Is extreme weather the new normal?

For the first time since record-keeping began, two Category 4 hurricanes have developed in the Eastern Pacific Basin before July 1st. Back in May, Hurricane Amanda was labeled the “strongest May hurricane on record,” and Hurricane Cristina rocketed to a Category 4 in only 13 days. Although that area of the world is more prone to hurricanes during El Nino years, that isn't forecast to take effect until later this summer.

These massive storms developed months earlier than normal, and warmer El Nino waters could bring even more hurricanes. While few people try to blame specific weather events on climate change, the fact that these storms are earlier, stronger, and more likely can only be the result of rising temperatures. Hurricanes gain strength over warmer water, so two category 4 storms show that ocean temperatures are pretty hot. Thankfully these storms stayed away from land, but there's no guarantee that the next storm with 150 mile an hour winds will stay off shore. These super storms can cause massive destruction, and leave areas struggling to recover for years.

Are we willing to sit back and accept that storms and droughts and devastating floods are only going to get worse? We can't undo the damage of Hurricane Sandy or magically end the drought in California, but we can do a heck of a lot more to keep these problems from getting more out of control. Fighting global warming isn't only about rising temperatures, it's about all of the things that warmer weather effects. We must do everything we can to prevent these super storms from getting even stronger.


Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 1 week ago

The scary thing is there is nothing we can do to stop it. Our share of the problem is just a drop in the bucket. The real problems are in the developing countries like China and India. We need to focus on fixing the problem over there first. Yes it is a noble effort to put a solar panel on your house and drive a Prius Hybrid but it is a grain of sand on the beach compared to what is going on in China yet not a word from the media, government, or enviromentalists. Why do you think that is. As a Canadian I watch my government spend billions on Global warming or climate change well we wait months just to get a simple MRI because there isn't enough health care dollars. When even if we reduced our green house gases in half it would mean nothing. A drop in the bucket as we say. When are we going to hold the real culprits accountable? Tariffs on all goods from China until they do something to reduce GHG,s would be a start. I guess its hard to do when you owe them trillions. You just have to shut up and take i guess.

Oh by the way why did we stop calling it pollution.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 1 week ago

Kend -- I have a better idea. Stop the XL pipeline because none of it is staying in this country. I assume China will get most of it.

Also, I thought China was doing more than the US to curb GHG.

I like the marketplace to solve our problems. Put a carbon tax on the carbon corps to pay for their external costs.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 1 week ago

There you go again Kend, whining about Canada's universal healthcare system, just because it doesn't deliver instant care to everyone regardless of severity or urgency (or lack thereof…). My my, aren't you spoiled! And then you have the nerve to complain to us, south of your border, where healthcare isn't even a guaranteed right of citizenship; where people lose their homes, their savings, even their lives, from lack of access to doctors! You are one piece of work, you clueless Canuck!

As for global warming and its consequences… nothing we can do to stop it, Kend? You oil drones are always saying that shit so the rest of us (you hope) will just sit back passively, resigning ourselves to a turbulent, violent future as ole Mother Nature gets angrier by the year. I guess we all should just keep trying to adapt while the planet cooks, growing less and less inhabitable…. all so you guys can keep plundering for profit. Sick sick sick. - AIW

P.S. Oh yeah, blame China and India. That's real helpful too. How about drilling a hole in the ice up there, and sticking your head in it?!!!

JohnLemessurier's picture
JohnLemessurier 10 years 1 week ago

Mother Earth is facing a spreading corporate cancer and a viral growth in the human population thar will soon prove unsustainablew. Who will win? Mother Earth has survived much, much worse catastrophes during her 4.5 billion years of existence... and proliferated afterwards each and every time.

We will lose in the long term.

ChicagoMatt 10 years 1 week ago

Chuck we agree - Companies should have to pay for what they put in the air, just like they have to pay to dispose of their solid wastes. I'd take it a step further and say companies and people should be rewarded for getting pollutants out of the air.

ChicagoMatt 10 years 1 week ago

Do you ever get the feeling that environmentalists are actually hoping for natural disasters? So they can say, "I told you so". Like Republicans who want government programs to fail, because it proves their point that government is inept.

