Category Archives: the future

In a sane world . . .

. . . upon hearing about this, every political leader in the freakin’ world would should be shouting ‘tell me more!”

This is Mexico City

There are a lot of  people there these days – a bit over 8 million in the city limits, 22 million in the greater city. I find that birds-eye view terrifying in an apocalyptic way.

But then this is Mexico City too . . . perspective is powerful. http://mexfiles.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/zona_rosa1.jpg

We’re not them, so who are we?

 In the quarter-century after World War II, the country established collective structures, not individual monuments, that channeled the aspirations of ordinary people: state universities, progressive taxation, interstate highways, collective bargaining, health insurance for the elderly, credible news organizations.

That’s from a NY Times op-ed today by George Packer (author of one of my favorite Iraq War era books, The Assassins’ Gate). It was true then. But we all know it’s not true now.

Later in his piece (which is about individualism as reflected by a celebrity obsessed culture), he uses the phrase ‘the great leveling’. And that perfectly explains I think why that post-War era succeeded and did so on every level.

The shared experience of WWII touched everyone, whether at war or at home. At war, the mechanic served with the lawyer whose car he fixed, and the young kid with an 8th grade education spent lonely nights talking to college professors.  Even more powerful in its effect on the later society was that they not only shared the experience but during it they were equals – all called to service by their country, wearing the same uniforms, fighting in the same battles with the same weapons. ‘GI Joe’ carried the same rifle as his lieutenant did.

They shared too, by rising to the challenge. And when it was done, they shared the tears and the pride.

It’s possible for societies to exhibit those values even without war. There are some here on our planet who manage it. But for us, that day is past.

We’ll never be those people again.

Now go have a nice day!

Frackin’ good! (and better than fracking)

sunflowers2When I see this, I hear a page turning:

Walmart has been adding solar to scores of stores across the country . . . as it plans to become 100 percent renewably powered. . .  The company has aggressively been building out solar on its stores and other buildings.  It’s also been boosting its purchase of renewable energy both directly and indirectly. And it is doing so across the world.

“Walmart has 280 renewable energy projects in operation or under development, and continues to test solar, fuel cells, microwind, offsite wind projects, green power purchases and more,” the company said.

Sorry FOXers, this isn’t about ‘envy’ or whatever your current word is.This is danger, a threat the future of the nation.

What David Frum called the conservative entertainment complex continues to dismiss and even mock any expressed concern about income inequality in the United States. They honestly don’t know what they’re talking about. This is one of the very best explanatory videos I’ve ever watched. It’s pretty viral right now, so you may have seen it. If not, take the full six minutes to watch; every moment of this is clear, precise, informative and ultimately of course quite alarming.

Any country that lets this continue dooms itself to oligarchy, to instability, civic unrest . . . a nasty future awaits and denying it doesn’t make it not so.

h/t friend Brian. (Nice to see you at the theatre too!)

Time Magazine got it wrong

malalaTheir no longer so eagerly-awaited “Person of the Year’ issue is out and they’ve chosen President Obama. That’s a FAIL.

Look, I’m an Obama fan. I think he’s acquited himself quite well as president and I continue to hold a little bit of hope that he might do more this term. But still, FAIL.

US Presidents are always consequential. Always. But this year, I think the most consequential person on the planet was a 14-year old girl.

Person of the Year should be Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who stood up for women’s rights, for human rights and continued to do so even as the Taliban threatened to kill her. Still she stood as tall as a person can stand.

What Malala did, what she now stands for, might be as consequential as the Arab Spring is. She’s the Arab Rosa Parks. She’s a hero.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. (Margaret Mead) 

Time for Rush and Grover to head for . . . well, there are a few societies out there where government isn’t intrusive. Freedom, you know. (Somalia comes to mind.)

Even I was taken aback by these numbers. Encouraged yes, and surprised as well. I’ll reserve comment right now, but want to toss this stuff out. It’s fascinating and obviously very important.

These are outtakes from the final post in Thomas Edsall’s NYT blog Campaign Stops, in which he reports on what’s being called the ‘Rising American Electorate”. It’s quite remarkable. The youth vote is pretty important in these numbers which, to me, means our future will be very different than our present.

