Converting nightmares into dreams

Preface: Holy-camoly, I just noticed it’s 11AM, and I have things to do so I’m aborting this entry where it lies (and if you want an abortion horror story that I didn’t have time to blog about, read this nightmare fuel… the world can be a terrible place at times, and the theme of this entry is that we have the power to change that). No proof-reading whatsoever, sorry. Screw the possibility of reader comprehension. My blog is only for those that can read through the chaos of jumbled sentences, yeah elitism.

Unfortunately this news is probably “2012 Mayan apocalypse” hyperbole (and the article that reminded me is full of thatDiscovery has a disappointingly rational and skeptical fantasy-killing debunking), but I sure am aesthetically excited by the idea that Betelgeuse — a star which you may know better as a ghost in a striped suit the right shoulder of the easy to identify constellation of Orion — is going to go supernova in the next year or two (or more accurately, six hundred or so years ago, since it’s thought ot be about six hundred light years away). I think because Betelgeuse is a pulsating star it’s difficult to exactly determine its mass, but a number of qualified astronomers think it’s on the brink of imminent collapse, which would result in a (most likely harmless) supernova that would appear to us four times the size of the moon, bright enough to illuminate the night sky far better than the full moon, and to be visible during the day as a “second sun” for a few weeks. Wow I hope I get to see that.

Visually it would be one of the most amazing astronomical events to happen in human history, and I sure would feel privileged to be alive for it. The last thing I can think of on this magnitude was a comet that passed through the sky around 3,500 years ago. It filled up a significant percentage of the sky as its tail dragged through the sky, and possibly looked something like this:

Holy New Age Batman!

Now you understand why the erroneously labeled “sun” symbol of the Aten cult only has rays coming in one direction. Here are some Egyptian cult pictures, and you can find similar symbols from other religions birthed of the exact same moment in history all around the world (for example the Chinese Lao-Tien-Yeh glyph). Look familiar?

Some authors (most obviously see Graham Philip’s The End of Eden) have linked the appearance of this comet to the sudden formation around the world of monotheistic religious cults — comet cults suddenly taking over from the dominant pagan animist traditions — and stretching a little, also linking it to a warlike period not only because of the visual shock of god visiting in the sky, but because the tail of the comet may have scattered complex organic molecules into the environment that acted akin to dumping a few tons of psychoactive psychiatric drugs into the water system. Interesting theory. A bit far out (and if you like this line of thinking, read more about it on the previously mentioned author’s website on the subject), and again, easy to debunk, but I like it, and I hope I live to see something similarly amazing.

I’ll pass on the religious hysteria and war though, thanks.

That said, when I see what happens in United States politics, I am sickened. Really sickened. I was reading about the ruined dystopian city of Camden, NJ, in The Nation, and here’s a scary relevant quote from the article:

Camden is the poster child of postindustrial decay. It stands as a warning of what huge pockets of the United States could turn into as we cement into place a permanent underclass of the unemployed, slash state and federal services in a desperate bid to cut massive deficits, watch cities and states go bankrupt and struggle to adjust to a stark neofeudalism in which the working and middle classes are decimated.

Anyway, the reason I’m sickened is because I read about the Republicans (and even some Democrats) doing everything they can to repeal the pathetically minimal yet still revolutionary “Obamacare” program that does stuff like protects those born with pre-existing genetic conditions, or the lower middle class who can’t afford decent healthcare, but aren’t poor enough to get welfare. They’re willing to completely cripple government in the process of stopping something that even the cruelest and most will-to-power among us should recognize as something that a decent modern industrialized nation does for its citizens. Basic healthcare is almost universally seen as a human right these days. And the kicker is that if the Republicans actually manage to repeal or de-fund US healthcare, the end result is of course not that those people don’t get sick. They still get sick, and they still suffer, but their treatment is more costly and the costs are absorbed by society in the form of crime and bankrupcy and debt — that’s right, debt. Cutting this program could add a trillion dollars to the deficit over the next ten years. And where does that trillion dollars go? To the rich. That’s the game these monsters are playing.