I'm not saying climate change isn't an important issue. It is. But sometimes I feel like some people are actually excited when an unusual weather event happens. Like, "Yes! It's finally happening! Now they will see! I was right!"

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 1 week ago

Matt, Matt, Matt… Just as I'm about to praise you for a sane comment or two, you have to go and spoil it by saying something stupid like: "Do you ever get the feeling that environmentalists are actually hoping for natural disasters? So they can say, "I told you so".

Nope, sorry. That's one feeling I've never gotten.

But when unusual weather events occur (becoming, incidentally, less "unusual" each time they occur, which is why Hartmann suggests it's the "new normal"), environmentalists and scientists will naturally say things like "Now they will see I was right!" And why shouldn't they, after all? Even though it might still be wishful thinking. - AIW

P.S. (to anyone in particular) Ever notice how greed and stupidity feed off each other? It's as if greed causes one to lose access to whatever intelligence s(he) was born with.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 1 week ago

Chi Matt -- Are you making stuff up or have you heard anyone say that?

ChicagoMatt 10 years 1 week ago

Just the impression I get. Don't you feel like Republicans celebrate failed government programs? And they look for stories that will back up their ideology?

ckrob's picture
ckrob 10 years 1 week ago

Most people don't appreciate the consequences of global warming because they don't understand the nature of nonlinear systems. In my opinion, we have already passed the tipping point for run-away warming. Thom has had Guy McPherson on several times. Check out his YouTube stuff for details.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 1 week ago
Quote Aliceinwonderland:P.S. (to anyone in particular) Ever notice how greed and stupidity feed off each other? It's as if greed causes one to lose access to whatever intelligence s(he) was born with.

Aliceinwonderland ~ YES I have! I have also noticed that greed--just like hatred--is a strong emotion that feeds and bases itself upon morals, principles, ideas, and goals that are an illusion and not real. It causes the mind to function outside of reality with a false sense of morals, principles, ideals, and goals that run contrary to facts, logic, reason, and common sense. They who submit to greed, and hatred, live lives full of conflict, paradoxes, hypocrisy, and denial.

You cannot have one without the other. You cannot have true greed, or true hatred, without true stupidity.

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 1 week ago
Quote ChicagoMatt:Don't you feel like Republicans celebrate failed government programs? And they look for stories that will back up their ideology?

ChicagoMatt ~ Certainly! In fact Republicans actively appoint people to those programs who are completely unqualified--or poorly qualified--so they can do just that. It is also amazing how Republicans who do wrong are the first ones to turn around and point the finger at innocents accusing them of their own wrongdoings. At least in that hypocrisy Republicans are consistent. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.

Nevertheless I feel quite confident that environmentalists aren't intentionally causing these weather catastrophes in the same way Republicans are actively causing government programs to fail. One big hole in your argument right there buddy.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 1 week ago

ckrob -- Do you think there is someone who does understand nonlinear systems? At best we just do piecewise linearization to understand the pieces. Even a small nonlinearity, like an average 7 year lag time of the effect of economic policy, blows everyone away.

Back to Guy however. He mentioned something about the feedback loops he was studying. He said of the 21 feeback loops he isolated in climate, 19 were positive feedback loops (AKA vicious cycles). The news provided a new negative feedback loop (AKA karma). There was a tornado in North Dakota that destroyed an oil drilling site. I wonder if Gus caught that one.

Kend's picture
Kend 10 years 1 week ago

Alice, I agree everyone should have basic healthcare. All I am saying is that it could be better. it isn't fair that if you have money you can go below the 49th and get a MRI quicker.

sorry it's summer no ice here. You will have to wait until about October for me to drill that hole. I did see a grizzly bear with a couple of cubs Last weekend (Awesome). If you like I could try and pet it if I see it again If it would make you feel better.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 1 week ago

Jeez Kend... are my feelings really THAT important to you?! If they are, something's definitely amiss... Hell hath no fury like a mama grizzily! Don't mess with Mama. - AIW

agelbert's picture
agelbert 10 years 1 week ago


I just read this about methane. It is a very long, detailed article with fastidiously accurate scientifc data on methane concentration in our atmosphere and the very high probabily of GEE (Global Extinction Events) as of 2051. Here is one of the graphics which sort of says it all for your perusal.

