TaN: [last-minute inclusion] In a recent news item last week, someone in the water agency said to the press that in the light of the impending water shortage, the government will start to look for new sources of freshwater. The solution to our looming water shortage is not to search for more sources of water but in using our limited water sources responsibly and sustainably. Much like our looming energy shortage, we cannot continue searching for and developing more power plants — and building outdated monstrous megalithic power plants — as well as unlimited economic growth. This is plain utopic, inane and insane.
We live in a finite world with finite resources. Even if nature is able “recycle” the wastes we generate, we are trashing at a rate nature cannot keep up with. We cannot (afford) to continue consuming and “wasting” precious resources at ever increasing rates.
In addition, we continue to develop artificial/man-made waste that takes longer and longer for nature to degrade, recycle, and re-use — like petroleum-based plastics and toxic pharmaceuticals and chemically-stable, biodegradable-resistant artificial fertilizers and agricultural pesticides — as well as using up precious finite resources as if it were unlimited. It must be remembered surface freshwater is but a tiny smidgeon of the total water available and it supports all life, not just humans (see URL: http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/freshwater_supply/freshwater.html).
Given these, it is not only foolish but very dangerous to consume these resources, which are vital for all life precisely because without them there would be no life, must be conserved and wisely and sustainably used else we are accelerating the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecy of the Apocalypse.
TaN: [Still another epiphany] The main obsession of most everyone today anywhere in the world — but most pronouncedly in First World and among the wealthy in highly urbanized and industrialized population centers in non-First World countries — is the seeking and achievement of pleasure. And, the main driving force that fuels that obsession is greed.
Instead of focusing our concern and efforts on the wellbeing and benefit of our fellowmen (as was preached and commanded by Jesus), we chose to indulge ourselves in our own selfish wants. It is a “Me Me Me Mine” attitude which is counterproductive and a major cause of everyone’s misfortune and misery. And this would explain much of the current sordid status of the world — what with all the hunger and starvation, the poverty, the wars and conflicts, the depression and unhappiness, the sickness and diseases, the extreme and disastrous weather and natural calamities, the garbage and environmental pollution and degradation, and all the other bad things happening.
If we do as Jesus has instructed — i.e., to love and serve one another, to look out for each other, to be concerned and compassion with others — the whole world would be a Paradise Regained. We would still have the same technological development and advancement and may even be at a more accelerated pace. It would not be as what is claimed and espoused by the proponents and advocates of consumeristic capitalism where one is “coerced” into innovation and “creativity” due to selfish reasons and deprive those who are intelligent and industrious from the fruits of shared knowledge and technology by imposing restrictive and greedy intellectual property and patents.
By sharing what we know and have with others, we permit them to build and innovate from where we left off and accelerate the process of development but without the misery and sufferings that come with depriving others and limiting access to benefit from one’s creativity only to those with the financial capability even if they do not deserve it.
If we only look out for ourselves (and our selfish interests), we would be hard put for no man will have the time and ability to address all his concerns — No man is an island. However, if we concern ourselves with others (and everyone or at least enough of us do the same), there would be many who will take care of those concerns of ours that may prove to be too much for us to handle alone — Many hands make light work.
Finally, I am not saying that selfishness is wrong for we all started with being selfish. It is a natural process of life, that, during our first few months and years in life, we had to be “selfish” to ensure our continued existence. [Remember when we were very young, everything was “Mine Mine Mine”?] But, as we grow older and acquire wisdom and skills that ensure our survival, we should outgrow our “selfish” phase and adopt a more sharing attitude. We (should) realize that we live in a society and understand that it is to our advantage to belong and be concerned with others — There is strength in numbers. This is the state of affairs that everyone should be striving for — a utopia for most people but nevertheless achievable if enough of us are determined and committed enough.
TaN: The often nonsensical and “complicatedly entangled” relationships between and among countries and groups of countries are a testament to the power and grip and allure of money or material wealth. One of the best examples of the power of money is the continuing saga of the conflicts the world over — e.g., the sea disputes in east Asia (between China and Japan) and southeast Asia (between China and the southeast Asian countries).
Disputes between countries are very interesting to study and learn about the true power of money. We see countries in conflict yet they continue to trade with each other. How is that for hypocrisy? It is somewhat like two neighbors disputing over the property line but family members still doing business with each other. It is as if there is no dispute at all or the dispute is all for show…all for the sake of making a profit.
I am aware and understand it does not follow that conflicts between two countries automatically redounds to outright severance of all relations. However, it would be hypocritical for two countries to exchange harsh words and accusations and engage in provocative and near-hostile gestures while maintaining trade relations. In a way, the title of the column of Elfren S Cruz in The Philippine STAR last Sunday (May 18) “The problem is Chinese gov’t, not its people” explains it nicely. What the Chinese government says and acts does not necessarily reflect that of the population. Ever since the Iraq War initiated under the George W Bush administration, world governments — mostly the First World or industrialized countries — has never represented the sentiments and interests of its citizenry…but those of their true masters, the oligarchy. Government officials, elected and appointed alike, are mere pawns in the game of world domination.
