Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thwarted Again!


“Gentleman, I have had men watching you for a long time, and I am convinced that you have used the funds of the bank to speculate in the breadstuffs of the country. When you won, you divided the profits amongst you, and when you lost, you charged it to the bank. You tell me that if I take the deposits from the bank and annul its charter, I shall ruin ten thousand families. That may be true, gentlemen, but that is your sin! Should I let you go on, you will ruin fifty thousand families and that will be my sin! You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the eternal God, I will rout you out.”

-Andrew Jackson


Let's face it, you knew, by hook or by crook, that the move to audit The Federal Reserve Bank
would founder, and lo and behold, it has. Ron Paul, an early proponent of the initiative, and perhaps its most dedicated and staunch defender, has announced that the legislation in question has been gutted. A quick review of the article at the link will confirm his assertion. I really don't know what is worse, the evisceration of the aforesaid legislation, or the inevitable prating twaddle one will have to endure from some number of elected officials and main stream media stooges that substantial progress has been achieved in the area of bank regulation and reigning in The Federal Reserve.

The sad truth is that the will of "We The People" has, once again, been treated with barely concealed disdain, all because the protection racket that consists of the Fed and its biggest member banks has perfected the art of legislative obedience via the time honored mechanisms of bribery and/or fear. Bravo!

Let's face it, The Federal Reserve cartel and the big banks have the U.S. Congress in much the same state as a cowed beast of burden. It's positively perverse, and this latest failure by The House of Representatives- with special thanks to Mel Watt, and, of course, Barney Frank- to forcefully assert its basic Constitutional right, reinforces my view that the only way forward for the American people, should we have the fortitude to take it, is one that involves "radical" measures. Change, let alone revolutionary change, will not come about without walking on the lawn my fellow citizens. If you need any guidance regarding direction, I refer you here, once more.

31 comments:

THD Russell said...

Here here Edwardo!

I've been convinced for sometime now, certainly couple of years, that the current system, which is global, not American, is irretrievably corrupted, and necessarily so -- by design I don't think it can be otherwise. Sociopaths (most likely) have taken over the asylum and are running it aground. All they can care about is the adrenalin kick of power and more power. The consequences are irrelevant. The virus is devouring its host, can only devour its host.

Somehow there must be as close to total abstention from voting as possible, mass strikes, and targeted destruction of banks via planned and coordinated withdrawal of funds. Someone with a large audience needs to get this going. Michael Moore might be able to pull such a thing off. To work it has to be simple, and the goals clear. For example, my preferred baby (a resource-based economy) is not a rallying cry that can motivate in sufficient numbers, but something like "Clean Energy, Clean Food, Clean Water" might do it. A holy trinity if you like. As you pointed out recently, cold fusion is only a few billion dollars away from deployment, and there are other, equally viable and exciting energy solutions out there.

Clean is good. People want clean, they want a healthy planet, they want honesty and transparency. Do you know Michael Moore personally by any chance? Just a joke. But if you wanted to, I would work with you to prepare a game-plan that we could pitch to the man via email or whatever might work.

Its up to all of us now. The current system is broken and threatens to take civilization down with it.

The time has come to act.

Edwardo said...

Am I up for trying to create a game plan that offers a better way forward? Sure. I'm honored that you asked me to contribute. Of course, coming up with something that has simple and clear goals may turn out not to be so simple, but I guess we'll find out.

Do you really think Michael Moore is the man to pitch a "game plan" to? I can see why he comes to mind. He has a public presence, some contingent of the population find his contributions compelling, and he is probably open to some sort of "radical" solution. I am more of an admirer of his total output than not, but equally, I can't deny that he has his detractors-I don't care about the asinine Bill O'Reilly's of the world- who take him to task for some of his agitprop excesses.

I suppose my biggest concern with MM as pitchman has to do with his nominal political affiliation which could act as a distraction and a drag. Obviously, we don't want whatever we have to offer bogged down in the bogus left/right quagmire that the MSM is lost in. Perhaps that is unavoidable, but somehow I feel it would be in our best interests to try and steer clear of it if at all possible.

Sorry for going on ad infinitum about this, and having said all that, at the moment, I can't really think of anyone else who would be better than MM.
Let me know what you think.

THD Russell said...

