It’s All History

As we prepare to inaugurate our nation’s second genuine psychopathic president, Andrew Jackson being the first, it’s better to look back on happy times.  Back in 2009 Barataria was celebrating by … well, strangely looking forward to something like today.  Judge for yourself.

During the many lulls in inaugural coverage, CNN knew what would dazzle ‘em.  They had their satellite image of everyone standing around in the cold waiting for The Moment – the time when Obama would formally be worn in.  Huddled around giant screens you could see the black specs, which the CNN crew dutifully told us “look just like ants!”  Yes, from a distance, we are small, but doesn’t that miss the point just a little?  It seems to me that when the great Wheel of History appears to be turning, we have one day where we should not be focusing on where we are on the rim, but on the progress of the great Wheel itself.

That’s why I started rummaging though all the ancient texts in my library.

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Bread and Circuses

Now that no one buys our votes, the public has long since cast off its cares; the people that once bestowed commands, consulships, legions and all else, now meddles no more and longs eagerly for just two things – bread and circuses!

– Juvenal, Satire X, “Wrong Desire is the Source of Suffering”

The “Fall of Rome” trope has always been an easy one to dismiss. After all, we’re stronger and more connected than they ever were, yes? The public is more literate, our history is stronger, and times are simply different than they were back so very long ago.

Aren’t they?

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Economy of People

It’s a bizzy return-to-work week, and I don’t know how to say this any better.  This post, from 2013, is presented just as it was because so much of it is relevant.  This was elaborated on at length in my discussion series People’s Economics in 2015, but this is the summary.  I still believe that this is what we should be talking about rather than the nonsense which passes for “politics” today – and that nearly everyone is utterly missing the ability to analyze what is happening around all of us in any useful way.

The economic teachings of Pope Francis are a hot topic. People feel a need to weigh in on what he said whether they understand it or not. But it’s the simple fact that so many don’t understand where this comes from that is probably the most important point in the public debate.

To sum it up: Money should work for people, and not the other way around. That shouldn’t be controversial, but having forgotten this way of looking at things is may be at the heart of economic and social cycles. The simple answer is that it’s time we remembered. More to the point, that philosophy is at the heart of American tradition going back to our earliest days.

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Start the Year Right

Happy New Year! In this time of turmoil it’s hard to say what the turn of the calendar will bring. Yet it remains true that life is what we make of it.

Barataria promises to dedicate itself to spreading as much peace, brotherhood, and happiness as possible in 2017. We’re all going to need it. Someone has to lead the way – which is just what this piece is about.

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2016: The Rot at the Core

What can be said about 2016 as it winds down? Certainly, something has gone horribly wrong. What could it be?

I believe that ultimately what has broken us apart is a destructive selfishness which has metastasized into a cancer.

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Solstice Greetings

On Wednesday, 21 December, at 10:44 GMT, the Winter Solstice comes to the Northern Hemisphere. It is the shortest day of the year, but this only means that the world is now turning towards the morning. It only gets lighter from here.

This may seem overly optimistic, but it is true. The biggest problem with this kind of faith is that when we are at the lowest point we also are changing the least. Light will return, yes, but slowly at first.

What is even less obvious at this time of darkness is that the dark is exactly what we make of it.

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