. But to think that you as a man, has as a priority to study the Hermetic science, while your wife, as a woman, has the priority of being your servant, is wrong on a whole new scale. Yes, you didn't say that, but taking care of a family, actually equates to this. It's is a lot of work, especially if it's not shared.
You know, we have very beautiful legends in Bulgaria, about forest/mountain spirits called samodiva(s), which are lady-magicians with great power who usually hate men. And when occasionally a samodiva falls in love with a man and gives him children, she stays there for a while and then she runs back in the forest. In one song, a samodiva says while leaving her kids:
"A samodiva can't do house work, a samodiva can't care for chilren.
Seek me, there in the highs, on the top, in the mountain,
by the lake, on the samodiva's playground." (a rough translation)
I find song very clear about how difficult is to be a housewife and to strive for more, to want to be free.
As for sexual pleasure - yes, sexual pleasure is short, but so is life. A blink of the eye and you're old and on your way. So we all decide what pleases us and makes us happy and I don't see why porn movies deceive women about their priorities. Of course, you would seek satisfaction with your partner. Otherwise, why would you have sex with him? And anyway, I seriously doubt someone believes women in porn movies get any satisfaction at all.
And finally, back to technology. You know, it's very funny you point the nukes in Japan as an example of bad use of technology. I recently read that something like 60% of the Americans consider this action to be right. That's a big percentage for such a monstrosity. Even I can't say definitely if it was bad, but necessary, or just evil. Or if it's worst that the epoch that followed...
But, ok, my shortest response to what you said is...in both technology and magic it is mind that deform the Universe according to its will. If that mind is wicked, it will be in both methods. And the results will be just as bad. We still will have wars, abuses, and monstrosities. Just the methodology will be different. If you believe that you can't do Heroshima and Nagazaki with magic, then you don't believe in magic! Or you don't believe in humans creativity in good or bad stuff.
I already said how easily we die without medical attention - infections, viruses, bacterias, broken limbs, you name it, we get it. Even before electricity, there were tumors or rare genetic mutations - archaeological findings prove it. So, we're not immortal without technology, on the contrary, we're even weaker. And I don't see why we cannot use both tools - magic and technology, to enjoy our life.
I think I said it all. I apologise for the length of my reply, I'll make my best to leave the discussion here. It's not so much about having a discussion with someone who is convinced in something, but in presenting the other point of view, for the undecided.
@beast - wow, so many goats. I so love goats. I hope you treat them well, because they are such sweethearts. Yeah, they can make you want to shoot them and yourself, but they are so lovely. Ah, I so miss having goats...
--- In FranzBardonMagi@yahoogroups.com, "iamarto"
> Dear Denista,
> Technology has more advantages or more disadvantages?
> You are right that the abuse of technology due to invalid human state is the problem rather than the technology as a useful tool, but I believe that the abuse of modern technology based on our invalid human state is far worse than the advantages (i.e. nice nuclear power plants provide lots of electricity but what happened in Heroshima and Nagazaki?)
> What Are We? Animals or "Special" Human Beings?
> >> The saddle, the toothbrush, the soap are technologies. Without technology, we're not much different than animals
> What if I told you that Chimps make their own tools? Does it make us "animals" based on your assumption? Yes, because we are. Perhaps with more intelligent physical capability but not in how we comprehend nature. Not being animals is at least not how Divine Providence perceives every being in the Universe, with the same level of importance.
> Technology is a need or a luxury?
> The need for electricity was created, we have survived happily for thousands of years and no one complained. The natural way of working is during sunlight and not during the night with human made neon bulbs. It exhausts the eyes. Almost everyone wears glasses today, is it because we are defected since we are born or because we abbused the eye organ? We have abused technology to an extent that biological organism is unable to evolve fast enough to cope with the drawbacks of technology.
> What is the problem of pornography? or Adult content?
> I total agree that a bunch of interactive human flesh is not a problem. As long as you don't get excited while watching then what you see should be funny or just like a scientific experiment (as long as you keep objective and not identify with the subject). And since you're a female I don't think you'll get excited as I presume that most hardcore pornography is targeting the male society (women usually don't like it). But if you don't get excited then why are you watching it? (not my concern, just curious).
> And why do I think that getting excited is a problem in this case? Well for many reasons. First of all because I believe that excitement originated from pornographical content is almost always related to a *big lie* that
> 1. Sexual interaction is going to be blissful for a long period of time, 2. All women are saddistic, like to be hit hard and are slaves to men's sexual desires 3. Sexual sastisfaction is of the highest priority to women, (when in fact it's motherhood, husband loyalty and family stability). And because these bunch of impressions as lies *are meant* to reach the audience they will most of the time identify with the subject and imagine that they might enjoy this fancy with some other women.
> What is *REAL* technology?
> > Technology is not outside our nature. It is our nature. It is our way to modify the world around us. If it is destructive, it is because we are destructive. If it is irresponsible, it because we are. It is what we are. And as I believe I said before, if we went the magical path instead of technological path, magic would be just as destructive and irresponsible. It's human nature that perverts and destroys, not tools.
> Yes true, technology is our nature and that's why I believe that the most technologically advanced human being is a fully realized human being, not the scientist with highest IQ working at NASA (for example). Literally everything you will ever need in terms of technology is in the Hermetic Science, is in the path of Perfection after full realization and even telportation is possible.