Thursday, November 7, 2013

It's Called Ballast... Until It Takes Over -OR- It's Still The Same Money Tricks

Once more down the rabbit hole? into the breach? on a quest for something solid to hang on to. The curse of Diogenes?? Sisyphus? Scooby-Do? Trying to find some sense in it all. Again. Hitting a wall of fucknuttery. Again.

It must all weave together into something recognizable. Right?

It's an international challenge with serious local impacts. At its root, in the larger sense, it's a shipping crisis. It's about the movement of product without concern or a plan to deal with the by-products until they become a visible, active nuisance. Ship "ballast" is recognized as the main source of the problem. From Wiki: Cruise ships, large tankers, and bulk cargo carriers use a huge amount of ballast water, which is often taken on in the coastal waters in one region after ships discharge wastewater or unload cargo, and discharged at the next port of call, wherever more cargo is loaded. Ballast water discharge typically contains a variety of biological materials, including plants, animals, viruses, and bacteria. These materials often include non-native, nuisance, and/or exotic species that can cause extensive ecological and economic damage to aquatic ecosystems. Illegal immigration?

Shipping companies shouldn't be held responsible for the non-native species they carry in their ballast tanks? That's why they pay taxes and fees, so the government can deal with the problem. Oh, but wait, like all good corps, shipping concerns have accountants and attorneys and lobbyists whose sole function is the reduce the corp's taxes to the absolute "legal" minimum. Captains navigate the seas, while the legal department navigates the loopholes. After all, ballast is not technically cargo.

Just another gray area to be exploited.

I think what scares me most is that I'm more right than even I have considered. That the blatant nonsense driving our debates at the expense of deliberately ignored/downgraded important issues is the actual battle plan. Not that race/racism, gun-control, gun rights, TIA/ PRISM, Wiki-leaks, Snowden, Manning are trifles. Only that War/Peace, Life/Death, Heaven/Hell on Earth things get buried from view and thinking about and resolving major challenges become afterthoughts.

Worse, prevailing "wisdom" and leanings lock onto pseudo-factual perceptions in such limited windows that they obscure the big picture. Unless/until these falsified ammyl-nitrate caps stop being snapped under our noses
"Poor people caused the housing bubble to burst. Ronald Reagan was IS a small government conservative deity. The 1st amendment applies to today's corporate owned "Press" without exemption. The 2nd amendment is absolute; inviolate. The American Health Care system is the finest in the World. Pharmaceuticals have greatly reduced disease. Coal is clean. Genetically modified agriculture is good. Every sperm and embryo are sacred. A college degree is proof of an educated mind"... These packaged and merchandised beliefs are far from universal and far from universally true. Your interpretation and perspective really does matter. Common knowledge, like common sense, can be oxymoronic. If you listen you'll hear channeling of these prevailing wisdoms, to the exclusion of uncertainty regarding their provenance, on every channel.

Those tracks you cross in your travels are NOT the railroad. Each section of rail, each tie, each crossing, gate, engine, boxcar, tankcar, flatcar, depot, spur and yard combine to form an elaborate, complicated, interdependent and connected transportation system. If the crossing you regularly encounter is dangerously bumpy, it doesn't mean that every crossing is so screwed up that you have to creep across it. Yet almost universally, you see cars slow to a crawl at crossings. Not every car does, but enough do to affect every other car on that stretch of road at that point in time. Vehicles have suspension systems to absorb impacts. We're not riding around in wooden-wheeled buckboard wagons.

When Citi rewrites our banking regulations, When Exxon rewrites our energy policy, When the NRA rewrites our gun laws, When ADM/Monsanto rewrites our farm bills, When Big Pharma writes our prescription drug program. When the Health Care Corps writes our health care. The defense industry our military priorities, When those who get ahead by leveraging the pooled resources of our 401Ks, 403Bs, IRAs, Money Market accounts into their own income generating playgrounds, we have positively entered an alternate unnatural reality. How did this become the American Way?
How do we make it stop?


amber ladeira said...


As you know, it's not all Americans' way, only a very "healthy" and influential number of us, you and I excluded.

I'm afraid a REALLY BIG calamity
must befall this country to shake it loose, with alacrity, from all denial, illusion, willful stupidity and aggrandizement, etc. This seems to have been the historical pattern...and then the cycle begins anew. Evolution will have to proceed in a markedly improved manner before our species permanently gets it right.
(I won't be here by then.)

amber ladeira said...

It will only stop when enough (re-read, most) people here realize that what you've described is really happening, and stop aspiring to/aping the lifestyles and current ways to get there of those ignorant, evil,soulless sods now running everything into the ground....oh, and grow an actual backbone to take action to defeat these selfsame idiots. We need a bloodless revolution, one with will and intelligence. I hope it happens.