Not only does a plurality (49-43) of young people hold a favorable view of socialism — and, by a tiny margin (47-46), a negative view of capitalism — so do liberal Democrats, who view socialism positively by a solid 59-33; and African Americans, 55-36. Hispanics are modestly opposed, 49-44, to socialism, but they hold decisively negative attitudes toward capitalism, 55-32. . . .  When voters were asked whether cutting taxes or investing in education and infrastructure is the better policy to promote economic growth, the constituencies of the new liberal electorate consistently chose education and infrastructure by margins ranging from 2-1 to 3-2 — African Americans by 62-33, Hispanics by 61-37, never-married men by 56-38, never-married women by 64-30, voters under 30 by 63-34, and those with post-graduate education by 60-33.

Keep voting kids.

The arc of history sets the narrative. Not presidents.

Now that we’ve heard from the candidates, here’s some reality. This overshadows everything. It’s not a national problem – it’s a global problem like so many of the other challenges we face these days. As has been said, by whom I cannot remember, ‘demographcs is destiny’.  Which may be why the increasingly insular plutocrats of this globe are systematically separating themselves from the rest of us. They know very well what’s happening and will create their ‘safe zones’.  Soylent Green guys, Soylent Green. (I really have been in a foul mood. Working on it.)

Age_5_And_65

 

 

 

Let them eat cake

I was reading my paper this morning, and a story from Honduras caught my eye because my sister-in-law is there right now for a meeting. The headline is Human-rights lawyer is killed.

It said that he “helped prepare motions to oppose a proposal to build three privately-run cities“.

Three privately-run cities? I hope you recoil as I did. Has anyone ever seen such a reference outside of apocalyptic sci-fi novels?

RIP Ray Bradbury

He gave us so much to think about while being one of the best tellers of stories ever. So adieu to Ray Bradbury. Well done.

Thanks for Fahrenheit 451. Thanks for The Martian Chronicles. Thanks for The Illustrated Man. Thanks for all of it.

Memory at my age is imperfect, but I think I met the man about 40 years ago when I accompanied my boyfriend of the day to Bradbury’s home in Woodstock NY where he was to interview him. But like I said, memory is imperfect. (Stay tuned. I may get confirmation either way by email.)

Onward, Christian soldiers, with your pitch-perfect suicide mission

When Fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the American flag and carrying a cross.”                                                               Sinclair Lewis

Chris Hedges wrote this article in 2007 –   before there was a Tea Party, before the world economic meltdown, before the dysfunctional congress . . . and before Citizens’ United.

Dr. James Luther Adams, my ethics professor at Harvard Divinity School, told his students that when we were his age — he was then close to 80 — we would all be fighting the “Christian fascists.”

. . . He was not a man to use the word fascist lightly. He had been in Germany in 1935 and 1936 and worked with the underground anti-Nazi church, known as the Confessing Church, led by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Adams was eventually detained and interrogated by the Gestapo . . .

Adams understood [then, in 1988] that totalitarian movements are built out of deep personal and economic despair. He warned that the flight of manufacturing jobs, the impoverishment of the American working class, the physical obliteration of communities in the vast, soulless exurbs and decaying Rust Belt, were swiftly deforming our society . . .

The mounting despair [now] rippling across the United States, one I witnessed repeatedly as I traveled the country, remains unaddressed by the Democratic Party, which has abandoned the working class, like its Republican counterpart, for massive corporate funding. . .

. . . the powerbrokers in the Christian right have moved from the fringes of society to the floor of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Forty-five senators and 186 members of the House before the last elections earned approval ratings of 80 to 100 percent from the three most influential Christian right advocacy groups — the Christian Coalition, Eagle Forum, and Family Resource Council

Again, he wrote this in 2007. And I agree with him, it’s the thing I fear most, and now our stateless corporate oligarchs have been given the gift of the Tea Party as hapless ground troops. And the poor sods will celebrate in the streets when they take Congress.

I’m in a very bad mood.

You didn’t know about this because it only happened everywhere else on Planet Earth, just not here in USA! USA! USA!

We look pathetic enough with our insane refusal to address the horrific costs and poor outcomes of our health care system. We look worse yet when we are 5% of the world’s population and use 25% of its energy and when we incarcerate more people per capita (by a huge factor) in the US than any other free nation on earth while hundreds of thousands have died on our streets and still do while we deny that we long ago lost the poorly conceived War on Drugs. And we can pretend that angry eyes aren’t turned our way from South of our border as entire regions become war zones fighting the drug cartels who kill and maim to bring our drugs to us.