Well, that wasn't quite ad infinitum!

It would be great to find someone who doesn't divide the argument, or its reception, down left-right lines, and simultaneously be open to taking something like this on. I shall ponder...

The trick, as you rightly point out, is defining the clear goals that would lie underneath the simple clarion call. Open discussion of some list of topics, with experts chosen by both sides might be simple enough an idea to communicate, with fine details agreed as the process moves forward. Things like energy, top soil erosion, water, air, money etc. Rolling discussions aired on multiple channels that in total would seek to address as many pressing issues as possible.

I had a look at your other blog's first post and agree with all the points, but feel too this should be a global process, or movement, capable of including all other nations. (No low ambition here!) Michael Moore has that kind of reach in terms of calling attention to the idea.

As I write I see how division is inherent to the process though. Everyone and their cat has an opinion. How could it possibly be decided who to put forward to represent the various perspectives? Still, if we don't try to hammer something out, then nothing will happen. This is something to be policed against. Inclusivity is key.

We need:

some kind of slogan (as resonant as no taxation without representation) and yet global

a simple umbrella goal under which more detailed goals can be defined

initially one figurehead to draw attention to the movement

a reasonable timescale

a series of "doable" threats, like strikes and mass money movements to harm banks

to be inclusive and non-divisive

luck

I still think "clean" is good, but maybe the list is slightly wrong. Clean governance should be one, and clean energy the other. Maybe two are enough, and the others would follow along. Fix energy and governance, the rest should fall into line.

What do you think?

I'll keep my ticker tocking and get back to you should I have any brain waves. It would be great if we could brainstorm this with others too.

p.s. Next year we have 10.10.10 on 10th Oct. Triple Ten has a ring to it. Maybe three "cleans" could be tied to that date??? Rings with the whole "ten out of ten" kind of compliment...

THD Russell said...

How about:

Clean State, Clean Fuel, Clean Money

??

And like the Make Poverty History campaign, could be endorsed by many, not just one. The idea/goal is bigger than the "star" endorser, though a Michael Moore type would be a good initial oomph.

Just getting my thoughts out there. Not attached to anything except getting something done...

Edwardo said...

Toby wrote:

"Open discussion of some list of topics, with experts chosen by both sides might be simple enough an idea to communicate, with fine details agreed as the process moves forward."

-I think that's an excellent idea. Let's make sure we choose the right "experts. For example, with respect to money, I'd be more inclined to have someone non-mainstream, like Antal Fekete, discuss money, than, better known economists like Brad DeLong or Greg Mankiw, or the infinitely better known, Paul Krugman. Not that we could ever get someone like Krugman on a panel, which, as far as I'm concerned is just as well, since, he and his dogma are, in my view, part of the problem. Once again, we have to strike a balance of some sort.

"...but feel too this should be a global process, or movement, capable of including all other nations. (No low ambition here!) Michael Moore has that kind of reach in terms of calling attention to the idea."

-That's forward thinking and expansive of you, but I think that might amount to biting off more than one can chew. I mean, I have no sense of, for example, how folks feel about all these issues, in, for example, The Czech Republic, Estonia or Kenya.

"We need:

some kind of slogan (as resonant as no taxation without representation) and yet global"

-I am coming up very dry at the moment, in part because my focus has primarily been on government and banking. I will say that a slogan that is easily remembered and that could be transformed into a catchy acronym is highly recommended, but perhaps that's just a bridge too far.

"a simple umbrella goal under which more detailed goals can be defined"

-What is the overarching goal here?

"initially one figurehead to draw attention to the movement"

-We agree on that approach, but we aren't certain who that should or could be.

a reasonable timescale

-A couple of years-as in two-at least.

"a series of "doable" threats, like strikes and mass money movements to harm banks"

-The time scale here is much shorter, as in weeks to months.

"to be inclusive and non-divisive"

-Well, as much as possible. But let's face it, inherent in the act of walking on the grass is that the someone who owns the lawn you are trampling on, is, by definition, an adversary.

"luck"

-Well one does the best one can, and either the sweep of time and events is on your side or it isn't.

"I still think "clean" is good, but maybe the list is slightly wrong. Clean governance should be one, and clean energy the other. Maybe two are enough, and the others would follow along. Fix energy and governance, the rest should fall into line.