I am not ready to give up on Homo sap yet! I am sure you agree there is much we can do to prevent a dystopian, apocalyptic future. I am writing to ask your help in convincing President Obama that we can no longer afford a delay in the transition to 100% Renewable Energy. I have prepared a petition to be delivered to the President in early September.

I know you are a busy man so I'll cut to the chase. The idea is to emulate the Blue Star mother banner started in WWII (son in the service) with a Green Leaf Star American Banner (in the service of Future Generations - see my avatar). This is a banner that anyone in support of a massive WWII style effort to build renewable energy machines and technology to eliminate all fossil and nuclear fuel dependency in a DECADE can fly. <i>Ad astra per aspera</i>

The meme is "Liberty From Fossil Fuels Through a 100% Transition to Renewable Energy". I use the word "Liberty" for obvious reasons but also because, during WWII, the Liberty Ship building effort was fantastically successful and proved key to winning WWII. We can WIN the climate Victory the same way! I love the Liberty Ship building model because it brought UNSKILLED people of all races, colors and creeds together to achieve success in rapidly gaining the skills to pump out ships in record time. We did it before. It showed how much we can do when we all work together!

I will now provide the details for your staff look over and brief you. Please help get millions of signatures for this petition. Let's make the politicians listen!

PETITION TO: Demand Liberty From Fossil Fuels Through 100% Renewable Energy WWII Style Effort


This action is important because the health and very survival of future generations depends on it. We must strive tirelessly to provide a Viable Biosphere for our children. They deserve as beautiful a planet as the one we have lived in.

It's time to reverse all this environmental trashing and get real about the fact that sustainability is not optional for a caring, intelligent human population. We are the caretakers of the biosphere because we are self aware beings. It's high time we began living up to our responsibility to be good stewards of nature.

"Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors; we borrow it from our Children." Ancient American Indian Proverb

Civilitas successit barbarum

Ubi Jus Ibi Remedium

Equity sees that as done what ought to be done

Equity will not suffer a wrong to be without a remedy

Equity delights in equality

One who seeks equity must do equity

Equity aids the vigilant, not those who slumber on their rights

Equity imputes an intent to fulfill an obligation

He who comes into equity must come with clean hands

Equity delights to do justice and not by halves

Equity will not complete an imperfect gift

We need to roll up our National sleeves and GIFT FUTURE GENERATIONS with a VIABLE BIOSPHERE! If we put our coordinated efforts into it, we can, like we did with the Liberty Ships in WWII, get it DONE in less than ten years!


Federal agencies have a target of making their buildings carbon neutral by 2030. We can do better, much better than that. We need a WWII sized effort for the health of our country and that of future generations.

The Federal Reserve provides low interest loans for cars and houses. They can also, for the good of the economy and the future of our country, provide the same low interest loans for a nationwide massive effort to transition to 100% Renewable Energy. We did this before with the Liberty Ship building effort of WWII to help us win the war. We can win the Climate Victory with a "Liberty From Fossil Fuels Through Renewable Energy" massive manufacturing of Renewable energy machines. I have all the details and have prepared a poster campaign to get all Americans on board with the effort like we did during WWII.

Mr. President, as you know, during WWII and up to this day, a banner was (and is) flown by Blue Star Mothers (son in the service) signifying their sacrifice and patriotic commitment to the national effort in the war front and the home front. Posters were widely distributed that asked people to save fuel with a mature lady (with the Blue Star Banner in the background) asking, "Don't you want our boys to have a chance to come home?".

We can do the same thing now and get everyone on board to win the Climate Victory. The banner for all patriotic Americans to fly is the Green Leaf Star American in the Service of Future Generations" banner/flag.

My first poster in the series has a lady (with the Green Leaf Star Banner in the background) asking, "Won't you give our children a chance for a healthy future?".

The effort would provide an explosion of jobs and a real chance at an economy that bioremediates the environment, rather than trashing it. Everyone, rich and poor would benefit. It's a win, win, Mr. President, despite the fierce opposition you will encounter from the polluting nuclear and fossil fuels vested interests. We can no longer afford profit over planet business as usual.

We all need to work together in the Service of Future Generations to regain a viable biosphere. Ubi jus ibi remedium.

Let's get it done!