The world may sit back and actuallyl enjoy it when our time comes to face the awful truths but meanwhile, I invite them to go ahead – go ahead and just make fun of us for this bit of silliness and greed. We’ve been asking for it.

Earth Hour was observed yesterday across Planet Earth (except, well, you know, here). The story is at Scientific American:

Let us now hang our collective heads in shame

The worst of humanity’s commercial and primal instincts are today converging in China, where it’s version of the TV show “Survivor” features condemned prisoners who are encouraged to breakdown in confession – before . . .

. . . being led off to be executed.

The show is setting records in popularity with 40 million viewers every Saturday night. The show has a market advantage of a country that can supply an endless line of subjects. The hostess of the show offers to convey messages to family and friends as well as taping a final message. Now the show will begin to appear in Britain. While there are 55 capital crimes in China, the show focuses on murderers and cases determined by the officials to be “educational.”

There is an obvious “Running Man” feel about this show that is entirely creepy. The crossover of criminal law into television entertainment has long been featured in movies and literature as the ultimate sign of social and moral breakdown. While Communist officials may insist that they are merely “educating” the viewer, the voyeuristic element is obvious.

From Jonathan Turley, here.

I’m sure FOX News can straighten them out

They don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh, so NASA actually thinks the globe is warming just like those other delusional environmentalist whackos at The Pentagon. They even say so in this article at their website.

Just look at this lying timelapse video they created – Global Warming: 1880-2011. Disgraceful.

Mom, apple pie, the flag and OWS

I just picked this up from Bartcop, where someone else picked it up from a facebook post. There was no link.

  • In the 1930s and 40s factory workers, miners, and laborers demonstrated for better and safer working conditions.
  •  They were first ignored, then mocked, then violent conflict erupted. Even the US army was called to “maintain order”. A number were killed. The result was the union movement.
  •  In the 1950s and 60s, blacks demonstrated for equal rights. They were first ignored, then mocked, then shot, beaten, attacked with dogs and fire hoses, some were killed. But the result was civil rights/anti discrimination laws.
  • In the 1960s and 70s there were demonstrations against the Vietnam War. First ignored, then mocked, then the clubs, fire-hoses and bullets came out. But the result was the war ended!
  • Today we have financial inequality and corporate abuse. Some chose to demonstrate,. They were at first ignored, then mocked, and now the violence has begun. I believe that the result will be that the people will prevail!

I’d add that it took street marches, protests and violence for over 30 years until women got the right to vote in 1920. Later,  mountains of anti-discrimination legislation resulted from the feminist protest movement of the 70’s.

That’s the way stuff happens. That’s the way we were born as a nation.

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.                                                                                  – Mohandas Ghandi

Good gobbly gobbly y’all and a neighbor’s story

I don’t host Thanksgiving but I am the traditional baker of the pies, a task I really enjoy. So the shopping is done, ingredients are at hand, the weather is lovely and the doors and windows are wide open. I’m ready!

There will be two pies baked today and the pumpkin gets done tomorrow morning. Today’s pies will not be refrigerated but wrapped in cloth and left on the lanai for the overnight. And tomorrow’s pie will come to the table still warm.

I’ll bring two to Thanksgiving dinner, but the third is for my neighbors across the street.

They are the future – at least I hope so! This is an interesting family who appear, on the face of it, perfectly normal. They are six, which is larger than most these days, but with school, hockey, soccer, an SUV and pickup, bikes, flower gardens, chores and electronics, they are otherwise a normal and handsome representation of a U.S. family, circa 2011.

Except for one thing . . . they are about one year away from taking their home life entirely off the grid. They’re fully integrated into the community and school activities, but at home they will be independent (Okay, they’re keeping internet and cable.)

They’ve converted the house (and pool!) to solar. Two rain barrels supply the pool and kitchen. The rest is on a well.  A big wood stove heats the house in winter. They have a kitchen garden. Actually, two – one in their backyard and a much larger garden on a bare plot of land about half a mile away. Both are fenced. Both are watered from wells, and tended by Dad and the four kids. They’ve also got chickens and guinea hens out back and share the eggs. They’ve  begun playing with grape vines, thinking of making their own wine.

Dad owns a small business and employs a few guys; as such his income is mostly secure. (If necessary they could probably get by on the earnings of son #1 who mows my lawn!) They fully own that business as well as the house and cars. There’s a fishing boat too, which goes to the Gulf regularly and comes back with lottsa fish on a good day.