What do you think? "

-This is tough. I am struggling with inspiration for a slogan.

"I'll keep my ticker tocking and get back to you should I have any brain waves. It would be great if we could brainstorm this with others too.

p.s. Next year we have 10.10.10 on 10th Oct. Triple Ten has a ring to it. Maybe three "cleans" could be tied to that date??? Rings with the whole "ten out of ten" kind of compliment..."

- I like it. It makes me think of The Mayan Calendar crossed with The Ten Commandments.

THD Russell said...

I've put more brain juice into this, and reckon the goal should be the rolling discussions themselves, perhaps over a ten day period, each discussion being two hours, on TV and filmed too, and commented on by, say Michael Moore and Ron Paul, two guys who are authentic and driven by a desire to get as close to the "truth" as possible, from both sides of the political spectrum. The 200 hours of footage should then be edited into film for cinematic release, perhaps in versions, like a MM cut and an Oliver Stone cut.

THe global nature of this can be (I agree with you here -- what do we know about China or Kyrgyzstan?) easily covered, in that this movement is an easy-to-replicate template that can be repeated by others elsewhere.

As to who participates, we have a website and put up a long list, with links to wee articles they or others can write (in easy to understand English) describing their "philosophy." Then Americans would vote, with name and email, in a proportional way: first, second and third choices. We should seek a panel of, in my opinion, about 30 or so, because a decent way forward out of this needs a multi-disciplined approach. We need historians, sociologists, psychologists, educationalists, economists, physicists, futurologists etc. They need to be locked in a room together with the best host or hostess out there (maybe even two of them), televise the whole thing at prime time, and make films out of it.

Pretty ambitious huh? When it comes to action, we need to be able to demonstrate focus and control. E.g. people with surnames beginning with A-D moving their money from BofA on a particular day, or strikes effecting one industry etc., or weekends of zero shopping.

It starts with a website like www.tripleten.org, where the goal is made clear, and meanwhile we get high profile endorsements from as many stars as possible, perhaps with little films of them a la "Make Poverty History."

Maybe a slogan like "We want to know" or something that simply and elegantly suggests getting to the bottom of the shit and cleaning it up.

And I think people like Krugman should face the music. If their position is untenable this should be exposed. We cannot be attached to a particular intellectual outcome. The chips must be allowed to fall where they may. That is in everyone's interests. Hence 200 hours. Hence edited films thereafter. This stuff can't be debated only by one's chosen favourites, but by "enemies" too. This has to be as unprejudiced and unbiased as possible, the goal being clarity and openness. Participants will be asked to leave their egos at the door LOL. That's the only way to make it healing, like a truth and reconciliation committee.

Over to you...

Edwardo said...

The stupid blog isn't allowing me to put in my comments. Some crap about HTML cannot be accepted.

THD Russell said...

That suggests to me you are copying and pasting from some word document or similar. That can drag a lot of markup along with it that the blogging software can't interpret. Try first pasting the text into a very simple text editor, that should strip it of unnecessary markup, then paste from the simple text editor into blogger.

Unless of course I'm miles off base here!

Edwardo said...

It must have been the cut and paste that I tried to do.

The key points that I suggested (a number of which dovetail nicely with your own) were:

1.) A roundtable discussion with an uneven number of (ideally) five "expert" participants.

a.) The roundtable's purpose is to come to a consensus- if at all possible- about a solution to a problem of great magnitude, i.e. energy, money, government, environment, etc. etc.

b.) The method by which a consensus is reached comes in the form of a free wheeling discussion, debate/argument about the issue.

c.) The "debate" will be moderated for civility, focus and forward movement.

d.) footage of the "debates" which will take place within as short a period of time as is feasible will be condensed into a series of documentary genre pieces edited by the film maker/moderator and perhaps other key personel.

THD Russell said...

OK, we're zeroing in onto the core elements.

Why five participants per debate? Manageability? What needs to be avoided is too keen a separation between the various topics -- they all bleed into one another. I feel that physicists should be influencing economists ... actually I feel all the other disciplines should be ganging up on economics and kicking the shit out of it, but in the interests of civility we should keep it to passionate yet polite discussion.