Anthony G. Gelbert

Colchester, Vermont
Green Leaf Star American in the Service of Future Generations

Demand Liberty From Fossil Fuels Through 100% Renewable Energy WWII Style Effort

The numbers I crunched Proving WE can do the same thing for Liberty From Fossil Fuels (Climate Victory) that we did with Liberty Ships (WWII Victory):

It's time for Americans in the Service of Future Generations to GET WITH THE PROGRAM! We did it with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Ships in WWII. We can do it again with the massive, industrial scale building of Liberty Renewable Energy Machines.

Country of Origin: United States of America

Manufacturers: Alabama Dry Dock Co, Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyards Inc, California Shipbuilding Corp, Delta Shipbuilding Co, J A Jones Construction Co (Brunswick), J A Jones Construction Co (Panama City), Kaiser Co, Marinship Corp, New England Shipbuilding Corp, North Carolina Shipbuilding Co, Oregon Shipbuilding Corp, Permanente Metals Co, St Johns River Shipbuilding Co, Southeastern Shipbuilding Corp, Todd Houston Shipbuilding Corp, Walsh-Kaiser Co.

Major Variants: General cargo, tanker, collier, (modifications also boxed aircraft transport, tank transport, hospital ship, troopship).

Role: Cargo transport, troop transport, hospital ship, repair ship.

Operated by: United States of America, Great Britain, (small quantity also Norway, Belgium, Soviet Union, France, Greece, Netherlands and other nations).

First Laid Down: 30th April 1941

Last Completed: 30th October 1945

Units: 2,711 ships laid down, 2,710 entered service.

Despite being initially labelled an 'ugly duckling' by the newspapers, and intended to be expendable if necessary, the ships eventually caught the imagination of the public. They proved to be easy to build, reliable and versatile, exceeding even the most optimistic expectations for their overall contribution to the war effort.

It was a project on a massive scale, undertaken with great speed and efficiency. The first Liberty ship (the Patrick Henry) was launched on 27 September 1941 (and completed on 30 December 1941), which was an incredible feat considering that just seven months previously neither shipyard nor workforce existed to build her.

Average Liberty Ship deadweight = 12,500 metric tons. (33,875,000 metric tons of ships built!).

Convert short tons to metric tons by multiplying the number of short tons by 0.907184

On the GE 1.5-megawatt model the total weight is 164 tons. The corresponding weights for the Vestas V90 are 75, 40, and 152, total 267 tons, and for the Gamesa G87 72, 42, and 220, total 334 tons.

164 x 0.907184 = 148.8 metric tons

33,875,000 divided by 148.8 = 227,655 wind turbines X 1.5 MW = 341,482 MW = .3415 TW x 20% capacity factor = 68.3 x 24 hours X 365 days = 598.3 TWh/year.

2012 wind power production United States 140.9 TWh 26.4 % of world total wind power.

1 TWhour per year = 1,000,000 MW / 8765.8 hours in a year) 114 megawatts per hour.

USA total annual electric consumption = 3,886,400,000 MWh = 3,886,400 = GWh = 3,886 TWh

3886.4 / 598.3 = 20 to 40% of US electrical demand just from Wind Turbines in less than five years of Liberty Ship scale manufacturing wind turbine tonnage.

Liberty Ship scale manufacturing wind turbine tonnage can provide 25 to 40% of US electrical demand in less than five years. Double that in ten years and add in Solar Panels, Geothermal, Tide and Undersea Current and we have MORE than 100% Renewable Energy!

WE can use the excess to bioremediate the environmental damage done in the last 100 years. WE can rid ourselves of Planet Polluting Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Poison Plants in a decade and win the Climate Victory for Future Generations! We can set an example for all the nations on the Earth of the Proper Path to a Viable and Vibrant Bounty filled, harmonious Biosphere.

Let's GET IT DONE! Our children and grand children are counting on us!

WWII BLUE STAR MOTHER (son in the service) POSTER

The following WWII poster can be used AS IS (with perhaps a slight change in hairdo..).

WWII "Wake Up America! Civilization Calls Every Man, Woman and Child!" POSTER

Help push this and Future Generations will thank you for saving the biosphere from conscience free profit over planet human predators.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 6 days ago

agelbert -- Please send it to John Boehner and the repugs. If the prez pushes it, it will be blocked on every turn.