I’m sharing this story so I can tell you what happened one night last week. At about 6pm, Dad showed up at my door – with a wide and proud smile – holding a full dinner plate. On the plate were a quarter guinea hen, red potatoes, broccoli, corn, string beans and onions. “Enjoy” he said. (UPDATE: When this post first went up, I’d failed to say that every single thing on that plate was from the  garden. You probably got that, but in the interest of crossing all the ‘t’s’ . . . )

Earlier they’d had guests and fed 11 people. And they did it with the grill and the solar oven. So come the revolution, our plan is to run the fence to enclose my property inside theirs, make the gardens bigger and have the kids man the turrets.

Good thing I love brocolli.

Why Occupy Wall Street? Here’s why.

The surprise $5.00 debit card fee banks recently imposed on their customers is going away.  Bank of American, Sun Trust, JP Morgan Chase and others are now trying to tiptoe off the front pages.

We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit usage fee,” David Darnell, the bank’s co-chief operating officer, said in a statement.

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co last week decided to cancel test programs, while SunTrust Banks Inc and Regions Financial Corp said on Monday they would end monthly charges and reimburse customers.

For most Americans, the fee was a step too far from those ‘job creators’ who earlier wallowed in ugly, amoral behaviors screwing not just us but each other, and sent us into a four year trailspin of a recession that could take as long as a decade to repair.

This time, I think those ‘bankers’ peeked out their windows and were a bit frightened by what they saw.  So I’ll call this a victory for Occupy Wall Streeters around the nation and around the world.

Thomas Friedman (forever the inspiration for the wartime Friedman Unit, or the F.U. for short), reminds us this week about one Citigroup transgression for which they’ve just been fined $285million (chump change these days), a transgression emblematic of the duplicitous and amoral behavior that hurt us all so badly.

. . .  with one hand, Citibank sold a package of toxic mortgage-backed securities to unsuspecting customers — securities that it knew were likely to go bust — and, with the other hand, shorted the same securities — that is, bet millions of dollars that they would go bust.     

According to the SEC complaint:

. . . Citigroup exercised “significant influence” over choosing which $500 million of the $1 billion worth of assets in the deal, and the global bank deliberately chose collateralized debt obligations, or C.D.O.’s, built from mortgage loans almost sure to fail. According to The Wall Street Journal, the S.E.C. complaint quoted one unnamed C.D.O. trader outside Citigroup as describing the portfolio as resembling something your dog leaves on your neighbor’s lawn. “The deal became largely worthless within months of its creation,” The Journal added. “As a result, about 15 hedge funds, investment managers and other firms that invested in the deal lost hundreds of millions of dollars, while Citigroup made $160 million in fees and trading profits.”

For decades we’ve let them indulge in the worst form of crony capitalism without the rule of law that should govern such institutions. Unbridled greed took hold. And it’s been destroying capitalism. It is anti-capitalist.

Friedman goes on:

. . . .what happened to us? Our financial industry has grown so large and rich it has corrupted our real institutions through political donations. As Senator Richard Durbin. . .  bluntly said in a 2009 radio interview, despite having caused this crisis, these same financial firms “are still the most powerful lobby on Capitol Hill. And they, frankly, own the place.”       

Our Congress today is a forum for legalized bribery. One consumer group using information from Opensecrets.org calculates that the financial services industry spent $2.3 billion on federal campaign contributions from 1990 to 2010, which was more than the health care, energy, defense, agriculture and transportation industries combined.

We can’t afford this any longer.

Indeed we cannot. We now stand witness to the destruction of what it took us 250 years to build.

I don’t see anyone with power stepping up, leaving it up to the people.  And, no matter the tired 1960’s stereotypes the right is so enthralled with, that is why we have Occupy Wall Street.

How is this healthy for a nation? It isn’t. It’s destructive.

We need to fix this or it’ll ruin us.

WASHINGTON — The top 1 percent of earners more than doubled their share of the nation’s income over the last three decades, the Congressional Budget Office said Tuesday . . .

In this report, the budget office found that from 1979 to 2007, average inflation-adjusted after-tax income grew by 275 percent for the 1 percent of the population with the highest income. For others in the top 20 percent of the population, average real after-tax household income grew by 65 percent.

By contrast, the budget office said, for the poorest fifth of the population, average real after-tax household income rose 18 percent.

