Saturday, March 17, 2012

Time to hire the Producers

The trouble with most political activists is that they want their hectoring to become a paying job.  And if we have learned anything from the environmental movement in the last 30 years it is this: if any of these organizations ever become financially self-sustaining, the pressure is OFF to actually accomplish anything.  Except, of course, for getting their funders to renew their funding.

But utterly tame and irrelevant environmental bureaucracies explain only part of the problem of not accomplishing anything.  Some of the big problems like Peak Oil or Climate Change are not going to be solved by community organizing, or sit-down strikes, or heartfelt folk music, or another interpretive center or freaking conference.  And some variation of these things is what these organizations do.  This won't help much because the big problems can only be solved by the elite Producers—engineers, industrial designers, materials specialists and the high-end construction companies that can put complex and difficult plans into action.  About the only thing the hippies can do to help solve these life-threatening problems is to organize so that the Producer elites have the major money (like $2-3 trillion per year) they need to do their work well.  Oh, and get out of the way!

Right now, the Producer elites are drawing unemployment or working at Home Depot trying to keep body and soul together.  And the planet dies because we cannot seem to grab influence from the Powerpoint jockeys who think that the goal in life is to "raise awareness" in the hearts and minds of people (who usually cannot do a damn thing with their newfound awareness anyway.)

Last Friday, I heard about a perfect example of the insanity that comes of giving too much power to the pencil-necked geeks who believe that problems are solved because of their wise edicts.  Minnesota is worried about agricultural run-off in the Minnesota River watershed.  And it IS a problem—massive amounts of soil washes into the river which is slowly filling up the incredibly beautiful Lake Pepin, while the nitrogen fertilizer carries all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico where it creates this massive dead zone.  Unfortunately, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture thinks the solution is more and better police powers.  They want the authority to individually regulate each farmer.  And they want to buy a drone to monitor those recalcitrant peasants.  Meanwhile NONE of this high-priced regulation (a DRONE?!) buys better drainage systems or anything else that would solve the problems.

This sort of behavior is utterly crazy.  Take the money you would spend on drones and set up a fund that farmers can tap into as they figure out better ways to control their runoff.  When they have the new systems in place, they can send a picture of it along with a projection of how much runoff will be reduced.  That's it! Look, real solutions can only come from people who already live in rural areas.  Most of them do NOT need to be reminded how much they would rather not have their topsoil and expensive fertilizer washed away.  And they would change their methods in a heartbeat if someone could help with systems redesign and the capital expenses.

That's the problem with the Leisure Classes—the only motivational tactic they can even imagine is whipping people.  The idea of actually putting extra resources in the hands of those filthy Producers doesn't even show up on their radar.  Besides if the Leisure Classes cannot regulate, how can they possibly take credit for any improvement?

If there ever was a Leisure Class organization that existed to exist, it is our friends at  They initially organized to get the country to move past the Lewinski scandal.  When this problem had passed, they decided that their organizational skills should be worth something so they have been looking for a big issue ever since.  So now they have decided to sell their services to someone who wants to ensure the #OWS doesn't get out of line—The New Republic model.

Anyway, I simply cannot imagine Moveon organizing to get $2 trillion a year into the hands of the Producers so they can get on with the business of ensuring the planet's survival.

The Guns That Smoked
99 Percent Spring: the Latest MoveOn Front for the Democratic Party
by THE INSIDER   MARCH 18, 2012

A new social movement has arrived on the scene and it even has a sexy brand: “The 99% Spring.”

Combining the “99 percent” meme, made famous by the Occupy Wall Street movement, with the “Arab Spring” meme, made famous through the ongoing struggle for democratic rights in the Arab world, the organizers of the movement say they will attempt to carry the momentum created in these social movements forward in the coming weeks and months ahead.

This is exciting stuff, to say the very least.

The 99% Spring movement states its goal with stark clarity:
“In the tradition of our forefathers and foremothers and inspired by today’s brave heroes in Occupy Wall Street and Madison, Wisconsin, we will prepare ourselves for sustained non-violent direct action.

From April 9-15 we will gather across America, 100,000 strong, in homes, places of worship, campuses and the streets to join together in the work of reclaiming our country.


This spring we rise! We will reshape our country with our own hands and feet, bodies and hearts. We will take non-violent action in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Gandhi to forge a new destiny one block, one neighborhood, one city, one state at a time.”
Dozens of organizations have already signed onto the call for what looks to be a looming massive uprising.

[snip] has to tell overt lies in order to paint the Democratic Party and its President, Barack Obama, as a friend of democracy and working class. The Big Lie, it can be said, is only believable for so long.

But ultimately, “So what?” says the cynic. “More of the same shit, just a different day.”

Not so fast, says activist and author John Stauber, an expert in exposing corporate and political front groups.

“What’s going on is very simple. Massive amounts of soft money from unions, wealthy donors and foundations such as the Tides Foundation are flowing into NGOs willing to help support the re-election of Barack Obama, and this MoveOn front group is key to whipping liberals and progressive activists into line to attack Republicans for the cause. The brand and energy of Occupy Wall Street are being coopted by MoveOn’s 99 Spring for this purpose,” he said in an interview.

“This reminds me of the AAEI coalition, another MoveOn front that worked with Nancy Pelosi in 2007 to see to it that the Iraq war was funded and used as a political stick to beat Republicans in 2008. Or the massively funded Health Care for America Now coalition backed by MoveOn in 2009 which made sure that single payer health care was ignored while the White House pushed its pro-insurance industry legislation derided as ‘Obamacare’. In this latest case, the so-called 99 Spring, MoveOn is enlisting other NGOs to create the appearance of a populist uprising from the Left, when it’s all about keeping the rabble in line and aimed at the Republicans to re-elect Obama,” he continued.

As will be seen throughout this series on foundation-funded Democratic Party aligned non-profit groups poisoning the genuine grassroots, is far from the only culprit playing this rotten and cynical game. more

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