Two futures. Which one spent its money on bombs?

The part that always gets me is Costa Rica, which scrapped its military sixty years ago, yet somehow has managed to avoid being conquered. Because guess what? That shit doesn’t happen here. I would like to see America (and Canada) completely eliminate its military. I mean come on, what fool actually believes that there is going to be a ground invasion of North America? What, is Russia going to roll ten thousand amphibious tanks across the Bering Strait? Give me a break. It’s not going to happen. The cost of invading America would be astronomical, to say nothing of the fact that crazy second American hillbillies have armed citizens to the teeth and if a bunch of Afghanistan cavemen can fend off the most advanced military on the planet, I’m pretty sure said hillbillies can do the same. There is absolutely zero need for the US to have a military. At best they are a make work project and a way to funnel mountains of money into the hands of rich defense contractors. Perhaps they protect some American interests internationally, but come on — the negative effects and astronomical cost of the “war for oil” in Iraq has not paid off. There’s no way that the money spent protecting those “interests” (which are only interests for the ultra-wealthy top 0.1% anyway) is an intelligent investment for middle America.

It makes me sick that no mainstream American politician would dare say something so heretical.

It makes me even sicker that instead they have the play the charade of pretending to pray to some imaginary sky god and keep the lie of religion enshrined in US culture, as these The-Emperor-Wears-No-Clothes liars use the name of God to justify Big Sin&tm;, sin that’s so enormous and evil that only something as ignorant as religion could justify it. Anyway, I digress and I annoy Caitlin with what she calls “angry typing”, which I do admit can get very loud and clackity.

If US military spending was not cut back, but, as I propose, ended entirely, then suddenly there are a trillion dollars a year in savings. Sure, you could just give that money back to the public if you want to, but I think it would make more sense to invest that money back in America. Let’s say there’s a trillion dollars more in the budget. Of course you could give everyone in America healthcare and be done with the stupid debate on how badly the rich can abuse the poor below them. And all those people that are now unemployed soldiers? Don’t treat them like Vietnam Vets and marginalize them into bitter hobos like America is oh-so-fond of doing to its retired heroes, but give them jobs and have a new wave of public works across America. Think of the bridges and community centers and high speed rail lines and swimming pools and visions of the future that could be built with that kind of money to dedicate to making America a true shining beacon on the hill. With that kind of money invested in itself, rather than burned and squandered on war, America could be the greatest nation on Earth.

Or…


Idiocracy: Comedy or Prophecy?

Or should I say “profase”…?

Aw what’s the point in even considering the written word?

Oh, education. Right now Texas (which somehow finds the money to drop $60 million on high school football stadiums, oh priority) is talking about cutting $5 billion (about $1,000 per child per year) from their education budget. As “Comedy” news watchers know, that includes increasing class sizes to sixty students and one teacher, a size that guarantees that no one is coming out of there with knowledge or any love of learning. Oh yeah, and also getting rid of the last year of high school, so kids aren’t even qualified for higher education. Where is this going to leave America in twenty years when it reaps the results of this generation that’s had ignorance forced upon them? It’s truly frightening. Of course, if even small cuts were made to the military, the education budget could be doubled, halving class sizes instead, and instead of getting rid of the last year of high school, instead doing what some other first-world nations do — making university free to students willing to learn.

Think what a different place America would be if every person bright enough to do so was able to earn their science doctorate, or become an engineer, or whatever, and that even those who don’t have the brains or interest to choose that path fall into a work environment with dollars and jobs to spare, where Americans work hard to create a bright dream of a future.

Speaking of settling Mars, which I have done in a few entries lately, the cost of a one way mission to Mars — that is, a mission that settles Mars — is, according to NASA about $10 billion dollars. It’s actually cheaper to settle Mars because the amount of fuel that one has to bring for a return mission outweighs the supplies required to live there for a lifetime. Since 2001, the US has spent well over a trillion dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Not a single penny of that needed to be spent. But look at those numbers. If only 1% — one fucking percent — of the cost of these pointless wars had been given to NASA, we could have settled Mars. What the fuck. If we actually invested in the future and gave all of that money to NASA then guess what? We’d have cities on Mars. We’d actually be colonizing another planet.