And for the three-fifths of people in the middle of the income scale, the growth in such household income was just under 40 percent.

Cafferty mirrors Santorum? Santorum mirrors Cafferty?

I enjoy Jack Cafferty’s rants on CNN, but see them only on youtube these days as one needs to pass through the Blitzer to get to Cafferty. Listen to what he said this week:

If you refuse to believe your car is leaking oil, the car will break. And the cost will be high.

Here’s me, giving Santorum his due (well, David Frum actually).

I heard this the other night. It was otherworldly. But I heard it indeed. From Frum Forum today:

Rick Santorum is not exactly an odds-on favorite in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. And perhaps that’s why it was Santorum who felt free to articulate an important truth in the GOP candidates’ debate in Las Vegas on Tuesday night.

“Believe it or not, studies have been done that show that in Western Europe, people at the lower parts of the income scale actually have a better mobility going up the ladder now than in America. “ . . .

The American dream is still alive. It’s just more likely to come true in Denmark than in the USA. In fact, the American dream is less likely to come true in the USA than in any other major economy except the United Kingdom’s.

The freezing of income mobility is distinct from, but probably related to, two other important trends in American life: The stagnation of middle-class incomes and the widening of the gap between rich and poor.

It’s mostly been ignored of course, because Romney touched Perry, which was very important news indeed.

Krugman: “got that 30’s feeling”

A post from Krugman’s blog today.

Given a crisis that should have been relatively easy to solve — and, more than that, a crisis that anyone who knew macroeconomics 101 should have been well-prepared to deal with — what we actually got was an obsession with problems we didn’t have.

He points to ‘intellectual failure’ among the ruling classes, and not just here in the U.S.

Fears of far-right rise in crisis-hit Greece

ATHENS, Greece — They descended by the hundreds — black-shirted, bat-wielding youths chasing down dark-skinned immigrants through the streets of Athens and beating them senseless in an unprecedented show of force by Greece’s far-right extremists.

In Greece, alarm is rising that the twin crises of financial meltdown and soaring illegal immigration are creating the conditions for a right-wing rise — and the Norway massacre on Monday drove authorities to beef up security.

The move comes amid spiraling social unrest that has unleashed waves of rioting and vigilante thuggery on the streets of Athens. The U.N.’s refugee agency warns that some Athens neighborhoods have become zones where “fascist groups have established an odd lawless regime.”

 

A dime’s worth of difference?

POSTED BY ORHAN

So Obama offers a debt deal to the Republicans: he’ll cut Social Security and Medicare. In exchange, the Republicans will, maybe, allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Or hike some other taxes; whatever.

Now the Republicans are saying no deal, they’ll only accept spending cuts; they’ll cut Social Security and Medicare, plus keep the Bush cuts, but deep-six the tax hikes.

So, let’s see, that means if Option 1, the Democratic plan, had been accepted, the rich would have been back to where they were under Clinton, and the poor and middle would have been worse off. But if Option 2, the Republican plan, is enacted, the rich will keep what they got from Bush, and the poor and middle will be worse off.

What can we say about America’s future from the horns of this little dilemma? If it plays out the way the health care farce did, we can make a few predictions:

The Tea Party will be left swinging in the breeze. The folks who screamed, “Keep your hands off my Medicare!” are about to have their Social Security and Medicare seriously FUBARed. Even the most hardcore non-rich Tea Partier will realize sooner or later there’s nothing here but, as the song says, the promise of an early death.

The Democratic base will be left swinging in the breeze, after having its veins opened, its throat slit, and a dagger slipped between its ribs. The new default “far left” bargaining position will start with Social Security and Medicare cuts. Obama will initiate his trademark “compromising” from there. Predicting which once-sacrosanct progressive program he’ll negotiate away next will be all the rage in DC.

Mainstream middle and working class Republicans will be left swinging in the breeze; it’ll just take them a while to figure it out. Sooner or later the most diehard trickle-down true believer will realize the upcoming corporate cash infusion (via “amnesty” or any other method) isn’t going to create any jobs for Americans, other than the corner-office and lobbying jobs for the politicians who sold us all down the river; but CEOs will no doubt receive some kickass bonuses over the next few years.

Life is about to get one hell of a lot harder for most Americans. Thanks to Democrats. And Republicans.

The long U.S. slide to the bottom

I see the GOP is determined to cut the budget of the F.D.A., even as Europe is caught in the grip of an E-coli scare.