It's important that the disciplines cross-fertilize, so to speak. I posted a blog this morning about this that and the other, one of my points briefly mentioning organic farming, and I got a response from someone who is very informed on that topic. Experts get lost in the obscure avenues of their own subject, and risk missing some vital piece of information from some other, maybe even unrelated, field. The nitty-gritty of organic farming and other agricultural science is surely of great importance. Healthy food and soil are hardly luxuries. I don't want to leave anything out, or have important stuff ignored/forgotten by the following panel...

I'm waffling, tired and still bevirused. Let me know your thinking behind the number 5.

I also think this need maximum exposure, otherwise it risks becoming like some indy film 10% of the population loves, while the rest of the world goes on gorging at the trough.

I don't imagine being able to carry a plan like this through to completion, but see it presented to the right person who can take it to the next level. Therefore I feel we should be ambitious. The impetus for this is to try and prevent civilizational catastrophe after all!

Signing off in Berlin!

p.s. What do you think of:

Clean State, Clean Fuel, Clean World

?

I kinda like it.

Edwardo said...

Yes, manageability. And five participants strikes me as a sufficient number to achieve coverage of the key positions, and to provide the chance for a majority opinion to form within each group.

You raise a very interesting idea with respect to economics, especially in light of this:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=does-economics-violate-th

However, having offered that, economics, for all its inherent flaws, has been, for what should be obvious reasons, subverted, perverted, and co-opted.

Economic models/schools that serve the agenda of those in power/control have held the upper hand for generations. No one should be surprised that Keynesian principles and Monetarist models have had such inordinate influence since, first and foremost, they very conveniently allow cover to politicians to act in ways that benefit the political class and their masters. So, we can let the other disciplines have a go at economics, by all means, but all the fields, science included, have suffered similar distortions, though, right now, economics and finance are front and center.

I like your slogan, and I can't think of anything else, let alone anything better.

THD Russell said...

The novelist in me thinks economics is the new religion, the new high priest jargon designed to keep the great unwashed away from the Wizard of Oz, permanently bewildered, permanently belittled. I don't think economics makes it out of Economics 101 even close to unscathed. Infinite wants are impossible, there is no such thing as perfect competition, very few rational market participants have ever existed, and perfectly informed buyers are also impossible. How can a "science" be built atop such ludicrous assumptions!?

However, probably all sciences need to be reminded of their remit: to continually get closer to a "truth" which is probably always changing anyway. The universe does not stand still, is not a frozen photograph. So yes, let the battle begin.

And 100% agree economics is too front and center. It is only money's sickeningly inflated importance that makes economics important, in my view.

Some more questions regarding the 5 participants:

1. Do you envision people from across the discipline's spectrum facing one another to discuss some theme, as well as from multiple disciplines?
2. How do we keep the individual debates involved with each other, to maximize what I have crudely been calling cross-fertilization?
3. Do you agree that "establishment" figures should face the "mavericks?"

In answer consider a debate on the economics of clean, renewable energy. Who would be involved? Who would be your "dream team?" ;-)

Generally: are you seeing any potential for the debates to be broadcast prime time? Live? How about the footage being publicly "owned" such that people of differing philosophies should be allowed/invited to cut their own films?

This is how I see the demands right now:

1. Rolling, multi-disciplined, inter-connecting debates, each influencing the other
2. Participants selected on the web via a proportional "fave-three" voting process
3. That the debates be held in such a way that they reach the maximum number of people possible, and that films be made from the footage, and that the footage be made publicly viewable thereafter
4. That the goal(s)/objective(s) of the debates is an open and apolitical appraisal of various solutions, such as cold fusion, radiant energy panels, clean water for all, etc (this has to be hammered out by us in some detail)
5. That the process not be finished by the completion of the films. Should the debates need more time, more time should be planned. Deciding on whether more time is needed to achieve consensus on any of the issues would be done by ? panel vote ? audience vote ? public vote ?

Should a Michael Moore or other personality take this ball and run with it, should we demand, legally, continuing involvement?

How is communication between the people of whom we are making these demands (who is the "enemy" here, exactly?) and the demanders (We The People) effected? We need to be organized enough to damage business and banking if our demands aren't met. The demands need to be as non-controversial and non-divisive as possible, to ensure maximum cohesion. The slogan is good enough for now for that, so we'll run with it.