This isn’t some deep future theoretical sci-fi shit. This can happen. This is doable. We have the technology already. All we lack is the willpower to fund it. Humans could already be taking the first steps into colonizing our solar system and our galaxy. We can live the future. We can do it. All we need to do is take a realistic look at our desires for where we want our nations and our species to end up and choose our priorities accordingly. I mean, I’m not talking nonsense. Nothing I’m saying here should be hard to understand. Am I delusional that people really, when they actually think about it, can’t understand and at least partially sympathize with what I’m saying? Or is the political process so beholden to the will of the wealthy that the actual will of the people is irrelevant? It should not be that hard for America to choose a better future. At the end of World War II, America was the only industrial nation that hadn’t been bombed to shit, that had a functioning industrial base. Europe has spend the last fifty years rebuilding and getting back on its feet, but America has been in a position of unparalleled wealth and priveledge and advantage, and has nearly squandered it all on converting every human evil into cash for the wealthy. But it’s not too late. The dream is still there on the horizon I think.

Ahhh naw… what am I saying? War is so much more important.

Keep on investing in misery and giving a big fuck you to the dreams of humanity.

That’s my illustration for craziness. I made it late last night because I couldn’t sleep due to a cockroach crawling onto my foot at midnight, causing me to spend the next two hours vigilant and ready to crush the speedy bastard with a book. I never did get him and I’m pretty sure he’s hiding in my beard, having built a home there as I slept.

I need to get another radio show so I can yell this shit loudly at people, haha.

19 Comments

  1. Timothy wrote:

    Shannon, while I don’t think it’d be wise to disintegrate the military entirely, I do agree it’s a shame that “1st World” countries don’t put more money into the colonization of Mars, and less money into military. There are echoes of Bill Hicks’ “Revelations” epilogue in that sentiment.

    It’d be a huge step forward for humanity, and would push us to innovate our technology for purposes other than creating the next cool palm-sized gadget.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink
  2. Shannon wrote:

    I’ll bite — why would it not be wise? Why does America NEED its military? Surely you don’t think America’s shores are at risk of invasion and it’s people of being conquered?

    I think that the only reason that there’s a gut instinct to say “no” is that it’s so ingrained as the status quo that America has serious military might.

    I’m not talking about scrapping over night — probably a 15 year phase out is realistic. Also it makes sense to keep a small elite force to do things like hostage retrieval, but this could be under the mandate of the CIA and is more akin to international policing than traditional military.

    Also, much of the techology development that agencies like DARPA do — and these are not to be scoffed at — would be handled by NASA and so on. So certain non-military things that the military currently do would actually be expanded under my plan, rather than cut.

    I just would completely scrap the idea of throwing money at war or the potential of war. War is something humanity is ready to leave behind us in my opinion. And of course war and terrorism are very different things, and if we’ve learned anything in the last years of Iraq/Afghanistan, it’s that a traditional military makes one hell of a mess when fighting “terrorism” and ends up making the problem worse. And another way of saying “makes the problem worse” is “should never have done it”.

    I feel pretty secure in the logic of my proposal.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  3. Shannon wrote:

    Yikes, what’s that, a blog post in a comment? Sorry…

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Permalink
  4. Timothy wrote:

    I think a well-developed country needs a military (of some sort) to go after the Hitlers of the world whenever they pop up. As much as I loathe war (and I do), we’d be living in a very different world has the US and others not kicked some Nazi ass in WW2. Sometimes you need to fight.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  5. Timothy wrote:

    *had the US

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Permalink
  6. Shannon wrote:

    Well, first of all, it’s a myth that the US saved the world in WWII. Second of all, given that the USA effectively became the Fourth Reich, even installing much of the Nazi staff in positions of power, it’s a dubious argument at best. Nazi politics and power brokers are alive and well in international politics, and Germany itself is more powerful than ever. So did America really “kick ass” or did it actually form an alliance and feign ass kicking in order to antagonize the Russians? It’s not so clean cut.

