stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)
I joined a union - the California Faculty Association to be exact.

I have been a temporary employee of San Jose State University for 14 years. Each term I must be rehired (the paperwork is irksome; they need a rehire form so three separate forms don't have to be processed every time I teach.)

I was happy to hear the unions were able to stop Occupy SF from shutting down the Golden Gate bridge. I think the Occupy movement has been great for media but less than useful for real progressive politics. My politics are traditional libertarian - social liberal, fiscal conservative - which means I am in total alignment with progressive groups who want to stop corporate bailouts. Let economic Darwinism prevail.

Zomblog had a scathing review of the Occupy the Farm - where Occupy activists have taken over a research farm tract owned by Berkeley. Here's a link to the article http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=1842

I can't imagine how the graduate students feel. Research (and ultimately graduation) delayed by six months to a year? The possibility of not getting program-sustaining grants. They are incredibly lucky a group of frustrated Ph.D. students didn't get a gun. I was in grad school for the Iowa Physics shootings of the early 1990s. Grad students, especially in competitive programs, are already on their last nerves.

What does this accomplish? The farm is now failing.
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)
Cato University week long in San Diego announced.
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)
When the LA Times has an article like this...

Obama takes step over the line that separates government from private industry.

You think? So underwhelmed with this administration and congress.

I officially became a patron of the Cato Institute last week. Time to put my (tax deductible) money where my mouth is.

I was also thinking about climate change the other day; I believe climate change is real and that we have an impact on the climate and its cycle - we like anything else on the planet; it's a closed system. I don't know to what extent the climate will change but any disruption more than a few degrees higher or lower will have a tremendous impact on agriculture and human settlement (as most of the world's population lives on its coasts.)

Here's the thought that popped into my mind: If I were a climate scientist and I thought we were at the tipping point, I'd be doing everything I could - 24/7 - to prevent that from happening. Giant acts of civil disobedience that would force my opinion onto every news program in the US. I'd make the tribe over at Earth First look like Sunday school kids.

Where are the outraged scientists? During the early days of the AIDS epidemic, well established scientists put their careers on the line to call Reagan out on funding. World renowned researchers worked with groups like ACT-UP.

I don't see that here - except for one person who learned about climate disruption and became passionate about it - Al Gore. Now he's quiet, too.

What gives?

(ETA: Here's a post from Climate Progress on the narrow window of climate that produced civilization. Here is a post that introduces the grim scenario: Hell and High Water.)
stef_tm: Stef looking to her right suspiciously (Default)
Case in point:
http://www.iht.com/articles/2009/03/25/business/dollar.php

I was reading my flist; it had been reported the Geithner was open to minimizing the dollar as the reserve currency of the IMF.

Glad he's retracted. The dollar is the last piece of leverage the US has in the global economy.

I can't help but think of Paul Simon's American Tune:


And I don't know a soul who's not been battered
I don't have a friend who feels at ease
I don't know a dream that's not been shattered
or driven to its knees
But it's all right, it's all right
We've lived so well so long

Still, when I think of the road
we're traveling on
I wonder what went wrong
I can't help it, I wonder what went wrong



With a global economy comes a normalization of standards of living. I guess this is the only way Americans will stop buying cheap plastic crap.

end rant

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