I'm gonna read that article and start thinking about the topics and how to express them as debate themes...

I just had a thought: the debates could be like chapters of a book, moving on from one another, progressing forwards. That might work, but might also mean switching participants breaks the flow...

Edwardo said...

1. Do you envision people from across the discipline's spectrum facing one another to discuss some theme, as well as from multiple disciplines?

- I had in mind the former rather than the latter. However,perhaps something along the lines of the latter could be worked out. See answer to #2.

Edwardo said...

2. How do we keep the individual debates involved with each other, to maximize what I have crudely been calling cross-fertilization?

Have the first round of debates be amongst experts in the field, then open things up to everyone.

Here's what I have in mind. Each initial "closed" debate will be designed to reach some conclusions that will then be encapsulated. The encapsulations are subsequently commented on and questioned by those from other fields.

3. Do you agree that "establishment" figures should face the "mavericks?"

Yes.

Edwardo said...

In answer consider a debate on the economics of clean, renewable energy. Who would be involved? Who would be your "dream team?" ;-)

I don't know enough about who the major advocates are to say.

Generally: are you seeing any potential for the debates to be broadcast prime time? Live? How about the footage being publicly "owned" such that people of differing philosophies should be allowed/invited to cut their own films?

Very little potential initially.

Sure you could hand over the hundreds of hours of footage, but I'd be surprised if anyone would devote the time to edit it all down.

Edwardo said...

This is how I see the demands right now:

1. Rolling, multi-disciplined, inter-connecting debates, each influencing the other
2. Participants selected on the web via a proportional "fave-three" voting process
3. That the debates be held in such a way that they reach the maximum number of people possible, and that films be made from the footage, and that the footage be made publicly viewable thereafter
4. That the goal(s)/objective(s) of the debates is an open and apolitical appraisal of various solutions, such as cold fusion, radiant energy panels, clean water for all, etc (this has to be hammered out by us in some detail)

Yes.

5. That the process not be finished by the completion of the films. Should the debates need more time, more time should be planned.

The film waits until all the footage required is in the can.

Deciding on whether more time is needed to achieve consensus on any of the issues would be done by ? panel vote ? audience vote ? public vote ?

You have two choices. One you ask the panel to submit to a vote in whether the panel has successfully completed their mission. I give that very low chances of success. The panelists will balk
However, if they do acquiesce, then you're golden.

Odds are it is going to have to be the panelists themselves who decide when they are done regardless of the public's attitude.

Edwardo said...

Should a Michael Moore or other personality take this ball and run with it, should we demand, legally, continuing involvement?

If at all possible, I would advise against giving anyone sole control.

How is communication between the people of whom we are making these demands (who is the "enemy" here, exactly?) and the demanders (We The People) effected? We need to be organized enough to damage business and banking if our demands aren't met. The demands need to be as non-controversial and non-divisive as possible, to ensure maximum cohesion. The slogan is good enough for now for that, so we'll run with it.

No communication at all to begin with. Should the actions be effective, the lines will magically open and plenty of opportunities to communicate will be extended.

THD Russell said...

I'm going to start at your bottom (ha ha) and leap around your answers.

"No communication at all to begin with. Should the actions be effective, the lines will magically open and plenty of opportunities to communicate will be extended."

I hadn't even seen it this way around, but this makes most sense. First the demonstration of power, then the clearly articulated demand. Agreed. Does this mean we need lawyers on board? How do we legally protect ourselves from prosecution, to the extent such a thing is possible? I imagine the will of the people being so "cloud-like," and yet organized, that there will be no entity to prosecute. I'm an ignoramus in these matters, so be patient with me...

"Here's what I have in mind. Each initial "closed" debate will be designed to reach some conclusions that will then be encapsulated. The encapsulations are subsequently commented on and questioned by those from other fields."

This has potential. However, what we would be setting up here is a hybrid peer review process where scientists not of the discipline critique a panel's findings. The panel should be allowed a chance to defend, which sets up a minimum of three sessions per objective. That could become very unwieldy.

Here's my thinking: The sessions thematically progress forwards, but are to some degree allowed to wander out of bounds. To get the most juice out of the most experts each expert needs to be confronted live by people who have a valid and fresh perspective. This is (to my mind) best accomplished by having them in the same room at the same time. I think max 7 would manage this. 7 is not an unmanageable number of debaters. More on this later.

