Monday, October 20, 2008

Repressed Confidence

Primarily this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True they have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

The money changers have fled from their high seats in the temple of our civilization. We may now restore that temple to the ancient truths. The measure of the restoration lies in the extent to which we apply social values more noble than mere monetary profit. - FDR's First Inaugural Address

While I was reading FDR's speech, I couldn't help but see quite a lot of resemblance between he and our next president. The more I see and hear on the political and financial news sources, the more I realize whoever wins our presidential race, will have a very difficult job to accomplish while the eyes of the world grade their every decision. The more news I absorb, the more difficult it is to know which term I should be using to describe our social dilemma. Is this just a downturn, or should we all agree that we are in fact, in a full blown recession? Perhaps we are merely hanging on to the illusion of the American Dream, kicking and fighting to resist using the term depression? It's not impossible to imagine someone insisting on calling the culprit political repression.

According to Wikipedia, political repression can be recognized by the following:

Political repression may be represented by discriminatory policies, human rights violation, surveillance abuse, police brutality, imprisonment, involuntary settlement, stripping of citizen's rights, and violent action such as the murder, summary executions, torture, forced disappearance and other extrajudicial punishment of political activists, dissidents, or general population.

Maybe it's just me, but on just a quick glance, I recognize way too many of these indications of political repression. I also found Wikipedia's talk page on political repression offers even more ideas on the subject. I find this has been categorized as a Wiki Human Rights Project and has been rated as High importance. Personally, I would think this needs to be rated Top priority, but the article needs to be expanded with more coverage of local and state facts. It's definitely a place I should be spending more time! As a matter of fact, I added a table of contents to the page so I could access the data much easier.

Shameless plug time...the TOC is omething I became familiar with over on Whole Wheat Radio. I don't know if the Wiki Gawds will like the TOC, but it's helped me out this morning searching through all the pages! Wiki Rules!

Could it be possible, as in FDR's day, we could blame our trouble on a lack of confidence? If that is indeed the case, I think it's necessary, while we find ourselves at a crossroads, to determine just where is the best place to base our confidence. This looks like an opportune time for necessary changes within our social framework. The opportunity for change has not seen this much light since the civil rights movement. Maybe it's time for the people to place social value on common sense rather than dollars and cents?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Plum Point Walk

The water levels are slowly dropping around the lakes here in north Mississippi. It always seems like I'm in a rush for the water to recede this time of year. Although it's still fairly hot on the lake bottom. So a little drop in temps as well as lake levels will be welcomed.

Not much here to look at, but I thought I'd share the day with you anyhow. At least for a little while, the lake somehow makes all the political and social noise go away and makes me feel somewhat human once again. ;-)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Pop!Tech 2008

Since David VanAmburg turned me on to PopTech last year, I've been anxiously awaiting this year's speakers. This year's conference looks as if it will be just as electric as 2007. Yahoo will once again live stream the event between October 23-25. This year's theme is scarcity and abundance.
This year, we will pay particular attention to the 21st century dynamics between systems based on scarcity and those based on abundance, in areas ranging from digital social networks to environmentalism, from biology to business, from peacemaking to politics. We’ll chart the core scarcities that humanity will face in this century, and how a wealth of new innovations, new bottom-up approaches to collaboration, and new insights into collective wisdom might hold the key to addressing them.

The guest speakers who have been scheduled so far for this year's conference can be found here. I'm listing a few below that have caught my interest and I will make a special effort to watch. If you can't make it for the conference or the live stream, I'm almost certain the pop!casts will be posted at a later date. View the introductary video for the conference below as well.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 License.