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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Times Of Change

 Experiment In A Bell Jar

I was looking at a photo of Pope Francis at the tomb of Saint Peter, and thought of his being the first American Pope. So I thought then about the many changes we have undergone in the past few.

Change is a process, and it has a long lifetime; it has a genealogy and its own evolutionary history. Rarely, if ever, does it pounce upon us unawares and us totally clueless. Even the attacks of September 11, 2001 were anticipated by people whose job it was to follow how we pushed folks like Al Qa'ida and how they push back: there had been a bombing at the WTC not even 10 years before, but that one used a blind cleric and an old and rusty Volkswagen mini-bus.
Who'd a thought that Al Qa'ida would use airplanes? I'm sure that the common consensus of our vast intelligence community was that the most we should expect from Al Qa'ida at that time was a fertilizer bomb in the back of a U-Haul rental truck, only this would be a step up from old Tim McVeigh, and the truck would have the power hoist.

Anyway, change always occurs: it matters how much it impinges upon us and how thoroughgoing it is.

Right now we are in an experimental bell jar to be a world wide experiment in Climate Change, thanks to various "conservative" ideologies and our natural inertia.

What else? Stockton, California will enter into bankruptcy, and the next phase of thst process will determine whether California State Law requiring contributions be made to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) takes precedence over federal bankruptcy laws.
In other words, may the pension system be raided to satisfy creditors?
There are arguments pro and con, but what is important is that this is the biggest city ever to enter bankruptcy, and I think there is a good probability that federal law will prevail over state law.

That outcome would change the landscape of communties country-wide suffering under burdens of debt...
just as...
anyone? anyone?...
just as the Cyprus situation has loosed the genii in the bell jar of essentially "stealing" from people's personal deposits.

The change would be in the law and the way governments think: once a government starts thinking in the manner of highwaymen and brigands when it comes to the pensions and deposits of its citizens, we are in for trouble with a capital T.

However, even this situation was foreseen way back in the 90's. It was foreseen that the promises of pensions, private and Social Security, would be transgressed and contradicted by politicians seeking an easy fix in a short period of time...
The shorter period of time the better, so an election could take place while the scapegrace politicians were still in favor, and before too many people could figure out what had just been done to them.

We are right smack dab in the middle of all those science fiction tales I used to read. Olaf Stapledon comes to mind: a society exhausted in spirit and maniacally expending fossil fuels (look at nighttime satellite pictures... do we really need all those lights on?)
Our Best and Brightest are tragically short sighted.
What's going to save us? I think Immigration may provide new leavening for the bread.


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