"You have two choices. One you ask the panel to submit to a vote in whether the panel has successfully completed their mission. I give that very low chances of success. The panelists will balk However, if they do acquiesce, then you're golden."

The vote probably wouldn't work for practical reasons. The discussions are going to go over the heads of about 90% of the population. Therefore, the panel plus adjudicators are going to have to sum up, give themselves some kind of a score. More on this later too.

"If at all possible, I would advise against giving anyone sole control."

This means we need a team that represents the movement. Two of us (and I'm British fer krisesakes!) aren't going to cut it.

THD Russell said...

So, here's what I mulled over yesterday evening.

Debates (separated by a week):

1. Economics 101: What are infinite wants? What is perpetual growth?
Participants: two biophysical economists, two orthodox economists, a mathematician (my choice John Ringland), a fringe economist or two: = total 6-7

2. What are money and scarcity? Can you have abundance and trade?
Participants: Ellen Brown, Krugman (or similar), Steve Keen, John Ringland again, Jacque Fresco, foil to Krugman also though trad economist, a "Money Commons" 100% reserve banking guy: = total 7

3. Peak oil and energy solutions
Participants: Cold fusion guy, classical physicist, fossil fuel guy, renewables expert, hydrogen expert, radiant energy panels guy (nano-tech): total 6

4. Architectural and engineering solutions in terms of efficiency and zero waste
Participants: Fresco (again), William McDonough, others from engineering and architecture: total (probably) 5

5. Agriculture and ecosystem: Can we feed the world and not ruin it too?
Geoff Lawton (greening the desert), a hydroponics guy, Craig Sams (organic farming expert), GM food guy, ecosystem expert or two: total 5-6

6. Human nature, genetics, and psychology: Are humans anything by nature?
Participants: two geneticists, two sociologists, two psychologists: total 6

7. Education, culture, history
Participants: John Taylor Gatto, Norman Davies, Marshall Sahlins, Chomsky, Ruppert, Joseph Tainter: total 6-7

8: Summation
Participants: everyone so far involved. The format for this one might be different than the others, perhaps with 10 minute "conclusions" from each participant. Could be very long in that case though...

I have only mentioned names to give you an idea of where I'm coming from. The participants are to be publicly voted in and nominated.

So, while not strictly a smooth flow thematically, with a little work a flow might be realizable. The order might also need to change, as well as the numbers of participants. If we lock together experts from one field, we risk losing them in a jargon-labyrinth that no one else can judge. Throwing experts from differing fields together at the same time helps keep it comprehensible to non-experts. Having said that, the right adjudicators would help keep things clear to some degree. However, the format of debate:reponse from non-experts:counter-response from experts is unwieldy. Could you flesh out you vision for me a little more?

The purpose of all this is to offer practical and hopeful solutions to the world in a form that can be understood by as many people as possible. The hosts could be MM and Glen Beck (Beck is right wing, right?). They would balance each other out, both articulate well to the public, and can understand the tough stuff and bring it down to earth. If not those two, certainly a left-right pairing (Palin and Kucinich? a joke by the way).

Over to you...

Edwardo said...

Does this mean we need lawyers on board? How do we legally protect ourselves from prosecution, to the extent such a thing is possible?

"Send Lawyers, Guns and Money."

-Warren Zevon

Great question. I think we might consider doing some "research" into what is actionable
vis a vis the sort of agitation we have in mind.

One question I have right off the bat is can one avoid any direct legal action against oneself if one creates an organization thereby acting as a legal buffer of sorts. Kind of like....corporations do!

You're British. I'm American. Well, the best of all possible worlds. Eek. Toby, are you a Scot, English.
It doesn't matter, just askin' And you live in Berlin, yes?

More responses to come.

THD Russell said...

I'm an Englishman in Berlin. Which scans just like the song. But I only know one lawyer here, who's a Scottishwoman living in Berlin. She does labour law and contracts and stuff. Not sure when I'll be bumping into her again.

Legally, civil protest must be protected in some way. This does not mean that TPTB won't change the laws to suit them (they have been since the year dot), but perhaps we ought to know what exists. I am not well versed in the American Constitution, but imagine the part about protecting it against all enemies, foreign and local, gives us pretty good initial cover.