Moreover, governments have consistently acted and decided in the same manner with its own population — just as the case in California, where a severe drought worsened by massive forest conflagrations, announced that, due to the shortage in water, households will (for now) be prohibited from watering their lawns yet car wash operations will still be permitted but reduced to only 5 days a week. Even though lawn grass can be replaced should they dry up, why should cars not be prohibited from wasting precious water in washing likewise? After all, I doubt if it is that important for cars be kept clean in times when water is scarce.
Or when the toiling masses are overworked but paid pittance — a minimum wage that has been stuck and unmovable since I can remember — while CEOs and Big Business and too-big-to-fail banks and mega corporations lord it over and run roughshod over laws and the Constitution while rewarding themselves with lavish and dizzying salaries and benefits and privileges. In the USA, it has even been reported that the mega corporation members of the ALEC even have free reign to write the laws that Congress will simply rubber stamp.
So, once again, I reiterate that the 99% still do not seem to comprehend that we hold the key to our own redemption and salvation. Only we can get ourselves out of the mess and morass we are in. If only we wake up and take the power we gave to the 1% back and use it for our benefit and interests. [Take note: I am not advocating that the 99% turn on the 1%. That would make the 99% no better than the 1%. Just leave the 1% be with their own devices while we concern ourselves with our own.]
TaN: Curiosity triggers imagination and imagination is the engine of creativity which is true intelligence — not the stuff they impart to you in school. Contrary to popular belief, education — whether formal or vocational or any other categorization — does not result in intelligence. True intelligence is inborn and everyone has it. The problem is using it.
Just like common sense, the mere fact that it is called “common” is because everyone has it — even those who may be so-called mentally-challenged, mentally-retarded, or whatever mental disability or incapacity. The reason why most people will claim that they have “none” even though they really have it is there is a big difference between having it and using it. Having it but not using it is just as if not having it at all. This is the same case with intelligence.
Many think remembering everything that has been taught or read is a sign of intelligence. No…it is not. If it were a sign of intelligence, then a recorder (be it simply audio or video or even a notebook or just a piece of paper where you scribbled something) would not only likewise be intelligent but more intelligent than anyone in the world. Not only do such recorders accept and keep faithful versions of whatever it is that you want them to record but they do it extremely better than anybody. But this is not intelligence.
Remembering whatever was taught or read just proves one has a very good memory but memory is but an aspect or component of intelligence. True intelligence is creative. It can take something and come up with something else. It can ideate. It can draw something new, that which have not existed before.
In conclusion, it is curiosity that is the root of true intelligence. Curiosity fires the imagination and draws on all faculties to address an issue — be it a problem or otherwise.
TaN: In the Common Dreams article titled: “The Free-Trade Regime: Oligarchy in Action” (URL: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2014/05/12-1?print ), it made me remember what I had realized some time ago — that elections, national or local, are actually exercises in futility in this Age of Globalization and Free Trade. It makes no difference who citizens elect into office because the (international) trade agreements have provisions and specifications that override, overrule, or otherwise render inutile any duly enacted law that runs counter to them.
The whole point of an election is to choose and put into a position of power or authority someone who will ensure that the interest of the country and the greater good is looked after. Then here comes a bunch of people, usually foreigners, who have never gone through any election process and have no accountability whatsoever but will have the power to dictate what they want on a people even if it is against the latter’s interest and even trash whatever laws of the land has been enacted.
And what makes the whole scenario pitiful is that the general population just accepts it without the slightest apprehension or inkling that something does not seem right. There is no demand from the citizenry to make whoever the elected (or appointed) public official is, who entered into the agreement, to be held to answer for the negative effects or impact of the agreement — e.g., signing a loan agreement or contract putting the country into a debt so massive and lop-sided that the signatories continue to enjoy their comfortable lives (as if nothing is wrong) while obligating the taxpayers to shoulder the burden of paying back the loan (which they did not benefit from).
This is precisely the fulfillment of the “prediction” of world domination or OWG (One World Government) that has slowly but steadily (right on track and schedule) been creeping and has become consolidated control over the planet, where it is the corporate world that is dictating and holding the reins of power choreograph the major events coupled and enabled with global surveillance and remote-control drone assassinations.
Most or the average individual appears to have the predominant notion that world domination would be in the form of a (united) planetary or planet-wide (elected) government where the different countries will become states or provinces or prefectures. However, the big obstacle to this become reality (following how one would normally imagine it would be) would be that countries with the greatest populations would dominate the (juicy or coveted) world government positions. Moreover, conducting elections would be a nightmare, especially considering the rampant corruption and cheating that regularly occur.
Instead, a more practical scenario would be for mega multi- and transnational corporations — with their vast financial resources and their tentacle-like reach and management control — would transcend political boundaries and embed themselves into the “host” country via binding bilateral trade and economic agreements and lobbying the governments. Transnational corporations are much more efficient at consolidating wealth and power (even) across political borders and decisions and policies are made without cumbersome bureaucracy and accountability to the public.
This is what is happening with the Trans Pacific Partnership — an endeavor that oppositors and opponents claim benefit only mega and transnational corporations (the oligarchs) — thrust of the Obama administration the principal proponents of Free Trade (as against the most definitely better alternative of Fair Trade). The TPP is one of the many mechanisms by which oligarchs control, consolidate, and orchestrate large regions and bind them into obligations and liabilities while trashing their duly elected public officials and the duly enacted legislations.