ChicagoMatt 10 years 3 days ago

If the Earth really is doomed, as far as humanity is concerned at least, you would think there would be a rush of people eager to believe in an afterlife - just for hope and sanity purposes. But the opposite is true, in this country at least - Atheism is growing the most.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 3 days ago

We don't need religion, Matt. We need real leadership. What's more, we need to listen to the scientists and act accordingly, to try and reverse this rush to doomsday. Fuck religion and fuck the "afterlife". "God" only saves those who save themselves. - AIW

DAnneMarc's picture
DAnneMarc 10 years 1 day ago
Quote ChicagoMatt:If the Earth really is doomed, as far as humanity is concerned at least, you would think there would be a rush of people eager to believe in an afterlife - just for hope and sanity purposes. But the opposite is true, in this country at least - Atheism is growing the most.

ChicagoMatt ~ Sorry Matt, you got it backwards again. It is belief in Religion and the afterlife that holds people back. It distracts them and makes them complacent. Why bother fighting for this life if there is a better, happier life waiting on the other side? All you have to do is to look at this climate change argument in this culture and behind every group of deniers you will see some officially sanctioned church hiding and pulling strings. It's prophecy! It's the will of God! There is nothing we can do to stop it! Yada yada yada... It is truly a shame that our best hope rests with atheist; yet, what can I say? If we leave the future of the human race to believers we are all really doomed--just like it says we are in Revelations. Unlike most religions, and most believers, I interpret the prophecies to suit my own expectations. That is one of my main reasons I stay the hell away from churches and "believers." Namely, if you truly believe you are doomed you most certainly will find a way to make it happen. There is no evidence better than current events to support that hypothesis.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 10 years 23 hours ago

Marc, you're the coolest, most original-thinking Christian I've ever crossed paths with. - AIW

ChicagoMatt 10 years 21 hours ago

No serious Christian believe the book of Revelations was meant to be taken literally. The people who believe that are a small fringe minority, but they get a lot of media because it draws in viewers and re-affirms stereotypes.

I don't think it's complacency, but rather big-picture pragmatism mixed with individualism. Why conserve and save the planet? For the future of course. What about your future as an individual? Unless you're immortal, sooner or later, we all share the same fate.

That being said, I'm all for environmentalism. I do what I can, like everyone else. If I had a garage to put a charger in, and they made an electric minivan, I'd be all over it.

Maybe I'm going through a mid-life crisis, but when I hear reports about how bad the weather will be in the year 2050, or how there will not be any oil left within 50 years, or whatever the crisis is on the horizon, I always have the same two reactions: I will be dead (which seems to me a more pressiing issue), and I hope someone figures out a way to get the carbon out of the atmosphere, for my children's sake. But, then again, they will be equally as dead sooner or later, as will their children, and so on.

If you want to talk about looking at the big picture, it doesn't get much bigger than death...

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 10 years 20 hours ago

Chi Matt -- Extinction of our species is much bigger than death. Death is just part of the cycle of our species.

Is there any difference between individualism and selfishness?

ChicagoMatt 9 years 51 weeks ago

Chuck - What could be more selfish than expecting your neighbors to take care of you, and passing laws to force them to do it?

Perhaps I am just a bitter, selfish person. If I am, experience has pushed me to this point.

I look at people I know who are on government assistance - including a very close relative. They all put themselves into those positions with poor judgement or poor planning. For example, I know a woman my age who got pregnant when she was 15 (poor judgement) , moved out of her parents' house (poor judgement), and has been having kids and collecting WIC and other payments ever since. She doesn't care that people like us - who work for a living - pay into those programs. She is in her 30s now, done having children, and is starting to realize she is going to be screwed when it comes to finally finding a career or retirement (poor planning).

I got really bitter during the Chicago teacher strikes two years ago too. I thought about how I pay a disproportionate amount of property taxes to the city, because I have a nice house in a good neighborhood, my own children can't go to the schools I'm paying for because they aren't safe, and the teachers (who make double what I make at my private school) wanted even more. Do they not realize that money isn't coming from nowhere - it's coming from their neighbors. That seems selfish to me - to only think about yourself and how much money you can get from the system, and not where that money is coming from.