As to forming a corporation, I would be reluctant to touch that. I know one has to be ready to dance with the devil, but right now I'm hoping there's some other legal form for this kind of venture. In my writings I call for a leaderless, idea-led, non-violent revolution, leaderless being very important. Not because I'm a coward (I am), but because this shouldn't be about following and leading, but about understanding. Understanding lasts, changes things and people. That's what our guiding principal should be. To Understand.

Enough from me. I'm burying you in chatter!

Edwardo said...

I didn't know there was a song with those lyrics.

Toby, no political movement worth its salt has ever been without leaders. It's the one thing you can count on, whether the movement is from the left, right, a slave revolt in ancient Rome, or the antebellum American South. Perhaps that is one reason why the greens, at least in this country, have achieved so little politically. They lack leaders.

Personally I think it's built into our DNA that we humans organize-when we want a shot at being effective- in a top down manner. You and I are already functioning that way if you stop to think about it. I used to like the idea of anarcho-syndicalism, for example, but it's the most ivory tower nonsense around, utterly divorced from human experience.

Now I'll try to answer a some of your questions.

You asked:

"Having said that, the right adjudicators would help keep things clear to some degree. However, the format of debate:reponse from non-experts:counter-response from experts is unwieldy. Could you flesh out you vision for me a little more?"

What's unwieldy about it? It's time consuming, but when you bite off a hunk of sirloin of a certain size it takes time to chew it.

The first "insiders" debate will conclude with a
summary of the debate. Hopefully a consensus will be hammered out on the questions you proposed. The summary of the debate will be given to the experts from outside the discipline.

They can then comment on it, agree or disagree, with some or all of the conclusions, express reservations, etc. etc The "insiders" can then respond for a finale of sorts. I don't know how you make the process more economical without stripping it of substance, but perhaps you have some ideas.

I know you were joking, but as for Kucinich and Palin, well, they may seem like candidates for juxtaposition, but really, that is by the by, as Palin aka The Whore of Babylon is, to put it kindly, nothing but a dangerously ambitious dip shit.

Kucinich, on the other hand, whatever his shortcomings, is no dip shit.

THD Russell said...

I meant "I'm an Englishman in New York" scans the same with "Berlin" as the abode.

Yes, of course this kind of leadership (organizing and initiating) is essential. What (you may shortly convince me this is impossible) I thought, was that the internet site can act as the "visible" leader, the charismatic conveyor of the idea, so that no single person becomes the one without whom the movement withers and dies. I seek maximum redundancy and zero single points of failure. Also, blindly following a slogan is not as healing as understanding the arguments. But, it may well be that what I envision here is simply impossible. I'm a novice.

The way you describe the debates is very reasonable. I had thought of the process being as viewer friendly as possible, but a film would take care of that. I'll follow your lead here.

I like Kucinich. He seems honest, and there aren't many honest politicians out there any more. The joke was in the pairing, not in the individuals.

You didn't respond to the Glen Beck suggestion. What's your feelings on using him as a foil for MM?

And, what now? Do my debate themes make good sense to you? Shall I start polishing them up?

Edwardo said...

Toby asked,

"Beck is right wing, isn't he?"

I don't know what Glenn Beck is politically, though I am sure there are many who would place him on the "right" especially as he works for Fox, which seems for all the world to be the Tass of The Republican Party. But in my view, the Republican party isn't any more "right" than my dog.

Left and right are, for me, degraded political demarcations that do nothing but distract the citizenry from the realization that the two headed hydra operating out of D.C. is the enemy of The Constitution and the people.

Edwardo said...

Yes, your debate themes make sense. I would only add, that as you go about polishing them up, frame the themes/questions, as much as possible, within the context of problems to be solved. You have done this very well in a number of cases such as, "Can we feed the world and not ruin it too?"

THD Russell said...

I will begin polishing forthwith.

As to Mr Beck, I also couldn't give a gnat's left (or right) gonad about left and right politics, and have often posted to that effect, but that was hardly why I mentioned the man. You had a very justified objection to MM, which I felt we could address with a two person adjudication team, such that both sides of the bogus political spectrum be represented. Regardless of what WE think about left-right ideologies, the vast majority of people still support "their team," or at least think in those terms. We must proceed with this in mind.