I think this brief letter in today’s New York Times says it all.

A Question for the Right

To the Editor:

Re “High-Speed Rail Poised to Alter China” (Business Day, June 23):

As we persist in allowing other countries to outdo us in the development of high-speed rail, the quality of health care, the implementation of cleaner energy solutions, and the rigor of math and science programs in schools, does the “no new taxes under any circumstances or for any reason” right wing have a plan in place to bring us back up from the bottom 20 years from now?

 

Captain Kirk’s replicator is here – almost

A commenter yesterday reminded me of the Star Trek ‘replicator’, that wondrous device in the wall that would, upon a voice command, deliver anything from new shoes to a cup of hot tea with lemon, easily and instantly manufactured and delivered from stored atomic information or something.

Now comes the Thing-O-Matic. It’s real alright. I saw it on Colbert last night. All the details are here:

. . .  you can simply manufacture your very own dishwasher knob. And bath plugs, drink bottles, spectacle frames, shin pads, helmets and even action figures.

It’s all thanks to the Thing-O-Matic, a ‘factory in a box’ that claims to create any three-dimensional object out of plastic in a matter of minutes.

It creates 3-D scans of actual objects into what they’re calling the ‘printer’ and the output is itself three-dimensional and made of a hard plastic. It’s real and really wonderfully weird.

Who are we really? Part I

Today, Nicholas Kristof suggests we indulge in a feel-good fantasy when we describe who we are. He starts with a quiz – identify the country:

It has among the lowest tax burdens of any major country . . . Government is limited, so that burdensome regulations never kill jobs.

This society embraces traditional religious values and a conservative sensibility. Nobody minds school prayer, same-sex marriage isn’t even imaginable, and criminals are never coddled.

The budget priority is a strong military, the nation’s most respected institution.  . . .citizens are deeply patriotic, and nobody burns flags.

So what is this Republican Eden, this Utopia? Why, it’s Pakistan. . .

This sounds like where today’s Republican Party want to take us.

. . . as America has become more unequal, as we cut off government lifelines to the neediest Americans, as half of states plan to cut spending on higher education this year, let’s be clear about our direction . . .

A new kind of courage needed – Israel’s rock/hard place

While the neo-con Prime Minister of Israel is insulting our president and defying our foreign policy goals while here, proving himself once again to be among the rudest guys on the planet, Josh Marshall posted this today. His post at TPM acknowledges the hard truth Obama articulated the other day.

Just as no man is an island, no country can be either. On its present course Israel is on its way to becoming a pariah state, a status in which it cannot indefinitely or even perhaps long survive. Neither the fact that Israel faces a profound cultural animosity among the region’s Arab populations nor the bad faith that often greets its actions nor even the anti-Semitism that is sometimes beneath the animus changes this essential fact. The make-up of the 21st century world is simply not compatible with a perpetual military occupation of another people, especially one that crosses a boundary of ethnicity and religion. Only the willfully oblivious can’t see that.

MENA – odd way of saying it

A post by Orhan and the discussion in comments reminded me this morning that the denominator “Middle East North Africa”  seems to have linguistically replaced our old friend, the ever volatile “Middle East”.  And I’m reminded too that another old ‘friend’, the war in Afghanistan is happening  further to the east of that area close to Pakistan (and thus India and the slow simmering rivalry over Kashmir).

This AfPak, India, Kashmir nexus is something we no longer even mention. And yet, and yet . . . a failure of the government in Pakistan probably presents as much if not more danger to us as MENA.

So let’s remind ourselves that in the midst of all that, today is the 198th day of the tenth year of our war in Afghanistan. (And we’re now in our eighth year in Iraq.)

Tomorrow – it’s only a day away

From Atrios yesterday – this is going to be a real problem in our future. Are we even thinking about it? Are the folks we elect to think about such things thinking about it? Probably not. Guess we’ll just wait till granny’s pantry runs out and she says ‘now what?’.

Paratransit Is Going To Be Expensive

“I don’t know how universal this trend is, but suburbs are not well-equipped to provide transit services for those who can’t drive.

. . .  half a century later, suburban communities designed around the autombile are facing difficult questions.

What happens when many residents can no longer get behind the wheel?

Who will bear the costs of getting them to groceries, to doctors and to a host of other places?

“As they age, they need more services, and those suburbs are not designed for more services,” said McIlwain, of the Urban Land Institute.