My social studies curriculum includes a unit on The New Deal. The book says, and I agree, that that was the moment when people stopped asking if the government would help, but began expecting the government to help. I wonder if that expectation leads people to put themselves into bad positions. If someone knew from the beginning that they were on their own, would they put more thought into their actions?

Yes, I'm being hyperbolic. But I hope I'm getting my point across.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 51 weeks ago

Matt, the lack of compassion you routinely express towards your fellow humans is absolutely stunning. "What could be more selfish than expecting your neighbors to take care of you, and passing laws to force them to do it?" WOW.

You are one piece of work.

Has it ever occurred to you this could be a two-way street? Suppose the neighbors need our help; do we just blow them off? Tell them "sorry" and wish them luck? And let's be specific; what "laws" are you referring to? Is this how you characterize public services, or the commons? Has any law ever forced you to take care of your neighbors? Given your attitude, I wouldn't want you coming within a hundred feet of me if my house was burning down.

You criticize a "very close relative" who got pregnant when she was fifteen, for "poor judgment". Did she get pregnant all by herself like the Virgin Mary? I assume not. Yet I see no mention of the (AHEM) sperm donor in your vitriolic little screed. You seem to think the woman is exclusively to blame when an unplanned pregnancy occurs. You begrudge her WIC benefits and "other payments". Has the father of her kids made any contribution to their support? Have you even the foggiest notion of how much work it is, managing a household with kids all by yourself? ESPECIALLY in the good ole USA, where working single moms are guaranteed nothing; not even childcare or healthcare!

My husband just googled WIC, by the way. It's a program that ensures poor women with babies & toddlers access to food. And this annoys you? It also counsels and assists new mothers on matters related to breastfeeding. You have a problem with that?!

Meanwhile by your own admission, you are financially well off and secure; you live in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood. You bitch about paying property taxes while complaining that some of these property taxes pay for schools you've chosen not to send your kids to, that you've determined aren't good enough. This is breaking my heart.

You seem so outraged by the notion that one of the functions of government is to help its citizens who are down on their luck for whatever reason. Please enlighten me to what you think the purpose of government should be. I've never heard you express such outrage about our government killing people. But any suggestion that government should be helping people gets you so hot and bothered.

Yeah, you've got your point across, all right. - Aliceinwonderland

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 51 weeks ago

I agree that there will always be people who will take advantage of the system and manage to skim off whatever subsistence they need to survive. Some of these people may be very capable of getting jobs but choose not to for whatever reason...lazyness? Many other people don't really have much of a choice because they have tried and failed to get jobs. Others can't because they are disabled. But none of these people are ripping off the system as much as corporateers (as in buckaneers) and people in business for themselves that have found a way to fraudulently (or found a legal nitche or loophole) bill the government for service claims (like doctors, insurance companies, etal).

Corporate welfare queens, including all of the military industrial and spy complex, and those corporations that hold our lives as ransom (the Medical/Pharmaceutical/Insurance companies), and oil companies, rake in exorbitant profits that only serve to make a few people insanely wealthy.

There is nothing more insidious than capitalist scumbags ripping off the system, big time, then trying to blame poor people for struggling to survive. The capitalist pigs have largely, for the past 30 years or so, squeezed their employees out of decent wages, squeezed them out of benefits like health care, and then sent their jobs overseas.

The real parasites, that will cause possibly a violent revolution and the total collapse of our country, are the arrogant dandies who fancy themselves as better than everyone else while stealing from them. But they are really no better than the Mafia or any other organized criminal empire. And they control their toadies very well. They own the major media propaganda machines and do quite well in manipulating people into developing memes that are contrary to their best interests.

Some of those people are lucky, maybe hardworking, and manage to surpass others which only feeds their delusions that "they are better than the others because they have accepted the correct ideology and deserve to be duly compensated for it." Others have tried and failed. Others have not tried at all...becoming discouraged from the start for various reasons...bad schools, bad parentage, whatever. And those things are usually the fault of a crooked and disadvantaged tax system where the wealthy get away with not paying their fair share of taxes.

This country pulled itself out of the dregs of depression, caused by those capitalist scumbags, by taxing the crap out of the wealthy who got wealthy from screwing the people in the first place. But it took lots of rebellions by the people to make this happen. It took the threat of communism to scare the crap out of the wealthy dandies before they came to realize, reluctantly, that they needed to relent. WWII was also a big part of that lack of warm and fuzzy feelings the wealthy had been experiencing. And before that, the crash of 1929 helped to make people realize that something had to be done.