    Also the so-called Hitlers of the world exist because of large militaries.

    More relevantly, no Hitler-powered army has the capability of invading the US or Canada. It’s a physical impossibility. We’re an unconquerable continental monolith. Could an airforce come an nuke us? Sure, but to what end? The world is not run by madmen — and Hitler was no madman bent on world destruction. He wanted to expand German borders to what made sense to many Germans, and apply a certain set of cultural and political ideals inside his borders. He did not want to go around randomly nuking other continents, Silvervogel project notwithstanding.

    I’m a non-interventionalist. I don’t think we have the duty to save or police the world. We are better off leading by example. Don’t make the world want to fight you because they’re afraid of you. Make the world love you because you are the future.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Permalink
  7. Shannon wrote:

    Also it’s important to note that it’s really hard to say which foreign dictator is worth deposing. I mean, it’s dubious whether overthrowing Sadam and the Taliban is working out so well — and anyway, the only reason that we “needed” to overthrow them in the first place is because of having used them to overthrow someone else before. Our own demons.

    I really think that the age of Hilters and Alexander the Greats and Attila the Huns and so on is a thing of the past anyway. And again, even if I’m wrong, it’s just not an issue in America because it’s not like some Chinese neoHitler is going to fly an invasion force into the US mainland to conquer… what… it’s customer base? I mean, war is a farce.

    A big giant THE EMPEROR WEARS NO CLOTHES farce. In the immortal words of Smedley Butler, “WAR IS A RACKET”. And wow, if you haven’t read that in a while, do so: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Is_a_Racket

    As true now as it was when he wrote it in the thirties.

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
  8. Shannon wrote:

    Oh, and also read Eisenhower’s leaving the presidency speech in which he warns of the risks of the Military Industrial Complex (and coins the term I think). Scary stuff from 1960.

    There’s a great documentary on that subject whose name is currently escaping me but if I think of it I will make one more post and urge you to seek it out. But yeah, that speech was eerie. Hell, I’ll quote it here:

    “We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.”

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the militaryindustrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:29 pm | Permalink
  9. E.D. wrote:

    HAD to comment on the Texas/football stadium reference…

    It’s one stadium, not plural. Paid for by city dollars. The citizens of Allen VOTED FOR IT. We have one of the best school districts in the state, if not the country, and the vast majority of us agree that since everything else in the schools is well-funded, it’s time we replaced the stadium we outgrew 15 years ago! And it’ll be used for MANY other sports also, but that doesn’t seem to be mentioned anywhere…

    The $5B you mentioned is state money, not local (city) dollars. And it’s probably pretty specific, too, if they’re considering it. (Too late to check tonight, since you didn’t link to your source, but I’ll look around tomorrow.)

    I hope that clarifies it some for you!

    Friday, January 21, 2011 at 11:01 pm | Permalink
  10. Maarten wrote:

    it may be cruel to say but i think if mankind still thinks that selfdestruction aka war is more important then exploration and discovery we deserve to stay on one planet.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 5:56 am | Permalink
  11. Linda wrote:

    “Or is the political process so beholden to the will of the wealthy that the actual will of the people is irrelevant?”

    Yep, it is! The Repug rights would like nothing better than to see what used to be the middle class in our country looking for our next meal in garbage dumps. You know, that’s pro’bly wrong, they don’t give a shit where we get a last meal or if we’re alive…I’m seriously thinking of moving out of the country. I think we should be up in arms, but there’s not too many people willing to take to the streets. I have felt embarrassed for my country ever since they elected Ronald Raygun as president…

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:55 am | Permalink
  12. Carmen wrote:

    Yes I agree 100% the US military doesn’t need to exist. There was a pretty interesting discussion here, not excatly on topic but close I believe.

    http://www.sustainableprosperity.ca/debate

    going to be aired on CBC about massive change needed and the lack of global political will do do anything of the sort until major crises occur. Or at least that is the implication.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 9:59 am | Permalink
  13. Shannon wrote:

    E.D. I’m guessing that you’re a sports fan that found my blog on random search rather than a regular reader, so I apologize if I’ve thus mischaracterized where you’re coming from.

