You’re Here!

Hey all. What I hope to do here is open up a piece of the internet to a thoughtful discussion of the challenges presented to our generation in a way that is very critical, both systemically and superficially. I want this to be a place for us to compile our grievances as we sludge our way though a backwards world where we are first and foremost consumers and commodities.

As much as I have railed on blogs in the past, (I still don’t care about your boring day or how you burned your tongue on your morning coffee) the medium that they present is indispensable and I want to be able to look back in 40 years and know that I took advantage of every instrument of agitation at my disposal.

The philosophy behind my posts here will primarily be one of resistance to modern capitalism, corporate power, and environmental destruction. But it isn’t enough just to resist, so I also hope to build on a philosophy of liberation whereby we can reclaim spaces, both physical and intellectual, to broadcast a more equitable and participatory vision of the future;  A bubble of ideas brought together with such force and conviction that they can’t help but be compelled outward to the world at large where they might find a sympathetic ear.

So if anybody is interested in contributing then I implore you to sign up and make posts that illuminate what it means to be a youth in the second decade of the second millennium.  Whether its about climate change/energy, being a student in debt, congressional legislation, sustainability, culture, tactics for resisting and bringing about change or any other issue that you know is getting perverted by the corporate media and congress.

I also plan to use this site to report on events that I find to be significant both historically and personally in order to shed light on what I believe to be a pivotal moment in the history of our state, country and world. I want to take the progressive blogosphere a step further and provide a platform for the disaffected Obama generation who are pummeled by a culture of doublespeak and hypocrisy.

We know there is something very wrong when a country with a war budget larger than most GDPs sends its head of state to receive a Peace Prize. There is something very scary about a congress and administration that would rather seek out “market-based solutions” to Climate Change than take the bold action that is needed to prevent catastrophic warming.  When the economy tanks and 10 percent of Americans are unemployed, they talking-heads scream deficit and propose cuts to social programs that are directly helping those in need. Education in all its forms is being commodified, privatized and streamlined to a point where Universities are looking more and more like factories pumping out corporate work drones than the emancipatory beacons of critical thinking that a democratic society needs. This is where our system is tending and unless we make a conscious and deliberate break from it we can be sure that it will continue on its impersonal crusade to maximize the bottom line at the expense of the environment, workers, students and the general pollution writ large.

I’m pretty tech inept when it comes to this kind of stuff so bear with me (assuming anyone is reading) as I get familiar with this new mode of communication. So otherwise, be a sport and check it out once in a while and expect upcoming posts on U.S. climate change inaction and the people centered movement resisting the corporate centered solution as touted by Obama and the U.S. Congress. (And Wall St!)

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8 responses to “You’re Here!

  1. This is dope. Glad you’re doing it. I’ll definitely bookMark (ha) the site and check it as often as possible. Might even write some posts…who knows

  2. There should and must be a “people-centric” movement advocating environmental change. Only it has to be by people organizing as a single lobbying group that lays down core principles and then speaks with one voice. Organized interest groups are the only tool open to citizens that will effectively change anything within the system: politicians bend to their will, and legislation is passed or canceled because of them.

    The NRA, the AFL-CIO? Both are examples of organizations made up of the little guys that determines what legislation gets passed. A single, powerful Environmental advocacy group made up of ordinary citizens could do the same thing.

    Progressive interest groups are what fund and help elect legislators like Bernie Sanders, people who could make a difference. Just imagine the progress we could make if we created a group that, on a grassroots fundraising platform, could elect dozens of Bernie Sanders.

    Good topic Mark. I’m trying to avoid writing this history paper, so this was a good distraction.

    • You’re right. And progressive issue groups are definitely instrumental in getting an ear in DC, especially when legislators want to pay lip-service to their base. But the fact is that the D.C. centered environmental lobby is pretty much lame as hell.

      They are about as good at getting progressive legislation passed as the Center for American Progress or Organizing for America. The current model of pluralistic interest groups is largely irrelevant IMO as it relates to bigger picture legislation like climate change.

      In what world is the WFF, Friends of the Earth, or the League of Conservation Voters more influential to the outcome of environmental policy than the Chamber of Commerce or the oil, coal and Finance lobby? I’d say about as effective as Act Blue, PNHP, MoveOn, or the PCCC were in bringing a sensible health care bill through the senate. Sure it preached to the progressive choir and even stirred up the media during the house deliberations (CNN/ABC/NBC love democratic factionalism) but in the end you know how it turned out. The market rules and Blue Dogs, Conservadems and Republicans get veto power while progressives are vilified for making the perfect the enemy of the good. (a phrase I despise by the way)

      Prog interest groups just get thrown a bone here and there that make them feel like they have some power in DC while the same old story gets rewritten in bill after bill. Progressive change getting co-opted.

      As for the AFL-CIO. They have a sweet new president but how much have you heard from congress about the EFCA lately? Same with the AARP. Did well with Medicare this round didn’t they? Conservative Dems and Repubs are already creating an “Entitlement Reform Commission” to explore how to make our federal programs more efficient. i.e. how to best gut Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security in the name of the almighty deficit!

      Sorry for the sarcasm/cynicism. I’m a bit drunkish.

  3. nah its ok. The current environmental lobby is pretty weak like ya said. I was advocating for something new that would focus on only one issue at a time for effectiveness.

    I’m pretty much for anything that gets Blue Dogs like Lincoln, Nelson, and Landriue out and progressives in, or at least twists theirs arms until they vote accordingly.

    This may sound too simplistic, but I feel like theres got to be some kinda restriction on campaign contributions; its just too tempting for when legislators know they just have to pay lip service to whatever values their constituents like and cast their votes according to what the energy lobby wants.

    Like Lewis Black said, “for $80 million, you’d be thrilled to be Big Oil’s bitch, too”

  4. Mark, I stumbled upon this from facebook and am glad to see you’ve created this space. I’ve been very out of the loop on most of these issues since I’ve been out of the country this fall (no excuse, I know, but there was no English newspaper or Internet!) so I’m re-inspired to be active and figure out my/our role in improving ______.

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