Jobs were created by the government, paid for by the increased taxes, putting people back to work which circulated more money. Instead of a few extremely wealthy people hording all the money, the workers used it to better their lives. New laws and regulations were created to keep the rapacious capitalist wolves from creating so much misery for so many. Back then, the majority of politicians actually took seriously what the people thought and felt although there were still a lot of corrupt ones. I don't think they really care what people think or feel now. They know that they are in their positions because the wealthy own them.

But, since Ray-gun, we've had nothing but a reverse to the progress that had previously been achieved. During that time, we excelled in everything...even put a man on the moon...people got raises...had no problems putting food on the table, medical care for their families, and putting their kids through college. They could even buy a house that they could expect to pay off in time. It's time we stopped the greed meme and put brakes to the rapacious wolves who are again ruining our country. The eyes of TJ Ekleburg are watching. And so are the eyes of Marx and Lenin.

And if the wealthy don't come to their senses, they may very well see a violent revolution such as they had in Czarist Russia, their wealth and property handily removed from their ownership, and maybe even a few heads (or many) will roll as they did in France. Things are sure not going to change by the ballot box when it's nothing more than a rigged system in favor of the wealthy.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 9 years 51 weeks ago

Can you picture wealthy people in America, with big houses, having to share them with vagrants like Doctor Yuri Zhivago had to do after the Russian revolution?

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 51 weeks ago


chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 51 weeks ago

Chi Matt -- I asked if there was a difference between individualism and selfishness. You answered that "We the People" is selfishness. Can I have an answer to my question?

In an answer I gave to AIW, elsewhere, I think our economy should be measured by the DOW, the GDP, the median wage (inflation adjusted) and the number of jobs. You seem to want to measure the economy by the number of moochers. By my metric the "New Deal" is great, and by your metric reaganomics is great. By my metric reaganomics is awful, and by your metric the "New Deal" is a little bit bad. Why do you like your metric?

ChicagoMatt 9 years 51 weeks ago

WIC stands for "Women, Infants, Children". That was the first welfare program that came to mind, because I know someone on it, and the grocery stores sometimes label specific items as "WIC Approved". In IL, the last time I checked, WIC used a coupon-book system. Those coupons books were, of course, easily sold for less than face value in cash. They used to be available on craigslist, but now I think that's one of the terms that website filters out.

You seem so outraged by the notion that one of the functions of government is to help its citizens who are down on their luck for whatever reason.
I'm all for helping people who are down on their luck. But will you admit that some people take advantage of these safety nets? That some people actually have children in order to get the benefits? That some people aren't so "down on their luck" as they "put themselves into those positions by their own actions."

And I'm not really so much outraged as I am bitter. For a variety of reasons. I've been thinking about the best way to word it for a week now, and I still can't seem to verbalize my thoughts the way I like, but here goes nothing. If you're in a bad mood, don't read this. It will make it worse, but it's how I think:

I am a straight, Christian, white, educated, affluent, middle-aged male. I didn't start off educated or affluent, but I played by the rules, sacrificed a lot (mostly my social life), and now I've made it. Throughout my school years (80s and 90s) and college years (00s), I've had teachers and professors telling me how, in the past, men like me created pretty much every problem in the world. They don't use those exact words, but the message is clear: "It's your and your ancestors' fault." (It doesn't help that I have British ancestry and grew up in the South.)

In almost every novel I was forced to read in school, men like me were the antagonists. In almost every movie or play we were forced to watch in school, it was the same. If you are a white guy with money, you must have done something evil to get it. You MUST be stepping on the backs of people not like yourself.

In short, I'm supposed to somehow feel guilty for who I am and what I have achieved. I reject that notion entirely.

Warning: This will really piss you off if you're still reading. You know what would help make me more Progressive? A simple "thank you."

Instead of, "You lack compassion because you have more than most," how about a "thank you for putting more into the tax pot in the first place."

Or, "thank you for working your way into a position where you can afford more in taxes. You made good choices (not drinking, doing drugs, getting a girl pregnant before we were ready, doing well in school, working from the age of 16, etc....) and now, because of those good choices, you have a good job and can pay more into the system."