Edwardo said...

"Regardless of what WE think about left-right ideologies, the vast majority of people still support "their team," or at least think in those terms. We must proceed with this in mind."

Sure, by all means, let's keep in mind, but I'd be very careful about the sort of inclusion I would offer to these "icons" on either side of phony left/right debate.

Edwardo said...

Let me try that again.

Sure, by all means, let's keep that in mind, but I'd be very careful about the sort of inclusion I would offer to these "icons" on either side of the phony left/right debate.

THD Russell said...

I heed your warning, but how many icons in the TV host/political commentary arena who aren't affiliated, intentionally or otherwise, with one side or the other, can there be? Unless this process attracts popular and mass attention, it will get nowhere. Someone, or some people, smelling either left or right, can't be avoided, don't you think? Seriously, who is there out there, famous, capable of hosting such a thing, who is not generally considered to be left or right? I think we need famous here, otherwise we won't generate momentum. Millions are needed, not just thousands, or even tens of thousands.

Edwardo said...

"I heed your warning, but how many icons in the TV host/political commentary arena who aren't affiliated, intentionally or otherwise, with one side or the other, can there be? Unless this process attracts popular and mass attention, it will get nowhere. Someone, or some people, smelling either left or right, can't be avoided, don't you think?"

-It's a damn tricky predicament to be sure, because there won't be many, if any, And then, even if we find one, they have to be willing to participate.

THD Russell said...

So, here is my polished first draft set of discussion themes. To be completed: review panel participants. How do we select them?
Format is: discussion leading to findings, review of findings by non-experts, response to review by experts. This means three sessions per theme, with the exception of the summation.

The discussions:

Discussion 1
Economics 101: Are economics' foundations strong enough to support its entire structure?
Challenge: Show the world infinite wants, perfect competition, and perfectly informed market participants. If this is not possible, demonstrate how this is not a problem for economics generally.
Participants: 5 economists, 5 (or more?) reviewers from outside economics.

Discussion 2
Money: Is money's design responsible for our socioeconomic crises?
Challenge: Demonstrate that there is a design of money that can cope long term with technological advances leading slowly to abundance and diminishing demand for human labor.
Participants: Repeat of Discussion 1.

Discussion 3
Energy solutions: Clean, renewable, abundant energy works for the ecosystem, but can it be good for current human society?
Challenge: Establish how far we are, in terms of know-how, from replacing fossil fuels. Demonstrate that government and society could cope with unmeterable, clean and abundant energy.
Participants: Cold fusion guy, peak oil guy, renewables guy, fossil fuels guy, hydrogen guy; 5 reviewers from physics and economics.

Discussion 4
Architectural and engineering solutions: How much of what troubles us socially might be alleviated with the right architecture and engineering?
Challenge: Show that socially undesirable outcomes such as poverty and crime might be inhibited by sensibly, efficiently and wisely constructed buildings, cities and transportation infrastructure.
Participants: 2* architects, robotics/automation guy, 2* civil engineers; review panel.

Discussion 5
Agriculture and ecosystem: Can we feed the world and not ruin it too?
Challenge: We are 6.8 billion and growing. Demonstrate that the world's soil and water supplies can feed us all without resorting to techniques that risk damaging the ecosystem we depend upon.
Participants: Permaculture guy (Geoff Lawton), genetically modified food guy, ecosystem guy, organic farming guy, hydroponics guy; review panel.

Discussion 6
Human nature, psychology, genetics and sociology: Are humans anything at all “by nature?”
Challenge: Popular wisdom believes humans are greedy, selfish and brutal by nature. Show what we know about human nature, and to what degree it is fixed.
Participants: 2* genetics experts, 2* sociologists, psychologist: review panel

Discussion 7
Education, culture, history: Can a better awareness of history and culture inhibit evils such as dehumanization and war?
Challenge: Show how education might help, both institutionally and generally, in fostering a more genuine cross-cultural compassion.
Participants: Anthropologist, 2* historians, education expert, semantics guy.

Discussion 8
Summation: Is the following statement true? We have the know-how and resources to fix most of our social problems, but neither the money nor the political will.
Challenge: Explain for how long it makes sense to prioritize financial above social and environmental considerations.
Participants: Everyone.