    Anyway, it doesn’t matter to objective reality where $5 billion is coming from in terms of level of government. Point is that it’s getting cut and some really unpleasant things result.

    As to the $60 million to the stadium, in a crumbling economy that has a pathetic education system (even if you are satisfied with it), it seems to me that some extravagant stadium that is used by a small percentage of the public and SERIOUSLY enriches an even smaller percentage, that it would make a lot more sense to spend money on making sure that the next generation has the best and most opportunity for success.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 10:25 am | Permalink
  14. starbadger wrote:

    Good pt Maarten

    If we go to Mars asap it
    will be courtesy the complex
    of power most in this thread decry.

    Maybe better we wait for buying a ticket to go.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Permalink
  15. starbadger wrote:

    Shannon – I wish I wish
    but that does not make it so

    are you certain we went to the moon – don’t you find it odd we went so far so fast and stopped

    and take a cautionary from E.D.
    as soon as we generalize or opinionize we give others cause to not listen to us

    you of all people more home-schooled and self-schooled know better – tell people your truths – how did you learn programming – and what about games – as DIYER says – who would Jesus kill –

    Of course I don’t know and neither do you and by the by that’s the essence of the Hawking Paradox

    is info lost in the event horizon or is it in the event horizon

    useful error

    that’s as good as our truths get
    but you know that

    nicht wahr

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Permalink
  16. Shannon wrote:

    Yes I am 100% certain we went to the moon. I don’t find it odd that we stopped once the political drive was gone.

    Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink
  17. starbadger wrote:

    yeah

    we went to the moon

    i didn’t

    100% certain

    not never nothing gets 100%
    or rather in a quantum computer
    the speed of thought
    exceeds the speed of light

    i think Hawking is wrong
    or was 40 years ago
    now rumour has it he’s not so sure – maybe
    the info is in the event horizon – i understand somedays
    he is in residence

    you should meet him
    i’m sure it would be as easy
    as a drive and a walk
    and an open door and

    hello world

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink
  18. Roy wrote:

    Oh do I like this blogpost!
    Oh do I fully agree with the things said in it!

    And as a final annoying pointer…

    Oh am I lucky, living in Finland, where education is free ;)

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 6:28 am | Permalink
  19. Em Bem wrote:

    Hi Shannon. I have been reading your articles and I am in agreement with you, however, I haven’t stopped thinking about this shit for weeks. (Unbelievably obsessing about and researching this stuff non stop for weeks) You speak of chemicals in the water system, there has been for years now, if you look on the effects of fluoride, it will tell you that it actually does more harm than good, for 1 thing, it doesn’t stop tooth decay, it ruins the enamel on your teeth, thus making your dental health worse, it promotes ‘bovine’ characteristics so the chemicals in water is nothing new. The government and other people on the other hand have been demanding that it be put in water supplies for years.. War is definitely destruction, strife and sadistic to us.. To the people that pocket the money from the profit made from it is a huge money making scam. Did you know that in ww2 there was a profit of $200,000,000, they have even got us convinced that the people from Afghan and Iraq have ‘weapons of mass destruction’ or ‘fighting for dimocracy’ or whatever shite they happen to be making up these days, it’s got nothing to do with ‘the weapons, democracy etc’, it’s about the poppy fields in Afghanistan and the oil in Iraq, they’re worth a lot of money and money equals power!! The people from these countries are innocent in all of this. First of all, they can’t afford it, second of all, why would they waste their time bombing a place that will provide them with day to day living necessities and will readily accept them in to their lives. There’s no suicide bombers, it’s all sent out by the ‘officials’ to create a diversion and a distraction and to twist peoples minds and turn them against each other. Anyhoo, I could go on all night about this (literally) and it would probably drive you insane, (like I have felt a lot lately) but people need to do the research and see what they find out for themselves!! Have fun guys!! :-)

    Sunday, January 23, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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