Or, "thank you for making that luxury purchase, which both employs people AND puts more money into the sales tax pot than a cheaper purchase."

Or, "thank you for working at and sending your students to a private school while at the same time paying a disproportionate amount of property taxes into the failing public school system. We need you to put your children and your students on the right track to become doctors and lawyers and other high-tax-paying professionals, because our public school system sure as hell isn't doing it. So thank you."

I feel like, particularly living in Chicago, the Democrats both want me to pay more in taxes, which I do by making and spending more of my own money, but also want to turn less fortunate people against people like me. They want the benefits of relatively wealthy or upper-middle class citizens, but also want to demonize us.

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 51 weeks ago

Chi Matt -- Thank you for all the insight. Now, it will take me sometime to reply, and I want to.

ChicagoMatt 9 years 51 weeks ago

Thanks Chuck. I'm always hesitant to log on and read this blog unless I have time to reply right then, because otherwise it will mark things as "read" and I forget about them. I like to spend time on my posts, which is why I don't do as many as I used to. For it being my summer vacation, I'm actually more busy now than usual.

Anyway, I'm going to answer your question with another question: Who, exactly, are "We the People", in your opinion? The Koch brothers are American citizens, right? They are equally "the people". As is George Bush. As are the 50 percent or so of voters who vote Republican. As am I.

Democrats love to talk about "We the People" when it fits their class-envy needs. But when it comes to something like gay marriage, which has been voted down every time "the People" have been allowed to vote on it, suddenly the "We the People" chant grows silent.

There are currently 24 "Right to work" states in the Union. "The People" in those state voted to be on their own when it comes to the workplace. But a Progressive would say that those laws are actually not good for "The People" and should be thrown out.

I think both sides need cut the "The American people want this or that" crap. The American people are divided on a national level. I'd respect any politician more if they started saying "The voting majority of my actual constituents wants this or that." Nancy Pelosi is not my representative, and I wish she would quit saying she speaks for me, since I am an American too.

Perhaps you, too, would respect a tea party Representative if they just came out and said, "The majority of the voters in my district elected me knowing that I would be a roadblock to and left-wing agenda. So I am here to vote "no" to pretty much everything. I don't really care what people outside of my district think of me."

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 51 weeks ago

Matt, I'd just like to reply to one point you've made regarding gay marriage. Because marriage is a basic human right, I do not believe it is appropriate for gay marriage to even be voted on. Why should someone's basic rights be up for a vote?! I think that's bullshit. - AIW

ChicagoMatt 9 years 51 weeks ago

Self-defense is also a basic human right, yet the citizens of IL and Chicago have voted to limit my rights to own a gun, which is necessary for self-defense when all of the criminals also have guns.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 51 weeks ago

Guns are not the only way to defend oneself. How about a tazer? Or pepper spray? Ever try martial arts? Or not going out alone after dark? (After all, that's what they keep telling us ladies; if we go out alone after dark we're "asking" for it.) Better yet, why not sell the car and buy yourself a bullet-proof armoured military vehicle of some sort? This new fascist plutocracy we're now living under has transformed America the Beautiful into an ugly war zone. So c'mon Matt, let's get with the program! Gotta be prepared! - AIW

chuckle8's picture
chuckle8 9 years 50 weeks ago

Chi Matt -- I agree with Churchill in that democracy is the worst form of government except for all the others. I should point out that individualism has been tried over and over and proves Churchill was correct.

Now I have one that everyone can disagree with me. The concept of any human right other than democratic determination is an abortion of democracy. SCOTUS has used the right of free speech to prove my point.

"We the People" applies to the nation not the individual states. Right to work is a prime example. It expedites the "race to the bottom" or death spiral.

The Koch brothers are American Citizens; unfortunately, so is there money. So is the money of the mormon church an american citizen. 8 times as much money was spent for prop 8 as against it. The ads had blatant lies that no one could afford to refute.

Our democracy, "We the People", is not when the dems had 1.5 million more people vote for them the repugs in the house.

Aliceinwonderland's picture
Aliceinwonderland 9 years 50 weeks ago

Jeffrey Dahmer was an American citizen too. Bon appetit. - AIW

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